Friday, September 30, 2022

A Finish and a Restart on Off the Wall Friday


So I'm happy to say that the 20 Minute a Day rule is working ... mostly.  I won't say I've been perfect this month but I've gotten a lot more sewing in than I have steps!  Because of that, I can announce ... drum roll ...that Tessa's Mosaic is finally completed.  LORDY, I'm so happy to announce it!

The Facts

  • 36 in by 24 in

  • Machine applique/pieced, machine quilted

  • Commercial Cotton, hand dyed cotton by the artist

  • Cotton, polyester thread

  • Original pieced based on a photograph taken by April Meyer Smith 

I really liked using Timna Tarr's Mosaic method and hopefully, soon I'll do another ... this time on a piece that I'm not so emotionally attached to!  

But that will have to wait since 2022 is a year to finish Works in Progress!

I took out the Rain, Rain quilt I was doing in 2020.  You remember the one ...It was originally based on a kit designed by Sue Daley's Abbie collection that I bought on eBay.   It featured little English paper pieced umbrellas that were hand appliqued and embroidered.  It was supposed to look like this:

But of course, I couldn't do just that, right?  So I started playing with color, value, and pattern and this is where I left it at the end of December 2020.  Yeah I know, it's a bit much!  I thought I was almost done and I was going to use it as a project to learn  "Quilt as you go" machine quilting on.   So this is where I left it:

Of course, I was wrong.  It was a mess!  Every time I took it back out to get the final set ... I don't know...I just didn't quite like it.  This time when I took it back out, I realized immediately what the problem was. TOO much medium value...TOO much busy.  Not enough dark, not enough quiet.  The easy answer would be a predictable nice sashing set between the columns of busy, but really, who likes predictable? So I pulled out the fabrics...again...and added more black.  As I'm working through it definitely helping.  The black all of a sudden is acting like an accent color to move the viewer's eye across the piece.   It's giving all that busy an anchor.

After my trip to Berlin, Ohio, I got the hand quilting bug.  You walk into the Helping Hands Quilt Shop on Main Street and they have quilts on frames waiting for the Amish quilters to hand quilt.  (They charge $1/yd of hand quilting thread).  So I thought Rain, Rain would give me a good excuse to get out my quilting frame.  

For a quick little project, this sure has gotten totally out of hand, right?

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Friday, September 23, 2022

Miller's Dry Goods on Off the Wall Friday

 I've made no secret that one of my favorite getaways is to Central Ohio.  Not only is it close by (about

2 hrs) but it consists of some of my favorite things gorgeous rural scenery and plenty of quilt shops and antique barns.  This year we decided to do a three-day stay to thoroughly explore all of Holmes County.  Holmes County with half of its population consisting of Amish has become a popular tourist destination. There are several "villages" (Berlin, Charm, Mt Hope, Walnut Creek, Baltic,) in the county that are fairly close together with Millersburg being the county seat. It has a ton of small businesses, antique and crafts shops, and restaurants where home-style cooking is featured.  It's a slow pace kind of place where most businesses close by 5:30 or 6 and nothing is open on Sundays.  But really with all the browsing and exploring each day, I was ready to relax back at the hotel by then!

One of my favorite stops on the trip was Miller's Dry Goods in Charm, Ohio.  It was two shops in one location.  One shop sells gifts, homemade items, toweling, and assorted fabric.  While the other is a nice two-story quilt shop filled with 8000 bolts of fabric, patterns, notions, and kits.  

As I walked into the quilt shop I noticed immediately that there were bolts of fabric everywhere.  It has a nice assortment of traditional and novelty prints while also adding some batiks and more "artsy" lines.  I did like there were plenty of "blender" fabrics because it seems like they are always the most useful in any quilter stash!  As I was pulling out a couple of bolts of yellows (I mean who doesn't need a good yellow - I swear they are the hardest to find!), along with a couple bolts of Marcia Derse's line Spotted Graffiti, I heard the words, "I'm going downstairs."  My ears perked up!!!  There's a downstairs?

YES!!  Downstairs houses flat folds for $7/yd along with several racks of bolts for $8/yd.  Now, what quilter doesn't like a bargain right?  BUT really I like to browse clearance bolts just to find fabric that might already be out of print.  It's always fun to buy a print that you were dying to have but never could find anywhere!  So of course, I found a few yards downstairs too!

