Saturday, May 29, 2021

Green Scrap Quilt...Adding Brown?

Over the last week I've managed to find little bits of time to work in the studio.  Usually about an hour or two but there has been a couple of days I never even stepped foot in here.  Working out of my color pallet normally is a chore but when you all you have time for is working out of you comfort zone it's much easier.  I didn't care about the colors as much as did about just getting some time to play with fabric.  Lessoned learned, no more whining about color pallet, just enjoy that you have the time and fabrics to play with.  Not everyone is lucky enough to have both.

I must say there is a couple of fabrics in this quilt that I still love even though they are not my typical pallet.  The green one below with the gold accents is a long loved Joann's fabric from years ago.  It could be the tiny yellow an red flowers that make me love it so much. Over the years it has been used in other quilts.  There's still a few little scrap pieces left in the scrap bin for one last scrappy quilt. 

Along with a few prints I love there are many fabrics that make me say....UGG.  I wonder sometimes what I was thinking when purchasing some of the fabrics in my stash.  Times were different way back then.  Fabric styles have changed and so have quilt designs.  Funny thing is I'm starting to see the older  color pallets and styles come back around.

Most of the new lines of fabric remind me of the late 80's and early 90's pallets along with quilt panels.  Panels!?  Why?  I suppose they are great for beginners but I've never been a big fan of them.  Sure I've used a couple over the years....with regret.  More often than not they are not square and give me fits of rage because of it.  So I stay away from them.  And when panels are the hot item it seems that novelty fabric is also popular.  YUK-A DO!  It's times like this when I'm grateful for being a fabric hoarder.  It also frees up time.  No reason to shop for fabric because there's nothing out there I want.  Not even my favorite designers.  Maybe this is more of a sign of my unwillingness to be trendy.  

Trendy doesn't appeal to me at all.  I like bright and happy colors, they make me happy.  The toned down, muted and drab colors do nothing for me.  And I have a ton of it already in my stash and feel no need to acquire more.  I can enjoy sewing and cutting them but I don't want to purchase more.  Of course I also would never turn down any should someone want to give me some.  I only bring this up because I'm in a few quilters wills.  One of them being my Aunts will.  Her stash is full of older darker fabrics as well as a few brights.    

Like I said earlier, I'm grateful to have fabric stash and finding time to play with them.  Some of them hold memories good and bad.  Like the green plaid in the image below.  Not a good memory, and we'll leave it at that.  But even a not so good memory can be a reminder of why I should be grateful for where I am or what I have today.   Things could be much worse.  The 1930's are proof of that.  I can't image what it would be like to send Mr. Podunk to buy the right feed sacks.  

Sigh....Rants are never a good thing.  I've rattle on way too long, it's what came to mind as I wrote this post.  The plan was to tell you a little about some of the fabrics in this quilt but it took a different path.  Well that's just me, I tend to speak my mind and tell it like it is.  

You have just witnessed a little of what goes on in my mind when I'm quilting.  Random thoughts most of the time.  But somehow it all comes together and makes sense.  You see as I cut and sewed this quilt my mind was fixed on how much I disliked this darker color pallet and how I couldn't wait to finish the quilt just so it would be over.  Ungrateful to say the least.  Karma has a way of teaching me a thing or two.  Here's a prime example.  As I put the blocks and sashing on the design wall I realized the quilt just didn't feel right being all green.  I needed break it up a bit with another color.  Adding a cornerstone of brown could bring a little life to the otherwise drab quilt.  It's going to be Mr. Podunks camping/hunting quilt, so brown would be perfect.  No problem, I've a whole cabinet full of fabrics I don't really like.  And look what I didn't find...

Oh Lea Anne doesn't like dark drab fabric.  HAHAHA!  Karma!  That'll teach you to whine and rant about fabric.  Yes my friends I was shocked at the lack of brown.  In the past it was my largest hoard.  I guess I used more of it than I thought.  Oh my, I might need to do some shopping.  I tried adding other colors as the cornerstones but they just didn't give the quilt the look I wanted. about eating a bowl of crow.

Maybe my brown scrap bin will save the day?  Please, please, please!  I'm sorry and I'm grateful for all my fabric.

Yes!!  I found a fat quarter and a few smaller scraps of this brown.  I'm truly blessed to have a large stash of all colors and pallets.  

Moving along my green scraps!

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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

More Applipops Circles and Gadgets

 Raise your hand if you have more than one quilting gadget or tool you have never used.  Me? ✋✋ To be honest I'm not a gadget person.  But every once in a blue moon something comes over me to purchase a tool with the intentions of "someday" designing a quilt around using the impulse buy gadget.  These days I try to stifle the excitement of a new quilting gadget.  The urge to purchase the Applipops was intense.  They have a great marketing strategy of put them in your face nonstop on Facebook and Instagram.  About a year of watching the videos, I could not scroll by them...mesmerized and drooling.  Sometimes I would click over to their website put them in the cart, add all my information....and then my finger would hover over the Enter key.   

