Monday, July 25, 2016

Quilt Odyssey 2016

Last week I was lucky enough to be a longarm instructor at Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, PA - it was awesome!

First was one of my favorites, Build-A-Stitch.  These ladies were a super fun group!



Then in the afternoon was Doodle Quilting - and there were some awesome doodlers letting their imaginations run wild and having a blast:






My last class was Filling the Space - these ladies created some awesome pieces and stretched their design ideas way beyond their comfort zones!


Halfway through everyone gets to walk around to see the other students creations:


I did manage to see the quilts...
although I don't have a single picture.  I only had an hour to wander through the quilts and it was crowded.  There were some amazing ones that I would have loved to stand and stare at for quite a while!  Congratulations to the winners - they were definitely some amazing quilts!

And I did get to spend a little time in the Gammill booth with Steve & Lori of Threads Run Thru It (and no pics there either - wow, I'm seriously photo-slacking) -- they are wonderful people and I owe a big thank you to both of them, as well as Emily for setting up my classroom and making sure I didn't need a thing!

So my trip home... eventful!  And, not at all in a good way.
Some of you that follow on Facebook got bits and pieces of the story.  Here goes, in a super-quick nutshell.

My flight home was delayed 35 minutes.  Not such a big deal right?  Wrong!  I had a 36 minute connection in Charlotte.  It was obvious that I was going to miss my connection.  I ran up to the counter and the representative assured me that I would be fine, along with the other handful of people that also had a very short connection.

So we take off... low and behold we were supposed to land at 9:40pm originally.  Didn't that pilot book it and get us there by 9:41pm!  So see, they are allowed to speed when necessary!  Yeah, awesomeness, I was going to make my connection after all!  WRONG... upon taxi-ing over to the gate we stopped and sat.  The pilot came over the intercom and stated that the gate we were assigned to was occupied and we would have to wait for a new gate assignment.  WHAT?  We actually made it here on time and now it is being taken away by someone's negligence in gate assignments!  Well, about 10 minutes later we got a new gate assignment -- the gate right next to the one we were waiting at.  Okay, I'm thinking it's totally still possible to make it -- if I run like I've never run before.

So I run....
from Terminal E to Terminal C.  As I am running (mind you scared to death that I'm going to fall and face plant and need to visit an ER), I can see my gate, the representative has his hand on the door.  I am yelling, running, waving my boarding pass in the air.  What does he do?.... you guessed it, closed that door.  Noooooooooooo...

So in my best out-of-breath-I-can't-even-talk I hand the woman at the counter my boarding pass and she says the next flight to Palm Beach is tomorrow afternoon.  Nooooooo!  Then she asks if I can go to Miami.  I'm like how the heck am I going to get from Miami to Palm Beach (where my truck is parked).  So okay, Miami it is.  She hands me my boarding pass and says they'll fix it at the next gate - which leaves in 10 minutes (not boards, leaves).  So I run, again, from Terminal C to Terminal B.  I get to the gate for the Miami flight and hand the woman my boarding pass and try (with no breath) to quickly explain.  She bluntly said this flight is full, I can't help you and directs me to Customer Service.  I look over to Customer Service and notice that approximately 300 people (no exaggeration) in line and start to cry.  I call my husband, explain it all to him (as I have less than two minutes before this plane takes off) and I can hear my phone is altering my of a text.  I hang up and look... it's the airline confirming my seat on the plane to Miami.  I ever so nicely (not, sorry dealing with less than a minute) stick my phone in front of the woman and say I'm on this plane!  She looks at the text and prints my boarding pass and I'm now sitting in the only seat and no sooner did I sit down we were taking off.

So I land in Miami.  I have no clue where my luggage might be -- I proceed to the baggage claim desk.  I begin my claim and they tell me my luggage will be there in the morning (in Miami).  Honestly, the only thought that crossed my mind was how is my luggage getting here in the morning when the first flight I was offered was in the afternoon?  I think I was delusional at this point.  So I walk outside thinking I'll catch a cab... posted rates only go as far as Fort Lauderdale airport (which was $160).  A big sigh... I walk around and find a SuperShuttle booth -- I ask how much for a shuttle to Palm Beach airport.  She has to dig out the big binder and look it up -- $116.  That's it, get me on it!  So at 2:00am I started my journey home from Miami.  The shuttle driver got me safely to Palm Beach at 4:00am and I then drove another 40 minutes home.  Yes, I had been awake for over 24 hours!

My luggage you ask?  On Saturday I called to check on it.  No, it wasn't coming from Miami.  It got back on a plane, flew back to Charlotte, then caught another plane back to Palm Beach.  Apparently, they can only deliver your luggage from the closest airport.  It didn't get home until Sunday.

I'm guessing no more short connections in my future...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Build-A-Stitch 2 is done!

