Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Exciting news and excited changes are ahead

For a few months now, I've been keeping some secrets under wraps but now it is time to make the big announcements.

As my loyal readers might remember, I've been working on designing some of my own quilt patterns to some day make available to the public, both through purchasing directly from me and for industry wide distribution to local quilt shops.  While I'm not ready yet to release my first pattern, I've been also preparing for some other changes that will be part of this new and exciting direction my quilting life is taking.

I love my blog and I totally believe that walking into my studio and looking at my fabrics ARE just like opening a box of crayons for the first time....so full of endless possibilities.

But my blog name isn't actually suited for a pattern company name.  So after a lot of thought and a few opinions from some trusted quilter friends a whole new name and look to my blog is in the works.  Here is just a tiny peak of part of the new look.
The designer is almost done tweaking it and the big reveal will be in the next few days.

But that isn't all!.  I have even bigger news to tell you about.

A couple of months ago, I had one of those light bulb moments while flipping through a quilt block book trying to come up with an idea for another quilty event.  I was so excited about the idea that I immediately sat down with graph paper and colored pencils to draw it out.

I then took a picture of my drawing and emailed it off to the powers to be at a big fabric company and I'm thrilled to tell you that I am now a
Moda Bake Shop Chef!

I'm putting the finishing touches on my first project for the Moda Bake Shop and it will be revealed very soon so I hope that you'll stay tuned to see it.  It just might feature the newest fabric line from one of my favorite designers. How about a little teaser peak.......
 I've already had my second light bulb moment and am drafting out my second possible design for them.  Never in a million years would I have ever thought when I started quilting 5 years ago that I'd eventually be designing patterns and making quilts for one of the biggest fabric companies but here I am.  It truly proves that you never know where life will take you and just like a brand new box of crayons, it is full of possibilities. So far, I'm enjoying the ride.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Stunning Stitchin Sunday

There is a lot of Purple fabric being seen over quilt blog land recently, not that it is a bad thing at all....I like Purple.  We some believe that it is a color of royalty I totally believe that it is also a fabulous color to incorporate into Halloween quilts too. I hope you enjoy today's stunning stitching showcase.
1.Quilting is My Bliss, 2. Mandalei, 3. Quilting is more fun than Housework,
4. Night Owl Quilting & Dye Works, 5. Tanderwen Quilts, 6. Quilts of Love,
7. Quilting is My Bliss, 8. Piece N Quilt, 9. Beaquilter,
10. The Secret Life of Mrs. Meatloaf, 11. Tamarack Shack, 12. Piece N Quilt,
13. Alycia Quilts, 14. Tamarack Shack, 15. The Elven Garden, 16. 13 Spools,
17. Piece N Quilt, 18. Quilting is My Bliss, 19. Ridge Top Quilts,
20. Treadlemusic, 21. Quilter in the Closet, 22. Treadlemusic,
23. Quilting is My Bliss, 24. Piece N Quilt, 25. Treadlemusic

I also have some really exciting news to share....actually it's 2 news worthy items not just one, so be sure and check back early in the week for the the whole story.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Our Own Quilt - A Bloggers Quilt Festival entry

Hi! Welcome back. This is my 2nd entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival. It is also entered into the Large Quilts category.
This quilt is named Our Art Quilt and was commissioned by the art teacher at Sunshine's school. It now hangs in the school's lobby for all to see when they enter. The blocks are all the art work of the students and were colored with Crayola Fabric Markers on White Muslin fabric.
The construction of the quilt top itself wasn't difficult at all though I did have to rework the original design when I received 81 blocks instead of the 72 that I was originally expecting.
When it came time to actually quilt this, that is when I had some issues.  You see...every design idea just didn't work.  They were too perfect (though they certainly weren't perfectly quilted), too structured, looked too much like an adult did it.  The intent of this quilt was to have it look as much as possible like the kids themselves made it and when I remembered that, I had the epiphany that resulted in the final quilting design that I used.
I quilted it with wonky ribbons, just as if my kids actually did the quilting instead of me and I'm so happy that it really worked.  It suited the style of the quilt perfectly.
The art teacher provided the fabric for the border which helped to reinforce the quilting design since it is of kids' drawings.  When sewing on the binding I remembered the same thought, keep it looking like the kids did it.  They certainly wouldn't have hand sewn it down on the back as was my original plan and thanks to a suggestion from my son Jammer, I sewed it down with a squiggly line that also suited the quilt perfectly.
The binding was pieced together from the same solid rainbow fabrics used for the sashing.
I totally love the resulting finished quilt and the art teacher actually cried tears of joy when she saw it for the 1st time. BTW...that smiley face block is one of my favorites.
The other teachers were equally as thrilled with the final result.  I was worried that they wouldn't like my quilting design but those worries weren't realized.  They totally agreed with my choice and also felt that anything else wouldn't have looked right or like the kids themselves did it, which is what they wanted.
I stopped by the school's lobby recently to see how it looked hanging on the wall and the director told me that it has become a huge hit with the students.  Every single day a bunch of them come out to look at it, to point out their own blocks or to find the blocks of their friends.  She said that from her office she loves hearing when the kids discover yet another fun block that they hadn't noticed before.  Needless to say, they are so proud of what they helped to create and I know that it will be a source of inspiration to the young students for many years to come.

This quilt finished at 95" x 65" and is entered in the Large Quilts category.  You can see all the quilts entered in this category here and voting for your favorite will be Nov 1st through the 7th. You can also vote for it as one of your Viewer's Choice awards here. Enjoy the Blogger's Quilt Festival and as always, it promises to be a great party.

To the Rescue - A finish and Blogger's Quilt Festival entry

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month so it is the perfect time to show you my most recent finish and my first entry in the Blogger's Quilt Festival.

