Sunday, July 7, 2019

June Recap: Quilting, Audiobooks and NEQM

Trying to keep up with my Temperature 2019 Quilt
May is heating up with yellow, orange and one 90+ day!
There were 14 days of rain ( gray bubble fabric)
The June blocks are done ~
just not put together in calendar form.



The main focus now is getting my "Flower Garden" quilt
(pattern by Kim McLean)
ready for Silver City Quilt Guild's September show!


the 'Fabulous Fabric Glide' by The Gypsy Quilter
is helpful with moving the quilt under the needle of 
my domestic Janome 6600


One does need to keep the quilt bunched up
to allow free movement...
and sometime one does get all tangled up!!
The first task was to stitch in the ditch all the long seams
to stabilize each block...
then it was easy to go in and start quilting each block individually.
First outline each flower,
then slowly tackling the lattice work,
and then adding in the matchstick quilting
to create a depressed background
making the lattice Pop!
It's definitely a challenge for me!
My neck is paying the price from hours
of intense quilting...
good thing I have a good chiropractor!


Here are a few finished blocks....



Once each block is quilted,
I will go back and add in quilting to the leaves and flowers.
Then quilting up the two borders...
not sure what the quilting motif will be for the sashing,
percolating a few ideas!!
Will up date you in a later blog post!

Since deciding that concentrating on quilting is not conducive to
tv watching, Audible books have become a mainstay in my 
Quilty room (studio sounds so professional - and not me!)

Having always listened to quilting stories
Elm Creek Quilts being my favorites....
I decided to venture out into more
'grown up' themes!

Michelle Obama's book 'Becoming'
came recommended by a friend...
and I'm so glad I listened.
The book gave a nice background story
to our former First Lady,
it was so interesting listening to her thoughts and feeling
(the story was read by her - which I loved!)
 of growing up, becoming a lawyer, becoming First Lady...
I just found it fascinating!



Now I'm searching audible for books from each of our
former First Ladies...
we always see the President - hear his words,
but I want to hear from the Ladies ~
and their side of the story!

Moving onto a completely different genre
Murder Mysteries!!!

Have to admitted 
between concentrating on quilting and a murder mystery
there was a bit of rewinding going on!!

"Magpie Murders"
was and excellent book
captures you from the very beginning
entwining two (or was there three) stories at once!
Fabulous book - highly recommend this one!


With the warm weather here in New England
you know what that means!
Hubby fishing at the canal,
and me stitching at the canal!!
Definitely one of my favorite things to do!


Stitched Block:1
Hubby Fishing: 0


Just look at this beauty!
Taking off with out stretched wings,
this heron was huge!


I might have followed him around to snap a few pictures - 
maybe to be used someday in a collage quilt??!!


The end of June wrapped up with a volunteering day at the
New England Quilt Museum 
(Love this place - wished it was closer)

Had the privilege of hanging the 
'19th Century Basket Quilts' 
by the
American Quilt Study Group Challenge

After the quilts were hung there were a couple minutes 
to snap a few photos! Sorry no information tags~
that was the next days job!

This was my favorite!
Red and Green Appliqué...




This instillation will hang until the end of July
then the Summer Celebration will go up.

This exhibit features one quilt from each of the museums supporting guilds...
and this year my quilt  "Tropical Sashiko Applique"
will represent the Silver City Quilt Guild.



This Spring we have noticed a number of new birds into the backyard
Baltimore Oriels, Scarlet Tanagers and many more...
so hubby decided to dismantle garden...
and construct a "Bird Sanctuary"!
Thanks to Walpole Woodworking
we now have a beautiful Arbor.


and now to create a nice little garden
of flowers and bird feeders...
this may take awhile!!



The front of the house is shaping up
and one Blue Hydrangea is looking fabulous....
it's the only one a deer did not feast on!


Now back to quilting my Flower Garden!!


Have a great Quilty Day and enjoy the process!
                               Janet

Friday, June 14, 2019

Too many projects? and Squirrel thoughts!

Sometimes my quilting has been a struggle...
just too many projects at various stages of completion
have given me a very overwhelmed feeling....

Can one have TOO many projects on a design wall?

As I sit here watching a squirrel try and climb up my bird feeder
only to be stymied by the squirrel baffle ....
I feel his pain .... 
"so close yet so far"

How does one combat this?
having always been  a "squirrel" type person
this cartoon really captures me at this moment...

Trying to learn to rein in the feeling of 
"the next shiny object (or project)"!

