Score No. 1 - One part finished....several to go ~






I've taken the challenge....it's the 2016 Improv Handbook Quilt-Along.  Ten scores (or frameworks) over the next 12 months from The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood.

And why is this a challenge?  I ask!  I think I'm already pretty good at improvisational quilt making.  But then, Sherri Lynn Wood says I need to go ruler-free.   She says in her book that going ruler free supports spontaneity and play.  She says going ruler free will help me to respond to happy accidents and allow me to grow to trust my own authority!    I like that. 




This morning I started on  Score No. 1.  Sherri Lynn calls it floating squares.  I set a fabric limit for the first part of the score to 2 fabrics, plus a filler.  All the fabric has to already be on hand....no rushing out for more.  I cut blocks from each fabric at approximately 2" and more at approximately 5".  Once I started sewing these together for larger squares,  the other thoughts in my head disappeared.  I forgot to remember that I had grocery shopping to do and that lunch wasn't ready.   I forgot that the litter box needed cleaning and that the bed wasn't yet made.  It was improv piecing at its best.  Two size squares, two fabrics, no ruler, no rotary cutter.  Just sew and cut and sew and cut and then add filler fabric to get the finished size block of the moment. 




More fabric  has already been pulled to get a head start on the next block for Score No. 1.  Not sure yet how large this quilt will be.....that's a decision for another day.  When I decide that it's large enough, then I'll call it large enough and move on to the next score. 










 

Oh, my goodness, Oh, my gosh !

free motion quilting - graffiti style





This has truly been one of the best years - 2015.....but, then, I say that about every year.  Of course, there's been some hard days and some cry days, some busy ones and slow....but it's truly been one of the best years.  I love it when I can go to bed with a clear mind and wake up refreshed and willing to accept what my new day has in store for me.  That's  not to say that I don't plan.....I do....but sometimes even the best laid (layed) plans are aborted around here. 

For instance, just this morning,  my eyes popped open very early and I was eager to get the day going.  But, it was then that I dropped one of the cat's food bowls.  Instead of getting right down to sorting fabric for an improv pieced border for this one,  I had to clean up slithers of glass while listening to grumbling cats.  Or, was I listening to the grumbling stomachs of hungry cats? 

improv - modern - on the design wall - Marty Mason


In the days order, I then opened email.  Are you a Pinterest?   I'm hooked.  If so, you probably got the same email as I did.....you know, the one about deep cleaning....getting a head start on Spring cleaning.   There were pens on how to clean a mattress and then stove burners and even how to wash walls.  One pen even gave me the ultimate way I would want to spend the month:  A 30-day cleaning challenge!  Starting in the kitchen on day one cleaning the microwave, then the oven and ending the 30-day cleaning frenzy by cleaning the vacuum and cleaning supplies.  And the final entree.....just click to print (the list of chores for the next 30 days).   What a hoot!  Who knew there could be so much excitement over vinegar and baking soda!    I'll have to pass on this worthwhile venture and continue to sing a happy tune amid my muck and mess. 

Thankfully, and just in time, I found a pin board with some lovely fall inspired fonts to download.  Just in case my thoughts were straying toward a dusty shelf, these newly found fonts got them back on track.  From that pin, I found a most useful blog.....And We Lived Happily Ever After with tons of information on graphics, printables, photo editing. 

Oh, and I cannot get enough of the home machine free-motion quilters' projects.  I've been doing quite a bit of free motion quilting....not yet proficient, but I'm told that it takes practice - lots of practice.

free motion - graffiti quilting - feathers and more


Anyway, I found a new-to-me free motion quilting design this morning and the best tutorial at A Few Scraps blogspot and have just the perfect quilt ready to be quilted that I can do a test pattern using Wibbly Wobbly.  More on my personal best as I progress. 

As I went for my second cuppa, passing the design wall - stopping again to audition more border fabric. 

A little free spirit, alexia abeeg, more cotton and
steel, along with a denise schmidt and jen kingwell
 




Yes, this year is almost over and while I've had a few regrets and wish I woulda/coulda/shoulda moments,
it has truly been one of the best years.  

fabric from the collection 'etoffe imprevue'
 
Looking forward to you 2016
 
Happy New Year
 






 

'Tis The Season ~














These aren't my dogs!  But aren't their little faces filled with joy and peace and love. 


Merry Christmas from our house to yours.







Like A Blur ~

 
 
 
       December 2015 Calendar
 
December is passing me by like a blur.   Even though  I've been moving at a fast pace, according to my calendar, I'm still running out of time.   I suppose the count down began without me. 


Happy Holidays







 

Thoughts ~



No one sees it as you do.

Decorated Christmas Tree


                                                 Christmas tree, oh mine.  It is personal to me. 
 I love it - that every tree branch is filled with not just one ornament, but most often two or three and then one more.  I like that my handmade ornaments go back to the early 1970's and that I have ornaments given to me by family and friends and especially that I have many of my Mom's ornaments that hung on her tree for years.  I love my eclectic tree and know that no one can possibly see it the way I do. 

