Sunday, December 31, 2017

I'm more about the making than the having.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  The reason I quilt is to fulfill my need to create (thus the name of my blog).

My current obsession, I love this pattern.

 I see patterns in magazines (like the cover of the most recent American Patchwork and Quilts), or pictures on blogs or quilts in museums and I get inspired.  I picture the quilt in my mind with different colors or slight alterations and it becomes the focus of my quilty thoughts for days, sometimes months, and often years.  I look for a similar pattern or buy the original, or make up one on my own.  The fabric hunt begins whether in my stash, my LQS, or online.

Lately I've been compelled to use the fabrics that I have carefully been aging in my sewing closet.

I do buy some fabric, I always need neutrals.  And I keep track of the new lines from my favorite designers (Barbara Brackman needs to come out of designing retirement)  Occasionally I find myself in the "tempted zone" and eventually go one step further to the "succumbing zone".   I have a lot to say about shopping for fabric but I'll save that for another post.

I bought enough of the sashing fabric so I could do something like this.

This post is about making quilts.  I've found out a lot about myself doing the mystery quilt again this year (this is the 4th one I've made).  What I've discovered is that I'm a block girl.  I don't enjoy making the same part endlessly.  I enjoy making a block and putting it up on my design wall to admire.  It's such a feeling of accomplishment to see that completed block and leave spaces for the next ones to come.  I'm definitely a block girl.  Thank goodness, as of today and Clue #8, we are at the block stage.

So, I have the idea, gather the fabric, cut it out (my least favorite part), and begin sewing,  I have an abundance of enthusiasm at the beginning but it comes and goes during the process of making the quilt.  I am always working toward the end product - that original vision in my head.

I am so intrigued by this Indigo quilt from the 3 Sisters show.

After weeks (or years sometimes) of concentrated effort I'm done.  It's gorgeous, it's so many things all in one.  It's satisfying, it's gratifying, and it's going to make me or someone really happy to use it.

 And then, if I'm going to keep it, I put it up on the shelf of a closet and make a mad dash into my sewing room to begin again.

In other words, "I'm more about the making than the having".


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Happy Holidays here at home.

This has been a busy month, the good kind of busy, not the stressful stuff.

It took me a long time to get around to decorating.  I usually start right after Thanksgiving but I think it was the 4th before the tree went up and then I spent all week just putting ornaments on. (No, the tree is not that big - I just kept getting interrupted.)

Our sweet little tree with my Peppermint Quilt on the wall behind

I've been hand quilting in the mornings.  You can't finish a quilt if you never work on it.  (You can quote me on that!)   I know it's going to take a couple of months to finish this particular quilt so you'll probably see pictures of it on my blog for a while.  AND, they will pretty much look the same but thank you in advance for indulging me.

I'm hand quilting it quite heavily with parallel lines in the blocks that alternate direction from block to block, and all around the flying geese.

I'm absolutely in love with this fabric from the Pat Nichols II Collection so it's a pleasure to quilt.  I'm just enjoying the process - no hurry here.

I have boxes of pictures etc. that I'm determined to go through and organize.  I was cleaning out an old notebook last week that I had divided into different sections for daily life.  One section was immunizations so I took all those records and passed them along to my youngest son.  There were awards and quilting patterns and "to do" lists and on and on and on.  

One thing I found was a record I was keeping  from 2003 of my fabric purchases.  I had the date, the store, how much I bought, and the fabric line and designers name.  Two things stood out to me;
1.  Just how often I went to a quilt store.  The quilt stores in my area were making a haul!!!
2.  I am currently working on 2 quilts with some of those very fabrics I bought almost 15 yrs. ago.

I am quilting the Pat Nichols quilt that I call "Puttin' on the Chintz" (pictures above).  And, I am hand piecing rising sun blocks from the Good Shepherds line from Salt Box Farm by Deb Strain.  It just seems so funny that I would finally be using these fabrics at the same time.  But, the good news is that I liked them then. . . and I still like them, a lot.

My holiday disaster this year came in the form of blonde fruitcake.  I invited two of my grandchildren to come and help me bake.  They were excited to see all the nuts, raisins, dates, and colorful fruit.  It was great fun.  After the 3 loaves had baked for quite a while, and didn't seem to look right, I went back and reviewed the recipe.

I had neglected to put in the baking soda!!!

So we have fruitcake that is glued together with sugar and flour.  Yum!

I cut a few slices and then cut them into squares.  I put them in some oatmeal cookie dough and baked them (remembering the leavening).  They turned out pretty good.  I think that's what I'll do with the rest of the fruitcake.  My husband is such a good sport.  He ate the smallest loaf any way.  

New this year is a treetop angel by Willowtree.  She's a beauty.

Thanks for checkin' in,

PS I finished clue #4 this afternoon.  Tomorrow I get to make a shark sleeping bag.

Friday, December 1, 2017

It's December 1st

I made a tie for my brother today.  I used some scraps from a quilt (seen below) that I made a couple of years ago using his son's (who has passed away) shirts.

I still have a lot of fabric left over.  I didn't use very much making the tie.

I think it turned out kind of classy.

I used more scraps on the small end of the tie.  So far I've made them a quilt (60" X 60") a doll quilt out of the extra blocks, and now a tie. There is still  a bunch of material left over.  I think I'd like to make a tree skirt - hmmmmm?

I finished all 50 nine patches last Friday for Clue #1 of the Bonnie Hunter's new mystery.  I wanted to make OR at least cut out the 200 flying geese units for Clue #2 today.  But, I knew I better spend my time making Christmas presents.  Making the tie took me the better part of the day although I did stop for a leisurely lunch.  Starting from scratch instead of following a pattern always takes longer than I think it is going to.

I wonder if I'll get to the mystery tomorrow or if the next homemade Christmas gift will win out.

Making things is my favorite part of the season.  What's your favorite part?


Wheel Quilt completed

I completed my Wheels quilt.  It's hard to see because it is hanging in my hall and the lighting is very poor.  But, it looks terrific. ...