Sunday, May 29, 2011

gotta brag, again!

My dear friend, co-worker and quilting student, Tammy, has been at it again! She is making a quilt for all her family members and since she has made one for her son, mother and sister, now she is up to her brothers. One of them is a Duke fan! She did some research on their mascot and made her own pattern:

I am so proud of her!
My favorite part? Her fearlessness. And her first free-motion quilting! She inspires me. And she is one of the sweetest people I know!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Another UFO bites the dust

I made this art quilt top quite a while ago. I had it hanging in my studio at our previous home. It just needed to be quilted and finished. I did just that!

I had a lot of fun free-motion quilting this one. 36" by 48" made from my hand-dyed fabrics.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

One less UFO!!

I have been diligent with my UFO stack. I really want to get them all completed!
Here is another completion:

Finished at 25" by 25"

Yes, it is another Twister! Another of my Little Twister wreath quilts. I have written the pattern and am teaching this at my LQS next month, so I have had to make several both to develop and check the pattern, and to have as gifts. I really love the Twister!

 I FMQed this one with a bright, space dyed "Rainbow" thread in greens.

Another insight, I really love, LOVE, scrappy quilts! I love to use every little scrap and I love the lively look I get combining all the mismatched fabrics. Makes me smile!  Back to the sweat shop, 2 more to go!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Another one finished!

Another UFO crossed off the list! This is a small table topper that uses some Christmas themed charms. Seems like I always some extras for gifts, so I can put this on that stack.

FMQed using King Tut variegated cotton in my mussel shell design.
Finished at 30" by 30". 

  I like the muted neutrals with the pop of teal!

Monday, May 23, 2011

UFOs in my sights

This week, I have been working on completing some UFOs. This string top has been finished for well over a year. It went into storage while we were in transition. Feels good to have it completed!

I love how very "graphic" it is. Finished at 60" by 72", foundation pieced strings. Minimal quilting, stitch in the ditch around each block with an undulating squiggle on each white diagonal string.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Eye Candy, continued

I love the color blue, and the blue glaze on this garden urn is so beautiful.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Eye Candy, continued

Shooting pictures in the heat of the day can flatten some colors. But I though this rose had its own glow from within.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Eye candy

I am posting some pretty images this week. 
Hope they make you as happy as they make me!

 Near our street. I thought this composition and colors looked very French!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Heart of the Triad Quilt show

My Mom and I attended the Heart of the Triad Quilt show on Saturday, May 14. This guild KNOWS how to put on a show!  Only guild members could enter quilts, but there were so many beautiful, and varied quilts to enjoy. There were also several vendors and yes, we bought fabric!

I am sharing some closeups that I took, mostly as quilting inspiration.

 I love the combination of grid work and tiny stipple texture. Just works with the fabric and applique!
 I kept going back to this quilt. That appliqued dogwood blossom is BEAUTIFUL!
 This wall quilt was made from scraps of the quilt maker's father's work clothes and the fabrics from the lawn chairs he would sit on at the end of the day. I adore the denim pocket!
 The quilting just set the pinwheels off perfectly!
This was the quilt maker's FIRST whole cloth quilt. Simply stunning.

So much inspiration in one place. 
I am already looking forward to their show next year!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Enough already!

I am declaring 2011 to my year of the "Twister templates! I have certainly gotten my money's worth from both sizes. Not apologizing, I love making these quilts. I have actually developed and written a pattern (my first, and a line item off my quilting wish-list of 2010) for this:

And I am teaching it in late June! 

Friday, May 13, 2011

What kind of quilter am I, today?

Following on the heels of the traditionally inspired Twister quilt I showed yesterday, I let my art quilter out to play. And here is what she came up with:

"Forest for the Trees"  60" by 38"

And a detail of my random FMQ:
I designed this to hang over the head of our bed. I am not necessarily a person who loves the color green (and all its shades and derivations) It just seemed right. We will enjoy it for a while, then I will give it to our son.

Sometimes I like traditional, sometimes modern. 

