Thursday, December 30, 2010

Building New Skills in 2011

In a Yahoo! group the members have assembled a list of skills to build in 2011. I like the idea of skill building topics for the year. I don't want to be the same quilter in 2011 I was in 2010. I want to grow and strive to fearlessly undertake challenging projects in order to improve. The skill for January is 'y seams'. I don't mind them by machine or by hand, and I am inclined to join in the fun. Are you?

If you are interested in skill building around 'y seams' consider this primer or read through this pattern.

There are inspiring photos posted by Taryn, Kathie, more Kathie, Lori, Marti Mitchell and photos on Ms. Brackman's Material Culture blog with information about a stars quilt study in Oregon and later in Indiana, USA. Here is one I may consider, just the right size! A lovely antique carolina lily and another carolina lily with gorgeous feathers.

There is even a lone star sew along by Lyn Brown beginning in January.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ringing in the New Year

You cannot plough a field
by turning it over in your mind.

~Author Unknown

I create so many quilts in my mind and begin only a small percentage of them, and finish an even smaller percentage of those. Understandably so, since I have a fondness for English paper piecing. On the upside, I have a variety of projects to choose from when I have time to sew. Perhaps I should create smaller projects?!

Additionally, my workspace is small and I think that makes me resistant to getting the tops together, basting and quilting them. Though I do believe I am fortunate to have a space to sew, however congested it is. Miniature quilts are sure cute ~ that is a definite possibility, or maybe quilting as I go.

My space is not too small, it is just small enough that I shy away from assembling blocks and getting the quilt sandwiched and quilted. Anyhow, I resolve to finish two of my works in progress in 2011 and to better organize my space. I have some ideas about reorganizing and we will see how it comes together. Also, I'll make one Whig's Defeat block (inspiration here, possible pattern here) ...and if I love doing that one block I'll make more. Oh, and play with some wool.

Other quilters with thoughts on ringing in the new year: Bonnie K. Hunter, Kristy, ABCs of Quilting and a site with many links, Elizabeth.

I am grateful to have this week off work. Aside from baking and cooking a lot...I have been working on a little something for a friend's baby boy and am still piecing a few for steps 3 and 5 (have not begun step 6 yet either) of Bonnie's Roll Roll Cotton Boll. This mystery has me completely in the dark. According to the most recent mystery clue we will begin block assembly with step 7 which will be released on Friday...and I am looking forward to the possibility of a bit of a reveal too.

If you're feeling a little like a mystery there are a few New Year mysteries going on here, one here, another here, and yet another here. That should keep us busy! Actually I am not sewing a new mystery to start off 2011. Instead I will continue with RRCB, the Thread Head sew along (which I am doing in honor of the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War) and begin on my list of resolutions.

Best wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous 2011.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

merry and bright

First things first. I did include the fly fabric in my string blocks! I have been sewing along and keeping up (for the most part) with the mystery. I've also been anticipating each clue for the Quiltville mystery, next one comes out early tomorrow morning...and I can't wait!

So in between steps I have been...

Working...and doing a little shopping, baking and wrapping of course!

Winning. Thanks to Angie and Allison I won a machine quilting book and some lovely charm squares. The book is an excellent resource and will help me along the free motion quilting journey. The charms are a really fun assortment ~ see how Allison sewed them up into a quilt here. These gifts are so inspiring. Thank you ladies.

Beginning. In honor of the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War I have started the Thread Head Quilt Along in civil war fabrics. The blocks are not necessarily from the CW era. I may do a few substitutions. This is a way I have chosen to commemorate it, there are so many ways! Perhaps make a red, green and white quilt? You could sew CW era blocks from scraps or yardage of CW era fabric, use CW fabrics to sew up something that catches your eye, or sew a quilt that somehow connects 2011 to 1861 for you. Maybe a sashed sampler with one block each from the 1860s, 1870s, 1880s, and so on?

Thread Head's block #2 squared up and ready to sew together

Reading blogs. Incredible ~ see this story ~ a woman sold her crazy quilt for a tidy sum. Congratulations to her and many thanks for educating those who don't sew and don't know what goes into doing what we do.

May your days be merry and bright! My wish is you have some time to relax, slow down and reflect...and put a little needle and thread to fabric if you please.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Uglies ~ What to do?

Of course I have been sewing along with Bonnie K. Hunter's Roll Roll Cotton Boll mystery on the Quiltville site. Currently we're on step three which uses many neutral strips and strings to make string blocks. Bonnie encourages sewists to be daring, to use not only white on white or tone on tones, but to use fabrics with neutral backgrounds and also have some color, and to use ugly fabrics (they'll be cut up's okay!).

So, a thread in the the Yahoo! group chat has turned to the ugliest fabric. My fellow Quiltvillian Quilting Bibliophagist posted a reproduction conversational fabric with flies on it. made me think of this fabric of mine...yes a different fly fabric. Who would have thought...and if there are two fly fabrics there are probably more.

Anyway, here is my ugly fabric that could be incorporated into this quilt.

Look at the detail on those legs and the gray and black abdomens. Gorgeous, no? And like QB I am wondering why I purchased this ~ but I believed they were bees ~ and somehow that would have been better?!

So the thoughts creep in...

Shall I? Really?'s only one fat quarter.

But they're one and a quarter inches across the wings...and *whoa* it's really ugly.
Bonnie would add them in. I do mysteries to stretch myself.

This is challenging and not in the way I expected.

Hmmm...what to do??


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Winner of the Magazine

I re-consulted and Kathleen C. is the winner (previous winner is unfortunately a no contact information available Blogger).

Hi Kathleen, Congratulations! I emailed you and just need your mailing information and will send your new magazine to you!