Click it!  Do it!  You need these!

I'm proud of myself for holding out so long but at the same time regret the decision.  It was a test of patience and control that in past I had failed.

Just to name a few.  Remember the big Hexie craze a few years ago?  As soon as I saw the Hex -N- More ruler and the amazing patterns it could make....CLICK... was on her way.  Never made a thing with it.  Then there's my obsession with dresdens.   One must have every size available...never used them either.  But there's plans....someday.

The reason why I was so reluctant to purchase the Applipops is more than just the fear of them being overrated and expensive.  You see I have many tools for making circles.  From the simplest drafting circle templates to some high priced die cutting.  This drafting circle template was the first circle maker I purchased.  Cheap and very effect if you have a steady strong hand for cutting.  Time consuming and really great for making calluses.  Sounds awful but I used it for years.  It's a multipurpose tool if you draft your own applique patterns by hand.  Now that I use EQ8 these are not used nearly as much.

Then I upgraded to the Karen Kay Buckley Perfect Circles.  The best things since the rotary cutter in my opinion.  Time consuming to use but they make perfect circles every time.  These have been used so much I was considering purchasing a new set.  Mine have gotten a little warped due to my attention to heat settings or my lack of attention.  I've shown how to use these but Karen has a video that is much better.  Click here.

Now lets talk about the most expensive impulsive circle making purchase....THE DIE CUTTER.  Die cutters are great.  The Sizzix is cheap compared to the other brand which I will leave unnamed.  If I were a rich woman I'm sure I would own the other brand.  This was an impulse buy when I found it it for $49.95 for the machine only.  That's a pretty good price.  And I can use other brands of dies in this machine.  I haven't but I can.  In two years I've used it three times.  I could see where this might get more use as I get older.  But that's story for another day.  Today we are focusing on circles.  I have two different dies for making circles.  As soon as they arrived from Amazon I tested them and they work great with and with out Heat -N- Bond fusible but I haven't actually used them in a quilt.  I'm sure they would be great for cutting out circles to use with the Applipops!  Yes my friends I'm in love with the Applipops.

Everyday I try to make a few.  Even if it's just one, progress is progress.  There's no real plan for them but I'm playing around with a couple of ideas in my mind.  It will morph into something eventually.  For now I'm just enjoying a little mindless circle making.  It's very relaxing.

I'm cutting the circles from scraps only.  My self imposed rule is I can not pull fabric from my F8's or FQ's, only small scraps.

I'm producing little niblets of scraps that can actually be tossed.  And you all know that's hard for me to toss out fabric.  But if the smallest Applipop won't fit on the scrap I'm letting it go.  There's still a little devil in me saying those could be used for tiny fusible raw edge applique but at some point it becomes hoarding and unrealistic to keep them.

It's a process, learning to let go.  Have those tiny scraps actually made it out of the house?  NO.  I'm saving them for Khaleesi a new dog bed.(insert shifty eyes here).🙄  That's the plan.  She's a big dog in need of a big bed.  Translated.....Gives me time to actually let go.

Maybe someday I'll be able to let go of some slightly bigger scraps.  Not that I'm feeling it necessary.  I mean just look at these small scraps.  Cute as can be and not taking up much space.  Gems!  A quilter never knows when she just might decided to make her master piece from dime sized applique. It's totally doable and reasonable.  Waste not want not.  One man's trash is another mans treasure.  
Let's get real....excuses are just that....excuses.  But it is what it is...Passion.  I know some of you understand. 

They say "enjoy the little things in life" and that's exactly what I'm doing.  It feels good to use up every last little bit of fabric.   It also feels good when you find a new gadget that does all that it claims to do and more.  The more part is it's making me love to make circle applique.

My word of the year Move.  Staying busy both physically and mentally.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Quilt Photography

Sometimes I just need to get out a quilt and practice taking photos.  Quilt photography isn't as easy as the "big girls" in quilting make it look.  Staging, lighting and the angle of the shot can all be very tricky.  So today I took a break from the computer and studio to have a little quilt photo fun with the new fence in the back yard.  The picture below isn't the first picture taken.  It was about #20-ish.  Pastel quilts are the hardest to photograph.  They tend to wash out and look very light.  My Turnabout Tulip quilt is such a pretty quilt and I think this photo is the best one out of about 50 taken.

The next favorite is basically the same shot taken from the other side.
I often toy with the idea of hiring a photographer for my pattern covers and marketing images.  That idea is quickly tossed out when I start looking for an affordable photographer in my area.  I keep hoping someone new will have good rates as a way to build business but so far I've not found anyone.  Then comes the search for a real camera instead of using my cell phone camera.  It's wasted time because I don't want to take a class to learn how to use an expensive camera.  The best thing to do is just learn to use what I have until I win the lottery.  Of course you need to play to win so the odds of me winning isn't good.  I buy a ticket about once a year.    

