UFO #3

I finished the third UFO for the year. I decided to call this one “Thinking of Maggie”.

thinking-of-maggieI almost called it “Remembering Maggie”, but that makes it sound like she passed away, which to the best of my knowledge she has not.
I won this block in a raffle many years ago. I added the sawtooth border and quilted it. It finished about 17” square.
This was my first attempt at micro-quilting. Now that I know how much time and thread it takes, I will think long and hard before I do it again. I used two spools of thread on this small quilt. I can’t imagine how much thread goes into some of the large show quilts.
I’m linking to Whoop Whoop Friday.

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What If Wednesday, A Day Late

I stopped at the library today to pick up books I’d called in. Out of the blue, I thought, “what if I randomly pick a book off the fiction shelves and give it a shot?” That might be an interesting experiment. Best case I find a new author I like. Worst case I read to page twenty and return the book.

I decided to set a few ground rules. I do not read horror or political conspiracy genres. The world is a scary enough place and politics bore me. If I randomly picked a book in either category I could pick a different book. Everything else was fair game.  I would not read the book jacket and screen my selection.  Anything outside those two categories qualified.

My first random selection was Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris. Most people recognize her as the author of Chocolat.

When I finish this book, I will select a different one.

In Smarter Faster Better, Charles Duhigg said, “Every choice in life is an experiment”.

I like that. I read a lot of books, so why not have some fun with it?

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Stash Report And Small Victories

No fabric in this week. I skipped the sale at my LQS and don’t regret it at all. A small amount out this week as part of the continuing declutter. I found a faded piece of pink fabric from origins unknown that went into the recycle bag.

I finished quilting the center of the Raffle Block.

raffle-centerI’ll finish the quilt up this week for a bust next report. It won’t be a large bust, but a bust nonetheless. Every little bit in the right direction helps.

I’m linking to Patchwork Times.

Fabric In: 116 yards

Fabric out: 23 1/8 yards

Net Fabric ADDED: 92 7/8 yards

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I knew I’d have to do it sooner or later.
I bought a wide bed machine two years ago and never could get it to free motion quilt correctly. I spent time messing with it and corrected some of the issues, but it wasn’t there yet. I knew one day I would have to sit down and keep at it until we came to an understanding.
That day was last Sunday.
I won’t go into the whole of it, but there was a lot of thread nests and thread shredding going on. I referred to books and the internet for suggestions. I tried everything I knew to try.
The game changer was switching to a quilting needle. It seems like all the great machine quilters say to use topstitch or metallic needles for the bigger eye, but my machine hated them. Once I switched, a small tension adjustment was all I needed to create this.

scribblingI’m very pleased with the results. I call this method “scribbling”. I wanted it to add a lot of texture without a specific design, much like the backgrounds on the old greeting cards from the 1950s and 1960s.
The best part is that I’m enjoying FMQ for the first time ever. Now there is something that is Whoop-Whoop worthy.
I’m linking to Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

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Right Result, Wrong Reason

A local quilt shop is having a sale on Halloween and Christmas fabric and kits this Saturday. I’ve been eyeing one of their Christmas kits for a while now. The first thing I thought when I saw the email was that I needed to finish something so I could buy that kit.


On second thought, I don’t need that kit. I don’t even need to be in the shop during that sale.

It did motivate me to finish another bear block and stitch half another one.

bear-block-1I thought hard about how long it would take me to get to that kit, how long it would take to stitch it, and how much I would still like it a few years from now when I finished it.

I think the desire to make something decreases in proportion to the time that passes before you start it. The next project on the handwork list is not that kit.

At least the email resulted in progress on other things.

Only two and a half bear blocks to go.

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Stash Report And Reorganization

No fabric in this week.

We did some reorganization in my son’s room yesterday that forced me to sort through all my non-quilting fabric and some of the older quilting fabrics. That room was originally my sewing room, but we switched several years ago. I went into a smaller bedroom, which means all my sewing stuff did not go with me. If he ever moves out, I will reclaim that room.

Some fabric went into a donation bag and some into the scrap fabric recycle bag. I like the recycle option for non-cotton scraps. I just recently found donation sites near me. I believe they’ve recycled fabric in Europe for decades. A shame it took so long to catch on here.

I’m sure more fabrics can go, but I needed to get to other things and had to stop. That will be a project for another day.

I also finished up the log cabin blocks.

log-cabins-s2d1A rectangular quilt will work better for the end use, so I may add another row down the side once I sew it together.

I’m linking to Patchwork Times.

Fabric In: 116 yards

Fabric out: 22 7/8 yards

Net Fabric ADDED: 93 1/8 yards

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The Books And The Questions

The work continues here on the question of too much inspiration and the realization that I don’t put my heart in my quilts.

To address the inspiration question, I started reading those all those books. I finished two so far. The Stitching To Dye book has inspired the freeform log cabin blocks, which will become a background for a piece inspired by Sew Embellished! Who says inspiration for a quilt has to come from only one book?

inspiration-booksThanks to everyone for all the positive feedback log cabin/dyeing project. Things are moving along and I’m enjoying the process.

The same project is my first step toward creating quilts that are more a reflection of me. I’ve always loved working with dyes and paints, but it does take time. The mess discourages some people but never bothered me. I usually dye in my kitchen and scrub the counters really well when I’m done. Same with the paints, although I sometimes use those in my sewing room. That explains the metallic stain on my cutting mat.

I love the idea of combining unstructured piecing with surface design. It’s the best of both worlds.

I must be on the right track because along came The Second Roadblock, and it was even more devastating than the first. The first isn’t resolved so now there are two piled on top of each other. Or sitting next to each other. Whichever makes then harder to move around, no doubt.

I responded by clinging desperately to my creative time, like my life depends on it. The drama will eventually pass. If I can create through the chaos, I can create through anything.

Somehow, I think that may be the point.

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