Saturday, June 20, 2015

More Pictures!

 So yes, it's a miracle. I am adding a post before another year has gone by. hahahaha

 I wanted to add some more finishes of the past year. I had to beg and plead with my camera to finally let go of these. We are having a little trouble and I think after ummmmmm….8 years or so I need a new camera. I am not even going to tell you how miserably few megapixels there are on this one. hahahaha  Ok. 5.!!! FIVE!  that is ancient. Like me. hahah

  So here are some more finishes from this year.

  Fire Island Hosta by Eileen U. It was hard not to run away with this one. V likes it because of the German colors, of course. This was so much fun to quilt. Eileen gives me free rein to quilt as I please and I can hardly contain myself on her quilts.

Next up is another Fire Island Hosta by Deborah B. She also lets me run amuck so the result is more fun and some serious play. Whooohoooo! The quilts are similar but different. I hate to do the same quilt twice, but similar is ok with me. I like that they can be one of a kind.

Kim P's award winning Glacier Star. She chose really neat fabrics and fussy cut much of the quilt. Go Kim!!! 

Here is Connie's lovely Gene-Yes! again at the Dallas show with it's award. 

A lap sized quilt a client was giving to her sister. She cried when she picked it up, so of course, so did I. hahahaha Sheesh! 

  And I have some more to show you, but we will leave that for tomorrow or the next day. It is Saturday!  Get out there and have some fun today!!!!  xoxoxoxo

Friday, June 19, 2015

Here I AM!

 I just realized that this blog is more than 10 years old now! Can you BELIEVE that????Wow! What started out as a knitting blog morphed into something more over the years as life has run its course and things have changed as they do in life.

And time flies once again. Seems like yesterday I was blogging about summer and here we are once again. It has been a crazy whirlwind year so far.

   We added a new family member, Juliet. After we lost Hayley I couldn't imagine having another cockatoo, but here we are. She needed a new family and we needed her. hahahhaaha How can you resist a bird in a sweater? And she is as lively as this picture suggests. She's a Muluccan cockatoo. One of the larger and louder of the cockatoo family. I am so glad she wasn't our first bird as she is quite a bit to handle. The neighbors definitely hear her…..and me when she occasionally bites me. That beak is strong. But she is what she is and we love her.

   Meanwhile I have been working hard on trying to grow a quilting business. It has been so wonderful meeting so many new people and being able to teach classes and quilt for others.

   This year I have started teaching beginning custom long arm classes at our local quilt store, Quilt Country. I am using Connie Keller's studio and I am indebted to her for starting me on this crazy beautiful journey. I learn more myself with every class.

  Also I have been quilting for others as much as I can. Let's have a look at a few…….

  A Glacier Star by Martha. The colors on this one are just phenomenal. The pictures do not do them justice by far.

  A modern original pattern by Connie Keller called Gene-Yes! It took a second place at the Dallas Quilt Show. Yay, Connie!!!!! This was super fun to quilt because there were no rules. I consulted an artist friend about some design concepts and away we went…..

 A gorgeous appliqué by Wilma S.

A Paradise in Blooms by Cathy B. Beautiful!!!!

 A Bali Wedding Star by Debbie. Such wonderful colors. She had exactly the design she wanted in mind and I love the way it turned out.

And several of my own including this Bento Box pattern. This was done in Moda's Persimmon line. It is a wedding quilt for a family member. I decided to do an allover spiral feather design to just let go! it was sooo much fun and very freeing after so much detailed custom work before it.

 A wonderful little bag for all of my appliqué tools. This is the Hold Everything! bag by Annie. I took a class on it with Dianne Speller at Quilt Country. She is a great teacher and does many classes like this on other bags as well.

An Amy Butler pattern bag. This is my go to purse right now. I did this to practice feathers and to be able to have some of my quilting handy at all times. It is so funny how quilters don't even notice it. Should have done different colors I suppose. ha! 

More quilt pictures coming up as well as our trip home to Germany to visit family. 

Thursday, June 05, 2014

School's Out……For Summer!

  Though we have no human children the summer is always a time for our household to rejoice. It is off time for us and a time to be able to work on other projects on the back burner during busy season. My head is so filled with the projects I want to get done that I don't even know where to start. So I procrastinate…   I have several projects started but nothing seems to get me motivated enough to dive in wholly. I think the big reason is that we have had some family losses as of late. A huge part of our lives my little Hayley girl left us a couple of weeks ago. She was my companion, my baby, my best buddy. It was sudden and unexpected and heart wrenching. I thought I would share the rest of my life with her… you can imagine the loss our little family is going through. I know some don't understand that type of attachment to animals, but it is just a part of my family's genetic makeup. Pets=family. They always have. When you treat them as family it is amazing what kind of personalities you see emerge from these little gifts. Some have asked me if I will get another. I can't even fathom it right now. So I will throw myself into projects as soon as I can see my way to do that. And maybe organize my studio. Perhaps that should be the first thing I do.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Juki Review and a Customer Quilt

  So last time I blogged I wrote that I was fortunate enough to have a baby Juki 2010 TL sewing machine follow me home from the quilt show. :0) I have now had ample time to play with it and give a little review. 
   First of all, I bought this machine specifically for piecing, so that is the only sewing I have done on it so far. I have been playing with the speed since this machine is fast. And I mean FAST! See? Tortoise and the hare? I keep it pretty much on the hare, but the foot pedal is extremely sensitive so I can actually sew one stitch at a time if I need to even on full blast. 

