I’m so grateful for the blessings in my life: my love, my family, my dogs, and all the friends that I’ve made over the years. Hope you take a moment to reflect on all the little things in life that make it worth living. Here’s wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving!
Back in August I joined the South Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild (SBAMQG) and immediately signed up for their house goods swap. I figured that it’d be a nice way to begin getting to know the members. As you may recall I made the mini low volume quilt for my swap partner. She wasn’t at the meeting that night so I’m not sure if she liked it or not. I don’t believe she’s been to last month’s meeting to find out. In the meantime I have yet to share with you what I received from my swap partner Heidi. She made me this wonderful pillow. It’s the perfect color to complement the navy sofa and recliners in our living room. I’m starting to get a cool collection of pillows to add pops of color. Of course I don’t like to have them out all the time because I hate how the dogs like to paw things. We let them have old blankets instead and save the pillows for when company comes over. ;-)
The best thing is that the back side of the pillow is pieced as well so if I ever want a change of scenery I can flip it over. Thank you Heidi!
As you can tell by the picture, both Heidi and I were very happy about our swap. Funny thing is that I carpooled with Heidi and her friend that evening so she was being a bit cagey about her swap item bag. Ha ha. I'm so glad that it was for me because it's a beaut!
The other month I participated in a pincushion swap on flickr … Mini QT Swap flickr group. I sent off the starfish pincushion and this is what Ruth of Ruthie Quilts made me in return. This absolutely darling two part pincushion. The base is a biscornu (two squares twisted together) that are made from quilted blocks. The top of it is a paper pieced flying geese pattern. I love that so much!!! And the icing on the cake is the little birdie topper. Ruth made that as part of a test for her friend Deonn of Quiltscapes. Don’t you wish you had one too? Well never fear my friends because Deonn was so very kind and wrote the Little Birdies pincushion tutorial that was featured on the Riley Blake website. Run over there and get a copy of it. I bet that they’d also make fantastic ornaments or gift toppers as well as the cutest little pincushions ever. Thank you very much Ruth!
I recently completed a pincushion swap on flickr because I needed another pincushion to take with me on sewing days. Plus it's always fun to see what other people come up with. This is what I made for my swap partner Ruth. She likes the colors pink and green and anything to do with the ocean. I immediately thought of a starfish attached to a rock cairn covered with seaweed. Actually that was achieved just by choosing some lovely green and turquoise fabrics. The middle cairn is studded with glass head pins that sparkle. After all what's a pincushion without pins?
Ruth also wanted her pincushion filled with crushed walnut shells. Hmm, where to get that? Apparently some people use them as a cage liner for birds. So off to the pet store where I found a BIG bag of it. At that rate I'm going to need to make another 20 small pincushions to finish it off. LOL The one thing about crushed walnut shells is that it makes a very heavy pincushion. In hindsight I should have scaled down my pincushion by at least 30%. This bad boy is HEAVY! But on the plus side it's not going to topple over as a stuffed one would. I did keep the starfish stuffed so that I had more ability to manipulate its arms.
The good news is that Ruth received it safe and sound and that she likes it. Yay! Later I'll share the beautiful pincushion that she sent me.
These next few quilts that I saw at Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) 2014 were amazing quilting. Now before you say that you can only accomplish such work with a longarm, one of these is entirely hand quilted. I believe that you can do amazing work with practice and dedication on a domestic sewing machine, a longarm quilting machine, or simply with your hand and needle. The limit is entirely up to each of us so I'm sharing these with you as inspiration to feed our quilting souls. If nothing else they are truly eye candy. Enjoy!
Let's Do the Dresden Twist by Teri Cherne.. This was a great meshing of modern meets traditional. The quilting is to die for and those dresdens. Did you look at them in all their polka dot bright fun? My favorite has to be that full dresden plate on the back with the solid lavendar backing that really showcases the beautiful quilting. And rainbow piping!
A Splendid Display by Cindy Seitz-Krug .. This one was more traditional but I really liked how she fussy cut the peacock and then did both piecing and applique for all those little blocks. I do like the use of colored thread on the black background. Also the pop of those appliqued circles. Don't they look like covered buttons?
October Sky by Bethanne Nemesh .. I was so happy to finally be able to see this quilt in person because I've been admiring it online for a while now. I tell you that pictures just don't do this quilt justice, especially not my quick snapshots. Look at the detail and all that matchstick quilting that helps to bring the trapunto to life. The beaded binding is amazing. She's going to be teaching that technique at the MQX Show next April in New Hampshire. Oh how I wish I could go to that.
Poppy Promenade by Bethanne Nemesh.. another gorgeous quilt from Bethanne. This one was quilted on a silk fabric. I think it was Silk Radiance, not sure exactly. That lovely beaded binding is here again.
