July 19, 2016

Starting . . .

I'm really not sure what happened to the last several weeks here on my blog. I guess you could say I was on vacation. At least a social media vacation. Even though I haven't been around online, I have been spending meaningful time in my studio. I've been playing with lots and lots of pretty fabrics . . .

My absence wasn't exactly planned, but I do think it's good to unplug from social media once in awhile. Between blogs, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, I find it easy to get sucked into the media black hole. Especially Pinterest. Way, way too much time spent looking. And looking. And looking. Definitely not enough time spent making.

Not enough time making is something I have always struggled with. One reason is that I simply have too many ideas and find it hard to decide what project to start. I also usually feel compelled to design my own quilts rather than make something from a book or published pattern. And then there's the hesitation to cut into a certain cherished, hoarded fabric. All these things can get in the way of actually starting.

The solution . . .  I've started multiple projects at once. I'm using patterns other than my own. I'm using hoarded fabrics as well as older stashed fabrics. The plan is to work on them as inspiration strikes and time allows.

My studios has gone from neat and tidy to messy. The bottom photo doesn't even come close to showing just how messy it's gotten around here. But pulling and cutting multiple projects at the same time makes for a good mess that I don't mind at all. It means progress.

So here's what's been happening . . .

  • I'm cutting for Courtyard Tiles, a pattern purchased from My Quilt Infatuation. I love Kelly's use of large scale prints. I might try mixing in a few Kaffe and/or Amy Butler prints with the bright traditional florals. These are my fabrics so far. Some cut, some being auditioned. Kelly recently made a version with scrappy low volume prints in place of the solid white. I think I'll explore that idea more because it looked great.

  • I've been collecting both fabrics and ideas for leafy quilts for ages. The hardest part has been choosing which idea to do first. Last week I just decided to start. I easily have enough fabric for other leafy quilts so why get hung up on which one comes first? I'm happy to be cutting and sewing a little for a quilt from the book Applique Outside the Lines by Piece O' Cake Designs.

  • I'm cutting for a floral quilt I've long wanted to make using the snowball block. Mostly Kaffe with a few traditional prints mixed in. My daughter suggested going big for this one. A large quilt would really carry the whole garden floral theme to it's maximum effect so it will probably be a longer term project. Not sure whether the small squares will be solid white or some type of print. I'm leaning toward the simplicity of plain white because I like how it really makes the flowers pop.

  • I'm also cutting into my traditional floral stash in an attempt to use them. Most of these are leftover from the days of watercolor and blended quilting. Since I haven't dug into them in years, I envisioned more of them as bright, large scale prints but in reality there are lots of smaller scale prints in softer colors. Hmmm. Certainly not what I buy these days. I'm thinking maybe a scrappy trip quilt. Maybe a 9-patch. Maybe a charity quilt. I think I'll cut a bunch of 2 1/2" strips and go from there.

  • And in case you're wondering where the modern fits in the this picture . . . I've got the start of a QuiltCon entry on my design wall. Almost ready to begin sewing.

  • I also have this solids concept going from Jacquie Gering's workshop last month sponsored by the Boulder MQG. Jacquie is a fabulous teacher and I really enjoyed her workshop. I'd highly recommend taking a class with her if you get the chance.

So, as you can see, there are lots of things in the works. More than I usually have going on at once. I just wish I had more design wall space to put everything up. Perhaps some batting on the wall in another room is in order. I might as well take over the whole house don't you think?

It feels good to be moving forward on some of the projects I've been wanting to make for so long. More time making. It also feels good to free myself of the labels of modern or traditional and just be making what I want.

So what are you making this summer? Do tell.