Monday, June 28, 2010

Inspiration along the way

Lazy days of summer. Goodness where has the month gone?

I really haven't been lazy, have had lots going on but I've managed to take some time out to enjoy life too.

After all, life is a journey not a destination right? Time to enjoy the simple pleasures and to laugh along the way.

Take this kitty for example. Driving through the neighborhood to go check on the bay and this caught my eye. I just had to share the laugh with you.

That's what I enjoy about this journey, sharing the laughter.

Earlier this month I shared lots of laughter and the joy of quilting with some very special ladies. I held an "A-1 Reunion" where my A1 quilting machine customers were invited to join me on Friday for a piecing class using the Square in a Square technique ... along with piecing we enjoyed lunch outside under the Tiki hut.

On Saturday others joined us as we had a A1 Maintenance Class and some hands on demos on the longarm.

It's always inspiring to be around others that share your same passion. Following the reunion we set up machines for new A1 customers. That's always a joy to share the excitement of a new quilter seeing her dreams come true by owning her own longarm.

Along the way I find that I have to stop and regroup, do a little something for myself to keep my creative juices flowing. This past weekend I did just that, a little home decorating so to speak...added a pillow to better enjoy my hammock...

And covered the lawn chair cushions to add a little color to the deck, and made pillows to help with the comfort of the love seat/bench.

I also managed to FINALLY make the curtains for my bathroom that was repainted almost two years ago. Yep, I'm a procrastinator, but when I get inspired then I really push that peddle on the old sewing machine and crank out the projects!

Earlier in the month I found a really neat pattern in a magazine that I wanted to make. It's called Summer Breeze by Karen DuMont published in Quilt magazine Jun/July 2010 #112 issue. What I liked about it was that it used 32 fat quarters and I'm the queen of fat quarters. I thought it would be fun to do an exchange with two of my friends...the pattern called for 4.5 inch strips and you could get 3 out of the fat quarter, 1 strip equaled one block. So instead of using the same color three times I figured we could each contribute 30+ strips in an exchange...yielding 60 or more colors. The girls readily agreed and we made our exchange.

The original pattern calls for 72 blocks with the remaining 4.5 squares to be used as a border. I got so carried away piecing the four patch that I forgot to save extras for the border. Instead I just enlarged the quilt by about 26 blocks! I'm debating on adding the border, it's already a large queen and with a border would be a king... still thinking on that one. by the way, this is the quilt top folded in half, so you can get a better picture of the size if you understand that.

For the past 5+ years I've tried to make a quilt on or around my birthday. The girls thought this block looked like presents so I've called this my 2010 birthday quilt...and since it's made with fabrics from my friends I think I'm going to rename it from Summer Breeze to Hen Party (grin). The hardest part about this quilt was not using a design wall to lay out the blocks. I just randomly picked them up and pieced row by row. Sometimes colors didn't end up where I would have normally put them, and I'm trying to get over that (grin).

Yes, I'm trying to be more spontaneous with my fabrics. I love color. I love bright fun fabrics. Sometimes they don't seem to go together, at least in the traditional way of lights/darks, you know, all that value stuff that seems to be the 'right way' of doing things. The way I figure it, if I like this fabric and that fabric why can't they play nicely together? So I'm experimenting....

I just purchased the AccuQuilt Go! fabric cutter and have had a wild wonderful weekend working through my stash. I've cut up 2.5 inch strips which I've sewn in sets of 3 with plans on subcutting and making 9 patches. Then I've cut the components for flying geese. My idea is to make a star block with these parts. My goal is for the black and white fabric to be the calming fabric is this pool of fabric splash. We'll see how it works out. May be a while as I've taken my mini vacation and need to get back to work (grin)

Sometimes all we need is a little inspiration, a little detour off the beaten path, to jump start the day/week/month. Just like a little rain brings refreshment so does a little time of reflection bring me back to center. Whether it's taking time to be with friends, time to play in my fabric, or time to just sit by the water and be in awe of God's handiwork...

May your day be joyful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing my journey


Muddling Through said...

Good to have you back in the posting game again, and I'm glad you've such a good, yet productive, rest! Love the birthday quilt.

Karen E. Overton said...

Thank you Elaine, however I do feel like I'm tired all the time. A touch of some bug that's been going around has sapped my energy. But when the energy kicks in I milk it for all it's worth (grin) then head back to the hammock to rest up again! I'm lovin my hammock!

gail.designs said...

Hi Karen, I have the GO! too with the strip dies and just love it. Did you cut the flying geese components with the GO! too. If so, what dies did you use. The size of the geese look like the size I want to do. Thanks!
Keep cool...
Gail Auen

Karen E. Overton said...

Gail, I purchased the mix and match set for 12" blocks and yes, the flying geese were cut with the Go! Dies #55002 Triangle 4 7/8, #55005 half sq triangle 3 1/2. I feel like I'm rediscovering my stash with this new cutter!