Archive for the ‘self reflection’ Category


20.0 Strip Sorting Surprise

September 27, 2011

Wow, first this is my 200th post.  Whoopie!

All 200 have been written by me, some in haste, many with either deep contemplation & formatting, or just putting up pictures of things I’m working on.  This is one of the latter.

I’ve learned lately that posting the best picture first shows up well in feedly, facebook, even though it doesn’t feel like a linear regression (or is it progression?) of what I’m working on in terms of my time.

But then again, my work may be better described as quantum regression – jumping into & out of projects so fast without any regard to the timeline that I started, so quantum regression – err progression – err whatever it is – for the pictures.

So I was sorting & cutting scraps to put into baggies to sort them out, and I created these two mini quilts as a result.

The red & white “mini quilt” is a leftover from my 2nd quilt I ever pieced (which is still not quilted by the way).

The red fabric was the 1st fabric I ever bought from a bona-fide quilt store, and one that I still absolutely love.

The mini quilt on the right is the leftover pieces (not the 16 pieced blocks I have somewhere in my UFOs) of the jewel toned strip twist blocks that started off some of the swapping fun I’ve had lately (which reminds me to get to the post office TOMORROW (or the next day)).

I had several leftover strips and I piano keyed/checkerboarded this mini quilt together, because I like the high contrast between the white & jewel tones.

Both quilts need some kind of border, even small ones – OR large ones(?).



In honor of my 200th post, would anyone want me to quilt these up & give them away as a ‘giveaway’ as a thank you for readers of my blog?

If you’re game for this, post a comment on the bottom of my post (this post) and in two weeks, lets say the 14th I’ll draw a name.

If you have a preference on either of these mini quilts, please say in the comments & I’ll honor your wishes.

I will border these, FMQ them (try out some design from my book), bind them & send out one or both quilts – depending on the response.

If you just want to comment to say hi, and don’t want to participate in the giveaway, let me know that too.

If no one is interested, then I get to keep them both & put them above my door or on the front of my sewing room.

Size w/o borders are: 6.5 x 23 and 8.5 x 25.

You might even call them table runners.

Other Progress

Progress picture of the living room floor.  If you can stand looking at the mess, this is my living room at one point when organizing my scraps.

As you can see I use two fabric bins from wally world to store the scraps, and I favor the ‘plastic bag system.  Scraps are usually cut into strip sizes & placed in color bags.

And if your mind is blown away by disorganization and needs a little more order, here’s what else I’m working on:

These are my dark / light leaders & enders that go onto my journey steps quilt, for the middles of the three sections.  Each of these will finish at one inch in size.

It’s the first time I’ve really utilized (well) leaders & enders by having them all prepped ahead of time.  But then I tend to sew down more strips to make more leaders & enders.  Which is good & very cyclical in nature.

Also working (slowly) on optical illusion podcast (I need to e-mail back someone from 2 weeks ago) but also waiting for a book I saw from Ruthann on SeamedUP.

Original reference I have is ‘okay’, but nothing that exciting or easy to get what I need from it.  Hoping that Optical Art Quilt book will be more dynamic!

Okay, get to commenting and/or experimenting!


18.1 Close

August 11, 2011

Sunday I recorded an episode, but hadn’t edited/tweaked it.

I listened to it monday, rerecorded a section, didn’t finish.

I listened to it tuesday, rerecorded a different section, didn’t finish.  Went to Quilt Guild.  Didn’t sleep much.

Wednesday, I had a few final tweaks that I was excited to do before heading to work – knowing exactly how my vision was going to be realized.

Then I left work on Wednesday feeling very upset.  One of ‘those days.’ No energy.

Today Thursday, still tired, no energy, have plans this afternoon/evening. Probably no sleep much tonight.

I am looking forward to tonight to help me pull myself back to where I was on Tuesday/Wednesday am.  Very happy, feeling good, laughing.  But to do so means more lack of sleep.

Don’t anticipate energy Friday.  We’ll see.


Shucks.  I was this close to a ‘weekly podcast’.  This close.  Soon.  Soon.


17.7 Reality Check

July 24, 2011

I wrote an e-mail to Nonnie about my podcasting experience through a survey she had sent out on Big Tent.

When it got to the editing section, boy did I really analyze the use of my time on podcasts.

I will not bore, err, scare, err intimidate, err enlighten you with the lengthy list of things that I do for a podcast, unless requested.

The good news is that other podcasters don’t spend anywhere near the time that I do, and so if you’re ever holding back with podcasting because of what I say, just know that I am NOT the norm.

Just know that if you’re a slow poke, perfectionist that tends to say the wrong words, stutter, trip over your own tongue, puts together (sometimes) lengthy blog posts, and wants to discuss a topic that has to be researched, that you’ll likely have the same frustration experience as I do.

Overall it was a good reality check.

… in other news …

My computer was being a pain this morning so I got to sewing… two days in a row.

This weekend:

Pinwheels for me.

Pinwheels for others (some of them).

Rulers on the wall. (yes first time hanging them)

Exothermic something (the orange and yellow quilt) flags, sewing the blocks together – finally.

Center of the Disappearing 4 patch sewn together.

