May 29, 2014

Motivation . . . Where Are You?

I'm lacking in the motivation department this week and it's an uncomfortable feeling for me. I have plenty of ideas. I'm just not motivated to do any of them. Trying to work with all these pretty colors for a challenge quilt but . . . .

My husband usually works from home pursuing his own creative endeavors so the two of us tend to "work" constantly from our individual studios. It's a pleasure to be able to do this and yet we can both get so wrapped up in our own projects we don't take time away . . . especially time away together. I'm thinking we both need a vacation away from home . . . away from the stuff we're compelled to do.
A beach would be lovely but in land locked Colorado I'll happily settle for a rushing mountain stream the fresh scent of pine.

But things have changed up a bit as he recently started a design job out of the house so our vaca will need to wait just a bit. In the mean time I adjust to him gone most of the week, my college son home and my daughter here more often. It's just like when your kids are little and summer means a different schedule. Plus more groceries, more laundry and more yard work.

Add to the mix an unexpected illness that's left me really really tired. I'm fine now and all is well.
Just  no motivation.

It isn't easy to give myself permission to take time off and relax. But that's what I'm doing this week. Recovering, relaxing, reading as much as my old eyes will allow, and working just a bit here and there. Hoping a few more days will bring back the motivation and energy to work. I know it will come.

Also just a reminder that today, the 29th, is the last day to vote at the Blogger's Quilt Festival. You can read about my quilt here and shown above, or go here to vote. I'd love a vote for my entry if you're so inclined. Thanks.

Linking up with Cindy's Really Random Thursdays.

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May 16, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Welcome to the Blogger's Quilt Festival and all the quilty goodness it implies. Twice a year, Amy of Amy's Creative Side puts on this wonderful linky event so we can all share our quilts and see the work of lots of other talented quilter's in blogland. Grab your favorite beverage and start browsing. You're sure to be inspired. I know I always am.

My entry is called Matrix and I'm entering it in the Original Design Quilts category.

Matrix came to be when it was my turn to request blocks from my fellow Mid Century Modern q-bies. I was inspired by the idea of woven looking quilts and started playing with some ideas in Illustrator. If you've read my blog before you know I simply LOVE to design. So much so that I get quite caught up in all the design possibilities and sometimes find it hard to tear myself away and actually make the quilt. Once I do start sewing, many times I find myself making more than one quilt because I love all the possibilities a design offers. Matrix was no different. And I'm happy to say that it will soon be a pdf pattern so stay tuned to my blog.

My first edition of the design was a scrappy version in bright pastels made with blocks from my bee members. We work from our own stash and it was quite fun to see the blocks come in. Very few fabric repeats and there are lots of fun colors and fabrics. Most of the fabrics were not ones in my own stash so that was good. Try as I might, the colors here don't do the fabric justice but I love the scrappy look!

While I waited for the scrappy bee blocks to arrive, I played a bit more with the design and discovered lots of other options. That's when the full spectrum version of Matrix was born. The fabrics cover the entire color wheel. I just love the strength and liveliness the pure bright colors bring to the design. Don't you think the colored vases from my studio look great next to it?

I also went on to try another version in a smaller scale with a simpler color scheme. I was amazed how fast this one came together. It's a baby size and the stripes worked out so well. I like the colored background too.

I'd love to know which one of the versions is your favorite. It's hard for me to decide because I love each one as I make it. There are a couple more versions I like to try. One uses different background colors for the blocks and the effect is really fun and unique. I may also expand the scrappy one into a larger size. It's the type of quilt that just begs to be larger. Maybe this summer.

Please hop over to the Festival and consider voting for my quilt in the Original Design Quilts category. The entries show up randomly this year without names or numbers so just scroll through the category to find mine.

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy the show.

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May 14, 2014

WIP Wednesday

I've been quite busy even if I haven't been linking up just lately. Catching up with bee blocks has been one thing on my list.

This Rolling Diamond block was made for Debbie last month but I forgot to get it posted. Guess that's what happens when you wait till the end of the month to get bee blocks done. Our Mid Century Modern Bee uses stash fabric so we don't need to mail fabric back and forth. Debbie asked for brights and that's never a problem in my stash. Lots of brights to choose from.

I also finished up a couple of blocks for our Boulder Modern Quilt Guild Bee. Kati asked for Broken Herringbone blocks using the fabrics she provided in these lovely shades of yellow, blues and gray.

I also finished up a cheery yellow block of hearts that's part of a special baby quilt. Our guild is newish and we've just had the pleasure of one of our members having a baby. I don't think she reads here so I hope I'm safe in sharing the block I contributed. We each made hearts in a different color. Can't wait to see them all together.

My real WIP of the week is this colorful pile of solids. I'm getting started on my Boulder Modern Quilt Guild challenge quilt. More to come later on this project, but for now here's what I'll be working with. Wish me luck in getting it done amidst all the other things I have to do right now.

Do you think I have enough colors?  50 plus at the moment and I'm actually not sure if there's enough variety for what I have planned. Finding more is hard at local shops though.

I'm curious what make of solids you prefer? Do you have a color card? I mostly use Kona because I have their color card and can get most of them from, a local online shop where I am able to pick up my orders.  I'd love to have cards from all the other manufacturers too. Maybe someday. Wouldn't it be fun to have a real brick and mortar shop full of every color from every manufacturer? Every shade of every color available all lined up together . . . love the image this conjures up.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

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May 11, 2014

Remembering Mothers

Happy Mother's Day!

