Monday, June 25, 2012

Finished

Well, it's finally finished and ready to ship. This morning I sent a photo of it to my customer; and he sounded like he was really pleased with it. Yay! Everyone who knows my work will be amazed that this quilt came out of me. I have never ever made a 2 color quilt before, much less a 2 fabric quilt! But I have to say-it is striking in it's simplicity. And it goes comparatively quickly, because I didn't spend any time deciding what to pair up together, or laying out and arranging blocks.



That strange piece of fabric you see hanging below the quilt, and in the upper right hand corner is a sheet that I pinned to the back of the quilt to prevent it from picking up any dirt on the back from my deck. Before I snapped the photo there was a sheet pinned to the front too! lol. I was trying so hard to keep it clean! Sorry about the dappled sunlight. I usually try to wait for a cloudy day to photograph my quilts, but I didn't have time. Actually, it was cloudy- then the sun came out just in time to be in the picture. 

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

What I Did on Retreat and Since Then


     So, believe it or not, I did more on retreat than take pictures. 

     I was thumbing through my copy of Around the Block with Judy Hopkins; when I found 2 blocks that I thought I could try with my Kaffes' and Philip Jacobs' prints.

      So I made a few blocks.


      I'm not sure if I'm getting the effect I want; so these will be going on the far back burner for awhile.
 
     I put a couple of motifs on my ellipses quilt. I think I only have 3 left. I would love to just sprint to the finish line with this; now that I am home, but I have to finish my 2 orders first. I'll get to an update on them later in the post.






     Remember these blocks?

     I had an idea about how I was going to lay them out, but wasn't able to show you yet. I made some progress on that front while I was at retreat.













      I think that the negative spaces are going to be different reds

 
     This was my Jelly Roll Race quilt. I think I came in 3rd from the last. Competitive speed sewing may not be my thing! But, I had a good time playing, and was surprised by getting some ideas for quick, easy quilts. I don't often get ideas for a quick, easy quilt, so this might be useful.


      Here is the beautiful  fabric I won in the fabric swap.

     Thank you so much to Mary for setting this up. Everyone I spoke to had such a wonderful time together! I enjoyed it so much that yesterday, I took the opportunity to ride down to Macon with Mary and spend a bit more time with the Macon ladies. Mary is a school teacher, so I like to take advantage of the chance to spend some extra time with her during the summer months.

     Alice, from the Macon Guild, was doing a workshop on working with selvages. I worked on my Let's Polka order quilt, but I enjoyed seeing what they were doing; and got some good ideas for future use. Why throw away what could be put to good use? Needless to say, a lovely time was had by all. I just love getting together with quilting friends!

     I now have most of the HST for the Let's Polka quilt made and trimmed. I also got the quarter square triangles made; but they are not all trimmed yet. Maybe by next post.

     I got the red and white quilt back from Regina. Of course the quilting pattern she recommended looks fabulous on it! I was so paranoid about getting all of that white dirty; that I pinned a sheet to both sides, before trimmed off the excess back, and machine stitched the binding on. This made the quilt weigh a ton, but, I hope it helps it to stay clean! 
 

     My plan for the rest of the day is to put in a movie, and hand stitch that binding down.

Thanks for stopping by!

    

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

This Just In....and More

      As I was saying, There were many projects at retreat that I missed getting a photo of. The main culprit is when I see something I want to photograph, I want to wait until just before the person working on it, puts it away and moves on to the next project. That way I take the photograph when the project is as far along as it is going to get on that retreat. I will have to come up with a different system, because all too often, I look up and the project has been put away, and I have missed it all together.

     Case in point: Mary, the illustrious instigator and organizer of this whole shebang; worked on this beautiful quilt all weekend. It was in many pieces yet, when we left retreat. And, she put it away when I wasn't looking. But in this case it wasn't too big of a problem because I am lucky enough to be in the same friendship group as Mary, and usually see her, and quilts she is working on, at least twice a month. It just so happens that we met tonight. A mutual friend, Regina, who was better prepared than I, took a photo of said quilt and emailed it to me. So, here it is:

We also had a really fun pincushion swap. This is the pincushion I made for the swap It is made of scraps of hand dyed, hand woven wool I made when I used to weave scarves and blankets.


