What are you doing?

Are there days you find yourself circling looking for something you want?

I wrote on my morning pages all the things I could do today. My list involved things I could do in my workroom. Clear out empty boxes that are taking up space. I checked that off. Then my stair stepper was in the way. I always kept it under the sofa in the living room should the urge to exercise strike. When we put down a new rug in the living room the stair step was moved to my workroom — yeah like I am going to exercise there?  It went back downstairs to live under the sofa again. I need all the floor space in my workroom. Moving the stair stepper opened up enough space to set up my ladder to put yarn bins back on the shelf.

yarn in studio 003

yarn in studio 001

If you have followed what I’ve written you may remember I started sorting, and then I sorted some more, and then more. It was like an obsession. I am not an obsessive person. I just got to a point where I couldn’t find what I wanted when I wanted it. It happened again.

where did I put it 013

Since I have been going around in circles I thought it might be better to stop making new work and go back to working in a series which is what I like to do. I have to follow my instinct and my intuition. I wanted to find the last piece of art that was almost finished, but where did I put it? I am to the point where I can find everything.  I have separated my finished works from my unfinished works and labeled it all.

WIP bins 001

I looked everywhere that I thought it could be for three days. Then I told myself, it will turn up I am certain. I was lost for what I may have done with it. Where did I remember having it last? The living room next to my favorite chair where I do my hand quilting, yes I still hand quilt special pieces which will probably never know a washing machine. One morning I thought of the most obscure place I might put it. I was knitting pet blankets in December, but then company was coming, so I fast gathered. Under the stairs there was a basket with bulky yarn. On top of the basket was the lid to a box I was using to put donation books into. I lifted the lid covering the yarn. Almost completely covered by the yarn was a corner of the quilt — hiding.  I found you, my Very Colorful Quilt, a reason to celebrate.

Quilt -- very colorful 003

 

 

 

 

 

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Art-filled Life

If you think you can’t think again.

  • These are all oil paintings I created from photographs I took:
  • the old wooden gate in the side yard,
  • our cat Pepper sitting in the window,
  • Jabba the Hippo at the San Diego Zoo,
  • my beloved Kuma laying in the grass,
  • my son Ian at an afternoon soccer game,
  • a reflection of my husband in a store window,
  • night photography at the park,
  • a painting of a friend’s rare Honda motorcycle,
  • theme award at the Faire.

Try, and if you fail — TRY AGAIN!

Quilting 101: Fabric found

I’m grateful. The fabric was found in a shoe box at the far end of my shelves — not labeled, of course.

Fabric Auntie Grace 002

So the trip I so wanted to take to the not so local quilt shop to buy more fabric will be postponed until tomorrow. These fabrics are very workable and I’m sure I could finish a quilt with what is here but there is something in the hunting and gathering that makes me salivate.

Also in the box with the fabric were already started blocks and templates for quilt blocks I made years ago in the hope that someday I would have a granddaughter. In need of a Christmas present before her 5th Christmas I remembered these blocks. I didn’t have much time to make the quilt with only a month before the holiday. I had to think quickly and made this quilt:

Abi's Big girl quilt copy 2

Little girls go through the pink and purple phase so combining the blocks with pink and purple bands worked out well since I made only 16 blocks but they were big.

Now back to my Nine-Patches.

Quilting: try to stay organized

Oh yes, what is it? Is it a flaw, is it too many things on my plate. Too many projects? Heaven forbid. I feel I am getting more organized — but am I getting too organized? I know I just saw that — but where is it now? I know I have a considerable amount of Auntie Grace fabric but I can’t find it and I know I just saw it.

I have decided it may be time to make a page in one of my notebooks, preferably the notebook labeled 2016 and it will say:

where did I put it 013

Quilting 101 (time lapse)

As all good plans are made, they aren’t always achieved.

