Wednesday, August 29, 2012

MCQG 2012 Challenge

Well... if you know anything about me, you know I love to share.  Sometimes too much -- if that is at all possible!

It's time to create my Martin County Quilters yearly challenge.  This year is a bit different.  The theme is leaves and it must be scrappy -- oh, and it must contain the certified swapped member fabric.  I lucked out and received a piece of brown fabric.  I can work with brown, it's one of my favorite colors! But, scrappy?  uhhh... scrappy?  Me and scrappy don't usually get along.  I'm a big solid kinda' girl.  But, this is a challenge and if I'm not challenging myself what is the point?    So here's a peek at the rules and my swapped fabric.

I'm secretly laughing because up until a couple of weeks ago I had completely crossed this challenge off my list.  I was finally accepting the fact that I had no ideas, not even a stray thought and I wouldn't be participating this year.  When... suddenly... while walking down the hall... it hit me.  An epiphany!  I'm crazy busy with customer work, as well as my own competition pieces, and also my Journeys Thru Art projects.  No where in my little mind did I think I'd actually be following through with the MCQG challenge.  So now I'm wondering where exactly does this challenge fit into my already over sticky post-it world?!!

Warning:  If you do not want to see my MCQG Challenge -- stop reading now -- oversharing coming right up!  

Way long ago, back when this old broad was in high school, she had an amazing creative writing teacher, Mr. Crosby.  We weren't allowed to use lined paper because it limited your thought.  We were encouraged to write, doodle, graffiti all over our folders to stimulate creativity.  The windows were always open even in the dead of winter -- "cold air is better for thought".  An amazing teacher!  This was truly my most favorite class of all time.  He wrote in my yearbook and those words have stayed with me through all these years...  in a strong wind bend a little and your leaves will stay with you.  That was the epiphany... that little note written in my yearbook, almost eons ago!

So last night I was sitting here and poof.  I doodled out my idea.  It's pretty close to what's in my head.  But as we all know and understand the creative process, things will change, designs will be altered, colors added, things deleted, but here is my beginning idea:

Pretty cool, I think... but hey, it's my idea -- I'm calling it Bend!

And back to that scrappy thing... ugh!  Here are just a few scraps that I've pulled together:

So, what do you think?  Winner?  Good idea?  Sucks?  Let me know!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

JTA Door Challenge WINS!

Wow... so much excitement in one morning can give a girl a headache!
But, it's good excitement which results in (if possible) a good headache!

Remember my door challenge...

and all the others in the group:

We entered the Ultimate Guild Challenge at American Quilters Society (AQS) Grand Rapids and we took an Honorable Mention ribbon.  YAY US!  Some people say oh, only Honorable Mention -- ha!  Like I have said a million times before being accepted to a show is fantastic, winning a ribbon is icing.  Super delicious butter-cream icing!  The best part of one of my quilts being at a show... seeing people standing in front of the quilt looking in awe, wonder, and enjoyment -- that is winning, ribbon or not!

Click here for a link to ALL the winners at AQS Grand Rapids -- congratulations everyone!

So, if you are new to my blog, or just happen to have missed all the door goodness, below are some links to previous posts -- because making my door was a super fun, stress-filled, how-the-heck-am-I-going-to-do-that journey!  (Don't be alarmed, some of the older posts are from my other blog.)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Super Secret #1 - revealed!

I can now share Super Secret #1

Back in the end of June I received an interesting email.  It was from Machine Quilting Unlimited, you know, the super-awesome machine quilting magazine!  If you don't know about this fantastic magazine, just click the link and go check them out.  It seems that while Clouds in My Latte was hanging at American Quilters Society's show in Paducah back in April, a couple of super nice ladies from MQU were checking it out -- the words "stopped us in our tracks" were used.

Holy crapola, gives me goosebumps just thinking about it!  To think that something I created had the ability to do that.  So I've been teasing and wanting to share with all of you, but didn't want to blurt it out until it actually happened, so.... now that the September/October issue has been printed, I can officially share!  Clouds in My Latte can be found on page 78 under the Noteworthy section.

Make sure you get your copy!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Strong Roots - Art Deco

Some days I surprise myself, and today was one of those days!

It was just yesterday that I posted my Journeys Thru Art Impressionism project.  Yes, just over 24 hours ago!  And you remember me saying how I hate Art Deco and I didn't even want to work on it until the end  *laughing loudly* not only did I think about working on it, I drew it out and finished the block construction today!

