Saturday, April 28, 2012

Paducah is the place to be!

The quilt show in Paducah is apparently the place to be.  I was returning from lunch yesterday when I ran into Pat Sloan in the hallway.  

I have followed Pat's blog and radio show for years and last year I made a quilt from her free Lucky Charms pattern.

I filmed the quilting of this quilt, step-by-step.  Check out the tutorials.

I miss this quilt!  It was auctioned off last year to support the IMQA.  I met the person who bought the quilt and I know it is in good hands.

Friday, April 27, 2012

I've got a Sweet Tooth

Do you visit the Moda Bake Shop? I try and try and try to stay away, but they have so many wonderful patterns! I am desperately trying not to start new projects, but their patterns tempt me and before I know it, another UFO is born.

This Jumbo Coins quilt is no longer a UFO!

I decided against the applique because this quilt was cute enough without it. This quilt went to another one of my cousin's grandbabies. She has FOUR!!! And they are all marvelous!

Check out Crazy Mom to see what other people have finished!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Design Opportunity

So I am making a quilt this dark and rainy weekend.  The photos will show the truth of the "dark" part of my statement.

I started the applique part a while ago.  The story of the applique part goes something like this:
  1. Design applique
  2. Prep applique
  3. Applique
  4. Cut into a circle, incorrectly beyond repair
  5. Re-prep applique
  6. Applique
  7. Cut into a circle, incorrectly yet repairable, but do not notice it at first
  8. Piece into background sideways
  9. Remove from background
  10. Notice the incorrect circle-cutting
  11. Un-applique a leaf
  12. Re-applique the leaf so it is well inside the piecing
  13. Re-piece circle into the background, correctly
  14. Lie down in a darkened room to recover
Once I recovered, I was ready to quilt.  Have I mentioned how much I love my sweet  Sweet Sixteen?  I do,  I do, I do!  I am excited to quilt this quilt on my baby.

I quilted the background of the applique:

I quilted two fun circle patterns:

The it was time to add the background quilting.  I chose diamonds:

Problem.  I felt the diamonds were too big and puffy and distracted from the circle motifs.  Agree?:

I decided to add some quilting to the center of the diamonds.  

Choice #1 -- inner diamonds.


Choice #2 -- pumpkin seeds:


Choice #3 -- spiral diamonds:


Choice #4 -- concentric diamonds:

I decided to keep this design, for now at least.

I still have to un-quilt my rejected designs.  Words cannot express how excited I am to pick out 18 stitches to the inch in 100-weight thread.  Maybe chocolate will help?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Oh Baby!

Earlier this year, I made a quilt for Bumblebeans Basics. I liked the pattern so much that I made another one in bright colors for a baby:

I must confess I love to put scrappy backs on quilts:

The whole back:

I gave this to my first cousin, twice removed (aka my cousin's grandbaby). I hope I get to see all of her grandbabies again soon!

Check out Crazy Mom to see what other people have finished!

Monday, April 16, 2012

A new quilting friend!

I met another new quilting friend at MQX.

Linda won the class sample from my Look at What a Longarm Can Do! class:

Congratulations Linda! It was a pleasure having you in class!

Friday, April 13, 2012

More quilting friends

Today's post is about Vicki, another quilt friend. I feel like I have known her forever. She visits me at various quilt shows in the northeast United States and she just took a class from me at MQX. We were both thrilled when I pulled her little red ticket from the pile and she won the class sample:

Congratulations Vicki! I was thrilled to have you in class. See you at the next quilt show!


I am blessed beyond measure to work in the quilting industry. Some of my biggest blessings are the students friends I meet.

I met Diane a few years ago when she first bought her longarm machine. I have had her as a student in some longarm classes and learned beside her as a student in some piecing classes. She is an amazing woman and a very talented quilter. My life is better for knowing her.

Recently, she pieced a quilt, quilted it, added sparkly bits to it and then she sent it to MQX. Last night it won a blue ribbon!!! See:

Congratulations Diane! You are amazing and now everybody knows it!

Monday, April 09, 2012

An unfaithful cat

I have mentioned before how my cat loves his broken-down pizza box. A reminder:

He has been faithful to that box for weeks and weeks.

Today, Kermit had a fling...

...with a newspaper. How common!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Mike, the sequel

Did any of you know that I am married to a rock star? My husband plays drum in a rock band and he's the cutest drummer that I know!

The band members pop in and out as life happens to them (job changes, back to school, new babies, coaching soccer, etc.)

The band always practices at my house and I love it! I even love it when the noise from the basement makes the glassware in the dining room rattle.

The original singer in the band, Mike, has had many life changes in the last few years and is not with the band any more. He has, however, changed the way I hear many songs. When I hear a song from an original artist and I am used to the way Mike sings it, it just sounds wrong on the radio somehow.

Not so many years ago, Mike got married. Then he had a little baby boy who received a little blue quilt. He recently had another little baby boy and that little boy will received this little green quilt:

With a scrappy green back:

I resumed work on this quilt last fall while living in a hotel room for a week and recently quilted and bound it.

