Monday, May 19, 2014

I'm a Fan of Easy

I am a huge fan of easy.  

I like being able to look at something complicated and figuring out a way to make it easy.  I like making easy quilts.  

For me, nothing is easier than making string blocks.  Just slice fabric into long thin strips, and sew it back together on foundation paper.  Almost any paper works - copier paper, an old phone book page, or even lightweight non-fusible interfacing.

I started this quilt a long time ago.  It was another Gala donation.  Our theme that year was heavily influenced by the colors and feel of Mexico.  I pulled fabrics from my stash in our chosen colors of lime, turquoise, deep red, and white.  My favorite fabric was a turquoise and white sand dollar print because both the color, and the sand dollar, represent our school.  

Piecing this quilt happened rather quickly.  Quilting it, not so much.  But, one day this past October while I was spray basting outside, inspiration, literally, fell from the sky.  The shadows of the screen enclosure made great intersecting angles!  I immediately grabbed my water soluble marker along with my 8' straight edge, and traced what I saw.

Again, because I love easy, I knew I'd quilt straight lines.

Instead of dense straight line quilting that I am a huge fan of, I chose to keep it even simpler.  Each angle was initially stitched, and each quadrant filled with stitching lines about 2.5 inches apart.  That wasn't quite doing it for me - the quilting was a little too sparse - so I went back and quilted .25' from each of those lines, which added the extra texture I wanted.

As it so often is, the quilting lines, in white, are subtle on the front and more pronounced on the back.  Once again, pulling from my stash, this time my BATIK stash (Oh, no!  Batiks aren't modern, so goes the old argument), I matched our theme colors, even inserting another good-sized chunk of that sand dollar fabric.

I chose Warm and Natural as the batting because it's lightweight.  No one in Florida wants a heavy lap quilt!  We just want something to cover our legs when the nights turn cool.

The binding is a gloriously scrappy with lots of red prints.  Once again, I chose easy.  The machine binding method learned from Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts is my favorite.  

When I mentioned to a friend I was using so much red, and even red batiks, with a mostly white top, she thought I was crazy.  Never fear, cold water, and three Shout Color Catchers in the first wash left the top free of bleeding.

This quilt measured 54" x 54".  So why did something with so many easy parts, take so long to complete? Because Trish said she'd wait forever.  And I'm real good at finding something else to do.

I 'm glad I gave it to her this past October and she had it to wrap up with during our unseasonably cold winter.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Gala 2014

After lamenting yesterday that I'd misplaced my camera, I said as much to my husband who replied "Oh, it's in the back of the car.  Along with some other stuff."

These were what I was looking for.

Pictures from our school's fundraiser a couple of weeks ago.

We rent a venue way in advance; choose a theme; decide on catering; and go to work. 

Work the day of Gala, means hauling in all of the children's individual artwork and displaying it.

Same with the classroom art projects.  

Each classroom designs and creates, over many weeks, several pieces for our Live Auction.  

So many different mediums and techniques are used.

Children from as young as 18 months to as old as 15 years collaborate on all of these pieces.  

In addition to the Live Auction pieces, parents, friends, and local businesses contribute items for our Silent Auction.

This is my third year making items for Silent Auction.

Of course, I wouldn't be true-to-form if I didn't wait until the last minute.

So last minute in fact, I finished them Friday night.  

Actually, the wee small hours of Saturday morning.    

I mean, I knew I was making pillow covers.  The easy envelope kind, because with Kona White as a background, you know they're going to get dirty.  

I knew what fabrics I was using.  

I knew I wanted them colorful, and I also knew I wanted to use a pieces from our theme fabric.

Other than that, I had no idea what I was going to do until very late Friday night. 

My description for the Silent Auction table was something like this:  "Two, 18" Modern Geometric Quilted Pillow Covers with Inserts."

 "A color palette of tangerine, lemon, lime, avocado, and turquoise make you think of sipping cool citrusy drinks, poolside, on a hot afternoon."

These are just a little bit of the sewing I've done this year.  I am very glad my camera's been located and pictures downloaded.

Friday, May 16, 2014


It's hard to write a blog post when your camera's missing.

Even if it wasn't missing, I think I'd still be behind.

Because, as a friend just said recently about herself "I'm just a classic overachiever."

I have that trait too.  

It gets me in trouble more times than I can count.

Because I think I can do it all.


I should know better.

Deadlines and commitments for all of those things I said I could do, or THOUGHT I could do, come calling.

Which leads to clutter, and chaos, and sleepless nights.

And creativity.  Which is how this happens in the first place.

I am either around creative women because of my ECMQG affiliation, or I'm tuned into a vast network of creative folks because of IG and Flickr.

I get pulled in by the beauty and enthusiasm of their projects that I want to participate too.  

So I sign-up and commit and create.  But I've lost my real camera.  I know there are pictures on it.  I have my iPhone, which has tons of pictures.  But I have to sync it.  Maybe I'll do that tonight, once it's all quiet.

Or maybe I won't, because I'll be sewing or playing with fabric.