Fabulous News

For one thing:  the sun is shining and it is supposed to be a gorgeous day today (high of 52!!!).  My husband went and got his Mustang out of storage, but so that he’s ready to drive it this week when the temps hit the promised 60s (I hope we aren’t disappointed!)

I’ll have to peek out and enjoy the beautiful weather between sessions at the quilting machine and the computer.

I’m also excited today because my nephew Colin (who is what, 16 months?) has decided that he can finally walk on his own!  He’s still trying to figure it out, and it sounds like crawling is still more expedient at home, but I saw video of him walking unaided.  Too cute.  He also got his first haircut (finally…VBG) and looks very darling with his new ‘do.

But my biggest news today is that I’m going to be teaching a 4th class at Machine Quilters Exposition in New Hampshire in April!  They have added a second session of my Over the Top Feathers class on Saturday from 2-4!  It’s a drawing class, teaching machine quilters about the style of feather I love to quilt.  (The first session had already filled and been closed).  I’m also teaching 2 classes based on the Meandering Magic concept — those classes aren’t full, but are getting close!

I had a wonderful time in New Hampshire last year, and I’m getting excited to go back! 

Can you say obsessed?

I never did make it to the quilting machine on Wednesday or Thursday.  I barely made it there last night, but did manage to get some quilting in after we went to see Charlotte’s Web. (Which we greatly enjoyed.  I’m the only in my family that cried, though.)

I keep finding myself sucked into drawing and editing.  More than a few times over the last days, I’ve intended to just check my e-mail, but then I start thinking, and start editing, and next thing I know, it’s been an hour, my rear end and back are sore, and my legs are losing feeling from sitting funny.  Definitely time to get up and stretch at that point. 

The obsession is paying off — I’ve gotten a lot done!  The front cover is done, I think:

My first attempt used a picture of the quilt laying flat and it just didn’t work at all.  (Lying flat?  Why can’t I remember that rule?)  I had a brainstorm yesterday — I draped it on the back of the couch, turned a light on behind it, and voila!  I’m quite happy with it!  I’ll post about the quilt in the picture in a future post.  Some friends designed the pattern for me to use on the front cover, and they’ll be publishing it soon.

I have to get back to the quilting machine.  I’m not even going to open CorelDraw right now….the quilt on the machine must get done this weekend.  I’ve got Smallville in the DVD player to keep me "company" while I quilt today (I mostly listen to it, but occasionally look up for glimpses of Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum)

OK, enough messing around, back to work….

WIP Wednesday

After my marathon of sewing and quilting over the weekend, I have not turned on any sewing machine since.  In fact, I’ve only walked through my studio, and not actually done anything in there.

Instead, I’ve chained myself to my desk.  My primary work in progress right at the moment is the self-published book I am working on.  I want to be able debut it at Machine Quilters Exposition in New Hampshire in April, and working back from there with a timeline means I have a lot to do in the next 3 weeks.

When I did the first book, I made the decision to do all of my drawing on the computer.  This is not necessarily as easy as it sounds, and in fact might even be more work than if I were to just do hand-drawn illustrations.  I chose to go with using the computer, though, for several reasons, not the least of which is that I’m a technology geek….more important is that I wanted the drawings to be very clean and crisp.  I also wanted the flexibility of computer generated vector drawings, which allow me to move and resize my drawings very easily as I work on laying out pages and deciding what needs to go where.

Just to give you an idea of the difference in quality, here are 2 feather drawings, 1 drawn by hand and scanned, the other done in

using a tablet and pen:



Big difference!

For today, my works in progress include:


The book….the photo is purposely a little fuzzy, but I wanted to have some way to photographically show what I’m working on..


Some potential quilted samples.  I thought about firing up the quilting machine again for awhile….these are all borrowed from my local quilt shop owner’s large stash of unquilted tops.  Most of her tops are large, but I found a few lap-sized possibilities when I visited her on Monday.  I’m sad to report that she is in the process of closing her brick and mortar store.  She has plans to continue online sales, and will be doing some online teaching later this year.  Her store had been open for 18 years!  You can visit her at Iowa Star Quilts.

I have 2 other quilting projects that I’m contemplating working on today as well.  One is a Longarm Round Robin, which I can’t share photos of, as we are keeping the quilted work secret until the final reveal…the other is a project for a magazine.  I can’t share more about that either, yet….

Not to mention the fact that it is almost time for the March 12×12 journal quilt reveal and that project hasn’t even been started.

Unfortunately, I’m likely to end up sitting here at the computer all day and not make it into the studio again, so blogging about the quilting may be as far as any of it gets today!

Busy Bee

Between the weather and my desire to get things done, I’ve been a little AWOL from blogging.  Apologies!

I feel the need tonight to brag a little about the sheer quantity of small quilts I have put together over the last few days.  Thursday night the power went out for about an hour and a half.  After it came back on, I was suddenly inspired to get out the Featherweight.  I figured that if the power went out while it was on, nothing bad could happen — unlike the disaster that might ensue if either of my computerized sewing machines were on at the time…

I pulled out some UFOs and started working.   They are small, the largest is about 50 by 62, the rest are crib size/kid size…

These blocks were started several years ago when we had a flooded basement.  We were on a round-the-clock schedule of keeping watch over shop-vacs.  During the middle of the night I pulled the fabric out and started drawing lines on the backs in order to stitch them.  I’ve pulled them out every so often, but never got it done.  I was surprised to find that the blocks were actually sewn into rows, and all that was left was sewing rows together and adding borders.

Quilt #1

Next up is some rail fence blocks I started putting together with the intention that it would be used as a quilted sample.  The blocks were together, I had to sew rows together and add borders:

Quilt #2


In November/December 2005 I made a quilt called StarStruck for Christmas (pictured on my website in my gallery).  (I used the instructions and color scheme as designed by Bonnie at Quiltville).  While making the body of the quilt,  I got a little overzealous with the cutting and sewing of green and white strips.

The following 2 quilts are made from those leftovers.  The pinwheel blocks were assembled and needed to be sewn into rows (and I have about 15 of them leftover…), the rows of 4 four patches were assembled, I just had to add the light colored strips in between. 

Quilt #3


Quilt #4


(The dark triangles are actually purple…)

And last, but certainly not least, I put this little quilt together in it’s entirety on Saturday. 

Quilt #5


(Click to see SpiderFrog up close.  He is totally cute.)

FIVE quilt tops put together.  Since Thursday night at about 7:30 PM.  Backs and bindings prepped as well.

But get this — there’s more! 

Four of those quilts are now quilted. 

Seriously.  I quilted 4 of the above quilts today! I can’t show them to you quilted, yet, because they are all samples for the new quilting design book I’m working on. I’m probably going to pay tomorrow for so much quilting (I think maybe I have a chiropractor’s appointment soon…).  In fact, I’m yawning and having a little bit of trouble focusing on writing this post, so I’d better wrap up.

I’m dreadfully behind on updating my 365 photo albums (again).  I’m not sure the art project one is going to see much action this month.  I have a lot of drawing still to do, and most of my energy is going to be directed at the book, I suspect. We’ll see…