The Quilt That Refuses to Be

Every time I try to work on this Feathered Lone Star quilt with the bird embroidery, I am forcibly reminded of Candy Goff’s Misery Quilt. You must go read that story. Don’t worry, I’ll be here when you get back.

Now, my quilt started innocently enough, really, about three or four years ago. I wanted to make something different, but small-ish, to enter into the AQS show that year. Life got in the way, and the pieces are still sitting here waiting for me to put them together. I pulled it all out earlier this year to see what I could do with it, and maybe finish it up for the Houston show this year. I wanted to do something a little different with the setting, and the only fabric I had that I liked, I didn’t have enough of. (How this could be, when I have this much fabric in my house, is beyond me!) I carried all the parts with me to the States when I went to the Diane Gaudynski workshop in Paducah, and looked in every quilt shop we could find between Nashville and Paducah, but couldn’t find any more of what I really wanted, nor could I find something else to substitute that I really liked.

After I came home and I started thinking about selling my Pfaff embroidery machine so I could get the Bernina 440, I had a sudden inspiration about this quilt, and decided I wanted to put machine embroidery in the setting squares around the star, which meant that if I sold the Pfaff, I’d have to get the embroidery unit for the Bernina 440 right away if I wanted to do this quilt. I made that happen, and did test stitch outs of all the birds I wanted to use, purchased more thread, and things were just clipping along, except for the missing fabric, of course. I did finally settle on something else that’s a different color, but it gives the same effect so it’ll probably work out okay. I got all the birds done, and I put the whole kit and kaboodle up on the design wall to see if it was going to really work. I had cut the curvy pieces to fuse to the outside edges of the bird blocks, and thought I liked the way it looked. I fused all the pieces, then had second thoughts. And third thoughts. And then I didn’t like it at all. Continue reading “The Quilt That Refuses to Be”

Fabric by the pound…

I finally got around to moving my two tall shelves full of tone-on-tone fabrics today, with ITMan’s help. As I was loading the folded fabrics into laundry baskets to move it downstairs, I thought it might be interesting to weigh it, just for curiosity’s sake. So one laundry basket full weighed about 35 pounds, and I had six baskets from those two shelves. I also have about three more baskets full of all my print fabrics in another dresser. Then there are the eight Rubbermaid tubs of fat quarters, which I estimate might fill up one more basket full. I realize that there’s probably quite a bit of room for error here, and this is not all uncut yardage, either. Oh, and there are some bags of true scraps around as well not included in this total.

Oh dear. I’m not sure I really want to know how much that might be in yards, but here goes: That comes to 10 baskets full, times 35 pounds per basket, for 350 pounds. I weighed a one yard piece of fabric, straight off the bolt, and it comes in at 4.5 ounces. So then you multiply 350 pounds by 16 to get the total ounces, and divide by 4.5, for a whopping 1,244 yards!!! WOW! I think that’s it for the math today, because I’m absolutely not going to think in dollars about all that. Um, can you say fabric diet???

Off the Bookshelf: Puzzle Quilts by Paula Nadelstern

Puzzle Quilts

Puzzle Quilts,
by Paula Nadelstern

Actually, this book hasn’t even been on the bookshelf yet, since I just got it! I finished devouring it yesterday while I waited for my daughter at her flute lesson. I love it! It’s just so yummy that devouring is the perfect word!

This new book by Paula Nadelstern is the first new quilt book I’ve purchased in a long while, and I’m happy to report that it was a completely satisfying purchase. I have her other two books, Kaleidoscopes & Quilts and Snowflakes & Quilts, and to be honest, while the books are stunning visually, and her methods and techniques are interesting and produce exciting quilts, I’m just not sure I’d ever really make a quilt like that. I’ve looked at those two books a lot, but I’ve never been inspired enough to go there (yet).

Puzzle Quilts, however, may just be a different story altogether. I know I read the other two books (I mean really read them, not just perused them), and they just didn’t strike the same chord of inspiration, the “I want to make something with this method NOW” burn. Continue reading “Off the Bookshelf: Puzzle Quilts by Paula Nadelstern”

Creativity back on track, I think

It’s looking better than it was on Sunday, anyway. I went to the fabric shops as planned today, and didn’t find exactly what I needed (now why doesn’t that surprise me??), but did find some hopefuls. I didn’t get to play right away though, because the day was rather full, with an appointment to make my hair behave again bright and early (note to self: no more appointments out of the house before 10:00 a.m.!). So, at 7:45 a.m., I’m cruising through morning traffic to make it to my 8:00 hair appointment more or less on time.

