Think about this.....

...the only thing scarier then reaching out to the unknown is settling for that with which we are comfortable.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Preparations

I have been once again asked to teach at Quilt U this upcoming year. A priviledge I look forward to each time I'm asked and I polled the group to see what they would like to see in a project. Build-as-you-go type of thing where they can decide what they want to make and how big they want to make it, or a take-and-make type of thing.

The group voted on a BAYG scenario and here are the two blocks they can create in the class.

Disappearing Pinwheel


I used some of the most terrible fabric from my stash and these turned out pretty nice.

I was slogging in jello yesterday. I think Friday's escapades to Chicago and getting over the flu put me over the top. I wasn't working very fast and once the people we were expecting showed up, I was actually glad to be done with my sewing for the day.

First thing this morning we headed to Meijer and by the time we returned home it was lunchtime. Now that the basketball game is on, I can play while Jim does what he loves to do; watch the Spartans.

I'll finish the quilt on DW and get the charity quilt loaded. I know I don't usually long-arm on Sunday, but since I'm getting started so late, small project Sunday is probably not going to happen this week.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

International Quilt Festival

Chicago was a blast! I met so many people and talked with so many reps, and the quilts...OMG! Most of the first half of my arrival was spent googling and admiring the many quilts on display at this event. This little "craft" has certainly turned out some amazing artists and I can only hope the growth continues as time passes.

Words do not exist to summarize what I experienced yesterday and I just have to say, if you're really into quilts and the quilting process, attendance at one of these larger events is a certain must on your bucket list.

I came away with too many ideas to remember and I only hope I live long enough to even tackle a few of my "to do's" just from this show alone.

I look forward to attending the Grand Rapids AQS show later this summer to get even more inspiration and ideas as well as another dose of an artistic jolt.

Today brings me back to my little corner of the quilting world and I look forward to spending a quiet morning and afternoon to bask in my findings, purchases, and creativity. I have people coming later this afternoon and will have to cut off my day at that time, but I can enjoy the sunshine coming through the window as spring continues to just spread its wings.

Thursday I completed block number two in my Arcadia Avenue adventure. Here are both of them side by side. This block did not have as many pieces as the first; only 156. I like the colors mom assisted me in choosing and feel like this is going to be a beautiful piece at completion.

Fly Away and Peacock Feathers from Arcadia Avenue
The little Sugar Block 2013 BOM is coming along nicely too. I didn't get it finished Thursday, but here is one of the blocks and some of my creative quilting.

Creative quilting
Which reminds me...I played with a number of long-arms and sit-down quilting machines yesterday in the vendor section of the show. I found my favorite machine (which, unfortunately was WAY out of my price range but was bar none, totally above the rest of the long-arms). The new Bernina long-arming machine is definitely the Mercedes of machines. But it's price tag is $10K more then DW was.   And, surprisingly, the Viking sit-down was my preference in that category. Handi Quilter (which is what DW is) came in third and second respectively for my selection, and right behind the Bernina long-arm I was pretty impressed with the A-1 machine. Very smooth, user friendly, but it's frame was a bit tinky; DW has it beat in that category.

Where I'm going with this is that it's fun to try out new things and to compare apples with apples. And, part of my long-arm selection was other factors such as service and availability. HQ has a rep only 45 minutes away and I can take care of all the other considerations basically right at my back door. The other machines (I learned yesterday) did not have representation anywhere near close enough and so I should be happy I choose correctly when investing in a high ticket item such as this.

I can't wait to fire up my machines and play with what I already have here at home. I am so thankful I got to see others play with them yesterday and I'm proud and very happy I have what I do right here for my creativity and enjoyment. Life is good and with more knowledge and experience, will just continue to get better and better.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Paper Piecing

I love to paper piece. I love how active I am when I'm doing it (I only do a few blocks at a time so I have to jump up between each fabric addition and run over to the iron, and then run back over to the cutting table); it's kind of like an olympic event for me when working on one. I need that activity since I was so lax during our hard winter this year.

Here's the first block of twelve.

Fly Away
For our guild member who likes to keep track of how many pieces are in each of our quilts, this block alone has 216.

After long-arming for a while yesterday, I continued on with block number two. All the sections are built and I'll put that together today depending on whether I feel like removing all those darn papers or not.

Luckily yesterday, mom called and why I was on the phone with her removed the Fly Away papers to kill some time while talking. If somebody else calls today, we'll put block two together. If not, it'll be here waiting for me.

Let's talk about tomorrow. International Quilt Festival in Chicago, IL! I'm there baby! Taking the bus tomorrow morning and will be at festival all day long. Bus leaves at 6:00 am from Holt, therefore, I will not be blogging tomorrow at all! I only recognize one 6:00 per day and a.m. is not it. It's going to be a tiring day but I'm so excited to be able to go I just don't care how exhausted I'll be.

I think we're doing something fun at guild tonight but no announcements were made at the last meeting (apparently ONE was made during my absence in Cali but nothing has been mentioned since then). Hope I don't need to bring anything special?!?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Busy Day

Yesterday started off with some long-arming. I completed the first row out of four on the Sugar Block BOM 2013.

I had some nice sun coming into the studio and thought I better take advantage of it. I switched to my "mystery" project to work out some finer details needed with sufficient lighting. I'm at a stand still with it until I obtain one last finishing element which I hope to get this coming weekend.

After lunch I worked on Arcadia Avenue some more and now have the first twelve sections completed, which will make up the first block (there are twelve sections, and there are twelve blocks total). This quilt will certainly take some time to create!

It was a little after 6:00 when I finished that but didn't feel like putting the sections together yet. All the papers need to be taken out prior to joining them and I just wasn't into doing that last night. I moved along to the charity top I started at the quilt show.

By 7:30 I had that all put together and now need backing and batting, so I'm done with that until those are obtained from our guild.

I noticed the charity top came with pillow case pieces. I hadn't made a pillow case in a while and had to pull up a video to remind me in what order everything went prior to making it. It was getting really dark out when I finally completed it and it was time to call it a day.

I'll long arm some more today. Perhaps Arcadia Avenue will be worked on and the quilt I took off (the Reproduction Baby Hearts) quilt needs to have the binding attached. I'm hand binding and I sewed the front on Monday. It's now sitting in the family room waiting for me to finish. I was going to take it to guild to work on tomorrow, but I think we have a little class Barb S. is giving so that probably won't be an option.