Tuesday, December 29, 2015

First Finish of the Season

Most quilters share their first finish of the year, but my year really begins when I am settled in Key West for the winter months. My first finish was started 2 years ago. I have spent the time since then, maybe not all of that time, trying to figure out if I wanted to add a border. If I bordered the quilt, did I want to add a traditional border or make it out of tiny pieces of fabric like the body. This was how I left it. The hot pink fabric did a nice job of containing it. I was motivated to finish it so I could share it with my students during my class at the American Quilt Society Show at the end of this February in Daytona. It measures 48"W x 38"L.
Some of you may have seen my first attempt at a traditional border.

The dark blue was just too heavy. I unstitched it on the drive down here.
I had to make a visit to the local quilt shop, The Seam Shoppe, at great personal sacrifice, to look for a border fabric. Actually, it's like a homecoming. I love the owner Cindy and her son, Nick. Not only is it a quilt shop, but they also do reupholstery and decorating. They do a lot of reupholstering for hotels, boat owners and homeowners. They do amazing work and sometimes with the oddest shapes.
Cindy helped pick this fabric for my border. I wasn't 100% convinced, but it seemed to be the only choice. After attaching
2 1/2" borders along the edges, I knew I needed to "curvalicious" it. (Pardon my self promoting.) Happiness!!

And here are some close ups.

I love the texture that all the little bits of the different fabrics provide. I've come up with a fun name for this new technique, Confetti Quilting. What do you think?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

22 Hours In The Car, What would you do?

What do you do on those long car rides, when you are not the driver? Two days sitting in the car as a passenger with a dog on my lap a good part of the time, would make me crazy if I had nothing to do but stare at the scenery. So on our drive to Key West, I try to have a bunch of projects. I apologize to those in advance, who get car sick while stitching or reading.

1. I unstitched a border from one of my quilts that had two rows of stitching. Don't ask. I was lazy. The border was just too heavy. I thought per emoting the border would be a good car project, and it was. I am still searching for a good border fabric.

2. Stitching the circles down on a Curvalicious skinny quilt.

3. Hexies - This is my new fascination. I think it will occupy me for many hours. I am intrigued by La Pascigalia quilts. If you don't know what they are, search for them on Pinterest. If you don't know what Pinterest is, I can't help you.


I love the gluing. I haven't started the stitching yet, but this is my plan.


4. My book for the trip was "The Little Spark" by Carrie Bloomston. Carrie is a creativity coach and motivator. This book is meant to be used as a workbook. The beginning of the book is about how to begin and overcome the fear of failure. I have lots of ideas for quilt projects, but often lack focus and sometimes have the fear that my project won't turn out the way that I have envisioned. She says that you shouldn't be stingy with your art supplies, because that could hinder you.

I am looking forward to reading more of this.

We are settling in to our home away from home.

My sewing machine is set up and I may even get to sew today. I will certainly share my projects as I go as well as share any of my Key West adventures. I decided not to start a sketching project as I have done in years past, because I never follow through. I never even get past a week or two. There are a couple of classes at the local arts center(TSKW.org) that I am contemplating. I have even volunteered there to help host events.

Wishing all my friends that celebrate, a very Merry Christmas, filled with family and love and lots of good food. I miss you already.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Vacation Date

Last week my husband and I went on a vacation date. What is a vacation date? We pretended we were traveling on vacation, which we both enjoy. When we're on vacation we visit museums, eat at restaurants, see new things, enjoy each other's company while we learn. So let's do it in Philly!

There is an exhibit at the Barnes Foundation called Strength and Splendor about wrought iron. I love the decorative iron work that is displayed among the paintings in the museum's various rooms, so I thought it would be interesting.

They were OK, but not as inspiring to me as the permanent collection.

This was an interesting piece - an iron corset!

After the museum we went to lunch at Pizzeria Vetri. Mark Vetri, one of the most famous Philadelphia restauranteurs, has been in the news a lot. He sold most of his many restaurants to Urban Outfitters! Seems like an odd combo to me.

BTW, our lunch was great. The lightest, airiness and crispy pizza crust ever. Or was it the company?


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Reveal

We have had our Chanukah family celebration, so now I can share some of the gifts I made. It has been so hard to keep this all a secret, especially "Cooper". Everyone that makes stuff with their hands wants to know it is appreciated, so it feels so good when it is - and that is not always the case - as some of you may have know, but we won't go there since it is the season of giving. This was a good year.

So, here we go!
#1 - I finished "Cooper", measuring 54" x 54". My DIL and I pieced it together as a demo for the mosaic quilt retreats that I do. If interested, you can read about it HERE. Quilting it was a challenge because of his flat coat, so I used contour quilting.
#2. Diva Wallets - These were gifts for my DILs and a DIL sister. They couldn't believe I made them! And of course inside there were a couple of little goodies.
#3. Shutterfly Book for Henry-I received a free offer for joining the IKEA family. I thought what could be more fascinating for a 2 yr old than to see himself in a book. In a year or so he may even be able to read it. This was so much fun to create. There was a bit of a learning curve, then it was pure joy. Twenty pages worth of Henry and family members.
#4. Chanukah Napkins
Since we were having guests this year, I really wanted to do a fun tablescape. While looking around I was inspired to make my own napkins. I bought a super duper serger about a year or so ago and have only used it to make pillowcases for a Case for Smiles. While looking around on the net, I came across a blogpost from The DIY Mommy about using a serger for making napkins. Between her post and the manual for my serger, I figured it out, adding a nice finished edge to this quilting cotton fabric.
And of course I had to practice my napkin folding skills!
Now that our Chanukah celebration is done, it's time to get ready and organized to head to Key West. There is a juggling act every year- trying to bring everything we want with the limited amount of room in the car. Since I am vending at the AQS show in Daytona on our way home in February, I need to make sure I bring all the samples and rulers and patterns and sales stuff. I'm also teaching there, but I'll blog about that later.



Saturday, December 5, 2015

Watercolor by App

I found this amazingly fun app for my iPad, called Waterlogue. I am obsessed and have had so much fun playing with it. I've even used it to print on fabric to make a gift. It costs a few dollars, but it is oh so worth it. After you get the App, choose a photo and it does its thing. Here are a bunch of photos and my "watercolor paintings"!

Fascinating, isn't it?


Oh Happy Day!

Chanukah came early for me this week. My wonderful friend Pinkadotquilts gave me this wonderful Sew Together Bag. 
To say I was elated is putting it mildly. Her workmanship is impeccable. The fabrics are to die for. 
And it looks so unbelievably difficult to construct. I'm not sure I am going to use it because I want it to stay pristine. Check out the paw print fabric too. 
 I just can't stop staring at it. Thank you Kelly. You're the best!

Yesterday, Henry and I made these adorable marshmallow dreidels for our Chanukah celebration on Sunday. 
I did not come up with this idea. It's all over Pinterest if you look for it. It was a great craft for a 2 year old, especially one that loves marshmallows. He definitely ate more than he made. When I picked up the last few dreidels to add the sprinkles ( by this time he was off  playing with his toys) I noticed there was a bite out of each marshmallow! Don't worry, they went in the garbage. 

When I was looking for sprinkles/ colored sugar in my cupboard to use for decorating the dreidels, I found this. At 39 cents, how old do you think this package is?  

I have lots to show after Sunday, when my gifts have been gifted. I don't want to spoil the surprise for the recipients. 
Wishing all of my Jewish friends a Happy Chanukah. Enjoy the latkes!