Today I remember in an extra special way my Mother and two other women I've had the joy of having in my life as bonus mothers.  My dear mother-in-law Ellie and my sweet Aunt Lu.  I no longer have the pleasure of their company in this world but I am certain they are all enjoying each other's company today and everyday in theirs . . .    : )

Me and my Mother

My husband as a baby with his Mother and Dad

My mother-in-law (left) with my Mom, wearing special Grandmother sweatshirts the kids made for them.

Mom (left) and her sister Luella, who was my second mother growing up.

Here's to you Mom . . . Thanks for your wisdom and strength. Thanks for your sense of humor and your smile. Thanks for being you.  I miss you every single day.

And here's to Aunt Lu and Ellie and to my Grandmothers and Great Grandmothers and all the mothers before them in my family's ancestry . . . thanks to all of you for giving me life. I love you.

My Mother (baby) and her sister Luella with their Mother 

And for my readers . . .
I hope each of you is having a wonderful day with your family.
I hope you take the time to relax and let your children do something special just for you.
I hope you get all that beautiful fabric you wished for . . . hehe . . . that's what I asked for.

Happy Mother's Day!!!

May 1, 2014

Four-in-Art: Landmarks

Time for another reveal in the Four-in-Art mini group. I don't know how these quarters go by so quickly.

This quarter's theme was Landmarks. Amanda suggested a range of possibilities from biggies like the Eiffel Tower or Stonehenge to local landmarks or even something from childhood that marks a distinct memory of home.

Unfortunately I got off on the wrong track when I managed to get the theme Monuments stuck in my head instead of Landmarks. Must have had The Monument Men movie on my mind or something. Anyway, most of my "thinking" time was spent coming up with ideas that didn't quite fit the landmarks theme. Good thing I revisited the Four-in-Art Flickr page before starting.

I chose to go local with my Landmark. I live in Colorado just outside of Boulder. The city lies at the base of the foothills or in other words the "baby" hills leading up into the Rocky Mountains. There is a very distinct group of rocky outcrops called the Flatirons that make it easy to locate Boulder from a distance and have become a very iconic image of the city. Here's a photo my daughter took awhile back. Not the angle from which the Flatirons are usually known but you get the idea. Giant slabs of rock thrust out of the ground at a rather sharp angle. A popular hiking and climbing area right within the city limits. How cool is that?

The Flatirons was also the inspiration for the logo I designed for the Boulder Modern Quilt Guild.

I have long thought I'd like to make a quilt using the basic blocks of the logo, so the Landmarks theme seemed like a good place to start. Plus two of the Colorado modern guilds are doing a challenge on the theme "Colorful Colorado" and my concept has to do with this same basic idea. What better way to tackle two challenges than to experiment with one and hopefully carry over what I learn to the second quilt which needs to be bigger.

One reason I joined this little group was to push myself to learn and try new things. I envisioned exploring different arty techniques like collage, improv and even photo transfers. This time round I tried a couple of new-to-me techniques and learned from them so I feel satisfied, however the end result is more like a modern mini than an art quilt in my opinion. One thing I learned is that it's harder than I thought for a structured person like me to let go . . . to be free and spontaneous in my making. Maybe the more arty freestyle will come in future quilts or maybe not. That's ok.

I used an improv approach to making the blocks and improv is not really a part of my comfort zone. But what could go wrong with these little blocks? Well, after the fact I realized my angles weren't as acute as they could have been to represent the real Flatirons. A minor detail but something learned.

I also wanted to try matchstick quilting like Leanne does so beautifully. Once again my structured self took over though and I ended up doing closely packed channel quilting. Easy in the sense that it's a small quilt and didn't take too long. Not easy in that it's hard to keep evenly spaced straight lines even on a small quilt.

One problem I encountered was the angle I chose ended up being nearly identical to 5 out of the 9 angles in the blocks which resulted in a either fudging the line or letting it go wonky. Only one turned out a bit off but next time I'll try a different angle to avoid the problem. Also all the tightly packed quilting accentuated the bulk of the border seams. Next time I'll try pressing the seams open.

In this example the stitching fell nicely in line with the piecing but you can see the shadowing and bulk of the seams just a bit. Nothing terrible, just another lesson learned.

Not so good example. The stitching line where the green hits the blue ended up a bit wonky. I ripped out at least two stitching lines before settling on this one. When the stitching is nearly, but not quite, at the same angle it pushes the stitching out of alignment and can be quite noticeable.

One last thing I learned is just how bloody hard it is to photograph white to look like white. I did all kinds of light balancing things but it's just not working today. And it's far too windy to go outside so this will have to do for now.

By now I hope you're curious to see the final quilt. I'm happy with my little experiment and think it makes for a nice modern mini. I love the effect of the closely stitched channel quilting lines. I love the simplicity and cleanness of the design. I feel confident about proceeding with the bigger challenge quilt due next month. Now to make time to get it done . . .  : )

I so enjoy this little group and seeing the creative things that others come up with. I'm always surprised by the diversity and level of thought and concept that is put into these small quilts. Hop over to see what Landmarks the others created.

Amanda  at
Betty at a Flickr site:
Elizabeth at
Leanne at

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