Friday, January 27, 2012

Ellen Anne Eddy

One of the best benefits of belonging to my local guild is the great speakers that we have come to give lectures and workshops.   Our next big name speaker to come will be Ellen Anne Eddy.  I had not heard to her, but when I heard the names of the workshops (The Color Cookbook Approach, Gilding the Lily, Bobbin Work Applique Flowers, Thread Magic Mastery: Working with all Kinds of Threads) I knew that this was going to be a great.  Then, I was reading Subversive Stitchers: Women Armed with Needles and she had done a review of Ellen's latest book.  I knew I had to get this book before Ellen came.
I consider myself pretty savvy as far as ordering things from the internet.  But the morning I went to Ellen's site, was not one of my better days.  I erroneous ordered two of her newest book, Thread Magic Garden, and I tried to correct it, but my computer was giving me some fits.  I decided it would be okay, as I could always gift the extra one. 
Okay, to quote John Melloncamp, I'm still hayseed enough to say look who's in the big town.  So when my cell phone jingled, and showed an unfamiliar phone number, I wondered who could be calling.  It was none other than Ellen Anne Eddy herself!  She had seen that I was having some difficulty, and just decided to call and straighten up the situation!   What a pleasant and congenial person.  We chatted about computers, and her upcoming appearance in Champaign.  I even ended up buying a third book on her recommendation, that would help with one of her workshops.
Her newest book explains how to do thread painting, and speaks of the stabilizers, interfacings, and threads that she likes to use.  She also explains her technique, so that you can try your hand at thread painting.  This is a my attempt to do a free hand flower.  A bit of puckering, because I didn't have it well stabilized, but I was pretty happy with the results.
The best thing is that she breaks down how to create different kinds of flowers, and shows not only the finished product, but also what it would look like before you add the stitching.
I tried my hand at the zinnia that is pictured above.  I love zinnias, used to grow them in my flower garden when I was growing up.  They always remind me of my Aunt Zola.  Here's my attempt.  I think is not a bad job!
I love thread painting.  I will be taking a class with Nancy Prince at the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show next month.  And I love Ann Fahl's work.  If you love thread work, I really think these books are for you!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hubby's Quilt

Last week I was not feeling the best, and elected to not take my embroidery machine to embroidery club at Threads of Time in Danville, IL.  I asked hubby if wanted to go with me, as he likes to talk with one of the owners and he agreed.  After I get my kit and talk with the group leader, I join hubby.  Hubby decided he is going to look around to see if he sees a quilt he would like for me to make for him.  This is the quilt that caught his eye.
Okay, I have been eyeing this top everytime I go to Threads.  I get the pattern and the required templates.  I was able to pull all the fabrics from my stash.  Including some fabric hubby had purchased a few years for me to make him a quilt (that quilt never got made, as he saw a small wallhanging, and wanted it made into a king size quilt.  Give me a break! SHEESH!)
I checked out her website, which had a great video on how to sew a Drunkard's Path block.  In all my years, I had never done one.  I think I was scared of those curves.  Getting fearless in my old age! Sewing a Drunkard's Path block  I found that using a stilletto on the smaller block was easier than using my finger to guide the fabric.

The templates made cutting out the blocks very easy.  By folding a fat quarter, I was able to cut out 4 blocks at a time.  I used a 5" by 22" strip folded in 4ths to cut the 3 1/2" templates.  And the revolving rotary mat, and an 18mm rotary cutter helped also.
So this is what I have laid out so far.  Hubby is helping with colour placement, and I think he is enjoying the process as much as I am!  I am adding another row all around, plus three borders.  Stayed tuned for further details!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The extremes of my quilting

I love quilts!  And I love learning all kinds of quilting techniques.  I have come to realize because I am so eccentric/eclectic in my tastes, that I will never totally be expert in any one area, but pretty darn good in a lot of areas.  This is so well reflected by my last two completed projects.

If you remember from last month, I had used swap blocks from a disappearing nine patch exchange to make my nephew a quilt.  I had some blocks left over.  I also had recently received "Create your own free-form quilts" by Rayna Gillman.  Following her information, I slashed the two leftover rows, sewed in new strips, slashed some more.  The above quilt is the result.  I call it "Shattered disappearing nine patch".
I had a lot of fun with the quilting.  I did an angular meandering, which was really very cool.  Then had fun with the turqoise King Tut thread doing the broken fern in the black sashing!
And, so onto something completely different!  Last summer I purchased this kit with a pattern called "Sunday School Singers".  It just spoke to me of my childhood days going to the Rankin Methodist Church for Sunday School.  Singing all those wonderful little songs!  I bought the digitized embroidery so I didn't have to do the hand redwork.
Jesus wants me for a sunbeam!  Wouldn't life be better if we all decided to be sunbeams!
Zacchaeus was a wee little man, but his love and faith for our Savior was huge!
The B-I-B-L-E, YES, That's the book for me!  I know I don't stand alone when the word of God is by my side
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands, stomp your feet, say AMEN!  Don't keep your happiness to yourself!  Don't be a light that is hidden under a barrel.  What good is that.
So this is the first of at least 4 baby quilts that I need get to make this year!  After all, babies are the greatest blessing that God gives us!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 TQS BOM Sedona Star

Am I a glutton for punishment, or do I just enjoy looking forward to the small monthly challenges of completing a block of the month (BOM)?  I think it is the latter, as I do like doing things in small manageable pieces.  Although sometimes I do get excited for the next installment!

I have not done a block of the month for a couple of years, and now I find myself in two!  One is with a local group of quilters, and we are calling ourselves the Chocolate Chicks.  The quilt blocks we are working on comes from A Quilter's Box of Chocolates.  I will give more information on that one in a later blog.

The one that has me really excited is the current BOM through The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims  I have been a member since Jan 2007, and find that I have gotten more than my money's worth out of this website.  Besides the loads of information, I have made so many international friends in the quilting community!  And the icing on the cake is the free BOM patterns!  The detail of the various patterns, and the support of the online forums, just cannot be replicated!  The current design is  by Sarah Vederler  The name of the quilt is Sedona Star.  But as I am doing it in my colour way, taking a cue from Jacqueline de Jonge, who was the designer of Circle of Life, I am thinking I should give my quilt its own special name. 
I was thinking of name if Colours of Sedona, but I am really thinking I should call it Sedona Joy.  Because working on this quilt, and with these colours is truly been a joy!