Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Follow the Arrow

"There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages."
- Mark Twain, a Biography 
I think I truly believe this.  Back to the whole Pinterest thing:  the reason I love it so much is the images that become a part of my mental kaleidoscope.  I think I may have become just a copy-cat, not even making new combinations.  The bottom shot is from Earth Cadets, and it is a $65, hand screen-printed pillow.  The top shot is my version, Cherrywood hand-dyed cotton appliqued to a heavy linen canvas.  There is a zipper in the back for easy removal.  I am seeing arrows and feathers all over the place, aren't you?  Love the modern graphics of arrows and the positive feeling - pointing you in the direction you need to go.  A road map of sorts.  Don't Look Back. 
This little window was given to me over 15 years ago.  I wish I could remember who the friend was.  It hung in my office window at work and continues to hang in the window above my office desk in the studio.  The sentiment was so appropriate back then, and still is.  An arrow points in one direction that says "no longer an option."  The arrow that is the road taken says "your life."  True that.  Jerilynn

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Quilting Perfect Storm

Worst quilting experience ever.  I had a quilt top pieced for some time, and felt it was the right time to get it out of a drawer and on a bed.  I had taken a class from Weeks Ringle on Craftsy, and she talked about how all of their quilts are made with pre-washed (pre-shrunk) fabric and quilted with un-washed (not shrunk) cotton batting.  After the quilting, they wash their quilts and the batting shrinks, making the quilt soft with wonderful dimension.  Well, I don't normally pre-wash my fabric, so I got this great idea to wash and shrink the pieced top and the backing.  Not a good idea at all.  When I pieced the top, it was all flat and lined up and square, and, while piecing,  I didn't pay any attention to lengthwise or crosswise grains.  Also, the block was a big middle, with smaller borders and sashings.  After drying the top, I saw that the centers didn't seem to shrink as much as the borders and sashings.  Did the grain direction contribute?  The cotton thread?  But I pressed it well and thought it would "quilt out".  I also  made the decision to quilt using a slight zig-zag, in a circular square type quilting....down one side, turn, stitch across, turn, etc.  I knew in my stomach after about 5 rounds that this wasn't working, the quilt was buckling and the extra fabric was not "quilting in", but I just kept going. And going.  Three quarters of the way done later, I admitted the truth.  This was a royal mess.  Possibly free motion quilting, starting in the center, would have worked.  But the straight line quilting (which wasn't all that straight) was a horrible choice.  So, now I have a big rip out to do, and a quilt top that is still quite bubbly.  If I didn't have so much fabric invested in it, I would just chuck it.  But, I need to try to save the quilt and move forward.  Lessons learned:  Either pre-wash fabric and then piece, or wash after quilting.  Pin closer and start quilting in the middle of a quilt for this type of quilting.  Pay attention to my gut telling me to STOP.  So sad. I hope I can get over this.   Jerilynn 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Heart Pincushion Pinterest Project

Here is another Pinterest related project I finished.  I saw the original pincushion, second picture above, at
Obviously, her photography skills are a touch above mine - my heart pincushion is in the top photo.  I digitized the embroidery on the Bernina V7 software (I am still getting used to the new version).  I filled it with crushed walnut shells, which gives it a perfect pincushiony feel.  I think the ribbon I used, the tape measure ribbon, is so cute.  I have used it many times - around the base of my lampshade here at my desk, and on the hem of a handtowel in the studio bath.  Perfect Valentine's Day gift for someone.  Jerilynn

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Heart Quilt with Kiss and Hug

These blog pictures may be the front runners for the all-time worst photos, but I snapped them at the last minute before taking them to my mom.  I have been trying to make seasonal quilts for her bed in the nursing home.  They really cheer her up and give her something to talk about to the nurses and aides.  I also try to make the quilts somewhat reversible to give her some choice in something.  The last couple of times I have also made a matching pillow case.  The color in person is a corally red, not as orange as in the photos.  Most of the fabric is from Moda Fabrics, Table for Two by Sandy Gervais. I threw in the dots for the borders.  She seemed to really love the quilt and pillow case.  I think I have made six quilts for her so far, enough to keep changing them out.  I might throw a new one in now and then, though.  These twin sized quilts are pretty fast to piece and quilt.  Jerilynn