Finally, after squeezing in every possible moment to work on it, Build-A-Stitch 2 is finished!  I am so excited to share it with you:

Build-A-Stitch 2 contains 60 new stitches!  Part 2 is set up more as a sourcebook, it is full of stitches -- some of which are a little more complex than the first 20 (Build-A-Stitch). If you haven't tried the Build-A-Stitch technique, you'll probably want to start with Book 1.  For those of you that have already conquered the first twenty stitches, watch out, this book is full of fun (and info too)!  You will have a stockpile of go-to stitches when you're done with Book 2!!

If you want to order, click here or the photo above to be taken to the website store. You can also use the Buy Now option in the right sidebar as well.

Thank you all for wanting more stitches - none of this would be possible without all of you!  Now, on to Book #3!!!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Lion King Challenge

Cherrywood Fabrics held another challenge!  This time for the Lion King.  You might remember the last challenge, Wicked, if not, here's a link about my entry.



So the entry deadline for the Lion King Challenge was at midnight last night.  I can not wait to see all the amazingness of this challenge!  Honestly, if you want to see the creativeness of our little community, just hold a challenge - these people will knock your socks off!

So here is Panache, my #lionkingchallenge in its finished glory.  I love it... although, I didn't at first.  I'll tell you all about it in a minute.  I've decided there are stages we go through while creating our art - at least I do (hoping I'm not alone here).  In the beginning you sometimes struggle with finding inspiration.  Then, once you have an idea you are crazy excited about starting. So you start and its is great, then something happens to make you not so happy - the patterns not working right, fabric fraying, a fabric is running somthing... whatever it may be.  So you trudge on, tackle the problems - fix, correct, or incorporate - and you're back to liking it again.  That's sort of what happened on this project.

It officially started with the challenge fabric pack:

And from there I thought about it, and then thought about it some more.  I came up with two ideas and started doodling.  This is the one that I chose:

You'll see from the finished picture that it did change slightly.  It always does - I have yet to have a finished project come out exactly like my original drawing.

Here are some pics of the process:


You see that last picture?  I hated that pic... I thought it looked like a lion wearing a flower petal hat! So I immediately started adding the mane.  Yes, it was helping.  You'll also notice I numbered the pieces -- yep, always helpful after the fact!




Once I had all the mane pieces constructed and in place, I started on the inking.  Yes, this part was FUN!



Since I used only the four challenge fabrics I felt it was lacking a little something.  I decided to add hand embroidery on some of the pieces:




A funny thing happened when I transferred all the pieces from the working copy to the fabric background.  You might notice the mane pieces are different on the bottom right side.  I lost track of a few, added a few, and well, they got moved around.  Here's the best part -- the universe added a little monkey face to the bottom right corner!  I was so upset that the pieces went together in a different order until I saw that.  Like it was totally meant to be, because when that piece is right side up (like it was intended) it doesn't look anything like a monkey face.

So then started the invisible applique... ugh.  Although totally necessary, it takes hours!  And you all know me and my laziness!


And then on to the quilting...


Again, project ups and downs... I hated the quilting on his face.  Yes, hated.  Maybe because it was only the first color and it wasn't anywhere near done.  Sometimes I wish I could not look until I'm finished.  


Yay! Background fill - that always makes me happy!

So.... some of you know I had a few issues.  It seems I'm always having issues on my own projects (not sure if that's a good or bad thing).  Well, I didn't prewash the black fabric.  Why?  I didn't have a single issue with it on the #wickedchallenge.  Well.... deep breath... it came through on several of the yellows as well as stained some of the embroidery threads.  No worries, I added some black thread to the yellow embroidery threads - fixed that!  Then I added some white shiva paint to the offending areas - it looked so good I added it to a few more!  Do I have pictures, no.  Apparently, when I'm stressing and trying to fix something my let's document this falls to the wayside.  

So then I added some crystals - with all that ink why not have some bling too.  Then it was on to the binding and label, and it was done!



Now we just have to patiently (hahaha) wait for the finalists to be juried - 120 lucky entries will be chosen.  Oh dear, waiting until July 8th just may kill me!  Until then, here's a couple detail pics:

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Friends, Inspiration, and some catch-up

My friend, Nancy, wants so badly to make a double wedding ring quilt. She was told it was too difficult. Well, it is a difficult pattern, but no more than many others out there - when you put your mind to it anything is possible. So, she ordered a gazillion fabrics -- yes really!  She wants to make a more modern-type wedding ring. Well, let me tell you, all her excitement got me excited and inspired. You see, many, many moons ago I started a wedding star quilt. I had decided to use one fabric for the rings instead of following the pattern. Well, I got everything cut out, managed to piece one melon and had enough, it didn't help that I was dissatisfied with the green fabric. So, away the project went, into a tub on the shelf - most likely never to be touched again. Yes, it was a long time ago. I can tell you that I cut all the arcs while I sat in line at parent pickup waiting for my son from school. I can also tell you that he is now 23... like I said, a long time ago.  Here's a pic of the one and only melon - and see, that green doesn't even match (maybe that's why I put it away).

