Quilts From The House of Tula Pink

My most recent quilt book purchase . . .

I love this book.

I knew I loved it from the first sneak peeks she gave on her web site.

And I had to have it.

I told myself that I bought it mainly for this one quilt:

But after getting the book, and scouring it cover to cover (more than once), I think I also bought it for this one:

And this one:

And this one:

And if you get this book, you won’t be sorry. Every quilt in it is great. I want to make them all.

But that’s not all that’s in the book. Aside from the 10 quilt projects, there are also 10 other projects to make. In addition to all the quilts I want to make from the book, I think I’ll also be making my daughter a sleep mask. It’s adorable!

And . . . I’m not sure I should tell you this, because I’ll be diluting my own chances to win . . . but . . . right now, Tula is offering chances on a “Tula Time Capsule” — a complete collection of every piece of fabric she’s ever designed — 320 fat quarters. Go check out her web site to see how you can enter to win it. She’ll be drawing for a winner on May 15. I’m sure it’s my name that will be drawn . . .

Published in: on April 19, 2012 at 8:12 am  Comments (5)  

Need Something To Do?

Here are a few of the things going on right now out in the online quilting world.

See if there’s anything that catches your eye, and jump on in. The water’s fine!

My pal, Victoria, is hosting Color Interviews on her blog. She’s talking to a different quilter each week about color. If you’re inspired by color, or want to be more so, then go read what her interviewees have to say about color and how they’re inspired by it.

If you’re interested in learning how to do hand needle-turn applique, then I’m hosting a Quilt-Along on my other blog you might be interested in. “Bouquets for Hazel” is a 4-block applique quilt with some piecing added in, and the project runs for 6 months (and it’s free). I’m posting tutorials every day or so, outlining all the steps (in detail) of how I do applique. It only began on January 9th, so you’re not behind yet.

Last year, I managed to find time to get in on one of Sherri Falls’ Mystery Mondays quilts. Sadly, I haven’t had time since to do another one, but she’s still hosting them, so I may yet get to jump in again. If you love a good mystery, and can handle one easy set of instructions every Monday, you’ll want to do one or more of these.

The Prairie Moon Quilts Wild West Scavenger Hunt is still going on. It’s an online game you play at your own pace, getting a portion of the quilt instructions each time you answer the trivia question correctly. When you’re all done, you have a finished quilt top. The pattern is free, and you can play for fun or . . . play for prizes! The game runs until the end of January, so go check it out.

Kim, of Crafty Apple fame, is hosting a Home Sweet Home Quilt-Along. House and tree blocks by 16 different designers will be featured over the next few months. I’m one of them, and my block will be featured in March. In addition, Kim is the organizer of “Project Quilting“, and Season 3 has just begun, so you might want to get in on that, too. There are lots of prizes — good ones!

A collaboration by Quilting is Murder and Quilting Gallery brings you the Quilting is Murder UFO Challenge, on now and running until February 11th. Finish up a UFO, and you have a shot at some fantastic prizes! I’m still trying to decide which UFO I want to finish for this one . . . I’ll keep you posted. I’m sure you, too, have at least one UFO you could finish up for this one, don’t you?

And . . . finally . . . if none of the above suits you, you can go to Quilting Gallery’s Big List of Quilt-Alongs, Swaps, Bees, and other projects for this year to see if you can find something over there. And as my grandma would say, “If you can’t find something there that suits you, then you don’t have anyone to blame but yourself!”

Published in: on January 11, 2012 at 12:49 pm  Comments (2)  

Playing at Home

I’m very blessed to be able to say I work at home. Quilting is my full-time job. That right there is the best thing in the world to me.

In case you didn’t know, it’s very difficult to work at home. I spent most of last year struggling with schedules and lists and trying and tweaking to make the most of my time and be productive. I’m not there yet.

Working at home, I can find a million things to pull me away from the actual work . . . laundry, dishes, cleaning, snacking, cooking, napping, or going outside to hang out with the animals or enjoy the weather. Or, spending too much time on the computer.

Plus, I’m free to pick up and take off somewhere at a moment’s notice, so when someone calls me up and asks if I want to go somewhere with them, it’s real easy to just drop everything and take off.

Is it because the work is something I love and would be doing anyway? Maybe a little bit of guilt because my “job” is so darn fun?

