Sunday, September 30, 2012


Yes, it has happened.  I quit that evil jacket and stuck it back in the UFO pile. When I made my to-do list for the 100 Day Hustle, I realized that I have a lot of other projects that I want/need to get done before the year ends (and I left the FMQ challenge off that list! I need to get back to doing it!)

I also realized that I have literally been avoiding sewing for the past few weeks because I know this jacket will be hard and frustrating.  So I sewed those last two curved strips down (it was a royal pain and took forever and involved lots of seam ripping) and then set it aside.

Here are the shots of those last few (painful) steps.  This needed to be curve pieced, and I couldn't get the stupid strip to be the right size so I had to cut a new one (so much wasted fabric! Arrg!) So I lay a piece of paper down and pierced it with pins along the stitching line, then cut it out as a "template."

 Here's the actual fabric all pinned down.  Even with all this planning, I still got some wavy spots, but I threw up my hands and decided I would just deal with them.
 Here's the finished back panel.  You can tell this jacket is designed to be slimming! I think when I come back to this next I will baste together the panels so I can see how it looks and give myself a little pick-me-up.

Putting that aside has been a relief. I need to be working on projects that I look forward to! So I sat down to do the "O is Owl" wallhanging, which I love and which was supposed to be the first monthly project for my guild.

On a side note, the monthly project caused a lot of anxiety this week because I received my project binder and discovered (I should have realized...) that the entire tutorial each month has to fit in a single page (or less!) of newsletter space. I was also frankly stressed about getting the sample done on time, and figuring out how I could make it to the morning meetings to show the next sample, whether I needed to have a prize system in place, etc.

On Friday I met with some friendly members of my guild who helped me realize that I was being way too ambitious.  If it's challenging for me to fit in the time to do these projects, it will be challenging for the guild members too! So instead we will do a very simple block-of-the-month. This will be easier and far less stressful on me, and probably more enjoyable for the guild members.

Okay back to the pictures :)  This was before I decided to no longer do this wallhanging (it will probably be dumped in the UFO pile too, at least temporarily...) The first instructions call for making a scrappy night sky background. After that evil jacket it was a fun relief to throw a bunch of random blue fabrics in a pile and just cut strips left and right, with no regard to their width.

 Here they are all ironed out and ready to be sewn together!
I've made a little progress since then, but this weekend was our guild's quilt show (more on that in another post...) so I once again having gotten much sewing done. So, that's all for now. I am definitely feeling pumped up after shedding that project and getting inspired by this weekend's show.

Monday, September 24, 2012

100 Day Hustle

Kelsey sews has created a linky party to help us all finish off our sewing projects for 2012 in the 100 98 days remaining. We list off everything we want to make, and post on our progress.

Kelsey Sews

And yes, I am posting right now to procrastinate on sewing >_<

Here is my list for the rest of this year:

  1. Monthly guild project. I am the monthly project coordinator so I need to make up a sample for each month's project. In fact, I need to do this ASAP because I can only go to meetings every other month so I should probably show the October and November samples at the October meeting. Shoot, didn't realize that deadline was so soon until I typed this! Where has September gone??
  2. Finish off this evil jacket. It can be done, once I get past the hard part that I am stuck on.
  3. Finish this charity wholecloth quilt that was due back in July. Oops.
  4. Christmas presents...ack.  I should be starting these around now but there's just no time, they will have to be pushed back a month. I do a set of presents for family, for friends, and for co-workers. I have plans for most of these, I just need to get my act together and create them.
  5. And if time allows (it won't) I need to make a baby quilt for a coworker.
So that was sufficiently alarming. I'm a little terrified right now. Most of these are kind of hard deadlines...can't miss Christmas!

Okay, guess that means I should spend some hours tonight on getting this jacket out of the way...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Quilting in the Garden

Yesterday I swung by the Quilting in the Garden show in Livermore, CA. What fun! In Alaska we only ever have about two quilt shows per year, so it's very exciting to live somewhere now where there's pretty much a quilt show every weekend, if you're willing to drive a bit.

Note: Prepare for a VERY photo-heavy post.  Click on any photo to view a larger version.
 The show is hosted at Alden Lane Nursery, and is all outdoors.

The weather was perfect and it was great to wander through the trees and see quilts peeking out. It really was a lovely afternoon for a quilt show!

This is the sight that greeted us at the entrance. They really did a great job with the decorations and aesthetic. This year's show featured quilts by Judy Mathieson, who does some really stunning compass designs.

 This stunner is "Bristol Stars" by Judy Mathieson. I LOVED it (who wouldn't?) What's especially great about this quilt are the colors. Sometimes doing a full-on rainbow quilt can be too crazy, so I love here how she went with a rainbow theme but stuck with a subset of rainbow colors-teal through purple/pink. The orange background just ties it all together.
 Here is the label showing her inspiration and computer design. She designed this thing herself in Claris Draw! WOW!
 This lovely wallhanging was also at the entrance. "New Growth" by Michael Corsaro, Jr.