Well, I'm thinking all of Nancy's excitement stirred up some inspiration in me, I pulled down the tub of wedding ring parts, looked through all the pieces, remembered how much I love the arc fabric, and decided I might get back to this project. Except, I won't be piecing it.  I've decided I won't be doing the star parts either, just the arcs - a more traditional wedding ring quilt.  And better yet, I'll be appliqueing them - yay, I enjoy applique so much more than piecing.

So I took all the arc pieces that I cut with scissors eons ago, made a template and then cut foundation pieces for turned edge foundation applique.


  


My planned applique layout (I think this might work):

Stitching the edges down:

Piecing two appliqued blocks together:

And the green and brown for the four patch corners:

So blame this one on Nancy, but I must say, I did more work on this project over the weekend than I have in all the years I've had it!  Hopefully you'll see it on the frame sometime this year!

So what else has been going on you ask?
Well, I finished my Cherrywood Fabrics Lion King Challenge - you'll be able to read all about it soon.  I'm waiting until after the entry deadline to share all the wonderfulness with you!

I'm prepping for my next teaching event at Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, PA in July.  There are only a few spots left in my classes so if you're thinking about signing up you might not want to wait.  I'm only there for two days teaching Build-A-Stitch, Doodle Quilting, and Filling the Space - all three are awesome classes, and if you've taken a hands-on class with me before you know we stitch, and stitch, and then stitch some more!  No worries, we'll get you a chair if you're tired.

I'll also have my brand-new rulers with me at Quilt Odyssey.  I only have a very limited supply available for my students in class.  You can go to my website store or use the link on the sidebar over there -----> to preorder and as soon as I return from the show I'll be placing another order to have more made and you'll be the first ones to receive them!  They are awesome, I love them (maybe that's why I had them made...) and I'm planning to do a short video with them soon (so you can love them too).

One more tidbit for Quilt Odyssey -- I'm hoping (fingers crossed so tight my eyes are all squinty) to have my second book Build-A-Stitch 2 - Even More Stitches finished, printed, and ready for sale by then.

Oh, I also managed to cut, lazy-piece (my word for straight-line-not-much-thought-necessary piecing), and square up the blocks for an entire king-size quilt.  When it will get pieced into rows... hahaha, that's another story!




Well, I think that's it... for now!  And please excuse any typos - spell-checker is not working right now.  Happy Stitching peeps - go create something amazing!

Monday, June 6, 2016

The goings-on in my little world

So here goes a little quilty catch-up. I've been working on a few things (like always). In trying my best to stay on track (hahaha) I've been using due dates to select my work order. So during those far and few between moments that I'm not working on client work here's what I've been up to.

You all remember the Cherrywood Fabrics #wickedchallenge from last year, right?  If not, click here for my post about my entry, Elphie. Well, the #wickedchallenge was so awesome, that Cherrywood decided to do another one, the #lionkingchallenge. You know me, I had to be a part of this one too! Just look at those awesome fabrics!


Here's a peek at my project - what, a lion?  You've got to be kidding, right?!!  I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of lions for this challenge. But, remember, this is only a peek - it is going to change a lot!



And some of this:

And some of this:

And a whole bunch of these:

Can you tell it's almost killing me not to share? I absolutely love my challenge and can't wait until I'm able to share with all of you!

Okay, now you see what's been consuming all my free time. Well, almost. I did manage to float in the pool over the weekend!

And then there's that modern challenge I was talking about in my last post.  Here are the fabrics for that - some white Cotton Couture, and some beautiful blues from Cherrywood!

I do have a plan, but as of right now that's all it is - a plan. Stepping out of my comfort zone with this modern thing...

No, I haven't forgotten about Dance in the Rain, it's on the back burner for a few weeks as I try to get ahead on other deadlines - like my Journeys Thru Art Project, which is due in November. This years subject is bridges. I am doing the Trenton Makes bridge. I have a conference call tomorrow with the awesome Cindy Lohbeck (Hands on Hand Dyes) to discuss the background fabric - I can't wait to hear what she has planned for my background fabric.

Oh, and I can't forget about the Journeys Thru Art groups field trip this week... Zoo Miami!!  I can not wait! I have been wanting to do a quilt of the Giant Eland (Lord Derby Eland) for a long while now -- when I found out that Zoo Miami was one of only a handful of places that has the Giant Eland I literally squealed. Why? Because I can stand there all afternoon and take pictures until I get the one I absolutely want. So yeah, on top of everything else I want to create, we'll just add a Giant Eland quilt too - no biggy! So watch next week for some awesome zoo pics on my photo blog!

I think that's it... no worries, if I'm forgetting something it'll just be in the next post!