Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Just a little catch up...

That's all I'm doing anymore - catching up.  Come to think of it, I can't even recall when I was ahead of myself.  Perhaps it has never been?!!  Hmm, I might just have to ponder on that...

Until that answer arises, let's see what has happened in my little quilty world:

Client quilts - still behind, but working some crazy overtime (kind of morning, afternoon, and evening stitching).

Old Gam had a maintenance check up.  Well, it turned into a maintenance pick-up as she had to go away for repairs.  So instead of having my usual two machines for multiple chaos I am now down to just the one for a few weeks.  Here is Richard (Pat's Calico Cottage) prepping old Gam for her road trip for some heavy maintenance and new parts:

I finally ordered the purple fabrics for Lucy.  I went back and forth between solids or prints, it was all I was thinking about, but finally decided on solids.  Shocking, I know!  I ordered them from Cherrywood - the eggplant 8 step gradation - because yes, my Lucy will be purple!  I can not wait to get started on this!

Oh, remember the JTA field trip a couple of weeks ago? I had purchased the ladybug fabric for place mats.  Well, I made them:

True Colors was chosen as The Quilt Show's quilt of the day on 9/5 - that was cool!

I wrote a little article for Gammill on the AQS QuiltViews blog - check it out when you get the chance - http://www.quiltviews.com/light-it-up-or-not-a-how-to-from-gammill  - I'll have a couple of more of these in the very near future.  I will definitely let you know when they become available.  In the meantime, check out the other great stuff on the AQS Blog!

I think that's about it... for now!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A little catch up...

Lot of stuff has been happening over here, most of which is client work (still behind) and the rest isn't too quilty (just causing more behind-ness).

So here goes, in absolutely no particular order:

I had a birthday!

My son moved into his own place - wow, yep, that one is kind of bittersweet.  I'm so proud of him and the man he has become and yet he's on his own... when did that happen?!!  I swear he was just starting high school last week!

I discovered I can charge my phone on the Vision 2.  I know, it's the little things, right?!!

I actually attended two guild meetings - here's one:

I managed to sew, yes even if only for one evening:

True Colors (aka White Lines) debuted at IQA's newest show Quilt! Knit! Stitch! in a special exhibition - here's a peek
photo by Janet Lee Santeusanio
This... which needs no further explanation.

And finally, the great news that two of my quilts were accepted into MQX Quilt Festivals - Springfield. Yay! If you're going, you can say hello to True Colors (aka White Lines) and The Thing with Feathers.
The Thing with Feathers
I think that's about it... at least what I can remember.  Til next time quilties!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Stupidity reigns in the land of chaos...

or... chaos reigns in the land of stupidity -- either one works equally well in this case!

This title could easily be a weekly post in my studio - at least lately. Most of you know I'm crazy behind on my client schedule, if not, surprise! And by crazy behind I mean like 5 quilts should have been finished already, so those, plus the amount of time to catch up which usually doubles the time behind -- it's a crazy kind of scheduling math, one I try to avoid at all cost!

So anyway, I'm working on a super-secret project for someone. Yep, super secret. So when it arrived I opened the box pulled it out and said OMG... it's awesome and quickly put it back in the box. A little back story - this super secret project is for the wonderful Sondra (shesgotmojo) Millard, aka Mojo Quilt Designs. She dyes the most beautiful fabrics. I purchase some of these beauties from her, some just by chance, others I custom order.  Well... I ordered one early last month to match a competition piece I'm beginning soon. Here are the fabrics for my quilt - a bunch of silk dupioni that I've been collecting for some time now:

So I sent the fabric picture to Sondra as I'm beginning to spoil myself with custom dyed backs that totally match the fronts. Here is the amazingness she created (the photo is borrowed from Sondra's Facebook page):

So tonight, I'm sitting here wondering when the backing is going to arrive as it's been a couple of weeks now. Hmm... maybe? Yep, if I actually took the time to look at all the items in the super secret package (not just the awesome quilt top) I'd see that in addition to the super secret project and the backing for the super secret project, there was also my backing. Yes, it is times like these that I don't just feel dumb, I wear it proudly!

So here is a picture of my backing that I snapped just now:

It is beyond gorgeous.  Now I really need to get started on this quilt!!

Oh, and I can't forget the super secret project - no, I can't share it, but I can share Sondra's backing for it - amazingness:

Friday, August 8, 2014

JTA Field Trip!

What a great day!  Today should have been a Journeys Thru Art meeting day, but instead we went on a field trip.  Well, half of us did, two of us are summering in Maine (nice right?), and the other two just couldn't make it (not so nice).  Let me tell you -- FUN, lots of it, happened today.

We started early this morning (early for me, probably mid morning for the rest of the world).  Here's my usual road trip pic:

Our actual field trip was to the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts to see the Florida in Fabric II exhibit.  It was a really nice exhibit.  I'm kicking myself for not submitting something.  Eons ago I saw the call for entries and was like yeah I can do that.  Then life snuck up, smacked me in the forehead, and I pushed it aside.  Silly girl!

