Thursday, October 28, 2010

Road Trip Road Map

I began stippling practice on the Road Trip Strip quilt. First I stitched in the ditch, then swooshed and swirled...

There was some success...

And some places for improvement. I marked the most severe parts with painter's tape--my own "road map" to where I needed to rip.

Lots of ripping, some places more extreme than others...

I think this is the worst of it. Not bad for a beginner! Next time I shall s-l-o-w d-o-w-n. My desire to finish let the bad habits come flying to the surface.

Due next week. Shouldn't be a problem. For all the free-motion beginners, be encouraged! You're not the only one with hits and misses :-)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Road Trip Strip Quilt Top

Sometimes when a sweet baby boy is turning 1, you get struck with inspiration, especially when you know how much effort has gone into refinishing the hardwood floors.

I made a plan and followed it.

Originally I thought I'd have to piece scraps, and although I still think that would be a cool look, I had enough black, white and green in remnants.

This didn't take long to piece. I chain-pieced it on machine, giving my 1/4-inch foot its first workout!

Now just imagine it with backing, batting, practiced free-motion quilting and chubby hands pushing cars along. Baby- and Christmas-gift season has officially BEGUN!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quilt Day!

My Best Friend and I went to the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY, yesterday to celebrate my birthday! To say it was inspiring is an understatement. Even though it took several hours to drive up and back, when I closed my eyes at night, stitches and patterns and colors were swimming through my brain. It's like when you've been on a boat all day and you finally lay down and feel the bed rolling... like that, except your eyes are full and the impression of all you've seen hasn't finished scrolling across the screen yet. Your brain needs time to catch up.

I carried my sketchbook around--to no avail. I tried to find a favorite--to no avail. Stars, lines, spirals... Mini-quilts that make your eyes bug from the precision, noting the difference between seeing a piece up close and then from thirty feet away... Every book you could imagine in the shop (I'll be checking amazon--I could not decide at the time but flipped through several excellent tomes).

One of the highlights was the first quilt you saw when you walked it. We came to it last. It was Lord of the Rings-themed!!! The central panel depicted Aragorn's marriage to Arwen. Gollum was in the lower left corner, noticeable only because he was outlined in precise, free-motion stitches. The artist had copied Tolkien's artwork of the Doors of Moria and the script from the Ring inscription exactly. See an image here of "Tribute to Tolkien" by Sue McCarty.

Another highlight was the work by Sharon Schamber. When Best Friend and I encountered her first piece, we were reminded of fashion pieces by couturiers from the Golden Age of Couture exhibit we'd frequented at the Frist. Come to find out, Schamber has a background in bridal and couture fashion. Of course! These photos do NOT do her pieces justice. AT ALL. "Sedona Rose" in particular. The back is solid goldenrod with thousands of hand-applied Swarovski crystals in black and garnet and forest green. It is suspended from the ceiling like a room divider so you can walk around and see front and back. IN-CREDIBLE.

So all in all, it was an amazing trip. The only downside? I missed the first meeting of the Music City Modern Quilt Guild!

Ready for Next Weekend

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto!

I listened to that song three times through as I sewed the iron-on applique onto the Ent's birthday present hat. At the time he hadn't expressed interest in robots--just technology in general--but the day after I'd sewed it on, he began talking about how much he likes robots and how cool it would be if he could construct... you get the idea. :-) The robot is by Wright's. Found it at JoAnn's when Best Friend and I were snagging fabric for other projects.

May his neck be warm when I'm not there to hug it.

These will be delivered next weekend when we get together to celebrate our birthdays AND dress up for Halloween!

Daphne did not have good fashion instincts. Nor did I, it seems, when I chose polyester suede curtains as the fabric for my Daphne dress.

Static cling, anyone?

So I can't really complain. I learned a lot making this dress, such as:

1) Beware of trying to wear poly suede!
2) I'm short and thin, not petite. No need to alter patterns except in the hems.
3) "...What is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it." --Yves St. Laurent

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Quilt Museum--Quick Question!

Hello readers!

I am going to the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY, on Saturday for the FIRST TIME! Please let me know what you recommend in the area. I'm sure the museum will be phenomenal. I'd like to know what your favorite area shops are. Looking for inspirational books, fabric, cafes...


Miss Mary

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sick Day--Bleh

Things that do not work for me:

1) Going home sick
2) Being too sick to take advantage of hours and hours at home surrounded by things I'd like to be working on
3) Doing "nothing"
4) Looking through flickr groups of amazing quilts and concocting elaborate plans for quilts I cannot make because I am sick
5) Being in a different time zone than the Ent

Things that DO work for me:

1) Having a nurse-mama in town!
2) Sleeping as much as I need or want
3) Coworkers who willingly step in and cover my duties
4) Coworkers who bring me books of tailoring tricks
5) Getting some significant projects under way before I got sick

Behold the beginnings of the Titans T-Shirt quilt!

Due date is December 11. I'm waffling on the arrangement a bit, but I think I'll end up doing twelve t-shirt fronts and border it with solid blue and gray from t-shirt backs. Thoughts?

OH! And what is this? Pieces of repurposed purple suede curtains? Why yes! And what have I been doing with them today? Sewing little tailors' stitches instead of trying to mark the pattern with chalk or tracing paper. In-between the all-important naps and juice refills, of course.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tree Top!

I finished my tree top!

This shall be the backing.

Please excuse odd trapezoidal shapes. The Ent is not around to be a quilt top holder-upper :-)

Monday, October 11, 2010


The Ent and I went garage sale-ing this Saturday. All this and more for $4--whee! I am going to turn that squashed pile of purple velour (curtains) into a Daphne dress via this pattern that's been sitting in my pile since the last JoAnn's $1 Simplicity sale. The Ent will make a perfect Shaggy. Alas, we did not find a stuffed Scooby on our expeditions.

Close-up on that wild print. It's a couple of yards of knit polyester. I'm thinking another Greek-style dress to wear over long-sleeved tees and leggings.

Detail of the button-down dress. When I popped this over my head at the garage sale, the Ent said the sleeves were horrible. I didn't believe him because there wasn't a mirror, but I was amazed at the fit. Like a glove! Worth getting if only to figure out the construction! I think I'll take off the sleeves and reattach them as cap sleeves instead.

... Finally, because I haven't been entirely idle...

A chapeau for the Ent's birthday! Pardon, of course, the terrible lighting. I tried this puppy on a few young male heads to get the fit right. I hope he likes it. When we were out and about, he was looking at hats and scarves jokingly--knowing they're in the works :-) Pics to come as progress is made, etc. :-)

Sunday, October 3, 2010


This week for the Free Motion Quilt Along the topic was pebbles! I unintentionally woke up two hours before my alarm went off this morning, so I basted another practice pad and taped off sections and got to work!

Here is the back of the pad. You can see the various shapes a bit clearer. I think when I move to the section on my quilt, I'll take my time. I was rushing through these and didn't watch how well I was retracing along the lines to stopping/starting points.

I didn't post photos from my last assignment--loops! Here are loops from my quilt!

Still needing practice. S.l.o.w. d.o.w.n........ that might help. Maybe not. :-)

I start giving sewing machine lessons this week! Should be an adventure!