Friday, March 24, 2017

Reflecting on Six Years of my Quilting Adventures

Facebook wanted to let me know that today has been 6 years since my husband started his last round of chemo. That's a milestone that makes a person sit dawn and take a look at the journey since then. This won't be much of a quilting post and yet, it has everything to do with quilting.

I could have never thought that the combination of cancer and quilting had the power to transform my life so much. I am so very thankful that it didn't change in the most radical of ways with death or permanent disability of my husband. We had to let go of some things that were pretty important to us, and life radically changed. When I look back, I can see the hand of God working through it all and while I still sometimes grieve some of those changes, we find ourselves on an amazing journey.

Hubby and I in our shop with one of the quilts I made as part of my processing of that time, Poured Out 2.

Just six years ago, I was a beginning free motion quilter, stitching with my machine whenever I could, like my life was being held together with fabric and thread. In all honesty, I didn't handle that time well. My kids were very little, I didn't take care of myself, and my faith wasn't as strong as it is now. I was so scared. I knew God was in control, but I also know that He doesn't necessarily work things out like we want.

That's the time when I really started this blog, sharing my quilting projects with anyone who wanted to take a look. Fast forward past a whole lot of life challenges and changes and still my life is held together with the help of fabric and thread!

A watercolor of the quilting I did in the Poured Out 2 quilt. This was given to my quilting BFF, who I met in person for the first time while working on this quilt.

If you are going through a rough time in life or even quilting, I just want to say it will get better. Sometimes not like we think, but life is one heck of a journey and even though the road is bumpy, let go of the fear and look forward.

I am so glad you've followed along on my Quilting Adventures! Thank you.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Ombre Triangles Continues

I nearly titled this post "Ombre Triangles Drags On..." but that would sound pretty awful, wouldn't it? Well, it feels pretty awful! The quilt isn't to blame and I'm not going to blame myself, but sometimes you just aren't feeling a project and you can either give up or slog through. I want to make like Elsa and "Let it go...."

Third times the charm. Finished this block up after stopping two other times about 3 inches away from being done.

But it still is fun to sit and come up with a new design with rulers to use on these triangles. I just haven't gotten enough time to get the flow of quilting going when I do get to stitch. Because when you get into the flow, it is wonderful.

I've been doing some painting in the shop and trying to improve my studio area of the shop so it works better for me.

Much like a quilter who uses the family dining room table for their sewing and quilting, the one the family actually uses, I am in total flux for my sewing area. At home my studio has reverted back to the family room and the remainder of my home studio is tucked into a small back room. At the shop....well, it's the shop.

I'm not complaining, mind you. It's been pretty incredibly wonderful! We've owned Sew Simple for over 9 months now, so maybe it's fitting that I feel like I've finished gestating the business and am nurturing this baby along.

Until next time.....quilt on!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Quilted Bag

As my good friend Robin pointed out, true to form, I made a last minute project the day before leaving for QuiltCon.

I met some wonderful people and saw some gorgeous quilts and quilting while I was there. I also thought very hard about the changes that are happening in the quilting world. Really these are changes happening in every industry, the effects of social media (without it, the Modern Quilt Guild would not have grown so fast!), online shopping, and the enthusiasm these MQG members had for their endeavors. How do I reach these people? How do I continue to serve you, my readers, students, and others with my teaching, tips, and quilting adventures? (Not to sound too grim, but I just heard of the third quilt shop in my state of Virginia closing in the last 8 months or so.)

Fabulous people like Natalia Bonner, a big source of inspiration for ruler work.

I've got some great pictures to share, but first, I give you my last minute project.

I loved making this little cross-body bag! I did a strip of pieced triangles near the bottom, but the rest was done in Moda Crossweave, which I am pretty much in love with even though it's harder then all get-out to see your stitching on this grey version. Even with contrasting thread and some camera editing magic, it's even hard to see in some of these pictures.

 Some ruler work in the triangles of the front and a letter A in the turquoise square. Good thing I don't use red much....

Some freehand free motion quilting on the back. I thought I was just tired when I was having trouble seeing my stitches. Nope. So glad I didn't use matching thread.

It gave me a little spot to do some ruler work and was just big enough to hold just the essentials. I knew I didn't want to be toting around a bunch of stuff at the venue.

Of course I did end up carrying some stuff that wouldn't fit, like my new favorite mug. I envision telling my husband or kids that I need to do some quilting while subtly waving this mug around.

Quilting is good therapy!