Category Archives: Swaps

You Are Not a Yellow Starburst

dont let them treat you like a yellow starburstThis week has given me a lot of practice in standing up for myself. Hopefully some of that will pay off soon. I am not a yellow Starburst! You don’t get to put me on the bottom of the list or stash me away for later in the junk drawer. Oy.

new wee purseAnyhoo… I did finish this bag for myself a few days ago. I’d been meaning to make a replacement for the one I made while testing the pattern for Sam Hunter over three years ago. Here’s the new one! Isn’t it cute? I used a fabric I bought just because I liked it for the flap and a warm brown for the rest of it. There’s a button and loop closure because I couldn’t find my velcro…. until after the purse was done.

audreys january bee blockI also completed the January block for the 2015 Stash Bee I’m a part of. This month’s blocks are navys and white and will go to Audrey of Hot Pink Quilts. Click on the block above to go to her tutorial. 
dealing with wood rotHubby and I are still working on the house. Here’s a before pic of the wood above the garage door. It was soft and squishy from rot; not so great structurally. We replaced the wood and flashing (the metal stuff on the top corner) and the silicone sealant is drying.

Painting is another large project we’re in the middle of. We’re repainting all of the trim its original brown and painting the house a little yellow-er of an off-white. So far the front off-white and the trim around the front windows and doors is completed. There’s lots more to do. project quilting

 

This week’s Project Quilting challenge is sunrise and sunset. I’ll keep you posted on what I decide to make. There’s 6 days left. Ready, set, go!

 

I’m linking this post to Show off Saturday and Handmade Tuesdays.

15 Quilting-ish Goals for 2015

It’s almost New Year Resolutions Time. I quilt for myself, for pay, and for charity. In order to get more organized I’m joining Jetgirl and a few others in making 15 quilting-related resolutions for 2015.

  1. Get organized. Keep detailed financial records for my business. Rearrange my fabric stash so I can tell quickly what I have and don’t.
  2. Market my business. Do what I know and learn what I don’t. Make it a priority to really learn some new tricks. Try them out and see what works for me. learn-all-the-marketing
  3. Work on one charity project at a time. I have at least 3 charity unfinished projects and find great causes that need quilts or blocks all the time. Thing is, if my emotions are in charge none of these things will get done. One at a time and they’ll get finished and to the people that need them. First up is the turtles quilt for Crystal Lake Camps
    turtles blocks
  4. Teach some classes! I already have one class ready to go, teaching crumb piecing. I’ll work on getting that one booked at guilds and shops as well as having more classes to offer.
  5. pink crumb placematsTry new things. You know, stuff I haven’t done before.
  6. Finish a quilt for my own bed. We have store-bought blankets on there now, along with a gorgeous hand-quilted Amish quilt. Still, it needs one of mine. My husband has been bugging me about this for a while and this year I’ll turn one of the bed-sized tops into our snuggle covers.
  7. Give myself a raise! As a skilled worker, I will charge for my services like, well, a skilled worker. This year it goes up from $16.50 to $18 an hour. sew worth it
  8. Learn how to better communicate with my customers. For example, I recently discovered that a good question to ask with custom work is if there’s a preference for the backing fabric.
  9. Make another large crumbs quilt. I love my crumbs piecing! I have a LOT of 6″ squares and they’re ready to go into a large quilt. Maybe it’ll end up being a show quilt like this other one I made a few years ago. BAQS exhibit large
  10. Go to at least three quilt shows. Meet the vendors, be inspired by the quilts, refill my creative cup.
  11. Meet some of my online friends. I have some that I know only through blogging and Facebook. I’d love to give them in-person hugs in 2015!
  12. Be silly. Laugh. Allow myself to make things just because it’s fun. Inject beauty into my artistic life. 230126_7118653765_8586_n
  13. Say no. No to writer’s block. No to continuing with a project that needs to go into the donation bin. No to going to a guild meeting that’s designed to be exclusive. Trust my intuition and highest sense of self and say no when that’s the right answer for me.
  14. Quilt with friends! I’ve joined the Stash Bee and am looking forward to meeting some new online friends through that monthly activity. I’m also going to make an effort to sew in-person with mini-groups, sew-ins, at retreats, or just when my local friends have a minute to spare. stash bee
  15. Stop quilting. Know when to put the needle down. Watch a movie on the couch with my husband without my handwork. Stop the sewing machine when on the phone with a family member who’s letting me hear their secret thoughts. “One more block,” won’t do when I could be running errands before rush hour.

 

How about you? Do you have any resolutions for 2015?

Plan Wisely Then Go For It

I’ve participated in four round robins, three of which were by mail with people I only knew from an online quilting group. The other was through my local quilting guild. Two of those were donated to charity and the other two are so gorgeous that I haven’t started quilting them yet. I just look at ’em and drool. Here’s what I’ve learned.

First, let’s talk about the quilt you’ll be getting back. In a round robin, you make the center and others add borders to it. You can also include a note about the quilt: what the theme is, where it’ll end up, the colors and styles you like, what to please NOT do, etc. For example, here’s the center of “Calm Energy.” When I sent the project off, I included a letter about it. I knew the title already, that it was for a man (so please no pink, but the purple that is in the center is okay), and it has a lighthouse theme. I was able to be super specific about the intent of this project. Here’s the center I sent:

Dad's Center

And here’s the quilt top that came back to me. I call this an amazing success.

Dad's TopIf you don’t know quite that much about what you want to get back, that’s okay. Again, just be specific about what you know you want. I knew, for this next quilt, that I wanted it to have great contrast and only be red, white, and black. I also knew that I didn’t necessarily want it to be patriotic. I said that, sent the center, and got this back:

RedWhiteBlack

 

Okay. Here’s the other part of the round robin. And really, it’s the part you’ll be spending most of your time on. You make your center and send it off to make the rounds through other quilters’ hands and hearts but don’t really get to see it again for several months. So let it go! While it’s gone, you’ll be working on others’ centers. This can be very fun and stretching.

The red/white/black quilt was in a group of six. So I worked on five other quilters’ projects, one border at a time. I learned a lot about when symmetry’s important (or not), new border techniques, when a quilt needs some rest (two busy prints next to each-other look a mess), and how to work on something that isn’t my style.

As in-awe of these two quilts as I am, I think the real reason to do a round-robin isn’t for the quilt you get back. It’s for the experience of connecting with other quilters as you work on their projects. It’s an intimate thing, adding your art to someone else’s. I’m a big believer in collaborative projects.