I offered to help setting up in the RNK/Quilters Select Booth, getting to meet some of my new co-workers. This has been so much good. I ran into Alex & John Anderson. As you probably know Alex has a line of product with RNK called Quilters Select. Even before I joined the company I started using Alex’s mat, rulers, and rotary cutter, and they’ve been a great addition in the studio.
I did a facebook live with Alex.
Karla Overland of Cherrywood announced the 2018 Cherrywood Challenge, the color is PURPLE and the shades are gorgeous!! It’s available here at Festival right now, and should be up on the site very soon.
I’m in booth 951 with Maria from Pinwheels selling Daiwabo Taupe and Oakshott cotton. I’d love to see you, even if it’s for a brief hello and hug.
I am going to try to get in to see the quilts in the next day or so. So watch Instagram for pics.
In spite of a few moments when the desire to run from the sewing room nearly overwhelmed me the going was getting good. Teeny tiny stitches were forming well under the needle creating pleasing designs across the surface of the quilt. YaY Me!
And here is where I paused for a moment, grabbed the Challenge Information Sheet that came with the fabric and – get this – I READ it. Yes, dear ones, I read the instructions. Upon learning that my quilt did not meet the requirements of 75% use of the challenge fabric the drama exuding from my person may have qualified me for an Emmy, or an Oscar, either way you go.
When you’re doing your work, when you’re creating an offering, there’s no more important question to answer than, “what sort of quality are we seeking here?” – Seth Godin Thinking clearly about quality.
The sunset last night was something to behold, leaving me wishing for more photos or a video, the color changed so quickly. Sunset is my favorite time of day, I enjoy, and am inspired by the ever changing color.
Some sunsets, like this one, capture the imagination, leaving a yearning in my creative heart for the ability to produce such color in my own work. I’d be certain that going to the Pantone site this would be fairly simple, but what of the fabric and thread sites? That doesn’t really matter. What matters is the moment of incredible beauty that lives on in the photos and in the memory.
This gazania needs no other explanation. Oh I do love color.
Then I got to thinking about character. Oh how I love quilts with character. I’ve been working on a small piece that I intend to give to Charles. I appreciated him a lot as a manager, and appreciate him as a friend even more.
We bantered like siblings, and sometimes sounded like an old married couple (we’re both married to other people.) I love to explore thread, and what it will do. I worked with two different Tiara silk threads in this section to explore the color and to continue figuring out how to get the colors to land where I want them as I quilt. When practicing creating odd, organic, unusual shapes to fill in allows me to learn how to fill space, and modify the motif as the stitching progresses. These stitches aren’t perfect, but they’re getting me where I want to go on this piece.
Now that I have a good idea of how this thread plays in this style of stitching I know how I want to use it in a quilt later on.
Oh quilt brain is kicking into high gear! Keith sent me a piece to practice on. I’m going to do just that! Woot! Woot!
my sweetie put the a/c in the window this morning. The last few days the desire to quilt several things has been held at bay while waiting for the a/c or the temperatures to cool down. Both happened today offering the opportunity to stitch. First up I made a postcard for the 1000 Postcards for Peace, which will be mailed tomorrow. The day was kind of icky news wise and had something of a big letdown so making the postcard was just perfect. I’m heading into the City to meet up with some friends and thought “hey, I’ll make one of them a little quilt!” Well, I didn’t quite finish but it’s giving me lots of ideas.
I chose a bit of gray Cherrywood as the front and back of the quilt; one layer of silk, and one layer of wool batting. This piece will be about 8” square, so no basting.
The quilting started with the pentagon in the center, just started stitching that to see what would happen when…per usual playing with thread was top priority. And then I have this thing for tiny stitching, though you may know that by now.
Tiny bubbles are always a good choice in a quilt, after finding the right spot, and choosing the appropriate Tiara Silk (Superior). Wouldn’t you know it little bit of thought and watching the thread and getting the red where I wanted it was possible.
In the bobbin I have Kimono Silk from another quilt. Using the finer thread in the bobbin makes dense stitching possible.
Opening the thread drawer I saw the Quilters Silk a 16/3 ply, grabbed the size 100 stop stitch needle because it’s thick stuff. This thread made an appearance on Shine Your Light. As this thread is very present it’s great for outlining, and allows from background stitching.
The fun part of stitching this, was hitting that creative quilting zone.
