A View of My Quilt Life

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Gearing Up & Getting Ready

Over the previous 2 years, I have taken many Road Trips but since returning to the workforce, not so much.  To say I’m hoping that all the planets align so I can head out later this afternoon is an understatement.   The primary focus of this trip it the AQS Grand Rapids Quilt Week. 

I’ve attended the show for the past 2 years and loved it. 

The DeVos Place Convention Center is Light, Bright Spacious, easily accessed from the highway with underground parking and lots of BIG restrooms!! 

My shopping list is a little light this year and that’s okay.  Mostly because I know I’ll find more than I could ever think about looking for – best to keep an open mind.  I always cruise the vendor aisle, shopping on paper first.  Then I take a refreshment break (must stay hydrated!) to look over my notes, weigh out the options, fulfill the required items, using the least expensive, logical solution and then allocate the leftover budget dollars in order of priority or want or whim.  And try NOT to break the bank!!

This year’s most sought after item is a Singer Featherweight bobbin case.

This prized little piece of machinery is going to run around $50. Ouch!  But oh, so necessary!  Yes, I could always just swap the one I have between the 2 FWs, once the unnamed 1949 is back from her Spa makeover.  But I can foresee me grabbing a FW case, not checking for the bobbin case & ending up very frustrated far away from home with no working sewing machine.  ACK!! The stuff of nightmares!

I’ll be hunting bargains on backing fabric, some YLI thread for the stash (LOVE their thread!) 

and maybe, a bargain book or two.

Once I get those purchases squared away I am open to whatever the Universe drops in my lap.

Okay, okay… I’ll confess. 

I mapped out 3 saddle shops on my travel route to try to visit. So it’s not all about the quilting – much like my life.  Remaining open and out of the studio leads to inspiration for the studio time!

 And then there is a winery or possibly two for tasting visits, though not on the same day.   I am so excited!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

August Celebrations Have Begun!

I have a confession to make...

I am a bit of a Diva when it comes to my birthday.  

Okay, to be honest,  I turn into the Empress of the Universe, with many minions gathered about to do my bidding and pay me the homage due to a person of my grand stature.  At least, that's how it is in my mind if not in real life!

My idea of properly celebrating one's natal day is to devote the entire month of your special day indulging in as many whims as possible, ramping up exponentially as the day draws nearer.  I've rather started out slowly this year but am picking up steam!

Saturday was the wedding of a dear friend's son, a young man we watched grow up from a teenager. The bride, his very long time girlfriend who we know very well. It was wonderful to gather with friends and enjoy the special day.  I can hardly believe it was over 10 years ago that the groom  attended our living room wedding and was Hobbes, the beagle's attendant.

The wedding ceremony touching and beautiful, the reception a joyful celebration.  I had my own mini celebration.  My wonderful Sweet Man & I danced!!  The very first slow dance right after the bride & groom's first dance, we took to the floor.   DH had a BAD hip and endured 6 surgeries to get his hip replacement.  We didn't dance at either of our weddings.  But Saturday night , we hit the dance floor for one song.  It was sweet & wonderful!!!!

As the batiks and my quilting tools are already packed for next week, no sewing time was to be had this past weekend.  I've decided to take the Singer workhorse this trip, though Wendy, the 301A is begging for a project to run her motor on.  Sewing time will be short enough that I don't want to waste a minute getting in sync with her idiosyncrasies.  Soon, just not this week.  There is too much celebrating to do!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Batiks, Backings but No Boots!

It is officially, official – my featherweight is safely in Gerald’s hands and has taken its place in line to be refinished.

Not much stitching has been done this week.  I’ve been busy with work, chores and shopping.

Shoe shopping!!!

Oh, the wondrous world of fancy shoes.  I need a pair for the weeding this weekend and heels are OUT!  Just can’t wear them anymore, though there were many pairs of strappy wedge sandals and fancy glittery heels just begging to go home with me!   For the first time ever I visited DSW – dang!!  This place had some great styles and killer boots.  No matter how hard I looked,  I didn’t find a pair of purple Wicked boots – shame. 

I did find a pretty, though a little prim, pair of silver studded linen flats.

And a pair of pewter beaded strappy flat sandals.

Now I just need to decide which ones work better with the dress 

and my graceful clumsiness.

Thinking past this weekend and on towards my Road Trip, fabric needs to be pulled out, sorted and packed to go with me.  I will have one (1) day next week in the quiet of the Michigan house to play with fabric, sip some wine & hopefully not stitch my fingers together.   I want a good selection of batiks with me.  I don’t want to have to rent a UHaul trailer, at least not for the trip up there. *wink*

Last night was the beginning of the Grand Sorting.    This is the entire blue batik stash.

And here is the entire green batik stash.

 This is what I’ve narrowed it down to:

And these are the blues and greens staying home 

Yep - pretty much everything blue or green is going!

This is the part of the red/orange/pink stash that's going with:

Did I mention I would have only one sewing day?  I hope this is enough to keep me busy.

I packed all the quilty things last night.  Someone wasn't happy about that and refused to look at me.

Well, as a backup, cause there always has to be a backup plan, this quilt needs a back and to be layered. 

