Peacock Again

Peacock - mid July 2016
Peacock – mid July 2016

The Peacock has been on the design wall and I am not as excited as I was. I thought that it would be quite exciting, but I am not excited now. I am trying not to take down all the blocks and put it away, though I do think that is a very real possibility.

Still I am happy with the basic layout. I think the blocks need some space between them, but I don’t think I have it in me to cut up strips of fabric to put between each block.

Testing squares
Testing squares

I thought that perhaps I would add a Peaky to each block and make them in squares. That means I could put the blocks together with a little space between them. I put a piece of a solid behind a couple of the blocks to see what it looked like. It is hard to see what the whole piece would look like, but even still I don’t really like the look.

I think I’ll just sew the piece together, basically as shown, and be done with it.

BAMQG Orlando Pulse Quilts

The BAMQG meeting was last Saturday. Mike and Jaime brought the Pulse tops we all worked, and they sewed together, on at the last meeting. I was thrilled to see them. Both Jaime and Mike are very talented quiltmakers and they did a great job, quickly, with blocks contributed by members.

BAMQG Pulse Quilt by Jaime
BAMQG Pulse Quilt by Jaime

Jaime created a simple setting with a bit of sashing between the blocks. The sashing sets off the colors and fabrics of the blocks, which was a great idea. It is also looks very bright. A couple of my blocks are towards the bottom. Angela is going to quilt this quilt.

BAMQG Pulse Quilt by Mike
BAMQG Pulse Quilt by Mike

Mike infused some additional meaning into his design, which made me tear up. He left some blank spaces to remind us of those killed in the shooting. Great idea, but sad he had to think of it. Mike has a longarm and will quilt his quilt and send it off. I think a couple of my blocks made it into this quilt as well.

Pulse Quilt Wallhanging by Mike
Pulse Quilt Wallhanging by Mike

Finally, Mike made a quilt for himself and his partner. This commemorates the losses, but also the contribution of the first responders. I really appreciate Mike remembering them. I am not sure I think beyond them just going in and doing their job, but I can’t believe they are not affected.

The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild is posting blocks and quilts they have received. There are a great variety of really interesting designs. The guild also posted a lot of information about the efforts in the minutes of their July meeting. I was pleased to hear they already have 48 finished quilts and 600 blocks. their process for distributing received blocks is genius. The information also gives readers an idea of how you can still help.

Kathy M, quilt writer for ChicagoNow, writes about and shows the process of making her Pulse Quilt. I love the design.

Color Play Friday

House Beautiful Color
House Beautiful Color

I saw this color study in my most recent issue of House Beautiful. One reason I like that magazine is the color. They report on a lot of great color combinations in interior design. I follow them on Instagram so I can get a quick dose of color when I need it.

They often have very energetic color combinations similar to Anna Maria Horner, Jennifer Paganelli and some Amy Butler, but in furniture, wallpaper and dishes. I really love the over the top combinations and would do soemthing similar in my vacation house, if I had a vacation house, 😉 and were starting from scratch with decorating.

Kona Color of the Year 2016
Kona Color of the Year 2016

This caught my eye because of QuiltCon. Remember Highlight? The Robert Kaufman Color of the Year? I don’t think the values are quite the same, but the sentiment is definitely the same!

I am really intrigued with the circumstance that brings these two companies to the same color. Actually, there are more companies and House Beautiful saw the similarities and brought them together. I am sure somehow there is some overlap. Furnishings companies need fabric, right? Still I am intrigued by why this particular color?

I have heard many people profess to dislike yellow, even easy to use sunshiney and golden yellows. This neon would be difficult to use if it weren’t the main color in a quilt. The quilts made for the challenge and displayed at the QuiltCon booth were great. (QuiltingMod displayed some in her blog post about Quilt Market). Still, I like yellow in a quilt as it helps the eye move around the surface.

What are your theories about highlight cropping up?

More Sew Together Bags?

Sew Together Bag in my lap
Sew Together Bag in my lap

I have Sew Together bags on the mind. I don’t know why, but I want to make more.  They are somewhat frustrating, the directions are vague, they take a bunch of zippers and all sorts of special gymnastics to make.

