Friday, July 1, 2016

July Quilty 365 Linkup

Yeah! I am completely, totally caught up with my circles this month, all the stitching included! It's cause I have slowed waaaay down with my quilting and these little guys don't take much of my time. The greens and blue circles are surprising soothing, even against the black background. Love how they seem to sort of 'pop' and have my fingers crossed they will be a great spark in the final quilt.
All of the June circles for Quilty 365
It's interesting to me how the circle idea seems to hop into other quilty projects as well. {Uh huh, I'm combining a Quilty 365 post with a link back to Adhoc Improv.}  I hemmed and hawed and questioned my sanity, but finally left them in the border to one of my latest projects. Just feels like a circle sort of year and that's okay. We start in one place and sometimes bring ourselves completely back round to that starting place, tho perhaps with a better perspective at times?
My latest Adhoc Improv. quilt top--
An unexpected direction from my starting thoughts
The light was dreary on the day I took these photos, but this quilt feels very charming in a homespun sort of way. And oh, so very me on a very base level. I'm thinking this 'make-it-up-as-you-go-along' style is quite addictive. It works very well for making the sort of imperfect quilts that make me smile the biggest. The ones that I'm almost sheepish about showing people because of what it might accidentally reveal about this silly 'ol side of me.
Happy little applique flowers to make me smile
My enforced time off from intense quilting sessions has made me very reflective. Am I really as in love with quilting as it feels? Is it part of me, who I am, what I do, how I think? Or is is sort of a routine and more of an escape from life's difficulties? If it is, I've decided that, frankly, I don't care. Fabric love is good. What I've discovered is that my eye is constantly gravitating towards the quilts in my life. Studying them and enjoying them. Loving when I see a family member using one I gave them or displaying it on the back of a chair. It brings me great joy and what could be negative about that?
Not going to work for a larger project, but perfect for making me think!
And yes, it's more Adhoc Improv. play...
That feeling of resentment when I don't get enough quilting time. Okay. There's that. And I've been making a conscious effort to dial that back. Be more present and joyful with all of my life. Which means I'm going to continue to be a slow blogger this summer. Taking a step back from unimportant deadlines {and social media} is helping me feel more relaxed about everything. For instance, I spent about two hours working on those crazy improv. drunkards path blocks above. Whoa! Not much to show for two hours worth of work and what is it with the puckers?*wah! I am sooo not good at this!
The real project in the initial phases
I'll admit that I miss {quite dreadfully at times} the on-line journalling of the quilting process, but I just can't do it all right now. So I'm making a conscious effort to take what time there is for quilting and trying to use it more wisely. Those two hours of play were very contemplative and oh, so peaceful. Working with fabric and color  that spoke to me--just because-- felt amazing. Not worrying about the end result or how long it might take. Diving into things that felt 'right' and not stopping to consider the end result. Enjoying the moment more fully and not stressing over wasted fabric bits. And then deciding it wasn't the project I want to work on after all, completely guilt free. No remorse allowed! Instead I cut out squares for yet another Sujata Shah project that's been percolating in my brain for months on end. One that I had previously decided needed solid fabrics bought for. Nope, not happening! I'm jumping in feet first and will figure out the pesky little details later.
Finally have 100 blocks sewn together and, gasp! even trimmed.....
'Cuz that's the sort of quilter I really want to be--the way that seems to work the very best. If you're still reading, please feel free to link up with yet another Quilty 365 linkup. It's simple but slow work we're doing here. A bit tedious at times, but oh so interesting in other moments. It's a journey isn't it? If you're still traveling along with me, then thank you, thank you, thank you for putting up with my absence this summer. Quilty friends are the very best!  And in case you're interested, I, personally am at day 249 now {hallelujah} and well on my way to making it to day 366 some day in the future.....

