Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Man, Male, Dude, Guy, Bro.....

No, I am not one of these, but....  Man these Dudes can QUILT!

I know of Matt Sparrow from the APQS forum.  I have never met him, but any couple (his wife is a quilter as well) who have 8 kids and still find time to quilt....  well just say, my hat goes off to them.  But after reading on the forum that Matt now has a regular column in Quilters Home, I decided to find his blog.

Scrolling thru it, I read a post about a space he created to see how many 'man', 'male', 'dude', etc...  quilters he could find.  I think last count was 87, but take a look at their work here.

My or My....  These Men can Quilt!!!

Feeling Good!!

So last week, I promised to bring you up to speed on what I have been up to. 

First, I finished my round on the Pelham Quilters 2010 Round Robin.  Remember, this is what I received.  I can't show you what I decided on just yet, but I promise to post a picture after guild meeting Monday night.

Second, you have seen me working on Raven's wall hanging for awhile, actually since early November.  My poor daughter has had to wait while I finished two Christmas presents, then I worked on hers while I also worked on the Round Robin.  Well it is all quilted and blocked.  Here is a picture of it being blocked on my only rug, in the front porch.

I changed quilting designs as I moved throughout the piece, which was fun, as it didn't get boring.  The top is still wet in this shot, so you can see some of the seams, but here is a close up of some of the quilting.
But to be honest, I am not sure I really like the thread.  I searched and searched for the right thread and while I like the variegated green, with it's subtle color changes, I think it is too heavy.  I used Sulky Blendables 50wt, but think I should have used a finer thread, so that it sunk into the top a little more.  Maybe if not finer, than a little lighter....  but, too late now.

Since this will be a tryptic, I now have to decide where to cut it.  Raven wants the center to be bigger than the side pieces.  It will have to hang a few days and give me a chance to stare at it, before I decide.  Then I will use the technique my friend Elizabeth Rosenberg taught me last week for facing a quilt without corner seams.

I hope to have it done by Monday night to take to guild for Show and Tell and then ship down to Raven in Miami.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The juices are flowing... what about yours?

I had a great night quilting last night!  My round robin is coming along nicely.  I really like the fabrics and colors.  The design says Renee!  Can't wait to show it to you...  but that will have to wait until after 7pm on March 1st....  that's our next guild meeting.

But now that my creative mojo is back on track, I was thinking today....  was it really just being with my quilting friends on Saturday that finally got me going?  Almost 6 weeks I looked at the piece and my stash....  multiple visits to quilt shops, multiple conversations with quilting friends on ideas....  nothing.  Then, all of a sudden it clicked.  Now don't get me wrong, I am happy...  actually thrilled that it did, especially since the due date is coming up quickly and I am the organizer of the round robins for my guild.  Surely I couldn't be tardy.  But what would I have done?  Would I have just slapped some fabric on it to say it was done...  without making it mine...  without ?????  I sure hope NOT!

So with this in mind, I have one of the curious questions again...  where do you find inspiration????  how do you get unblocked, when you just can't seem to get going????  Is there a secret you can share with the rest of us??  :-)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Finally Unblocked!!

I have had a mental block for over a month.  I have not been able to find inspiration anywhere.  Yes, I continue work on Raven's piece  (I have even finished quilting it....  I will post pics after it is blocked and faced...I promise).  But, actually figuring out what to do for my round on the Pelham Quilters 2010 Round Robin has been impossible.  I have sketched out four different designs, even got two of them on graph paper.  But they weren't right.  Either I couldn't find the right fabric to get the look I wanted, or the dimensions didn't quite work.

Well after Saturday's workshop with Elizabeth Rosenberg, I came home really feeling good.  I sat down and did the last hour or so of the quilting on Raven's piece.  Then I sat down with my sketch pad again and went back to my first idea.  Still not thinking I could make it work I went to bed.  Well, they say dreams can come true.

I woke up yesterday and knew exactly how I was going to tackle the problem.  I had worked it all out in my head during the night, even seeing the fabric right in my stash.  After a wonderful Valentines Day with my husband, we sat down to watch the Olympics and out came the paper and pencil.  Within an hour or so, I had the pattern done, fabric selected and everything set up for a quilting day today.

Enjoying the three day weekend, I ran errands this morning, came home and made some Wild Mushroom Soup and garlic bread for lunch (YUM!...  even DH surprisingly thought it was very good...  he usually has to have meat in his soups :-)).  Next, I spent the afternoon and evening after dinner working on my round.  It isn't finished, nor can I show you what I am working on, until I bring it to the March 1st guild meeting, but I made great progress and I feel GOOD!

I will share with you the piece as I received it.......

 As a tease...  here are the fabrics I choose....  

Can you figure out what I am doing?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Improvisational Flowing Line Workshop

It has been a long time since I posted.  Almost a month, that is very long for me.  But once again life has kept me going in multiple directions.  The good news is I have been quilting.  I will catch you up later, but for now wanted to share the fun I had today!

One of my favorite people in the quilting world, the person who expanded my quilting from patterns, squares and triangles, to applique, bright colors, batiks and finding my own quilting voice has recently added a new workshop to her list of lectures and workshops. Today, along with 6 other Pelham Quilter's, I had a ball in Elizabeth Rosenberg's "Improvisational Flowing Line Workshop".

No patterns, no rulers, just a mat, rotary cutter, some fabrics that read 'almost' solid, your machine and a willingness to think soft curves and your in.

Lorraine, our guild President, was one of the first to embrace the mantra...
It was great to see her smiling so.  She really got into the swing of graceful sweeping curves, no pins...  Just go for it Lorraine!

As usual, Cheryl got down and dirty.  She is a speed sewer.  Cheryl quickly decided to cut her strips early and then get to sewing.  Here you can see Cheryl and Elizabeth discussing placement of her fabrics...

Cheryl decided she was going to make a tote bag.  During our lunch break, you can see one side hanging over her machine and her work on the other side laying down on the table.  Hmphhh...  what to do next?

Millie was also a busy beaver.  She was quick to decide to combine the flowing lines with traditional patchwork cut in.
 I love Millie's colors.  Purple, turquoise and lime green....  yum!  Just look at those lovely pinks in the background.

Here is Elizabeth with the sample for the workshop.    Just got to love her work.  Stop on over to Elizabeth's website / blog and see some of her other pieces.  I just love these.  Take a look at the second one...  omg...  it is to die for!

Ok, here's a picture of the group....  interesting how each piece is so different...  different colors, different curves, totally different vibes.  I really like the yellow slanted inserts in Cheryl's piece.  I think I will have to add that in mine as I complete it.  Thanks Cheryl!

Isn't it great getting a chance to spend a day with friends, doing something you just love!!  Oh yeah, thanks Lorraine for the cake, brownies and other goodies.  I think I am going to go have a slice of your banana cake now with a cold glass of milk.