Sunday, February 28, 2016

February Review and March Intentions

Before I prepared to do this post I felt that I hadn't accomplished much of anything during this month. Then after I made a few notes and put some collage pictures together, I realized that I might not have the 'finishes' that I've come to expect of myself, but I really had been very productive just the same. 

First up is the OBW quilt that I started in January. I thought I was ready to quilt it until I layed it onto the frame and saw that it wasn't flat. Much to my dismay, after measuring, I realized that my cutting and stitching of the hexies in one specific area, was "OFF", I'm not taking it apart! But I know I also do not want a pucker. So, I sliced it, yep! Cut it in from the edge to an apex point. It now lays flat, but I have another bit of stitchin that will happen before it gets quilted. 

My Batik Stars BOM quilt top is still waiting to be quilted. I worked hard and long to get it to where it is and like most of us, I'm afraid to mess it up! So, I've spent time working out some designs on paper. My quilting had better be prettier than my workbook!

My friend Betty brought three quilt tops by for me to quilt up.  She's so kind, always says I can do anything I want, and then says it's perfectly what she wanted when I return them to her. She makes lots of quilts for her grandkids, and I'm blessed to be her Everyday Quilter. 
I hosted the February meeting for The Sandwich Makers', a Cobblestone Quilters Guild splinter group. We had 8 in attendance and shared so much useful information. I'm glad I got my room cleaned up before they arrived. I even had some of my leftovers sorted. 
The marbling on fabric mini workshop that I gave for The Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild, was successful. We all had a great time and most everyone went home with 3 fabric samples and a post card. 
I also did a mini workshop of a fabric manipulation technique, for a sewing group that I meet with once a month. I precut everything with my Accuquilt Go and saved a ton of time! 
The Go cutter has been a real help in my starting this tumbler quilt. And getting the leftovers cut into ready to use units for future sewing projects. 
It was a real treat to cut this stack of clam shells, for a future project. The leftovers were cut into units for some upcoming workshops. 
I also attended a one day class with Elaine Quehl from Ottawa, Ontario.  Had a great time with The Cobblestone Quilters Guild stitchers. Hosta 101 was the name of our class. I decided to use her pattern, Hosta Trio. Picture below, on the left is with the background fabric. It needs stitching and quilting , but today, I'm happy to look at it on the design wall. 
Kept the hubby busy with some painting requests. And putting this gorgeous ceramic flower into our garden. It was a gift from my neighbor, Debbie. She also gave me the rolling cart that had been black. 
Then, I gave a coat of a dark brown, even though it shows up as blue in the third photo down, to a collage piece that I've been unhappy with from the start of adding color. I figured I'd try one more direction before I burn or bury it!!  I wish it was that brilliant blue but it isn't. My next step is to invest some time applying a light metallic paint to the edges! 
I actually like the third picture the best, but you don't get to go back with this process. And the picture is probably nicer looking than the piece was in reality. 
And to be honest and up front, no progress was made on my Mystery BOM quilt, Batik triangle quilt, Tequamenon Falls wallhanging, or my Dragonfly pages. There's another month starting in a few hours, 
I'll see what projects get the attention. 

March Intentions: 
Move forward on any of my projects 
Cleanmy house
And visit my family in the Midwest. 

How have your intentions and accomplishments been lining up? Like ducks in a row, I hope. 
May God bless you with loved ones to share your life with. - Luann

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Why I Use Spoonflower to Print Fabric

In the picture above, is the Spoonflower Workbook and a fatquarter of printed fabric. These are sitting on top of the original tablecloth, and the actual thread nests I used, are sitting to the right hand side of the fabric and are on top of the actual workbook. This was my first print-on-demand fabric order. It's primitive and unsophisticated. I wanted to see the quality of their fabric and their printing. I can say I have purchased more and am very pleased. 

Spoonflower is located in North Carolina. They print 'your' design onto giftwrap, wallpaper, or any of their fabrics. They have quilting weight cottons, silks, decorator canvas, jersey knits, and about 20 more options! 

You don't need the workbook to get started, but I have learned a lot since that first print job by having it.  Go to and set up a free account. They have everything within or connected to their site for uploading and manipulating your images into a design and color family you're happy with. I first did this with my iPad and found that not all things were functional. So, if you use your laptop when starting, you will have more options right away. You don't pay anything until you decide that you want to purchase something. You can even save all your designs until you want to print them up. I think this is so nice because you can take a photo, manipulate it, and print it to fabric for a one of a kind piece of artwork. You can also use drawings, original artwork, etc. The workbook  explains  how to achieve a continuous pattern. Definitely not how I thought it was done! Another learning experience for me. 

They also have design challenges. They send out emails about these and then a follow up as to who won each challenge. And you have the option to make as many of your designs available to others as you wish. Then, when someone purchases something with your design on it, you get compensated. 

Back in December they offered a 12 Days of Design. They sent out an email each of those days with a step in the process of creating your own designs for printing. Things like; where to get ideas for designs, choosing colors that speak to you, how to upload your images, information regarding some of the different tools on the site for manipulating your images, and choosing the best cloth for your application. They are very helpful and friendly. 

I want to encourage you to check them out. I think you may find it to be a new avenue of adventure. I certainly did. 

Let's Create Today,

PS: I am writing this without any compensation from Spoonflower. It's my honest opinion. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

February Intentions

This month is flying by.  Here it is the 8th day and I'm finally getting around to posting my intentions.   
This should be my first reviewing day, for this month. 

I've decided to combine them. 

1. To finish my OBW that I started in January. I put in several hours sewing everything into this configuration and adding the minimalist borders. I have the backing pieces yet to sew together, before it can get onto the longarm machine. After quilting, I will add the appliqué shapes I envision for it. 

2. My Batik Stars BOM quilt top is waiting to be quilted. The backing has been prepared, now to decide on the designs and thread colors for each area. 

3. To accommodate any client quilting needs. At present 2 have been dropped off and they will be done soon. No pictures until I ask for the ok. 

4. Continue with the Mystery Quilt clues. I have downloaded the info and will need to look at my schedule for when I'll get at this. Center panel was through the December clue. In January, I made the log cabin blocks. This month's clue has me making more 6 1/2" economy blocks to go between the log cabin blocks for the next border. 

5. To be prepared for a group of visitors to my 'work areas', on Feb 13. This means getting the sewing room, longarm lab area, and art studio put in order. Not a cleaning out of stuff, just a tidying up. Not interesting enough for a before picture. Maybe later a snapshot of the design walls? And I really should put the dust bunnies into cages!

6. Prepare for classes that I'm giving this month.  Marbling with shaving cream and fabric paints on cloth will be on Saturday, Feb 20. Then on Wednesday, February 24, I'm leading a mini workshop on fabric manipulations.  

7. Friday, February 12, will find me spending the entire day at a class called Hostas 101. 

And I want to make headway on the following:
8. Tequamenon Falls wall hanging
9. Batik triangle/improv quilt
10. Dragonfly pages- if this isn't going to become a book, I need to make a decision as to what I AM  going to do with them

And, true to my nature, I have a few other projects rambling around in my mind.  I find that starting a new project gives me the push to finish one that has gotten stuck in 'cogitation' mode. 

How about you? Do you find that starting a new project leads to getting an older project finished? Or does it just push them ALL further back? No right or wrong here, just what works for each of us, right? Right! 

May God give you plenty of energy to complete your project at hand. -  Luann