Remember I mentioned that my sweetie put the a/c in? Well, that sent the sewing room into a bit more of a tizz than necessary. Oh heck I need to tidy up again. Part of it is premarket prep when I tried making that skirt that turned out not to work so well and working on the Cherrywood Challenge, and working on a quilt for Pinwheels. So Friday will be a bit of a tidy up before stitching.
All that’s left is binding, probably facing, and figuring out what to do with it.
Oh! Join the fun on Lucy’s Nickles, we’re starting our next quilt very soon.
I’m a quilter. And by that I love to free motion machine quilt. On and off I’ve had to work through the equivalent of writers block. I just. couldn’t. quilt. Those moments were tough but often led to something that would pleasantly surprise me. Whew.
Would it surprise you that, while I’ve been quilting on and off over the last few years, I haven’t really done anything original, inspired, intentional for a long time. I’ve dabbled. Made a few small pieces. I’ve looked wistfully at the pile of quilts in need of time, attention, and breath.
he last few years the need-to-dos have taken, necessary, priority over the gee-I-get-to-dos producing a level of fatigue not previously experienced.
I can assure you this has not been the most pleasant experience. Quilting is something akin to breathing. An exchange of oxygen, and carbon dioxide that gives life, helps clear the thoughts, work out whatever is going on in daily life. The need to do list has not changed, however the stress that built up from the need-to-do’s, has started to recede. I’m beginning to breathe deeply.
Overall quilt market was good, there’s still follow up to do. There were a few very difficult moments. Long about late Wednesday afternoon I stopped what I was doing, headed up to the sewing room and started the Cherrywood challenge. Cut, stitch. Cut, stitch. Cut, stitch. Rinse, repeat until this piece said, “I’m complete.” I’ve added a border bigger than currently needed because I have a habit of quilting densely and shrinking a quilt.
Well then this happened. A while back I had a give away on a post offering to quilt a small piece for one of the folks who commented. I knew it would take a little while and let the winner know that as finishing a quilt or two and getting ready for Market were the higher priorities. The winner said she likes red, so red Oakshott it is. Teeny tiny stitching makes me happy, so teeny tiny stitching all over this eight inch square quilt that needs trimming, facing, signing and sending.
The back is as pretty as the front. This is making me think that trimming it up, and running a tight satin stitch along the edge might be a better plan.
As I’ve quilting a friend has repeatedly said, “the dam is broken!”, creativity has free reign. And these two pieces are evidence that the water is flowing, I’m breathing the air. My heart is full, and there are plans afoot for a couple of other projects.
Then I looked at this photo and thought good golly I do need to tidy up.
I like that the folder has orange dots.
And a cool thread holder from Blue Fig. Do you see that glorious silk thread? I love silk thread.
I see a memory from my friend Debby. She has an incredible sense of humor and a way of presenting gifts that imbues a sense of beauty and fun.
And business cards. This has me thinking of something I can make to store all of them easily. I could invest in a rolodex but what would be the fun in that?
So I’m off to do some more stitching, make a few calls. Organize some more fabric, and start a blog post for sometime next month. It’s going to take a little bit to write and get pics. And well, do some stuff to get the pics necessary for the post.
Sensational headlines are the best. Let’s get your attention, tell you a story that pulls the heart strings, gets a laugh or annoys the heck out of you. I’ll limit sensational headlines as they drive me up a tree, deposit me on the a weak branch, and…
So here I am writing another blog on adding character to our quilts, and come up with a brilliant idea for the Lucy’s Nickles group.
This isn’t it. I’ll circle back around.
When I started exploring machine quilting and color. On her blog Linda Poole shares these great color fixes. Some of them would start my brain thinking about how I could stitch that out. With Linda’s encouragement I started making these inspired by pieces as a way of practicing machine quilting, developing color confidence, and having fun. Oh I did have “Bang Head Here” moments along the way, that’s part of the fun of learning. These pieces are like ten inch squares giving me lots of space to experiment with thread, color, and batting all without feeling like I was screwing up a quilt with meaning.
The little quilt above has lots of character, all over the place.
Back to the quilt at the top of the page, would it surprise you that it’s not finished, and in all likelihood, gone? Sometimes these pieces teach me something, then I move on rather satisfied. Sometimes they’re not the right color/s. Sometimes I’m not invested in their existence and poof! they disappear.
Letting go of work that no longer speaks to my heart or holds interest is wildly freeing. I’m not bound by any sense of having to finish a quilt once its started. This leaves me free to explore, create, and finish the projects that make the most sense to me. I have a goal to finish three or four new pieces by October and the Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show comes around.