Aug 24, 2015

Happy Weekend!

Hello!

Well, I know it's Monday and Monday is generally not the weekend... However, I think it's about time to post something that is up to date.  So, even though this post will be a short one, I'm happy to share what my work table looked like two days ago:


Yep, that's right... That's one of the 2015 Craftsy BOM blocks and some of the applique is finished. I decided to use some of my embroidery thread, good for embroidery (obviously), that I almost never make and that is rarely used, in order to blanket stitch around the applique. I used some blue Isacord that I've used before for FMQ (click here or here to see the FMQ samples), and the embroidery thread will be for the leaves and stems. 

I was not looking for a color that stood out, but for something discrete, that would not take away from the piecing or the gorgeous fabric. I've found that the best way to audition a thread is just take a bit of it and put it on top of the fabric to get a fairly good idea of how it would look once finished. So, the darker thread made the cut!  It's interesting how the olive green threads look blue-ish, gray-ish in the picture - maybe that's why I didn't like them for this project, in the first place... Interesting...

Anyway, you may also spot some colorful squares... Well, that is a side project I started working on. I'll post on it, and will blog about it, eventually...

In the meantime, applique flowers get done little by little and I'll still keep trying to sneak in a post here and there.

I hope you have a blessed week!  

Yiya



Aug 14, 2015

MIA - Basket blocks

Hello everybody!

I have been kind of all over the place lately.  This week has been crazy so far, and I kept thinking of creative ways of finding a quiet moment that would actually help me forget the rush, rush, rush of work at least for a second... This week I traveled to another location for training related to work, which I really like doing, but it seems to make things crazier in the office for the time we come back.  I know that only happens to me... Lol!!

I'm just trying to get to the point with a good story -or a half-decent one- about how I was caught up in the frenzy and decided to make the most out of lunch, go to one of my favorite places, hook up to the internet and come to this little corner of the woods that keeps words flowing, with my fingers trying to play catch-up, and my brain suddenly forgetting about everything that was in there twenty minutes ago...

So, let's get to business here and have a good laugh at my inadequate abilities to rescue pictures from a low battery camera... Remember the black pictures in my previous BOM post? Well, here they are!




I got a different kind of batteries (rechargeable, of course), but tougher. I already had a set of those who can handle the flash, but I got some that are supposed to be even tougher. I'm not a battery expert, but Mr. Fuzz thought it would be a good idea, and the camera has been working great! 

I'm so glad I was able to get this picture "back;" the two blue baskets with the pieced centers seem to glow with the right amount of evening light coming through the living room door. 



A little witness of my slow advances in the 2015 BOM that keeps feeling like a major milestone; challenging baskets that keep pushing me into precision piecing and even provide a little relaxing escape from a frantic week... Smile! 

We can keep going, and every day, with ups and downs, we are breathing and something inside tells us that we can make it...  How wonderful to know that God blesses us in such wonderful ways! Even though we may not share the same beliefs, I hope you get to experience hope and joy to the fullest!

Stay blessed,

Yiya

Aug 9, 2015

BOM 2015: Paper-piecing in August!!!

OK... wait a minute... August blocks in August? Really? Well, yes!!  

I spent a good time yesterday working on these beauties, and it was just fantastic!


After a challenging week and some really needed time to relax, I must confess I kind of forgot there was laundry waiting to be done, or dishes to be washed... I just took my quilt ruler and rotary cutter, and did not stop!

OK, I did take breaks, and made sure that things around the house were taken care of. However, Mr. Fuzz did most of the work; he said that he knew I needed quality time with my fabric - isn't he the most amazing fuzzband!! 

And, although I'm behind in posting other things I've been working on, I thought about jumping into August and share the beautiful paper-pieced flowers for the Craftsy 2015 BOM, with Jinny Beyer.

By the way, remember that this is a free class, so you may want to visit the site and see what all the fuzz is about.

It all starts with a piece of paper...


... and cut fabric...


... and it just keeps going, and going!
































I love the perfect points and the complexity - elegant and clean.  I can't wait for September blocks, which will also be paper-pieced - let's see if I'm caught up with my blogging by then.

Thanks for reading, and stay blessed,


Yiya

Jul 12, 2015

My first Quilt Show!!

Quilfest 2015! Yay!!

I waited and waited for about two years, and then it was a mere coincidence when a lady visiting the office mentioned that Dewey was opening doors to this gorgeous celebration of quilts. So, can you guess was there, no questions asked? Yep, you guessed it - ME!  I could not let the chance of experiencing a quilt show for the first time!

So here, let me take you along this incomparable experience of learning, discovery, adventure, awe and creative ideas tickling at 100 mph!  :)

This was my first corner... A burst of color and quilts that seemed to belong to different eras, but somehow came together. It felt like a contradiction, but the craftsmanship and the attention to detail made them happy together.