FOCUS!!

that my word for 2019 
Focus! Focus! Focus!

Set a goal and focus!
My old Mary Kay training days are creeping back into my brain!
Having become a sales director winning two cars, 
diamond rings and other beautiful gifts during my M.K. days...
setting and achieving goals is not a new concept ...
just need to apply it to my quilting!


My guild has a show coming up in September and
as of a month ago I had not one entry ready...
(lots of starts - just no finishes!)

Set a Goal and Focus...

GOAL:
Finish at least three guild workshop sponsored project
and at last one piece to be judged...


FOCUS:
Having just added a few more markings ~
 now ready to re-started quilting my
Flower Garden


So glad I made the decision to change out the batting!
The wool is making all the difference in the world!


FINISHES:
To date I have finished the guild's challenge project:
"Peek-A-Boo Zebra"

and TWO workshops projects 
(with two more close behind!)
Modern Adventure
Daisy Trio


The squirrel outside is still struggling to get at the bird feeder....
but the squirrels in my brain have retreated!

Now to go and focus on quilting my "Flower Garden"!
(and not look at any other project today!!)

Have a great Quilty Day and enjoy the process!
                               Janet

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Workshop with Karen Eckmeier and Temp Quilt 2019

In May the Silver City Quilt Guild hosted 

the very talented Karen Eckmeier
for a lecture and "Wiggles and Waves" workshop!


singing her free hand rotary cutting technique
the goal was to cut up the fabric, press under the concave edge 
and top stitch it down
creating beautiful flowers!

Pulling some very bright scraps and green batik yardage ~
I'm loving the my three roses!

My leaves on the other hand technically came out ok,
but visually I wasn't liking them...
Let's just set them aside!!

What to do with three spiffy roses?

Make new leaves and create a flowering stem!

Now to go and add an embroidery stitched stem!

My Temperature Quilt 2019
is mostly all caught up!
January thru March shows lots
of cold days with April starting to bring in
a little warmth!


But May!
May temperatures are all over the place!
The lowest temp was 37 and the highest was 87!
Plus 14 days of rain!
The rain days have the gray bubble fabric 

Still working on putting together my 2018 Temp Quilt!!

Have a great Quilty Day and enjoy the process!
                               Janet

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Quilting Dilemma, NEQM and Tulips!

Last week seemed SO productive!

My Flower Garden had her borders on 
and she was all marked ready for quilting.


Had my new toy out -
Fabulous Fabric Glide by The Gypsy Quilter.

Ready ... Set ... Go Quilt!!!


After stitching in the ditch two long vertical lines and half of a third line,
a realization hit me...

SMACK

the batting was so thin my quilting would never show up...
(was wondering why the quilt was going thru the bed of my machine so easily!!)

Grumble ... Grumble ... Grumble

a few choice words were uttered -
Loudly!

what to do?

continue and hate it all later...

be miserable for a bit while frog stitching
Rip-It, Rip-It, Rip-It

use wool batting, have my quilting show
and love it later...

YUP - you guessed it...
I spent afternoon Frog Stitching!!
Thankfully I had a great audiobook all ready to go!

This week coming up I'll re-baste and start again!


On a bright note...

Emily bought tickets to
The Wicked Tulip Farm in Johnston RI

Rows and Rows of brightly colored tulips
My Gosh was it beautiful!!


 We may have pick just a few tulips!!


and they look so pretty in the dining room!


This week I had the privilege
of helping hang the Silk exhibition
at the New England Quilt Museum!

It's a Fabulous instillation~
a MUST See!
Here are just a few of the quilts I got to hang!!




These quilts were already up!




Sorry no quilt information as the info card were going up the next day,
you'll just have to go to the museum and see for yourself!!


                                 Have a great Quilty Day and enjoy the process!
                           Janet

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Inspiration and Quilty Joy creeping back into my Soul'! Finally!

LOST: 
Quilting MoJo

It's been over a year...

After spending many years caring for children, 
then caring for my aging mom - 
when she passed away just over a year ago I was left feeling
'Ok - now what do I do?'
As a constant caregiver once that need is gone - 
it leaves a huge hole,
a hole I wasn't prepared for.

My incredibly supportive hubby would say (daily!)
'do what makes you happy'
but nothing seemed to be making me happy.

Until Now!

FOUND: 
Excitement and Inspiration is slowly creeping it's way back in!

A trip to Texas to visit my daughter was the start.
She needed a visit from her Mum and I 'needed to be needed' ....
says the empty nest momma.


