Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone has been having a lovely holiday season!

Now that the New Year is almost here, my thoughts are drawn to what I can do to make the most of the coming year.

For a couple of years now, I have wanted improve my technological skills. Navigating the digital world has not come very naturally to me. A couple of years ago, I felt completely lost. Then I learned that you can find videos on how to do almost anything imaginable on YouTube. That helped some. I have since discovered https://www.creativelive.com/

They have classes geared towards people who are trying to pursue some type of creative endeavor. There are always many classes about photography. I have learned many things about my digital camera that I never knew. There are also a lot of classes on using Adobe Suite programs, and different aspects of digital marketing for creative people. I have always wanted to figure out how to add computer drawn figures to my patterns, instead of the hand drawn figures I have been doing. That way it would be easier for me to sell a digital copy of my patterns if someone prefers that to a hardcopy. The classes there are quite meaty. They are not too expensive, and there are lots of sales. Also, they always have about 6 classes you can watch for free. But, to see them for free, you have to watch them when they are on, like old style broadcast TV. To watch them on YOUR time schedule, you have to pay for them.

So here are some goals I am planning to work on for 2017:

1. Synchronize imagery in my blog, FaceBook page, Website, Pintrest, and Etsy site. Notice the new banner?

2. Add rest of my quilts to my Website.

3. Learn InDesign, and use it to layout patterns, and add illustrations to those patterns.

4. Start a YouTube channel-I already have several quilting related video ideas. First I am gonna have to learn to make and edit a video. Before I do that, I probably going to have to get rid of this pesky cold. 

5. Make an email newsletter so I can let people know when I have uploaded a new video, have a new pattern, or quilt. 

6. I have always wanted to write a book, but my quilt designs tend to be pretty varied, and I struggle with tying enough of the together with a cohesive concept. I might try to write an ebook. That way I can experiment, and not be restrained by a publisher's idea of what will sell.

7. I want to add projection to my trunk show. Sometimes I want to show a quilt I no longer have to make a point. It would be really nice to be able to project a photo of a quilt I no longer have on hand. 

8. Last I hope to be a better, more consistent blogger in 2017. 

So that is what I will be striving for in 2017. What will you be working on? I would love to hear what your goals are. 

Here are some quilts I finished in 2016:

Sand and Sea Glass-complete


Hoopla-pieced and quilted, still needs binding hand stitched, sleeve added, and photographed



Burgeoning Spring-likewise, piecing, quilting, and binding machine attached, but I still need to sew the hand sewn side, add the sleeve, and photograph it.  


Ablaze-pieced and quilted, partially bound, but still needs binding hand sewn, sleeve, and to be photographed. I have also added a boarder since this photo was taken.

 
 Dresden plate-I haven't gotten it quilted or named, but the top is done. It will probably be the first to get quilted in 2017!



Baby quilt for Dori-completed and delivered.

Baby quilt for Madelyn- shame on me, I finished this quilt, but forgot to photograph it. In a year when I have so few finishes, I am not about to exclude it anyway!


I hope you all had a good 2016, and best wishes for all of us for a 2017 filled with good times, good friends, and good quilty fun! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Show Time

     In a couple of weeks we will have The Yellow River Jam here in our sweet little village of Porterdale. It is the second annual event. In the morning, there will be a paddling event on the Yellow River, which runs through the center of town, followed by a day of live music. Their tagline is boats, bands, and brews. This year they are adding some artist booths, so I will have a booth there displaying my quilts, and a few other small items. 

     To that end, I have been putting together some chicken pincushions, made from hand dyed, hand woven wool fabrics, and some potholders. 

     Yesterday, I was supposed to have a tennis match, but instead we all had a rainy day! I was really happy to see the rain we really needed it, and we got 1.2"! Yeah! I keep track of the rain for a newsletter I write for our town, and I hadn't had a rain entry since August 22! 

