Friday, March 31, 2017

2-day Tote

It seemed like a good idea to use up small pieces of the Patriotic themed fabric. All of it, scraps. Maybe it was me. Something new. Everything that could go wrong while I was making this went wrong.

I plan to keep this one, not because I love it or even like it, but because I am not at all pleased with the energy I put into it while I worked and do not want to give the energy, let alone the tote to someone. 

Here's my whine: First of all, I didn't understand some of the terms like wadding instead of batting. Metric numbers. Stabilizer. Ticking. And I think this is a quilt-as-you-go type of project where you add a piece of fabric to the batting & press it down. You quilt a direction on each piece, going with the direction it lays on the batting. It started to feel like paper piecing and I am so not good with that process. And I couldn't understand the pattern nor the tutorials. THEN my machine started acting up, changing tension on its own, catching thread in the bobbin so that it had to be re-threaded so many times that I lost count. A needle broke, and when I changed it, the machine needed cleaning. I even found a needle point from a different break. I got cold and turned up the heat, then got hot and .....

My lessons: Don't do this kind of project again. Make my own pattern. This one is too narrow & long making it inconvenient for things I carry. Read the pattern at least 3x. Stop working when frustration wins. Re-purpose the Patriotic scraps by cutting them into the sizes in my bins. Stop whining. You know who you are.

I put some bubbles in bath water, got in for a long soak and to wash my hair. That always feels good. I took the time needed to release the tension. When I dried off and put on clean clothes, I was ready to start on a different project.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Designer Me

I've been trying to find patterns for tote bags that I could use and easily make. I really loved that scrappy beach/camping towel tote I made a week ago. It was a joy to make. Using that finishing concept, I am designing a simple market bag tote & converting some patterns I did find.

I think what I liked about towel tote most of all was that I could use my scraps. There are so many in my closet that were cut ever since I started quilting. I pulled out a container of 3" scraps. I don't know why I cut 3" & 4" squares because the ones sold in the store measure 2.5", 5" and 10". And actually, those are the sizes called for in most patterns. Now I have a large container of the 3"s and this is a perfect opportunity to see if they work.

This tote will be one of those things that I make as I go, but I will write the steps and take photos (hoping to remember). It will be fashioned like the towel tote.

The plan, thus far, is to make the outside panels 16.5" deep by 12.5" wide, as a raw measurement before it gets seamed. I have laid out what I think will work for both panels. Using 3" squares, it takes five squares to measure 12.5" across. It takes seven rows of 3" squares to measure 16.5" the long way. Therefore, it will take a total of 70 squares to make up the two panels. I chose to make this a rainbow effect, however, if I make another one, I may try to do a different theme.

The piece for the sides and bottom measure at 9" wide and I will need to work this up to see how much is actually used for the length to connect them all. I found an orphan piece that is exactly 9" and was way long. Obviously, I need to treat it as if it were one piece rather than pieced and cut it with inches to spare. Now to find the lining. Finding larger pieces of fabric is getting to be the challenge.

Then I joined a Mother's Day Tote Swap, not to swap but to get the tote pattern & tutorial. Fun. The facilitator is from Australia where they use metrics where they call the stuff in the middle of the quilt wadding. Its a whole new technique and is giving me the opportunity to use up some Patriotic scraps. More on that later.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Judgment Card Mug Rug

My next project is another one of the Mug Rugs for a swap. This one is a Tarot Card Makeover. I shuffled my deck and drew out the Judgment card. 

Usually this is seen as an angel trumpeting over a grave yard, raising the dead. It is, symbolically a wake-up call to the person getting the reading for something they need to look at, perhaps something they have been avoiding. I found an angel with trumpet silhouette. It was easy to machine quilt. I included smaller squares on one side as a border and put two layers of Ultra-bright heat resistance so it can be used in the kitchen without fear of those hot pots.

Funny thing is that the class lecture is about becoming more aware of our shadow and waking up to what we are wanting NOT to hear. 

