Friday, December 30, 2011

Reflecting and pondering

As noted in my previous post, I have been reflecting on my quilt accomplishments of the past year. I made a bunch! Most of them have new homes and I hope the are loved. 
I have also been reflecting on previous quilting goals and where I stand in achieving those goals. 

Previous goals included entering quilt shows (accomplished), selling quilts(done), having an exhibit (did it), publishing a pattern (not done), teaching (yep), taking classes (yes, but want more), joining a guild (took a while but finally did it), learning paper piecing (need to work on this!).

For 2012 here are my tentative goals:
1. Make more quilts for charity
2. Really learn paper piecing
3. Make 1 more Christmas quilt
4. "Do" my studio: paint, decorate, arrange (in process!)
5. Make another King-sized quilt for my bed
6. Make more scrappy quilts

Not a long list, not intimidating. I have been folding my fabrics, as the hubby and I painted my studio, so another goal is: SHOP MY STASH! 

I resolve to refrain from buying any more fabric until I make at least 3 quilts/quilted projects. The only purchases I am allowing myself are backings and batting!

Care to share your quilting goals?

And what is a post without a photo? Here is a cute pic of my 2 Mals:

Sarge & Pepper

Happy New Year!!! All the best to you in the coming year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Relaxing after Christmas

The end of the year always seems to generate lots of lists. I have taken a look back at my quilts of 2011 as I get ready to make some quilting goals for 2012.

Here is a collage of my 2011 quilts:

In related quilting accomplishments this year, I taught several classes in free-motion quilting, I have coached a dear friend as she begins her quilting journey (and she is doing very well!), I have had an exhibit of my quilts as well as the quilts of my mom and 2 friends, I was interviewed by both a local radio station and a local magazine about my quilts, I made another quilt which was raffled for a local humane society (and more than doubled last years $$$$!). I sold a few quilts and have done a couple on commission. I still love quilting very much!

I am still pondering what I want to work on next year. What are your quilting goals for 2012?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

December has been busy and the past 2 week have been in hyper-drive.
What have I've been doing?

Been to see an awesome Christmas light display.
That included a talking/singing Christmas Tree.
With my sweet hubby!
Watched our gorgeous son graduate from Appalachian State University (yippee!)
Made 3 baby quilts for our nephew's new triplets.
And gifted this quilt to our son's delightful girlfriend. 
(Check out his sweet smile)

And it is just now Christmas Eve!
I wish all of you are surrounded by love!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hand Quilting Lives!

Here is a beautiful quilt made by a friend for my dear mother-in-law.

A traditional basket pattern, using traditional calicoes.

The kicker? All by hand! Look at those even quilting stitches.

My MIL's friend, Janet made this. She still makes all her quilts by hand. This is such a beautiful treasure, made even more dear by the personal connection to the quilter. And this quilt is just 2 years old. 

Hand Quilting LIVES!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Quilt gifting protocol

First, thanks to all for their kind words after my previous post. I believe there are many of us that are greatly affected by the lack of sunlight in this winter season. We just need to remember to be kind to ourselves and that Spring is 3 months away!

Are you giving someone a quilt or other hand-made gift for Christmas? Here are a few observations I have for the proper way to do this.

Featuring quilts from my Pinterest board

1. Wrap said gift.

Source: via Kelly on Pinterest

2.Bask in the delight and gratitude.

3. Accept the complements. Yes, you can bashfully grin and say "you are welcome!".

4. DO NOT POINT OUT ANY ERRORS. The recipient does not see them, all they see is the gorgeous quilt, as a whole! If you wanted the quilt to look like it was mass produced by a machine, you should have bought one in a department store. Remember: all of the inconsistencies you see are what adds to the uniqueness and character of this "one-of-a-kind" gift.

5. Let it go. Yes, you put yourself into the quilt during its creation, but now, you are giving it away. It is theirs. Do not check to see they are using and/or displaying it.

And what to do if you recieve a quilt as a gift?
1. Squeal with delight, after all someone thought enough of you to spend countless hours creating a "one-of-a-kind" gift.

Source: via Kelly on Pinterest

2. Tears of gratitude are also acceptable.

3. Hugs, of course!

4. Follow up with a "Thank You" note. You will have time to compose your thoughts and the quiltmaker will be so happy. Besides, it is good manners.

5.Use the quilt. They are made for that! Don't fold it up and put it away thinking you are saving it! That invites fold lines that won't come out and irregular fading. Ask the maker about any laundering tips if you are uncertain. 

Quilts come to life as they are used.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A bit out of sorts

I am feeling a bit out of sorts.

I am NOT a "Christmas" person.

This dark time of the year is always really hard on me. On top of this, I have had to go low-carb because of my blood sugar. I guess I am in a bit of denial about that.

I have been making quilts. Quilts are always the best therapy.

3, yes 3, my nephew and his wife recently added triplets to our family! Since they arrived premature, I haven't met them yet, but I want to have their quilts ready for Christmas. I used the same fabric line (Lil' Rascals by Chloe's Closet for Moda). I have made each quilt different. Baby #1 (boy) quilt is a large block alternating with a 4 patch; Baby #2(boy) is a disappearing 9 patch; Baby #3 (girl) is a Twister. These are my last quilts I need to have complete before the 25th and I know I will have no trouble finishing them.
I have a commission t-shirt quilt to work on next. Then, I am going to paint my studio/sweatshop. I want to paint it the brightest white I can find to amplify the light. That will make me feel better.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holiday Eye Candy

This past Sunday was the Poinsettia Open House at a nearby nursery ( Mitchell's). Last year was the first time we had been, so we were looking forward to this incredible show of color.
We were NOT disappointed!

White, coral, bright pink.
Speckled, even a cinnamon-scented variety.
Certainly a show of color and a fun afternoon!

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Christmas Gift completion!

May I present Danielle's Garden. This is for my son's girlfriend.
62" by 74"

FMQ-ed on my Baby Lock, using Affinity 50wt cotton in top and bobbin.

Personally I think this is my very best quilting ever!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A new tool

I had ordered the Gidget II table from Day Style Designs and it arrived today.

I opened the box, set up the legs, found the right level for my machine and then got to quilting.

I like it a lot. The quilt glides along with no drag! I moved the other table the machine had been on to the side, with my other table in front to catch the weight of my quilts. The custom acrylic insert will come in about 3 weeks, but I took the legs off my extension table and it is sitting on top, I just could not wait to try it out!

Why haven't I done this sooner?