Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Day #2 Fabric

Just to be clear, my church knitting group is the Knit Wits Mission. We make afghans for Vets, blankets for hospice and scarves and hats for kids homes, and now sew quilts for Ronald McDonald House.  Mostly everything is made from acrylic and being a true yarn snob, I don't have any to donate, but I do have a coterie of knitting-quilting friends I've invited to church (and our KW meeting) who will gladly accept some really nice yarns and at the same time get some fabric. 
Yesterday was the fabric breakdown and my goal was to empty the four bookcases full of fabric, and then move the bookcases upstairs into Dave's art room. I used the empty bins from yarn to organize the solids/hand dyes into color groups. I hope to make these irresistible to people who are only used to using prints in their quilts. There is yardage in the bigger bins. 

 It didn't take long to run out of bins and so I began to load more fabric into the built in bookcases at the end of the room. As you can see, there is  a heckova lot of fabric still here. Some of it will no doubt be delivered in the second wave, but it is so convenient sitting on these shelves, so I will have to be diligent and keep at it. One good thing: the overhead lighting makes it really easy to see what I have here, and that alone makes a huge difference. Baby quilts will use up lots of these prints.

In the other end of this room is a big chest of drawers filled with prefused fabric, so you can expect to see more fused quilts showing up on the blog. Small ones. 

Now for the arduous job of bringing it all downtown. O my.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Serious Deaccessioning

I saw this on Pinterest (heard that before?) and for some reason it got me motivated. 
It hit me that the stuff that I own has begun to own me. Like use me or else! The pressure of having this much yarn and fabric is oppressive. Becoming a septuagenarian has also made me question Will I ever use all this stuff? It controls my future and and now I want to take that control back.
Get the scoop on the strange-sounding process of Swedish death cleaning. You'll learn what it is, why it's important, and how to get started! #cleaningtips #organization

Also, I was thinking of those people in California who lost everything to fire. If I lost everything and had to replace it all what would I really replace? That got me seriously thinking about how I want to spend the rest of my years. I do love to knit and sew. But all the yarn I bought was for sweaters and jackets to sell, and I don't care about doing that anymore. As for the fabric, most of it was 'a great deal' and I had to take advantage of the bargain. Or it is leftover from my quilting career, selling hand dyed fabric, and it is like from 2002 and I still have it. Moving it all 5 times! I'll definitely be bringing that excess to our church quilting room.

So the next question is what will I keep and then what will I do with it? Time will tell. 

 Saturday I began dumping out bins of yarn and organizing them into like piles. I put matching yarns in bags and into bins of worsted, DK, fingering and whatnots.

 My plan was to empty one whole rolling rack, which I did. And this is what I kept. As you can see, I still have plenty. All the bins that I emptied will be filled with fabric that must go.
I'm planning on attacking the fabric stash today. 

This was taken four years and three houses ago. It has grown, and gotten a lot messier. I'll tell you this, I am keeping my pre-fused fabrics and do plan on making small works again. And painting too. La dee dah!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Improv Day

 The plan if there even was one, was to use scraps. Ha! I had some already cut slices of beautiful solids and one or two stripes and that got me going. I decided to make this Quilt As You Go, so I searched for large batting scraps. The piece I found was long and narrow, so I cut it in half and used fused cottons fabric to connect the pieces.  

 Then I sewed the connecting parts with a zig zag stitch. The reverse will be the part the top covers. It will be smoother.
 Then the sewing began.
 This is the way it hangs on my design wall, but what if I turn it 90 degrees? oooooh!

Of course this is still in pieces, and more will come, but it is a good start and I am giddy over the colors.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

A Challenge

 Carolyn, one of the gals in my church knitting group, the Knitwits, was given some fabric by her friend. The friend wanted her to make a quilt from these fabrics. The fabrics were very pale yellow, a print, a solid and a white eyelet. Carolyn brought the fabric to me and asked me to make a quilt (for pay) from these fabrics so she could in return give it to the donor. I said Yes, because I love yellow, and decided she could donate my fee to the church. 
But, and this is a big but...the three fabrics were way too uninspiring, so I asked if I could bring some other fabrics into the mix to add interest. In the end I didn't use any of the solid yellow or the eyelet and lots of yellow, green, purple, white and orange. It was fun to just play with scraps and see what happened and it only took a day to make the top, 44x54"

 Here's a close-up of the fabrics that I added. The original print also happened to be in the church's stash, so I didn't use a bit of the donated print. 

 That light yellow print was used as the binding also. The batting was a large scrap donated by one of my quilting pals, and therefore was also free. The only non-free part was my labor, but how can you call having fun labor? 
 I don't plan on making a habit of taking on challenges like this again. I kept thinking about what I would be making if I chose three fabrics from my own stash? We'll have to see.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Assembled and Quilted

 The organ cover is assembled and quilted and all it needs now is to apply the rod pockets and rods.  We are using thin garden stakes for tomatoes! They are long enough and lightweight and just the perfect solution to hold the cover properly.
 Altho it isn't obvious here, I ended up zigzagging around each letter to keep it safe from picking fingers. And unfinished, I brought it to church to show a few folks and got rave reviews. Thank heaven!
 The quilting has some Christian symbols in it. Here is the Holy Spirit Dove and flames for Pentecost.

And this is the Cross and Crown.

And the Triune circles of the Trinity. That wiggly top edge will have the rod pocket sewed on and be contained nicely. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Church Project

We have a brand new pipe organ at our church and it was placed in a very public spot in the sanctuary, where people and kids gather before sitting in the pews. The keys and stops are an attraction to inquisitive fingers and it was felt that a cover would protect the organ. Two of us sewists were asked to design a cover and my partner in this project sketched out the cover layout. We delayed and delayed and finally got around to starting on it. In the meantime my partner had to go out of town and that left it to me to design the top. Altho suggestions of using many Christian symbols strewn across the width, I wanted a more 'harmonious' design. Rather than use the typical 'Make a joyful noise' I looked for another Bible passage. 
 I liked this one from Psalms and typed it out in an appropriate font, to copy into 6 1/2" letters. The backing fabric is Kona cotton and is the exact color of our pew cushions, a small miracle. I will line it in another blue cotton, and quilt the letters, and add some symbols in the quilting itself, thus satisfying the request for those symbols. 
I used a hand dye painted fabric I made years ago and never found a use for, until now. I fused the back of the fabric and cut out the letters, arranging them in the drop part of the front. 

 The side drops will be the Alpha and Omega which was suggested several times, and I was happy to find a spot just for them. I used silk shantung for these. The top part of the cover will not have any appliques on it, just quilting. 

 The real dilemma will be how to incorporate a strap across the top to slide over the music stand to keep the cover in place.