Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Day 18: American Patchwork & Quilting

Before I start on talking about this magazine, let me first complain about marketing tactics. I used to be really good about following all the rules and deciding which deals were worth the hassle, but I haven't done so well this year. I only bought this magazine because there was a get $10 coupon if you buy $10 coupon or some such thing at the end of my order. I had planned not to do it since  it is basically a 50% off if you think about it, but I changed my mind at the last minute. I got the magazine and a couple of candy bars, and I thought I was close enough, but apparently I was just short [by pennies] and did not get the coupon. I didn't notice until after I got home, and I am not going back.

I also had trouble at another store where I bought shoes and jeans online. They gave me a merchandise credit so I could buy more. It is coupon jail - they want you to keep coming back. When I got the jeans, even though they were the same size, brand and style I currently wear, they were too small. They just make them smaller now. They don't pay for returns, so I went to the store on a very crowded day, and they did not have my size, which is why I bought them online in the first place. I bought casual pants made by the same company and luckily, they honored the exchange. The shoes didn't fit either, even though they are a larger size than I normally wear, and they didn't have anything I could substitute. They wouldn't give me return credit because I had used the merchandise credit, so I had to order the bigger size shoes and pay for them, and then take them to the store so they could do the return and then the exchange.  Luckily the second time I went, it was less crowded and I was in a better mood.

Especially during the holiday season when it is already hard enough to figure out what to get everyone and where to get it, they should keep the shopping experience simple.  Just a flat percentage off. No loopholes and deductions. No minimum purchase or complicated schemes.

Okay, I am done complaining now. Thanks for letting me vent. This magazine didn't excite me as much as the other one. It has nice quilts but not the kind that said, "you should make this." I like this one, which has applique and piecing. I had to look twice to find it - it looks like print on the fabric. It's on the squares that border the triangles. If I made this, I would use brighter colors or bigger applique so they would be more noticeable. I am not going through all that trouble for a subtle difference.

This one is nice although I am sure I have the pattern already somewhere. And some UFO blocks.  I like the pink on this. It has a nice vintage-y feel to it.

I like this one.  Paper piecing, I think, but not too complicated.

This one by Jo Morton is nice too.

This magazine had a lot of quilt and fabric styles.  This one looks more modern to me.

I showed these to you in the same order as the magazine. This one is my favorite of the bunch.  It looks different than the usual to me, and I really like the little red triangles going around like windmills around the blue. It isn't a simple quilt but the one I would most be likely to start.

Random picture of the day: clematis. Sorry this posted before I got a chance to add all the other stuff to it. I left it here so you knew it is the same post.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Book Review: Decluttering at the Speed of Life

I just finished reading Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with
Stuff by Dana K. White. You would think I would be an expert at decluttering by now if you count the number of books that I've read about the subject, but I still  need to learn a new mindset and find yet another strategy that makes oh so much sense in the why didn't I think of that? way.  Plus, it is a perfect procrastination excuse. Yes, I will declutter as soon as I learn how to by reading this book.

This book makes a lot of sense to me.  It talks about declutteiring a little bit at a time instead of making a big project out of it that will make your house look worse instead of better. It also talks about doing the easy stuff first just to get started and get the house looking better easily. It also talks about how to clean craft / hobby rooms.

I started cleaning my craft room first.  I know she said to do the visible areas first, and always keeping the visible areas clean before digging in the places in the back, but those back rooms are causing me the most angst.  The biggest things that are taking up space in my sewing room are the non-quilty fabrics. The jeans, old sweaters, etc., that would be so good in some project. A jeans quilt, some sweater pillows, some crazy quilting, etc. Except that I haven't been making those and I have to dig around those to get to the good stuff because those things are dumped on the floor because there isn't room on the shelves for them.   Once I thought about the container concept - the room is only so big, and isn't going to get bigger, I need to get rid of the things that are taking up space. I can always find more of those things if I actually do want to make them. I have quality fabric - why do I need to use old stuff no matter how thrifty it sounds. I make small things - I can save small pieces if I absolutely have to keep something.

