Monday, April 30

The Birds Sing Again

Our beautiful little neighborhood is quite now. 
You can hear the birds singing again. 
 I have used this little bit of fiber to work threw a few
of the feelings I have. It wasn't made to sell or display - just to release emotion. 
Excuse it's grim message.








Sunday, April 29

Getting Reacquainted

Well with a 4 month gap on using the Pfaff we have drifted apart a bit. She is wanting to have tension issues today and I told her I'd have no part of that. So she is off and has been warned when I come back over there in a few minutes she had better be playing well. I did give her a good bobbin area cleaning, which always surprises me how much lint is in there...just shocking. 
I did make myself a new oversized mug rug yesterday for my computer desk. It has to be big enough for a coffee cup and a snack :). I just grabbed some fabric I had cut a while back (I don't remember for what now) and started playing. I mainly wanted to quilt so the piecing was just tossed together in my standard hap hazard fashion. 

 I wanted to share this super simple and very yummy dish. If you like fresh corn you might want to try this. You start off by putting a blog of butter in a skillet. Blob is southern for about 1.5 tablespoons. 

 Then cut the corn off the cob - here I used about 5 ears. I remember my grandmother used to scrape the corn to get every little bit off and there would be corn bits everywhere including her glasses. I'm not this dedicated but just cut as deep as possible. 

Then I cut up 2 bell peppers and stir it all together. I cooked this till it just started to get tender and cut off the flame. Don't want to loose the crisp snap of the veggies. The sweet of the corn and peppers was a surprise together and we just loved them. 


Got a new book this week from one of my inspirations Mary Hettmansperger, Her fiber and jewelry designs have really changed the way I work with metal. My first look at her work was on a DVD I purchased from Lark Books for embellishing fiber art.

Here are 2 new postcards I've started today. I lay out the components I want to use on top of the fabric to see how well they play together till I have a happy group. Then the quilting begins. The one on the right was influenced by my new book. 


 I have started a new hand sewing project and I'm determined to get this try past pillow size. This is the 3rd time I've tried to make a quilt using this method and the other 2 did end up being pillows. So I thought this time I'd just keep them in this old sewing box and work on it when the mood strikes and let it sit and wait when I'm not. It will become a lap quilt. I also decided not to put the little bits in the traditional Grandmother's flower garden formation and rather go for a more contemporary mix of oops again a hap hazard mix. 

Monday, April 23

Hello Old Friend

Saturday we had our meeting/workshop at the Music City Modern Quilter's Guild. We had a quick meeting, a wonderful lunch (covered dish) and then Stefanie our pres did a workshop on how to prepare your digital artwork created in Adobe Illustrator for print at spoonflower. She had samples of all the types of fabric that spoonflower prints on and after the class she gave them all away. The organic cotton was surprisingly soft. I had a picture in my mind that this fabric would be stiff, but it's just like what you would buy at a quilt shop and not much more expensive for what you are getting. Stefanie also had "coupons" for each member to get a free fat quarter printed. Not sure yet what I will have done but I'll show it off when I make up my mind and get it printed.
Leigh from Burgundy Buttons brought some fabric bundles for a block contest the guild is doing and also brought some new books for us to see/buy. I was just in love with these books. I hadn't seen either one of them and told my hubby that they seemed to have been written just for me. They embrace the free style I love so much. My favorite of the two is the Quilting Modern book. The piecing is beautiful and the quilting is to die for. So I thumbed threw the books Saturday night and couldn't wait to start planning or rather jumping right into the creation of a quilted project inspired from the book Quilting Modern.


This Sunday at 6:00 am we were moving furniture, running phone lines and getting my little bit of heaven on earth back to normal. This worked out so very well due to the fact that today is my birthday and what better present could a fiber artist have than to return to normalcy in her studio. It's been 4 months of clutter, not knowing where anything is and not having my Phaff at my finger tips. A long time for a quilter to go without. So now with my world right again I smile and find much joy once again in this room. It has sure been threw some changes. Now I can say everything is 100% perfect for me.
 Hello old friend - my Pfaff is back!
My computer, sewing cabinet and workbench. 
I guess I need to make a big pillow for the kids in here. 