I think this photo shoot is turning out pretty good, don't you?  This wasn't supposed to be a good day for quilt photos.  The rule of thumb for outside quilt photos is....Take pictures on a sunny day between midday and late afternoon.  You want the quilt to face the sun or have the sun directly overhead.  Sometimes taking a photo in the shade will help with the washing out of color.  These pictures were taken right after the rain stopped, still cloudy with no sunshine, between 3pm -3:30 pm.  Maybe pastel fabrics photograph better on cloudy days?  I should have photographed one of the brighter quilts too.  I can't  believe I'm going to say this but...I hope tomorrow is overcast so I can do a little more experimenting with color and lighting.

It's all about play and learning what works and what doesn't.  In the image below I was trying to get a close up of the fabrics.  The Honeysuckle hanging over the top of the quilt added a little interest to the photo.

This one does nothing for me.  Boring is the first word that comes to mind.

And then there was this experiment.  Nothing good going on here other than the color is still really good.

Of course what's photo shoot without a little photo bombing.  If I wanted her in the photo she would been hiding.  She knows mommy gives out treats when she sits pretty for the camera.  This time she was lured out of the photo with a treat.  HA!  Smart girl!  By this point I was ready to call it wrap and go upload the quilt photos to the computer so I could see how they turned out.  I learned a lot and will do another test tomorrow.

It was back to the studio to search for some old quilt pattern notes for a quilt I made years ago.  In my search I stumble upon this binder divider I made a few years ago.  Oh my goodness!  How cute is this!  I forgot all about it.  Well,  now I want to make another but it will need to wait, there's things on the to-do list still yet to be done.

Before heading back to the computer I need to trim up my daily batch of HST's.   I've been pretty good about doing a few everyday.  Somedays I trim 2 days worth so I can skip the next day.  If you missed the blog post about the daily HST trimming you can read more about it here

Word of the Year.  Moving things or me!

Turnabout Tulips quilt pattern is available in my shop in both PDF and Traditional Mailed.


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Monday, May 17, 2021

Design Wall and Design Boards

 Not much has change in the Studio. The design wall is collecting dust and looking pretty much the same.  After days of it looking the same I couldn't help but turn one of the blocks just so it would look different.  

My time has been split between catching up on spring yardwork and computer work.  Neither are as fun as quilting but both are necessary.  If I had to choose between them both, I'd choose yardwork.  There's so much color outside and it feeds my soul.

This morning I went out to check on the flower seeds I planted a week ago.  And we have little seedlings!

These were not here yesterday.  Amazing how they pop out overnight.  Nature is amazing.

I made the little seed pods from newspaper.  Not my idea, Google has the answer to everything.  You can see the tutorial I used here.

This weekend I also planted a bunch of Marigolds.  My hope is by planting a bunch they will choke out the weeds so I won't need to mulch or weed.  We'll see how it goes.  Nothing is going to grow if the crazy moles keep digging in my flower bed.  Can you see the mole run?  It rained last night so it might be hard to see inside the yellow oval.

His yummy little bug feast is about to become yukky.  Castor oil and dish soap will make his tasty treats a little less appetizing.  We've used this concoction in our veggie garden for years and it works pretty good if you apply it every two or three weeks.  It's also cheap and easy on the environment.  A little more work that chemicals but I feel better knowing I'm not killing the mole and the environment.  Should he find castor oil and soap pleasing to the pallet Mr. Podunk has a more aggressive approach that doesn't allow the mole to live.  Deadly traps seem mean but sometimes it's the only way when you live in Podunk.  Let's hope it doesn't come to that.  If it does.... all I ask is that I don't have to see or hear what happens.  Ignorance is bliss.

After sprinkling the moles dinner with yukky stuff it's time to get back to work.  Today I'll be trying once again to work pattern writing and find a little time to sew.  Hopefully my so called techy work on the computer makes this a more enjoyable process.  Yesterday it took 10 hours to edit an old Facebook video for YouTube.  Maybe 5 of those hours were actually editing.  The image below was the easiest part.  The photo editing program is working great.  It's that pesky video editor that wants to shut down right in the middle of editing.  If it would save before it shut down it wouldn't be so bad.  

I had not planned on putting this video on YouTube until Beverly asked how I made my design boards.   Some of you might remember her from the blog 44th Street Fabric.  She also had an Etsy shop for a few years.  These days she's abandoned her blog, closed her fabric shop and hanging out on Instagram.  The video was published on Facebook.  She doesn't do Facebook.  The video is too big to send via email.  So what the heck, YouTube it is.  A few quick edits to make look a little better...HAHA!  You got to laugh or techy stuff will drive you insane.  I'm a quilter not an I.T. Guru.  Oh well.  If your interested in design boards made with things you probably already have in your home and sewing room then here you go. 
 Quilt Block Boards on a Budget(click image below to watch here).  
Or you can click here to watch on YouTube, where you can like and comment to help me out a little.  Either way you choose to watch I want to thank you for coming by my little spot in Podunk and supporting my quilting journey.

Dog TV or Protecting me from Squirrel's?  Either way she is entertained and letting  me work.

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