One Day in May

The last few weeks I’ve been starting new projects.  I haven’t actually been doing a lot of sewing, but quite a bit of pulling fabric and cutting fabric out.  Then I zoom on to the next project…I’m not sure how many things I currently have going — well actually none of them are “going,” just ready to go.  After working today, I walked back into my studio, enthused about making a table mat for my son Michal and his wife Rebecca.  The one they have now is pitiful, the quilting on it is soo sad, and it’s at least 6 or 7 years old…

So I started pulling some fabric for it and looking for a set of fabrics I’m already working with.  I opened several totes before I found the one I was looking for.  In the midst of this, I stopped and took a look around.  So here it is for your viewing pleasure, a tour of my studio, as is (warning: these images may disturb some viewers):

My stash, or most of it

My stash, or most of it

From my spinning & weaving days.  Her outfit is made from a horoscope warp -- each thread represents a color assigned for every horoscope degree - 360 threads

From my spinning & weaving days. Her outfit is made from a horoscope warp — each thread represents a color assigned for every horoscope degree – 360 threads

Taken from in front of the stash shelving, looking across my cutting table to the design wall

Taken from in front of the stash shelving, looking across my cutting table to the design wall. See the lamb?  Made from an antique quilt, it’s so cute!

The fabrics overlapping each other are for the table mat

The fabrics overlapping each other are for the table mat. The totes are evidence of my frenzied search

My sewing station, with a couple projects laying beside it (moved so I could clear the cutting area)

My sewing station, with a couple projects laying beside it (moved so I could clear the cutting area). There’s a pile of Dresden Plate blocks on the right…I don’t like their background now.

Just a closeup of a couple projects

A sorted pile of squares…

On the design wall: Winding Ways, 4 blocks assembled; a Dresden Plate modern style quilt; Halie's doll quilt blocks; Serpentine Dresden color run; Mike & Rebecca's replacement Double Wedding Ring blocks

On the design wall: on the left, 4 Winding Way blocks; a Dresden Plate modern style quilt project; Halie’s doll quilt blocks; serpentine Dresden color run; Mike & Rebecca’s replacement Double Wedding Ring blocks (remember their original quilt top is being quilted by the Pioneer Quilters, so I needed to make them another.)

My ironing station, with a Round Robin quilt that Debby and I worked on together

My ironing station, with a Round Robin quilt that Debby and I worked on together. Those are Dresden Plate blades on the board.

Debby made this quilt as a commemoration of a visit to our Elkton home

Debby made this quilt as a commemoration of a visit to our Elkton home, called “Memories of Oregon.”

These tubs and kids' carseats do NOT belong in my studio!  Aargh!

These tubs and kids’ carseats do NOT belong in my studio! Aargh!

A clent's quilt in progress

A clent’s quilt in progress

I drew ten designs for the Grandmother's Flower Garden; the back side shows the quilting

I drew ten designs for the Grandmother’s Flower Garden; the back side shows the quilting

These shelving units and cupboard have all my longarm tools, reference books, thread, and quilts stored in them

These shelving units and cupboard have all my longarm tools, reference books, thread, and quilts stored in them. The quilt above the shelf is done by Sheila Steers, purchased at the Small Quilt Auction for EVQ, 2010

And assorted treasure

And assorted treasure

Family photos

Family photos on the front of the storage cupboard.  No, you can’t look inside!!

Matt about 5, I think; I'm in my 30's in our kitchen/dining room at the ranch

Matt about 4, I think; I’m in my 30’s in our kitchen/dining room at the ranch. What you see is all there was to that kitchen. Notice the drawer being used as a cutting board.

Michal at 17...Rebecca had painted his face for Halloween...

Michal at 17…Rebecca had painted his face for Halloween…

A display plaque from Pioneer Quilters as a thank you for chairing our quilt show

A display plaque from Pioneer Quilters as a thank you for chairing our quilt show

This is our "hospital" quilt.  Whenever a family member is in the hospital, this quilt goes with them.  Apparently we are all healthy right now!

This is our “hospital” quilt. Whenever a family member is in the hospital, this quilt goes with them. Apparently we are all healthy right now!

Photoshopped quiltlet from a picture taken at Black Sheep Gathering 2004(?)

Quilt from a photoshopped picture taken at Black Sheep Gathering 2002(?) and a cute plaque Debby gave me

Our antique Cuckoo clock, and a quiltlet by Sandie Massett purchased at the Small Quilt Auction for EVQ 2010

Our antique Cuckoo clock, and a quilt by Sandie Massett purchased at the Small Quilt Auction for EVQ 2010

Fat quarters from the Fat Quarter Queen (every year at PIQF Debby buys me a dozen new fat quarters) and Sporty Barbie wearing a 1st Place medal I won in a 10k race years ago...a table topper made by Ann Pfrender and a cow with yoyo flowers...

Fat quarters from the Fat Quarter Queen (every year at PIQF Debby buys me a dozen new fat quarters) and Sporty Barbie wearing a 1st Place medal I won in a 10k race years ago…a table topper made by Ann Pfrender and a cow with yoyo flowers…

This is where the magic is supposed to happen.  I supposed even magicians have times when all they do is just think about things…

Back to the fabrics for the table mat for Mike & Rebecca

Back to the fabrics for the table mat for Mike & Rebecca

So now I’m ready to cut those fabrics into pieces.  I hope I will be able to sew a few seams, perhaps even complete a project?