The jewelry workbench also serves as a cutting surface
for small projects. My bigger cutting table is still
upstairs with the studio cutter and my stash. 
I'm so lucky to have a husband who understands
my need for a creative work space.
He's worked hard to get this all the way 
I wanted it and I'm so happy. 

Now my Pfaff calls


Friday, April 20

What A Wonderful Day

Well I was off work today and won't go back till Tuesday. So with this little mini vaca I wanted to get a few things done around the house. After sleeping late and having a quite morning I took off to Home Depot and got some flowers and herbs and 2 huge bags of potting soil. I'm not much of a yard person and don't normally do much but I do like to have a little flower pot garden. So here is the beginning of it. 
Banana Peppers

Parsley

Tomato

Little color for the front porch

After I was done I sat on the porch 
with my constant companions

I came in and was determined
I'd get my work bench organized. 
My friend BJ suggested I label everything and
that is how it got started.

 There is even space left on the bottom shelf!

So now maybe I can work in a neat area.
I have a lot to get done and it should help. 
To see how much better this is look at my last post. 
Whew big improvement!

Tomorrow is our quilt guild meeting
That is always fun. We're having covered dish
and a talk on how to prepare your digital files
to have fabric printed. Our president Stefanie 
has designed her own fabric for several of her quilts

Wednesday, April 18

I was checking out a few blogs recently and saw these beautiful bookmarks. Well I just had to have one for my sister. So I worked out a custom order in a color I thought she would like and when I got this it was so beautiful I just had to have more. These are made by Gene Black you can visit his blog here. It's great by the way, or go to his Etsy shop here




This last one was a gift just for me. 
Thanks so much Gene I love it and it's going in 
a brand new book I'm cracking open tonight. 

Now I'm wondering if any of you are great organizers, if so
PLEASE HELP ME! 
Oh my gosh I have a workbench full of little boxes and bins
and it's making me crazy. Any ideas on how to organize a ton
of little bits of this and that? Please let me know if you have
some great ideas. As you can see it's a mess and I just
can't be productive with all this clutter surrounding me. 




A few days ago I received the Liebster Award from my good friend BJ 
who is continually supportive of my art and life in general. 
BJ is a wonderful positive person and very creative. 
One of her art quilts hangs on the wall near my computer
where I can enjoy it every day. Thanks so much BJ!
You can check out her blog at
http://newgirlbj.blogspot.com/

 The Liebster is given to blogs that deserve to be recognized,
but have less than 200 followers. 
And of course, the Award comes with just a few "rules", which are:
  1. Post about your win on your blog
  2. Link back to the blogger who presented you with the award
  3. Copy and paste the award to your blog
  4. Present the award to 5 blogs that have less than 200 followers that you think deserve to be recognized
  5. Let them know by leaving a comment their blog. 
Here are the 5 I know you will love to check out. 
My Sister, My Friend, 2 Ladies who Inspire me, and our quilt guild.
Five good places for some good reading and beautiful art

My sister, a wonderful person and a great photographer,
her work can be seen here

My good friend Stefanie a quilter, a designer and
one talented lady - check out her blog here

As I've wandered around in blogville I have stumbled upon
one person who's interests are varied like mine
and I really enjoy her art - check out her blog here

An art quilter I've admired greatly and draw
much inspiration from - her art quilts are amazing
and you can see them here

And last is the quilt guild I belong to
a wonderful group of very 
talented ladies working together
to share and grow their love of quilting


