Tuesday, March 29, 2016

WIP . . .

My new addiction!
When I wrote last time, I had just completed my UFO (UnFinished Object) inventory. My goal is to complete as many of my UFOs this year as I can. There are some pieces, though, that I am just starting. To keep my head straight and to stay on track, I am going to begin calling my new projects WIPs . . . Works In Progress. Hopefully, they will be finished this year and not end up being added to the UFO list next January!

Speaking of WIPs, it's never too late to start something new, right? I recently said to my husband that I really should make bigger blocks when I make quilts.  I am always drawn to six-inch and eight-inch blocks...often with lots of piecing within the blocks. It takes a considerable amount of time to make a quilt when the blocks are small. But, here I am...getting interested in hexigons. Quilters affectionately refer to them as hexis. They are great to work on when watching TV and make a great carry-along project. I don't know why I stopped doing handwork, or when. Maybe it was a few years ago when I started to get sick. Now that I am better, things are falling back into place. So, the sewing basket is back and is next to my chair in the living room. ♡

It's surprising how many hexis you can make in an evening. I am not completely sure of how I will use them, but you have probably seen them in old quilts from the 1930s and 1940s. They are often in quilts called Grandmother's Flower Garden, made with calicos and the ever-popular depression green. 

I am using batik fabrics for mine. Here is my collection, so far. It will take about 800 more to make a throw!

It's fun to arrange the little hexis and audition them before making a commitment on placement. :-)
I have continued to make cards.  I don't always post them here. Sometimes I am in a hurry to get them out in the mail and I forget to snap a photo before I run off to the post office.
This paper has been in my stash since I began paper crafting about 4 years ago.
I challenged myself to use it because it wasn't really something I would buy today.
I made the dragon fly stick pin and black glittery leaves. The flowers are fussy cut from the paper and popped up on foam dots.
This fancy chair die is one of my favorites.
It has a matching embossing folder.
The raised--up designs are inked.
This was made for a special girl who turned 18 last week. Her birthday party was a Great Gatsby theme, so I used Graphic 45's paper, Couture.
My dress form ensemble for March never got off the ground. It was a busy time here with our granddaughter visiting us for a week.  I had my idea planned,  but I had much more fun spending time with my family!  Hopefully, I can execute my plan for April very soon!

I am looking forward to some warmer weather so I can get back outdoors and rake my gardens. After being out of commission, due to surgeries, for the past two years, I can hardly wait to get my hands dirty! 

Thats all for now. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. 

Until we meet again, may the Lord hold you in the hollow of his hands. 


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

. . . about those UFOs. . .

It took a while, but I persevered. I emptied both of the closets where I store my fabric stash and my UFOs  (Unfinished Objects/Quilts). I knew that I owned a lot of cloth, but seeing it all unpacked and stacked high on the sofa, on the table and in the chairs in my sewing room, with only enough space left for me to sit on the edge of the sofa, made me realize I have a serious problem. I have the same problem that many creative people have.  I have more dreams and ideas than I have time. Much of what I unearthed in the dark recesses of the closets were UFOs . . . anything from a solitary 4-inch quilt block to a few bed-sized quilts that just need borders. 

It has been fun going to quilt shops and picking out fabrics and patterns. Much of my shopping over the past decade has been in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Whenever we passed through Intercourse, I would be drawn to Zooks' fabric shop, like a moth to a flame.  Routinely, I would buy fabric, bring it home, wash and iron it, fan it out on the back of the sofa and look at it over the course of a few days, deciding how I would use it in a quilt. But, eventually, other things seemed to be more important than my sewing and I would pack the fabric up and put it on the closet shelf.

When I actually did sew and use my fabrics, I made quilt blocks. Some blocks ended up in the box of what I call orphan blocks. They never made it any further. Some of my UFOs are tops that are nearly completed. I have often remarked that I think I am more of a top maker than I am a quilt maker. There are many steps to making a quilt. I like the first steps the best. Picking out the fabrics, deciding on a pattern, constructing the blocks, and sewing them together is what I enjoy the most. As much as I like seeing one of my finished quilts thrown over the arm of the leather sofa in our living room, displayed on the bench in our foyer, or hung over the railing on the second floor landing, by the time I get a top sewn together, I am mentally finished with it. This is something I need to and want to change.

Laboriously, I opened each bag and box that I found in the closets and examined the contents. At first I thought it was going to be a difficult task and not a lot of fun. I was afraid the guilt of so much undoneness would over come me and I would stop and once again smoosh everything back in the closets. But this time, it was different. I stuck with it AND I enjoyed the process. I fell in love all over again with many of my finds! I repackaged them and listed them on a legal pad. Just to keep myself on track, I made a little scoreboard of sorts.
That's right!
45 UFOs!

I even managed to get rid of fabrics I no longer wanted. Luckily, I found places where I could donate them. That freed up some space.

I consolidated all of my UFOS into totes in the corner of my sewing room. The empty ones had various fabrics and patterns in them that are now put away on the closet shelves.
Of course, there will still be new projects to sew from time to time. In fact, I am currently participating in an online group called The Splendid Sampler. You can check it out here: http://www.thesplendidsampler.com 

Here is a photo of some of the blocks I have completed so far for my own Splendid Sampler:

I have a lot of blue and yellow fabrics in my stash, so I decided to use them for my splendid sampler.
It's a year-long project. We will be making two six-inch blocks each week for a year. The green and yellow block will have some blue buttons added to it!
There will be a new block posted tomorrow for the sampler. I will close here and get some sleep. I am going to need it with the work I have ahead of me....even though it is enjoyable, and a hobby more than it is work,...it can be very tiring!

Thanks for stopping by to read my blog.

Until we meet again, may the Lord hold you in the hollow of his hand.