And then there’s that adage: “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.” Something has to change drastically, if I want this year to be drastically better than last year.

So . . . I woke up bright and early Monday morning, and laid out a new schedule for myself. It’s pretty strict, yet very flexible, and I’m having to pay a lot more attention to which projects need my attention at which point, in order to meet all my deadlines.

I’m pretending that my studio is off-site, so I can’t sneak back in the house to do laundry or take a nap. I’m at work!

No more procrastination. No more only doing the fun parts and ignoring the more difficult things until they become crisis level.

This is Day 3 . . .

My timer has once again become my best friend.

It being the first of a new year, motivation is high.

I’m hoping that a lot of this becomes habit before that motivation wanes any.

Or better yet, that my motivation just doesn’t do any waning at all.

Wish me luck . . .

Published in: on January 4, 2012 at 11:45 am  Comments (5)  

2011 Christmas Quilt Show

It starts today!

SewCalGal is hosting a Christmas Quilt Show.

You can enter your favorite Christmas quilt in the show, view all the other entries, and be eligible for some really great prizes. It runs from today through December 2.

So hurry up and get over there and enter your quilt in the show. Then keep checking back every day to look at all the entries. Hey, if you space it out, you can see a few every day, and that’ll keep you in the Christmas spirit the entire time, right?

Published in: on November 28, 2011 at 6:42 am  Leave a Comment  

5 Ways to Procrastinate Better

There are lots of articles available on how to stop procrastinating and get more done. I think I’ve read them all. So far, they really haven’t worked on me.

Therefore, I thought this list might help those of you who might also be like me, and can’t seem to stop procrastinating, no matter how many suggestions you get to the contrary. When you find yourself up against an important deadline, and your mind (and your productivity) kicks into underdrive, use these suggestions to help you make the most of it. It’s OK . . . You can thank me later (’cause we both know you’ll just put it off) . . .

1 ) Start 4 new projects that have nothing whatsoever to do with the deadline at hand. The adrenaline rush you get and the euphoria you experience from all these new undertakings will keep you from that deadline for at least a full day. Then when it wears off, you can always use them later as busy work when trying to procrastinate on something else. Or you can make them appear really important when trying to get out of some other undesirable task, such as doing laundry or cooking dinner.

2 ) Take a nap. Tell yourself you’re just too exhausted to keep going for even another minute, and you’ll make it short, and when you wake up and get back at it, you’ll be ever so much more productive. No one does their best work while exhausted! Under no circumstances should you define “short” ahead of time.

3 ) Run errands. You know you can find something to do if you just head into town. Make up a fake grocery list if you have to. Call the neighbor and see if you can run her errands, too, while you’re at it. After all, she’s busy working in her garden, and it’s in your best interest for it to do well, because she knows you simply don’t have time for your own garden, so you’ll be getting some of those tomatoes when they’re ripe. Visit the quilt shop for supplies you’re in dire need of for this deadline and can’t do without. Take time to browse the gift shop next door, since you’re right there, and it’ll save you an extra trip into town later. Run into several friends, and chat them up — you’ve got time.

4 ) Eat. And not just some unhealthy grab-n-go snack. You need a good healthy filling lunch, and that takes time to prepare. Just like being tired, you can’t do your best work on an empty stomach, either. A nice salad with some grilled chicken on top and homemade dressing will go a long way toward helping you be more productive once you’ve eaten and then taken time to clean up all the mess afterward. At which point, you’ll probably need another nap before you can comfortably head back to the studio with a clear conscience. Go ahead . . . you’ll make up for it in increased productivity later.

5 ) Spend some extra time on the computer. Do you realize how many blogs there are out there that you really should be reading? What if you skip one and miss THE earth-shattering post that will change your life forever? What if you don’t read every single tweet from every single Twitter user that you follow? What if you miss some important Facebook updates or new Instagram photos? And email — oh, and Pinterest! There are new things to add to your boards daily, I’m sure. The sheer amount of stress this can cause might seriously decrease your ability to work productively. You’ll be nervous and twitchy and distracted. I suggest just spending most of the day doing that important online reading, and then after your nap, you can set seriously to work with a renewed dedication, using that as your excuse to not cook dinner. Besides, you’ve already eaten, and you can’t afford another interruption . . .

. . . you have a deadline to meet!

Published in: on July 18, 2011 at 3:37 pm  Comments (14)  

The Idea File

I don’t know . . .

