Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mark it SOLD!!!!

A few posts ago I was asking for help with deciding whether or not to sell a particular quilt. I made the decision, set the price and the woman wants to buy it!!!

She was very kind in her email and said the following..... "I have a spot, front and center in our living room that I have already designated as ‘the’ perfect spot for ‘Sunflowers’. I am thrilled! Please know that having been a seamstress most of my life, it is going to a good home and one that appreciates creative artistry and the time and talent you put into this beautiful quilt."

Even if I was reticent about selling it, I feel really good about it's new home!!'

Now I just need to make sure that I have REALLY good photos of it before I send it off.

Thanks to all who made suggestions on the earlier post.

AND A REMINDER......the 101st post Giveaway is still open......leave a comment on the post below, or email me from my profile and I will put your name into the pot......drawing is next Sunday


Sunday, September 27, 2009

101st Post and Giveaway

Well, this post was supposed to be my 100th post, but somehow I ended up counting wrong, so this is my celebratory 101st!!!!

I started this blog in December of last year after talking to my friend Anita about her blog. At the time I was very reticent about whether or not I wanted to do this, but decided to give it a try. I am SO glad that I did step into the blogosphere as I have learned so many things…..

One of the first blogs that I found was Bonnie Hunter and Quiltville.com. Bonnie is the queen of scrap quilting and has a wonderful Scrap Saver system. After reading her website, I have now completely organized ALL of my scraps….no more boxes, baskets or bags of unusable bits and pieces.

Then, while reading Maggie’s blog, she mentioned a You Tube video about a good method for folding fabric. I used this new method to fold all of my larger cuts of fabric and also those that were multi-colored and wouldn’t fit in a particular color box. As a result, I have used a lot of fabric that I would not have remembered previously.

Both of these ideas have greatly improved my quilting enjoyment in the last few months.

I have found that writing this blog has helped me to focus on the areas that I want to pursue most. I have also enjoyed learning to document my quilting process with photos, and at least one set of these has come in handy while teaching a class.

But, most of all, I have loved and cherished the friendships that have been made (or renewed) during this past nine months. It is such fun to open the blog and have comments from England, Australia, Canada, France (in French no less), and many from here in the US.

THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HAVE COMMENTED, CHEERED AND ENCOURAGED ME!!!!

AND….as a thank you, I am presenting this Give-Away……

If you would like a chance to win this Wall Quilt, please leave a comment on this post and your name will be added to the pot. I will pick a winner on Sunday, October 3rd. GOOD LUCK!!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

BQL for September

BQL September

Today I finished my British Quilt List challenge quilt for September.  I haven’t made a log cabin block since I first started quilting back in 1985, and I was reminded that it is not my favorite block to make.   

I made 12 blocks last week, thinking that I was finished, but then realized that I needed 16 blocks, so made the extra four today.   The biggest trick was to figure out the arrangement of the blocks, so I got on to Electric Quilt and tried out several different possibilities.

I couldn’t decide how to quilt it so finally just worked it in an overall swirl.

It has been a bit of a disappointing day since we were supposed to go to the University of Georgia football game tonight, but thunderstorms rolled in about 2 hours before kickoff so we didn’t get to go……maybe next week!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

New Cool Blog

I just read on my British Quilt List about a blog featuring Free Motion Quilting designs....365 of them to be exact!! She is apparently posting one each day, including a short video showing how the design will be created.

Check it out at http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/

It looks like it will be a great reference for future quilting designs.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Falling Leaves & Flying Geese

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This is the quilt that I use in my entry way during the month of September.  As with most quilts, there is a story behind it…….

Back in 1992, my youngest child started to school.  I celebrated by starting into a weight loss program that put a lot of focus on exercise….especially walking.  I was fairly new to the state of Georgia and not used to the beautiful autumn foliage display.  As I walked, I began watching the leaves fall and became enamored with the way they swirled and swooped to the ground.

At this point in my quilting career, I had mostly worked from patterns and had not done much that was designed “from my mind”.  The leaves were made first with the colors moving from the green of summer to the brown dead leaves of dead winter.  I also decided that I wanted the background sky to flow from the dark blue of summer to white wintery sky.