Purple Chair Sew Together Bag - zipper tabs
Purple Chair Sew Together Bag – zipper tabs

Still, they are pretty. I see mine, which is one of the most useful bags I have made, and I want to make more. I use mine all the time. It has exactly what I need for EPP as well as basic hand sewing, so I can grab it and go. I might want one for every outfit. 😉 I keep looking around and at people critically and wondering if I should make that person a Sew Together Bag.

One thing I like about the one I made for myself is the fabrics. I really chose well. I might choose something different for the outside of mine, but I think it is great and I absolutely LOVE the fabrics on the inside. I am so glad I chose fabrics that I thought more of than “this will be fine”

TFQ Sew Together Bag - open
TFQ Sew Together Bag – open

I know that not everyone is as smitten with these bags as I seem to be. I think it is more about the making of them than anything else. They are very satisfying to make (as long as you use the Quilt Barn sew-a-long tutorial in conjunction with the directions), and, as I said, useful. I love making quilts, but there is only so much usefulness you can get when you have too many wall hangings and not enough walls.

Watercolor Box Sew Together Bag
Watercolor Box Sew Together Bag

Thanksgiving Napkins Progress

Two leaf napkins
Two leaf napkins

A few weeks ago I wrote about Thanksgiving napkins that SIL and I** were in the process of making. We have finished some of them.

There is some trial and error in the process, but SIL is working hard to minimize the loss of any napkins. So far so good.

Progress is good.

 

The process is

  • wash napkins
  • press and starch napkins
  • pick embroidery designs
  • figure out thread colors
  • test embroidery
  • embroider on napkins
  • rip off excess embroidery
  • wash
  • iron
  • Repeat
Warm leaf napkins
Warm leaf napkins

I did the washing and ironing. As I do with all of my fabric, I washed these napkins in hot water. Hot water is the worst than can be done to them, I think, in terms of washing. I ironed them with Mary Ellen’s Best Press, mostly. I used some Flatter, but I really don’t like the smell of the one I bought.

SIL had a few embroidery designs in her library that were suitable. I went looking at a couple of sites she suggested and bought a few. We plan to reuse the designs. I don’t want or need 30 different designs. using different threads and stitching them out on different colored napkins makes the designs different enough.

We do all the napkins we are doing to do with one design before we switch to the next design.

We had to simplify some of the thread choices, because SIL has a machine that can accommodate 6 thread colors. It is easier not to have to deal with thread changes in the middle of stitching out a design. I kind of wish she had bought the 10 needle machine, but I wasn’t laying out the cash. 😉 Also, I wouldn’t be doing this at all if she hadn’t brought her machine to live around the corner from me. I had planned to make napkins the normal way I make them, which is odious at the best of times. It would have been a ton of work as well as a ton of money for Thanksgiving appropriate fabric. If my math is right (1/2 yard of fabric for each napkin), I would have needed 15 yards of fabric. I love buying fabric, but this is much easier and much more cost effective.

More leaves
More leaves

SIL had some tension issues at the beginning. After much fiddling, she resolved them, but thinks the machine may need a spa day.

So far, we have about 6 done. Fortunately, once the machine is set up, it stitches the designs out without someone standing over it pressing a foot pedal. It is still a lot of work and I am trying to help as much as I can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**Nota bene: Most of my part is making color choices and buying stuff. I also wash and iron the napkins as needed. She is operating her massive embroidery machine.

2016 Various & Sundry #9

Media & Events

I heard about Flow magazine from Deanna Raybourn. It is Dutch and can be found at Barnes & Noble. Deanna writes “Imported from the Netherlands, it bills itself as a periodical for paper lovers, but it is so much more! Each issue is jam-packed with articles on creativity, activities, interviews, graphics, and freebies.” I am going to take a look at an issue when I go past the Barnes & Noble tomorrow.

I watched the TQS Show with March Lipinski that came out on 6/20/2016. In it he talked about the Quilts of Valor. I LOVE the pattern he designed. Of course, I imagine it in turquoise and pinky-red.

Apparently there is a Bay Area shop hop in November. It took Alex Veronelli from Italy to let me know. Where is the Quiltmaker’s News Network?

Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine is shutting down.

