Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Planned absence

Work is crazy. The last few weeks of a construction project usually is. Lots of coordination with the contractor and subs, vendors, suppliers, fabricators as well as the operations department. Lots of details. Lots of decisions. Lots of "gee, did I remember to . . . " A little nerve-wracking as we head toward inspections and deadlines. The eventual goal: doors open for that first customer.

But Saturday I head to the Crow Barn in Ohio once again for two weeks of workshops. I didn't plan it this way. The project should've been done long before this. 

But, boy, am I glad I'm going.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Color choices

Color Improvisations - the catalog - arrived. Simply beautiful both inside and out.

Which color cover would you choose: yellow, orange, violet, blue or green? I picked violet. It's not as saturated or as magenta as it'd looked online. It's a beautiful soft purple. Compare it to my my deep purple sheets in the photo.
Though it's usually shown with the round logo in the top right corner, doesn't come that way. Instead, you get a sheet of nine stickers. DIY. Which one would you choose for the purple cover?

Sorry, I'm not giving you peeks inside. You can see some of the works online at exhibition website or from the artists' websites or blogs. The catalog has more. Photos are terrific and include detail shots. Next best thing to being there. I especially love the little snapshots of the artist at work in her studio, development sketches or works in progress.

Enticed? How to get your very own copy: (1) Lisa Call, one of the artists in the exhibition, has a limited number; (2) SAQA or (3) if you deal in Euros or speak German, the exhibition website.

I stayed up beyond my bedtime being inspired. Worth every minute.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Do do do do do do do do do did

A challenge from my quilt minigroup: interpret wings in an 18"x18" quilt.

I could do this – have a few months.
I could do this – it won't be very big.
I could do this – use prints from my stash.
I could do this – try something new.
I could do this – a free motion quilting opportunity.

I found an origami-like crane pattern. I've never paper pieced, but how hard can this be? I could do this! After much trial and error – and tedium – I made six 6x9 blocks. Place them in a simple 2x3 grid? yech! Arrange it more improvisationally? I could do this! More trial and error and it is ready for quilting.

I came up with a my own filler design. Yes, I could do this! No way could I have done it a few months ago. Thanks again Leah Day - see also this previous post.
Finish the quilt in time? I could do this!

First one I've ever free motion machine quilted. With my very own fmq design to boot! I did it!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Caught up with Leah Day

If only in one respect.

For various reasons I stopped making fmq sample patterns in April. Recently I started up again for more practice before tackling an actual project.
fmq foot w/ shank only 

I was making samples when my free motion quilting foot broke - fell apart! It seemed loose a few days ago but I couldn't see anything wrong. Then a plastic chunk fell off the right side. Oh, oh. But still usable so I kept going. Then last night the whole plastic piece fell off, leaving only the metal shank. OH, OH.

sewing machine sisters
I hauled out my 37 y.o. Bernina 830 (the original mechanical one not the new fangled one). No needle down, no needle threader, limited stitch length & width, limited stitches. But I love that machine! It was just been serviced and a couple of motor brushes replaced. Unlike the Janome – it purrs. Hmm, maybe the Janome needs service as well as a new fmq foot. 

Struggled with the different control foot and the toughest filler designs, which I had avoided until now, but I plowed onward. Finally, after midnight, milestone achieved! I have made samples of all of Leah's beginner free-motion filler designs to date!
fmq samples

Many thanks to Leah Day of 365 Days of Free Motion Filler Designs! Without her encouragement and hints, her filler designs and videos, I would have quit long ago. Though I am still no master, I am ready to free motion quilt a project – a first! At only 18x18 it is a good place to start.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Nearly losing it

A month ago, I'd placed an order with the stipulation for delivery by the start of the workshop. Didn't hear anything, so I e-mailed customer service. Delivery is scheduled for September 8.

Despite the three-day weekend respite, my brain is addled. I made the improbable leap to October 8th – after the workshop ends. Oh no! Too late!

I jumped on the phone but got the answering machine. Started leaving a message, but then I realized my mistake.

Oops. Never mind.