Thursday, October 19, 2017

Life Is One Big Learning Experience


Hello Friends!  Wowzers, what a month!  I tell you what, it'll be awhile before I book my calendar that tight again!  Sometimes you can't help it but, jeez, that was a rough one!  Not to mention we've been crazy busy at my day job.

First, I'm super pleased to say that my first guild presentation seemed to go fairly well.  Let me just say, it was a very near disaster.  I didn't realize I needed to bring ALL my own equipment for the presentation.  Luckily, Katie M and a random IT guy came to my rescue in the nick of time.  Everything I do is a lesson in life.  Everything.  Next time, I'll know better!!!  Anyways, I didn't make a complete fool of myself.  Sales were wonderful!  And, on Saturday I gave a Back Basting Applique class.  We did the block for this pillow.  That was much easier.  It helps to be surrounded by friends!  So, if you know any guilds interested in hiring me for a class/ presentation, let me know.
I had tons of fun and torment while traveling this summer to quilt shows.  Again, everything is a learning experience.  My most recent, Urbana, was almost a complete bust.  I'm not sure if it was the weather (it rained the whole time), if it was the days of the show ( Friday and Saturday) or if they just didn't like what I had to offer.  But, I learned some more stuff about traveling and how I want to present my shop.  It's obvious that I need to diversify and I need more samples!  Samples, samples, samples!  So, now that I'm slowing down (pretending to), I got back to work on my Hungarian Heritage quilt.  I do have this book for sale in the shop and I LOVE it!  I got 2 more blocks done.


The project so far.  It's going to be pretty big.  I didn't buy enough red to do the borders, so I'll have to figure something out.  Naturally, my distributors don't have it in stock any longer.  Distributors are another thing I'm trying to figure out.  Note that the middle block, far left is not set right.  Booo!  But, I don't know that it screams at you.  So, I can either do a few more wrong and pretend it was on purpose or just let that one be it's own unique self.
 Here's the center block for my President's Challenge this year.  I'm calling it Blue Danube.  I'm loving it so far.
 Then, randomly, I decided to start a whole new project that has nothing to do with anything other than I'd been planning it for awhile.  I've got some grey fabric with pink flamingos on it that has been in my stash for a few years now.  Naturally, I decide that it can't wait and I have to start it in the middle of my craziness.
 I'm using star blocks that I had downloaded during Turning Twenty's block of the month a few years ago.  I knew they'd come in handy eventually.
 Nice big, easy blocks.
 I should end up with 12 stars and then I'll figure out how to get the flamingos incorporated.
 The guild's BOM from last month.  I didn't have it ready in time for the meeting but I treated myself to some embroidery afterwards, since I hadn't completely humiliated myself...  I'm using some of the Wildflowers thread that I sell in the shop.  So pretty up close!
 The project so far.  I've got a new one to work on this month.  That'll be my treat for finishing Hungarian Heritage.
I still have 3 quilts on my UFO list but things aren't looking good.  If I concentrate, I might get one of them quilted.  Both my Clamshells and Irish Chain tops are finished.  But, that means making a backing, basting, quilting and binding before the November meeting.  I MIGHT get one done.  MIGHT!

And, that brings us mostly up to date!  My next "event" will be at Frieden's Church here in Troy on 11/11.  Right down the street!  No hotel, no long road trips!  Hope you can all stop by to see the shenanigans!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

What's Next?




 Well, I don't know about you but I feel like a Whirling Dervish.  I keep telling myself that things will settle in once -insert event- is done but there just always seems to be something else following it. I guess it's good, I don't think I'd enjoy boredom.  

This is a quilt I made a few months ago for a co-worker's baby.  I may have shared already... not sure.  Chad's a volunteer fireman so the piggy fireman was perfect!  I love it!


I had made a bag for another co-worker several years ago for her to take on vacation to Hawaii.  It lasted at least 5 years but she commissioned me to make a new one for her.  She said it could be any fabric that I wanted.  So, I made this cute red, green and blue bag.

What she meant to say was that she wanted purple and bigger.  So, I made another one.  She kept both and gave one as a gift to her sister.  I really enjoyed making them!  It's a pretty great bag if I do say so myself.  I should have taken a close up of the button on the purple bag.  It was fabulous!


This month we had 2 BOM from the guild.  I love this deer but I may have to use a different thread for his antlers, they're pretty pale right now.

The second one might be my favorite so far.  It's so delicate.
 I've managed 1 more block for Hungarian Heritage.  This quilt is stunning but I don't enjoy sitting at the machine, stitching around all those pieces.  It's on my UFO list, so it's GOT to get done!!

Speaking of UFOs, 'Roberta Anne with an E' is quilted.  It took FOREVER.  The struggle to find thread that my Pfaff likes, other than Aurifil continues.  On my way to Peoria, I stopped in at the Quilt Corner in Morton.  It's a lovely shop, especially if you like primitives and wool.  I bought some Presencia and King Tut quilting threads to test.  They worked with the right needle.  So, I may invest further.  I'm not aware of a store locally that carries the Presencia, so that may be what I go with.  I wasn't too keen on the idea of buying a case of every color I needed to quilt these blocks.  My machine refuses to quilt with the transparent stuff...
Last but certainly not least, I finished a store sign for my vendor booth!  I blew up my logo and machine appliqued it.  It's surrounded by pink rick rack and quilted with meandering hearts.  Aaahhhh... right?

