Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Got gloves?

Most of us know that when you attend a quilt show there are white glovers those are the wonderful people who volunteer their time to stand in front of quilts with white gloves on so that if you were at the show would like to see the back of the quilt they're there to lift up delicately a corner of the quilt so that if you are maybe take a peek behind, thus preventing any public handling of the art work.
Lots of quilters wear gloves when they do their free motion work (excluding long armer's I should think)  and like many others before me I tried a lot of different types before settling on my favorite type. 
When I free motion quilt I use latex surgical gloves. (real latex not the fake ones) I started this practice after the knitted quilting gloves that I had first just got to warm for my hands and I found them too bulky and cumbersome; not to mention the couple times I accidentally stitched them right down during a rather exciting part.   A friend gave me a box of latex surgical gloves and I tried them while quilting and fell instantly in love with them.
How long does each pair last? Well, probably forever if you weren't using them for handling material all day. After two quilts this is what my gloves look like.
The fabric is clean the gloves start out clean and the machine and quilting area are clean. Some quilts might be a bit dirtier than others simply due to the excess dyes in the materials.
 Also, they are fabulous for petting your cats as the latex grabs that excess fur (I use another pair just for that). 
I also use them when I paint and do calligraphy as I truly hate getting paint & ink on my skin. 
I give myself a sort of mini mani by lubing up my fingernails with Vaseline before the gloves go on; after having them on for a few hours and with the heat generated by my own body it does wonders for my dry cuticles! 
Happy Quilting!  

Monday, July 29, 2013

Another Plushie Puppie

My neighbors have been gifting me with homegrown tomatoes & Japanese cucumbers. 
I made this puppy for their grandson.  He was the reciepient of this quilt
but since I used every scrap of Dr. Seuss material I had no leftovers. 

I did have scraps of this quilt, which is what I used here.

The best part was I used the scraps that were already seamed.  The pieces were small
enough so they worked really well.   
Part of the pattern.  The pattern was from a magazine.  The artist
is Molliemakes.com.  google PlushieDog you should find it.
If not, email me, I've got electronic copies I can email to you.  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Got Cats?

Who told her she could have 13?

My friend over at Katnip Lounge 

This is the back of the quilt.  Finished size is 72" x 72" 
This is a Queen sized bed. 

Her room colors are brown & blue (this isn't her room) 
So the back of the quilt is a lovely, calming chocolate brown
and the effigies of her 'bakers dozen' are in blue stars-
because naturally we all made of star dust but Cats ACT like it all the time!

It's all done but the binding which I am going into do now that I've made the label. 

The top is a riot of color and every strip is cat themed. 

Most were her fabrics. 
I am happy to have this project finished and getting ready to mail out.  I never thought I would like something with so much color but I must admit it makes me happy just looking at it!  


My good friend Vickie just acquired this little cutie pie.  And of course with a name like 
Princess Aleyska Analise Duchess of Aurora Borealis...
she needed her very own CatNip Quilt.  

the back

close up front

22" x 22" 
As I've said before I like doing these because they give me a reason to practice my feathers.  I was trying a new technique on the inside feathers here and I don't like it but it worked.  I like the outside ones though.  

I find that if you learn one way to do them you sort of always fall back into that way.  What I didn't like about the inside ones is that you create the feather loops by back stitching over the adjacent feather crown.  I don't like how that looks.  Every other one, on the top you can see it's darker.  That's distracting to me.  
So I'm going back to the old way of doing each loop individually.  

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Plushie Puppy Post

My Friend Cindy Cooksey has been making these plushie puppies.  I wanted to make one to go with the baby quilt I recently finished. 

It wasn't hard (except I don't recommend having long fingernails!) and choosing the fabrics was fun! 
What I want to design is a cat head instead.  
More on that later.  For now all done & ready for the box.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Quilting on thru...

One project completed!
Miss Howard's quilt is ready for mailing. 
size is 43"W x 57"L

Went back and forth about putting her name on and in truth, the binding and everything was already finished before I finally decided to do it.  I'm happy with it. 

Grey daisies on gold and gold daisys on grey. 

I love this binding

And now onto finishing another bed quilt for a friend.  
This is the 'all cat fabric' one I did back in Nov. or Dec. last year.  
Finally getting to the quilting.
On this quilt due to the busyness of all the fabrics I'm going with a simple stipple pattern. 
Ollie can't resist snoopervising

The center of each 24" square will have a flower, then stipple out from there

Hope to get it done this week!  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Layers of a Journey

As many of you know, my only child has recently moved
away from home (to finish her degree in Las Vegas Nevada)
So too I'm sure many of you also know and understand this whole 'empty nest' transition and how
difficult it can be.
While I'm very happy for my daughter, I'm simply bereft of her being with me each and every day. I find it another of life's paradoxes that while I was totally, each and every day, 'in the moment' with her and relishing our time together I was completely unprepared for her absence.  Thus far I've ridden the roller coaster of ups and downs and while I didn't go lay on her bed and bawl the moment she left, I've found weird things will set me off.  Though in all fairness; this could just be menopause. 
The other day when I was quilting the baby quilt (in the previous post) thoughts would randomly come to mind and some seemed to me very important at the time so I instantly stopped sewing, walked to the design wall, tossed up a large(ish) piece of duck cloth (24" x 36") and started writing. 
In my minds eye I saw the whole of my heart, then like in the movies I attempted to superimpose the image of the cracked shell just before it shatters completely.  I tried to draw that.  The song running thru my mind was Peter Gabriel's 'Mercy Street'.  I quickly did some calligraphy not wanting to get caught up in the 'fancy' of it but just to get the words down and emphasize the ones that pinged me. 
The hand will be covered in fabric of some sort. Not sure yet. 
So this that you see is either
a. the first layer of something, or;
b. the prototype of of a larger piece 
Since I don't know which; I'm working on it 'as the mood strikes' .  I'm not sitting down and telling myself
'you must feel all this now & get it down'
because that doesn't really work for me.  So I'm leaving it up and as thoughts come to mind I will embellish.
Thus far there is even more work  on it that involves musical symbols.  The Coda; for example.  The Coda marks the end of a piece of music or movement.  Then there are the symbols for loud, soft & gradations in between. 
It seems to fit to me.  I may keep the musical analogy or not. 
Another thing that keeps coming to my brain is when I was in Jr. High, I remember there was a book that had just been published called 'Passages' by Gail Sheehy.  
 I never read it of course ( I was only 12) but I find it amusing that I can remember that book, the cover and the authors name but I'll be damned if I can tell you what I had for lunch yesterday. 
Another thing that is floating in and out of my consciousness is the very real understanding that this moment, the one I'm in right now and the person I am right now is really the only one that counts.
Maybe that's harsh; but I'm thinking that who I was a year ago, five years ago and certainly 20 or 30 years ago is not the person I am today.  I don't mourn her; she's rattling around in here somewhere; but with the departure of my *pretty much single reason for existing the last 20 years* daughter I now have to focus on me. 
I would like to say sadly that I started by looking the in the mirror.  I looked at my face, my body, into my own eyes and I'm still stunned because it's NOT the same person I see of myself when I'm not looking into a mirror (or my reflection on a window or store front). 
Our minds are really weird.
I'll post more if it starts getting more interesting.  Meantime,
I'm curious about the journey.