Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In A Bind....

First Off....my photo shoot on Friday with the folks from Kansas City Star was FABULOUS!! I had the best time and it was so great to get to know the people involved on that end of pulling these books together. You know, as they say....it TAKES A VILLAGE! (And that would make me the village idiot, but that's a topic for another time..)

It took most of the day, at least 6 hours or perhaps maybe a bit more to get 5 quilts staged for "Glamor Shots", the pics where they are draped artistically in a living situation be it on a wall, over a sofa, on the bed with pillows and decor...

The homes we used were VERY contemporary, and it was so fun to see my traditional quilts playing a part in the eclectic surroundings. I want my quilts to appeal to traditional AND modern quilters. It's all about color and geometric design, and any quilt can be "updated" or "toned down" by fabric choices.

I'm not so "into" this whole modern quilt guild rage....truth be told. I love geometry and small pieces, and graphic impact. I just want it "ALL". I don't want to have to pigeon hole myself under one description because sometimes I like working bright, bold and funky, and the other times, I'm perfectly happy to be stitching my 3/4" hexagons in a very traditional manner. I want to piece for the joy of piecing...and that means not all projects will be rushed through. I've made SO many quilts in my life that sewing big gigantic squares of designer fabric together for something that is done in a day just does not interest me.

It just seems to me that being a quilter should be all-accepting in a way, and all appreciative. I've had this thought that if I showed up to a modern quilt guild, and showed one of my quilts for show and tell, they'd show me the door because it wasn't "modern" enough. But then, take any pattern, make it out of "modern" fabrics, and it qualifies. It's a weird conundrum. I also feel that if I were to be trendy and making things out of strictly "new" "modern" fabric lines, that over time I'm going to end up with a quilt that looks very dated and kitted. I'd have to always be running and chasing after the newest release of something so I don't get caught with "last season's" colors or fabrics or designers.

I get uncomfortable when groups form an "us" vs "them" kind of category. I don't want to have to quilt by someone else's guide lines as to what is modern and what is not. It's a funny thing, because I enjoy looking at all kinds of quilts and appreciating them for what went into them and the stories behind them....

And I'm rambling on, not where I wanted to go, but this is flow of consciousness writing at its best at 6:43am!

Yesterday was a BINDING day for me! (Hence the title for this post!)

I was going to use an orange binding for Dreamsicles, but you know what? It didn't want orange! It didn't want lime, or turquoise...but it did want...PURPLE! Here I am squaring the corners and straightening the edges before applying the binding. I know some like to trim after. I like the straight edge that I get by applying a straight edge binding to a straight edge quilt.

It never ceases to amaze me how LIGHT a hand quilted quilt feels compared to a machine quilted one. I wish this quilt were big enough to really snuggle under. The combination of the hand quilting and the wool batting really do create a wonderful drape and feel. It takes two rulers to square my quilts, even my big ones. I use the big 15" square for the corners, and a long straight edge ruler for the sides....

See those stitches? That red thread played so well through this whole quilt! I just love the texture. You can see the purple binding being applied here.

And while I was at it, I put the scrappy blue binding on my Sister's baby quilt..I'm due with a nephew in September! I don't know what his name will be yet, but I've had this top made out of left over Blue Ridge Beauty blocks for years...only the last few babies have all been GIRLS so it hadn't been gifted away from Auntie Bonnie yet. The label is on, just waiting to be signed with a name as soon as I find out what that is. Oh...baby anticipation!

Last Night while watching "The Closer" and "Rizzoli and Isles" on TNT, I finished the hand stitching on THIS binding....I'm glad to have it done, it's a king sized ginormous thing, and is being sent off to Australia to be featured in an upcoming magazine....Anyone know the best way to get something there "Slow Boat" so it doesn't have to cost so much? It doesn't need to be there til November.....so if I send it now....(Or maybe it's safer just to send it airmail and eat the $$?)

I'm off to Texas tomorrow! Whoot! So that means today is filled with things like mail order, updating my calendar, tackling paperwork and laundry simultaneously, and repacking the trunkshow to include the samples I need for the crumbs workshop in Beaumont!

It also means I need some more hexagons for this trip! I was running short on neutrals, so I started cutting those. That lead to pulling out some 2.5" strips of greens and reds to supplement what was already cut in those colors, and I'm pressing the strips and hope to get time to cut some more variety today. I love how portable this project is, that is until it gets time to add the little satellite units to the "Mother Ship"....and it's growing! All the 6 large star points are on now, and I've got to piece 6 of these other diamond shapes to go in between the star points. And on it grows...

