Does anybody else write notes to themselves? My sewing machine has making the ker-thunk noise that indicates the needle is bent or dull for (embarrassingly) a few days now. So after my sewing session last night, I wrote myself a nice little note. See, it’s hard to make myself get up and go find the container in the closet where I stashed the needles until I find a more permanent place for them after I’ve sat down to sew. So I just don’t, and deal with the ker-thunk. But this note reminded me before I was ready to begin, so check! Needle has been changed and the machine is purrring along nicely.
My friend Melissa has become local, since I moved to her area. Last night she invited me to check out her guild and generously even offered me a ride there and back. Yeah, she’s awesome like that.
So, new experiences are scary. I’m a member of what used-to-be my local guild still, and make the trek back there every few months to participate and catch up with my friends. So the guild thing wasn’t scary, but the room full of people that I don’t know and want to is. So I put on my big-girl panties and introduced myself around. After I was emotionally exhausted from putting myself out there (with mostly positive results) I saddled up next to Melissa at her table in the back and pulled out some handwork.
Then, the most amazing thing happened. People started coming up to me. They wanted to see what I was doing and it was a great conversation starter. Plus, this particular handwork project, my crazy hexagons, is uniquely mine. It showcases my skills and preferences, and is something I’m passionate about. It’s easier to talk about something I’m passionate about than attempt small-talk with strangers.
The results of the evening speak for themselves. I joined the guild. Also, I have multiple invitations from potential new-friends to sit with them next month. And I’ve been asked to bring some quilts for show-and-share… which I’m sure will just lead to more conversations and companionship. Love it.
Hello everybody. I’ve been offline for a few weeks as my hubby, cats, and I move into our new place. We’re now living in a house while we help clean it out, do general maintenance, and update it. (Including ripping out 70’s carpeting.) It’s been hard work, especially while still working full-time. Love those kiddos I nanny, and the new place is freeway close so I’m able to keep the job.
Anyway, thought I’d show you guys the photos and tell the story of my latest finish. I’ve been working hard on the house and hadn’t touched any of my quilting supplies for over a week when my husband suggested that I open up one box and play with the things inside. I was grumpy, tired, feeling isolated, and creatively drained. The boxes were packed months ago, before we moved to the motel. So I had no idea what specifically was inside of this one simply labeled, “Quilting.”
So here’s what I made from bits found in that box plus a few things from my purse. I wasn’t making anything in particular, just (as my husband suggested) playing around. It turned into this coolish mixed-media piece. The background is a scrap of my crumb-quilting fabrics. The centerpiece is a laminated meditation card I’ve been carrying around with me to help reduce anxiety. Other treasures include the pin I got for helping with my guild’s quilt show, a friend’s bookmark, antique buttons found in grandma’s dresser, and scissor charms from my last job. It was fun to experiment. I probably won’t be doing much mixed-media art going forward… it’s not my preferred style. But hey, trying new things worked. I was far less grumpy after the last trinket was stitched on.
Here’s my newest completed piece, “On A Good Day.” It measures 48×12 inches and was sewn entirely by hand. It’s pieced, appliqued, embroidered, couched and quilted. Texture, value and repetition were important to me when in the design stages.
This quilt began as a challenge in a quilting group. Each artist is making a piece of this size using the same red fabric. The quilts can then both be displayed as a group and stand individually. I think I’m the first one completely finished, but I’ll let you know if these ever go to a show or exhibit.
I leave you with a photo of my fuzzy helper, Milo. He likes to lay on my pillow and hug my arm while I’m doing handwork. Very cute.
My emotions are still swirling all around inside me, so I’m sure I’ll be blogging more about this event in upcoming posts… but it’s time to announce that my sister gave birth to a healthy baby girl yesterday, April 2nd. Welcome, little Mary.
It wasn’t a long waiting game. Dad called me around 4am to say that he’s in the airport on the way to the birth. (He snagged a plane in St. Louis in time to get to Boston for all the action.) Even so, I jumped every time the phone rang, all day long, hoping for another update. So I spent the day calming myself with some handwork. It’s not a great photograph but here’s what I’ve been working on.
