Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Colorful Past

If you are thinking this is going to be a blog of true confessions you are partly right (grin) - however, it's not what you think!

These blocks are part of my colorful past...bits and pieces of leftovers from previous quilts or parts that didn't quite make it in design and were discarded - what we as quilters often refer to as "orphan blocks".

My goal - to make these orphans into a family, how be it, with the chance of being a dysfunctional family - but these blocks needed to feel loved and needed, proving that they indeed had a purpose.

So out of the hidden places in the studio they came. Blocks that haven't seen the light of day since being carefully packed away waiting for "some day" when they could be used as intended.

Some day came today. An opportunity to remember the past and rejoice over all the fabrics. As my friend Annette said today "you certainly aren't afraid of color!" Yep, all these fabrics were -are - my friends. I bought them because I liked them, so if I chose them then they ought to play together nicely shouldn't they?

I like the memories too. There's a couple of blocks that were the results of classes with national teachers at International Quilt Festival(s). There's the log cabin block from one of my very first quilts- make 10 years ago! There's parts of quilts that I no longer own - one was gifted as a baby gift and blocks from a quilt that was given to a family after a fire. Two blocks aren't mine - they were a gift from my friend Delores, the pink basket and the blue basket. These are adopted orphan blocks (grin).

Little by little parts and pieces were added together as the puzzle began to take a life of it's own. Try this, try that. Trim this, add to that.

Back to the design wall, try again. Nope that one just doesn't seem to want to work out for now.

Finally all the ones that were suppose to be in this quilt top found their place.

There were many that were hopeful of being in the quilt, but they just didn't make it.

Next came the audition of border fabrics. It's a good thing I had a nice stash in the back of my car to choose from. Who would have thought? It wasn't prearranged, but it came together.

By midnight the borders were pieced but haven't been added to the quilt yet. I plan on mitering them and that takes math. Something I love, but am better at fresh in the morning.

Yep, it's a quilt I call "My Colorful Past" because it holds memories of other quilts or just favorite fabrics that I've picked up along the way of my quilt journey. Somehow they fit together - a little crazy for some people's taste I'm sure, but the blocks are now functional in a quilt as they were created to be.

In a way, this reminds me of God and us as His children. He created us to spend eternity with Him. He wants us to play together nicely as a family. Some of us are a little wonky. Some of us shine the best in supporting roles where others stand out boldly as the leaders of the pack. Each of us unique. Sadly, some of us wander off the path and are like the blocks that were discarded - not making it into the family...perhaps to be given another chance another day. That's the neat thing about God - He's a God of second chances...adopting us into His family, where we belong, fitting us in and making it all come be useful as intended. And to be loved.

Oh how He loves you and me.....

Monday, March 28, 2011

Off on another adventure

It's amazing what one can pack in a car if one has the desire!

I'm off on retreat this week - and I have high expectations.

The blue fabric bowl is full of scraps from recent quilts that are waiting to be "tamed" with my Go Cutter - that's what all the green things are - dies for my cutter.

See, I dearly love scrap quilts. And I hope to put together a really wild and wonderful one this week.

I've also brought several project boxes (far left) with UFO's to choose from. You can never have too many projects when you go out of town on retreat...cuz ya'never know what mood you'll wake up in and which project will catch your fancy that particular day.

Notice the drawer system in the middle? Well, that top draw is all my 2.5 strips and it just seemed easier to bring my drawer system (there are four drawers) with some of my fabric stash and work out of the back of my car instead of trying to pack things in a suitcase and lug it all in...

And behind all this is two suitcases with fabric bolts so I'd have some yardage to choose from as I work through my scraps.

Today's project was a UFO - I had already completed all the blocks from Debbie Maddy's Simple Stars Beautiful Quilts book - the pattern Broken Star - I adapted it to be cut with the Go Cutter and actually pieced the blocks using Bonnie Hunter's Leader and Ender technique - in other words, the blocks were pieced as I worked through other quilts (customer t-shirt quilts over the past few months). My goal this afternoon was to use the design walls at the retreat center for the proper layout. A task that took much longer than I anticipated, but happily accomplished while chatting with my fellow retreaters.

The beauty of a retreat is not only having uninterrupted time to work on personal projects, but to share the journey with my fellow quilters. Everyone works on something of their own...some are finishing up a project previously started while others have chosen a new project just for the week.

We love to celebrate the "ta-da" moments when someone has all their blocks together. It's a shame she forgot the border fabric. Oh well, on to the next project!

I can almost guarantee by the end of the retreat this t-shirt quilt will come together very nicely.

Mission accomplished for day one - by 10:30 PM the interior of this quilt is now complete. I too forgot the border fabric, so it's still a UFO, regardless, I'm a happy camper!

Stay tuned....there's more to come!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Website UP and we're in DALLAS!

We are in Dallas at Quilt Celebration - set up on Thursday...opened today. What fun! I have more photos and will catch you up on things in the next few days, but today I'm just plain tired, happy but tired.

The big news is after hours and hours of hard work my website is actually up! Only right now it's at .co and not .com

LONG story. Seems my new host isn't allowed on the company who owned my domain, so I've had to transfer domain providers. I've got a .com, .co, .us and .net with everyone pointing to .com

well....the transfers are extremely slow and for some crazy reason the .co got through the process first --- so! Please please go visit. and tell me what you think. If you find a typo or have suggestions fill out the contact us form on the site and be my editor(s)!

There are a few pages that I didn't have time to develop prior to the hang on!

And I do promise more photos from the Dallas Quilt Celebration - it's a fabulous fun show and the quilts are amazing!!

more later

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Still working!

Progress is slow going sometimes, but anything worth doing is worth doing right!

That said, I've been glued to my laptop for over 15 hours today (with a nice outdoors lunch break) uploading data, resizing images, editing my thousand and one typos (grin) all in an effort to regain my presence on the world wide web - and hopefully before the Dallas Quilt Celebration next weekend! I'm eager to share with quilters the beauty of being an A1 Quilter! If you are in the area, stop by booths 154-155 for a proper Texas howdy and a hug to boot!

Yep, progress equals change, and change sometimes takes professional help! I'm so pleased with my web design company Lew Sew Websites. We've worked over the phone
and through email to get the background design of my new website "just right" - now it's up to me to fill up the spaces. Not an easy task for this chatty lady! I've got so much to share!!

Currently the site isn't "live" - but again, I hope it will be within the week. I am certainly
enjoying learning a new content management system. It hasn't been painful at all, I guess because I'd created and managed my last website...oh but this one is sooooo much better! I'm no longer limited to someone's template, I'm able to add design/layout elements to my little heart's content! Pages and pages, images upon images...and with this new host I'm not limited to a certain number of pages! I can even have PDF files for my viewers to download! How exciting!

Lest you think all I've been doing is webdesign...I've managed to kick out a few customer quilts in addition to some personal quilts to hang in the A1 booth in Dallas next week...

This beauty occupied my frame for more hours than I'd care to admit... and yes, this is the back...I sorta like looking from that side first (grin)

The one pictured on the frame is one of mine....there's a story behind this one....10+ years in the "quilts in waiting" category... it's finally finished...that and two others...

....hum...somehow I've got to factor in time to do the binding on three lap quilts before Dallas...oh rest for my wrists that's for sure!

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord....

I just love my job passion called quilting!