Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Quilters Sew-In/ Sleep-Out

Last week my DH was up at the Campbell Folk School assisting a class for wood turners. I would be envious, but I'll be there soon, teaching the week of March 4--9!
Meanwhile, I decided to have a Sew-In/ Sleep-Out. That means I have plenty of room for people to come over and quilt, but they have to go home to sleep.
Cherry-cherry came over every day and put a huge dent in her UFO pile. 
Batiks, a machine and some good chocolate!
I was too busy and she was so fast, I didn't get pictures of everything!
The quilt above was just a few blocks at the guild's November retreat, and now it just needed some borders. In fact, a lot of the quilts just needed a border or some little thing.
The Eternal UFO Question: why didn't we finish it when there was so little left to do?
Here's another that has been hanging around for years:
It only needed more cherries!
Wow, that was a Mystery Quilt class inspired by a pattern in "Batik Beauties" by Laurie J. Shifran (Martingale) that I saw in a magazine! Cherry-cherry set it in a totally different way and added applique.
Fused applique, of course.

Rita came over, and also my wonderful daughter-in-law and the Divas on Devon. Thanks to DeLuna for bringing pizzas Tuesday night!

I was hard at work finishing my new Groundhog Day pattern. Take a little peek:
Groundhog Day: The scrappy version
I'll be talking more about this soon. Those pink and green batiks were fun to sew with!
Stay tuned for tomorrow...because it is Groundhog Day!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Applique is a "piece o' cake"

Becky Goldsmith of  Piece O' Cake Designs came to my guild for a lecture and class. She had a wonderful presentation about color and fabric.
Quilt is copyright of Piece O'Cake Designs
Her slides were very educational, especially when she showed the same quilt pattern done two different ways. One had a rich brown background, and the other was white, with identical appliques. They barely looked alike!
Becky shared an important (for me) message to say goodbye to fabrics that are taking up space. She is obviously a neater person than I, but it's still true! She uses "excess fabric" to make the backs for her quilts....often wild large prints (think Kaffe Fassett).
The day after the lecture I attended Becky's needle-turn applique class. I love it when teachers use a camera and projector to demo their techniques, especially hand stitching.
Becky Goldsmith (standing)
When people like Becky and her Piece O'Cake partner Linda Jenkins are so well known it's because they are good at what they do. These ladies have great designs, and Becky is a terrific teacher. She did a wonderful job of explaining each step and was especially helpful in describing hand positions.
Take a class from her....buy one of the books or DVDs...you'll enjoy them, even if you never take a stitch!
The Piece O' Cake method involves tracing the pattern onto upholstery vinyl for placement:
On my design wall back at home
This was a much better process than I thought it would be. I am not going to tell you all about it, because it's Becky's class....so again, sign up for one when you can (if you are at all interested in "the A word")!

Here's another view of part of the quilt, so you don't have to scroll up..
Still copyrighted by Piece O' Cake!
Just look at that border...it's really several fabrics! And the leaves are similar values but not all the same.
Just a couple of things to consider when you are choosing fabrics. Loosen up some and take a few chances!
I may never do a lot of needle-turn applique, but I truly enjoyed learning the Piece O'Cake way!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Miracle in the Quilt Studio!

Have you ever felt like someone or something is trying to give you a message? The same topic comes up over and over from totally different places?
I got a message recently. It was "Time to say goodbye....to fabric you won't be using." It appeared in books, on blogs, and was even part of the Becky Goldsmith lecture at my guild meeting!
This is why:
And you know this is not the entire stash...

You have seen my studio in it's "natural" state, and this mess is usually behind closed doors....well, when it's possible to close them! Basically the stacks are done by color (the blues are in the lower part of the cupboard).
But what's here is mainly fabric I have had for a long time. A really long time.
I'd rather have all my batiks out their storage boxes and on display here...so I must say goodbye.
I started off with the reds. I thought I might be able to deal with this mess one stack at a time. I got about 6 fabrics out, and they sat for several days on my table.
Then, in a sudden burst of inspiration one night, I rooted through almost everything. I tried to be ruthless. This is what I got:
More than a laundry basket load!
Some of this will be donated to good causes, some given to friends, and the rest will be made into patchwork backings for quilts (the larger pieces) and anything else will be stripped up.
Now I have this to look at:
Who knew this cupboard has a back?
These fabrics will trade places with the batiks when I get to the next phase of this project. And there's the bottom section of the cupboard to do as well...never any lack of Things To Do!
It's important to remember that anything done is better than nothing done. Even avoiding one task by doing another is OK when you're making progress somewhere.
(at least that's what I tell myself....)
But it's still a miracle for this packrat's studio!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year...New Look!

Yes, you are in the right place...this is still Patchwork Pie!
I just decided to change to a cleaner look, as the old template was about to be classified as "retro"! Let me know if you like it.
And in the general realm of cleaning up, some small progress is made in the studio:
See the previous post for the "before" picture
I said it was small progress!
Instead of 2 boxes out from the wall, now it's only 1. And I had an amazing discovery when I got down to box that was on the bottom:

Like finding a treasure chest
There was a whole 24 x 12 x 6 box of batiks I had forgotten about! All different colors, fat quarters and yards...I do remember having them, but obviously not where I had put them!
So here they are in my office with the other batiks, and I'll be sorting them back into the color family collections.
This is why cleaning up is such a problem....it leads to so many more Things To Do!

At least it can still considered studio work. Otherwise, I would have to fall back on one of my favorite quotes:

"Housework won't kill you....but why take a chance?"
                                                                         --- Phyllis Diller