Sunday, February 26, 2012

a lovely heap....and a finish

I have several quilts going right now. I am enjoying the stage each one is in. Gives me something to do, no matter what mood I am in.

First up is "Gypsy Dream". This is to be our summer quilt, so it is on its way to a "king-size". Made from 2 FQ stacks, Kaffe Fasset and Brandon Mably, along with a Laura Gunn off-white print. Currently 90" square, I need to add borders to increase the size. I am in the process of designing my borders before I complete this.

Next is a commissioned t-shirt quilt. I have cut and fused all the shirts, now I need to do my sashing before assembling.

I started this last night! "Pave the Way" by my friend Karen Gray made from a Fat Eighth sampler of Amy Butler's "Lark". I am amazed at how quickly this is going together.

This has been a week of recalibrating since the passing of my beloved mother-in-law. Early in the week was horrible, then mid-week, I finally slept all night and had some small "cries" each day, Friday was good. My husband is also sleeping a bit better so we are working on processing this grief. 

I quilted each night, and finished this, I call her "VooDoo":
72" square, the batiks are all scraps from previous quilts. The pattern is my own. The dark gray is "Manatee" a Free Spirit solid, the light gray is Kona "Ash".

Free-motion quilted with YLI Variations, a variegated tri-lobal polyester. The pictures do not show the luster of this yarn! I love it and will be buying additional colors.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Quilt in process

I am quilting a bit each evening. Here is a sneak peak on my current project.
So much fun. So comforting.

Monday, February 20, 2012

MY Pillow from TMQG Swap

Made by the lovely and talented Colleen of luckyduckdreams! She made a modern Dresden, on Kona Ash, using bright beauties from her stash.

I love the orange, the Amy Butler prints, the dots. And I really love the hand quilting! Thank you, Colleen!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Deep Water

The last 2 weeks have left me feeling like I was underwater. Swimming in a strange ocean. I need to sew, it has helped me work through the beginning of my grief. I have thought about my sweet mother-in-law as I have stitched. She sewed, made most of her clothes in her young adulthood. She also quilted. So a lot of this is inspired by her, and her encouragement.
(pardon the color shift-I tried to correct, still looks a bit too red)

I completed Rumba a couple of weeks ago, and so enjoyed the process, that I wanted to do another in a color story fashion. So here is Deep Water.

Measures 36" by 48" (same as Rumba). 

(pardon the blur-dog at my shoulder)

I used a variegated YLI thread. The stitch design is my own, I just sat down and it happened. I like it and plan on doing this on a larger quilt I am piecing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

TMQG Pillow for Swap (updated)

Our February swap for the Triad Modern Quilt Guild was a travel pillow (approximately 12" x 16"). Our swap Mama gave me an easy, and tough swap mate: Angie! Easy, because she loves Kate Spain, tough because she is an awesome sewist, so I needed to be on my game. Our guild has a Flickr group, links to blogs and we follow each other on pinterest, so stalking Angie for ideas was fun. I found one of the last charm packs of Terrain, known to exist (LOL) and some Kona Charcoal and Free Spirit Manatee solids.

I pieced selected charms with the gray solids for the front, the edge and added an accent strip on the envelope flap on the back.

I did minimal straight line quilting, just to accent the shape. I really like the contrast that the gray lends to the bright colors of the charms.

I am also enclosing the remainder of the charms, I know Angie will find a use for them. I hope she likes the pillow!

She DID like it!!! And I love my pillow!

Monday, February 13, 2012

February FMQ

sewcalgal's February tutorial on FMQ is by Diane Gaudynski. I am a HUGE fan of hers! I have both of her books (which I recommend) and have been a follower of her blog for years. So I have been looking forward to this month's challenge.

Diane's feathers are so graceful. And her directions are so detailed, that my feathers look (sort of) graceful too. I really liked the way she took us step-by-step through the stitching. My feathers look pretty okay to me! I also like the post Diane had about making "one-sided" feathers, it is always nice to see options.

Anyway, here is my February stitching: Feathers Ala Diane:

Thanks to sewcalgal for organizing this year-long challenge. My skills are improving!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

this is how a breaking heart feels

When I started this blog, I tried to make it a personal diary. Full of things I was angry at, mundane minutia of my life. Then it evolved into more of my creative journey, which is satisfying personally as a way to keep up with my projects, ideas, and inspirations. Actually it is still a personal journey, and record, but told through the lens of my medium, quilting. But that has come to a screeching halt this week.
One of the bright lights of my life, is fading. And this pain is like NONE I have ever experienced. My dear sweet MIL is in and ICU and we know she is on her way. 
I never imagined I would ache like I am.
If I write about my emotions right now, I probably couldn't finish, so let me write about her. 

She was born in September 30, 1929, a month before the Great Wall Street Crash (Black Tuesday), on a little farm in rural North Carolina. Farmers didn't know they were poor, because they were self-sufficient, growing their food and trading for other goods. She got one pair of shoes each year, a pair of ugly brown oxfords. (That's okay, she currently has well over 50 pairs of gorgeous shoes in her closets. And in storage boxes under her beds). She went to school, met another rural farm boy and married. (in a car on the county line because they had got their marriage license in the wrong county!). She sewed for a textile mill for 17 years, then when the youngest of her 3 boys was in elementary school, she went to collage to study her first love, nursing. She worked as a nurse for 30+ years, only letting her certification lapse at the age of 79. She paid for the house of her in-laws, as well as the house where she raised her family. She cared for her in-laws, parents and husband as their lives were winding down. Then came 10 great years of doing what she pleased. 
She has 3 sons, 3 daughters-in-law, 6 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Her great sport was bargain-hunting. She has an extensive wardrobe and was always dressed "to the 9's".
Up until this past Tuesday, she still read the newspaper from cover to cover, worked word-searches and crossword puzzles, read romance novels and watched "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy" as well as UNC Tarheel football and basketball games.
She is such a great lady, and my heart feels as if it is shredding. I feel lost. I am so going to miss her. Her political discussions, pictures of recipes, showing her my quilts. Yes, she was also a quilter.  
I know this is a part of life, and I told my son that this pain we are feeling is the price we pay for love. But I would not give back one single second of that love. 
We are both lucky and blessed to have had her in our lives.

I hit the mother-in-law jackpot. I told my mom yesterday, that because of the way she (my mom) loved me and taught me to love, I was able to love Meme. We developed a respect that grew into a deep friendship over all these years. And we laughed a lot.

I will return later.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Stack o'blocks

Here's my stack of blocks I am piecing for my next king-size quilt.

I keep them beside my machine and do a few every time I sit down to sew.
I love how they are coming together. It is difficult for me to keep from sitting down and sewing this quilt up! I am trying to relax, take my time, and enjoy the process.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Corporate Art quilt!

I had to travel out of town last week to visit a customer. To my delight, their lobby had a fabulous art quilt featured at the entrance! It was made by an employee, and there were others hanging throughout their offices.


This was the only one I had time to photograph, but isn't it a beauty?