Sunday, January 31, 2016

My Brain on Quilts

Another custom done…

The other day when my customer and her friend dropped off a fabulous Judy Niemeyer designed quilt, Paradise in Bloom, for me to quilt, I was asked would I leave it out to study it so I could decide what to do?

I’m not always comfortable answering this question.  I don’t leave them out to look at them for even a minute.  I have found I do my best with my back to the wall.  I think what actually happens doing it this way is I don’t overthink something of such magnitude.   I learned from my friend, Shirley Stutz, that to eat an elephant you do it one bite at a time.  I know I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again.  These huge projects would intimidate the heck out of me if I let myself agonize over it for days before it is ever in front of me to get done.  The one bite at a time is the trick.  Each area is not intimidating when I don’t think about the whole thing and what is left to do. 

Swirls are my favorite fill

I paid more attention to my inner self as I quilted this one, since I had been asked if I thought about what goes on the quilt for a period of time beforehand.  I know how I operate and I’ve told customers that I let the quilt speak to me, I thought I would listen to me in my head as I went through this one. I really do think some quilts speak.  The words are really in my head.  I’m not putting the thought in my brain consciously, but I hear the words.

The little flying geese were my starting point

One of the words that kept being in my head was the background fill of McTavishing for the flower petals.  I resisted that word for days.  To the second I started those petals I resisted McTavishing.  I have not felt comfortable doing it before.  I have to think really hard and make arcs that are equidistant and look like they are random.  It has been hard before. But the word would not go away so I just started doing it! It looked fabulous.  It was the perfect background for that petal.  I’m glad I listened.

McTavished petals

The place where I did stones was a no brainer.  I wanted the little triangles to pop.  I saved the little triangles till the very end and found my choice again to listen was perfect for what I wanted to happen.

The long purple spikes did not speak until the last day

The parts I save until the end are usually the parts that aren’t speaking loudly. The Judy quilts are challenging with so many points and spikes to deal with.

The straight pin marks the inevitable spot I missed

Another quilt is in the bag waiting for its owner to come claim it.  I’m glad I am done. Tomorrow starts another custom that is not so difficult to think about. No spikes! 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Seven Shirts

I have a friend in Pinterest.  

One day my friend, Pattie, asked me how many pins I have on my Pinterest account.  I didn’t know. How do you find that out? She said it is right under my name when I open Pinterest.  Well I’ll be.  I have around 450 pins. She had over 4000! Me thinks she has too many days with headaches.

I bought a Go fabric cutter.  I get an urge to find a pattern to use shapes I have bought and I start looking at quilt patterns.  I am a quilt builder more than a pattern follower.  I find inspiration in things and go from there. Most of my Pinterest folders are different types of quilts for the different shapes I have for my Go cutter.

I have a plethora of men’s shirts that I blame solely on Bonnie Hunter.  She came to talk at our guild one year and show us her quilts.  I left with an urgent need to buy men’s shirts at the thrift store.  I have two huge Rubbermaid tubs of 100% cotton shirts. 

I was perusing Pinterest one night and I found a pattern for a quilt that uses 7 shirts to make a quilt. A link led me to Thrifty Quilter blog and she gives wonderful instructions on how to use 7 shirts to make a quilt.  I’m hooked! I just happen to have 100 % cotton shirts! I started digging around in one of the tubs and pulled a few shirts and then decided that I needed one more color so I got in the other tub.  Well guess what? The other tub is filled with fabric pieces of shirts that have been cut apart.  My friend Pattie did me a huge kindness and cut many of my shirts apart for me. I started feeling guilty having all those perfectly good shirts that I was just cutting up and there are people who could probably use them to keep warm and I stopped after cutting apart a dozen or so.

Out came 7 shirts in usable parts and I cut them according to the directions in the Thrifty Quilter blog. I did not read all the way through and sub cut the light strips into 2 ½” squares.  I wasn’t supposed to do that.  So I didn’t make my quilt exactly like hers.  I had a lot of pieces to use up.  Fortunately I stopped before I cut everything into squares and started doing the sewing according to the directions.  Because I had cut so many strips into squares I could not make the piano key borders, so I am making 9 patch blocks instead for the outside border.  It’s fun in a way, finding enough squares of each color to do what I have planned to finish up my thrifty 7 shirt quilt. 

my layout, different a little from Thrifty Quilter

I have told myself all along this was the experimental shirt quilt.  I think I will go pull 7 more shirt parts and start anew.

I bordered my quilt with 9 patches instead of piano key strips