Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A little R&R

I am at the gorgeous NC coast for the rest of this week. We have had such a stressful 2012, with the loss of my dear MIL in February and crazy upheaval at my job. My sewing has been quite frantic lately as a way for me to cope with all that. I did bring a machine, but I may not sew a stitch unless it rains. Here's to sitting in the sand, watching the birds, and just existing for a few days.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

3 of 3, whew, why do I do this to myself?

And now, "Little Nipper" a smaller companion to "Canis Major" which used up the scraps of my dog fabrics.

This is the 2012 Raffle Quilt for Stokes County Humane Society and like the previous quilts I have made for them ALL of the proceeds go to the programs of SCHS.

I love that I could use all my left-overs. I made this star based on setting the squares 4 by 4, where "Canis Major" was set 5 by 5.

Smaller at 58.5" square. I FMQed it in my all-over swirly wave. I love it too!

Monday, June 25, 2012

June FMQ challenge

This month's challenge was by Cindy Needham. I love the way she writes. I also love her method of "divide and conquer". This lesson and challenge really seemed to build on the others.
Here is my sample for this month:


I did not like my quilting while I was stitching. I felt my "lines" were uneven, jerky. But once I finished and stood back, wow! I love that it looks more like a drawing. I do not believe that is the intention, but I like it! Cindy mentioned finding inspiration in Zentangles, and I really think this looks like a zentangle!
I also liked reading about Cindy's "Favorite Things" and her tips on beginning and ending quilting lines. She provided a lot of great information.

We are at the half-way point in this challenge so I laid all my samples out together:


I have really enjoyed this and look forward to each month's challenge. I have learned to practice more, and it is okay to mark! I have been using my chalk pencil for dark fabrics and my water-soluble marker for light fabrics.

I have also been marking out more traditional designs and practicing on those:

sewcalgal gets my gratitude for putting this together. I feel like I am getting a personal, one-on-one lesson from a major quilt superstar each month. I have met so many awesome quilt bloggers as well. It is not too late to leap in. If you want to improve your FMQ skills, check out sewcalgal's blog for more info.

Completion 2 of 3!

I had the Made in Cherry quilt on my list for this year. I know, all the excitement over it has long passed, well, I am on my own schedule! Anyway, I had looked at all the others in the Flickr group for inspiration, but nothing really seemed to excite me. I had thought about doing it all scrappy, still may as that would make a dent in the scrap bin.

If you have been reading this blog for any time, you know I have dogs, and love dogs. I am always on the lookout for dog-themed fabrics and this quilt shows them quite well.

I have 3 colors of "Puppy Dog Tails" from Aneela Hooey's "Sherbert Pips" collection. I bought them years ago, and just held on, waiting for the right project. I also had the mustard color of dogs from Heather Ross's line "Lightening Bugs and Other Mysteries". I have been zealously hoarding this yardage. Her fabrics are so cute and notoriously hard to get! At the quilt show in Statesville in January, I added to my stash by buying 4 patters from Hoffman Fabrics "Patches the Dog" collection, in black and gray.

I kept the fabrics together and waited for inspiration.

And waited. Then I found my yardage of Kaffe Fassett's Paperweights in mustard. This is an awesome little print that also had the red and teal from my Aneela Hooey dogs, and the mustard like my Heather Ross dogs. This print just brought all my other prints together! I threw in a cute little poodle on red print I had picked up from the City Quilter. I had enough yardage for the background. Then I could see the whole quilt made in my head.

I had to make it. So, here is "Canis Major-the Dog Star":

I love it, it is just as I visualized. Each square is FMQed differently from the next, took extra time, but I love it. The only change I made on the pattern was the way I attached the back ground pieces.

It measures 74" square.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Completed! (1 of 3)

Here is "Aurora":

23.5" by 23.5"

I am so enamored of multiple layers of batting. On this I started with a base of cotton batting and then 2 layers of wool batting (the last of my wool stash, must obtain more!)

I love the dimension and poof it gives.
*Why yes, if you look close, you will see dog hair used as an embellishment! LOL! We jokingly say there is an additional dog work of fur every time we sweep!

