Friday, December 31, 2010

Can Your Studio Be Too Clean?

Ah, my life is starting to get back to normal.

In preparation for Christmas, I vigorously worked to clean my quilting studio. I love to have multiple projects going but, yes, sometimes the mess takes over. So I cleaned and organized and put fabric away. I piled all my quilting magazines in one place (and I hoped the floor didn't cave in.)

My studio was pretty near spotless and looked fabulous if you like a big empty room. But...that is where the problem came in. It was blank and when I walked in to start working, my mind also went blank. A perfect room, no ideas...... Too clean, no direction, no project pulling me in.

Fortunately, my husband needed a storage box and I had the perfect one half full of fabric. I dumped it out and offered him the box. Perfect for him, perfect for me. As I walked back into my studio and saw a pile of fabric, ideas started to flow again. Happy Day.

Moral of story: Cleaning can be dangerous to your health. Your inspirational health, that is.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Is There Such a Thing as Ugly Fabric?

Every time I look at this quilt, it brings a smile to my face because I won a lot of the fabric in an "Ugly Christmas Fabric" contest. One year our guild decided this would be a fun competition and a way to purge our stash of unwanted fabric. I had a Santa fabric that revealed him as a drugged out version of his normal jolly self. (Maybe this is what he looks like at the end of his long ride?) Needless to say, it couldn't be topped and I won the pile of "ugly" fabrics.

After cutting the fabric and stitching it into this snail's trail pattern, I found I had, not a quilt of uglies, but a colorful scrap quilt. This brings up the question. Can there really be an ugly fabric? Or, in their proper place, do we love them all?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Time to find the Christmas Quilts


Holiday Melodies
55" x 67"
Sharon V. Rotz

With Christmas only 10 days away and the temperature outside 25 degrees below zero, it definitely time to get out the Christmas quilts. In our house, they certainly serve double duty bringing in the spirit of the season as well as keeping our guests warm.

Because I love Christmas and the red and green color combination, I have made several. I will share some with you in the coming days.

Do you have a favorite Christmas quilt or wall hanging?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What I (Re)-learned in my Daily Quilting

No, no, never, never. This is not a good plan. Knock my over the head with a bolt of fabric the next time I decide to bind anything with 1" strips.

I was running short of fabric, nothing new there. I always think I can make a quilt out of a fat quarter. I didn't plan to use the black as the binding so, of course, there wasn't enough. That's how the 1" strips came about.

I used my Clover bias tape maker to fold lovely binding strips. Mentally, it seems mathematically correct to cut 1" strips to make a 1/4" binding. But we all know, they are just too narrow to wrap around the edge. But now I've committed myself to making it work.

After tugging and pulling and admonishing myself, I got the strips around the edge and zigzagged on. I don't normally zigzag binding, but then, these were placemats and will be washed often.

Never again, lesson re-learned.

Ha, ha, joke's on me: I just found more black fabric.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Merry Christmas cards

I'm not really good about sending out Christmas cards, but this idea is so much fun that maybe I'll be motivated -- at least to make them. Still don't know if they will get in the mail.

I was inspired by a post on the Quilting Arts blog. Every card will have its own personality as you cut and stitch. You can use up scraps and creative bits from your studio. Each one becomes a miniature work of art.

Now that I've reread the instructions, I've found that I followed them, could you say, rather "creatively". It was the idea that started me going, yes, going off in my own direction as usual. But, of course, it doesn't matter where our creativity, our art leads, we are here for the excitement of the experience.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Treasured Christmas gifts

This is the time of year that we are busy choosing the right gift for our family and friends. We are bombarded with advertisements on every side. So much to choose from, which way to turn.

As quilters and artists, it is the perfect time to share our talents with those we love. There are few things as treasured as a gift made with our own two hands. Above is a pillow that my mother made. My mother doesn't quilt but does lovely handwork. Each time I look at it, I think of her. She is always eager to try something new and she has taught me to always give my best effort to the job.

As I am working on projects for my family, I have time to think of them and the joy each of them have brought into my life. The time we share together is the true gift of the season.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

East Iowa Heirloom Quilters

Even though we enjoy those quiet moments when we are closeted in our studios which just a pile of fabric and our sewing machines, nothing is more stimulating than sharing time with other quilters.

I have such a fun time working with the East Iowa Heirloom Quilters in Cedar Rapids, IA. I had the opportunity to share my "freedom" log cabin block ideas in an afternoon class and some of the students showed off their handiwork in the evening.

I have to admit that I have never laughed so hard giving a lecture as I did that evening. We had one of those moments when everything is hilarious. (Well, maybe they were really laughing at me, not with me, but I refuse to think that way!) Such a fabulous group of quilters. This is what quilting should be about, sharing ideas, laughing and filling our lives with joy.

Thanks ladies, for the opportunity to meet you and, for a moment, share your lives.

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