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It’s All About Time…

I knew I’d neglected my blog, but I didn’t realize I had started neglecting it so long ago!  I have been working steadily; I think I’m now only two quilts behind — which really means I’m caught up…

I did a little more beading and painting to enhance the border

I did a little more beading and painting to enhance the border

Here's a closeup of the beading, just so ya know...

Here’s a closeup of the beading, just so ya know…

Autumn Pathways didn’t make it into the Road to California show.  I was disappointed but my friends all consoled me and then I felt better.  It was accepted to the AQS Lancaster show that opened today, and it received an HONORABLE MENTION!  It is also accepted into the AQS Paducah show held this April. I have always lionized the Paducah show, and really did not expect to have the quilt accepted.  I am thrilled!!

The experience of entering competitions and receiving comments from the judges has been very valuable.  Yes, they did notice all the little details that weren’t perfect.  But yes, they have made very nice comments about the design and execution of techniques.  I know I want to continue to explore this type of work.  I can’t remember how many hours I spent creating Autumn Pathways, but I know it was somewhere in excess of 400 hours.  That’s ten work weeks…if you work full time (and I really don’t)…

I can feel my biological clock ticking, and I want to give myself enough time to make a few more of these quilts. And of course, I also need enough time to make as many SpongeBobSquarePants skirts as possible!

Halie

Halie

Holiday House

I really enjoy being crafty…and I thought you might like a look at a couple of the little crafty things I did for autumn:

This little table is by our front door. I didn’t actually make the gourds…they came from our neighbor!

I did make these pumpkins, from a kit I bought at the Emerald Valley Quilt Show in September. I’ve made a few more sets from the pattern, but gave them all away!
This is in on our coffee table in the living room.

No holiday is complete without a few yo-yo’s

Seriously, yo-yo’s rule!

Just so ya know, I do also hand quilt…

So that’s our house, all ready for autumn.  I had these up before Halloween and will keep them up until Christmas decorations appear.  (I am working on a couple of table runners for Christmas, using modern fabrics from Valori Wells.)

Report Card

I have been working steadily the last month on client quilts and am almost caught up with my queue.  There were also a few quilt shows to attend in September and October, and I have a report for you on Autumn Pathway’s journey.  At Northwest Quilt Exposition it won FIRST PLACE in its category.

The view of my quilt as I approached it at the show. (I don’t know those ladies.)

I was pretty excited, even though I already knew I had won a prize.  I had been called by the NW Expo staff to invite me to the award ceremony.  As well as a ribbon, I came home with $500!!!!!

I’m a little happy!

To make the day even sweeter, my friend Jenny also won a first place ribbon for her hand quilted piece!

This quilt is truly wonderful!

And here is a photo of Jenny, she’s also pretty happy!

The next show was the Emerald Valley Quilt Show at the end of September, and I am so happy to report that Autumn Pathways was selected as Viewer’s Choice for both days of the show.  I received two beautiful handmade ribbons (made by my friend Sheila for the guild) and a large bag of prizes! I was thrilled!!!

Autumn Pathways then traveled back to Portland for the Machine Quilters Exposition.  It did not place in that show, but I did get some very good marks from the judges and I appreciated the information on the judging sheet.  The next show is “Road to California,” in January.  I will hear by December 1st if it is accepted into that show.  In the meantime, I am thinking about and working on designs for a show quilt for next year!

Small Quilt Auction

23×20, Untitled

I got a little busy this afternoon and finished the beading on my small quilt.  I don’t have a name for it yet, but I’m open to suggestions.  This was done with the same process as Autumn Pathways: first a design on graph paper, then transferring that design to the quilt top.  The fabric is Pfd (prepared for dying) 100% cotton.  It is layered with two batts, a Hobbs Heirloom Bleached Cotton and a Hobbs Polydown, then quilted and then finally painted with pastel chalk.  After all the color is applied I mist it with water and then (here’s the magic ingredient) spray it with Aqua Net Hairspray (because I’m an old-fashioned girl at heart).  By the time the beads are applied, all the extra bits of color have been removed, and the quilt is quite soft.  The last step is to block it, just lay it flat and mist with water to return it to square shape.

Closeup of the Flowers, with gold beads

Here is a closeup of the feathers, showing the bead clusters:

Remember you can click on the photo to enlarge it

I just happened to have a collection of blue beads, left from a project I did about eight years ago!  When I started looking for beads for this quilt, it took me just a moment to look in the bead box and see that these would do the job.

Curved Cross-Hatch Diamond, with very small pink beads at each intersection

I am so happy to have this quilt finished, just ahead of the deadline for submission!  It will be auctioned off on Saturday, September 29, at the Emerald Valley Quilt Show.

The very next thing I am going to do is clean up the studio.  I’ve been working pretty steadily on a number of projects and things are getting a bit cluttered and scattered, so it’s time to clear the deck!

