Thursday, July 24, 2014

Looking Forward to Weekend Fun with Jamie Fingal

Today and tomorrow I'll be packing up for two classes with Jamie Fingal of "Twisted Sister" fame. No, not the 1980's hair band fame... but of art quilting and design fame. LOL! I'm looking forward to my two classes.

According to her blog entry, I get to get in touch with my inner child and get messy with pain! I can't wait! Most of you know I have difficulty "letting go" in the design department, so getting down and dirty with stencils and paint may be just the ticket for moving my mojo around a bit. Yes, my style is a bit restrained (ok, a lot restrained!), I'm looking at this as a chance to explore in a non-threatening environment.

I'm really looking forward to this!

I've only worked with stencils and paint sticks. That was fun! This will use fabric paint and all sorts of coloring media. I have a stack of assorted "near solids" to play with. A veritable rainbow. Also some cute hand dyed fabrics.

I'll also be taking a class on funky folded houses. Kind of like a triptych panel of houses. Something perfect for tucking into a corner of my living room or studio. I'll have to go through my FQs to find some goodies to play with. I think I've got some with people and animals so I can have an audience in my house window and doors.

Dang, I wish I was a real "Jeanie" and blink my whole studio of goodies into the classroom!

So please send me creative vibes. I want to be as loose as a goose for this duo of classes.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

On the Cutting Board: Modern Urest

Ok, you've followed me through the Civil Unrest top assembly. Now I'm starting the more modern version of the exact same pattern. Just a refresher, It's the cover quilt pattern from the Martingale Book, The Blue and the Gray: Quilt Patterns Using Civil War Fabrics by Connie Tesene, Mary Etherington.

In this version I'll be using various black and white text fabrics and monochromatic modern prints. I'm still kind of working bits and pieces out (really more trying to remember what I was planning with the fabrics I pulled). I need to check back on my EQ7 plan to see how I worked the modern stuff out. I had a particular plan I was working on. That's one good thing about being OCD and working it out on computer first. You can refer back to your notes.

I at least got myself started by cutting some small workable pieces for my Flying geese borders. Since those seem to take up most of the time/energy, I wanted to get a good head start on that. Who knows, I may work backward and do my ninepatches first. We'll see.

Anyway... I found myself with a cute handful of 3" squares today in all the monochromatic prints I chose. I love how they all look together. Like fabric skittles!

This time around I sprung for the Carol Doak foundation piecing paper. My paper-piecing friends tell me that these will tear more easily than the other paper I used. While I didn't have any issues tearing out the paper. I'll give them a try. I'm lazy and will try to choose easy over complicated.

I'll keep Civil Unrest hanging in my studio until I get this one done, then I'll go on a quilting rampage. I need to commune with this top a bit more to know how to quilt it.

My mojo is back and I'm dying to start several projects. So you may see come more things pop up on your radar. I need to commit myself to do more sewing. That's why I bought my big fancy machines.

Feet first and the head will follow...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Projects in Progress -- Civil Unrest

I finally got the top pieced. Just needs a good stay-stitch on the edges to keep it from getting wobbly. Then I can start on the modern version. I'll start cutting that out tomorrow.  Then after I get the modern top done, I'll go ahead and quilt them both.

I just sat down and pushed myself to finish it. Got out of my rut. Hopefully. Just a few "busy" things this week going on then life will return to normal (for me).

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Shameless Plug

Just a heads up that there's a good sale going on at I Have a Notion. Kelly is having a HUGE Christmas in July sale!!!!!!! I don't know about you, but I'm headed over to see what she's got.

See what's on sale here!!!!!!

JUst helpin g out a friend and spreading the word...

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Behind the scenes -- It's too dang hot!

It looks like another hot summer up here near Seattle. it's in the high 80s today and my "chilly pad" is working overtime. We have just about every fan in the house runnings, as we don't have AC.

It's just too dang hot!

I got another row completed on my diamonds in the sky project. Row Six is done! Yay! Now to start Row Seven. I'm starting to think about the quilting part. As of right now I want to hand-quilt the piece. That means I need to practice up. I sense some smaller pieces coming in the near future. Maybe I need to finish up those squares from my Gwen Marston class. Those "sketches" would be perfect for practice!

Have you seen those adorable nested churn dash blocks everyone's doing online? Those are so stinkin' cute! I broke down and bought the pattern last night. I don't know why but this block just makes me smile... Big huge kudos to the designer! You created a winner!!!!!

