Friday, August 28, 2009

Quilting Studio Progress

Well...I finished painting my new quilting studio and a bedroom today. Yeah!!!!! It's looking good. Now my son-in-law can continue his work--putting in lights, painting trim, putting up trim, putting up the metal for the ceiling (we are using corrugated metal), putting in doors, and lots of stuff I know nothing about.

One big dilemma has been what flooring to use. The studio is in the basement of my house, so I needed to have waterproof/water-resistant flooring (just in case). I finally found something I think will work, and I really like the look. I decided on TrafficMaster Allure Plank (which is some kind of flexible vinyl in planks designed to look like hardwood) from Home Depot. It met all my requirements--can be laid over existing floors, is waterproof, is relatively easy to lay, and has a good warranty. I didn't want indoor/outdoor carpet, because I tend to drop a lot of pins. I have picked out a blonde maple look since I wanted to keep it light. I hope I like it.

I'm heading off to Florida for a few days. That's a good thing for my son-in-law (who, I'm sure, would prefer to work when I'm not home). I'll be anxious to see how much he gets done while I'm gone. I'm lucky too that my daughter will be there to keep my cat fed and watered and to water my plants, so no worries.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Work, Work, Work (...and Not Quilting)!

I haven't gotten to work on my LAFTA project for a couple of days, because I have been working on painting my new quilt studio and bedroom. I have picked out and purchased paint and have been painting for the last two days. I now have two coats of paint on the bedroom and the quilting room alcove. I have one coat of paint on the remainder of the room. I also have a really sore left shoulder and right elbow. I'm thinking I'm really to decrepit to paint! Tomorrow I have to put the last coat on. I picked a yellow gold for the room. I was told that the color would make me feel cheery all year round and warm in the winter. I am happy with the way it is looking, and I can use all the "cheery" I can get.

Painting sure hasn't left much time to quilt. Also, I'm trying to get things ready to leave for a Florida vacation. I have to do laundry, pack, clean the house, mow the acre yard, and work in physical therapy sessions (for my shoulder). I am going to take time out to attend Stitch & Bitch. Another one of our UFOs is due at this meeting. I have all mine finished except for the last one, and I'm certainly not having any time to work on it.

My blog updates may be few and far between while I'm on vacation, but check back I may be able to post while I'm there. I'm hoping Nate will bring his laptop and that we have Internet access at the condo. I promise to get a picture up of the LAFTA project when it is further along. I'm hoping I'll have time to work on it while I'm gone. I'm planning a lot of sitting out on the deck and watching the ocean. I think that will be a good time to stitch on it. I'm wondering how well I'll be stitching if I add wine to that equation?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Finally---Working on "Art" Quilts

Several months ago I mentioned that I was setting a goal for myself...I was going to make 12 fiber "art" projects before the end of the year. Well...I really have done only one. (Two if you count a little landscape quilt I did during a guild program, but that would be stretching it a bit.) I have eleven to go before the end of the year!

Yesterday, I worked on two "art" quilts. Actually, they are pieces for a LAFTA (Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists) project. Several LAFTA members (53 actually) agreed to make a 10" X 10" fiber piece that can be mounted to a stretched canvas base. Any type of art medium can be used as long as it can be worked or placed on the canvas. The canvas background has to be covered or painted, but the work can extend slightly over the edges. All of this collaborative work will be placed together onto one big wall at the Hosparus-Counseling Center in Louisville. This piece is due next month.

I have to tell you...I'm pretty scared about this project. I haven't done many original "art" quilts. Many of the members of this group are REAL artists. Many are nationally known for their work. It is a little intimidating (being such a novice). At the next meeting, each person is bringing their finished project and telling about it. We have to include an artist statement! I've only had to do one of those before--and that was for a quilt that got into the "In Full Bloom" Exhibit. What is included in an "art statement?" What if you made the piece simply for the pleasure of the process--without some deep meaning behind it? Anyway, I did give these pieces some thought and tried to keep hospice care in mind as I worked. I chose the design not only because I liked the design, but because there actually is some meaning behind it. On one of the pieces, I chose the colors with hospice care in mind. The other simply used colors I like. Only one of the pieces will go to the Hosparus; I'll keep the other. I just hope I don't embarrass LAFTA with my "art" piece contribution.

