Friday, October 29, 2010

Breakthrough thinking...

In 14 days I will be joining 5 of my quilting friends and attending a Storytellers in Cloth Quilt Retreat at the Heritage Conference Center in Southbury, Ct.  Two of my friends went last year, had such a good time and convinced the rest of us to go this year.  I love retreats, so I really wanted to go, but had to find a roommate...  Thanks Aline!

The theme for the weekend is "Remembering Our History" and Carolyn Mazloomi,  a noted quilt maker and historian, will be the quest speaker.  Since this is the 15th Anniversary for Storytellers, this years challenge is to create  a 12.5" block that depicts an event from African American History over the last 15 years.  The block must contain white or white on white fabric, no more than 2 other colors and use crystals (the symbol for 15th Anniversaries) as an embellishment.   Now for those of you who know me, I don't do challenges.  Why....  I am a very literal person, so I have a hard time thinking out of the box and creating a piece that conveys the theme.  See, to me 'theme' doesn't equal pattern or technique.  Tell me to design a mariners compass quilt or to do something with applique or paper piecing and I am in.  But a theme, my brain doesn't work that way.  At least not until now....

But lucky for me I have two relatively new 'inspirations' in my quilting life.  1) a mini group made up of some very talented quilters, who tend to gravitate more to the artsy non-traditional side than the traditional squares and triangles....  and 2) a new quilting buddy (she is also part of the mini group), who is an artist by trade and has helped me to step outside of my box. 

So while I have had the challenge information for months, it wasn't until Mondays' mini group meeting that I had the courage to actually dive in.  I came home and sketched out a new idea and as of tonight I have my block all laid out.  No stitching yet, but this is the great thing...  it is sort of cut, snip, pin, glue as you go...  then when I get a composition I like, I will sew/quilt as I go.   I have it up on my design wall, so that it will stare at me the next day or two, and if it says 'done', I'll start sewing.  I am so excited.  It is as if I have started on a new journey :-)

I am looking forward to continuing on my quilting evolution at The Storytellers weekend as I will be taking classes from two great quilters.   Juanita Yeager's  "Paint it, Quilt it" class where you learn to use watercolor pigments to create a quilt top design, then learn free motion quilting techniques to enhance the design.  This is a recent piece by Juanita...  look at the shading and texture in this flower. Yummmm

And Bisa Butler's "Portrait Quilts" class, learning to translate a picture into a portrait quilt.   Both of these ladies are fabulous quilters. I just can't wait until I turn a photo of my kids into something like this quilt of hers...

This is going to be a truly inspiring 3 1/2 days...  but first I have to finish my challenge piece!

P.S....  I can't post my challenge progress until the retreat is over as many of my friends read my blog and I can't give anything away.  Hey, I do want to win one of the prizes :-)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I think I am hooked.. or should I say tickled :-)

Do you ever have the feeling that you have found something that you just have to have?  Or see something that you just want to do or try?  Well that is how I am feeling about feathers right now.  I want to put feathers in everything.

Many quilters use feathers in their quilting.  Friend and quilter Teri Lucas has her curly feathers and boy take a look at how small she makes them! 

Sally Terry has written books on her "Hooked on Feathers"  technique 

Sally Bramald has had some recent posts on her blog Feather on a Wire, that has been jaw dropping.  Talk about eye candy...  OMG!!! 

Sally and Ferret have a way of making feathers look so yummy. 

Nothing else, just feathers.

You can see why I have been adding feathers to everything lately :-).  Now I just want to finish the 3 UFO's I have going, so I can make a whole cloth feather quilt on some of the luscious Radiance fabric (by Robert Kaufman) I brought from Quilted Angel in Petaluma, Ca this spring.  Yummmmm  I even have some qorgeous YLI silk thread to use.

Have I ever done a whole cloth quilt before...NO, but who cares.  I can't wait to start sketching it out :-).

Friday, October 22, 2010

I know I promised, but here it is....

So I did promise I would post pictures of my day trip with hubby to the Pennsylzannia National Quilt Festival. I know it was over a month ago, but hey better late than never, right :-).

What took me so long, was that I had so many wonderful shots I wanted to share with you. So I decided to try my hand at a Smilebox post. They say make someone smile in 5 minutes and it is true, it didn't take much longer than that.

So I hope you enjoy!

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Little Drummer Boy

I finally got some decent pics of the quilt I made for my niece, Noelle.  Here she is the day of her shower as she walked in.  No she wasn't surprised, but she sure put on a good show :-) 

As you remember, her hubby asked for a drum themed quilt as he plays the drums.  So of course I tried to oblige and made my own drum applique design and built a quilt around it.  Yes, they knew it was going to be a boy and Yes, they had already picked out a name, so I was fortunate.  It made my designing process a whole lot easier :-).

So here is the quilt....

and here are a few close up shots....

I trapunto'd the drum, to give the little guy something to play with and to give the quilt a little texture.

His name, Lucas Samuel Lipscomb is monogrammed on the quilt...

 Pinwheels with circular quilting...  again trying to show movement with the quilting.

 .... and my drumstick design.

Both Mommy and Daddy to be loved the quilt...and were anxious for the arrival of their little bundle of joy.

WELL......  Baby Lucas just couldn't contain himself.  He arrived just 2 days later....  5 WEEKS early!!

Isn't he a cutie!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Yes, I have been quilting, but why do I have nothing to show for it?

Well, I have delivered 2 of the baby quilts. Both of the showers were great and the Mommy's to be loved the quilts!  Unfortunately, I don't have a good picture of the one with the drums.  Mine are all blurry, so I am waiting for my niece's husband to send me one....  he is a fabulous photographer.  The third baby quilt is all done, except for the binding.  She isn't due for another couple of weeks, so I have time to get that done.

So what am I working on...  well I am quilting another quilt for a friend.  My second commission piece....  YEAH!  But OMG am I having tension problems and this is after the Bernina dealer worked on my machine for two hours!  I don't know if it is the thread or needle or what.  Finally, I have used a new needle, new spools of thread for both the blue top thread and white bottom thread AND lowered the top tension and tightened the bottom tension and think it is finally right.

I won't have time to work on it until the weekend, so keep me in your prayers :-)