Sunday, November 25, 2012

Much too long

Wow, almost a year has gone.  It's the end of the Thanksgiving weekend, and I think I've only looked at this blog a couple times since my last post.  So, what have I been doing this year?  Well, I finished my bachelor's degree in June, and am now applying for graduate school.

Before classes start in the Spring, I'm going to start trying to finish UFOs, and not start anything new until I'm caught up, at least a little bit!  I have so many UFOs that I may never get them all finished!  LOL!!  But I do need to get a some of my UFOs finished before I begin any of the projects that are floating around in my head and sketchbook.

I have done a few things in the past year.  The quilt group at work is preparing for our annual quilt delivery to the City of Hope.  I did three quilts for them this year, which was two more than I managed to finish last year.  I have three quilts ready for quilting for next year, and a couple more planned, so I hope to do at least five for next year.

I'm also going to try to keep up with this blog as well.  Okay, I did say, "try!"  LOL!!  I'm going to try to get back to my Friday posts.  Hopefully, I can keep it up for a while, and show you some finished work.

So, until next week, take care.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

2012 Road to California

OMG!  Road to California show this weekend was amazing!  The quilts were awe-inspiring, and the vendors were fabulous.  Got some good stuff for making my own fabric:  inks, decolorants, stencils; plus a beginning resin kit.  I'm so excited about working again.  I went to the show on Friday, and spent Saturday and Sunday working on some new art.pieces.  Don't know what I can show you, since a few of them I want to enter into shows or exhibitions, and some exhibitions require that the pieces entered not having been shown before.  I'll show what I can as soon as I find out.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A New Year

Half way through the first month of 2012 aleady!  Once again, I've fallen behind on posting.  I will try to post more often, as I will try to do more work.  I have done a few things since my last post, and will get some photos up soon. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Long Time Away

Well, I was able to stay weekly for a while. Better than I expected actually. LOL! But here I am. I'll type in as much I can before I have to go. Today is my "stepson's" 23rd birthday, and we've got early dinner plans. Anyway, there's been a bit of creativity going on since March; not as much as I'd like, but some. Let's see, where to start.........

Glendale Quilt Show

I did make it to the Glendale Quilt Show on Sunday. Yes, in the pouring rain! One of the women in AVQA emailed a bunch of us the prior week, asking if anyone would like to join her. She had promised to take our Opportunity Quilt to the Show, and wanted some company. I immediately volunteered! I really hadn't planned on going. My car doesn't run very well, and I don't like to drive it more than I absolutely need to; plus, I really didn't want to spend any money. But, since transportation was provided, and entrance into the show was covered (we got in free since we were there with our Opportunity Quilt), I was all set.

I did buy a bit of stuff. I've been wanting to try some different types of batting. I've only ever used the Hobbs cotton batting and I've been wanting to try out a few other types. I bought a crib size wool (Hobbs Tuscany) and a crib-size bamboo (Fairfield's Nature-Fil) batting. The bamboo batt is actually 50% bamboo, 50% organic cotton. I also purchased five pieces of bamboo felt. It is so soft! I'm not sure what I'll do with them, but once I touched it, I had to have it! I had told myself not to buy any fabric or patterns, as I have more than enough already. Unfortunately, I did see one that I had to buy. I can't recall the name of it, and, of course, my studio's a mess and I can't find it! LOL! It's a miniature of kitties, 15" x 18", and just too cute! I'll give you the name of it is soon as I find it!

Sharon Schamber's Workshop Piece

I finished the appliqué on the Sharon Schamber's piece. I now have to wash it to get the glue out. I've also found the fabrics for the bag I'm going to make.

It will be a messenger bag with the appliqué as the flap. The green underneath, which is the same fabric as the leaves and stems, will be the back of the flap. The flap will be quilted and bound. The black and white flowered canvas is the outside of the bag, and the black with colored flowers will be the lining. I've got the bag designed, and now need to create the patterns, cut the fabric, quilt and bind the flap, and assemble the bag.

Terry Waldron's Workshop Piece

This one is almost done! I just need to add the sides.

The fabric you're seeing under the lavendar straps, is actually the lining inside. I finished the bird, quilted the back, bottom and side pieces, added straps, and put 5 pockets on one side of the inside. All the edges are bound with the lining fabric, except the sides. I ran out of fabric and, of course, now can't find it. I found another fabric, which works fairly well, but I'm not sure. I may look a bit more to see if I can find something closer. The new fabric is a batik, but it's mostly black, and doesn't have as much color as the original. Maybe I'll look a bit more this weekend.


I've been working on my Filigree quilt. I quilt on the bus ride home from work almost every day. It's almost done!

