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Sewing Into 2016

Looooog ago, in a far away galaxy called youth, before my true passion for all things needle and thread took firm hold, I was a weaver and spinner (though at that time I never once considered learning to knit!). At that time friends who knew me well wondered where I had found the patience to weave. Truth be told I have never considered myself to be a very patient person. I tend to get bored easily and my mind tends towards day dreams.
When I began quilting there were no rotary cutters and no acrylic templates - which might just explain why I love both of these wonderful tools so much. My attitude is if there is tool available that will help me do a better job, that I can afford, I'll try it to see if works for me.
Last Fall I committed myself to several long term quilt projects (which should magically become 4 finished quilts late in 2016). One of my aims in choosing two of these projects was to use up fabric. I just have to do more of that. One project presented me with a chance to work on what I think is a very unusual, albeit traditional (using reproduction fabrics), quilt design. I chose to make a modernized version and, while I am at it, I decided to make a second version as well for which I am using only fabrics from my stash. So two projects as stash reduction related.
I shudder when I think about the quilts that I made and sold in the late 70's and easy 80's. God knows what they really looked like and I just pray that they lasted for awhile at least! As I look back at my years of quilting I laugh at myself a lot. Twenty-five years ago, when I abruptly changed paths(both career and life) and moved to my "promised land" here in the hinterlands of the Pacific Northwest I thought I was a quilter...just a wee bit of false hubris there! When I began to meet other quilters here I realized how much I had to learn before I could use the word 'quilter' to describe myself. It was sobering! It has been my friends that have brought me along by sharing their tips and tricks and being encouraging. I live in a land of seriously talented quilters! I have come a long way and, in the process, I havedeveloped a style that I am comfortable with. Although I can, and sometimes do, make art quilts, it's often "tradition with a twist" that I am drawn to.
One of my favorite things to do is to try products and see what works for me. Quilting Ing rulers are one tool that I can never, it seems, have too many of. The trick in using them, at last for me, is not having them slid on the fabric during a crucial cut. I am pa trial to Creative Grid rulers because their anti slip qualities are buil into them, but I have a lo of perfectly good rulers that I wouldn't replace just for that reason. I have tried a lot of "anti-slip" products over the years and I seem to always return to my general favorite, Omnigrip Invisi-Grip. Of course, products like sandpaper dots and "True Grips" work well too and I do use them at times. Sandpaper dots work but I find that they can scratch up other rulers or templates if I am not careful in placing them. "True Grips" are nice and transparent- and more to the point- they stop the slide - but they are are just a hair too thick for my tastes. Since they are made for long armers that makes some sense. Omnigrip Invisi-Grip is clear, quite thin, lasts a very long time on rulers and templates and provides just the right amount of 'tack' to prevent me from making nasty cutting errors. It is not a new product..I think tha it come out in about 2007.

Recently a friend introduced me to CutRite Heavy Duty Freezer Paper and it has thoroughly change the way I think about using freezer paper templates....especially for applique. It lusciously thick and has a lot of "sticking power" unlike regular freezer paper which always se me too frustration to use. For anyone local who might want to try it check in with Anne at Quilters Studio on Lopez Island ...she has it on order. In the below regular freezer paper (from the market) is on the left...and I have found most freezer paper sheets to be of similar weight....the heavy duty sheet (with templates cut from it) is on the right....

Sewing has bcom my new day job. My p objects are coming along, but I really feel the need to keep up. Falling behind could spell another UFO which I want to avoid. That being said I have become enamored with the latest paper piecing project from PaperPieces...Glorious Hexagons. Simple, fun to make and lik potato chips...I cannot resist them. Each month the papers arrive to make more blocks...all based on Katja Marek's book the "New Hexagon". I like the fact that I can use the book and acrylic template set that I bought to make the Millefiori quilt (not the same as The Passcaglia quilt) for another great project. Liza Prior Lucy and Kim McClean have put their own spin on this project with a new booklet (companion to the New Hexagon book) and two new templates.

I want many of these little blocks to tell a little story or show a little relationship ...perfect for some small these Kokka cotton/linen blends from Maigo (an ETSY shop):

I am feeling rather one dimensional lately...sewing/quilting, but two f ithe nods have lured me back into a small mixed media exchange which I am already late with! We'll see what else this new year may bring....and just how it the h do has it gotten to be so late in January already. I wonder if I sleep more than I think I do...the days just seem to flash by!

How has your 2016 started off? Plans? Projects? Share!



  1. Oh my! I love hexigon quilts and have always toyed with making one, but I fear it will become another UFO. I love the idea of story telling with your fabric. Our quilting histories are similar. I learned back in the 70's, and still have my Gram's quilting templates from cereal boxes. I find myself reverting back to the beginning. I love Amish style quilts and of course, on my visit to the wet side, some solids found their way into my bag. I started the New Year with a class from Roxanne Evans Stout - mixed media. Boy, I wanted a challenge, and I got one! I want to continue challenging myself this year. Maybe one day my hummingbird mind will settle on its favorite media. I find that when I stretch my wings, I still long for cloth. Have a wonderful week, Marie and have fun with your new passion!

  2. I am working through 1930's Farmer's Wife, La Pass has been sidelined for a bit, some knitting projects, a Bee Hive monthly swap, a Rainbow Scrap Challenge (monthly)...two new patterns I can't wait to try out, trying my hand at mini-quilts. AND a cosplay outfit for everyone (by May)....and oh! Books, tons books to read.

  3. Hey, I've just received that hexi book and have been tossing up whether to ditch everything & jump right in! Love your little blocks!


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