Oct 07 13

Peace and Quiet in the Midst of a Storm

A cyclone has hit my sewing room!  This is the current state of my sewing room, with stuff everywhere.   There’s a lot of color in here, but also loads of crap and downright MESS!  
This room has been a mess for awhile and now is barely useable.   All kinds of stuff has  been moved in here so work can happen just outside the sewing room.  We have really  neglected our home in NC.  Ernie and I  have been so focused on creating stuff in our respective workshops when we’re in NC that we’ve just let too much time pass without things like repainting, normal renovations, etc.  The past few months, we’ve been playing catch up and we’re in the midst of 2 weeks of utter chaos inside the house.  For the last 7 days, we’ve been having many sets of sliding glass doors replaced upstairs.   That project finally ended yesterday (Sunday) at 5 pm.  We love our new doors and are glad that part of the renovation has passed.  This week, we’re into painting most of the ground floor, which is a walk out basement level.  This has meant 2 days of moving most everything into my sewing room from a  guest bedroom that neighbors my sewing room.  It has also meant moving loads of stuff out of Ernie’s workshop (also a neighbor of my sewing room) into the garage.  We have moved so much stuff that neither of us is really sure where anything is at this point, so we’re both a bit on edge.  The upside of this is it forces one to really purge and we were able to unload a lot of stuff yesterday on Freecycle.   You can tell from the photos that there are many, many loads more to go!  If you live in western NC and are looking for sewing/quilting/crafting related stuff, sign up for Asheville Freecycle because in the next couple months, I am intending to post a lot more stuff to give away.  But, I’m losing my focus here.  By 5:30 yesterday, I was physically exhausted and emotionally kind of fried, so I sat down to just free motion quilt for awhile just to get my head mellow.  If I don’t get to quilt  a little most days, I feel like I’m “off,” and when I’m stressed, free motion quilting tends to soothe me.  I draw out designs on scratch paper and keep them by my machine so I can play with them when I have the time or feel the need to just quilt.  Here’s an example of what I mean:
This first design will look “old” to you but it’s actually different than the curvaceous seashell design I’ve done for many years.  This one has much more flowing movement to it and I am head over heels in love with it:
If you look at this close up, you’ll see that instead of stitching a series of “droplet” shapes that echo one another like in the seashells version, this one is different:
Here’s  a drawing that shows how to do it.  I’ve changed color each time I changed direction to stitch a new section:
You start with the magenta, then swap directions at blue, then change direction again at orange.  Take care to elongate the line as you leave the seashell; this kind of thing will add to the sense of movement once you’ve got an expanse of this quilted out. The lavender line is the beginning of a new seashell, but you don’t have to do it in that direction.  There’s a lot of room for play with this design and it’s one of those designs that feels really good physically, as well as emotionally, to quilt.  Try it for yourself and you’ll see what I mean…I call this dancing with your quilt and your sewing machine!
Here’s a version of it where I also threw in some random shapes along with the seashell shapes:
Now in a totally different design, here’s a slight variation on the original “plumify it” design:
How’s this different from the original plumify it?  It’s different because I echo outlined each unit more times and also used soft curves in my outline echos instead of points each time I outlined a new plume.  I think this lends the design a  bit more flowing movement.  This tangential shot really shows off that wonderful texture:
Now back to moving stuff around some more and packing up donations!
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  1. Lynette Says:

    Oooo – yeah, it’s hard when everything’s chaotic in the house. I get frazzled-feeling, too. So nice to get things spruced up, though. Love your fmq variations. 🙂

  2. SewCalGal Says:

    I’d be happy to come help clean up and organize your sewing room in NC. One big problem (besides distance) is that I’d probably get so distracted with all the beauty, inspiration to quilt, that I’d make more mess than you could possibly ever do.

    Beautiful FMQ. Thanks for all the tips.


  3. Carol J Says:

    Oh to live in NC – we have been in NC 4 times in the last 7 days… does that count? I really like your designs and am hoping to have some play time soon!

  4. Janet McElroy Says:

    ha ha ha me too SewCalGal, what fun it would be. Thank you Patsy for more inspiration.

  5. Kelly Jackson Says:

    You’ve seen my mess so I think it is fair that I get to see yours..giggles. I know exactly of what you speak and it goes on here all the time. Then I run out of energy and let it sit.


  6. Susan Isaacson Says:

    Thank you so much for showing us your designs…I really want to try this….but I don’t think fmq will totally replace my de-stressing with dark chocolate. Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. Rebecca Grace Says:

    Ooh, but I already DO live in North Carolina! I didn’t know I was sharing the Tarheel State with you, Patsy! 🙂 I really like your paisley variation, by the way. Good luck with your remodeling and reorganizing projects. I know it’s hell when you’re in the thick of it, but you’ll feel so free and unfettered once your space is all straightened up and functional for you again.

  8. Sally Bramald Says:

    I am so pleased you found time to quilt. For me it calms me down and gets me into a zen mode. When all arround is chaos, it is so good to be in a calm zone in your head. The new quilting looks a tranquil flowing background, just what your zinging feathers and appliques need.

  9. Pamelyn Says:

    Oh, I love love LOVE this design! So pretty. And a cyclone goes through everyone’s sewing room from time to time. Rest when you need it and you’ll be ready for anything. Blessings!

  10. Valerie Says:

    I can understand not having enough time to keep up with the normal upkeep of the house…same here, we just have so many updates and painting and basic things that need to be done but never is there time. The quilting is lovely though – and I relate, my quilting time is my relax time. 😉

  11. Fozy Says:

    Patsy you are a genius.I ccannot remotely imagine myself doing FMQ as easily as you do with all your artistic strokes .You are soooo creative.I love FMQ but I stick to basics standard stippling and figure8 stuff.Thank you so much for your diagram and your inspiration and tips.Will try and have a go and see what comes up.