The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles is having a fundraiser called Tying the Knot on August 27, 2016, from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. Their site has more information about this event and all of their programs.

Tips, Tricks & Tutorials

I know some of you are sewing garments with some of the new knits from our favorite designers. Sarai of Colette Patterns has a guide to finishing knits.

I’ll be sewing the Cargo Duffel 2 by Noodlehead in an upcoming class. Someone replied to my comment questioning zipper lengths that I could “easily shorten a zipper”. The person who made the comment is really nice and means well, so I refrained from making a snarky comeback, but I have to say that the Amy Butler Sweet Harmony pattern I made that asked me to shorten a zipper rather than buying the correct size still stings. Instead of the snarky comment I looked up tutorials. One I found was perfectly adequate, but had no photos, so I had very little idea what they were talking about past the first step. I avoided the videos except as a last resort and finally found the Indie Sews tutorial, which I think I can actually use.

Jackie has a money saving tip to extend the life of a worn out cutting mat.

Katie has a new video tutorial on mitered bindings with no ruler.

Products, Tools, Fabric & Supplies

I saw an article on thread, which mentions EPP in a significant way. It is a little biased towards Superior thread, but we do need a little perspective and the Superior threads I have tried have been a pleasure to use.

Friend Julie wrote a review of Steady Betty Hands on her blog. I bought these also, have used them and find that the review is accurate. My favorite part about Steady Betty Hands is that I can tie off threads, change needles and bobbins without taking them off.

I was just thinking about Pink Chalk Fabric the other day and wondering if the company was dead. I received an email with an update. The shop is finally reopening, but with a new name: ilovefabric.com. I am not sure why they are making the change since Pink Chalk had such a good reputation. My understanding was the sale was for the social media aspects of the company, but who knows. I am sure there is a reason. Their mailing address is 5653 Stoneridge Dr. Suite 109 Pleasanton, California 94588 USA and they can be reached by telephone at: (925) 399-6550

Patterns and Projects

I have been wanting to make tea cozies- a couple for myself and others as gifts. I saw a tutorial on TQS, which might just spur me on.

Garnet Hill Door Mat Inspiration
Garnet Hill Door Mat Inspiration

Friend Julie has gotten me into collecting patterns for the Row by Row Experience 2016. I make no promises about making quilts or rows, but it is kind of fun to see the patterns. Also, as a side benefit, the list of shops is awesome! Start at the state page to find participating shops in your area. You can all the FAQs, too. I saw a doormat in the Garnet Hill sale catalog that would be a great row. I am sorely tempted to make a pattern for it. What does that mean? I have to make it, which might mean further rows. That means another project. I am sorely tempted.

We are making the Cargo Duffel in a workshop at my guild. It looks like the pattern on the Kaufman site got an update.

Amy Ellis has a new line of fabric and a new pattern. The colors aren’t really bright enough for me, but I like the designs. Kelly will like the large prints!

Bling

Do you remember collecting fabric patches when you went places? They were inexpensive souvenirs. I have a small basket of them and still have illusions of making a quilt and incorporating the patches into it. In terms of collecting, that ship has sailed, I think. Boy Scouts still get patches, but they aren’t very prevalent in souvenir shops anymore. Still, I was pleased to see some very clever sewing and quilting related patches on Instagram. SIL has made specialty patches for her Scout trip over the years and I think these would be great gifts for guild officers.

Design Wall Monday – mid-July

It has been almost a month since I did a Design Wall post. The wall seems like a storage facility for pieces and parts lately. I am putting patches, bits of fabric, parts of blocks and hunting / gathering pieces up to get them out of the way more than work on them. Space feels at a premium in my workroom right at the moment.

Design Wall mid-July
Design Wall mid-July
  1. Flying Geese. I am making some sets of them again. I don’t think I need anymore for the design I am contemplating, but I have a stack of squares already cut and so I might as well make them.

2. I am still collecting red donation blocks. The two set apart are the latest.

3. FOTY 2016 latest squares. You can see some of the Food Quilt #3 fabrics showing up.

4. Donation squares. I seem to have mislaid the box, so I have been putting them on the design wall until it turns up, which it will undoubtedly do. This is always why there are no new donation blocks. No fabric = no blocks.

