Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Blogger Failure

Guess that, even with my New Year's resolution, I am not a very consistent blogger. It's not that things don't happen to talk about, but it seems I'm so busy doing things there's no time for blogging.

I did have a wonderful time in May. My sister came for five days to visit and for four of those days our friends, Jan Hickman and her sister Chere, joined us. We had met up at an Art and Soul mixed media retreat last year in Kansas City and we all just got along together so well. This year we decided that we would save the expensive (and mostly not great) classes and hotel bills and have our own retreat. We each were responsible for a dinner and teaching classes to each other. We learned gel printing, fabric dying, working with grunge board, covering things with printed tissue paper, marbling paper and glass etching with a sand blaster. We had so much fun…the highlight of my year!

I am still quilting like crazy, keeping way busier than I ever thought I would. Still just crazy about my computerized addition to my quilting machine and now I have something else that is just great. I got a "Quilter's Eye" for my machine. It is a tiny camera that mounts under the quilt next to the bobbin case and has a monitor on top where you can see the stitching under your quilt. No more laying on the floor with a flashlight and looking up to see how the tension is on the back of the quilt. I love it. Here is a picture of it. I told several people I thought my quilting machine was starting to look like the Starship Enterprise. It is all in keeping with my personal opinion that you can never have too many electronic gadgets in your life.

Speaking of electronic gadgets, my good friend Diane got me an iPod dock for my birthday. When my sister was here she was shocked that we actually had to resort to CDs for music and she couldn't believe I didn't have a dock for my iPod or iPhone. Not sure why I didn't have one. I have had an iPod for years and bought the first one that came out…replacing it over the years as I felt necessary. Now I can quilt away to an eclectic collection of music.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Learning Experience

Learning to crop digital patterns to fit odd shapes has been a new experience for me. Several weeks ago I had an octagonal sampler and this week I did this table runner. Beautiful work by Carol Lewis. The flexibility of computerized quilting is just amazing…that is if you can figure it out. I am getting the basic idea and it worked very well on this project.

I am really enjoying working with my new computerized quilting machine. The best part is being able to do my own patterns and, with software, turn them into quilting patterns for the machine. So grateful for the years I spent using Illustrator (vector drawing software) since it is easy to import those designs into the stitching software and make them into quilting designs.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Baby Likes the Quilt

It looks to me like Cooper likes his new quilt…I am so glad it is being used and not just stashed in a closet or drawer. What a cute baby!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Baby Quilt

Wanted to share a baby quilt made for my friend Paula's daughter (Jillian) who was expecting a boy. I could not find a quilt pattern I liked so decided to design my own. I drew out the pattern and cut templates and then selected different fonts for the letters and blew them up to fit the blocks. A lot of stitching, fusing, cutting and a whole LOT of hand embroidered blanket stitching and it was almost finished. I quilted it, got the binding on and sent if off. It was made for John Cooper Whisnant, born February 13. Hope he likes it.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

May 2013

May was a BUSY month for me last year. First I flew to Denver to attend my nephew's graduation from college. Enjoyed the visit with my sister and did some serious shopping. Then only three days after I got home my friend Emily and I headed to Wichita for the Machine Quilters Expo. We met up with my friend, Diane, from Burbank and we were lucky enough to have an invitation to stay in another friend's guest house for our stay. What a great time we had taking longarm machine classes and catching up on old times. The friend in Wichita, Donna Waterson, introduced us to her passion...Dress A Girl Around the World. We saw all the work she and her friends are doing and we brought home the idea and since then some of my Dark Quilt friendship group have made dresses for an orphanage in Haiti. Here's a photo of my first dress.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

April 2013

Even though I did not post last year, it was a big year in so many ways. I took way more "trips" than usual. My first trip of the year was the first week of April. My sister and I headed to Kansas City for Art and Soul, a mixed media event. We signed up for four classes. Unfortunately, only one of the four was worth the money and the others were pretty much a waste of our time AND money. One fun thing we did is enter the mask contest. All attendees were sent a paper mache mask to decorate. We didn't win but our masks turned out great. The winner was spectacular and deserved it. This is the mask that I made. I covered the mask with grungeboard pieces and went crazy from there. I was going for the "steampunk" look and was happy with it. The most challenging was making the goggles from some little plastic sauce containers.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Resolution - 2014

Yes, I made a resolution that I intend to keep. It should have been that I would lose weight...but thought it more likely that posting more than twice a year on this blog would be more likely to happen.

It has been an interesting year with my quilting adventure. I did a lot of charity quilts for the quilt guild and for friends. After a lot of practice I started charging people for quilting. I had some disasters and a lot of learning experiences. Actually, I'm still having those learning experiences but I am getting better and doing a lot less "unquilting."

A few months ago I made a BIG decision and added a computerized system to my quilting machine. It is just amazing and the computer loving part of me could not resist. I just love it and hope to get lots better at using it. Here is a picture of it on the quilting machine. It's a complicated setup that is basically a tablet with software that runs motors and who knows what...but you program it and it quilts all by itself. Ain't technology grand?