Tuesday, June 19, 2012

And the Winner is...

I wanted to do this last night, but the Old Ball and Chain and I ended up Skyping with some old friends for two hours!  We haven't seen them since they moved to New Zealand 20 years ago and got back in touch with them via Facebook.  It was a lot of fun, but it did take a big chunk out of my evening!

Without further ado, the winner of Quilting with Fat Quarters is...(drum roll, please):  Sylvia!  Congratulations!


Monday, June 18, 2012

New machine and a completed project

Hello Friends!

I got a new sewing machine over the weekend!  My sweet cousin-by-marriage, Paula, contaced me awhile back explaining that her quilter mom had passed away and that her dad and sister were looking for a "good home" for her nearly-new sewing machine and wondered if I would like to have it.  Wow!  It came via the post office all the way from South Dakota and not only did it arrive in one piece, but I set it up and started sewing right away.  It's a Viking Sapphire 830  (I named her Vixen) and she has some great features that my Janome 6500 doesn't have.  I surely do miss the automatic thread cutter, but other than that, I'm really liking her so far.  She also came with a Fab-U-Motion attachment which acts as a stitch regulator for free-motion quilting, but I want to get used to the machine before I tackle that!

More on Vixen later!

I just wanted to do a quickie post to show off my latest project and since it's a gift and going away I wanted to show it off.  I call it the I Love Sushi Makeup Bag.  The pattern is the Flotsam and Jetsom Box Bag from Everyday Handmade by Adrienne Smitke and Cassie Barden.  This bag was designed by Adrienne and I just love it.  I can't wait to make more!

Here's the outside:

It's a skosh wonky, but I learned a few lessons making this bag (being careful with directional prints for one).  I don't think that the young lady who will be using this bag will care too much and hopefully once it's full of stuff it won't be noticeable.  I used a laminated cotton on the interior.  It's easy to sew, but not so easy to press (ask me how I know)!  Here's a photo:

Don't forget, there's still a little time to enter the drawing for a signed copy of Quilting with Fat Quarters.  Winner announced tonight!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It's here! Quilting with Fat Quarters

Quilting with Fat Quarters is now available!  I'm going to show you a few quilts from the book, but if you want to see all 17 projects, click the link then on "see more images".

Even though I don't have very many readers as yet, I am going to do my very first giveaway!  Leave me a comment telling me which project you want to do first and I'll enter you in a drawing for your VERY OWN COPY, signed by as many of the designers as I can get (some of the people who contributed have retired or for whatever reason are not in the building).  Since I don't have all that many readers, "the odds will be ever in your favor" for this giveaway!  I'll announce a winner on Monday (the 18th) evening.

On to the quilts:

First up:  Retrolicious!  - my contribution to the book.  I love quilts with "chains" on them.  Keeping the black and the white chains going in their proper directions was a challenge for this ADD gal, but if I can do it, anybody can!  A design wall (or floor) is essential for placement here.  It's hard to see in the photo below, but I added a faux piping flange on the inside of the binding for an additional pop of color.

Retrolicious!  Designed and pieced by Cornelia Gauger; machine quilted by Cindy Glancy 

I think my absolute favorite quilt in the book (besides mine, of course) is the cover quilt.  All you need is a stack of fat quarters in your favorite color gradation and some black and white prints and you have this spectacular quilt!

Heat Wave - Designed, pieced and machine quilted by Abbi Barden

And here are a few more:

Sherbet Punch - Designed and pieced by Tracy Overturf; machine quilted by Lynn Reppas

Old Architectural Stars - Designed, pieced and applique'd by Karen Costello Soltys; machine quilted by Krista Moser

Na Kai o Kaua'i: The Waters of Kaua'i - Designed and pieced by Leanne Clare; machine quilted by Karen Burns

Grandmother's Thimble - Designed and pieced by Regina Girard; machine quilted by Karen Burns
And one more:

Blue Skies Ahead - Designed, pieced and applique'd by Adrienne Smitke; machine quilted by Dawna Callahan

There are 10 more quilts-which you can see here.  Have a look at all of the projects and then leave a comment below telling me which quilt you want to make first (it's ok if it's not mine, I'll understand).
Make sure there's contact info so that I can get a hold of you if you win!  I'll announce the winner on Monday evening.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

House Paint

I am having the worst time getting started today!  I slept late, finished the book I was reading, started another and in the meantime, my dirty kitchen and disorganized sewing area are taunting me.  I'm dressed!  I guess that's something.

I had to laugh today when looking at my blog stats.  4 whole followers and 9 people read my last post!  LOL.  I really am talking to myself (mostly), it seems. 

