Thursday, July 17, 2014

Drifting

        Recently I've felt a little like I've been drifting through the summer with no real purpose. I have done plenty of sewing and teaching and quilting, but I've also done quite a bit of lounging and reading and playing games. I recently rediscovered Final Fantasy XIV which I was just a bit addicted to during the winter. It's harder to rationalize sitting on the computer all day when it's warm and beautiful outside but somehow I manage to accomplish it. I think I might have some problems with self control. I will quilt for hours on end without stopping to eat one day, then the next I will stare at the computer screen and run my character around an imaginary, albeit fantastically exciting, world the next. I guess my sewing room does get a bit hot as it is up stairs.... but enough excuses...

        This week I did manage to complete my second official customer quilt! A wonderful gal from the island approached me about quilting something for her a little while ago and of course I started thinking about how I wanted to quilt it weeks before it was ready. I decided on all over feathers and I am so glad I did.


        She sent along a fleece blanked to use as the backing. At first I was a skeptical because I'd never quilted with a fleece back and though it might stretch too much but I love how it turned out. It really shows off the quilting! And I can't say how pleased I am that my customer loved it too! I can't wait to quilt for her again :)


        In other news I am taking off tomorrow for a trip with my mother and some of her cousins. I haven't met many of my moms extended family so I look forward to getting to know them. Hopefully I will come back with some cool pictures too! Anyways, I've got an early flight in the morning so I will bid you farewell.

Happy crafting!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy Birthday To Me!





        My birthday was actually almost two weeks ago at this point but I had other stuff I wanted to blog about! The birthday itself was quiet. My hubby and I went out for coffee then had lunch with my grand parent. I had a few hours to kill before heading off to the monthly Tacoma MQG meeting so I took a nap. Exciting! I know! Anyways, The real birthday event ended up getting extended to the weekend when we headed over to my folks house on the island for a barbecue. The company was wonderful and the food was even better: salmon, potato salad and cheese cake among other delicious items. The best part however was when my parents pulled out the gift that they had been trying to keep secret for months!

Photo: Brand New Toy! Sew Excited! #featherweight

        My very own Singer Featherweight 222K! I have been interested, near obsessed with these adorable machines for over a year and mentioned my desire for one. Through a network of helpful friends they were somehow able to obtain one from a thrift store! A 222K even! And it is in amazing condition and came with everything I could possibly need! I squealed with delight as soon as I saw the immaculate case without even realizing what was inside. My father then regaled the tale of how this machine came into their possession, complete with additional commentary by the friends that helped obtain it. 

        Here it is at home in my sewing room. The very next day I took it out and figured out how to oil and clean it though it barely needs any love. I feared I might have done something to the tension for a bit but the probably resolved itself and it sews beautifully! I even used it to finish sewing my one-block-wonder.

Photo: Finally pieced together my #oneblockwonder yay! It's only been a month since I pieced together the rows and several years since I cut and pieced the hexagons! Sewn together on my new #featherweight222k!

        Not the best picture but it works. The rest of my birthday presents from Nate slowly trickled in during the next week. He bought me a long awaited grill and a few chairs for the deck. It's official, summer can finally begin. And that's where I am off to now, to savor the smoky delights of grilling on a hot afternoon.

        Till next time!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Book Withdrawal: Words of Radience

        I am suffering from book withdrawal. I spent the better part of this week completely immersed in a wonderful story-a living breathing world which captivated my imagination stole all sense of time from me. I repeatedly stay up until 2 in the morning or until my eyes felt so heavy with sleep that I could barely keep them open. My vision blurred before I would admit defeat. And now it's done and I am lost. This world seems so dull in comparison to the one between the pages of that book. Much safer but not quite as exciting.
        The story had a good ending which neatly wrapped up the major issues in the book and left much to the imagination for how the next one would proceed. Not I just have to wait several years... It's like the Harry Potter series all over again. Hah! I both love and hate reading unfinished series of books. If you are curious the book is Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, the second in his "Stormlight Archives" series. I am a sucker for a good fantasy novel.
        That's really all I've got for you right now. I will however be back very soon with blogging of a quilting variety. Until then go read a book :)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Too Excited to Wait!

