Friday, August 30, 2013

Dahlia Center Block

Almost finished with the center dahlia of my newest quilt.  The paper I used for piecing is still in place on the back, but when removed the  lines will be less jagged and flow smoothly.  I pulled a couple of pieces off just to be sure!  I still have decided if the center will stay black - I think it will.  There is black fabric behind the block right now, but the center is still open.  In my first draft the block had color in the center, but I think I may leave it open for quilting.

I'm pretty happy with how this has turned out!  I love the gradation of blues.  This is just a small piece of a much larger quilt.  Once I finish the center - it's onto loads and LOADS of paper piecing.  :)

I made a short video explaining how I pieced this for anyone interested in that sort of thing.  :)

Linking up with Nina for Off the Wall Friday!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A New Quilt and a Goal

I needed to start a new project like I need a hole in the head.  I've got a bug up my rear to enter shows and I made this sort of cheesy new years resolution back in January that I'd enter two shows this year.

  Well - I might have to carry over that goal into next year!

I'm not sure if I'll be ready to enter anything this year because I've been so busy learning the ropes of my long arm and starting up my small business - but - there is a popular spring show that I do want to attempt to get into.  After much agony and contemplation over what to focus on I've made up my mind to get this quilt design that I've had sitting around for nearly a year worked up.  It is a national juried show so say a little prayer and send good vibes or whatever it is that you do for me!  I am going to need it all!!!  Of course I can't start small I have to toss myself into something huge but that is just my personality.  My Mother will tell you when I was a teenager I couldn't wear just one necklace - I wore ten.  I wanted to garden and I couldn't just plant a few irises, I ripped up my entire front yard.  So this is totally within my character!!!  You never know if you don't try.  I'm not gonna lie though - I'm sweating a bit.  :)

I don't want to share too much of this so I'm just going to show a little here and there and then keep the rest secret for a while.  :)

Today I pieced the above sections and then trimmed and am attaching them using my own sort of English paper piecing technique.  If you know what this is then you're in on one of the elements of my quilt!  This is just a small part of it...but I'm hoping one that will be effective!!

In other news I went to Quilt National 2013 in Athens, Ohio on Sunday with my quilting friends Sandy Shelenberger and Nina-Marie Sayre and had a wonderful time.  It was SO COOL!!!  It's in an old dairy barn, which, in itself sets the stage for pure awesomeness.  I didn't get a lot of pictures as there were about six thousand (give or take) signs that read in big bold letters - "NO PHOTOGRAPHS".  Well what fun is that?  It was really incredible - I was able to see my favorite artist Susan Shie's work up close and in person.  I also discovered two new to me artists who's work I am in love with - Mary Ann Tipple who is another Ohio gal and a woman named Lisa Kijak.  Lisa's quilt in particular was my absolute favorite of the show and I couldn't get enough of it.  I kept going back to look at every tiny bit of it and take it all in.  It was gorgeous and amazing.  I also really love Mary Ann's sort of off kilter style.  What a great show and it really opened my eyes to a whole new way of looking at my quilts.  I still love my traditional work but the quirky artist in me is totally freaking out over the cool new artists I've discovered.  :)

A really crummy photograph of the back of the dairy barn...

A photograph of the entrance...also Sandy and Nina taking pictures...I'm sure they won't be happy that I'm posting this!!!  LOL  ;)
If you haven't heard of it Google "Quilt National 2013" and there are some amazing pictures of the artists and their work floating around the web.  (So much for following rules!!!)  ;)

Well - a thunderstorm is roaring and 6am will be here before I know it.  A busy week planned and a mile long to do list.  Better head off to bed!  :)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Linda's Quilt - Finished!

I finished Linda's quilt last night - I just adore how it turned out!  She sent me a photograph of a medallion style quilting job she had seen and asked me to design something similar, but with a thread that blended.  So this is what we came up with!

It's really amazing in that the quilting on the front adds lovely texture, but doesn't take away from her piecing.  The back is like a whole cloth quilt!

