Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Fearless Quilting

Ah....FEARLESSNESS in quilting gets my heart beating a little faster. You know the cliff diving, wind surfing, roller coaster riding type of fearlessness. All, of which I wouldn't attempt, in real life, even if my very existence depended on it. In other words, I sort of....okay, I really like to play it safe. I am basically a non-risk taker. Just ask my kids, they will verify this without blinking. There is always talk of my "Worry Line" showing. But when I quilt.......I get to ride the wave, fly through the air....well, you get the picture.

When I registered for Quilt Con I got booted out of the system three times. By the time I got back in, most of the classes were full.....I managed to get into one workshop, but that was it. At first I was a little disappointed but I decided to check out the lectures. For me, this really turned out for the best.

Luke Haynes...... just jumped right into the deep end of quilting....he didn't seem to know there were rules. I mean, why would you change a sewing machine needle unless it was actually broken!! Fearless!!!

Victoria Findlay Wolfe....When something doesn't work, what do you do....cut it up!!!! Fearless!!!

Sherri Lynn Wood.....Ruler free! Letting our work come from a deeper place!  Fearless!!!

Having fun....in Sherri Lynn's workshop...It was a struggle limiting myself to only a few colours for this particular score from the Improve Handbook for Modern Quilters. Never fear....if it doesn't work out I'll just cut it up!! Fearless....right??

Then there's Jacquie....always ready with a smile and a hug. Jacquie gave a fabulous lecture on The Art of Teaching. So completely authentic, when sharing her experiences as a teacher (the negative as well as the positive)! Fearless!!!
Pardon the goofy expression on my face.....there seems to be a lot of that whenever the camera comes near me. And yes, we planned our co-coordinating outfits. Kidding!!

The word FEARLESS just resonated within me throughout all of Quilt Con. The Gee Bend Quilters shared from the heart.  Again....the word fearless came to mind as they sang and shared.

Then, there was the meeting of the other quilters....perhaps a little fearful. But no need, the friendliness was simply overwhelming.

The exchange of cards and buttons......wonderful!!

Meeting up with Kathleen....catching up, exchanging ideas, stories and of course good food!!

Lots of laughter and hugs! Good times with Jo-Anne! 

Meeting new friends and catching up with old ones....it was a total delight and I haven't even talked about the quilts. Maybe next post. The show was a delightful visual overload! 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Quilt Con 2015

I'm having a great time in Austin, Texas at Quilt Con. I spent the day catching up with old friends, meeting new friends and attending several lectures. I had a brief walk through the show and just a quick look at all the vendors.

It was exciting to see my quilt in the show....sort of fun hearing some of the remarks!!! Lots of fun,actually.

The trip started with me getting up at 3 am in the morning and meeting Leanne (She Can Quilt) at the airport. That early morning thing should account for the goofy look on my face. Trust me I am NOT a morning person.

Dinner out with new friends (Christine and Stephanie).

And guess who won first prize in the minimalist category??? Leanne (She Can Quilt) This picture does not do this lovely quilt justice. Congrats, Leanne!!!! 

Tomorrow I have much more time to go through the show more thoroughly. The quilts are amazing. I'll keep you posted!!!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Bias Petal Score....My process

Last winter, I volunteered to be a tester for Sherri Lynn Wood's upcoming book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. I enjoyed my experienced immensely...except for the fact that I couldn't share my process with you, along the way. But good news....I am free to do so now. Rest assured I took plenty of pictures along the way.

To quote the book description on Amazon; "Instead of traditional instructions, she (Sherri Lynn Wood) presents 10 frameworks (or scores) that create a guiding, but not limiting, structure." All of the testers received one of the 10 scores.

When I received the "Bias Petal" score....a little panic ensued. Why you might ask? Well, did the improv part unnerve me? No, not in the least...I have been having my own love affair with improv for some time now. What about the curved piecing or bias strips?? No, not really, curved piecing and I are old friends. What was it then?? The word PETAL....yes, the word PETAL!! Nothing personal...but, but, but I don't do flowery petal type things!!!! Yup....that knocked me right out of my comfort zone....probably a good thing.

 Here is the finished quilt: Shifting Impressions

I needed several bias strips and as usual got a little carried away

Then I cut meters upon meters of bias strips (after all, I wanted variety). I still have plenty of those strips sitting around for more projects.

Whenever working with anything on the bias.....bubbles and puckers can be a problem.But, Sherri Lynn has plenty of little tips to combat those pesky bubbles. My secret weapon is spray starch!!!!

I made several petals....and just kept putting them up on my black design wall. I used several gradient type fabrics and mostly solids or tone on tone fabrics.

