Tuesday, February 21, 2017

ECGS Conference is coming up soon!

This time next month I'll be heading to the East Coast Gammill/Statler Conference.  This will be my third year teaching there and I can't wait -- this is one of my favorite teaching events!

I've heard that there are extremely limited slots left -- if you are on the fence you'd better not wait to think about it... seriously. It is a fantastic venue, lots of food, great people, and you have so many instructors to choose from -- over 20 hours of instruction included!  Classes cover so many topics for both hand-guided as well as Statler.  And the open forums in the evening are great -- you can catch up on something you missed in class or just pick our brains!

Click here for more info, you can also contact Lori or Emily at Threads Run Thru It.  Hope to see you there!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Trenton Makes... progress

I've been working on my bridge quilt in all my spare time [insert really sarcastic tone].  I should say attempting to make time at every possible opportunity - like no down time, no naps, just bridge.  You see, I've missed the first deadline.  It was an early group deadline, and I still have time before it is actually missed, but somewhere in the back of my mind I feel I let the group down - there are also others in the group that aren't finished, but I still feel that way.

If you don't remember the bridge, click here.  The original due date was November, hahaha, that was extended to February.  Yep, and I still didn't make it, see why I feel bad?

Turning edges... millions of them!

Painting neon letters

Spelling words

Trashing manicures

More painting

Trying to figure out how to attach the letters

Well, that worked! 

Placing pieces on the background

Stitching those edges down (miles and miles and miles)

This happened way too many times!

Stitching down the leather pieces and letters were just popping off.

Making the neon edges glow a wee bit more.

Okay, looks pretty good.

Loaded on the Gammill and waiting for me.

Ditching the edges with black (what was I thinking -- do you know how many edges there are?)

So in the last bridge post, you'll remember I said sometimes quilts go through a period of dislike?  Yeah, I'm there.  So there.  My heart isn't in this project anymore.  I'm not sure what happened, or exactly when it happened, but I'm just not *feeling it* anymore.  I'm still going to finish it, I've just become emotionally separated from it.  And yes, I'm still hoping that during the quilting process *it* comes back - I truly want to feel strongly about every quilt I make, I don't want to just produce them, I want to create them.  I hope that makes sense.

So, the next time you see this quilt, it'll be finished - and fingers crossed I love it again!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Ogee Rulers!!

I am beyond excited about my newest ruler - the OGEE!  They are currently available for PREORDER -- I'm hoping to have them in my hands for shipment mid-end January.  But, if you'd like to be one of the first to receive them, you might want to pre-order.  Here's a link to my website store, just scroll down until you see them.

As with everything, there is a story... here is the prototype photo:

The prototypes were designed based on my drawings.  Well... me being a lefty and all, I do many things from the right and don't even realize.  The actual rulers will be the reverse of what's in the photo -- you know, with 90% of the world doing things from the left my prototypes would be a little difficult.  Well, not really, as you flip the ruler around when you're using it, but having them aesthetically pleasing is kinda important to me.

So here are just a few of the awesome things possible:

Even as I'm typing this I'm thinking of even more ways to use this ruler!  

Oh, the details... I almost forgot!  The 2" is $15, the 4" is $22, and the 6" in $30 -- or you can buy the set of three for $60 and save!  So if you're interested, go ahead and follow the store link and place your preorder.  You'll get an email notification as soon as they are available (mid-end January).  I can't wait to see what all you amazing peeps can do with them!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Secret Project Reveal!

If you follow along on Facebook you might recall reading bits about a super-secret project between Jodi Robinson and myself.  It had everyone very curious... people wanted to know why Jodi was sending a quilt to me for quilting - they couldn't figure out what we were up to!

It was only kept secret because it was a surprise for Shandi at Gammill -- she was expecting.  I say was, because her beautiful baby girl is here already!  Anyway, we created a beautiful baby quilt for Shandi.  Jodi did the design and piecing and I did the quilting and binding.  I'm so glad Jodi agreed to the piecing part -- if I were piecing it, we'd all still be waiting - seriously!  The pattern is from the book Applique for Modern Beginners - which Jodi just happened to co-author along with Eva Birch and Nancy Gano.  For all those interested, here is a link to the book on Jodi's blog:  https://jrdesigns.wordpress.com/applique-for-modern-beginners-book/  I haven't yet seen the book but, knowing two of these three I'm sure it is awesome!

I must admit, the quilt has been finished for a little while now - well, except for the attachment of the label, I almost forgot about it!  Back at the end of August Jodi and I were supposed to have a quick trip to Gammill HQ (aka the mothership) which also happened to be the time Shandi was heading out for her maternity leave and we really wanted to hand deliver the quilt to her.  With multiple scheduling conflicts our visit has been postponed so we had to ship the quilt off -- bummer, right?

But we didn't miss out - here's a little tidbit I grabbed from Shandi's Facebook page:

I think Marat looks quite pleased with her new quilt!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Big City Brights!

