Sunday, January 03, 2016

Welcome 2016

To anybody wondering about comment moderation on this blog...
Comment Moderation has been enabled for YEARS on my blog.  I don't want spam, and if you find the fact that I moderate what is commented offensive, then my apologies.  I don't appreciate comments from sales organizations and crazy people.  It's my blog, and my rules.

Hard to believe 2016 is here.  Seems that yesterday was just 2005.  Time flies.

It's been a good, but long 12 days with everybody home.  The moans of having to go back to school have been flying through the house all day.  Despite actually working on this quilt some during the vacation, I am hopeful to return to a reasonable work schedule, barring any barfing kids or snow days.  We all know there will be more of those.  I have a growing list of things to tend to - an article, class preparations, clients quilts, and a quilt top of my own that I finally got the custom dyed silk for. I am most excited to get that top completed.
This is my Carpenter's pattern, designed and drafted by me, really...just like ALL of my quilts -- another Margaret Solomon Gunn original.  I know many of you have seen this type Lone Star before; that is the beauty of certain blocks & patterns - they are used and reused, not copied.

While it has felt good to go at the quilting of this quilt without too much overplanning, it has not been quilted without it's share of challenges.  Lesson #1 - I never want to quilt a dark background again! It's harder to mark, and so much harder for my aging eyes to see.  Though not evident from this photo, much of the filler work is stitched with a 100wt matching dark navy thread.  It drives me nuts to stitch, and requires several lights at odd angles to illuminate what I am doing.  Hopefully these corners really show, even when the lights are at normal angles!  I should note that the only things marked on this are the dragonflies and placement for the curved swags.  I am a free-hand quilter. Feathers, cross-hatching, and every other detail just don't need to be drawn onto the quilt before quilting.  The natural variations should be viewed as beautiful

I have mostly done the quilting in a "just for fun" manner.  It is apparent since I waited 4 years to finish this top that I lost my commitment.  I fell in love with silk and this poor batik quilt just fell to the sidelines.  I tend to create 2 quilts a year, and they often take 12-18 months calendar time to finish.  This one was just put in a box and all but forgotten.  It feels good to have almost finished it, but I am not really sure what it's destiny will be.

For the first time, I tested a Hobbs wool/cotton batting.  A Hobbs rep sent me several sample batts in November to try out.  This is my first.  Normally I use 80/20 under the wool, but I love the loft and density of the wool/cotton.  I will definitely buy more.  I also used lots of different threads.  The batiks are challenging to get thread to show.  If I wanted it to show, I went with the 40wt Glide.  If I wanted it to blend, I used Invisifil and silk 100.  There are also places where I pulled out the rarely-used metallic.  Like I said, this quilt was my therapy quilt, so I played with and altered just about every one of my consistent choices from past quilts.

Is it going to be a show quilt?  I don't know.  While I did many of my usually-careful techniques like knotting and burying, and being very neat, I just don't know if it has what it needs to have.  I also know that my piecing and applique of 4 years ago don't hold a candle to what I do today, and more importantly what my standards for execution today are.  My mojo and determination have taken a hit. I greatly appreciate the many messages about my previous post, and letting go of hurtful, jealous, hateful people.  I still find the entire experience very challenging emotionally.  I can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my work is the design and execution of my efforts alone, but all it takes is the crazy ranting of one lunatic to derail things.

I got to spend some time this week with my 9 year old while she works on her next quilt.  She's working on a sewing machine that she won at a show in June.  All kids that entered were given a machine.  It's pretty cool to imagine being 9 and having a machine in your own room!  It enables her to make 3 blocks and then fly off to do something else.  I don't have to drag her stuff out each time because she keeps it all right there.  She hopes to have this ready for MQX, but that really depends on finding time to get it quilted.  Who knows when you are nine!...there are so many interesting things in your life!  Her quilt again this year is Paris themed...she bought this Eiffel tower fabric and a bunch of green and pink fabrics when we went to Paducah together last April (she's a well-traveled 9yr old, having attended nearly 15 quilt shows!).  While the colors are bold, they are totally her.  She wanted to make something that would fit her bed -- it'll take a bit of time for her to quilt this!




Leeanne said...

fabulous your daughter is making quilts and has her own sewing machine. I have been teaching my 8 year old granddaughter to sew whenever she comes to stay. Lovely quilting on your blog, as always!

Linda said...

Beautiful work! I agree with you about the dark backgrounds. My tired old eyes have a very hard time with those, too. So wonderful that you have started your little girl sewing. I have grandchildren that age and I so enjoy it when I am able to sew with them.

Lorie Bugaiski said...

Wow! It's beautiful and elegant! Love it thanks for sharing!

Mary said...

What a gorgeous quilt!