Creative Space -and- A UFO

In the last post, I shared some of how I organize my ‘Creative Space’. Nothing has changed unless you count making a mess. I have a new project. A small ornament swap, I’ll share more about that later.

New Command Center

The table stays pretty clear because I use it for just about everything… cutting, planning, computing, and shipping. However, the table is going to change and I have a new layout I want to try as well. This means I need to find a block of time to clean up everything that is currently out or in use.

Lift Table
going to be the new work table

A few months ago I found some motorized lift desks. The current tabletop on this desk is about 5 feet long and 3 feet wide, and irregular. My plan is to attach a larger melamine on top of the current tabletop. I like a big table, in the neighborhood of 4 feet wide by 6-8 feet long. In addition to bigger, I will be able to raise and lower the table for whatever I need to do. I really like a higher table for cutting, and since I am short a lower table for sitting at. The problem with a regular height table or desk is either a chair won’t get me high enough for comfort or if it does, my feet don’t rest on the floor. There are still so many projects to do in the basement area… so the picture also includes other things waiting to move.

UFO Report

In the meantime, I have a completed project… a UFO.

When I first set up the ‘Creative Space’, I knew I wanted to make some creativity happen. But with what? Did I want to piece, applique, stitch, quilt? Make something new or finish something that had already been started, (aka UFO)? Making a new something seemed like such a big mess to make so I decided to see what was in the UFO box. While I going through them I reorganized them. Bonus!

UFO boxes
The newly sorted and labeled UFO storage boxes

After sorting the UFOs, I chose a little piece that started as a sample and designed to remain unfinished for a little while. I love bright happy flowers, and these certainly fit the bill. This was the beginning of the project, and as you can see as we move along, this was the initial concept.

Free Spirit Flowers start
This is the auditioning of the large flowers and some leaves.

And the concept changed. I added stems and a vase before starting the threadwork. I completed the threadplay, or so I thought. Also, originally, there was a quilting plan, marked in blue water-soluble marker, but I didn’t like it. I spritzed the blue marks off with water and a color ran. I thought it was from a flower fabric, and essentially a ruined project to that is where I left it with disappointment. However, I determined it might be a good teaching tool; the colorfastness of thread and fabric isn’t always guaranteed. It is difficult to see, but at the top of the large pink flower, you can see a bit of a color bleed, between the 2 yellow zinnias.

Free Spirit Flowers Stitched
Flowers Free-motion stitched and background quilting completed.

For the quilting, I decided on some regular wavy lines, (that mimick the vase shape), and quilted those. I then quilted the “table” in a free motion wood grain. Bound it and gave it a bath. To my surprise, the color bleed was from the thread. The thread dye rinsed right out even though I had pressed it several times during construction!

Free Spirit Flowers complete
Free Spirit Flowers all done

All done. I still like the flowers, but it is not my most favorite composition… or completion. One of the things I learned is that before you begin work on a boxed UFO project, is to take a few minutes or a day to reacquaint yourself with the project and where you left off; and assess everything that still needs to be done. I had missed some threadwork and discovered it while quilting, (flower centers), so I did that while quilting. It made the back very inconsistent.

Cute Cats

I promised cute cats, (this one is especially for Linda). Linda has virtually adopted the cats and sends them treats. She has kept them stocked with ‘Temptations’ since we moved out here and discovered that 7 cats came with the place. The cats are fed in the mornings, but I give them a few ‘auntie treats’ after I come back from feeding the cow in the evenings.

Cat Hug
Senior Uno and Tutone

That is not all of the completed projects … I’ll share another next time!!! and if you are still here. Thanks for reading.

Please stay well, wash your hands, wear a mask, and stay home as much as possible.

More Later- Beth

A Name Change : is always difficult

I have been sharing the creation of the Hours and Hours quilt during the last few weeks. You can find the previous blogs here, here, and here. And I have a plan for moving forward. But I have a much bigger task to complete before I can begin quilting.

So this is where we are

Loaded on the longarm for quilting. I knew I might have to take the quilt off the frame once or twice, so I basted the quilt and pinned to the leaders. I have already taken it off once, to quilt a gift quilt, put it back on.

Hours and Hours loaded
The Hours Quilt loaded on the Longarm

The Plan

How am I going to quilt this quilt? For planning, I took a photo of the quilt and enlarged it to 17″x 22″. Printed it out in black and white and played with the plan for quilting with a pen. I had originally played with the quilting plan on the tablet with a stylus, but that was much too tedious.

A drawn diagram of the plan for quilting the Hours Quilt
A diagram of the quilting plan for Hours and Hours

The plan is to use rulers for the white. I am planning to do a continuous curve in all the white triangles and a variety of free-motion fills for the color triangle.

A detail pictuer of the quiltng plan for Hours and Hours
A Detail of 4 sections of the quilting plan for the hours quilt

What do I know

You can see that the plan is to create lots of texture and have some fun while quilting. I know the white will be quilted with a white thread. But, have not yet decided if I will choose to quilt the color triangles in white or another color or change for each color. If you have an opinion, chime in!!!

The Why for a name change

You may be wondering why the need for a name change from Hours and Hours to Months and Months. Because I have to take the quilt off the Longarm and set it aside while I move the longarm. However, in order to move the longarm, I need to make some other changes. Those other changes will occupy the weeks before moving the longarm to a new space.

I have been looking forward to quilting this quilt. The colors remind me of summer. A grand summer filled with family fun, warm days spent in swimming pools or the beach, barbeques and picnics, lawn games, late dusk games of hide and seek, fireflies and ice cream! If you don’t have an opinion of the thread colors, tell me what summer means for you.

Until later. Beth

A Quilting Dilemma

Are you like me, once you have finished a quilt top you are faced with the decision of “how am I going to quilt it”? While looking for ideas you discover a sea of choices? Itching to start but not certain where to start? Which quilting design, motif, style or pattern will look good where?

It doesn’t matter what type of quilter you are, a domestic machine quilter or a longarmer (standing or sit down). Getting started creating a quilting design map is probably the most difficult part of the process for many of us.

Avoiding the Rabbit Hole

When I need quilting inspiration or direction my ‘go to’ is my personal library of BOOKS.

I have these at my finger tips. Having a personal  library keeps me on the path of quilting and not making a trip to the local library or waiting for a guild meeting or bother a friend to borrow a book from.

The ability to bookmark the pages of designs I like, those for future projects, highlight patterns that work really well and reference the pages again when I need a refresher.

The opportunity to take two of the designs, (or more), and combine into one design or pull out just a part of a design for my project….

Best of all I don’t find myself down the rabbit hole of Pinterest looking for ideas or inspiration.


The solution I  recently found is a trio of books that fit all of the above and are inexpensive enough to have the whole series. These books are filled with designs from many designers, some of the designs we’ve seen and others are fresh and new. Lets start with what I would consider the first book of the series, although you could start with any of the books, because they are a la cart books and don’t require a “start”.

 Free-Motion Quilting Inspiration

The books are published by C&T Publishing. “Free-Motion designs for Allover Patterns” is where we are starting, but there are two more titles just as promising “Free-Motion Block Designs” and “Free-Motion Designs for Borders, Triangles and Cornerstones“. All the books are all 158 pages, but have a varying number of designs. The Allover Patterns has more than 75 designs by 8 well known quilters! They are all bound with a spiral for flat easy reference with full page spreads of each design. The best thing about the books is you get a great sampling of several Free-Motion Quilters.

the Cover of the Allover Patterns book.
The cover of free-motions designs for Allover Patterns.

Have I intrigued you? Of course you will find them right here at I Have A Notion!

More Later- Beth