Wednesday, February 27, 2013

News Flash: Retail Stores Will Close at an Alarming Rate!

I hesitate at posting this on my blog, on the Internet, for the whole world to read. I am giving up shopping for a year. I know this sounds crazy, but I am not exactly giving up ALL shopping, just new purchases of fabrics, beads, clothes, and home decs. Family and friends - don't worry - I am still shopping for you! I realized when I came back to my studio from Florida, that I had tons of fabulous fabric, special beads, soft yarns, and new crafts (fabric stamping/painting) just happily waiting to get used. I am good at shopping, finding new fabric lines that I love, new bead artists to support with a purchase. The Internet (Pinterest!) is such a wealth of inspiration. Tangents are so easy to take. In the meantime, however, past great ideas are pushed aside. I want to challenge myself to discover what I already have. Spend more time a actually creating, and less time shopping. My new "rule" is that I certainly can buy what I need to finished something...zipper, backing, batting, etc. I can replace...threads, needles, muslin. But I want to look back next year at this time and see a year of ideas put to life and a little more room in the storage areas. Clothes? I have lots of cute ones, plus great accessories. A few less pounds and I would even have more choices. Home dec? Look at my Pinterest ideas and get to work creating! Years ago when I was a young mom, money was a bit tighter than it is now, and I had a ball creating with what was around me. Now, money isn't growing on our trees, but we are okay. So, it isn't about a budget, although it will be interesting to see if I notice a difference. I will keep you informed how this journey is going. So far it has been about a week. All I have noticed so far is how many of my emails are about shopping opportunities. We are in Madison for a few days while Carl finishes up a basement project. I look forward to getting home and playing with all my wonderful old toys. Jerilynn

Name the Quilt Design

You will be happy to know that the map quilt is looking better.  The circle quilting helps and also repeats the dot binding.  The white border had just a big meander as the quilting, and, after adding the additional stitches to the middle part of the quilt, the border needed attention, too.  I added a scallop to each side of the meander, somewhat (!) meeting in the middle.  The resulting quilting stitch is pretty cute!  You can see the plain meander on the left in the photo, the first scallop on the right, and the "finished" stitch in the middle. This isn't the real border, by the way, I did this little sample just to show you what I did.  I don't think I have seen this  before, have you?  What should I name this?  Jerilynn

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Will Quilting Make the Quilt?

Nineteen years ago I was a fairly new quilter and would devour almost any book published on the subject.  One book was especially fascinating, and I think it has stood the test of time.  Quilting Makes the Quilt is by Cleland, Weiland and Shayne, and demonstrates, with beautifully detailed photos, how five identical quilts look when quilted with five different techniques.  Now, mind you, it wasn't just ONE quilt made five times, but TWELVE.  Yep, sixty quilts, five of each, all quilted differently.  At that time, as now, just finishing ONE quilt and quilting it is a big deal for me.  But making something five times?  Yikes.  I still love looking at that book and I just shake my head.  Which leads me to the photo.  I am still working on my pieced quilt of the map of the United States.  This quilt has taken me longer to design and make than any other I have done.  Maybe in nineteen years it will be done.  Well, I thought it was done a few days ago.  I just couldn't come up with a good quilting design for it, so I just gave in to the good old meander stitch.  Put on the binding, washed and dried it, put on a label.  Now to do the instructions.  But, every time I came up to the studio, the map quilt made me feel shameful.  So much work, and the quilting was meh.  Too late now.  In the meantime, I have been looking at photos from Quiltcon, the first Modern Quilt Convention that just took place last week.  The Quilts!  The Colors!  The Quilting!  I felt even worse about the map quilt.  So, today, just a few very short days from packing up and taking another car trip (60's we come!), I decided to avoid trying on old bathing suits to see if they fit (they won't), writing pattern instructions, and cleaning in case we don't make it back and the kids have to sell the place.  I echoed the meander quilting a couple of times and then decided to fill in the empty areas with little pebble stitches. You can see the areas that "unpebbled". Probably not the best idea I have ever had, but I think it already looks like I have put a little more thought into the whole project.  I am pretending that the meanders are the ocean currents and that the bubbles are from all the fish.  I have never done bubbles/pebbles before, so the going is slow.  I don't know what I am going to do with the rest of the quilting on the quilt yet.  On the map, I meandered with a variegated thread and put stars about where each state capital would go.  Subtle.  I know that adding more quilting after the quilt is bound and washed is a bit risky.  We will see where all this heads.  This quilting will either make this quilt....or not.  Jerilynn

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chill Chaser

Hue Shift Afghan is all done! I picked up that upper respiratory flu right after I heard on the news that the worst of it was pretty much over. I congratulated myself, then promptly got sick. Go figure! Anyway, the garter stitch knitting of this pattern was about what I could muster. It is pretty darn chilly right now, wind chill -24, and I plopped the new blanket on Carl. He announced after a few minutes that "this throw is mine!" I guess that is a good thing! I have now started a new one in cotton Dishie yarn, on a smaller scale, for a lap robe for my mom. I am starting to feel better and will be working on my new patterns. In the evening, though, a little bit of wine and some colorful garter stitch is just what the doctor ordered. Jerilynn

Monday, February 4, 2013


I miss my embroidery machine! We have been gone for a while now, and prior to our travels, I did some mending and sewing of new pattern ideas, but no embroidering....the staring at the automatic, computerized stitching, marveling at the perfection. I woke up this morning to a notification that I sold a machine embroidery cd on Etsy and am anxious to get home and send it out. That got me thinking about embroidery and Woolfelt. I looked on the Embroideryonline site to see what was new and saw that Debbie Mumm had some new designs out! The one above is one of my favorites of the bunch. so Springy! There is also a good truck set of designs - the redwork images are the ones that caught my eye. Years ago I collected almost every new Debbie Mumm fabric that came out! I had sets of all her seasonal design dishes. Her calendars, too. Seeing these embroidery designs made me smile. I have lots to do once I have Studio time again, but maybe a little Mumm's the Word springtime design would be a fun diversion. Jerilynn