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Monday, January 31, 2011

Quilt Seeds

It didn't take long to get the World's Fair quilt top finished once I finally sat down to do it.  I am happy with it even if it is a little dark.  It gives me a cozy feeling with the snow blowing outside.  Were expecting our 1st big snowfall of the season, and I'm looking forward to being snowed in.   I usually can find lots of time for quilting during a snowstorm.

A lot of times when I make a quilt I just cut and cut and cut some more. Then I end up with lots of extra pieces.  They are usually just filed away in their proper places with my scraps.  Sometimes I have enough similar, left over pieces that I feel it would be enough for the start of another quilt.  That's when I call them quilt seeds. After working with those dark colors and it getting dark early in the evening I need a little something brighter to work on next. Rummaging around in my closet I came across this pile of quilt seeds.

I am not sure but, I think they were leftovers.  I remember the quilt I planned them for. I made them in a workshop I took.  They're nothing but 4" half-square triangle units and 4" four-patches.  I know there were other units made for that quilt, but I don't remember that I ever finished it.  If I made it,  I'm sure I passed it on to church for a comfort quilt.  But if I made it, then why don't I have a picture of it? It couldn't have been all a dream if I have these leftovers. It might have been that at the time I was questioning 'Why am I taking a picture of everything I make?'

I actually have quite a small pile of leftovers, more than this photo shows.  These are the same units that I just got done playing with in the World's Fair quilt and I don't want another quilt that looks too similar.  So I will have to come up with another different block. That shouldn't be too difficult.  There are a number of Jacob's Ladder variations. Maybe I will check the Jacob's Ladder images on the web to see if anything strikes my fancy. I am going to sit by the window and watch it snow while I sew.  It's so peaceful, I just love it. Sew long.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Go Figure

 I have hardly had a chance to do any quilting. I thought by now the border would be on my World's Fair quilt.  I added the 1st plain border, arranged the blocks for the border and they didn't fit. I checked the plan that I drew up in EQ. Sure enough, I figured wrong.  There weren't enough blocks in the plan.  So the program stretched them to fit.  This was my fault because my corners turned out just the way I wanted them. I didn't stop to do the math.  I've been doing too much of that lately.

In reality, it didn't work.  So I had to reconfigure the border. The solution was simple enough,but I did have to rework a few blocks.  They're all lined up ready to sew together. Nothings going to stop me now. Stay tuned and you'll see that I'll get it done this weekend.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Time to celebrate

Please consider this a thank you to everyone that's bought my latest book.  I just heard from the publisher that they are already ordering a second printing of my new book, just 2 months old.  How great is that? To keep it going I'd like to see more reviews on Amazon.  So if anybody has a few minutes, I'd appreciate that too.  One gal wrote a wonderful, very detailed review. WOW. Wish I had the time to check out her other reviews.

You can kinda tell by my e-mail that it is January after the release of another book. Tis the season that the requests come in for lectures and workshops and there is always an increase after a new book. So paperwork and responding to those e-mails has taken a bit of time from my quilting.

I hope you all watch the sidebar for new additions. One I need to add soon is a list of corrections to my books.  Few have been reported and I hope you can all understand how they happen.   I only wish I had the opportunity to check over the page proofs one last time before each book goes to press. Sorry for the inconvenience they caused.

One day last summer Lucrecia came by needing an airplane pattern.  So I showed her Electric Quilt and how to draw up a block with it and this is what we came up with. She did a great job. Now I want to make an airplane quilt too.  Isn't it cute? Uh Oh, what is happening to me?  I don't do cute.
Well, thanks again everyone. Haaaaaaaaaaappy Quillllllllllllltig.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A typical week

I must be dreaming. I thought I posted yesterday. So here is what I thought I showed you. This is the quilt I  did a month ago.  I finally got it washed and put the binding on.  I see now in the light that I have a few areas that need a little more quilting.  I will have to go back and add a few tendrils. It will be easier on my domestic machine.  Gee, will I remember how?  The quilt top dates back at least 15 years.  Up close you can see how I still need the practice.  Best to do that on an old little top like this. Those feathers are sure darn fun to quilt.  Good thing I don't like them more.  They'd be everywhere.