Since it does feel like fall is coming soon, it doesn't feel so bad to be working on a red/green/neutral thing. Most of the year, I can't make myself work in these colors, but this feels okay somehow, especially since this is now a 10 year old UFO and I need to see it THROUGH to DONE! I've thrown double pinks in with the reds in hopes that it looks just more "vintage" and less "Christmas".....but I'm not sure I've convinced myself. I had one lady at the last class ask me if I was making a "Tree Skirt" >_< well no, not exactly. I'm not cutting a hole in the center of this thing to put it around a tree....

Okay..enough rambling....gotta get this day moving!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hot, Hot, Africa Hot!!

Quiltgranny Sharon and I were trying to figure out who it was/where it was that this phrase came into our lingo. It's Hot Hot, Africa Hot goes way back into when we first knew each other about 15 years ago. Either it was part of Interquilt, or when we were both part of a group called Electric Threads. Either way, let me tell you, I have found out what Hot Hot Africa Hot really feels like!

Yesterday morning (Since we didn't have to visit the night time needlers for a guild program til last night..which gave us most of the day OFF!) I thought I could beat it by going out for a long walk/jog at 7am. It was already hot....I did 5.25 miles, saw lots of cool things on the way, that were also turning Hot Hot Africa hot!

Partway down the road I crossed an overpass with this little brook running by. It looked so lush down in there I just had to snap a pic!

I kept running in the way that i do.....run a little, walk a little, run a little (okay mostly the down hills) walk a little, and I came upon these two fellas, and they followed me from one end of the fence to the other!

Well of course, we all know the best grass is on the OTHER side of the fence. They were so cute and friendly I couldn't help but rest a bit and give them both some rubs and ear tickles :cD

Isn't this so pretty? AND HILLY!? Just a beautiful morning for a long ribbon of country road.

But within a couple of hours, the heat sensor on the outside of the car read 108!! CAN YOU SEE IT?!? Yep, definitely a cause for HOT HOT AFRICA HOT!!

I did do some shopping damage while out yesterday. The red was 50% off. I needed a big piece for setting some blocks, and this is perfect! The oranges were gifted to me by Sharon and may end up as the binding on Creamsicles. The turquoise and limes? 50% off remnants at Joann's yesterday. I'm such a big spender..lol!

A while later, a nap and a lovely cool pasta salad dinner, made by Sharon's terrific hubby K was just what we needed to hit the road again to visit the Night Time Needlers guild. Look at this sign that saved us the BEST parking spot by the door! This just tickled me. I've never had a designated parking spot before :c)

By the time we were done....it was way past 10pm. Put the car on autopilot home, kick off the shoes, head to bed. Life really has been non stop since I arrived on Sunday!

Today is the BIG DAY for me. I'm being picked up in the next 15 minutes by my editor, Jenifer...and we are going to go do the Photo Shoot for the next book! Still Hot hot Africa Hot.....it's going to be INDOORS! Thank you very much! At least with this heat and humidity it will be easy to get the creases out of the quilts from shipping!

And tomorrow....Dorothy is clicking her heels and saying "There's No Place Like Home!" I'm back to NC by Dinner time!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It's Hot hot hot in KC, MO!

I arrived on Sunday at around 11am, this is after I was SUPPOSED to catch a 6am flight out of Greensboro, arriving at the airport at 4:45am (YAWN!) to be where I was supposed to be when I was supposed to be there.......only to find that the flight had been delayed Two HOURS!! Oh I could have used that two hours sleep!!

It actually worked out okay though, my connections were closer than originally planned and I got into Kansas City only 45 minutes later than I would have other wise.

I had one really neat experience on the flight. I was sitting in economy plus, in the bulkhead row. This plane was too small for real first class in other words, and the gentleman next to me asked if there were any service men on board. Just about this time a guy in army fatigues comes through the plane door and starts heading down the aisle to his place in the back. The man next to me told the stewardess to tell that man that he wanted to change places with him. He wanted to give him his economy plus seat. I was just really touched. It was the nicest gesture.

Yesterday we met with the Lee's Summit guild for a lecture/trunkshow and we sure had a great time. you should have SEEN the show and tell these ladies brought...I felt like I could just pack up my bags and go home, their work was FABULOUS! I just love that. It inspires me. It's great to be in a room with people who are as compelled to quilt as you are!

last night I finished quilting the Creamsicles quilt! We were watching a murder mystery and I put in the last stitches! WHooT! This has been compeltely stitched while on the road, and it has just been a joy to tell everyone who asks about the blocks and where they came from. It is a happy quilt and I love how I feel when I run my fingers across all the blocks! I'll get it bound when I get home. Sharon has gifted me some perfect orange fabrics that are going to finish it off just PERFECT!

So now..we are on to:

The more than 10 year old hexagon thing I started when still living in Idaho! I had needed a project to travel to Arizona to visit my grandmother in the hospital, not knowing it would soon travel with me to Minnesota for her funeral. I worked on it intermittently because it was always a good travel project, but in between moves and everything else, I really don't think I've touched it in 5 years >_< And it's time!