We weren't sure where to park so we asked this guy... he escorted us!  Pretty awesome huh?  Well that, or we looked suspicious...

So here are just a few of my favorites, in no particular order:

And, as if all that wasn't enough, our field trip continued, deeper into Florida (notice the dirt roads):
Nancy is having a new kitchen installed and since we were up in Melbourne, we had to stop by the granite place to help her decide - this was my top choice (for Nancy, I had many choices for myself, if I needed some granite), the color is Typhoon Bordeaux (please comment and tell her how awesome this piece is):

And Nancy is a wonderful driver... really!  Nancy is one of my best friends, and we have a never-ending inside joke about her driving -- the parking situation, that's new!  I love this - this picture made my day!!

So after all that came the quilt shops.  Our first stop was The Quilt Place in Rockledge.  I was fairly well-behaved and purchased project stuff only.  On the left is a blue for accent frames and a yellow/blue batik for a background on an old project (these pieces will go together on this old project) - I'm hoping the background fabric matches, it's close.  On the right are a super cute ladybug fabric and a cool wobbly stripe.  These will be for place mats for my son and his girlfriend.  I also had to get on a list for my Row by Row license plate as they didn't have any more (insert super pouty face here).

Then on to Boutique 4 Quilters in Melbourne.  Again, I was pretty good - a new 9mm open toe foot (because I suddenly can't find mine?), and some greens and blues for leaves.  They will be used in an upcoming applique project that is brewing.  And yeah, I got my license plate!!

Oh wait, I can't forget the awesome selfie mirror in Nancy's car:

It was a pretty awesome day with some great friends!  Now to find my calendar to schedule our next field trip!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

True Colors (aka White Lines) is FINALLY finished!

Hard to believe, I know!  Like I have said in the past, this is the quilt that refused to be finished.  Her she is wearing just a few sparkles.  I know the previous photo without the bling is a much better pic, this mornings sunlight wasn't as perfect, although it still shows the bling and quilting so I'm not complaining:

I love bling, and could have easily added crystals everywhere on this quilt. But, I'm learning that is one of my personal preferences. Not everyone likes bling, it actually bothers some people. So knowing this quilt looked pretty amazing already (you all told me), I decided to just add a little bling. I'm hoping I hit that perfect balance - no worries, I'm sure you will let me know. I am really happy with this quilt. And no, I didn't think I would ever say those words. She has a few issues, no need to name them here - if you can't find them I'm not going to point them out!

Here are just a few pictures I snapped during the bling process:

So if you don't already know the entire story of this quilt, here it is, from the beginning:

2/22/2012 Bobbin work - longarm style
8/9/2012 Update on True Colors/mexican pinwheel
6/6/2013 Over-Extended and Undertimed (also known as everyday)
2/21/2014 WIP Inventory
6/29/2014 The quilt that refused to be finished...
7/11/2014 Week in Review, plus a few days...
7/23/2014 Soaked and Blocked
7/24/2014 White lines...
7/27/2014 Update on White Lines...
8/3/2014 True Colors (aka White Lines)

I realize some of the links also link back to previous post, but this is the majority of them in chronological order.  I really wish I could remember when I officially started the center pinwheel...

Don't forgot, you can see this quilt debut at IQA's newest show Quilt! Knit! Stitch! at the special longarm exhibit. I'm not sure where she'll go after that.  Even with all the issues this quilt has I think I will still send it out to competitions, she really is a beauty!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

True Colors (aka White Lines)

Is she finished or not?  Still on the fence about adding some crystals.  Not too many, I had always intended on putting crystals on this quilt, just enough for a little bling here and there.  What do you think - crystals or not?  They will be happening today, if they do go on, because this beauty needs to be shipped out tomorrow!

This photo is from this morning, outside, in optimal sunlight.  I don't know if any more of the white lines are visible -- I'm no longer using a flash to check.

So again I ask you -- bling or no bling?  I'm leaning toward minimal bling with some beautiful black diamonds... I guess you'll have to wait and see.  Don't forget, this quilt debuts in a special longarm quilted exhibit at IQA's newest show - Quilt! Knit! Stitch! in Portland, OR - click here for the show details.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

WICKED Challenge

I wasn't planning to post this until Saturday, but with all the pictures Cherrywood has been posting I'm overly excited -- the Wicked Challenges look AMAZING!!!  So far there are like 100 entries - wow!  The deadline is tomorrow, so I bet that number will go up with a bunch of overnight express deliveries.  Go check out their facebook page, seriously!  This was way too much fun!

I started this post way back in June when I finished my challenge.  I did tweak it in July, but only for the better, those typos really stink (I make a lot of them, the brain works way faster than the fingers type). You probably don't realize how hard it has been for me to not share -- it was extremely difficult, I am an over-sharer!

