Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Creative Juice


   Scraps from Ainsley in a modern, simple setting. Backing more feminine since it is made for a little girl. Kid Comfort is a program sponsored by the YMCA and the armed forces to give quilts to kids whose parents are on active duty. They provide the photos printed on fabric, and the postage. I provide the fabric, batting, and back. And the time and creative juice.

    I have been looking at a blog by Sue Spargo  and feeling inspired to push my own blog limits. And, to push and define my own style. It seems confusing today, is my style recognizable? Some of the big names in quilting can be spotted across a crowded auditorium. My summer work has been in such a different colorway, block size, and type of quilting. It happened by saying yes, and then being pushed beyond my comfort zone. That is what my creative juices need!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Under Adverse Conditions

I finished this big project last month, and even impressed myself with how well it turned out, considering the adverse conditions. I need to write them down lest I forget. It was 105 degrees all month, and at least 5 degrees hotter in the sewing loft. Then add quilting gloves. (At least I didn't notice hot flashes, I was already sweating.) The house is still under construction so the floors are USB flooring planks that don't sweep well and can't be mopped. The ceiling fans are in, but between them and the open windows it was so windy everything had to be held down in the loft. No design wall, so I used a giant flannel sheet on the floor as a design surface. Dirty and dusty! And I had to keep reminding myself, keep it simple, no fancy stuff. The solid strips look pretty good, although at the time I had my doubts. The backing wasn't big enough for this king sized quilt, so I tea dyed a piece of similar fabric and pieced it. Close enough. I hand sewed the binding in one day. This photo was after I washed the quilt to get the dirt and dog hair off, and it is drying on the garden fence. (No drier, yet.) You can see the side clothes pins holding it so it doesn't blow away! Just as it dried, a freak thunder/lightening storm hit and the only rain for the whole summer started! I had to hurry it inside so it would be dry to mail. By the way, it didn't rain enough to water the garden. That was another difficulty, climbing up and down the 24 ft ladder to the sewing loft every half hour to move the garden sprinkler each day. It is so dry and windy here that I had to water daily to keep my veggies and flowers hydrated. I almost fell off the ladder once, which was a good reminder to be careful. Whacked my shin.  Even if I love heights, gravity still exists.

As tough as it was wrestling that giant quilt on my lap under my sewing machine in the heat, it turned out so pretty.  I quilted it in wavy lines every half inch all over. No wrinkles, smooth and soft, highest quality cottons with a bamboo batting. The patron LOVES it. Interesting, her name, Danna, means patron in Japanese.

The best part for me (more than getting paid to make it,) was the giant learning experience. I feel so much more confident in my ability to machine quilt. I broadened my style by sewing with soft pastels. I designed the pattern myself, and created a work of art.