I have been exploring stars a lot this year. It is still not out of my system, you you will notice from the next 2 completed quilts! This star is made of batiks, a paw-print and Kona Snow solid. FMQ in the solid and border is 50 wt white Affinity thread, the thread in the batik areas is 40 wt variegated YLI thread.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Work(s) in process

Almost complete, too! All these 3 now need is binding which I hope to start tonight. Then you can see them!

Monday, June 18, 2012

The (Tula) Pink pt 2

I turned my examination inward to discern the personal Tula effects. These began before I had the pleasure of meeting her. These effects have been evolving. You see, I discovered Tula Pink during her "Hushabye" period. There was one particular fabric that did it for me. It was a tonal damask, very formal in it's layout, but the central feature was made of a bunny. The humor and surprise was so endearing to me. I became a fan, adding Tula's offerings to my stash and my quilts.

Look at those luscious colors
The color, "life" and whimsy of Tula Pink's designs just give me so much joy to sew!

I also began following Tula on Twitter and just became enchanted with her "shout out"s, pictures of projects and general creative joy. She is so active and accessible, and really appreciates her fans. I began seeing more details in her designs, and in my life. The details matter!

Tula custom prints the backs of each of her quilts. 
 These are her labels and remove any doubt about the provenance of these quilts!

Listening to Tula talk about her inspirations opened my eyes to what I am drawn to, and how I can translate these things into creative inspiration. So I became more cognizant of my demeanor and asked my self, "am I creating MY life?" or just letting it happen? The greatest Tula effect I can  see, is that you have to imagine your story, your personal narrative, and have fun with every single part of it. You have to be in charge of all aspects of your life (just the way Tula is in charge with every aspect of her designing business!).
Tula also sticks with what and who works with her vision. Angela Walters quilts all of Tula's quilts. 
The photographer Tula used for her book, Quilts from the House of Tula Pink, 
will be taking all the pictures for Tula's future books!

Maybe I just haven't been exposed to such a great amount of positive and creative energy in one place (in a very long time), but that magical evening has changed me somehow. I am still a work in progress, but I am actively seeking the creative in my life, looking to add cute critters, bright colors, and my own story to my activities. The best "Tula Pink" effect (for me)? Unleashing the rainbow of colors, images and general delight all around. Thank you, Tula Pink!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The (Tula) Pink Effect pt 1

I am still enjoying the delightful after-effects of our visit from Miss Tula Pink. Gina at The Little General Designs posted this week about "Things that Tula Said" and that got me thinking about what I like to call the Tula Pink effect.

First, the Tula Pink Effect on the audience at Gralyn.
Check out the paneling and the marble fireplace!

The surroundings were so magnificent, I felt like I was in a movie, or in a fairy tale! And I believe the atmosphere of a room really has an effect on the people in that room, so needless to say, in such a wonderful place, all there were wonderful as well. I looked around at 50-60 different women, ranging in age from 24 to 70.
 That is a custom-made Flea Market Fancy skirt!
Everyone was dressed in bright, colorful, expressive garments and jewelry (Tula effect #1, rocking your beautiful self).

 (Gina and Sam, picture stolen from Colleen at our "after-party")

Smiling, laughing conversations started as we got to know each other and shared our quilting lore. We sat casually about, engaged in the conversations Tula led as she shared her work. We oohed and aahhed as a collective (Tula effect #2 expressing joy and delight).

This evening's effects were further evidenced at this past week's TMQG meeting. We had 5 visitors to our packed meeting, most of whom learned of the TMQG at the Tula Pink visit! These delightful ladies may have been new to the group, but their adventurous spirits and mad sewing skills made it feel (to me at least) like these were long-lost friends who had found their way home (Tula effect #3 - finding your tribe).

More (personal) Pink effects to come!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Still here...

Just a lot going on!

I have participated in 2 more swaps and received awesome gorgeous items:

A (much needed) sewing machine cover from the Modern She Made Swap:

why yes, it is a bit blurry/grainy.
My sewing machine cover by rosesrblu

Thank you roserblu! I love it! It made it to me from Australia!

A mini-quilt from our Triad Modern Quilt Guild Swap:

scrappy swoon for doll quilt swap

from my dear quilty-friend and super-mom rainbow robot

I adore this Swoon! I love the dark gray, and I LOVE orange (along with blue).