Plus I could spend some time with my
Grand Doggie ~ Stella!
Can you find her???!!!
Yes she's spoiled!!


So off I went to Texas - bringing with me three projects:
1. UFO from a Susan Cleveland class
2. a new applique project 
3. the concept idea for my quilt guilds special exhibit
"A day at the Zoo"
(Quilt Show in September!)

I have a small very  basic Janome sewing machine at my daughter's place - 
making it possible to get basic Quilty items done!

Since all there was to focus on (quilting-wise)
were those three projects ...
A LOT was ACCOMPLISHED!!

When you finally accomplish something it really does inspire you to move forward.


First Project:
The UFO: it was just the center~
my travel zip lock bag had everything needed to add the
prairie points, ric-rac trim, inner and outer boarders,
would have made the piped binding (forgot the matching thread!!)


once it was all put together, 
an afternoon was spent adding 
embroidery and beads to the ric-rac trim,
and a bit of sashiko stitching on the pink fabric.


I love the calming effect of the Japanese taupes!


Second Project:
 A new applique project!!
The pattern is called:
'The Raven' by Blackbird Designs.
It features 9 large blocks ~ great fall quilt!

This quilt reminds me of all the squawking Grackles
that are in abundance in Texas!
Each of the black birds will have the same body fabric,
and feature different fabrics on the wings.
Using a modern text print for the background
and Japanese fabrics for the grand, leaves and acorn,
it comes together really nicely!
I will most likely go back and add embroidery 
onto some areas - just Because!!

Block 1 of 9 DONE!
Again another feeling of accomplishment!
Happy with the direction this one is going in!


Third Project:
Was inspired from a child's wall art picture found on Pinterest.
After a few sketches, some placement issues, 
a few trips to Hobby Lobby for the B&W Zebra fabric 
(Piped binding, Binding and Backing)
it was ready to be needle turn appliqued!


Then feeling really adventurous ~ I actually
quilted it on my very basic little Janome!

Once home I finished the piped binding, and binding!
 Not my best work - but It's done!
Feeling VERY accomplished!!


While in Texas
Victoria and I visited the Texas Art Museum
mostly to have brunch at 'Hesters'
a lovely breakfast/lunch spot right inside the museum!
On the way in this metal piece caught my eye!

'CUT' by Christopher Plowman
 He was an artist who taught at the Royal College of Art 1987-1999.
Taking mundane or disregarded objects and creating his unique style of art!

As a quilter - of course this piece JUMP out at me!!
Giving me the feeling of inspired whimsy!

A feeling that had been lost ~ 
and was seeming to find its way back into my heart!


This past week the feelings of
Enthusiasm, Joy and Inspiration
came flooding back in!

It all happened with a collage quilt!
A few members of the Silver City Quilt Guild
got together for a collage class at
Cape Cod Quilts and Cottages...
Pat is a fabulous teacher, with a keen eye for color

 Laura Heine's "Bee" pattern
was my choice to start this collage adventure!
Admittedly I have purchased five of Laura's patterns and
the Bee seems like a nice one to start with...
or rather least complicated!!!
 The Dream Big flower panel was the perfect back ground 

Sitting in class pulling out all my fabrics,
adhering the Steam-a-seam Lite to flowers and cutting them out
arranging and rearranging the flowers...
I could feel it....
that feeling of excitement,
of inspiration, 
of Quilty Joy~
it was filtering back into my soul.


Guess you could say ~ a Quilt Bee pollinated my soul!

~ Feeling Grateful ~


With the new found feeling of Inspiration 
out came another UFO
'Flower Garden' by Kim McLean

My struggle with how to quilt this baby 
had me so stymied - for a year I just looked at it.
Then while cleaning out an area of my sewing room
there it was ...
a stencil that reminded me of a trellis!
Out came my blue washout marking pen 
and there she is, all ready to be basted and quilted.
The filler that's planned for the diamond areas
should make the 'trellis' and flowers pop!
That's the plan anyway!!

and my new favorite tool
Bohin's eraser brush!
It features a refillable chamber that you squeeze
and a perfect amount of water comes out onto the brush
so you can brush away the blue lines!
Love It!!


With renewed feeling of accomplishment, enthusiasm, inspiration
and pure Quilt Joy ~ I am moving forward!

Hubby words have come true...
I'm doing what makes me Happy!
Thank you my sweet man!



Have a great Quilty Day and enjoy the process!
           Janet