It’s been a long time since I last posted. You may be wondering what’s caused my extended period of silence. So many things have denied me the opportunity to sit before my computer for any length of time. Among those were of course the holidays, birthday celebrations, sewing projects as well as a prolonged illness. While my illness afforded me the chance to write a post or two I made the decision to focus on creating food menus for my family through mid May. Now that My health is nearly back to normal its time to get back in the groove.
I have so many things to tell you and so many projects to share. Rather than lump them all into one potentially insanely long narrative I will restrain myself and limit my updates to one project at a time. Featured today is a table runner expertly assembled by Julie N.
Julie, the creator of this wonderful auction quilt, originally contacted me to ask if I would have time to Longarm quilt her recently completed project. I would never turn down the opportunity to work with one of her projects because they are always so expertly assembled and carefully pressed. The extra care she invests in her craft makes my task so much easier. Rather than spending my time repairing open seams, squaring up misshapen edges and pressing badly wrinkled fabrics I can focus all my attention on the art of Longarm quilting.
By the time I finally took delivery of her project the subject had changed from a quilt to a table runner. The table runner was made for a wedding gift. The window of opportunity to Longarm quilt the table runner was small with no time to waste. The top and bottom edges of Julie’s table runner came to a peak. Since only straight edges can be loaded onto the rollers of my machine I had to attach temporary filler pieces to fill in on either side of the peaks.
Julie let me choose the thread color as well as the stitch design. I chose a soft gray thread and a flowing swirl stitch pattern. The swirl stitch is one of my favorites. Both were selected to quietly compliment her project. Here’s how Julie N’s table runner turned out.
I enjoyed working with your project Julie N! Thank you for the opportunity!
Cindy Anderson of In A Stitch Quilting
In our last visit I shared that I had watched the teaser for Craftsy‘s class Strip Your Stash. In the first lesson the teacher shares how she has organized her stash into coordinated groupings. I had begun doing that with my own collection during a recent quest to reorganize my studio.
If you don’t feel you have the knack for coordinating fabrics the teacher has a simple solution. Rather than studying the theory of color she suggests using photos, wrapping paper, paintings, postcards, anything that has color combinations you like as your inspiration.
Part of my goal to Smash My Stash is to use up the piles of fabrics and scraps I have accumulated. This class should help me get a great start on that goal and perhaps even make a huge dent in my supply.
Cindy Anderson of In A Stitch Quilting
I am a follower of Craftsy. In one of their recent emails they shared a discount they were offering on a class called Strip Your Stash. I watched the video introduction and found the teacher’s philosophy reflecting that of my own. I’ve declared 2016 to be the first year of the rest of my life. As part of my new beginning I’ve decided to trim down my piles of unfinished/untouched projects.
To implement this new plan my first task is to take inventory of the many projects I have acquired. Once my list is prepared I will map out a plan to finish at least one item per month. Of course that is my minimum goal. Anything above and beyond that would be a bonus.
At the end of 2015 I said I would be updating you on a weekly basis with my progress on smashing my inventory. This is the first post in that journey. I am calling it Smash My Stash!
Let’s make progress!
As Time Passes
As each year passes we grow one year older. For those on the up hill side of life the day to day chaos keeps your world spinning so fast you barely have time to relax. As you crest that hill and begin to coast down the other side your pace changes. Many of your responsibilities fade away and you find yourself with more time to relax and ponder.
On the Other Side
I’m on the other side of the hill and have been for several years. I’m by no means ready to throw in the towel yet I find myself looking at my remaining days as a precious gift. One that I don’t want to waste. I often find myself lost in thought day dreaming of how best to spend my remaining years.
In The Blink of an Eye
I was reminded in September of 2015 how suddenly the last moment can arrive. We abruptly lost a close friend at the age of 61. When you are on the other side of the hill, 61 seems far too young to leave this earth. There are way too many things left undone, too many hugs left yet to have, too many smiles yet to behold.
Yet when the end arrives
there is no time left,
no chance for do-overs.
Who hasn’t heard the phrase “If I had it to do-over?” I have on many occasions. When I recently heard those words spoken they took on a new meaning. They made me think of all the things I want to do, all the things I want to make, all the experiences I want to have. With the last month of 2015 almost over and the new year tapping me on the shoulder I thought why not make 2016…
the first year of the rest of my life!
So, I’m declaring 2016 a new beginning.
I’M Making A List
I’m busily making lists and planning how best to use every moment. As 2016 unfurls I plan on sharing with you this new sense of direction. I hope you are as excited as I am to begin this journey.
Before We Part
In closing I would like to share a saying that hangs on my wall. I found it stenciled on a sign in a shop in Colorado. The sign reads:
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body;
rather to skid in sideways,
chocolate in one hand,
wine in the other,
body thoroughly worn out
“Woo Hoo, What A Ride!”
Why not join me and make this year one heck of a ride!
Welcome to Friday Favorites. This week’s focus is my very first quilt teacher.
Are you up for a short quiz? If the answer’s yes then lets proceed. Thinking about your current craft, hobby, passion or occupation answer the following questions:
1. What was the spark that kindled the flame?
2. Was it a person, place or thing?
3. Does that catalyst still influence your direction?
4. If it was a person have you ever shared their impact?
If you’re like me, then your passion was influenced by a person. Back in 1992 I signed up for my very first quilting class. The instructor was Ruth Dietzman. Ruth was a very kind and patient person. Two project choices were offered for our selection. The class project I chose was the Strip Bow Quilt found in “Template Free Quiltmaking” by Trudy Hughes. According to Trudy’s website the book is no longer in print. I however still have my copy along with my class enrollment form and a letter from Ruth Dietzman. See the pictures below.
My quilt hangs on a wall in my sewing room.
The planting of that seedling in 1992 brought forth years and years of quilting enjoyment. Thank you Ruth Dietzman for your time, patience and inspiration. The rest is history.
I hope you enjoyed this edition of Friday Favorites. Come on back next Friday for another installment.
A Faithful Tool
Since the early 1990’s I have been using a Rowenta iron. I chose the iron at the urging of my quilt teacher. She was a huge fan of this particular brand and model. Not having a lot of experience with different irons I decided to heed her advice. The iron, at that time, was a huge purchase for me. It was above and beyond what I would typically spend for a piece of equipment like this.
Signs of Age
My Rowenta iron has been my faithful assistant for at least 20 years. Given the longevity of today’s throw-away merchandise I think this is rather remarkable. It almost seems a shame to replace it but it’s time has come. My reliable pal has begun showing signs of age. Of the most bothersome is the random dripping. Now I know irons are meant to release steam but not in large quantities.
Good Enough For Me
Received in the mail the other day was my brand new iron from Black & Decker called the Digital Advantage. Typically I spend a great deal of time researching the internet before making a purchase but I didn’t in this case. My oldest daughter already has one and she absolutely loves it. Her satisfaction with a product is good enough for me. Besides, I know she goes above and beyond my research techniques before she spends her hard-earned money.
After owning my iron for only a short time I can already tell you I’m quite pleased. I’m especially impressed with the way it glides as smooth-as-silk over fabric and the speed with which it heats up. To say that I would like this iron to last as long as my Rosenta would be true but at my age I’m not certain I have that much longevity left. It’s quite possible the iron will outlast me.