Tuesday, February 26, 2013

More FMQ fun

Inspired by my "W", I had the idea to create a new FMQ sampler:

2 layers of batting (wool over low-loft cotton), the same Robin's Egg blue face and Kona Snow back.

I marked the outlines of the letters, as well as the border frame edges. Then I just got to stitching!
Just like the "W", I mixed different filler stitch designs. On this I also used a variety of straight-path edge designs in the border.
This is approximately 30" x 15".
The back looks good too!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

FMQ: its what I do!

So, I wanted to do a whole cloth quilt. But not anything symmetrical or traditional. Just a pretty solid fabric, some thread and me, free-motion quilting. Now whole cloth quilts give you nowhere to hide. But that didn't scare me. Besides, I needed a quilt 24" by 24" to fit in my stairwell, so it was not that large.

And I have always liked illuminated letters. I love the extra special ways the letters were decorated. So I made, an illuminated letter, whole cloth quilt:
Our last name starts with "W" so my choice of letter was easy!

I love the Robin's Egg blue. So soft, yet cherry.
More feather practice
I drew the "W" with a chalk pencil. I also drew the border edge. Then I set out to fill the negative spaces with a variety of stitch patterns. And the white thread popped just enough.

 I like the contrast of the matchstick lines and the feathers. 
And I love the micro-stipple in the background!
I used Kona Snow on the back.
This is 24" by 24". Two layers of batting, thin cotton with wool on top. That gives a good "poof" in the unquilted areas, and the 2 layers give it a bit more structure for hanging.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Liebster Award from Katie

Imagine my surprise to set about my blog reading to find I have been nominated for a Liebster Award by my friend Katie from Snuggle up with a Dish from Karma! Katie is a new-ish blogger, a friend, guild-mate and student! She is also a fearless quilter, and quite FIERCE (in the positive aspect of the word). So I am quite flattered!
The nomination includes
  • Telling 11 things about yourself
  • answer the questions posed to you be the nominator
  •  choose other bloggers to nominate (must have under 200 followers)
  • create 11 questions for your nominees
once nominated link back to the blogger that nominated you so they can learn more about you.

Katie's questions:
1. Biggest quilt inspiration? Everything. And nothing. I am an observer, so my brain categorizes everything I see. I look at a lot of magazines, websites and books. I go to museums and shops. I travel for work which exposes me to many other influences. Sometimes an idea for a quilt will just appear in my brain, and I have to make it!
2. Favorite spot to get away?At home, it's my studio/sweatshop. I am lucky to have the "bonus" room over our garage. I have slowly been transforming it to a peaceful and efficient office/sewing space. Away from home? Anywhere with my husband. After almost 30 years, I still would rather spend time with him more than anyone else in the world!

3. Why do you blog? Mostly as a journal. I have tried various diary/scrapbook formats throughout my life, but blogging is the only one that has really stuck. I have been blogging since 2006, and really use my blog to keep track of my creative pursuits as well as events in my life. It is also a good way to connect with others, and I feel a lot of my blogging friends are very special to me!

4. What is one thing from earlier in your life that you wish was still available today? 
Summers off and Spring Break.

5. Favorite TV show. I don't watch a lot of TV,and could live without it. But my husband couldn't!

6. Favorite place to get fabric? Ugh! That is a hard one! Since I travel with my job, I always try to find quilt shops in whatever city I am visiting. Locally (Winston-Salem area) my favorite places are: Sewingly Yours; The Little General; Knit one, Smock two; Sew Original; (in King) Papanana's; (in Walnut Cove) The Thread Bear. I also go to Mary Jo's and Sew Much Fun when near Charlotte. I love Batik's, etc in Wytheville, VA and Schoolhouse Fabrics in Floyd, VA. When in NYC I can't miss going to The City Quilter and Purl. At the beach, the Quilted Butterfly and Sew it Seams in Morehead City and the Cotton Patch in Jacksonville. And I am always on the lookout for more!

7. What are your thoughts on scraps?I love my scraps and I think that quilts that I make from my scraps are "free" quilts! But that being said, I have gained the ability to discard scraps when they just don't inspire me any more.

