Saturday, July 30, 2011

On Their Way to Houston

It has been an interesting week. Shipped "Sunflower with a Passion for Color" to Lowell, got busy finishing up some pricing on items that I have dyed to sell, started a baby quilt, reorganized my desk and "To Do List", was feeling accomplished with what I was getting done. Then I got an email that there is a possibility that one of my quilts may be published in a magazine. I'm not telling you which one, or what publication. I don't want to jinx it or speak too soon, but it's fun and exciting to have one of my quilts recognized and considered. So you will just have to stay tuned for the news!
So, with my feet barely touching the floor and walking around saying "Holy Cow", I packaged up "Outside In" and the "Truck Quilt" to ship to Houston for judging. I have so much on my plate right now, I had to get some things off the "To Do List", so that there is room at add other things, you know what I mean!

Have a great weekend everyone! I'm off to finish cleaning the house.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ready to Ship

Yesterday I prepared "Sunflower with a Passion for Color" to ship to the Lowell Quilt Festival in Lowell, MA. I am so excited to be included in this show. I'm looking forward to reading the judges comments on this quilt (and hoping that someone loves it enough to buy it).
I had other big news this week from the International Quilt Association, "The Truck Quilt" and "Outside In" have been chosen to be exhibited in International Quilt Festival in the November show in Houston.
Just like a finely tuned sewing machine, there was balance in my week. The great news from IQA more than balanced out the hiccup with my Bernina! BTW, the Bernina is quilting beautifully, it just doesn't want to straight stitch very well.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Better and Productive Day

Yesterday was a better day. I decided to test out my Bernina again to see if the spring was to the feed dogs, evidently it is. I was able to free motion quilt, so the day was good. Since I was able to use my machine I created a new sample for the Painted Cheesecloth workshop that I teach.

I used strips of hand dyed fabrics from where I evened up fat quarters and half yards. Recycling in a very productive and pretty way. I love this little sample, using the purple hand dyes for the background, the complementary colors are intense and striking. I didn't want to over quilt it, so I placed a few hand stitches in the corner.

We all go by the rule of having a pair of fabric scissors and a pair of paper scissors. I also use that rule for my 18mm rotary cutters. This way visitors to my studio know that I have a specific use for each of them. I have also labeled them accordingly - "F" for Fabric, "P" for Paper. Having these separate rotary cutters also allows me to have one on the cutting table and one at my ironing table. Why the ironing table? Well, I have a small cutting mat stored next to the ironing table, this way when I "audition" fabric I am able to "audition", cut and fuse, without having to walk around the table constantly.

I hope this tip helps you with your studio organization! Have a creative day!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I Sprung a Spring

Today my road to good intentions was going to be paved with creating a new 12x12 art quilt for the Painted Cheesecloth workshop I am teaching. The journey down the road came to a grinding halt when I was doing my routine clean and oil of my trusted Bernina 200. I am meticulous about keeping my machine clean and oiled. Today when I was cleaning, this little spring popped out. Well, what does this go to? I tested the machine to see if there is something dire wrong and the only issue I have is regulating the tension. I was having this problem last week and just kept tweaking the bobbin case until I was satisfied. That didn't work today. So, I made a phone call to the Bernina store and can't get it in for service for a month...and I have two quilts I need to finish and one is due while the machine is in the shop. What's a girl to do...
I may have to break down and go to Kathy Mayhew's and borrow her Handi Quilter.
In the meantime, I'll go ahead and cut out the applique pieces for my 12x12 and fuse them on, put some fabric on to dye and take pictures of fabric to add to Etsy and Art Fire.
There is ALWAYS something to do...I just won't be kept in stitches today.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Shattered Curves and Dyed Fabric

Shattered Curves is complete, binding and sleeve are on and it’s ready to enter into quilt shows.

This past Saturday I spent the day in the dye studio with Kathy Mayhew. It is so great to spend a day with my friend and complement each other’s dye styles. I’m a parfait dyer and Kathy has a passion for surface design treatments.

We had some great outcomes and some that surprised us. I tried out some new colors and was surprised how the colors come out with the Lemon/Lime. The first strike was a wonderful Lemon/Lime, but the second and third was definitely Lemon Yellow. The green hit the first piece of fabric and didn’t want to share.

I’ve spent the past several days ironing fabric and taking care of business tasks. I love ironing fabric. Weird, I know, but it is something that my mom taught me to do when I was little and I find taking the creases and wrinkles out of fabric and listening to a good book (Lisa Wingate’s “Over the Moon at the Big Lizard Diner” right now) relaxing.
Okay, time to get back to work! Have a great day and stay cool! This summer heat is terrible!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Today's Process

Today I finished quilting the blocks of Shattered Curves. Tomorrow I will work on the sashing and start the borders. I just read a great blog post by Linda Matthews on slowing down and taking time with our creative process. Less “unstitching”, more meditative work, more time to enjoy the process. Ahhhhh, with the last name “Rushing”, hard for me to grasp the slow process sometimes. Hence, reminders are put in front of me, to remind me to slow down, take my time. Quilting isn’t something that is done quickly, unless you want to do some “unquilting”. Which I did today. Stitches started skipping, time to clean the machine and change the needle, make sure the bobbin case tension is right for the thread…time to pick out where the stitches were skipped and stitch again.

I did start quilting the sashing today, and then I “unquilted” it. Just didn’t like the way it looked and decided to take it out and start again in the morning. This will give me time to think through the design to use on these narrow strips of bright green. It will be good to sleep (dream) on it and start slow and fresh in the morning. Great creative things come to me in my sleep…and that is why I’m always in a rush. Too many creative ideas come to me in my sleep and I just want to get them all done, well a lot of them at least. Maybe if I slow down, breath through the process, I will get more done and be less frustrated artistically. Time will tell!

One of my fiber art friends, Fannie Narte, posted this week about “Abstract Freedom” and her yearning to create her way and not be influenced by what others think she should or shouldn’t create. Absolutely true! Creating is personal, it has to be. If we don’t create what is on our creative hearts, then we are only mimicking what someone else has created. If someone doesn’t understand our art, that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be for everyone. When I was growing up and wanting dress like everyone else, my mom would say “Why do you want to be like everyone else…be yourself.” So, my artful friends, I encourage you to be yourself. Be true to your artful heart, create with a heart full of contentment.

Artfully and creatively yours,


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Almost Done and Distractions

I'm almost done! Well...I probably have a couple of more days left of quilting. Quilting as densely as I am on this quilt and the thread color changes takes so much time, but it's work it. I love the way this quilt is coming together, but I keep getting distracted. Email, computer games, email, blogs, Facebook, email, show chair responsibilities, playing with the dog...get my drift?
So, for the rest of the day, no more email, Facebook, computer games, email... Luckily, the husband had to go into work this morning, so he isn't going to be a distraction for a couple of hours.
Now, let's see how much I can get done!
I'll be back when I'm finished!