Sunday, February 5, 2023

Strong Finish for January

 My main important goals for 2023 are: 

1.  Evaluate existing unfinished projects to decide to either

  •     Finish 
  •     Rework the pieces for some other idea
  •     Donate or pitch in the trash

2.  Finishing quilts for Harris County Emergency Shelter which temporarily houses teenagers which include:

  •     Quilt tops given to me
  •     My own quilts — which in a few cases have turned out to be the parts & pieces from other unfinished projects

To avoid getting too lopsided in one direction or another, I’m planning to take a day or two each week to work on my own projects.  

I was very proud of the strong finish I had in January.  When the month closed, I had 4 quilt tops ready to be pieced on the longarm, the backings prepared and binding cut, pressed & wound.  Several included parts & pieces from unfinished projects.  One (the blue one below), in particular, started as a table runner and was expanded into a strippy quilt section.  It’s definitely a step in the right direction!  Such a relief to have these organized.

I also put the hurt on my scrap stash with 6 large improvisational rectangles that will be a quilt top.  

It’s crazy how my “new to me” garbage picked drying rack worked so well to get the pieces organized.  

I also like having the bindings ready! 

This year all the short lengths of weird, ugly “what was I thinking” fabric is going to become bindings.  With scrap quilts I think that’s a fine idea! 

With all this organization going on, I’m feeling very motivated!  How’s your motivational level at the beginning of this new year? 

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Saturday, February 4, 2023

The Grateful Threads Project 2022 Foster Quilts

 I know, it’s been a hot minute!  Life happens.  I’m having a great time spending time with friends, family and studio.  

I was honored to present 18 quilts to the Youth Services Tulsa transitional housing for young adults.  Hawkins and I took a weeklong camping trip that saw us visiting Texarkana up to Bentonville and over to Owasso OK to visit with my lifelong friends and deliver the quilts.  It was the first trip in the newly painted camper.  It got a lot of attention! 

A selection of the quilts we took to Owasso for the foster program (below).  

 Improvisational knit quilt from reclaimed thrifted clothes.  Very cuddly. 

One of my “signature” strippy quilts 

I was very tickled to figure this quilt out.  Another strippy quilt featuring the dog panels circa 1990. 

A bunch of misfit 9 patch blocks combined with purple fabrics.   The Square in a Square setting is always a good layout. 

A lovely use of a printed panel quilt.  The large floral squares are nicely complemented by modified 4 patch blocks. Quilt by my friend Barbara

 This fabulous quilt had my head spinning.  Sharilyn is a math professor. She and her mother work together on quilt tops I quilt for The Grateful Threads Project.  She always uses interesting layouts. 

Thanks for Joining the Conversation! 
If you would like to view all the quilts given through The Grateful Threads Project, my Pinterest board is here.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Adventures in Salado TX : Deer & Magnolia Pearl clothes

I recently took a short trip to visit a girlfriend in Salado TX.  It's a small town north of Austin in the Hill Country region of TX.  My friend has a gazillion deer on her property; probably because she feeds them twice a day.  They are the best trained deer in TX.  If she doesn't have chow around mealtime, they'll come nosing around the patio or even come into the open garage!  I definitely enjoyed seeing them! 

One of the days I was there we took a stroll through the local shops.  One shop had a large selection of Magnolia Pearl clothes.  Magnolia Pearl is a Fredericksburg TX company known for their raw edge look.  I was immediately intrigued because this is the 1st time I've seen the clothes in a store. 

This lightweight coat really caught my eye.  All the diamonds are machine appliqued to a muslin base.  The edges are left raw and are already a bit shaggy.  Truly a serious amount of work--I believe the clothes are now sewn in India. 

Yep, I loved this one!  (below)


The bead shop had a few treasures I can use on my current Crazy Quilt.  I had to buy the deer charm!  

A fun trip!  

Join the Conversation!  Are you going anywhere this summer? 

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Machine Quilting & a Vintage Quilt

I've been nervous about starting the machine quilting on this commission tshirt quilt because the customer gave me a microfiber sheet for the backing.  I usually use cotton or cotton sheets.  I didn't know how the microfiber (polyester) fabric would behave.  As it turned out, I wasted a lot of time and mental energy worrying.  It was fabulous!  I was also able to do some fun freestyle stitching.  The "fingers" just appeal so much to me.  I'm going to experiment with them more. 

Recently a friend gave me a vintage bowtie quilt that had been given to her.  She didn't have any use for it.  It intrigues me a bit.  The colors definitely suit me and it's very soft with minor repairs needed.  It's main issue:  it's very lumpy; very lumpy. 
I'm uninterested in taking it apart.  It's hand quilted.  I might consider cutting it up but I know I'm probably not going to do that.  At least not anytime soon.

What would you do with it?

In other news, I was accidentally exposed to COVID on Sunday.  I gathered with Hawkins' family and one of his son-in-laws thought he had a head cold.  By late Sunday night he was running a high fever and 2 COVID tests came out positive immediately.  Monday morning we all got the news.  I'm hoping the vaccines and boosters I took protect me.  Tomorrow is the 3rd incubation day so I'll find out soon enough. 

It's excruciatingly hot here.  Hawkins and I are seriously looking for a cool spot to land in July.  Not the best time for a road trip with gas prices hovering around $4.50/galloon but we've had an offer for a stay in clear and cool Pennsylvania on a lake.  Seems inviting!  Might be worth the trip and besides, I want to see Asheville NC and the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

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Thursday, June 16, 2022

Second Improvisational Quilt

When I finished the last improvisational quilt top, there were still plenty of strips & bits leftover.  So, I just   started another one!  I’m amazed how easy it is to start new projects.  😎😎.  Yesterday I looked at my tub of improv pieces.  Lo & behold!  I think my 15 odd strips will work well with the started panels.  It will be Fabulous to combine all this into a lively quilt & empty that tub.  Did I say Empty?  

I’ll stitch this strippy style on the longarm where I piece & quilt simultaneously.  I’m aiming for a queen sized quilt with a wild colorful backing. I’m going to divide the sections with the solid turquoise fabric. I think some solid divisions will help all the chaos of the pieced sections.  
I anticipate giving this quilt to Hawkins.  He asked for my mom’s quilt  but I couldn’t give it to him!  Like her, he likes colors.  

Mocking up part of the 2nd panel.  That panel should be finished today.  

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