Thursday, May 31, 2012

wip/almost finished

I promised a quilt for an arts council auction. And I whipped up this mini, 22" square. I just love my FMQ!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

May FMQ Challenge

The FMQ challenge on SewCalGal was by Leah Day and featured 2 well done, informative videos. In the first video Leah talks about tools she used in her free-motion adventures. She also offers such great insights stressing the importance of practice and trying a variety of tools, threads and materials.

The stitches Leah taught are 2 variations on meandering stipples. Both are referred to as foundational designs.

The first is a double stipple:

SewCalGal FMQ challenge
It makes a great texture and I found it fun, easy and relaxing.

The second is called a railroad track stipple. I like it too!

I will be adding these stitches to my toolbox. I am really enjoying this year-long feature and learning a ton. Many thanks to SewCalGal for organizing this and to the awesome teachers for sharing their knowledge. This is really a great way to learn and practice to improve FMQ skills!

SewCalGal FMQ challenge

Friday, May 25, 2012

DS Doll Quilt 2 Swap

I received my DSDQ2 doll quilt today!


The back is also a beautiful work!
Back - as beautiful as the front!
My swap partner sent me a wonderful package that in addition to the absolutely awesome doll quilt, included post ards from Italy (her home), a pincushion and a beautiful Murano Glass dish!

I am overwhelmed!
Thank you so much Gabriella! I love it!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

vote for me? please?

The voting has begun in the Bloggers Quilt festival. Go here to see the quilts. Go here to cast your votes. My entry is #93 and is suitable for these categories:
Throw Quilt
Pieced Quilt
Home Machine Quilted


new barn quilt sighting!

These little things that make me smile! A new barn quilt on my rural commute!

This is on Hwy 67 between East Bend and Boonville (NC).

This makes 3! The others are here and here.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

one big quilt is finished!

Oh yeah, sometimes I am too stubborn for my own good.

I have always wanted to do things a different way, my way.

Gypsy Dream 1
Quilting is no different. First I set forth to learn the basics, then my brain starts to twist and turn to find an alternative to the expected.

This quilt I call "Gypsy Dream". It is one big-ass quilt, measuring 120" by 120".

And I free-motion quilted it on my domestic sewing machine.

Gypsy Dream
I know, I could have taken it to my mother's and used her long arm. I have, and will again, do that with such a large quilt. But this, I really wanted to do all here.

It started with a bundle of Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably prints. I am not normally drawn to these, but the bundle of rich saturated color (heavy with red, orange and fuchsia) was just delicious. And on sale. (ahem). Then I found the natural background fabric, a Moorish ogee by Laura Gunn. And I remembered all the cool rooms I had read about in World of Interiors. This is a European interior design magazine we used to get at work. It was filled with villas owned by wealthy European Bohemian types. The walls fresco-ed, the furnishings centuries old. The light in the pictures is always so even and the colors of the real Persian rugs just lept off the pages.

This quilt is my interpretation of all that.
Detail of Gypsy Dream

I used 30 bobbins and quilted it in 1 1/2 - 2 hour segments in the evenings over the last 2 weeks.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bloggers' Quilt Festival Spring 2012

Whew! I can enter/post to the Bloggers' Quilt Festival! Yay!

Amy's Creative Side
I usually am too wrapped up in the day job to get a post, but not this time!

I want to feature my Summer Wind quilt:
 I completed this last summer. It is 68" square, I love working in the 60's-70's size!

This quilt started as an experiment in color placement and using scraps from other projects.
Most of the fabrics were my own hand-dyed, mixed with batiks. I know a lot of people that really dislike batiks, but I love the rich, saturated colors. I love the way they glow!
Since this quilt was not originally earmarked for any specific purpose or gift, I felt free to experiment and push myself. So, I free-motion-quilted it in my dense doodles, and added feathers. Not the perfect, quilter-feathers (not good at that yet), but more realistic, sketched feathers. I was so happy with how they turned out.

The name comes from the Frank Sinatra song, Summer Wind. I love the song, and these lyrics:
 "The summer wind came blowin' in
From across the sea
It lingered there to touch your hair
And walk with me".