I was close to buying backing fabric for the Grinch scrap quilt. The simple 1-yard focus on the top is in teal and I had another Santa skiing fabric that is a tinch darker but works. I cut to size and joined two pieces as a whole fitting the top. The quilt is still a UFO waiting for batting. This ski fabric makes the quilt reversible with a whole different look. It is a real challenge to shop FIRST from my closet and is getting harder, in fact. When I say first, it is that I want to explore options in the closet bins before going to the store. Thing is, when I go to the store and buy what is needed for a specific pattern, there is always some leftover! It is my hope that he will love the look.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Salamander Mug Rug

Of course I work to complete what is going, yet I do have a couple of new projects to keep that love of new things started. I find that I cannot just work on them no matter how good finishing makes me feel.

This is a finish of a new project that is going to the Reptile/Amphibian Spirit Guide exchange on SwapBot. I love the image, love how it worked on a scrap of red I had and love how it looks laying on a piece of gray fabric. I wanted the complete focus on the Salamander so chose to do binding and the back in the same gray. 

Most people who know me know that I am a huge fan of Animal Spirit Guides. The Salamander has numerous messages for us that often focus on living in connection with Nature as well as asking us to use our time wisely.

Another project I worked on was to complete another row on the Cat quilt. It will need a small white border around the center piece, and then I have a lovely new green fabric I just bought for the final border and binding, as well as a sweet pink floral with lots of green on it for the back. This one will need to wait until I buy more batting. I do have three quilts I'd like to ship out in the fall & all need batting.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Seasons Switch

I love the pattern for this Seasons quilt. Yet, the designer of the Mystery lives in Australia so their seasons are quite different from ours. Flipped so to speak. She released the Winter season as 'Umbrellas and Raindrops' because it rains for their winters. It always seems to rain here but will snow if temps drop, and most Winters it does snow in Minnesota

This is the thing about different places we live in. The web allows us to befriend people from all over the globe and what works for one doesn't always apply for others. As a woman of the world with friends all over and as quilter, I KNOW I have to be aware of our differences, and while I acknowledge and accept, even accommodate them, the real work for me is in adaptation. 

So when she got to her last row, it was Fall or Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. Her pattern called for Maple Leaves.

The way the quilt is laid out, there is a 12" appliquéd row and then a 6" pieced row. I learned that quilting block snow flakes have 6 points, and stars have 4, 8, 12, 16. I found a really lovely appliquéd snowflake and had to keep looking. This row was meant to be pieced. Then I found a 6" Snowball block that works and will be the only part on the quilt that is white. It actually has 8 sides. This photo is hard to see the impact of all the rows. It is going to a friend in Minnesota so I wanted him to have snow of some sort.

Thing is, it measures so much longer than wide at 82" x 47". The first thing I did was to change it was to take off one row of 2.5" squares at the bottom and top, and now it measures 78"x47", still not quite balanced for me. There is one more month that provides one more border before we are finished, and I can always add more to the sides on my own.

The same quilt designer is hosting another Mystery quilt-along but it focuses on Australia using those fabrics. I am not joining it. Taking on another Mystery Quilt even if I use my own fabrics is simply too much at this time. I need to finish what is going on here first.

This is a huge part of my spiritual finish what I start. For so many years, decades really, I loved starting new projects and then turned them over to others. At first, the excuse was that I am an Aries and this is typical behavior. Well sure, maybe. Finishing my projects means taking responsibility for what I bring into reality. I got to a place in my life where I saw what I started as taking a bath & not washing away the soap ring left behind. It was my soap ring and rude to leave it behind.

I think this is why I want to be sure my projects are organized, labeled and finished. This is why I set 2017 as the year I would work on and finish things in my closet that got started and set aside. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Camping Tote Finish

I finished the third tote bag in this pattern, designed to hold beach towels, pillows or other camping linens. I kept the first one, sent the second one to a Granddaughter and it will ship out to another Granddaughter when I get to the PO.

This one was made with 4" squares rather than the 5" charms used on the first two totes, so I added more to the width and length to get near to the correct measurements of the pattern. I was surprised how many different varieties for quilted totes are out there. It all depends upon fabric choices, and once again, buying fabric to match an outfit or stay in a color theme is different from scrap quilting. These turned out nicely, so I plan to dip into the scrap bins and make some different sizes for more totes.

