Monday, February 15, 2010

Gotta Love a Husband Who Gives Fabric!

Yesterday was Valentine's Day, and my husband did just fine in that department. See my new fat quarters! The last two are plaids, but not homespun or flannel, just regular woven cotton. How cool is that? I love plaid!

I bought a couple of new books on Amazon. Now, I admit, I had never heard of Lisa Boyer, but the books sounded funny, and so much is going on my life right now, that something funny seemed like a good idea. I just finished 'That Dorky Homemade Look', and I loved it! I think that Lisa Boyer and I would get along just fine should we ever cross paths. Here is a quote from the book I wholeheartedly agree with...

"My quilts belong crumpled up in little heaps on beds piled high with pillows. My quilts belong thrown over shivery cold legs on winter nights. My quilts belong trailing behind drooling toddlers and wrapped around crying teenagers. It's no wonder my quilt looked funny hanging there on display, all spread-eagled and flat and lonely with a sign that commanded "DO NOT TOUCH!" on it. Suddenly, I felt like I had placed my beloved pet in a zoo."

I love going to quilt shows, and so does she. I often get urged to put a quilt in a quilt show, and I can never quite explain why that feels wrong to me. I love to look at other people's quilts, but I would hate to have mine on display. It's not a matter of feeling as mine aren't good enough to be viewed, it is just not why I quilt. I quilt to make objects of comfort, whether for people I love, or complete strangers when I donate. To me the highest compliment I could ever be paid as a quilter, is if someone came to me, told me they wore the quilt I gave them out, and could I please make them another one. THAT would be high praise! To have a quilt I made be stuck in a closet so it wouldn't be ruined would be utter failure for me. I'm glad I'm not the only one out there that feels that way. I'm also glad there are other people willing to put years into making quilted works of art that I can drool over at quilt shows. I am so thankful there are all kinds of quilters out there, it keeps the hobby fresh and exciting.

Another thing in the book she talks about is your PQ-Perfection Quotient. She used a scale of 1-10, one being an incredible care-free quilter who doesn't believe in using a seam ripper ever, and a ten who is a terrible fuss-budget. She considers herself a seven striving to be an eight. I am probably a 4 on her scale. I will use a seam ripper, but I don't rip every mistake. I am a firm believer in "no one will notice". In my split nine patch, I did rip out a square that was touching another of the same fabric. In my Celtic Mystery quilt, I did not. I only had one place in the split nine patch where the same fabrics were together. I ended up with about 7 in the Celtic Mystery, and I didn't fix any of them. Why the difference? I looked at the overall designs, and decided it was not distracting from the pattern on the Celtic Mystery, but it was on the split nine patch.

I also had been thinking about randomness lately, and that influenced my decision. A big discussion recently occurred on quiltville chat about how to do scrappy quilts. So many people are paranoid about putting two fabrics next to each other that clash. Several of the women had been only sewing pieces together that color coordinated with their neighbors, and the when they assembled the quilt, they didn't like the results. I think it's because they ended up with color coordinated splotches, that didn't flow from one to the other. In a kitchen sink variety quilt, I think it's randomness that makes them work. Because that's my theory, I work differently than most people. In an everything goes quilt, I usually have things divided into darks and lights, but aside from that, I try to not coordinate anything. In fact, I usually look for something that doesn't match at all. Let's say I pick up a lime green square, what does not match that at all?, oh that burgundy will work. That's how I sew, and I've been happy with all of my kitchen sink quilts. Also, when you are really doing things randomly, like pieces will sometime end up together, that's because it's random! If it doesn't affect the overall design, I'm learning to leave it. I bet people with lower PQ's make a lot more quilts than people with higher ones.

DH helped me get the Juki mounted in the cabinet today. Setting the height for the airlift was a bit fiddly.

I started quilting the split nine patch. The nine inch throat on the Juki is nice for quilting. I'm just going to do some cross-hatching on it.

I am trying using masking tape to mark my first lines on the quilt. After that I'll use the guide on the walking foot. I ended up buying a Janome open toe walking foot, because I didn't like the Juki foot. The Juki walking foot was noisy and couldn't accommodate a guide. The Janome walking foot came with a guide, but the guide was shorter than I wanted. I am using the guide from my Bernina walking foot on the Janome foot for my Juki! So far, so good. I got the first line of stitching done, and took off the tape right away. This was much faster than marking the quilt. I'll do all of the lines that slant this way, then I'll put another piece of tape on slanting the other way and repeat. I'm hoping to have this quilt completely finished by the end of the week.

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