Thursday, May 31, 2012

an unexamined life is not worth living

Sometimes things in life are crystal clear to me the first time I come across them. Other times patterns and ideas and my own personality are muddy and hard to understand. Sewing has taught me that if I don't understand what went wrong in a seam or a quilt the problem probably started right at the beginning with a flawed pattern or a badly measured block.

Applying sewing to life, when I don't understand something maybe I need to go back to the beginning and rethink the first assumption I made and see if then I can understand the outcome.

Here is an example:

This is my garden. Sad weedy place that it is. I always thought that if I had more time my garden and flower beds would look great. If I had more space I would create a garden paradise.  All it would take was a bit more dedication. The assumption I've always had was that I love to garden. My sisters are master gardeners. My mom has always gardened. All the characters I've admired in the hundreds of books I've read have loved to garden. I love to read and everyone I know who loves to read also loves to garden.

Last year I had an epiphany. I don't like to garden. The reason I don't spend time in the garden is because I don't want to. I don't like getting dirty. I don't like bending over, or sweating in the sun, or swatting bugs or getting pricked by thorns. How could I be so old and not know something so basic about myself?

An unexamined life is not worth living...... That may be a bit extreme but worth reflection. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

still pedaling on with the bicycle quilt

All the blocks are finished for the summer romance quilt. Here are the last two, they are ambiance blocks. Have a g'day and thanks, Liz, for your encouragement:)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

bicycle romance quilt coming together

Sam and Lucy meet and fall in love at the park. They both enjoy bike riding but want to stay close. The answer? A tandem bike of course!

The quilt is coming together. Just one block to finish and the borders to figure out. Still not written as a pattern, just flying ( or biking) by the seat of my pants:)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

bicycle romance summer quilt

Hi! I'm still working on the title and design for my summer quilt. I'm a lot nervous because usually I have the entire quilt designed and drawn into my graph notebook before I start. This quilt seems to have a mind of its own and the design is unfolding as I make the quilt.

For instance, I started with the idea of random blocks inspired by the fabric motifs. So I made this bicycle girl:
 Then I made my biking boy:

 Then I got the idea that these two should meet and fall in love on a park bench:

They just seemed made for each other :)
I have a few ideas for the next block but how to put them all together into a quilt is still a total mystery. So I hope it turns out. At least I know how their romance turns out... happily ever after, of course!

Friday, May 25, 2012

summer time quilt started

Spring is here and actually it feels like summer. The temperature is going to feel like over 90 degrees in Maryland today. A perfect day to sew pictures of cartoon people outside riding bikes while I'm inside in the cool shade with an iced tea :) Life is good!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Woodland Quilt 2 Finished and new not yet titled quilt started

I'm in the sweet middle right now. Finished one quilt and get to start brand new on whatever I want. The great feeling of accomplishment and the anticipation of the next thing both at once! I love my job!

Here is the Woodland quilt 2. I'm done with animals for awhile, ready to start something new, so the woodland series is a woodland duo. oh well. Does anyone really mind?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

woodland quilt in progress

Well, yesterday was not quite as peaceful as planned. My littlest girl, Evelyn, sprained her elbow at a Bounce U birthday party. A few hours, a few ex-rays, a lot of money and she is better.

Still managed some progress on the quilt. Finished cutting out the appliques. Here they are:

Monday, May 21, 2012

woodland quilt 2

Monday is here and I'm so happy to be back at work. My goal for the week is to finish the second quilt in the woodland quilt series. This one will feature an owl, a rabbit, a squirrel, and a raccoon. The color scheme is darker than the pinks in the first quilt. This one will have chocolate browns, burnt oranges and dark greens. It could be for a boy or a girl. I haven't decided if I'm going to make a third quilt in the series, but it wouldn't be a series without at least 3, right?

Here is the rough pattern for the animals:

Friday, May 18, 2012

finished loaf and started quilt

Here is the picture of the baked loaf of bread-- see how easy.


