Thursday, 26 March 2020

Virtual Studio Tour - Come on in!

As we collectively weather covid19, I'm thankful every day that my home studio is my shelter.

This is my commute.
That's a bathroom door on the right, and the stairway to our grandkid's Bunkie on the left.

The old photos are of my maternal grandmother's maternal grandparents. My great greats.
I silently thank my ancestors every day for their hard work. It's on their backs that my family survived and thrived.

The china cabinet was my grandma's favourite. It lived in her kitchen for 30+ years. It holds memories.

As I enter, to my right is my longarm and a wonderful workspace with lots of storage. A french patio door provides extra light, ventilation, and passage into our back garden. A string of prayer flags adds colour and energy to that end of the room.

My IKEA island holds longarm necessities, and my binder of work orders lives on top. Further along is an embellisher (needle felting machine) and an extra sewing machine that my grandchildren use. They love to sew and quilt!

Pantographs are stored in the big drawers.

Clients can flip through an alphabetized binder of panto designs, and I know where to dig for the ones they want to look at.

Tucked in behind the hallway bathroom is a walk in closet! Lucky me!! Among other things, it holds my quilting library, batting scraps, some of my finished quilts, some of my tops that need quilting (an embarrassing number!), and client quilts waiting their turn.

My longarm thread racks hang behind the longarm, immediately beside the closet door. We came in the glass door shown in the photo.

Here's a shot facing the french doors. You can see the closet door just beyond the thread rack.

Starting at the glass door again, to the left is my personal workspace and the studio's client entrance. That door opens toward our driveway. Park and enter!

Our 80's china cabinet holds my fabric stash and studio television. I actually still love that cabinet! The artwork leaning against the cabinet is my granddaughter's creation. It's on hold while we isolate.

Our matching 80's dining table makes an excellent cutting table. My husband added a riser to make it the perfect height.

Plastic drawers tucked under the table hold scraps sorted by colour. I don't sort by size - just chuck everything in. It's surprising how many times I can find just what I need in those bins!

The pieces of blue styrofoam tucked beside the cabinet become my design wall when I need one. I simply stand them side by side against a cabinet for as long as I need, and tuck them out of the way when I'm done.

Here's an overview shot of this end of the room.

The lights in the birdcage are plugged into the same power bar as my iron. If the lights are on, the iron is on. I can't count how many times that's reminded me to shut the darn thing off!

How have I spent my studio time recently?

I've been mentoring grandchildren for the annual CQA Youth Challenge.

This is temporarily on hold as we self isolate. They are so close to the finish's agonizing to have to wait!

I've also been working on challenge projects of my own. Thanks to several event cancellations, I've actually completed THREE challenges this year!

✔I mailed the postcards I showed in my last post for the Postcard Challenge
     (These I can show! Click on the link ↑↑↑ if you'd like to see them.)

✔My Try a Triad challenge piece has been completed and mailed 
      (I can't show you my project, but here's the fabric I used.)

✔My Trend Tex challenge has also been completed and is at its destination - yay!
      (Which must also be kept under wraps until it's judged. Oh, the suspense!!!)

As well, I'm still working behind the scenes on the National Juried Show
There's a lot more to the role of Jury Coordinator than meets the eye. Happily my tasks are nearing completion so I can soon focus on other things.

What about client quilts? Yes. Well. 
Until I learn how to be in two places at once, production will suffer from time to time. 

Client quilt, Jessie's Swirls panto

Now. I have a stack of promises to keep and nowhere else to be, so it's time to sign off and hit the frame! 

If you're also in isolation, how have you been spending your time?
Stay well, and as always,

Try, Learn, & Grow!

Friday, 21 February 2020

Gathering Threads

It's been so long I'm not even sure where to begin, so I'll just start!

CQA Postcard Challenge
Please click here for challenge information

It seems like these small artworks should take no time at all, but let me disabuse you of that minute it's ten a.m. and the next it's time to start supper!

They're also irresistible, which makes them dangerous. Can't stop with just one!

Because I'm the Alberta North CQA Rep, I received a pink, hand-dyed fabric from the CQA's Executive Director, along with an invitation to make a postcard that represents my area. Of course I made an Alberta Rose!

And then I commented on a Facebook post made by the challenge sponsor, Cindy's Threadworks, and Cindy sent me two screen printed hand-dyes to make into postcards for the challenge!

The dragonfly only needed a bit of additional fabric and some stitch to enhance the print.

The hummingbird print received some stitch, green paint, and an eye dot to bring it to life.
Then it needed a snack, of course!

