Free for All

Sometimes I just must take a break from free motion quilting and the piecing of tiny, intricate curvy slivers of fabric.  So, I started a list of projects that have been on the back burner for far too long.   Several of the projects are free for all pieced blocks intended for some of my family members.  I can intermittently play with basket full of scraps rather than spending my time on non productive activities.  If ya know what I mean.

These blocks are for a young great nephew who, despite living in the middle of Big Orange University of Tennessee football land, prefers to cheer for the arch rival, University of Florida. Okay, so UF colors are orange and blue.  UT colors are orange and white.  I began with orange and blue four patch for the centers.  Next I pulled random strips of solids for the basket and started sewing them on in a sorta log cabin rotation.  A few times I might forget which comes next in the rotation and haphazardly sew a strip wherever it happens to land.  It's a free for all fun way to brighten up a rainy day.

Oh, and just in case he might change his mind one of these days, (or earn a scholarship to UT) I began to throw in some bits of white near that orange.  We won't mention that fact to him, so mums the word.  Hmmmmm - note to self - add more white...........

totally fiberliscious

The excitement continues.  See what I received by mail the other day!  My very own autographed copy of
DRUM ROLL ........

I am completely thrilled with Victoria's book filled with delicious eye candy.  The layout seems more innovative than lots of other books on quilting.  For instance, the center section of this book has all sorts of ideas on making your own improv blocks based on the good ole basic traditional quilt blocks.  These ideas can certainly jazz up your repertoire in the use of fabrics and colors.  What fun.  

There are tons of scrumptious examples of quilts created with "made fabric" blocks from 15 Minutes Play groups interspersed through out the book.   Victoria has successfully gathered quilters from over the world to share blocks with one another to fulfill each individual's ideas of their own quilt.  Each challenge could keep me busy for years.

Of course there are Victoria's own superb quilts.  Whimsical, witty, colorful, striking, totally deboxed are some adjectives that come to mind as I flip through page after page of 
If you are looking for inspiration, got nothing to do with that bag of little scraps, bored with the same old stuff, and feel the urge to play for just a few minutes every day, this is your cookbook.  Easy peezy recipes. Laid back ingredients. Results guaranteed to warm the cockles of your heart for a lifetime. 

Oh, and I must confess. Not only am I promoting Victoria's book, but just wanted to let you know that one of my quilts is in this book.  (page 63)  And, I was a block contributor to quilts made by 15 Minutes of Playmates.  Yeah, I am totally shameless.  

Thanks Victoria
I look forward to your next book.  
Oh yes, and your upcoming fabric collection!  

Your next move is to order this book here,
cuz I am not showing any more photos.  
Don't want to get nabbed for copyright violations.  

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all

Can it already be November?!?!?!?!

Momma always said that the older you get the faster time passes.  She is 92, pushing hard towards 93 years of age and time has slowed down for her.  I suppose when you no longer have the stamina to do much more than walk, eat and sleep, life begins to drag.  It reminds me of my preteen years, when Sunday afternoons were long and boring.  Mom and Dad took naps, and I paced the house hoping for something exciting to happy.  Needless to say, in very rural southeast Tennessee, the most exciting thing that might happen on a Sunday afternoon would be when some of the cows decided to make a run for it.  I know just how they felt.  Too bad I didn't follow their lead, use some imagination and make something exciting happen for myself. Back when I had all the time in the world.  C'est la vie.

Now that I am older and wiser (well OK, older at least,) I am becoming better at making life more exciting.  There again, I can't take full credit for making the latest excitement.  I must thank a forward thinking interior designer and a bank president.  My Fractured Honeysuckles was purchased to hang in the lobby of a new bank.  Giddy, euphoric, ecstatic and yes, even excited, describes my mood lately.  And if I might just say, it looks absolutely splendid in it's new home.

My new FDSB regimen is paying off as I am better utilizing my time.  And just in time I might add.  I have accepted a commission for another local facility and have been diligently plodding away with excitement.  I have a short time frame for completion and I am determined to meet that deadline.  So far so good.  Can't reveal too much info at this time, but just for fun, I will share a small peek.

Now back to work.  Or can you really call it work when it is more like play? 
C'est la vie.

Remember to keep all the victims of super storm Sandy in your thoughts.  
If you want to help out, I suggest that you check 
with Victoria, aka,  Bumble Beans  
click here to see what is needed.  


In the last post, I talked about my new regimen which I called FDS.  Well, Sheila and I exchanged a couple of emails regarding this topic.  Sheila mentioned that Balance is also an important entity and I totally agree.  All work and no play makes Mary oh, so boring.  After all, one must absolutely have balance in one's life.  So I am adding the B to my regimen, thus I now have FDSB.  This little B word helps to alleviate the guilt when I end up spending too much time on the computer.  Gotta get my daily dose of inspiration, right?