 Another by Judy Matheison; "Cosmati Stars". What a cool design! I find this quilt both very traditional but very modern with the off-center design. The colors were again beautiful.

Here's what blew me away: the pattern continues onto the binding! It is little details like this that set apart a true show quilt.

Judy also likes dogs it seems.  She had a lot of adorable dog designs, some of which are below.
 "Ross in Repetition" by Judy Matheison. All of the little dogs have button eyes and noses.
 "Big Black Dog" by Judy Matheison. The design was made up of little squares.

 "Blue Bow Tie" by Judy Matheison.  The back of this quilt was pretty neat too (below).

 "Dog Cabin" by Judy Matheison. Again, this one had a fun backing.

 This photo didn't come out great, but the quilt was called "Garden Party" by Jennifer Rounds. I found the colors and design very appealing. What was especially cool was the pattern for this quilt was on sale at the event! It can be found in a book called "A Dozen Roses."
 The backing was perfectly chosen to match the quilt colors and theme.

 This quilt pattern was also found in the "A Dozen Roses" book. "Rose of Havana" by Jennifer Rounds and Catherine Comyns.

 This was a simple design but really lovely and impactful quilt, I think largely from the colors chosen. "In the Woods" by Ursula Leschke.

This one was fun! "Schizophrenic Stripes" by Michelle Garrison.

This was an adorable fall quilt in a lovely palate  of colors. "Hoot for Fall" by Becky Perry.

This Lone Star had lovely colors and some great quilting in those large white spaces. "Lone Star Beauty" by Shari Brady.

I loved these turtles! They were really fun and cute, especially that last guy who carries over onto the border. "Shall We Dance" by Lora Zmak.

Ran into this hilarious sign in the garden...

 These were the sorts of sights at the show. Look at all these lovely quilts strung up in the trees!

 This one have lovely colors and a cool 3d effect. "Shadowed Kimono" by Judy Matheison.

Then there was a special section for Thom Atkins, an amazing beading artist. All of these quilts were completely decked out in amazing beading.
 Okay I forgot to take a shot of this one that included the title; this is a just a zoom.  But check out all the beads on this one tiny section!

 This was my absolute favorite. Completely gorgeous scene with some wild beading. The number was obscured by I think this one is "Raven Dreaming" by Thom Atkins.
 Look at those ravens!!!
 And all of the snowflakes were individually created. WOW!

This was a desert scene with some serious trapunto on the cacti, and 3d flowers. "After the Rains" by Thom Atkins.

Some very cute beaded lizards were dispersed around it as well.

This one had gorgeous 3d leaves and clumps of flowers. Definitely zoom in to check out the beaded vines. "Nothing is Forever" by Thom Atkins.

 The amount of beading on this was unbelievable. Every square centimeter had something! Also missed the title of this one >_<

 Another stunner by Thom Atkins.

 Missed the title of this one too....
 This toucan was really amazing. Definitely click on the photo to see the beading in more detail.

Okay here are even MORE shots of other quilts at the show (yes, I took pictures of most everything!)
 "Zen Roses" by Jennifer Rounds. All hand appliqued. (See detail below)

 "Wine and Roses" by Kia Kelley Johnson. I though this was a fun and straightforward design.

 "Pink Explosion" by BJ Meier. I liked the design: simple and clean but very intriguing to look at.

The shadows made this photo only so-so, but this was a fun whimsical quilt. "4 Seasons of Trees" by Jennifer Rounds.

All three of these had great colors.

This had lovely colors and a really cool tree stitched onto it (hard to see). "Heartstrings" by Jennifer Rounds.

I always love quilts with fish themes.  :) This had some impressively small quilting over the background too. "Fishing" by Becky Perry.

 Another stunner by Judy Mathieson. "Cinnebar and Indigo."

 "Starfire"  by Judy Matheison. More great colors.

 I thought this one was fun and cute! Also great colors. "LaPlaya" by Virginia Alexander.

Another lovely one, with 3d flowers. "Butterflies Flutter By" by Jennifer Rounds and Kim Butterworth.

"Compass Roses"  by Judy Matheison. 

Two cute ladybug quilts in a row. "Garden Lady Bugs" by Kristi Marymee (above) and "Ladybug, Ladybug!" by Darra Williamson (below).

The pattern for this cutie was available as well. I love the touch of the fence rails on the border. "It Takes a Village" by Darra Williamson.

 This was a really neat display. A zoom of the sign is below. These were a bunch of very small sewn items with a variety of really cute and creative designs. The sign says "To begin the new year, Darra promised herself to spend a minimum of 30 minutes per day, every day, doing something creative.

She began her creative journey on January 1, 2012. Many of the 3" x 5" collages, bookmarks and small quilts that you see here are the results of that ongoing, self-imposed creative challenge."

I think that's something we can all admire and aspire to!

 Ms. Judy Mathieson was there herself, and when I went to gush to her about the binding I saw at the entrance, we discovered that the wallhanging on display at her table also used that technique! WOW!

Are you still here? Phew, that was a lot of photos! I just didn't want to leave anybody out because all of the quilts were so great :)

Okay now time to get some sewing done myself!