Now on to DAY TWO:quilt day two 001

Adding a different set of two colored strips. This time pink and green. You’ll need three of each color strip. You can do this using fat quarter strips 1 1/2″ wide by 22″. Five strips of each color, as shown using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Be sure to press as you sew. Press DO NOT IRON, pressing is an up and down motion with the iron. I do not use steam because I like to get my fingers in there and steam and my fingers do not like each other.

quilt day two 002

Lay the sewn strips right side to right side as you would sew them together being careful to line up the edges carefully. I like to trim the front edge first to even it up. Then resting my grid cutter on the 1.5″ marker I make my first cut. Without moving the fabric I carefully line up the edge on the 3″ mark on my ruler and make the second cut, again I carefully move my ruler without disturbing the fabric to the 4.5″ mark and cut again. The my final cut will be on the 6″ mark before I move any of the fabric. Then repeat to the end. You can also do this following the grid by matching your ruler with the cutting board grid to get an accurate cut.  Keep your fingers clear of the cutter. I have trimmed my nails but have been lucky enough to not draw blood. I can’t say the same for my use of a French knife. I almost lost a finger tip when I got distracted using one of those.

quilt day two blocks 002

I press the sewn seam down first to set them, then I press the seam to one side usually the darker fabric. In this case you would have to be the judge of which is darker. You can press from the back side of the fabric or the top side. I use a small spray mister and prefer to press from the top side of the fabric, but not always. It is a judgment call.

quilt day two blocks 001

The finished squares will measure 4.5″ This is not always true. Measure and see if your blocks all measure the same. If they all measure the same and it isn’t 4.5″ then that is your personal measurement. If most of them measure 4.5″ and some are a tad off carefully trim the excess. Be careful when trimming, you will be gratetful that you do because just being a 1/16″ of an inch off on several blocks can throw you off by half an inch overall. When I started quilting it didn’t matter to me, when I sewed them together at the end it did matter and I have to tell you — I hate ripping out.

(to be continued)

Happy quilting,  Joanne

 

 

Quilting 101

I have been spinning my wheels for some time now. I’ve been sorting and wondering why I am stuck in this rut. Then it dawned on me. Although for most I may not appear to be organized — but an organized person is one who can find what they need when they need it. That was me until we emptied my studio to put down new flooring — which I do love.

Fabric was brought back into the workspace and just put helter-skelter on the shelves. It would make for interesting work if that were the way I worked. I have been lost and instead of making new work I am looking at UFOs  (unfinished work) and trying to get my head around finishing them. That just isn’t possible when I can’t find what I need.

There was a time when I put all my WIP (works in progress) in shiny silver boxes supplied by a lovely local department store and labeled them. Even then when I open the box I find I am one fabric short, the dye-lots don’t even come close to the colors created today, which is a hazard of having projects that date back into the last century. Wow that sounds old and it is. But they are still worth finishing when I find the fabric in my many piles.

So I asked a trusted art buddy, Kim Burke, in Los Angeles to give me her opinion. She suggested putting the old projects aside and “MOVE ON.” I knawed on it for all of about 15 minutes and decided that was a worthy opinion and advice.

I put what I was working on into a shoe box and pulled out a different shoe box of 1 1/2 inch cut strips. This is not what I had in mind, it isn’t arty nor is it flamboyant, it is sweet. So this is March 11, 2016 and I am looking at my breakfast smoothie of banana, mandarin oranges and mango —

DAY ONE: Aunty Grace fabric and it looks like I will be making a baby quilt, smoothie in hand.

Quilt DAY ONE

Tree Trimming

As I was working in the yard yesterday I kept brushing the top of my head with the branches of the Pepper Tree. I loved when we had bird feeders and so many birds in the back yard. I thought I needed to add more feeders again to attract more birds. As I was trimming the low branches about 18″ I looked above my head. I was either looking at a small bee hive or a bird nest. It looked like a nest of my indoor Finch nests. So I stopped trimming and waited. Sure enough within a few minutes two tiny birds came to the branches with some red-orange food in their beaks. It made me happy that they were comfortable enough with me standing so close to go directly to their nest.

It made me happy to know that these little guys who are smaller than my house finch are making my yard their home.