Back To My Quilting Roots

I just seem to be all over the place these days. Work is consuming me as I have joined a new team and am learning all new technologies. I just haven’t been able to land on a single project at home, so many are this close to be completed, yet I can’t seem to wrap my brain around any one thing or get those last few details finished.

Then a box arrived in the mail. A long forgotten group of quilt tops that I had sent off many moons ago. I have this wonderful friend in Arkansas that has been quilting my tops for as long as I can remember, probably close to 15 years. I don’t even remember how we connected, but I remember that I trusted her completely to make decisions about patterns and styles and thread colors. She has experimented and I have always been over-the-moon happy with her work.

So, once I moved to Missouri and put together my wonderful sewing room, I put together quilt tops like there was no tomorrow. I suddenly found that I had more than 200 completed and it was going to be a fortune to have them quilted, even with my wonderful quilting friend. I let them accumulate for some time. I finally thought it was time, so I sorted through, found some of my favorites or ones that I promised to friends and sent them off.

I got the first few quickly but it came with a note. Gloria was having trouble with her machine and it would take some time to get someone out to her home to get it fixed. Did I want her to ship the quilts back? I told her to hang on to them and work on them when she could.

So, a week or so ago, a box appeared on my doorstep! Yay! Quilts that needed to be completed. I’ve not worked on these specific quilts for some time, in some cases years!

So, when I was struggling with completing a number of projects, I turned it all over for a chance to finish some long awaited quilts. Here are a couple…

Jeans Quilt

The first one is a just one more of a series of scrap denim quilts that I’ve been doing for a while. These are made from many different pairs of jeans, some mine and the Kid’s and from friends that thought of me when cleaning their closets. I take apart the jeans and harvest the largest squares and then down until what I can get are 2″ x 6″ pieces. That is what went into this quilt along with pockets in each corner. If you look closely, you will see a second quilt underneath the latest, the Kid has placed dibs on both. They are backed with a soft flannel, one green and the other blue. One more still to go will have red backing. They are incredibly warm and soft, from years of wear… there is no breaking in needed for these quilts.Small QuiltThis quilt is simply the left over blocks from a larger quilt. The hearts were the first real attempt that I did in doing applique, not exactly my cup of tea. But I wanted to really give it an honest shot to ensure that I wasn’t passing up something that was really going to excite me. And I realize that this isn’t going to be it. 😦

One more quilt arrived in the box that I haven’t had a chance to get finished… and I want to take my time with it. It is made with a multiple of red and white patterns and it is stunning! This will definitely be completed this weekend. I will share it with you then.

Every quilt gets a special finishing touch. I know that I should be more detailed and more informational and more creative, but for the most part, once I sew that last stitch on the binding, I want to be done. So 25 or so more stitches secures this little note in the corner on the back.

Name TagSo, a little time spent doing one of the things I love doing the most and I have given myself some time to figure out how to get organized and see a better path for the other projects that need to be completed. And I am looking forward to the next box of surprises.

Ambient Light, Night Light or Just Fun Light

I stumbled over this faux stained glass paint a while back when I was looking for spray paint for glass. I had this spray paint from a while ago, it was from Krylon and I used it quite a bit, but when I stumbled onto a cache of those glass insulators, I went out trying to find a range of colors, to no avail.

That’s when I found Plaid’s Gallery Glass paints. They didn’t work the same, duh, obviously they weren’t spray paints. But a couple of projects in and I figured out the best use of them for me. But I am getting ahead of myself.

As you may (or may not) know, the Kid and I like to go ‘abandoned house hunting’. We drive around the Missouri country-side looking for homes that have been abandoned and we stop and look for cool stuff in the debris. On one such trip, in a big field adjacent to a couple of broken down barns, we found a huge lot of old glass bottles. Like milk or juice bottles, not really sure. Most were neck down in the dirt and were relatively clean, but some had rain water or other gunk and required some clean out. Most were gallon or half gallon bottles, the kind with neck finger-rings and most were clear.

One such bottle was green though and very clean. I decided to drill a small hole in the bottom on the same side as the finger-ring and thread a long string of green twinkly lights into it.

Green JarSo, the green one is a little too plain. The next one up, is where I stumbled onto the faux stained glass paint. I was still experimenting. I litterally used a brush and tired to brush the paint on. You can see it with this blue jar:

BlueGallonThe lights inside are multi-colored. Still not what I was wanting as you could still see too much of the lights’ wiring even when lit.

Gallon1Here is the next attempt at creating a stained glass “look”. PLAID also has this mock ‘leading’ that you can attach first and then fill in the shapes with the paint. I was still figuring out how to really use the paint for the best effect. I wished I had someone who could have told me!

This was much closer to the look I was going for. What I eventually figured out was that it was better to use one very thick application of paint than multiple layers. You have to work with the glass or bottle on it’s side and you can only do so much before you have to let it dry. Sometimes, if you’re not careful, the paint can runover the leading and splash into the next color. Sometimes you might have to do some touch ups as well.

Glitter JarsThen, after a fellow blogger’s post, I thought I would try it with glitter. Using ModgePodge, I started by putting down the faux leading and then painting in the areas with ModgePodge and then sprinkling in with glitter. It turned out very pretty unlit, not bad lit (although you can see areas where the glitter could have been thicker) but as with anything glitter, I had it EV-ER-Y-WHERE and on EV-ER-Y-THING in the house. Of course, on myself too. I think the only positive thing was that it was during the Christmas holiday season and people perhaps thought it was supposed to be on me!

Back to the PLAID paints. As is inevitable, practice helps. I love the glow of the ambient light when the Kid and I are watching movies. It is just enough to keep the house from looking abandoned but not so brightly lit that it is the primary focus.

4JarsSo, there it is. Oh and for those interested, I am not being paid for nor sponsored in any way for the mention of any products in this post. They are just the products that I have found and like to use over the years of making beautiful stuff.

julie

2013 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog. I LOVE when they do this!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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