Sunday, April 15

An Ah Ha Moment

I have been quilting my small quilts myself since my first quilt. I really didn't have a clue what I was doing but as per my normal I just pushed forward with little fear and at the time little knowledge. I had gotten pretty good at the free motion stippling and even was brave enough to quilt 2 lap quilts with the pebbles pattern but mostly I just stuck to meandering. I really wanted to know the hidden secrets of a planned pattern in my quilting. It just seemed a huge mystery to me. This past Friday thou all secrets were revealed. I took my second free motion class and it just clicked. When I made a row of leaves that were actually in a row I was so excited. Then our wonderful teacher showed us how to make feathers. These did seem way beyond me but I do think now with some practice I can get pretty good at feathers. It's just all in knowing the path to take. So I can't wait to practice more and hopefully on my next small quilt I'll use some of these patterns. I was telling my friend Stefanie I took the class with that this could change the way I piece my tops for now I'll want borders to put these patterns into. 

This one did take a bit more concentration but I think
it could be great once I get even spacing/shapes under control. 


Friday was an exciting day in many ways. We found a new "used" truck for Hubby
which he is thrilled with and I also moved into the modern ages and got our
first flat screen tv. Yes I am a bit behind the times on that one. But I do tend to 
use something till it dies of old age and the huge TV in the living room is still going strong. 
The one upstairs thou became so outdated you couldn't find things that would 
even plug into it anymore (like the cable box!) so it was time for it to go. 
So this afternoon I'll cut out more Grandmother's Flower Garden bits and get ready for a 
night in front of the new TV and hand sewing - oh joy!


Monday, April 9

Sewing, Hammering and Just Having Fun

Well a few weeks ago I went back to the basics and took a quilting 101 class at the Quilting Squares. This Friday we will be taking the 2nd in the series and I'm learning a lot of good stuff. I am basically self taught and that's all good except sometimes you just need a little help from a pro. I have no fear of just charging off into free motion but often have issues with tension and wanted to learn about marking for quilting a more defined pattern. All of this was covered in our first lesson. It was a lot of fun and the time just flew by. We purchased this book which is excellent. 

The following two samples were done with two types of marking. 
The top one was a tracing done on special paper and pinned to the top 
of the "quilt" and then I just free motioned over the top of the paper. 
This worked very well but I'm not a huge fan of pulling off all the
paper afterwards. If the design is not too complex it's not too bad. 


This one was done with a stencil and a pounce pad. 
I had bought several stencils and a pounce but just couldn't get
it to work as well as I thought it should. Well I took the word 
pounce too literally. It seems you just rub it over the stencil
not tap it up and down. No cloud of powder this way.
Also you can only do small areas at a time cause the
fine dust will rub off as you are moving your quilt around. 


The most important thing I learned was to slow down and give
myself "resting points" in my free motion. This will be hard to
get into the habit of due to my pedal to the metal mentality of free motion. 
But having the needle in the down position and taking a deep breath
from time to time will make a difference and I just need to break
my old habit of 0-60 in 90 seconds. 


On the jewelry front I did a show on March 31st and it was my first show with bad weather. It started off as a beautiful day and then the sky got a bit gray. We then had some pretty nasty winds and during my last sale my wonderful assistant Chelsea and I were holding the tent down as the wind tried it's best to take it all away. So after checking the weather on Chel's phone we determined to pack up cause it was just looking pretty bad. Too much of those nasty yellow and red areas on the map. So I go get the truck and leave tiny Chelsea holding down the tent. 
As I am backing up and starting to load things the rain starts in ernest and is very soon followed by hail. I rushed back under the tent and we stood there wet to the bone. At least I made my booth fee back prior to the yucky weather. So my first show with bad weather...didn't make me loose my love of doing shows. I had to come home (it hadn't rained here at all) and reset up the tent so it could dry out. I hung the sides of the tent on the deck railing and it looked like wash day for sure. It was still a fun day even with all the rain. It's nice to sell a piece on line, but it's so much better to see your customer face to face and see that smile when they put on your jewelry.