Audiobooks and Podcasts, Studio, What's on the Design Wall

A Happy Ending for “Happy Ending”

“The Quilt is in the Mail”

A package arrived in the mail yesterday. A very exciting package. A quilted quilt!

I could not wait to open the package and see Cindy Anderson’s, of A Quilter’s Corner with Cindy Anderson (inastitchquilting.com), long-arm quilting magic!

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How fast can I get the box open?
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Oh the anticipation, now I have to unwrap it from the enclosed bag!

Before we get to the reveal (don’t scroll down and peek yet!) here is a little background on this quilt.

I found the pattern for this quilt, Happy Ending, in a book I borrowed from my public library – Perfect Quilts for Precut Fabrics by That Patchwork Place. The pattern was designed by Lesley Chaisson. I used a couple packages of pre-cut 5 inch squares (charm packs) and deep blue (Ink) Peppered Cotton, shot cotton to make the quilt.

If interested, you can read these previous posts about the evolution of this quilt: Diving into a quilt (and other stuff) and What’s on the Design Wall and What’s on the Design Wall.

After  removing the quilt from the box, Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I opened it up and laid it out on our bed to get the full effect of the completed:

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Draped on a king-size bed

My quilt top traveled from Oregon to Wisconsin and returned from Wisconsin as a quilted quilt!

I wish it was completely done and ready for use, but first I have to make and then sew the binding to the edge of the quilt to finish it.

Originally my plan was to use the deep blue shot cotton (main fabric of the quilt) for the binding. TTQH suggested a contrasting color for the binding instead of the dark blue, like an orange or a red fabric.

I like that idea! I found in my stash a reddish-orange Moda fabric that coordinates with the Moda fabric charm squares. I will post more photos when I get the binding put on the Happy Ending quilt. Photos do not do it justice, the geometric designs of Cindy’s long-arm quilting are lovely on my quilt!

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Waiting for the binding to be added

How Do You Trim?

I have a question for the quilters reading: How do you trim the excess batting and fabric off the edges of a quilt that has been long-arm quilted (or domestic machine quilted by you)?

When I began having quilts professionally long-arm quilted, I would use scissors to trim down the quilt. Eventually I moved to using a rotary cutter and a ruler to get a sharp straight edge. This takes a bit of time to complete trimming on a large quilt and I long for the day when I would just use scissors.

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Trimming my quilt after long-arm quilting completed

Rotary cutter and ruler or scissors? How do you trim?

Bonus Content

Inside the box with my quilt from Cindy were a couple extra items that made me smile:

A handmade card (not by Cindy but by another artist) from recycled fabric scraps:2017-04-11_13-30-49_944.jpeg

Scraps left over from the quilt including some fairly thin scraps that I think Cindy was challenging to make something with! (ok true confession – my quilt back was little bit short on one side and Cindy had to do some “remodeling” on my quilt back to make it work):

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And finally – a challenge piece – an embroidered napkin:

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When I saw the napkin, I misunderstood why Cindy sent it. I thought she sent it in support of my post The Napkin Story. However, after chatting with Cindy I discovered she sent it to me as a recycled fabric quilt challenge! She wants to see what I can do with it! (I took it out of my cloth napkin drawer and put it in my studio).


Postscript

I love listening to audiobooks and most of the audiobooks I listen to are borrowed from my public library’s digital download system. You reserve audiobooks just like you would hard copy books (the library is given a limited number of licenses of copies of a digital book they can loan out at one time) and the library e-mails you when the audiobook is available for download. On popular audiobooks, you can wait anywhere from a week to a couple months to get that e-mail.

So I went crazy reserving a bunch of audiobooks a couple of weeks ago when I suddenly ran out of audiobooks to listen – PANIC! Then, yesterday in addition to getting the quilt in the mail, I got an e-mail from my library notifying me that FIVE of the audiobooks I had on hold were available for download:

  • Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman
  • For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men
    – Shaunti Feldhahn
  • We: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere – Gillian Anderson & Jennifer Nadel (yup, Gillian Anderson of The X-Files fame)
  • Good Omens – Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
  • Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions – Neil Gaiman

The loan period is 21 days, so I need to listen to all books in 21 days or have to go back into the reserve book queue – yikes!

I went ahead and started listening to For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men as I was in the mood to begin with my nonfiction options. Also I previously read Good Omens and several of the short stories in the anthology Smoke and Mirrors are in the Neil Gaiman book I read last year, Trigger Warning. 

The audiobook is very interesting so far! I might share some insights from this book in a future post.

(Shaunti Feldhahn did also write with her husband Jeff Feldhahn the companion book – For Men Only, Revised and Updated Edition: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women. According to Ms. Feldhahn these books are used as reading requirements in some church-based premarital counseling programs.)