Reality check on D4P:

This disappearing four patch is meant as a practice piece, but I don’t know if it’s useful at this size.  Will not tend to hang on the wall, but already took apart and tried the technique.  Will see if this will work as a lap quilt with borders.

And I worked on both the harlequin quilt top in EQ7 (which gave me my current blog background), and the Exothermic quilt borders.

Reality check on Exothermic:

I spent a TON of time looking at the borders, which were meant to be a solution for using the leftover bits from making the blocks.  The blocks I was left with was:

Well the black isn’t in the block yet, so I had to work out the size the block would be first.

But the direction of the strips limited my initial exothermic quilt design a bit. the strips I thought would be more going along the bias instead of jutting out like this.  Which means something different to the design symmetry of the piece.

I came up with what I feel is a reasonable solution:

I think I finally got the black and silver border to be the correct width to give the blocks outside the correct height / width.  That took me a long time.

Not so sold on the corner squares in the absolute outer edge, but I am waiting to see if I love this layout or not.  Hard to gauge without going through the trouble of putting in all my fabrics.


16.5 How Standing Out from the Crowd is Hard

June 19, 2011

In any creative field, it is easy to get swept up in ‘the latest trend’.

For quilters, the latest fabric collection, the latest block setting style, the latest gadgets.

This applies to all fields of creativity.

Depending on your goals, you may find yourself with two different approaches.

If your goal is to be right there in the middle of it all, to either sell your idea, sell your product, give value to other people, you have to know what other people want from you.

To be marketable, you have to be in the trend, or just in front of the trend, doing projects that other people like.

This puts you right smack dab in the middle, you have a popular blog, etsy shop, twitter account, facebook site, etc.

People look to you for advice, because they know you’re going to advise them in ways that they desire.

You may find comfort in knowing that other people are trusting you, and that you, in turn, are trusting other people.  Comfort in numbers.

You build a community.  Within that community, you belong somewhere.

You find a connection with others going this route, and in this, there is peace.

If your goal is to be unique, different, put your own spin on things, do things the way you want to, you’re much more likely to stop paying attention to the trends.

Perhaps you want to display something interesting that no one else has ever thought of before, a technique, a concept, a thought pattern.

You skew the materials in ways you see that other people haven’t seen.  You use certain colors together in a different way.  You bring topics together that are traditionally thought of as opposite.

People don’t always know how to react to this.  They wonder if they like it or not.  They wonder if they are on the same wavelength as you.

They may or may not comment, they may or may not tweet, share, discuss what you have to say or do.

Others may just not be ‘so sure’ about you or your product.  They appreciate that you were able to accomplish something you desired, but then, know in their hearts, they ‘just don’t understand’ or think, ‘that’s nice – not what I would do, but that’s nice’.

Sometimes, when choosing the second path, the unique path, you may find a yearning that you don’t expect.

Sometimes, you stand back and want to yell to the world “Hey, look at me!  See what I can do!  See how I think!  Talk about me to your friends!  All I want to do is fit in, and be a part of something.”

And sometimes you walk away with good comments, thing people do go out and say “hey, thanks for sharing that idea, it really got me thinking differently”.

Or sometimes you feel the satisfaction of ‘doing it your way’ regardless of what other people do say and think.  I did this thing, and it is mine, and I made my own trail into the world that has never been tried in this way before.

Sometimes the need for solitude wins out over the need for the community.  And sometimes it’s the other way around.

A quote heard recently on a podcast (Poly Cast) spoken by Leonard Nemoy from the Civilization IV video game series:

“The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about”.

And there are days when I completely understand that quote.


15.0 Meditation

April 6, 2011


Do any of you know meditation techniques?  I have been struggling with many issues on a personal level and I am tired of people saying “just don’t take it personally”, or “you’re too uptight” or “your too perfectionistic”, and “just don’t get so worked up over the little things”.

I “KNOW” all this, but I don’t know how to FIX any of these things.

Things I have tried that have had small successes, but are gone after I am done with the activity:

  • looking at old pictures of family members and of when I was a kid
  • squeezing onto a cherished stuffed animal
  • music (listening and singing)
  • laying down and taking extra naps
  • looking at pictures of flowers from a trip to the gardens last summer
  • soft stretches to relieve the tension in my neck
  • printing off some ‘assurances’ and taping them to my wall right in front of me
  • sewing
  • shopping for fabric

Since I have such smart friends, I sincerely ask for your help.

So, what do you all know about meditation?  Deep breathing?

How do you replace negative voices?

What kinds of “slow and steady” type of exercise do you recommend?

How do you go to sleep and stay asleep the whole night?

The reasons sewing doesn’t help as much as it normally does:

  • with my problem(s?) of the blocks I sent in to the latest swap didn’t exactly line up, not sure if the blocks are going to come back unswapped or not at this point
  • do not have time to fix said blocks before the deadline
  • worried that the next swap blocks are not going to measure out okay and everything is all cut already for them after sewing the strips together
  • it’s been a week after the swap ended with the Quiltcast Supergroup and I only have received one set of swap blocks so far
  • I can’t yet start the machine quilting on my sunflower quilt due to space constraints and perler beads
  • don’t want to embroider currently, no hand quilting to work on, not ready to start something new

One other thing that has been also on my mind:

  • I haven’t put out a podcast in a long time and in the foreseeable future, I am not sure what time I will be able to have to do this in the next couple of weeks, and I never got good enough for the 15 minute podcast technique to be able to fit it in to the weekday.