These are my quilting loves (not in any specific order):

Layer cakes, charm packs, fat quarter bundles
Holiday fabrics (especially Halloween!)
My rotary cutter
My Viking Sapphire AND my Baby Lock Quilters Quest
Singer Featherweights (don't have one, but really want one!)
Barn quilts
Small guild shows
Large guild shows
Quilts as public art
Quilts on my bed
Quilts on my sofa
Dogs on my quilts
Extra uninterrupted time to quilt!
Classes, both taught and taken!
Clearance bolts
Space-dyed (multicolored) thread

Next up, I will be a holiday quilter!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Back in the ring, to take another swing

from "You Shook Me All Night Long" by ACDC

Yes, I am once again opening the door between studio and blogland. Life has settled, or reasonably so and I am able to both gather my thoughts as well as share them via Blogger.

The past few weeks have been quite busy. We (hubby and I) took a road trip to visit friends (one of whom is opening a quilt shop!!!!), we have had his hospitilaztion over Easter for kidney stone, my mother's birthday, Mother's Day with both mothers and our son came home for a visit before summer school.

In the last week, I have been able to spend more time sewing, working to finish my UFOs. I have finished a large Twister quilt, Lil Twister wall hanging, wrote a pattern for Lil Twister wall hanging (which I am teaching this June), and finished a large art quilt. It is nice to get some completion.

Here's the quilt I finished:

66" square, fabrics are from a Moda Layer Cake "Collection for a Cause - Hope" along with the beige and brown paisleys from 108" backing fabric I got at Joann's.

So, I have been pondering what kind of quilter I am.

First, I love fabric. As I say in my profile, I am a jacquard textile designer by day. As a jacquard designer, I design not just the surface graphic, but also the weave structures that make the pattern. I am surrounded daily by yarn, swatches, lint, and color. And I consider myself to be fortunate to make a living from my passion.

So, I love many motifs. I find it hard to commit to one single style (such as Civil War, Modern Graphic, Batik) since I love them all!

Next, I love the repetion involved in making a quilt. The zen/flow state I achieve when cutting and piecing is very relaxing and I actually crave it. I am not much for applique, but I have done it. I know artistically we change and evolve our aesthetics over time, and right now I am in a "square" place. But I love how the Twister tool takes squares and makes them into more interesting squares.

Am I a traditional quilter or a modern quilter? Well, I made my first quilt 27 years ago, before the birth of my first nephew. I pieced the blocks on a hand-me-down old black Singer and hand quilted using a large embroider hoop. But I love my rotary cutter, and my templates, and pre-cuts! And my adoration of machine quilting is a given.

I love a sense of completion, so I enjoy simple patterns that have a visual impact. But I also enjoy getting lost in a project. I love introducing friends to this cult of quilting so I really appreciate ways to make it simple and inviting instead of overly complicated and intimidating.

I really love the commraderie of the quilting world. I have found quilt-friends (via internet, travel and quilt shops) all over this wonderful world. Most quilters love it so much they want to share and spread this love around. I want to be one of these quilters.

But like every other segment of the human population there are bullies, haters and those so insecure and bitter due to some other part of their lives. I try to be kind and accepting. And if that doesn't work, I avoid them. I have been in quilt shops where I walked in and immediately felt like one of the "girls" and in other shops where the clerks sniffed disapprovingly as if I did not know the secret handshake. I do not take this to heart. There are more shops out there that want me as a customer.

So why this manifesto? Well, I have read a bit in blog-land about others thinking quilting has been "dumbed-down". And I have seen letters to the editors of quilt magazines complaining that projects are too simple.

I think too many have forgotten the history of quilting, in the common world at least. Remember, our ancestors made quilts from scraps, not the latest fabric line. They often used twine to quilt, not silk-finished and mercerized thread. And more than one used common feed sacks for the backing. I even have a Depression era quilt that has a tobacco sack backing and was quilted with tobacco twine. Does this diminish the beauty? Heck, no!

Our ancestors often taught themselves quilt patterns from copying one they saw. Many could not read, so simple shapes were used to create lasting objects of both utility and beauty.

I do not want this post to cause more controversy, but I needed to get it out. There is so much to see in the quilting world and we can learn so much from each other. Lets dwell on the beauty and successes of each other. Lets encourage new quilters and respect more seasoned quilters. Lets be open to a new method and lets revisit the old for new insights.

Most of all, lets make quilts, not war!