Monday, January 28, 2013

It's Still Monday, Isn't It?-Almost?

     It's been a busy day. It looks like Monday almost got away from me-again. I am working on getting ready for a quilting retreat which will happen soon.

      My Bird Cage quilt (from last post) is still covering half of the design wall.


All of it's units are done, and I will probably bring it to retreat to sew the big pieces together. This will give me more time this week to put a couple of other projects together.











     On the other half of the design there is a   lap quilt I started last summer when I was trying to write a pattern for my Native Harvest quilt. I had to test what I was writing for the center to see if it would work. Then I decided I could just keep going until I had a lap size quilt made. I have almost all of the strip sets for it finished. I thought this would be another thing that would be easy to sew together at retreat if I get the pieces marked and stacked in order. It will also go towards my goal for making smaller versions of my quilts.










     Here is a photo of the original Native Harvest quilt.


     Don't forget to check out what else is going on at patchworktimes.com for Design Wall Monday!

     Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Ready for Assembly!

     So, finally all of the panels of this quilt are finished, and are ready to be assembled.

     This is just the top 2/3s because the loom is blocking the bottom portion of the quilt. I dream about someday having an unobstructed view of my design wall one day in the future.

     My friend, Mary was the one who suggested a thin strip of the center fabric to separate the triangles, and strips from the economy blocks around the other panels. I like it, and the way it gives me an excuse to repeat that fabric. Did I tell you? The other day I found more of that fabric at Scarlet Thread, and bought a yard of it in case I decide that I want to use it for the binding. Right now I think that I will want to do just that.

     After I get this center sewn together, I will trim down the triangle panels to fit the rest of the quilt. I will finish off the quilt by adding some 2" wide panels all the way down the length of the quilt.


       Can you see what I mean in this drawing?

     Usually, I have a really difficult time thinking up names for my quilts; but this quilt seems to have tons of name possibilities. I originally planned to call it The Bird Cage Quilt, for the bird cages on the large focus print. My friend, Eleanor, always thinks this quilt has monkeys on it somewhere(which it doesn't)so we thought about calling it Where's the Monkey?, or Missing Monkeys. Yesterday, another friend, Helen, was here and said the center fabric reminded her of peacock feathers. I was happy to hear that, since there are also peacocks in the fabric with the bird cages. Another name possibility: Peacock Feathers, or Monkeys and Peacock Feathers.

    Whatever I end up calling it; this quilt is pretty wild for me. I challenged myself to use several different types of fabrics: Kaffe prints, batiks, paisleys, etc. I hope I will still like it after I get it quilted. Usually, I like things better after they are quilted, so I have high hopes on that score.

     I will be speaking at the lunchtime program at Art Station, in Stone Mountain Village on February 18th at noon in conjunction with my guild's quilt show. If you come, you will get to see some of my quilts in person. It would be fun to meet some of my readers!

That is what I am up to these days. Thanks for stopping by!

    
    

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Back to the Bird Cage Quilt

     Well, the jelly roll quilt I wrote about in the last post is at the quilter's.

     So, I have gone back to projects I was concentrating before I had the powerful to try that out. I have been making the pieced triangles for the last panel of my bird cage quilt.











I am using half square triangles for leaders and enders these days.




I have also made 6 of these strip sets.
 

They will be the next round on this quilt:




    That's about all for now.Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Design Wall Monday

     Oh my! Monday again already?! This Design Wall Monday thing is good for keeping me on task. Time just gets away from me.

     I guess I had a tolerable excuse this week since I was helping to hang my quilt guild's quilt show. Then we had our opening reception Saturday night. The show will be up until March 2, so check it out if you are in the Stone Mountain GA area. We are in Art Station. Here is a link you can look at for more information: http://www.artstation.org/ There are also 2 other art exhibits in the same building, plus  other galleries close by, not to mention fun places to eat. There is also a theater. There will be 2 different plays happening during the course of our show. We are going to speak at their February 18th lunch time program, and I plan to have guild members there doing demonstrations in tandem with the plays.

   But nevertheless...I did get some sewing done. I finished the quilt top I had on my design wall last week. It is very unusual for me to get a entire quilt top done in a week; but here it is:
 

     It no doubt helped that it was a lap quilt.

     Then, I pressed all of the stack-n-whack blocks I have using for leaders and enders for the last year. I tried them up on the design wall. 

