Thursday, March 13, 2008

Finally Some Eye Candy!

Whoooooo Hooooooo finally got some photos of this beauty! This is the latest custom quilt to come off my longarm machine. When I first saw the top I was just awed by the wonderful colors. Then I had to wait about 4 months before it arrived in my studio. It was a really fun custom to do. I actually had to design as I went as often do. The biggest decision was how to break down the space as there were lots of options there. I finally decided to put feathers coming around the wreaths of foliage, fruits, and other things. I then designed a feather shape which I built off of the spine. This meant that I only needed to mark the spine shape on the quilt and then the rest of the feather was done freehand so every feather motif is a little different. Once I had that quilted the rest just kind of fell in place. I was most pleased with the overall finished quilt.
I already have another custom quilt loaded on the machine and will be trying to get it quilted in the next few days. Things have gotten really busy here this last month as more tops are coming in than finished quilts going out. This means backlog which I am very happy about. I will have plenty of work to keep me out of trouble for some time.
It is actually beginning to start looking like Spring here. I noticed my iris leaves beginning to shoot up with the new green fronds peeking out around the old dead ones. I guess it is about time to work on that little garden plot. Since I live in an area that has little rain, high elevation, is teeming with deer and rabbits, and to top it off very poor alkali soil my gardening is very limited but at least it is just enough to be able to go dig in the dirt every once in awhile.
I do love Spring and am looking forward to warmer and longer days. I also miss the buzzing of insects and the singing birds. Even the snakes are kinda interesting to watch when one comes around. I also love the lizards basking up the sun on the rocks. There are also occasional horned toads which are most interesting creatures. They are actually lizards. One of these days I am going to make a quilt that features a horned toad!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Life is Busy!

I guess for me the content of the blog is more about writing than about photos. I only wish I had the energy to post lots of great photos with each and every post but then if I did the posts would likely be few and far between.

I have been quilting like a fiend the past few days. I took a custom quilt off the frame and when I added up the hours I realized it was 31 hours of time. No wonder I thought it was taking forever. I will say though that I spent two half days and two really long days and then a few days with just a couple of hours. I had no idea I had spent that much time on it. I am quite pleased with how wonderful it looks though and will be taking (and yes actually posting some photos of it in the next couple of days). I also did a couple of pillow shams to match and then did another quilt that had an allover loose meander. No wonder I was too tired to actually quilt today. I did load another custom quilt on the frame and it is really cute and whimsical with Overall Sam or Bill not sure the exact name. It is for a young boy and is very cute. Just need to go out there tomorrow and have at it. Seems like my quilting business is beginning to really start being steady and finding the balance between a normal life and trying to get every ones quilt back when they want it is another thing. I just wish I could make a couple of clones of myself to do the quilting some days!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

How Does A Quilter Recharge Their Battery

Good question you say! Well the way I recharge my battery is a good quilters retreat. I recently attended my favorite retreat over in Phoenix. I got out of the cold, boy was it good to thaw for a few days and bask in the warmth.

I have been at this yearly event six times now and each year it is so much fun to catch up with everyone in person. We have classes but the atendees give the classes and they are included in the retreat fee. This year I taught a class on feathers which was very well received. It will be fun to see what my friends do with the information I have given them on constructing a feather with thread and needle via machine be it domestic or longarm. I took a class on convergence quilts and it was very fun but my quilt did not come out with the look I had envisioned. When my friend Hilda admired it I decided it needed to go home with her.

I had gone a day early to give a friend a one on one session on her longarm. It is very sad when someone says they do not enjoy their machine and dread turning it on. Well that has now been fixed. She has told me she is now looking forward to using the machine and is playing with all sorts of new ideas. This was not a one way street either. I also learned from her as well. I too am pretty excited to get back to my longarm and play with some new and fresh ideas and techniques.

Hopefully in a few days I will finish my current custom quilt and will share some of the feathers I am quilting on it.