Looking for Some Mojo

Mojo isn’t really the right word. It denotes magic and spells and charms and such. I don’t really need all that. I just need a little fire under my butt.

Nothing is wrong, and really life is pretty under control these days. But to be honest, that hasn’t been the norm most of my life, and I’m finding that it’s a different experience to keep motivated and moving forward without stress and fear pushing the pedal to the floor while I try to steer through life’s obstacle course. You know the law- an object at rest tends to stay at rest.

This doesn’t mean I’m doing nothing. Far from the truth. I’m just not moving as fast as I used to, and while I feel an increase of peace, I also find a decrease in excitement. Shouldn’t there be a balance?

I’m behind on a lot of projects. I think I’ve mentioned before that at the end of 2017 I made a list of my unfinished projects, which I am still not sure I recommend doing. I was abhorred at the number. And still am. To the point that I don’t even think about buying any supplies unless it’s related to helping me finish something I’ve already begun, and I certainly am not starting any new projects- unless it’s a gift and can be done fairly quickly from start to finish.

I’ve completed about 19 projects since I took inventory late last year, and some are pictured in this post. Some of those were new projects- begun and finished for a specific purpose such as gifts and the like.

But the list is still very long. Which is daunting. So, I’m writing this post to remind myself that really, I’ve been doing good, and marking things off the list. And that is something to be excited about.

So, Angela, if you are reading this, I am telling you to be encouraged and pick up the pace. A sense of accomplishment is important to you, so look forward to posting about the next list of finishes. You’re gonna be SO glad you did! And it’s going to feel SO good to give those good gifts to your kiddos and their families. Stay the course, lady. You’ve got this.

Decisions, decisions, decsions . . .

For me, inspiration often strikes at the most inconvenient moment- right at the time that there is absolutely nothing I can do about the idea I have.  I have lost a lot of good ideas to convenience, and so I have learned that when it strikes, I’d better act, or I might loose it.  Such is the case with this project.  It is totally inconvenient.  It has no purpose, other than to accomplish an idea that ran across my brain.  I had to interrupt other things to work on it.  It is taking more time than I wanted.  And yet, here it is.  Needing to be cared for and nurtured until it grows up.

So, remember my last post on inspiration?  Here’s where we left off-

Decisions 1My pics are not so good- I really need a camera other than the one on my phone, and maybe some lighting in my studio, but this is what I’ve got for now, and it will have to do!  Anyway, I had found the perfect fabric, tool and book  to get my ideas flowing, and while I had started playing a bit, I just hadn’t found the right combo.

Decisions 2Yes, but no.

Decisions 3Nice, but way too dark.  Overshadowed the print fabric terribly.

Decisions 4Now we’ve got something.  These wedges were on the design wall for a couple of weeks before they decided what they wanted to be, so I was pretty happy at this moment!

Decisions 5I have major issues with staying on task, although I really do finish most projects that I begin.  I just need a break sometimes from a big project for something smaller and a little easier, hence the baby quilt on the right.  I had finished cutting and placing all of my wedges as desired on the design wall, and I needed to “look away” for a minute, so I put together this baby quilt.  I will do a different post on it.

Decisions 6I finally started sewing wedges together, section by section, row by row.  Then I realized that I hadn’t thought through my design completely.  What about those odd shaped sides?  Should I leave them?  No, I want a bigger quilt than this and want to add borders, so the sides have to be squared up.  Back to the book Sizzlin’ Sixties.

Decisions 8I’ve mentioned before that I don’t follow directions well, and here is a good example of that.  It really does make a difference to actually read rather than just looking at the pictures.  Just saying.  Anyway, in order to make half wedges to create the straight sides needed on a hexagon quilt, you cannot just cut a wedge, and then cut it in half.  It doesn’t give you enough seam allowance.  (See above).

There are different ways to cut these side pieces.  The book uses a traditional 60 degree ruler, which I did not have, so I could not do it the way it was written.  Also, Julie from Jaybird Quilts has a Sidekick ruler that would do the job fabulously, but alas, I don’t have it yet.  So, I had to improvise.  It is possible to do this without an additional ruler, but I would have rather had the Sidekick.  I hope to get it soon.

So, here’s what I did-

Decisions 9I used my Hex N More ruler and lined up my straight edge with the far top point of the ruler, and the 4 1/2″ line, as this was the size I needed to make my straight edges.  Then I cut.

Decisions 10To continue cutting the “half” wedges I needed without waste, I turned to my straight-edge ruler and lined up the 60 degree line with the cut I made before.  This worked fine, but like I said, I would have rather had the Sidekick.

Decision 7As you can see above, those “half” wedges create a straight edge for the hexagon shaped quilt.  It isn’t required if you want the sides of the quilt to have the hexi shape, but again, I want to add a border and need the sides to be straight.

Decisions 11All sewn together!  Looking fabulous so far, if I do say so myself!

