Aug 7, 2008

checking in

Lest you think that I dropped off the face of the earth---I thought I would post while I had a few spare minutes. I have been mostly busy trying to finish up with the row robin that is due, like tomorrow, the 8th. For various reasons that I won't get into I lost both Monday and Tuesday this week for finishing up the job. Yesterday I buckled down and did the machine stitching on the applique sections--the last thing that needed to be done. This was the 3rd row I had to do in basically the last month but the only one I am going to show for now as the owner is already up at the retreat. I elected to just go for the reveal day this time around so will have more pictures when I get back.

Betsy chose a Jailhouse Rock theme inspired by a Time 2 Sew quilt shop up in Collinsville, AL which is where the retreat will be held. Long time readers will remember me telling you that there are two old jail cells in the back room of the shop that were not removed when the quilt shop moved in. The building used to be the city hall/water department/hoosegow in a past incarnation. Quite the conversation piece and a lot of pictures of have been taken of unrepentant quilters behind those bars! I know that there is probably a picture way back in my archives of this but I am being too lazy to go look for it. The shop stores sale fabrics and batting in one sell and the other is now used for storage.

Betsy had been making blocks that showed various quilters in some of the "no -no" behaviors so I went with this idea. Actually, my mom had made a wallhanging years ago that was similar to this when she was quilt show chair at the Hands All Around Quilt Guild show in Bloomington, IL. I begged Mom for the wallhanging (it was gone) but she did better than that and found me the drawings of the figures walking down the hall. Why re-invent the wheel? She had them going to a black hole while and I foundation pieced mine the color of the jail bars. I also needed to cover 60 inches of space for the row so that led to modifications of the lettering placement. I stenciled mine on with a pigma pen and Helix stencil I picked up at the Gadsden Office Max on our way back from picking up the t-shirt quilt from the long armer. The stuff I used for the carpeted hallway was some that Mom just sent back with me for my Bama Belles challenge quilt plus those quilt panels have been in my stash from HER stash for some time. Thanks all around for that, Mom!

(Skyler at right looking cute-- we had been playing hide the mouse and he was taking a breather)

I fully intend to take a break from "hafta sewing" --no more rows or blocks for me this time around. I only want to work on WHAT I want to work on, WHEN I want to work on it---no more deadline work or commission work if I can help it. Oh, I do have 4 donation quilts that pinned and have been waiting for me for several months. I also have to do the binding on that aforementioned t-shirt quilt--that will take you to the pic of the top. Susan did a great job of quilting it but the whole thing is going to end up costing me more than I charged the owner. See why no more commission stuff for a while?? I am so bummed. My fault though--I should have taken that amount and doubled it.

(Another picture of Nickajack Reservior near Chattanooga, TN--don't have quilt pics so you get scenic ones and the cat instead)

Earlier this week I did something that I have been thinking about for about a month. As background information, way back in February or March I had gotten a request from someone I have done some commission work for before---two decorator pillows made from his deceased former FIL's ties that would be presented to his former MIL. I have made two pillows in my life---with ruffles, not the cording and decorator fabric that I would have to be dealing with. Oh boy--what do I agree to do here? Subscribing to the notion of tap dancing till I figured it out, I bought the fabric for the background behind the ties but that was as far as it got. Even bought that "Daddy's Ties" book for reference to see if Shirley Botsford could shed a little light on the subject. Quilts for Mexico, row robins, t-shirt quilts, a couple of challenge quilts (actually I like those!) intervened and the months passed.

You know what? I finally decided that I wanted no part of dismantling those ties. I was just not comfortable with attempting to produce something that would do justice to the ties, and at the same time, please the former mother-in-law's decorating tastes. (thanks for that line, Cher!) I did not want someone dictating what colors for the backing, what kind of batting, what size pillow forms, and so on that I have had with this last project especially when it is coming out of my pocket. I boxed up the ties, typed up the accompanying note and mailed those puppies off to the person who requested the pillows with some suggestions of who he might want to contact instead with my apologies for not following through.

I used the background fabric for a fall row two weeks ago as it was just the right shade but replaced it, LOL with more--nice shade of Moda Marble that probably matches the paint color in his office wonderfully. (the ex-wife's suggestion---see what I mean?) Fabric rarely goes to waste, right? Sold the book the day after I listed it. I am out from under the obligations that were wearing me down and quite honestly, stifling any feeling of creativity I have. Pam asked me the other day if I was "out of jail" yet, meaning had I finished Betsy's row, but I sort of feel like I have been released from a "jail" of my own making.Yes, I'll get those tops quilted but there is no rush on them as the Bama Belles and I don't have a pressing donation location in mind this year. My own projects will get the attention that they have been denied for too long. I am going to scale back on the donation work for a bit---the need is still there but I need a little breather.

So I ask myself, just which one do I really, really want to work on or do I start something new? I am ready to trace off so redwork Santas from Birdbrain Designs. The snowmen blocks are all done now so I need another stitchery project for meetings and carry around. Maybe I won't sew at all for awhile and do some other things that I enjoy---knit, read, bake. Well, did that today already when I made two dozen cupcakes, some of which will go with me to the retreat to share. LOL, the house was up to a toasty 85 degrees till DJ turned on the a/c for the day but hey. I was having fun cooking.

Hope you are doing something that floats your boat---I sure am going to find it, just give me a day or two.


  1. Congrats on 'getting out of jail'! and onto projects you want to undertake!

    Enjoy your time :)

  2. I love the quilt jail row! What a great idea.

  3. Have fun at the "reveal" retreat tomorrow. The FABs are looking forward to you "playing" with us a little on some fun projects for ourselves or for whoever we decide to give them to! I am with you, time to work on our own stuff--we have been handcuffed to others' projects for too long--lets break free and get out of jail! LOL

  4. Cute row. Are the quilts on the wall pieced and appliqued on? Good luck on taking a breather! lol It's easier said than done, but try anyway.

  5. Good for you Linda, I once had someone try for 4 hours to get me to do a quilt for them out of old baby clothes and stuff from her son's life and no matter how much I ignored her she just kept going. Luckily I just kept ignoring her and finally the evening was over and I walked out. She remarked to several that she didn't see what the "big deal" was...they never do!

    Glad you are free of the ties project and getting to do only things that YOU like!

  6. Oh, start something new! The redwork Santas sounds like a plan. It will take time to do them!


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