We arrived in San Antonio today. It has been a good trip. We stopped in Houston last night and visited with some of Papa Pea's friends, whom I've never met. So that was fun. We had a wonderful homemade dinner and then got to go for a boat ride on the lake these folks live on. Sweet Pea had a blast with their little found puppy, Tuffy (what a cute name for a dog). Sweet Pea is pretty impressed with the Hilton we are staying in. When we checked in, the receptionist at the desk saw Sweet Pea and said he had us in a room with one king bed and did we want a different room with two beds, or a roll-away for her, or what. Well, Sweet Pea said she wanted to sleep in the bed with us, which was fine. But then the receptionist said he could give us an upgraded room with a sofa sleeper and would she like that? Well, Sweet Pea was all over that and said she wanted the sofa bed. The sofa bed is actually one of those lounging type sofas--I cannot remember what they are called. But she thinks it's the neatest thing since sliced bread. She already went swimming with Papa Pea and is having a great time.
I am having a quiet moment as Sweet Pea and Papa Pea are out looking for a grocery store (we want wine and beer!). So, I thought I'd take a moment to post. I wanted to follow up on that cover for the composition book for Sweet Pea. Do you remember Bob Ross on TV? He was the guy who taught painting on public television. He had big curly hair and such a nice, soothing demeanor. He would sometimes make a "mistake" in his painting, and he would say, "There's no such thing as a mistake. Only a happy accident." Then, he would show you how he would turn that "mistake" into a lovely thing in his painting. I always loved that--I always loved him and his love for wildlife and the earth. The front of this journal cover was a "happy accident."
When I first started it, I asked Sweet Pea if she wanted me to piece the fabrics together as patchwork for the cover, or just use the flower fabric she picked out. She said she just wanted it plain flower fabric. So, that's how it started out. You can see that's not how it ended up. I had layered that fabric on the batting and went to the sewing machine to start quilting it. I thought it would be a good way to practice my free-motion quilting...you all know from my table runner that I am not really confident with that.
I started doing the quilting in the lower right-hand corner of the cover. I was using a variegated thread, and I was just drawing flower petals on top of the flowers that are already on the fabric. Of course, I did not practice on scrap fabric first. After quilting a couple of flowers, I hated how it was looking. (I should have taken a photo, but I was so peeved, I neglected to do so.)
So, I started unpicking. Well, that was taking really long, and I thought I was going to make a hole in the fabric, as some of my stitches were pretty small. I got frustrated and thought about starting over, but I didn't have enough of the flowered fabric to do so.
So, I went to the cutting gable and whacked off that side of the fabric...pretty much right along the line that runs along the right edge of that pink fabric. Then, I whacked off the lower corner, where I had been quilting (which is now where the striped fabric is. I pulled the lower edge of the flowered fabric off the batting (I had adhered the batting to the fabric with temporary spray adhesive) and sewed some of the striped fabric down in the corner to replace the quilted part I cut off. Sweet Pea told me she LOVED that stripe, too, so I thought I'd put it on the front as well.
I went to sew this piece of fabric back on to the main piece of flowered fabric, but was worried the seam allowances would cause the piece to not be large enough anymore. So, I sewed a strip of pink fabric to my flower/striped strip and then sewed that to the flowered fabric. I cut a little chunk of batting and adhered it to the back of the strip fabric with spray adhesive, butting it up against the batting that was already there. (I should have taken photos of all these steps, but I was so stressed out, I didn't.)
I went back to the machine and decided to just quilt a diamond-shaped grid on the front. I felt more confident with that. I marked two 45-degree lines on the front, forming an X. I sewed right on those lines and used the guide on my walking foot, set at a 1" distance from the needle, to sew the remaining lines.
A close-up shot:
Now I was happy with this quilting.
I had that blue piece of ribbon laying out next to the fabric, because I thought maybe I could use it somewhere on the cover, but I wasn't sure how. After seeing how this turned out, I thought the pink strip gave me a perfect place to put that blue ribbon.
The striped fabric gave a perfect spot for that little vinyl pocket, too.
In the end, my disappointment with my free-motion quilting became a "happy accident"--or what some of my friends who scrapbook call an "opportunity for embellishment." I am glad the "mistake" occurred, because I think the cover is more interesting this way. I didn't have much inspiration for how I would do patchwork if that had been what Sweet Pea wanted. My "mistake" gave me that inspiration. So, that was a good lesson for me!
I hope that any future "mistake" you make can be reframed into a "happy accident" that serves you well also!
The big conference starts tomorrow, so things will get pretty busy for me for a few days. I'll probably talk to you again after the conference is over on Tuesday!
Until next time,