Thinking Creative 2015

The new year is almost here, and I like to think of it as a time of new adventures and opportunities. In 2014 I bought more books and fabric than anything else. A productive year it was not.
In years when I am not doing, I spend a lot of time thinking about doing. That’s where all those books and fabrics come in. The books inspired me to try different techniques and get back to painting fabric.
I really miss fabric painting. It isn’t one of those things you can do ten minutes here and twenty minutes there. It takes committed blocks of time, as does anything experimental. And with all that new fabric gathering dust, I figure I have plenty of experiment options.
This year I started working through The Visual Dance by Joen Wolfrom. I got several chapters in and stopped. I hit a point where I just wasn’t ready for what that book was trying to teach me in the way it was trying to teach it. I may pick it up again some day, but not today.
For 2015 I decided to play with techniques in two different books. The first is Exploring Watercolor by Elizabeth Groves. This is a book of “creative exercises and techniques”. Four pages in chapter one show you the traditional method of painting with watercolors, and the rest of the book explains everything else you can do with them. When I bought the book, I thought many of the ideas would translate well to fabric painting. Now I’m going to find out.

2015-books
The second book is Quilter’s Playtime by Diane Hire. I’m not much of an abstract quilter, but loosening up and having fun with color and fabric appeals to me. If I find it don’t enjoy it, I’ll move on to something else.

That’s what experiments are for.

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Still Quilting The Stash

I may have to start another project just to have something different to post about.
Still quilting Retro Charm, but no more tension problems. I’m quite grateful for that.
I spent a lot of yesterday on holiday stuff – Christmas party at mom’s, decorations out, tree up. I’m glad to have all that behind me. This week I have another Christmas party and plans to shop and mail gifts. The older we get, the more we scale back what we do for the holidays.
No fabric in or out this week. I’d like to think no more fabric will come in this year, but that may not happen. The sales have started.
I’m linking to Patchwork Times.
Fabric in: 71 3/4 yards
Fabric out: 21 7/8 yards
Net Added: 49 7/8 yards

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Tension Mystery Resolved

There are things in life I will never understand.
I started having bobbin tension problems with my Pfaff Expressions machine last weekend. It sewed fine for days and then out of the blue the bobbin tension got too tight. This machine does not have a screw that you can turn to loosen the tension.
I messed with it for at least an hour, threading and rethreading the bobbin and the top thread. The samples still looked bad. Finally, I put the quilt back under the machine and it started sewing properly again.
I’m glad it sews right, but I have no idea what caused the problem. I had a different problem with the bobbin last month and fixed it by rewinding the bobbin.
My best guess is that the bobbin thread got twisted during winding and wasn’t coming off the bobbin smoothly. My only other guess is that it was too cold and damp in my sewing room. I turned up the heat when I went in to work on it that night.
I searched the internet for people with similar problems but found nothing. In fact, I couldn’t find any negative comments about this machine. Even the Pfaff website didn’t mention anything about bobbin tension issues.
Go figure. If anyone has had this problem, please leave a comment. I’d love to know what I’m doing wrong.

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Quilting The Stash

I’m still quilting the sashing on Retro Charm. I’m more comfortable handling a larger quilt on the new machine, and it shows in the stitching. I have a ways to go before this one is a bust.

retro-charm-back

I’m showing the back because it’s easier to see the stitching. Ignore the thread tails.
I seem to have a lot more tension problems on this machine. It will sew fine, and then the next time I sew the tension is off. The machine sits where I wouldn’t bump it by accident. I just have to remember to sew a sample every time I turn it on to make sure the tension is right. Maybe that will stop once I’ve used it a while? I never had that problem with my other Pfaff.
I’m linking up at Patchwork Times.
Fabric in: 71 3/4 yards
Fabric out: 21 7/8 yards
Net Added: 49 7/8 yards

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December A Lovely Year Of Finishes And Short List

With all the holiday tasks this month I decided to keep the list short.
My ALYoF goal is to make a small sample of a rug pattern I found in an old magazine when I cleaned out mom’s house. I’ll keep it small enough to use as a hotpad or to put under my Christmas cactus pot. My goal is to figure out if I like the technique enough to make a decent size rug with it.
Now on to the Short List.
Retro Charm remains on the list. It feels like I’ll be quilting this top forever. I’m making progress, but slow.

sash-quilting

The last item on the short list is to use a technique I saw online to make another rug sample. That rug idea won’t go away, yet I can’t find a technique that jumps out and grabs me. I hope one of these samples works out. Otherwise I’ll have more new hotpads than I have pans.
I’m linking to Fiber Of All Sorts.

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Plans Gone South

I had big plans to sew yesterday, but a day-long headache got the best of me and I did next to nothing. I hate when that happens.
One of the local quilt shops had a black Friday sale and I stayed away, a small victory in itself. I couldn’t think of anything I needed although that doesn’t always matter.
I’m still quilting on Retro Charm and will be for a while. I may squeeze in a few small projects just to get the bust this year, but all in all this year’s epic fabric buys are best not repeated. There’s no place to store that much more fabric.
I’m linking to Patchwork Times.
Fabric in: 71 3/4 yards
Fabric out: 21 7/8 yards
Net Added: 49 7/8 yards

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November ALYoF Finish

The months go so fast.
I finished my November goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes.

frosty-friends-finished

The goal quilt is the one on the left. I finished the other two earlier this year.
I had two other Short List goals. The first was a tote bag to use for a specific purpose. I decided to use something I already had, so that goal falls off the list. Not exactly a finish, but an open spot on the list either way.
The last item on the list was quilting Retro Charm. I quilted half of the sashing this month. My forward progress gives me hope that sooner or later I will get it done.
I’m linking to Fiber Of All Sorts.

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