Thursday, March 28, 2013

Studio Unveiling

During the winter, while I was working, my studio slowly started to accumulate all of our crap, once again and became the cluttered junk receptacle of days past. So my first order of business, now that I have time off, was to get it reorganized and into workable shape. Surprisingly it didn't take that long. I moved all of the books we decided to keep into our guest room in the house and had my husband take the huge, bulky bookshelf to his office to clear out some space. 


Once most of the clutter was put away and organized I made a trip to Ikea in search of 3x3 cubbies. Unfortunately they don't carry them any more. I got two 2x4 cubbies and thought I would lay them side-by-side for cutting and storage. It wasn't ideal but I was stuck. Then my friend Ramona said that they carried the 3x3 cubbies at Home Depot, so I swung by there and found them! Four 3x3 cubbies and a 48"x48" piece of plywood later and I have my brand new storage and cutting table. 


It's big but I love it! It's the perfect height for cutting. Right now I don't have a cutting mat large enough to cover the entire piece of plywood but what I have will do for now. The plywood top makes it sturdier and covers the hole in the center of the storage unit. I made each of the four cubbie stations and put them together into a box formation, securing them together with brackets. I'm storing all of my fabric around on three sides, but I'm avoiding putting my fabrics on the lower level because my garage accumulates dust quickly. Then I have fabric boxes for more  dust-free storage (I need to get more of these) and I have books, magazines, etc. stored in the rest of the cubbies. I even hid bags of polyfil and pillow forms in the dead space in the center of the cubicle.


My design wall slides out to double in size, and once I do a little more reorganization it will be full-size all the time. I am re-evaluating my design wall and considering getting another Ikea wire hanger, like the one I'm using for my curtains, to string along the other wall with a piece of flannel to make a retractible design wall, but I'm not there yet. 


I also hung some rulers and tools with simple nails for temporary storage. 


Finally, I bought some large glass vases at Ikea for scrap storage. I've separated scraps by cool, warm and neutrals. 


There is still more clutter to clear (as you can see) and organize but the space is close enough for me to be able to work in there full time. And I moved my machine to the opposite wall so I have a better view when I'm working. It feels so nice to have a space dedicated to sewing and the little things I need to finish up to get the space perfect, like tightening up the curtain wire, can wait. For now, I get to sew!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Caught Up on Bee Blocks

Well, while the Virtual Quilt Show was running I was actually getting a lot of sewing done. Right after QuiltCon I actually wrapped up my latest project for work and I out myself on a personal hiatus. I am actually trying to take a whole six months off. I know that's what I said last time, and my friends and family have bets out on if I'll actually be able to make it the full six months, but nearly one month in and I am loving the time off. 


I spent the first week or so just cleaning out my studio space and trying to get it into workable order. And I've spent (most) of the rest of the month trying to play catch up on UFOs and bee blocks so I could clear my plate and start to focus on the stuff I really want to focus on for me. And I am happy to say that I am now completely caught up on bee blocks. The first ones I tackled were the last ones I owed for the Bee a Lone Star(burst) Bee because those blocks for Candy were embarrassingly late. Her month was November. But Now they're done and that bee has been laid to rest. No more paper piecing bees for me. At least for a while. I do love these blocks and you can find the template here, but four a month was more than a little aggressive.


Then I started catching up on my blocks for the Hope Circle. In January Janet asked us to make Quatrefoil Blocks using only brightly colored solids. I love these blocks. In fact I asked a bee to make them for me a few years back. And each time I make them I get a little better with giving enough seam allowance so the points of the petals don't get lost in the seams. 


Then for February, Suzy asked us to make these awesome (and easy) Stash Buster Blocks using an alternating Cool and Warm palate. I got a little overzealous and ended up making her eight blocks instead of four. Oops! Well at least that's a happy accident.


And for March in the same bee, Muriël asked Woven Blocks in greens and blues suitable for a boy, since boys don't get as many quilt donations as girls. I can't wait to see how these three quilts turn out. And April is my month so I need to start thinking about what kind of quilt I want the bee to make this time around.


Then I had to catch up in the Sewn Together Bee. In January Mary sent us some gorgeous fabric and requested Potager Blocks from the book "Modern Blocks - 99 Quilt Blocks". I love the colors she's using in this quilt. After all, gray is my favorite neutral. 


Then in February Rick asked us to help him make a quilt for his brother. His brother loves to fish so he sent us some fish fabric and colorful batiks for the strips. I think his brother is just going to love this quilt when it comes together. Phew, I made it through the bee blocks owed and now I'm up-to-date. No more lagging behind for me. Work got really intense last year, so I'm hoping the time off will get me back on my game. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

QuiltCon Virtual Quilt Show: Denyse Schmidt

Welcome back to the last day of the QuiltCon Virtual Quilt Show. Yep, you heard me correctly. Next week things will get back to normal around here. There have been so many amazing quilts to share but I've saved the best for last. The second of the two Special Exhibits was a Denyse Schmidt Retrospective. It was amazing to see so many of her quilts all in one place and I just had to share it with all of you.


