Thursday, January 26, 2012

Give Me Your Ideas for Quilts From Fat Quarters

I have just discovered I have a disability.  That is, I have a very strong inclination to buy mass quantities of fat quarters, get them home, and then not know what to do with them. Yikes! Bad habit.

So today I have decided to turn this bad habit into something constructive, and I'd like you to help me.  This is what my fat quarter drawer looks like at the moment:
Some of my fat quarter collection - what to do, what to do?


Can you share with me any of your favorite patterns or designs you use for fat quarter quilts?  It would be great to see what we can all come up with!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Free Motion Quilting Is Not For the Faint of Heart

One of my many goals this year is to learn how to Free Motion Quilt on my domestic sewing machine.  And fortunately, SewCalGal has put together the most excellent year-long tutorial.  I've been practicing on leaves, which still leave a lot to be desired, but it's 100% better than my straight-line quilting that I have always done in the past.

Here's my first sample:
The good thing is, it can only get better from here!  And it's quite fun actually tackling my fear of FMQ and just do it!

It's not too late - you, too, can jump on board and start to hone your FMQ skills. Just click on the 2012 Free Motion Challenge logo on the right, or click here!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bearing Down For The Storm

Such a crazy winter this has been! We live in a ski resort area and we essentially have no snow in the valley. Very odd, considering it's the third week of January.

But this week the weather forecasters are predicting a foot or two of snow, and we are all rejoicing. But, the snow didn't come last night. Maybe today?  I didn't think I'd ever 'wish' for tons of snow, but we are this year. A winter without snow shoveling is just plain weird.

Maybe by speaking out this way the Snow Gods will unleash their fury and dump on us today. Maybe....

In the mean time, but an excellent time to QUILT!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pretty in Pink

When I do pink, I do pink!  I wanted to start fresh after Christmas with some fabrics that were not red and green. Or blue and green. Or Christmasy at all. So what better thing to buy than pink and red for Valentine's Day!


What I came up with is this chevron shaped table runner.  It is bright and cheerful and adds a smile to the dreariness of winter. Whoever came up with Valentine's Day knew what she was doing - definitely adds a little spark to the long days of winter.

The fabric in the center and for the backing are actually Christmas prints, but they worked out well for this.  Usually when I make one of these runners, I look for a strong focal print for the center. This was rather busy, so I cut and appliqued a heart in the center. Helps to break up the busyness and draws your eye right there.

All in all, a fun project!  Since we aren't receiving any snow to speak of here at the ski resort community I live in, I am going to attack Spring with a vengeance.  Only bright, sparkling colors will be in my next projects.  I'm thinking my Layer Cake of Kate Spain's Terrain series will be on the cutting table next.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fat Quarter Shop Favorites Collage


Here it is - my collage! What fun it was cruising through all the fabrics available. What a difficult decision. But I LOVE this combo - it uses some of my favorite color ways but adds a splash of pizzazz that I wouldn't ordinarily do. Learning to stretch my imagine is so easy with all the great choices available to quilters these days!

And if you want a closer look, check these out:
1. Bespoken-BE-7101-200, 2. Bespoken-BE-6107-200, 3. Bespoken-BE-7102-200, 4. Bespoken-BE-7103-200, 5. Bespoken-BE-7106-200, 6. Promenade-C200-30-200, 7. HyperrealGarden-HG-7409-200, 8. HyperrealGarden-HG-8404-200, 9. HyperrealGarden-HG-8402-200, 10. HyperrealGarden-HG-8407-200, 11. HyperrealGarden-HG-8409-200, 12. IndianSummer-C200-25-200, 13. RBSolids-C100-49-200, 14. Modernology-MO-4801-200, 15. Modernology-MO-3808-20016. Not available


Fat Quarter Shop
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Controlled Chaos!

I am finally making some order out of my chaos, and it does feel GOOD! Now if I could only figure out how to keep it in order?

For me, 2012 is my Year of Learning. I have already bought enough fabric to stock the Moda Factory, so now I just need to learn how to creativity put it all together.

To that end, I've decided to take time to do two things each month:  master free motion quilting and learn new skills with quilt block construction.  And to accomplish this, my online friends have made it super easy!

First, thanks to Sewcalgal, there is a terrific program called 2012 Free Motion Quilting Class. And it's free! What's not to love about that? Plus, she has a year's worth of free motion quilting experts lined up to share their insights in how to make machine quilting a pleasure instead of the chore it now is for me.

After I signed up for the FMQ class, along came the Craftsy Block of the Month.  And it's free too!  How can we not take advantage of all this great, free instruction, right at our fingertips? 

You can still have time to jump aboard at http://www.craftsy.com/class/The-Craftsy-Block-of-the-Month/50

I'm very excited for this journey to begin. Why not jump on board, too?


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Overwhelmed

My goodness!  In my search to learn all I can about quilting, I have become mind boggled. Literally! There are so many great blogs, tutorials, web sites and just plain fun information out there, that I have to limit myself - daily - on how much time I spend cruisin' my favorite sites!  I equate it to the 'olden days' when info was gathered by checking quilting books out from the library and reading them page to page, taking them back, checking out another one. Except in that process, I can go through it at a snail's pace if I want.  Here on the Internet, I click from here to there, back to here and then on to beyond, and before I know it, my brain is filled with so much info that I finally just crash. Lock  'er up and call it a day.

But it's all good! Over the past two months I have started to dream in quilting designs and pieced patterns. Color, tone and texture filter through my head as I shop. When I'm out for a walk, the juxtaposition of house colors against stark, bare, winter trees or warm pines and spruce brings to mind a fabric that I know must exist out there. Somewhere.

But then when I step into my sewing room to start a project, I become stymied. It's like I've hit a brick wall, because there are so many options, choices, plans, skill sets, possibilities - what to do, what to do?  So often times I do nothing. I play around with the fabrics I have, look at the pattern books. Go back to the computer and cruise again. It's really a vicious circle.

I have decided that, perhaps, it's really not my own personality flaw. I have never come before this dilemma before.  It's just that I am so excited by this new arena in my life but I don't have time to do it all.

Light bulb goes off - I need to create some order out of this chaos!


So this is what I'm going to work on this year.
  • Depleting my stash
  • Gathering examples of designs I love
  • Picking designs which are out of my comfort zone
  • Actually making them
  • Learning to quilt on my soon-to-be-delivered long arm machine (insert squealing here!)
  • Finish projects
  • Turn my passion into a business without losing the passion that got me there in the first place!
Put order to chaos. That's all I need to do?

How about you? How are you handling your chaos?

Sewing for the Christmas Bazaar

I think there is good reason I am feeling burnt out with sewing and quilting this fall!  I have been getting ready for our local holiday ba...