5. Partial seam block for my Aqua-Red Sampler. Tutorial coming soon.

6. Turquoise donation block. I am thinking of making a bunch of these next for another donation top.

7. Stepping Stones block. This is my sample. Yesterday I made some progress in my head about making the parts for the rest of the blocks I intend to make.

8. Lobster Placemat. I still need to do some stitching.

9. Pieces and parts for a Stepping Stones block.

10. Start of another donation block. I really need to find that bin!

11. Four patch for a blue donation block.

What’s on your design wall?

 

 

I am linking up with Judy Laquidara at the Patchwork Times.

July 2016 26 Projects List

I haven’t reviewed this list since April! I suppose I have too much other content to report on.

Finished 2016 Quilt Projects

Finished 2016 non-Quilt Projects

In Process
The  ‘In Process’ is used to denote projects on which I am actively working or pretending to stitch. I try not to put away projects, because that will ensure I never work on them.

Still WIPs
I still have WIPs. Who doesn’t, after all? A project in the ‘UFO’ category means I am stalled. A nicer way of saying UFO is a WIP. The list is a lot shorter and the projects are newer, for the most part.

  1. Aqua-Red Sampler – I made progress on the partial seaming tutorial and need to sit down to finish it.
  2. The Tarts Come to Tea: I still haven’t worked on this since April 2011, though, it is in a prominent location so I have easy access. I was thinking about how this was veering in the direction of being one of my ‘masterpieces,’ but now that it has languished for so long it just looks old and dated. :(
  3. Pointillist Palette #4: Fourth is a series of 6 quilts; needs tiny square patches sewn together. I still haven’t worked on this project either, but I do think about it.
  4. Self Portrait: started in 2006 at a class at Quilting Adventures in Richmond, Virginia. My career counselor breathed new life into this project for me. She asked a simple question and the end result was inspiration for this piece, but I kind of lost steam again after printing images on paper to try out different designs. Lately, I have stopped feeling like I need to finish this piece. I am not ready to give up on it yet. I think it really needs major surgery.
  5. Under the Sea: class project; like the design, but not the colors. Still a possibility for abandonment. Just can’t seem to pull the trigger.
  6. Serendipity Lady Quilt

Ready for Quilting
Wow! Everything on this list is new, as in it was never on the original 26 Projects list.

  • 2 Thanksgiving tablerunners
  • Thanksgiving tablemat

In Quilting Process

Binding

Hunting and Gathering

  • Blue Gradation Quilt: cutting 2.5?x 4.5? blue rectangles
  • Blue Lemonade: cutting blue, green, purple 2? squares
  • Pink Gradation Quilt: cutting 2.5?x 4.5? pink rectangles
  • Spin Wheel: really not started, but supplies gathered. I probably have enough fabrics and just need to decide to start.
  • Windmill quilt: Still hunting and gathering. I am supposed to be cutting a variety of greys for the background. The problem is that I mislaid the rotary template. Sigh. I may be able to cut the greys on a Sizzix.

Other

 

 

What’s on your list?

The Stitch TV Show Pattern Launch Accessory Post

Lynn Rinehart's Winning Challenge Quilt
Lynn Rinehart’s Winning Challenge Quilt

This post is like a matching handbag and shoes when you get dressed. It adds a final polish. This post adds a final polish to the StitchTV Pattern Launch Extravaganza being held at the Red Hen in Georgia.

It is a little too far for me to pop in in person, so I interviewed Pam and Lynn the brains and brawn behind the StitchTV Show and am bringing that interview to you. Check out their new patterns on their site.

1.       How did you meet?

  • Lynn: We met at the Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild.  I attended a couple of meetings and the board tackled me and asked me to be on the board.  I said yes because I am still learning how to say “no” to people.  The only ones I am good at saying no to are my dogs and only because they don’t have reasonable arguments.
  • Pam: We met through the Atlanta Modern Quilters Guild. My first memory of Lynn is when she won one of the prizes in a quilt challenge, an I thought, “Who is this new person that swept in and won a prize and I’ve never met her?” I was a little taken aback, frankly, and then as we got to know each other through sew-ins and other events, I remember thinking that she was so nice that I would probably be a bad influence on her and I should watch my language more. And then we started carpooling to meetings and we’ve been buddies every since (despite my occasional bad language)!

