Friday, September 28, 2012

Set up day for the quilt show...

Today is the set up day for our quilt show which is tomorrow. Last evening, I went over to the grange to help set up the quilt racks. We were done in about an hour. It makes today go easier and faster with all the prep work done. Today we will be hanging all the quilts that come in. This is a full day and exhaution usually sets in before we are completely done but many hands make light work so it is all good. The fellowship that we have during these hours is awesome too. We don't get to see each other as often as we would like and this brings us all together for a short while to love and support each other.

Tomorrow will be the big day though. We have all the beautiful quilts to admire, friends to catch up with that come to the show every year, demonstrations of techniques that we have been working on over the past year and great food that is provided by the ladies of the grange. (We could smell vegetable soup cooking last night when we were setting up. Oh, yummy.) The pies are always wonderful too. Oh and of course we have our wonderful country store upstairs where the members of the group can sell their creations that they have made. We also have quilt store venders down stairs set up their wares for sale also. It is such a full and fun day all around.

Sunday, I am headed off to Chataqua, New York, with Tina, her mom and aunt and some other friends to partake of another quilt show. This weekend is full of fun quilty escapades. I will have lots of fun things to share with you come Monday and hopefully lots of wonderful photos of quilts and projects. This kicks off October which will be a very busy month for me. I was checking out my calendar schedule for Oct. and I have 15 days out of the 31 that are filled, plus I am taking another online fabric dyeing class, so that will require quite a bit of time and energy.

So now I am off to get myself ready for working hard. Have a great day and remember to do something kind for someone else.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

If the Shoe Fits...

If the Shoe Fits is the theme for our quilt show this weekend. You might remember back a while when I quilted and posted about the flip-flop quilt that is our raffle quilt. The stage will hold the quilt and will be decorated as a shoe store or perhaps as a woman's closet/dressing room. We start set up tonight of the frames that the quilts will hang on and then tomorrow is the real work of hanging all the quilts entered into the show. It takes all day to set up but we have mastered tearing everything down to 1 hour. The whole process is a lot of work but it is so much more fun than the work put into it. I get giddy just thinking about going to a quilt show. I get so inspired by all the beautiful quilts.

I don't have any quilts to share with you today but I do have my shoes that I altered for the show. If the Shoe Fits theme made me remember this idea that I saw on several years ago. I am sorry that I can't seem to get the link to link. Anyways, they have stuck in my mind. So here is my version of Christian Louboutin's Googly Eye shoes.
His version had multiple sizes of eyes all over open toed black heels. I found a pair of blackish/brown heels at a yard sale this summer for 50 cents. They were my size so I picked them up with a few other pairs of sandals but I had this in mind for these babies. I used size 7 mm eyes for the majority of the shoe and filled in with 5 mm ones along the edge where the others were too big. I used E6000 adhesive. Use in a well ventilated area. I left the heel as it was.
They make a really cool sound when you walk and all the little eye balls wiggle. I am excited to wear them but not on Saturday. They will be on display.
When I was working on this pair I could have done 2 rows around the bottom and just left them at that. They were so elegant looking that I was really tempted to quit there. So I might have to find me another pair of shoes to try that out on. They almost looked like lace on the bottom edge.

By the way, the original pair had a hefty price tag of $1595.00 Yes sirree, I made my pair for less than $10.00 including the shoes themselves.

So what is on your feet and what kind of statement are they saying about you? I think my shoes say "Be happy and don't take yourself too seriously."

I hope you have a wonderful day and remember to lighten up a little and enjoy life as it is given to you.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


At 9:13 PM last evening I put the last stitch in this quilt that I have named "Filling Negative Spaces".
It took me 7 days to complete this quilt from start to finish but I did not work on it at all on Sunday, so 6 work days.

It has a double meaning. First of all the obvious, filling the negative or background spaces of the quilt with beautiful designs. Practicing and perfecting them, making them my own by putting my signature style on them.
Here is the top edge and some of the quilting in the block area showing too. I did a peacock type feather in the square. The center pieced section is were the pops of color and pattern come in to play in this quilt. The focal point of the quilt.
In the bottom panel, which is all background fabric, I broke up the area with some quilted blocks that got there own motifs quilted into them. This is the largest box.