The big news for this week is that we got our house painted!  We can't afford it but also can't afford not to if we ever want to sell our house.  The paint was in pretty bad shape.  Here's a really bad "before" photo that I lifted from Google Maps:

The color was awful.  A very light, almost white gray with peacock blue trim.  I've lived with it for 12 years and I guess I had become accustomed to it without realizing how much I hated it!  Choosing the new colors was rather daunting.  I'm indecisive, eclectic and have a new favorite color every day!  Also, while I wanted it to look snazzy, I also didn't want to stick out like a sore thumb.  Enter Anya, the color expert.  She was really good at pinning it down.  I ended up choosing Portabello for the main color, Oyster Bar for the trim and Sun-dried Tomato for the accent.  Sounds delish, doesn't it?  Oh, these are all Sherwin-Williams colors, by the way.  Here's the "after":

I LOVE the red we chose.  It's a gorgeous deep red with orangy undertones, although here it looks more blue.  One thing that Anya thought of that I didn't was that any paint we chose really needed to have warmer undertones because the the amber-colored windows around the door.  Obviously, we need to paint the railings a different color.  We're just going to do them in black.  I also want to do some red pinstriping on the rectangles of the garage doors.  I think that will give us one more "pop" of color.

My kitchen is calling!  



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Love Your Mother

In my last post, I told you all about the 12 x 12 challenge group that I'm involved in and the first quilt I made for the challenge.  Now, it's time to move on to quilt number 2!

The theme for this one?  Life!  <groan>  Such a broad subject!.  When I got home the evening that the theme was announced and was telling The Husband about it, he replied "Well, what could be so hard about a 12 x 12 quilt showing a big steaming pile of poo!?  You could try doing trapunto!"  For you non-quilters, trapunto is a technique where you put extra padding underneath a motif to make it poof out from the rest of the quilt.  That was funny and all, but I didn't think it was appropriate for an art quilting group.  I was tempted, though, since I've never met a poo-poo joke I didn't like!

All kidding aside, the main thing that kept popping into my head was the Earth, or Mother Earth.  I really wasn't quite sure how to execute it, however and had kind of dismissed it.   That is, until I went to the Stray Threads quilt show and saw this wonderful fabric in the Marbeled Arts booth that looked just like the Earth as seen from space.  She also had a lovely hand-dye in a beautiful dark blue that looked almost like velvet.  Gorgeous and I had to have it (cha-ching!  Hand dyed fabric is not cheap!).

So now I had my theme and my fabric, but I couldn't just applique a circle onto a square, could I?  No, but it was a start, so I cut my circle and sewed it (right sides together) to some fusible interfacing.  I cut a slit in the interfacing and turned it right side out and it made a perfect circle which I then appliqued to a square of the blue fabric.  Pretty!  But still boring and it needed more.  I started thinking about symbolism and life.  I saw some images on line of goddesses and one theme that I kept seeing and liking was the spiral of life in the belly of the Mother Goddess.

The spiral is a spiritual symbol of life in many world cultures and religions.  Spirals come in every size from the huge spiral that is our galaxy right down to the tiniest snail shell.  I've always loved spirals.  My Spirograph set was one of my favorite toys when I was a kid.  But I wondered if I could pull off a motif that small.  As it turned out, I could! I used gold Fairy Frost fabric, tiny scissors and fusible applique'.  I then machine stitched a tiny blanket stitch around the raw edges using gold metallic thread.  I was nervous about using the often-fussy metallic thread especially with such a small stitch but Superior threads metallic usually works very well for me and it did not disappoint in this use either.  I then added hot fix crystals and stars to the background.  Without further ado, here is the finished quilt:

Love your Mother by Cornelia Gauger completed April 2012

I still think she needs something else.  More quilting or decorative stitching for some extra dimension.  It will be hard to quilt in the background since the crystals are there already.  Still, I think it is doable if I'm careful.  I also may do an echo quilting line around the Goddess.  That might make it a little more interesting.  I'm open to suggestions! 

The next theme (due June 6) is:  Summer.  I'm still cogitating on that one!



Thursday, May 10, 2012

Long time, no blog!

Wowie Zowie, I can't believe that I haven't posted on this blog since JULY of last year.  I really love doing this and will try to be a better blogger.  A lot has happened this year some good, some not so much.  I'm not going to try and fill in a whole 3/4 of a year right now, though. 

I have all sorts of quilty goodness going on at the moment and have joined in on a couple of group efforts.

One is a Civil War Legacies quilt-along headed up by my buddy Jeanne.  I do love Civil War quilts (ok I just love ALL quilts), but I don't collect those kinds of fabrics at all.  So I was a little reluctant to participate.  But, since the quilts are smallish and Jeanne is such a good arm twister, I consented to join in the fun.  More on that in another post.

