Friday, January 06, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

Hi, guys. Happy New Year!

I finished this quilt top on the first day of 2012. It's made with a lot of the recycled clothing fabric that Nifty gave me when I was out in Seattle last summer, so right now the tentative title is Something Nifty:


So much fun to use fabrics that someone else has chosen. Nifty had a lot of orangy coral salmon colors in softer tones that I never buy much, not to mention the nifty polka dots and retro flowers. She has an inconceivable distaste for purple, so that came out of my recycled clothing stash, as did the yellows and bright pink. One of the fabrics that really helps pull all this together is a dark brown woven stripe with gold and orange in it. Really beautiful and rich, but not showing up here well.

I made this quilt with my scissors and a steam iron (and yes, the sewing machine), just sewing things together and trying not to stress too much. I didn't even use pins, although I know my machine has a tendency to sew unevenly and pull a bit.

I started by adding some of my own recycled clothing fabric to go with Nifty's - far more fabric than I ended up using. Made sure that I had dark darks and light lights - because contrast now is my big concern.


I cut a row from the fabrics I most wanted to use, just guessing at the width (roughly the length of my index finger). Cut a few pieces and threw them up on my design wall, to check I was on the right track and liked the proportions. I tossed a few fabrics out entirely and realized I needed more of the dark red.


I did all that to gain confidence, not to work on that precise composition. Would have been too hard. Instead, I just sewed bits together, making combinations that I liked. Lots of times I'd make the join just because the widths were the same. I made several rows of different lengths and found one I really loved and just used that length. Then it was a matter of joining rows to that initial one, walking off any extra length.


etc. I auditioned a row, stepped back to see how it looked. Auditioned several at a time, then sewed.


It was only at the end, the second to last strip that I added, that I ripped apart a few strips to create one with the colors I wanted. Second strip from the left in the final pic. (by the way, the picture above has the truest colors.)

Really loved working on this quilt. It went together in just two days and woohoo, I felt good. It was the first time I was able to sew without getting a migraine in months and months. I mean that literally.  I've been getting what my neurologist described as cervical migraines. That is, problems in my cervical spine are causing them. And that area of my neck is stressed when I sew.  But I'm on some new meds and doing better.

Yeah, so medical issues have been a problem this year. I have been diagnosed with Spondylitis by my rheumatologist and so far the meds I'm on for that haven't helped.

But anyway, I spent January 1st happily sewing with my good friend Kathy, who said that how you spend the first day of the new year reflects on the year you're about to have. I sure hope so, because it will be a great one. Hope it will be for all of us!



42 comments:

Kim said...

Happy New Year!
So glad to see you back. :0)

Sorry to hear of your diagnosis though. I hope you can find a good treatment plan to get it under control.

Sewing with friends......priceless, I do hope 2012 is good to you.

Happy sewing

Lynn said...

Love the quilt, thanks for showing us how it progressed. I find it so inspiring when I see the construction behind a quilt.

Clare said...

Happy New Year! Tonya - those colours are scrumptious and I love the way it looks. It flows.

Sorry about the meds and hope they get sorted. We found with DH's knee/hip it was a matter of time to see what worked and what didn't. He's now on Tramadol which seems to be working, but I suppose once his body adjusts to it and the pain comes back, we'll have to try something else.

Tummy rubs to adorably Pokey.

Jennifer D said...

Gorgeous. I love the colors.
I hope you start to feel better soon. Hugs to the kitties

Nifty Quilts said...

This is a brilliant mix of our two stashes!! I love your no-stress way of making it. The result is really gorgeous. Guess I'm going to have get some purple. Ugh. Best of all, you can sew again. I hope this turns out to be a great omen for the new year.

Sujata said...

Love all the warm colors in here, Tonya!
It is a gorgeous mix of fabrics. I am glad you are sewing again and hopefully will continue through out the year.
Happy New year!

Michele said...

That is a nifty quilt! Glad you're back in the saddle so to speak.

Marge said...

Tonya, here's hoping that you'll be able to continue on a healthy road! It was so good to read about your new creation. My usual thanks for all of the inspiration that I get from you...Happy New Year!

Rachaeldaisy said...

Happy New Year! What a wonderful colourful way to spend the first day, especially if it was pain free. Something Nifty will be the first of many fun fabulous quilts of 2012, I'm sure!!

True Blue Nana said...

Great quilt and thanks for the detail on how you worked. Dont you imagine this is how our grandmothers worked? In my grandmothers quilts I have found places where she ran out of fabric and substituted. My aunt has pointed out fabrics from dresses that my grandmother made her when she got married. As for what you do on Jan 1 being an indicator I spent one New Years Day watching a Law and Order marathon! I have loved it ever since.

Alice said...

Love this - I love scissors too. I only iron at the end of the session, I don't love that part.

I'v heard that reducing/eliminating starch helps with the spondyalitis.

I get headaches when I sew with the machine too.

Contented Caroline said...

Nifty and Thrifty indeed. I always love a scrappy quilt, it's so colourful. Happy New Year and Happy Sewing Year.

Quilter Kathy said...

Love your new quilt! It's a really fun colour combo!
Here's to a fabulous quilty, pain free 2012 for you!

Lisa Shafer said...

Happy new year! I'm glad you've felt well enough to quilt.
I'd been wondering if you'd been in pain since you haven't posted in a long time. I hope you get some respite from it soon!

Diane said...

Yum, what a delicious looking quilt! Love those colors! Pokey looks slightly shocked though!

Happy New Year, and here's to a whole year of inspiring, scrappy fun in 2012! Some of my favorite things I did in 2011 were inspired by stuff I saw right here.

Katie said...