I checked my sidebar list for the next UFO projects. I moved some things around on it because I know that some UFOs take more commitment than others to make. The goal is to take a UFO, working on it to completion or to the stage where it needs a purchase of fabric or batting. Right now, I need 5 packages of batting for potential finishes on this year's quilts. I want to keep working on the projects and create a list of fabrics I need for them, which I do not have right now. 

I just bought fabric to finish both top and bottom of the Cat quilt, and some other pieces to finish at least one more.

And then, yes, I added some new projects. In learning about myself, I know that I NEED to have something new going on. I cannot just make my work, this year, only about finishing. Both beginnings and endings are important to integrate in life as well as in my work. 

The two mug rugs I listed for SwapBot Exchanges are from swaps I am hosting. One is for a Reptile/Amphibian Spirit Guide. The partner I have for it will get a Salamander. I found a Salamander logo that I can use as a template. Just have to find fabrics. The other swap was for a Tarot Card makeover. I took a deck out, shuffled and pulled the Judgment Card. After looking at many Judgment cards, I decided to make a mug rug with an Angel blowing a Trumpet. The intention for the card makeover is for it to be a wake-up call, and I want to make it positive and something useful all year long. Again, its all about colors!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Creating Beauty

When I closed my blog for Friday, I put up an Alice Walker quote about creating beauty and restoring one's soul.

Then I went to bed and released my conscious thought to dreams. I know this Jungian pysch class is working on me all the time. Archetypes, Complexes & Projections. Good Goddess, its a lot to deal with.

When I first started quilting, my goal was goal make one quilt for every family member. And they were all practice pieces. I started getting better and then my skills started waning with Essential Tremors in my left hand that moved to my right hand & are now starting to shake my lips. Shaking. 

My lifelong stomach problems finally cumulated in delayed emptying which is called Gastroparesis; and the other chronic conditions I had been dealing with in the last couple of decades flared, all serving to exhaust me and limit my physical activities. Unfortunately, the side effects for all of them can bring sadness and depression. And worse yet, most are falsely attributed to aging, though EACH condition can show up in children and adults of all ages and genders. Yet aging is also a factor.

Bottom line is that everyone has something. Family members in Minnesota started having their own life issues, and elders were passing. I was here in southern Cali, feeling a bit disconnected. Funny thing is that what I experience, what we all experience, is part of the human collective. Like I said, everyone has something. We connect, lose touch, feel isolated, then choose to either suck our thumbs and close up, or find ways to create beauty.

That first quilting goal was met, and then another & another. Yet, there is still fabric in my closets to use, and Alice Walker is right! My soul restores every time I finish a quilted project; every time more of these scraps become something beautiful.

The best I can do is model soul restoration to younger members in my family. What they say and think about me now and after I am gone, will be in part their observations & judgments. What I do with what I have is for me. It has to be. I make these quilted projects because they bring me joy and restore my soul. 

I will not give a hoot about anyone's opinion. I need to be hootless.

It is that simple.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Cut & Organize

Sometimes it seems that I do a lot of cutting and a lot of organizing in my studio. Maybe they are one in the same kinds of tasks. 

After using fabrics and taking what I need for the project at hand, there is often an odd leftover piece. This leftover is what I cut smaller squares from. I've taken to rolling larger pieces and colorizing them to save even more space.

And of course, I need to stash the smaller squares into storage bins. As I quilt, and things shift, some bins are still stuffed to overflowing and others are half full or even less. As much as I work to keep things labeled, when I put them away under a category, I don't always go looking for them in the same way. The conscious mind gets side-tracked and the unconscious mind takes delight in hiding everything. Labels mean nothing at that point, and the hunt is on.

I have been using my pre-cut pieces for borders, quilt tops & backs. In fact, it is my plan to assemble more quilt backs during the lull between designated quilt projects. Having them at the ready, so to speak, means being able to match them to a top & then they are ready for batting. It would seem to make sense that they would take up less space too.

