Monday, September 26, 2016

Nature's Music

Back in March, I purchased the book The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird from Amazon. I’ve yet to make one of the 99 blocks, but have thoroughly enjoyed reading the “inspiring letters from farm women of the Great Depression.” In fact, the CD that comes with the book… is still attached!

As the author explains, the letters she’s included were originally published in The Farmer’s Wife magazine from 1930 – 1933. Names were not included in the magazine ~ simply initials ~ and no city/town but only the State in which they lived.

Not long ago, I happened upon a website, Gnome Angel, where Angie is doing a sew-along based on the book! Whenever I do pull out the CD and begin sewing the blocks, sewing for the experience of it, I will have a resource if I can’t follow the instructions!

I want to share with you a part of the first letter Ms Hird titled “Proud of Her Calling”

Dear Editor:
The finest advantage I can offer my children is this chance to know nature intimately. Perhaps we will never be able to give them training on musical instruments, but if we can train them to attune their hearts to nature’s music, we will have given them something that will stay with them through life, no matter where they may be.”

Although I am not a farmer, I am a rancher.

I know ~ and hear ~ the nature’s music to which she refers.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Bucket List: Master EQ7

A friend of mine, Gail, has mastered the EQ7 (Electric Quilt 7) software program. She’s kindly offered to show me how. It’s just a matter of working out a schedule that works for us both. But, before I can do anything, I must reinstall the program on my new Windows 10 (YUCK) operating system! There is a trick to it, something I’ll have to research the next time I’m in Dallas – on unlimited bandwidth!

I’m used to the pencil, straight edge, and graph paper technique when designing a quilt, or sometimes what I refer to as “seat of my pants” designing. I’ll have an idea in my head, and just start making blocks, until I get the desired quilt size. Sometimes, things go wrong with following instructions or I don’t like the way the fabric’s print looks in the design. That’s how I came up with the Wings Quilt Block!

I do believe, learning EQ7 would be a great help, especially calculating the yardage needed once the design is created. Gail has often suggested for me to watch the YouTube videos available on the internet. I need to focus and do that soon!

Ann, another friend, recently posted on Facebook a beautiful red, white, and blue quilt she’d seen on the internet. I went to Knitnoid’s website, and sure enough, the contributor explained how she ended up with the design – all through using the EQ7 software! She worked it out, changing this and that, until she ended up with this beauty:

This process would sure save on the trusty eraser, or printer ink when printing out graph paper! I do need to get going on this software program!!!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Acts of Kindness – aka Happiness Heroes

When we “sew for the experience of it” (the 2016 theme set by organizers of National Sewing Month) we make something special, a unique one-of-a-kind creation. When sewing for others with a giving heart, it lifts our spirits!

What is your favorite thing to make for others?

Quilts?   Pillowcases?    Doll Clothes?    Bags?

I love the mission statement found on Mum in the Madhouse’s website:

·         Spread the word – encourage other people to join in and become happiness heroes
·         Have fun and enjoy making other people happy
·         To be kinder than you need to be

It’s her key phrase: Happiness Heroes that caught my attention!

Such a wonderful idea!

Although the article’s focus is on kids doing random acts of kindness, many of her suggestions apply to all ages!

Are you into free printables? Click here for their offer!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mixed Media

Today is the First Day of Autumn! Happy Autumn everyone! I certainly welcome cooler temperatures after a horribly hot summer! This is a special time of year, the season that brings us such a vibrant mix of colors!

I would encourage you to take a look at the amazing Images from Texas “Rob” has taken in his journey around the Texas Hill Country! This is just one example:

Such inspiration!

Now on to today’s topic…

Mixed media is also known as Fiber Art, Textile Art, or Multi-Media Art. It is the process of using a mixture of fabric textures, paints, embellishments, and other mediums to create amazing works of art! Just look at all the lovely creations I found on Pinterest…

I’ve dabbled with mixing textures and objects (doo-dads) when creating Action Quilts (aka Fidget Quilts).

I’ve also created a Prayer Flag using a mixture of applications. Ideas of many more designs and techniques are filling my mind!

In addition, Crazy Quilts are a prime example of mixing different forms of embellishments to create a beautiful work of fiber art! Beautiful embroidery stitches, beads, and ribbons are among few items artisans use on fabric to create unique pieces.

Thanks to Sharon B’s over at Pin Tangle, for providing us – for free – a gold mine of detailed information (WITH PHOTOS!) how to hand embroidery! If it’s your thing, I highly recommend exploring her TAST website (Take a Stitch Tuesday), and joining her Facebook Group!

I love the free style of Sharon Blackman!

I had never heard of the British artist Mary Fedden, until I stumbled across Sharon’s tribute to her. This is another great example of where and how folks get inspiration.

Sometimes I shake my head, silently saying, This is way over my head, especially when I see works by fiber artists like Lea McComas! This is a snap shot of her website. How these beautiful quilts are created, I haven’t a clue. I also include the listing of the various classes she conducts. If they were held in Texas, do I want to learn?  Maybe…. Someday…

But for now, I’ll create another Prayer Flag using some of the ideas found today!


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Following Instructions

When working on a quilt top, I don’t understand why I have such an issue following written instructions for a specific pattern/design. But, I do. Something in my brain clicks and it’s like the pattern is written in Greek rather than plain English! I know it’s me because others follow the same instructions and it works!

