Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Preteens and Pam

What a week!... grandaughter 12 year old Kaley(right) and 10 year old Morgan (left) visiting for a week. Busy Busy.. Chatter Chatter. They are wonderful young ladies ... the week ending with a lovely dinner at an upscale Japanese grill. They were well behaved.

.... at the end ... they couldn't hold it together and had to have fun.. :-)

Off to the airport for Kaley's 6am flight home Saturday, and I kept going to San Diego for a longarm class with Pam Clarke. What a joy she is. Pam has a freeing method of creating free motion quilting designs using 1) the shape of the block, sashing , or border as a defined outer perimeter for the quilting pattern, and 2) an simplified/versatile inside the block,sashing, border reference stencil allowing one to create unmarked designs that FIT the area without having the "perfect sized stencil."

on a sharpie marked practice 'quilt' an example of her chalked reference

Very clever and freeing ideas that allow for both simple and intricate designing without marking. Cut me a little slack on tthe quality of quilting here. I am new to longarming...really new, and I was most interested in the process rather than the end result on THIS day anyway.
If yo ever have a chance at a class with Pam... Take it! By the way, she is the featured artist in the most current Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine (www.MQUMAG.com) Check her out!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Where HAVE I been?!

Anyone think I've left for parts unknown....? It's been a hectic couple of weeks... First, snowed OFF the mountain and OUT of my mountain home... at the same time family arrived from out of town and my new long arm ( I'm practicing on donated philanthropy quilts) is experiencing break-in complications. It will all settle down in time.

Family is tucked into my small studio down off the mountain so it's quite a challenge but getting better. For stress relief last 'night' after all went to bed, I was able to get at my domestic machine and quilt a barter piece created by a friend. So, the question here is.... what to do with an applique with a complicated patterned batik fabric? I have simple thinking on something like this.... my goal is to showcase the applique. I'm not as interested in trying to showoff any fancy quilting atop the busy scaled batik. Frankly, it would be hard to achieve but more importantly wouldn't seem important to the desired central focus. On a different fabric... perhaps a different approach. No real rules, eh?
So... first to stitch as close as possible around applique elements on the light pink fabric. After that, despite what some think is unimaginative quilting ( the stipple) I like adding small scale stipple meandering when I don't wish to draw any attention to the stippled areas.
This goes back to friend Hilary Field.

It was good to get back to the sound of a hmmmming machine.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Novel Block of The Month Guild Approach

First time I've seen a guild have 2 block of the month options, both similar, but designed around experience of the quilter. So to encourage newer quilters, a more simple block:

...and a more complex block for those up for a challenge:

It may have been clear at the meeting, but I have no idea why the two are wearing red white and blue hats....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hello From Tehachapi

Lucky me... I spent the last three days in the lower valley (BEAUTIFUL) in Tehachapi, Ca. What a wonderful group of people living in paradise... albeit a bit chilly but I'm use to that! Quilt guilds aren't used to having their speakers photograph them rather than quilts... but it IS about the quilters anyway!

I had lovely hosts Molly and her husband David...not to mention their 2 'children' Chloe ( a long haired chihuahua) and Pumpkin ( a 7 mos old Yorkshire Terrier). Needless to say Chloe and Pumpkin were very entertaining.
Just look at the beautiful bed quilt I got to sleep under ( Pieced and quilted by my hostess Molly.)
Both class and lecture went well .. below a sample of in progress work by a student.

More later... I must do inventory now and reorder inks for my April 1st retreat.(pattsretreats.blogspot.com)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Real Treasure by Robt. Kaufman

First.. FINALLY, the snow receded enough in our canyon that I could get home for the first time in a week. The sun was out and snow pretty much melted. With that, UPS could get there too and I received 'prize' fabric for my quilt "The Incredible Corsair" placing in the recent Navy Challenge. "WOW" is all I can say! A true treasure chest titled Bounty of Basics of Kona Solids (light values) arrived with patterned companion fabrics. This should make for an interesting challenge to use them ALL in one quilt. Well, it sounds good anyway.

My thanks to Robert Kaufman for this gift and for continuing to produce interesting and high quality fabrics for quilters.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Setting The Table

I started this just for fun piece long ago requesting each member of my "Wanabe Quilters" friendship group to select face shape, hair, clothing to be cut out and fused to a block I would later ink in their facial features. Since we 'dine' at monthly meetings ( a meeting highlight), the Quilt Title is "Wanabe Dining" describing both the group and our ongoing desire. :-)
I had also asked each member for a piece of signature fabric ( whatever that meant to them) to place on their plate at this quilted luncheon. Finally, well after the quilting and binding, I am tackling the addition of napkins atop photographed silver Nordstroms boxes often used by this group to store UFO's.

Each Quilter now dines with their own napkin in their place setting.

I'll be teaching "Fun Faces in Ink"... a fully painted (ink'd) project with Calico House, Anaheim, Ca. ( July 23rd), and on the Fiber Arts Cruise to Alaska ( posted earlier and also seen on link on the left side of this blog for Current News).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Weekend Away

It's a great time when you can get away with friends to spend almost 3 days sewing, especially in a retreat center that regularly beckons quilters. This time 2 large classrooms full of quilters, some of which I knew. They all seemed taken back at what I was sewing. Patt... the art quilter was making shabby chic table runners for a niece's upcoming wedding. I made 15 in fact... but 'have 15 to go. Let's just say I love this niece alot. This is what she wants so this is what she'll get!

I have a travel 'tackle style box' with duplicate tools and basic sewing stuff so I can grab and go when opportunity arrives.

But like many quilters, I needed some form of 'quilter's vitamins' ( anything with chocolate as an ingredient) added.

I am admittedly antsy to get back to my kind of work... I will. Family wins for now.