Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sometimes It Looks Like This.....

Whatever you call your work space; be it sewing room, studio, office....or something else it is a space we cherish.  Today as I briefly walked in and out of my space I looked at this...
this is my design wall.  Do you see a problem with it, I sure do, there is nothing on it.  This has been what it has looked like for quite awhile.  Has this happened to you?  Have you had a dry spell creatively?

For me it is an on and off kind of thing, especially when I have been working on shop models.  I then find myself exhausted for doing my own work, but usually there is something on the design wall.  Just viewing something waiting for me does trigger ideas, desire to plot out something new....I found myself mulling over "when" do I find myself in this place.....summertime!  Time for so many other things...yard work, gardens, possibly some discharging of fabric or even printing on fabric.  Oh so many things I could be doing....hmmmm!  Or simply a book, a chair and a cold drink on the porch, time to be....we all need that to...right?

My problem isn't lack of family support, daughter is my business partner, grandson spent last week helping in the dye studio (at 11 1/2 years of age he really is a help) and my hubby has always been my biggest supporter.  Look what he brought home over the past couple of weeks!

When he came in and set this Bernina down, all I could do is look at him. How does he find these?  At this point I haven't even had a chance to see how it stitches.  This makes 3 Bernina's he has come home with over the last 7 years or so.  I have to admit his timing on the first couple was excellent because I had run my Pfaff to the brink of no return and I really needed a new machine.  Now....well I'm going to check this one out, cause it seems a lot lighter weight wise and might be perfect to take on the road.
 A few days later he walk in with this little gem....a white Featherweight!  As with the one above I haven't even plugged it in yet.....but as I gazed upon it today....I think I have got to try it out this week...just want to see how it stitches.  I think this means there are presently 3 different Featherweights around here.
He is also pretty good at spotting vintage quilts too!  He brought this crazy quilt home last fall.  It smelled, so I did something I never really do....I left it all winter on a table on the screen porch.  You know what, it doesn't smell bad anymore...probably helped that I took it apart, removed the back and edging.  It does have some rough areas, so I am planning on creating other things with it...pillows, critters or maybe a surprise or two.  When I questioned him about why he brought it home....his response went like this; "I know how much time it takes you to do this kind of stitching, I just couldn't let it get thrown out."  Oh I have trained him well...haven't I?

Wishing you all some creative time.
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Road Trip.....

Cleveland bound, to teach a class and lecture for the North Coast Needlers....well, if you get time in a city you have only been in once before (when we filmed with Quilting Arts TV and many of you know that was a fast turn around trip) you have to take advantage of it.   The trouble was many places are not open on Mondays....and let me tell you this happens to us a lot as we travel across this country.

But....guess what?  We found a few places to visit and had a fantastic time in the city on Lake Erie.  First up, once I squeezed into Kristin's fully loaded car at the airport, City Market....Yummy!

We took a short break and checked in early at our hotel...it was very hot and humid, we both needed a break to recoup....recoup we did and headed off to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  This buildings' architecture is gorgeous and with a back drop of the lake I was a goner....the moment we walk into the building, the young one started singing....didn't seem to matter the era or genre she knew the words to everything she heard.....Proud Mama, she was raised with music.....all kinds of music!

Our final stop of the day was Barrio Tacos in Lakewood,  OMG.....I walked into this restaurant and loved the decor....fantastic....unique.....I couldn't concentrate on anything my head needed to be on a swivel....
Then our waiter delivered our fortification...delicious....oh yeah and the food was excellent too!
We will remember the wonderful time we had with the "Needlers" and the fun we had in this great city.

Thanks for stopping by.....

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Unexciting Job.....

Sometimes work can be just a tad bit dull....okay, colors are definitely luscious, but the view just never changes.  Since the grandson is not here I figured I needed to get some things out of the way....the ironing....needed to be done.  I should have taken a photo of the "mound" of fabric I was looking at before I started.  However this is what it looks like now....
 This photo just doesn't seem to do all my work justice.  I have been ironing for the past 4 days, okay maybe not from morning to night, even though that is what it felt like. Tried from a different angle, hopefully that's a bit better...but this is 18, 8 yard bolts of fabric ready to be wrapped on a reel.  That will have to wait a few days.
During these days this beautiful little bag stayed fairly close....it was my saving grace. Ahhhhh!
The rest of the work needed to have these ready to go will have to wait till we are back from Ohio.  We will be in Cleveland teaching and lecturing for the next few days.  Tomorrow we are hoping to do a little sightseeing, think we will go to the Rock and Roll Museum.  We are debating staying a bit later Wednesday so that we can go to Morgan Book Conservatory, we have heard it is fabulous.  Will try and not be totally awestruck and take a few photos to share.