I did some shopping yesterday with some friends and came back with a stack of FQs for an upcoming weekend with Jamie Fingal, a well-known art quilter. She was also a participant in the Power Suit Challenge I was in. I'm excited about meeting her and soaking in some inspiration. We will be using stencils on fabric and creating house triptychs. I'm hoping this will kick my butt hard enough to get me back into the sewing room. Pretty please?

Blogger Stephanie of Kwiltz by Stephanie arranged the class. I'm so excited to get on her mailing list now. This way I can get the "skinny" on who's coming to town!  She books some pretty good names.

I also signed up for a Freddy Moran Class coming up in October at Island Quilter on Vashon Island.

Then I'm also on the waiting list for a class with another well-known quilter in November.

Sew excited!

Things are busy with the Guild. I'm toying about stepping down from my committee post. I'm a firm believer in keeping things rotated so it reminas fresh. Hence a self-imposed term limit. I may pick up another chairmanship, not sure. I'm aslo thinking about starting a quarterly discussion group on "wired" quilting -- about using computer and internet resources. Just another thought.

What's going on in your part of the planet?

Monday, July 7, 2014


Sometimes when you get an opportunity to really sit and look at your surroundings, a design inspiration pops into view. This was today's inspiration... just a simple ceiling treatment. Can you see the quilt in this? I love the placement of the "rectangles" as blocks, dotted with the circles of the lights (as well as how the light hits the rectangles forming bright spots).

This, my dear readers, is a quilt...

Monday, June 30, 2014

Diamonds in the Sky -- Sewing on the go

My handwork bag and supplies for sew-ins and working at home

Someone asked me at Saturday's sew-in session how I do this project and seem to get a lot done. It's actually very easy. I could have been farther along if I toted it around more, but I've been a bit neglectful in that arena. With these kits, organization is the key. You need to do some organization on the front end to make it easy to tote around.

Organizing the Kit
  1. Make a color copy of the instructions/diagrams as a backup.
  2. Go through the diagram row by row and put together the pre-cut fabrics for each row. Yes, the fabrics arrive pre-cut, which is a HUGE godsend! 
  3. Put the rows into small baggies and labeled them with the corresponding row number. 
  4. If you want additional paper templates, check your local quilting source. They give you a lot of papers to work with in the kit, but I wanted more so I could work on multiple things at once. 
  5. Make a baggie of the paper templates.
  6. Put the row you're working on and the paper templates in a baggie or portable package, along with your sewing supplies.

My travel kit (complete with my special sewing glasses)
Sewing on the Go
I have two sewing supply kits: One for handwork that I lug around to sew-ins and such, and another for travel. The one I will talk about is the one for travel, as the larger one is just a general portable sewing bag. 

I use the following for travel:
  1. I got a magnetic pin keeper from My Modern Quilt Shop. These Cling-Ons are great when sewing in tight places, like an airplane. I just put this "brooch" on and I have a place to stick my pins and needles. No holes in your clothes. If you just want something simple, two magnets work as well. I just wanted something pretty. 
  2. I put my thread and super-fancy thread cutter (fingernail clippers!) on a chain. That way if I don't have a table to spread out with, It's all handy and doesn't roll around. No pointy things for TSA to grumble about, and no pointy things to poke you in the tummy or chest while working. I did put some charms on it to make it fun! After all, it's my sewing jewelery. LOL!
  3. A beeswax thingy for conditioning the thread (or you can use thread heaven in the itty bitty blue box)
  4. My baggie full of templates, fabric, and the instruction sheet. 
  5. A small tube of sewing needles and a three straight pins (I use the flower head or bright pearl head pins that are easy to locate if dropped). One is used to mark your row progress (so you never lose your place) and the other two are used for sewing the templates and fabric. Sometimes two pins work better for the larger templates.
  6. A pretty zipper case or larger zip-lock bag to store it all.
That's it -- a portable sewing room in a bag! You can make it as large or small as you want. You can even package stuff in a candy tin or small tupperware, depending on the size of your project. It's all in how you work. Sometimes I take just a small baggie, sometimes I take a fancy zipper bag I got from the dollar store, and sometimes I just take my big handwork bag. It just depends on where I'm going and how far I am along on my rows.  

There are times I don't feel like schlepping my machines around for sew-ins. And we all know how social some of those events can be. This type of project is perfect in that it's easy to pick up and put down, then pick up again. All I do is take my handwork bag and go. 

I find it easier to make it two rows at a time and sew the two rows together then sew the double row to the existing finished rows. It's probably and OCD thing on my part. Makes me feel like I've accomplished more. LOL!