Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Making of Graffiti

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Every once in a while I get this wild idea on a whim that I need to work on something for myself.  These ideas usually hit me at really bad times.  I tend to go with them anyway because while it happens at really bad times, the truth is that there is never a good time, so I'd better do it while I've got the notion.
Last Saturday I finished up a customer quilt that I'll be dropping off while I'm in Houston.  I did that on a whim too.  I decided that with the quantity of quilts that she sent me, I may as well quilt one up for her and try to save her a bit on return shipping.
I had been eyeballing my fresh bolt of grey Colorworks Premium Solid for quite some time, and decided to tear some yardage off to be sure I had some in my stash (because I've already gone through a whole bolt).  But it didn't stop there.  I pressed it, loaded it, and started stitching.
It's unfortunate that while I had the idea to work on something for me, I wasn't feeling particularly creative.  I've well-documented that I prefer to use the "non-plan-plan" for most everything that I do and it normally works pretty well for me.  In this case I don't feel that it did.  Now for the record, I am not dissing my non-plan-plan.  I love my non-plan-plan.  However I'm wishing that I would've taken more time to think carefully about it as I made it up.  Though I don't think that would've made a difference.  Houston is right around the corner and my heart just wasn't in it.  My mind was on other things.
I am not proud of this piece.  I am proud of myself for taking time to do it.  But I am not proud of myself because I didn't do it right.  When I'm quilting for my clients, I make sure that every little detail is as perfect as I can make it.  With this piece, this piece for myself, when I screwed something up, I always told myself, "I'm not fixing that, it's just for me".  When I noticed something I didn't like, I told myself, "Oh well, it's just for me."  Next time I'm going to try harder.  I'm going to teach myself that I'm important too, and because it's for me is all the more reason for me to be able to look at it and be proud to hang it on my wall (which was this piece's purpose from its inception, now I just don't know what I'll do with it).
 I'm going to try really hard to only point out my favorite parts. 
 Anyway.  Here we go!  Lots of pictures.

Day 1: The threads
Day 1: this is as far as I got.  Not too inspired but at least I got my swirlie tree in!

Start of Day 2: two-tone triple stitched disappearing curved crosshatching

Off the frame for one of its many turns and had to check my progress

All kinds of disappearing design on this one

Checking progress again

I really should've finished that section of pebbles before calling it a day because...

I knew it was happening and did nothing to stop it.  Distinct line between day 2 pebbles and day 3 pebbles

You have no idea how mad at myself I was when I realized what I did!

So I had to fill the whole thing in, and that's when I started hating it

Last thing to do and kept changing my mind

But I like what I finally decided to do

End of day 3

I love the disappearing checkerboard

I love my disappearing triple curved crosshatching

Love my swirlie tree

I don't even like stippling! But I like lime green ANYTHING

I wish I was happier with it because it will likely be a very long time before I get to work on something for myself again.  But I've learned my lesson.  Be nicer to myself and give myself the same courtesy that I give to you.  :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Playing catch up. Enter for quilt porn.

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Long time, folks.
Sit down, grab and snack and get comfy because this might take a while.
In my last entry about Sara's quilt-along I said I'd bring you a ton of quilty fun eventually.  The time has come!  This is just a small snippet of some of the stuff I've been up to of late.  It's been crazy busy around here and there is no sign of that changing any time soon (all things point to crazier busier but I'm confident I have got all of this under control.............................................................)
So here we go!

First up is Margo's 30s quilt.  I love Margo's quilts.  She ships them to me from Kansas City and she does all of her piecing by hand.  The funny thing is that her hand piecing is more accurate than 99% of machine piecing I see (including my own).  This is a fun quilt that she made for her mama (I think?).  I really couldn't see what the crap I was doing while I was quilting any of the prints, mostly the feather pinwheels, so I'm actually pretty surprised that it turned out as well as it did.

