Saturday, November 28, 2015

Quilty Inspiration #10

Several kind and generous followers of this link-up (thank you for your support!) have encouraged me to keep Quilty Inspiration going a little longer, so we're back again this week.

If you have any interest at all in sharing the inspiration for the quilts you make, either before you choose and cut fabric or during the process of creating the quilt, or if you are interested in reading about the quilty inspiration of others, please leave a comment.  Better yet, please write a post and link up.  Those of us who are interested will thank you.  (And please help spread the word!)

My inspiration to share this week comes from the book, Small Quilts with Vintage Charm:  8 Project to Decorate Your Home, by Jo Morton, which I looked at several years ago.  I don't remember any of the quilts in the book (I'm sorry to admit) so it was much less the patterns than the color palette she used that caught and held my attention. 

I pulled out and matched paint chips (instead of pulling out fabric because I knew I wouldn't be working on a quilt with those fabrics for quite a while).  The chips don't match exactly, but I knew fabric wouldn't match exactly, either. 

A few weeks ago I pulled a few pieces of fabric (without looking at the photo above) to use on scrappy backgrounds that I posted about in Quilty Inspiration #7 and Quilty Inspiration #9.

I like these fabrics together but I may not use all or them and I've already added several more.  I never feel the need to have the exact fabrics that inspire me.

That's the great thing about inspiration:  if we keep working/playing, it keeps coming and someone else's idea alters to become our own work.

What's your quilty inspiration this week?  Please share and invite your blogging friends to share, too.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

I wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving, rich with bounteous blessings.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Quilty Inspiration #9

A few months ago I fell in love with Linda's daisy blocks (here and here) at koka quilts.  Go look -- you'll need to scroll down a few images -- and then come back.  Aren't those blocks to make your heart sing?

I kept thinking about them but didn't have the templates, didn't want to buy them, and didn't want to stitch them.  How to make that shape some other way?  Why not make a template and cut from a single piece of fabric?  So I began.

I stitched the shapes onto the scrappy backgrounds I've been putting together.  (I don't love applique but it perfect when one doesn't have the energy to do more than sit.)

I think of these as flowers.  I have only nine so far and haven't stitched anything onto the centers.  I'm just playing....  (Heck, I think of most of my quilting efforts as play!)

It's amazing to me how ideas settle in my mind, change, evolve over time, and become similar to the original but with a twist.  Inspiration sometimes works that way for me.  How about you?  What've you been up to this week?  Link up and share your inspiration!

(I'm linking this post to Oh Scrap! at Quilting is more fun than Housework.

P.S.  This may be the last Quilty Inspiration link-up.  The number of people reading the Quilty Inspiration posts here is declining by the week.  Fewer and fewer readers are clicking to look at the posts others have linked, and even fewer bloggers have linked their posts.  (Thank you to those who have:  Ann Marie, Allison, Linda, Linda, Lori, Claire, Audrey, Sandra, and Karin!  I appreciate the support.)  I understand that quilters may not think about or share their inspiration in their posts, and most of those who do haven't linked their posts.  If I discontinue now perhaps I'll pick it up again sometime in the future.  Maybe I need more readers/followers....

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Binding Stitched -- a Finish!

I gravitated to sewing the binding on this quilt (for whole photo see this post) while recovering from surgery.  I'm beyond pleased:  it's my first finish in many months.  (But don't look too closely at the photo or you'll see a section of quilting that's either come out or that I missed.  I fixed it as soon as I noticed it in the photo.)  I'll tell more about this quilt when I write a post for Julie's Binding Blitz and A Lovely Year of Finishes.

After the binding was sewn I started working on other things, stitching I could do while resting -- those scrappy squares with the applique, mostly -- but not organizing the containers of scraps.  Hah!  Wouldn't you know I could put those off a little longer without any remorse.

Thanks for visiting.  (Continue reading if you want an update on my surgery.)