But I suspect . . .

Many of you are just like me . . .

And you have way many more ideas in your head than you can actually carry out all at once.

Am I right?

You see things you like, things that inspire you, things that remind you of something. You’ll even wake up in the night with an idea and need to sketch it out.

Well, me, too, and I wanted a place to keep all these little “prompts”, so I can go back and look at them anytime and keep getting inspired and reminded.

So I put together a notebook.

I call it my Idea File.

You realize the initials for Idea File are IF?

Well, this is my IF notebook. IF I ever get the time, or IF I ever get the notion, or IF I ever need a dose of inspiration, this is my book to flip through.

(My Cowboy says IF is the biggest word in the dictionary.)

It’s full of pretty much what you see here:

Plus . . .

Clippings, pages, and ads from magazines, impromptu sketches, pieces of wrapping paper, labels, lists of words, quotes or phrases, photos, candy wrappers, color swatches, fabric swatches, pieces of thread, tissue paper, lists of projects I’d like to make someday, just anything and everything scattered everywhere among the pages just willy-nilly.

There’s no real organization to it, although since it’s looseleaf pages, I can add anything in anywhere anytime.

Plus, I also have this folder where I throw stuff I like but haven’t had time to deal with yet. During one of my “sessions”, I’ll dig through the folder and add more pages to the notebook.

I also have a box full of other goodies I can pull out and paste in. Pieces of raffia and ribbon, stickers, pretty paper, charms, buttons, etc.

Of course, I also have my sketchbook, two of them actually, and another bound book where I make list after list and sketch after sketch. I just use whichever one I’m in the mood to use when I’m in the mood to doodle. And that’s how it’s easy for me to keep doing it. No real structure — just draw, doodle, or sketch when the mood strikes, in whichever book or medium I feel like using. It’s a work in progress, and it always will be.

Do YOU have an Idea File?

Published in: on March 4, 2011 at 10:44 pm  Comments (6)  

The Greatest Artist Of All

No matter how badly I hate winter . . .

No matter how much I complain about the weather . . .

No matter how often I find myself griping about too much snow. . .

I still have to stop and give thanks . . .

. . . that God is such a Wonderful Artist.

Published in: on January 27, 2011 at 2:34 pm  Comments (10)  


Everyone has it . . .

Not everyone uses theirs.

Sometimes the trials and tribulations of everyday life can squelch the creative muse right out of your brain.

You’re too busy, too overwhelmed, too whatever . . . to take the time to be creative.

Well . . .

Creativity is just like exercise.

Taking time to exercise doesn’t make you more tired.

It gives you more energy.

Taking time to be creative just frees you up to be more creative.

It’s one of my goals this year (and on into the future) to be more conscious of cultivating my creativity.

To not be so busy with the everyday that I can’t take some time every day just to be creative.

It’s also one of my goals to establish some routines in my life, so that some of the everyday can just be on autopilot. Part of my routine is going to contain creative time.

I’m already a part of the 15 Minutes Play group, and I freely admit, there are days when I don’t get to have my 15 minutes, but I DO make up for it later. It’s very liberating, and the ideas come fast and furious while I’m playing.

I find myself making notes and sketching right along with the playing and stitching!

This year, I’ve dug out my neglected sketchbooks and gone back to doodling. When I was young, I used to doodle so much that my schoolmates would pay me for my doodles! Dedicated doodle time was in short supply when I had young kids at home, so it kind of tapered off then; but sitting in boring staff meetings at my former job certainly inspired me right back to doodling, and some of my best ideas of late were spawned during those times.

I have a folder full of clippings I’ve cut out and scraps of paper with doodles I’ve made on the fly. I call it my Idea File, and I’ll post later on how I’m using that. You haven’t heard the last of me on this subject!

So now, in addition to keeping a daily diary, I’m also going to schedule time for doodling. I don’t care how many sketchbooks I fill up.

Victoria was speaking of the 15 Minutes Play principle when she said: “It’s all about . . . Finding ideas, where you hadn’t had any to start with.”

I think that speaks oodles for any way you choose to go about Cultivating Your Creativity!

Are you up for the challenge?

I dare you to doodle . . .

Oh . . . and . . .

PS: I think an appropriate caption for that photo above would be: “All Quilters Must Draw Feathers”.