I was going to spend today quilting on a customer quilt, but it was a rough attention day... I was truly bouncing all over the place.  So I did nothing, putzed... all morning, into early afternoon.  Well while I was eating lunch I doodled out my Art Deco block.  Wow, that worked out.  After lunch I was quite rammy (from too much putzing - also known as boredom), and getting cranky (sounds like a toddler I know, but its true).  So I put all that aggravated energy to good use... I started my Art Deco block.  I figured why waste the crankies?!!  I told myself, I'm already in a rotten mood, get on with it and do what you don't feel like doing!

And bam, it was done!   I don't even have pictures of the process because it happened so fast -- I was on a serious roll and wasn't stopping!

It's not yet quilted and still needs to be trimmed to size, but it is created!

To keep with my previous JTA post, here is the brief lesson on Art Deco:

Art Deco is a decorative style that is essentially an extension of the French Art Nouveau and English Aesthetic styles, but also includes elements of Arts and Crafts form. Some historians claim that because of its eclectic borrowing from so many sources, it should not be identified as a distinct style. Yet it has enjoyed recurrent popularity, and has contributed to later stylistic developments. The term Art Deco is used to describe a design style that originates around World War I, and runs through to World War II (c. 1915-1945).
The style emphasizes surface embellishment, drawing heavily on the colors and styles of some of the early modern art movements, from Impressionism through Cubism. Like many of the modern art styles, it was inspired by Chinese and Japanese art, both of which were popular during this period.

Only two more to go!!!  Perhaps next weekend?  I can't wait to share them all hanging next to each other - that should be pretty cool!  But that won't happen until after they are quilted and bindings are on.  Soon, very soon!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Strong Roots - Impressionism

Instead of spending my day floating in the pool, I decided to work.  Ahh... yes, but on my own stuff -- the Journeys Thru Art 2012 project.  Recently we all decided to work at our own paces (rush) and attempt to get these done early.

The projects are miniquilts (blocks) for these six styles of art:  Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism, Art Deco, Impressionism, and Pop Art.

You remember my Fauvism square right?  If not click here.
And my Cubism... no?  Click here.

Well... Expressionism.  That one needs to be redone.  I wanted to do the entire square as thread painting... started, block shrunk up more than 1/2 inch and I'd only just started.  That was making it extremely difficult to keep at my 12" finished size.  So instead of trying to calculate exactly how much larger I'd need to start, it is easier (and quicker) to redo.  This time I'll use some paint and some thread play

Onward... Art Deco... bleck!  Not my favorite.  We'll skip that one and do it later.  Don't want to crush the creativity because I'm not happy with the style, we're on a deadline here people!

Impressionism.... B I N G O!  Easy peasy!

Now, for those that don't know about Impressionism here comes a brief (super short) art lesson compliments of Wikipedia (click here if you want to read the full version):
Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists. Their independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s, in spite of harsh opposition from the conventional art community in France. The name of the style derives from the title of a Claude Monet work, Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise), which provoked the critic Louis Leroy to coin the term in a satiric review published in the Parisian newspaper Le Charivari.Impressionist painting characteristics include
  • Relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes
  • Open composition
  • Emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities 
  • Common, ordinary subject matter
  • Inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience
  • Unusual visual angles
Radicals in their time, early Impressionists violated the rules of academic painting.  They constructed their pictures from freely brushed colours that took precedence over lines and contours, following the example of painters such as Eugène Delacroix and J. M. W. Turner. They also painted realistic scenes of modern life, and often painted outdoors. Previously, still lifes and portraits as well as [1]  The Impressionists found that they could capture the momentary and transient effects of sunlight by painting en plein air. They portrayed overall visual effects instead of details, and used short "broken" brush strokes of mixed and pure unmixed colour—not blended smoothly or shaded, as was customary—to achieve an effect of intense colour vibration.

I choose to use a snippet technique for my block.  I felt this would accomplish the small, visible brush stroke criteria.  My tree is definitely ordinary subject matter, and all the rest, well, we won't worry about those... deadline, remember?

Here are my palettes blues for the sky, greens for grass, and browns for the tree:

And the day in pictures (minus the sticky glue/fusible fingers):

Strong Roots - Impressionism

So what do you think?  I know, it still needs to be quilted -- that's a breeze!  Stay tuned for more on my Journeys Thru Art 2012 projects!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Update on True Colors (mexican pinwheel)

I believe it has been almost forever since I've posted anything quilty!  I've posted my #PHOTOADAY challenges, I've posted two Fact-Filled Friday's already.  But not much quilty stuff...  that doesn't mean I haven't been creating, it just means I've been crazy over here in life-land, and I've also been doing a lot of major custom's for customer's (check out the other blog here).