Thanks for stopping by....

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ahhh Summer Days.....

For many of you, you will understand why I haven't written a blog in a couple of weeks.  It's summertime, the kids are out of school and it's time to enjoy everything summer brings.  Well.....I'm not used to having a young one around the house everyday, but it has been great having my grandson hanging out.  Now he may not be so sure about that, but...then again....he seems very pleased with how the days have gone so far.

After handling the orders, packing and shipping we headed to Barnes & Noble to find a copy of Stampingtons' Sew Somerset because Deborah Boschert has an article in the Summer 2017 issue.

In these fantastic little pieces she uses many of our textured fabrics/fibers.  She gave us a great shout-out which we are very grateful for.

Don't know about you but I cannot go into a book store without spending a small fortune before I make it back to my car....so I recently found the second issue of a new magazine I came across while vending at Mid-Atlantic in Hampton, VA in February.  I passed up buying the first issue in February......well I left Barnes & Noble the other day with Issue 1.  I can honestly say I will keep my eye out for Issue 3 as I contemplate subscribing.  I have thoroughly enjoyed this new magazine.
Upon reading this issue I almost flipped out when I got to the piece about Hen & Chicks Studio in Conrad, IA owned by Heidi Kaisand.  Heidi was one of the first shop owners/quilters to discover us at quilt market and designed projects using our products. 
Imagine my surprise and pleasure when I saw this photo, I recognized our burlap through the bike spokes.  The pillow "Burlap and Blossoms" is really adorable.  I love the vignette,  gratefully the other pieces in the photograph made me stop and look closely.
Quiltfolk is an advertisement free magazine, that is highlighting/showcasing various areas/states around the country.  The first issue highlighted the quilters of Oregon, issue two highlights Iowa.  As someone who travels around the country vending, I am finding the magazine delightful and will surely look into visiting some of these places as I travel.  I also found it fantastic to see familiar faces and actually get to see their shops.  Check it out.

My guy, was not disappointed as you can see....I took this photo over my shoulder at a stoplight.  He left with reading material that as you can see had him engrossed.
The remainder of the day was spent like this, and each day he carried his bag of "stuff" home with him at night, back in the morning.  Think he will want to keep his eyes open for subsequent reading material. 

Besides helping with Fiber on the Whim stuff,  he has been helping me with projects around here that we just haven't had time for, because of  traveling and dyeing.  First up, was the deck and porch that were still covered in pollen and cobwebs.  Somehow during this project Grandma wound up wetter than the grandson....hmmmm....can you figure out "who" had the hose.

These two really appreciated his efforts because they had not been allowed out there because they would've been covered with yellow pollen and let me assure you they love being out on the porch for long stretches of time...just like me.

Next up we tackled a tree that needed trimming and big pots that needed plantings.  To accomplish the first job, he climbed a ladder and sawed off these limbs.  Backing my car in and out of the driveway is no longer a noisy, scratchy affair.
We then headed to the local nursery where we picked out plants, let me clue you he had some very strong opinions about the color combo's.  As we were waiting to pay, he started talking about what his favorite colors are....that he really likes the "pure" colors best not necessarily those that you mix to get.  When he mentioned "purple" I stopped and turned....he picked up on my move very quickly...."I know, I know...it takes red and blue to get purple".   I started laughing, at least he realized what he had said.  You can tell he is used to working with color, guess he may have spent some time in the dye studio.

I might be biased but I think he did a pretty darn good job....think I will have to keep him busy this summer cause he is very proud of his efforts.  Once finished we headed to White Water (local water park)....my guy told me as we entered the park that this was the best way to end our first week and a half together.  Of course this made Grandma's heart swell.

Thanks for stopping by....hopefully I will find time during these "lazy days" of summer!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Few More........

I believe we made 8 new pieces of work, 7 prayer flags and 2 little girls dresses while in Paducah. In this post I will show you the remainder of the pieces.

This piece was created using "Collage Your Creativity" a pattern by Susan Edmonson Designs.  Over the last few months we have been displaying one of Susan's pieces in our booth, and we decided to work one up in our new colors.  This was a fun piece to make.

When Kristin finished creating the stacked landscape portion of the piece below I thought she had lost her mind, my thoughts were along the line of "how on earth was I going to do anything with this one".  It hung on the wall of the studio in Paducah for almost 2 weeks before I realized I was excited by the colors.  We started collaborating using this style a few years ago, we have learned that we look at them very differently.  She sees something, I see something, so when she turns them over to me to embroider and finish it usually is surprising to see the finished work.