Another of Margo's is this GINORMOUS hand-pieced Kansas Troubles sampler.  It was impossible to get any good pictures of it because of its size.  I couldn't get pictures of the back either because she used a print.  So basically, front and back - my quilting just disappeared.  Oh well.  I know it looks good.  :)

This is a quilt that I actually quilted in July, for a Christmas in July shop hop.  I hadn't planned to do anything terribly fancy, and I don't think it IS terribly fancy, but everyone has fallen in love with the quilting on it so I figured I would share it anyway!  The pattern of the quilt is Eleanor Burns Braid in a Day.

My wonderful friend Nancy has gotten herself completely obsessed with Lunchbox Quilts Everything Baby embroidery pattern.  This is the second or third one I've quilted for her, and I did another one this week.  I have one more in my possession to quilt for her, she has made blocks for another and she said she has plans for at least four more.  Seriously addicted.  Seriously cute!

This is the back of a secret quilt for Mr. Thomas who decided to be silly and write an UH-MAY-ZING book!  I have done two of these, and have two more of the same to do yet.  I love how the triple stitch (done in two different colors) really helps to texture it, and makes the light really reflect differently on the angles of the stitches. I'll be delivering the two of these that I have done at Market.

This one here is another secret for the book.  It may or may not have taken me two weeks to quilt it.  It may or may not bring new meaning to my phrase "Do Epic Shit".  It may or may not be my absolute favorite quilt of 2012.  Or maybe ever.  It will be a very long time until we can share it, but I promise you, it will take your breath away.

This is a Frippery quilt pieced by Kim.  Do you know Kim?  I adore her!  And I'll get to squeeze her soon!  I'll be taking this quilt to Market with me too.

I think I love the back just as much as the front! How awesome is she?!

And here is a close up of the two-tone triple stitch cross hatch and contrasting pebbles! I loved quilting this thing!

The next two are for Linda Poole's book for AQS coming out next year.  Linda and I have become great friends over the course of this year, and I was honored to quilt these for her book.  If you follow her Facebook Fan Page you'll get to see more sneak peeks of the amazing quilts that are going into this book.  I was going to show full shots of the backs of the quilts, but I decided that showing partial shots of the fronts would be more fun!

I really wanted to go crazy with the quilting on these, but I decided to keep it sort of low key and quilt them in ways that could also be achievable on a domestic machine without too much stress or ripping of hair.

This picture is just to show how desperate I feel for time lately, so I loaded four little quilts onto one giant backing and completed them all in a matter of three (?) hours from load to finish!

And last but certainly not least is this Lucky Penny quilt for Alison Glass.  Alison is a new designer for Andover Fabrics.  I met her at Market in Kansas City in the spring and she has become a great friend as well.  If you've not seen her fabric line, you really need to.  Pictures just do it no justice.  The colors are so rich and fantastic, and the pinks and purples match my hair perfectly!  This is the back of the quilt.  I think it might be hanging in the Andover booth in Houston?  Don't quote me on that though.

So there's just a small (very small) bit of the fun stuff I've been up to.  In short, I've been quilting my poor little heart out.
I'll be back with a few projects that I'm working on just for me, and some other fun stuff too.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I've been a very bad girl

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Holy crap!
In the last couple of days I've had six people email me and it started out something along the lines of, "I was reading you blog and..."
To which my reply was, "OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I HAVE A BLOG!"
I didn't really forget about this little slice of happy.  I've just been so tremendously, morbidly busy that by the time I sit down to write I'm pretty much comatose. 
BUT!  I do have something I want to tell you about!
Way back in like, 2004 Sara emailed me about a Tula Pink sew along she was putting together.  I said absolutely! I'd love to be a part of it! And then two days later I said absolutely not!  But she talked me into it since I already had one of the quilts made.

Now, I did get it quilted.  It's still waiting for binding.  And I even got my post for her site done (I woke up at 4am on the due date to write it, shhhhh).  You can find the direct link to my post about the Cloudy Days quilt, including more pictures and info about the pattern here.
It only took me until the sew-along was half over to get around to posting about it on my blog but whatever.
You should definitely go over and check it out.  All sorts of quilty goodness, and PRIZES!
Here is the info on the rest of the sew along!