Here is the start of the second quilt in the woodland quilt series . I love making these quilts. They just come together so easily, although I had a bit of trouble drawing the face of the squirrel. The tree in the picture was interesting to make-- had to get the swirls just right.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

the secret to baking bread

I am now about to publicly share a secret about bread baking. I have  been baking homemade bread for many, many years impressing friends and relatives. haha.
The secret is that it is really really easy to bake homemade bread. Just don't overthink it.

The biggest secret is that you only need one small bowl for the yeast and one huge bowl for all the rest of the ingredients.

Put a few tablespoons yeast in the bowl. Add a spoonful  of sugar and some cups of really hot water. Stir this and wait 5 minutes. If you did it right, the yeast will bubble up and be good for the bread. If not, the yeast is bad or the water was too hot or cold. Once is the yeast is bubbly you are guaranteed good bread.

Now dump the rest of the ingredients into a huge bowl. Add extras you like in bread. I add oatmeal, wheat germ, leftover boxed cereal (seriously) whatever.  Then knead a bit till it feels like dough, add flour if it's sticky. Knead it in the bowl, who wants a bunch of flour on the countertop?  Let it sit an hour or until you get around to baking it. Divide into 4 loaves so it's worth the trouble, freeze the leftovers.

The last picture is the cookbook I used when I first started baking. It was my mom's. :)

I would include a picture of the finished bread, but it's not done yet. Tomorrow's blog.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

woodland quilt is finished!

I finished the woodland rag quilt and I think it's  a wow quilt. So much time and work to make the patterns and take the pictures. Almost more time than it took to make the entire quilt!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Woodland Quilt Blocks

Back to work today and I'm super excited about this woodland quilt. I finished the blocks, now to assemble the quilt and binding-- maybe I'll be done to show it off tomorrow!

Here are the applique blocks. I think I'll put them up for sale individually in case someone wants just one, and the whole quilt as a pattern for another option.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

Mother's Day 2012 was incredibly rich for me. I feel like I was given an overflow of good things. My oldest son graduated from college. The success was even sweeter because it seemed to be touch and go for awhile if he would make it all 4 years. I'm so proud of him. We endured hard narrow bleacher seats, but got this photo:

Here is a Mother's Day present from my daughter who inherited my crafty genes:

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sometimes when I start a new quilt my heart is really not in it. Either I waited too long and a new idea has captured my excitement or maybe I just have a feeling the end quilt won't be a WOW quilt.

Sometimes I start a quilt and I get more and more excited and the design draws itself and I can't wait to work on it and to finish it and to show it off! The woodland quilt I'm working on now is a WOW quilt. It is really hard to even take the time to write this post because I want to get back to it. I want to see what I imagine in my mind become this quilt!

Here is the design I started yesterday. The fabric is Once Upon a Time by Yuko Hasegawa marketed by RJR Fabrics.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I've been so busy this week! My first grade daughter was home sick with a fever and I was working feverishly to finish another quilt. I'm trying to finish a quilt and a pattern every week, but that is a bit ambitious:)

Here is my newest project which is actually very similar to a quilt I designed a year ago, but never wrote the pattern for. I decided to make this one bigger than the original and in brighter colors. It's called 'I Love You'

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Finished the Katniss quilt! Here it is:


Now is one of my favorite parts of owning my own shop-- the freedom to make my next project whatever I want :) How hard to decide-- I have ten or more ideas floating around at any given time. Come back tomorrow to see what I've decided.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

It's Saturday morning and that means clean the house and try to get the kids to help :) I am almost done the borders on the Katniss quilt. I so much want to finish it but stuff to do first that can't wait. Dusting can wait, vacuuming must be done.  In my house the dusting is always the first to be wait listed. lol

Here's a pic of the Katniss borders:

Friday, May 4, 2012

Still working on the Katniss quilt. Here is the center panel finished, just the borders, quilting and binding to go . Sigh...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

First blog post

Welcome all to the Maryland Quilter blog.  On this site I would like to share the creative process that goes into designing my quilts, tips on making your own quilts, free patterns, free how to tutorials and I'm not sure what else :)

My current project is a twin size quilt titled "Katniss", the second in a series of Hunger Games inspired quilt designs. The first quilt I made was an art quilt to test the idea. Here is a picture of the finished quilt:

The pattern for this quilt is available at my Etsy shop: Marylandquilter.