I cut out lots of 2 inch squares of blue and then started placing them on a flannel board on which I had drawn a 2 inch grid.  The morning that I started placing blues was also the meeting of the quilting bee at my house, so I enlisted the others to help me set the sky in place.  We all had so much fun arranging and re-arranging them.

As for the borders, I started with the idea of placing flying geese all the way around the piece, but realized that I didn’t want to make that many of them, so started looking for ways to group them.  I ended up being really pleased with the final arrangement and even quilted a few “ghost” geese in the blank border.

As I looked at the completed top, I realized that it didn’t have the movement that I wanted, so I added the leaf stems and allowed them to provide the “swirl”.  Even more movement was added with the “windswept” quilting.

In the final analysis, I really liked the quilt and it was a wonderful step into the world of designing quilts.

So, it’s September……..bring on the leaves!!!!!

To sell or not to sell???

I have a question for you...... I have been asked whether or not I would sell the piece entitled "Sunflowers in the Rust". It was made simply because I had an idea and wanted to try it out.

How do YOU decide whether or not a piece is for sale? Please comment and give me some suggestions.

ALSO, how do you price your work??

Thanks for your help.


FINALLY, there is give-away approaching.....watch for my 100th post!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

A VERY different quilt

This week I finished up a small project that had been in my mind for a few weeks, and one which is a very different style for me.

Back in August, my friend Deb H. and I spent a day doing glue resist dyeing. Here is the original post. One of the pieces that I created was a simple vase of flowers and I knew almost immediately what I wanted to do with it.

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The first step was to add some embroidery to the background. I used examples from a fairly recent article in Quilting Arts Magazine. The only difference was that the examples there used nice quality variegated threads and all I had were some cheap ones that I had bought some time back. But, I persevered and came up with a fairly nice background.

I felt that the vase and flowers needed to be highlighted too, so I trapuntoed them with 2 extra layers of batting.

I am NOT a paisley person, but this old fabric from my stash called to me and so I succumbed and used it as the final border.

The quilting was fairly straight forward, and I was happy to complete the quilt so quickly.

I took it to my local charity bee and, while showing them the finished product, realized that I didn’t like it because several of the threads were too light in color and the detracted from the background. So, while we were looking at another member’s quilt where she had painted many of the designs, I thought about using fabric pens and coloring over the “too bright” threads.

Voila …..I like it MUCH better now.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

One Thing Leads to Another

Today, I went into my studio to do a bit of cleaning up before I started working on the backing fabric for the string pieced wallhanging. I got everything cleaned up and then started looking for the backing fabric. I opened a box of UFO’s to see if there was anything that I could use and out popped this forgotten bag of bits……

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These were the leftovers from the Mother-Daughter Flower Garden quilt that I made last year. …..

Final version




I had tried several different setting blocks and border blocks before I decided on the final version and this is a bag of all of the bits that weren’t used.




There are 14 finished blocks (along with the bits for 1-1/2 more)……

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These blocks will finish at 9 inches.

In addition, there are the following…..

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38 Half square triangles that will finish at 2 inches





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62 Half square triangles that will finish at 1 inch.






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6 Corner units




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and 14 of these un-named units,




and a mass of other shapes and sizes of fabrics.

NOW, the question is “what will I do with all of this???” I already have a name for the quilt….. “Cuttings from the Garden”. I may ask my Mom to make one more flower block for it, but that is yet to be decided.

Needless to say, I ended up working on this and forgetting about the backing fabric that I was looking for…..oh well, there is always another day.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Scrap Fun

 

I am in need of a quilt for an upcoming gift (more about that in later posts) and was trying to figure out what to do.  I knew that it needed to be a small wall quilt so I started looking thru my Miniature Quilts magazines….starting with Issue number 2.   MANY issues later, I came upon a strip pieced quilt that caught my eye and proceeded to start planning it in my head.

The first ideas was to use the strips that I had been cutting from my scraps, but realized that the smallest of those (1-1/2 inches) was still too big.  SO, I moved up a drawer and pulled out the bits that were “too small to use”….ie narrower than 1-1/2 inches.  They were perfect for piecing this quilt!!

I drew one of the block sections on Golden Threads paper and then put 30+ additional squares under the drawn one.  I then sewed around  the design using a threadless machine and achieved all of my paper patterns in one fell swoop.

