Sunday, April 15, 2018

Fractured- A Test in Deviation, From Normal Organization

I woke up this morning about 0500, (or 5 AM) for those non-military type.  This is not unusual for me as I typically start my Mondays at 0445, and I normally wake up at between 0500 and 0530 every day.  I should probably start off by saying I have found renewed motivation in my life. For those that have been following me, you will recognize the name Randy Perdue.  For those that have not been following me, you can check out who he is here. In short, he is my mentor. I was fortunate enough to have lunch with him a couple of weeks ago and found a renewed vigor for life.  On a normal given day, I try and stay humble and realize that I don't know everything, but this meeting allowed me realize that I have alot of experiences and am full of knowledge on several levels.  He encouraged me to recognize that and be proud of my accomplishments.

So far this year, I have been involved with two "basic" academy classes. This most recent one I might have approximately two and a half (2.5) full weeks with them. I have been traveling alot.  I would venture to say that I have been traveling more in the past two months than I have traveled in the past 7 years of my career with my agency.  I am taking on a greater responsibility in the overall organization (in scope) than what I have in my career.  That is not to say training and leadership, my first two true loves, are not a huge responsibility, but I am gaining administrative experience in my current (temporary) role(s).  I have said all of that, to say this. I have been very fortunate in my two basic classes, to see a few extremely talented and motivated individuals.  In the world of "corrections", that is very hard to come by.  Between the Mr. Perdue, and the motivated individuals (souls), I have encountered, my life and attitude have turned the corner......That is why I am writing a blog post so early in the morning. a negative mindset/attitude will not yield POSITIVE results.

However, I have always been more of a morning person. Early to bed, and Early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

Moving on to the purpose of the blog. This blog contains a"dangerous" change from my normal processes in the quilting world.  Why would it be considered dangerous, because it is a deviation from the organized and symmetrical processes that Dave Stemple is use to.  As I had posted in my previous post, I took up the challenge of creating a quilt for a prior student.  I don't recall if I had stated it in the previous blog post, but this student experienced a "special circumstance" in training that made me unusually close/relatable to that person.  There is a place in WV that is EXTREMELY, economically depressed compared to other areas and that happens to not only be the place this person is from, but also where my temporary assignment is.  I need to make it clear, that once I decided to take on this mission with this quilt, the person offered to pay me for the work.  I could not accept money knowing the responsibilities that this person had, as well as knowing that at best, this person was working in public safety/ public service at a pay rate much lower than anywhere else in our state. This person was doing the same job that I had done, and the job that hundreds of others were doing, at almost $2-$3 less per hour, because of the geographic location as well as the "situation" in which the facility was being operated. Plus, I had the special bond of the relate-able experience!!!

When I spoke with the recipient of the the quilt they advised that they did not want a traditional style quilt....*que screeching tires noises and the sound of a motor vehicle accident. This person (younger) liked a non-traditional, artistic look (meaning not traditional, not symmetrical, not orderly).  If you have been keeping up in my blog.....THAT IS NOT ME!!!!! I am orderly, systematic/structured, and traditional.  That is not to say that non-traditional is bad, but it is not my specific cup of tea.  I embraced this opportunity...because after all, the quilt is not for me.  This took me completely out of my wheel house.  I was in foreign territory...strange territory, but I began my search on Pinterest for a pattern.  I found a couple that I liked and screen-shoted them to the person.  It was a hit, so I advised Tish and asked about the patterns.  She advised me she could order them, but asked me to wait while she checked on another option.  She came got back with me a day or two later and told me about  a pattern generator called "Haphazard" created by Liz at Savor Every Stitch.  I am so impressed by the talent that created this pattern generator.  With this generator you can input colors and dimensions (block and overall) and determine what kind of quilt you will make.  As soon as I saw it.....I knew that was it!!!! This was what I would do.  I put in my colors, and selected my block size and created several iterations and screen-shoted those off to the recipient.  It was a hit...And I knew my direction. A big thanks and shout out to LIZ!!!! You are an innovator!!!!!

I declined the money and insisted on doing this project.  And so I began..... a few pics of fabric to refresh.....

All of the fabrics above were initial pulls. Some were not used as you will see.  If you did not read my last post, the one fabric that I am particularly proud of is the Shibori  dyed fabric, which is the blue in the last picture that is clearly visible. I dyed that with the help of a friend. IF you want to read about it shoot over to my previous post.

I found these two fabrics at Theresa's Fabrics in Moundsville,WV. That is also where the white fabric came from also!!!!  I ended up not using the one to the left, but LOVED the one to the right.  A little about Theresa's Fabrics.  They have a Facebook page, which I linked just above, and are one of the largest retailers of MODA fabric in WV.  The people there are super nice and super helpful. They offer longarm services and have classes for every age!!!! You can also find them by doing a Google/Yahoo search.  Needless to say they have found a forever customer in me as long as they are in business. 

Moving Forward...the cutting and piecing started.....