My Minimalism Journey, Studio

Quilt Studio Archeology and Purging, Part II

I consider myself an organized person. I try to keep everything nicely organized in my crafting area.

However it is just organized clutter.

In two recent posts Quilting Studio Archaeology and Quilt Studio Closet Purge I discuss going through the stuff in my sewing area with a critical eye and beginning to purge. Perhaps “quilting studio archaeology” is not the most appropriate term as over the past couple of days I have been engaged in Crafting Archeology.

You see, I am not just a quilter. I am also:

  • A paper crafter (card making)
  • A beader/jewelry crafting
  • A knitter
  • A crocheter
  • A small fabric craft maker (bags, potholders, pillows, etc.)
  • A various miscellaneous crafter (like my foray into felting…)

Each craft involves related paraphernalia and supplies. I had all of them organized in the closet in my studio, along with sewing fabric:

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Above the closet doors is this a painted sign a friend gave me as a gift – Simplify. I kept this is mind as I go through everything left in the closet and make some honest decisions. I had already purged my unloved knitting, crocheting, and beading supplies. I have avoided until now my card making supplies, random crafting supplies and my fabric fat quarter storage.

Papercrafting Supplies

Between making cards and scrapbooking I have acquired quite a bit a paper and paper crafting supplies.

Over the past couple of years, on my journey towards embracing the minimalism movement and only have in my life that which brings me joy, I have donated a large amount of paper crafting supplies. I completed a huge project in 2015 – all my loose photos  were either put into a scrapbook or discarded. I have no more loose photographs.

When I completed this massive scrapbooking project, I decided to give up paper scrapbooking. If I craved another scrapbook in the future, I would have a digital scrapbook professional created.

However I had not decided what to do with my card making paper and supplies. I did sell a set of handmade cards on Etsy a couple years ago and I still like making handmade cards.

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Initially my plan was to just box up all my card making and remaining scrapbooking supplies and donate them all. However the I am continually inspired by the beautiful paper crafts I see on blogs I follow such as PaperPuff (paperpuff.wordpress.com) and I want to continue to make cards.

So here was the compromise…

What I kept:

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What I let go:

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Next post, I will continue sharing my archeological dig and purge; and talk about my “Fat Quarter Pathology” and the big decisions made around my obscene collection of pre-cut fabric/fat quarters.


Postscript

I am waiting until I have a couple more blocks done to provide an update on my Farm Girl Vintage blocks (see posts Farm Girl Vintage, Part I and Farm Girl Vintage, Part II and Recent Audiobook Delights). I just finished on called “Chicken Feet”.

One of my blogging buddies is also working on Farm Girl Vintage – check out peggycooperquilts.com for her blocks (she has made much further progress!)

Monday 3/6/17 is my last week of my 28 day Fast Metabolism Diet (FMD) that I shared in previous posts. I do not like scales but I feel like I have lost at least 5 – 10 pounds. When I have my annual wellness exam with my MD in April I will find out the official number.

My clothes are definitely looser and I feel great. I am looking forward to having a little dairy when the 28 day program ends!


Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s posts on her Schnauzer Snips blog – schnauzersnips.wordpress.com/blog/

Feature photo credit: Russell Hugo, free images.com

A Crafter Needs to Eat, A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts, The Library Stack

Diving into a quilt (and other stuff)

It is time to get back to some quilt making, since allegedly I am a quilter, and this a blog about a Quilter’s Life (which would imply there would eventually be some quilt-making involved).

I tried to start the quilt (Tango Stripe) I mentioned in the post Quilt Seating! but as I mentioned in the post Not working on what I’m supposed to be working on, I abandoned it for knitting a hat.

Never started…

 

However sitting around reading and browsing books from my latest library stack (see post The Library Stack) and being the ADHD creative person I am, I found a quilt pattern in the book Perfect Quilts for Precut Fabrics by That Patchwork Place, that I had to make IMMEDIATELY!

It is a fairly simple “half square triangles” (HSTs) quilt pattern called “Happy Ending”, designed by Lesley Chaisson. I have a couple bolts of Peppered Cotton (shot cottons) in various colors and a crazy amount of Moda charm packs. I thought this pattern and quilt would be the perfect marriage between a deep blue (ink) Peppered Cotton and a couple Moda Basic Grey line charm packs. You need like 7 yards of the solid so this is a great way to use up a bolt that I have too much of (originally I was selling it on my tierneycreates Etsy shop).

