Polka-Dot on the Brain

I will be out of my sewing room for a few days, so I thought I better finish the floral pet quilt. This was a fun quilt to make because I designed it as I went along. Following the project process posted by Melanie of Catbird Quilt Studio, helped in making this an enjoyable project.  Thanks again, Melanie!

I made heart blocks for the corners.

One of my friends and I are making blocks from the book, Modern Blocks, compiled by Susanne Woods.
We take turns with another friend, choosing a block to make for the month. Making the floral pet quilt has left me with polka-dot-on-the-brain. I used my leftover polka dot fabric, and the Kaffe Fasset remnants, to make the block chosen for March.

Floral Pets~Day 6

“Think left and think right and think low and think high.
Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”
Dr. Seuss

My goal for today was to make the final border for the Floral Pet quilt. I reviewed two of my latest resource books for ideas, Collaborative Quilting and Collaborate Again by Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran. In the Parts Department segments of these books, there are many examples of blocks that can be used to make unique borders.
I had enough of a floral Kaffe Fassett fabric to make a solid strip border. I thought it didn’t add anything to the quilt top.

I wanted some black with white fabric to be placed next to white with black polka-dot border, in order to tone it down. I have enough of three different types of black and white fabric, that have already been used in the framing strips around the pets.

At first, I tried a four patch square on points.

I liked the angle, but thought it might be too small.
Then, I tried just a four patch block with black and white blocks included in block. I was thinking of adding the blue floral for the corners to make the four block on point. The blue did not do much for the white and black polka dot border.

I tried just a simple four block, but this seemed “too square”. It did not add anything special to the quilt top.
Next, I tried a four square on points, using a black and white fabric for the corners. This was a bit too large, but I trimmed it down (not shown in photo), and I think this might be the border I use.

I made some four squares. If I do not use them for this quilt, they will be used in some other project.
I am working with scraps that were left over from a quilt that I made for one of my daughter-in-laws. I think turning these scraps into a border is assuring that this pretty fabric does not go to waste.
Scraps
Quilt that I made for my daughter-in-law.
Front                       Back

Four Patches made from scraps

This definitely has been a thinking-kind of day. Thanks to Melanie at Catbird Quilt Studio. I have been using the Project Process she posted on her blog. It has really been helpful.
I also want to give a shout out to my sister, Emma. I bugged her all afternoon. I kept sending her photos and asking questions. I appreciate her input.

Hot Day

It is 5:30 PM and it is HOT! 101 in the shade…and no relief in sight. I stayed inside as much as possible today.
It was a good day for working in my studio. I had the AC and fans blowing.

I plan to meet up with a friend this Friday. I have not seen her since 1976, when we worked together in Georgetown,Texas. I made these house mug rugs for her, using the flying geese block.

My Meemaw friends liked these and now they want to make some on a craft day. When we do make these, I plan to use the no-waste technique that I learned from reading Melanie’s blog at Catbird Quilt Studio. I tried it out and made four house mug rugs like this one:

It was so much more efficient to use this method. This method yields four of the same fabric flying geese. I plan to make three more house mug rugs. Then I will be able to mix and match and make a set of different houses.

Today, I made a different type of house mug rug. I drew a pattern for a house, then cut out a door and windows. This is a good project to use up my larger stash pieces.

When I was out shopping yesterday, I ran across some duck fabric that I thought my daughter-in-law would like. I took pictures of the fabric and asked if she would like some pillows. She said yes, so I made these this afternoon.

I will be closing up my studio for a few days, since I will be pet sitting at my son’s house.
I was debating as to whether I should leave my sewing machine at home or take it with me. The decision is to leave it at home. I I have some reading and visiting that will take up my time.
And, I think I might visit my sister and jump in her pool!

Journals~Part of the Creative Process

Melanie, of Catbird Quilt Studio, started a conversation on creativity.
The comments and thoughts of other bloggers has been informative and thought provoking.
Tierney, of Tierney Creates, has also contributed to this topic; and she has even posted a peek into her creative journaling process. This encouraged me to share a look at my journal.
Keeping a journal is an internal communication for me. I am a visual learner, and I need to “see” my thoughts and designs. I use a graph paper composition book for my designs and ideas.
These journals have handmade covers.
 
 
I also keep a journal to post photos or actual pieces of my work. I add the story, inspiration, and process for each product.

Should I? …or… Shouldn’t I ?

Ever since I read Melanie’s post (Catbird Quilt Studio) about creativity and The 100 Day Project, I have been thinking of ways to be more productive and creative. It is so inspiring to see what my blogging friends are doing.
The thought of doing something for 100 days sounded intimidating and too structured.
Then I thought, maybe I need that structure.
The project gives permission to miss a few days.

Should I? …or…Shouldn’t I?

After mulling this over for a while, I decided to go ahead and do the 100 Day Project.
It starts today, and I will be out-of-town for the rest of the week.
I decided my project would be to work on small pieces or blocks each day.
These pieces could be thread sketching, improv blocks, regular blocks…just any type of block.
I am cutting a 10 inch block, and will be thread sketching in an 8 inch block area.
This block can be pieced to make a larger block, be the center of a pillow, or a tote…many possibilities.
Today’s entry is a selfie thread sketch.
I do not know if I will eventually paint the fabric or not.

I entitled this self-caricature, Enjoying Life.

Spring Craft Deadline

This morning, I met the  part of my deadline for the spring projects I will be gifting tomorrow.
I completed two sets of coiled rope plate mats and heart-shaped bowls; along with a small coiled bowl and a rock painting.
There is still one more coiled project to do for one of my three sons. I have an extension on the deadline, since he does not live close by and we will not be meeting this weekend.

Fiesta Coiled Plate Mats and Heart-Shaped Dish

Boho Coiled Plate Mats and Heart-Shaped Dish


Small Ring Dish 
Pig in a Wig painted rock
(Pig in a Wig is the character in my sister’s series of children’s books.)

Since I have working to meet this deadline, and meeting with daily life events, I have not been able to work on the hexagon block for my quilt journal. I have the design in my head, but I just have not had the time to work on it. I plan to try something new with this block.
Tierney posted some work she did with fabric painting. She also posted some great information on good habits that can change your life.
Also, my friend, Jeana, who does my long arm quilting, has been encouraging me to try some fabric painting.
I spent my non-coiled mat making minutes viewing fabric painting tutorials and trying things out.
I just played with the paint on different fabrics.
Hopefully, when I return from visiting with two of my sons, I will get started on painting the fabric for my hexagon block.

Melanine, of Catbird Quilt Studio, posted some great essays and thoughts on creativity.
Reading these posts gave me the encouragement I needed to persist on this new fabric painting venture.

I know it seems that I am going in many different directions…rope baskets, improv quilts, quilt journal, fabric painting…but that is the way I work. For better or for worse.
It would probably be better to focus on one thing at a time, but I have never been able to stay focused for too long.
But I am okay with this… I am having so much fun!