Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Show and Tell Time!

Yes, finally, pictures of my rag quilt. I have finally put it down long enough to photograph it. I was watching my daily Golden Girls episode this morning all wrapped up with my cup of coffee with Pumpkin Spice Creamer. It just doesn't get any better than that!

This is made from Amy Butler's new flannel line. The prints are from her LOVE collection. You can find it all at I used the warm colorway, Heart, on the ragged side.

I love the way this flannel ragged. Just one cycle in the washing machine and it softened right up. So pretty. I used the spring scissors by Fiskar and saved my thumb from massive bruising! Those things are worth their weight in gold!
A rag quilt is very simple. Just make mini-quilt sandwiches. Your choice of square size (I usually don't go over 10"), place wrong sides together with a piece of batting in between (the batting square needs to be one inch smaller than your flannel square). With all three pieces together, sew an "X" through your layers. Once all of your squares have been "X"d, lay out your preferred design and start sewing your squares together to form rows. Using a 1/2" seam allowance, sew your squares together back side to back side so the seams are on the front of your quilt. Once your squares are sewn together in rows, sew your rows together then sew a 1/2" in from the edge all the way around the quilt. Once everything is sewn together, snip into your seam allowance about every 1/4 ". BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO SNIP INTO YOUR STITCHES OR THE WHOLE THING WILL FALL APART WHEN WASHED! Toss the quilt in the washer and dryer, (clean your lint trap a couple times during the dry cycle!!) and you have a new woobie!!

I used the cool colors, Soul, on the back. The back will be smooth as all of the seams have been sewn to the front. SEE!? SO EASY!! Make one for yourself! It's getting cold! You need one!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Music to Meander By

Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a rather eclectic taste in music. Some may call it schizophrenic, I prefer eclectic. I love country, pop, classic rock and have even been known to haul butt on the treadmill to Maria Callas and Pavarotti. I haven't however been bitten by the electronic bug yet...until now. The number one downloaded song on iTunes this week is Fireflies by Owl City. This song is played on my XM radio station about 20 times a day and I don't ever get tired hearing it so I bought the album and uploaded it to my iPod. My new sewing situation isn't great. Where I used to be facing the great outdoors surrounded by bay windows, I am now resigned to my bedroom and I stare at a wall instead of the inspiring grass and blue sky. I am trying to make the best of the situation and make it as creatively nurturing as possible so I've moved my iPod speakers in and I listen to my music while I work.

I am trying to learn the art of free-motion quilting which is pretty stressful stuff but I am so happy with my progress and I discovered that I am a better quilter with Owl City playing!! This music is magical. Tinkling and sparkling notes with happy rhythms and whimsical lyrics. I love music that just makes me happy. Not deep or brooding (i.e.; Blue October...who I LOVE but you have to admit, it can get pretty somber at times) but just happy and fun. I literally see cartoon animals frolicking in a park when I listen to this stuff. (No, I haven't been dipping into the liquor cabinet...I am perfectly sober!) When I quilt to this music the fabric just glides along like it's being moved by the little electronic sounds and gleeful rhythms. My meander is AMAZING!! Go to iTunes and listen to the little snippet of Fireflies. I dare you to not smile and tap your toe!

'Cause I'd get a thousand hugs
From ten thousand lightning bugs
As they tried to teach me how to dance

A fox trot above my head
A sock hop beneath my bed
A disco ball that's just hanging by a thread

How can you not love those lyrics?

I firmly believe that whatever is going on around you while you create gets infused into the project you are working on. If you are happy and creatively free, your work is just better and if your project is a gift, that love and happiness moves on to the recipient. The twins will love their Pony quilts because I truly enjoyed making them! Every stitch was done with happiness and love with Owl City playing in the background!

(So now that I have come to this realization, the last quilt I pieced for myself was done while watching Uma Thurman in the Kill Bill series of movies. It's now my "Girls Kick Butt" quilt!)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Amy's LOVE Flannel is in!

The flannel has arrived and it's every bit as beautiful as I expected. Only 8 bolts were printed but it is the perfect mix of LOVE prints, four cool and four warm. I can't wait to get it cut into some rag quilt squares!