Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My FMQ reference library

So I am a book lover! My hubs recently won and e-reader (perfect for him as he is a voracious reader), but I love to flip through a good book. Especially if it has great photos. And if it is a Quilting book, well that is the best!

I do try to buy only what I can not live without and these books are on my FMQ resource shelf.

Machine Quilting Made Easy by Maurine Nobel (EXCELLENT for beginners)
Freemotion Quilting by Judy Woodworth
Easy Machine Quilting edited by Jane Townswick
Quilt as Desired by Charlene C. Frable
Mindful Meandering by Laura Lee Fritz (Nothing but stitch designs)
Creative Classics by Laura Lee Fritz (Nothing but stitch designs)

Please share in the comments any you like that I haven't listed. I am always on the lookout for more!

Monday, August 29, 2011

In process and .....

This is not yet complete, but I am making good progress on it.

I will post it in full once complete, sometimes this week.

And now, my announcement.

I am exhibiting at Historic Bethabara Park, NC. My quilts will be on display from September 17, which coincides with their yearly Apple Festival, through September 28. In addition, I will be giving 2 talks on the 17th about modern methods of quilting. I am in the process of developing my presentation to include photos of a variety of quilts. More about the Apple Festival here.

I am both excited and nervous. Not about the quilts, I am pulling in some of my mother's and some of 2 other great quilters and good friends. I know the quilts will be phenomenal. I just want to be entertaining in my presentation. If you have any ideas on what I can include to keep it fun and informative, please share. And if you are in Winston-Salem, NC on Sept 17, stop by Historic Bethabara Park, I will be in the Visitors Center.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

New Class Sample

September always heralds "Back to School" and at the LQS, that means a new schedule of classes. I have been teaching FMQ, a beginner and advanced for about 18 months now. I really feel good about my Beginner level class. I take the time to talk about needles, threads, battings, basting, setting up the machine and sewing space, as well as introducing great accessories to make it more fun, and maybe a little less intimidating.

I have made several samples to use, but I get tired of looking at the same old stuff, so I cranked out a new class sample:

I used polyester thread on the top and cotton on the bottom so my students can compare the two.

I have a BIG announcement coming up, and once that is in the rear view mirror, I am going to make a large, densely quilted sample to hang in the shop.

So many quilts to make, so little time!

Friday, August 26, 2011

New Project

I am making this quilt:

With these fabrics:

It is going to be gorgeous on my king-sized bed!

So, While I am finishing up the FMQ on a contemporary piece, I am feeling a little traditional. And the class is being taught at my LQS by a fabulous quilter, dear friend and all-around nice lady! Last night was our first class where we planned our fabric arrangement and cut the star fabrics out. We have homework to finish before the class next week. This is a challenge for me, taking my time! Normally I would plow through and whip the quilt out! But, no, I want to slow down, take my time, soak up Ellen's (that my teacher!) knowledge and really get into the process. It is a gift to myself. It is also recharging to spend a few hours with fellow quilters and friends. That is also a gift to myself!

I will post my progress on this one.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Another quickie!

Crazy busy at work and at home. Another quick hello and 2 links to quilty stuff:

Stitched - the film (available on DVD-looks like one I am ordering!)

Why Quilts Matter - 9 part series coming to PBS this fall.

I just started my king-sized version of Eleanor Burns' Radiant Star last night. Will post more on this later!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Quick "HELLO!"

Please visit here to see an AMAZING quilt!

No, I haven't forgotten I have a blog, just too many irons in the fire right now.

Back to the salt mines!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The one I forgot

It's not that I don't like it. But I had completely forgotten to post this wall quilt that I finished in May:

Aztec Portal.
36" x 44" Hand-dyed fabrics.
It has intense free-motion quilting, but my threads do not contrast enough. Not a fail, just a lesson learned!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Finished a big one

I have been quite enamored of stars lately. And using up my scraps. Now I can reveal the combination of both.
A wildly descriptive and unique name:  Scrap Star.

This is big, 84" by 84". This quilt is larger than my pin wall at work. That is my desk in the lower right corner.

Free motion quilted on my Viking Sapphire 830.

I used YLI cotton threads. Variegated in the white/ecru solids, a light beige solid in the scrappy areas.
Got one started on my design wall I hope to be quilting this weekend.

Work has been quite busy. There is always some catching up after a vacation, but my work load has increased as well. I am glad. I like to stay busy and I have great customers to collaborate with. On a personal note, my son is starting his final semester as an undergrad, and I have written my final tuition check. Now I begin saving for a long arm!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

my late uncle

As I mentioned in my previous post, we have spent some of our week-long staycation visiting family. One family member is an aunt who has had some trouble with vertigo. She also has two beautiful, really sweet labs. Since she has been ill, her dogs haven't been able to get adequate exercise, so we have gone to visit and walk her dogs a couple times this week. 

This aunt is a widow, having lost her husband (after 52 yrs of marriage!). And this late uncle of mine was quite the folk artist. 
It has been so fun to revisit their home with the time to walk around and see his work. 
 This bird house is a small work, 
but has always been a favorite of mine.

It was always a fun place for me as a child, but as an adult, I really appreciate his skill and vision even more.

He created his work from oil drums and tractor parts, remaking these materials from the mundane into the magical.

This is a large (6ft tall) wind chime, the air tank moves and 
makes such a soothing sound when it hits the side tines.
The life-sized mermaid sits at the edge of a pool.
Peeking out of the trees, this ram stands guard at the gate.

Friday, August 12, 2011

a week off

Well, hello! We took this week off of work and had a good ole "staycation". Sleeping til we naturally woke up, drinking coffee, cleaning, making a new patio.

While we adore our "still new to us" home, there had been minimal landscaping. The most problematic for us was known affectionately as the mud pit at the base of the deck step. With our man-cub home, a new patio was built. Red dirt evened-out, landscape fabric laid, metal edging installed, white river rock for a zen feel and an 8 ft square paver seating area. LOVE it!

We bought a cool fireplace and deck chairs for this new area. This has really helped keep the dirt down in the house and given us a nice outside living area. We could not have done it without the help of our son!

We were also assisted by our able hounds. They were especially helpful with the sand. they love digging out a cool bed.

We have also visited family. Seems the busy-ness of daily life doesn't give us enough time for this. So, we have taken advantage of the extra time. The man-cub and I went to one of my aunt's and walked her dogs. The old family home still stands and the weathered door is so beautiful.

More quilty stuff to come. I have an exhibit to prepare for!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Stunt sewing part 3

I got my 3rd top complete for my friend's quilt shop. I call it "Mixed Berries".

It measures 54" by 62" and I used a 2 1/2" strip set along with 1/4 yard of a white on white print. 

Fast, fun and I will definitely be making another (or 2)!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Stunt Sewing part 2

It has been so very hot here! Brutal. And while I love summer, the heat and barometric pressure teamed up this week to give me a monster migraine. Battled this monster for 3 days. Finally feeling better, but I feel like I have been in a fog all week. Well, hubby and I are on vacation all week, so I am hoping to spend some quality time in my own sweat shop.

For my girlfriend who is opening a quilt shop, I have made this cutie, I call it "Abracadabra" because it is a disappearing nine patch.

I am not a "pink" person, but these prints are so cheery and the touch of chocolate brown adds sophistication. One more for her to go!