And decisions were made ~ finally

Improv quilt top - marty mason and loree odom


Being indecisive is such a waste of time! Oh, I know that making a decision too quickly can lead to bedlam; however ~ I've been working (on and off) on this quilt for weeks.  When finally, I realized what was so scary about this one....I had three blocks in here that Loree made and I really, really wanted to showcase her blocks.  I allowed indecision to set in, wondering how she would set her blocks....wondering what border she would use....wondering, wondering until I was almost frozen. the background too weak for this cross?   Decision....well, maybe.  But in the scheme of things, one off block is okay!  Think placement....marty....think placement and get moving! 

or is this yellow too bright and what about those two pieces of the cross mis-matching...Is that okay?    Decision, the yellow is not too bright.  And when using scraps, use what you have in your hand!  DUH! 

And is the white floral too cutesey?  Decision....of course not! It's a light spot.  Think balance.  Doesn't every quilt need a little light, medium and dark!   Get over it and get a quilt made.

Puzzling....does that red really look good with that magenta?  Decision....a resounding YES!  I love it.  I can now keep sewing - I think I've seen the light among all that indecision.  
After I cut this big mama block in half, it fit in perfectly. 

See how the blocks nestle now and the orange and red and magenta are enjoying the moment together.

Oh, yes, decisions were made and my newest improv is ready to be quilted.  

Improv quilt top - marty mason and loree odom


Well! Hell's Bells ~

This half-rectangle triangle quilt was finished yesterday and I got up early to search for just the right binding.

Improv pieced and free-motion quilted half-rectangle triangle quilt by Marty Mason

See that little spark of magenta.  That's the color I was wanting for my binding.

Improv pieced and free-motion quilted half-rectangle triangle quilt by Marty Mason

Oh, yes, I found it!  Well, Hell's Bells.....there's only one little piece of it here....not nearly enough to bind my quilt!  I spent two hours searching online for this Michael Miller Stitch Circles in the magenta colorway and notta is to be found! 

preferred fabric choice for binding the half-rectangle triangle impro pieced quilt by Marty Mason

Went to plan B - the aqua Ink and Arrow Fabrics worked just fine......but again, I only had a fat quarter which is about half a yard short of required!  Well, Hell's Bells times 2!

Not to be deterred.  I finally found the (almost) magenta in a solid Kona, or is this a Moda solid? It was my third choice, but at this point, it doesn't matter.  It's almost the right color and I have enough of it on hand. 

fabric choices for binding the half-rectangle triangle impro pieced quilt by Marty Mason

....Well, Hell's Bells ! The HuMan wants to go nursery shopping for even more Azalea bushes for the back garden and wants my help so I guess putting the binding on will just have to wait awhile.

Happy dance, happy dance.....I interrupt and edit this post after receiving a comment from a most knowledgeable blog follower.  Swooze, AKA Suzette,  really knows how to help a befuddled quilt binder.  Suzette took me to a u-tube video on how to stretch binding fabric.  I've used this technique before so knew it was a quick way to sew binding on with the sewing machine, but never, ever gave a thought that it was stretching fabric! 


I still didn't have enough of the magenta Stitch Circle fabric, but you know that aqua fat quarter I had on hand?  Talk about going from not enough to having  excess.  Well, Hell's Bells!  I have a finished quilt.  Thanks Swooze. You are slick. 


Was it only

yesterday ........Ethel gave me this 18" square - a beautifully hand appliqued block made by Ethel's friend, Mary Crew.  Was it only yesterday that I told Ethel that I would think about how I might use it and if I didn't come up with a use for it, I would return it. 

and my friends think I'm a fabric hoarder so they bring me every little bit of ugly fabric  they no longer want.  Thing is, I didn't really think these ugly green diamonds were ugly! 

your trash, my treasure -

 Well, I barely got home with the applique block and my scrap of fabric, when I started prowling around in my scrap bin for add ons where I found these two orphan blocks that I had purchased at a guild rummage sale ~


and this pieced rectangle strip that was given to me.  I thought the colors really enhanced the fabric in the applique block. 

