Friday, May 22, 2015

More Eye Candy from Quilt Market and Meet Penny Barnes!

It is so good to have good friends, and I have another really good friend and longarm quilter to introduce you to- Penny Barnes!  Penny is not only a fantastic quilt designer and longarmer, she has work in a Martingale Collaboration book, and several magazine features.  She also organizes quilting trips to Ireland!  If you've ever met Penny then you count her as a friend, she is impossible not to fall in love with- she took some fantastic pictures of Quilt Market that she is graciously sharing with us- so enjoy the eye candy!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Quilt Market via a friend and Meet Krist Ryan!

Though I had planned to attend Quilt Market last week something came up last minute and I ended up not being able to make it.  I was sad not to get to see all the new pretty stuff and catch up with all my friends, but thankfully I have a few good friends who took lots of great pictures and had some fun memories of their time there that they were willing to share.  My friend Kristi Ryan who is a a FANTASTIC long arm quilter (file her email away for anything too big or daunting to do on your domestic machine) is sharing her quilty perspective from quilt market and I couldn't be more grateful to her.  If you have a second leave her a nice comment below- and enjoy!

I am sitting here surrounded by bags and thoughts. I am thinking about the color, ooooohhh the colors! Valori Wells “In the Bloom”; Allison Glass; Emma Jean from The Linen Cupboard; Tula Pink; all so beautiful. But can not forget Darlene Zimmerman, and the wonderful announcement from RK that McKenna Ryan would now be working with them. McKenna uses such beautiful colors to represent the wonderful north east. I can not begin to list all the new stuff.  (When walking around Market you must take frequent breaks or you go into overload.) Camelot Fabrics, Fronds, Island Batik (had some awesome colors) Fabri-Quilt, and then you start noticing the clothing. I am in awe of people who can make clothing that they actually wear. I don’t like to sew clothing. If you look at Robert Kaufman’s Instagram photos, Elisabeth Woo (pretty with dark short hair) made all the clothing she wore! Sara Lawson for Sew Sweetness also makes clothing in addition to her awesome line of bags. And then you saw the bags and boxes and wow!  Angela Walters and her new fabric for RK, ‘Drawn’. It is beautiful! I was fortunate enough to have made several of the samples in Robert Kaufman’s booth and also, a new designer, Jessie Kurtz of Harding Hill Designs. Jessie has a book out which has one block with 10 different quilts. I love it! Can't wait to make one of these with the gorgeous new ombre fabric from McKenna Ryan.

This industry that we love has so many facets. I am so blessed to be able to create something or take someone’s special work and enhance it with my quilting. There are so many styles and ideas and I am thankful for each of them, whether they call themselves traditional, modern or bad ass! All of our ideas teach us new styles, give us thought, encourage our inner creativity, we can teach each other so much. I hope that we all learn as much as we can! 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

More thoughts on Conquering your Fear of Quilting on Real Quilts

I recently asked the followers on my Facebook Page what questions they had about quilting and got more questions on how to get over the fear of it than anything else.  My last blog post was an essay on how I feel about fear and quilting and what I do to get myself past the fear and to the fun part... the actual quilting.  I think that everyone is different though and what works for me might not work for some of you.  My Grandma had much more of a struggle conquering the fear of ruining quilts with her quilting then I did- it took her longer to get over then I did.  She has found ways to get herself ready to quilt and get comfortable and excited.   Below are her thoughts on fear and what to do to make yourself more ready- hopefully some of these ideas may help if fear is still your worst enemy.  I still promise there aren't any monsters under your feed dogs.... :)

Grandma Says
every post needs a picture and you got to see her brother in the last post

When you are asking for help or suggestions about how you should quilt a project you often get the comment, “just let the quilt speak to you”. I have stared at quilts for long periods of time and have never heard an answer. 

Each time I finish a project and am ready to quilt it, I always have the fear of ruining what I have just made. We spend a great deal of time and money turning out beautiful quilt tops and then we are faced with the fear of ruining it with our quilting. This is especially true with novices like me. 

I have found a few things that have helped me to break through the mental block. Instead of looking at the entire quilt I try to focus on just one block, usually something from the center, and try to think of how to quilt just that one block. That is an easier decision than planning for the entire top. I also get an idea of how dense my quilting will be. The amount of quilting you do in one block needs to be consistent in the overall project, so if I am going to do a lot of quilting in the first block then I need to do a lot of quilting in all the blocks. 

One other thing I have found helps me a great deal is to test the design. I have been able to purchase a piece of plastic. It is about 1 inch thick and is 12 x 12 inches. I taped the edges of the plastic to keep it from harming the fabric. I can lay it on my project and with an erasable marker I draw different patterns to see how they look. This previewing is very helpful. 

I am also a fan of marking my quilt. Once I have decided the pattern to use I will take a template and mark my quilt. I go one block at a time. With the plastic templates I like to use a marking pen that can be removed with water. I always remove the mark as quickly as I can after use. I also like the new templates that have come out recently that are made of mesh and marked with a chalk pounce. They do a lovely job and there is a very broad selection of patterns. If you are afraid to start FMQ, try marking to give you the boost to go for it. 

Lastly, I highly recommend Molly’s advice to draw out patterns on paper. If there is a particular pattern you want to work on, then draw it over and over again on paper until your brain gets it saved. FMQ is the most gratifying part of the quilting process and spending the time to do this training will pay off. Like always relax and enjoy the process. Quilting should be one of the great pleasures in our life. 

I think there is lots of wisdom there and hope you found some good tips.  May is just around the corner and it is my favorite month... Both my guy and I have our Birthdays in May and of course we get to celebrate our Moms and there is also Quilt Market.  To celebrate the supportive women I have in my life- my mom and Grandma- I thought I would share more of their wisdom with you all in May- both Mom and Grandma will be sharing their thoughts on a few more subjects this month and I will give you my view of Quilt Market- as well as a few more Book Giveaways- cause even though it is my Birthday soon- I feel like giving gifts to all of you!!  Hope you will come back and enjoy more of the fun throughout the month of May.