My friend Colleen coached me on joining Flickr swaps, so a thank you shout out to her for this new fun activity I am loving! She is our "swap-mama" in the Triad Modern Quilt Guild and does a phenomenal job.

I have been quilting (when I can) and have 3 in process. I am just a bit weird about showing them unfinished, so dear readers will just have to wait til they are complete.

I am also helping my husband and his siblings with the cleaning and sorting at my dear late MIL's house. This is a difficult, laborious, emotion-charged job. She had more clothes and shoes than you can imagine. We need to sell as much as possible to settle the estate, so if you know of an outlet for gently used ladies clothing (sizes run in the XL, 1X, 16-18 for clothing, shoes are size 8) shoot me an email. We would love to sell the lot of it, 'cause I do not look forward to the work involved in a yard sale.

And if you have read read this far, thank you! This is my 700th post.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

An evening with Tula Pink

I am still floating on a cloud of good vibes after spending the evening with one of the Quilting World's Rock Stars, the better-than-you-can-imagine Tula Pink! She visited Winston-Salem to celebrate the opening of a new fabric boutique, The Little General. Tula spoke at the fantastic Graylyn International Conference Center and this backdrop just added to the magic of the evening.

Tula was introduced by the gorgeous, sweet, smart, talented Karen Gray.

(Can you tell I adore her?)

Then Tula cast her spell over a captive audience of quilters gone wild!

Aren't her glasses cool?

She spoke about how she began her professional career, her family, her design process. She showed us sketches and rejected color ways of her collections. (I an not believe these were rejects!) Tula also gave us a ton of great info on designing prints and how the quilt market schedule works. She designs 2 years in advance!

Sharing her sketches-a "behind-the-scenes" experience!

Tula talked about her long-arm quilter, the super-talented Angela Walters. And part of the delight of this evening for me was to see the quilts and quilting up-close and personal!

Nightshade #1 - back. Tula has all her backs custom printed. They are her quilt labels!

And the quilts, oh the quilts! You know, they are so cool to see them on the internet, in magazines, and books. But to see them in person, to touch them and see the vivid colors in the sunlight, it is a heady experience!


I know we have seen Angela's quilting in books and on the webs, but in person? 
wow. I am blown away. 
Angela, you are another awesome quilting superstar I need to meet!
(in person, 'cause we tweet! :o)


Detail of Beanstalks from Tula's book, Quilts from the House of Tula Pink
Buy the book, filled with eye candy and inspiration.


Detail of Modern Dresdens made from upcoming line "Birds and the Bees"

The colors and the quilting are so luscious! 
I can not wait to get my hands on this collection!


Sneak preview of sketch of future line, "Salt Water". 
I know I am going to have to have it as well!

Tula signed my quilt!

I am so energized, enthused and excited! I feel so lucky and blessed to have been a part of this glorious evening! I will be posting more on this visit, as the insights from Tula Pink have really resonated with me and I want to share.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Eat More Cake

Tula Pink is coming to my neck o' the woods, Winston-Salem, NC, on Wednesday, June 6! And I have a ticket to attend her talk that evening!

"Eat More Cake"
57" by 68"

In honor of the event, I made this quilt. The fabrics are from Tula's line "Parisville", which was inspired by Marie Antoinette. As Marie is rumored to have replied when told the peasants could not afford bread, "Let them Eat Cake", so I have titled this quilt "Eat More Cake". The pattern is from Karen Gray, a variation of her "Pave the Way". Such a fun and easy pattern. I love how quickly it goes together, and shows off the fabrics.

I free-motion quilted it in an organic, flowing pattern. The thread is a 50wt cotton quilting thread in beige.

The back is made from 2 of the Parisville patterns, simply pieced.

I am hoping to show Tula!

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Transit of Venus

Tuesday, June 5, will mark a rare event, the movement of Venus between the Earth and the Sun. This is a rare astronomical event, occurring every 243 years. I am hoping for clear skies, to be able to use my eclipse shades to see a bit of this event.

Transit of Venus

In honor of this event, I have named this art quilt "Transit of Venus". It is 21" by 21" square. It is being donated to the Stokes County Arts Council, for the upcoming auction "Wine, Bid and Boogie". I hope it the bids for this are high!