Check out Crazy Mom to see what other people have finished!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

I'll think about that tomorrow

Last night I was playing with my sweet Sweet Sixteen and wanted to make some progress on this quilt (scroll down to see the square quilt). I last posted when I was quilting the center, but I had no idea what to quilt in the border.

I do most of my thinking when I drive, and I have done a lot of driving in the last few weeks (New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey...). During those long drives, I finally figured out how I wanted to quilt the border.

Using my Handi Quilter Circle Templates, I stitched the spine for the feathers and then stitched the feathers. I used InvisiFil thread from WonderFil. It is a 100-weight polyester and quilts so beautifully!

I finished the border after 10pm last night and took a photo:

I wasn't sure if the quilt was done or not. There were a million questions running through my head:
  • Was there enough visual interest in the border?
  • Should I have used a contrasting thread?
  • Should I restitch the spines and circles using a thicker contrasting thread?
My head was spinning with questions and I decided to imitate Scarlett O'Hara and think about it tomorrow.

Tomorrow is today.

This morning I woke up and hung the quilt outside on the laundry line to get a look at in in proper daylight.

Here is what the quilt looks like this morning:

Sometimes the proper light can make a world of difference.

I think the border is done. I am so glad I waited a day to make this decision. If I had added contrasting thread and didn't like it, it would have been a bear to un-stitch.

Now for the binding. Maybe I should add some piping? I'll think about that tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Personal Challenge

In the last four months, I have visited the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg Florida, MOMA in New York City (sigh), the Sackler and Freer Galleries in Washington D.C., the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and a separate visit to Van Gogh Up Close at the Philadelphia Museum. During that time I have also walked along beautiful beaches in The Bahamas, visited NASA in Florida, been a tourist in New York City (sigh), and visited Washington D.C. while the cherry blossoms were in full bloom. I have taken nearly 1,000 photos and each one holds the promise of a quilt.

Tonight I decided that I needed to start working on a photo-to-quilt translation. Which photo did I choose? Kandinsky? Dali? Warhol? An exquisite Islamic tile pattern? Palm trees? Cherry blossoms?


I chose a photo of a daffodil in my front yard.

Isn't that a sweet photo? It is a very lonely daffodil under the rock wall along my front steps. I obviously did not stage this photo; I just snapped a shot with my phone as I was walking up the driveway a few weeks ago.

If you want to see some gorgeous photographs by an amazing photographer, check out Nora Scarlett. I was introduced to her work a few months ago and had the pleasure of meeting her last week. Her work is so light and happy; I am enthralled by it. Her show of photographs from the Shawangunk Mountains is opening this weekend and I hope to attend.

Back to my lousy snapshot:
I spent an hour tonight listening to the end of a Lee Child novel and trying to make a fabric and thread photograph. My art skills are not smarter than a fifth grader. Do not expect great things. Seriously, lower your expectations before you scroll down to see the quilt.

Using supplies on hand, I grabbed some brown fabric, green fabric, cotton batting, and four colors of threads (black, multi-green, multi-yellow and multi-orange). I cozied up to my Sweet Sixteen made this 6x8-inch mini quilt:

If I remade this (which I most likely will not), I would use an additional layer of batting and do something different with the grass. And maybe hand-dye the fabrics for the rocks and grass.

It still has to be bound. Any volunteers?

When I showed my husband this little quilt, he gave a one-word comment: "small."

I would love to hear your one-word comment about my little quilt. "Small" has already been taken so choose another word.

If some of you stopped short at my list of travels in the last few months, please know that I spent more time at home in the last four months than in the eight months before that. The next eight months are looking quite busy as well. The Florida/Bahamas trip was a true vacation. New York City and Washington DC were work related. So were New Jersey, Utah, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey (again). I travel A LOT and sometimes I get to see cool stuff. I am a very blessed woman, indeed.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Design Wall Monday

Dear April, I am glad to see you!

In March, I spent:
  • 18 nights in
  • 6 hotels in
  • 5 states. I spent
  • 6 more days traveling to and from
  • 2 quilt shows,
  • 1 training event and
  • 3 events at quilt shops. I visited
  • 3 more quilt shops while I was on the road. I quilted
  • 3 customer quilts, including
  • 1 for a magazine (more on this later). I ended my month wishing my son a happy
  • 25 year-old birthday. This fact confuses me, since I am only
  • 29 years old myself. That is my story; I am not changing it.
If you add all of those numbers together, they equal
  • 1 very tired Debby!
One of the quilt shops I visited was Bits 'N Pieces in Pelham, NH. I love that shop! Liz is a wonderful shop owner and the students there are out-of-this-world fabulous! Since my last visit there was marked by a hurricane, followed by tornadoes, flooded roads, and three days stranded in a hotel waiting for the airport to reopen, this visit was 100% pleasure!

I picked up some fabric for my red and white memory quilt and just now had time to make my blocks (see explanation above):

It's gonna be a great quilt!

Check out Judy's blog to see what everyone else is doing.