I hope you enjoy seeing this quilt. You can see the list of participants here, as well as vote for your favorites. (If you were to vote for Summer Wind, I would be eternally grateful!)

Friday, May 11, 2012

DS Doll Quilt Swap 2 shipping off!

This is "DS in Blues" a doll quilt I made for this Flickr swap.
We were stipulated to use the DS Quilts line by Denyse Schmidt for Joann Fabrics. We could also use a solid, both my partner and I like white, and I had Kona Snow handy.
I also snuck in a bit of the 2nd edition Flea Market Fancy (the inner border and binding. They just played well together.

DS in Blues
It measures 18" by 18"

I made my favorite HSTs and arranged them to have a diamond with a lot of white ground to fmq.
The inside of the diamond is a nice, tight stipple, while the white outer triangles are a swirl with a leaf. This required some backtracking, but it was so fun. This is also a quilt where I layered polyester batting over cotton batting for more weight and loft. I really love how this worked out. Altogether a great experience for me!

Mini for my partner in DSQuilts Doll Quilt Swap 2

This view and lighting allows you to see the Baptist Fans I fmq-ed in the border.
This quilt shipped today. I included some DS and random charms. Just for funsnies.

I have another mini, for the Modern She Made Swap. It will ship in 2 weeks. Then my final mini (for the near future!) will be given at our TMQG June meeting. These little quilts are a great way of trying new patterns, techniques and fabrics, without letting size overwhelm. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


*the sound of my head exploding after awesome Quilt Superstar overload!

Last night's TMQG meeting was the BEST YEST! (sorry for the excessive use of exclamation points, but c'mon, peeps, TOTAL QUILT GIDDINESS).

We met at Karen Gray Design, a change in venue for this special meeting. Bittersweet for me, Karen has sold this gorgeous bastion to a delightful young quilter, Gina. BUT Karen is staying in the area pursuing other creative endeavors. Expect to hear great new things from her!

Our guest speaker? 
Flair for your blog!

Yes, the quilt-stud himself! Quilt Dad, John Adams!
Can I just say, besides being a great quilter, imaginative, tall and handsome, he is such a nice guy and a true gentleman. He was delightful. He told his quilt story, showed his awesome work, answered questions and hung out.  His quilts are beautiful. As an extra, several of the quilts were quilted by the Superstar, Angela Walters. And let me tell you, her work is more inspiring in person. We also got to see his 2 Nightshade quilts featured in the current issue of FatQuarterly. Again, gorgeous!

One more awesome Angela quilt was shown, by the sweet Gina (new owner of the shop "The Little General"). And you can read about it here!

Monday, May 7, 2012


*Posts have been light due to on-the-job travel and drama. Ditto on my sewing/quilting adventures. It is my hope that those things settle a bit, so I can get back into my studio. I did go upstairs on Sunday to renew my acquaintance with my sewing machines. They were a bit aloof, but I believe they will accept me back.

Prior to work-related-crap, I was battling a massive migraine. I had suffered from them years ago, but this did not present in the same way. My doc gave me a shot of a high-powered anti-inflammatory, but it really did not help. The headache actually broke while I was traveling last week.

If I owe you an email, I am slowly making my way through them. Please forgive my tardy response!

Anyway, this weekend was jam-packed with events to attend. I really wanted to stay home, but ended up having a GREAT time! Love it when that happens. Saturday afternoon my husband and I attended Painting North Carolina Plein Air Show 2012. It was held in a magical valley in Stokes County. We had amazing food and wine and ended up bringing this guy home:

Buddha in the Magnolia Leaves by Keyhill Sheorn

Excited is not enough to describe it! All the painting produced on Saturday were donated by the artists. They were auctioned to benefit the education programs of the Stokes Arts Council. I had selected 3 paintings that I really liked, we were outbid on 2, but this was my favorite. And we got him!

In quilt related news, the Triad Modern Quilt Guild meets tomorrow night. I missed our April meeting due to work travel, so I am really looking forward to this gathering tomorrow night. In support of our donation quilts, we were challenged to make a star block using orange. Here is mine:

Here's to getting back into a groove!