Posted on

Mojo Free

This quilt has been a tough one for me.  I know.  That’s sounds silly to me, too.  But I just never got my typical quilt mojo going with this one.  
But, even mojo free, This one needed finishing.  I picked the edging material out of my stash.  Not perfect but my original thought was using the same material as the backing and that looked terrible. 
With that decision made, I had to plan my CHOPPING IT IN HALF approach.  Scary.
So, the plan was only just coming together in my head when I started cutting. 
 I started by trimming the excess backing and batting which needs doing every time anyway. 
Folding it in half and…….
 CUTTING IT!!  AHHHHH.  No return and a final plan hadn’t been hatched yet.  
But that’s OK.  I think I had to get to this point to visualize what might work.  I added a border strip a little ways up on the quilt
That way, after I ironed it down, it would overlap enough to have some batting behind it.  
Pretty smart, right?  I didn’t want the edge of the quilt to not be soft and stuffy.  Please excuse the excess pictures.  I took 59 shots of this process.  
 I was nervous and I guess it gave me a solid distraction.
OK.  There.
It was still a little too wide for the amount of backing so I trimmed the border all around
 The next step is easy peasy.  I machine sewed the border onto one side, I hand sewed the other side on but I think I’ll save that for another post because this one has gone on long enough.
 I do still have the other half of the blanket to play with.  I can add more quilting if I choose or do something else.  It has no deadline.
And there’s still this giant pile of squares to play with…
Posted on 4 Comments

A Sense Of Scale

I’m starting to get excited by this quilt.  I’m using lots of colors to quilt it together and I really like it. 
I want to add a whole bunch more – at least double what I’ve already done.  
 Hmm.  The stitching really isn’t showing up well in the picture but, trust me, it looks really cool on the red side in real life.
So now that things are moving along well, I’m feeling compelled to mess with it and make my life a little harder.
I’m thinking of cutting it in half and making it into two smaller quilts.  Because the thing is just freaking huge for a baby quilt.  It’s really sized for a single bed.  It’s my own fault, I was having too much fun piecing it together and I lost track of the final product.  
I would need to get some more dark denim to border that bottom edge of each on both sides.  I was thinking of adding the red flannel to this side and then the denim on the other just for kicks.  I have to somehow add the batting to the border, too.  
I had this surreal moment when I looked around me to find an object to put on the quilt to give you all a sense of scale:
 Hmm.  Should I use the phrenology head, wooden shoe stretchers, palm reading card, or infant of Prague statue who always hangs out with the wooden, pose-able drawing doll* – wait – I think most people don’t have these things laying around the house.
Hi everyone!
So I used a hotwheels car.   That’s a good sized baby quilt, right? 
*That’s the moment when I started listening to myself.
Posted on 2 Comments

All I Have To Do

I chose to hand quilt this one.  The shower is on Saturday.  I figure I have until Friday morning.  I’ll just keep sewing along. 
 I decided to use all different colors of a meandering running stitch and just go and go until I run out of time.  Then Friday I’ll edge it and Saturday it will be finished.  
All I have to do, besides work on this quilt, is feed and raise my children and keep the chickens alive. 
Posted on

A Wind Map

I pinned my latest baby quilt up this morning.    I could have sworn I had an almost infinite number of quilting safety pins but I ran out and had to use some t-pins.  Must stock up.
 I love how they look like a wind map.
Flipped over; denim side up.
Now I need to decide how to quilt it together.  The shower is in a week.  I’m pretty sure I have time to hand quilt it.  But if I machine quilt it, I could be done with that part this afternoon.  Machine quilting is not as awesome looking as hand quilting but it’ll be sturdier and it is a baby quilt that will need to be washed frequently.  Hmm.  Lunch first and then I’ll see which way the wind blows.
Posted on 3 Comments