I took a new quilt book with me, as well as my fiction fix of the moment just in case the quilt book didn’t keep me occupied long enough for my hair to lose it’s dark roots and be beautiful again. I just got Puzzle Quilts by Paula Nadelstern in the mail from Amazon last week, and haven’t really looked at it completely yet. This wonderful book completely occupied me for my whole appointment, and I’ve still not gotten through it all. It’s not even that long, just so absolutely stunning and absorbing that I was happy to just stare at the beautiful quilts and blocks in it. A more complete review will follow, but I don’t want to get sidetracked with that quite yet.

Back to the creativity/fabric issue. After the hair was taken care of, I headed over to Patchcom to visit Birgit, in hopes of finding the perfect fabric to solve my current quilting woes. Well, the perfect fabric wasn’t there, but I did pick up a couple of things (who can resist??), one of which I thought might help the problem, if not solve it precisely, and the other was just a “gotta have” fabric. I made my way to the Gussy Goose after that (via the insurance company to renew the insurance on the house and DH’s truck since it’s that time again), and there was no perfect fabric there either, Continue reading “Creativity back on track, I think”

Forgetting what you know…a quilter’s tale of woe

New pillowsI have these lovely throw pillows on my couch and loveseat. Not quilted ones, just your average throw pillows with feathers inside, some in burgundy and some in jade green. These are luscious fabrics, too; the burgundy ones are taffeta, and the green ones are (were) silk dupioni. Therein lies the rub: the silk dupioni is not exactly durable fabric. I bought these pillow covers at a department store two or three years ago. If I’d made them myself to begin with, I’d either have not used the dupioni fabric at all, or I’d have backed it with something to keep it from falling apart so soon.

Surely in my copious fabric stash there would be something the right color and style. And how hard could a couple of pillow covers be, anyway?

They’ve been coming apart at the seams, literally, for a couple of years and I’ve been diligently looking for more in just the right shade of green, without luck at all. Today when I was putting the living room back together after the Christmas decorations came down, I decided I was never going to find the right covers to replace these tattered things, so I needed to just make my own. Surely in my copious fabric stash there would be something the right color and style. And how hard could a couple of pillow covers be, anyway? I do know how to make clothing and home dec items, after all, I did plenty of that kind of thing before I ever made quilts.

It’s amazing what you forget with time though. Continue reading “Forgetting what you know…a quilter’s tale of woe”

Quilting Warm Fuzzy Feelings #5

Mmmm....Quilting!When you’ve found the perfect fabric for a quilt in your stash and you don’t have enough, but your favorite quilt shop comes through with the perfect replacement, and plenty of it!

Talk about a “make my day moment” and a WFF all in one! I’m planning a new quilt, and of course I had the perfect background fabric, but not enough of it. I tried a couple of other things from my stash, and none would do as well as the fabric I really wanted to use. I even called my buddy Liz to see if she had this fabric-from-who-knows-how-many-years-ago, and believe it or not, she not only knew exactly what fabric I was talking about without seeing it (scary), she found some in her sewing room!

Alas, even with her yardage, I was still coming up short, since I needed seven yards or something like that. I’d even ordered something from a shop on the internet, even though I didn’t figure it would be right when it got here. This is the downside to working from your fabric stash. Sometimes, desperation sets in. So in desperation, I went out to Patchcom to visit Birgit today, and she hooked me up with the perfect thing. It’s a fabric from the Krystals line from Michael Miller, and it’s no wonder that I found the perfect thing, since there are 180 different colors in that line I think.

To top off my good fortune and Warm Fuzzy Feelings, the fabric wasn’t even that expensive! I don’t buy a whole lot of fabric from German shops, because of the price difference partly due to the weak dollar, but when you have to have it, well, you just have to have it, and it’s definitely a bonus if it’s semi-cheap! I’m off to wash my fabric, and count this a successful and productive day, and it’s only early afternoon. Cheers!