Patient Notes 
The surgery was a success and the pain has been minimal, but I was battered about in the hospital.  Nearly everyone involved in my care ignored the bright red allergy band on my wrist and the notes in my chart indicting an allergy to adhesives on my skin.  The doctor used some protective sheet or layer around the surgery site which she stuck to my skin and which left 2" wide strips of welts.  And the incisions are layered with adhesive tape under which is flaming red skin.  Besides that those leg huggers (or whatever they're called) left little "brands" on my legs.  None of these problems are end-of-the-world horrible but inconvenient just the same. 

The outcome of the surgery is that I have granulosa cell tumor, a kind of slow growing cancer.  Or maybe I should say had since the body part with the cancer cells was removed.  It's possible the cancer spread and to determine that I will have CT scans and blood tests.  My husband and I were both surprised and he's not taking it very well.  Whatever happens will be fine -- maybe not easy, but fine. 

On another note, I have this weighty question:  How can a person drink only water for 24 hours, drink nothing for another 16 hours, have body parts removed, eat less than a day's food over two days, AND gain 5 pounds?!!!  Isn't that crazy?!

I'm linking this post to Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and  LAFF (Link a Finish Friday) at Richard and Tanya Quilts, and Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.  Thanks, Kelly, Sarah, Richard, Tanya, and AmandaJean.

I hope you have a great day,

P.S.  Don't forget to come back Sunday through Thursday to link a post about your quilty inspiration.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Quilty Inspiration #8

Doesn't this speak to you of a quilt? 

Quilt blocks in concentric squares are common but I don't believe I've seen one with squares inside rectangles. 

I'm not keen on all the colors but some of the color combinations are calling to me.

What's your quilty inspiration these days?  I hope you'll tell your readers and link your post.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Things To Do after Surgery

In preparation for recovery after surgery on Wednesday I've made a list of things I can do if I can't do much.  (No matter how bad it may be, at least I will be mobile, unlike after hip replacements and foot surgeries.)

I have a half-bushel basket of strings to sort.  I toss them into this basket where they get wrinkled.  The ones on the bottom get really wrinkled.  I should at least be able to straighten and organize them.

I have these small scraps that I toss into a 12" box.  I would probably find some useful pieces if I sorted and organized them.

I have a picnic basket of larger scraps -- too small to stack with larger pieces of fabric but too large to toss into the string basket or small scrap box.  I could at least neatly fold these and organize them by color.
I use scraps a lot but I tend to look on the shelves for what I need because I usually put small pieces of fabric back with the fabric it was cut from.  I don't know why I didn't do that with these pieces.  Maybe that's what I should do with the ones that have larger pieces on the shelves.

And there is this box of light-colored strings that could be combined with the other strings.

I have these fabrics ready (more or less, though I may eliminate some and use others not in this photo), chosen for applique on the scrappy background blocks.

I machine-stitched the binding onto the scrappy string quilt so I can hand sew it to the back and have a finish this month (finally!).

And I have quilt pictures, patterns, and images to organize into binders.  (I know I'll find more quilty inspiration as I do that.)

If I feel really miserable and/or recovery is slower than I expect, I have a few books and magazines to read,

and some videos to watch.  Can you recommend some of your favorite books or videos (that aren't R-rated)?

There's always family history to do if I can sit at the computer for a while.  I want to find those ancestors, you know.

And, of course, I can always sleep/rest.  So there's a variety I can choose from depending on how I feel.  I think I'm just about ready.  Tomorrow I'll finish sewing the red wings and stars quilt together.  I don't know if I'll get it layered and basted but I hope so because if I don't I'll be without hand quilting until I do.  I also have some cleaning to do, bills to pay, and a few other odds and ends.

You still have time to link to Quilty Inspiration #7.  Quilty Inspiration #8 will post late Saturday evening at its regular time and be open through Thursday evening.  I hope you'll link a post to one or the other.

I'm linking this post to Oh Scrap! at Quilting is more fun than Housework.

Take care,

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Two Off

I began sewing the rows in this quilt last night.  It wasn't until I stopped to look closely at it today that I realized . . . those little gold (what used to be) triangles on the lower right and upper left are no longer triangles.

