Monthly Archives: January 2014

Challenging Myself – For The Children

I’ve been putting a lot of time and effort into improving my own head-space…. you know being very on-purpose about noticing my thoughts and behaviors. I want to become a better version of myself. Maybe even become more of myself than I’ve ever been. Clearly, this is a very personal journey…. though I’ve had lots of help along the way.

I had a bad day. I did. It didn’t undo all the progress I’ve made. I just had a bad day. By keeping things in perspective I’m able to continue moving forward. Thing is, this isn’t just for me. My mom once told me that with each generation we get better. I remember hoping that would be true but it doesn’t happen effortlessly. My reaching for higher health for myself may trickle down to future generations, especially if/when my husband and I decide to have children.

The Project Quilting Challenge for this week is up-cycling. Much of my art is very personal. You now know what I’ve been thinking about, so it’s probably no surprise that I knew the title of this piece before anything else. It’s called, “For The Children.” First, I tore photographs of children out of these Reader’s Digest Almanacs from the 70’s.

Reader's Digest

The tear-ings (not clippings) were raw-edge appliqued and bound with masking tape. In this case, raw-edge applique is code for sewn down. ‘Cause I used my sewing machine on paper. Yup.

For the Children Front

The backing for this piece is a sheet of cling-on snowflakes found as Christmas decorations. They add meaning because I made and donated snowflakes when the Sandy Hook Elementary School reopened after the shooting. Plus we’re each a unique and beautiful snowflake but collectively (and individually) we can change for the better.

For the Children Back

 

One more thing. I made the following quilt for a dear friend. It almost said, “You are loved.” This is much better. Now she can read it to herself as an affirmation… as a tool to help shift head-space from negative to positive. An opening up.

I am loved quilt

 

 

Sneaky Peeks

Here are a few of the treasures I’ve been working on. The first is a wedding quilt for a dear friend. Spoiler alert! It’s green.

Green Bag

I wasn’t able to go out and get this tracing for a portrait quilt of a dog enlarged today. So I pulled some fabrics for it instead! Here’s my method of keeping everything straight once I’ve made the decisions. FYI: I’ve put 90 minutes into this quilt already and haven’t yet started putting it together. That’s why I charge $25 per subject as a design fee!

prep for dog quilt I finished this quilt. Woo! It feel so good to have a project done done done. This is a signature quilt and is for sale in my etsy shop. You can sign this quilt in the beige fabric spots… which, as you can see, make up most of the quilt. It’s great for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and other celebrations. Super-durable, it’ll hold up to washings. Just make sure to follow the directions on whatever fabric marker you buy. Some of them need to be set with a hot iron.

signature quilt 1I’ve also been working on this week’s Project Quilting Challenge, which is up-cycling.

I pulled some fabric for my new guild’s round robin. I’ll be adding a border and some embroidery. Unfortunately, this is all supposed to be secret until the big reveal in a few months so I cannot share photos of it until then.

What are you working on?

Make, make, make, win!

My sewing machine and iron are getting a mini-break so I can write this post. I’ve been sewing at all hours of the day… on all kinds of projects. I’m in one of those moods where I don’t want to work on one thing for very long. So I end up doing a little bit on a dozen different projects.

One of those projects last week was for an online quilting challenge. It’s called Project Quilting and here’s how it works. A challenge is posted and you have one week to make a finished quilt fitting the challenge. Here’s what I made for the string quilt challenge:

pinked dolls

I’m not in love with it. It’s a completed project (yay) that was done in time to enter into this contest (yay) but it isn’t anything special. I played with pinked edges and batik scraps but kind of shrugged and wondered where to put this thing when I finished. I think it’ll be donated as a doll quilt.

There are lots of prizes with this contest. First, there’s a vote. Whichever project is the favorite wins first prize. After that, there are random drawings. Guess what?!?!?! I won one of those prizes! I’m that upside-down name under number 5. What did I win? Money towards long-arm quilting. Ho boy am I excited!

It’s lucky to win, but impossible to win if you don’t enter in the first place. Not everything you do has to be spectacular but it’s good practice to just keep making stuff. Make, make, make!

2014 will be a great year for QUILTArtbymegan

Here’s a bit of a preview of what’s coming this year. First of all, I’ll be doing a bunch of portrait quilts. You know, those are the ones inspired by a photograph and then rendered into fabric. Coming up are twins, a dog, a snowy landscape, and more. Here’s a tracing of one I’m working on now which has holding hands and wedding rings showing. It’s in pencil so it doesn’t photograph beautifully just yet.

hands tracing

Also, one of my sample quilts this year has to feature my niece Mary. ‘Cause I love her and she’s flipping adorable. So here’s a photo from Halloween that I’ll be using as inspiration.

