Monday, September 22, 2014

Bring on the Crazy

You know how sometimes it takes you just a few days to make a quilt from start to finish? Sure you do. This usually is because you've either lost your mind and agreed to a new project with a ridiculously tight deadline or you've misjudged your own awesomeness but midway through the project that you know is about to be the death of you you get your awesome on instead and decide you are woman, and you will finish it on time if it is the last thing you do. Both scenarios were my life last week.

This is the year of the Scrap Squad crazy, as no doubt you have noticed, but as part of said crazy I am developing a new lecture to discuss the fun I have had turning other designers' brainchildren into a quilt with my own spin, and then using the results of the spin to come up with a completely new pattern inspired by the fun. I'm calling it "Give it a Scrap Slap" as I believe the most striking quilts out there are those that contain a wide variety of tones, values, textures, saturation, and for the love of God, more than one fabric line. You may not agree, and I respect that. However I can't help but hope my future lecture is insightful and scrappy-inspiring and has audiences going home to dig in their scrap bins for just that most perfect shade of hot pink.

I had exactly seven days last week to bring an "inspired by the fun" design to fruition so I could announce and advertise my new lecture at the New England Quilt Museum's "Meet the Teacher" event last Friday. Normally, that would have been challenging enough, but oh no. This time I had to combine my self-imposed crunch to the deadline with the last week that my husband was in the states for possibly up to a year due to a job thing, and as men are wont to do when faced with planning for something so major, he took up some of what might have been my sewing time with an urgent need for me to help him go buy pants. Or search the attic for his college degree. Or whatever. 

It was fun.

In good news, though, we both found him some pants (I drew the line at shoes. If he can't buy his own shoes, he has no business living on his own.) and I finished the baby-sized version of my inspired-by quilt with hours to spare. So you recall my version of the latest Scrap Squad project:

The quilt that almost killed me, but I do love it so.
In creating an "inspired-by" version, I wanted to simplify and modernize the design a little but still include the basic round shapes as they were my favorite part of the quilt. I quickly decided, though, possibly based on my lack of time, to flatten my round shapes by leaving off the top and bottom of the blocks, saving time and creating a little more modern spin. I also knew that the circle "blocks" were ALL I wanted to be inspired by from the original design, as while it was cool to do once, I'm not really a huge fan of fussy blocks with 139 pieces, so the rest was going to fade into the background.

Off I got to work, and it is amazing how much faster these blocks went when I changed them just enough to make little football-y blocks.

Plus look at the cuteness. Fast and fun. It's my thang.
I even fussy cut some of the middles. Admire.
It didn't occur to me until midway through the process that this was the second pink and green quilt I've made in the last few months. My reference to it being my year to pretend to be a Delta Zeta was lost on most of my Facebook community, but shout out to any DZ chicks out there.

I showed a sneak peek of this photo:

This one here
to my friend Kelli and said "one more pink block and I'm done! Woo hoo!" She was all "Um, I think you mean one more pink and two more greens," but I fooled her.
Hee hee. Fooled her.
 I really kind of liked the off-kilter look. Plus it saved me time. I had pants shopping to do, don't you know?

Weirdly enough, not only was this the second pink/green quilt I've made this year, but in both I used light and dark tones of the fabrics to create part of the pattern. See how the green ones go dark/light/dark/light from the middle out and the pinks are light/dark/light/dark? Apparently that is my new thing. 

Simple quilting was all I had time for.

I clearly also didn't have time to make it perfectly straight. Whatevs.
I did decide to jazz up the quilting by changing the thread every five lines from green to pink. I'm just a crazy nut, huh?

I do love fabric.

Attempt at an artsy photo.
 Am I the best, most accurate straight-line quilter ever? Bwah ha ha. But you know what I love? You trim the quilt up after quilting, you cut all those thread tails right off. Bonus!

Always use your ruler in the upside down position.
I bound it all with a lovely hot pink, because everything is happier with hot pink, don't you think?

And voila! Done with seconds to spare. And I am thrilled to say very well received at the museum event, with two bookings of the new lecture already! Woo hoo!

My Vannas are at school, but you get the idea.
Would love to come give a scrap slap (gently, of course) to your guild, too. You know where I am!


roberta mill said...

Oh snap! You rule!
I also have to take my hubby clothes shopping. And I order my son's shoes off the interwebs.*eyeroll*

Glen QuiltSwissy said...

I have always wondered why so had to go help buy ( or totally buy) Franks clothes and he has not ever helped me with one!

I love your pink and green. Must get some of my own.....

Terri said...

Beth - the straight line quilting looks FABULOUS on your design. Just what the off-kilter setting needed. YOU ROCK! Deadlines be damned should be your new motto!

Michelle Banton said...

Love it - pink & green is maybe my second favorite combination after purple green. I am not allowed to buy DH's pants or shoes - he'd be just a wee bit more fashionable if I did, though.

Michelle Banton said...

Love it - pink & green is maybe my second favorite combination after purple green. I am not allowed to buy DH's pants or shoes - he'd be just a wee bit more fashionable if I did, though.

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