Exuberance by Marilyn Badger.. Wow, all I can say is wow! The amount of detail and workmanship on this quilt is absolutely stunning. The hundreds of hours this must have taken her to do all that micro stippling is incredible. There's a lot to see here and more details pop out as you continue to study this quilt. I like the subtle touches such as using a print for the binding. It's very subtle but adds to the depth. And of course I'm always a sucker for a wee bit of bling and sparkle such as the strategic placement of beads here and there.
Gina's Starflowers by Marie O'Kelley.. This my friends is the quilt that was quilted by hand. Nothing in the quilter's rule book that says that hand-quilting must only be traditional. Look at how modern this one came out. I love the color selection. Of course you know that greens, turquoises and purples are my favorite colors. The piecing was a mix of hand and machine. It looks like the flowers were English Paper Pieced perhaps. What a fun quilt!
Well that my friends is the last of the pictures from PIQF 2014. I took many more than this but I felt that these were some of my highlights. It's so nice to be back in California again and be able to attend this wonderful show. The one in Denver was nice but this is HUGE. I went three times and still managed to miss things. Apparently there was a 3-D quilt on display that I completely missed out on. Maybe next time I'll try to be more methodical about my approach to the show. But sometimes it's nice to just wander around and let the quilt goodness snag my eyes as I walk about. If you're ever in the bay area in the early part of October you should try to make room in your calendar for the show.
As many of you know, quilt season is upon us. In the last month I've gone to four different quilt shows and have yet to share pictures with you. Well this past weekend was PIQF (Pacific International Quilt Festival) 2014 and it was a doozy as always. Here's a few of my favorite quilts that were more modern and colorful.
Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends who've come here via Sandi's direction at shhdesigns. Sandi creates beautiful wool applique quilts as well as the most colorful quilts a la Mary Lou Weidman style. If you haven't seen her story quilt you should go and take a look. It's wonderful! She kindly asked me to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop that's making the rounds of artistic blogs across the world. Everyone has been asked to answer four questions or variations on them.
What am I working on?
As is usual at any given time I have about four projects in different states of completion. I'm almost finished binding a quilt that my mom asked me to quilt for her on my longarm quilting machine. She began this in a class twenty years ago but never really caught the quilting bug. I sewed on the last borders and quilted a floral/swirly allover design.
I'm about five rows from finishing up my Glam Clam baby quilt top that I started in Latifah Saafir's workshop a month ago. But I did find a pretty backing fabric for it the other week.
There's a quick pincushion swap on flickr that I'm also working on. It's still a secret so all I can show are the fabrics and the circles that I've sewn. Those get to be turned, stuffed and stacked but the two pink fabrics are still a surprise.
And yes I'm still working on the Fractured quilt that will be for our bedroom. I'm about half-way done but it has to take a back seat to other projects. I'm scheduling that to be completed by the end of the year.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
There's quite a few quilters out there nowadays, yay! I don't think that I fit into any one-size-fits-all mold when it comes to quilting or doll making. I make modern quilts, a few art quilts and some that lean more towards traditional. The one consistency is that I love bright colors especially greens, aquas, and purples. It is hard to break away from that and to use the warmer colors of the color wheel but I'm always happy when I do that. Here's a few pictures of my past work.
Why do I create what I do?
I wouldn't be happy if I weren't creating something. I have memories of stealing sheets from the back of the family linen closet when I was a little girl so that I could use the fabric to hand-sew tiny clothes for my dolls. While working as a swimwear designer there wasn't too much time to spend on after hours creativity. But how can one complain when you see your sketches become swimsuits that you see someone wearing on the beach. I'm no longer a swimwear designer but I have missed having a creative profession thus my longarm quilting service, The Quilted Lemon, was born this past summer. It's the best of both worlds because I still have time to create personal projects in between working on client quilts. (I also had lots of fun designing the logo and the new website.)
How does my creative process works?
As much as I'm in awe of those of you who can make improve pieces, I need to have sketches and designs in place first. Even if it's just a thumbnail sketch to give me a guideline on how to turn my idea into an actual object. Sometimes I'll scan in a design to Adobe Photoshop so that I can play around with color schemes. At other times I'll pull a very large fabric pile and then begin a project. In the end not all fabrics or trims make it in the final project but they served their purpose of inspiration.
Thank you so much for visiting. Sadly my friends weren't able to continue the link in this blog hop due to prior commitments but here's a few places that I think you'll very much enjoy visiting.
If you've never heard of Bonnie Hunter then you're in for a treat as she loves to use all her scraps to make colorful quilts. Every year she offers a mystery quilt a-long for free. The designs get retired after a few months and make it into her future published books. This year's project Quiltville's Mystery Quilt Grand Illusion is inspired by the Grand Hotel in Michigan.
Susie McMahon makes the most gorgeous cloth dolls with painted faces. She often will knit tiny cardigans for her sweet dolls. But if those are too traditional for you, she also creates interesting art pieces. Inspiring work.
Judi Madsen is one of my longarm quilting heroes. She has a gorgeous style that I love studying. Fortunately for us she's written a book sharing her work tips and tutorials. Her quilts are just pure eye candy.