There is a third room upstairs that houses fat quarters, notions, patterns, kits etc.  It's always fun to browse through the latest gadgets!

I found the staff super friendly and helpful.  I truly like the shop itself.  It was airy with a lot of natural light plus it is not too big or small.  There was a nice collection of the latest prints with plenty of things on sale.  The front of the two buildings which sit side by side has comfy rocking chairs for husbands to sit and commiserate while they wait.  For that matter, my husband found Keim's Homecenter right there in Charm which is a woodworker's paradise.  How smart were they to put a quilt shop and a woodworking center within walking distance?

After such a nice visit, Miller's has become a must go shop when I'm in the area.  It was fun to make the short drive over to Charm (did I mention how gorgeous the countryside is?).  But the shop itself was what won me over.  Central Ohio has no shortage of fabric/quilt shops but this one fit me to the "T".  

Now for the particulars 

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Friday, September 16, 2022

20 Min a Day on Off the Wall Friday

An ongoing theme of this blog is how to motivate yourself to create.  I often wonder if it's a personal
flaw in me or if everyone has a hard time getting projects done from start to finish.  Paul, my husband, thinks it's all about creating a habit.  He's an artisan woodworker but recently he took two months off to give my Painted Lady a much-needed make-over.  The last time he painted her was in 1994.  Now that she's done though, it was time for him to get back into the woodshop.  He says it's like walking through mud trying to get going again.  

I think he's right. This topic came back up when I was meeting with my sewing buddy, Barbara last weekend  We both were lamenting how terribly unproductive we'd been.  It just seems like everything in our lives takes precedence over sewing.  In a flash Paul's idea of  "if you just take 20 minutes a day" popped into my head.  The concept is that if you work on a project for 20 minutes a day sooner or later it's bound to get done.   The nice thing is that 20 minutes sometimes turns into longer, but if not at least you got in 20 minutes.  To keep Barbara and me honest, I set up a calendar in Google Sheets to record our daily progress.  The cool thing about using Google Sheets is that we both can access it from our computers.  I learned from Weight Watchers that it was easier to start a new habit if you're held accountable!  Anyways...I'll let you know how we do!

This week, I'm traveling in Holmes County, Ohio for some much-needed R&R.  I did manage to get more of Tessa's Mosiac done though before I left.  I quilted her hair, shirt and arms.  Now all that is left is the background...finally! I used Deco-Bob 80 wt on her hair and LOVED the results.  It gives a nice texture line without giving too much of hard edge.  I actually used the coral that came in the sample pack and it seemed to blend well with all the burnt oranges I used in her hair. 

So hopefully, the saga of Tessa's Mosiac will finally be coming to a close!!  OMG I bet you're as tired of hearing about it as I am about writing about it!

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Friday, September 9, 2022

Creating Limits on Off the Wall Friday

Woman with Folded Arms, Picasso
 I wanted to say a big thank you for all the lovely comments last week.  I'm still working my way through the hop.  It's so fun to see what everyone is doing! Also, I'm still smarting about the fact that I didn't catch on to the theme "Get on Board with Sewing".  It really isn't a bad idea to set "limits" or
"rules" when you pick a project. I remember when Elizabeth Barton first brought up the idea to me of setting limits within a piece.  LIMITS?!?!  Why would you want to limit yourself when there are so many great choices.  She explained that not only does it narrow down the choices you need to make, but it inevitably would make the piece stronger.  With a little luck, you might even find that elusive voice that artists are always trying to nail down.
The Old Guitarist, Picasso

For proof of this, you just have to look at the work of great artists in history.  

Picasso's Blue Period (1901-1904) where he limited his work to blues, blue-greens, and small accents of warm colors.  The limited palette not only made for a strong series but also lent itself perfectly to the melancholy mood he intended.  

But you don't have to make your limits about color.  You can choose to make them about shape like Paul Klee.  
New Harmony, Klee

Flora On the Sand, Klee

City Night, Okeeffe

Of course, you can always limit your work by subject like Georgia O'Keeffe. (And no I'm not going for the obvious choice of her "not female genitalia" flowers but her cityscapes that I love as well)

Radiator Building, OKeeffe 

  • So those are just a few quick examples that I thought of from the top of my head.  I highly suggest you play around with this idea yourself.  

