Monday, March 27, 2017

The Textile Center

If you are in the Minneapolis area, a very interesting - and FREE - place to visit is The Textile Center on University Ave.  I'm here in Minneapolis with my husband who is at a conference, but it gave me an opportunity to visit family.  My cousin picked me up at our downtown hotel this morning and we visited a couple of quilt shops, went to The Textile Center, and had lunch.

There is currently a display going on at The Textile Center of art quilts remembering the musician Prince. There were some amazing pieces to see. This top one had cut out sections and 3D birds. My photos just don't do them justice. Each was totally unique and used some incredible techniques.  And they were all for sale - if you had a spare $4,000 or so.

One of the other displays had this huge "quilt". It was made of hand knitted copper wire - yes, WIRE - used dryer sheets as the block "fabric", and printed with leaves.  I can't even begin to imagine the whole process that the artist used to make this. But it was gorgeous.  All along the hallways were a display of Indigo hand dyed swatches about the size of a lap quilt, but folded and hanging in clusters.  The center also has a lending library and a small shop full of beautiful hand made textile items.  It was a great place to spend part of the morning. And it's exhibits change so you will always see something new.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

It's ready to quilt

This panel and the Spotlight II pattern were made for each other.  I love the results.

On a side note, the only good thing about this grey weather we are stuck in . . . I was able to get a good outdoor photo that actually makes the colors look right.  Except the lime green looks like a solid and it actually has a subtle little black/red squarish "dot" design.
I've pulled one more panel out of the drawer to work on.  It has fairies all over it and lots of spring colors.  And I noticed that there is another different fairy panel in there too. Those might be perfect for both of the granddaughters.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Baby steps

I have one more border section pieced and attached. A similar one is needed yet for the top and then I can add the final black outer border. No idea if I will get this top done this week or not but I'm going to try. Not much time for sewing the next few days but all I need is about 2 hours uninterrupted.
Monday was a full work day and yesterday I had a pre-op appointment in Sioux Falls for my upcoming cataract surgery. So there hasn't been much time for sewing this week. I had a spare hour today and I spent it working on that bottom border. 
My cataract surgeries have been scheduled and the right eye will be done next week on Thursday. Then on April 10 they will do my left eye. It will be such a relief to have improved eyesight again!  I rarely sew in the evenings anymore because I can't distinguish dark colors or see dark thread. Actually threading a needle has become difficult no matter what color thread I'm using.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Small changes can make a big difference

This week I've been playing with a panel and the pattern Spotlight II. I had pulled lots of brights from my scrap bin and cut 2.5" squares to use in the pieced borders, but when I got that first border on, it was clear that a couple of the squares were too light in tone. They just didn't fit with the panel. That is the good things about taking my time and stopping to really examine the project in various stages, especially when I'm working from the stash and making things up as I going along.
So, on Saturday I pulled those 2 squares out and replaced them with black squares.  Then I worked on the border for the other side with a couple of black squares added there too. All of the squares that were too light went back into my 2.5" square box for some future project. I do notice in this picture that on the right side the bottom line of squares are all kind of the same tone (dark). But in reality they are such different colors that I'm going to leave them.
I still have the top and bottom borders to do, but today will be a college basketball and grandkid day. We're headed to a college WNIT game, then will have a visit with the granddaughter who turned 5 this week. Should be a fun day!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Blogging friends

Lori (Dakota City Quilter) and I have been blogging/quilting friends for 3 years or more, and we only live 25 miles apart. But we've never met in person - until Friday. Lori and her friend Lorri (with 2 Rs) were in Mitchell and we all met at The Pin Cushion for a little "fabric fix", and then went to lunch together. It was so much fun to meet in person!!  I thought it was like we've known each other for years. And they made me a little gift too.
This little tool caddy is made with several pockets and it all slips over a plastic standing picture frame. How clever!  On the front are 4 narrow tall pockets for things like my seam ripper, scissors, pens, etc. and 2 shorter wider pockets for things like the needle threader beetle they included in the gift.  That has become increasingly needed lately as my eyesight isn't what it used to be.  In the back is a large pocket for large items such as a cell phone.
Thanks ladies for a fun meet and greet!! And for the special gift. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Attention deficit sewing

Thursday morning I didn't have to work, so I spent some time playing with fabric. I just couldn't decide what to work on first.  What a surprise, huh?  First up was my 4.25" signature block to send to Temecula Quilt Co. for their 10th anniversary project.  It's kind of fun to think that my little block will end up in a quilt in California with blocks from all over the country or world.
Second project was getting one side border #2 onto the panel quilt. Now that I see the photo, I'm thinking those 9-patch sections would benefit from an occasional black square too.  And that lighter yellow block is too light for the rest.  I may need to do some thinking on those 9-patches before making any more.  
And the final thing was cutting the pieces for 4 pillowcases for donations. I have a whole stack of fabric on a shelf that I've separated to use specifically for pillowcases. And that spot needs to be cleaned up so there is room for more.  I also found 2 Spider-Man pillowcase kits that I remember buying to make for the grandsons. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Turning a PIG into a WIP

My reward for finishing a UFO is to start a new project. Perfectly logical, right?  Well, my choice this time is to pull out a PIG (project in grocery sack) from the many waiting for attention.
I have a small drawer full of random fabric panels, with no actual plan for any of them. Some have squares or rectangles that could be cut into sections and others have one large picture. 
This panel has a black tree silhouette over a beautiful bright and colorful background. The colors are what I couldn't resist when I bought this.  I'm using the pattern Spotlight II to turn this panel into a quilt top highlighting those colors. It has a couple of simple borders, plus some additional pieced sections. Border 1 is on and I'm ready to work on the next one.
In the past year I've used 2 of those panels I've collected for children's quilts. The Crazy Cat quilt was done by adding strips as sashing and 9-patch cornerstones to the rectangles on the panel. Very quick - in fact I think I posted about it being a 3 hour project. It has been quilted and bound, so it's ready to gift to some child as needed.  And it was all from my stash! I know I'm going to use this pattern again.
This alphabet panel had squares that could be cut apart, but I decided to just put 1 border on and call it good.  So I chose a bold stripe from the stash that had lots of the colors from the panel. This one still needs to be quilted and bound.