Friday, April 18, 2014

Keep Living Until You're Alive Again

^  This quote is my new mantra while I climb what feels like a mountain of grief (see this post).

It's all about coping, and adjusting to a vastly different life than the one I had.  This new life will be fine. I know it will be.  I just need to adjust to The New Normal, and this adjustment will take as long as it takes.

In the meantime, I have so many blessings in my life to focus on.  Like quilting!

It's probably not a coincidence that I've had the urge to make something cute and cuddly and full of novelty prints.


It's a dog quilt!

More of the red and black paw print will be the borders, and the black and white polka dot will be the binding.

The squares are 5" unfinished, and I'll probably cut the borders the same width as the squares, making this a small lap quilt or maybe a toddler-size bed quilt.

   Is that the perfect backing fabric, or what?

Cat lovers:  please note that The Quilting Violinist is an Equal Opportunity Employer!  While I was waiting at the cutting counter at Joann's yesterday, I saw this Accuquilt die on sale and it went into my shopping cart with the dog fabric.  So a cat project is also in my future.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Open for Business

I'm setting up and settling down in my new life.

(I moved recently; see this post to catch up on the hows and whys of this sudden life change.)

By far the biggest organizational challenge of this move was the sewing room!  But it's finally set up and ready for business.

This picture was taken in the late afternoon.  The windows on the right face west, so there's a lot of late day sun in the room.

Everything that I use-- fabric, various machines, cutting tables-- fits in neatly.

There's nothing like packing up every piece of fabric that you own, then having to unpack every piece of fabric that you own, and arranging every piece of fabric that you own on shelves to really inspire you to Use Up What You Have.

I've had time for a little "catch up" sewing, mostly standard stock items for my Etsy store.

A large selvage bath mat in the "triple bullseye" style.

Plus a Modern Table Runner.

Both of these new items plus all of my other current merchandise can be view in my Etsy store.

Monday, March 24, 2014

It's Autumn Somewhere

I completed a fun custom order just before I moved (see this post) that I wanted to share with you now that the worst of the moving chaos has subsided.

A customer contacted me through my Etsy store about making some scrappy table fashions in autumn colors, as she starts decorating for the season in April.

I was scratching my head in confusion when I remembered:  it's a World Wide Web, and Etsy is an international site.  Her request was completely reasonable considering that she lives in Australia!

She requested 2 patchwork table runners, a set of 4 placemats, and a set of 4 coasters.  The first table runner is pictured above.

I put a narrow border around the second table runner, just for contrast.

All of these items were randomly pieced, then trimmed to the size the customer requested.

In order to have some sense of these placemats actually belonging together as a set, all 4 of them received a piece of the tree fabric and the brown and green paisley as side borders.

They don't match each other but are clearly a set.  I was really pleased with these (might have to make a set for myself!)
 Lastly, a set of coasters.  They're about 6" square.

This was a really fun project, and I enjoyed digging through my scrap bins for bits and pieces of pretty fall colors!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Moving forward

My friends, my life has been a hell of a ride the past 6 months or so.  Lies, betrayal, the whole nine yards. It's been a long ride on the biggest emotional roller coaster at the CrazyLand theme park.

I hate roller coasters.  I didn't buy a ticket for this one.  And life is much too short to put up with things that offend you.

So I got off the roller coaster.  And for the first time EVER, I'm living alone.

 I just moved last Thursday, and had a busy work weekend without too much time available for unpacking.  However, things are shaping up nicely.

My new house is only about 1 mile away from the old one.  I've lived in this neighborhood for a long time, and I like it.  It's also convenient for work, and a lot of my friends and family are nearby.

One thing about living alone:  you get to decorate however you want.  So in this house, quilts are everywhere.

It feels like home already!

Also for the first time:  I have a dedicated sewing room!  It will take a little time to get everything arranged, but it's going to be great once I get it all set up.

There's a lot of fabric to be folded and shelved!

This will undoubtedly be the start of a life changing journey for me, one that I never anticipated, but it's here nonetheless.  I'll be 50 years old in a couple of months, and I now have an opportunity to completely reinvent myself and my life.  I'm excited and terrified at the same time.  The future that I thought was waiting for me has disappeared, to be replaced by something unknown.  However, I know these facts:  I'm stronger than I thought I was.  And I have amazing friends and family to share the journey with me.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Carson's Quilt

On my basting floor today:  a custom T shirt quilt

This is being commissioned by my new friend Jeanne, who contacted me through one of my quilt guild friends.

It's for her son, Carson, and his favorite colors are bright blues and greens.

I tried to keep the fabric choices appropriate for him, keeping in mind that he's a grown man (in his mid-20s), and not a little kid.

It's a large quilt, about 75 x 90, large enough for a double size bed.

The block layout was as follows:  all blocks whether pieced or all T shirt are 15" finished, then I just pieced together random strips for the sashing between the rows.

A single piece of 110" wide fabric in bright turquoise is on the back.

Now onto the quilting!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Going Scandinavian, part III

I've completed the custom order for Scandinavian style placemats and a BIG coordinating table runner.

I told you it was big.

The customer has a very large, handmade dining room table and wanted the runner to hang off both ends of the table.

The table is 72" long, so I made the runner about 85", which should give it a generous amount of drape at either end of the table.

Final dimensions of the runner:  18 x 85".  I believe this is the longest table runner I've ever made!

Eight of these placemats will complete her table decor!  (She had bought a set of 4 of these from my Etsy store, then ordered the table runner and 4 additional placemats)

The fabrics are the "Stockholm" collection from Robert Kaufman fabrics, plus a few add-ins from my own stash.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Charlotte's Quilts

As you might recall from this post, the retirement community where my dad now lives has an active quilting community.  Today I went to a solo show of quilts made by a good friend of his.

 I've met Charlotte several times, and she's one of those terrific people who's setting a great example of Growing Older Gracefully.  I want to be just like her when I grow up (!)

She's a talented quilter, too!

These 3 were quite small

This was one of the larger ones, although it was still
wall hanging size.  It's called "Standing Still" 

There were 2 "Storm at Sea" quilts.
This one had soft tones of blue and peach
I loved the bright colors and contrasting values
of this one

The star of the show was this Rose of Sharon sampler.  It's really stunning! 

It was also the largest quilt at this exhibit, I'm guessing it's around 40 x 60".
It's all fusible applique, and machine pieced and quilted.  I thought it was a great mix of modern meets traditional styles.  

 Nice job Charlotte, and keep up the good work!  I can't wait to see your next creation!