Is My List

Honestly, I’m not a list maker.  
But, I answered an ad on Craigslist for this several weeks ago.  I don’t remember their asking price but I offered $10. I do this every so often because I really like the drawers. I had  never heard back from the people I offer the $10 to before.  They must either sell the machines for more than $10 or decide to keep them.  Either way, I figure it doesn’t hurt to ask.
This time I did hear back and I went out and picked it up over the weekend.  I planned on keeping the drawers for storage and using the machine as garden art (if it had been beyond repair) or offering it up for free on Craigslist again it if it looked fixable. 
 But look at this beauty.  I think I’m in love.  It’s a Singer Red Eye model 66 (I think) and it’s a filthy, hot mess.  I don’t know if I can get it running again but I’m going to try.  Remember the machine from the ’70’s that I recently broke?
Here’s the best picture of the broken sewing machine that I could find.  I never blogged about this project (rice bags) because I never took a picture of it when it was finished.  Rounding them up and taking a picture and writing that post is on my list.
Well, it’s a Singer, too and it looks like the Red Eye will fit into the blue machine’s cabinet.  Now that I lugged the Necchi upstairs to use I remembered why I bought blue Singer; because the Necchi is freakin’ huge and takes up too much space.  
So, attempting to fix the Red Eye and switching the machines out and bringing the Necchi back down to the basement are all on my list.  I can’t take too long because I’ve got three sewing machine cabinets to deal with and they take up more than their fair share of space. 
Oh yeah, I finally bought some backing fabric for the giant baby quilt.  Must work on this today (I’m realizing how long my list is.  Thankfully, I never actually write it all down.  If I did, I’m sure I would give up hope).
The chickens are fine.  They make me think of this:
Oh pigeon... 
I can’t find who drew this or I would totally credit them.  I found it on Pinterest and now the link doesn’t go anywhere.  But it describes my life in this moment so well.  I’m so glad we only got two of them.  Dealing with their shit, is my list right now.
Posted on 1 Comment

Plenty of Denim Lying Around

I spent yesterday on the latest baby quilt, which has a deadline.  I decided that it was too square-ish.  After putting a border on two sides, I realized that the dimensions were off and it needed to be more rectangular. The plan was to add a panel on one end.
 I had plenty of denim lying around.
So, I made a panel that was about the length of one side.  That’s when I realized that I needed to extend the border (duh) and had very little dark colored denim left.
This is actually the kind of challenge that I love.  I needed to take the little scraps of darker fabric and make an awesome and interesting border out of them  
 This is the improv part of quilting that appeals to me.
I wonder if I will ever be able to make a quilt following a pattern.
I also have to wonder why I ever would?
I don’t really see the appeal of a planned out quilt.
It’s likely that no one will ever notice this little piece of the border, but I had so much fun putting it together.
I’m also really proud of this corner. 
It was close, though.  I did have to cannibalize a square from the other quilt to get enough dark fabric.
Ta da!  Today I plan on buying the backing fabric and getting started on making the sandwich.  It’s actually kind of huge for a baby quilt.  This, I suppose, is the drawback of my lack of planning.
Posted on

Look At It!

 Yes, I know this is multiple pictures of the same thing.  But look at it!
 Just look at it.
 Now from this side
I’m in love.
I need to add some more width.  Otherwise I’m still in the honeymoon phase.
Posted on

Shortest Post Ever

I risked the rule of three* and pulled out my Necchi to get the quilt top started. 
I’m very happy with it and the sewing machine worked like a dream. 
*Confession:  I have a fourth sewing machine option, so if the Necchi didn’t work, I could still have sewn the quilt.  I have way too many sewing machines
Posted on

I May Have Gone A Little Overboard

Here’s my pile of squares before ironing. 
After breaking my sewing machine, I switched to my Grandma’s Singer Featherweight from the ’50’s.  It made me wonder why I ever bought a cheap Singer from the ’70’s in the first place.
After ironing and then spread out all over the floor.
 I think I may have gone a little overboard.  There’s a baby quilt there and then some.  Sewing the squares together was so fun, though.
With this quilt, I’ve been really inspired by Lisa Call.  I found her work on Pinterest.  You know how you see something and it just speaks to you?  
It was like that.  I think her work is gorgeous.
I felt the same way with the Gee’s Bend Quilts and also Japanese Boro Quilts
 I really love finding those kinds of inspiration.  The typical busy floral or county looking quilt has always left me cold.  I know they take lots of work and technical expertise but they just don’t move me.  I think that’s why I always feel like my quilts are kinda weird.
So when I see quilts that are so simple but interesting, I really get energized and want to get sewing!
Obviously, that’s what happened here.  If I had picked up more pairs of jeans, I think I’d be sewing them into squares still.  
But life moves on!!  On to piecing!  I wonder how many quilts I have here. 
Posted on 1 Comment

Right Before I Broke My Sewing Machine

 Nine pairs of pants.
 Gratuitous macro shot as always.
 There they are all spread out.
 Here’s a picture of my process pile right before I broke my sewing machine.  Something inside got knocked out of whack and I think it needs to be re-timed.  I could take it in or I could sell it “as is” on Craigslist and use one of my many other machines. 
Anyhoo, I find that I really like the squares that are similar in tone and have less contrast.  Somehow the details show better.  
I’ll decide later which ones go together.  It looks like more than one quilt at this point, since I have a baby quilt deadline coming up.  Right now I am having such a wonderful time putting them together and playing with making up rules for how they relate and then playing within those rules.  
If I had a computer near a sewing machine I could explain that way better.  It’s what I think about when I’m sewing but now, a day later, I am having trouble putting it into words.  I wish I had more time to post today, I have so many ideas knocking around in my head but I seem to always be rushing.