Sunday, March 28, 2010

I've Been Tagged!

I was fortunate this past week to have been tagged with a blogging award from Diane Wright, whose blog (click here) is wonderful.  Thank you, Diane!
Now, here are the rules for this award:
1)  Thank the person who gave you this award.
2)  Share 7 things about yourself.
3)  Pass the award along to 5 bloggers who you have recently discovered and you think are fantastic!
4)  Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the award.
I’m tagging the following bloggers to be fellow recipients of this award (click on their names to reach their blog):
So, here are Seven Things About Myself:
1)  I consider red a neutral color.
2)  I love deciphering CryptoQuips (coded phrases) in our daily newspaper.
3)  I always wanted to be a rock star; the closest I’ve come is cantoring at my church on weekends.
4)  I’m so reluctant to cut into my fabrics that many of them are sun-faded from being on the shelf too long.  I am working to overcome this.
5)  I backpacked through Europe when I was 21.
6)  I am a HUGE fan of “House, M.D.” and “The Good Wife.”
7)  I have a T-shirt that says, “Does Anal Retentive Have a Hyphen?” (It was a gift.)
Hope everyone has a terrific week – may the muse be with you.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Little Art Quilter That Could: The Construction

What I've Learned So Far:
1) No matter how hard you try, it is virtually impossible to cut fabric on your cutting mat if the fabric is the EXACT SAME COLOR as the cutting mat.
2) The iron is your best friend.
3) It is entirely possible to pin two pieces of a block together and also pin them to your pants at the same time.
4) Henry Ford knew what he was talking about: It is far more efficient to put things together using an assembly line.

This month has been a time of great learning for me. I decided to make one complete quilt top from my commission before tackling the other three, which are identical to the first. It was one of the great decisions of my life. There were so many bugs to work out and so many mistakes in calculation that, had I cut out all the pieces for all four quilts, I might now be ordering more fabric.
I made a chart (shown below) to determine the amount of fabric I needed by drawing diagrams of the layouts I planned to use for the pieces. This was time-consuming, but immensely valuable. However, I over-ordered the fabric by more than I had hoped, so I now have enough to make two more quilts. If I can just convince the nursing home directors to build two more facilities, I'm all set.

I’m now on track with the remaining three quilts, doing production work. I have even managed to channel Eleanor Burns: I am chain-piecing like a pro, and, when I’m cutting fabric, I throw the excess over my shoulder with carefree abandon.
Shown above is a picture of the completed quilt top; the suggestions that many of you gave to me regarding the best thread to use for piecing were greatly appreciated; I'm finding that the Aurifil 50-weight is moving through the fabric like butter.  So, on to the quilting!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

"All You Need Is Love"

When Colorful Art Girl posted the theme for March’s Postcard Challenge, “Words To Live By,” this idea jumped into the front of my mind and wouldn’t leave until I had completed the piece.  I rarely work on a white background, so I thought I’d give it a go – and now I remember why I rarely work on a white background: It’s rather unforgiving of stitching mistakes.  However, this is my year of Thinking Outside The Box, so I decided to persevere and ignore the little holes left by ripped-out stitches.
Everything is fused, especially the words, which were printed on fabric and cut out using tweezers to hold them (I was determined).
I was tickled with the result; I’d love to expand the idea to a larger piece and add embellishments to it – beads or hand embroidery, maybe.  I’m finding these postcards to be wonderful springboards to new and different projects.
Visit here if you’d like to join the challenge!  And, as always, thank you for being out there -- it's wonderful to feel connected to such a fabulous group of kindred souls.



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