California now has the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. Restrictions apply to large food retailers, pharmacies, corner markets & liquor stores but not restaurants or department stores. I've been bringing my own bags for some time, but they were the cheapies sold in the grocery store or given away at health fairs and are looking pretty thin. The plastic bags were never single-use in my home, serving as cat litter haul-outs and for household waste baskets after they brought home groceries & pharmacuticals. I've had to purchase small plastic bags that became single- use for cat litter waste, so it feels somewhat like a backfire.

I pulled out a few patterns I have for tote bags and want to use fabric scraps and make more of my own to take shopping. I also spent time today watching some tutorials. I think most of the people I know are a bit environmentally aware, so this is not to say I am in any first wave about it. If I can make any headway on them, I may use them as gifts such as the camping totes for the Granddaughters.

Then, I finished the Honey Bee block for the Gratitude quilt. I used a small scrap of a green leftover from a previous block, and think this was all of the off-white I had in the bin for the project. Its so nice to see Harvest fabrics being used. As much as I whine about Mystery Quilt projects, they can turn out quite lovely. I still hesitate to post photos of my scrappy quilts when other participants show what they make by purchasing coordinating layer cakes. And as much as I also whine about returning to a UFO, the feeling of accomplishment when the project is done is one of great joy. 

At the bottom of all this personal organization and using what resources I have is still my need & longing to prevent leftovers after I personally leave this incarnation. I know that it is impossible to go out with everything done. Its just not the way of life & death. I've been seeing a 'form' passing around for quilters to designate what they want done with their stash so I know I am not the only one thinking about it. Thing is, I believe that it is an act of unkindness to do that to someone.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Peace, Love, Grinchmas Quilt

The BOM facilitator quit at month #10 for this Mystery. I am not sure if she had personal issues or was frustrated with the layout alternatives some participants posted or what. She just issued the last block, gave a brief summary of possible endings and was gone!

There were options for making more blocks that added to the two different ones already completed. I opted to lay them out as an A+B design and call it done. It comes out to a nice size for a personal lap quilt. Whatever plan she had for borders was not released, so fabric got set aside for it now waits for another project.

I used a beige with small holly on it for the first 3" border, and a flange in red as a separator between the first and second border which measures 4", and is the aqua Grinch fabric. Both colors are seen in the center of the quilt and coordinate wonderfully. I plan to look for an aqua tone on tone for the back to give one side a less busy look. It goes into the bin of other UFO projects waiting for my next purchase. I would like to finish three quilts before the holidays to get them shipped as gifts this year.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Neighborhood Top

Phew...this is a big quilt for those I usually make. It took a lot to trim to size and add extensions to a couple of ends.

Unfortunately, it goes back to being a UFO for now. Seams need checking and loose threads need to be clipped. Just not today. Sometimes when a quilt has endless details to it, I like to set it aside and work on other projects. I feel that way now.

And because it is such a dark day outside, the light doesn't show well into the room for a clear photo. However, the top is done. I plan to use the same green as binding and it is enough. As I worked on it, I thought about doing a back by joining 10" squares I have cut and are sitting in my stash. I might pull them out and see what could happen. There are so many random lines in it too that I believe machine quilting with a diagonal stitch would work on both sides.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Happy Spring!

I am posting this photo taken on a Sunday trip to San Juan Capistrano. The flower crown came to me as part of a SwapBot exchange. Many people commented on it as I walked the grounds. It was fun to wear and I plan to use it when I go out into town this Summer. I haven't had a photo for some years, so seeing wrinkles came as a shock. And its an 'Oh Well' sort of thing.

Row Houses

Measuring, adding background, pressing and measuring again. What I wanted to do was to measure from the longest row that was joined, which turned out to be about 61" and I am going with that first.

At this point, its all about the rows and not the order they go in. At least for now. This one is actually Row #3. It is my hope that they will go together without too much more juggling. It IS easy to rip a house block and change it. If the rows need more to make them all measure up, it is easy to add to one end. As I worked on them today, they ended up really close.

