Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lessons from the Road I traveled

Road 2 CA was such a great experience, and the overall theme I was exposed to was that everyone was so willing to share what they know, and help others learn.  Yes I did pay for classes, but in my opinion each instructor was more than generous with their help, tips, tricks and knowledge.  So on that note I want to pass  on some of what I learned.

My first class was with Judy Woodworth and was called Dancing through the Sashing.  Judy taught us how to quilt the entire quilt, sashing, blocks and back to sashing without stopping.  For me this is a big deal, since I am the queen of stops and starts, complicated quilting paths and backtracking.

This is the actual page from my notes during class, so I hope you can understand what I drew.  The idea is that you would start in the upper left corner, quilt across the top, echo back to the beginning and then work your way through the sashing, jumping into the blocks, back to the sashing, another block, and so it goes.  I like this idea, but it goes a little against my SID rules, even though you could SID as you go, I like to do all my ditch work first, Anyway, ditching or not, this idea was an eye opener to me.

Another drawing from my notes in class, here Judy showed us how to quilt a flower design across the length of your quilting area,  and end up back at the beginning.  If you follow the black line on the lower diagram you see that I only echoed two or three of the petals in the flower, moved on to the next flower, and on my way back across I echoed the lower half of the flowers.  (Red lines)  Again, this may be a no brainer to many, but for me it was an AH HAA moment, and gave me a whole new way to look at my path of travel.  

I am applying this principle to the quilt on my frame, and it has made such a positive difference in how I plan out my quilting path.  It all just makes so much sense to me now and I hope I was able to explain it clearly to you.  Thanks for joining me, and happy quilting.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My first double batt quilt

I tried a double batt on this quilt, and I do love the way it shows off the quilting.  And if the saying, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" is true, then Jenny should be flattered because I copied her grid work quilting.  Love it.  I think it worked perfectly for this little quilt.

My thoughts on a double batt.   Well there is no denying how well it shows off the quilting, so it gets points there.  From what I heard at Road 2 CA, it is the new normal for a show quilt.  I think I still favor the softer thinner quilts with more drape to them, but a double batt does have it's place in some of my future quilts.  I have not washed this quilt to know how it will feel after it has been washed.  I did find it a little harder to quilt, it is just so puffy, but that is no reason I wouldn't do it again.

And, a little shot of what I am working on now (with a double batt, go figure).  I have almost caught up with being gone for a week, and am trying to put some of what I learned into my new quilts.

Thanks for reading, I appreciate your company and comments.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Road 2 CA update

What a good week I am having.  It has met and surpassed all my expectations, and I am so very glad I am here.  

 I took a class with Angela Walters, called Beyond Feathers.   Angela's approach is  fresh, relaxed and easy going it was just a joy to work with her.  I totally enjoyed her class.
She was showing us how to doodle swirls, then embellish the doodles, and we all thought they looked like octopus tentacles.

She brought samples of her work and designs.

What I most enjoyed, and learned from Angela's class was to relax and not be so critical of my own work, and not to hesitate to try something new.  

When I signed up for a classes, I chose a variety of longarm classes, each one taught by a different teacher.    Each instructor has a unique perspective, experiences in the quilting world, and a wide variety of tips and ideas to share.  And the week isn't over yet.

Thanks for sharing my week at Road 2 CA.  I appreciate your company.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Day one at Road 2 California

Well, my first day here was a total success.  I took a class with Judy Woodworth and I totally enjoyed it.  I learned a few new techniques, designs and practiced some oldies but goodies.  I didn't take any photos during the class, I guess I was just too busy.

So now I am tucked away in my hotel room, sewing and enjoying myself immensely.  With just a few adjustments to the room, I have quite a workable set up.

And, I received my first ever quilt show pin. 

The weather here is beautiful, and I am looking forward to tomorrow when I have a class with Angela Walters.  That should be a lot of fun.  Thanks for checking in.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Star top finished

I have finished piecing the Jelly Roll Star quilt, and I am so happy with it.  I will add a border, but wanted to get this post up.

This weekend is full of activities for my husband's birthday, starting with Brunch for Dinner.  I planned on having a Birthday Brunch, but it just didn't work with everyone's schedule, so we are having brunch for dinner tonight.  I have wanted to make this French Toast for a long time, it looks delicious to me.  A full day tomorrow, and then Sunday I  leave for my drive to south for Road to California.  So very excited.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jelly Roll Stars, and Road 2 CA

I am making these fun stars out of a Jelly Roll.  I learned this technique from a Craftsy class, and I totally enjoy it.