     So, anyway, I got a whole day of "found time". I spent a lot of that time weaving, then I started making some potholders. This, BTW is a great use of scraps. I especially love working with "sewn together" scraps. These are orphan blocks that can be cut up and used, or leftovers from strip sets, and the like. I use the "sewn together" scraps in conjunction with my smaller than 1 1/2" strip bin, and my   1 3/4" to 2" strip bin. Sometimes I add in from my small triangles, medium bits, small bits, or dig through my large pieces (but smaller than FQs) to find pieces to cut up and use to tie a set of potholders together visually.


     I have been working on potholders for a week, or so now, and already had pieced these, but was still working on sewing the binding down. The pair in the upper left hand corner is completely finished.


     Yesterday, I pieced these. This morning I chose what I will bind them with, and pinned them with that fabric, to the design wall.


     I had already cut a bunch of squares for pincushions, and pinned them together with their beaks, and combs. I like to use red rick rack for the combs. I had a whole stack of the put together.

          


      This week I added the tails. I have hand sewn on beads for eyes.



       Now, I just have to stuff them, and sew up their little tummies. 

       So that is what I have been up to this week. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Design wall Monday

     I am currently working on making potholders for a fall show, and gifts, so I haven't accomplished much on the quilts that are on my design wall and/or design floor.


     Actually, these are last years crop of potholders. I haven't gotten any photos of this years crop yet. I will photograph them when I get some more finished.

     I have been working on the units for the next row of each though. here is how they stand now. I wrote more about the idea behind the Jacob's Ladder quilt in the previous post, and to see more about the idea behind the strip pieced quilt click here.




     That is what I have been up to. Check out what other quilters are up to at http://www.patchworktimes.com/2016/09/12/design-wall-september-12-2016/

      Thanks for Stopping by! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Slow and Steady Progress

     I haven't had many large blocks of time for quilting lately, but I have been sewing a bit at the end of every day. The exception is yesterday, when I went to visit my friend Eleanor, and spent the day cutting out a new quilt start. (Well, half of one anyway) More about that in a future post. 

     Last week I turned in the last piece of the very very large run I had been weaving.



     Here is what the top of the rug looks like.


      That's 22 feet of rug rolled up on that beam. I wove the center of the rug, then wove 2 side borders to bump up the width to almost 15 feet! The finished size of the rug was 19' 10" by 14' 8". I know that seems a bit small given the dimensions I just gave you, but you would be amazed how much it shrinks when you take it off tension. 

    Later this week I will be starting another rug that will be woven in three 5' by 18' panels. I already have the loom set up for that. Okay, so much for the "day job update".

     I have made a fair amount of progress on this quilt. I don't really have a name I like for it yet, so I have been referring to it as "Diamonds".

       Only 16 rows left to go, and this quilt will be finished.

     I have been planning to start a series of quilts using the Jacob's Ladder block for a long time now. It all started when I was searching for an idea for a quilt for a wedding quilt I needed to make. As I was working on the design for that quilt, I got ideas for so many other quilts. Here is a photo of the first quilt in the series.

  
     I have been looking forward to using this block in a zig zag configuration, and trying a larger scale. The quilt above is made from 6" blocks this next quilt is made form 9" blocks. Here is a photo of my drawing.



     At first, I designed the quilt to be larger, but then thought that it is enough of an over all design, and this would be a good opportunity to make a smaller quilt, since most of the quilts I make are pretty large. So, I took a couple row of horizontally, and vertically. I have 3 rows sewn together so far. There will be 10 rows in all.



      I decided to use the same fabric all across the row so the pattern would be easier to see. Because of that, I can only use fabric that I have a half yard of.

     That is what I have been up to lately. Thanks for stopping by!

    

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Looking Forward to Fall

     I was recently inspired by the folks at Arhaus to talk about using quilts in living rooms, and what my dream sectional sofa and quilt combination would look like.

