Monday, January 16, 2017

An Eclectic Life

Being a quilter and a designer is pretty much a solitary life. Don't get me wrong, I have friends, but most of the time I'm in my studio. I'm either at my sewing machine or on my computer. I love to go out and visit quilt guilds to share what I know with other quilters and I try to make lunch/coffee dates with friends to get out of the house. My daily walk is so important to me.
This all changes when I head to Key West. We live in a small place around a plant filled courtyard with a eleven other units. I create and sew while I'm here, but there isn't a day that goes by that I'm not socializing. Just taking Bailey out to do her business, results in multiple conversations. My weekly painting class immerses me in the art community. The quilt shop, The Seam Shoppe, is a 20 minute walk. I'm there at least 3 times a week. We eat out a bunch and my favorite places to eat are located on the water. Here we are at Geiger Key Marina, with my favorite company and a food I only eat down here, blackened fish tacos.
How about Bingo at The Green Parrot, the southernmost bar, to benefit The Studios of Key West?
And instead of walking, Bailey and I head out on a bicycle ride, where we often circumnavigate the island. That sounds far, but it's about 10 miles! This is one of my favorite sights on our ride.
The bicycle becomes my means of transportation. Riding my bike to buy drawing supplies, or groceries or miscellaneous items at the dollar store makes it a very healthy lifestyle.
I'm still sewing and designing and staying active on social media. I'll be vending at QuiltCon in February and need to add some new items to my booth. I found this cute little toddler sundress DIY on a blog called Blooms and Bugs. I added a cute scalloped border using fabric from The Seam Shoppe. Isn't it adorable?
I'm hoping to include a video of how I add scalloped hems with Curvalicious, which will work for skirts, dresses and even pillowcases in my next monthly newsletter. If you haven't received one yet, you can sign up for my newsletter HERE, so you don't miss it.
I was asked to review a Craftsy class presented by Christa Watson on machine quilting. It's called The Quilter's Path: Plan It, Stitch It, Quilt It. It's a basic class packed with a lot of information. Christa talks about thread, walking foot and free motion quilting. I like her attitude that her "quilting is perfectly imperfect!"
While watching the video, I thought about this little paper pieced mini quilt I had just designed and made called "Philly Love".
It was inspired by a Philadelphia iconic sculpture.
I'm in a pink mini swap on Instagram (@CherylLynchQuilts) and this will go to my swapmate. I had some ideas about how I was going to quilt it. It's only 12" square. In the Craftsy class, Christa shared how she quilted a spiral circle with her walking foot. I decided to try her technique. It was easy peasy and I just loved the result.
Here's the good news. You can get Christa Watson's machine quilting Craftsy class for half price by clicking on this link, CRAFTSY.
It's certainly nice to be living outside of my comfort zone, and the beautiful weather sure does help. When you spend a morning videoing roosters walking about town, to send to your grandson, you know it's not Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Do you remember January break during college? Either you could take a mini course or spend 4 weeks at home doing nothing, hanging with your friends, or getting on your parents' nerves. As an adult, I now view January as Intersession and an opportunity. Being away from home frees me from all the routine and mundane chores of regular life, leaving extra time for enrichment.

I always try to do something new and different. Sometimes I stick it out, sometimes I don't. This "intercession" I've signed up for three classes! I'm hoping I find the discipline to follow through, because I'm also trying to launch a new quilty product (Woo Hoo!).

I'm taking Painting Bootcamp at The Studios of Key West with Rick Worth. The first class was yesterday. You walk in empty handed and leave with a painting. This was my blank canvas and my paint ( in the upper right corner).

Rick is a self taught painter and has quite a unique technique, not the least of which is using high gloss latex house paint in only 5 colors - red, blue, yellow, black and white!

He uses his clothes as a rag, during his demo, which I of course found endearing.

And I can't believe this is what I left with after 2 1/2 hours.

And, of course, I had to wear my work!

I'm also taking an on line class at Sketchbook Skool called How To Draw Without Talent with Danny Gregory. It is broken down into 26 very short videos. The mini promo video was sketching a dog. How could I resist. My goal is to be able to use a sketch as a jumping off point for a quilt. I really want to be able to do collage type dog quilts. (Bailey and Abby, are you listening?)

The third class I am taking is also an on line class with Abbey Glassenberg, of While She Naps. The topic is email marketing. Growing my newsletter subscribers is my goal. (If you haven't yet signed up, it would be a good thing for me if you did, by clicking HERE, or sharebthis with a friend.) I'm sure to some of you that sounds very boring, but it is fascinating to me. There are so many facets and parameters to this topic. It is so essential to my business of sharing my quilts, techniques and products. The behinds the scenes goings on of the quilting business is certainly fascinating to me. It's a small industry with lots of intertwined relationships. Some segments are shrinking while others are growing.

I'll try to share my "Intersession" experiences as the month progresses. Do you take classes other than quilting?