Friday, December 19, 2008

Feathers Done!

Click on the photos to enlarge.

Well the custom with the feathers is finally done and already delivered! This one was a real challenge. Well all the custom quilts are a real challenge. Kathi wanted feathers. The piecing really dictated the space those feathers had to fill and the entire space was to be filled. The biggest problem was figuring out how to make the feathers fill the space, look nice and not leave empty space and make it all flow effortlessly. After some drawing on paper I finally was able to figure out each of the spaces. Since I am a huge fan of feathers this challenge was fun and I am pretty thrilled with the final result. Since I was working on a deadline I was not able to get a full on photo of the entire quilt and hope that Kathi will send me one as it was pretty darned spectacular.

I delivered two quilts yesterday and sent off my entry to Road to California so now I am taking a vacation from all customer quilts till January..................that means I get to play with my own stuff. Oh my where do I even begin. I have a pile of UFOs that is pretty scary. Actually I do know what I am going to work on. Last year I posted some photos of my log cabin swap on Quilting and I set the blocks into a big star. Then I added a border with a vine, flowers, some bunnies, a little log cabin and a bear. It took me a year to finish the needle turn applique by hand. That was competed this February and the top has been languishing since then. I pulled it out yesterday and have some backing fabric selected. My goal for today (believe me I have to clean the house as well and do other things) is to seam the backing and load the quilt on the longarm. I have not shown photos of much of this top but will give a few more teaser photos of some of the quilting in the coming weeks.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Feather Meander As Fill

Click on the photo to enlarge.

I guess quilters have some unusual terms. The word fill is really a verb meaning: To make full; to supply with as much as can be held or contained; to put or pour into, till no more can be received; to occupy the whole capacity of. That is all fine and nice for the rest of the world but to a quilter the term fill is a noun.

Fill: the quilting stitches that are used to densely fill in area or space in a quilt to enhance other elements of that quilt.

In other words it is basically a term that describes a bunch of stitches. The photo above is a new to me kind of "fill". It has been appearing allot lately on webshots and blogs. Basically this is the "feather meander" by Suzanne Early. It seems quilters are using this as a way to fill up spaces in a quilt but making this design smaller. When I saw the above customer quilt I knew that background space was just screaming for the little feather meander and my customer agreed. I do know that I will be using it alto more in the future as it is just a beautiful delicate fill technique to add to the repertoire.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tribute to Thomas, The Best Cat There Ever Was.

The photo is Thomas and his best friend Sadie the hound dog. Thomas passed away last Friday and I am pretty torn up about it.

We got Thomas five years ago the day after Thanksgiving. We went down to Pet Smart to get a cat. There were lots of cats there that day as they were all brought in from their foster homes. My husband was looking at a really nice fluffy adult cat. May daughters were checking out the adorable kittens. Well I saw this half grown gangley grey tabby and we locked eyes. He and I just knew it was meant to be. I asked if I could hold him and he just nuzzled up. It was love for sure. Well I then told hubby to hold him and said this was the one. He said that he wanted the adult cat but took the gangley kitty I handed him. Ok he said we could have him. Then I walked over the kids and told them to hold this one. Well we took him home that day. One of the kids suggested Tom as a name. Nope I decided Tom did not fit..............he was defiantly a Thomas and so that is what we called him.

Thomas met our two dogs that decided to do what they had done to our last cat, bark and the kitty ran, it was their favorite game. Well so there they went and barked at Thomas. Well Thomas did not run. Not only did he not run but waked right over and looked the huge golden retriever right in the eye. The big dog did not know what to do about that! Thomas settled into the family really well. He would lie in wait for the retriever Casey and jump out at him, or pounce on him form the back of the sofa. They were soon best friends. The other dog Max just kept his distance and was afraid of Thomas.

Thomas would greet people at the door and loved to be picked up. If there was a lap he found it. we all loved him. At night he found a bed and frequently burrowed under the covers and curled up as a little bed warmer. He was my fabric inspector and would keep an eye on my sewing, quilting and other crafts. He loved knitting and wanted to help with the yarn. He also tried his hand at sewing and wanted to bat at the presser foot............that was the day I had to put him in the bathroom with the door closed.

Casey disappeared one day and never came back. Thomas was pretty sad to lose his dog friend. Last year my daughter got Sadie and she and Thomas bonded. You can see in the photo how they used to curl up together. When they weren't sleeping Thomas was attacking her.

Thomas got very sick a few days before he died. The vet said his red count went critical low. His last day I spent feeding him high nutrient cat food with a syringe and giving him water as well. He was so weak. Well the poor guy died at five that afternoon with all four of us there with him.

We will get another cat but it will never replace what Thomas was to us. I think he was a cat bigger than life. Always at the center of everything around here and not afraid of anything. He was the boss and ruled the house.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Today Is Feather Day

Things are hopping in the studio the past couple of weeks. The holiday rush is in full swing here. Today I am quilting feathers on Kathi's beautiful quilt. This is the first motif and there are quite a few to go. What do you think?