You’re a Hard Habit to Break/Make

 

One, two, or three( cannot go beyond three), yes, we all have them.  Habits, whether good or bad, take up space in our daily routine.  I figure after sharing my quilt travesty why stop there? I might as well turn the page on the open book of Lisa Calle.

Bad Habit #1:  While I am quilting I have a tendency to throw all of my thread snips onto the floor.  This then requires me to vacuum up all those lovely little snips at a later date.  Dare I say a much later date, an extended date that I push-off as long as possible.  The consequence of this snip littering has me entering a store with various colors and lengths of thread dripping off my pants.    I look like an episode of Project Runway gone bad, really bad.  I keep forgetting to keep a lint roller in my car, definitely not the way to break my habit but it would allow me to keep an intervention from occurring.

Bad Habit #2:  Making sure my family is fed on days that I am immersed in my studio; which is typically Monday through Friday. Yes, they actually expect to be fed, they are obviously a bit clueless to what the addiction of fabric does to a quilter.  Let’s clue them in shall we…no dinner!

Good Habit #1:   And at this time there is only one that I am going to report, I need to think on a few others (or rather think if I have any others).  Prior to beginning a new project after completing one I MUST clean my studio.  I need to start my new design in an area that is nice and tidy.  But within mere hours I revert back to bad habit #1 as thread snips cover the floor, and various tools/materials take over my work space.

What habits take over your quilting life?  Please tell me I’m not the only one that allows their family to starve for a majority of the week? By the way there is always frozen waffles and pizza in my freezer!

The Road Less Traveled

Nope, I am not happy; and I really am not happy to be writing this post.  Those that saw my post on Friday read about my 48 month project.  The infamous quilt that has been in the making for way too long.   After my post I was inspired to do some marking and wanted to remove them to see what the design would look like.  The result has me in tears.

Did I prewash the fabric? Of course.  Am I sick to my stomach? The thought of fabric is making me nausea.  Have I cursed myself inside and out?  A million times over.  Were tears shed? Let’s just say I do need to re-stock on tissues.

Just the other day while I was finally motivated to tackle this quilt a friend of mine imparted this thought.  She said that maybe this quilt has already provided me with its lesson; she continued by stating that maybe it’s time to let it go and give the top away which would allow me to move on.  Her words held some truth to them, as I now believe that this quilt has something unique in store for me.

 

I have learned many lessons from this quilting disaster.  Here are just a couple:

Lesson #1

Hand dyed fabric wash repeat, wash, repeat UNTIL the color catchers come out the same color they went in as.  What color is that? White!

Lesson #2

The ability to salvage this quilt remains uncertain.  But rather than allowing my feelings of regret and frustration take over which would normally have me tossing this project aside indefinitely; I have chosen to go move forward and finish what I have started.  This UFO is taking me into uncharted territory. Will it ever be show worthy? Again, only time will tell.

If you are interested in joining me on this journey, then stay tuned.  I plan on keeping my readers abreast of where this new road takes me. It will definitely include the good, the bad and the ugly.   But I have a strange feeling that this quilt will be providing me with several quilting and life lessons that I will be more than happy to share with my fellow quilters.  And in the end together we will all see where this project ends up, maybe it’s in a show, or maybe we will find it in the classroom.

 

 

 

I Will Not Deviate!

 

 

That is my way of thinking once I have a vision.  I am steadfast on moving right along the course I have planned, but there are times when a design does not transpire the way I originally anticipated.  This is especially true concerning the piecing aspect of my quilting.  Gauging the amount of fabric required has been an issue for me in the past. Unfortunately, when I miss calculated the material needed, I needed to incorporate some major creativity in order to make the project work.

Case in point would by my Hula Hibiscus:

Originally I planned to use more of the color blue so that I would enhance the outer portions of the quilt.  Obviously the end result was much different as I did not have enough blue and had to revise my plan of action!

Here is another example where I needed to abort the initial mission:

While producing the above small sample it became apparent that I did not have correct color thread.  My intended goal was to match the thread to the background, well change of plans for this quilter! My color choice of thread then had to be altered to a shade that was similar, or kind of similar to the background.  Again, not what I mentally manufactured for this design.  Boy oh boy does thread choice make a difference!  This little piece would appear completely different, if a blending thread had been used.

Regardless of the reason , sometimes being creative means revising again, and again, and again.  It may not be that you have miscalculated the amount of fabric needed, or neglect to possess the correct thread color; it could simply be that mentally your vision is taking your design in a new direction.  Whatever the reason, embrace what is being set before you and unleash the talent within.

Deviating from what you “thought” was the best plan, might just produce the most amazing plan ever!

Have you needed to revise, or deviate from your “original” quilt idea?  If so was it due to not liking your design, or (like me) you misjudged your design requirements?

 

Am I Really Quilting Today?

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Most days have me descending down the stairs to my quiet haven and loving all the components that make my business complete.  But that is not to say that there aren’t a few days here and there when time in the studio has me feeling as though I have just entered a gymnasium and am about to be a participant in a wrestling match.

How do the two compare? Believe it or not in quite a few ways.

Me V.S. Fabric

Round 1:   Pre-Washing Fabric Yes as beautiful as it appears in the store, and in your car, the idea of washing it is not appealing.  Loading this amazing purchase into the washer isn’t horrible, but the results of the washer is quite exhausting.  Let me say these two words “Wet Fabric”.  Just like a wrestler moves about the mat being focused and cautious not to step outside the circle, removing the material without bringing water onto the floor is challenging! 

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Round 2: Ironing Yards and Yards of Fabric 

Ironing, ironing and more ironing.  Pressing wrinkles out of a mountain of fabric located to the left of my ironing board can feel endless and yet has to be done carefully.  After spending hours of steaming, and pressing I must be cautious not to trip over the fabric that has been ironed into silky smoothness laying to the right of my ironing board.  This has me dancing around, like a wrestler on the mat, trying to prevent my opponent from bringing me down onto all fours. images-57

Round 3: Piecing Large Quilts in a Small Area  Intense to say the least.  Piecing the fabric to the quilt is quite similar to a wrestler performing the right technique on their opponent in order to gain and keep control. Both are done repeatedly using skill and patience.

Round 4: Feeding Fabric Through the Machine  Without a Longarm working your material through the machine is taxing.  Will it ever end? Pulling, pushing, aligning, and keeping a nice pace.  These are all characteristics that a wrestler acquires in order to prevent being pinned by their opponent; yes you see we are alike!images-53

 

Round 5: Longarm Quilters, Taking Fabric Off Machine and Folding It Neatly Rather than rip my gorgeous pre-washed, ironed, and quilted fabric to the ground, I will firmly tug and pull the beast off my Longarm.  After I have mastered the removal off the Longarm, I will neatly fold the quilt.  In my eyes this is a “PIN”..and to a wrestler this is also considered a win.

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 Both take physical endurance, and both demand mental skill.  But it is both those abilities that push me forward, and I would think this would also pertain to the wrestler.  The wrestler will face easy matches, just as I encounter days that everything in my studio runs smoothly.  However, those arduous matches, and quilting days, make both of us work harder and educate each of us more than those simple periods.

Does quilting remind you of any sport, or event in particular?  We all encounter different challenges, and adversities when we quilt.  I would love to know yours!