But wait, there's more!  While in Peoria, I started a family tree!
What's next you ask?  Well, next week I'm going to the fall Padukah show for the first time!  Just as a visitor, mind you.  Then the weekend of the 23rd, I'm headed to the Sweet Inspirations quilt show in Elk Grove Village!  I'm busily prepping new inventor from a new distributor, store samples and dinner plans with my nephew and his family who live in Chicago!  Can't wait!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Finally Got Some Inspiration

Recently I ordered Kathy Shaw's new book "Fancy Seam Designs" and it was just what I needed to get inspired for my CQJP.  I had really stalled on this because I find the monochromatic theme so limiting.  Or should I say, CHALLENGING.  I finished my June block, then went back and re-did a few things on previous blocks.

 It also helped to a little shopping on Etsy.  I got a few brass pieces to add.
 I took out some chunky beads and replaced it with embroidery.  The more delicate seam is much more to my liking.  I also tried a smidge of goldwork.  The bottom bee hive... meh.
 This is my favorite so far.  The white button is made of bone.  I picked it up at a gem show last year that Ethan drug me to.
 I'm excited to share that I've been giving quilting lessons to Sierra's 1st grade teacher!  Barb has her first grandbaby and couldn't wait to make a baby quilt!  She's a little farther than this already.  She's added some applique borders top & bottom.  It's super cute!  I'll share another photo when she's done.
 I worked on our guild's BOM.  It's an alien, right?  Something was really bothering me with the coloring.  It seamed so faded...  only to realize I'd attached the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric.  So, since I had to do it a second time, I changed the stitches around a bit.  Still looks like an alien that's flipping me off with it's leafy hands.  I sense much anger... don't let the hearts fool you.

 Last but certainly not least, I made a bunch of these cuties.


 I don't know where her smudges came from.  Must have been on the wood...


 And this girl, will do the worrying for you.

I think that's enough for now.  I've got a bunch more but I've been slacking with the picture taking!  Next weekend I'm off to Peoria for my next quilt show vending!!  If you're looking for something to do 8/26 & 27, come over to the Peoria Convention Center!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Quilt Storm Dead Ahead

I've been quilting up a storm lately!  I hung this wall hanging in my bathroom to cut down on the glow from my insane aqua paint.  It's Tisket A Tasket by Bunny Hill Designs.  It was one of the very first applique projects I ever did by hand.  I think #2, in fact.  But, I never quilted it properly because I hadn't tackled that particular skill yet.  So, having it in my throne room... made me realize it was past time to finish it properly.
 
I did flowers and loops in the outer border, fat loops in the inner border, ribbons for the sashing, hearts for the setting squares and swirls in the main block background.
 

I really enjoyed revisiting this old friend.  At the same time it was nice to see how far I've come in my applique skills.  Not that I'm admitting to anything but, dang, some of it's pretty rustic.
 Weekend before last, I was at our Mascoutah retreat again.  Always a good time!  My focus was to finish Bethany's graduation quilt Shoe Shop Girl.  And, I did it!  I'm either 2 years late for high school graduation or I'm 2 years early for college graduation.  You decide, I know which one I'm claiming...There were still 3 blocks to make, then assemble and add borders on the first day.

 Then, I took it home and stayed up all night to quilt it.  I tried to do a different pattern for each of the different blocks.  I also ended up using several different threads.  I had LOTS of breakage until I came to accept that my machine just really prefers Aurifil 50 thread for free motion.
 Ballet slippers because she was a dancer for so many years.
 Ribbon flip flops.
 I used applique paper to do the turned under applique by machine.  It seamed like a good idea at the time... not so much.  There are some really tiny pieces that a sane woman would have just done with Steam a Seam.
 I designed the Go-Go boots myself.  We weren't crazy about the fur-lined boots that the original pattern had.  I tried to make each shoe something that Bethany would actually wear.
 No, she wouldn't actually wear these Grandma pumps but I was out of ideas.  I may add shoe laces to the orange striped tennis shoes.  They don't seem quite done.
 For the inner border, I did loops and daisies, the outer is just loops.
 I'm pretty happy with the end result.  You can find the pattern at AJPadilla.com.  It's a fairly small lap but a good size for my tiny Bethany.  This will be my first entry for my guilds UFO challenge!  I didn't pick my UFO's very smartly.  I chose 5 which is the max number, but I only have until November to get them done.  One quilt a month?  Come on Heather, reality break.  Some are NO WHERE NEAR being finished.  Well, at least I got one done.  Then, when my card gets pulled, I'll win all my money back... heavy eye roll.
I also made a money belt for my vendor booth.  Didn't think to take a picture.  I'll try to get one later, maybe.  Talk to you soon!