The "Mother Ship" has 4 of the 6 large points stitched on, The 5th one is ready to add, the last point needs one corner section, and then I'm off and doing some more motifs. I don't know if you can see this or not, but this is the graphpaper I taped together (LONG AGO!) and colored in how I thought I wanted the design to go:

And this looks like a dizzy kitty pic, but I caught Clyde as he was just deciding to get OFF the quilt...he had to come and inspect it too!

Today is going to be a longie...we have a guild meeting this morning and a half day afternoon workshop with the Greater Kansas City Guild, followed by another lecture/trunkshow at another guild in Olathe! Just color me tired by the end of this day. It's the longest one of the week.

Tomorrow I'll be with the Greater Kansas City quilters again for a full day Cathedral Stars workshop.

Thursday it's a lecture Trunkshow with the Night Time Needlers in North Kansas City.

FRIDAY IS MY PHOTO SHOOT FOR THE NEXT BOOK!! (I can so not wait! It's going to be a long hot day for sure) and Saturday I go home.

So if you don' get much from me over the next few days you'll know why!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Busy Weekend!

It's been go go go the past couple of days. Like that doesn't surprise anyone? Does it?

Thursday night I had a guild meeting presentation in Asheboro,and got to stay at my friend Mary's house.

Oops! I've just been interrupted by a car pulling in the drive! Jason has arrived to have a golf weekend with his Dad while I run off to Kansas City....

I had plans for many things today that just went out the window! I was going to piece a scrappy small top from leader enders and that left over piano key border piece so I can have another small hand quilting project for the plane tomorrow! (I guess if all else fails, there is that hexagon medallion thing that hasn't been touched in years..it can come, easily?? But I'd rather piece something new!)

I upgraded my laptop to Win7, and now my att wireless aircard seems to be incompatible, it freezes up when I try to install it, so I have to run to ATT store to get that sorted out. I need that on this trip, so that is also putting the piecing on the back burner.....

And I'm being called upstairs by the guys so I'll have to get back to ya'll later!

Have a great weekend! (And hold that thought!)

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

PA Souvenirs :c)

Guess what I finally unpacked yesterday! MY GOODIES! Yes, I know..I've been home a week, and this stuff was still in the bag on my cutting table down here. Yesterday afternoon I put a movie on, and cleared surfaces in my studio area...and I got to fondle this!:

I bought three of the flat folds at Sauders:

I was in search of things that would make great backings. They had a whole table that was $2.49 or some such ridiculously low price. Of course, you had to take the whole cut, so there are about 6 yards in each piece!

The brown/red/green one was from Zooks, and I think it was $2.29 a yard, with 4 yards in the piece.

That's the ONLY fabric that came home with me! But I had a lot of fun perusing the shops. One of the shops in Bird-in-Hand has a shop in the basement owned by one person, and then there is another shop up above. I can't remember the name, but I DID find the YLI hand quilting thread on the large wooden spools that I love in the basement shop. I love to quilt with colored thread, and I found a Cabernet, a Rust, and a funky pinky-tan that is called "mauve" but is ANYTHING but. It's a weird color, but I think it will look great against a lot of things. I also picked up another plastic thimble...still my favorite!

Oh, and the bulk foods at Sauders...lets just say that the peanut butter pretzels were gone before I ever got all the way home to Winston Salem :c) YUM! I love those.

Up above in the "main floor shop" I caught THIS on the rack! I was just so tickled, Especially to find it in a place so far and so different from my own home. I also enjoyed following THIS down the road: (These are things that make me slow down and breathe and appreciate...smell the roses--maybe that would be the CORN? etc...)

I know that people who live near these areas get used to seeing this. For those of us in areas that are not around this, believe me...it is hard to consider this as "Normal every day life". It just is. It fascinates me.

It just makes me think of what life would have could have been like for me if I were born 150 years ago. Not that I would choose that now...I mean....last night I cleaned my oven simply by setting the dial to CLEAN and completely cremated everything that was baked on. Do I want to go back to the days of cooking on a wood stove? No...but I did have "Little House on the Prairie" fantasies when I was a young girl (of course I was in love with Charles Ingalls! *LOL*)and seeing this takes me back to my childhood dreams.

At the Hershey show, after my lecture, I was gifted a special book by Jean Boyd! Jean must know that I ADORE books on antique quilts...there is more inspiration for my soul in these than in any amount of regular pattern books out there. This one is called "Quilted Memories of Schuylkill County (how do you PRONOUNCE THAT?!) All I know is it is full of beautiful quilts, the stories of their makers and information about the Schuylkill County area of Pennsylvania. Thank you Jean!