Panda Mary

Alright, on to the second category of quilts you can expect from me in 2014. I’ll be making more things with crumbs! Here are two quilts-in-progress that use crumb blocks in their design. (One is a super-close up because the whole quilt hasn’t yet been revealed to the receiver.) Crumbs heart crumbs with black

I’m also working on making my crumbs customize-able. I think they’re in the top two cool things I do with my quilting and hadn’t figured out a way to make them in a cost-effective way. Worth my time to make the stuff and worth your money to buy them. Enter the letter pillows! Soon these will be available to order in my etsy store. You can buy them individually or as a group to spell out names, holidays, important dates (numbers will be available, too), and more. I’m also working on a way to stretch these across canvas for an on-the-wall look rather than the pillows’ on-the-shelf thing.

letter pillow sample

Another thing I’ll be playing around with (and hopefully making beautiful wear-ables out of) is old wool, cashmere, and silk items. I’m experimenting with up-cycling in the style of the artist Katwise.

What else? Tons, I’m sure! I’m learning new things all of the time. I think as an artist it’s important to explore new things and learn from other artists. Plus just play around and see what happens. That’s what I did with this doll quilt piece that was entered into the Project Quilting Challenge this week. It’s made of strings, which are skinny long strips. I’m not in love with the final quilt but it was fun to experiment and stretch myself. There are bunch of quilts finished in this challenge that are gorgeous! See and vote for your favorites here. 

pinked dolls

I took the “Twisted Sisters” class from Ami Simms on Saturday. It was so much fun! I initially wasn’t thrilled with the quilt design but learned how I can make it my own and am sure I’ll love the thing once it’s all put together. I also learned a bunch of tiny tips and tricks that make all the difference when you’re sewing. For example, if your selvage strips have been cut off the way you find the straight of grain (which is parallel to the selvage) is to stretch a tiny section of the fabric with your fingers. The direction that has the least stretch is the straight of grain. Twisted sister

I predict this’ll be a great year for me personally and QUILTArtbymegan as well. Stay tuned! You won’t want to miss any of it.

Downtown, Up On the Roof, Or….?

Where do you go when you’re feeling down? You’re just having an all-around rotten day, or are starting to come down with a cold, or got a bit of bad news.

Petula Clark goes downtown. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1fk4b_petula-clark-downtown_music. The Drifters go up on the roof. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7F_opWg9_qI.

Me? I’m a dollar store junkie. I walk in and think, “I can have anything I want in here!” Absolutely nothing is out of my budget. It’s an empowering feeling. Plus, a lot of the stuff in there is junk that’s not worth a whole dollar. So I get to comb through the isles and do a little treasure hunt.

1 dollar

Today’s purchases? A cat-claw trimmer, a bag of carrots, coral colored nail polish, and a relaxing oatmeal bath mix. I feel wealthy and smart… and only spend $4.

 

Sample Sale! 50% off and free shipping!

Welcome to 2014! It’s time for a sample sale. These quilts have been all over the place (even if just all over the internet) and it’s time for some fresh art to show for the new year. So here’s what I’m offering: 50% off the value on each sample piece plus free shipping. Each piece will be up on my etsy page so it’ll be first come, first served. Here’s what I have to offer!. Also, my prices on custom quilts are increasing on February 1st so now’s a great time to get new orders in.

First up is, “Big Megan.” Not because I’m big, but because the next one is little Megan. I like these words better than child and young adult. This piece is quilted and measures 13″ x 15.5″ and is valued at $85.45. Which means it’s now on sale for $42.73. Buy it here.

13x15.5  $85.45 value

Next is, “Little Megan.” This one is quilted and measures 10.5″ x 13.5″ which brings the value to $67.53. It’s on sale for $33.76. Buy it here.

Little Megan

I’m going to break some hearts now. “Denver on the Beach” has already been sold. Here it is to admire anyway. It has a happy home now and has by far gotten the most Oooo’s and Wow’s.

Denver, age 2

“Uncle Time” features my baby sister. You know, before she had a baby of her own. This one’s a 10″ x 8″ top with two subjects in a frame. I’m adding $3 for the frame, so that brings the value to $65. Sale price is $32.50. Buy it here.

Uncle Time

“Baby Food” is another 10″ x 8″ top in a frame. This frame is sparkly and heavy. Since I’m paying for shipping, let’s add $8 for the pretty frame. Total value $45. Sale price is $22.50. Buy it here.

Baby Food

“Superhero” is 11.5″ x 11.5″ square. It’s a quilted piece and is valued at $64.66. Sale price is $32.33. Buy it here.

Superhero

Last on the list of sample quilts is one that I’m keeping. I call it “Four Faces” and has sentimental value to me. Plus it’s quite a bit larger than the ones I’m selling so it could make a nice impression hanging in a craft booth in the near future. Here’s what this one looks like:

FourFaces Completed

Expect previews of this year’s sample pieces in my next post. I’m hard at work making beautiful and unique treasures. Thank you in advance to the photographers and subjects that are letting me use their photographs as inspiration.