Friday, July 20, 2012

Fact-Filled Friday #1 - the beginning

This is a new thing I'm doing - well, at least for now.
At least one Friday a month I'm going to post a fact about me that you might now know.  Some of the facts will be interesting, some funny, and some just random and/or stupid.  No matter which fact I share, you (my peeps) will learn something about me, because as much as I want to believe I am superwoman - I am NOT, just plain human with some occasional crazy mixed in.

I'm going to start with how I started quilting -- it's a long post but so worth the read!  Bear with me, I tend to babble - that one was free!

Rewind back to 1994-ish.  I was in Rag Shop, saw a cute little cutting mat, rotary cutter, and fabric with an instruction sheet all bundled up in a little bit of wonderfulness.  Technically this is where it started, but not really because it ended in the same place.  I made two super cute (super crooked) log cabin blocks.  I turned both of them into my own version of a throw pillow (still to this day can't make a pillow) -- one went to my sister-in-law and I kept the other.  Yep, have no clue where it is... that's how special it wasn't.  Well, that was that, didn't go any farther.

Fast-forward to 2000.  Was still in Jersey.  My mother-in-law was already living down here (Florida) - she was totally hooked on quilting. At this point in my life, I was an Office Manager for a very large union electrical contractor (another freebie).  So one Saturday morning we're on the phone and this is how the conversation goes (now remember, everything she says is like a message from God - comes totally out of nowhere and she assumes you've heard all the pre-thoughts in her head):

MIL: hey how is everyone
ME: Great, getting ready to rake leaves (or some mundane Saturday chore, I really can't remember)
MIL:  You need to get a Gammill
ME: a what
MIL: a Gammill
ME: What is a Gammill?
MIL: it's this giant machine that sews quilts
ME: WTF are you talking about, I don't sew
MIL: you would be so good at it
ME: at what?
MIL: running the machine
ME: WTF are you talking about
MIL: the quilt shop here has a Gammill, you would be great with how well you draw and stuff
ME:  I do not understand what you are talking about and now you are giving me a headache
MIL: I'll send you a quilting magazine with a picture
ME: okay, whatever (like a picture is going to seriously help me understand WTF she's talking about)

Needless to say my arms where flying and a few palms to the forehead in frustration... you'd have to know me (and her) to truly understand.

Fast-forward to January 2003.  We had moved to Florida in 2002, bought a house falling to the ground with live subterranean termites (no, we did not know that when we bought it -- it passed two inspections) and were in the process of shit, just plain crapola shit.  My MIL thought I needed  a break.  She called me up and said I'm running to the the quilt shop to join a BOM, you should come along.  NO freaking way.  My house has no walls, everything is falling to the ground, we're cooking outside, eating in our family room, and washing dishes in the bathtub and you want me to leave this to go shopping for something I don't want or need (although getting out of the house to somewhere besides Lowes or Home Depot sounded wonderful).

So on the drive she's trying to convince me to join the BOM - at this point I'm like turn the heck around.  I do not need to join some stupid sewing thingy and make a block... WTF is a block anyway?  Why do I need quilts, I have a beautiful comforter that matches what should be my bedroom and all of it is stuffed in some box because we can't even unpack!  I was literally stamping my feet!  I did not want to start sewing, quilting, or anything of the sorts.  Then she says, but it's only $5 - what, you want me to pay to doing something I don't want to do.  She's like, fine, I'll pay for you.  I'm like yeah, and you'll sew for me too, just take me home!

So we get to the quilt shop.  She's like look at all the beautiful fabric.  Yeah... it was was nice.  But I still did NOT want any part of this.  She signs us up, we go back to her house, and she's like first we wash the fabric.  Now, if you know me, your cringing... if you don't, I'm totally WTF'g!!!  In this little sandwich bag are tiny little pieces of fabric.  The largest one is like 4"x6"... HELLO?  This is seriously going to get lost in the washer.  She's like NO, we wash it in the sink.  Are you nuts?  Nope, she was dead serious - I think she secretly works for the notorious Quilting Police!  So... we wash, we dry, we iron... I am not a gold-plater... not even close.  Do it, get it done, on to the next thing!  This was a serious waste of time (I am still a non-prewasher).  So, finally like 12 hours later (exaggerating) we start cutting our tiny little pieces into smaller little pieces.. OMG, when the freak are we going to sew?  Soon... did you all know I have ADD, OCD, and serious impulse disorders... OMG lets go!  So, we sew.  This is the best part - my MIL is anal about sewing, lining up, pinning, pressing, matching, ripping out when perfection does not occur... me, not so much!  I sewed too fast, I sewed too crooked, I was doing it all wrong!  But, I did it.  I must say, once we got beyond all that stupid crap it was fun, I created a block.

I was now a piecer!  A very fast piecer.  Lead foot on the sewing machine, the ability to incorporate the fudge-factor, and not use pins.  I was pretty precise, and yes, I did use a pin every so often when absolutely necessary.  So... when do we get our next block?  She says next month.  WTF... remember, OCD... I want more - now.  What am I supposed to do until next month?  So we go back to the quilt shop and I bought two applique rooster patterns (Radical Roosters by Florine Johnson), and yes, they still hang in my laundry room and every time I look at them I say, wow, look how freaking far have I come!  Here they are:

And finally after what seemed like beyond an eternity, I finished the BOM quilt - I don't have a picture because who knew back then... but here's a picture of it now - stop... stop laughing, get up off the floor and back to reading!  I did not quilt it, MIL did it on Natalie's longarm.  And, the best part, this quilt belongs to Peaches... she stole it from the pile at the bottom of the closet -- it's all hers so it really doesn't look as good as it should (at least somebody liked it).  And OMG, so square and look at that binding!  So anyone out there that thinks they aren't ever going to improve -- look at this quilt.  We all start somewhere!

