May I Have Your Attention..

 

After five very long years I am pleased to announce that I have finished this quilt.

The photograph below was taken back in 2013, five very long years ago.

Cherrywood fabric, the love of my life when it comes to material. I am sure that is nothing new to my readers, and quilting friends.

This quilt has taken me on a journey of self discovery and a very difficult lesson in letting go. It will surprise no one to hear me say that I can be a little bit of a control freak and perfectionist (and that’s putting it mildly).  To further describe my character traits I am extremely hard on myself and this quilting adventure has, I pray, cured me of that personality flaw. This finished piece is far, very far, from perfect.  The list of mistakes is quite lengthy, but what I have learned and the amount I have grown as a quilter and individual is enormous.

I’m going to share a few revelations with you.

Revelation #1:  Basting and removing my quilt from the frame umpteen times will not happen again in my studio.   The result of basting my quilt and repeatedly removing it caused more than a few migraines!  Typically I go through the quilt and complete my SID and dividing lines which is enough to stabilize the quilt. However, I strayed from my “typical” routine on this project and paid the price.  Note to self, “Do Not Deviate!”

Revelation#2:  I always pre-wash my fabrics but I underestimated the TLC that hand dyed fabrics require.  This quilt quickly taught me that hand dyed material definitely needs a little “extra attention”.   If you look below you will observe a fabric bleed. This is not something any quilter wants to witness on their quilt.  Yes, I pre-washed the fabric.  No, it is NOT the fault of the dyer. Yes, it is my fault for treating Cherrywood like all my other fabric.


Now when I am working with hand dyed fabrics, I wash them in my sink with the hottest water possible and dawn dish detergent until the water is clear.  Hard lesson to learn? The word “hard” doesn’t do this lesson justice.  Thus, I have chosen to name this quilt “Oh, My Bleeding Heart”.  Rolling the dice I persevered and continue on with the quilting; hoping that a small miracle would transpire and the bleed would come out.

And it DID!  I’ve been bowing to the quilting gods above each morning. I followed Vicki Welsh’s directions.  Do yourself a favor and print off her directions and stash them in a safe spot. You might want to print off a couple of copies trust me may never know when you might need them.

Aside from the major catastrophe of the fabric bleeding, this quilt had challenges in the piecing as well.  I tend to generate designs and neglect to give much thought as to how I will execute what I have composed.  It has gotten me into a lot of trouble more than once  The most challenging aspect on this pattern was the inner pieced border…

 

 

What in the bleepity bleep was I thinking? Obviously I wasn’t!  Although it nearly killed me, I continued onward.

The question then became how in the world would I get these together?

I somehow managed to put them together, but it was less than easy.

This is, by far, my favorite quilt.  I absolutely love the design, but the true reason why it has become the love of my quilting life is due to all that I endured and discovered during the entire process.  I poured my heart into this piece for many, many years, and many, many lessons were unveiled.

I am hosting a lecture at the AQS Lancaster show in March called “Oh, My Bleeding Heart” , the subject matter is, of course, this lovely quilt.  I hope to see many of you there as I share moments of self discovery and quilting adversity during the creation of this unbelievable piece.

Do you have a quilt that challenged you till you almost gave up??

There are Several “Popabilities”!

 

I am about to mention a tool that I am sure that I have made reference to previously.   However, if by any small chance you missed the initial reveal of this tool; I will share with you one more time just how much I LOVE my  Corner Pop tool .

During the last couple of months I’ve been in my studio dedicating time to a special project, along with squeezing in time for my four-year quilt.  The Corner Pop tool and technique has made a huge difference in creating this design.

The photograph below shows the beginnings of the design.

I am auditioning different fabric pieces to select which shade of orange I prefer for this project.  And as you observe those rather large pieces of material, you may be wondering where I incorporated the use of the powerful Corner Pop tool.

TA DA! Doesn’t that look a bizillion times better?!

I absolutely LOVE how easy this tool is to use.  In the center of this quilt there is an enormous amount of open space.  I have an option of leaving the space vacant, but due to the importance of this quilt I chose to give extra attention to the blank space.

I often wish that I took more time, and placed some thought into the construction of my design prior to falling in love with it. Life might just be a little less stressful.  Therefore, I decided to push myself and step outside the box .  Straying from the norm I actually created the construction of the design.  My decsion in doing so has the  jury out on whether ALL the pieces will cooperate and go together.  If by chance they do, I will share with you all my creative, and crazy ways of  tying these pieces together.

It’s true, if you are looking to add a little pizzaz to a block , this tool will bring some magic to your project!  Take a few minutes and watch Deb’s video.  The “popabilities” are endless!  Enjoy!

 

 

I REPEAT……

A Mantra I Have Lived By

I have stated in the past that I will typically have three projects going simultaneously (cray or not, that’s me).  My typical circus involves one in the piecing state, one incorporating an appliqué project, and finally one pertaining to quilting.  Like I said that would all be “15 years worth of typical” until now.

To be honest and bring clarification to the previous statement:

I currently have one in the quilting process.  Yes, it feels to me as if it will be the never-ending project BUT I haven’t refuse to give up on it!

Next:

I have TWO, yes count them “TWO” in the piecing stage and believe it or not I am contemplating a third.

Project 1 of Piecing:  I hate to leave you all in suspense but this is a special project. Unfortunately, I cannot provide further details until late March. Sorry, but perhaps some of you will return in March to see exactly what I am talking about..lol!

