Friday, October 6, 2017

Fill-in Follies

As of four days ago, my main sewing machine, the big one, has been in the shop for service for two months (hence the long silence on my blog). I can piece bed quilts--though not landscapes--on my vintage Singer. But no way can I quilt on it. My shoulders and neck have already signed, sealed and delivered that decree.

So, what do you do when you're a quilter and you can't quilt?

You design and piece like crazy. And because you're feeling a little crazy, or at least frustrated, some of your fill-in projects may go off the rails a little bit. (That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.)

1. Decided we needed a new Christmas quilt for the couch this year, and that I was not going to buy any new fabric for it.

Click on photos to enlarge. Enlarging is not going to improve this one, though.
Hindsight tells me this was perhaps less than wise.

Regardless, it's now sandwiched and waiting for the machine. (Warning: You're going to see that phrase again.)

At this point I could sign off and title this post "seeing red," both for the over-saturation of red in the quilt blocks and for the irritation of being without my machine. But no. There were more misadventures to come.

2. Came up with the bright idea of mixing and matching (?) squares and strips from the fat quarters in a recent Quilty Box selection--completely ignoring the fact that some of the combinations would be so tonally similar they'd barely be noticeable in a finished quilt...and that the ones made with remnants (the stripey ones) would look like flags from unheard-of countries.

It looked somewhat better after adding some horizontal sashing (vertical would have made it too wide). Maybe a crib quilt?

Anyway, now it's sandwiched, and--you guess it--waiting for the machine.

3. Decided I'd gotten in enough trouble in the studio, so would head for the basement and paint some fabric for landscape quilts. I had done that once, and got a couple of decent pieces out of the lot I painted that day.

This time, not so much.

I would love to be able to say that my 2-year-old granddaughter painted these. The truth is, she could have done a better job.

Except maybe for this one--originally it was so bad that I scrunched it up and dried it in a wad, ending up with a far-better looking piece than what I'd started with. I like it, but don't ask me how I'd use it.

(Excuse the striips hanging behind and beside it. Piecing them for yet another desperation project, a scrappy bed quilt.)

In the meantime, my daughter-in-law visited her family in Wyoming and came back, bless her, with this beautiful shot she'd taken at String Lake. So....

4. Decided this would be the inspiration for my next landscape, but that instead of using all realistic fabrics, I would use some of the batiks that were piling up on the shelf.

Not saying that was a bad idea. Just a bit different for me.

It progressed pretty quickly, from tracing to pattern-making to fusing to piecing to embellishing...

...but not to basting. And why? All together now: Because it's waiting for the machine. :-/

We'll (eventually) see how this turns out with some thread embellishment and free motion quilting. Again, it's not my usual style of landscape, but I had a lot of fun piecing it. Thank you, Shannon.

Hoping next time to have some quilting to show.

Have a great weekend!



  1. Oh my goodness - why is your machine taking so long? Are they having to order parts in from the farthest reaches of the world and they're coming by rowboat? I wonder, if it's going to be much longer, if they could be convinced to at least let you have a loaner? I would go completely stir crazy without my machine so I can imagine how you must be feeling. I don't see anything wrong with the quilt you feel is too red - looks great from here. And the landscape - I love it!!!!!

    1. Thank you. :) I will be talking to the repair guy on his day there next week about his "progress," (LCD screen went out, and a new mother board didn't fix it, so now it's waiting for a new screen to be put in, too) as well as the owner about giving me a loaner--which they've never done for anyone before--wish me luck. :)

  2. I've known for some time what you do when your main machine is working and now I see what you're capable of when at loose ends! Love that Christmas quilt & of course the landscape that's in progress!!!

    1. Thanks, Rhonda. :) I found two other projects buried under the recent ones. Boy, am I going to have some catching up to do.

    2. Hi, lovely landscapre, what is the fabric range called that you use, very interesting patterns..thanks Lily

    3. Hi Lily, thanks! The sky, trees, grass and rocks are all "realistic" landscape prints by various manufacturers. The batiks (the mountains and the water) are Robert Kaufman Artisan Batiks Patina Handpaints, Wilmington Batiks Ombre Stripes, and Hoffman Watercolor Batiks.

    4. Many thanks, really love the colours you have chosen. Lily

  3. I take it the place that has your machine is the only place for service. I can't believe any part would take two MONTHS to get in. That must be so frustrating. I don't think the painted fabric is that bad. Cut up in small chunks you would have lots of uses.

    1. Carol, yep. Two parts involved now, as the first one didn't do the trick. Not sure what the holdup is as the 2nd part is in and you'd think this job might be a priority for the guy now. I will definitely be cutting up those fabrics. Amazing how much better they always look in small doses. Mickey Lawler I am not. Not yet, anyway! :)

  4. Hi Linda, I'm sorry to hear about your machine....that must be painful! I do like your scrunched up fabric. Very cool, what ever it will be used for.
    The colours on your landscape are amazing. It may not be realistic but it is stunning. I hope that you don't mind if I use your colour choices as inspiration some day!

    1. Andree, I would not mind in the least, in fact I would be flattered. Thank you!!


Comment moderation has been enabled merely to prevent spam. Your comment should show up within a day or two. Thank you for your patience.