Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A worn out sewing machine and an art surprise in the mail

Shortly before my trip to Cleveland I started to have problems with my Janome 6500, then when I came home every time I tried to sew anything I'd break a needle. The repair person/ Janome dealer is in Boise, so it was a few days before I could get my machine in to the shop. I left it with an employee, explaining what was wrong. A week later I called and found out that he hadn't even looked at it because the slip didn't say what was wrong. After explaining what was wrong I waited another week and called again, left messages, called again and finally got a response - he still hadn't looked at it, but would and would call me back. When he finally called back late Friday afternoon to tell me that I had completely worn out the bushing that holds the needle bar in place and he would have to contact the factory. Here we are three weeks later and still no call back to tell me if he can fix it.  So my trusty old Bernina 1230 has been brought in from studio b and is doing an excellent job of filling in. It quilted my "365 days to 65" piece with out a problem, has made a vest, a skirt for my grand daughter, some donation quilts and a stuffed snake. I think it's happy to be used again.

A few weeks ago my friend Lisa Flowers Ross was celebrating her 1000'th post with a giveaway of one of her fabric collages she did as a daily project for the month of February. This is what came in the mail for me today.
I love it!! The white fabric with the dark "stitching" is actually a screen print that Lisa did with one of my screens.  The white stitching is actual stitching and it's about 6" sq.

Here's what I've been stitching;
365 red circles #109 - #114
Indigo and rust #37 - #42
Weekly stitching #17

Now linked to "Off the Wall Friday".

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Daily and weekly projects and not much else

I'm having one of those times in my life where I have lots of ideas but I can't seem to focus on any of them. I know that all I really need to do is just get started, but I keep getting sidetracked and doing other things. I didn't take a before picture but my pile of unsorted scraps, etc was overflowing the basket on the right side of the photo below.
The pile moved to the top of my ironing table, a few of the larger pieces got put away, one piece got cut up and reassembled to become a top for a child's quilt that I will donate, unfortunately most of the rest went right back down into the pile. That's the way my creative life seems to be going. The ideas are piling up.

I was showing a non quilting friend my daily projects recently and I was questioned about the amount of time I spent on them daily and how do I know what to stitch on each one. So for the last five days I've actually been keeping track of how much time they take. I generally do both the red circle project and indigo and rust in the same time period. I spent between 26 min and 46 min for an average of 35 minutes per day to do both of the daily projects. My weekly ones I do in the evenings in front of the tv and spend between 2 - 4 hours on each one.

How do I know what to stitch on each one is not as easy to answer and sometimes the answer is I don't know, I just sit down and start. The red circles are relatively easy because I'm going to do a circle, I just need to decide how each time. On the indigo and rust pieces I generally respond to some markings on the fabric, but not always. I rarely have an idea of what I will stitch ahead of time, once I've got the fabric and threaded needle in hand I always just start stitching and something emerges. I'm sure that having done this for over a year has made it much easier for me and I did a lot of  embroidery kits when  I was much younger.

Red circles #100 - #105
Red circles #106- #108
Indigo and Rust #28 - #33

#34 - #36
Weekly Project wk #15 and #16

Now linked to "Off the wall Friday", go check out the other great blogs.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Happy Colors and new scissors

While walking the dog this morning I kept noticing the bright blue sky and the springy yellow green of the trees and I realized I was smiling - the colors just made me feel happy!

I received a gift from Havel's Sewing for doing the QATV taping and today I used my new scissors for the first time. I needed to cut out more circles for the applique pieces I'm doing in my 365 red circles daily project. Most of the fabric I cut today was silk and the serrated edge on the 7"fabric scissors handled the silk beautifully. Really nice scissors, thanks Havel's.

This is the pile I cut, I also cut the fusible lightweight woven interfacing that has been fused to the back of the silk for more stability. Some of the silks are very lightweight and the interfacing makes them much easier to work with.

Here are #93- #99 of the 365 red circles daily stitching.

Indigo and rust daily stitching # 21 - #27

Week #14

March and April's monthly notion project.

I have an idea bouncing around in my head that wants to be another daily project, I keep trying to convince myself that I really don't need another project, but the idea is pretty persistent. It may end up being an almost daily project and not a year in length. I'll keep you posted.

4/12 -Now linked to "Off the Wall Friday"

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Part 2, Quilting Arts TV Taping

We have been having unseasonably warm weather, in the 70's, since I've come home from Cleveland. In contrast the weather there was unseasonably cold and snowy. It was snowing when I arrived, there was snow on the ground and on my rental car every morning and was snowing when I left at 4 am to return the car and fly away.
This was the view from my hotel room window on Wednesday morning, at least there was some sunshine that day. Since the weather has been so wonderful I've been spending a lot of time outside. I've done a bit of yard cleanup but mainly I've just been sitting enjoying the warm and contemplating life.

I've been thinking a lot about my recent new experience and have been trying to put it into words, more than just saying it was awesome. First of all the people I met; Kathy and Kathleen from KS Productions, a wonderful team that produces the show. The Quilting Arts crew, Kristine Lundblad  and Helen Gregory, it was so nice to meet them after emailing back and forth, and of course Pokey Bolton. Then there were the other artists that were taping the same day; Judy Coates Perez a veteran of many QATV shows and soon heading to Australia to teach. Sue Bleiweiss a first timer like me. Just before I left home I had finished reading her book Sketchbook Challenge ,which I had gotten as a birthday gift.
Lynn Krawczyk arrived with her carload of stuff to tape the following day. I'm taking her online class, The Written Sketchbook, so it was great meeting her. Both Sue and Lynn were not only taping show segments, they both were filming dvd's. The four of us had a great dinner together.

I really love living in my rural community but there are some things that I enjoy in a urban setting. I had some free time on Tuesday so I drove downtown to The Cleveland Museum of Art. What a terrific decision, I saw work that previously I had only seen in photographs in books, and to see it in person was the best. Especially some of the Abstract Expressionist work, oh my - to see the globs of paint, the layers, bare canvas in spots, the textures, the size, the colors - I could go on and on. Can you tell I loved it?? I even had a tasty lunch there in the Provence Cafe. Then that evening I stuffed myself with sushi - I love sushi, but it doesn't exist in my small town.

Three and half years ago I "retired" from vending at quilt shows and it's a decision I'm glad I made. I realized after taping the shows that I miss doing the demo's, some of the teaching and being around other very creative women. This trip allowed me to experience the best parts of what I was missing.

My only little glitch in the trip was I returned the rental car to the wrong company. All the rental agencies are in one location and at 4:30 am there is no one there to help you out. I turned into the wrong spot and once in you can't get out, so I left the car and turned my keys in with a note explaining where the car was.

Since returning I finished and entered a piece for the SDA's member show.
Indigo Four Patch
Linda McLaughlin

Daily stitching #90 - #92

#18 - #20

This post is now linked to "Off the Wall Friday"