…And Now the Fun Begins!

May 30th, 2010

I had the most wonderful day today!  I worked outside cutting grass for a couple of hours (I love to cut grass!), and then I got this new quilt top fused up and ready to go.   It sure feels good to be making something purely for the joy of it!  It all started with some quick drawings of a few sizes of leaves that I jotted down on some scrap paper:

When I have applique pieces with multiple parts like the leaves, I prefuse those into single units ahead of time on an Applique Pressing Sheet like this:

…and that way, I’ve got tons of leaves and flowers that I can easily move around on the background fabric:  (I forgot to take a photo of the bunches of flowers)

And here’s a shot of moving them around to get to a layout that I liked:

(I use a hollow door covered with 1 layer of batting and then 1 layer of cotton sateen for my ironing surface.)   I need to add a lot of threadwork before I can place this into a final quilt sandwich, but I’m really looking forward to working on this quilt!

Tying Up Loose Ends, Rejoining the Human Race and a Thread Give-Away!

May 27th, 2010

First, I really had planned on at least one more blog post last week, but I misplaced my camera at Quilt Market so I had no photos to share. Bummer! Quilt Market was wonderful and overwhelming all at the same time, but I am sure glad it’s over! This weekend, I am re-joining the human race (now that all my deadlines are behind me) and I will actually be sewing for the pure fun of it! I cannot wait!

Terry White, who is quite well known for her lovely thread painting and her wonderful books and DVDs about thread painting, dropped by our booth to share that she has just developed loads of beautiful new variegated colors for Star Cotton machine quilting thread. This thread has just been reformulated and is now made from extra long staple Egyptian cotton, so say goodbye to fuzzy thread and lint build-up! Her colors are scrumptious! She was kind enough to give me some samples of the newly reformulated thread (I don’t think these are the new colors, though):

…and because I don’t really ever quilt with cotton thread anymore, I am passing these threads along to you! All you need to do to enter this giveaway is to post a comment to this post by midnight eastern time on 6/8/10, and you’ll be entered in the giveaway! Two names will be chosen to receive this thread!

A couple of months ago, Jean had written and asked that I post an updated photo of the “Making a Splash” quilt, as I had not quilted the area around the fish when I first posted that quilt. Here it is:

My dilemma with that quilt was that any quilting done near those swirls on the asymmetric feather needed to be “understated quilting” so it would not take away from the delicacy of that cool feather with the delicate swirl work. Since then, I had another similar dilemma with my donation quilt for the Alliance for the American Quilt. I had the same issue here because I didn’t want busy quilting to interfere with the swirls on the inside of this feathered wreath, but I was stuck because the wreath was trapuntoed and if I did not carry my background quilting to the inside of the wreath, the center kind of poofed out in a not-so-nice kind of way:

I also ended up adding hot-fix crystals to the ends of some of the swirls and I really like the way that came out:

Note that you can OWN this quilt once it goes up for auction to raise money for the Alliance for American Quilts!

I have all kinds of ideas spinning in my head for new quilts and projects to begin, so look out world, my machine will be smokin’ this weekend!


May 17th, 2010

We’ve been working non-stop to finish preparations for Spring Quilt Market but I took some time for just myself in the last few weeks and I’m so glad I did. The first was that I went to one of those Ricky Tims Super Seminars. I’d been curious about these and wondered how much info you could actually glean from a 2 1/2 day lecture setting, and I’m happy to report that it was loaded with tons of great information and even more inspiration! At all the breaks, you could scrutinize Ricky, Libby, and Alex’s quilts close-up:

…and see all the intricate details of how they created special effects:

What really surprised me was how well you could see and hear all the details of each lecture, even from the very back of this huge auditorium. I mean, even the details of what one of them was doing on the sewing machine were perfectly clear!

At the breaks, we also got to shop in Ricky’s store. That store was generally mobbed by quilters, so I was lucky to get this shot where you can see parts of what he was selling:

His fabric was to die for! On the first day, I was opening up and drooling over some of his pieces, and I ran into Teri, who I met at a guild presentation a few years earlier. She said, “Now, don’t you go spending your money on fabric, Patsy; you dye your own fabrics so you don’t need any of this!” Of course, she was right, so I promised myself I’d just look but not buy anything. The next morning, I couldn’t help myself and I bought 5 yards…and the next day I went back and bought another 6 yards!!

I guess I’m a sucker for hand dyed fabrics in beautiful colors! Anyway, if you ever have the opportunity to go to a Ricky Tims Super Seminar, be sure to go-it was money and time well spent!

Last weekend, we got to spend 3 days in North Carolina, and I spent one afternoon dyeing fabrics with my buddy, Nancy Bruce, the dyeing and color guru! We spent a sunny afternoon creating color on fabric:

and it was so rejuvenating to my spirit! Here’s just a fraction of what I dyed last weekend:

And now it’s back to the grindstone for me…will post more this week for sure!