Tuesday, May 27, 2014

New Quilts! New Articles! New Car?

If I choose to look at the glass half full, then overall it's been a good week.

 I completed these two new scrap quilts...

The one above, (which I have named "Railroad Crossing #2) is from one of the layouts I was considering in this previous post. It uses the same block that I designed for this quilt, (which I finally decided to call "Railroad Crossing") but laid out differently.

And the one below is made mostly from the scraps left over from the quilt above...

This one I am calling "Back Roads Detour".

I've been working on a PDF pattern for both of these quilt blocks, but I keep coming up with so many design variations, and ideas for other quilts, that my head is swimming with the possibilities.
So for now, I am just continuing to explore and play, and taking lots of notes!

All I can say is that it feels good to be making quilts again... I think I burned out for awhile, and also felt a bit confused as to what to do when my hands seemed unable to do all the hand quilting that I had been focusing on for the last few years. But now I am rediscovering the joys of free-motion machine quilting and feeling very inspired!

 And speaking of machine quilting...

Check out these fun little "Stained and Scorched" mini quilts that I did for the new June/July issue of Quilting Arts Magazine

Vivika Hansen DeNegre, the editor of Quilting Arts, saw my blog post on using lemon juice to "dye" fabric, and asked if I could write an article about the process for Quilting Arts. In the article I show step by step photos outlining how to get these results. 

And while you are at it, look for the new Summer issue of Sew Somerset, where I was asked to contribute a how-to article for making my Embroidered Houses, which I first made a few years back.

Issues are hitting the news stands and craft stores now, so if you don't already subscribe, be sure to check them out next time you are out and about!

So that's why overall it's been a good week. 
But with all that sunshine, a little rain may fall...

Or in my case... Hail... of biblical proportions!
Did you happen to see the Nightly News last Thursday night?

One of the top stories nationwide was of the freak hail storm that hit Berks County, Pennsylvania
which just happens to be where I work. 

Hail which was the size of golf balls and tennis balls, (yes, I said tennis balls!) stormed through the area leaving thousands of cars, homes and businesses damaged.

Pictured above, is part of my windshield, and below...

My poor car! Pocked marked and cracked from head to toe, even my emblem got ripped off of the hood. Now we wait, with so many others, to see what insurance decides. The car is most likely totaled, due to cosmetics, but mechanically runs just fine. We are considering keeping it, and just driving it until it falls apart. What the heck... with a car like this, no more worries about car dings and getting scratched. It simply is what it is! Kind of liberating!

The truly miraculous thing is that in despite of so much damage to cars and businesses and houses...
 despite hail so deep that they had to bring out the snow plows...
 no person seems to have been actually hurt, only things,
and that is something to be truly thankful for!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Scrap Busting Possibilities

Still playing with my new quilt block design. I decided it was time to bust through some of my 30's repro fabric stash that's been sitting in my closet for way too long, so I whipped up some blocks and have been playing with layout possibilities...

I'm thinking I like the bottom two the best, but overall, I'm delighted with all the possibilities as well as a chance to weed out old stash, (and make room for some beloved solids!)

Have a great week everyone!

PS. Many thanks for all the creative name ideas on my last quilt, using this same block. I loved hearing what you all saw! After a lot of thought, (yeah, I know... too much thought... but being a bit OCD, sometimes the mind does that) I decided to go with my original thoughts when first designing the quilt and have named it "Railroad Crossing". We have a lot of railroad tracks crossing the rural roads around here, and something about the old tracks holds a lot of intrigue for me. So there you go. But again, many, many thanks for all the wonderful and creative input!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

In Search of a Good Name!

 Have you ever made a quilt that was simply a joy from start to finish?

That's what this quilt has been!

From the initial idea of making an easy to duplicate improvised block, to the beginning sketches, to playing around with how the block would be constructed and then putting it all together, and watching it develop...

Fun! Pure and simple fun!

I had a lot of left over fabric bits and scraps from this quilt and have already stitched up several small quilt tops from them. I'll share them in a future post once I have them quilted!

Now, I just have to come up with a name for this quilt. Usually I have no problem naming my works, but this time I am not sure...

When I look at the quilt,  I see railroad tracks, railroad crossing signs, sidewalks, arrows and kites. My original inspiration does lay somewhere in those things, but before I decided
I'd love to know what you see!