Okay, still not done with the beginning -- many other projects, quilts, learning, improving, etc...

Fast-forward again to July 2005.  I've been working at Treasure Coast Quilt Studio (no longer with us) for some time, doing the newsletter, sewing samples, and occasionally working on the floor -- pretty much handing them back my paycheck every week (that's how it is when you work for a quilt shop).  Tammy (the owner) says "we're going to be selling the Gammill Classic, I'll let you know what to write up in the newsletter, that is unless you're interested".  Me, I think I am... I think.  Yep, I am.  I bought a 2003 Gammill Classic Plus with a 12' table.  And that is truly where I found my calling.

That's my story... well, up until this point.  The rest is still happening each and every day, and I am glad that you are all a part of it!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wonderlust... on the road

On Monday I shipped Wonderlust off to Hershey, PA.  Next week she will be competing at Quilt Odyssey - a fantastic show.  If you're anywhere in the area, make sure you stop in and visit, you won't be disappointed.  It runs from 7/26-7/29.  Here's the website for more details.  I was honored to take two ribbons there last year, a Third Place on Oliver and a Second Place on Clouds in My Latte.  Surely this year's quilts will be incredible.  Unfortunately I won't be able to attend... busy here quilting away on customer work.  If you do happen to go, feel free to snap some photos for me!

Once Wonderlust is finished at Quilt Odyssey, she's being rushed home, and immediately rushed back out for a super-secret something.  I can't share yet, but don't you worry. As soon as I can, I will.  I also have some super-secret info on Clouds in My Latte... to be shared at a later date.  Oh... loving all these secrets -- feeling so spy-esque!

But the best news happened this afternoon.  Wonderlust is going to Houston!  WooHoo!!!  I received my Finalist Notification late this afternoon.  I am beyond thrilled.  This is my second year in a row competing at Houston.  You'll remember, Oliver was there last year.  If not, read about it here, he even made it into International Quilt Festival's 2011 Quilt Scene magazine.

Let me tell you, my stomach had been in barfy-butterfly mode all afternoon.  So many talented quilters were posting on facebook that their quilts had been rejected.  I was so nervous, anxiously awaiting my email... whether it would be an acceptance or a rejection.  The levels of anxiety today were off the charts.  Thank goodness I had a guild meeting, it helped to keep my mind off it, if only for a little while.

And don't worry, I'll keep you informed about all that super-secret stuff real soon -- I promise!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

July... Really?!!

It is July - already!  Half the year is gone - poof - just like that!  This means one thing... I have some deadlines coming up.

September: Journeys Thru Art Group yearly project.  It wasn't really due this early but we are trying to get them finished for entry into a show in November.

September: entries due for the Mancuso show in West Palm Beach (World Quilt Show Florida - SE States Competition)... do I have anything completed -- NO!  Do I want to compete - YES!  Dilemma... the story of my life!

October: UFO Challenge -- I brought in my UFO's and the guild members chose which one I needed to finish.  Was I freaking nuts signing up for this?  I must've been, but then again, if I can get this project done by September (early) then I will also have a competition quilt ready for the Mancuso show in November -- hmmm, maybe my subconscious was thinking ahead.

October: MCQ Guild Challenge.  Yep, you remember last years project, Stella Luminosa, right?  You remember how it lived in the "I hate your right now corner" for months.  Well, guess what... I don't even have a project for this years challenge... not even a thought.  What I do have is my official piece of swapped fabric and a list of rules.  It must be a scrap quilt - 12 or more fabrics and must use the swapped fabric.  Hmmm... should I run with this?  I'm sure I can whip something up while I'm sleeping.

Thinking I seriously need a second machine because my customer schedule is booked solid through September!  I don't know when I'll be able to quilt my own stuff... lack of sleep sounds like a viable option!

Here's the worst part -- I know there is one more item for my deadlines list, but I can't remember what it is, and no, there is no post-it note either... I'm in trouble!

Oh, and on top of that stuff, I have two super-secret thingy's coming up... can't wait to share, but not yet... soon, I hope!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Another month of photos.  I'm really love this.  Some days it is so difficult to find your photo and yet other days it's done in milli-seconds.  I also love the fact that my posting these pics on facebook inspires so many others to start doing it as well.  It is fun!  If you don't know anything about it, check out Fat Mum Slim's blog, each month she puts up a new list and that's it.  If you miss a day, so what!  Just get out and snap some pics!

So, it's going to be a long enough post without any more of my babblings, so here goes:

Day 1 - morning

Day 2 - empty

Day 3 - on your plate

Day 4 - close-up

Day 5 - sign

Day 6 - hat

Day 7 - drink

Day 8 - six o'clock

Day 9 - your view today

Day 10 - best bit of your weekend

Day 11 - door

Day 12 - from a low angle

Day 13 - art

Day 14 - time

Day 15 - yellow

Day 16 - out and about

Day 17 - in your bag

Day 18 - something we don't know about you

Day 19 - imperfect

Day 20 - fave photo you've ever taken

Day 21 - where you slept

Day 22 - from a high angle

Day 23 - movement

Day 24 - on you rmind

Day 25 - something cute

Day 26 - where you shop

Day 27 - bathroom

Day 28 - on the shelf

Day 29 soft

Day 30 - a friend
And there you have it... another month in pictures.  

Hopefully back to some quilty stuff soon.  There are some really exciting things happening -- I just can't share them yet!  Stay tuned, read on, comment away.

Have a wonderful 4th of July - stay safe and have fun!