the double bind

Riley web 002Have you met Riley? She’s 112 pounds of hairy love. And I do mean hairy.20170422_213444

I’ve made a bunch of scrap quilts to try to keep the furniture clean.  I pull them up and wash them: so much so that they are now frayed along the edges.

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I sewed a second binding to this ragged quilt and loved the result. Not only did I clean up the ragged edge, but I added a second layer of fun to the binding. Super cute. It makes me want to have a double bind on all of my quilts.

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creativity 4 – know yourself

DSC_0009Do not adjust your screen; there IS no color in this quilt.  When my son saw how my daughter’s quilt birthday quilt looked, he let me know that he’d like a similar one some day.  So, here is my third big quilt, and the only other color I ever used was yellow. i am a quilter

All the quilts have been unplanned and random. I used what I had and only bought fabric as needed. The quilting on all three is straight (ish) line and close. I know this kind of monotony would drive some people nuts, but I like it. DSC_0016I also like silence when I’m at a difficult point. I can watch TV or listen to music when I am quilting the straight lines, but I prefer quiet when I am piecing the front of the quilt. I tend to be supply driven; what do I have and what can I make from it? I’d rather not follow patterns; I prefer to stumble along on my own. This results in lots of failures, but it’s what works for me.

What works for you?

 

 

movin’ on down

I am so excited! I am moving my office/sewing room from the attic to the basement. I am still organizing and decorating, but it’s starting to come together.

Sewing Room Shelf

Sewing Room Storage Shelf

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This space is so much nicer: not as hot/cold as the attic – and I can actually see some of my bird feeders from my desk. I enjoy that. So does Brittney, the no-longer-feral cat. (Pictures of her in the future.)

creativity 3 – make time

My niece made me a present years ago. It hangs in my office and makes me feel good every day.hurry

So, for her birthday, I wanted to make her something special. I was giving her money, since that’s what teenagers want, so I decided to make a little purse to put it in.

I didn’t start sewing until the morning of the party. My machine wasn’t sewing just right, but I didn’t take the time to fix it because I was in  a hurry. The stitches around the zipper were crooked, but I didn’t rip them out because I didn’t have time. Eventually, I showed up late to the party: unshowered, empty-handed, and full of apologies.

I know better. I need to make mistakes as I go and have the time to fix them. My best work happens when I can enjoy the process and not just hurry to the finish.hurry_0001

I made this sign for my sewing room as a reminder to take time for creativity, and to have patience with myself as I learn and grow and improve.

Oh, and Gillian got a little package in the mail a few days later – with two purses.

creativity 1 – limits

I pay attention to what helps and hinders my creativity. Surprisingly, limits seem to help me. So when my younger daughter asked for bolsters for her futon, I decided to try to use only the fabrics (in her chosen colors) that I already owned. My first problem was that none of the fabric was big enough. So I decided to piece them together to make the pillows.bolster 013

Isn’t this so cute? If I had just run out to the fabric store, I would have bought a print with blue, purple, and tan and that would have been it. But using what I had, I had to get creative. That lead to the stripes AND to the embroidery to make it seem cohesive.

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It has happened before . . . My older daughter asked for a gray and white quilt, and instead of hating the limits of no color, I loved the result.

homemade wooden trellis

And this trellis? I didn’t have enough wood to make all the horizontal pieces go all the way across, so I got creative. Limits really bring out the best in me. Does anyone else feel like that?

i am a quilter

I made my first real quilt this spring at the request of my eldest.  birthday quiltQuilt

And I have been hooked ever since. My 1981 sewing machine did fine, but I needed more open space to shove all of that fabric through. After much soul searching and internet searching, I decided I wanted a better quilting machine.machine 006

Ta Da!! This work horse has been such a great addition to my sewing room. The yellow space above ( harp space)  is only about 1/4 inch higher  and a couple of inches wider than my old machine, but it makes a huge difference in the ease of sewing large projects. And it is  so powerful  and has such features . . .Date 017

My second quilt, for my brother’s 50th birthday, sports a fancy machine- embroidered date label.Quilt Back 021

The close stitching  that I love was way easier with the bigger harp space in my new machine.Quilt.16

And right after I finished this quilt, I started another. I am a quilter.

birthday quilt

My firstborn had one request for her 25th birthday – a gray and white quilt made by me. “Yes!” my heart said – but I wasn’t sure. My first qualm was the 1981 sewing machine I use. My second qualm was the TIME. My third qualm was gray and white – like NO colors? I had QUALMS.

But I started cutting up my fabric and sewing it together and I pieced that baby together on the fly. It turned out great and my daughter loved it. And I loved it. And I love her. Happy birthday, baby girl.Quilt

Made with love in every stitch.

Quilt close

 

 

backyard love

Fall is here and it’s my favorite time to enjoy the yard:  The gardening frenzy of the spring is long gone. The sloth of the sticky summer has blown away in the cool of the autumn breezes. Fall is the time to sit on my swing and admire the season’s hard work. (Of course, I need a nice cushion to sit on, and a quilt to snuggle.)

quilt and pillows on swing
modern quilted pillowOh, and a pillow, too!

hand sewing

I love my sewing machine, but there will always be a special place in my heart for sewing by hand. I love the organic look of hand embroidery, and ***bonus*** I can carry my sewing with me wherever I go. pot holder

Here is a pot holder I decorated by hand.canister

date pillow

My cousin recently got married. To keep with the green gifting theme, and because I knew she’d love it, I made her this pillow that’s appliqued with the date of her wedding.date-pillow

personalization

my new gym bag

my new gym bag

I have a thing for personalized gifts. I think it comes from a long childhood of searching the racks of toothbrushes and  notebooks and bicycle license plates, always in vain,  for the name “Jodie.”

felt monogram

felt monogram

check me out

My next article appears in Sew It All Magazine Vol. 5. (Available in stores Dec. 4)  http://www.quiltandsewshop.com/product/sew-it-all-volume-5/magazines

I show how to make this cute pillow I made for my sister-in-law.

getting quirky

I like to get quirky when I’m pairing fabrics together. It took me a little while to decide what to use with this beautiful red silk, but then I knew: a cotton drop cloth from the hardware store.I love how the rugged drop cloth fabric contrasts with the delicate silk.