My dilemma now is to decide what to add to the piece before mounting. I definitely will be doing some quilting, but I have to decide if it needs anything else. I guess I'll get it quilted and decide if really simple is the way to go. I'll be posting pictures when they are further along. (And even that is intimidating!)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Finished Happenstance and a Bonus

I just finished my Happenstance quilt (by Quilts by Caren). I just LOVE it! I can't wait to start the quilting. I have to is very striking and looks even better in person. It will look great with the new color scheme of my remodeled house.
One of the great things about this pattern (besides the fact that the instructions are so well written) is that a "bonus" pattern is available from Caren. It uses the leftovers from the Happenstance quilt. I just downloaded the bonus pattern today; it is SO striking. I can't wait to make that one too. I'll download a picture of it when I get it done. Be sure to check out Quilts by Caren patterns if you get a chance.

I took a couple of pictures of the other things I'm working on. The quilt on the left is in progress. I started piecing it together just so I could get an idea of what it would look like. It is Country Lanes by Kaye England. The quilt on the right (I can't remember what the name is or where I got the pattern.) is my last UFO that is due for my UFO Challenge. I'm hand quilting it (which is one of the reasons it is taking so long). I marked it pretty close, so there is a lot of hand quilting to be done. I took a closeup of it, too, so you can see some of the quilting. Oh, I do have one of the Happenstance quilt blocks there on the couch too.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Inspiration and Happenstance

I have gotten back in the "swing of things" after the death of my grandmother. She was a very special lady and sure will be missed. I'm including one of my favorite pictures of her. This was taken on her 95th birthday last September. She rode a Harley around town to celebrate. She was something! I apologize for taking so long to update my site. I'll try to do better. I did finish work on my Halloween project--Candy Corn & Summer Slices, Pattern LAS200 by Lily Anna Stitches. It is a wool felt table topper approximately 16 1/2". I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. It gave me something easy to work on while I was traveling.
I mentioned being inspired by some pictures I took at the Dome in West Baden Springs in southern Indiana. I thought I'd show you a couple. Surely I can come up with some kind of art quilt depicting these photos. These pictures were taken right at dusk. The dome is absolutely breathtaking at that time of day. The center of the dome changes colors; it reminds me of a kaleidescope. I like the off-center picture; I think it will make a more interesting quilt.Yesterday, I worked on my Happenstance quilt (61" X 85"). (I must say that this is one of the most clearly written patterns I have used lately. I have been very disappointed with many of the patterns I have purchased simply because the directions are so poorly written. The designs are good, but following the directions is a nightmare. I haven't found that to be a problem with Quilts by Caren. Check them out.) I started sewing the black sashing to the blocks and putting my Happenstance quilt together into rows. First I found an arrangement of the blocks that I liked. Check it out. I'll keep you updated on my progress.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Having a Hard Time of It

I have to apologize for not blogging for a few days. My Grandma Wink died this past Thursday. She would have been 96 in September and had been living by herself till the day she died. She was as "sharp as a tack!" She taught me to sew using a needle, thread, and a paper napkin! She loved to cook and play cards and had a garden till just a couple of years ago. She was quite a lady! I have been in a "funk" and not very productive. I also have had to do a bit of traveling.

I did take some pictures of The Dome at West Baden Springs right at dusk during this week, though. The color of the sky when looking up at the "kaleidoscope" at the top of the dome at that time of day is a magnificent blue. My plan is to make an art quilt using those photos as inspiration; I love the contrast of colors. I took an off-center picture that sort of looks like a really colorful octopus. When I get a chance to download the pictures, I'll post a couple. In the meantime, please "hang in there" with me. I will get back to sewing and blogging.