The idea for this quilt started with the pattern Flower Box Garden by Deborah Johnson Quiltmaker May/June 2012.
These are the fabrics that I had to work with.
I altered the block plan in that instead of the pieced feature blocks with the appliqued petals I used the EMS focus fabric instead.
And here is the completed quilt...

 To the Rescue
My kidlets helped out as quilt holders a couple of days ago while I took the pictures.
It was very windy that day and they had a tough time just holding onto it. Little Sunshine, who's fingers are just barely visible on the upper left side, was holding on for dear life.
It acted like a sail and I was just lucky to get these decent shots. It goes without saying that they lost hold of it more than once but it never flew off.
No matter how hard we tried nor how long we waited the wind would not die down enough to get a full on picture of the back but I think you can get a good idea from this picture.  As I wanted this quilt to appeal to all members of the Fire and EMS family, I chose a fire truck, ambulance and police fabric for the back. But... I wasn't able to get enough of it anywhere and since I'm tending to like pieced backings anyway, I put it together this way using the Red ladders and fire hoses fabric for the other side.
I'm happy to say that I free motion quilted this one on my longarm Penelope with a single loops, double loops and stars pattern.
I used Glide thread in Cardinal and I think it is just enough color without overpowering the white fabric areas.
This quilt was made as a fund raiser for Breast Cancer Awareness and it is being raffled off this weekend at a EMS trade show in Rochester. The ticket sales proceeds will be donated to the Northeastern chapter of Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure. I really hope that the response is huge and a lot of money is raised.
My employer donated all of the fabrics and batting for this donation quilt because his wife is a breast cancer survivor and the company is committed to raising money for this very worthwhile cause.
The original raffle was supposed to be held in June at an even bigger industry trade show but it was pouring rain and our booth was outside.  Needless to say that the 1st 2 days of the show we didn't see many visitors to our booth so the owner decided to postpone the raffle until the show this month, which thankfully is indoors so there is no chance of the quilt getting soaking wet again.
This was a really fun quilt to design and I hope that it achieves its goal of raising awareness and a lot of funds for Breast Cancer Awareness. This quilt is entered into the Large Quilts category and finished at 92" x 92".  You can see this quilt and all of the others entered into this category here.

The voting for the viewer's choices in each category will run from Nov 1st through the 7th so I'll be sure to remind you to hop over then to cast your votes. You can also vote for this quilt as one of your Viewer's Choice favorites here. I hope you enjoy the show.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Q.U.I.l.T.S Show - Part II

As promised, here are the rest of the pictures of quilts that I took at the Quilters United in Learning Together Schenectady (Q.U.I.L.T.S) last weekend. Enjoy, enjoy.

You'll Always Find Your Way Home, pieced by Susan Mezera, quilted by Eileen McCabe
Outside the Box, pieced by Lynn Reynolds Makrin, quilted by Dianne Podesva
Spring Tracks, pieced by Mary McNamara
Napa Diamonds, pieced by Mary McNamara, quilted by Eileen McCabe
Carpenter's Star, pieced by Mary Wade, quilted by Laurie Collins

Chinese Tiles, pieced by Georgia Bonesteel, quilted by Dianne Podesva
If The Hat Fits by Chris Kaczynski (You KNOW that I wanted to take this one home!)
My Celtic Solstice, pieced and quilted by Laurie Collins

Italian Tiles, pieced by Lynn Reynolds Makrin and quilted by Eileen McCabe

Times Square, pieced by Lynn Reynolds Makrin and quilted by Mandy Leins

Italian Tiles, pieced by Deborah Kreifels and quilted by Laurie Collins
Winning Hand, pieced by Mary Wade and quilted by Laurie Collins

I hope you enjoyed your visit to the show even if you weren't able to see them in person.  

We also wondered around the vendors at the show and bought just a few little goodies but I didn't take a picture before I put them away.  I'm knee deep in a deadline quilt so my studio needed to be uncluttered so that I could work. 

Now I'm ready to attend another show but I'll need to find one near enough to me.  How about you?  Do you like to attend local quilt shows?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Q.U.I.L.T.S. Show - Part 1

There is nothing like a quilt show to get one's creative juices flowing (which is always good) and make me want to do nothing but hide out in my studio all day and night and sew to my heart's content (which is not good). Well it would be good if I could actually do that; it isn't good because I can't.

This past weekend my sister Tina came up and went to the Quilts United in Learning Together Schenectady (Q.U.I.L.T.S.) guild show. It is a smaller local show but there was still plenty of pretty quilts to see.  I didn't have the time to edit all the pictures to crop out the surrounding stuff for each quilt but I think you'll still enjoy the view.

Kaleidoscope Waterlily, pieced and quilted by Kathy Klinger
Shade's of Green Mariners Compass, Pieced and quilted by Elaine McCain
The Shades of Winter, Pieced and quilted by Barbara Valachovic
Celtic Garden Maze, pieced and quilted by Eileen McCabe
Spring Feathers, pieced and quilted by Eileen McCabe
Abduction from the Seraglio, pieced by Noel Payton, Quilted by Sue Schoch
Wonky Halloween, pieced and quilted by Nina Whitney
Gold Kimono, pieced and quilted by Kathy Klinger
When Life Gives You Scraps, pieced and quilted by Linda Cary
Friendship Starr, Pieced by Bobbie Paulus, quilted by Eileen McCabe
Tuscan Sunset, pieced by Janet Polombo, quilted by Sue Schoch
Stacy's Wedding, whole cloth quilt quilted by Eileen McCabe
Bella's Mimi, pieced by Janet Polombo, quilted by Sue Schoch
I'll have one more post showing the balance of the quilts that I took pictures of at this show. Stay tuned.