Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Grandma's Flower Garden

This past week I was on vacation - we took a cruise from Montreal to Boston and had a blast! But what do you do when you are taking a train. We traveled from home to Montreal and then back home from Boston all on a train instead of flying - so much cheaper! It can get quite boring just watching out the window - mind you, most of the scenery is very beautiful! But I mean for people like me who like to work with our hands...

Not too long ago, I read a list that mentioned the 100 things every quilter should do... I am a self proclaimed "modern" quilter. I love asymmetrical designs, and new methods that simplify old techniques... I love so many of the new "modern" fabrics! I just want to buy a whole bolt of them all! (If only I could afford a warehouse to keep them all in!) But I still place great value on learning the "traditional" methods. I think there are so many forms of art (language, dance, quilting, photography, etc) that have been inundated with new methods and techniques. I feel I owe it to my ancestors who quilted before me to at least LEARN how to do it the way they used to do it! Especially since my Great-Great-Grandma Alice Hoover was a teacher (& quilting instructor) back in the 1800's!

Well, number 15 on the list of 100 things every quilter should do says "Try hand quilting". To me, this means not just quilting by hand, but also piecing by hand! So I figured since we would have many hours on the train, what better time to try and teach myself how to hand piece! Of course, I can't pick an EASY project to begin with... NO! I had to pick one with Y-seams... Remind me again why I have this addiction with hexies!?

I also figured I would "test" myself and try to do all this without marking my quarter inch seams... Crazy, I know - but apparently I like a challenge!

All in all, I am patting myself on the back... For my first ever effort at working by hand, I am very pleased with my progress so far!I am in love with the fabric I am using. It is "Mini Confetti" by Dear Stella... I had bought a fat quarter bundle that included all the colors of the fabric, so it was perfect for this project (IMO)! I think the only thing I would have changed - next time I will mark my seams! I have done a really good job, but I feel like I could be much faster at the process if I had marked the seams. Then I wouldn't have to concentrate so hard to ensure consistency throughout...

So tell me - have you done a hand piecing/quilting project? Do you ever plan on doing one? I have actually really enjoyed it! And oddly enough, I am already thinking about my NEXT hand pieced one! I KNOW! I can't even believe it myself!!!

Until next time my quilty friends ~ PIECE!

Marcia }|{

Monday, May 12, 2014

Cutting to Catch-up!

I started several "Block of the Month" (BOM) projects earlier this year. I thought it would be a great way to work on new projects throughout the year and have something to look forward to each month! So far, it has been great. The first couple of months, I was waiting UN-patiently for the new month to begin so I could get my new pattern for that month's block! Then, a family emergency and several weeks away from the sewing room put me behind schedule...

This weekend became catch-up time and I found myself needing to make several months worth of blocks to get caught up! First, I had to FIND all my fabric which I am using for each block... That was a chore in itself! We have been reorganizing the house - how silly that when you re-organize, at first you can never find anything because it is not where you "normally" put something... But your new normal is in a new spot... UGH!

Anyway, after I finally found my fabric, it was time to pull out the rotary and get to cutting!

I love seeing all the stacks of cut pieces and ready to go... To me this means I am so close to finishing several blocks! Chain piecing is a lot of fun - and I like to see all the fabric come back together as it creates something completely different than it was before! I think that is one of the many things that draws me to quilting! What about you?

Here are just a few of the completed blocks

Well, I am off to prepare for a train ride! You know what that means??? LOTS of time for hand stitching! Gotta get my supplies together and ready for the trip... Is it bad that I will have my quilting stuff ready to go BEFORE I even bother to think about what clothes I need to pack???

Until next time my quilty friends ~ PIECE!

Marcia }|{

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Meet more "Newbie Bloggers" like me!

I am keeping my fingers crossed that I am selected to participate in a brand new blog hope set to begin in the next month or so! This Blog Hop is designed for new bloggers, like me!, who have been blogging less than 2 years and share our love of modern quilting. I just sent in my request to be included today, and they will be deciding by the end of the month the final list of blogs to be included...

Plum and June

Until next time my quilty friends ~ PIECE!

Marcia }|{

Tiny Spaces

 I like to consider myself a crafty and innovative person! And reading through many blogs and online groups/communities - I know that people are always looking for ways to do things easier - so am I!

One of the biggest problems (for me anyway), is trying to figure out how to work on those full-size - even Queen / King size quilts - like how the heck to you BASTE it when not only do you have NO extra room in your house - not even a single spot on the floor large enough to spread a quilt of that size out!

I came across a few tutorial videos about "wall-basting". I thought, "WOW! This is my answer!" WRONG! My house is so small, I don't even have a single WALL big enough to baste a Q/K size quilt on b/c any decent size room in my house needs a door, right? And of course the door is right in the middle of the wall thus eliminating any spans of good usable wall space for basting a quilt!

My dining room - notice all the doors... UGH!

Well, recently I turned on of our bedrooms into a ginormous walk-in-closet! What woman can't use one of those, right!? In doing so, I used some of those "ClosetMaid"  organizer thingys to add shelving and rods without the need to drill tons of holes into my walls...

You probably have a great design wall in your craft room, right!? Most quilters do - well, being that I am also new to quilting, I didn't have a great design wall yet... I love the idea of those insulation boards/panels and putting batting on them - so I had an epiphany! I hope you like my idea!

This link will take you to my Facebook page where with each picture I give a description/instructions on my process...And how I was able to turn that dining room in the picture above into THIS:

All I do now is slide my table over - move my fabulous new moveable design wall panels from my sewing room and hang them in my dining room - and they straddle my doors - so I can now baste that Q/K size quilt on a smaller than 6' wide wall!And then when I am done, I can take it all back down again and still enjoy a dining room...

What innovative ideas have helped you through the quilting process??? Do you have any ideas that you came up with that may help and want to share??? Please leave me your thoughts and comments below! And if you love my idea and use it, please share pictures with me! I'd love to know if this idea helps you out at all! And as always, please link back to me so others can find my tutorial as well!

Until next time my quilty friends ~ PIECE!

Marcia }|{