Let me study a photo of the block. I usually can figure out how to create it without any problems.

I saw this photo on Facebook the other day…

It gave me a good laugh, and reminded me, how many disasters I’ve created due to not following the instructions!

But, it’s not a total loss! I keep going, modifying and changing until it works out some way – some how! Maybe not like the original design. What I end up with is a new design!

I tried making the “Quilt for a Better Tomorrow” I wrote about the other day…

It didn’t work out. I ran out of fabric! When I made 6 blocks, I knew I would not have enough of the listed yardage requirements of fabric (purchased on our road trip) to make 6 additional blocks! It’s then I stopped trying and created a sashing and cornerstone between the blocks. Now I need more of the black fabric to do along the sides – before adding side borders.

I just couldn’t figure out the instructions to create the flying geese section. So, I did the “flying geese” like I knew how… which ate up the last bit of the black fabric.

Now I have bunches and bunches of the black half square triangles the instructions said to cut. I’ll figure out something to do with them!

I’m not going to give up on the original design! One day soon I’m hoping to get someone else to read the instructions and show me how, and what I did wrong!

Bottom line, when you get a kit of any type… follow the instructions to avoid a disaster!

Fortunately, while sewing for the experience, a disaster can easily be turned into a new design!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Art Attack

Have you ever experienced an Art Attack? It’s like a panic attack, but in the creative sense. Oh. My. Goodness, I sure have! Especially after our Road Trip to the different Quilt Shops around North Texas. Then, spending even the least amount of time on Pinterest really gets my juices flowing! Do you realize how blessed we are to have people share so many fabulous creative ideas?! It can be a bit overwhelming! I want to do and learn so many different things…. my “storage” stash reflects it all!

Okay… slow down, Lanetta…

I’m making a list – what I consider priorities. I’ve learned, however, to be flexible!

Actually, I’ve made several lists…

Then life gets in the way…

Or, a friend contacts me and asks me to do a huge special project for her! How can I say no?

Priorities change…

What joy it can bring to slow down, focus on one thing! While working on the special project (don’t worry, I’ll share later!) has been the best thing that could have happened to me!

The other things I want to do and learn, will come in due time!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Paper Piecing

From what I can tell, there are two types of Paper Piecing – English Paper Piecing (EPP) and Foundation Paper Piecing (also simply called Paper Piecing).

Tales of Cloth gives us an example of EPP, along with a tutorial –

It’s not that I don’t want to try EPP. I just know it’s too much handwork for me.

Maybe Foundation Paper Piecing…

Ah! Sometimes it’s the only way to get precise points… like the 5-pointed star, also known around here as The Texas Star!

I’ve tried paper piecing before… a long time ago. If I remember correctly, I’m thinking the paper I used didn’t tear off nicely. I didn’t care for the way it pulled on the small stitches and left loose paper fibers I had to pick out. No. I decided then and there, there are too many “regular” piecing quilt patterns to make without adding something that totally frustrated me!

However, the focus of this month’s theme ~ Sew for the experience of it ~ is stepping outside the box, out of my comfort zone, and try again with the foundation paper piecing technique!

Over on Right Sides Together stitches & spunk, they provide this cheat sheet and lots of tips! One in particular talks about types of paper to use, with pros and cons on each one!

Back in February, I wrote about a couple of Block of the Month websites I found. One in particular, The Splendid Sampler will have 100 blocks when done! I’ve made many so far, but honestly, they started having lots of appliqué and paper piecing blocks I would just skip over! Designed by Janice Ryan, Block #15 was the first of the paper piecing I skipped!

After I test my abilities on something much simpler like this, the Texas Star!

I will then have the “experience” and confidence to go back & master Block #15!


Friday, September 16, 2016

The Magical Mystery Tour – Day 2

Because I’m an early riser and didn’t want to disturb Momma and sister, Day 2 began quickly after getting up, getting downstairs to find coffee, then playing at the ROAD TRIIP slot machine!

Goodness Gracious. After simply feeding the slot machine, I learned quickly that Momma is my good luck charm! Fortunately, Sister called me about 6:15 to let me know Momma was ready to also get coffee and start playing!

Momma proved me right.

It didn’t take me long to win back what I had lost!

After breakfast – yes, we did stop to eat – Sister joined us for a while playing slot machines before we had to check out. No one won enough to stay over another night!

So, we went back to our Quilt Shop Hop Road trip.

We decided to head south on Highway 75, to McKinney, by-passing two scheduled stops further west on Highway 82 and the other just south of 82 on I35. It was an excellent choice… We’ll catch them another time!

Happiness is…Quilting is such a lovely shop! It’s near the town square in McKinney. I’ve added a bit more “projects” to my to-do list after shopping here!

There are two more quilt shops in McKinney we had planned on “hopping” and then over to Denton,  but Momma’s energy level began falling quickly. She wasn’t feeling well at all. We made the collective decision to simply head home.

And, not until we dropped off Sister, and picked up Momma’s Baby Doll (furbaby), and got back to her house, did I realize exactly how tired I was!

What an exciting, wonderful time we had! It’s amazing we did all that we did in 24 hours!

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