2.       If you won a $500 million lottery, what would you do that would surprise people?

  • Lynn: I would go to Art School or, for that matter, buy an Art School.  I was kicked out of Art Class in High School because they needed people in the Band.  So apparently playing the flute was more important in my later life than drawing.  Who knew?
  • Pam: I am very boring (ed. note: nobody thinks this except Pam herself, IMO) and would do things like pay off my house and get a car that’s less than 3 years old. To no one’s surprise, I would also donate a chunk to the cat shelter I regularly volunteer for. Then I’d put together a business plan to open a quilt retreat center so I could teach without traveling, but talk to Lynn first and make sure I wasn’t talking crazy. 

3.       What strength(s) do you bring to your business?

  • Lynn: None.  Pam does everything well!  I just mostly laugh with her, not at her. I would never do that.  🙂  Oh and I am married to the tech department so that helps.  Honestly I think that I bring creativity to the partnership that complements her creativity.  We are so opposite in so many ways but it works.  I couldn’t ask for a greater friend or partner in this adventure.
  • Pam: I’m a giant nerd and don’t mind doing business “stuff”, although I still have a lot to learn.  As a trained engineer, I’m very process focused, so I’m all about streamlining things and making them run smooth and nailing down details. As a trained marketing person, I like to think I’m pretty good at creative promotion and stringing words together.  As a quilter who’s been sewing since she was 5, I know how to put fabric together, quickly, so I’m good at making samples.

4.       If you woke up tomorrow with a superpower, what would it be?

  • Lynn: Time travel.  It totally fascinates me!  The thought of traveling to historical events or experiences would be so cool.  My “fly on the wall” dream would be to be “in the room where it happens” on so much history that affected the world and our culture.  Which is why both my obsessions right now are “Outlander” and “Hamilton” 🙂
  • Pam: In an ideal world, it would be the ability to spot cat vomit in the dark before stepping on it. (ed. note: gross, but useful)

5.       What is your dream for the business?

  • Lynn: Pinky: What are we going to do today?Brain: The same thing we do everyday, Pinky. Try and take over the world.That pretty much sums it up.
  • Pam: I’d love to grow our business to a point where we can set a teaching schedule to travel once a month, and invite groups in to our own retreat center to teach there.  I’m eagerly anticipating the time when Lynn and I collaborate on show quilts, too, which may happen sooner than that whole capital-investment-in-real-estate thing that a retreat center requires.

6.       Describe your perfect home. Number of bedrooms? Chef managing the kitchen? Separate pet apartments?

  • Lynn: OH! I am a home body.  Huge house on the waterfront.  Beach or secluded lake, I love the water.  At least 5 bedrooms.  Not that we need 5 bedrooms but people will want to come visit and I would love to have the space.  Also large entertainment areas for people  and an amazing chef’s kitchen.  I do love to cook and enjoy cooking for big parties.  Pam makes fun of me but I do make new table cloths and napkins for parties to go with the theme.  I have been known to do that the night before the party.  🙂  Cloth napkins are important to me,  I love them.  Especially if they are embroidered.  🙂 Oh and I need a pool with a swim lane to do laps. 
  • Pam: Ranch style with 4 bedrooms (so I’ve actually got a guest room) and a daylight basement for a sewing room. I actually like cooking, so no chef for me, but definitely want a maid! We’d also need a shop out back for my husband and son so they can tinker on go-karts, airplanes, and whatever else their little hearts desire.

7.       Describe your perfect studio and let readers know if your perfect home would be attached to your perfect studio.

  • Lynn: Studio will be in the house, that way I don’t have to leave.  🙂  I currently have most of our basement as the studio but I would like a much bigger space.  I would like all the sewing machines in one room and would love to have additional space to setup our filming studio where it isn’t so crammed. I also need a chill space where I can curl up and read or watch a good movie.  
  • Pam:I would absolutely want my studio attached to my perfect home since I hate driving. Too many years of horrible Atlanta commuting traffic ruined car travel for me, so I’d love to live in a place where I could walk or bike most places I need to go.In terms of equipment, I’d go for a regular domestic machine and a sit-down mid/long-arm. I’d like to have my fabric storage be behind glass to cut down on the cat hair, a 4’x8′ cutting table I could walk all the way around, and actually room for a design wall.