I decided on the solid pink for the overall quilting. I really like the butterscotch, but my stitching isn't uniform enough yet that I feel comfortable using it for the entire quilt. However, I did use it to do the initial stitching up against the appliqué itself. I also decided against doing an echo quilting motif. Because of the "curviness" of the appliqué, I would have needed to mark the quilting lines, and, frankly, I really didn't want to! LOL! I wanted to start quilting this, so I decided to use the pattern of the background fabric, and quilt scallops following the ovals in the fabric. I used the wool batting. I had been told by a couple of hand quilters that it's really the nicest of the batts to hand quilt through; and they were right! I'm hoping to have the quilting done in the next couple of weeks, so I can add the binding. As much as I love this quilt, I'm ready to work on a few other projects, but I'm determined not to let this end up in my ever-growing UFO pile! I will finish it!


The next piece in this series is the palm tree. I've got the pattern drawn, and the fabrics pulled.

It's only about 18" x 24", so it's not too big. I wasn't sure initially what style I was going to do on this piece, but I've decided it will be a raw-edge appliqué. I'm going to use a technique that Terry Waldron showed us for cutting tree trunks. The palm fronds will be sewn down like the feathers in the Bird Tote, again just raw edges. I may even unravel a few threads and leave them hanging. Palm trees have string-like fibers hanging from them, so I might as well add those. I'm also going to use some cording for the spine of the frond. I can't wait to start on this one.

I&M Quilters

I finally finished the Scrambled 9-patch I put together last year! I don't have a picture yet, but will get one relatively soon. I have two other quilts for this group pinned and ready to quilt. I'll try to get pictures of them next week.

We're doing Sindy Rodenmayer's fish blocks (see for our raffle quilt this year. We did her chickens last year, and it was really well received. A couple of us, actually three of us, are also doing embroidered blocks based on Japanese designs. I need get mine started. I've got my patterns printed and we're all using the same background. I now need to pull my fabric for the sea dragon and get it done. I've got the embroidery floss pulled for the "coral" pattern I'm using for the embroidery. We've got until August to get these done, then the head of our group will put the top together and quilt it.

I've got a bit more to discuss, but will leave that for next time. Until then, take care.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sharon Schamber Workshop

If you ever get a chance to take a class with Sharon, do it. She is the best. She is up-beat and enthusiastic. She explains everything clearly and says things a few different ways so everyone understands what she's doing and why before moving on. She encourages questions, and will work with you individually to be sure you know what to do. She gives a lot of good information about what she uses, and why she does things the way she does. Here's what I did in class:

Sharon's technique for machine appliqué is easy, fast, and fun. The original pattern was a complete circle, but, unfortunately, I didn't measure the piece I brought for my background and it wasn't large enough. Which is actually okay, as I've decided to use this as the flap of a messenger bag. Most of the pieces are now sewn down, using polyester monofilament thread. I'll put another flower at the end of each stem. In the next couple of weeks, I'll quilt this and bind three edges, then create the pattern and pull fabrics for the bag itself. I think I'll do the bag in a dark pink, with a green lining and charcoal straps. It will be rather large, and have lots of pockets! Cool.

I've finished the appliqué on my VS1-Filigree, and it's now ready to be basted and quilted!

It will be hand quilted, and I haven't decided whether I want to use a pink variegated, butterscotch variegated, or solid pink or butterscotch thread for the quilting. I have all those colors, and am working on a sampler to decide which works better. I haven't really decided what type of batting to use either. I usually use cotton, but I'm thinking about trying a wool, or perhaps a bamboo.

That's about all I have to show you. Since classes ended last week, I'm just exhausted. I didn't do much of anything creative last weekend other than Sharon's workshop. I only have two more weekends before classes start up again, and there are several things I want to get done. I'll see what I can have to show you next week.

Until then, take care.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Sharon Schamber at AVQA

My husband often tells me that if I want to reach for the stars, not to shoot for the moon because I may only hit the lamppost. Instead, aim for the center of the universe, because then I just may hit Pluto. Well, last night I saw the center of the universe, and it contains the work of Sharon Schamber. She did a trunk show at the AVQA guild meeting last night. I found myself near tears as each quilt was unrolled and presented, as each was more magnificent than the previous. Over the years, I'd seen Sharon's work in photographs, and even a couple of pieces at Road to California. I'd always known her work was indescribably amazing, but to be able to stand nose-to-nose with Mystique was, well, indescribable.