The other one is a Round Robin type of thing here at work.  This is not just for fun but to help promote a book that Martingale is publishing in July.  I'll blog more about that later as well.

The one that is really getting my juices flowing at the moment is the 12 x 12 group.  We were inspired by this group, although we've set ours up a little differently.  Plus, there are only 11 of us in the group.  The way it works is that every six weeks, we are given a theme.  Each of us will have a turn at assigning a theme and then each of has to make a 12" x 12" quilt interpreting that theme.  Lemme tell ya, it's HARD to work that small. It does make it easier to keep to the deadlines, though!  Unfortunately, they have decided to keep the group blog private.  I would have liked for the rest of the world to be able to see what everyone has done (they are amazing!) but they wanted to keep it just among ourselves.  That doesn't mean that I can't post my OWN stuff though!

The first theme was Exuberance!  I knew fairly quickly what I wanted to do for it, but as usual, it was the execution of my grandiose ideas that was the roadblock! 

The inspiration was this photograph, taken on the boat launch at Silver Lake Park last October:

I should mention that this photo was taken by Catherine Eastman.

Now, it just does not get any more "exuberant" than that, does it?  But how to translate it onto a 12" x 12" quilt?  I think I pulled it off.  Here's the finished quilt:

It's a pretty awful picture, sorry 'bout that .  The close-up is better:

I put a penny in the bottom corner so you could get some perspective.  I had to cut out the "Ninja boy" on the far right of the picture.  I was working small enough as it is!  I started with a square of Kona White.  I painted the sky, the water and the concrete boat launch.  Then, I sponged in some green trees.  Then I quilted the sky and put some silvery tulle over the water.  Now, time for the people!  I traced them from the photo and then onto steam-a-seam.  I carefully "built" each kid, taking a few liberties with the dress and hair colors.  The shoes and dress straps (you really can't see them here) are done with a micron pen.  THEN I thread painted the trees, being very careful to get right up next to the people.  There were a few hits and misses (not to mention a few swear words!) involved but I think it turned out kind of nice.  The last dilemma was what to do on the top and bottom.  It was a rectangular picture but I had to make the quilt square.  Thankfully, I found this great black-and-white stripe in my stash. I wish that the full photo was a little better (dratted phone camera) but you get the idea.  All in all, I was pleased!

I'll talk about the second theme (Life!) in my next post.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Busy Busy Busy

Holy crap, I've been so friggin' busy!  Good busy, but still...busy.

The instructions and photos/illustrations for my fat quarter quilt had to be in by Monday, but since I'm going to be busy with family stuff for the next few days, I had to get done early.  This is no easy feat for me, lemme tell ya!  I'm usually the one who's scrambling at the last minute.  In this case, however, there were other deadlines to deal with so I had to set that one up to be earlier.  Got it done and turned in on Friday-I sure hope that the technical editor who's working on it isn't going to hate me!  I decided to call the quilt "Retrolicious!" by the way.

B's cousin and his wife are visiting from San Antonio, TX and B's niece and her family are here from Norway.  We had a big family reunion BBQ at my sister-in-laws' house yesterday and it was one awesome day.  But before we left, we had to get started on housework, because cousin Kennedy and his wife (Paula) will be hanging out with us from Mon-Wed.  I doubt I can avoid having them actually enter my house! Those of you who are not like me (aka, clean freaks) just do not understand this having to pick up the house and figure out what to do with all the clutter.  I had this discussion with a like-minded family member (you know who you are!) at the BBQ yesterday.  We are totally clueless on how this business of "a place for everything and everything in it's place" works.  It's like there's a data chip missing in our brain; what is so natural to most completely stymies us messy-chaos-clutter types.  As much as it pains me to admit it, it is who I am.  I hate it.  I've always felt so inadequate and like a lazy bum, but seriously-you see everything you have to do and your brain explodes.  Sure, I could do a little every day, but that doesn't work because whatever little thing you do is quickly undone.  So it turns into a great big cleaning production.  I always vow to stay on top of it and somehow it still gets away from me.  We all have our "projects" going on and they eventually take over the living/dining room.  To make matters worse, I don't have a separate room for my sewing so it's in a corner of the dining room.  Even when it's all "straightened up", it probably looks messy to others.  Frustrating.  So once I've posted this (avoidance maybe??) I'm back to it until it's time for us to see the Rat City Roller Girls this afternoon. 

Tomorrow B, Maddy and I are driving up to Bellingham with Kennedy and Paula and boarding a boat to cruise the San Juan Islands for the day.  I hope to see some Orca whales!  I'll try and post photos.

Have a great day!  ~C