     Here is a photo of the other pincushions in the swap. We had such a great time with this!


      Isn't this a lovely assortment of special pincushions?

      We also had a jelly roll race. I was skeptical of this at first; it turned out to be really fun! And, it gave me tons of cool ideas for making quick, random, quilts from strips. Here are the Jelly Roll quilts that were made by our group.



















 

And the winners are:



Congratulations Tracy, Donna, and Beth!

      As I said, this really got the ideas flowing. I can't wait ti try some of them out. My friends Mary Beth and Eleanor; had a great time cutting on and reconstructing theirs. Mary Beth used hers to start on a spider web quilt.











      Eleanor added this bold native looking black and white to make half square triangles. Do I have some creative friends or what?!

     I'll show what I was working on at retreat on the next post. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Another Retreat!

OH MY GOODNESS! I hardly know where to start. I meant to write a post about how I was getting ready to go on a retreat, but then I never got around to it. We had such a great time. Many, many, many thanks to my great friend Mary, who spends untold hours setting it all up. Here are just a few of the beautiful projects I saw being created over the 4 day weekend. I know I missed a lot. There was so many great projects going together around me that I just couldn't keep up. I tried to wait until the project was as far along as it was going to get for the weekend before I took the photo, but that meant that sometimes things got put away, and I missed out. 

This beauty was made by Verna.


Mary Beth made this lovely table runner for her dining room table.


I saw several among us working on these fun blocks. This one was Donna's.













And, this one was Tracy's.

 One of our Mary's made this pretty batik creation. We only had 3 Mary's with us this time.




Page was working on this.I was jealous. I have always wanted to do something with this block. I had tried to talk my most recent Etsy customer into using this block.















These gorgeous blocks belong to Jean. I have never 
gotten around to working with curves and points like this
but one of these days..... 

This colorful beauty belongs to Joyce.

 I have to apologize to the person who made this lovely quilt. I am embarrassed to admit that I can't remember who it belongs to. I am so sorry.












Shelia made this lovely,


And this one too! You can almost smell those flowers on the border!



Carol made this beautiful gradation, and love how she fussy cut the centers!




















Eleanor made this beautiful log cabin variation. More really effective fussy cutting.


Alice made this gorgeous log cabin; and this ...













And last, but definitely not least, Chelsea worked hard all weekend on this stunning Bargello. Even more amazing since she has only been quilting for-has it been 2 years(?)

    
      As I post these pictures, I amazed at how many beautiful projects I remember seeing; that I missed getting a shot of. So much creativity going on! How lucky and blessed am i to be included in this wonderful group of women!

     In my next post I will show some fun things we did as a group; and what I did while I was on retreat. See you next time; and as always, thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Joy, a Disappointment, and a Dilemma

     You know how it feels when you have been putting off doing something, then, all of a sudden you just do it; and it feels so good to have it done? There was a desktop computer on my desk that I have not used since I got internet service put in this house; and was told that they could not hook it up to that computer without another adapter because the connections on that computer were too old. Ever since then I have just used my lap top. I mean, this desk top computer is only from 2001! I been meaning to get rid of it forever. I finally did it! I had been putting it off because I thought it would take a long time to take the  files that I wanted to save off of it. I reality, it took about an hour to copy those files and dismantle the thing and take it downstairs. And now look at my nice clean desk! It's like having  brand new workspace! What a great feeling to have that finally done. It only took 2 1/2 years.