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I started with all of my scraps in the drawer, but ended up throwing them onto the floor so that I could get to them easier.

 

As I started paper piecing these blocks, I found two things that helped the process go easier.  The first was to leave my machine in “Needle-Up” mode.  By doing this, I didn’t have to move the needle up after every seam when I was wanting to pull the sewn piece to the back and start sewing on the next one.

The second was to select and cut ALL of the pieces for a certain seam at the same time rather than reaching down into the pile and cutting them individually.

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After piecing the paper blocks, I removed the paper and put them  together into the quilt top.

 

 

My original idea was to put a solid color fabric in the small border, but decided that it lost the sparkle that the rest of the quilt had, so I used a handful of 1-1/2 strips and created the stripe.

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It was a fun quilt to make and I am truly happy with the results.

 

Now it is off to the home opener for the University of Georgia football team.

 GOOOOOOOO  DAWGS!!!!    Sic-Em!!!!    WOOF WOOF WOOF!!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Digital Photography Class

This is just a quick post to let you kn0w about an Online Digital Photography class that is going on FOR FREE!!!

The actual class can only hold 1000 visitors, so they are posting a video of the class for 1 week following the class day and ANYONE can check it out.

The class yesterday was chock full of information about digital cameras, from sensors, ISO's, Hystograms (I now know what those are!!), shutter speeds, basic camera settings and lots of other stuff.

The video will be posted until next Wednesday, so check it out at http://creativetechs.com/training/digital-photography-wk-2/

I am also in a 6 MONTH class on using Photoshop and the video should be posted sometime today after the class period. I dont have the actual link, but if you go to http://creativetechs.com/training I imagine that there will be link information.


This company is also starting a 10 week class on Dream Weaver in the next week or so.

I am VERY impressed with their presentations and hope that you will check it out.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Proud Mom

This post is about some of the “other stuff”….you know…..stuff not related to quilting.

 

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Our son, Brian, graduated from the University of Georgia in May of 2007.  The school newspaper just published an article about him and the work that he is now doing.    Here is the text of the article……

 

When most people think of the music and entertainment industry, they think of actors and musicians. Not many people acknowledge the music and sounds in the background of commercials. Television ads depend on these sounds and music to sell their product, so they turn to experts like University graduate Brian Arnold at Hummingbird Productions, an advertising music house based out of Nashville.
"I met a producer, Buddy Blackman, and ended up playing drums with him in a few bands," Arnold said. "He knew the owner of Hummingbird and...set up a meeting for me with the owner. About a year later I got a job upon graduation."
Arnold graduated in 2008 with degrees in theatre and film studies and sound design. Since leaving UGA, Arnold has not only risen to the top of his field at Hummingbird as chief operations officer but he has also created his own advertising music website called Tweexmusic.com. "Tweex began [in 2003] as a way for me to release creative energy," Arnold said. "I started to create clientele and I had repeat customers so it took off from there." At Tweex and Hummingbird, Arnold composes music, works with sound design and creates sonic brands for customers and corporations.
Arnold composes the music in the background of ads. Sound design refers to designing a musical slogan, such as the "ba da da da da I'm lovin' it" of McDonald's ads.
He comes from a musical background, beginning with piano lessons from his mother."I was in my middle school band," he said. "Then I started playing acoustic guitar, drums, bass, piano, really anything I needed to."
At Hummingbird, Arnold works directly with clients to find what they are looking for."[We] start to create the beginning ideas for the client with writers, including myself and several others," he said. "Then I present the client with our ideas and demos and they pick which one they like the best. Then we get back together and do the master and get the finalized product for the client."
Having already worked with names like Nike, Sprint, Coca-Cola and Corona, Arnold looks to the future modestly with high hopes.
"The music industry is so big and diverse, and I have only experienced a small part of it," Arnold said. "I hope to begin working with sound design for film, TV shows, [and maybe] videogames."

If you happen to be flying on Delta or Air Jamaica, you can hear his music behind the “Duty Free” in-flight video.  He has also just contracted with AirTran to do music for some of their videos, but I am not sure which ones. 