14.9 A few thoughts on the current trends in quilting

April 4, 2011

I have seemed to hit some nerves lately, just by highlighting a post (or two) about the state of the current trends in quilting.

I hope you all noticed that I didn’t formulate my opinion directly, as I am still sorta chewing on it.

Here are a few of my thoughts so far.


I do know that I wasn’t angered by the post as much as several people were.  I never saw the post as an ‘attack from the quilt police’.

Photo by tradica on flickr

On one hand, it’s the simple, stylish, fast, easy projects that get done.  The precuts are popular for a reason.  They work.

I would sincerely like others to feel the fun of a challenge, but – hey, guess what?  –  Others don’t always find that fun.  It’s not fun to stall out on something that seems too daunting.

And it tends to be those ‘dear jane – mutliple steps, processes, complicated, overly thought out quilts’ that languish in the UFO piles.

Case in point: My Spectra quilt idea, My DNA quilt idea, My Mario Quilt idea

All of which are challenging, not impossible, take a little bit of time to figure and to create, and most of them are stalled at the very beginning stages of the process.

I have seen many, many, many square quilts that I have liked, that I have favorited on flickr.

Boxes are OK, you can do great things with simple blocks set in interesting ways.

Sometimes even the boxes will come around and bite you in the bum. (see previous post at the bottom).


Realistically, there is nothing wrong with squares.

On the other hand, there is my own desire, to make and create.  The fun of the design, the satisfaction of a challenge well completed.

Reaching out and learning something new, trying something new, and inspiring others to try out something new.

The new things in our lives that if we stay afraid to try, we may never know the joys of a ‘job well done.’

And I sit back and I wonder, if we stay afraid, if we’ll ever branch away from our boxes quilts, ever reach out and grab the color combinations that are not popular.

I think about how if you don’t push yourself for the new things, the ‘unpopular things’, the extra things, that you don’t really ever feel like you’re fully developing your style?

And by doing the same thing that everyone else does, you lose the chance to see yourself change, the change to see yourself grow and become better.

I agree that after seeing the same “type of quilt” does get a bit boring as well.  No matter if it is squares, or half square triangles, or black and rainbows.

Too much of a good thing can really burn you out.  Too much ice cream, no matter how good, yummy, and tasty, is never good for you, if you neglect your other foods.


Trends are trends for a reason.  Someone likes them, and then others like them, and people like them.

I sincerely hope that ‘dumbing down’ didn’t mean that we’re actually dumb, because many of the ladies I meet don’t give themselves enough credit for how truly smart they are.

But that the authors were sick of seeing the same old quilts, with the same old sashing, and the same old same old.

A fear that if the more challenging techniques are never featured in magazines, that we’ll lose the desire, and possibly, the ability, to ever create the complicated, time consuming quilts that are currently not as popular.

Going back and teaching new, more complicated techniques, as the first author decided to do, is a step to make sure that won’t happen.

One more point about this thought.  I sincerely don’t think that, with all the kinds of quilters out there, that we’ll ever lose completely those techniques.

There are enough of us out there that do like the more intriguing stuff, that sometimes follow the ‘unbeaten path’, that will help to keep it going.

From my own experiences, science and math, are not popular topics to be blogging about – just starting to follow a few science blogs even makes my own head hurt, thinking about all the technical jargon that gets thrown around.

And there’s a reason that Mythbusters, over the years has dropped the ‘here comes science’ portion of the shows, and have included more ‘blowing things up’.  I do LOVE the show, but even I realize that the production values have gone up, and the science portions have gone down (not completely).

It’s what we happen to like.  I admire a show like Mythbusters to be able to grow and change as it has, but I also miss the struggles shown on tape where they’re trying to locate a pig’s stomach, and show the frustrating process of thinking methodically to be able to locate one.  But watching someone make telephone calls on television makes for boring video.

In my head this relates to the ‘dumbing down’ argument, but I am not really sure if I am connecting all the dots here either.


Forgive me if I completely misinterpreted these two articles, I purposefully did not go back and read them in the last several days just so I wouldn’t be swayed with the exact language that the original authors used.

I also sincerely hope that I did not offend anyone with posting these posts last week. I was glad to see more discussion about it.


14.4 The dumbing down of quilting

March 27, 2011

I recently found a flickr photo and went down to a new (to me) quilting blog.

This article really made me think this morning.  Good point of discussion, and I haven’t made it through all 50 comments on this post yet.

If you notice the bottom of this post, she makes reference to a second post about this same thing, and if you read the blog, you’ll find a third post.

I love it when someone puts this much thought into what they’re seeing and expresses it.  This will completely be a new blog of mine to follow.

If you read the article, please don’t get upset unless you’ve gone on to all three posts on this.

The dumbing down of quilting.

What do you think?