Friday, December 21, 2012

December 21: in the style of...

my friend Suzanne L. Vinson. New scarf: a holiday gift to myself from Flytrap Studios 

Happy solstice.  Pray for peace.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

December 13: outtakes

We walked down to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on Sunday to get some pictures of my quilts for the pattern covers.  I ended up with over 100 pictures.  We were almost done, when Selina happened to suggest this beautiful place in front one of the education buildings.  I probably took 20 pictures in front of this door, just this quilt.  My poor wife knelt and stood and knelt again, all on damp bricks (it was misty, to say the least).  The result?  Some of the best pictures I've ever taken, let alone the best pictures I've ever taken of a quilt.  Hopefully I can decide soon which pictures I want for the covers.  Until then, here are some of the "outtakes."

Monday, December 10, 2012

December 10: inspiration

A few weeks ago we watched my favorite Christmas special... How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  I was very surprised at how vibrant the colors were.  I remembered them being not quite so electric.  Towards the end, when the Grinch is riding back with the loot down Mt. Crumpit, towards Whoville, I was stuck by the colors of the snow, trees, and sky.  Here's the color palette I came up with from those colors:

The colors are as I remember them, so not necessarily exactly as seen in the movie.  I'm not sure how I feel about it, but it is definitely interesting.  Here are the colors (left to right):
Robert Kaufman Kona - Magenta
P&B Color Spectrum - 03BV
Moda Bella Solid - American Blue
Robert Kaufman Kona - Citrus
Robert Kaufman Kona - Wisteria
Michael Miller Cotton Couture - Starfruit
Art Gallery Pure Elements - Verve Violet
Art Gallery Pure Elements - Lemonade

I've also been looking for inspiration in lines.  Here are two somewhat unlikely sources:

The would both make really cool modern quilts.  You could take the basic shapes, draw it out and piece, especially with the grate.  They could also be used as quilting lines, especially the lines from the chocolate bar.  I'm actually kind of excited to start playing around with those lines - I'll post if I come up with anything.  Maybe the color palette above and the lines from below?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

November 26: right now (this very instant)

Trying to finish up this quilt for a new beginner class I'm teaching at Quilting Adventures in the winter/spring.   Straight line quilting on either side of the seam, including through the beautiful border.

I am working on so many things, and I'm so excited about them.  I have many beautiful pictures to share, I just need to take the time to blog about them.  Next time I'll (hopefully) share some of my great autumn pictures and pictures of the sew-along that my friend, Abbie, and I are doing - The Circle Game by Jen Kingwell Designs.

Friday, November 9, 2012

November 9: more...

Finished up the water lilies quilt!  I can't wait to quilt it, I have some awesome ideas, but because of the way the class is working, I actually can't quilt it yet.

I've also been working on a bali basket.  This is a class that I've just taken over from my mother, so I thought I should make one.  The technique is super easy and quick, these would make such wonderful gifts (not that I will be making any as gifts).  I'm teaching the class next week at Quilting Adventures.

I'm realizing that my pictures (and posts) have gotten a little....  blah.  I will try and take some cool pictures of my next project or inspiration!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

November 3: water lilies (or palmettos)

I spent most of the last week in Houston, TX, for a trade show - Quilt Market.  It was fun, but hard work, as always.  I blogged about everything I did over at the Quilting Adventures Blog.  I came back with ten million ideas, including many for new projects and classes.  I'm working on Carolyn Friedlander's Palmetto pattern as a new class.  Except I wanted mine to look like water lilies, not palmettos.


 If you look carefully,  you can see that I'm actually foundation piecing, not paper piecing these.  I hate paper piecing, but I am so excited to be able to foundation piece these - I can't wait to teach the technique!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

October 20: stairways (and sessoms, again)

Even though it doesn't appear so here, I actually finished my Sessoms quilt top last night.  On top of it is a rail fence quilt, which will be a class at Quilting Adventures in the spring - I'm also writing the pattern for it.  In the next few days it will get its two borders and be quilted, hopefully all before Quilt Market.

In other news, I'm plotting and planning for my first year of participation in National Novel Writing Month!

Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15: inspiration in many forms...

Yesterday was a rejuvenating day for both of us.  We had a chance to be inspired and celebrate.  First we started with the Richmond Folk Festival.  We ended up only having an hour, but it was wonderful to sit and listen to swing music for that bit of time.  Next year we hope to see more!

Views of the River from Brown’s Island:

On the way home, we noticed that there were tents set up outside the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  After relaxing for a few minutes, we decided to walk down and see what was going on.  We happened to walk up right as glass artist Ryan Gothrup was beginning a demonstration.  He was making a glass turtle.
He started off with a ball (not sure about the correct terms here…) of glass, which he then proceeded to texture with a mold and blow into a ball.