This one caused me just a bit of grief, I tried several different stitches and colors of thread, tearing most of them out.  The color was either overwhelming or the stitching came across as out of proportion for the piece. After finally finishing the embroidery I was very perplexed...what color should the background quilty mat be to not overwhelm or fight with it.  "We" decided on our parchment and Kristin suggested I quilt it with trees as I had done several years ago on another quilt.  I think it sets of the "stacked landscape" portion well.

 This quilt was created using the Ripple pattern by Sew Many Creations.  You may have seen another version of this quilt in our booth at shows....that one was given to a dear friend.  Kristin is always happy to stitch up a quilt top using this pattern, she absolutely loves the how this pattern is written.
The little quilt below is a "tweaked" version of a Drunkards Path.  Sorry I cannot find a better photo of the finished piece which combines hand stitching and machine stitching.  
 These 2 pieces were begun at Paducah during our 2016 stay and finished during our stay this year.  Color wise they turned out to be a perfect fit to complement our newest work so they hung at market and our hanging in our booth at QSDS in Columbus, Ohio for the next couple of weeks.  If you are near the Columbus College of Art and Design in downtown Columbus check it out.
In order to spend time in my studio over the next couple of weeks I will have to work around spending time with my grandson....for many of you this is how summer vacation goes.  Stay tuned if I'm not totally exhausted I hope to finish two garments I have underway and I have plans for six new prayer flags.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A Few Other New Pieces.....

This spring we decided to make all new pieces for our market booth.  I think it looked really great...
This quilt is called "Posies", all work was created using our 5 new colors and a couple of our other colors. The pattern will soon be available.  Kristin purposely limited our palette to see what we would come out with, I believe we hit a home run.

Since we offer yardage, we have been making more larger quilts and clothing, so here are a couple of little girl dresses made from our linen.

We then started discussing creating a couple of little pieces using traditional quilt patterns, but giving them a Fiber on a Whim twist.
This little modified bargello style piece was created using our new fat quarter pack called, Fresca.  Once Kristin was done hand stitching, quilting and finishing, she turned it over to me to embellish,  a little embroidery and sparkly beads and it was done.

I will try to get some good photos of the remainder of the pieces now that Kristin is home from market and before she leaves to vend at QSDS-Quilt and Surface Design Symposium in Columbus, OH.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Finished Before Spring Market.....

I cannot believe that we actually managed to finish all new work for our booth at Spring Quilt Market being held in St. Louis, MO this weekend. Daughter dear announced before we left for our artist in residency in Paducah, KY that we were going to limit the colors we would be using to our 5 new colors and a couple others.  It was our lofty plan to create all new pieces using those 5 new colors, with me kicking and screaming....I could not imagine making enough pieces to fill the walls our our booth with such a limited palette.  Over the next several days I will share photos of the finished work and hopefully some shots of our actual booth.

A couple of years ago we began creating pieces we refer to as our "textured collages", so naturally the plan was to create something in that style.  These pieces are a collaboration between us, Kristin lays out the background, does some hand stitching and chooses a photo transfer to be used which tends to set the theme.  She chose a bird photo to transfer for both these piece,  this shouldn't be a surprise we seem to each have favorite things we use in our work.  Then they are passed to me and I embellish them with embroidery and "stuff" my favorite part.

Even though we limited our colors, these 2 pieces show how differently fabrics with varied fiber contents take the same dyes.   Our multi dyes which we do in cotton, organdy and cheesecloth allow us to have some great variations to use. 

Check back to see more of  our new creations. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

My Hands Have Not Been Idle........

Since the last blog I have been hand stitching like crazy to finish up all our new pieces for our booth at Quilt Market in St. Louis next week.  Some of the pieces are collaborations with my daughter and others are pieces we created individually.  Over the coming week I will show you what we have been up to.  All of the pieces have been started and/or finished in Paducah this year during our artist in residency.  After each residency we are always amazed at how much we have accomplished.

The first four prayer flags are Susan Edmonson Designs, I love Susan's designs and they work up well in our products.

For this flag I wanted to use our hand-dyed cheesecloth and I really like the sunflower design from Kathi Campbell of Heart to Hand as seen in her pattern Pocket Potpourri.  I added our hand-dyed ric-rac in both sizes, a bit of wool and a fantastic piece of vintage hand-dyed lace by Wendy Richardson of Quilt Tapestry Studio.
 With my confidence mounting I went "rogue"....in these last two flags I used a variety of products I wanted to highlight.  In the purple flag I created the flowers from wool, I had been dying to create 3 dimensional wool flowers versus the usual hand applique flowers I am used to doing, further embellishing with our hand-dyed rayon seam binding and lace. 
On this final flag I used our ric-rac to create the flowers it was fun and I love how they turned out.
Stay tuned over the next few days to see the rest of the work we will be hanging in our booth over  the course of the next year.