     I admit, at first it was kind of difficult to think about curling up on a beautiful sofa with a quilt, a hot cup of tea, and a good book, more maybe a watch a movie. But in the last couple of days, the heat has let up just enough for me to think that fall may actually be on the horizon, and I could think back to those times when I was wearing sweaters, and trying to enjoy some warmth and coziness. Soon, those days will come again. 

     I do agree that every living room should have a quilt in it. First of all, it is wonderful to be able to have a quilt close at hand when you are relaxing during those long winter months, but even if you are not cold enough to want to crawl under a quilt, they can do so much to add interest to a room. A beautiful quilt can be a focal point that you  use to draw you entire color palette from. 

     They have lots of gorgeous sectional sofas that the whole family could pile onto for an afternoon of cozy togetherness, but my favorites are the Wessex, because I think the tufting on that is really pretty, also, I love the curve of the arms, and the Rockway, because of it's clean lines. For reasons I can't explain, I have always loved to be able to see the legs on sofas, rather than those with skirts that go to the floor.

     I can just see myself curled up on this sofa while watching a movie, and hand stitching a binding while something yummy is roasting in the oven. 

     Here is the quilt I would like to pair with it. 


     That is what I have been thinking about lately. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Design Wall Monday

These are the 2 quilts I have been working on most of the time.

This one is the one I am working on most.



I am making this in three panels. The center panel is finished. The other 2 panels start where you can see the break going across. The 2 panels will be the same, making the quilt symmetrical.

This is my drawing.

 The bottom edge is the center quilt. The quilt will repeat in a mirror image at that point. 

This is a quilt that I made a couple of years ago. 


It was inspired by a Pendleton Indian blanket I saw in a book. I have always liked this quilt, and I really enjoyed making it. I wanted to make another quilt using the same idea, but this time, I wanted to repeat the diamonds all over the quilt.

This is the drawing for the quilt I am using as leaders and enders, a la Bonnie Hunter.

 It is meant to be an abstract version of the sky. I intend to applique airplanes on it. This quilt is a commission, but they are not in a hurry for it, so I am working on it slowly.

Here is the quilt background laid out on the wall. The lower right hand corner is missing, because I transferred it to a free standing design wall that I cam put next to my sewing machine.




That is what I am up to these days.

I will be linking with Judy Laquidara's  Design Wall Monday, for the first time in a long time. Check out http://www.patchworktimes.com/2016/08/01/design-wall-monday-august-1-2016/  to see what other quilters are working on. It's always fun to see!

Thanks for stopping by 

Happy Beach Trip

I spent today setting up my loom for the next rug, so not very much sewing happened today. Unfortunately, I forgot to get a photo of the loom set up, so that will have to wait for a future post.

Later, a group of us went to dinner to celebrate a friends birthday.  Despite the lack of sewing, it was a pretty pleasant day. Although, I admit, I am looking forward to the heat relenting just a bit. Late July in Georgia don't you know. It could be worse. It could be in the high 90s instead of the mid 90s.

So, I thought I would share a photo of a wonderful experience I had much earlier in the year. In May, I went with a group of 5 friends for a week on St Simons, GA. The house had a lovely porch that overlooked the water. During low tide there was some beach, but during high tide, there was just the rocks, then the ocean. There was a picnic table on the porch, and right next to the picnic table was a perfectly glorious electric outlet! Anyone want to guess where this is heading?


Now THAT is the life!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Moving Right Along

Lately, I have been working on three different quilts. I have been working on the quilt I wrote about in the last post. I have been doing a row or two on it everyday. You need to have your thinking cap on when you work on this quilt though, because you have to figure out which fabrics to use, and where to use them to continue the pattern. Even though I have the next section planned, I still need to get the fabrics in the correct order, and cut to the correct size.

A this point, I will stop adding to the center panel, and start a new panel, so I won't have to have the whole quilt in my lap for every seam.



In the mean time, I have been using this kaleidoscope quilt as leaders and enders.