I don't know yet how closely I'll cut the edges -- whether they'll go to the center of the red and white blocks or whether I'll let them extend as wide as they are now -- but if I want to leave them wide I'd certainly like the gold triangles at the edges to be symmetrical.  They can either be square and the red and white blocks can extend further, or they can be triangles and the red and white blocks will be cut.

The gold triangles/rectangles along the edge of this quilt will be two off (if I elect to keep the side-setting triangles the size they are now) because those blocks have already had parts cut off and I'm not going to remake them.  I can live with imperfect (sometimes).  But then again, maybe I'll cut those blocks back so nothing is amiss along the edge.

This quilt has become such an experiment, and an experience, too.  This is my third quilt with sashing and I've learned something from each of them. 

I hope you are having (or had) a relaxing and rejuvenating Sunday.


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Quilty Inspiration #7

I had (and still have most of) this pile of light scraps.  I knew I had to either pitch them or use them.

Images of quilts from these two books came to mind.
Some of the blocks use several different background fabrics.  Hmmm. 

And then these came about.  I determined not to cut the scraps any smaller than necessary to include them in a block.  I will use them as close to the size they are as I can.
These collaged sheets of fabric will become background squares for applique (which I haven't yet started stitching so I won't show you).

It's interesting to me how our minds gather ideas from various sources (sometimes while we are unaware) then put them together to create something completely different or, sometimes, something similar but different.  Maybe that's part of what creative inspiration is.

Now it's your turn to share some bit of quilty inspiration.  I hope you will!  (This link-up is open until Thursday evening.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Too Much Blue

I spent yesterday cutting blue sashing and laying it between the quilt blocks.  I had a hard time deciding how wide to cut it.  I read somewhere that a rule of thumb for sashing is one fourth of the width of the block.  These blocks will finish at 9 1/2" so I rounded up and cut the sashing at 3" wide, to finish at 2 1/2" (since 2 1/2 is one fourth of 10).  But now I think it may be too wide.
The blue in the photo looks brighter and lighter than it is in real life.  But still, either there's too much blue or blue just doesn't work for this quilt.  So I'm trying a narrower width of blue.

The blue in the photo below is more accurate.

I looked at photos of other possible sashing colors (where the photo shows a more accurate blue) and continue to like the blue better than brown or light.

I'm still hoping to get this sewn together and layered by next Tuesday!

Have any of you used pieced side-setting triangles before?  I'm not sure what to do about the corners but this is what I've come up with.  Do you think it will work to have two side-setting triangles meet at the corner with sashing between? 

I'm linking this post to WOW at Esther's Blog and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.  Thank you ladies for hosting and Happy Birthday, Esther!

Also, I wanted to let you know that you still have time to link to this week's Quilty Inspiration link-up.  Link a post in which you talk about or show something that's inspired you in your quilting endeavors.


Monday, November 2, 2015

#2 November Goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes

I'm being optimistic here when I say that in November I will
  • cut sashing
  • cut cornerstones
  • sew together blocks with sashing and cornerstones
  • decide whether it needs a border and, if so, choose, cut, and stitch it
  • layer the quilt
  • baste the quilt
  • begin quilting this quilt

I find that sometimes I can work under pressure if the deadline is self-imposed, when the decisions have already been made, and all that's required to finish is the sewing and/or hand quilting. 

I'm linking this post to A Lovely Year of Finishes - November Goal Party at Sew BitterSweet Designs.


#1 November Goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes

 In November, I will (I will!)
  • finish the hand quilting on this quilt
  • cut binding
  • attach the binding, and 
  • hand stitch it to the back of the quilt  

I'm linking this post to A Lovely Year of Finishes - November Goal Party at Sew BitterSweet Designs.


Will These Corners Work?
(And a Conversation with My Husband)

I have this quilt laid out, ready to cut and stitch the sashing and cornerstones.  But then I wondered:  Will doing the corners this way work?  It seems to me like it should but then I'm still relatively new to quilting.  Is there some problem coming up that I'm not aware of?

