My quilt projects for this month are numerous, if only in my head! I am working on a "true mini" for a flickr group. I scratched my head for awhile because mini isn't really my speciali-T. But, it's time to stretch myself. I thought maybe paper piecing would be good for a mini in order to keep my seams straight and true. I found a cool mini snail's trail and printed off my pages. And picked out some fabric. And voila:
What the heck happened? I don't know. It looked like bad origami on the right side. And you know, I'm fairly proficient at paper piecing. I sad ta heck with that and started something else that felt right and is stretching me a bit in the applique department. Here is how I started with some teeny tiny circles. All of which remind of that Richard Scarry story The Teeny Tiny Woman.
Then I got some cool fabrics cooked up and am off to a start and almost a finish. Hope my swappee likes it!
I received a bag of lovely little girl clothes and big girl shirts to make a quilt for a friend's daughter who is heading off to college in the fall. I love these projects and she had such a great idea to save her most favorite kid clothes to turn into something memorable. I definitely feel the pressure to do a bang up job and honor this special quilt!
I have run into some challenges though. I thought since I would be using some knits in the quilt, I should try and do a paper pieced quilt to cut down on the stretching. When I did the marathon quilt, I used both fusible and sewn interfacing to face each tshirt. That was time consuming, and in addition, I wasn't 100% happy with the appearance of the fused tshirts after washing. I nixed that idea for this quilt. These pieces will be much smaller, so that is a bonus.
After much thought, sketching, more thought, sketching, I thought I had a great idea. But I wasn't in love with it, though I thought I could make it work. It's a traditional square in square block.
You heard that, right? Traditional. As in, not really me. I started four blocks and after the fourth one, I just knew the quilt and I, as planned, would not be continuing our relationship. It didn't feel right, I couldn't see how it would all come together and look right, so I scrapped that idea.
Panic! New idea!!! I always go to flickr first. And I did and came up with a gallery of favorites that caught my eye for this project. So, off I go again. To choose and to begin and to finish. I'm glad I have learned to trust my quilting gut enough to call uncle when necessary. I'll keep ya posted. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
No pics today. Terrible, right? What is a blog post without pictures from a quilter? Jeesh.
I've been in between mode. As in, my studio needs a cleaning, a getting rid of really. One of my cabinet drawers wouldn't even close it was so full of fabric I don't really use. I would open it up and stare at some lavender fleece that I bought 4 years ago to make my daughter some cute jammies out of. She's full swing tween now and hates lavender. I would slam it shut, it would bounce back open, and I would walk away.
This week I took on a small commission for a friend's daughter going off to college. I looked around that cluttered sewing room with scraps busting out of 5 containers and unused fabric with no hope of being used and a basket full of UFOs and UFOs hanging in the closet and said Enough of this sh*te. I started with the overflowing scraps. I got that down to two smallish baskets and one of potential backing fabric. Wow. Major accomplishment. I was unnerved by the smallness of some of the scraps I save. I was also surprised that there are only 2 or 3 fabrics that I consistently love to the point of not parting with scraps each time I see said fabric. I put all those scraps in big ziplocs. Who wants scraps??? Seriously, send me an email. I'll send you scraps.
Yesterday, one kid was under the weather (the super active one) and the other just likes getting crafty. I took both kids in the room under the guise of letting them use their creative brains and got busy on that cabinet. It really is easier to purge fabric when surrounded by kids who try and save everything. I don't want to contribute to any hoarding tendencies, so out it goes if I'm not going to use it. One got started on a charity quilt and the other made paper house. And I was so successful in clearing out fabric I'll never use and I know someone else will.
Which brings me to my next clarity moment. When I first started quilting, I would buy and buy and buy and not sew much. When I got a little more serious and house bound (by babies!), I realized that buying compulsively meant I didn't have to be scared to try new things or make the worlds ugliest quilt or quilt blocks. I started sewing more and shopping less. Of course, when I joined coops (sniff I miss them), that shopping thing was so much easier and less time consuming. But gradually, I stopped buying so much and I am working through my stash. I think it also helped that the fabric industry, though way too pricey at retail in my humble opinion, releases gorgeous fabric season after season after season. So, my new rule is, if I love it, but I don't have a specific project in the works, I have to reallllly love it to buy it. Because otherwise, I might end up with a cabinet full of 5 year old sad fabric. And I have made some ugly stuff. If I can't bear to throw it away, I pack it off to goodwill. Yes I do.
I have to tell you, the inspiration to get purging came from Sarah over at House of Krom. Yay! Inspiration is good. So, you peeps out there? Want some fabric? Scraps or fat quarters, I got em for ya!
SO, my fam and I were very lucky to take a trip to Portugal this spring. My husband travels an insane amount for work, so those airline and hotel points add up to vacation for us! We love to travel. Here I am on a beautiful beach. Like how I can sneak a beach trip in anywhere in the world? Hehhehheh.
Here are the other parts of Chez Ellington.
There are so many incredible things to see in the world. And eat. My husband and I are big on food. See how happy I am with this big Sangria pitcher in front of me?
This was my (and Joe's) most favorite dish in Portugal. Just looking at this picture makes me hungry. Oddly, it was a very thick sort of zuppa de pesce or bouillabaisse. Normally, I'll not order something like that, just not my very favorite. But, wow. What a dish.
Ok so on to other creative mis-endeavors. Remember the purple quilt with the paper pieced border? It's been sitting in my Finish IT pile for awhile now. I picked it up and decided I just did not like the border on it. So, with trusty seam ripper in hand, off it came. Here is is after being quilted (red flowery things) and pinning the binding. Yes, I machine bind everything.
With both of my bees ended, I turned my attention to the free piecing group on Flickr that I am in. Whoa, I realized, I am 3 months behind! So I got cracking. Some things worked out okay. Like below:
And some things just went kerplooey. This poor sad star is going in the Outta Here pile:
Oddly, I keep having star problems. Not the first time, either. It's not a complicated block, but my brain just refuses to play with it. I'll power through them and maybe say good bye star block for awhile.
See? Just more than wonky and will require a little rippage and resew. Whatevah. It happens!
Next up for me are next month's free piece block, and I start cutting for the Triangle Modern Quilt Guild Kona solids challenge! Those nice Kaufman people sent us 40 charm packs!!! John, the swap swami extraordinaire, chose the dusty color set- very cool. Really, the ideas are still percolating. Which means I need to sketch. And the weather is so perfect for sitting on the deck and sketching. SO that's where I'll be, maybe with some sangria too.
I'm enthralled by almost all art. Masters, modern, you name it. I have a special place in my heart for folk art and art that is humorous. I just remembered I have a print I need to frame from Badbird's shop. That will be some great inspiration! Who's working on something new?