Many Things

March 23rd, 2008

Lots of stuff going on at the Bode-Thompson household! I’ve been working up against deadlines for many things, and spent the bulk of last week at a computer keyboard writing stuff-blech! But, I got to quilt many hours this weekend to work on these 2 quilts whose patterns will be published in a couple of months. We are going to debut a line of patterns in the spring…we’re aiming at something a bit different than what’s out there now. The goal of our patterns will be to cater to the “thread enthusiast,” or the person who enjoys free motion work, (either free motion quilting and/or embroidery), and likes to try some new techniques to kind of jazz up a quilt a bit. In general, these quilts will all be relatively easy to either piece and/or appliqué via fusible appliqué, and the REAL fun will begin once that part’s over. They will all have large “blank” areas in the background for some fun quilting; I consider this to be my “playground!” The first one is called “Pansy Greetings” and it is below:


The second quilt is still being quilted, but it has a few areas of trapunto, like this “heart flower:”


(This quilt design may look familiar; I started a similar one a couple months back but was unhappy with it, so I played around with the design and made it in a nicer color way). Here’s a shot of the backside that shows the trapuntoed areas:


There are also many areas that are not trapuntoed but are free motion embroidered when it is just a top, like below:


I still have a fair amount of quilting to get done on this baby, so I’ll post more pictures as I get more done.

We had a bit of excitement here yesterday…we were trying to film a quick scene for a DVD and the goal was to simulate the aftermath of a sewing machine explosion. We have all these fog machines because we get a bit carried away at Halloween, so we set one up in my sewing room, closed the door, and proceeded to really fog up the room to make it look very smoky. Well, it got so smoky-looking that we couldn’t see anything through the camera lens, so I opened the door to the hallway to kind of clear the air a bit, never thinking that this might set off smoke alarms. Next thing we know, alarms are going off and the fire truck is on the way…man, what a wild scene it was! So, if you see that scene in a future dvd, know that all the yelling and alarms in the background were REAL! Fortunately, the fire was NOT!

And some good news for customers in the UK… you can now purchase our DVDs in your own backyard! Please visit The Cotton Patch or Rio Designs as they are now stocking our DVDs!

Second Post This Week!

March 15th, 2008

I have been busy in my sewing room, stitching up a storm, and man, is it ever reminding me just how much I LOVE to sew!! There is nothing like it and I am forever grateful to my mom for sending me to that 6 week sewing school at the local Singer store to learn the basics! My machine is smokin’ this week!

I have many things to show and tell tonight! First, I had my first experience this week with a brand new product that has me singing! Are you feeling like the world is becoming a darker place? No, I don’t mean figuratively, I mean LITERALLY! This is because as we age, less and less light gets back to the retina, so things seem dimmer and you find yourself needing brighter and brighter light. I have sure been feeling this, and doing fine work, like sewing, is getting harder because of it. Enter the Bendable Bright Light, a new product that fits on ANY SEWING MACHINE! (Actually, you can put it on anything, as my husband Ernie is finding out, as he is putting it on his power tools). To give you an idea of just how bright this baby shines, check out the picture below that shows the machine bed with my normal sewing machine light:


Now compare that shot with the next one, that has the bendable bright light shining:


The light comes with a mounting bracket that adheres to your machine, and then the light itself clips into the mounting bracket. You can buy extra mounting brackets if you want to transfer the light to more than one machine. Here’s my light mounted to the side of my Pfaff:


It retails for $49.95, a bit pricey, but so worth it to be able to see once again! For more info on this product, go here. I also finished one of the quilts I’m making for a pattern that will be coming out this spring. Remember the cool background designs I was playing with in my last post? I ended up doing the seashell plume variant for the background quilting and here’s a shot of it in blue:


…and here’s the same design in olivey-greens:


I am always a sucker for plumes in any design, but I think this design is also intriguing because of that small seashell at the base of every “plume unit.” I have been messing around with this a bit and here are a couple more pics of variations. In this first sample, the seashells have become clams. All I’ve done is keep adding more outlines but making them larger in this way really alters the design:


…and in this next one, I’m using a kind of “court jester hat” variation for the base:


Here’s a closeup of the base so you can see the difference better:


These rotating plumes are fun to stitch and I love their voluptuous curves!

Will Winter Ever End?!

March 9th, 2008

Don’t know about you, but if I never saw another snowflake, it would be ok with me. I always feel very appreciative of spring, but this year, it cannot come soon enough! We drove back to NC a few days ago, narrowly escaping a foot of snowfall that fell only hours after we left. This was on the heels of an 8 hour ice storm, followed by 5 inches of snow, just 2 nights before. But I am in a warmer place now, thinking only springtime thoughts!

On to lighter things…I am finishing up a pattern, and although I can’t show all of it yet, it involves yet another pansy! Here is a closeup of the face:


This pansy has some cross hatched ribbons that frame it, and here’s a picture of a corner of the top only when some of the free motion embroidery has been done:


The inner border of one ribbon was embroidered with spirals:


and another inner ribbon border was embroidered with horizontal flame-like stitches:


And here is a portion of some feathers in the background. This photo shows how much hyperquilting can add-doesn’t that bottom feather look downright boring and lackluster in comparison?!


I have been playing around with ideas for quilting the background of this “scene.” I like that spinning axis family, so I’ve been messing around with “cousins” of this family. In this case, these are designs where plumes again rotate around an axis, but this time, the axis is a stitched motif. I’m pitching this first experiment because these super-long, skinny plumes seem disproportionate to the seashells at the base:


I like the proportions in these next 2 options. One uses the seashell base and the other uses the curley-cue base:



I might use one of those last 2 but I might be able to generate a new “mutant” form of one of them! Once I’ve stitched my idea out, I’ll share it! And I promise another post this week because I FINALLY have some time to spend SEWING!!!!!!