     There is something I want to warn you all about. I have my quilts and patterns on Etsy. I love the sense of community you find there; and all of the information they are always putting out to help their seller/artists. I have had some success on Etsy too. The red and white quilt order came from Etsy, and I sold another quilt there last fall. This weekend I got an inquiry about one of my quilts. I was suspicious about it because the person asked me to respond to their private email address instead of answering through the Etsy message system called "convos". So, I ignored the persons request to use their private email; and just answered them with a return "convo". Then I wrote Etsy, asking if I was right to be concerned. Apparently, I was. Being asked to respond through your private email is a sign of trouble. It is so nice to have someone to write to and ask this and get a response in 36 hours. I just wanted to share that experience for any of you who are new Etsy users; and like me, aren't all that confidant with these wonderful tools in we have in the digital age.If they ask you to respond to their email address, they are trying to lure you into dealing with them outside the Etsy system. The next step may be to offer you more than you have your item listed for; and get you to send them back money. Their Pay Pal payment will be a forgery, and if you have shipped your item; that's gone too. They especially target shops that have high ticket items, and a small amount of sales.

While Regina has the red and white quilt; I made the label for it today. That way, when I get it back from her, it will be ready to go on the quilt. The binding is already made and ready to go on the quilt. Here is what the label looks like.






I have been working on the quarter square triangle blocks for the Let's Polka quilt. I cut 2 squares. Then I marked and sewed them corner to corner like you would to make half square triangles. But, after sewing, I cut them in a big X.




 This gives you enough pieces to make 2 blocks. Many of my blocks have strips, so I end up with one block with horizontal stripes, and another block with vertical stripes.



I have also been working on my bird cage quilt. That is where the dilemma comes in. This was my original drawing.


In the drawing, I have strips on one side of he panel, and equilateral triangles on the other side of the panel.Though I didn't draw it in; I plan to repeat those two things, only switch the sides on the lower portion of the quilt. This week I got the strips sewn together, mostly by using them as leaders and enders (Bonnie Hunter style), while I was working on other things. I put both strip panels up on the design wall on the upper half of the quilt to see what they look like. I kind of like the symmetry.

I will have to make a panel of triangles before I can decide for sure. Then I can try it out both ways. But maybe I will end up with just strips in all 4 areas. 

Well, that's what I have been up to. Thanks for stopping by!
 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Next Quilt

      Today I brought the red and white quilt to my friend, and quilter, Regina Carter. Best long arm quilter ever. By the way, this biased opinion is corroborated by a boatload and a half of awards.

      Last night, when I still had the sheets covering the floor, I went ahead and made the binding. Now all I have left to do is the label, until it comes back from Regina. 

     So, now it is time to start on the quilt that was ordered at the Inman Park Festival. They want a king size version of my Let's Polka quilt; which is the quilt I entered in the Blogger's Quilt Festival last month. Here is a picture of it: 



       Here are the fabric choices that were approved last Friday afternoon.




     I am really looking forward to getting this new project under way.

           My other goals for the coming month are:
  • Get my Etsy site up to date, by adding several quilts that I have finished, but not yet added. I also need to add some shop policies, and some photos of the backs of my quilts on the quilts I do have posted.
  • Make patterns for the several quilts that I have finished last year, but never made into a pattern.
  • Get a group of classes organized so I can approach area quilt shops with some ideas for classes I can teach.
  • Update my price list for my custom quilts. I have resisted doing this due to the struggling economy, but all of my expenses are going up. I don't think I have to tell anyone who is reading a quilting blog what has happened to fabric prices the last couple of years.
  • I have debated whether or not I should send emails to quilt guilds to see if they will hire me to do a program.
  • Visit the Bele Cher show in Asheville, NC, the end of next month to see if I might want to apply to be in it next year.
  • There is a quilt show in Blue Ridge GA. in a week or so. I thought go look at it to check out the area. There is an arts festival there in October. I have until the end of this month to decide if I want to try to get in it or not. It would be nice to have an excuse to go to the mountains of North GA in October. It is really beautiful that time of year.
     Obviously, I am trying to come up with some ways to market myself as a quilter, so if you have any ideas, let me know. I though about trying to write a book, but I have no idea how to wade into those waters. Anyway, I have plenty to work on the next few weeks-don't you agree! 


Thanks for stopping by!