This piece is called, “On a Good Day”. And today was a good day.
Ta-da! Here they are, the long awaited photographs of “Estey’s Quilt.” Isn’t it cool? This is both my latest finish and the first of the portrait quilts I’ve made.
It started with a quilt show where I saw some beautiful applique quilts of a tiger’s face. Those quilts had been made from a pattern. My friend knew the perfect book when I mentioned that I’d like to learn how to make quilts like that, but from my own photographs, and to draft my own pattern. Here’s the link to that book on Amazon. It’s Faces and Places by Charlotte Warr Anderson. http://www.amazon.com/Faces-Places-Print-Demand-Edition/dp/1571200002/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1347682166&sr=8-3&keywords=charlotte+warr+anderson. She teaches how to use the shapes and shadows from actual photographs in quilts. Her method is reverse applique by hand. So that’s what I did for this first one. It is also hand quilted entirely by hand… which is why it took so long to make.
I found that I enjoyed this project so much that I wanted to make more… so I experimented with fusible webbing and machine quilting to streamline the process.
So there you have it, the whats and hows. But what are really special to me about this quilt are the whys. See, Estey is my little sister. We’ve pretty much had an up-and-down relationship from day one… when I threw a tantrum that “my baby” wasn’t named Jesus. (She was due around Christmastime, and I was nearly four years old.) Recently I’ve been putting a lot of effort into remembering the good times, and appreciating the woman she is today. That’s what I was focusing on with every hand stitch. The photograph this quilt is based on was taken when she was a toddler, struggling to get out of the stroller at Grandma’s house.
My baby sister is now married and expecting a child of her own. I feel like I’m not articulating this well right now, but I feel even more connected with and happy for her because of the time I put into this project. Plus it’ll be a great happy-expectations gift when I get it in the mail.
How many UFOs do you have? No, not the space ships, I mean unfinished objects. Mine are mostly sewing projects and I’m sure I have at least 30, though I haven’t done an exact count recently. This week I’ve been hopping from thing to thing, not quite satisfied to sit down with just one.
Please forgive my lack of photos this time. I took them… and moved the camera away from its cord… and promptly forgot where that cord is? I know, it’s where I left it. Wherever that is. So just use your imagination for this one and I’ll get back to photos on the next post.
Here are some of the UFOs I’ve been working on this week:
A one block log cabin quilt with Asian prints.
Decorating my work apron. We’re required to wear one, but can trick it out however we want to. I’m adding pockets, making it shorter, and decorating it with some of my crumb quilting goodness. Yes, I’ll show you guys a picture soon.
Binding some place mats for the senior center.
Hand quilting “Estey’s Quilt”… It’s almost ready to show you guys! I spent several hours working on this at a car show. Thankfully, my husband recommended bringing along some handwork. I’m so glad he did because it would have been beyond boring for me without it!
Planning out a birthday present for my baby brother. He’s turning 14. I know, not really a baby anymore but he’s still my baby.
Making a red/blue/purple/black string quilt
Playing around with improvisational piecing
Pulling fabrics and otherwise planning a portrait quilt based on a wedding photograph
And, of course, working on the 4 subjects piece I wrote about in my last blog post.
Whew! I don’t know why I’ve been project-hopping like this but I’ll just go with it for now, especially since I don’t have any big deadlines coming up quickly. I’ll just enjoy dabbling in everything.
Hello and welcome to this new blog for the business I recently started, QUILTArtbymegan. I’ll keep this short and sweet tonight and leave you guys with sneak peak of elements for the newest piece I’m working on. It’s based on a photograph taken nearly two years ago before my cousin’s wedding. Here’s that picture:
Here’s my little pile of stuff I’ve gotten ready to start making this into a medium-sized quilt. You can see the tracing underneath a pile of fabrics I’ve chosen for all of the different skin tones, hair colors, etc. They’re organized on the cheat-sheet beside the piles so for quick reference. Tomorrow I will go enlarge the tracing then start assembling the quilt.