        I know! Two posts in a week! That's a lot for me but I was just too excited about my current project to wait! I am starting a series of quilted monograms!

Photo: Something different! Quilted Monograms! #fmq #quoodling

        I thought it would be a fun way to practice fillers and lines as well as come up with a collection of things to sell in December. Of course I had to start with feathers and spirals, my all time favorite designs. I am really pleased with those feathers, I must admit!
        My second one is a big N (for Nate) and I think these first two will end up hanging on my wall for a bit. I can't wait to keep quilting!

That's all for now!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Lazy Week!

Photo: Wooooooo baseball!


        I have been bad, terrible even about posting this week. Monday rolled around and I thought to myself:

"I should probably write something"

        Then of course I forgot. We had plans to attend a Red Sox vs Mariners game at Safeco field in Seattle and my mind just wasn't on blogging. We had a blast though and I am now determined to learn as much as I can about baseball so I can complete with my husband for the title of "Die-Hard Fan" in our household. He's a Red Sox fan so of course I have to root for the Mariners. I think I might need a hat...
       Anyways, the game was awesome! I actually took a selfie! I never take selfies! That's how excited I was. I actually paid attention and knew what was going on! Hah! The Mariners are apparently doing well right now and won against the Red Sox for the first of what would be three times this week. I can't wait to go to another game :)

Photo: Bedazzling! This is way too much fun! #quiltingbling        Tuesday was much more laid back. Again I thought to myself: "I should probably write something" and again I got side tracked by something. This time however it was craft: quilt bedazzling!
        I spent a good chunk of the afternoon hanging out at a local shop decking out one of my quoodled quilts in all sorts of sparkly spots. I am bound and determined to pick up a bedazzler now. I had way too much fun.
        You might not think that heat setting little crystals could be entertaining. You would be wrong. I could very easily get carried away with this and end up with a quilt that has more crystals than stitches. Hah! I still have some bedazzling to do on this on so I don't want to post more pictures quite yet. They are a little hard to see in photos but they look really neat in person!

        After returning for an afternoon of bedazzling I had a bit of free time in the evening so I worked a bit on my Tardis Quilt. I am getting really close to finishing this guy. I have had the background all filled in for a while now but I am having tension issues when I try to stitch over the multiple layers of batiks in the flames. I have quite a bit filled in but I am wondering If it would be too weird to leave some of the flames merely outlined and not filled in. I would be fine with it but I wonder if the composition of the piece would suffer. I also wonder if I am thinking to hard about this. I wonder if I should just bind it and move on with my life. I love how it turned out but quilting it has been a bit of a challenge.


        A little while ago I posted a picture of this quilt on Reddit and got a huge response! I received many wonderful comments and way more up votes than I expected! Hah! A few people even offered to buy it! I couldn't believe it! I am not sure if I am ready to part with it but I really appreciate the interest. 
        If I did decide to sell, or make another one to sell, I would likely try to sell it for at least $500 and I am not sure if anyone would be willing to purchase it for that much. Even thought it's relatively small (27" x 44") it took quite a bit of time in both collage and quilting. I have at least 30 hours invested in it, if now closer to 40.  Regardless, I can't say how much the supportive comments and interest meant to me.
        If I do make another one, it will be slightly different, partly because I learned a few things while going about the first one, and partly because I think it would be impossible to recreate it exactly. I also got a few neat ideas from the Reddit community. We'll see where the summer take me :)



       Not much else to report for this week besides perhaps the garden tour (which was technically last weekend...). It was a total shot of inspiration followed by a chaser of discouragement because those gardens were so incredible I couldn't possible make anything similar happen in my own yard! Haha! I took some awesome pictures and picked up a few gardening tips and plants I will likely add next spring (glenora grapes in the front yard!). 