I am also sewing together random dark strip sets for the Lightning strikes remake.



These work well when I am going to a friends house to sew. I have all of the strips sets pinned together in groups, and put in a box. It also works well when I need something to sew that doesn't require any thinking.

I got a big rug to weave yesterday, so there will be a bit less sewing in the next month. Hopefully, I can get a bit done in the evenings, especially, since I have these 3 projects all laid out.

That is what I have been up to lately. Hope you are getting to do something you enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Choosing Fabrics for the Next Row of Diamonds

To continue with the "diamond" quilt, I had to choose a set of fabrics for the next section of the quilt.


The fabrics for the half row along the bottom of the page is already chosen because that section is a mirror image of what I have already done, so I will just repeat the same fabrics.

I needed to choose the fabrics for the next row of diamonds. I have indicated that row with a piece of string in the above photo.

I need 10 browns, 8 earthy greens, 6 reds, 4 of another kind of brown, and 2 khakis.  Here is what I have planned.



So I will begin incorporating these color families in the next section of the quilt.

That's what I am up to for the near future.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Road Trip

Life is oh so good when you have the unexpected pleasure of being invited to a last minute trip to the mountains in the middle of the long hot summer.

My dear friend Eleanor, who I had a sewing play date with last week was the instigator. Her adult daughter, Emily is starting back to school this week (she is an ESOL teacher). They decided they wanted to do a girls only weekend trip, and since Emily was starting school this week, we decided to do it while we could, and head out to the north GA mountains on Friday, with just a couple of days notice. Mary Beth, who I have been friends with for years, but Eleanor has been friends with since grade school, rounded out our group. New friends are wonderful, but there is something really special about doing things with people you have known for years and years. I have been friends with Eleanor since college, I met Mary Beth through Eleanor soon after I met Eleanor. I have known Emily since she was born. 

Highlights of the trip included several lovely meals, a well contested Scrabble game, a shopping trip to Blue Ridge, where I found this cute little dress on sale. I couldn't pass it up. It feels like wearing air, it is so comfortable!



We also had a movie night, some hot tub time, and an afternoon of art making, in which they all painted. Since I am not much of a painter, I sorted a big bag of scraps by size.

Here are some photos from our trip. I wish I had thought to photograph the paintings. Maybe I will be able to get a shot of them in the future, once they get a little further along on them.

The view off our deck

Eleanor, Mary Beth, and Emily on the deck


The view down on the dining area from the sleeping loft

The view down on the living room from the sleeping loft

When I got home, I made a back for this quilt.


This is the fabric I used.


So now that quilt is ready to go to the quilter!

That is what I have been up to. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 25, 2016

My Most Recent Finish

I almost forgot, I finished a quilt just a couple of weeks ago.  It is called Sand and Sea Glass. 

I wanted to make a quilt that used the "Sonja's Windows " block with colors arranged randomly as opposed to in color families to form HST like I did in my Lake Country Bungalow quilt.



I wanted the blocks to be butted up against each other with no sashing in between them.

And as the name Sand and Sea Glass would suggest, I wanted the colors to remind you of the beach. So here is my new quilt.
 That's what I have been up to, thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Fun Day Sewing With a Friend

I had a very pleasant day today sewing at the home of a friend. Eleanor made some beautiful pillows for her living room. 


I love how she put this decorative accent strip on the back. She came up with the idea because she didn't have enough black fabric for the back. What a happy accident/innovation!


Here they are on her sofa and chair in her living room.






Last year I made this quilt to give as a gift. Now that I have given it, I miss having it in my trunk show, and I miss having it as a class sample, so, I am remaking it. I worked on making strip sets for it today.


 I sewed 8 strip sets together today. These are really fun, since I have my strip sets already grouped together, it takes virtually no concentration. But it is fun to play with arranging the fabrics in each strip sets.






That is what I did today. I hope you had a fun day today. Thanks for stopping by!