Now, I had a plan and set about putting it all together.  I first surrounded the applique block with improv pieced scraps which set the rest of the story in motion. 

hand applique by Mary Crew

3-4 hours later, it is done.  Not yet quilted - I'll need a little more time for that.

 Do you see the two orphan blocks?  And the pieced rectangle that I split in half to add interest to an otherwise boring piece?  Do you see the strip of ugly green diamond fabric?  Amy, do you see your red Blank Quilting fabric?   Friends of Mary Crew, do you see her beautiful hand applique work? 

Improv quilt top

Thanks Ethel and thanks everyone who laughs as they hand over their scraps.  I love when I can put your trash into my treasure. 


Oh, Henfeathers!

.....and I just got home from a delightful four days to and from Fredericksburg, Texas.  What a treat it was to learn new quilting tricks from Hannah @Hannah's Quilts and Crafts and rug hooking how-to from Dolores @ Lakadaisies and to laugh out loud with friend Kathy. 

What'd we do while there?   Lots! I bought fabric and then even more fabric, I found a linen blouse and some new summer shoes....but one of my favorite shops among what seemed like a thousand, was Henfeathers.  The shop owner described her shop as being filled with 'good things to feather your nest'....and her fenced front garden and porch overflowing with baskets and buckets and pots filled with flowers just drew me in....(sorry, picture not included.)  Click on the Facebook link and you'll see what I mean.    After wandering about while drooling all the way, I finally decided to come away with these two scarves.  

Scarf - ready to apply fusible backing and be pieced into a modern improv quilt

You most probably won't see me wearing these dots around my neck but you will definitely see them again in one or more of my improv style quilts.   I loved that the second scarf I selected had a flower garland running the whole distance, top to bottom.  What a quilt border that will make! 

Scarf - ready to apply fusible backing and be pieced into a modern improv quilt

Be good to yourself today and say Oh, Henfeathers and you'll be smiling before you know it. 

Henfeathers - a gift shop in Fredericksburg, Texas


Into the second solstice already?

And here I am shame-faced.....Into the second solstice already and I've not gotten one blog post completed. 

But, I've been busy.  As I say that out loud, I am reminded of how often I hear that phrase....."I'm so busy" always said slowly for impact and in just a bit more alto-ish husky voice than the speaker normally speaks.   Okay, truly, I've not been that busy....but I have been easily distracted while the winter and spring solstice is quickly passing me by.   I was first distracted by this, my first floating squares quilt made with the tutoring of Sherri Lynn Wood's "Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters."

Floating Squares - Score No. 1 by Marty Mason

and then I quite calmly pieced up what I call my "walk on the wild side" quilt.  One of my very first completely free-motion quilted project!
mprov piecing- free motion quilted - Marty Mason
And then came my graffiti improv also one of my very first freely free-motion quilted in a most graffiti quilting style.

mprov piecing- free motion quilted - Marty Mason
 Participating in March in a Bargello quilt workshop with Gayle Wallace resulted in this one.  I decided to add borders in an improvisation style....first round of borders using 4 fabrics of different widths.  

Bargello quilt with improv borders ~ Marty Mason
and the second border in the same improv style with a family of Tina Givins fabrics for Free Spirit.

Bargello quilt with improv borders ~ Marty Mason

Oh, yes, I've been busy quilting and participating in quilt workshops and enjoying two week long quilt retreats. 
But was it just yesterday that I took time off?  You see, the HUman is going to have cataract surgery and he needed me to take my personal calendar to the doctor with him so he could get it scheduled.  Luckily I did have a few blank spots in the May calendar so his much needed surgery is now scheduled.   So please fellow quilters, do not ask me to get involved in any new projects until this is over.  I would hate to have to hire a nanny to watch over him while I'm having quilting fun. 
Life is so good ~