Monday, January 15, 2018

In Which I Shamelessly Flaunt My CCD: Compulsive Creative Disorder

My Math quilt remains untouched on my longarm frame (perhaps today or tomorrow?).  My Tabby Mountain quilt remains on my design wall, since I had to order a couple Kaffe Fassett prints to replace the creepy Cat Eyes fabric (maybe by end of this week, or early next week the fabric will get here?).  I don't feel like making a pineapple block right now, I'm bored with my eight identical in-progress Frankenwhiggish Rose applique blocks, and I'm not in the right mood to finish the Jingle BOM applique top or to make more Farmer's Wife blocks or clam shells or to start any of my one patch project ideas.  But I was just over on Esther Aliu's blog and saw her free BOM applique project for 2018, Queen's Garden.  I am in love.  Not too easy, not too difficult, not too repetitive, and perfect for all my bright, splashy scraps of fabric.  I HAVE TO MAKE THIS QUILT!

Queen's Garden, 70 x 70 Free BOM by Esther Aliu

I have been reading on the Internet, folks, and it has come to my attention that an awful lot of quilters out there have an awful lot more projects-in-progress than I do.  You can call them WIPs (Works In Progress), UFOs (UnFinished Objects), or Proof of Mom's Poor Work Ethic (what my son Anders calls MY projects-in-progress), but I'm pretty sure that it's not an actual SIN to start a new project before finishing an old one.  And if it IS a sin, well, at least it's not a MORTAL sin.  Certainly nothing I need to confess in church and pray for forgiveness, right?  

You know, as I'm thinking about it, God Himself, the Creator of the Universe, has more WIPs than anyone.  Every human being on this planet is a WIP and UNICEF estimates that over 350,000 new babies (God's new projects) are being born every day.  

Infrared Portrait of God's WIPs and NewFOs in the Small Magellanic Cloud, Credit: ESO/ESA/JPL-Caltech/NASA/D. Gouliermis (MPIA) et al.

The Earth itself is a WIP, and the Universe is a WIP with new stars being born before all the old stars have burned out...  The picture above from Science Daily is of a dwarf galaxy near the Milky Way.  The blue areas show God's WIPs (stars that have been around awhile, but haven't yet burned out) and the red dots are all brand new stars being born, like so many new projects going on simultaneously in the heavens.  When I read in the Bible that we were created in God's image, to me that means God created us to BE creators.  

And so, based on this new Quilter's Theology that I have just invented (you're welcome), there is no such thing as Quilt Guilt because we were MADE to work on lots of different projects at once and to be CONSTANTLY STARTING NEW PROJECTS even though our other projects aren't finished yet, just like all those new babies being born and all those red dots in the Small Magellan Cloud dwarf galaxy.

Which just shows you the lengths that I am willing to go in order to justify my reckless decision to add YET ANOTHER new project, when all the other quilters on the Internet are making resolutions to finish what they've already started!  Hah!  But seriously -- this is my HOBBY.  It's supposed to be fun and it's supposed to be relaxing.  If I'm having fun and I'm relaxing, it doesn't matter if I EVER finish a quilt.  Finished quilts are happy accidents that occasionally happen in my studio, not regular occurrences or obligations.

Join me on the Dark Side, Ladies and Gentlemen -- and start a NEW project today!  Might I suggest Esther's new applique BOM?

Today I'm linking up with:

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Look What's On My Wall, Y'All! I Cannot Follow the Directions, After All

Check out my design wall this lovely morning.  I cut out all of my triangles!  Except now I'm about to cut out MORE triangles and start swapping out fabrics that I don't love from the original design.

Ready To Sew...  Maybe
This Tabby Mountain project was going to be my first ever quilt where I follow all of the directions, use all the same fabrics as the quilt designer, and make mine look just like the sample, because I was totally smitten by this adorable quilt featuring Tula Pink's Tabby Road prints and I had already purchased the FQ precuts of this collection without any clear idea of what I was going to make with it.  

Tabby Road Collection FQs
Sew from the stash, right?  Well, first I swapped out the Free Spirit Designer Solid fabrics for close matches in the Moda Bella Solids line because I didn't have enough yardage of the original solid colors and my LQS only carries Bella Solids...  and I snuck in two tone-on-tone solids, the red row and the navy row at the bottom.  My red is also deliberately a bit less orangey than the Free Spirit Autumn fabric specified by the pattern.

