Saturday, September 29, 2012

and a new quilt is born...

WHAT?  Yes, you all know how busy I am right now, the deadlines I'm supposed to be missing -- I mean meeting, and everything else in my crazy wonderful life.

My main deadline was the World Quilt Show Florida IV (Mancuso).  My second deadline was the PSLCQ Guild UFO Challenge.  For these deadlines I was going to use the same quilt -- True Colors.  World Quilt Show entries were due by 9/24 and the UFO Challenge is due 10/3 -- seemed totally possible in a crazy sort of way.  Well... it was Wednesday or Thursday when I realized that four days was NOT enough time to quilt True Colors.  So what do you think I did?... seriously... wait for it... I designed a small wholecloth to whip-up over the weekend.  Am I  *bleeping* nuts... YES!  I am *bleeping* insanely nuts, well beyond that of the normal nuts person!  But not really.  A small wholecloth is one design, one fabric, one color thread, and some background fills.  Totally possible over a weekend, remember I said small wholecloth and I'd be using each and every possible hour of that weekend.  The amount of quilting planned for True Colors will probably span out over a two-week period (if not more).  So, True Colors will just debut at a later show -- and, I have failed at my UFO Challenge -- no worries, I can live with both.

So here goes the weekend in photos:


Now... the name -- Sidewalk Chalk
Cute huh?  How the heck did this quilt get named that?  Let me start with I did not name this quilt -- and it's a good thing!  Lets go back to me quilting... grey fabric, chambrey to be exact.  I LOVE GREY... it is a problem!  Anyway, you have to realize that while I'm quilting my face is maybe 10-12 inches from the fabric the entire time.  This grey is the color of concrete.  I'm using they most beautiful pastel variegated thread.  All I can see is concrete.  When I spritz the quilt with water to remove markings all I can see is wet concrete!  So... with concrete on my mind I'm thinking of names... hmmmm... concrete?  Pretty thread?... concrete?  You can see this is going no where.  So, texting begins with one of the besties...

Me:  concrete?
Bestie:  you can't call it concrete - that's ugly
Me:  and... it looks like concrete, with candy
Bestie:  no, that just does not sound right
Me:  well, it freaking looks like concrete, cement, call it what you may
Bestie:  sidewalk... and the thread looks like chalk on the sidewalk

and a new quilt was born, thank you Lisa!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Wrong-doings turned RIGHT!

...not really wrong-doings, more like should have been doing something else.

I am behind on customer quilts -- what else is new.  But, the weekends are mine, or at least they should be!  Most of the time I only take one day for myself, but this weekend I took both days - can you believe it!

You've all heard about my latest deadlines... quilt shows, guild challenges, etc.  Well, this weekend I should have been working on True Colors.  Not, nope, didn't happen... I know, I know!  True Colors has two deadlines - I know, something can't have two deadlines... the first one would be THE deadline.  BUT, in this case it really does have two.  The first one being the World Quilt Show Southern States Competition in West Palm Beach.  The entry deadline for that show is 9/24/2012.  Possible... if I quilt like a mad woman, do nothing else, and fall yet further behind on customer work.  The second one being the PSL Crazy Quilters UFO Challenge (read a bit about it here).  That is not due until 10/3/2012.  See - the same quilt can have two deadlines... if I miss the first one it will be bad, but still okay.  I'm babbling...  back to the topic of this post!

Saturday morning I woke up super early, after less than 4 hours sleep (that is my norm lately).  It was a dreary miserable rainy morning so I decided to piece the background of my MCQG challenge.  That would be good and would solve the boring rainy morning.  Well, that is how it started!

and... that was your warning!  

And, if you missed the first post, click here!

To catch you all up on my weekend, here's some show and tell -- and being that I'm babbling it'll probably be lots of tell:

Let me say again, I am not a very scrappy person.  I love big blank fabrics so that my quilting pops.  So, this will be a very good attempt at controlled scrappiness!

And there's the fabrics!  Well, some of the fabrics.  Notice, not very many prints.  I am becoming a "fabric snob"  -- no, its not a bad thing, it's just my thing.

And, messiness is starting.. maybe this is why I haven't been piecing that much lately?

Almost done with the darks, dirt, ground, bottom, whatever you want to call it.  Let me share one of my biggest peeves... pressing.  I press seams OPEN.  ALL of them, OPEN!  You don't have to, it's just something I do, I prefer it, but I won't force it on you... well, unless I'm quilting for you, then I'll fill your ear with it.  Oh, and you see that one strange fabric that is so much different than the rest?  Hint:  it's a kinda' calico-ish brown -- that's not mine, that was the swap fabric.

And the lights -- notice the difference in row sizes... trying to keep it interesting -- it's scraps you know?  And look at the darks, see that tiny little braided strip?  Cool huh?  it is from the same fabric as the very far left side (a basket weave), just cut differently.  So far that's my favorite one!

And now, to sew the darks to the lights.  Looking pretty good.  That's pretty much how I saw it in my head.

Now, some of you know how much I love brown.  It is one of my very favorite colors.  Well, I also have a favorite fabric line -- RJR Handsprays.  Eons ago, while still working at the quilt shop, I bought 5 yards of the brown Handspray -- I think it was called chocolate.  Anyway... this is the very last piece of that five yards.  WHAT you say... no worries, after I bought that 5 yards, I bought another 3 yards!  I'm good with the brown!

BUT, since it was the very last piece (hence the word SCRAP), I had to piece two little sections for my tree applique.  Pretty cool huh!