Published in: on January 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm  Comments (6)  

Happy Happy New Year!

It’s a fresh new year.

Are you ready to do something great with it?

I am . . . but I’m still arguing with myself over what those great things will be.

I don’t call myself a New Year’s Resolution maker, because I keep a running list of goals all year long every year. Some of them I get done in a year, some take longer, some drop off the list, and I add more as I dream them up.

I call myself more of a Goal Setter.

Let me clarify that . . .

I said “Goal Setter”, NOT “Goal Achiever.”

Sure, I achieve a lot of them, but I make a HUGE list every year, and I always have big ideas about how much I can get done. Therefore, I never finish all the things on my list, but that’s because the list keeps evolving, and that’s how I work best. Just the act of writing down everything I hope to get done at least keeps it on my radar, and makes me do more than I would if I didn’t make a list. So . . .

I’m making a new list for this year. I’ll carry over some unfinished things from last year, add some more things I’ve dreamed up, cross some things off, and carry on as usual. And I’m excited about that.

One new thing I’m doing this year is keeping a daily diary. Some of you know that I’ve been publishing my mother’s diary from her high school years here: The Life of Hazel Ilene.

Well, I found this great little diary that’s the modern-day version of the one she kept, and I’m going to start writing in it. Just a little note every day . . .

I don’t expect my daughters to ever publish it someday, but even if they get the laughs out of it that I’ve gotten from my mother’s diary, it’ll be time well spent.

I wish all of you a wonderful 2011, and hope you do great things with it.

Published in: on January 1, 2011 at 9:24 pm  Comments (5)  

2010 Final Countdown Task Three

OK, Rosa, your wait is over . . .

Are you all ready?

You’re all doing great so far.

Some of you are putting me to shame!

Here’s the final task in the 2010 Final Countdown.

And it is:

Deal with a bunch of scrap

I said “scrap”, not “crap”, OK?

You know when you finish a quilt, and you have leftovers, and you just toss them in a pile and tell yourself you’ll do something with them later?

Or you buy a random fat quarter or two and just don’t ever find a spot to put them away, and you’re not ready to use them just yet?

Or you “shop at home”, and pull out way too much fabric, but just never find the time to put it all back away?

Or you’ve made your friends promise to never throw away any of their scraps without giving you a chance at them first, so you have baggies with other people’s scraps laying around?

Or is this just me again?

I used a task similar to this last year, and you can click here to read about how that went for me: Putting Away Stray Fabric. Once again this year, this has turned out to be a bigger task than I imagined, which is why I’ve phrased it a bit differently this year. I’m not asking you to deal with ALL of it, just one pile of your choosing. Maybe one pile is all you have, in which case I’d like to hear from you, because I need lessons in how you manage.

Over the course of this year, even though I’ve made a couple of feeble attempts at managing it, mine is more out of control than ever! Here’s the new basket I talked about from last year’s efforts that I said I’d be using from then on:So what that I chose a smaller basket? Haha! What difference does it make when you just keep stacking fabric to the ceiling above the top of the basket? It’s about to topple over, if not for the wall holding it up. I might as well have gone ahead and used multiple larger baskets anyway! That plan backfired on me for sure . . .

Yes, I’m insane . . . why do you ask?

Well, this is the basket I decided to deal with today. And I didn’t worry about completely emptying it. I set a time limit and just worked as much as I could in that amount of time. So that’s all you have to do, too. I used an hour.

Here’s what my basket looked like after an hour:Better, but far from finished.

Here’s what I did with it:I try to employ Bonnie Hunter’s Scrap Users System, so I have bins for all my pre-cut shapes to go in. I now have all these pieces put away neatly, and I’m really going to try hard to devote some more time to the scraps every week so that I can get them under control and keep them that way. Yeah . . . and that’s what I said last year, too.

So, anyway . . . just pick a pile of stray fabric you have laying around, give yourself an hour, and see if you can make it go away. That’s all you have to do for today.

And that’s the final task. If you’ve done them all, congratulations! I hope it made you feel better like it did me. And don’t fret if you’re not quite finished today. I’ll give you a few more days to work on them if you need to, and leave your comments. I’ll draw for the prizes on January 5.

And now . . . I’m off to Pat’s New Year’s Eve Party. You really should join us . . .

Published in: on December 31, 2010 at 12:18 pm  Comments (11)