Sunday, May 9, 2021

Breaking the rules


I'm happy to report that the Long Time Gone is ALMOST done. All the little things I wanted to change are changed! All the sashing pieces that I need for the last section are cut and ready to sew in place. And Section 4 is together as much as it can be. The only thing left is those darn four pineapple blocks! That's going to have to wait until Monday sewing, which is tomorrow. And I see that more and more people are getting their tops together, minus the border as that is the class for next weekend. 

Who knew that I could keep up with this one? It's been a tremendous amount of work. And once that is done, we're taking a break for the summer and will start in the fall with Boho Heart and Gypsy Wife (both by Jen Kingwell). That will give me time to catch up on the other projects. Phew -- I CAN do it!

The more I look at my Long Time Gone, I know how it should be quilted. Oh boy -- well, that can be a job for June. I'd like to get it completely done.  

I've been enjoying the electronic versions of some quilt magazines. I see they will expire soon, and I still have one or two to finish reading. But as I was browsing, I came across some stuff that bugs me. The magazine is called Love Patchwork & Quilting. It's a British publication, and I'll classify it as geared toward the modern vibe. 

I have NOTHING against the modern quilt movement. I think it's refreshing and vibrant, although a bit confused as sometimes, what it called modern is so not modern; however, I digress. 

There are two things that I pulled from the magazine. One - many of the modern fabric collections are hideous. OK -- hideous is a strong word. I'm totally open to using modern fabrics as there are many that I adore. It's the COLLECTIONS that I have an issue with. First - have you noticed that many of them are the SAME color. THE EXACT SAME!! And this spans across various fabric companies. And some designers crank out the same color, just change the prints. How creative is that? 

Second, many of the prints are cutesy prints with little animals or household items or whatever. It doesn't take rocket science to create a repeat with those prints. Again -- I LOVE a lot of this stuff - I have boxes of novelty prints. But some collections just don't fit together. What does one do with all those small cutesy prints in one quilt? They don't even go together sometimes. It's just a print for the sake of a print? And some are so busy - it reminds me of the calico flowers that we had back in the '70s and 80's - just a different color. It just goes to show that there is NOTHING new - just different. 

Now, I did hear somewhere that it doesn't matter what the theme of the print is; it's the color that's important. OK -- I get that, but sometimes, these colors do NOT go together. I've tried in the past to work with ONE collection, and well, it doesn't always work. But that's OK - we don't have to buy collections; we get to buy individual prints, and that suits me just fine. 

I hope people realize that just because the designer thinks it's a good idea to put those fabrics together, you don't have to. Add in some solids, or larger prints or whatever works. The same goes for a project pattern. Some designers are good, and others? Well, not so much!! It's all a matter of personal taste - I get that. But as a maker, if that designer's personal taste doesn't match mine, I can do whatever I want, which happened with the Long Time Gone quilt. You have to wait to see it, and you may hate it, but I love it, and that's all that counts. 

Here's the other thing I take away from that same magazine. Many of the project designers are young, and I'm thrilled to see that. It means the world of sewing and quilting is finding a new audience. I dislike that these designers do NOT know the basic rules of sewing, or they may not know a BETTER way to do something. As a result, the people who do the projects will be totally frustrated and perhaps give up or make a project that looks shoddy. It's a shame. 

What do I mean by that? I saw instructions for a tote bag. Oh - that's cute. When I read the instructions for assembling the handle - I was horrified. Cut the long piece of handle fabric, sew it into a tube, and turn it inside out—no tips for turning the tube. I suppose someone has a hack on YouTube. Then you were supposed to take the long thin strip of foam and work it inside. No tips. Now, how the heck are you going to do that?? And the foam will likely NOT fit exactly inside the tube (too big or too small in some places), and that handle will look shoddy and not feel nice. 

There are so many EASIER ways to make a professional-looking handle. If only the modern designers would take a lesson or two from some of the people who've been around for a while, they can get the basics under their belt and then break the rules!! Sigh..............

However, it's not just the young ones. I was watching a video yesterday about quilting. The advice was to stitch around the outside edges of the quilt before it goes to the long-arm quilter, so the border seams don't pop open. OK -- good advice; HOWEVER, if you sew with the CORRECT stitch length of 2.0, this will NEVER happen. There was no mention of the proper stitch length. Sigh................

I think it's for this reason that I try not to teach a pattern - I teach techniques to become a better sewer, and we sometimes make a quilt when doing that. 

But at least the younger generations are sewing, and for that, I'm thankful. 

I've been pushing to get customer quilts done. Even though my long arm is computerized, it still takes hours to do one quilt top. You have to load the backing, the top, and the batting. Set up the computer. Watch the bobbin, turn the quilt after each row, get it lined up again, and then take the quilt off. I'm not complaining - just explaining that despite the computer, this job takes time! 

But I have one more customer quilt done!!! I had to make the backing for the next one, and it's ready to load later today. 

Customer quilt - DONE

I've got a crazy busy week coming, and not sure how many I can get done, but there are TWO that I want to get done. I'll keep my fingers crossed that I can make that happen. 

Since I have no other sewing to share with you, here are more nature pictures I snapped while out walking the girls. They are getting tired of stopping when I want to stop!!!

Yesterday I showed you a similar picture with pink buds. Why are some pink and some are green? Different types of trees? Different gender?

Green buds

Yes -- that looks like a different type of tree. 

Pink buds

And then you have this type of pine tree. Hmm - are those things called buds? There's a whole about trees and nature that I don't know. 

A different kind of bud

And let's not forget the dandelion. I LOVE when they turn into little puff balls like this. So pretty. I had to practically get on my hands and knees to get this. Murphy was not impressed, and I'm sure the weekend traffic on that busy street had a good chuckle as well. I'm too old to care!!!

Dandelion fluff

And then we passed this. Hmmm - what is the significance of this? It looks like two chicken eggs on a plastic lid. By the entrance to a townhouse complex? I've seen this before. Did someone leave two eggs for someone to pick up later?  The curiosities we get to ponder while walking. 

Eggs for pickup? 

The third house for sale on our street finally got the FOR SALE sign on Friday. I'm sure there'll be a SOLD sign on it today. I saw activity around it, and hopefully, the other house, which never got a sign, will also sell. 

We need to get some things fixed around our house. We've not done much in the last couple of years, and I'm sure it's going to be a nightmare to try and find someone to do some of these jobs. I'd better get a handle on that soon. And NO - we are not selling. We just need to get some repairs done before the place falls down around us!!!

On that note, I'm out of here—another busy day. I managed to get one writing assignment off my plate, but I have another due now, so I'll be working on that this morning. 

Have a super day!!!!


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