Enjoy taking a look at these blogs and thank you so much for visiting.
A few months ago I joined the South Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild (SBAMQG) that meets once a month in Santa Cruz. At that very first meeting they were setting up a home goods swap. It sounded like a fun project so I signed up. My partner said that she wanted either a table runner or mini quilt that was made of low volume prints, no florals (unless they were modern) and not too many pastels. Well, you can imagine from all the projects and quilts that I've made over the years that I do NOT have too many low volume fabrics. I tend to be a color saturated girl. So off to the fabric store I went and just started picking out as many low volume prints as I could find. In the end I got some really interesting prints. Then where to go from there? Since I've been wanting to make a plus sign quilt for some time now, it was the perfect way to highlight these very subtle prints.
Many little 2 1/2" squares cut. Of course after the first go I realized that I had only cut four squares each when you need five. I had forgotten the square in the middle. There's also a different way of making a plus sign quilt where you use one long rectangle and two squares but I prefer the look of all squares.
I laid out the squares on the floor and then promptly had to pick them up again. Oops, no photograph. So a couple weeks later when I got back to the project I laid out the squares on the dining table. Again I forgot to take a picture. But I decided that it wouldn't take too long to go ahead and sew rows together. Then the next day I finished sewing all the rows together.
Rather than quilt it on the DSM I opted to put it on Freddie the longarm and use the Double Bubble pantograph but at a much smaller height so that it'd look better on the mini wall hanging. I think that the circles turned out to be a great contrast against all the angles of the plus signs. Hopefully my partner likes her quilt. She wasn't at last night's meeting to pick it up but I showed it to the members who were there. The only thing I'd change is to use white thread to piece it instead of the medium grey that I used. Usually that's a perfect piecing color but in this case it still was too dark. I did quilt it with white thread and was very happy with that choice.
What do you think? Have you ever sewn a low volume project?
A few weekends ago I took the Glam Clam workshop with Latifah Saafir, The Quilt Engineer. (You know, that famous quilt that people couldn't stop talking about at the inaugural QuiltCon in Austin.) Wow, what a fun quilt. It's based on the traditional clamshells quilt that our quilting forebears used to sew by hand. Well Latifah designed some oversized templates with little triangle notches that make it easy to machine piece without pins. I tell you, it works like a charm. You can get the pattern for free from craftsy ... Glam Clam pattern. (There's a 4", 6", 8" and 12" version.)
With so many size variations to choose from I opted to go with the 8" clam and to make it baby quilt size. I began pulling teals and aqua fabrics from my stash. (You do know that's the biggest drawer in the closet, no?) When I saw the Phillip Jacobs Summer Tree bird print in aqua/pink I suddenly knew that I had to add in some hot pink accents. I think it just makes the entire quilt pop.
Our classroom was amazing, outlets everywhere, fantastic tables with a plug cutout and rolling chairs. It was in a little community center near Santa Cruz in an area called Aptos. Several people stayed late after class ended at 4pm and worked through the night. I didn't stay because Steve was just back from a business trip and I wanted to catch up.
The night before at the Silicon Valley Modern Quilt Guild, Latifah gave an awesome talk about her quilt journey. She showed us quite a few of her quilts. I especially loved this one that she's calling Molehills. It'll be a new pattern soon. Can you believe that she was inspired by a flooring design in one of the big Las Vegas casinos. Goes to show you that you can find inspiration anywhere, and what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas. Heh, heh.
So if you ever have the opportunity, take a workshop with Latifah, she's an amazing woman.
I still have 8 more rows to sew, but as you can see I finally have the layout nailed down. The next time you see it, it'll be a completed quilt.
I joined a mini group that's a subset of the larger quilt guild here in Santa Clara county. The mini group has a modern quilting focus and meets in Sunnyvale a few days after the main guild meeting. Last week I attended the first one. They're working on a charity quilt. The pattern selected is the Missing U quilt from the book, Sunday Morning Quilts by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkinson. Three of us made red blocks and there are already two orange blocks so we went back with assigned colors for the remaining two blocks. I've made orange, red, medium blue and purple. Most of the fabrics were from my scraps stash that's stored in a shoe organizer over the studio door. Sadly the purples had to come from the stash. Even though I like it, apparently I don't use purple enough to have generated a lot of scraps. And oddly enough, orange is an okay color but I must use it quite a bit. The guild has a requirement of a certain size for their charity quilts .. they must be about twin size so we'll be adding a white sashing to the blocks on one side to make it a narrow quilt. I think the white sashing will make the white bits in the center of our blocks pop.
It's such a fun block to make. No hard and set rules. Just sew bits of colored scraps around a white scrap. Of course after the fact I wish that I had cut down the white triangle in the red block into a rectangle or square. I'm thinking that this is such a great way to use up scraps that I should make some of my own. It's now added to the ever growing UFO quilt list.