Tonight is the guild meeting in Mukwonago.  I'm finally free on a Wednesday night, and the roads are good, so I think I will go.  I haven't been a member for years.

I've been plugging away at a few big quilts.  One to piece in the sewing room and one to quilt down in the studio. Sure would be nice if I had a wife to do all the housework and cooking and quilt with.  Gee, maybe the Mormons have something there.

The contract has arrived for teaching at the Milwaukee Machine Quilting Show in August.  I'll sure be looking forward to it, especially being so close to home. I'll go every day. Mark your calendars now. August 9-13. Sew long,

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2010 Studio Stats

My record-keeping skills aren't the greatest, so I wouldn't be able to give this report if it weren't for blogging. Looking back over the year, I see that in 2010 I have:
quilted 8 tops for church
quilted  and bound 4 of my tops
finished 11 quilt tops or PhD's, new and old
enlarged 7 old top

That leaves me with 100 tops and 24 kits/PhD's.

These numbers don't match with my last report because I have sold and/or given away a few tops or quilts. I've also reclassified a few tops as PhD's, because I decided to enlarge them.  I don't generally like to have quite so many PhD's, but I was in the mood to kit some of my own projects.  I find I really like going to grab a kit when I'm in the mood to sew, and I don't have to think about it too much.   And clearly there are times when I am in the mood to plan and cut quilts.




I just took a load of quilts over to the Transitional Living Center and found that I didn't get a picture of this one I made sometime in 2010. I made this comfort quilt from the orphan blocks at church.  I'm going to be  play with those orphan blocks again soon. First I think I need to work with something a little brighter.  It seems every winter lately I get tired of my dark scraps.

I still haven't decided if I want to weigh all my fabric and figure out how many quilts  I could make with it all.  Laurel suggested that if she knew what she could do with hers, it might make her feel guilty.  I don't think I would have that problem because I feel no guilt about the hundred quilt tops that I have. It might however deter me from buying much more.  Don't know that I want to ruin that fun. Would you? You know I'll keep you posted.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Resolutions, Goals, & Challenges

Well I met my quilting goals for the last couple of weeks. Plan C is now together and I'm pretty happy with it.  And look at that red border.  You don't see that too often here. I'm enjoying it on the flannel wall for now, so I think I will leave it there for a while.

Like I expected, I've  begun work on one of the kits. The block is called World's Fair, it's a Jacob's Ladder variation.  Actually, all one hundred of the blocks are done. I like to arrange them on my flannel wall before I put them together,but I want to enjoy Plan C for a while. Meanwhile I'll do some quilting on the frame in the studio.  I  know how I am going to finish it so it will go together quickly when I get back to it.  And it's going to be a big one too.


I don't think I have made New Year's resolutions more than once or twice, and I'm not really too big about setting goals, but I do respond well to challenges.  The other day my mother made the comment "Oh,you'll never use all your fabric." That sounded like a challenge to me. I just have to get that notion out of my head because for some reason I'm thinking I'm supposed to do it in the next year,when  I am sure she meant the rest of my life.  Perhaps she would take that back if she knew that I have already made over 350. 

Well, my mind wouldn't allow me to let it go and so I have been curious as to how many quilts I could make with my stash. And I thought of a way I could actually estimate it.  I'd like a volunteer to come and help me though.  How does this sound? Using a baby scale I weighed a completed queen-size quilt top. It weighed 3 pounds.  I could assume that is the average and weigh all the rest of my quilting fabric,do the math and then I would have a good idea. I'm not sure how I would want to factor in estimates for the quilt backs.  Any suggestions? Any volunteers?

And why am I thinking this way? Probably because I know that there are some gals that actually measure and/or track how much yardage they have or use. And some keep a database of their 104 UFO's. I think I would rather make another quilt. But still, it could be fun.  I think I know what I'll be dreaming about tonight.
Sew long and sweet dreams.