      
     I do like the individual blocks; but they just don't look like anything all together like this. So, I tried separating them. Also, I took this photo at night, and it looks a bit yellow.



     I like this much better with light, negative space around them. I was thinking of maybe 2 different light batiks, or small prints alternating, with maybe some sashing-maybe not. I also thought about auditioning some dark red or dark khaki with it-but I don't know. I do think it helps to have something light around the blocks.

     Next problem-the other set of blocks. When I cut these, I was disappointed that so many of the blocks didn't have very many different colors on them. But, I still think I can get them to do something bold and fun. I haven't ruled out adding blocks from another bold print the way it did in this quilt.












     I do like the movement in these blocks. I am sure I will think of something to do with them, eventually.
    
     It looks like I have got some playing to do. Fortunately, I have a quilt retreat to look forward to in a couple of weeks.

     My giveaway last week was won by annieo. She chose to receive my Indian Summer pattern, so I will be getting that out to her today. Thanks to everyone who tried. 

     Don't forget to check out all of the other interesting things happening on other design walls at: patchworktimes.com

     Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Design Wall Monday, and Happy Birthday to My Blog

     Last summer, I went on a retreat, and was introduced to the jelly roll race. I was resistant to the idea at first, but I have to admit it was kind of fun, and while I was sewing those long seams together, I got some ideas on other things to do with this concept. As much as I love planning out my quilts, I also love playing with randomness, and just seeing how things hit. My first attempt was for a friend's daughter's graduation gift (which still needs to be quilted-add that to the need to do list). For more about this quilt, look at my August 21 post.

     Here is a second idea. I love the fabric designs of Kaffe Fassett, Phillip Jacobs, and others in the Westminster group. I also love Aboriginal prints. Sometimes, however, when I try to use these fabrics, I don't really get the effect I am looking for. I think this may be because there are so many colors and the prints are so dynamic, that I am not yet very good at predicting how they are going to look. I did not get enough contrast, and things blended into each other too much. There have been a couple of false starts this year, where I started something, and I just wasn't happy with it.

     I like doing the jelly roll thin with a thick and thin strip. In this case I paired the saturated Kaffe and aboriginal prints with a mod looking black and white, in a large, square spiral. I am planning to make this a lap size of around 4' x 6. This will be another small, simple,and quick quilt to add to my collection. Maybe someone will want me to teach this as a class somewhere.


     Today is a special day in the life of my blog. It is the 1 year anniversary of my very 1st blog post! I will give a free pattern to someone who comments on this blog post. I will give it till the end of the week. There is a link to my etsy shop on the right between my profile, and my blog list. Look carefully, it is kind of small. A goal for this year will be to find a way to make that more noticeable. You can check out my patterns on my etsy site, and let me know which one you would like to have, and I will mail it to you. I know there is a way to get those patterns listed on my blog, but I haven't figured that out yet either. Another goal for 2013!

     There are always tons of inspiration on Design Wall Monday at  http://www.patchworktimes.com/2013/01/07/design-wall-monday-january-7-2013/     Go and check it out.

     Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Quilt Show Update and a Few Goals for 2013

     Yesterday, a friend, and  I delivered over 50 items to Art Station in Stone Mountain. Most of these were quilts that were 50" wide or larger. I am very excited about the variety and range of beautiful quilts our guild will be exhibiting. In addition to that, I found out that our show is going to be a part of a larger Art Stroll event that is taking place in Stone Mountain Village, the evening of the 7th; that will include other artists, Art studios, and galleries. I had been advertising our opening as beginning at 7pm, but the surrounding festivities will begin at 5:30 with a sculpture dedication, and will continue on from there.I believe it will continue till around 9:30 with prize drawings taking place at 9:15. It sounds to me, like a wonderful evening out that will include many types of visual stimulation, and inspiration. I am really looking forward to it!

     It has been a bit difficult for me to concentrate on a list of goals for the coming year, while trying to get his show up and running; but I thought at least, I could cobble together a list of quilts that I would like to finish, and others that I would like to star. The primary reason on these last is so I will not loose the idea. As I stated in earlier posts, I have many quilts that are well under way, I like to concentrate on the one that is closest to being finished, just so that I can see it through, but every now and then, you get an idea that you are just dieing to try out. I know that you all know what I mean, don't you?  

