Thursday, March 31, 2011

The end

Pin It But not really.  The end never really seems to be the end, for me.

I finally finished quilting my BeDazzled quilt late, late last night (actually, early, early this morning).

I have to preface the rest of my post with an apology for my lack in writing/thinking skills lately.  I've been so scatter brained and tired.  I am going to sleep tonight!  I think.  I hope.  Anyway!

The quilt.  I started this quilt last June, after I got back from Spring International Quilt Market and saw the designs for the first time.  They were released in Minneapolis, and I knew right away and I had to do it.  It has definitely been a long, learning road.  I wasn't an embroiderer, but I was a pretty decent piecer.  Y-seams?  Didn't even really know what they were.

I typically try to do one big project a year.  When I choose my big project for the year, I want something that is really going to be a challenge.  This...  was the perfect project for this year.  To spend close to a year of your life on something, not knowing what you're doing the entire time, is definitely an interesting experience.

When I get my big projects finished, I feel such relief.  But only for a few brief moments.  Then sadness kicks in.  Why?  Because it's done.  I've obsessed over it, and it has become my entire life.  And then it's just done.

Does anybody else get like that, or is it just me?

Don't get me wrong.  There's still a lot to be done before the quilt is finished.  But all (or most) of the creative part is over.  The rest is just all of the junk that HAS to be done.  Blocking, binding, label, sleeve.  None of that is fun.  But I guess I can still look forward to the very last step:  CRYSTALS!

I don't really have much else to say.  Except that today is the last day of voting for the Golden Quilter Awards (and no, I didn't vote for myself!)!

Now, without any further ado, here is my blood, sweat, and so, so many tears.

Back (I had to edit this one for the lighting because it was too dark!):

Up close and personal:

There you have it!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

WOW! Just... wow! I'd like to thank the academy...

Pin It Except not really!  There is no academy.  It's just you awesome people out there!

I'm pretty sure that everyone knows I'm driving myself insane trying to finish my BeDazzled quilt.  I don't bother taking my laptop home anymore, and rarely even open the lid.  However, I DO have internet on my phone and still check my email!

I got an email at 1:30 yesterday (?) morning that made my head spin!  I was here at work, and didn't get much done afterward.

Are you familiar with SewCal Gal?  If not, you should definitely take the time to peruse her blog, facebook, etc.

Anyway, what is my point?  I got an email from SewCal Gal saying that I have been nominated for an award as Best Longarm Quilter in the Golden Quilter Awards!  At first I was totally confused and had no idea what was going on.  Me?  No.  I thought it was a glitch.  But I went to the site and there I was!

What a fun contest!  You can vote from the list of nominees in every category or just the ones that you feel confident in voting for someone to be "the best".  So basically, just like every regular election.  :)

I feel SO HONORED to have been nominated for something like this!  I really thought I knew who nominated me at first, but now I'm not so sure.  I know that I'm a peon in this quilty world (hey, there ARE an awful lot of quilty people), but to be in the company of the other nominees is just beyond words.  So!  I think everyone should go vote!  I'm not saying you should vote for me (unless you want to or something), I just think you should vote in as many categories as you can.  This is such a fun contest, and it's supah-dupah-successful so far so let's carry on the trend, yes?

The link to see what I'm talking about is here.  It's a lot to absorb, isn't it?

Now, I suppose I'll give an update on my BeDazzled, since that's the only thing going on in my world, at the moment.  I don't have a whole lot to share, but big things are coming.  :)

When a longarm quilter is working on a quilt, a "big" quilt, with all kinds of water soluble marker and thread all over the place, they wonder what it's going to look like when all is said and done.  Now, the rules say you're supposed to wait until you dunk the quilt in water and have it blocked to see, but I'm just too impatient for that.  So what did I do?  I soaked a scrap of batting with water and got rid of that crap so I could see!

So, that is what my butterfly setting looks like without all of that blue marker.  I like it!  It's not perfect and I wasn't expecting it to be, but I like it.  I timed it.  It takes me approximately 5 hours to quilt each of these butterfly blocks.  AWESOME!?

That's the only block that I attacked with the water but, the setting triangles look pretty cool, too!

That's all I really have for an update, until tomorrow. Or Monday.  Or Friday.  I don't even know!  But I do have some super fun things planned so I hope you'll stay tuned!

Monday, March 21, 2011

I do stuff.

Pin It I promise, I really do!

I'm entering week number I-have-no-idea-what-number of working my tail off.  Really.  Like, 100 hours a week.  Like, I've been sleeping on the floor at work.  Like, I'm still at work right now.  It's ridiculous.  Of course, a large portion of that is working on my BeDazzled quilt, but I'm doing other stuff too!

Last weekend (I think?) I had my sew-in.  It was fun, as they always are.  Unfortunately I was standing at my quilting machine all weekend in my own little world, while everyone else was in the classroom being super duper productive.  I didn't get any pictures from the weekend.  I basically lived on Starbucks (thank you, Molly!).

I have managed to get a few customer quilts (and one top-secret quilt!) quilted, as well.  I barely remembered to take pictures of them.  Oh!  Wait.  Nevermind.  I actually didn't remember to take pictures of them.  But trust me.  They were rad.

Now, something to do with my BeDazzled quilt that has nothing to do with my BeDazzled quilt (I'll save that for later):  We started class this past Saturday!  Everyone that has signed up for this class has been intimidated by it from the get-go.  I did my best to reassure them that they would be fine, and once they saw how it works, they would just take off.  Don't forget, this is the first project I have ever machine embroidered.  And now, they know that I'm not a liar!

Here's my friend, Phyllis.  Phyllis has been going nuts for the last four months trying to figure out how to do this quilt on her own.  The first day of class, who was the first one done with her block?  Phyllis!

And here's my friend, Nancy.  Oh, how I love Nancy!  Nancy is pretty new to the embroidery world, she just got her machine a couple of months ago.  Nancy...  was the SECOND person in class done with her block.

Don't they look happy?!  We were all happy.  I was so happy, I was going around hugging everyone as they finished because I was so proud.  Don't get me wrong, there were a few bumps along the road, but everybody in class was a trooper and we made it out alive.

Now my BeDazzled?  It hasn't been going as well.  I made an ill-advised decision that has put me about two weeks behind, and I've been ripping quilting stitches for about a week.  Fifteen stitches per inch of the tiniest stipple I've ever seen. Look at all of those holes!  I'm glad I was using a size 14 needle...

But that's okay!  Because it's going to be effin' awesome when it's done.  Here's a preview.
No butterfly detail:

A little butterfly detail:

All butterfly detail:

And my modified Lady Slipper

That is, of course, orange thread on a purple backing.  Do you see all of the imperfections?  Yeah, me too!  But that's okay.  Nothing is ever perfect (especially me).  BUT, I'm pretty pleased with it!

Now if I could only be done ripping so I could just FINISH this thing and have my life back?!  Oh, yeah.  This is my life.  :O)

But here's a cool picture taken of me last week to prove that I actually do know how to do something other than work!  (Taken by a local photographer whose name I would be more than happy to pass along!)