Please link up with us if you haven't given up and gone on to something more interesting! Link a thumbnail picture to a current post on your blog detailing:
  • What particular day you  happen to be at now {such as 'day 200'}
  • A picture of all your June circles whether they are stitched to the background fabric or not
  • A link back to this post
  • Any thoughts or introspection you might want to add about this particular project
   
   

Monday, June 20, 2016

Catching Up

So I've just about completely lost my rhythm when it comes to quilting. That lovely, lovely calming routine of quiltiness I love so much is shot all to pieces these days. I might possibly get to my stitching a couple days a week at best. It's so pathetic.
Bow-ties quilt
It's looking like that's the way my entire summer is going to be. Ugghh... I did finish the hand quilting on the hand pieced bow-tie quilt and am now waiting on impetuous for binding work. Honestly, I'm not feeling it right now. But I do have the Cactus Baskets quilt in the hoop and since I'm quilting with perle cotton there is progress being made. Slow progress, but you know how it is. Every single stitch counts.
Cactus Baskets
I was guilted pressured into asked about making a block for my nieces wedding quilt, one of those sampler block quilts where everyone gets a small chunk of fabric to work with. I was feeling deeply resentful if you want to know the truth of it, having so little time to work on my own lovely quilting and then having to use specific fabrics? It was a tough one, but I persevered and it's done now. So much character building, these types of projects. I did add some of my own fabric to the mix--of course. How could I not? There simply was not enough contrast with what was given and I could feel the hives about to break into a happy dance. It only made me want to dive head first into my fabric totes and start sniffing fabric or something equally weird. I am {obviously} deeply missing my quilt room bonding moments. Ahem! Obviously.
Quilt block for a wedding quilt
A reader and fellow circler sent along a picture of the circles quilt top her sister has recently made. This quilt top is made by Carol from Oregon and what a beauty it is! So much color in this quilt, you can't help but smile. Loving those nifty pathways of color background and the way some of the circles pop! And yes, I am still working on my circles, sometimes the only quilty thing I touch all week. So. Very. Pathetic.
Carol in Oregon circle quilt
And here is my husband and I, soon to be married for a whole 25 years. Woohoo us! Hoping to take off on a vacation and celebrate without any children around. Started without them and will end up rattling around our house without them some day in the future. Right? Not that I'm feeling anxious for that day. No sirree. Love those kids to pieces. The vacation however? Very much needed.
Almost made it 25 years together...
It's time. Just hoping things work out and it doesn't get cancelled like every other fun thing we try to do together. I think it's just that time of life, don't you? Taking care of other people and trying not to take each other {too much} for granted. Okay, that's it for a quilty post until the next circles linkup the first of July. Thanks to everyone who once again took the time to link up! And a metaphorical quilty 365 fist bump to all my fellow circlers. Lovely to see so many still hanging in there with me!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

June Quilty 365 Linkup

Yes I'm here. Just a quick post for the Quilty 365 journey! And to say 'hi'. I'm back for a post, but not for regular posting just yet. I do lurk on a rare occasion, but no time for anything else. My circles are starting to take a slightly different road, but May's circles are all here and accounted for. Woohoo! I haven't given up yet.
May Circles
For a little while I'm planning on doing a series of green {and possibly blue} circles on black backgrounds. Mostly for a background change and a little more consistently happy colors. I feel like this is needful right now. I like black, but I don't like choosing black for my mood color when quilting is supposed to be my happy place. And yes, you'll tell me it's okay to choose black, it's honest and real, yada, yada. but it just depresses me. And I'm not depressed, just stressed plus very limited with free time. It all goes together.

So I'll get black in the background color, love it as a change-up and call it good. After I get a good stack of those,  I plan to return to the normal color choice per day. I've pre-made a stack of scrappy green circles already just so I have one to choose from every day or as usually happens, every third or fourth day. I always catch up with my stitching eventually and this way the circles do continue. I'm sort of chanting that in my head these day. They. Are. Going. To. Continue! I feel very determined to not let them slide.

