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.