Thursday, September 14, 2006

Multiple projects

Photo: You may recognize these as the familiar humorous quilting ladies panels often seen in quilt stores. I had fun putting them together with my own sashing and borders.

One effect I love in quilts is a gradation or progression of color. I have so many ideas along that line that I’m quite sure I’ll never live long enough to try them all.

On the HGTV program, Simply Quilts (which I understand, boo hoo, has been discontinued), they often have guest quilters show their ideas. Some of these quilters are either so rich or so successful that they don’t do much of the sewing themselves; they just design the quilts and their sweatshop (so to speak) does all the work for them. Now, ain’t that nifty!

Two of my previous projects (see above) are hanging on my Hideaway wall. I'm thinking I’ll apply buttons all over the borders of the less-colorful one - especially since, when I arrived home this evening from eating Ethiopian food at Queen Sheba (Daddy’s 79th BD), there was a shoebox FULL of buttons on my doorstep, gift of my 80-year-old friend who knows I use such things. The box was so heavy that it took too hands to lift it.

Oops, before that (or those), I must finish my Roman shades - all done except for the hanging and procuring of the weight bars. This is a goal to be done before LL arrives for a short visit in 4 weeks (not to mention the other before-LL-comes goals).

Oh, did I mention I am taking a Dreamweaver class at a local college? I think I did, but I must almost mention that yours truly and one other person in the class has 100%. For being one of the least experienced in the class, I feel I have a good excuse for a little strutting.

© 2008 LDN

Landsape quilt creates leftovers

Photo: This is my first landscape quilt, from a photo taken not too far from Moab, Utah, last summer. It is made of 2" squares (1.5" finished). I purposely made no diagonal lines or other details.

After finishing the Joe Crow kit, I need to quilt my landscape quilt (right). It is my largest project to date, about 48x36. The secret is a fusible grid for laying the squares. The grids come in all sizes, and once this one was finished, I wanted to try it again, but this time include diagonal cuts so that the final effect isn't as pixelated. Then maybe I'll do another one of the same scene, Ruth B. McDowell style - machine pieced, and another one fused and raw edged. The final one would be the most realistic and make certain viewers happy. When I am finished, I'll have a set of four that I can look at and evaluate the various techniques. At this point I am altogether excited about Ruth B. McDowell's approach.

I cut so many extra squares that I made nine placemats with the leftover little squares (some are shown here). I love having a pile of placemats that look like they go together but where no two are exactly alike.

Once those are done, I’ll start on the sea-colored quilt for my daughter, even though I have 25 squares from a swap I just did from Stashbuilders (a Yahoo quilting group) hovering in the wings.

© 2008 LDN

Old Joe Crow quilt

Photo: "Joe Crow Does Community Service" - machine pieced and raw-edge appliqued from a quilt kit given me by my friend, Jane. Notice, please, the free motion quilting, if you can see it. I'm learning how, so you might say I am proud of myself. (This picture taken after this post was written, when the binding was finished).

I work on quilts like I read books - several at a time, in various stages of progress. Before starting on my other daughter’s quilt, which I am DYING to do, I really should finish my UFOs ("unfinished objects," though I think real quilters use a different acronym).

Today I started quilting the small (24 x 36) wall hanging quilt kit above. All I have left to do after that is add the binding. Hand appliqueing the pieces was okay - for something that size. My usual motto, however, is: If it can’t be done by machine, it ain’t gonna be done.

I long for a long-arm quilting machine, but they are too expensive for a hobbyist like myself.

© 2008 LDN


Photo: My quilt, "Lost in the Woods," from ideas in the book, "Thinking Outside the Block."

Early on in my quilting career—oh, say, about 18 months ago—I started keeping a quilting journal. Photo of quilt, date, thoughts about it, where it went, etc. I’d completely forgotten about it until this week, and I have not one idea about the journal's current location. I don’t believe I’ve seen it for a year. How can that be possible? It’s gone into the Black Hole, along with all my system and application software. Sometimes I think the men in little black helicopters have visited me, the ones who used to plague Mama N when she was losing her mind.

"Lost in the Woods" is my latest quilting effort. It's about 40 x 52 inches. You can see that I lean away from traditional. I made it for my younger daughter, who leans more away from traditional than I do. My next project is to make one for my elder daughter. It will have soft ocean blues and greens and be entirely different. Chopping up fabric and putting it back together is so much fun!

© 2008 LDN

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Life since last I checked in

Ha ha, as if that were possible to write briefly!

I am stressed. I volunteered to work on our church website and have learned that working on a large website is difficult if not impossible to do with dial-up, and since the church is 35 miles away, it is not easy to drive in and do it there.

I am taking a 3 unit class in web design at the local college, keeping up with my weekly quilt guild, my weekly Bible study, my monthly clay guild, trying to keep my house in some semblance of order, teaching more hours than last year (this year with an inexperienced principal), and in general being a nut about getting over-committed.

My parents plan to move to Colorado within the next year. I hope when the new people move in that the scruffy people who sometimes knock on the door at 2 a.m. claiming they’re out of gas will knock on their door and not mine. This is where a big dog is handy.

I’ve lost my DMV sticker.

I need to register for my 35-year high school reunion.

I’m going camping this weekend.

I’m sleepy. I just want to stay in bed for 24 hours, beginning with an hour’s soak in the tub.

My car, the one without the current sticker, is out of gas. Its transmission is slipping. Tomorrow I have to determine if changing my mortgage to a fixed rate is advantageous.

I expect that by this time next year my life will be totally different than it is now. It’s getting down to this: What do I want more - To marry and thereby get a lot more loving, but also have a lot more meal-fixing, picking-up-after responsibilities, and no beautiful studio? Or not to marry, and stay here with my beautiful studio and be able to keep my own schedule and my own state of dress or undress (without interruption) and be satisfied with being loved from a distance by a guy who wants the distance situation to end Yesterday?

I just love my studio. I know that when I leave I’ll never have such a beautiful room to work in again. I feel so happy when in that room. Well, as Mom says - I think I’ve said this before - don’t get married until you can’t live without him. Obviously I am not at that stage.

© 2008 LDN