It’s Finished!

Autumn Pathways is completely finished and on its way to its debut show, the Northwest Quilting Expo in Portland, Oregon, September 20-22, 2012!I took this photo in my studio just after I finished over 40 hours of beading.

Autumn Pathways, September 7, 2012

Remember you can click on the image to see it larger. There are approximately 10,000 beads on the quilt

Here are a few closeups so you can see what I’ve been doing:

Shows the beading on the feather border

Closeup of the bead clusters

Leaf vine, with each leaf beaded through the center

My favorite fern spiral

This is my favorite of the falling leaves. The color variations look just as I wanted them!

I’m estimating the total number of time spent on this project at around 300 hours.  It is easily the most intense piece I’ve ever worked on, and I’m very pleased with the results.  After Northwest Quilting Expo, Autumn Pathways will be shown at the Emerald Valley Quilters show, “Legacies In Thread,” September 29-30, and then MQX West (Machine Quilters Exposition), also in Portland, October 17-20, 2012.  I’ll let you know what happens in those events.

IN THE MEANTIME, I am working on another piece that will be submitted for the Small Quilt Auction at the Legacies in Thread show.  The auction will be Saturday, September 29, at 1:00 pm.  If you’re local to the Eugene, Oregon area, come see what our members have to offer.  There are always wonderful pieces to purchase!

Thanks for reading!

Robin

WhatI’mWorkingOn

I have three things that need to be finished almost simultaneously, and I’m working on each of them quite intensely.

Petal Pincushion

I’m teaching a mini class on making this pincushion for the Emerald Valley Quilters next week.  So I’m preparing samples, handouts, and kits for the class.  While the grandkids were having some quiet time in the studio today, I cut out kits for the class.

Longarm Table as workbench…

Since Halie was using my ironing board and Nick was using my cutting table, I moved my center of operations to the back of the longarm table, which I found is exactly the right height for this type of work.  What you see are pincushion parts and a kit on the cutting surface.

Deanna C’s Wedding Star Quilt

Here is one block from Deanna C’s Wedding Star Quilt.  It is 115×115, and need to be finished at the end of next week.  Although it is a very large piece, I have enjoyed working on it and am very excited about it.

Quilting Closeup

Remember, you can click on the photo to enlarge it.

Quilted Bouquet Closeup

So that piece will be a big part of my day tomorrow.  Of course on Saturday I’m traveling to Sisters for the show (after all, it is a national holiday, isn’t it?) but I think by the end of Sunday I’ll be to the outer edges, which are planned to be a festival of feathers.

Autumn Pathways

After the grandkids went home this evening, I set my studio back up for work tomorrow.  So all my pastels are set out on the cutting table, with a nice clean cloth to test on, all the pencils put back in order..and of course the piece is in the background.  I have it mounted on my design wall, and I’m working on it there.  I have to stand on a ladder sometimes to get to the top.  The painting on this will be done next week.  For one thing, I can’t stay away from it, so it is worked on steadily.

Closeup

As you can see, there is still quite a bit of color to add.  But I feel like I’m getting the idea about this quilt.

Leaf

It feels very satisfying to have these projects that complement each other during this time.  When I am fatigued at the longarm, I am still able to work on the painting.  And when the grandkids are spending the day, I can still cut out kits and enjoy the day.

Autumn Pathways Beginning

ImageThis is part of what I worked on today.  I’ve outlined all the major motifs in the piece, and now I’m adding the pebble fill.  I worked about five hours today and wanted to go longer, but I was gripping the handles of the longarm so vigorously, that my left hand began to ache.  I did take breaks and tried to relax my hands (especially the left hand), but finally just had to call it a day.  I know I have several more days just like this one to quilt all the background fill, so I need to be careful not to hurt myself.

This is a quilt that I’m intending to send to NorthWest Quilt Exposition and Machine Quilters’ Exposition this fall.

Quilt On!

I simply cannot contain my passion for quilting…it permeates every hour of every day and has for the past eleven years.  Quite some time ago I realized I wanted to post photos of the quilts I complete for my clients, as well as quilts I make for myself; that led to this venue.

I made a list of goals for my quilting journey at the end of 2011.  One of those goals was to enter shows this year, to stretch myself to create quilts for competition.  The competition criteria is quite a bit different from the quilts I usually work on or create for my family and friends: technically rigorous, carefully designed, and so heavily quilted I would consider them “for display only.”  They must also, however, have the spark of life that draws the viewer in, that makes you wonder, “How did she do that?”

Earlier this year as I began to work on my design, I realized I needed to create a smaller piece as part of the learning process.  That smaller piece is shown here.  I entered it into the Denver National Quilt Festival this past May and was awarded a Judge’s Choice Award.  I am thrilled!

Round & Round We Go, 30″x31″

This is the technique I am developing this year.  The quilt is a wholecloth quilt, first completely quilted, then painted.  I am using pastel chalk to apply the color. Some of the elements in this quilt are also in the quilt I am currently working on, “Autumn Pathways.”

I intend to post photos of my progress on that quilt, as well as the results of the quilting I do for my many talented clients.

The Quixotic Quilter