She started by passing around small studies of hand and machine quilting, appliqué and beading. A set of blocks of hand appliqué followed. Each of these studies and blocks were passed from person to person, as we marveled at the tiny hand quilting stitches, the intricate machine quilting, the perfectly stitched machine and hand appliqué. I was sitting next to Darla Hall, who is a long-arm quilter, and she pointed out things about the quilting I didn't know. She studies Sharon's work, has her DVDs, and strives to hit that center of the universe where Sharon's work resides. She and I were not the only ones I heard saying that we wanted to be Sharon when we grew up! LOL!

The last two quilts shown were Mystique and a new one (which I can't remember the name to), which has yet to be finished. It looked as if the only thing left to do was the binding. Those two quilts were laid open on two tables on the stage for us to come up and get a closer look at. And close we did get. Mystique is quilted in black thread on a white background. The stitches are perfect! The intricacy and variety is astounding. There are several thousand yards of spaghetti-strap tubing sewn between the pieces and around the edge.

I bought her book, "Piece by Piece, Machine Appliqué." I'm taking her class tomorrow, so she said she'd sign it then. We're doing her "Love Me Knot" appliqué class. I'm excited, and can't wait to start. I'll fill you in on the class next week.

I had a couple projects due for school this past week, so I didn't do anything substantively creative. However, I have been working on my VS1-Filigree on the bus ride home from work each night. It's coming along really well. I should have the appliqué sewn down by the end of the weekend. I'd like to get it sandwiched and basted Sunday, so it's ready to start quilting. I need to decide on quilting thread. I think I'd like to use a variegated light to dark pink, or perhaps a butterscotch to match the binding.

Not much else is happening right now, and I don't have any new photos to share. I've got a couple weeks off from classes, so I'm hoping to get a lot of creative work done. I should have more to show you next week.

Until then, take care.


Saturday, March 5, 2011


Missed last week's post; I was sick and didn't get on the computer until Tuesday. Didn't really do much during the past weekend, though I did work on my Filigree quilt a bit, and spent some time organizing my embroidery floss. I've started nothing new. Everything is still in progress.

I'm continuing to work on August's Paisley for the 2010 BJP.

My VS1-Filigree is basted and cut, and I've started sewing the main appliqué. I really love how this is turning out!

As you can see, I've sewn down two of the last four accent pieces. I wanted to see how they looked.

I did buy fabric for the second quilt in the Visioning Project series I'm doing, but I haven't done anything more with it yet. Once I get it started, I'll show you a pic.

I'm also continuing work on my bird tote from Terry Waldron's class. I've got my lining fabric, and the fabric for the rest of the tote, as well as the webbing for straps. I've sewn down the body feathers, and now need to cut some smaller neck feathers. They'll be the same yellow as the pieces just over the tail feathers. Of course, he still needs a face and beak, and I'm going to add a top-knot. I want to do a little more quilting in the background, and on his legs, then the tote will be ready to put together. This will be fun. I'm hoping to get this done this weekend, so I can take it to my quilt guild next week.

The I&M Quilters group I belong to is moving along with projects. I have three quilts pinned and ready for quilting, one of which is the Line Art I mentioned in a previous post. Of the other two, one is a Scrambled 9-Patch that we did last year and I never got around to finishing. The other is something I put together from pieces I found in the Quilt Room. There were a bunch of 8" squares, and I put them together and added some borders. I don't have photos of these yet, but will show them to you as I get them finished. All three of these quilts will go in the queue for delivery to either City of Hope or Children's Hospital.

I've joined the L.A. Modern Quilt Guild. I do like the modern quilt look, though I don't think I'll do many of them. What I've seen so far is . . . I don't know how to describe it. They're very clean and very cool, but, like traditional patterns, I can appreciate them, but don't really want to spend time making them. I like a lot of stuff! I do so many different hand and needlecrafts that I want to incorporate them into my art pieces. Modern quilts, like traditional quilts, don't have a lot of stuff on them. Does that make any sense? LOL! As I said, it's hard to describe my feelings. I want my quilts to be beaded, and embroidered, and have a lot of different techniques in them.

Now, the modern fabrics are a whole different issue. I love them! I never really paid attention to fabric designers before, but I do now. Some of my new favorite designers are Carolyn Gavin, Chelsea Andersen and Riley Blake. There are new quilt shops that carry these new modern print fabrics. Sew Modern, which I've mentioned before, is one. Online shops include Fabric Worm and Spoonflower. Yes, you can buy fabric at Spoonflower. It's more expensive, but it's also more individualistic. My Filigree quilt is made with modern prints from Pat Bravo and Art Gallery Fabrics, which I bought at Sew Modern a few weeks ago.

That's it for now. I'm continuing to work on things, and will, hopefully, have something finished next week to show you.

Until next time, take care.