I decided to shatter the petals.....somewhere along the process, I stopped thinking of them as petals. I shattered them by slicing through the petals (using my rotary cutter) and shifting them a little and sewing them back together.

 The back of a shattered petal.

The shattering......created a different effect.

I took one look at the wall and the question that kept running through my head was.....how in the world am I going to put this all together into one piece???  I was determined to do it all by machine.....no hand sewing whatsoever.

As you can see, I started quilting sections, with no idea where this was going. And of course I threw in a little QAYG (Quilt as you Go).....and there you have it.

The exciting part of working this way is that the ideas sort of start exploding along the way.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Clearing the Deck

Or should I say decks, as in plural....in other words, multiple cluttered surfaces. As of late, I have been somewhat confined okay quite a bit confined to the house. My youngest daughter has been dealing with some health issues and is home from Montreal. Soooo....I thought I should make good use of my time. Let me share some of my progress with you.

 A little fat quarter storage....CD holders from Ikea do the trick. In all honesty, I still have two huge rubber maid containers full, that I need to refold, since using them to pack breakables etc. when we moved over a year ago.

 The design walls up and working.....lovely way to display quilts when not being used!!

 The Long Arm all cleared off.....time to start longarming again. Hmm....is that even a word??

 Lots of storage, for works in progress.....trust me, that is just the touch of the iceberg....there are many many more buckets of those. What can I say, it's part of my process.

 See....all clear.

 Extra, sitting down, ironing space.

 I believe in using every nook and cranny....for all those awkward things.

 Storage right up to the ceiling!!!!!


Me and my drill got a little carried away....like I said, I like to use every nook and cranny.

 Speaking of drills.....I even organized my tool area!!!

 Now that the cutting table has been cleared off....does that mean I have to start sewing???? 

Note my design wall....my little Paige has been at it again.

We moved over a year ago and I finally unpacked the last box, on Monday......doing the dance of joy!!!!!

Now I'm bracing myself for the Kitchen Reno.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Quilty Happiness is Finding a Spot for Your Ironing Board!!

It really doesn't take much to make us quilters happy does it. But SERIOUSLY.....finding a permanent spot for the ironing board is BIG!!!! I know, I know, I really need to get a life.

And just maybe, I might even make a new cover for it!! Gotta love that fabulous Marimekko fabric!!! 

This is actually a secondary Ironing Station, very important, as I have Quilty Friends that come and gab, drink coffee and quilt.....lately more emphasis on the gabbing and coffee. What can I say....it's just as therapeutic as quilting!!!

What you are seeing here is what I like to call the "Industrial Zone" of my studio. My condo has a lovely walk-out basement with a view of the river. But being a condo, part of the basement has no windows and of course a huge furnace etc....being Alberta!!! The walls are drywalled and painted and the concrete floors are painted as well. This is the part of the studio where the long arm lives, along with many, many meters of fabric. 

The space is approximately 700 square feet and is dived in two. It is my goal to utilize this space to the best of my ability. 

Every bit of wall space has to have a function.
 A Marimekko Bulletin Board is just a bit more Quilty Happiness.

Now, back to the "Public Zone" of my Studio.

More Quilty Happiness.....a huge, black design wall!!

And.....adjacent to that a smaller, white design wall.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Well, It's Been a Year!!

Shockingly enough, I woke up this morning, full of vim and vigor!!!  Who does that on New Year's Day??? Not me usually, but then there's a first for everything. Let's hope that's a good sign for the year to come.....

Another first......THE TREE WENT DOWN ON BOXING DAY. Yikes, that's never happened before. Well, my husband was in a mood to paint and one really needs to take advantage of that type of mood. That would be the reason to dismantle Christmas so early.....works for me!!!

You don't have to call me twice, when it's my studio being painted!!!!

Look at all that yummy trim!!!

The downside.....there is a downside???  Of course, that goes without saying. I had to take down all my design walls and revamp things somewhat. 

So with all that vim and vigor I redid my design walls. 

I decided on one really large, black one (there it is partially up) behind the couch....since everything slides like butter, on the new cork floors, it should be easy to push it forward a few feet when working on large quilts.

I have a smaller beige one beside the cutting table....that should do me. Sadly, one only has so much wall space.

So, what was my year like in Quilts......well, not really high in number.

Picking Up the Pieces

Besides quilting, I did get a few wonderful opportunities to share my personal quilting journey. 

Meeting so many wonderful quilters, during the workshops I taught, was definitely a highlight!!!

On a personal level....there was loss.

Today, was the first New Years Day, without calling my Mom (something, I did every New Years Day since leaving home at the age of twenty).

I wish you all the best, for the New Year.



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