Sunday, March 23, 2014

Prepared for Pauly

I'm ready with two strip sets for next weekend's workshop.
two strip sets 
Instead of the usual solids, I am using prints in hopes of reducing that print stash. One is a set with five different fabrics. The other is a set with five similar fabrics. Can you tell which is what? Maybe I'm stretching the directions just a little due to limited tolerance for combining prints.

Pat Pauly will teach a two-day Slash and Burn, Techniques for Improvisational Quilts at my guild. This will be the very first workshop I've added as the guild's Program person (I'm now the Program Chair). A two-day workshop is usually a harder sell, but it's full with a waiting list! My critique group will host a dinner for her next Saturday. Maybe she'll share how she does it all - maintains her good humor, her energy and her productivity. Wouldn't you like to know? 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Gobble gobble

Besides the usual squirrels, moles, skunks, raccoons and deer, we have wild turkeys!

Last year a pair were prowling around the hood and were seen hopping off my neighbor's roof. Last week a family of a half dozen congregated around another neighbor's front yard. Guess they're not practicing family planning! This week I captured this one:

turkey on my front fence
They look robust and healthy but I've been advised to avoid these unfriendly creatures.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Pause after battle

taming the bedquilt
Quilting this monster bedquilt was like doing battle: fierce fighting in the middle and a few skirmishes elsewhere.

I'd walking-footed along both sides of major seams and fmq'd in the ditch within each nine-patch triangular block. As Cindy Needham says, stitch E-S-S (every stinking seam).
laid out on my bed for inspection
I've learned . . .
  • the open toe walking foot lets me see enough for straighter and truer stitches;
  • using the fmq foot is like driving a sports car instead of a moving van; and
  • when restarting, take a stitch in place and relax the finger hold so that the first stitch is not tugged awry. 
wool batting puffs up each triangle
Quilting is on pause as I contemplate motifs: may leave the printed triangles as is, and add feathers and swirls in the larger solid areas. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

FMQ inspiration & evolution

Love the patterning on this building spied in an architectural magazine:
rendering of expansion to Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg proposed by Dominique Perrault
Inspired, I stitched these samples as a warm-up for fmq:
pattern evolution from straight lines to s-curves
I find curves much easier than straight lines. Is it that way for you too?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Monster mash

This hulk by the sewing machine is the hexagonal bed quilt. You're seeing the backing.

I wanted to experience how manageable - or not - this bigger-than-queen quilt would be on my Janome 6600. So far not very -  it's like wrestling with a beast!

Stitches waver along the ditch even with the walking foot. Maybe free-motion will be better (ha!). Maybe a new machine with another two inches would do the trick. What I know for sure: un-stitching is in my future.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Record time for re-entry

Last month I started a new project with the intention of putting it in the local guild's quilt show in March. It now needs only hand stitching on the back to be done. Done ahead of time and only two months from start to finish - a new record! Wow! All other projects take years!
entry for Voices in Cloth
A three-day retreat in Healdsburg earlier this month really helped. 
morning view at Healdsburg
I had it pieced and pin basted before I went. Just decided what to do and stitched. Keeping the quilting minimal helped too.

Now comes the tough part: what title to give it? Gotta decide by the January 27th deadline for the submittal entry.