Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Walking on a Cloud

I am attending the AQS Paducah Quilt Show this week and was completely caught by surprise when I received an email the other night telling me that my quilt, Grandmother's Cabin, had won an award.  They didn't let on as to what my quilt had won, specifically, so I've been on pins and needles until tonight.  Sitting in the audience at this evening's awards ceremony was almost like attending the Oscars!  When the Home Machine Quilted Bed Quilts were finally announced, my heart began to race as they started with third place, then second place, then. . . .FIRST place. . .and my name was called.  It still seems surreal, as if it's all a dream.  I am so honored and grateful and overwhelmed, I still cannot believe my quilt won.

So here is a big thank you and hug to all of you who have sent out good vibes, kind and supportive words and ongoing encouragement over the last couple of years.  I appreciate all of you who take the time to read my blog, comment, and follow me on Instagram.  Your support and cheerful comments help make this day a memorable one.  This week is looking like it is going to be quite a thrill ride with all the events and things there are to do.  I will write all about it after I return home next week.

Click HERE for a short video of my interview with Bonnie Browning.

Until then, thank you all so much and Happy Quilting!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Out of the Scrap Bins

It seems like every year around this time I go through this whole scrap purging and reorganizing process at the bottom of my closet, digging through scrap bins as if I was searching for gold.  It's not an intentional act that I plan for, it just seems to happen on its own, call it my version of spring cleaning.  I can't even explain it.  Before I know it, I have every bin, basket and bag organized, reorganized, analyzed and re-analyzed as to what to do with it all.  The easiest thing would be to donate or throw it away, right?  You would think I was organizing and hoarding cash!
I had seen a photo of a gorgeous pineapple quilt that inspired the thought, "I am going to make that!"  So I set on the journey of pulling lots of narrow strips, cutting dozens more, and sewing scrappy five-inch pineapple blocks, with the intention of reaching at least 80 inches each way on my scrappy pineapple quilt. 
It was fun. . . for awhile!  My short attention span soon kicked in.  Twenty blocks later, I had had my fill of pineapples!  Then I realized I still had to tear all that foundation paper off the back of the blocks.  I soon decided that a crib sized quilt was more realistic and called it a day when I finally managed to get it sewn together, along with borders.
I still love the scrappy look but am not sure if I could do a bed-sized quilt in just pineapples.  It would probably have to be something that I picked up and worked on in between other quilts, I think.  Sewing pineapples for weeks on end would turn my brain into a pineapple slushy, I'm afraid. 
And what inspired all this digging through scraps?  During two weeks in March I was down and out with a cold that I couldn't shake and just needed to do something that didn't require much thinking.  I had seen this foundation-pieced rooster online and thought it would be fun to try, once again using ONLY scraps from the scrap bin.  I purchased the pattern from Sew What Sherlock, and had a blast choosing bits of old fabrics to "paint" my rooster.  I veered from the pattern somewhat and did my own thing when it came to the background.  Now, for the record, I am not a rooster collector nor do I decorate with roosters in my house, but this was just fun to do.
I didn't really have a plan for it once I finished it, so I decided to make it into a pillow.  I'm still not sure if I am keeping this for me, giving it as a gift, or I may eventually sell it!  But I am glad I took a day off to play without having a plan or deadline for a change, and did something different.

And here is the back. . . 
Believe it or not, this fabric is real vintage 1970s.  And yes, I've had it since high school!  I am pretty sure I made a wrap-around skirt out of it back in the day when I sewed clothes.  I guess there was a reason I've held on to it all these years!  Anyway, it worked out great for this pillow.
And my final scrap busting project "in progress" is this crocheted rag rug.  I'm getting close to the finish line, probably only ten more rounds to go.   This uses up so much fabric, it's a great way to dwindle down some of that old stuff I won't ever use in a quilt.  I also love using old cotton floral decorator prints, once again, VINTAGE!  Some of this I've had forever, it screamed 1980s, so now that it's in a rug, I don't feel so guilty about holding on to it.  I'm not using a pattern, in case anyone is going to ask me, I am sort of figuring this out as I go.  I cut my strips at 1 1/4" wide and use a size L or M hook, depending on the tension I want.  This is the first time I've done a rug in a rectangular format like this, normally I make ovals like the one pictured below.
Here is one I did a couple of years ago, now very much faded since it gets direct sun on it most of the day.  But I love the patina they get after being used and washed.  And these crocheted rugs wash extremely well, they hold up for years, much better than anything store-bought, and they are pet-friendly, which is very important in our house.

I know I had promised photos from the AQS Daytona Quilt Show to share, but I apologize, I still have not taken the time to go through and edit them just yet.  With being sick and then playing catch up for the last several weeks, sitting in front of the computer on my time off hasn't been what I want to do after being in front of it all day at work.  So hopefully I will eventually get around to it and share them. 

Hope this has inspired you to dig through your own scraps and make something fun!  It's amazing to see how such a little bit of fabric goes a long way. 

Until next time, Happy Quilting!