Tuesday, January 05, 2016

A note regarding contact info

Our house was robbed a few months ago, and our computers were stolen as well as that special storage computer that stores every.little. thing.  My email account was then compromised (not sure if it was related)   I fixed it all up and then today I noticed that it appears to have been hacked again.       If you have tried to contact me in the past and I have not responded, it may be because I simply did not receive any message -  phone or email.  

I will never send you any unsolicited email, links or attachments - unless we are having a specific conversation!     

So, if you have tried to contact me -  I am not ignoring you -  just had a technical nightmare! Please reach out to me again!   

Have a great week!!  

Monday, January 04, 2016

You Inspire Me To Quilt


I'm sure you have all heard by now that Cheryl Arkison has a new quilting book out.  I am really lucky that I live in the same city as her - we have tea from time to time,  my kids get attacked by bees in her back yard.  She cooks with real butter.  She's just a really good soul.  And she can quilt.  
Sheesh, can she quilt. 

When we talk, I love the soul and passion she has for her writing -  she really wants people to get into their creative zone.  We bounce ideas off of each other. She doesn't want to write just another pattern book and pump out the patterns.  Her books give you inspiration,  ideas to jump from,  and wonderful stories that give us a glimpse of real people, and real quilters' lives.   You can read her books with a cup of tea.   
Her new book, You Inspire Me To Quilt , is a cuppa tea kind of book:


I was pretty shocked when Cheryl approached me to contribute to this book.   
First off -  ME?  Have you SEEN my 1/4'' seams?   
Next -  uh...does this mean I have to have my photo taken and write a bio?  LOL.

Her theme and vision for the book -  has someone ever asked you to make a quilt for them?  
What was the experience,  the process,  the outcome?  
Take me through your creative process from start to finish...

So,  I thought it was a great time to finally make that Hockey Quilt for my husband.  The one that I've dreaded for so so long.  The one where he would love to just have Montreal Canadiens cheapo fabric spewed all over the top.   The one that I just could NOT have in my portfolio.   So I made something different.  

It is not regulation sized, nor is it totally to scale.   But it is Canadian themed...hockey themed,  and my man is over the moon about it.   You can read more about my story,  the process of the idea becoming a quilt,  my husband and my sarcasm in the book.  There are many more photos of the quilt as well.....
And you can even make your very own hockey quilt too!     
hand guided quilting by me on my APQS Millennium 
 The book includes several well known contributors and outlines individual process- how do we take that IDEA and transform it, document it , massage it to finally become a quilt.  And yes, there are patterns in the book!

Cheryl Arkison is having a giveaway with prizes!   Who Inspires YOU to Quilt?  Post your photo on twitter or instagram with the hashtag  #youinspiremetoquilt  and you can win!   




Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Well, Hi.

It's been  awhile.  My life took a turn from blogging to deal with life for awhile.  You know, the stuff that you don't really count on happening, but they do.   The stuff that movies are made of.

Oh yes, and we moved too.   I took October -December off, to pack,move,  unpack, settle and just be.  

I am taking on new quilts as of January 2016 and will be quilting full-time.   If you are interested, please send me a message!

For now, here are some examples of client work I've completed that I think is pretty special:

Ashley made this gorgeous ombre pieced improv quilt -  she wasn't quite sure what she wanted, and wasn't quite sure if she even liked the top.   I played.....
 I kept the rainbow ombre quilting simple, and then densely quilted the white background.
 I mimicked the triangle theme in the white background too....

 I think it turned out really special with the quilting.  It kind of let the colours leap off the quilt top.   

Ashley also sent me a a pieced white top in which she wanted a bit of a winter scene.  This one was really hard to interpret.  As well, it was a bit more complex with thread swaps and thread changes
I drew in a 'north star', some blowing snow and tried to get a hill of trees....

 I used metallic threads for the trees and I used filler to show the shape of the trees.  


Dana pieced and appliquéd this amazing Jen Kingwell quilt:  
 Again, totally floored and honoured that someone wants me to work on something like this!   Wowza!!
 Look at the appliqué and the gorgeous piecing!  I did dense fillers around the appliqué to let them pop and showcase some of the beautiful pieces in the quilt.  
 
The border treatment I kept simple with a triangle ghost echo.....again, with some denser fill to showcase the shapes and the texture.  This is a stunning quilt! 
If you made it this far, you're thinking -  did she do anything for HERSELF?   YES! I did!
I made a tree skirt LOL:  
 and tried not to go too nuts on the quilting.  It's so hard when you have a longarm...
I made 2 baskets!  This was a riot.  The black basket below took me FOUR HOURS because:
a) I am inept at making things other than quilts
b) my sewing machine crapped out and needs to be repaired.
 This basket took a little less time....ahem...
I am planning on working on a king sized quilt for my bed....it's in my head right now. ha!
This week I have been making infinity scarves. I'm addicted. I have made 4, and have to stop.  really. they take me 15 minutes and are fool proof.   Cam was impressed:
and because I have to show BOTH kids in one post: 
my oldest....I made him!  This always floors me.  
 
If you made it this far,  a reminder -  I'm getting back into quilting again, and will be taking on full time quilting schedule as of January. 
  If you are interested in longarm quilting work or commission work,  send me a note!     
Thanks for reading...thanks for your support!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Traditional quilted with a modern flair

Josee brought me this gorgeous quilt to work on.
  I'm not going to lie...I may have been a wee bit terrified.   
It's more traditional in piecing, design and colours.   
And then she told me:  I want it quilted more modern.  

