Friday, November 27, 2015

Great things never come from staying in your comfort zone.

I feel like Jackie Gleason: And Here We Go!  (Again)

I joined the Potomac Fiber Arts Guild about a year ago at the encouragement of the talented Priscilla Stultz and have since found myself to have been juried into the Potomac Fiber Arts Gallery at the Torpedo Factory.  So many challenges!

Firstly, there will be no more short cuts.  I get tired and just want to finish what I'm doing so I can clean up my studio.  I know better: the devil is in the details. My association with the Gallery has made me much more detail-oriented. Hmmm.  I wonder exactly what it is that I just said about my new job.  LOL!

Next, there is the need for developing original work.  This is really not too big a problem since I do my own thing. Thanks to Cyndi Souder, I understand how to coax a visit from Musie.  Or not.  If Musie is busy elsewhere, I make blanks.

This blank became the background for "Winter Cabbages."

Sometimes the blanks are good enough to stand on their own.

And so "Prospects" was born.

And finally, there is self-exploitation that requires putting in far more than 40 hours a week.  No problem.  I'm working for myself now.

Heather Thomas says that for every 100 quilts a person makes, maybe 5 are quality. My thoughts: I've made hundreds of quilts in my life and am now working on my own 5%.  To that end, I'm attaching sleeves and labels to otherwise finished pieces.  They are nearly ready for adoption.

Purchased mola with borders, 27"x 24"

Greeting card with mini-quilt insert suitable for framing, 5" x 7"

Dream catcher, 12" x 12"

Come see them on December 5 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Everyday Best top is finished

Bad photo, but you get the idea. My show and tell:
This quilt was begun in ernest in December 2010. I had already pulled the fabrics out from among the hundreds I bought on the Quilters' Quest when I spent $500, mostly on FQs in stripes and spots. After the first day of the Quest, I consulted the book/pattern to be sure I was buying the right stuff. I think the second day I focused on green.
January's progress was slow while I designed and made a few shop samples for Aurora. However, once they all were finished, i returned to the mess under the sheet on my ever-collapsing design wall.
(Aside--the portable design wall loves to warp and fall over, no matter how carefully I've put it together. My dream studio will have a permanent DW made of a tackable surface affixed to the closet doors.)
I used monofilament thread and a narrow hemming stitch to applique the vines, leaves, and flowers. I made only one huge mistake and had to rip out and reposiition the stems on one of the borders. I had used the pattern incorrectly and after attempting to make it work, I decided to go with the original design. It's easier to make my own design from scratch than it is to fix mistakes I've made on other folks' designs.
The top is on its way to the quilter's as I write. I can't wait to see what she comes up with.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Getting Closer!

I'm circling in (sorry about that) on this quilt.
The twelve blocks are finished but not yet sewn into their rows.

Next step: auditioning border fabrics. The book shows a plain border followed by an applique'ed border. The outer border (vine and flowers) has me all a-tizzie, and as I'm allergic to hand work, I may have to "fast and dirty" a raw edge stick on affair.

In the meantime I'm finishing the Civil War repro for Aurora. Check out my progress on that blog.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sneak Peak or UFO?

Once upon a time when TheArtful Quilter was in Centreville there was a Greater DC Shop Hop that hit at least 12 quilt shops in Northern VA and the Baltimore Burbs. I took the bus with the other AQ fans and with me I carried $500. The Hop lasted two days, exactly as long as my money.

FIVE HUNDRED BUCKS?? Well, I will say it nearly took a truck to get my new stash home. I bought dots and stripes because they were and still are pretty. Really. Nothing but dots and stripes. The fabric filled almost a quarter of my closet. The books I bought to inspire me to use the dots and strips filled another six inches of my bookcase.

I brought it all to Vilnius with me, hoping to get around to a few bright and funky projects. A couple of years ago my friend's husband bought us each a package of Hawaiian fat quarters and challenged us to do something with them. When winter comes in October, thoughts of island breezes are welcome. Some of my dots and stripes helped the Aloha prints accept the assignment.

The BIG ONE, "Everyday Best" from Piece O'Cake Designs, scared me dizzy. How do I organize all those dots? How do I manage all those arcs? Will it turn out?

A piece of advice from Art and Fear and condensed by Nike: Just Do It.

So, the arcs are finished and the design wall is up. Today I will organize the backgrounds color-wheel style and move on to assembling them. I don't know about the appliqueed border. I'm pleased I got this far.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Playing Catch Up

I'm feeling guilty for not having blogged in so long, so here's a photo of one of the quilts I finished during my silent times. I called it The Bear because it was the bear who ate me. The arcs are paper pieced but the pattern was mis-printed: I made 6 backwards arcs before I realized I was wasting resources. Now I'm waiting for fabric for the binding since too much of it was used incorrectly.

I probably should have called this quilt "The Groundhog." Jean and I had ridden our motorcycles up to Webfabrics in Purcellville where I bought these batiks and stuffed them into my saddlebags. The easy road home was closed and we had to take my nemisis road home: Snickersville Pike. Dark, curvy, unlined: in short, a nightmare for the likes of me. At the first hairpin curve (actually, it's no more acute than any normal stop street, only it's not a stop street), something hit my back wheel. Later Jean told me it had been a groundhog. I think we were all lucky--I didn't drop my bike and Jean didn't crash into me. I have to assume the ground hog got away clean since I found no fur in my spokes.

Old story, but there it is. Before I took the class that showed me (almost) how to make the Venice Rose as you see it above (and since quilted by the fabulous Marilyn Moser), I had made a smaller quilt to memorialize the event. This quilt was probably posted before, but it goes with the story.

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's not that I haven't thought about blogging

It's just that I can't blog and think at the same time.
I've been very busy making "normal" quilts. I saw this split nine patch in a book and had to make it. It seems tidy and crisp. And then i flubbed up the sashing and mismatched the blocks. So much for tidy.
I found another must-do quilt and am waiting for the sashing fabric to arrive so I can finish it and post a photo. BTW--Photos are on my facebook page. Visit and enjoy.
Now I must switch hats and get dinner for he who must be obeyed. LOL! AS IF!

Friday, March 19, 2010


Just a quick note as an epilogue: As soon as I thought of a ball bouncing from frame to frame, I was able to set the blocks logically.

The top has been sent for quilting to Marilyn Moser in West Virginia. Her work is top quality and she always adds a touch of humor to the pattern. I look forward to seeing what she's done with this project.