Saturday, January 25, 2014

Grow your Blog

Today's post is a little different.  For my loyal readers (that's you, Mom!) it's kind of a review of what I've been up to- and a big thank you for following along!  For anybody visiting from the Grow Your Blog Linkup, welcome!  I'd like to show you what I make, and also invite any comments or suggestions about how to improve my blog.

This is me, in the middle.  My mom's on the left, and my sister on the right. This picture is from our trip to Hawaii, back in 2012.  Of course, we had to stop at some quilt stores!

I appreciate and admire all types of quilting, from traditional to modern. I personally most enjoy making art quilts.  I've been working on a series of Tree quilts.  So here they are, in chronological order.
Tree #1

blue and red tree quilt
Tree #2

Tree # 3

I love machine quilting.  It was tricky to learn at first, and it took lots of practice!  Luckily I found the FreeMotion Quilting Project- it's a great website with tons of videos that show you how to machine quilt, step by step.

Now I teach an Intro to Free Motion Quilting at Sew to Speak.  I love helping beginners get started on FMQ. 

Also I belong to 2 fun quilt guilds:  The Columubs Modern Quilt Guild, and the Art Quilt Alliance.

So these are few of my favorite things. What do you love most about quilting?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Out on a limb

I've made some progress on Tree #4 this week. 
The limb on the left was longer before- I had planned for it to extend off the edge, but it seemed to overpower the main tree.  I've covered it up by laying yellow background pieces on it, but I haven't glued them down yet. Which do you like better- the shorter limb (above) or the longer limb (below)? You can got out on a limb (ha, ha) and leave your vote in the comments!
It was so cold here early this week that there was frost inside the window of my quilting room. Those Machinger's quilting gloves really came in handy!

And I made an impromptu draft dodger by bunching up some FMQ practice sandwiches and stuffing them at the bottom of my window. Hmm... maybe I should write a tutorial and call it the "FMQ Up-cycling Draft Dodger!" (just kidding!)

I'm linking up to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays.  Check it out to see lots of inspiring fiber art!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hello 2014

Time for a quick recap of 2013, and some goal-setting for the New Year.  I find quilting goals so fun and invigorating, because I tend to actually follow through much better than with my typical resolutions (lose weight, clean more, etc) which are quickly abandoned.
Here's what I made in 2013:

It was a good year.  I met some goals: I improved my free-motion quilting, and I started teaching at Sew to Speak (yay!).  I've entered my work in shows, and I finished 3 quilts in the Tree series.  So, what's next?
2014 Goals:
1.  Continue to exhibit my work in shows- specifically MQX East, NQA, and the Fine Arts division of the Ohio State Fair.
2. Finish Tree # 4.
3.  Re-organize my sewing room.  I need better storage for my stash.  Currently I have these plastic drawers under my cutting table, which make great use of the space, but I've outgrown them. Also I'd like to organize my thread on a hanging rack.

4. Move toward making more original quilts, and defining my own style.  Ruth McDowell and Susan Carlson have been big influences on the Tree quilts.  I appreciate and admire their work, but now I want to move beyond that. I want to make quilts that look like me, and not like somebody else (well not literaly me.  I'm not going to make self-portraits).  This is a big goal, and I'm not sure exactly how to get there. And it's certainly not something to cross of the list in just one year. But if you don't know where you want to go, you'll never get there, right?
I'm linking up with Off-the-Wall Fridays.  Check it out!
Here's to a happy and productive 2014!  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2 finishes in one day

I celebrated New Year's Eve with a quilting marathon.  In addition to Tree #2 which I posted yesterday, I also finished Tree # 3 (it was almost done already, though).

I used a finishing technique from Susan Carlson's book- I glued snippets of fabric to the front, wrapped around the edge, and glued them on the back.  I really like how it looks on the front, but I think it's kind of messy on the back.  But I didn't want to see a line of binding around the edge, and it was too stiff to turn under for a facing. So this seemed like the best option.   In this picture, I've almost finished the edging, and you can see the back of the quilt with room for about 3 more snippets.

I ironed the label on at 11:43 pm Dec 31- so I can say I finished it in 2013!
Happy New Year, and thanks for reading!