Welcome to my blog

Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Company is always nice

For a little while I had company Thursday evening. Dad had to work late and Mom had class so NaNa got to feed them and play for about an hour. Ladybug can't decide whether to eat or have her thumb in her mouth. EJ just wants to ham it up for the camera. Ladybug doesn't like McDonald's. She only wants foods with tomato sauce or only green beans. She spits out and frowns at anything with meat or cheese. Must be a phase.

This is the next quilt to go on the machine. I've been dreading working on this one. This is the back. It's going to be a reversible quilt.

Why have I been dreading it? Because it's going to be very difficult to quilt. Why?

1. It's batik front and back. Batik is tightly woven fabric so it does a snap, crackle, pop thing when the stitching is being done. The needle has difficulty penetrating two layers of batik and a layer of batting. I have to be very precise in the stitching because any frog stitching will leave needle holes. No margin for errors.

2. The back has lots of bias cut fabric. There isn't any way for me to know for sure if the individual pieces are going to stay flat next to each other. It's underneath where it's difficult to see a problem. I'll probably get several tucks in the back because each piece has it's own direction of stretch. I always tell the people who do pieced backs to be sure that the fabric stretch goes all in the same direction. If one piece is cut horizontal and the one next to it is cut vertical or diagonal... the stretch is different. One piece is slack while another piece right next to it is tight.

3. Multiple seams crossing each other can cause a needle to break. I could get a fabric wart on top of a fabric wart. A fabric wart is where multiple seams meet such as in a pinwheel center where the 8 seams come together. It's called a wart because it makes a hard knot. Think how many layers of fabric would be in one spot if two of these come together in one spot.

4. The top must be centered on the backing so a small portion of the outside border of the back is included on all sides of the quilt. Centering a top on the backing (top to bottom) is difficult because the quilting draws up the top. The side to side centering is easy.

5. The top is an on point setting. Which means a whole new set of bias issues to work with. Often when someone pieces a top into an on point setting they use fabric cut into squares and then cut on the diagonal. This means they are sewing the stretch of bias when doing the setting triangles. It would be much, much better to cut the squares on bias then cut the diagonal which would actually be on the straight of grain. I'm not sure I explained that right but I hope you get the idea.

I decided to go ahead and finish this quilt because it goes to the same owner as the last quilt I finished. I want to ship them out together. Besides.... sometimes it's best to get the difficulty done so the rest is more relaxing.

Friday, I went shopping. It's been at least a couple of months since I chauffeured my SIL. I did get my new faucet for the kitchen sink. I won't open it until the plumber can tell me if it will work on my sink. If it doesn't fit I can return it unopened. I spent twice as much on this as I had planned. I saw it and decided my "old" kitchen needed a little bit of "update" in it.

I also got a new door knob for my front door. Yes, it is for a closet door. I use a deadbolt to lock the door and don't like being accidentally locked out of my house if I use a self locking knob.

I've been thinking about what will be my first art quilt project? I haven't yet decided on a theme but I have decided on things to incorporate. 1. Curved piecing. 2. Bright colors 3. A cartoony drawn character (my style of drawing) 4. Thread painting

Seeing what Marilyn (Metaphor in Fabric) did with her sandhill crane had my creative mind churning. I love the flip flops on her crane!

I do have to be realistic.... I have a lot of UFO things to finish before starting new projects. I have several charity tops waiting to be quilted. I have window quilts I want to make. Not to mention the rest of the customer quilts to finish. Oh yes, and my daughter moving back home in a few weeks. This will require some reorganizing of the house.

The other day, my post on when I would finish the customer quilts may have sounded negative but it wasn't meant that way. I was just doing a bit of mental calculations on when I could do my own projects again. It mentally seemed so long before I could get to my own things that it was a bummer.

One of the things a professional quilter must learn to do is plan their own projects weeks or months in advance. That's what I was doing that day. The nice thing about being retired will be that I can work on one single quilt and not have to worry about WHEN it will be finished. That won't work though if I plan to make art quilts to sell. A person can't sell what they don't have. If I want to sell my art I'll have to start thinking about creating and completing work. Selling my art brings up a whole new set of problems.... where and how will I sell it? I'll need to learn new "marketing myself" rules.

I also don't want to forget.... the cardboard furniture and writing a book. Hmmm.... maybe this is too many projects? (just thinking) I did say I was going to "say yes to less" this year. I should do more thinking about what I can accomplish and what I can't. Oh well, I have plenty of time for thinking. A quilt awaits me. Lots of thinking can be done while playing with the quilting machine.

1 comment:

Quiltin' LibraryLady said...

You are so busy, even as you wind down towards retirement. You've probably found to that too much thinking about things can make the projects seem even bigger than they are when you just go ahead and start working on them.

You didn't show the front of the current quilt...is it anything as busy as the back? Would a pretty, swirly all-over pattern with lines that DO NOT cross each other work? It might take up a bit of fullness here & there & if the lines don't cross wouldn't there be less chance of tucks? Keep in mind I've been doing this for less than a year.

Having your daughter move back home will no doubt present some challenges including you not letting yourself slip into the mom/maid role. Good luck with this phase of your life. From what I've read it's a very common thing any more for grown children to move back in, some bringing their own children. Kind of like everything old is new again. It used to be very common for three, or even four, generations to live together in the same household. I have to wonder though how everyone hung on to their sanity.