And just so you know, I am playing/working very hard in my studio each and every day and am accomplishing more than ever.  Just look at the progress on the glam shot of Ms. Iris.  It may not look like much, but trust me, when you are selecting just the perfect fabric and then sewing 1/4" width curved strips onto a 2" curved section, it can be a bit time consuming.  

lower right section is actually sew together, sorta

Ok, so not all of those tiny 1/4" to 1/8" curvy strips have been sewn onto their respective sections, but as I said, it is very time consuming.  I know that some of you (and, admittedly, I too) are thinking, why not just fuse it. Answer: just because I do so love the challenge.  I could fuse all those teeny pieces and be done with it.  But why?  It is a labor of love.  It is just me, my vision, my fabric and my machine.  If I wanted to be done with it, I would get out my charcoals or paints, and voila!  I could make it completely realistic or an abstraction in short order.  Then it would be over. Sewing pieces of fabric together completes my world.  It never ends.  The emotion of putting just the perfect pieces next to one another is euphoric.  Being able to actually stitch those pieces together is even more rewarding.  When you have a completed project that you like, it enhances that euphoria.  The  tactility of painting with fabric is like no other for me.  From dyeing the fabric to making a pattern, to sewing that last stitch, it is my heart and soul.  My passion.

Oh yes, I had mentioned that I wouldn't be posting again until next month.  But hey, I just get so exci-i-i-i-ted.  Plus. I am also spending time quilting and binding previous pieces, as well as sketching for upcoming projects, details of which I cannot divulge at this time.  More later.  

I hope you are having as much fun as I.  Cheerio!

September into October

Where does the time go?  
The past 6 weeks I have attempted to become more: 
Focused. Disciplined. Structured.  
I am getting better with my new FDS regimen. 

to wit - this is completed

inside out
54" x 70"

 I only have the binding to stitch down on this one
sketch 4
28" x 30"

threw this one in the garbage as it needed 
drastic simplification modifications

 completed piecing this one and placed it in line to be quilted
42" x 45"
 drew some sketches to consider for patterning
this was was a bit mundane
 iris buddies with buds

so decided to use this sketch for a pattern
iris closeup
36" x 48"
off I go using my hand dyed fabrics,
cutting and pinning

What has spurred this new regimen?  The past few weeks have been wonderfully encouraging for my ego.  

One of the quilts that I have pieced for a dear friend (but yet unquilted, eeks) was featured in "Love Patchwork", a quilting oriented magazine from the UK.  It was totally unsolicited, complete surprise when I received a request from the magazine editor.  Naturally I could not say no.

And then, to my surprise, I was asked to do an interview with a feature writer, Jen Jeffrey from the
What a flattering portrait she painted.  Thanks Jen.  

my Pink Dogwood just won a first place ribbon in the wall hanging division 
in a local quilt show.  

If my luck continues to hold, there could be more good news to share in the near future.  
If the good news actually occurs, hopefully it will help me to continue this new regimen.
 If it doesn't work out, hopefully I will still continue this new regimen.  

See ya next month.


Since it is so stinking hot and humid, I thought that it must be time to get around to dyeing some fabric.  And since my nice husband has helped me set up a perfect space in our basement, I must put it into use, lest he think that I am not appreciative of his efforts.   Double laundry sink, pull-down faucet, lots of work tables and space and a balmy 72 degrees year round.  Irena and I just finished ironing 23 plus yards of fabric.

And I have more than 23 half yards drying in the sun.  I must admit what brought me round to this burst of exploration was caused by my friend Karen.  She told me about this great online video Craftsy class by Jane Dunnewold and I naturally had to sign up.  Loads of good tips and ideas that I couldn't wait to try.  And may I say, this is so much more fun than dyeing yard after yard of solid fabric.  Got some great mottles and fun designs.

I have been busy in the sewing studio as well.  I finished piecing the Nancy Crow workshop piece.  It is so different from anything I have ever done and I am still trying to like it.  The odd thing about this piece is I already know how I want to quilt it, what color thread, what color backing and facing too.  I have never made a quilt that spoke up that quickly about the quilting part.   Most of them linger for months or years before they have enough nerve to tell me what to do!   Between you and me, I think this thing is trying to take over my life.  Every name I try to assign to it is voted down.  It is as if I am compelled to actually finish this quickly,  it will name itself and I will move on.  Oh, and just so you know, it is laying flat on the wall.  The wavy edges are intentional.  When I tried to square it up, it screamed at me to stop.  Wavy it will be. I tell ya, this critter has a mind of it's own.  Round we go.

approximately 58" x 72" 

Rounding out this post, is my completed Pink Dogwood quilt.  

All quilted up and bound. Ready to hang on the wall. That brings round another issue, I have run out of wall space.  Guess I need to rotate a few.

Which brings me round to another subject.  Selling my quilts. Although I do have some of them for sale at the local museum shop, it is high time I get busy and add a link to my blog  with photos, descriptions and prices. (pricing - the most difficult part.) Another item for the To-Do list. And my world keeps going 'round.