The first row has a red house, barn and silo. The big thing, yet again, with my quilts is that they are made from scraps in my closet. It gets to be busy so what will save it, even though it is also scrappy, is the blue sky background. Also the green sashing from one piece of fabric will help. It has a soft batik look to it.

The second row got that bigger house towards the middle, so I am strongly leaning toward switching the gray-castle-like one to fit at the other end. The top two shown here have threads clipped, are measured the same and pressed. This one needs all that work, and the last row which lays on third is yet to measure out correctly. 

The last row has a tent, which replaced a boat block on the original pattern. The flaps open and once the sashing is on, I will find a way to secure one of the flaps open.  It is a mighty busy quilt. Mighty busy. But my guess is that it will work very nicely. My next step is cutting the green for the sashing and side borders. Its going to be a rather large quilt with the house rows measuring 60" without a border, so I am not sure a second one will go on it. Things change, and all I can do is keep going on it.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Neighborhood Quilt

I set this BOM quilt away because the green fabric I had for sashing was being used underneath my Winter Village, which is down now & put away. Fabric is washed and ready to cut. 

Typical of the UFO's I work on, there is so much more to doing them when I return to the project. I left it thinking all I had to do was add sashing. Hah! Threads need clipping, and each row needs to measure up the same width. So I started doing that part, which could take me a couple of days.

I did finish hand sewing the binding on the camping towel tote while I was on the train yesterday. I need to buy strapping for it when I shop on the weekend.

I did not realize how much work meeting my commitment to work on and finish the UFO's in my closet would be. I mean it is really work. It starts with regenerating passion about the project. Luckily with the Neighborhood quilt, it will go to my youngest Great-Neice and is part of the quilts I plan to send to all of them (3 grrrls and a boy). There is no hurry as they were not planned for this year as gifts. And that is part of the downside of these projects. 

For such a long time, I pushed myself to complete them in order to ship them off as gifts. Now they are allowed to linger.

My gardens call for attention these days. Most of the work is weeding and pruning back winter kill on the larger plants. Its quite easy to fill the trash bin each week. I need to move some of the mulch from one section to another. It is best not to have bare ground and so the mulch will come from areas where the plants, like mint, have taken off already.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Gratitude Mystery BOM

Once again, this Mystery quilt is done without my knowing  an outcome. I don't know where the blocks will lay next to each other, nor do I know if I am selecting the correct colors.

The more I work on it, the more I think I want to call it Gratitude. After talking with my friend about these latest two Mysteries, she 'pre- selected' the other one called Seasons for her husband. There are two more months to finish up, plus borders for that one.  

She tells the story about how he gets up every day, makes himself an early breakfast with coffee, and then cuddles up on the love seat until it is time to go to work. Every day. He takes his jacket and covers up with it. Before she told me the story, I was leaning toward giving him Seasons and now believe it is his. He is a sweet man and is good to her.

Then I cut out, pinned, pieced, and quilted the three parts of the next tote; the body and 2 sides. Its ready for joining and then the binding will go on for hand stitching. I am planning a train ride down to Capistrano on Sunday so having hand work is perfect for 3-4 hours there and back again.

Friday, March 17, 2017

In Between Times

There is a long-standing tradition about the 'tween' times as holding magick; those times just before sunrise or sunset, just as the ocean touches the sand; or when you hold your breath and exhale; or that moment between being alone and falling in love. It is that space that separates one moment from another, one day from the next. We all have our own magickal moments that signal life and death, sadness and joy.

Well so it is with quilting projects.

Especially now that I have felt great joy in finishing one UFO and then looking at the list on my blog sidebar only to discover that there are others, more, next.

And so, the next thing I did in the studio was to bring out my warmer-weather clothes which are also kept in one of the closets, go through my kitchen towels converting some to rags, and exchanging Winter towels for Spring/Summer, and then to put away my Winter Village. The Spring Village is ready to go up, yet for another day. It was a still day and it was a good day.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Finishing the Mystery Quilt UFO

One thing I am quite aware of is that there is a huge sense of accomplishment when I finish a UFO.