  • #1  Research an artist you love
  • #2 Notice the Limits they chose in their work
  • #3 Use those to guide you to your own rules
  • #4 Design your piece
  • #5 Do it again

It's been a while since blogger has given me so much trouble getting this post laid out - so I apologize about the mess...but you get the point.  Make up some rules .... stick to them....see what you get!

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Friday, September 2, 2022

Get On Board with Sewing Blog Hop on Off the Wall Friday

Earlier this summer, Melva was kind enough to invite me to participate in the
Get on Board with
Blog Hop.  It is in celebration of September which is National Sewing Month.  I thought it was a great idea because #1 I think sewing is tremendous and it's always been a big part of my life and #2  I could set it as a goal to finally finish up Tessa's Mosiac which I've been puttering through since May.  I've puttered through projects before but with this one I've taken it to a new level. Not until today though, did I realize that I was supposed to sew something that was part of the Surf Tropical feel. (insert face palm emoji here!)  Honestly, sometimes I wonder if I'm on a whole different plane than everyone I apologize that this isn't to theme BUT it is totally sewn by me and it is an original piece.  (Melva - I knew I wasn't quite understanding something about this blog hop - lol!)

For all of you just joining us, this project came out of a 5-day class taught by Timna Tarr at Marc Adam's School of Woodworking.  Yes, I went to the school while my husband was taking a class to finish up his master's program in woodworking and I got to take this great art quilt class.  The piece is based on a photo of my daughter taken as part of her senior year photo shoot.  It's made with all 2" squares set on point.  It really has been a trial for me since I've never done a portrait before anddddd I'm so emotionally invested in it.  

Although it's still not quite done, this week I did manage to start the quilting and thread work. I'm still not sold on the hands and maybe by the end, I'll just rip it all out and do them again in a lighter color.  Right now she still looks all hands hands hands!  I do like the mat finish cotton 40 wt thread I used for the stems and the hands  Her eyelashes are done in a very dark eggplant Mettler Polysheen.  After a couple of trials, I think I will use polysheen for the rest of the project.  So far this was all free-motioned quilted with a blue dot bobbin in my Janome Horizon.  I changed over my machine today back to a regular straight even feed quilting foot for the hair and shirt.  

Now for the Blog Hop 
One person will win a grand prize which includes a $25 gift certificate from Gardensong Fabrics, $25 gift certificate from Rebecca Page, Aurifil thread, a digital pattern from Melva – Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail, a book, Fabulously Fast Quilts donated by Patricia from the Faith, Trust & Breast Cancer Blog, three stash builder bundles generously donated by Island Batik, and a crib sized Quilter’s Dream Dream Angel batt from Songbird Designs.
Enter through the Raffle Copter below. The Raffle Copter will close at 12:00 AM on 9/12/22. The winner will be announced on the blog and will be notified by email as well! Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Today's Bloggers are 

      Karen’s Korner 

                Grace and Peace Quilting

            Ms P Designs USA

Please hop on over to their Blogs to see what they are creating!

Plus Brenda at  SongBird Designs will be posting a list of the entire hop which goes through 9/7!


Also, this Friday, like all Fridays, is my Off the Wall Friday Blog Link Up...please feel free to join us any week you have something creative to share on your blog!

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Friday, August 26, 2022

Off the Wall Friday


So sorry!!  I've been down with my allergies - never fails this time of year and all the rain hasn't helped!!  I'll just play voyeur today!

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Friday, August 19, 2022

Work Night on Off the Wall Friday



Backing layered with Warm & Natural

Spray Basted

After -  Quilting Pattern Being Made

So today I said to myself - Self, You can write a post or you can finally get into that studio and layer up the mosaic.  I had been sitting all day so off to the studio I went.  Since "Everything is content" I took photos to prove that I actually did it!  It took a good half hour just to get the room ready to spray baste!

Under things I like....The backing for this quilt is from Joann Fabric.  It's from their premium quilting fabric line and is excellent quality.  They genuinely have stepped up their game.  What I liked the most was that it was from the clearance fabrics and I got it for about $3/yd.  Perfect for the back of this quilt!

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