Then he split the ball open to form the top of the shell:

He then proceeded to attach the four claws, the head, and the tail to the underside of the shell.  You can see him working on the head here.  The glass was a different color in the head because it was hotter at that point.

The last thing he did was make a flat piece for the stomach of the turtle:

To attach it to the turtle, he just kind of set the turtle down on top and smooshed.

Here’s the finished turtle!

Here’s a similar turtle that was already finished.  The one he was working on had to cool slowly in a special box so that it wouldn’t crack.  I believe Ryan said that the main furnace was around 2100 degrees - glass has to cool down from 900 degrees (the approximate temperature after the piece is done) to room temperature over 8 or 9 hours.

Some other glass pieces:

Ryan was there because there is an exhibition opening next week from glass artist Chihuly.  He already installed a few pieces, including the glass sculpture in the pool outside:

One of his more classic glass chandeliers:

After all this, we had a date – dinner and ice cream.  Some of our views along the way:

The foliage is beautiful this year!  I’m thinking maybe a quilt soon in these colors…

Friday, October 12, 2012

October 12: bags and sessoms

 One of my friends, Abbie, saw the bags I have been making and decided that she would like one to give as a Christmas gift.  We got together to go through several color combinations and settled on deep, deep grey, orange, and a deep teal, with a lighter grey for the pocket linings.  We were both kind of unsure at first, but I think that we both are very happy with the way it turned out:

I was in charge of a mini-retreat at Quilting Adventures on Saturday, and I decided, that since I would have the opportunity to sew, I wanted to sew something for myself - a project for my soul, as I was calling it.  I picked out TONS of fabric, but couldn't settle on a pattern.  Finally my wife decided for me, and I started work on the Sessoms quilt by Carolyn Friedlander.  I have had some serious issues with paper piecing in the past, but I thought I'd give it another try.  I really enjoyed the fact that there was new precise cutting required, so all the fabric was cut in less than an hour.


 Those are the most recent pictures I have, however, I've sewn a little bit farther.  Now that the quilt top is almost done, I can say, yet again, that I hate paper piecing.  I very much love the quilt, but have gone back to my original feelings on the technique.  Once it's done, I'm going to big stitch quilt in the white areas with a variety of blues and greens.

On the horizon: I'm beginning work on two new quilts which will eventually be patterns and classes.  My checkerboard quilt is almost done, and I took a ton of pictures while I was working on it, but my computer seems to have eaten them all - I think it may finally make it into my next blog entry.  I have some "personal time" next week, so I will hopefully be doing a lot of designing and sewing!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October 3: the stars look......

English paper pieced stars/star blossoms/jewels. 

I've been carrying these around with me for a few weeks now, and I must say, they are what seems to be keeping me sane.  They've come to doctors appointments, to work, but mostly they've been worked on during the endless Gilmore Girls marathons I've been holding.  I so desperately don't want this to be too personal, but things are harder than I thought they could possibly be.

Hopefully soon I will get pictures of the newest bag I just made.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September 6: 9-patches

Started a new quilt last night.  I brought the fabric home from work and had it all cut within 30 minutes.  I just finished half of the blocks before work this morning.  Here's what I have so far:

I cannot wait to work on it again tonight! 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

August 30: Swoon, bag, books, camera strap!

I've been doing a lot of sewing lately.  I've finally got some time to myself, so I'm using it for fun stuff!  I finally jumped on the bandwagon and made a Swoon block:

I did mine a little bit differently, though - first of all, I used Marti Michell's template Set A to cut the block (so much easier).  Secondly, I decided to use all scraps for the one color.  I love it!  However, I don't see myself making any more anytime soon.

We received some coupons from Barnes and Noble the other day, and my wife insisted I take one to treat myself to this book I've been eying for months:

 It's got some really awesome clothes in, and I've been wanting to start on a new wardrobe for a long time.

I also picked up the new issue of MollieMakes, which has this awesome camera strap on the cover:

There were pictures of some others inside for inspiration, and I cannot wait to get started.  I'm actually considering doing interchangeable ones - I can't decide!
(P.S. - the people who do MollieMakes are starting a new magazine this fall about simple living.  I can't wait to check it out!)

 I'm finally getting things together to start selling my bags and wallets on etsy.  I made a prototype for one of my basic bags yesterday.  It was nice, because I was able to realize what was wrong with it.  This bag is a tote bag size, but with much more oomph to it than your regular tote.  There are two outside zippered pockets, and one non-zip pocket on the inside.  The handles are seriously padded and heavy-duty.  This will probably sell for between $65-80.

I made it for my wife, but I've got to take some notes and more photographs before she can have it. 

I hope to start blogging more soon... We'll see.