8.       If you could photograph a quilt you made anywhere in the world, where would it be and what quilt would it be?

Lynn's First Saluki Quilt
Lynn’s First Saluki Quilt

The photo above depicts Lynn’s first two Salukis, Bailey and Boaz. It is a mosaic raw edge fused technique.

Lynn's Salukis: Josie on left and Giacomo on right
Lynn’s Salukis: Josie on left and Giacomo on right
  • Lynn: I have done several of quilts that represent my dogs.  Salukis they [sic] are the royal dog of Egypt.  I would love to have them displayed around relics of ancient Egypt.  It would be amazing to see my love for this breed and the passion of quilts to be together in one photo.
  • Droid Quilt by Pam
    Droid Quilt by Pam

    Pam: I would take my Droid quilt to Skywalker Ranch with the 501st Stormtrooper legion and have a field day.

9.       What is your dream project? Are you working towards it now?

  • Lynn: One of our dream projects is to work full time in the quilting industry and get to work with fabrics, quilts and the quilting people that we love.  We both enjoy teaching and giving lectures at guilds.  As we release the new pattern line for The Stitch TV Show, I think that we share our love for this art form as well as a love for the community of quilters.  I think that The Stitch TV Show is really designed to share community with other quilters.  
  • Pam: I’m not sure; there are “some day” quilts I’m planning in my head, but not sure I’d call them “dream projects”. I’d love to explore wholecloth quilting more, and have the patience to do more with intricate applique. I’d also love it if my applique circles didn’t have corners.

10.   Tell us about your favorite quilt? Did you make it? Do you still have it?

Lynn's Open Doors Quilt
Lynn’s Open Doors Quilt
  • Lynn: I don’t know that I have a favorite.  I love so many.  I have the same issue with what is my favorite movie question.  My favorite, quilt that I have made is Open Doors.  I still own it and it hangs in my house.
  • Pam: Hmm. That’s a bit like choosing your favorite child.  Not to say I haven’t picked a favorite (quilt or child) but it feels disloyal to call it out.  My favorite types of quilts are controlled scrappy ones.

11.   Anything else you want to tell my readers?

  • Lynn: My husband is flippin’ awesome.  (he wanted everyone to know)
  • Pam: The hole in a wooden spoon in the kitchen is supposed to measure one serving of spaghetti, but I’ll be darned if I can ever make spaghetti where I don’t have either three times more than I need, or one serving short. Maybe it’s a character flaw, or maybe I need to rethink that personal chef in the dream house!

Creativity: Chapter 2

I still want to encourage creativity and creative pursuits in YOU via a regular blog post, so here is another effort using The Little Spark book. A few weeks ago, I posted about the first chapter of The Little Spark and how to start to use this book to spark your creativity. I also reminded you that I had reviewed the book in November 2015. If you haven’t bought the book, go buy it NOW.

I feel it is important to nurture creative endeavors in myself. If I can encourage creativity in others, I get a huge bonus. It is so easy to get sidetracked by work, the housework, kids’ activities, the time suck that is the Internet and take no time for yourself. It is so easy to think that creativity is not important. Creative endeavors nurture your soul. If your soul is healthy all the other things you have to do in your life are easier and come out better.

Like in the Creative Prompt Project, any kind of art is appropriate for this creative exercise. If you are a potter or a cartoonist or a weaver, these reviews and exercises will work for you just as well as for someone who sews, makes quilts, draws or paints.

The second chapter in Carrie Bloomston’s book is called Create the Space, thus the second spark is about space. Space is a huge thing for me. For all of my endeavors, whether work or cooking or quiltmaking, I need a conducive space. Sometimes that space is my workroom and sometimes it is the car when I am traveling with DH for #politicalwifery and have my EPP on my lap. Neither of these spaces are ideal, but they work for me at the moment.