Sept 24 - Sara @ Sew Sweetness (Dream Weaver/book)
Sept 25 - Katie @ Katie's Korner (Beanstalks/book)
Sept 26 - Lisa @ That Crazy Quilty Girl (Cloudy Day/book)
Sept 27 - Becky @ My Fabric Obsession (Houndstooth/book)
Sept 28 - Caitlin at I Don't Do Dishes (Spiked Punch)

Oct 1 - Amanda @ A Crafty Fox (Alphabet)
Oct 2 - Michelle @ City House Studio (Fade to Pink)
Oct 3 - Marci @ Marci Girl Designs (Le Petite Salon)
Oct 4 - Katie @ There and Back (Field Study)
Oct 5 - Lorelei @ Mermaid Sews (Hushabye)

Oct 8 - Anorina @ Samelia's Mum (Pancakes)
Oct 9 - Jenna @ Sew Happy Geek (LOVE)
Oct 10 - Lindsey @ LR Stitched (Fairy Tale Lane/book)
Oct 11 - DeeDee @ mybricole (Any Which Way/book)
              Beth @ Plum and June (Cartwheels)
Oct 12 - Katy @ The Littlest Thistle (Crown Jewels)

Oct 15 - Colleen @ The Busy Bean (Shattered Glass/book)
Oct 16 - Kristen @ KD-Quilts (Stacks/book)
Oct 17 - Roseann @ Rosebud's Cottage (Shattered Glass/book)
Oct 18 - Emily @ Mommy's Naptime (Lollipops/book)
Oct 19 - Jeannette @ Gone Aussie Quilting (Honey Honey)

Oct 22 - Brenda @ Pink Castle Fabrics (Windswept)
Oct 23 - Bianca @ Sweet Diesel Designs (Stacks/book)
Oct 24 - Jessica @ Sew Crafty Jess (Snow Globes)
Oct 25 - Elizabeth @ Don't Call Me Betsy (Space Dust)
              Lindsay @ Lindsay Sews and Craft Buds (Cherry Pie)
Oct 26 - Kim @ My Go-Go Life (Kiss Kiss)
              Kim Munoz (Grand Salon/book)

You also have your own opportunity to make a Tula quilt, bag, dress, whatever! You have until Monday, November 12, 2012 to make something and be eligible for some outstanding prizes!! Here are the rules to be eligible for entry into the contest:

1. Join the Tula Pink Sew Along Flickr Group.

2. To be counted for entry into the contest, get sewing!! Sewn item must be made from a Tula Pink pattern (or from her book) *OR* made from at least 50% Tula Pink fabric (such as a bag, dress, etc.). If you are sewing from a Tula Pink pattern, the fabric does not need to be Tula Pink fabric.

3. If you will be adding an item to the pool to be counted as an entry, it must be sewn and photographed from September 24th through November 12th, 2012. Any items completed before September 24th are not eligible.

4. You may add up to 2 photographs per item.

5. You may add as many items as you want, as long as you made them each within the time frame. If you are making a quilt, the quilt top is adequate to be entered. Anything smaller (mug rug, mini quilt, bag, dress) should be completely finished.

Tula Pink Sew Along
Now how about some discounts?!?
Tula Pink has generously offered a 25% discount on all PDF quilt patterns when you use coupon code tulatroop in her pattern shop. This code is good now through October 31, 2012.
My lovely sponsor, Brenda from Pink Castle Fabrics, has generously extended a 15% discount on all Tula Pink fabrics in the shop using coupon code TULA15. This code will be good now through September 30th.
If you don't already have the book, Tula Pink's publisher is offering a discount code so you can pick up your own copy! Use code TULA2012 when you purchase the book from the Martha Pullen store. Support publishers and authors by buying direct!

Prizes will be announced soon, but here's a little sneak peak at the sponsors that have offered up their amazing products as prizes!
So let's get ready to sew!!! Join me and head on over to the Flickr Group and get ready for some amazing Tula Pink eye candy! I can't wait to see what you create!