I'm not sure I dare start another! Must. Resist. (and get back to work!)

Speaking of work, isn't my 2020 social media badge pretty? We've been busy behind the scenes, and things are on track for National Juried Show entrants to receive notification letters in March, as planned. I can't wait to see lots of green badges on Facebook and Instagram when excited finalists start posting!

Client quilts, Fresh off the Frame:
I had a notion this gorgeous bargello should be feathered, and I soon learned that the quilt agreed!

It soundly rejected swirls in the background, and also despised diagonal lines through the piecing. Once I surrendered to feathers EVERYWHERE, we were off and running!

Feathery client quilt!

The feather spines echo the direction of the piecing, and the texture turned out better than I could have hoped. WHEW!!

Don'tcha love the back of a quilt!

The following quilts were delighted with edge-to-edge designs!

Fantasy Flame pantograph finishes this show stopper with pizzazz

Modern Twist pantograph works well on this cozy quilt.

Ripples pantograph adds movement to this fun quilt!

Kandinsky pantograph on a stunning Gypsy Wife.

January also meant plenty of time with my grandchildren, so there was a lot of food to prepare, a lot of time in the car together, and not nearly as much quilting time. But, what a trade off!

Granny's tired, but someone else is still full of beans...haha!

Happy times!

Until next time,

Try, Learn, & Grow!

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Postcard Accordion Book

My quilt guild recently created a nature-themed project for our town's 2019 time capsule.

Accordion book in progress

Our contribution needed to fit inside a jam-packed capsule, so we decided to work small and make postcards.

We then decided an accordion book would be the best way to keep the cards together, and would also be easy to display when the time capsule is opened in 50 years. (FIFTY YEARS!!!)

I volunteered to assemble the book. Small pieces of acrylic craft felt became "hinges" between the cards.

To determine how much space was needed between the cards, I mimicked how they would lay together when folded. Next, I wrapped the felt around the cards' edges and pinned to hold things in place.

I unfolded the cards and added dabs of fabric glue to temporarily hold the felt in place.

To permanently join them I sewed from the front, immediately beside the edge treatments, using invisible thread.

Soon an accordion book was born!

I collaged the cover using bits of my own painted and leaf-printed fabrics, a phrase cut from commercial yardage, and hand printing with permanent marker on a used tea bag. It was quick and fun to make!

A simple triple-stitch secured the raw edges.

On its back is a statement supporting our intent for the project and a list of current guild members for posterity, which I won't show here out of respect for people's privacy.

I will show the cards, though!

This was rather a last-minute project so I'm happy to have received eight little artworks.
Without further ado, here they are:

Canada Geese, by Lois

Northern Lights and Elk, by Sarah

North Country Fox, by Vivian

Northern Lights over the Lovely Peace River Valley, by Audrey

Paddle the Peace 10th Anniversary, August 2019, by Margaret

St. Augustina Mission, Peace River Crossing 1888, by Jill

Fall Leaves, by Aralee

River Walk, by Carole (me!)

Final presentation of the book:

Fresh off the Frame

Client quilts have been moving slowly, as I am moving slowly.

Our son and daughter-in-law's magical log house burned to the ground three weeks ago, and three of their four precious pets perished. It's been a blow to this momma's heart and soul to witness such a disaster. (70's wiring was the culprit - not something one could predict or prevent).

Thankfully they made it out intact, and the amount of love and support these two have received from friends and family has been truly amazing. Salve on the wounds.

Still, I haven't felt very ambitious. Just picking away at things.

Luckily I've already met my Christmas quilting deadlines. I wanted to have Christmas quilts done early to free up time for my work as the CQA/ACC Jury Coordinator. I'm glad I did. Not sure I'd have the heart to push for deadlines at the moment.

Here's what I've managed to accomplish lately:


client quilt, before quilting

AFTER - such a handsome quilt!

client quilt, after quilting

Just the AFTERS of these lovlies:

Bubbles pantograph

Bones pantograph

Dazzle pantograph

Modern Twist pantograph

Flirtatious pantograph

OH, and our guild charity quilts were given to the local fire department to use at their discretion. I hope they won't be needed, but experience tells me they will be appreciated for their warmth and comfort if they are.

Ten "bowtie" quilts, ready to go!

As always, one must move onward and upward!

I'm off to my first, ever, "sound bath" this evening. I believe it's meditation-adjacent (is that a thing?), and am looking forward to some deep, soothing relaxation and regeneration.

Try, Learn, & Grow!