Monday, April 14, 2014

In the mood for zippers

The Michael Miller Petal Pinwheels challenge fabric arrived, and I was one of the cutting volunteers.  Bundles of six fabrics - fat eighths - were created, and I took mine home.  Using just these six fabrics and 4 zippers, I did a Sew Together bag.  Just a smidge of fabric was left over. These fabrics are not quite my style, but this little bag is pretty nifty.  Now, to find a worthy recipient...   And scroll down for the final pictures of a Baby Trip Around the World for Olivia, the great granddaughter of Joyce!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Baby Trip and a new Aeroplane

Here's a new Baby Trip Around the World for a client.  And an almost-finished Aeroplane Bag that needs some finessing.  The little pile of Kona cottons is for a high school senior from Riverside-Brookfield who is going to Grand Valley State in Michigan - these cottons will surround his various sports jerseys.  And last, a little zippered clutch out of little leftover Marcia Derse bits for a friend who gave me a package mix of biriyani, which I have made and it was delicious. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Zipper Gift

At our last Chicago Modern Quilt Guild retreat in Racine, buddy Ebony Love gave me a special zipper.  It's purple with black and white teeth.  Wow!  I love it!  What an great reason to make a new Aeroplane Bag.  Sara L has asked if I will do both the larger and smaller Aeroplanes for her in her new line of  Jungle Fabrics for Quilt Market in May.  But I have always had a bit of trouble with the zipper on this bag.  So my goal is to get this bag all ready - black bottom, black-white stripe body, purple handles, grey lining, and two fabulous purple fat quarters (incidentally, from Ebony as well) for the pockets.  When Sara says my two kits are ready, I will drive to her house on the North Side and get a zipper lesson from the master.  Meanwhile, here are the new arrangements on the design wall:
Neutral blocks - I love this

Higher volume (and I don't like this as well...)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Process Post

Do you know about the "Process Pledge"?   Modern Quilt Blogger rOssie Hutchinson started a movement four years ago insisting that the process of quilting was just as important to blogging as the finished projects are.  I love rOssie's sensibility.  (Next fall I am going to Camp Stitchalot and rOssie is one of the hostesses - can't wait to meet her...)  So today's post is a process post.  There are now a total of 80  6" blocks - this is quite different from yesterday's post.  To make a 60" x 72" napping quilt I need 40 more blocks.  Here are my observations about what's on my design wall:

  • I think I might have two separate quilts going on here.  I love the dark blocks, and I love the light blocks but...
  • I like the little pops of color, but the two big color blocks dominate - I think I want to get rid of them
  • My favorite blocks are the ones without color.  Perhaps those should be the ones I pull.
  • The layout is pretty obvious.  I hope random is a direction I can head in.   
  • There are a couple of blocks that I love which I want to take out of this quilt and work into a different quilt.
  • I love having a design wall.  And time to play. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ah, the irony...

I fall in love with a fabric, and then I don't want to use it.  Because I love it.  And once it's gone, it's gone.  This is especially true of the line of Marcia Derse fabrics I'm so crazy about.  The red/grey/black/white Asian-ish fabrics are gone - no where to be found.  The Riverwoods Collection by the Troy Corporation is no longer being printed.  I do however have a Marcia Derse supplier on eBay - seller 22563.  Tracy sells these fabrics for $7.50/yard, and she is generous and meticulous with shipping.  So the real irony?  I have a lot of these fabrics, and I still don't want to use them.  My solution?  Cut small amounts from all fabrics and play with them.  Here's the top half of what I think will be a napping quilt.  How wonderful to have these 6.5" blocks on the design wall so I can walk by and make changes at a whim.

The additional irony of the day was losing the evergreen tree outside the studio.  I loved the birds in that three - they were chirping and living less than 6 feet from the studio windows.  But this tree did block the view completely.  As much as I loved the treehouse effect of the studio, I must admit that I love the clear view of the backyard.  Can't believe I feel so good about the loss of this tree...