Yet, when it is still unfinished, all I want to do is avoid it. This one was a Mystery Quilt, so I gathered two colors and a background color as per the instructions. Instructions were in reds and greens for the holiday, but I had made enough holiday quilts, and so decided to make more a patriotic theme. I forgot that reds and blues bleed. Before I basted it to the batting and back, I did wash the top with Color Catchers that both turned purple. The white in the top did not bleed. And so that was a smart choice.

The reason this quilt became a UFO was that I felt inept regarding the points. Close up is different that farther away. It is actually fine. Nice. Acceptable. The points look like they work. The first wash took out the potential bleed. A box of the Color Catchers with laundry instructions releases me of all obligations once it is given away.

I put on an audiobook while I finished the binding. I remember watching the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, so this book is fun. The reader has a southern accent; the book is written with Sookie as narrator of the story. It is fun to listen to and is the first of the series, so I hope to listen to them all. Audiobooks work for me while I quilt because I do not need to look up & its easy to pay attention to my work. Obviously, I could not do it if I need to cut.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

UFO Challenges - Healing Emotionally

I am not hosting a UFO Challenge, nor am I participating in one. I am working to complete a list of my own during this year. They are incredibly difficult. I've been trying to figure out why. 

First of all, when we abandon a project, because it is all about abandonment, so much is going on and it might be different for each project. I cannot help but think of people abandoning each other; children being abandoned, lovers; toxic relationships or situations.

In order to look at quilting projects that are my UFO's, being honest, means I personally have abandoned the ones that are now on my list to finish this year. While they are not little children, nor are they lovers, at one time, I did feel a strong connection to making them. Then, something INSIDE ME, walked away from the projects. 

I can see three reasons for this as I write this morning.

Honestly, sometimes, I got busy with wanting to finish projects that had deadlines. Those projects without deadlines to finish got put in a bin to work on later.

Sometimes, I found myself in over my head without the proper skills to work on the project or to finish it. As is said, I bit off too much to chew.

And then, I found one (so far) that I had no desire to finish.

When I looked at that project, it became quite clear that I would never want to work on it again. There was no one I wanted to give the quilt to, and I was simply done. I bundled up the quilt top/bottom/binding, PLUS extra like-themed fabrics that I knew I would not want to complete and sent them to another quilter who makes comfort quilts for others. Its in her closet now to make a choice to finish the first quilt and to start on another one. I am done with it.

That seems to be it, either they had less priority in my life, I needed more training to handle it, or I was done with it.

Organization played an important part in getting to this point where I could work on my UFO's. Next it was commitment to the project. If I wanted to finish it, then I really have been pushing myself to work on it. For instance, that Red/White/Blue quilt only has simple horizontal stitches, yet I find that it is taking so long. After each line is done, I flip it to make sure it didn't wrinkle. Then it gets rolled again to fit into the machine throat. I am not sure why it is taking so very long and already, because of the duration or the weight of it, I find myself wanting to set it aside. 

However, I am committed to finishing it before going onto the next project. And so I will.

Looking at them like abandoned children, lovers or toxic relationships has helped me sort things and make new choices. The thing we often fail to look at is the person who did the abandoning. It is always easier to make them the bad guy or gal, but when YOU are the one who does the abandoning, then it is easier to justify your reasons. It feels essential for me to take responsibility for my quilting projects and either ONE; get on with it or TWO; release it. In both cases, whether it is a person or a project, this is all about healing our previous choices in life.

Monday, March 13, 2017

White on White

I started machine quilting the Red/White/Blue quilt with white thread. The back is white too, and I decided to quilt the lines horizontal. It took me a little while to lay out the quilt and think of options.

Its hard to see in the photo because of the lack of contrast, yet that is the whole idea. Its about half way done and while this probably should be easy, it is still weighty. I don't really want to work on other projects until this quilt is done, from the machine quilting to the hand sewing of the binding. It was a UFO and so my goal is to complete it and not have it wait for another time. It is going to take me the rest of this week, I am sure.

