Friday, January 22, 2016

New York beauties

Feeling slightly less bitchy than I was last week, which is a good thing. I went through my books last week, and found one that's probably my favorite:

I go back to this book all the time, I just love New York beauties and this book was my first introduction to them. So many fabulous ideas in here!

I'm making a patternless wall hanging, just kind of sewing all my scraps, and so far it's turning out nicely.  But I'm going to add some "beauty" pieces here and there, just have to figure out where and how... 

A big snowstorm is supposedly headed up to the Hudson Valley of NY this weekend, as well as most of the east coast.  So far we've had almost no snow this winter, which is fine with me, but snow does mean snow dyeing.

Oh, and speaking of NY beauties, how about these two cuties (Madelyn and Ethan) from a trip we took to NYC last weekend--

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

It sometimes seems to me that quilters are crazy

Lately I've been kind of negative on the whole quilting thing.  Don't get me wrong, I love to spend hours dyeing fabric, painting fabric, doing some deconstructed screen printing, more dyeing, and of course, sewing and quilting my pieces.

But so many quilters just seem to buy, buy, buy, and accumulate so much stuff they will never use! I belong to several Facebook groups that have members interested in free motion quilting.  People who try to free motion quilt for the first time, and it doesn't turn out perfectly, so they begin searching for the perfect sewing machine that will magically make them quilt like a pro, and ask for recommendations from total strangers on which machine to buy.  How many hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent in pursuit of those perfect stitches, when in fact they could quilt beautifully on any machine if they just put in the hours and hours of practice needed...

I see the endless need to buy-buy-buy the latest fabric from this designer or that designer, and buy in all the available color ways, not just one. Buy more, don't worry about ever using it, because you can also sell it at a reduced price on other Facebook and yahoo group sites that specialize in getting rid of your stash of fabrics, books, magazines, DVDs, patterns that you never used, jelly rolls, rulers, templates, kits, and of course those sewing machines that you bought in the pursuit of perfect stitches that you now keep stacked in the closet or the extra bedroom...

And those that take one workshop after another, signing up to learn every technique ever thought of. Now there are even workshops that let you bring all the samples you've created in other workshops and use them to make something!

My quilt guild had tickets for Quilters Take Manhattan last fall, just hop a train into the city and spend all weekend being bombarded by this quilting star or that quilting star, all of whom are introducing their latest fabric line, or pattern, or book, or color coordinated threads, or the perfect  workshop or online class that will teach YOU how to make quilts just like theirs! No thanks.

Or what about the "famous" quilter who is advocating clearing out your stash, and adopting the slow stitch movement and being more mindful of your work. Sounds good until you realize he is creating more of the usual books, fabric, online subscriptions and merchandise you will absolutely need to buy in order to subscribe to his way of thinking...

My grandmother moved to an apartment in the mid-1980s and we cleaned out her house of 50+ years and found bags and bags of polyester fabrics stashed in her attic that she bought, I'm sure, with the best intentions.  Now I look at what I've accumulated, and wonder what my daughter would do with it all if I died tomorrow.  So I've been slowly and quietly finishing up my UFOs, quilting some tops that I've made over the past few years, and using only fabrics I have on hand for everything.  I have only bought some new threads, since quilting those tops has used up a lot of what I already had on hand.

My goal for 2016 is a simple one, to be productive.  I'm also not buy anything new, and will not be seduced by new fabric, books, gadgets, machines, etc. I don't want to be an accumulator, I want to be a maker.

Linking up with   Off The Wall today!

Monday, January 11, 2016

January - deep freeze

This year, I have intentions to post here more frequently, and to use up some of the piles of scraps I seem to have EVERYWHERE.

Been working on a quilt top the last few days just to feel productive and to use up some scraps...

This is my sewing table after a few hours of sewing.

And here is the area next to my machine:

But I have made several blocks, not sure what I'm going to do yet, but I'm slowly forming a plan...

Can you tell that these are pinned to curtains? I moved my sewing room from one bedroom to another recently and my design wall is still in the other room.

I had been working on some posts for the "And Then We Set It On Fire" blog, I was supposed to post the last two weeks of January, but due to communication issues, three different people had been scheduled, so I'm now doing them in July! 
Happy creating!