Thanks to http://www.quitecurious.com/wp-content/gallery/loft/windows.jpg
Thanks to http://www.quitecurious.com/wp-content/gallery/loft/windows.jpg

In my dreams, I dream of a large loft space with big metal windows. I want an open, bright space with many different tables so I can work on several projects at once and there are few piles on the floor. Yes, of course there are a lot of practical issues with this kind of space, but we are talking about a dream right now.

Bloomston says “Having a good work space cements you to your dreams.” (pg.13) I agree with this, which is why I am not stuck on my dream, but working away in my ok space.

I find that I go to my workspace when I feel like I have had enough of people and need to be alone. “The creative space is a launchpad, refuge, retreat, temple, labyrinth, and safety net. It gives you a sense of purpose.” (pg.13) This is so true for me. I know what to do when I walk up there and if there is any doubt, I always have fabric to iron until I get my head together.

Despite the imperfections of my space, I don’t have the obstacle of moving everyone else’s stuff before I can work (pg.13). That is a huge bonus!! Bloomston says “the Spark might not stick around for two hours of housekeeping. It helps to have the space ready.” (pg.13).

You might not have a separate room, but you can create space with boundaries. You might have to be creative (HA!), but being able to get started the second you have time is really important. Find a drawer or a cupboard where you can separate out your special tools and supplies from the detritus of daily life. “Own it. Mark it. Protect it. In this way, you advocate for yourself, your pursuits, and your special creative time.” (pg.13)

The last sentence brings up a good point. Creativity is good for my sanity, but it is hard to explain that I make quilts to relieve stress, especially when they are large and taking over my house. If I had a larger storage space for my quilts, it would be less of an issue. Out of site, out of mind.

“Clutter doesn’t help.” (pg.14) There is a lot of clutter in space and I know that is not good. Most of it is things I will get to, especially books to review.

I am constantly trying to organize. In my dream workroom, I would have a counter with drawers underneath running around the perimeter of the room, especially if the windows didn’t go all the way to the floor. My current system, if you can call it that, relies heavily bins. (bins need shelves, though, and I need more of those). Bins keep project pieces together. Ideally, I would like to have cupboards, with doors, so I could shut away the clutter, but open them so I could see everything. The fabric closet works like that, but is too small.

As I mentioned above, horizontal space is important, too. I gained a lot when I commandeered the microwave cart (now cutting table) from our remodeled kitchen. It adds 3 ~18″ x 24″ horizontal spaces. Of course, they are stacked, so only one is useful beyond storage. I would want many LARGE tables. I would want to be able to layout my projects as desired and flit between them.

Make a list of your wants and needs. Think about fresh air, a place to cook a snack, if you are not a baker or chef and your studio is a kitchen. Think about creature comforts, such as a comfy chair an ottoman with a reading lamp.

What does your ideal space look like? The Little Spark is a great book to energize or start your creativity. Please tell me how you light the spark of your creativity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nota Bene / Housekeeping: I am not going to tell you all of the details of all of the exercises in the book. It isn’t right for me to give away Carrie Bloomston’s content. You will need to buy the book for that. ( <—  It’s easy, just click the ‘buy the book’ link; yes it is an affiliate link, like the ones above**)  ???? That isn’t to say that you will get nothing out of the creativity posts that I am writing. You will, if you read through them and think about what I have written. I am using her material as a jumping off point. Her material is valuable and I am adding my own spin to it.

First Gathers

McCall's Apron Fabric & Pattern
McCall’s Apron Fabric & Pattern

Sometime ago, Kelly supervised my work when I cut out the aprons. This apron is different from the Church Lady apron I finished.

The pattern, which has gathers, is from McCall’s and is called Fashion Accessories “The Retro Collection” (#2811). I don’t remember when I bought it, but it has been around my workroom for awhile. I think I might have bought it when I made my first apron in a garment sewing class back in the dark ages. I am pretty sure I definitely bought it before 2010. Too bad patterns don’t have some kind of date on them. Maybe they do and I didn’t see it. Fortunately, for you, it is still available. The link above is an affiliate link.

Mom was over and since I needed supervision for sewing this pattern, we started it. Altogether, the apron took about 3 hours to make. As usual, I sewed other things in between, like the pillowcases, so it took me more time, but not longer.