Project 2 of Piecing:

I am sure that it will come as no surprise to many of you that I making use of my all time favorite fabrics in both projects.   Yes, “Cherrywood”  fabric is awesome! Now, seeing as  I had the bleeding issues on my previous quilt, I pre-washed all my fabric in my kitchen sink.  Using extremely hot water (almost too hot to handle) and good old regular blue “Dawn Dish Detergent”.   Please note the darker fabrics took about 5 rinses before the water appeared to run clear.

Project 3:  Well, I suppose it better be an appliqué project, right?!  I’ll have to give that one a little more thought.

How many projects do you have going at one time? We all have them.  Perhaps you are very disciplined and only concentrate on one at a time idea, or maybe you are a bit like this quilter and have your hands full of a few things going on at one time.  Regardless, I’d love to hear how you balance your one project or many projects simultaneously!

 

 

 

 

Because you just NEVER know!

Perks of Having a Design Wall

unknown-6

Oh my precious design wall, where would I be without you?  I really can’t even contemplate that question because I have no idea what I would do without being able to utilize that space of open creativity.

images-113

Yes I would be lost without my design board!

The benefits of utilizing a design board.

different-perspectives1

By placing fabric on my design board I am able to perceive various viewpoints of the final product I will eventually make.  Having my project lying flat on my table, the design, may look completely different from anything that I observed when it was positioned vertically.

Below I have displayed some of my ruler samples utilizing my design board.  Of course these samples are completed so there is no tweaking involved, however, you can see how I have the capability to view them upright.  This allows me to decide whether I am comfortable with the project both in a horizontal and vertical positions.

9b9e482b-d16e-463e-90d4-7b793d6fcf43-jpg

 

images-114

 

 

 

 

Yes, I audition my fabric for each of my designs.  I don’t just assume the material I have chosen is going to be a success.  Remember I am a WIP!  Ideas don’t always fall into place the way I had initially intended; so I put forth a little preview prior to making a commitment. No, they aren’t contestants on “Project Runway” but there are times when I must shake my head at what I thought would work perfectly and say:

unknown-54

Using my design board to perceive how my piecing will come together on a quilt is wonderful!  Laying out the rows ahead of time for chain piecing…. Will my hands come together in exciting, or will my eyebrows furrow in dismay?  I’d much rather do a trial run on my design board and have to reconfigure its look prior to sewing rather THAN discovering I am not a fan of its look.

Do you use a design board? What are the perks of your design board?

 

Corner Pop Tool by 180 Studio Design

I’m not afraid to say it, I am not the world’s best piecer when it comes to quilting.  It is one of a few weaknesses in my quilting process; so when I encounter a mechanism that assists me with accuracy I am going to shout it out to the world!

YES MY PIECING ABILITIES COULD USE A BIT OF ASSISTANCE!!!  imgres-4

Not too long ago, ok, let me be honest it was  quite a while ago, I purchased a ruler that is now my “Great Oz” for piecing.  Now I know you all have tools that you have forgotten existed and upon their discovery you think “OMG why was I making life so difficult? ”  Well that long-lost prized item for me is the Corner Pop tool  from Studio 180 Design .  I will NEVER lose sight of this tool EVER again(unless one of my family members finds another use for it like my Karen Kay Buckley scissors).  Uncertain of  its effectiveness, age does terrible things to memory,  I pulled out a little bit of fabric from my very little stash assuming that I would only make a block.  Remember I couldn’t quite remember how well this tool worked.  Ah, let’s just say that I was kicking myself wishing I hadn’t chosen a fabric that I was so limited in possessing.  I am so impressed with how easy this tool is to use.  The Corner Pop tool is great for creating snowball blocks ( it would have been a great asset when completing my last project) as well as putting a pop of color into corners of practically any block.

img_2106

How does the tool work?  Take a minute and view Deb’s wonderful tutorial.

 

I chose the same size square to make my life easier, I am all about easy, which is a 9″ square.

img_2108 img_2109

Ok so far so good, but now I am confronted with my biggest problem, sewing the pieces together.  Ugh, my triangles never seem to fill the whole area.  However, using this clever invention eliminated that concern since the blocks are slightly larger, they actually had me trimming them down. This was so enjoyable! Since my confidence and enthusiasm were growing I stepped outside my “piecing zone” and not only incorporated one corner pop BUT two!!  Watch out piecing world here comes Lisa!

The striped fabric and the brownish colored material display my Corner Pops.  I vacillated for quite some time on what color fabric to use, purple, tan or mustard.  As Deb shares in her wonderful video the “PoPabilities” are endless, and she is right on point!

img_2115

Once the blocks were applied my mind was brimming with ideas so I thought “Why stop now?”  After reeling my thoughts together I opted to insert some rectangles in order to complete the squares on the point that I had established on the design.

img_2111

Is it obvious I am in love with this tool? Well in case you weren’t sure, let me just share that I just ordered the Diamond Rects AND  V Block tools.  Are you convinced now?  I highly suggest you check out their Facebook page!

Here is my finished top…. wish I had more of this fabric… 😦

corner-pop-quilt

No affiliation I am simply a very happy customer.  Isn’t that the best kind of referral to give and receive?

Have you lost and found a little treasure? Maybe it was hiding in a drawer, or stuffed in a closet amongst other miscellaneous items?  I can’t be the only keeper of a lost treasure!