I've been eyeing the blocks over the weekend, in daylight, in dark, thinking about the arrangement -- lights, darks, inner sashing, etc..

On Friday or Saturday I asked my husband if he would look at the quilt and tell me what he thought.  He didn't volunteer so this morning I asked again.  Our conversation went something like this:

"I think every quilt you make is wonderful.  They're amazing."

"Thank you.  But what about this quilt?  Is there anything you notice?"

"Well, I see that red one in the middle."

"Oh," I said, "which red one?  Aren't they all red?"

"They have red I in them.  The one right in the middle.  That one stands out to me.  I like it."  You probably can't tell from the photo but there is no center block.  The center of the quilt will have a cornerstone.  I was wasn't sure which block he meant so I pointed to one.

"Yes, that one."  And then he said, "I don't know anything about quilting."

So I talked about the range of reds from light to medium and dark, and about the light lights and the darker lights.  I talked about placement of blocks and explained about center medallions or blocks evenly spaced across the quilt.  I told him I often missed details.  My eyes just don't pick them up until after the quilt is finished because in progress, I'm just too close to the quilt.  I asked him what he saw that I might miss. 

Pointing to one corner of the quilt he said, "Well, there are several purples all together right there."

"Purple?!  There's purple in this quilt?"  I looked to where he was pointing and found several burgundy/maroon blocks not far from each other.  As I rearranged the "purples" he drifted away and the conversation ended.  We've had similar conversations about reds and oranges.  He'll point to something that I clearly see as orange and call it red.  You never know what another person sees. 

I know the photo's not the best but seriously, what am I not seeing in this arrangement of blocks?  (There will be blue sashing between the blocks and cornerstones of dark gold.)  If you make scrappy quilts how do you decide the arrangement of blocks?  What do you decide first?  What do you look for when you arrange/rearrange?  (I'm still a novice here.)

Thanks for any thoughts you have to share.

I'm linking this post to Oh Scrap! at Quilting is more fun than Housework.  Thanks for hosting, Cynthia.


P.S.  There's still time to link to this week's Quilty Inspiration.  Please do link a post.  It's a link-up that I hope will succeed.  I think the inspiration behind a quilt is such an interesting part of the quilting process.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Quilty Inspiration #6 - A Recent Quilt

What was your inspiration for the last quilt you made or the quilt you're working on now?

I will soon be able to put a binding on a quilt I call "Dark Strings."

My inspiration for the quilt was a basket of strings sitting by my sewing machine and the quilt "Snowball Strip" in 101 Fabulous Rotary-Cut Quilts by Judy Hopkins and Nancy J. Martin.

Since I didn't want a light quilt and since didn't have the fabric to make one exactly like this one, I chose the colors, the size of the blocks, and the corner triangles based on the the fabric I had available.

If you're feeling uninspired you might like to read Diane's post, Quilter's Blocks:  the do's and don'ts, at Butterfly Threads.  Be sure to read the comments, too.

I hope you'll share a post about the inspiration for a recent quilt.


Friday, October 30, 2015

What a Surprise!

Someone (some kind and generous person) nominated my quilt for Viewer's Choice at the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side!  A surprise, indeed!  Whoever you are, thank you very much.

There are 20 great quilts awaiting votes and each viewer can vote for three.  So go vote!  Decide which ones you like the best and click the heart.  You'll make some hearts happy.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

That Moment

I layer a quilt -- top, batting, backing -- and baste the layers together.  I begin the slow, steady work of hand quilting, stitch after stitch, to hold the layers together.  Hours and hours, sometimes months and months, the quilt and I spend together.

And then there is that moment -- that sudden moment!  It happens when I'm near the edge, almost finished with the quilting but not quite.  I realize I'm holding a quilt.  The layers are no longer three held together by pins and long stitches but a unified one:  a quilt!  It always feels like magic and it always surprises me.

Does this magic happen to you?  Is there a moment when you realize the layers in your hands have become a quilt?

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