I stuffed a bag of old clothing, ready to throw out. Then I came across this blog where she was using jeans to make a cactus. Sigh, this is going to be a long process. I have to admit to taking a pair of jeans out of the bag, but I took the rest to the dumpster so there is no more temptation.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Million Little Squares on the Ironing Board

Million Little Squares on the Ironing Board
Million Little Squares
Pick One Up
Fold it in Half
Smash it down with an iron
Nine hundred ninety thousand nine hundred ninety nine little squares on the ironing board
and one triangle

Nine hundred ninety thousand nine hundred ninety nine little squares on the ironing board
Nine hundred ninety thousand nine hundred ninety nine little square
Pick One Up
Fold it in Half
Smash it down
Nine hundred ninety thousand nine hundred ninety eight little squares on the ironing board
and two triangles

Maybe exaggerating the number isn't a good idea if you are going to do a countdown.

 A few more triangles.

 Two columns worth. Why aren't there fewer squares left?

Yippie! Four columns. Forty triangles! Wait, that is only 10 blocks worth.

 More triangles.

Oh look, More triangles!

 More triangles. What a surprise.

 And a few more

One Little Squares on the Ironing Board
One  Little Square
Pick It Up
Fold it in Half
Smash it down with an iron
no little squares on the ironing board
and a million triangles

Only three million left to go.

15 Minutes to Stitch

This week,  I've been hand sewing the binding on the Droid quilt. Also cut and pressed a few triangles. I started decluttering the sewing room.

15 Minute sessions of stitching this week:  7 out of 7
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year:  297 out of 350 sessions
Success Rate: 85%

Wow I never thought I would end the year at this high a rate. I thought 80% would be a stretch.

Linked to:
15 Minutes to Stitch

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Day 15: 31 Day Blog Challenge

Random picture of the day: Rosalee and Rosalie

As I was doing my genealogy, I noticed that there was a name that were on different sides of the family. 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Creating Art Quilts with Panels

I normally do my book reviews on the High Road Reader blog, but since I have to post every day this month, I am going to do it here.  My latest book is one I got from Net Galley, but I am going to give you my honest opinion.

It's called Creating Art Quilts with Panels: Easy Thread Painting and Embellishing Techniques to Create Your Own Colorful Piece of Art From Panels by Joyce Hughes. It is published by Fox Chapel Publishing. 

This book starts with a super idea. Instead of piecing or appliquéing your quilts, why not start with a panel that is already printed?  You can change up the panel by adding applique or cropping it so you like it, but the quilt top won't take much time to get ready. It is a great idea for people who need a quilt in a hurry or really like the quilting part.

The next step is to sandwich and add a base layer of quilting to secure the layers and keep everything flat.  

Then the fun begins.  You can add thread painting using different colors of thread to add  dimension and shadows and highlights. Followup with a variety of other techniques such as trapunto, use of an overlay, three-D effects, bobbin work, couching, and embellishments.  

The second part of the book takes you through a variety of projects where she shows you how she embellished it, so you can get a feel for how decisions are made about how to use each technique. 

I had thought of this idea before but wasn't quite sure how to accomplish it, and I think this book really helped push me forward in that.  The book is not for beginners, as you do have to have some basic knowledge about how to do free motion quilting, thread painting, etc., although just confidence may be able to take you through it.  There is a lot of repetition and some of the concepts get explained very quickly so the pacing of the book was difficult for me, but overall, I learned a lot. I am giving this book four stars. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Day 12: 31 Day Blog Challenge

Random picture of the day

Random picture of the day: Windowless window

This post posted before I got a chance to add anything to it.  I have been hand stitching the binding on the Droid quilt. This usually takes me a while.

There are a lot of birds chirping outside when Zeus and I go for our walk.  It always amazes me that there are so many birds in the winter, because I figure they would have flown south.  It seems like the millennial birds are doing their own thing. It does make for an enjoyable walk though.