I also picked up a couple catalogue/programs from the Christ Collection, there was a display of antique 4 block applique quilts at the Hershey show, and one of the booklets goes with the display. Of course, no photography was allowed of the quilts, so I had to have the program right? Great for drooling and inspiration! And they had one of a previous viewing for 2009 as well, so...burn a hole in my pocketbook, I had to have them both.

Just a sampling...too many goodies in these to share them all!

I love how the green has faded to grey in this lovely....Oh. My. Goodness. I just might have to take up applique? I just LOVE it...it's the prep work that slays me. I'm a piecer, but I sure love the look of applique!

And anything ANYTHING with the makers name on it...big bold letters on the FRONT of the quilt? That is someone I wish I knew. It says to me: Here I am. I lived, I loved, I quilted. Who were you, Elizabeth?(Or is it really Eliza Beth ?) Would we, could we have been friends?

I have more pictures to show as I get time to edit them. As of right now, I'm running out the door for the gym, the bank, the pedicure :c) I'm teaching in Asheboro with a lecture tomorrow night and a Cathedral Stars workshop on Friday. Sunday I'm off to Kansas City and I don't return home until the 14th. August will be half over by then? It doesn't seem possible does it?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Color Trend Conspiracy!

I was asking for ideas on color choices the other day, posting the question to the Quiltvillechat@yahoogroups.com list, and to the Quiltville fans page on facebook "What three colors are wow to you right now?"

The majority of people, I'd say easily 80% All shouted out Lime Green! Fuscia! Turquoise! Orange! (okay, there are 4, but pick any 3 of those 4 mentioned and you get nearly the same effect! *LOL*)

I have this theory that there is a bunch of brain washing going on!

Especially amongst quilters who frequent TARGET!!!!

You want to know what I mean? Well just take a walk with me through target and see what I'm talking about......there are subliminal messages for quilt themes on EVERY AISLE!

Let's start with the school/office supplies. So, okay, highlighters have always been bright yellow, lime, orange, turquoise. So maybe...they were planting the seeds early on??

I love office supplies....especially when school is about to start! I love to see all the binders and organizers and goodies. Don't you?

This little notebook really wanted to come home with me. See! It's a conspiracy! It's not even FABRIC...it just LOOKS like fabric...it's getting under my skin!

School chalk in bright tropical colors. How come we never had these?! I think the conspiracy is to get the kids USING these colors so the parents become used to them.....it starts LONG before the fabric store!

It goes on to the lotions and deodorants! I still see a tropical theme going on....it's starting to hum a quilt tune to my brain! Orange! Purple! Lime! Fuscia! I can hear it...my fingers are starting to tingle! :cD

Who would have thought a shampoo end cap could have dangerous results for a quilter who is trying to tame her stash? Is this not madness?! It's everywhere I turn!

And this aisle blew my color senses!!

It's in the kitchen aisles! Little does DH know that this has me also contemplating changing the colors in my kitchen. Conspiracy indeed! Target, you are poison to my budget!

Summer dinnerware....I see some gorgeous turquoise lime and yellow (with a bit of raspberry) possibilities here, don't you? Uhhhhmmmmmmmmmmm! I'm feeling myself giving in, I can't hold back much longer!

Good grief! It's in the electronics department....even the CD labels are infiltrating our ability to think of color schemes ourselves. It seems the colors have already been chosen for us. We only THINK we are doing something "NEW AND FRESH!"

I'm running out of words.....are there any OTHER colors in the world other than Orange, Turquoise, Lime, Yellow and Fuscia?! ANY!? By this time I'm starting to feel like what's "New and Hot" is getting really,really OLD!

AAAAUUUUGHHHHH!! Our feminine products have gone to the Tropical Side! Do they think we will buy them more just because they are in these "NEW" cool hot colors? *snicker*

Okay. Lime, Orange, Fuscia, Turquoise on BLACK!! That's one we didn't think of before! We'll really buy into it now! ;c)

I came home exhausted from color sensory overload. It was like there were no colors in the world that existed beyond these tropical colors. I came back to my fabric...looked at what made me feel peaceful and content. Maybe I can tone it down a little. Maybe my next quilt doesn't have to match the shampoo aisle at Target to be considered "NEW"....the fabrics I already have have served me well and will continue to do so. Orange is always a staple around here, but maybe I want to try a different combination this time around.

For the November mystery...I need some warmth, but not HOT HOT HOT. So be ready. I've decided on Chocolate Browns, Raspberry pinks, Green (not bright lime...but you could use it if you want)and a deep red. Neutrals will be my canvas, whites to creams to beiges all the way to a light tan. My eyes like it better. My brain likes it better. It's my quilt.....I'll color it my way, and not feel like I have to follow some trend.....

(But I still think I need to go back and buy that NOTEBOOK I liked!!)