Monday, December 12, 2011


Pin It So it's been a really crappy couple of weeks.  I'm not a huge fan of this time of year in general.  But this year it seems different.  For several reasons.  I just think there's something really off kilter in the universe (or maybe just Lisa-land) that needs to be worked out.

All of the crappiness is why I've been absent here the last couple of weeks.  Actually, that's not the only reason.  I also have been doing things that I'm not allowed to show you just yet (I know... AGAIN).  I'm either not able to show you, or it was really uninspiring.

Soooooooooooo anycrap.  Every other month I have a sew-in where my friends come and sew with me for the weekend.  I hadn't really planned on having one in December because I figured everyone would be too busy, but it ended up working out and I scheduled one last minute.  It was nice because I got my new machine nearly a month ago and hadn't used it!  But I didn't really have anything I wanted to do.  I mean, I have tons of things I SHOULD do.  But sew-in is supposed to be about want-to-do, not have-to-do.

Friday night came and I was in a crappy mood yet again, all because of Friday day.  I didn't have anything planned to work on and basically stared at the wall for a couple of hours.  Then I decided that I was going to make a quilt out of StudioE's Bubble Trouble line since I have a bolt of every SKU.

I had planned to make a throw-sized quilt of alternating wonky 16-patch blocks with wonky strippy or log-cabin-y blocks.  I had every intention of sending this to-be-quilt to Bumble Beans Basics.  I almost always make a test block when I'm starting a quilt to be sure I like the combinations of colors and prints, so I started strip-piecing.

It was then that inspiration struck, I suppose, everything went awry and my plan was foiled by my own need to do something creative in an attempt to work myself out of the crappiness rut I've been in.  I didn't really want to make any stinkin' 16-patch blocks.  If you happened to catch my guest post over at Generation Q Magazine, you know that I got to see at lot of crazy-inspiring people at Market in Houston.  I've been wanting to try Rayna Gillman's technique of creating a free-form quilt ever since her schoolhouse.  Unfortunately, I didn't have any UFOs to cut up (because I'm a serial finisher) and I also don't have her book (yet), so I had to wing it.

That pretty set of strip piecing?

Of course, I still had a bunch of fabric left so I cut that up too.

Then I cut up strips of a bunch of other fabrics.

And then I started sewing.

See those scissors right there in front of my beautiful new PINK sewing machine?  Those are the dullest paper scissors you'll ever see.  I didn't even use a rotary cutter on this stuff (until later)!  More sewing. And cutting up.  And sewing together again.

I finally ended up with this:

I really disliked the blinding chunk of black and white print in the center.  The chunk of solid black was planned.  But oh, no.  Those big chunks of fabric all over had to go.  So I started cutting it up again.

And then I sewed it all back together again.

Trimming that sucker down to a straight-edge rectangle was the only time during the entire process that I used a ruler (with the exception of the initial strip-piecing, of course).  But what was I going to do with an 8"x24" rectangle?  Add more black fabric, of course.

I've been trying to get myself to stop being obsessed with symmetry, and I've always liked the "rule of thirds" when it comes to photography.  While this isn't exactly thirds (8" to the left and 12 to the right), I gave it a go.  I  had tentatively planned to do another strippy-cutty-sewy stripe somewhere in that 12" but ultimately decided that since it took me all day to cut/sew/repeat an 8"x24" rectangle, I'd just leave it be.  Then I went ahead and loaded it onto Gammill #1 and did stitch in the ditch, pebbles and channels.

It actually is square but yet again, I'm a horrible camera-holder.  It now has the binding on it (applied by machine... baaaahahahahahaaaaad Lisa) and it is hanging over my thread racks in the studio.  Shattered seems like a good name for it, yes?

Speaking of shattered, this is also the prequel to my big Me Project.  Just sayin'! 

As for Bumble Beans Basics, they will still be getting quilts from this girl.  One of them will be made from Thomas Knauer's fabric line for Andover, called Pear Tree.  He also happens to be having a giveaway of fat quarter bundles of said fabric line on his blog (with the condition that you use at least some of it to make a quilt to send to Bumble Beans Basics) so you should go check it out.

And for something totally random and awesome, an excerpt from an email I received from one of my most favoritest people in the world:

"Remember:  You is kind. You is smart.  You is important.  Now go quilt like the amazing artist you are!"

There are other things to share but I've surely babbled on and on enough by now!  I hope everyone is faring well in the holiday madness that seems to be consuming everyone in the history of forever!