Saturday, February 28, 2015

What's the point, anyway?

Have you taken any of the classes on Craftsy? I have watched several classes, but had never actually done one. You know, actually worked along with the class on the specific projects used for learning. But, right now, I am actually doing a Craftsy class.

As a perfectionist quilter, I agonize over every seam and point match, every cut, pressing, etc. As a result, I piece pretty well. But I met my match in one of my own designs! The block is mostly all triangles. Talk about matching points and seam allowances. The block just cries out for precision piecing. So I'm doing Precision Piecing by Norah McMeeking . Just got started at it, so I'm still finding my way. BUT check it out. At least one of my units looks pretty good. I have a lot of units left to make. Next is Y-seams.

Not surprisingly, Norah is a quintessential quilting perfectionist - and human. So, we get to see how she corrects mistakes - from mis-cutting a stripset, to orienting the diamonds backward, to points that don't match. Thankfully, we all get to pick and choose when to do it over and when to let it go.

Do you sometimes let it go, even if you believe in your heart you "should" do it over?  Well, I believe that you actually should do it over IF the quilt is going into a judged show, you will give the quilt to someone who is very picky (or, better yet, give the quilt to someone who appreciates you), or you love the satisfaction you get when each of the seams matches perfectly. Otherwise, no one else will care, and neither should you!

Have a delightful week. Now let's go quilt something!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Snowbound and loving it!

I started last week's post a few times before I gave up. First it was about being snowbound, and then it was about the thaw, and now it's about fighting cabin fever. However, I refuse to whine about being cooped up in the studio! Just too much fun to be had down there, in spite of how cold the basement can get. I have a good drag-to-where-I-need-it heater, after all.

So what, that we are snow-bound around here, again? Time to pile on layers of clothing and warm socks, and get back to quilting!
  I finished quilting the patio door panels that I had started years ago for my previous home in North Carolina. I cut one of them down to fit the window in the studio and the other will help keep the chill out on the patio door down there. Super simple, just half a jelly roll, cut into 10" lengths and sewn end-to- end. Right now I'm waiting for a magnetic curtain rod for the metal door.


I just combined several of my favorite motifs for the quilting.

On another topic, do you ever have too many projects you want to do all at the same time? I know you do. I'm right there, right now. The other day, I decided I needed some sort of plan. So I listed the few UFO's, active projects under way, patterns to publish, tasks with deadlines, etc. Not to mention tasks with deadlines. But we can't let the deadlines rule our quilting lives!

So, here's my challenge to you and me, today. Go to your studio today for at least 15 minutes and do something "quilty" that doesn't have a timeline! Make one block, clean out the bobbin area, look at 2 quilting magazines, etc. Relax in something quilty.

Now have a lovely day spending time in your studio!! Let's go quilt something!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Playing with blocks and other endeavors

Free Wheelin'
The little quilt I've been showing you is finished! As you may know, it is the Quilt of the Month for the Appalachian Heritage Quilters guild for February.  Usually, I am scrambling to get the QOM quilts finished before the meeting - but I got 'er done early this time.

The block for this quilt is called the 10-minute block.

 There is a 5-minute block, too, which is basically, half of the 10-minute one. It forms a 3-D triangle! 'Thing is, if you have a lot of these babies in a quilt - it is a bear to quilt. So, if you decide to do something with the 5-minute block, keep the need for quilting space in mind.


Another little block I played with is the "exploding" block. It is made without a single 1/2 or 1/4 square triangle! Eeezy-Peezy. 

With no pressing projects nagging at me, today was Label Day. I already had the labels made for 4 quilts - and it was time to attach them. I am a big proponent of putting labels on quilts. If you have bought any of my patterns (My Craftsy Patterns), you have seen the "Apply the Label" section, and know why. 

When Mother died, she had 2 unfinished quilts. I took the top that was finished, and my DS took the unfinished one. The problem was that we had no clue who had made either of them. It could have been Granny, my great aunt, or Mother. So now, I try to keep info in each project box about the project, and put an informative label on the finished quilt. I hope you do, too. It's important. Your heirs may long for a sense of who you were. They will want to feel connected to you, even if they never knew you personally. 

Let's get back to quilting (and labeling)!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

It's always something..

Do you have a chronic syndrome of some kind when it comes to quilting? No? Lucky you! I seem to have two of them.
  1. Buying the wrong amount of fabric. How does that happen? I look at my yardage chart and double check it. Maybe I switch numbers subconsciously in my head, or blurt it out wrong, or just not look at the yardage chart. Who knows....

  2. Cutting wrong! Which sometimes means I have to buy more fabric. I've had to do this more than once with the same quilt!  Thankfully, I buy about 1/4 yd extra all the time, which often is plenty to achieve a full recovery from my mistake.
Taking off the borders
It was #2 that got me, yesterday. When I finished the top, I put it up on the design wall to admire my work. GAK! It was awful. Just looked silly. The inner border was too wide and just overwhelmed the quilt. "But, I'm always so careful" I said to myself. Well, apparently not. I double checked my design and my cutting instructions. Sure enough, the design (on EQ7 software) specified a 1" border, and I had cut my strips for a 2" border.

So, off came the borders.

Finish quilt top (Free Wheelin', Feb QOM)
Today, I finished "un-sewing" both borders, re-cut the inner border, and re-applied  them. Much better! Now, I'm just waiting for my quilting thread to arrive so I can finish it up.  You can find pictures of the block construction here: Free Wheelin' Block Construction .

Enjoy your week. Now let's quilt!