A couple of months ago I decided to take part in the Crazy Quilters (one of my guilds) UFO Challenge.  You were to bring in 2-3 unfinished projects and let the members chose which UFO you would finish.  Well, I brought in two UFO's -- my silk embroidery quilt and my mexican pinwheel.  Well, mexican pinwheel won.  As part of this, my challenge is to have this quilt totally finished by the deadline of the October 3rd meeting!  Really?  Did I really sign up for this?  I usually work much better with deadlines... usually.

So, all those times that I'm not living life, and I'm not working on customer's beauties, I've been making circles.  Little 3/4" circles for around the border.

So, I was circling away when out of nowhere OCD showed up!  How could I possibly keep making circles and not know if there was a sort of balance to the colors...

So the circling continued until there were 88 of those little buggers!  

Also during all that circling the mexican pinwheel was named True Colors.  I was workng on making circles one night and it just happened to be after notifications of a quilt show and I was on facebook reading some "not-so-nice" comments.  Most people were congratulating others, but there were a few that weren't so joyful.  They weren't vicious, just not very nice, almost making the point that the quilts that were accepted were somehow less significant than others.  More like referencing that, but not actually saying it kind-of-thing.  So during all that "commotion" I kept saying wow, some people are really showing their true colors... hopefully my true colors never get that nasty shade of green!

So here is the latest picture of True Colors.  I've finished placing all the circles on the borders, now to just stitch them on... machine or hand, still not sure.

See, I have been working!  Until next time, happy quilting, stitching, piecing, appliqueing... what ever floats your boat and makes you happy!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fact-Filled Friday #2 - redneck-ness...

I am a redneck.

Did reading that make you laugh?  Cringe?

Posting about my being a redneck might seem strange to you, but remember that I said I'd be posting at least one Friday a month with things you might not know about me?  Well here you go!

I felt the need to write this post based on a few comments on facebook in response to a status I posted.  The status said, "off to AnxietyLand, oh I mean WallyWorld".  What I meant was that I sometimes have anxiety when I grocery shop by myself.  But some people posted comments making fun of rednecks. 

Now if I had posted that I was going for a drive to one of the roughest neighborhoods in town, would people have posted comments with racial slurs?  I'd like to hope not.  If I had said I was going to a gay bar, would people have made fun of gays?  Certainly not.  That's wrong!

So why is it okay to redneck-bash?

I think that from the outside looking in, the life of a "redneck" is really misunderstood.  People tend to believe the stereotypes that we are racist pigs with two teeth.  In reality, all that being a redneck means to me (an actual redneck) is that I hunt and fish for my own food, don't live a wasteful life, wear camo, drive a pickup and YES, I even shop at WalMart!  A redneck isn't so much a type of person as a way of life.  Friends and family always come first but you will help a stranger that needs it.  You say what you mean and mean what you say.  You are honest.  You don't tolerate liars and thieves.  You work hard.  You thrive in the outdoors.

What is there to make fun of?

Don't get me wrong.  Those comments didn't hurt my feelings and I really don't care, but I also don't understand.  I make no secret of being a redneck.  It is who I am, and I like me!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Another month of photos. Holy guacamole... another month?!! Where did it go? As I age I am seriously losing all concept of time! I swear I just took some of these pictures yesterday!

Like I say every month - this is fun! If you don't know anything about #PHOTOADAY, 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!  July's list:

So, here goes - July in pictures:

Day 1 - self portrait
Day 2 - busy

Day 3 - best part of your day
Day 4 - fun

Day 5 - on the floor

Day 6 - chair

Day  - garden

Day 8 - lunch

Day 9 - big

Day 10 - your favorite color

Day 11 - letter

Day 12 - texture

Day 13 - open

Day 14 - building

Day 15 - finger

Day 16 - sign
Day 17 - your addiction

Day 18 - plate

Day 19 - animal/insect/pet

Day 20 - eyes

Day 21 - 9 o'clock

Day 22 - upside down

Day 23 - mirror

Day 24 - a stranger
Day 25 - heart

Day 26 - sunshine

Day 27 - on the road

Day 28 - cup

Day 29 - last thing you bought

Day 30 - calm

Day 31 - toothbrush

And there is it... JULY as it happened in my little world.

Hoping to be able to post about Super Secret #1 and Super Secret #2 very soon!  Until then, happy pics, happy quilts, happy life!