Thursday, May 26, 2011

WAYWO May

So my lonestar is done but I haven't been idle.  I put borders on my scrappy plaid quilt.  I'm so happy.  You know how usually when you mitre borders, one corner always ends up wonky and 'not right'?   For a change, all four corners mitred perfectly!  Here it is:



I'm satisfied with the quilt and the borders though I think I made the first white border a little too wide... not gonna change it now, but it should have been 1 1/2 inches instead of 2 I think.

I worked on two BOMs this month.  The first is an online BOM called Henrietta Whiskers.  Here are the first 5 blocks:


I just love squirrels, so I HAD to do this one.  The sixth block background is in the picture, but we haven't gotten directions for the applique part yet.  All parts of the BOM are still available at Henrietta Whiskers BOM .  I'm not crazy about the muted Moda colors - not my personal aesthetic, but I decided to use them anyway.  It will make a cute fall wallhanging.

I worked on my second BOM - Folk Art Cats - from a LQS.   The kitties are adorable.  We've done 9 of the 12 blocks so far:


I love kitties even more than I love squirrels, so this one is truly a labor of love for me.  The cats are so weird and wonky, but still adorable.  I especially like the pirate kitty with the eyepatch.

June will be filled with 3 weekends of quilt runs so who knows if I will have any time to sew at all... I hope I do.  I will have two new BOM blocks to do in June, so I will have to make time for those at least.  Sewing time is like a little bubble of sanity for me... and trust me, sanity is in very short supply these days...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lone Star Done

Finished my lone star quilt and I can't say I'm disappointed in it, though the quilting could have been better.  I kinda rushed through the quilting part of it.  Here's the finished quilt:


I added some panel sections I had in my stash, just appliqued them on.  Other than the panels, it came out very much like the initial design I did on EQ7:


Saw a demo of paper piecing today and it was painful - everything was pretty old school - no add-a-quarter rulers, no butterfly principle, lots of wasted fabric.  It was a great demo for beginners and a good way for them to learn the basics, but for me it was hard to watch and say nothing.  I spent the time biting my knuckles to keep my mouth shut.  But I managed it.  No one likes some know-it-all to speak out and interrupt the teacher with 'a better way' to do something.  Teachers spend a lot of time and effort preparing their lessons.  So I kept quiet, but it was hard to do.  There are different ways of doing everything and the teacher's way just wasn't my way.  Nothing wrong with that.  Learning to accept other ways of doing things is one of the toughest lessons I've ever had to learn and today was a small victory for me in that regard.

A friend came by today to look for a piece of fabric to border her quilt with.  We auditioned about 5 or 6 different purples til we found the perfect one.  This is proof positive to me that I have too much stash.  When your friends come to your house instead of the LQS to shop  for fabric - you have too much of the darn stuff... Time to trim my stash I think.  But the question is - HOW?  Have a fabric yard(age) sale?  Donate what I don't love anymore?  That of course means going THROUGH the stash and reacquainting myself with it all.  That in itself could be dangerous and would it really be worth my time?  Maybe I could make it a girlfriend's project.... enlist friends to help me sort it all?  We could make it a party day with the fabric!   OK... it's my stash... a party week.  Still could be fun.  I'll have to think on it...

Friday, May 13, 2011

How Do You Store Your Stash?

I've heard so many different things about storing stash and I'm really curious about how others store theirs.  Mine are mostly on shelves in my studio, with fat quarters in drawers designed just to hold them.  The shelves cover an entire wall of the studio, and the fabrics are mostly sorted by color, with a few shelves just for panels, backs, batiks, & Asians, regardless of color:


I store my fat quarters in a cabinet I had made to hold them.  (I really need to take a photo of them in the drawers).  They are all sorted by color except for the batiks and Asians.


I sort my strips by width (regardless of color) in plastic storage drawers on wheels so I can move them around my studio as needed.  I would stack them two-high, but I live in earthquake country and I'm a little afraid to go too high with them:




I also store and keep selvages which I use in a variety of projects.  I wrap these into balls, like you'd do with yarn, regardless of color.  I'm beginning to regret that a little bit because sometimes I like to plan my layouts with them, but I hate the mess they make when they are just jumbled in a drawer.


I still have some fabrics in bins in the garage, and these are where I am in a quandary.  My precious cat fabrics plus some specialty things I don't use often (like flannels), and simply overflow from the shelves are all stored in the bins.  I've heard that heat and cold DO affect fabric, as well as changes in dampness in the air (even though they are in plastic bins, they are not airtight).  I'm also concerned about insects.  I've heard other folks say they store their fabric in places where heat and cold are an issue as well and they aren't concerned at all, and I just am not sure whether to be worried or not.

What do you do to store your fabric and what environmental issues concern you about fabric and thread storage?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Home from Retreat

The retreat was wonderful - 5 1/2 days of dedicated sewing with a few other activities like swimming, shopping, and antiquing mixed in.  I really felt inspired to sew my little heart out and finished two tops, made 6 fabric postcards, finished quilting one top and did all the ditch quilting on a another.  For me, that's a lot in 5 days.  It was loads of fun, lots of fun girlfriend stuff.  I'm glad to be home, but I sure need a week away now and then. 

Here's what I got done:  a double friendship star quilt made with plaids from an old exchange a long time ago, and the solids and backgrounds all came from stash.
I also made a quilt I call 'Flower Garden', a design I put together for my guild, made from floral strips we exchanged.  The border looks almost black in the photo - it's actually a dark forest green.
I finished the quilting on my 'Summer Sunshine' wallhanging.  I might add a little more quilting in the blocks, but the borders are done and the sleeve and label affixed with the binding completed.  I can always add the additional quilting in the blocks later.
I also made postcards and I've already mailed them off to their recipients:



All in all it was a productive and thoroughly enjoyable week.  I feel invigorated and inspired to continue quilting and sewing at home.  Maybe that's what retreats are all about - getting away and rediscovering the spark of creativity that brought us to quilting in the first place.

Wishing all of you to stay connected to your spark and enjoy your creative spirit.