Anyway….thanks for reading the ramblings of a VERY PROUD MOM!!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Escada Azul

 

Wow, I just had a very fun 3 day weekend….it is sad to see it past!!!   On Friday, I mailed my Sunflower quilt to the East Cobb Quilt Guild show in Atlanta,  where it will be judged next Monday and then hung the following Thursday.  I am looking forward to seeing it hanging in this wonderful show.

On Saturday, Sunday and Monday, I worked on several different projects and truly enjoyed spending long hours in my studio.

The prize of the weekend was finishing the blue stair quilt that I showed a couple of posts back.  It is now named “Escada Azul” (Blue Stairs)……

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Here is the photo that the quilt was based on……

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As with most of my pieces, I learned a lot about myself!!  I ended up doing a lot of applique to set the piece together and found that I enjoyed the hand work.  I also had one piece that didn’t l0ok right but I had decided that it was “good enough”.  I thought about it during the night and went in first thing Monday morning and ripped the piece out and re-did it, being much happier with the result.

I also quilted a wallhanging for a friend who is in a time crunch trying to get her booth ready for the upcoming Atlanta show.    I still find it nerve racking to quilt for another quilter….someone who KNOWS what it is supposed to look like!!!

Oh well, so much for the Holiday….now it is on to Accounting work!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Traveling Back in Time

I DONT DO HANDWORK!!! And, with the exception of a quilt binding or a small bit of applique here and there, that is a true statement. Or at least it WAS a true statement.

Last night I worked on a piece that is going to have the background filled with handwork….simple embroidery stitches to liven it up. And, amazingly, I enjoyed working on it and am excited to get back to it.

As I worked, I started reminiscing about how I learned to do the stitches that so easily came to mind, and it took me back to 1977 in Lubbock, Texas. Well, actually, I need to go even further back than that……

My Mother was and is a whiz with a needle and thread. Before she rekindled her interest in quilting in the early 1970’s, she was into Crewel Embroidery. I know that you have seen it even if you didn’t know what it was called……It is a picture or design that is embroidered in a wool thread that is heavier than a normal embroidery thread. It’s weight lends itself to filled-in designs.

Now when Mom tried to teach me to embroider, it was not pretty. She was SO good at it and I simply never felt that I got it….my stitches were uneven and the backing fabric always puckered.

Now, back to 1977…… Michael and I had been married about 2 months when he was asked to accompany his Major Professor at Texas Tech (Dr. J., as we called him) on a 2 week plant collecting trip to Mexico. At the time, I had never stayed by myself, having moved from my parent’s house, to a college dorm and then to our apartment after marriage. I was not at all happy thinking about two weeks alone.

So, in steps Mrs. J. (Dr J’s wife) who offers for me to come and live with her for those two weeks. I had a wonderful time…..she treated me as if I was her daughter and took me out for dinners, to meet her friends and just generally loved on me for those two weeks. During that time, she pulled out her current project….. a Crewel work piece. I was once again enamored with the craft but told her of my previous attempts. Her answer was to put the backing fabric in a hoop and to “stab-stitch” the embroidery……DUH!!! So, we went out the next day and bought a kit for a Jacobean design and she started teaching me how to do this beautiful work.

Jacobean

Thistles





It was followed by Thistles with fuzzy tops……


Ducks

Ducks floating on a pond……

Flowers




Baskets of Autumn flowers……

and a whole HOST of other pieces that were never photographed.

This post is to say THANK YOU to my Mom for teaching me the gift of making things with your hands and THANK YOU to Mrs. J. for teaching me that there is more than one way to accomplish a task!!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Portugal Stairs #2

 

I have been working on the second in my series of stairs from Porto, Portugal.  This time it is a long set of stairs (100 in this first set and then another 114 after I turned the corner), and I decided to do it in a monochrome palette.

This afternoon, we were supposed to go to a friend’s house for the evening, but my husband started feeling poorly mid afternoon so we didn’t end up going.  Instead, we watched the University of Georgia football game (unfortunately we lost) and I did the hand Applique on this piece. 

It is amazing with these stair quilts that the perspective doesn’t appear until you put the “stair-step” side piece on and then…..WOW!!!!

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This one will have even more perspective when I have done the shading, thread work and quilting…..something to look forward to doing!!

 

I have also been working on a charity quilt for our guild and quilting on a piece for a friend.

 

 

 

If you are in the US, i hope you are having an enjoyable “Labor Day” weekend!!

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