The Straight and Narrow #1
Snake Charmer
Pretty Square
What A Dish
Couldn't Keep It To Myself
The Straight and Narrow #2
Ruby Stripes
espresso, geranium, bone
Glass House Shelves
The Straight and Narrow #3
Courthouse Steps
String Theory
Hope as the Anchor of the Soul #4
Mount Lebanon Series
Hope as the Anchor of the Soul #3
Mount Lebanon Series
Hope as the Anchor of the Soul #2
Mount Lebanon Series
Special Edition
From the Denver Series
4 Crosses
Single Girl
cherry red
Thanks for stopping by the Quilt Show. Hope you enjoyed it!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

QuiltCon Virtual Quilt Show: Modern Historical Quilts

Welcome back to the QuiltCon Virtual Quilt Show. I've finally been able to share all of the amazing quilts entered in all of the show categories, but there are a few more special quilts to show you. There were two special exhibits at the show, the first of which I'm showing you today. The had an incredible exhibit on Modern Historical Quilts from the collection of Roderick Kiracofe. So let's take a look...



C. 1975-2000
Origin Unknown

String, variation / Four Patch
c. 1950-1975
Found in South Louisiana

String Grid
C. 1950-1975
Origin Unknown

Four Patch
c. 1950-1975
Found in Texas

The Wishing Ring, variation
c. 1930-1950
Possibly made by Eliza Agness

c. 1975-2000
Possibly made by Opal Guthrie
Winfield, Alabama

Spider Web, variation
c. 1940-1970
Made in Hard Bargain, an African American community
Franklin, Tennessee

Rattlesnake or Snake Trail, variation
c. 1975-2000
Found in Alabama

Original design
c. 1950-1975
Attributed to "Mrs. Sparks"
Anderson, Indiana

String with Broken Grid
C. 1940-1960
Possibly made by Sally Owens
Fayette, Alabama
And be sure to come back tomorrow when I wrap up the QuiltCon Virtual Quilt show with a view of the other special exhibit, this time by Denyse Schmidt.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

QuiltCon Virtual Quilt Show: Minimalist Design

Welcome back to the QuiltCon Virtual Quilt Show. Today is the last competition category I have to show you and it's all about Minimalist Design. But not to worry, I still have some very special quilts to show you during the rest of the week.


Title: Pa Kua
Made and Quilted by Donna Morales-Oemig
Stow, Massachusetts, USA
Triangle Modern Quilt Guild
Winner: First Place Small Quilts Minimalist Category

Title: untitled
Made and Quilted by Lindsay Stead
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Winner: First Place Large Quilts Minimalist Category

Title: 2+2
Made and Quilted by Colleen Wootton
Clinton, Washington, USA
Triangle Modern Quilt Guild
Winner: Second Place Minimalist Category

Title: don't box me in
Made and Quilted by Tammy Vasser
Olathe, Kansas, USA
Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild
Winner: Third Place Minimalist Category

Title: Helix
Made and Quilted by Nicole Neblett
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
Triangle Modern Quilt Guild
Winner: Honorable Mention Minimalist Category
Title: Reflection Mini-Quilt
Made and Quilted by Josee Carrier
Mirabel, Quebec, Canada
Montreal Modern Quilt Guild

Title: Chopsticks
Made and Quilted by Silvia Glaubach
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
Triangle Modern Quilt Guild
Title: Fractal Quilt
Made and Quilted by Megan Dye
Portland, Oregon, USA

Portland Modern Quilt Guild
Title: Ash Transition in Fiber
Made and Quilted by Lavialle Campbell
Studio City, California, USA

Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild

Title: Elemental
Made and Quilted by Sue Clayton
Manorville, New York, USA
New York City Modern Quilt Guild

Title: Intersections
Made and Quilted by Alissa Haight Carlton
Los Angeles, California, USA
Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild

Title: Modern Mondrian
Made and Quilted by Constance Hudson
West Lake Hills, Texas, USA
Austin Modern Quilt Guild

Title: Right Here
Made and Quilted by Thomas Knauer
Utica, New York, USA
Title: You rule
Made and Quilted by Brigitte Heitland
Werther, Germany
Bielefeld Modern Quilt Guild
Title: Big Love
Made and Quilted by Nova Seals
East Lyme, Connecticut, USA
** I have done my best to find links back to all of the artists but have been unable to find everyone. If you notice an incorrect or missing link please let me know so I can update it immediately**