     So here goes. There is The Bird Cage quilt,this is just a working title because of the birdcages in the large print. My friend, Eleanor, always refers to this as my monkey quilt, because she says it looks to her like a time and place that would have monkeys. of course there are no monkeys, but I have considered naming this quilt "Where's the Monkey", for that reason.


     There is the small, solid fabric unit quilt. Ih ave no ideas for the name of this quilt, but I know I am planning to make the open areas reds, rusts, with maybe a bit of brown. I have all the small units made, but I still need to make 6 more large blocks from them.
I am very interested to see how this is going to look, once I get those background colors added.
 

     Next, there is my ellipse quilt, all of these quilts, so far, I started early in 2012, when I had just started my blog. If you want to see more about the beginnings of this quilt look here  This is the most recent photo I have of this quilt. I only have 3 or 4 more motifs to add.


         The next quilt is going to be a large lap quilt. I started it to test a pattern for my Native Harvest quilt, while I was writing the pattern last summer. The quilt is as long as it is going to be, but I plan to add to the width, and fill in the corners.


   
      Then, there is my new Galapagos quilt.


       The next is a third in this series.



















      I do not have the 3rd quilt in this series on my design wall yet, but all of the blocks, and strip units are pieced. At least, I hope I pieced enough strip units. This 3rd quilt will have dark blue as a border color.

     I also think I have all of the units pieced for more quilts in this series.

The next quilts in these series only use the flying geese and four patch units. I have 3 different drawings I did on EQ. I an looking forward to seeing if any of these drawing work with actual fabric.

     I recently sold the quilt to the right on Etsy, so I don't have it anymore. I am seriously considering making a quilt like this, but doing light on a dark background, instead of dark on light.









     There is one more small quilt up on my design wall now, but I am going to save blogging about it for tomorrow, and Design Wall Monday on Patchwork Times; rather than repeat myself 2 days in a row.
 
      I have a long way to go on this next quilt. I am not even sure if it will be one quilt or 2. I have just been using these blocks as leaders and enders, but I have no idea of how I will arrange them. If you want to see this beginning of this idea, and the intact fabric, you can click here and here.





     The following is a list of quilts I have either started or only in my head. I don't have any photographs of them yet; and most don't have enough done on them to take a decent photograph that would look like anything to anyone. I mostly include it here for my own benefit. No way am I even going to be able to work on all of these this year, but I just want a record of the ideas in case I run out of things to do (yeah, right).

Crossroads
Italian Mosaic (bedroom wall)
Phillip Jacobs grape fabric
Spring Forest
Solid Log Cabin Steps
2nd painting quilt
funky economy block from painting
Batik diamond strips-nuetrals
strip triangles
Japanese Ladies
Spears
Spider Lilies-equilateral triangles
Pineapple Blossom
Trees

     I am supposed to be somewhere in a hour and a half, so I will have to quit planning 2013 for now and start living it! Perhaps I can think of some marketing goals for this year for another post. I am planning to link up to patchworktimes.com tomorrow for Design Wall Monday.

     Thanks for stopping by!



Thursday, January 3, 2013

Better Late Than Never- 2012 Finishes


 

    Well I finally got those quilts photographed! Here is what I managed to complete in 2012.

     In April, I got an Etsy order from Spain. My first ever international order EVER! In this photo, it has a sheet pinned to the WHITE back to keep it clean. It was scary to make this quilt because white is not usually a part of my lifestyle.












     Last year, I finished my Let's Polka quilt. It was in my 2011 review at the beginning of  this year. When I exhibited at the Inman Park show in the spring, I got an order for a king size version of the Let's Polka quilt. 

          I was asked to make several pillows to go with the quilt.



     This next quilt is the 2nd in my Victorian Library series. It is called English Garden, I finished the piecing last year, but it took until this week for me to finish the binding, and the sleeve. This is the quilt that I putted the sleeve on the wrong edge of; but I have that fixed now.


Victorian Library from last year


English Garden, finished this year
     These quilts use the same block, but I used a different setting, and a different border color. I have a third quilt halfway along, and possibly, will make a fourth. When I made these blocks, I made many more than I needed, so there is no telling how many more quilts there will be from this block.


