A Note on Balance

I’ve been rather determined lately to do two things. First, I want to use what’s in my stash. Lots of it, actually. It doesn’t quite fit in the space it’s supposed to live. A few quilts finished will give me the wiggle room to rearrange and make the closet look neat and tidy. Second, I have been mighty determined to finish my list. Now, I have several things to piece on that list, but the bulk of my to do’s are quilting {putting three layers together}. I’ve free motion quilted five different quilts in the last few weeks. {That is a whole lot of crawling around on the floor to baste. I’m just sayin’.} It is also a lot of playing tug of war with a quilt that wants to fall off my table, get hung up in the curtains, and generally not fit under the arm of the machine! For the sake of all involved, I’m going to lay off the free motion quilting for just a little while.

Don’t worry, there will be plenty of pretty quilts to look at and hopefully more tutorials coming soon. It’s just time to be more balanced, maybe one quilting project a week, and some piecing involved. It’s ok to be “on a mission” but it’s not a way of life!

Are you a “balanced quilter”? Do you spend more time quilting or piecing? Is your current arrangement bringing you joy?

An Overdue Baby Quilt

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This baby quilt has been “cooking” a little too long!!

It’s a project from many months ago,

during that time when I didn’t have a way to quilt the quilts.

NOW, it’s time to quilt every little thing,

and this baby sized quilt was next in the queue.

I especially like the backing-love the letters!

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I made a simple meander/stipple stitch on this particular quilt. I’m not all that good at a meander, and this was a good time to practice. I have a difficult time not crossing over the lines I’ve already sewn (drawn). I guess I’m better at loops than stipple. It didn’t turn out bad, though, so I must be improving! When I was in marching band in high school, our director said we needed to practice and get better at the parts we don’t do well, so we can improve.

Good life lesson!

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On the plus side, this is one of two quilts that are just alike.

I’ll be able to practice some more! =}

Pick Somethin’ Diff’rent

Have you ever gone “on the hunt” for an exact fabric? I do this lots. In fact, I get a little over-enthusiastic about finding more of this or that fabric that’s way out of print! A few years ago, I was on the hunt for this particular black and white print, Annie’s Seed Catalogue, I believe.

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I walked into a sweet little shop in Downtown Fayetteville, dutifully carrying a sample of the desired fabric. A very sweet and sage older lady politely said they didn’t have it anymore. Then she said, “Pick somthin’ diff’rent!!!” I did choose another black and white, and went on my merry way with a good lesson.

Fast forward to last night, when I tried at least ten different backing choices for the same quilt pictured above. Mr. Wonderful helped me settle on one, but it was too short. We talked about buying more of that particular fabric-he even gave his blessing! But I’m determined to use what I already have for a while. This wise lady’s advice came to mind! I searched through my greys and found something to match, something that stretched the backing we liked. And no, I won’t be buying any more of the original print to replace what I’m using. Next time, I’ll also, “Pick something’ diff’rent!”

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Preparing for Show

I’m not a quilter to get awards or to find fame. {On a side note, I wouldn’t want fame. Would you?} I’m a quilter because I love color and design, and sewing and creating for my family. BUT…..

for lots of good reasons, I’ve entered a few quilty things in a show. I want to represent the modern quilting world well, so my quilts are getting a thorough detailing. I’m making sure they are thread, cat hair, and my hair free! I’m also taking time to press and block them. It’s come down to getting a box in which they will travel. I’m stuck as to how to transport these quilty things to the show so that they stay nice and flat. From the move, I have a fair amount of boxes and packing materials……it’s just a matter of figuring out how to fold them well.

On that note, I’d like to ask for your show prep tips, since it’s hard information to find right now on the web. There is an out of print book on the subject that’s well above my budget. And there are a few articles here and there about show preparations. By in large, though, people who know how to prep for a quilt show are either not sharing or not bloggers. If you’re willing to share and you are a blogger, I’d love to see an article about this subject!

Happy show sewing!

Travelling Quilt-Month One

My Modern Quilt Guild has started a fun project! We’re making “travelling quilts”. In essence, this is the same concept as a Round Robin quilt, except anything can be added, as opposed to just borders. We’ve settled on an amount of square inches to be added, so that we all have roughly the same size quilt when we’re finished. It was so, so much fun seeing each person’s starting block! I’m excited to see what comes of this process, and how it will grow my skills as I add to each quilt. This is the first “travelling quilt” that was passed to me, Patty O’s block. She asked for a “Garden Party”, and anything can go in that you’d find in a flower garden, bugs, butterflies, etc.

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I heart it so much, that it’s now difficult for me to think of what I might add. All I know is that I want to bring my A game! Here’s my fabric pull thus far for the project, although I’m not sure what they will become. But, in true me fashion, I wanted to match the colors well first! =}

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Any thoughts?

A Scrappy Tree

I was able to get another quilt off my UFO list this week. This one has a pretty quick deadline, so I was thankful when I put the last few stitches in last night!

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How are you all doing on your UFO’s? I’d like to challenge you to work them into your sewing time weekly, biweekly, or monthly. Think how many UFO’s you could finish before the end of the year!

Slant Six Mystery Quilt

In an effort to move things from To Do to Ta Da, I’ve been chipping away at the UFO list these past few days! One of those things I wanted to get done was my Slant Six Mystery Quilt, from Aby’s blog! A Mystery Quilt-along was something I was reticent to do. I don’t generally do mystery quilts, because I like to see the quilt before I commit to making it! But I trust Aby, and I’m glad I made this one! I’m considering not adding borders!

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UFO List, And Not Keeping One

A UFO is not an Unidentified Flying Object to a quilter! It’s an Un-Finished Object! Also called Works In Progress, these little items that we just haven’t finished sewing nag us into quilt guilt. Life has enough unpleasant things, so I don’t like to keep a long list of UFO’s. At most, before my current list, I had something like seven or eight ongoing projects. Right now, that number hovers closer to twenty! I haven’t even uncovered all the partial projects that I’ve packed away! As an added bonus, I can’t find the painter’s tape in order to pin baste the UFO’s that need quilting, which are quite a few!. Oh, the joys of moving! =}

Truly, though, I feel the need to tackle this quilty list of things to finish. When you’re facing a long to do list, and you get that slightly overwhelmed feeling, just start somewhere. In fact, much like Dave Ramsey, I suggest you start with the smallest task, or the one closest to completion. After that small “win”, work on whatever you’re most passionate about at the time, or continue to work on the smallest item.

This method has worked for me time and time again. Let’s hope for a productive fall!