See How My Red and Navy "Solids" Have Subtle Plus Signs On Them?
I'm happy with those two not-quite-solids, especially since those rows are nicely spaced out on the quilt rather than right next to each other.  Next change: If you follow the pattern directions and just cut each fat quarter into a 10" strip and then subcut into four 30 degree triangles, with a directional print you are going to get two triangles with the print facing one direction and two triangles with the print facing the opposite direction.  And if you lay out your triangles exactly as shown in the diagram, exactly as they were laid out at the sample quilt that went to Quilt Market, you are going to have upside down kitty cats and upside down cans of cat food on your quilt.  So my next change was to swap some of my triangles around so that all of my directional prints were right side up.

As my design wall was filling up with these bright, happy triangles, I was getting so excited -- this top should sew up fast, and won't it be fun to quilt on the longarm machine?!  And yet, misgivings began to creep in.

"I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me"
I really am not a fan of the small scale eyeball print Cat Eyes, at least not for giant 10" triangle patches.  
Tula Pink - Tabby Road - Cat Eyes - Strawberry Cooler
Maybe chopped up into smaller HSTs or something, but it's a really busy print that makes my head hurt if I look at it for too long.  Also, with a thousand little eyeballs peering down at me from my design wall, it reminds me of "Big Brother is Watching You" from George Orwell's dystopian novel, 1984.  Now, those of you who own kitty cats -- isn't it terrifying to imagine that your precious pets are actually there to spy on you, reporting back to some evil totalitarian government who will someday come to arrest you, torture you, and brainwash you into submission?  

I hear Rockwell and Michael Jackson singing "Somebody's Watching Me" in my head and it's giving me the creeps!

Clearly there are too many eyeballs on this quilt, and some of them have to go.  The Tabby Mountain pattern uses all but two of the 25 prints in the Tabby Road collection, and for some reason the designer chose to use all four colorways of the creepy eyeball print and only three of the four colorways of the Disco Kitty print, which is my favorite. 

Disco Kitties! Love!!!
The first four eyeball triangles that came off my design wall were the Aqua (Strawberry Cooler) colorway, and they were replaced by the missing Aqua colorway of the Disco Kitty print shown above on the right.  But there are still too many eyeballs watching me!

So instead of starting to sew my rows together, I've been digging through my stash and auditioning possible fabrics that I could swap out for the remaining Cat Eyes.  When all of the fabrics in a quilt are from the same fabric collection and you want to just replace a few of them, it's a lot trickier than coordinating fabrics for a scrappy quilt where all of the fabrics are very different.  For this quilt, I need my replacement prints to be the right colors in the right shades, but I also think that the prints need to have the same level of detail and the same "feel" as the prints in the Tabby Road collection, and I need to balance the visual weight of the new print with the mix of prints already on the wall.  You know, scale, value, big floral type versus geometric, stripe, or dot...  The other consideration, now that I'm no longer following directions and I'm back in charge of artistic direction, is that I don't have any little girls in my life right now and I don't want this quilt to look too juvenile.  We want to have fun with our bold, brightly colored kitties, but not Romper Room fun, if you know what I mean.

Tabby Road Fur Ball Fabric in Strawberry Tangerine
And that brings us to this particular print, the jagged-edge giant dot fabric named Fur Ball.  I don't know, what do you guys think?  The ketchup-and-mustard Strawberry Tangerine is my least favorite colorway, but when I step back and view the whole thing from a distance I see that the rows of red and cheddar yellow solids won't make as much sense if I eliminate this print.  It's cute for sure, but is it Cat Lady Cute or Toddler Cute?

Kaffe Fassett Collective, Roman Glass and Paperweight Prints
I've got some Kaffe Fassett prints under consideration, perhaps swapping out eyeball prints for various colorways of Kaffe's Roman Glass and Paperweight prints shown above, but I don't know...  I need for this to percolate in the back of my brain for a bit.

I've got a dress rehearsal this afternoon for Monday's VOX Martin Luther King, Jr. concert, singing at three church services at Christ Providence tomorrow morning so I probably won't be back in my studio again until Sunday afternoon.  I'll see how I feel about it then.

Well, it's now nearly 1 PM, my dress rehearsal starts in an hour, and as my husband pointed out to me, I'm not dressed yet.  Which means this blog post has finally reached


PS: I'm linking up a day late with all my favorite Friday linky parties:

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