Monday, January 2, 2017

First in 2017

Sometimes I think about quitting. You know, no longer making quilts. Would my life be easier? Less busy? More fulfilled because I'd focus on other things? Then I look at my stash and tell myself, "Sew what you have, and then stop quilting."

So, I pull out another project and keep keep makin' - I adore seeing a finish! - and I find I'm again caught up in the excitement of creating. Choosing fabrics (I've never bought a quilt kit and never will. Where's the fun in letting someone else pick fabrics?!) always gets my juices flowing, and such was the case on New Year's Day.

This is the "Wiggle Me Colourful" quilt, found on Sandy's blog UpStairHobbyRoom.

Her quilt was sewn, cut and pieced from batik jelly rolls. I don't like batiks or jelly rolls, so I figured how to apply her design to my own kind of piecing - scrappy!

Over the past year, going to Big Cypress Quilters almost every Tuesday afternoon, I've been piecing on my highly portable - like carry it in a tote bag over my shoulder! - Janome Derby machine.

I made 66 colorful print "bars" using scrappy 2-1/2" squares. Yesterday I put the pieced bars on my design wall, and cut and arranged around them neutral background strips from text prints.

For the in-between/background, I'd originally thought to just use plain Kona White. Boring. Then I thought one print would be more interesting, but I'd have to order a two-yard piece of fabric. I settled on cutting 2-1/2" strips from about 24 text prints - the right way to use what I already have.

I've organized the rows, and will take everything to Big Cypress Quilters to begin sewing together the pieced bars and text strips. Clover Wonder Clips are great for holding parts together!

The quilt top will be about 56" X 66".

On New Year's Eve I sewed together the 8" blocks I'd sewn onto telephone book foundation papers. I swear that it took as long to remove the papers as it did to make the blocks! But well-worth the effort for the resulting quilt top. I used up lots of fabric strips, so I'm calling this a "free" quilt.

This quilt top measures about 64" X 80". 

As usual, I don't have a home for either of the above rainbow-ish quilts. (Sis, Cousin Barb, Cousin Ginny... when they're finished do you want one? I'm sure none of you have bright colors in your homes, but if you'd like a cheery spot of color, let me know!)

I also finished crocheting my fabric throw rug that's now alongside my side of the bed. I love it! It's 35" X 45" and only needs a rubber mat under it so some morning I don't go gliding out of bed. If you'd like to crochet your own fabric rug, CrazyMomQuilts, Amanda Jean, has a tutorial here. I'm saving strips for another one.

Tip: Strip-cut and save the unprinted selvage edge of fabric yardage - the one that's plain, and is usually tossed. I cut off between 3/4" and 1" of the selvage. It's perfect for crocheting.

Weekend quilting found me doing my bit on our Central Florida Modern Quilt Guild's QuiltCon Charity Quilt. I quilted two sections: the blue swirling waters, and the sand.

About 14 members of our chapter participated in piecing the quilt top, three of us pin-basted it, and two of us are quilting it. We're aiming to get volunteers to add binding, and a sleeve for hanging at QuiltCon.

The quilt backing is a popular Carrie Bloomston print called Newspaper, and was donated by Al from Sharky's Vac 'n Sew.

It'll be great to see the Charity Quilt Challenge display at QuiltCon. Quilts will be hung around the perimeter of the lecture hall where everyone has a chance to see every chapter's interpretation of "scale" and how they used some or all of the eight colors we were limited to. Our chapter used all eight colors to make "Paradise Central." When QuiltCon is over, quilts will be returned to chapters for donation as the chapter chooses.

Happily, I've jumped into 2017 creating! Now I'm wondering if I should come up with a word for the year. Linda


KaHolly said...

Bright and beautiful! That's what I think of when I think of you! Happy 2017! XO

Debbie said...

Whew. I'm glad you decided to keep quilting...for now. I wonder the same thing sometimes. But not for long... ;-)

Susan Snooks said...

I was only thinking the same thing the other day...maybe I should pursue another creative activity? And then I look at my stash and realise I need to keep sewing to use up all that fabric! Love the zigzag scrappy quilt top! I have that one on my list, hopefully for 2017! Happy sewing!

Sue said...

You must be kidding!!! Stop QUILTING?? I couldn't stop as I love it too much. I think your scrappy quilts are gorgeous - all of them.
By the way Happy New Year - and - I'll be a cousin! haha!

Karen said...

So fun, you put me to shame!! Love the wiggle quilt.

Quilting Babcia said...

Even thinking about quitting quilting would make me sad. It's what keeps me sane! I hope to never be forced to give up quilting because of failing health. We had a 93 year young member of the quilt guild I attended in Oregon who still made three donation baby quilts every month, she was still happily "using up her stash." We all wished we could keep up with her!

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Some wonderful bright & cheerful projects on the go, I love them all! And your fabric rug looks great, am tempted to give this a go too!

Michele said...

Creating always restarts the love affair with this hobby. I'm glad you aren't quitting. I love what you've done so far.

Mary said...

Love your version of the wiggle me colorful quilt, and I'm glad to hear about a portable machine. I have a wonderful "primary" machine, but it weights a ton and I sometimes think of getting a "little" one for retreats, etc.

OPQuilt said...

I'm happy to meet another person like me who doesn't like jelly rolls. I think I've purchased a total of ONE in my life, and finally just took it apart and made a quilt last year, after owning it for many. I used to use batiks a ton, but they, also, have slid from my likes.
Your quilts in this post are all so beautiful, and I laughed when you said it took you as long to get the paper off the back as it did to make the quilt. I've had that experience, too!
As far as quilting, and is it something we love...I think there are many things we could use to express our creative lives, from quilting to embroidery to photography to sewing clothes to singing and dancing, etc. I used to worry about what I would do when I couldn't quilt any more (hopefully never) but now feel less worried about that, as there are many ways to be creative. At this time, I just like quilting the best!


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