I have a weakness for pre-cuts, but rarely do I know what to do with them.  This class, and these stars solved that problem.  Each strip makes one star, and the way they go together is quite clever.  I should have a finished quilt top to show soon.

And, are any of you going to Road 2 California?  I'm going and I am getting so excited.   Plans are made to meet Jen from Quilter in the Closet and I am  looking forward to that.  If you are going and would like to meet up at the show, let me know. I am taking classes Mon - Fri and while I haven't started packing yet, I do have several lists started.  So excited.

Thanks for reading, I appreciate it.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Jane Progress

I had some time this weekend, and used it to work on some Jane Blocks.  
Tricky little octagon shapes and tiny triangles.

Lots of applique with these little melons.

And one more.

I am off to Jury Duty today. sigh, I know it is my civic duty but honestly, I don't want to go.  I do have some applique work to take with me, so if there is much waiting around I will be entertained.

Thanks for reading  and happy Monday,  


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sorting Scraps with Ethan

Another goal for this year is to get my scraps sorted and organized.  I had some help with that today from my nearly three year old grandson Ethan.

We were playing "stay off the firery carpet" using the puzzle mats, when I suddenly thought of another way we could use the mats.

The reds, blues, greens, and yellows were easy, but the multi-colored prints had to go in the "all mixed up pile"  

This actually was an efficient way to sort and work through my box of scraps, and I am further along in my sorting and organizing.  I plan to have a separate container for each color, and probably a few containers for the "all mixed up" pieces.

Thanks for reading, I appreciate it.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Resolution Jane

One of my quilting resolutions for this year is to get back to work on my Dear Jane quilt.  It is not realistic to think I will finish it this year, but I want to continue to work on it week by week throughout this year, and be oh so much closer to finishing it.

At this time I have the first three rows finished, and a handful of other blocks made.  I would like to set my goal of doing two blocks a week, and accepting that I may have to be flexible in that.  These blocks are so much fun to make, but most of them I find very difficult and time consuming.  Each one is it's own little victory for me, an art project of it's own.   I am using mostly K. Fasset fabrics, which is a joy in itself.  Here are some pictures of my quilt so far.

These blocks finish at four inches, so we are talking small and detailed.  Many are paper pieced, and many are appliqued.  I have had a lot of help from other Jane creators and their wonderful tutorials on their blogs.  I would have struggled to figured out many of these blocks without Aninas blog or Aunt Reen's blog.  These two gals give clear instruction and tips for each block.  Sometimes I "do my own thing" with a block, but I always look to these blogs for guidance first.

Since this is one of my quilting resolutions,and I put it out here in blog land,  hopefully I will be accountable to all of you, and I will be showing my progress in photos throughout the year.  Thanks for reading, I appreciate you all so much.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Fast and fun

After working on the Celtic Knot, I needed something fast and fun.  This little butterfly panel was just what I needed.

I read about other quilters who don't know what to quilt, so they just start quilting.  What???  That is so not me.  I want a plan, a guide, and rules.  That is a problem for me many times.  I need to learn to relax with my quilting, trust myself and my ideas.  So, that is what I did with this little panel.  I had no plan.  I just started, and my other goal was to use one thread color, and minimize my starts and stops.  I had so much fun.  So, if you see a cute panel, and wand a no rules quilting experience, I say go for it.

I followed the print on the panel as my main guide, and just let it go from there.  There are a few areas that I am not totally pleased with, but overall it is just what I needed and by relaxing with this little panel, I learned a lot.  I love machine quilting all the time, but when I can relax and not worry about every stitch I have much more fun.  Thanks for reading, and have fun with whatever you are working on.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Let's start with a finish

I finished the Celtic Knot quilt. 

So, a few comments on this quilt.  I loved piecing it, and I love how it went together, I like how I quilted it, and I am especially happy that it is finished.

It was my goal and intention to heavily quilt this, and that I did.  But....I got so tired of working on this one.  I think what tipped the scales was not the amount of quilting, but the hundreds of starts and stops.  I used four different thread colors, and that was the reason for all the starts and stops.
Each little white square, each individual colored square was a  start and stop.  What was I thinking?   I was thinking I wanted each strand to stand on it's own, and to have a cool back.

I learn something from every quilt I work on, and I learned a lot from this one.  I need to consider the quilting path, thread changes, and especially starts and stops.  I like to  matching the thread color to the quilt color, but sometimes this is not the best choice.  Anyway, I am happy with the finished quilt, and am especially glad that it is done.

Happy New Year to you all, I appreciate you stopping by.