     This quilt is called Arabesque. I made it this fall. It fulfilled a couple of goals I have been meaning to work on. First it is a large lap quilt, rather than a bed quilt. It was a relatively quick quilt to finish that would have relatively simple instructions.  It only took me a month to make the top, which is unusual for me.

     The last time I tried to submit a quilt to a magazine, the feedback I got was that they thought the quilt was lovely, but it would take too much space in their magazine for the directions. Even though most of my quilts use pretty simple techniques, people tell me they are intimidated by them. I thought that if I made some smaller ones, perhaps they will seem more accessible to other quilters.

     I always like quilts that appear to have curves in them, but in reality, have all straight seams. And next is another quilt that fits that same description:


     This quilt is called Anastasia, because a friend of mine thought it looked Russian.I am disappointed that it is difficult to see the corner to corner background gradation. That shows up better in person, though it is subtle. It feels serendipitous that I should be including this quilt in my end of the year wrap up since it was the subject of my VERY FIRST blog post, here, and you can also check out kaleidoscope labels for further progress on this quilt. 

     I feel I should mention again, that I got all of my scraps organized into a system. I can't wait to see if this help me find more fabrics in my own house, for future quilts.
   
     I also wrote a synopsis of my program, and all of my classes, and sent them to guilds and shops. I sold patterns at 3 quilt shows, and exhibited quilts at 3 art shows; added items and policies to my Etsy shop; and I learned to blog! This year, I spent a lot of time with my new fiend the computer, but I still have lots to learn. Next year, I might try to figure out Pintrest.

     I am feeling that my quilt finishes were a bit thin last year, but, as I said before, I have many quilts close to being done, so 2013 should be filled with finish after finish!

     Now that the look back to 2012 is finished, I can concentrate on goals for 2013. The nice thing about a blog is that you have this information where you can find it, so you can see how you did! I can't wait to see what 2013 is going to bring! What that I never thought of?

     Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!, Quilt Show Update

     Happy New Year Everyone! I am feeling remiss for not getting this post up earlier. I had hoped to get it posted early in the day, but had the opportunity to go to the movies with a friend this rainy New Years afternoon. We saw Lincoln.  Both my friend and I  thought it was wonderful. Now, New Years Day is almost over, but I hope yours was a nice, relaxing one.  I wanted to post the last couple of days, but time kept getting away from me. Partly it was not getting the right photos taken for what I wanted to illustrate.

     I have been working on getting our guilds quilt show organized, cutting rods for hanging, calling quilt shops for award sponsorships, etc. Our guild is a relatively small one, so, it is not going to be a large show, but now that I have seen some of quilts that are going to be in it; I think it will be a beautiful show, with lots of  wonderful quilts to look at.

     The show will be at Art Station at 5374 Manor Drive in Stone Mountain Georgia, 30086. Our opening is January 12 at 7pm. If you are in the area, I hope you will stop by. Like most quilt guilds, our guild has many great cooks, so I think there will be some yummy refreshments at the opening. It will also be a time for meeting those who made the quilts. But, if you can't make it that night, the show will be up through March 2. I am planning to have silent auctions, and demonstrations from time to time through out the show. I will post more about that here when I know more details about timing.

     Like most people, I have spent yesterday and today reflecting what I have gotten done this year, and what I want to put my efforts into next year. This is my blogs first year, and this time last year I didn't even have a blog! When I started, I hoped to post about twice a week. At the end of this year I have 74 posts, so I didn't quite make the twice a week goal, but I did get almost 3/4s of the way there. Not terrible, but maybe I can improve on that this year. I had no idea what to expect in for page views, but last night, when I came home after midnight, I had 3737. First, I was grateful that anybody was willing to look at my ramblings that many times, but It also struck my as a nice number to finish the year on, somehow. In 2013, I hope to organize my blog more, with maybe some tabs across the top, maybe a quilt gallery, and some tips, along with a list of patterns that are available on Etsy. As always, I am open to suggestion, but be patient with me. I am much less adept at dealing with technology than others, so this is a slow learning experience for me.

