Friday, December 23, 2016

Giving the promise of a quilt

We've all heard the axiom, "It's the thought that counts." As quilters, we also know that sometimes a deadline draws nigh and there's no way in you-know-where that a bed quilt is going to be quilted/bound/labeled in time to be gift-wrapped before that deadline. So, the next best thing is to give the "promise of a quilt"—the quilt top with an enclosed label. You quilters know that this is totally legit! 
"Parasol Blossoms" is going to a new home on Christmas this year.
In this box is the "Parasol Blossoms" quilt top and a label. I designed and pieced the top and my friend and very accomplished long-arm quilter, Pat, from Stitch 'N Quilt, will be doing the quilting in the near future. My husband and I shipped the box off to its new home and someone in our family will be receiving this "promise" on December 25 as a gift from her spouse. I hope she likes it.

The other axiom of which we're all familiar is, "Last-minute planning on your part doesn't necessarily mean RUSH on my part," (especially during the holiday season). So we do the best we can and send it with our wish for a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2016

A day in the life of a fabric represenatative

Boxes of fabric goodness.
At my doorstep, a cardboard mountain. Boxes wait for me to open the door and bustle them inside.

and petite ribboned packages...

filled with ...
woven inspiration,
creative, joyful possibilities,
the seeds for soon-to-be
feelings of accomplishment and excitement
that comes from the making of something
with one's hands.

I'll soon be showing these goodies to independent quilt shop and sewing center owners who will share the excitement with you.

This is the life of a multi-line fabric representative. Welcome to a corner of my world.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

ATCs: Street Art

We often use materials such as paint, chalk, yarn and other fibers in our ATCs [Artist Trading Cards] and other artwork, but these mediums are also used to create Street Art.
"Yarn Bombing" by Veronica Hofman-Ortega

Street Art is a form of art or self-expression that is created in public areas. It's also referred to as public art, urban art, street installations, and graffiti. The word, graffiti, (plural of the Italian word, graffito) means a drawing or writing scratched on a wall or other surface (from archaeology).

The theme for the November/December FiberAntics ATC swap was "Street Art." Have you seen any public art displays similar to these in your neighborhood?
"Rakin' up" by Cathy Dillon

"Street Art"  by Diane Pineschi 

"Street Art" by Karen Downer

"Street Art by David Zinn" by Dawn Spagna
"Bon Hiver (Happy Winter)" by Marilyn League.
"Street Art" by Diane Pineschi
"Street Art" by Cathy Dillon
"Street Art" by Diane Pineschi

"The Sky Scarf" by Veronica Hofman-Ortega
On my trip to Houston for Quilt Market at the end of October, these ghosts floating in the breeze for Halloween in Discovery Green Park next to the convention center.
Ghosts swinging from the trees in Discovery Green Park.
Houston, TX
Houston is also sponsoring the Art Blocks project that infuses colorful and compelling art into a three-block promenade on Main Street, in downtown Houston.
Art Blocks public art project.
This is one of the Art Blocks installations. It reminded me of a Dr. Seuss hat.
Art Blocks installation, downtown Houston.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

No thinking free-motion quilting

Ever need to just move a quilt sandwich under the needle and let the rhythm of the motion lead you in the quilting dance? Whether you call it "practice," "free-form," "graffiti" or "therapy" quilting, sometimes ya just gotta do a quilt without having a pre-conceived design or plan.
No plan, no thinking... just free-motion quilting.
This is why I so enjoy making kitty/doggie quilts:
  • they're a small format;
  • they use up scraps and orphan blocks;
  • a pattern is not required;
  • they can be totally improv—in piecing and quilting;
  • they're not a large investment in time... or materials;
  • they can be completed totally by machine... including the binding!
  • and you can just enjoy the process without stressing over matched intersections, perfect points and consistent stitches.
Improv free-motion quilting.
To me, it's like having a dance partner who is a good lead and can maneuver the dance floor with style and ease—a partner that makes the dancing interesting, a little unpredictable but smooth and enjoyable as you whirl to the music and glide around the dance floor. You know the steps... you know the cues... all you do is relinquish the lead to someone else and enjoy the dancing.

Here's my latest little quilt—no pattern and no plan. I had fun with several free-motion fillers—spirals, headbands, shells, loops, bubbles/pebbles, and curvy designs. The counterpoint was added with rulerwork and zig-zags in various places.

I have a small drawer where I keep left-over binding tails from binding other quilts. You know, the lengths of folded fabric strips that are trimmed off after the final join. This was my source for the scrappy (also quick and easy) binding on this quilt.
Piecing left-over binding scraps from other quilts.
With machine binding, just remember to first attach it to the quilt back instead of the front.
Scrappy binding totally done by machine.
Here it is...
   29" x 29"
   Scrappy.    Improv.    All by machine.   Finished.
Finished size: 29" x 29"
Thank you [curtsey] for a lovely dance.
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