Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The UFO pile

I'm spending some time each day working on the UFO pile. There are just too many ideas for traditional "recipe" quilts!! Will I ever catch up? I want to make them ALL!! I've decided to allocate time each day to both the "backlog" (UFO pile) and the new stuff. It seems my life is spent in a constant state of "something else first" so I'm going to give "new stuff" it's own time allocation to see if that helps me do some of the stuff that's in my brain.

I made the backing for the "green typewriter" top - thought I had a pic but no, so will take one & post later. I also started sewing the blocks for an aqua cheech with wonkified batik mini-panels added. The blocks had been made for quite some time. It's actually quite pretty & soft. I like the contrast of the panel blocks but am already wondering about borders. (I don't tend to buy a "quilt kit" all at once; I tend to pull from my stash & make things work. When I have a bunch of bolts piled up on the counter at the quilt shop, people invariably ask "what are you going to make with that" .... and I always answer "a pile of fabric and it's almost done!") I also worked on small-art blanks last night (chair work!!) I have so many blanks now! When will I do something else?

It's as great as I thought it would be to simply open the cabinet door and pick a project to work on!

I gave away 25 quilts this year. Whew! Many were planned gifts but others were "collection thinning". I don't tend to make quilts for people; I make quilts because I want to make the quilt. The retirement quilts were an exception, but the other 14 were put in my car, driven to a family gathering, and as each person arrived they picked a quilt to take with them. That was such fun!! A quilt doesn't have to have any purpose other than being something you want to make. Eventually it will settle into it's place in the universe.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Working on the backlog!

It was way too cold to take
pictures outside so pardon the wonkiness. I'm spending some time each day working on the UFO pile. Pinky, and a little fast-and-furious Christmas quilt.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Shooting Blanks

I've been doing the hand stitching on small-works blanks today. It's incredibly satisfying! I feel like I'm accomplishing something while sitting on my duff listening to audio books. Of course I AM accomplishing something, because the handwork must get done and I don't always feel like doing it. I also did some sketching of ideas coming into my head as I stitch. Learning to sketch at age 60 is going to be a challenge but I have accepted that there are no mistakes; just learning.

It's very exciting to be retiring in a few days. So many new worlds are opening up to me! I'll be sketching, doing journal quilts, doing a whole series of small works, making a series of jackets, and the thing I'm looking most forward to - working on whatever quilt strikes my fancy on any given day! I'm excited that I'll be able to head downstairs to the studio, open the cabinet doors and see what strikes my fancy that day.

I bought Lyric Kinard's book "Art + Quilt" when I was at the World Quilt Show in West Palm Beach a couple of weeks ago. I've read the book and am so very thankful for Chapter One! The timing is perfect and the words really sank in: I'm not suppose to be perfect - I'm just starting!! Thank you, Lyric!!!! I highly recommend the book for anyone wanting to stretch a bit. No affiliation - just an appreciative reader.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Second Donation Quilt is now a top!!

The half-square triangle top is finished. WAHOOOOOO.

I got beat by the "Borealis" blocks, though. They defeated me. So .. my very first goal for 2011 has already been decided: learn to do curved piecing. I think I'll have Carolyn (Allen) teach me; I sure can't get the hang of it on my own. Harumph!

I got the pinkies up on the design wall. There's a little too much of the black & white lady fabric in it. Should I make more blocks, or just put it together anyway? I think a little rearranging will help & I can leave it as is.

All I have to do now is put the retirement quilts into their bags. I'll post pics after I give them away next week. I'm very excited to have all the must-dos behind me. I'm starting my retirement with a "clean" slate and will be able to work on whatever moves me on any given day. No commitments for me for awhile!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The fully formed new artist - NOT!

Ugh! I'm failing spectacularly at trying to finish my must-do's. What is it that keeps me from JUST DOING IT? Boredom, maybe. (I'm tired of the project) Having to do "something else first", perhaps. (Either I have to move clutter, or finish X on project Y - something else first). I'm stopped from my small works because I've not sketched anything to put on my blanks. Why not? Because I think my very first sketch should be perfect.

Somehow I think that my sketches should be perfect from the moment I pick up a pencil rather than totally accepting that I need to practice. Logically I KNOW I need to practice but somehow I haven't yet mentally accepted it. Well ... today's a good day to start, eh?

Off to practice!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

I've met the enemy and it is ....

... the television. Period.

Television eats my time. Yesterday I had the whole day to be one with my sewing machine. I did some work in the early part of the day (putting together half of the second HST quilt), then the TV took hold of me and ate the rest of my day. I speak of it as some kind of animate object because, well, it IS! Once the screen is filled and the voices are in the speakers, my brain is sucked in and put on hold. The TV is like a Dementor! It sucks out my sewing soul. Soooo .....

..... today starts another new healthy habit: less TV. This has been on my yearly goals and monthly "25 things" for ages. Clearly I've not yet accomplished it! However, I DO have the power to not turn on the power! :-) It's a bad habit, just like many other bad habits in my life that I'm working to turn around these days. But by golly I can kick the TV habit's butt, too! I have an extensive music collection and I do enjoy NPR very much! I'm also going to make trips to the library for audio books. I NEED to give up the television habit!

Off to the studio!

Monday, November 22, 2010

A new place for the quilt journal

Well it's certainly been awhile since I posted here! Oh well life has a way of taking priority, doesn't it?

The weekend was spent at Cinnamon's quilt shop for our bimonthly "retreat". I think there were about 18 of us. I got so much done that it inspired me to post here. I don't seem to be keeping up my quilt journal as I should, yet I'm blogging more, so I'm switching to this blog as my "quilt journal". Especially now that I know I can have it put into book form!

Over the weekend I finished all the blocks and the piano-key border for the pink/Kaffe H-block quilt that I saw in West Palm last weekend. I also finished the last of the half-square triangle blocks for the guild give-away quilt. I should be able to get both those tops together this week and get them to the quilters. (Funny that I would still take quilts to the long-armers since I have one myself. But I'm not yet practiced enough on my long-arm to do my own quilts. Soon, though!!)

I'm not ready for pictures of these yet but they'll come later. I also have a whole new direction for my Ace of Spades piece....I think it's going to be fun! And I've picked "stitches" as my theme for my first year of journal quilt experimentation.

2011 will be a busy year for me! I'll be retired (in just a couple of weeks - YAY), I'm traveling to lots of quilting classes, and I'm experimenting with new "stuff". I also plan to do some experiments when dying fabrics. It'll all be journal "stuff" so there are no failures - only experiments. I've picked up 2 block-of-the-month (BOM) projects from Quilting by the Bay (QBTB) and there will probably be a Kaffe-usage group meeting at Cinnamon's each month. Whew I'm going to be one busy woman!!

I need a name for the H-block quilts because I have two more noodling around in my brain. Something will come to mind. Till then it will have to be just H-blocks. I'm thinking about another in Aunt Gracies, one set on point, and then there's the H-block alternate where the center is the different color and the rows are offset. That's 3 more, I know, but maybe it's the Aunt Gracie that will get set on point.

OK I'm off to see the wizard!