    Soon, I would like to post a list with photos of the quilts that I finished in 2012. I really spent a lot of time trying to market myself as a quilter this year, and this took some time away from my quilting. I keep wondering if I should try to write a book. So many of the other bloggers are also book authors. Perhaps I will be able to explore that a bit more in the coming year. It is either, find a way to earn a living with my quilting, or find some other way to earn a living! I think that Lyn is not going to want to weave rugs forever; so I will need to come up with something else to do eventually. I am trying to wait on doing a 2012 retrospective post, until I get the last 3 quilts of the year photographed. It was wet again outside today, and between wind, rain, other commitments, and bright sunshine throwing shadows on the quilts, I have not gotten it done yet. The quilts are going off to be hung in the show next Saturday, so if I don't have pics by then, I will just have to settle for whatever weather is going on. Then again, I guess I could take them while they are hanging in the show. There is nowhere inside my small house to take a good photo of a big quilt.

     When I uploaded the photos I did take, I realized that I really had done some quilting related things after all.

    I finished a Christmas tablecloth from some  fabric a friend had given me. It's too late to use it this year; but I will be ready for next year.




     A couple of weeks ago, I posted about trying to decide what to do about a quilt I am currently calling "My Bird Cages" quilt. You can see that post here. I decided to do equilateral triangles in both corners; so now I have to cut more triangles, so I cut the strips for that.



     In the first couple weeks of this blog, I wrote about a fabric that I was pinning to cut into a One Block Wonder. You can see that post here. The fabric is towards the end of the post. I did cut that fabric, and it has been sitting near the sewing machine all year. Occasionally, I used it for leaders and enders. I finally got the first seam on all of those blocks sewn, and most are pressed.


     I was a bit disappointed, because I didn't think I would have so many blocks that had so few colors in them. I still think that I can use the lines in the print to do something interesting with. That failing I could always add other fabrics as I did in this quilt.


Does this quilt look familiar? It is the quilt my header came from. Speaking of that, I am thinking that since my blog's 1st birthday is January 7th, it might be time for  a header photo change.


















     I have also been doing the same with this fabric.


 


     At one time, I thought I might combine the 2 fabrics in one quilt, but now I don't think so.

     Last, but definitely, not least-I have been working on this project since the summer when I traveled to Batavia, and Bearea. I had several large containers full of scraps. I brought a grocery bag full of scraps on each trip I went on. and sorted them into different categories in ziplock bags. I used some of the scraps when I made my pot holders, but I didn't even begin to put a dent in them. Finally, this week I finished sorting all of my scraps. And I mean ALL of them. I even went through all of my project boxes, decided if that was a project I ever wanted to get back to; and if not, I sorted all the scraps in the project boxes. I emptied 13 project boxes! In the process, I found a treasure trove of fabric that had been locked away with one project or another. I kept saying "oh, that's where that went, I didn't think I had used it all, but I never could find it. " I also sorted a bunch of fabric that friends had given me when they purged their own stashes. I am know in my friendship group as the person with the broadest taste in fabric, as I like both traditional fabrics, and more current styles. I found 9 extra blocks from one finished quilt, and 11 from another. I had no recollection that I even had so many leftovers!

    In the process, I devised my own scrap system, based on how I see myself using them. We will see if my system helps me make use of the scraps. I think all of that watching of Bonnie Hunter's quilt cam is having an effect on me. Here are the categories I used:

Large Triangles,
Small Triangles,
Medium Bits (2" square or larger)
Small Bits (smaller than 2" square, but not smaller that 1")
Large pieces (smaller than fat quarters, but, most likely, too large to used without cutting)
Solid Strips ( am planning a courthouse steps out of solids)
Larger than 2 1/2" strips
2 1/2" - 2 1/4" strips
2" - 1 3/4" strips
1 1/2" strips - separated by themselves because I use them a lot
smaller than 1 1/2" strips- these and the 2 bits categories, and the small triangles was what I used most often for the potholders
small sewn together pieces (leftover HSTs and the like)
Large sewn together pieces (whole leftover strip sets, large pieces of same)-these were also very useful for potholders



      Such a great starting fresh feeling. AND, it feels like I have a whole new collection of fabric!

     Well, well, so much for shorter, less rambling, more frequent blog posts. It's something to strive for in the coming year.

     By next time, I hope to have photographs in line, of all of the quilts I finished in 2012. I think there will be many more finishes in 2013, because I have so many quilts that have a large percentage already done.

     I hope you are ready to take charge in the coming year-what am I saying? Coming year? It's here!

     Thanks for stopping by!