So, you'll remember here and here when I was working on my Wicked Cherrywood Challenge - there were a couple of other posts as well, but no need to share them all (the others were just quick updates).  You'll see on the left are the rules and regulations for the challenge - fun!  Oh, and if you still haven't checked out Cherrywood Fabrics, you really should -- the fabrics are amazing. Super soft, fantastic colors, and they quilt like butter. And not like a cold, frozen stick of butter, like one that's been sitting on the counter softening for hours... super smooth!

This post will be full of pictures -- I like sharing pictures, must be the visual aspect, the eye candy, so much better than all these words, although this post is full of both.  Haha, who am I kidding, I like sharing period.  Yes, definitely an over-sharer.  We'll start here -- the challenge fabrics.  Aren't they just lovely?  I knew immediately I wanted to do this challenge -- maybe because I love green, or maybe because the subject matter was perfect, but either way the fabrics are amazing!

Just look at this one -- this green is by far my favorite! I wish the camera could capture the beauty of the fabric -- it's close, but you really have to see it in person to truly appreciate it. And the hand... OMG!  Yep, I have fallen head over heels for Cherrywood fabrics.

As I mentioned in my previous posts, unfortunately, I have not seen Wicked the Musical.  But I sure want to see it now! I have read reviews of the musical, read blog posts, read reviews of the book (which I'll end up reading soon), viewed photographs, talked to people -- pretty much over researched it!  And what I decided was I wanted an amazing Elphaba -- like big hair wild-wicked style.  So I started drawing and doodling, and erasing, and drawing some more.  I also knew that I wanted to incorporate the Clock of the Time Dragon, which as we know isn't even a clock!  And of course, flying monkeys...

So after all that research, here's what I came up with:

Now to turn my drawing into a quilt!  I took all the greens and cut them in various widths, and sewed them together in random fashion:

In my original drawing I have the bottom right corner stripes going diagonal.  In real life I didn't like it so much, so I made half vertical and the other half horizontal.  I then started on the pieces -- Elphaba's face was done using turned edge applique foundation.

Let me tell you... that clock was a difficult little bugger!  Lots of little tiny pieces to snip away.  I decided to use raw-edge fusible applique here -- much easier than trying to turn all those tiny edges. My impatience usually beats out my OCD...

And then on to building her hair.  Each curl was numbered and done turned edge applique foundation:

After I was finished, I realized it still needed a few more curls.  Planning doesn't always cover everything!

And then some bubbles... just because I thought they looked cool!  As well as the fact that Elphaba states she doesn't come and go by bubble...

These are also turned edge applique foundation:

And then came time to attach all those applique pieces.  I used a high-loft batting as my stabilizer.  This way, I would trim away the excess and have done some trapunto prep in the process.  I love using that two birds one stone method!

Now, don't forget about those flying monkeys.  I wanted to incorporate them into the quilting.  So I drew three of them on the background.

And here she is, loaded on the Gammill and ready to be quilted!

First, outlining all the applique pieces -- very important!

And here's where it all went bad.  Not really, as hindsight is 20/20, but it was at this point that the self-doubt, hate, dislike, disgust, etc. kicked in...

I outlined the monkeys and wording (oh forgot to tell you about that) with a very dense stipple (like I always do), and I just didn't like it.  The thread is showing as gold, but it is actually an avocado green which blends well with all three greens.  But all that didn't matter.  I was at that dreaded hate part of the project.

Yep, I pretty much hated my project.  No worries... this happens to me on every project that I make. Well, not every one, but the ones that truly turn out amazing always seem to have this self-doubt phase. I'm learning it is an important step in finishing - at least for me.

Here is the completed quilting -

Nope, still not happy, but it is finished.  So now I soak it in some warm water to soften all my foundations.  I then block it and hope I like it more in the morning.

Well, sleep does amazing things for me.  I had an epiphany while I was snoozing.  Why not outline the monkeys and the wording in black?  It would pop more and that might just solve my issues of dislike...

Yep!  That was exactly what it needed -- see, sleep is good, happiness has returned!

Now to trim this beauty down.  The challenge requirement is 20"x20" - oh no, that poor flying monkey is going to lose part of his wing!  Oh well, guess it just has to be.  I wouldn't want to be disqualified over that little wing tip!

And then comes the binding... yes, by hand!

Oh look - scraps!  Why not make a matching sleeve?

And you all know me and my labels -- this is a simple one, but still fun!

Here she is -- Elphie!  I am so thrilled with this.  I know I hated it for one awful evening, but now I truly LOVE it.  And a big thanks to my quilty genius for all the texting and reassuring that I was indeed crazy.

And the back, you know, because the back view is always my favorite -- it shows just the stitches -- awesomeness!

I can not wait to see all the entries -- they are going to be amazing. The exhibit will be displayed at the Gershwin Theater (home of WICKED) on Broadway in NYC through November 3, 2014.  This is all part of the big 11th Anniversary Celebration of Wicked - so if you're there, go check it out!!  Take pics, share and tag on Facebook... you know what to do!

As if all that wasn't enough, the top 24 will travel around with Cherrywood for an entire year -- more awesomeness!  So watch for all the entries on the Cherrywood website -- I can't wait!