And then I knew I could do it. 
 I started with figuring out the top border design -  I applied these ghost designs in the cream sections and that really set the theme for the rest of the quilt.  I knew I wanted to show that texture of the border - so I densely quilted the cream background,  medium quilting in that medium brown, and then light quilting in the darker brown/black so it showed that wrap around effect 
Again, keeping with the theme of making the piecing pop,  I densely quilting some areas (the cream) and let the darker colours pop. 
The border around the medallion echoed that 'ghost' shape...
 And in the medallion itself, I added a few subtle hints of that ghost shape again.
 The pebbling and the echoing around the piecing makes the medallion pop.   
 In some of the other areas, I did simple stitch in the ditch, pebbles, ribbon candy
figure 8's.


blocks with that 'ghost' shape again...
 I also did a straight line quilting around the middle border to soften the other quilting.  The piecing on this quilt was so precise that it was fairly easy to get those lines accurate!  

Quilt size:  83 x 104'' 
Batting: - provided by Josee - not sure
Thread -  Superior Magnifico in Medium Brown and Cream
Decobob thread in brown and cream in bobbin







Monday, May 11, 2015

Modern Custom Dresden Quilt


 Melissa, a friend from Australia, wanted to try me out.  She sent me this adorable modern dresden style quilt made with Christmas fabrics.   I went to town with some positive and negative space quilting -  denser quilting in some areas to make the lovely piecing pop.  
  I stitched around each of the 'blades' or 'spokes' of the dresdens to give emphasis on the piecing.  In larger space between the blocks, I saw the perfect opportunity to add some snowflake designs.

 In the white space of the dresdens, I alternated a few designs:
 Ribbon Candy


 Pebbling
 Straight line quilting
and pebbling leading out to swirls....
Isn't it pretty!?

Top Thread -  Glide thread in white
Bobbin Thread -  Wonderfil Decobob in white
Batting -  Hobbs 80/20 batting



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Thoughts - a reality check.

Whiny post ahead.

Life has been busy lately.  Isn't that everyone's complaint?   I'm trying to balance home, life, kids,  pets, marriage, activities, groceries, cooking, cleaning, quilting,  and now...exercise.     It is one of those last pieces of the health puzzle that was not included in my routine.  

I have been feeling pretty burned out lately with quilting.    I'm not sure if it is the other half of life that is trying to fit in,  the lack of my own personal creativity or what.   I adore quilting on my longarm, but I'm finding I need to balance it a bit more.   I really really miss the design aspect-  I have this whole metropolitan man quilt series idea sitting in the back of my head for the past year that has not come to fruition.    I am 4 baby quilts behind- at this rate, the babies will be in kindergarten by the time I get to them.    I have a bunch of ideas for the Moda Bake Shop and I have yet to design and make  a quilt for my own bed.   All of my scraps are still sitting in scrap bins.   My modern quilt guild quilt along will never get started.  As much as I love quilting for others - and I do, I love it -  I need to find a better balance of the amount I am doing for others vs doing for myself.       When my kids ask if I can volunteer for a class field trip (2 in one week) and I get anxious thinking I cannot do it because of the quilts in my queue- then I know I've bitten more than I can chew.

There's a reason this blog has been neglected.   I hate the fact that I don't have anything interesting to post about -  I just post photos of what I have done, kind of like a factory post.   I dislike that.  I dislike that I used to follow and comment and keep up with a number of blogs and friendships.  And now I don't - because it's just one more thing to do.

I love the challenge of longarm quilting -  I love how I have taught myself to do this on my own, that each quilt gets better and I feel accomplished and rewarded by the results.  I am so proud of what I have built up.   But I'm feeling unbalanced.   Does this mean I am not cut out for this?  I don't want to be quilting 24 hours a day.  I want to go to the gym, I want to go to the dog park,  I want to watch that awful shocking episode of Grey's Anatomy.   I want to attend a SewDay.    I want to design quilts and make quilts.  I want to longarm quilt!   I want to just hang with my kids.

When I look at blogs and instagram and see these amazing quilters doing it all -  how do they do it all?      If I get the urge to do some piecing in my studio I feel sudden guilt - as that queue of quilts whispers at me.   People are waiting for them.  Don't make them wait.

How on earth does one do it all?   I feel like I have the most flexible life ever, but I am bouncing around like a pinball!    Do I not have enough grit?  

Sorry for the rambles.   These are the thoughts that have been burning through my mind in the past month.

I've done some pretty awesome quilts in the last month - will post another day in my typical factory post.  For now, you get the raw rambling thoughts going through my head.







Monday, March 23, 2015

Modern Custom Quilting...

 Stacey and her mom Lynn brought this beautifully pieced quilt to me.  (Carolina Patchworks - Sweet Garden Pattern)  I think I drooled a little...
 The colours were stunning,  so perfectly pieced,  and perfectly placed.  Every print that had a special direction, was placed in a uniform direction.   
 I did a figure 8/wishbone design in one direction of the sashing, and ribbon candy in the other.  
Some of the blocks I did swirls, pebbles, straight line details..
Each block was outlined with stitching for best definition:
 ...some of them I left on their own like these wee ones....they look like little pillows! 
 Some blocks I kept simple....
 ...and some blocks I used the print to dictate my quilting,..
 with outlines...
or following the detail in the print to give it texture...

The backing was just as beautiful -   the piecing, again,  perfect.  Here is a sample where it has been pieced: 

That's right -  where?!  

Hobbs 80/20 batting
Glide thread in white
Wonderfil Decobob grey thread for bobbins

Pattern:  Carolina Patchworks Sweet Garden

Quilted by me on my APQS machine