I really enjoyed quilting this one.  I used Invisafil by Wonderfil for the first time and really like how it sewed up.  It's pricey but very effective.  Thank you Linda for trusting me with another of your beautiful quilts!  :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Linda's Quilt - Progress

Nearing the end on Linda's quilt.  Still have to go back and do the borders, and the center, but it has turned out so pretty so far.

Cramming in as much family time these next few days as I can, school is starting next week!  For all the complaining I did at the beginning of the year how I couldn't take the bickering and I was looking forward to school starting back up - now I regret every single word!  Those little pangs are beginning to hit, and I am missing them and I cannot believe the summer has gone by so quickly.

**Linking up to Freemotion by the River's Linky Tuesday!**

Friday, August 16, 2013

Small Whole Cloth Progress and Side Leaders

I found some time last night to sneak in a little work on my whole cloth.  The previous transfer of this pattern didn't do well - it just wasn't looking right, so I remarked on this fabric and I'm much happier.  I used Sharon Schamber's instructions to create side leaders for my long arm and I can't even begin to tell you the difference it makes in control!  I'm a big fan of detail work so this is wonderful for me. Here are a few pictures of my hours of work last night.  This tiny quilt is going to take some time!

It's so hard sometimes to see the beauty in your own work.  I love this - yet I see ALL the flaws!  It will be better for me when it's finished because there will be so much stitching it will be harder to find the mistakes.  Still, I'm loving this!  I also love the lower contrast thread than I had before - more focus on texture and less focus on THREAD.

Here are pictures of the design for those who haven't seen it yet...

...and here is what I had BEFORE remarking on new fabric...

See how the circles are all crazy?  I do love the color of the thread against this fabric but when you have that much contrast you have to be PERFECT.  It is more about the thread than the texture.  I want to be able to enjoy my pretty fabric and have the texture be a bonus.

So that's what I'm working on!  For anyone interested in my whole side leader set up I'm going to embed a video.  Please note that embedded videos have a tendency to get cut off - if you have any trouble viewing the clip visit my YouTube channel and switch to full screen.

I use these side leaders with rice bags and the stabilization is WONDERFUL.  I also baste my quilt for detail quilting just like Sharon does in her videos.  It is a lot of extra effort - but the results are amazing.


I'm going to link up today with Nina-Marie for her Off the Wall Friday!  I haven't had many of my own projects lately to share so I'm happy to be able to participate this week.  If you haven't visited her blog you need to, she is a very talented art quilter who inspires me endlessly!  :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cindy's Quilt - Finished! :)

I just am in love with how Cindy's quilt turned out.  Wish I could have gotten better straight on pictures!  :)  

Monday, August 12, 2013

Nearing the End - Feathers!

The first feathered border I did for this wasn't quite right...I just wasn't feeling it.  By the time I reached the bottom of the quilt I was on a feather roll!!!  Today was a day for shopping for the kids, back to school supplies and clothes.  We're set on that front so tomorrow I can focus on quilts!

As soon as I get a spare moment I'll have a review on Glide thread and Invsafil by Wonderfil for you all too!!  :)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Cindy's Quilt - In Progress

Working on Cindy's quilt this weekend.  I'm about 1/4 of the way through - wheew!  :)

Using Glide thread again and I'm really happy with it.  These large borders are still a little awkward without any stitch regulation - trying to see where I'm going before I get there!!!  I'm happy with it though - I cannot wait to send this home to Cindy.  :)  We were going to just do an all over swirl on this and then WHOOPS!  She sent it to the feather queen!!!  LOL*  I love my feathers!!  :)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

1930's Custom Quilted Sampler Finished!

Yay!  I finally finished quilting this just this afternoon - wheew that was a big job!  :)  I adore how it turned out though...I seriously want to run right out and buy fabric to make a 1930's reproduction feedsack sampler now!!!  So gorgeous...