Looking at it all together and really thinking about it, I should have found a pale aqua/turquoise instead of the cream for the lights in the nine patch and the alternate solid blocks.  I think it would have worked better and really made the turquoise fabrics pop more.  Not totally liking all the cream.  I may just go crazy and quilt it with some variegated turquoise thread to add more color into the project and really practice some free motion work on the solid blocks.  

Need a really cool backing.  Not sure what’s in the backing stash… gotta go look.

This is what I found - not quite sure - I may just have to add backing fabric to the shopping list for AQS Grand Rapids. Hehehehehehe! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

A few updates to share...

According to UPS, the Featherweight arrived in Arkansas late Tuesday morning.  Waiting to hear from Gerald on the approximate time frame, extent of work, etc.  Fingers are crossed.

On August 7th, Cherrywood Fabrics announced on their Facebook page that they expanded the WICKED traveling collection to 96 quilts!!  

My WICKED...Walking is among those that will be traveling for various exhibits over the next year.  But since they now have 4 times the original number of travelers, there are no guarantees that all of them will hang in the Broadway exhibit.

Do I want my quilt on Broadway?  Heck YES!!
Am I just as excited to be a part of the Traveling Exhibit? Double Heck YES!!!

Road Trip?  Yep - it's time to hit the highway.  Well, next week, anyway.  In honor of my birthday, I will be enjoying the AQS Grand Rapids, MI Quilt Week!  

No, I won't be there for the whole show but I am going.  Can't wait to be inspired by all the quilts on exhibit and visit the many vendors.   That won't be the only stop I make and I'll be taking pictures to share when I can.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Transitional Summer Irish Chain

Sunday's Studio Time results in a Summer Irish Chain Quilt top.

I unpacked the pre-packaged 2 and a half inch strips and laid them out to look at the color, patterns and value progression.

Hmm - 10 different fabrics with 2 strips (WOF) of each color.  It needed a few more neutrals to carry the progression and balance the almost solid watercolor batik in darker turquoise I had already purchased


I ended up with 8 colors and 8 neutrals (one was repeated). 

Color strips paired with their neutral strips
 Three of the neutrals were used for the solid 6 inch alternate blocks.  I didn't fuss over the block placement - much.  This is just suppose to be a fun Summer throw size quilt. And to get me into the 9 patch mindset so I can start spring-boarding. 

The color strips yielded 7 blocks of each color for a total of 56.  It took a bit of quilt math to get the strip cuts figured out to maximize the fabric I had.  I only needed 55 for this layout or 61 to even out the rows. I opted to just have an extra 9 patch block, which is probably going to end up on the back of the quilt. Lots of chain piecing to get this done quickly!

The blocks were stitched into 4 sections and then the four sections joined, though that's not pictured here.

I auditioned the dark turquoise solid for either a 2-4 inch border or just a binding.

I decided on using it for a binding, skipping a border on this quilt.  The top is pieced and ready to go with me next week to be layered.

Of course, I had some special help in the studio while stitching this top and can't resist sharing them with you.

Time to start thinking about the New Quilt from Old Favorites 9 Patch and packing up some fabric for that to take with on my Road Trip, too.

Intrigued? More on the Road Trip later...there will be quilts and fabrics involved!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Saturday Studio Time...Almost!

Can't believe it's been over a week since I've been in my studio.  The plan was two whole days to just play with fabric, hopefully starting on the New Quilt from Old Favorites 9 Patch (NQFOF9P). So what stopped me???

The Dreaded Studio Creep.  ARGH!!

The crush of projects and less studio time leads to lots of things out of place and bad habits!  Looking around, other parts of the studio were just as in need of attention.  Clutter and disorganization kills creativity.

A little while later, I had this - clean, clear space and a cuppa!

Once I started on the studio, I decided to spend part of the day working the garage clutter.  That meant by the time I was ready to sit at the machine, I was tuckered out and definitely not feeling ready to work on the NQFOF9P.

I needed a project that was basically a no-brainer.  I grabbed out the strip package I purchased back in June at the IQF show.

This could be just the project I need to transition into something more demanding.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Packing Up the Featherweight

Very early Friday morning, it was time.

You would think I would be excited to be sending off my 1949 Featherweight to be repainted.  And I am. But I'm also anxious.  Bottom line - it's weird, or maybe I'm a little weird.  I know it will be in good hands when it gets to Gerald in Arkansas. 

And I took great care in packing it up.

Really - there is a sewing machine under there.

I used over half the roll of bubble wrap, built double walls and a double bottom into the box, and double & triple taped the seams. Maybe that's where my unease come from - the shipping portion of this adventure.

Well - it off, via UPS, on it's way to the ultimate machine makeover.  

What color did I finally decide on??  I could make you all wait until she's safely back home....but I'm not that mean.

House of Kolor


Kandy Base Coats are a mixture of Kandy and select Pearls into a SHIMRIN® Universal Base Coat that mimics a Kandy finish.  

Though this is my Special birthday present  - it won't get back in time for the actual day.  That's okay. It will be worth the wait.  In the meantime, I am carefully tracking the box on it's outbound trip.