Migraines are the worst. I'm so glad you're doing better. Love your quilt. Makes me want to go start one right now! :-)

Very Lazy Daisy said...

lovely fabrics! and those are the biggest eyes I have ever seen on a cat.. she's beautiful!

Kathie said...

I wish you a year of good health and lots of sewing time. hopefully this new medicine will control and you can spend time sewing....
great quilt , very happy quilt and LOVE the name!
Kathie

copingwithgrace said...

I love your quilts I have the same improvisational style so everything you do is right up my ally! I have colitis which has caused me to have spondolytis too. The thing that has helped me is prednisone unfortunately there are alot of other bad side affects with the prednisone but for me it has worked so well that it is worth it. No painkillers helped even percoset and vicoden didn't. I hope you have better luck but I figured I would share my experience. Take care and good luck!

Lynda said...

Happy new year and I hope it will be healthy and quilty too! The strips look great, but I think that's mainly because of your wonderful sense of colour!

AnnieO said...

Glad you're back to playing with fabric and color despite your blasted neck. Sounds terribly painful, inconvenient, and demoralizing! Good thing there are lots of kitties to help pass the time and plenty of quilty beauty to enjoy in your own home.

Nyima said...

Very Nifty, this ʻSomething Niftyʻ.

Wishing you a happy new year from the mandarin- orange groves of Mungpoo. House painted while I was in exile. It went from a mellow-yellow to shrieking goldenrod (crayola name). Not my choice, but we adapt. Rather like living out of someone elseʻs scrap box!

Will keep your health in mind. Nyima

Helen said...

Everything you make amazes me. Whatever fabrics or techniques you work with don't seem to matter.....your work is always beautiful!

Tanya said...

I'm sorry to hear that you've been having medical issues. What agony it must be for a quilter not to be able to sew without getting a migraine...

Lily looks beautiful as usual.

beebee said...

Hi Tonya
I enjoy reading your blog. I love the colors on this new project that you are working on.
For 2012 I hope to finish most of the projects I have started.
I also hope to have more people sign up to follow my blog!

hugs
beebee

Heidi said...

Hi Tonya,
glad to see you posting again and what a wonderful way to start the new year. The top turned out gorgeous.
I can relate to Nifty, I have to force myself to buy purple fabrics too :-) ( btw. the same with blue fabrics )
Hope you won't have as much medical issues this year !

joe tulips said...

Glad you were able to sew on this! It looks so happy. Maybe that helped with the pain. Hope 2012 is way better than 2011. Are you still in Florida?

cauchy09 said...

such lovely patchwork! sorry to hear about your health issues. i hope it can be managed well soon.

Quilting Yai Yai said...

I love this quilt!!
I finally made a scrappy stripy quilt. I will post it soon to my blog.
Happy New Year!!
Hugs, Deborah

quilterinmotion said...

Tonya, we're hoping for the best of medicines to help you be comfortable and able to enjoy your sewing. Take care of yourself first. Wishing you a healthy, happy, sew busy year.

quilterinmotion said...

Tonya, we're hoping for the best of medicines to help you be comfortable and able to enjoy your sewing. Take care of yourself first. Wishing you a healthy, happy, sew busy year.

Sharon said...

I love your Something Nifty creation! What happy colors. You have such a good color sense, and I definitely see Nifty's colors in there too.

I'm glad you were able to sew w/o a headache. It's so miserable when you can't do what you love to do. I hope you can get everything under control and be pain-free. I've been having my own health issues, so I can relate. My best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year!

Purrs and scritches to Pokey and all the kitties!

Marit said...

Wish you a happy and creative year Tonya!
Sorry to hear about your medical challenges and hope things will get better for you. So glad to see how your adapted sewing technique turned out. LOVE this new top, so warm and vibrant.Your focus on contrast is a good reminder to all of us. Thank you for an inspiring start of the new year.

Victoria @ BUMBLE BEANS said...

Happy New year! glad to see you sewing again! love the color palette! that nifty sure knows how to inspire! Just like you!

Meredith said...

Happy New Year, love the purple. Sorry to hear about the health.

Kristin said...

Happy New Year Tonya! I love this quilt. I hope you are on the way to better health now that you know what is going on.

Gwen is coming to Sisters this summer. Can I talk you in to coming too?

daveandlo said...

The contrast looks great! Keep up the good work. Hope the doctors find something that works for you soon. Lois

joe said...

what fun! i love sewing with salvaged fabrics that others have picked out! love the strippy look of this one!

beebee said...

I am sorry to hear about your medical issues. I have R A. I was diagnosed about 18 months ago. Lots of pain in my knees and swelling and pain in my hands and wrists. I do my best to just move on. I sew a little every day if I can. My doctor and I are trying to find the right meds. I am on Orencia now for about 3 months and I think it is working pretty good. I tried Humiara for a while, it did nothing for me and them Simponi for a few months with little or no results. This Orencia, (via and IV infusion once a month) seems to be working for me. Lot less pain these past few weeks.
I pray that your doctor will find the right meds for you.
I enjoy reading your blog and I follow it. Won't you consider following mine?
Hope to see you there
hugs from South Louisiana
beebee

Lucy said...

Love this quilt very much!

MulticoloredPieces said...

Hi, Tonya. What a fun quilt and fast is good! Great way to start the new year! I think I'll be seeing Nifty when I'm in the States this spring. She's a magnet for quilters!
best, nadia

Eileen, Quiltist said...

Hi Tonya, I love your blog and how much fun you have with your fabrics. You have inspired me to get off the couch and get away from the computer to go play in my fabric studio. Thanks.

Also, I had a friend suggest a newer type of Chiropractor that doesn't crack you that will fix issues in the neck. It is called a Nuuca method and it is totally relaxing, no cracking and works. Might help your neck. Good luck. Eileen