                              I love that we downsized our Christmas tree last year, yet I can still find all the
room I need on the small version of the large one for not just one, but two or three and then one more
special Christmas ornament.  Oh, Christmas Tree - no one sees you as I do





Happy Holidays

Interpret This!

I have a recurring dream.  Well, the dream isn't always the same but the scenario is. I'm always driving a car - at night -  and the car lights are not on and I can't figure out how to get them on and for some reason I don't stop the car.....I just keep on driving in the dark.    It's scary.  Okay, someone.....interpret this! 

Well, last night I had another car dream and decided I had to get this one documented before I forgot its details.  I was in Baton Rouge driving toward the old state capitol building and there was lots of construction going on.  My car was not my current car....it was kinda junky and it started making a strange gurgling noise....I was clearly running out of gas when I spotted a Texaco sign but there was no station there.  All the buildings AND the street for as far as I could see were in a state of demolition.  There were deep holes where a street,  bridge or building once was.   I was behind a bulldozer and just kept following him into more and more destruction.  I guess I could have turned around, but for some reason didn't.  What?  It's just a dream and thankfully, I awoke from it.    So, okay.....interpret this! 








I would add one of my art pieces here, but that would probably cinch that my world is a bit wierd so I'll just add a touch of sanity with this little quilt block instead. 

And wish you all a Happy Holiday Season:






 

ColorBoard No. 32


The Color of Outdoors - A doorway in Natchitoches down under on Cane River Lake

Colorboard - A doorway in Natchitoches down under on Cane River Lake



I love old doorways.
When they are open, I tend to take a peek inside just to see.
When they are closed,  I allow my mind to wander:  
What's going on in there? 

Then I move on. 
 
 
 
 



 

Leftovers ~

It's a day for Thanksgiving
and I am thankful
for a most wonderful life
filled with blessings
and all things left over

Isn't it fun the day after putting together another imaginative meal or two with the leftovers.  Soups and salads and turkey and ham sandwiches for days.  And finally when you say ENOUGH,  all the remaining leftovers go into the freezer to be pulled out in January for another round. 

Not really changing the subject:  But there are leftovers in so many segments of life.   Time left over from busy stuff may filter down to family.  Community service and church may get what cash is left over after the bills are paid and the entertaining is done.   And our left over trinkets, collections, furniture, and clothes may be carted off to thrift stores and consignment shops.   What I'm thinking is that leftovers are important and shouldn't be dismissed as unworthy of serious thought. 

Back in August,  I started a project while on a beach party quilting retreat.   I put together all the leftover blocks I had on hand.  All done....well, not yet.   I decided it had a few too many leftovers!



Improv sampler quilt made from leftover scraps


I cut out a few busy blocks and added some that were more calm.   It just needed a little less of this and a little more of that to give me just the right taste I was seeking.  




Improv sampler quilt made from leftover scraps


It's a leftover improv sampler quilt that I'll be using for an upcoming program/workshop.  Thank goodness it's now ready to be quilted.  

Happy Thanksgiving.  Count your blessings and your leftovers. 



 

why are my hours rearranged?

It's November 2 and my hours have been rearranged and I am confused ! Again ? 

I've gotten back from Houston Quilt Festival and have just a few pictures.  I could show more but my hours are confused.  My watch has one time but my I-phone has another ! What time is it ?  Really !

One of my favorite things to do after any trip is to unload and get an after picture.  This on-the-day-after are my bags filled with loot.  A picture after my credit card was used until the plastic was thinner than before.  Yes, three days of shopping and I now have four five bags filled with fresh fabric.  Can't wait to start planning, cutting and sewing fabric from Denise Schmidt, Jen Kingwell, Marcia Derse, Cotton and Steel, CherryWood hand dyes, indigo, linen, wool and cotton from Moda, Art Gallery, RK, Kaffe Fassette, from the US, Australia, London, Japan - and did I mention Texas!


bags filled with fabric loot from Houston Quilt Festival 2015



It rained our last day in Houston and all the way home yesterday.  I loved this picture taken out of our hotel room window on Saturday.















So many beautifully displayed quilts provided by so many quilt artists put my head into overwhelm.  I gaped and gasped and took lots of closeups for inspiration. 














I left home Wednesday with this little neutral, improvisational-pieced, machine free-motion quilted, quilt hanging on my design wall. 

After digesting the beauty of each and every quilt I saw at Quilt Festival, I continue to feel comfortable in my shoes, knowing that I have a long way to improve, but rejoicing that this one is finished and that I had the heart to take on the free-motion quilting challenge. 

Always remember to.............

improv piecing, free motion quilting - a neutral modern by Marty Mason
 
.....love the one you're with ~
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A Lyric ~




Rhythm Of My Heart ~ A lyric to live by

At the beach ~ ocean and sky
 


after four months of drought
rhythm of the rain this morning is making me happy
playing around with pictures of a sunny day on the beach
listening to the rhythm of my heart ~

ocean and sky