Meanwhile I went outside to pull the first bucket of weeds. I barely got things done in front of the window here by my desk. Weeds are coming up I haven't seen for years, and of course they have DEEP roots already. I think weeding will be a constant task this year with as much rain has fallen.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Colorizing Scraps

I decided to make another tote...camping, beach. What it does is to carry a LOT of linens whether they are pillows or towels or other fabric items. It is big enough and works.

After asking my eldest Granddaughter if she camped and if she took such things on her trips, I decided to make another tote. Thing is, I have a lot more 4" squares than I do 5" which got thinned out in the last few projects. I went to the calculator and realized I could sew 6 across and 10 down to get the same size. Then the small bin they were in was such a mess. It is colorized now and this is what I pinned together in rows. 

Bobbins are loaded for quilting the red/white/blue quilt and so this project will wait until then.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Beach Tote #2

I was delighted to finish another one of the Beach Towel Totes. I liked using the 5" charms, as well as finding scraps for the inside lining and the two sides.

Here is the bottom of the Tote. Its the part of the tote that gets missed. I loved using odd combinations and lined them up in rainbow-like rows. The piece takes five across and 8 long to make the full outside of the tote. It is a large enough tote to carry pillows or towels. 

This time, I put in my rolled up lap quilt & a king sized pillow.

The top of the tote shows green fabric with pink flowers and green leaves for the lining, a side panel, the two straps and the rolled up quilt. Its so easy to carry with linens of any kind needed for the trip. The straps let you carry it over your arm. Its a hard tote to photograph so a person can see how it works. I just love it and hope that my Granddaughter will enjoy it when she goes camping again this Summer. 

I have become fascinated with totes and signed up for a tutorial that comes from a woman in Australia. She uses quite different words than we do...wadding instead of batting, for instance. Eventually, I would like to replace the cheap bags I have for fabric totes. Some time ago I made one to carry the quilt parts to the clubhouse for basting and I love, love, love it. It is far too large to carry really heavy objects in it but the quilting projects are perfect.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Solstice to Solstice BOM

This is the BOM that is radically different from the others. A new pattern is released on the 1st and the 15th of each month and there are many sizes to it.

This one is a Jacob's Ladder pattern and it is 12/25 for the quilt-along. I've done this block before and it is much easier if the fabric is not directional. I like how it turned out. The challenge will be where it goes on the layout and what is next to it.

The Light/Dark combination is often seen in quilting. Simply thought about it as an 'only a contrast' expression in our quilts, however there are so many more implications when the phrase is used elsewhere. 

Right now as I study my Jungian Psych class, it becomes apparent that every archetype, every complex, every neurotic act has many levels of being as we look for the shadow. And the phrase 'light/dark' has racial implications for some or simply a way to grade skin color. It can be a right or wrong evaluation to others for basic choices or critical morals. Why do we do this? Why cannot it be just contrast? Different. Complementary. 


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wolf Panel Finish

Someone once said that it is not where we come from, or even where we are that tells our story. It is where we are going that matters. 

I really love this panel quilt. Well, what I actually love is the Wolf. I love all the dreams and stories about wolves.

No matter which thread color I would have selected, it would look like 'damage' to the image, even though it is quilting and that is what a quilter does....she quilts. From this distance across the room, you cannot even see the stitches. I used the same brown to bind it as was on the last border. I wanted to make another green border and then add another brown, but scrap quilting uses what you have and I didn't have enough of the green to do it. The quilt measures 52x71, which is fine for a lap quilt. 

The pinwheels add a very nice dimension to it as well. I would have used that same white for the back except that it has a glitter to it that would make it scratchy. That was not appealing to me so I used a white muslin instead. Actually, I wish I bought a beige but thought white went better with the white pinwheels. It looks fine.

Because of the ROM (row of the month) quilt I am making, I realize the value of using small blocks in a row. And in this case, I love the look that came from it. My quilt projects evolved over time. I always thought I would do more of the free motion quilting and never got into it. Most of my work this year is finishing up those UFOs as well as using fabrics in my closet. Once I get those projects done, maybe, just maybe I can commit to free motion. No promises. No pressure. Not sure if that is where I am going.