Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Scrappy Monster

Well, here's a shot of the scrappy monster in all its glory. I had to have 2 girls stand on chairs to fit it all in the frame!

Here's a closeup of the blocks. As you can see, there is every type of fabric under the sun in this quilt. I used no planning, layout or care regarding fabric color or pattern when piecing the blocks together. I have several friends and customers who almost go into epileptic shock when I tell them this - "Oh, I could NEVER do it that way!" Why? Why is scrappy so hard for some people? I'm not trying to talk down about those people....I just truly don't understand it. If the intent from the get-go is to use the everything and the kitchen sink, wouldn't you just make yourself crazy trying to have it make sense all along? I even told one friend that in order to get over her scrappy-phobia, she should try to make the blocks as UGLY and MISMATCHED as she could! Her eyes lit up and she said that she thinks she might can do that. Perhaps if she is not TRYING to create a matched masterpiece of each block, she'll end up with one by accident. Again, this is one of life's mysteries that I am trying to understand.
Since the quilt was 84" wide, I needed some filler blocks to expand the backing. So, there's more blocks slithering down the back. The green was something I had on hand (I needed 6 yards), and I quilted it with variegated thread, hoping to get a nice design on the back. It's currently on the bed, and but it's still kind of stiff since I only washed it once. I bet it will get nice and soft after a few more washings....

Time to go. It's "Family Fun Night" which means I make EVERYBODY accompany me to the grocery store. If I have to suffer through it, so can they. The upside is we get to eat out first!


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Not having DSL sucks....

I was chastised by a customer today for not updating my blog. We've been having DSL problems at home for 2 weeks now.

I have a connection now - but the camera is at work.

I'll do my best to update from the shop tomorrow.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Little Bit of Crazy

Ya'll know I'm crazy, right? Well if you didn't, here's the quilt to prove it.

This quilt is 84" x 96" and is comprised of 3" rail blocks - each piece finishes at 1" x 3". If you do the math, that's 2,688 pieces.

Now, I will back up and say that I pieced this quilt over a number of years. I have a bucket that I would toss 1-1/2" x 3-1/2" strips in, and would use them as leaders/enders. The subsequent 12" blocks (56 of them) have been finished for a long time. I set them together on New Year's Day and finally pieced a back for it yesterday and loaded it on the longarm. And the funny thing is, the bucket is still full and I keep running them through the machine. You can see 2 finished block segments on the end of the ironing board next to my best friend, Magic Sizing. What on earth do I need more rail blocks for? I guess because they're there.

I think this quilt will actually live on my bed. The good news is that I will finish quilting it within the week. I don't leave quilts loaded on the longarm for long - it's too enticing as a cat hammock. I'll show you a full on photo once I get it bound.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Story of a UFO.....

Grab a cup of coffee and a snack.....it's Story Time!

Laura showed a stack of UFO applique blocks on her blog a day or so ago. As I studied her piles of blocks, I realized that I had one of the same UFO's! Although I knew exactly where it was in my sewing room, I hadn't really looked at it in years. I couldn't remember exactly how much work is left to do to finish it, so I dragged it out to evaluate

The center section is completely pieced together with a small inner border added.

The borders are all appliqued - they just need to be cut down to size and sewn on, and the corner swags and motifs have to be appliqued on. Even the applique pieces for the swag corners and accents is all traced on the fabric. I would call it 85-90% complete. So, what's the story?

Back in 1999 (as evidenced by the signature block), I had just become a longarm quilter and was working from home. I was strictly a piecer back then - I had tried a little bit of applique in my beginning sampler classes, but DID NOT love the process. I understood it, I appreciated it, but I called it the "A" word for seven years and absolutely had no use for it, personally.

I was visiting a quilt shop in a neighboring town quite frequently to pick up and drop off quilts for quilting. I saw the sample for this BOM and simply fell in love. The blocks are 20" and I figured the pieces were big enough that I could learn to applique enough to get it done. During this time, my troubled stepson came to live with us. To say it was an adjustment is an understatement. Our house became the Hotel of Last Resort. So, after dinner each evening, I would become a recluse in my bedroom and applique. Even though it was a difficult summer, being in that situation forced me to spend time developing my skills and was probably the turning point for me regarding applique. I don't do a whole lot of it (except right now - for a shop sample BOM), but I do like to do it and am even pretty good at it.

Why did I abandon this project? If I recall correctly, the borders need to be cut down to size. Since I was working at home at the time, I think I became intimidated about the space needed to measure and cut them accurately and I just put it aside for later. Well, it's now almost 8 YEARS later and my intimidation is long gone. I no longer LOVE the quilt, but I do respect its place in my quilting life and I will make it a goal to finish this year.

And Laura, thank you for sparking me to dig this dinosaur out of the drawer.

UPDATE (Saturday -5:00pm): The borders are sewn on. Now, all I have to do is applique the corner swags in my spare time....bwaahaaahaaa....

The pattern is "Baskets, Berries, and Leaves" - a BOM set from Jan Patek/Alma Allen.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I'm too fat to groom like a lady..........

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Wonderful World of Ikea
Okay. So maybe I'm a little behind (har..har...I just wish I had a little behind...). Today Audrey and I went to Ikea. There's one in Frisco - about 20 miles away and it's been open about a year, but we've never been.

Audrey has been begging for a bedroom "makeover" for a couple of years, but I've been putting her off because she's such a slob that I've been hesitant to put a lot of money into something that she's not going to take care of. I think we're about ready to seriously invest, and we went to Ikea to look over wall units/storage solutions.

She's also been asking for a new bed. The bed she had was a wooden Jenny Lind spool-type bed and even though it fits the "style" of our house, she never really liked it. So, while browsing the entire store, we looked at beds to see what kind of style she wanted.

Lo,and behold, we spied this bed on sale for $29. Since I wasn't sure if the slats of her old bed would fit, I went ahead and splurged another $29 for the Ikea slats. And we broke down the old bed and put this one together ourselves!

I made her put this quilt on the bed - she liked it when I made it, but she doesn't like it anymore. She's now thinking about doing her room in black and white with a greyish tone of purple (yuk...). Maybe if I wait long enough she'll come up with something else! I'm not opposed to the black and white - I just don't think the grey-purple accent is going to work. We'll see. Her room makeover will be a major ordeal - we need to replace the flooring, repair the sheetrock cracks, paint, find new window covering options and replace the light fixture. It will probably be Spring before we start. I'm hoping the new bed will hold her for a while.

But I can see us going back to Ikea for more fun ideas......