        It was a beautiful weekend for garden photography even though I barely know how to use my camera. I think some of the photos would make cool quilts and others would make awesome quilting designs :) I will likely play with some photos a bit too and learn a bit more about photo editing eventually. Until then I will leave you with these few :) 

        Until next time!





Monday, June 16, 2014

Come Sail Away! Again!

        I finally did it! I finished my "Come Sail Away" wholecloth! It took almost 3 months! Between running out of thread and waiting for my order to arrive and finishing up the other projects I started working on while I waited on my thread I thought I might never finish it. But after a few marathon quilting sessions I can officially say that every inch is quilted to my liking.


 Binding is of course another story completely.

 It will likely take years...

 I kid, i kid...

Maybe....


        I am really pleased with it and I have received such wonderful feedback from so many people. Tula Pink even commented on my Instagram post! It makes my heart glow with pride! you know, if you could see it.

        I am thinking about making another one that's a bit smaller because of all the interest. I might even make a few to sell although that would take a while. I would like to keep the center design the same size but make the background more compact. 


        I enjoyed quilting all of the fillers but I think that less background would give the piece better balance. I guess we'll see. I love the octopus tentacles and will definitely include them. I might even add a few more shell designs. I am really pleased with the shell I included but It tends to get a little lost in the background. I will have to find a way to avoid this. 


        I LOVE the rope and anchor! I might even love them more than the ship! There is just something about the movement of the rope. I initially wanted to practice the shape for my "Anchors Aweigh" quilt which I finished a while ago. I really like the original quilting done by Angela Walters and want to do something similar, with a few additional details of course. Now I am even more convinced that this is a good idea haha! I look forward to practicing this again.     

       Before I start working on those quilts however, I have a few smaller projects which need some attention. "Come Sail Away Mach 2" is one of those projects.


         I also recently finished quilting this one and despite my usual tendencies I decided to go with some straight line and in the ditch quilting. I regret that decision. 

        I basted this poorly and as a result it shifted and scrunched. I like how the center turned out that I hate that it's unevenly poofy. The radiating lines help to accentuate the center design without distracting from it too much and I think the high loft batting gives the feeling of fluffy clouds but that's as far as my positive criticism goes. 


        While quilting this project I used my walking foot way more than I ever have before. And likely ever will again. my quilting stretched out my corners and now it looks all wibbly wobbly. I am really disappointing as I am sure I could have easily prevented this somehow. 


        Look at that! Yuck! I might be able to steam and stretch or dunk and block but I doubt I will be able to make it much better. For now, all that's left if the binding. Oh well, live and learn. I am still pleased with how the top turned out and I am glad I have so many pictures hah! All in all there are quite a few things I would do differently if I were to do it again. 

But such is life :) 

On to the next endeavor!




Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Business Has Begun!

        It's official! I mean it was technically official before with all the paperwork and business cards but now it's really official. I recently completed and delivered my very first customer quilt! It took a bit of doing and some frustration over thread but once I got that worked out went well and I am glad to say she was pleased!


        Look at that awesomely complicated piecing and those super adorable embroidered frogs! It was so much fun to develop a plan for this quilt. We had discussed the idea of bedazzling and embellishing the quilt with beads and crystals that looked like little bugs so I thought it might be neat to have the background of the frogs to be looping and spiraling buggy trails. I also incorporated loops into the light blue pieces of the border. 


         I also just had to quilt some feathers. I love feathers. A lot! 


        The piecing featured so many fun shapes to fill in with feathers how could I possibly resist!


        Of course I just had to make my job more complicated by deciding to change the thread color with each fabric but I really like how it turned out.

        Please forgive the fact that in the above photo the quilt is indeed upside down. I was having trouble getting a good photo of the full quilt because a table just happened to be obscuring my light a bit. Oh course I could have just rotated the quilt on the floor but that would have been too simple. I will have to come up with a better system, especially for bigger quilts. 

        With my very first customer quilt completed I look forward to the next. I learned some valuable tips and tricks and can't wait to continue practicing. Quilting is just way too much fun!