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I have completed most of the cutting and Terry the Quilting Husband has drawn the diagonal lines on the back of the printed charm squares for us to make the HSTs. So the next step is to actually sit in front of my sewing machine and sew! (so that’s how quilts are made…)

And what about the hat I was working on? It is done and I wore it for the first time yesterday on a dog walk in the land of “Snowmageddon” (it is still snowing and snowing and snowing in Central Oregon).

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(And yes I did wear the hat around the house for 1/2 hour with the double pointed needles on top mentioned in my prior post – I get so excited when a hat is nearly done – I get a “knitting high”)

I am tempted to start another hat but first I better actually finish a quilt top…


Postscript

So what else have I been doing during “Snowmageddon” – reading and cooking.

I am reading Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and I am completely sucked into the convoluted tale. I even stayed up too late one night reading. It is one of those books where I think the actual paper book is better than the audiobook. I gave up on the audiobook earlier this year and I am so glad I gave it another try in paper.

I am also listening to an audiobook when I walk the dogs in Snowmageddon – Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick. The book is delightful and narrated by the author. I did not know she was a child actor and I am enjoying her stories from her childhood and the less than glamorous world of childhood acting. She is a great narrator and I feel like she is talking to me telling me her story.

As far as cooking, I have been persuing Pinterest for soup recipes and found a delicious vegetable soup recipe on the Cooking Classy blog – Vegetable Soup. It says it serves 7 but I think they left the “0” off after the “7”. It made SO MUCH SOUP.

I froze several large bags of soup and I have a couple containers in the fridge for lunch this week (and next week, and the next week..)

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Finally, let me leave you with this image that a friend shared. I do not know the original source, so unfortunately I have no credit for the photo/meme. It does capture how we are feeling right now in Central Oregon with the nonstop snow:

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Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer now has her own blog schnauzersnips.wordpress.com.

You can sign up to follow her blog at schnauzersnips.wordpress.com/blog/

Studio, What's on the Design Wall

What’s on the Design Wall: Pre-cuts Wrangling

Pre-cuts Wrangling!?!?! What does she mean? Has she been sniffing her fabric glue sticks (normally used for appliqué, not as recreational substances)?

“Pre-cuts” = Those addicting beautifully coordinated collections of pre-cut fabrics in common sizes such as 2 1/1 inch strips, 2 1/2 inch squares, 5 inch squares (aka “charm squares”), 10 inch squares, fat quarter (18 x 22 inch sections of fabric) bundles, and various other tempting configuations.

Wrangling = “To tend or round up” (Dictionary.com)

I have a lot of precuts, more than I need. Likely more than any human needs. I appear to use them to decorate my crafting studio.

Decided to do something crazy – actually USE them instead of just decorate with them!

In my post What’s on the Design Wall: Rediscovering my Charms I discuss delving into my charm pack (5 inch squares) collections and using them to make quilts and wallhangings. Taking a break from charm packs, I have moved to a smaller size of pre-cut – the 2 1/1 inch square pack. I wrangled up my collection of 2 1/2 square pre-cut packs and selected several colorful Rowan/Westminster Fabric packs to create a series of “16 patch” blocks to turn into a quilt. I pieced the 16 patch blocks into a scrappy “postage stamp” style quilt.

I provide some very general simple directions for wrangling your 2 1/2 inch pre-cut packs into a scrappy quilt below the photos.

 2 1/2 Pre-Cut Quick Quilt (Wrangle & Design As You Go)

  1. Wrangle a couple packs of 2 1/2 squares (approximately 42 squares in each pre-cut pack) – I think I used 2 or 3 to start
  2. Chain piece non matching pairs of the squares – you will end up with a series of 2 patches
  3. Chain piece the pairs (2 patches) to another set of pairs (2 patches) – you will end up with a series of 4 patches
  4. Chain piece the 4 patches to another 4 patch – you will end up with a series of 8 patches
  5. Chain piece the 8 patches to another 8 patch and finally you will have a series of 16 patch blocks
  6. You can be careful and match your seams, and press between each patch construction or throw caution to the wind and not press until you complete the 16 patch
  7. Sew the 16 patch blocks into rows and then the rows together in to a quilt top
  8. Wrangle and Design As You Go – you might discover you need another 2 1/2 pack to get the size of quilt you want or you might have to save some 8 patches and use them on the side or bottom of the quilt to even out the rows. I used my design wall to decide what block “mathematical configuration” to use. I started with 4 x 7 (4 blocks in a row, 7 rows) but that seemed too narrow. I finally decided on a 5 x 6 quilt (5 blocks in a row, 6 rows of 5 blocks) and will take the row of blocks off the bottom of the design wall, add a couple more and add 1 additional block to each row.

 

If you are a new quilter or a future quilter and are unfamiliar with how to “chain piece”, check out numerous free online instruction videos available on YouTube or other sources.