I do, however, feel quite {hopelessly} lost in the world of non-regular posting and quilting. It won't be forever though. Why would it be? I'm still quilting, just in much more random slots of times than normal. The other day I even came up with a plan to use exactly 366 circle blocks in this quilt. Which I'm pretty excited about. It's probably not going to be amazing, but however it ends up will by my year. All reflected in circles, for a total of one quilt. I like that. Please feel free to link up with a picture of your current circles too. I'll no doubt be very late checking back in and yes, commenting, but I'd love the links just for the record and wonderful camaraderie!


   

    An InLinkz Link-up
   

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Blogcation

So here's the deal. I have a lot of things going on in my life right now and something needs to give.
A quiet corner and the book I still haven't found time to read after
three plus weeks. 
It's going to have to be the blogging, at least for a couple weeks. Maybe even until the first of next month? And honestly I'm not even sure if that will work out because I'll barely be getting back from our annual church camp-out on the 30th and then my daughters senior graduation is the 6th of June. Busy times as I'm sure many of you have similarly experienced. I'm feeling completely overwhelmed and overextended. A lot frazzled. Just to put it out there for my quilty friends to sympathize and say 'there, there', in a bit of a panic the other day, I almost shut down the entirety of this blog. Like permanently. Why is it that women have less opportunities where they feel comfortable saying 'No, I can't do it all. I'm not superwoman nor do I want to be.' And yet, most of the time we do this to ourselves. Because we are mothers and wives, friends and just plain 'ol good people.

So... while still plugging along with the tiniest bit of quilting, mostly hand quilting and applique, it's not exactly convenient right now to take pictures and get it up on the blog. {Yes I did get back into my quilting room after exactly one week if only to sigh fondly and grab scrap bin fabric for more circles.} And if I can't get back by the first, I'll try to find someone to guest host the June Quilty 365. Because I'm not giving up sewing my circles after making it this far! Until then, happy stitching.....

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Not Much To Look At, But It Is Progress

This seems to be my bit of sewing these days. A little progress but not so pretty around the edges. Just barely hanging on to my quilting mojo while other obligations pile up around me. If I'm not careful I can do the whole 'woe is me' thing and get pretty despondent all because poor 'ol me doesn't have quite enough quilting time to suit.
The tumbler basket centerpiece
Like that would be the entire reason I exist. Huh. But okay, facts being facts, I barely had time to take this picture and I've also been trying to do a quicky visit with all the ones who linked up to May Quilty 365. You know, without every single comment being a carbon copy. It's a challenge because I'm speed reading the posts and mostly just taking in the pictures in one big gulp. Love seeing the progress for each unique variation though and I think every one of us deserves a big rah, rah!

I also saw a fun new QAL floating around quilty blogland and want to be digging through my fabric now, dumping out my applique parts and pieces totes and joining right in. Like this minute. Starting a new project is always the very best way to get over the I-don't-have-enough-time-to-quilt blues. Right? I knew my readers would totally understand how that particular phenomena works.
Some applique basket blocks to add to the tumbler basket centerpiece....
But believe it or not, in the last couple days I am now completely blocked out of my quilting room. My husband moved several totes of his stuff into the opening {ie: doorway} and I am unable to access my sewing machine or alas, even enter the room. It's supposedly a very temporary thing and I am too busy to forcibly remove them at the moment. Thankfully I have a couple applique and hand quilting projects available to me in the corner of my bedroom where I stash them for those quiet evening moments. 

Aha. Yes. Those quiet evening moments which are so very few and far between right now seeing as how my son is still in possession of the hideabed and usually wants to go to bed at the hideous hour of ten pm. I am fast approaching a mutiny. Or a riot. Possibly a breakdown. There are nights where I just yawn and go right to bed without a single protest. And others where I just stare in disbelief at how little stitching I have accomplished for the entire day. This is not me. I have obviously been taken over by aliens.*wink