Decisions 12So, here’s the thing- remember that when cutting these wedges, you end up with a positive and negative wedge- see below-

Decisions 13The quilt I am making so far uses only half of the wedges that I have cut so far.

Decisions 14So, the story isn’t over!  What will these become when they grow up?  I’ll let you know when I know…

A little inspiration

Hex ? 1
For me, inspiration for a new project can come from multiple sources, but more often than not my favorite projects are born from an odd, yet fabulous moment. I have bought an awful lot of stuff over the years. Sometimes I know what I am doing with it, but honestly, most of the time not. I just get what I like, and hope for the best. This is the perfect example of that.

I bought a couple of fat quarter packs of this Westminster fabric line from a discount store (Tuesday Morning). I had no idea what I was going to do with it, I just liked it and knew I needed enough of it to actually make something. Then, on a separate shopping trip, I got this book, “Sizzlin’ Sixties” by Heather Mulder Peterson from Anka’s Treasures. It was in clearance. On yet another shopping trip I also acquired the “Hex N More” ruler by Juliei Herman from Jaybird Quilts. I’m a ruler hog. That’s all I have to say about that.

So, how did this project begin? By me trying to clean up my sewing studio and coming across the fabric. All of the sudden something popped in my brain and before I knew it, these three items found themselves on my cutting board. The book doesn’t actually use the ruler in the directions, since the ruler didn’t even exist at the time of publishing. I love stuff like this- perfect opportunity to combine a pattern I like with a tool that makes it easier.
Hex? 2As I started pouring over the different options in the book “Sizziln’ Sixties”, it hit me that I wanted this quilt to have some drama to it, so dark grey seemed the way to go with all of those pastel-ish fabrics.  So, I got to cutting 2 1/2″ strips.

Hex? 3After matching and piecing a pastel fabric strip to a grey fabric strip, I pulled out my handy-dandy ruler.  The section of the ruler pictured here is simply the 60 degree angle.  I lined up the ruler on the 4 1/2″ line and began cutting my wedges.

Hex? 4Each time you cut a wedge, you get the mirror image of that wedge in your cut.  So, one one wedge, the dark grey is the bottom half of the triangle, while on the next wedge the dark grey is the top of the triangle.  I started playing with options on my design board, but as you can see, things quickly got out of hand…

Hex? 5All of these layout options came from the book, and I am really excited about the possibilities with this little wedge!

Stuck at the start

I just adore Don't Look Now!'s patterns- so fresh and fun!  So, when we found out that we are having a granddaughter, I went straight to my collection of patterns and found this one.  I gave our daughter the option to choose between a few, but I was thrilled when she said she liked this one.  Now, while this applique' is not for the faint-of-heart, it isn't as hard as it looks.  Just a lot of pieces, but it is raw edge, so it's doable by machine.

I just adore Don’t Look Now!’s patterns- so fresh and fun! So, when we found out that we are having a granddaughter, I went straight to my collection of patterns and found this one. I gave our daughter the option to choose between a few, but I was thrilled when she said she liked this one. Now, while this applique’ is not for the faint-of-heart, it isn’t as hard as it looks. Just a lot of pieces, but it is raw edge, so it’s doable by machine.

To be truthful, even though this project isn't as complicated as it would seem, I do have to admit that I got stuck and it ended up in a plastic (gasp) box for a little while.  This is one of those projects that you have to lay it out and get it done without a lot of interruptions- you can't start to fuse all of those flowers and then put it away.  So, I had to get a question resolved before I could move on...

To be truthful, even though this project isn’t as complicated as it would seem, I do have to admit that I got stuck and it ended up in a plastic (gasp) box for a little while. This is one of those projects that you have to lay it out and get it done without a lot of interruptions- you can’t start to fuse all of those flowers and then put it away. So, I had to get a question resolved before I could move on…

Now, I may pretty good at what I do, but I'm not THAT good.  I followed the directions in the pattern and used the Clover Tape Maker to make 1/4" bias tape for the stems, and that's where I stopped.  Hello.  The pattern says to adhere the 1/4" stems to the background using 1/4" SteamASeam2.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Well I suppose it would be if your stems were all perfect 1/4" the entire length of the tape, and if you have ninja skills at lining up a piece of sticky 1/4" fusible web to a 1/4" piece of wiggly fabric.  However, I fail in both aspects, so it came to a screeching halt at this point.  I will get back to you with a resolution.  Trust me, I will find a way.

Now, I may pretty good at what I do, but I’m not THAT good. I followed the directions in the pattern and used the Clover Tape Maker to make 1/4″ bias tape for the stems, and that’s where I stopped. Hello. The pattern says to adhere the 1/4″ stems to the background using 1/4″ SteamASeam2. Sounds easy enough, right? Well I suppose it would be if your stems were all perfect 1/4″ the entire length of the tape, and if you have ninja skills at lining up a piece of sticky 1/4″ fusible web to a 1/4″ piece of wiggly fabric. However, I fail in both aspects, so it came to a screeching halt at this point. I will get back to you with a resolution. Trust me, I will find a way.