8. Where do most of your quilts end up? Donated to good causes and gifted.

9. Favorite time of year? Summer. I like the heat. I do not mind feeling the humidity of August, it seems like the universe is giving me a hug. And battling depression as I do, I feel more alive with the longer days.
10. What are you most proud of in your life? My son, my husband. My son because he has always been such an interesting person and I really like the man he has become. My husband because we have grown so much together, and have shared each other's gains and losses. And we laugh a lot together!
11. What kind of quilting helper do you have? I have 2 canine helpers: Sarge is a Belgian Malinois we rescued from a kill-shelter; and Pepper, who is colored like a Mal, but shaped like a barrel. 
11 things about me:
1. I like my morning coffee. I like the ritual of it.
2. I can not sew with my shoes on.
3. I am really an introvert, and really get "peopled-out" from being around a group, but I enjoy people, so there's a conundrum.
4. I am a Parrot-head and have seen Jimmy Buffet 4 times, so far! (the first time was in 1980)
5. I was born in W-S, NC, lived in West Virginia for 2 years when my husband transferred there, then we lived in Lenoir for 22 years. So glad to be back in W-S!
6. I traveled to China alone. Spent 9 days there. And LOVED it! (look at my blog archives, I kept my blog while there!)
7. My favorite foods are homegrown tomatoes, collard greens, hamburger steak, steamed oysters, and blackberry cobbler.
8. I am not fond of buffets, too many people handling the food.
9. Can't commit to a favorite color, I love them all.
10. Free-motion quilting, yes, FMQ FOREVER!!! (living it, loving it)
11. I would rather travel and have experiences than own stuff.
My nominees:

My 11 questions:
1. What is your favorite quilt block or pattern?
2. What is your guilty pleasure?
3. What inspires you?
4. Tell me about your pets!
5. What is your music of choice?
6. Favorite vacation spot
7. What is the most influential book you have read?
8. What quilts are on your "bucket list" to make?
9. What is your favorite quilt making technique?
10. What is your favorite color combination?
11. What quilting tool or gadget can you not live without? (other than your sewing machine!)

Thanks in advance!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Feeling some paisley

I love paisleys. They seem mysterious and rich, the classic colorations are always really saturated. So I was thrilled to luck upon a layer cake of Holiday in Kashmir, on sale!

Pattern is "Ashley's Journey" from the book Piece of Pie by Pie Plate Patterns. This brick & stone block went together really fast. (A great book, too. I will be making more from it, for sure!)

This is a Christmas colored quilt, but it is not overtly "Christmas". I FMQ-ed it in a large all-over meander, since this is a busy pattern full of busy prints. The large scale quilting keeps it really cuddly, too.

Holiday in Kashmir 53" by 72"

Photobombed by my son. I sure do love that boy!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

and now for something different...

This week was lost to a horrible virus that took me DOWN!

I felt so bad 2 days I didn't even look at a quilt magazine, much less sew! But fortunately it ran its course, and by yesterday I was on the mend.

To treat myself, I made a triple zip bag. I was introduced to this tutorial by my friend Kim, she used it to make one for her swap partner in our guild's pouch swap. So I bookmarked it and waited. I am a finisher, I have to finish what I am working on before I leap into something else. Well, only if it is not a quilt. I like to have different quilts in various stages to work on as time permits. But I digress.
Since this was not a quilt, I needed time to work through the (extremely well-written) directions, after changing my mind multiple times on fabric choices. And zippers, I had to buy zippers. (I followed this alternative finishing tutorial, a bit easier!)
Scissors from my stash for the linings!

So much fun!

My first, I already have plans for more! These will make great gifts to keep on hand and they make a great use for scraps. Just need to get more zippers!

Monday, February 4, 2013


I’m Going to QuiltCon 

Nope, I am not going. 

But one of my quilts is on its way!

One of my quilts was accepted in competition and I shipped it today.
I hope it has fun in Austin!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Solar Flare* updated

*to add links!

I do not make News Years Resolutions. I like the flexibility of making goals any time of the year. And "New Years Resolutions" seem to have so much gravity and therefore seem harder to attain. To me, that is. But I have set a few goals for myself: 1. Paper piecing (I know, I am late to the party) 2. Improving my FMQ feathers (practice!).

On the first (paper piecing) my sweet mother has showed me before, but I just didn't get it. I was too immersed in improving my FMQ to take the time for it. FMQ has been the primary goal for me in the past few years and I am very happy with my skills there. So time for the next, to that end, I took a class with my dear quilty friend, Lee. Her class, Color Theory I is 2 sessions, with the first session devoted to selecting fabrics based on the color wheel and various color schemes. Lee had a TON of fabric samples to illustrate and this was fun and informative. I normally select my colors in an intuitive fashion, but she shows us a more deliberate approach. And I loved it!

The second session was paper piecing. And she got through to me!! Yes, there was some unsewing I had to do, but I got it. I really got it!

We made the Lone Starburst block from Six White Horses. Lee had obtained permission, so we each downloaded the templates before class. I chose to make mine using Kona Solids for a pure, intense effect.
My background is solid white, and I used a taupey-gray for the accents. I did have some small stumbles, but figured out to fix them. The backing is the same fabric as the accents.

And for goal #2. look at my feathers! The secret? 3 things: practice, practice and practice!

Solar Flare 18"x 18"