Saturday, February 28, 2009

How I fertilize my mojo

Enough doom and gloom! If you want more of that, read the national news!
I seek out things that make me smile, laugh and think. I like discovering new sides of people, hidden talents, quirky websites. I take tons of pictures: flowers, dogs, graffiti. I love colorful views.
This cool photo is the side of a building (I think it used to be a Head shop) in Boone, NC. The happy "Ohm" in the sun, the butterfly, rainbow and stars, all say "happy daisy-wearing, patchouli-smelling bra-less hippie love!" And what is wrong with that? Not a thing.
I also have a list of cool blogs I read daily:
Dark Roasted Blend: great photos and weird stories
Blue Ridge Blog: gorgeous photos
Project Rungay: fashion and pop culture
Fuck You, Penguin: those cute little animals are really dangerous !
Crazy Mom Quilts: very talented and inspiration modern quilter.
Whip Up : Cool craft sight

I also have my favorite books, full of pictures to inspire:
Denise Schmidt Quilts, the Griffin and Sabine books by Nick Bantock, Quilter's Home magazine.

I am always trying to learn new things, it keeps me inspired in every way.

Friday, February 27, 2009

made it another week

I have always had the fear of loosing my job. That is probably due to some strange perfection-pursuit deep in my DNA. I have always tried to do my best, every day in every task. Fearing the day my "less-than-perfection" would come to light and everyone would see how useless I really am. Now I have addressed this feeling of inadequacy, and I know that in reality I am smart, capable, detail-oriented, quick, self-driven and damn good at what I do. I have the respect of my management, colleagues and customers. I have been given special projects and assignments which have allowed me to travel and learn. But, every day, for the past 5 months, I have been waiting for the axe to fall. I know it is not personal, it is just business. But this limbo, this time when I (as well as the others I "still" work with) can not move forward, is torturous. One of the guys in the office said last week, "I can handle getting let go, I can handle looking for a job. I can handle being unemployed. But this waiting is killing me."
We have lost more good people again this week. This week's job cuts were sudden. By that I mean, we were not told on Monday there would be more cuts by Friday. This is what had happened in October, November, December, January and again last week. Each time, we had to wait out the week, still trying to complete projects, answer customer inquiries, create new designs, all the while never knowing if or when we would get the summons to "come down to HR". Each time we have been told, "this is all". It is a hellish way to try to function. We get calls letting us know where the HR managers are headed. There has to be a better, more organized, more respectful way to handle this. The rumors, innuendo, and gossip keep us from being productive. There is a huge cloud of fear, along with a sick satisfaction from some when the terrible news is delivered. I really have tried to move this blog into my creative life. I am fortunate to (as of today) still be employed as a designer. BUT, I am moving forward with my personal creative pursuits. I am making quilts and handbags, taking a Photoshop class, working on taking more pictures each week, building my portfolio. I know it is coming. I really do not want it to end yet, I am still having fun.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Accepting the Challenge

I know, I have already done it, but glad I found a group that does it too!

Using our scraps. Want to join? Go Here.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Started, and Finished!

I have been ambushed by a cold. I am clogged up, feeling like there is cotton in my head. So, what to do? Sew of course. I have had this gorgeous FQ batik for a while and have saved it until the right project came to mind. Well in going through my scraps for the previous post and project, I came upon black and white strips from this quilt. Then, the thought of this bag came to mind!

It turned out just like I wanted. I took the black and white scraps, sewed the strips together and cut out perpendicular to the strips. Then pieced the rectangle sides, and used other b&W scraps for the trims. I put a zipper in the top and lined with a pink dot FQ. I love it!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Scrap Therapy

The economic news of late has been both grim and right in my face. We had another week of layoffs at work, with lots of great people loosing their jobs. While I have had to deal with it from 8-5, once I am home, in the sewing room, I have been indulging in scrap therapy.

For me, scrap therapy takes all thoughts away. I plunge into my scraps and revel in the colors, feeling the softness. Now I am a saver, and do not like to just randomly toss any fabric out! As I am developing a quilt (or pillow, purse or table runner) I toss my scraps into my cute hatbox as I rotary cut:

Once the bin is too full for the top to close, I start sorting by scrap size and cutting into an appropriate piecing size ( I like 2.5" strips and 5" squares).

I love scrappy quilts. Each of the fabrics used seems like a little mystery. Where did this come from? What type of quilt was it used for? I also love using up every last piece with the least possible waste. And using my scraps to piece a top feels like getting a quilt for free! After all, I bought the original fabrics (or raided my Mom's stash) for a specific project. That project is complete and with its new owner. The scrappy project (from leftovers) didn't cost a thing!

Here is what I made this week:

I got the pattern/directions here.
I was searching for ideas for charm squares, and found this. Since I do not have a local quilt shop, I decided to use my scraps. It is 57" x 55". I am going to look through stash to see if I have patterns I can piece for the backing. That way, the only cost incurred for this quilt (other than my time, which is very therapeutic!) is the batting. Not sure where this one will end up, but making it has certainly given me peace in this frightening world.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cross one off the list...

Finished the binding for this one!
Also practiced my free-motion quilting and quilted 2 wall quilts!

kinda blah

February is the shortest month, but it still seems to linger around. We are in the middle of winter, still dark when I get up and when I get home. We're teased by nice days and brought back to reality by harsh chill. All the news seems to be bad. I can still be transported by the deep, clear blue of the sky and the bright smooth bark of the leafless trees. I am also in a sewing lull. I need to finish piecing my king-sized top. I need to practice my free-motion stitches. I need to bind the table runner I quilted last week. I know, quit griping and start doing!
I am also trying to keep positive about my job, but with each passing day, and lack of sales, that becomes more difficult. Sometimes I just want to lay in bed all day, or play with my fabric all day. But I have to (in the words of Bob Dylan) "keep on keeping on" (from Tangled Up in Blue). Well, the fabric is calling. I will first bind the runner, then sew on the king sized quilt. That should give me a feeling of accomplishment.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Beautiful weekend!

Our weather this weekend has been perfect! Hard to believe that it went from 20F Thursday to the 60s today. The bright sunshine always makes me feel good. I have been creatively prolific, finishing the Bow Wow quilt yesterday and creating this photo quilt today. All these photos were taken this week.
This house is going to be quiet with my handsome hubby off for a 2 day conference and then beginning his new job in our future home. I need to dedicate some time each evening to cleaning and prepping the house for the market. I know things have been painfully slow, but we have a huge house, in a great neighborhood and it will be at a good price. We hope to list it in April. Wish us luck!

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I just finished this today! It measures 48"x60" and is for my neighbor who just turned 1. The top took 1yd + 1FQ of the dog print, 1/2 yd of the red/whit pin dot, and 1 FQ each of the stripe, large black/white dot and 2 tone red dot. The back is 2 yards of the red do print with 1 yard of the black print. I machine quilted it in a meandering plaid pattern. I love a pieced back. It seems like a special treat!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

more inspiration

Seeing the incredible beauty produced by other artist ins other media is also very inspiring to me. I guess their excellence pushes me to push myself! Here's one:

This is so beautifully executed, the story, the music the mood. Quite thought-provoking!