Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Inspiration: Found

Hi Everyone,

Last time I stopped by, I was sharing how I was having trouble getting back into quilting and what I could do for inspiration.  I asked all of you for advice, too.  I'm back to share with you some of the things that I did.

I had mentioned blogs.  On Friday, there was  this post from the wonderfully insightful Carrie Nelson.  It is a post answering some selected questions that were asked of many designers/bloggers, covering topics such as "What are you working on?"  "How does your work differ from others?" "Why do you create what you do?"  I found reading Carrie's answers to these ideas to be very thought-provoking.  It is a great post and really had me examining my quilting mentality.  (Perhaps that will be a blog post for a later date once I do some more thinking.)

Next I said that I needed to get out some of the fabrics and kits that I brought with me and look at them, and touch them, and start warming up to possibilities.   Right now, the idea of breaking up a large kit, and sorting out all of the pieces in this small space, seems too intimidating, so for now I chose one small kit.

Shopping for fabric is great motivation.  One day last week, I got an email from Michele at Island Life Quilts telling me how the Fat Quarter Shop was having a flash sale on fabric that looked like my type.  I immediately checked it out and put in an order.  It arrived on Saturday.

Linda left a comment sharing how she likes to look through magazines and books.  That was something that I forgot to mention in my post. Last week I purchased the newest issue of AP&Q.  It has a great feature article on Lynn Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles.

I mentioned that if I got desperate, I could visit a local quilt shop, and several of you agreed.  While I wasn't desperate, I did want to check out "the scene."  As it happens, Fort Wayne doesn't seem to have much in the way of LQS's, although there are some good shops in the area.  Shipshewana is about an hour away, although I haven't yet gone there since moving here.  However, while checking out the listings for the Row by Row Experience (Yes, I've been collecting some license plates,) I discovered that the little town of Leo, IN has a quilt shop!  This is amazing because the house we are buying is actually in Leo--just a few miles outside of Fort Wayne.  On Saturday, my husband and I wanted to drive by the house (we jokingly refer to it as "stalking the house") as we hadn't seen it all week, so then we found the quilt shop (my husband was checking out the barber shop just a block down the street.)

This is in the shop:  Needless to say, I felt very welcome!

The shop is called A Quilt of Many Colors and right away I met the proprietor, Sandi.  Her husband is retired Air Force(!) but they have lived in Leo for nearly 30 years.  The shop is small, but has a really nice selection including the batting I like to use as well as some Moda, etc.  Most of the fabric is for the traditional quilter--I think most of the local quilters quilt in that style and if you are a small shop, it is important to serve your customers.  I'm mostly a traditional quilter, so I wasn't disappointed.  While we were visiting, a group of Row by Row Experience shop-hoppers came into the shop.  They were from Iowa and came for the day to Indiana to visit some of the participating shops.

Most importantly,  Sandi told me that every Tuesday is "Sit and Sew" at the shop.  Wanting to meet other quilters, I gathered up my hand applique and went back yesterday.  There were four other ladies, and it was fun visiting with them and "talking quilting."  I'll be going back next week.

When it gets right down to it, though, you can have all the inspiration/motivation in the world, but as Jackie at Adirondack Urban commented:  just sitting at the sewing machine will get you going.  Once you get started, you won't have any problem!  Other than applique at Sit and Sew, I actually did get out my small kit--its one of Temecula Quilt Co's monthly minis--and I got started!  It's a slow start, but so far I have 6 of the 12 small nine-patches done and the others are all laid out.

Thanks to all of you for your advice and support!  It really means the world to me.

Have a great day!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Trying to Get Back to Quilting

Hi Everyone,

It is Friday, so we have been living here two weeks now, and I still haven't done any sewing!  I'm beginning to get disappointed in myself, but in all fairness, I have been busy doing other things.  Also, I had a few impediments that I will share with you.

I set up my sewing area last week.  I will sew on a "church table" along the wall of our "dining area" here in our one bedroom apartment.  As I unpacked things, I discovered that the only cutting mat I brought was this one:

It is a 12" x 18" mat! What on earth was I thinking when I packed this?  It would work if I was making a miniature quilt, but I have large quilts to trim so that I can bind them.  I'm guessing that what I was thinking was that this mat fit into the bag I was packing.  It won't do though, so I went to the store and bought this:

An 18" x 24" mat.  Never mind that I have 3-4 more of that size in my stuff-where ever  it is right now in storage.  It just about killed me to have to buy this!  Ah well, maybe I can donate it somewhere later when I'm settled.  (Yes, the picture is crooked, sorry about that.)

With the mat issue settled, my next hurdle was that my ironing board was in my sister's garage.  I kept forgetting to get it when we were over there, but finally I remembered to get it last weekend.  Now I'm all set up and have no excuses except that I've been busy doing other things this week.

Wednesday was my niece's first day of school.  With my sister out of town, she spent the night before with us and I took her.  Right now we live just 2 blocks or so from her school.  When she got dressed, her uniform skirt was crumpled, so I set up my ironing board (for the first time,) unearthed my iron, got out the Best Press, and ironed her skirt.  It felt good!  I really need to get going on a project!

First Day of Third Grade (with a starched skirt.)

I have the makings of several easy projects with me.  I have the patterns and fabrics for both a full-sized Swoon quilt and the mini version.  I also have my Hampton Ridge quilt kit with me that I'm excited to make as well as a few other kits.  Kits seemed like a great thing to bring since the pattern and needed fabric is all complete.  As previously mentioned, I have several large quilts that came back from the long-armer and the binding all ready to go on them.

I don't usually have any problems getting motivated to quilt, so this feels a bit strange.  I think it is just the upheaval and distractions of house hunting and the dreaming of gorgeous paint colors that is keeping those creative juices fulfilled for the moment.  However, the ironing helped get me motivated.  So does reading other quilt blogs.  I need to get out my fabric and start touching it.  If that doesn't help, there may be no other choice for me but to go to some quilt shops!  What tips do you have to share about how you get motivated to quilt?  I would love to hear them!

Have a great day!