I do have to say I deviated from the various layouts created with Haphazard as I went along. However, it helped me create a wonderful layout and it gave me the vision to get the process moving.  As I went along, the random/chaos of this layout was very hard and I was unsure about it. I felt uneasy...this just isn't me I kept thinking.

But, I started putting it together.....

And it continued to grow on me.  In the lay out process, I had help from the fur children. It was a labor of love....But it came together nicely to create.....

This top...or as I still call it a chassis!!!

It was love at first sight, upon completion.  I wanted to get this to the recipient A.S.A.P.  Time for backing fabric... I did a bunch of searching on-line because I knew the LQS didn't have anything like I had pictured in my head. And low and must be the hot color, because EVERYTHING I picked was either out of stock or back ordered.   After some time, I decided I would piece the back with regular fabrics so I could get this beauty done.

I loved the color of this standard sized fabric.  I took the picture with the pins to give an idea of the size of the print.  In the next to last picture you can see where the seam is if you look looks like a dark streak through the center...and last but not least...sandwiched goodness with the help of Tish.

I figured that quilting would best be served with straight lines.  I have to also note that when working with a machine, if something doesn't seem right (or seam right, LOL I made it punny), check your machine. I had noticed the machine was making weird noises when I was sewing my next to last row onto the top. I did not check it and I noticed at the end of the row the thread was balling up weird when I went to cut to start a new row.  I had tension issues when I got about 1/4 of the way through the last row and stopped.  I realized at that point, that I had not set the bobbin properly and the whole last row was wrong.  That is why I also opted to go with straight line quilting because it would secure that area instead of cutting out 2 rows and redoing them.

Note to self*** when using a standard (quilt grade) domestic machine to quilt, use a spacing wider than 1/4" inch.

I quilted and quilted and was exhausting....and the straight lines...well, they just didn't end up completely straight...  It was aggravating and frustrating, as I am a perfectionist...though not perfect. Junior decided to be a quilt kitty so I had to stop from time to time so he could enjoy the quilt too. But onward I went, until it was complete.  A few beers during the process helped with relaxation. They were drank from a cherished glass that I got from a close friend named Ron Casto. He and I went to National Patrol Rifle Conference together near Detroit. I will cherish that day and experience for the rest of my life. I bought a glass and he ended up buying me one also so I have two from Black Rock. They are  my FAVORITE glasses.

Tish helped refresh me with the binding process. I chose red to give it a pop!!!!

Lots of bobbles on my quilting...some worse than others.  I am most likely going to enter it in the upcoming local show.  Not 100% sure, but likely.  I love how it turned out, and that it has my own, personally, hand died Shirbori in it also. A personal touch for a personal quilt.  I added my tag/label to it, which Tish pointed out that I put it on the wrong side. Without further ado meet "Fractured"!!!!!

Needless to say, this is done, and ready for either the quilt show or its new owner.  Is it bad, that a small part of me would not mind if the recipient forgot about it and decided not to claim it???

Oh and among other projects I have in the works...multiple, I started a second version of this.

Samples of what it might look like.....This is for my Sis!!!!!

And I also picked up some more fabric to make a fun one...

Be looking for posts on Fractured 2.0 and 3.0!!!!

I loved this alot, and have already started 2.0. be warned, if you are not a fan of HST, this is not the quilt for you.

However, I have set it to the side to work on a squirrel project for a LQS Helen's Hen House (FB page link, but also can be googled/yahooed). She has a good selection of fabric and this stuff was right up my alley (cat)!!!! (Pun intended)

Once done, Helen will hang this in the shop to hopefully generate business and help people not only get into quilting but see how to use available fabrics to coordinate!!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this one already!!!!!! For those that don't know I am a silent stalker of Cheryl Brickey and love her patterns.  This is based off her pattern Looking Glass which can be bought on Etsy, Craftsy, and possibly various LQS through Checkers (check availability).  I have done 2 other versions of this pattern and dearly love it!!! It is a simple pattern and is excellent for beginners!!!!!!

Well.....this has been a long post. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I did, preparing the quilt and the fun of my new side project. 

Have an OUTSTANDING day!!!!!


  1. Outstanding, that is THE word for your quilt.The whole process, all the planning and thought behind the fabric, the haphazard layout, and the finish, this is a wonderful gift, and to know there are more in the making, makes this pattern a winner. Your young man must surely be so thrilled to receive this, please let us know his joy and delight. Lovely new fabrics for the others, and the cats, bright and breezy!! For me, it is a joy to make something for someone else, all a huge part of our lives if we choose to.Greetings from a very wet very early Monday morning in NZ. ( I am a fowl too, and fade into my safe and cosy nest after 1 p.m.)!!!

  2. Wow. Just wow. It's a great finish, and you definitely need to enter it in the show. I'm going to check out Haphazard. I think I want to try it.

  3. So cool how this turned out! All that straight line quilting too! I've looked at Haphazard, but haven't tried it yet. Thanks for sharing this!

  4. Love the quilt Dave! Do enter it in the show!

  5. So today is the first day of reading your blog and I'm really happy I came here. I too love traditional quilts and was scared when you were going to jump out of the box. I would just call this tradional gone wild, and I love it!!