And here's the tree all cut out ready for edge turning:

And here is the tree on the background fabrics.  Looking just like my doodle!  LOVE when things work out the way you planned!  So here is the first peek at Bend

So, now all that's left are the leaves that need to be made and attached to the tree.  There are 33 in the doodle -- not sure how many will actually make it to the quilt.  And to add the text of the quote.  Then all of the applique will need to be stitched down and then quilted.  But I'm thinking I made some great progress this weekend!  Oh, and this will finished to about 40" wide, right now it's about 46".

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Shop Hopped

A couple of weeks ago we (me and two of my besties) went on a shop hop.  This was what we consider a super-fun field trip as we no longer have any local quilt shops (LQS), and the fact that when we are together it gets a little crazy -- in a super fun stupidly non-stop giggling sort of way!

In the beginning...
we were driving...
well, Nancy was driving, I was taking pictures, and Natalie was just chilling.

And of course, there was lowered speed limit, so it felt like forever... not really, but you know!

So our first stop was Merritt Island.  A very nice shop (newer, I think) -- super helpful staff!
Sew Central, 353 E Merritt Island Cswy, Merritt Island, FL 32952

I picked up some beautiful grey sunbleached chambray -- and apparently my grey phase is not yet over!  And here is me photo-bombing Natalie's pic:

And, coming back from the island I took a picture while going over the bridge -- this is something I do, like over every bridge... seriously, don't ever travel with me -- I am weird!

Now I wish I had remembered to take a picture at each shop, but that didn't happen.  My attention span got the best of me!  I will post each shops name and address just in case you'd like to go visit them.  They were all pretty great shops!

And some car humor..  It seriously does not take much to amuse me.  This is the cutest little mirror in Nancy's car.

Next on the hop was Quilting Folks, 200 Forrest Ave., Cocoa, FL 32922
and no, not a single picture.  And honestly, the entire day is a blur... but I did pick up two spools of Floriani thread to try out, as per my buddy, McLisa Sipes this is an awesome thread.  I'll let you all know, one day soon, or at least I hope, soon.

And next... The Quilt Place, 575 Barton Blvd., Rockledge, FL 32955

There they are... my besties - Nancy and Natalie!  And upon walking into the store ran into a few of our PSL croonies -- Pat and Gerri...  Lori is missing behind the camera and Marian and Joyce were on their way!

So at The Quilt Place I snookered up a few pieces of fabric -- yellow, green, and brown Kona dimensions -- luscious fabric!!!  I'm thinking a table runner for the dining room!  Don't even hold your breath until it happens.  One day, not necessarily any day in the near future!  Oh, and they had fresh coffee... soooo nice of them!

So by this point we were starving... stah--ving!  Thank goodness Marian and Joyce knew about a place just down the street -- good food, great company -- the makings of a perfect lunch!

And I know the picture is blurry -- the waitress took it.  I was just thankful she took one, didn't want to press my luck.

From there were went to Quilts and Lace, 7720 N. Wickham Road, Melbourne, FL
This was an interesting stop... saw a black satin Latte quilt -- interesting, not very much quilting on it.  We also had tornado warnings... they're always so much fun!  And, I played on their Baby Lock mid arm - and yes, Natalie snapped a picture!

This little "mid-arm" felt like a tiny little microscopic machine, and I was non-regulated stitching using 95% of the motor just playing... seriously -- I'll stay with my Gammill!  But I did stitch away soooo much showing Joyce what is possible that the shop owner told me he was going to charge me for the fabric I just stitched on... ??

Driving to the next stop... craziness ensued... and only three of us will laugh at this...  "you are a BAD leader"!!!

Next on the list was Sewing Gallery, 4501 N. Wickham Road, Melbourne, FL 32935
It was here at this adorable little shop that I found Yenmet thread.  As I was informed by McLisa, this is awesome thread!  I bought a pale pink opalescent and can't wait to try it!  Also at this shop I found an entire corner of dupioni silk... yum-ness!  All three of us, me, Nancy, an Natalie purchased some.  I will definitely keep this shop on my list!  Warning... nerd alert... here's me being me finding cool thread and beautiful silks! (and that is a kinda' scary look -- I am sure I was in mid-word -- I talk a lot, in case you didn't know)...

It was at this point that Marian and Joyce went on their way, and Nancy, Nat, and I continued hopping.

Next up was Boutique 4 Quilters, 2945 W. New Haven Avenue., Melbourne, FL 32904
This is where our guild recently had a quilters day out.  Great shop, great staff -- beyond friendly and helpful.

Coffee... must have coffee... detour to find something, anything.. McDonalds -- it'll do!  Mocha Frappe coming right up.  Okay, totally recharged, and continue...

It was at this point we experienced GPS meltdown... one GPS unit, a Droid phone, and an iphone... all three different directions... all three.. WRONG!

Well, we're at water... left would be north and right would be south.  We're going right.  All three GPS's told us approximately 6 miles... well guess what... nothingness was in 6 miles... it's 5:45, the shop hop ends at 6:00!  We have all but one stamp on our passports... seriously!  We call, they say we're about 12 miles away... and that they would be more than happy to stay open for us!  Awesomeness!

Here's the final stop for the day!
Marilou's Quilting and Sewing Center, 8802 US 1, Sebastian, FL 32958.
Great people... seriously.  Anyone willing to stay open for three lost wacko quilters is awesome!  It was here that I purchased some amazingly beautiful bridal satin.  OMG, it is a wholecloth waiting to be born!

So, to sum it all up - fantastic day!  Here's a peek at my purchases, well minus the Frappe...