The internet can be a lot of things, but who knew it could be a source of competitive quilt making? I follow a few blogs regularly (you can see them listed in the sidebar) and it’s amazing that these people can be so damned productive during December!
Another source of amazing work is the Fresh Modern Quilts Flickr group. My mouth starts to water just flipping through the pictures. I want to make that – oooh and that! Wait wait – how did she do that????
And another hour **poof**. Such amazingly inspiring work.
It’s funny how with just the right combination of stress, deadlines, and sleeplessness the beauty of Inspiration can morph into to the far uglier Jealousy and his evil twin Resentment.
I’m not proud of myself that I clench my teeth at folks who post picture upon picture of amazing quilts – seemingly each week.
It takes gargantuan amounts of willpower to step down off that ledge. You’d think it would be well fueled with all the gingerbread cookies I’ve eaten (hello, snug jeans!) but I think the sugar (and caffeine) actually make it worse. (The snug jeans don’t help.)
So all I ask for Christmas this year is a little Perspective.
One spot where I found Perspective and that you simply must stop and visit is Lyric’s blog and follow her December series “Joy in Service.”She is an amazing artist, but more than that, she is a soulful one as well. Her posts about finding joy amidst the chaos that can be the end of the year holidays are true Inspiration. They are gifts – to me and hopefully to you too.
As I work on Optic Stripes, I try to keep it all in perspective. I’m trying.
I started quilting it this week. My initial attempts were with a larger quilt pattern – more space between lines of quilting – and using black thread because it seems to need some black or charcoal to anchor it a bit more.
And out it all came. It looked awful.
So, four hours later (there’s a poem out there somewhere entitled “ode to a seam ripper” – if not, I am perfectly qualified to write it) I settled on a dark olive brown thread and a quilting pattern that is tighter. Here’s where I am now:I have several guidebooks that help decide on the quilting pattern that I want to use. Leah Day of the Free Motion Project has some wonderful books – I love “From Feathers to Flames” which is her most recent book. My little Whimsical Leaves quilt won a place in her Transformation Challenge group quilt project, and I was fortunate enough to get a copy of it as part of my prize!
Another great source are any of the books by Laura Lee Fritz. I especially like her “Textures” chapters and use them as a starting point in many of my all-over quilted projects.
The above pattern is sort of a hybrid between Leah’s “echo maze” and Laura Lee’s “stacked cordwood.”
What I found in quilting Optic Stripes is that, even though this is pretty densely quilted (the stitch lines are 1/4″ - 3/8″ apart) the seam lines where I joined columns of strips are still a little bumpy. In the photo, the part that I’m unhappy with is the horizontal seam that joins the blue/brown strip to the orange/brown strip.
A line of “stitch in the ditch” along those seams might be the ticket.
In other news, I decided to start still another project. Surprised? Hardly.
I thought it would be appropriate to work on a hand stitched piece. I usually avoid too much handwork because of some flare ups with arthritis, but this is turning out to be a little gentler.
(Wait, is that a little gingerbread man calling my name? Oooh, and I have just enough coffee left to warm up and toast him properly! And who knew that belts shrank?)
All the best – Chris