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!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Fabric Crush, Part 3

I am still for sure crushing on the remainder of this Marcia Derse fabric.  Apparently a zippered bag, an Aragon Bag, and a bed quilt aren't enough.  Here's a newly-finished little RunAround and the parts for a three-zippered compartment sewing ditty bag. 

I actually have made progress on this quilt, also of Marcia Derse fabrics.  The top half is together - the bottom half will be shortly.  I did have a leave a space just as little walk-through.

 A detour in the adventures this week involved some Jinny Beyer border prints.  A few years ago my sister and I gave our sister-in-law Kim, the one who cares for our parents, two kits for placemats and table runner.  I know Kim likes these fabrics.  But the timing just hasn't been right for her to work on these projects (note:  Kim is a master quilter who excels at piecing and FMQ).  Last week I volunteered to take these kits home and work on them. 
The fussy cutting became annoying - just because it's not the kind of work I like to do.  But I did have some thermal batting left over.  Now Kim has a purple table runner which is also a hot pad, six teal placemats batted with Warm and Natural, and two hot pads also of the teal fabrics.  What I gave back to Kim is finished and usable but needs quilting.  Right up her alley!
These projects involve mirror images.  

While all Jinny Beyer products I've purchased have been generous with fabrics, the teal kit wasn't.  I wound up piecing the back of one of the placemats. 

March.  With new snow on the ground, it's hard to believe winter's almost over.  But it is.  Finally.