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sleepless nights

 The time change and weather is wreaking havoc with my sleeping.  For two nights I mentally reconstructed this SewTogether bag by SewDemented. So I decided it was time to do another one.  And of course this one went together so much easier than the ones Sarah S and I did at the retreat.  I finished it just in time to give it to John's older sister, who will be waging a health war this spring.  I know:  zippered bags don't heal the world.  But in a way they do. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Cleaning? As if...

"Well, here's a  scrap of that great red.  And there's a strip of that lovely grey.  Think I'll sew them together.  Oh, and here's another grey.  And another red.  And some black from Ben's quilt.  And more grey.  And another piece of red. "  Suddenly I had a piece big enough for one side of a Mors bag.  "And there's the pile of scraps from the bike quilt.  Those would be great on the other side.  And more grey.  And more red." The bag is complete, and I'm having dinner with a buddy tomorrow night to celebrate her birthday.  Hmm, a present?  I think so.  The studio is still messy.  So it goes...

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Creativity vs Organization

WOW duffel/tote and a lopsided ditty bag
My little creative outburst is over for a little while.  No deadlines are looming, and there is just the usual number of UFO's in the studio. The retreat projects are complete. So now it's time to put away all the piles of fabrics and figure out - again - what to do with the scraps. If you're wondering why the ditty bag looks lopsided, it's because I didn't follow the directions - again.  Perhaps that might be my epitaph:  Could she have followed directions?  

Piles of Marcia Derse fabrics and my dad's finances

Piles of fabrics and bags and quilts

Every corner has piles of fabrics.  Here are some of the greys and reds...

Thursday, March 20, 2014


City Spokes
Amazing how deadlines creep up, like this "Modern in the City" challenge by the Naperville and Chicago Modern Quilt Guilds for the International Quilt Festival this June.  The weekend retreat in Racine brought home the urgency as I noticed several guild members working on their fabulous challenges.  After a quick trip to return Grandson #1 to Ball State and a visit with my aunt in Muncie, I continued work on this challenge.  Facebook friend Brian Jones from Indiana provided me with the inspiration photo.  Deadline is today, and this quilt is submitted - with hope of acceptance. 
"Sew Together Bag" by Sew Demented         

The weekend retreat in Racine was, as usual, delightful.  The highlight was this bag above.  Current vice-president/soon-to-be-president Sarah S did one of these, too.  The mutual handholding was instrumental in making this great little quilting tools carry-all.  There are three zippered compartments as well as four deep pockets for scissors, rotary cutters, etc. 
"Sew Together" - open view

There were two other projects that are almost finished that seemed to enjoy the car ride to and from Racine - a little ditty bag and a Wow bag.   Both are almost done.  But the big order of business is restoring order to the studio! 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to Racine I go...

I finished up this quilt of Marcia Derse fabrics last night, just in time to put it away and head off to the Siena Center in Racine.  (These fabrics are soon to be discontinued, and I have found an eBay merchant who sells these fabrics for $7.50 a yard.  Look for Private Source Quilting - and her shipping is always reasonable.  Here's a look at one-quarter of this 68" x 84" beauty.  I quilted this one myself.  My linear quilting is just fine on this quilt. (I am still hoping to have my brother professionally photo this one...)

It's always tricky planning for retreat work. I have the luxury of working large here in my studio. So at the retreats I work small.  I have kitted several projects - from a WOW duffle/tote to a new pattern by SewDemented that has 4 zippers in it.  I also packed a medium ditty bag kit and two Runaround kits.  Notice the binder of all directions - helps to stay organized in a small work space.  I don't know whether I'll get all these finished - I'm leaving the retreat early Sunday to head back to Chicago and gather my husband and grandson.  We are returning him to Muncie and Ball State and then visiting with my Aunt Betty White.  Nice little spring - er, winter - getaway!