Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Back from the Holidays

I haven't been hiding, but I got a lovely surprise Christmas Eve- my brother flew in from Reno to spend Christmas with us. He left today, and I wanted to spend every possible minute with him. We went to a camera shop in my ongoing photography education, visited an art exhibit in Orem, and just had fun catching up.

I do have some pictures to post, and I have actually gotten some work done- some quilting, some Christmas goodies I will be sending off to my two sons. But that will have to wait until this weekend. I hope your holidays were full of family, fun, and good cheer, and that the New Year brings good to all- including lots of good creativity!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Shannon's Busy in the Studio???!!!!

I spent most of yesterday and part of Friday night helping Shannon make some simple tree ornaments for her co-workers. She saw some she liked in the new issue of Quilting Arts Gifts, we changed them a bit, and off she went. Bentlee also got into the action, making a bird to go on her dad's Yankee tree.

Shannon picked fabric from my stash,

cut out the pieces with the templates she made from poster board,

fused the fabric to Timtex, and finished the edges with satin stitch.

Bentlee also learned how to satin stitch--

After decorating the trees and giving the birds button eyes, she put on hanging loops with pearl cotton.

And here are some finished ornaments!!

If it looks like I've gone a bit overboard with documenting this- getting Shannon interested in what I do in my studio has been a bit of an uphill battle. Here's evidence that there may yet be hope!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday evening--

I'm waiting for the pork roast to finish cooking, it's been in since 8 am and smelling wonderful. Here's hoping I can duplicate what Sean did for his birthday while I was in Florida. He's the best cook with meat I know.

I think I have made every screwup you can make while sewing this weekend. It took me a day and a half to finally get the facing on my 12 by 12 piece. I sewed it on the wrong side once, almost did it a second time; I found out that corner triangles have to be cut on the bias so the straight of grain is diagonal across the square- otherwise, it just stretches out of shape, quickly!! I can't remember the last time I did so much un-sewing.

But I got a lot of stuff organized. Instead of this. . .

I now have this!

That simple unit from Ikea more than doubled my storage space. I got stuff off the floor, using those cool fabric containers that cost all of $5. I cleaned out a lot of magazines to Freecycle. I've figured out about the only ones worth hanging on to are Quilting Arts and Machine Quilting Unlimited. I can't believe the difference that made. I also got stuff off the floor in my fabric closet just with a couple of hooks on the wall.

I found out my 12 by 12 piece isn't due until New Year's Eve, so I'm going back to some of the words I missed. Frog jumped out at me- here's what I have so far.

Doesn't look very froggy, does it? It will when I'm done, I've got to wait a couple of days for the Shiva paintstik to cure.

One more week, then two short weeks of work. I may even take some time off. Hope your week is a good one.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I'd rather be hiding out in the studio. . .

because it's been COLD all week, and it's starting to snow again- as if we haven't had enough already for early December. If I knew all this was going to magically go away on 2 January, I could live with it- but the likelihood is that we'll be dealing with cold and wet and snow well into March.

Here's the current view of our street, looking east towards the mountains-

Yeah, the mountains you can't see because of the low clouds full of snow!

I have actually been spending time in the studio. I've been cleaning and reorganizing, and got my first (to me), anyway, 12 by 12 piece done. I think the reveal on those is next week. And, I pulled out the very first quilt I made and looked it over.

My son Ian called this week, asking if we had any homemade Christmas ornaments I'd be willing to part with. I did, actually, and then remembered a box of his stuff at the top of our coat closet. I pulled it down, and there was the quilt. Wow.

It's a Margaret Miller Sizzling Strips quilt- one I had great fun rotary cutting the strips for at Primary Children's hospital in Salt Lake when Shannon was there with leukemia. It was great therapy for me. I still love the design and the colors, black and red remain a combination I use- check out our living room!

What struck me was the dearth of quilting! I took this one to a quilt shop when they had just gotten a longarm and were starting to quilt for their customers. At that point in time, it was all about the pattern and colors in a quilt for me- the quilting was just there to hold the layers together. As I recall, the shop was so new at this, they didn't even charge me for the work they did. It's quilted in an overall clamshell pattern, not that close.

What a difference fourteen years can make! Now I'm thinking about the quilting when I'm designing and constructing the top. Even my not-so-closely quilted pieces, like Out of the Blue, have more quilting than this one!

But this will still look good on a wall, so I'm sewing a sleeve on it before I send it off to Ian in Chicago. I hope he still likes it!

And here's hoping you are staying warm and cozy, and having a relaxing and creative weekend.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Winter's Here

so we put up the Christmas tree last night. This year, it's more out of the way of traffic next to the fireplace. Here's Bentlee and Jaden striking a holiday pose for Santa! (Yes, one of these years I will get the red drapes for the door done--)

I also got some work done on a challenge piece for one of the online groups I recently joined- the 12 by 12 Project. Can't show you the whole thing, since the reveal is later this month- but here's a teaser.

I'm pretty happy with how it is turning out. Just a little more embellishment, face it, and we're good.

I'm also looking around at my studio and trying to figure ways to make it more functional and inspirational. I feel the stirrings of a definite clean, de-clutter and reorganize coming on! (Couldn't have anything to do with the new issue of Studios, could it?)

Hope your weekend has been inspirational and restful!