Thursday, November 21, 2013

Is There a Penalty for Working on Too Many Projects at Once?

When you get creative, does it hit you a bit at a time? Or does it come? POW, SMASH YOU IN THE FACE POWERFUL?

How many projects can successfully be managed at one time?

I started out with a lovely hand-dyed scarf that I chose to embellish (check out The Art Quilt Blog for details.) This led to an idea for a quilt using the scarf. After finding fabric selections, they divided themselves into, not one, but two quilt ideas.

Now, not only is my design wall but my floor is covered with fabric, some of which is cut and starting to take shape.

The fabric search led to one pile of fabrics (put together but never used for a long forgotten project) that had more than I now need. My mind flies, of course. What can I do with the left-overs?

The next thing I'm doing is cutting this left-over fabric into strips. Out comes more stash fabric. It is getting a little hard to see the floor now as I step carefully across the room.

Oh no, now some of my left-overs have morphed into a second project.

Well, I really have to run now. My projects are shouting!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Are You Really in the Ditch? Or Are You Just Riding on the Shoulder?

This variation of a log cabin block is quite dramatic with assorted colors alternating with solid black strips. Each quarter of the block is made individually by starting with a small black square and adding strips on only two sides of the square.  The four quarters are then joined to made the complete block.

In this case, I chose to quilt by stitching in the ditch. There is enough movement happening.  I didn't feel that I had to add more with the quilting.

Often we, as quilters are taught, press the seam allowances to one side or the other.  When we attempt   to stitch in the ditch, we try to stay on the "non-seam allowance" side of the seam. 
We make our best effort to ride the shoulder!

By pressing the seam allowances open, not only does the seam lie flatter but we can actually stitch in the ditch of the opened seam allowance. Our stitches become truly invisible. (Yes, the quilting has been completed in the close-up photo.)

My pillow top quilted with invisible stitches in the ditch.

Another pillow to add to my collection. 
I love the drama of the black vs. color!

May you be blessed with a bright and sunny day.

My pattern "Pizza Box
uses these blocks and
is available for purchase 
Linked to:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

From Strips to Tote

While the pressing, cutting and stitching were relaxing and enjoyable, now it's time to create.

By dividing my strips into color families, I made red, green and blue braiding strips. 

It is fun to see the random patterns that develop as I braid the strips together. 
Wow, where did all these fabrics come from? 
Some were old favorites that I'm happy to have leave my stash. Some of the fabrics are more current favorites that still brighten my day. Together they work to create a colorful bag.

I love the serendipity of the braids as I lace them together.

Row after row is added until I reach a desirable size.

The ends of the braids are encased in a binding similar to how I would finish the edge of my quilts.  It is so satisfying to see the ragged, stringy edges disappear and a smooth, neat edge appear.

Just in time, my new braided tote ready for use.  
The weather is cooling and this will be a perfect match for my warmer coat. Red, of course!

Instructions for a similar tote are in my book,  
"Designer Bags and Totes" available through Herrschners.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Simple Joys of Sewing

Do you appreciate the simple joys of sewing?

There is joy in pressing over a crumbled piece of fabric and creating a beautiful smooth surface. As I press, I enjoy the pattern of the fabric, the texture as I run my hand across the now flat surface, and the anticipation of beginning a new project.

There is joy in picking up my rotary cutter, trimming the ragged edge and making those perfect cuts. Trimming the threads and revealing a clean edge gives me a feeling of order in my world.

There is joy in stitching. It is the joy of creating by joining of two fabrics together and then two more  until I have made a design.  

Today, I am thankful for small blessings as I work in my studio. May your day be blessed as well.

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