Thursday, July 30, 2009

How appropriate!

After reading Nonja's post this morning, I have been thinking more and more about perfection in quilting, or in anything, really ... and found this quote to share:

"Not a having and a resting, but a growing and a becoming is the nature of perfection in our culture."

That's my thought for the day as I skip upstairs to sew!


Today I am off to Linda's to quilt all day! I am not only excited I am ready to get focused. I have a really hard time with perfection. If my points do not line up, if the seams don't match I freak. It drives me INSANE ~ This is my Achilles heal. As a struggling anthropologist I know the legend of the Spider Woman. The Navajo are renown for their amazing and beautiful blankets. After generations of teaching this technique it would be easy to see the perfection in these blankets but there is a tradition of purposefully weaving a mistake into each one. This is to appease the Spider Woman and to live a life in balance. The legend states that a Navajo woman, Weaving Woman, became a little too enamored of her weaving gift , and as a punishment disappears into her loom, redeemed only when the supernatural Spider Woman pulls out a strand to release her. Since then, all weavers have promised to make "spirit trails" in their blankets, and not to allow "pride to become master of our spirits." Instead of simply studying this legend, I need to take it to heart. When I think of perfection in quilting I think of the new Gammill Long arm machines that have the computer program. I know that a quilt that is quilted with this machine is perfect. There are no flaws. It is a perfect 12 stitches an inch in perfect symmetry, and it is not human. We have learned to achieve perfection and it is no longer our art.
Linda has pointed this out to me as well. She has talked about visiting the museum that housed the Jane Stickle quilt -
She was amazed at the mistakes. In her minds eye this was a quilt to aspire to and it was anything but perfection. Life and beauty can be found in the mistakes. So toady I keep in mind Jane Stickle and the generations of Navajo as I quilt and learn. As Scott Adams, the creator of the comic Dillber says ~ Creativity is allowing yourself to miske mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. ~

I'm not procrastinating!!

Well, I've had some great success in the past couple of days. YES, the quilt from hell is off the machine, the binding is made and I'll attach it in the morning -- the end is in sight! Also got all my cut up 9 patches put together and tomorrow they should be a table topper -- have you tried that "disappearing nine patch" yet? It is such a great way to use up charm squares (think Moda Charm Packs!!) You make a 9-patch block then cut it down the middle and across the middle ... then you take the pieces and mix them up and arrange them in a pleasing way to your eye and sew them back together. Believe me, NO ONE will ever know that it started life as simple 9-patch blocks. And lastly, years ago I was involved in 6 1/2" 9-patch block swaps -- dozens of them -- every color of the rainbow -- I have the never-ending supply of 9-patch blocks! So, I've had them hanging around and pulled out the green ones about six months ago. I did the "disappearing 9-patch" trick to the little blocks and have turned them into a tank cover and little counter mat for the downstairs bathroom! How cute is that??!!! And more stuff out of my sewing room :) :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I will not procrastinate ... I will not procrastinate ...

I'm making this my new mantra. Why? Because I've had one quilt on the longarm machine since the first of the month, and another needing binding put together so I can finish it. What's holding me back? I don't know ... except that sometimes I just lose my verve, that spark, that drive to finish something. Where does it go? I don't know!! My favorite project to overcome the "blahs" is to go play in the sewing room ... fondle fabric ... look at patterns ... the more time I spend in there, the more ready I get for some fun on the sewing machine! So today I'm going to go close myself in there with some music and lovely Scentsy and get motivated to finish some things! We've got company coming next week and the quilt on the machine is for the guest room!! Running out of time! Enjoy the day!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Jelly Rolls ~ Yumm!!!!

My morning trip to Starbucks has brought me to today’s post – It was all the yummy pastries that did me in … Honey Buns, Cakes and yes even Jelly Rolls. I am addicted to Moda’s Bake Shop. This is the brilliant idea that Moda has come up with. They take a given fabric line and then cut the line into 2 1/2 in strips, 10 in squares and various other shapes. While it has taken me, the perfectionist a little time to find the “perfect” layer cake pattern there is a site that I have fallen in love with. It is this site is a plethora of ideas and uses for these treats.

My favorite so far is this Easter basket pattern. The best is that they are all free, and you don’t have to use the Moda fabrics. These patterns can be adapted for any fabrics. If you are so inclined to start a project using Moda Bake Shop I urge you to start shopping for you Jelly Rolls on E-bay. I generally find mine for under $20 with shipping, a far cry from the usual $35 that I have seen them for in my local quit shop, plus there is the added bonus of winning something at auction!

I am currently working on a project for my sister from a jelly roll. It is a lone star pattern from the book Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott.

Linda has tried in vain to stop me from purchasing any more books or patterns, I love em and this book is a great investment (used on amazon, save that money for fabric!!) if you find you are loving the Jelly Roll addiction! I do have one beef with here and that is the random switch back and forth from metric to standard – It is confusing…. At one point it called for 3m (meters) of fabric – and although I was stationed in Germany the only thing I had to relate to was a meter of beer!!! So I am off to enjoy a no calorie jelly roll this morning and will hopefully have something to show tomorrow! (besides a messy house!!!)

Good Quilting to you today!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Outside of the box

There are so many things that I turn to gain inspiration in my quilting. So many of them are visual, the wildflowers in Texas, and the beauty of the beach…. But every so often Im so lucky to be blessed and touched by a person. Linda is one of those people that was placed in my life to give my inspiration and encouragement and I was so blessed to meet another one this past weekend. This past weekend I met Jerry Callender. He is an avid car (mustang) fanatic and quilter who has only been quilting for a couple of years. I absolutely fell in love with his quilts. Not only are they done with the utmost passion and love, they are so out of the box. Jerry just lets himself go and feel the quilt. Most of which are done for cancer patiets like the one pictured below. There are no patterns, no exact measurements just a vision. He has inspired me to stop feeling like my quilts have to look like the pictures. I can and will start thinking outside the box. I am going back to school this fall to finish my graphic design degree. Thank you Jerry for letting me know you can start at any age and follow your heart!!!!

Jerry and one of his T-Shirt quilt for 7 year old Logan, who is dealing with Ewing's Sarcoma

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Today's Inspiration

I love sunflowers ... there's something so happy about them, bright and yellow, providing treats for little animals and birds. Big and waving in the summer sun. Here's a quilter who has totally captured my feelings about sunflowers! Luann Kessi designed this quilt, then kept a journal of its execution. Spend a few minutes being enthralled by her work!

Floater Update

I'm delighted to tell you that anchoring the backing on the take-up roller and the backing bar enabled me to quilt this "pre-basted" scrap quilt! The only problem I had was with the thread as it was a rayon blend and very slippery. My machine didn't like it very much, but we did get through it! As soon as I get the binding on I'll post a pic. Yeah! another one off the machine!