Secondly, I have been thinking about what fills up the negative spaces in our lives. What do we fill our lives with? Are the things we are busy doing adding to our lives in a beautiful and orderly manner or do they lead to chaos? As I look at this quilt, if I focused solely on some of the background areas they could seem unruly and messy I might think that the quilt as a whole is a mess, but when I regard the quilt in its entirety I see the beauty that would not be there without all the components. The dense busy quilted areas make the other areas pop and stand out. This is the same as our daily lives, the things that we are doing might seem like so much busy work and repetitive but these are the things that make the special moments wonderfully beautiful. Why is it even important to create beauty in such a world that is full of tradegy and ugliness? We do it to create a place of refuge and safety. Yes it all could be taken away in a flash but that doesn't mean we give up trying to do all we can to make this a better place in which to live while we are here. We can make beauty out of what is presented to us.

What do you think? I took what I had and made something of beauty. It took me way out of my normal comfort zone. I learned a lot. How we choose to fill the backgrounds (our lives) will be different for everyone but overall it tells our story. We have a story worth telling. Take some time to think about what story the activities in your life are telling. If you need to delete some then do so, if you need to add certain ones that reflect better the story you are trying to tell then do that. If you are frazzled by too many things then edit down to what is the most important to enhance your story. We all hope for the happy ever after ending but sometimes we forget that it is what we do or don't do today that gives us that ending to our story. Our families and friends are the beautiful centerpieces of our lives and its the background fills that bind us together and ground us.

Have a wonderful day. Don't neglect the story of your life that your actions are telling and don't let the activities tell a story that you don't want told.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Finishing up...

There are only 2 photos to share of the quilt today. I do have it off the frame and today will be spent doing some detail work that I did not feel comfortable doing on the longarm. So the big reveal is still to come.

This first photo shows tiles. Angela Walters taught this on the SewCalGal freemotion quilting challenge several months ago and she also demonstrated it in the class Machine Quilting Negative Spaces. It is a fun motif for large background spaces.
The great thing with this motif is that you can fill the tiles with any background fill that you like and you can change motifs as often as you like. It also gives structure to the background. It keeps a simple all over design from becoming monotonous quickly, not only to stitch out but to look at also.

This is the bottom of the quilt. I was happy to see that last roll of the bars that brought me to the space to add my large circles and repetitive lines to finish it off. I marked a line about 6" from the bottom of the quilt before loading it so that I would have a visual reminder where I wanted to put the circles.
I like the look and the feel of the texture of the repetitive lines. It is wash board like and to have the softness of the large circles to separate the rest of the quilting motifs from the straight lines gives it a lot of visual interest.

Today's plan is to finish up the detail work, apply the binding so I can have some handwork to do in the evenings and make a label to also apply. I started work on this quilt last Tuesday. I will have it done for the show on Saturday and I am pretty pleased with the results. You will have to return to see the final reveal.

Have a great day and remember to work hard and finish up those projects that are otherwise taking up space in your home and in your mind.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sneak Peaks of my work in progress...

I have made lots of progress this weekend on the hand dyed quilt for the show. I better have since the show is this Saturday and it must be done for the set up on Friday. No worries. It will be done if the good Lord is willing. I have the last 26 or so inches to quilt then add the binding and label and it is good to go. If all works out as I hope it will be off the frame either this evening or tomorrow before lunch time. I don't want to rush it as I know when the muscles get tired I don't have good control of the machine and things get messy. I am going to allow for lots of short breaks in the work schedule so that the quilting stays well executed.

Here are some peaks at some of the quilting I have done so far. It isn't everything as this is just some sneak peaks.
This is the beginning of the border design and in the next photo you can see it a little more extended and how that will give the top of the quilt a nice finished looking edge.
Then I added a swirl fill after repeating the bracket motifs.

Here is one of the pieced blocks.
I quilted a flower motif in the center and surrounded it with a wishbone design. Really cute.

I have the bottom to quilt and it is what is going to make or break this quilt. I have some awesome ideas and now is the time to find out if I can execute them as well as I can envision them in my head. Here goes. I hope that many of you can get to see this quilt in person because I am thinking it is pretty special. I am excited to be creating something that is very different from what I normally do. Have I ever mentioned to you that I love to quilt. I love to create. I love fabric. I love to work with my hands. Is it wrong to enjoy ones work so much? I am very sorry for those people who feel stuck where they are and can't do what they are passionate about. I watched a movie this weekend The Ron Clark Story. It's about a teacher who went to pursue his dream of teaching in New York City, in Harlem. He was passionate about making a difference in kids lives. It is a great movie about what we can do to effect change in someone else's life when we are passionately driven to be that change. I hope that I can be that type of person. A person who lives life passionately to help others and bring hope of a better future. Be the change you wish to see in the world. It might not be a direct quote from Gandhi but it is still a good thought to help us get moving toward the right direction. If something is wrong or someone is in need and you have the ability to do something about it then do it. That is what I plan on doing more of.

I hope you have a great day and remember to be the change you wish to see. Start a revolution.