Back Where I Belong!

        After several months of student teaching, video games, and sewing I am finally back where I belong: working in a wonderful quilt shop, surrounded by creativity, inspiration and amazing quilters. I didn't realize how much I missed working in a shop until I officially started at Island Quilter on Thursday. I love being around enthusiastic quilters, seeing what they've made, and helping to find the perfect print for their project. It's so entirely satisfying. And it's just fun to be around all that fabric. That being said, this weekend was a lot of work! We went vending at a local quilt show and had a very busy booth for nearly the entire show. I even got to meet an amazing quilter, Kim Stotsenberg, who's work I had just been admiring (ok, maybe obsessing over) at the shop! And this weekend was just a warm up round for the Sew-Expo at the end of the month. From what I've heard it will be chaos! Super fun chaos though :)

       I returned to my sewing room on Sunday after some much needed rest and jumped right into my work. Oh! but before we get into that I have to share my first long arming experience from Last Wednesday!

        That's right! I've finally started learning how to use a longarm! After finishing up the training class at a local shop I could barely wait to schedule my first session. Luckily I was able to get some time that following Wednesday before heading over to Vashon. I grabbed one of the donation quilts and got started as early as possible. I was even able to thread the machine correctly the first time! It doesn't seem like much but it feels like a huge accomplishment. I am so completely in love with quilting on a longarm.

        I will admit that I was a little afraid that I might not like quilting on a longarm as much as I had hoped. For the last year I've been thinking and planning on purchasing a longarm for a business without actually sewing much on one. It would be terrible to invest in something so expensive and find I didn't like using it as much as my domestic machine. Well, my fears were officially dissolved after spending a few hours with this bad boy. I can't wait to get back to it!

        This quilt ended up being a perfect way to practice fillers and borders as well as sashing designs. I was really surprised at how much easier it was to control the longarm than to move my quilts under my domestic machine. I thought that it would take longer to transition between the two techniques.

        Yay feathers! I really need to practice tracing my stems... that just means more quilting! I also really dig my version of McTavishing/swirly echos. They are so much fun to do. I think my spirals are more even on the longarm than on the domestic too... I also found it really interesting that it is easier to quilt larger patterns on the long arm and smaller patterns on my domestic. It will take lots of practice to develop that same precision on the longarm. I guess that means I'd better get started!

Ok, now back to yesterdays exploits. After spending several days around amazing quilts and no time do any sewing of my own I was ready to be back in my room. I continued working on a project I pulled out of my stash last week and I think I made some real progress.

         I purchased Marti Michell's Not So Giant Dahlia template set a while ago and have been waiting for the perfect fabric inspiration. While putting together my Mug Rug quilt last week I went hunting through my batik for the binding. I ended up getting distracted by the chaos of that bin and had to organize it. While organizing I gathered these fabrics together for what I thought would end up as a lone star. I have been wanting to do another peacock quilt for a while. I figured that a lone star with set in log cabins would make a cool tail. A few hours later I was hit with a burst of inspiration! The curved arcs could more accurately simulate feathers than straight diamonds. I had to try it.  

       Once I had all of the arcs mostly piece together I really wanted to see what it would look like so laid it out on my odd beige-y, peachy carpet (not a great background but oh well). I am still deciding on my actual background so most of the arcs still need their final piece so when I've made my decision I can start stitching the rest of them together! I really enjoy piecing the curved seams! It's so meditative.After I have everything pieced together I will work on designing a body to applique onto the tail. I think it will turn out pretty neat.

That's if for now I believe. Off to sew once more!


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