Saturday, April 30, 2016

May Quilty 365 Linkup

So here we go with May Quilty 365! This months finds me with thirteen unsewn circles. Not scary far behind on stitching, but definitely needing some attention. 
April circles
Honestly I'm not impressed with several of this months blocks. The colors are drab and uninspired or perhaps I chose fabric that makes me feel a little queasy now. I'd like to just throw them out and start over but then I think a little bit more on what this is all about.  Maybe, {just maybe} I need to leave the less attractive circles in there and look at it as part of the journey. For the most part I am choosing my circle fabrics day by day, and life, as we all know, is full of different kinds of moody moods. Even if I choose not to share those moods with you. It's just not how I operate. Feel free to try and read between the {fabric} lines.*wink
The stacks are getting larger!
I'm loving some of the other circle projects I see every month. Why didn't I choose that lovely background fabric? Or why didn't I think of this, or that, or the other? It's a dangerous game because hello? I won't be happy making someone else's quilt. This one's all me, staying in the safe, neutral background and letting my circles pop here and there. Some recede into the background and others are quite jarring when you look at them next to my usual softer palette. Later I look at those blocks and wish I could remember what was going through my mind that day. 'Cuz I'm not keeping a journal. I mostly just want to be able to do a glance-over and remind myself that I made it through 'that crazy, busy year'! 

Layout, layout. Too busy to think much on that subject this month, although I did see an interesting rug that got me thinking about circles. Funny what sets us off into the land of inspiration. Also, I have been leaning more and more toward wanting my pieced circles to be presenting horizontal or vertical, which totally leaves out the 'on-point' setting I am so enamored of. Good thing I have several months left to get this all sorted out in my mind! 

Do I still have some quilty folks circling with me? There's a few people falling away at this point and that's perfectly okay. Unless I miscounted, the end of April leaves me at 188 days of circles. Woohoo! In case you were wondering, I'm posting the linkup early because this weekend is booked solid and I'll be lucky if the computer ever gets turned on. If you're still hanging in there I'd love to see your latest. Really. Join us in the linkup with your thumbnail picture and:
  • What particular day you  happen to be at now {such as 'day 150'}
  • A picture of your April circles whether they are stitched to the background fabric or not {can add a picture of all your circles to date if you want}
  • A link back to this post
  • Any thoughts or introspection you might want to add about this particular project.
   
   

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Finding My Way With Another Improv. Sort of Quilt

As always, I'm not sure what I'm doing or where I'm supposed to be going with this Adhoc. Improv. thing. It seems to pull me down some interesting roads though! This is the second effort with improv. strings and I have yet another project I'm quite desperately wanting to dive into. It never ends. First things first though!
The centerpiece coming together
Auditioning the layout for this quilt was a very quick event. No matter which way I turned the blocks to check out various sashing pieces and layout options, I promptly flipped the blocks back to the 'hills' facing downward. That is the way they want to be and that is that! Having the sashing running both horizontal and vertical  made everything look busy to my very fussy eye. I also immediately tossed out all the darker, brighter reds in favor of this red homespun check. Either I'm getting more confident or this quilt is quite, quite determined to be made a specific way!
Looking at the unfinished border piece facing toward the quilt
It's a fairly simple serene looking quilt and too much of anything easily makes it look overdone to me. I'm still scratching my head in wonderment, but the border-work is completely the thing for me. It makes the quilt almost make sense in a weird sort of way and I just nod my head and say 'Yes, this is it, exactly what it needs!' Any of this making sense to you?

In fact, I cut the border pieces out on a late evening after some very busy {and possibly stressful, haha} days and made a bad cutting mistake. All my border background pieces are approximately 1 1/2" too short. I just wanted to pull out my hair. How could that have happened?  But... I like the fabric choices so well, I just unpicked the two checked sashing pieces and made them slightly more narrow. Just a bit, because I'm also going to trim just a smidge off the outside of the quilt. The border pieces shall remain the same because 'they work'. And I don't even know why or care. It just is.
And facing away....
And there's more of these chunky crossroad blocks happening too. I'm now at the 3/4 mark with these and still enjoying them very much.
More chunky crossroads blocks
Hopefully by next months Adhoc. linkup I'll have all 100 of them sewn, trimmed and be looking at layout options. One can hope. It's been a busy spring with no sign of let-up..... Linking up with Ann and Kaja

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