Another great feature of the foot pedal is the auto cut. A rock back with the heel and the threads will be auto cut. Not only that, you can keep sewing and get no bird's nest whatsoever. That is amazing. My other machine will auto cut but then you need to pull threads again and anchor them or you can have a major problem. 
 There is also a button for the auto cut but I tend not to use that as the pedal is so handy. A word of caution, if you rest your heel on the pedal you can accidentally cut the threads and it WILL scare the crap out of you. 
 The feet are metal and very well built. There is no rocking with these feet. My Janome feet are famous for rocking a little. There is play in them, but not with the Juki feet. They are heavy, sturdy and well made. 
 One of the reviews I read, and I am sorry, I cannot remember who it was, but if I find it I will credit them, talked about the feed dogs. One of the amazing things about this machine is where the feed dogs actually hit the foot. If you are quilting with a 1/4 inch seam, and most of us do, both sides of the feed dog will be in that allowance. This makes for a very straight feed. Notice my Janome on the bottom and where the feed dog is in relation to my tape for the seam. It will actually not touch the right side and this makes the fabric swing out a little and is very annoying. The Juki is perfectly placed for piecing.

 All in all, I don't think there is anything I don't like about this machine. It hums along and I love the sound of it. It does need a lot of oiling, but even that is not a bother. I just do it at the start of sewing and we are off to the races. 
I know there are many people quilting on this machine and I will try it at some point, but truly I am a longarmer at heart and don't need the smaller machine for quilting unless it is something so small I don't wish to load it…maybe a sham..or something. Anyhow, if you are in the market, please go try one out. I couldn't believe what a dream machine this one is. It is the machine I have been trying to find all along……..

Now for a little show and tell. This is Deborah's Pepper Dish that I finished over Easter weekend for her. It was pure joy to quilt it as she gave me free rein and just a deadline. It was a little rough since I had several music playing jobs around the holiday so I was crazy busy. There was more than one morning where I was up at 5am and quilting until 8am when I had to leave. But it is a serene time when I have the house to myself and can just quilt and think. I do love it…but I am NOT a morning person by choice. This is for certain. ha!!!

 Everything on this quilt is SID. Everything. That is probably what took the most time besides the microfill. The cobalt is also feathered but I could not get a good shot of it. Her colors are superb! 

I also entered one more quilt show with Orange You Glad. It was the East Texas Quilter's Guild Show in Tyler. I have strong ties to this city so I was just thrilled that it placed first in it's division. I think it will retire to my wall soon and I can keep it home where it is safe from the travel perils of the road. ;0) 
Happy Quilting and have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tons of Great News!!!!!

 The Dallas Quilt Celebration was this weekend. It is a huge show and always has inspiring and unbelievable entries from all over the country. It is held in Market Hall in Dllas with plenty of space for LOTS of vendors……which means lots of SHOPPING!! hahaha Which I did. In abundance. 

    I entered my Glacier Star called Orange You Glad? and found out Friday I won first place in the Wall Quilt Artisan division. YAY!!!!!! I am so thrilled!!! Thursday night I dreamed it came in in 16th place. hahaha I thought to myself in the dream "Why would they even TELL me that? Oh NOOOOO!" I had resigned myself to the fact that it had not placed. Imagine my surprise the next day. :0) 

    There were so many gorgeous quilts. It took me more than three hours just to go through the quilts and study them. These are just a few of my favorites as I ran out of room on my phone!!!! AAARRRGGHGHHG! I must remember to make more space next time. 

These two are Karen Stone's. Her sense of color has drawn me to her work since the first time I set eyes on it. The red is just stunning. 

 Look at the handwork on this beauty!!! Enchanted Garden by Cathleen Miller. 

Deja Blu by Theresa French. 

 And my quilting mentor!! This is so beautiful in person and her quilting makes it. It is called  Love, Lynda and quilted by Connie Keller. 

While I was at the show I was able to try out the Juki TL2010 that I have been lusting over for some time. I have looked at lots of reviews and was dying to see if it lived up to them for the piecing aspects. Oh boy!!! I have only had a couple of hours with it so far…but I am IN LOVE!!! I will do a review in the next couple of days when I have had a bit more time on it. :0) 

I have a finish that I have been meaning to post. It is the Honeysweet Pinwheels I was working on. I love the way this one turned out. 

And last but not least, I was asked by Connie Keller and will now be teaching Beginning Custom Quilting up at Quilt Country in Lewisville, Texas several times from now into the summer. I am so excited to share my love of quilting with others. It should prove to be a very fun and informative class on how to start learning custom quilting and how to find your own personal voice in quilting. I cannot wait!!! The first class in March 29 and is already full.!!! 

  Have a beautiful day!! This is our spring break and I intend to spend every spare moment sewing and quilting my little heart out. I hope you can, too!