There were quilts for all tastes - modern, 30's, appliqué, mod log cabins... You name it!


And there were corners that just made you smile. Like this little doll patiently waiting for loving arms to carry her, lending a sense of coziness and home to it all.


Wherever I turned, there were rows and rows of welcoming friends willing to share a bit of their hearts and hard work.


Take Cheryl, who welcomed me almost the minute I walked in and made me feel at home. It was almost as if we had been friends for years! In just a bit, we had walked around several quilts, and she had shared the story of how she and her sisters get together about 3 or 4 times a year for a sewing weekend. What a blessing! One of her sisters does not quilt; she saws. But they all came together one weekend to make a quilt for a family member. Cheryl prepared and cut almost all the fabric before, and they just poured their hearts in such a fantastic quilt.

Cheryl explained that she doesn't show her quilts, but that she lends hers, like some ladies belonging to the Jewel Quilt Guild, to complement the exhibit and give it all a more homey look. This is one of hers, and Cheryl is hiding behind.


It lay folded on a char in one of those happy corners. What a beautiful work! I thought those were the merriest pinwheels, and then Cheryl said that I could touch it, because that was hers...  I almost jumped to the ceiling in joy!!!  

Her pinwheels were sewn to the quilt only by one side, so they had a "floppy" triangle. Cheryl mentioned that this is 3D quilting, and that the quilting pattern is called "long and short." Now you know what I want to try next! 

And yes, that's my finger saying hi... lol


This is another one of Cheryl's, "Fat Cat."  She made sure to give me directions so that I could get to it and see one of her twelve banners she displays at home each month. Fat Cat is the official August mini.


Another sweet lady was Georgia, and this is one of hers. She said that she used cheater fabric, but the quilter treated the print as if it had ditches, so it was a nice optical illusion. If Georgia hadn't told me this was cheater fabric, I'd have decided that this was pieced!


Did I tell you that Gloria was wearing the coolest shoes? They were pink, orange, yellow and lime green... I heard several comments on them. 

I learned a lot. I mean - A LOT.

If you have read my blog, you pretty much know everything I know about quilts, which means that all of my quilt knowledge has come from blogs, Craftsy and pictures.  

I got the same feeling I've had at museums before. In my very first post, It ain't like in the book, I shared my experience with Degas's ballerinas. I didn't like them, until I saw the real thing. This happened to me at Quiltfest; quite honestly, it was unexpected, but it was a good unexpected. Log cabins had been one of these designs that I had never paid much attention to. Triangles inside triangles was another one. But a vendor had this beauty in display, changing my thoughts forever...


And how about some good hand stitching? 


"Kansas Son" is the quilt above, made and tacked by Muriel Armstrong. And the picture below is from "Oriental Turning Twenty," by Sharon Payne and quilted by the Union Chapel Dorcas Society.



I could not help walk to this happy and bright corner... It was a vendor's booth; I thought that it was really neat how the mini-sashing sort of outlined each shape and all the triangles and squares worked together perfectly!


Yes! Color! Itty bitty squares as cornerstones and solid blocks... Great effect! Pat Osborn made "Bright and Bold" and Wanda Jones quilted it - by the way, I think that Wanda Jones is my new quilting hero! She quilted and made several of the quilts showed, and her work is amazing.  Just take a peek at the mini labyrinths in each block - perfect for kiddos (and grown-ups) to have fun!


Sure! These are modern styles, but I made a HUGE discovery... I actually like traditional quilting, too. The next two quilts are just a token of this eye opening event.  

"Threads of time" was made by Merrie Keonig and quilted by Cindy Thompson. The cue card said that she made over 300 flying geese!  And it is beautiful!


This was another more traditional quilt that made me smile... "Jewel," made by Gay Cooper and quilted by Wanda Jones. I really like how straight lines can make curves, almonds and circles appear out of nowhere.  This is a technique I've kept my eyes on and I hope I'll make a similar quilt one day.



And the following is probably the goofiest quilt I've ever seen! I probably looked like a silly lady laughing with herself... It is called Chicken Buffet, made by Shala Lunt and quilted by Sue Williams. I could not stop smiling and having a good time with this fantastic idea!


The first thing I noticed was the different quilting motifs in each block; only then did I notice how the chicken thing worked! It made me smile wide!  :D



I was drawn by this wall quilt; I was wondering how they managed to pull the fading color effect, so I came close to it and realized it's painted! It is called "It's Lonely in the Desert," and was made by Barbara Reynolds.


Oh man! Where next? 

So many beautiful quilts with fantastic stories behind them! By no means is this everything at Quitfest 2015, but it definitely is a good starting point to share my super adventure at my first quilt show ever!  

I have so much more to share, but I'll probably dosify it over two or three more posts... Who knows! I just was thankful to have such a fantastic experience and I am thrilled to be able to share it here with all of you!

Stay blessed,

Yiya