Holy stitches I've finished a quilt for me!
Okay, I should rephrase and say I've quilted a quilt for me!  My bestie, Natalie, actually pieced the quilt top.  A few months back I rescued it from her never-gonna-get-quilted UFO pile.  I loved all the colors and the illusion of tall city buildings...hence the name, Big City Brights!  Regarding the pattern name... well, it was awhile ago and Natalie can't quite remember.  She does remember it was in a magazine - I know, not much help, right?  It is essentially a square in a square and two rectangles.  The color placement is what creates the illusion.

So, even though I managed to save it from Natalie's pile, it sat here in a new pile.  Not because I didn't want to quilt it, I did, very much so.  My pile was due to lack of time -- btw, someone really needs to work on that, creating more time!  Fast forward a wee bit, Janet-Lee (of MQX fame) posted that there was a need for edge-to-edge quilts at MQX Midwest.  Knowing I had this awesome quilt top just sitting there waiting for stitching I thought I could certainly help out.  So I squeezed (and boy do I mean squeezed) this throw-size quilt into my schedule.  It's stitched in my usual eclectic-whatever-comes-out-of-the-needle style and I absolutely love it!  It will be at MQX Midwest, and I doubt it will ribbon - it wasn't planned as a competition piece at all -- but, I hope others like it as well.

Here's a pic of the finished quilt as well as a detail pic:

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

For ME Friday - Screen Prints

I realize this is late but, last week I took another For Me Friday but this time, it was for my Journeys Thru Art group meeting.  It was a project update - all of the bridges are coming along nicely, except mine.  Well, that's another story, for another day - let's just say I'm having a do-over (more to follow on that).

So, on to the other part of the meeting. We used Deb's Thermofax machine for screen prints. What a fun project!  I took three of my doodles and scanned them so I could print them on the laser - you need a carbon based toner for the Thermofax to work:

Then we placed the doodles under the special screen (I don't know what it's called) and put them through the Thermofax machine.  Here's Deb & Marian:

Tape up the sides to ease with paint and removal.  Add some of this:

Grasp firmly and pull the squeegee at a 45-degree angle:

And, magically get this:

Here they are drying: 

It was an awesome day. Oh, and I can't wait to see how all these bridges progress. They are going to be awesome.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

For ME Friday: Trenton Makes

I always try to take Friday's to work on my own projects.  I have to, if not, I would never get a chance to work on my own stuff.  As much as I love stitching on client quilts, I also love creating my own pieces (although sometimes I get to a spot of dislike).

So today I worked on my bridge project as it is due in November.  My Journeys Thru Art challenge for this year is bridges.  I am doing the Trenton Makes Bridge - also known as the Lower Trenton Bridge as well as the Warren Street Bridge.  It is a truss bridge that crosses the Delaware River between Trenton, NJ and Morrisville, PA.  Why did I choose it?  It's a part of me, my history - you all know I'm originally from Trenton, NJ right, besides, it is a really cool bridge (especially at night when the words are lit).

So awhile back I had asked my good friend's brother (a pro-photographer) to get a fantastic pic of the bridge for me -- since I'm way down here in SoFlo.  There are a million photos on the internet but I wanted something special and also didn't want to deal with tracking down sources and rights and attempting to obtain permissions (and yes, I do have Robert's permission for use).  Here's the photo that Robert took:
Photo credit: Robert Bruschini Images, LLC
It is an awesome photo but, it comes with a story...
Robert and his wife wanted to get the sunrise behind this bridge.  So they woke up super early to get over to the PA side of the bridge to get the sun rising on the NJ side.  It was awesome, right?  BUT... did you know that they shut down the neon letters in the wee hours of the morning?  Nope, neither did they, so Robert did a little photoshopping to add the neon back into the awesome pic.

It is truly an awesome photo but, I needed to crop it down to be more bridge less scene to keep with the guidelines of our challenge.  So here is the cropped version:
Photo credit: Robert Bruschini Images, LLC
I still wanted to keep those intense blues in the first picture, so I commissioned Cindy Lohbeck of Hands on Hand Dyes to dye up awesome fabrics.  And she did!  She dyed up a few samples and sent me a bundle of goodies to choose from -- hahaha, choose, I wanted them all - just look at them!

Only two made it into the bridge project, but I will definitely find a use for all the others!  So here is the sky (sapphire blue) and the water (sapphire blue & black - Arashi shibori).  I had to piece the water on the diagonal to get the ripples going the right direction.  The background is much wider than my design board, which is why there is so much drape on the side -- the master copy I'm working from is about 65x36.  And, of course, the lighting isn't perfect (it was late):

So then came the steel work.  Hmm... all I can say is it was frustrating.  The master copy is black and white and trying to find the lines within the pattern was confusing and difficult.  I finally realized that it would have to be constructed in two layers.  Once I figured that out, the rest was just a lot of tracing to get my pattern pieces:

So that's where I'm at -- today I'll finish cutting out the pattern pieces and decide on a bridge structure fabric.  The bridge is that weird green, what I call Statue-of-Liberty green, but at night and with the glow of the lights and neon it turns into an even stranger golden-green-grey -- yeah, I'm sure I'll find fabric like that, or... paint!

So happy Saturday quilty peeps - hope your weekend is wonderful!

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...