Gathering the apron skirt
Gathering the apron skirt

My dressmaker (for the Political Wifery dresses) has forbidden me from wearing gathers, so I was slightly horrified when I realized that this pattern had gathers. I also have never sewn gathers. My mom suggested we do pleats instead, which we started. Mom had to leave at this stage so we decided that since it was an apron and I would probably just wear it around the house, there wouldn’t be anyone to criticize the elegant styling. 😉 She helped me start and then gave me firm instructions. I think I did ok. Each time I got into trouble I texted her photos of my status and the relevant part of the directions, then we got on the phone and she told me what to do. What did we do before these technologies became available?

Arranging the gathers was fine, but sewing over them was very strange. It was nearly impossible to keep everything lined up properly. I think I did ok, but it was slightly terrifying. I was afraid I would do something wrong.

Waistband covering gathers
Waistband covering gathers

Mom helped me figure out the waistband, which is very clever once I understood the terminology.

All in all, I am pleased with my effort. I’ll never be a really competent garment maker, but I can hold my own with some projects. Stay tuned for the final!

3 Star Wars Pillowcases

Small check Star Wars Pillowcase
Small check Star Wars Pillowcase

I ironed some fabric last week and came across three fabrics that were intended for pillowcases. Feeling the need for some finishes, I sewed them up over the weekend and will send them off to three of the nephews. The YM made it clear he was not particularly interested in these fabrics.

Big Check Star Wars Pillowcase
Big Check Star Wars Pillowcase

As usual the cuff fabrics were the most difficult to find. I have been working hard to cut pieces out of new fabrics in such a way that I will have a 12″ x WOF or so piece available should I want to use any fabric. I was fortunate to find two different check fabrics that go together, but are different enough to allow the boys to have their own.

Angry Birds Star Wars Pillowcase
Angry Birds Star Wars Pillowcase

The fabric in which the YM is really not interested is the Angry Birds Star Wars fabric. Even when I asked him if his new roommate would like it, I received an unequivocal no.

This is a clear indication of my sometimes uncoolness as a mom. 😉

I have 3 young nephews, though young is relative as the youngest is about to be 10 and the two others are 12. They are the youngest of all the cousins and I can still indulge in a little bit of silliness with them.

I know at least two of them will enjoy receiving mail, so I will get those off to them soon.

As a bonus, I got to mark 3 more yards off fabric used on my list.

Food Donation Quilt

Food Donation Quilt
Food Donation Quilt

I worked on a donation food quilt over the weekend. I decided, though it wasn’t a conscious decision, that I would try and use up the rest of my food fabrics and put that chapter behind me. Three food quilts is enough.

I think I also did it because I have been longing to provide another donation top and back to BAMQG.

 

Thus, I worked on the donation food quilt over the weekend. By Sunday night, I had a top, a back and a Frankenbatting.

I sewed it in kind of an Improv manner, but it is structured improv. I tried to use the pieces that I had and not do too much fiddly piecing.

Food Donation Quilt back
Food Donation Quilt back

I may have enough pieces for another version when I get the Food Quilt #3 back. I think the back is large enough to provide at least a base for another donation quilt.

Not Enough Time

There just really isn’t enough time in the day-week-month-lifetime to do all of the projects I want to do. I saw another one the other day that I might be able to slip in while I do other things.

Scrap Quilt Secrets
Scrap Quilt Secrets

I went to The Granary before Friend Julie and I had lunch to wait for her. Just inside the door they have books and magazines, so I took a look at a relatively new book by Diane Knott called Scrap Quilt Secrets**. I have a lot of scraps so I am always tempted to see what clever things authors do with them.

This is an interesting book. There were a few projects in which I was interested. Not enough of them to actually buy the book, and my library doesn’t have it, so, at the moment, I can’t do a review.

There was one quilt I thought would be a great leaders and enders project. It is called 4 Patch Plaid and uses 4 Patches plus some strips and cornerstones. I see 4 low volume 4 patches and 5 colored 4 patches. I like this pattern, aside from the 4 patches, because it looks like you are looking through a window at an interesting 4 patch quilt. I can imagine making many 4 patches in between other projects and suddenly having enough to make a quilt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

**Nota bene: C&T did not send me a copy of this book and I have no affiliation with the author.