31 August, 2009

Sneak Peak

Are you sick of seeing that grass quilt yet?  Well, you probably want to see the finished quilt already.  So do I!  I did manage to get the binding sewn on last week, but I still have to handstitch it down.

In the meantime, I've started another project.  I'm waiting to see how this one turns out.  The colours are out of my normal range - cream - and I'm trying out something design wise.  If it works and the response is positive I'm hoping to share it with you as a quilt-along. So far so good, but I need to make one more block.  Yes, just one more block.  Before I can do that however, I need to find a nanny and find childcare for a weekend trip I have booked. Gee, this mommy thing sure gets in the way of my quilting sometimes.

28 August, 2009

Just For Fun

Sometimes we need a little bit of silly in our lives. Just simple, make you smile quietly or laugh ridiculously loud silly.  Amanda Jean and I were chatting about shoes and quilts the other day, after she posted this photo.  We joked that we should start and Flickr group for photos of just shoes and quilts.  It seemed silly but fun, so we did it.  The group is called Toe Catchers.  I'm either terrible witty or just terrible. You can join the fun here.

So today during naptime I'll be taking a few more pics to add to the mix.  I think I could have some pretty good combinations - I have lots of colourful shoes. Please post your own.

24 August, 2009

Denyse Schmidt Ninja

Thanks for all your encouragement last week.  I too wish you all lived closer.  I'm sure I could learn as much from each and everyone of you as you from me.  I am beyond exited to get this opportunity.

To completely change the subject, I had to share this pic of Smilosaurus. I came from a particularly trying day at the office last week and this is what greeted me.  How can you not giggle at that?  

In our shared dining room/sewing room/home office I keep a little basket that holds selvages and scraps until it is full and I sort them.  The girls love to go in a play with them, usually with The Monster practicing her knot tying.  Well this day it turns out that the girls and our lovely nanny were all sporting bands of selvages at one point during the day, but Smilosaurus would not take hers off. She wore it from naptime to bedtime.  My little Denyse Schmidt Ninja.

20 August, 2009

Woohoo! An Announcment

If you know me at all by now it should be clear that I am not enamoured of my desk job. I have grand fantasies that may or may not come true about making a career out of being a creative soul. But in order for me to have even a remote chance of achieving that dream I have to start somewhere. Today I am pleased to announce that I am taking the first step in that direction.

I got a teaching job!  Let's be clear, a job teaching quilting.  Okay to be even more precise, a job teaching Improvisational Piecing.

A month ago I took an afternoon off work with the nanny at home with the girls.  I pressed my sampler, prepared some pitches, and hit the stores.  And the first one bit!  I actually pitched three classes and they picked up Improvisational Piecing.  How cool is that?

So, if you are in the Calgary area in late November, please sign up and I'll do my best to educate and entertain you. To register you can do so at Along Came Quilting.

Here are the details:
November 13 and 20
1:30-4:30 pm
Along Came Quilting
Unit 12, 1220-59 Avenue SE
Calgary, Alberta

See you in November!

17 August, 2009

That's A Lot of Thread!

Wow, I finally finished the grass quilt.  And I can tell you that I lost count of how many bobbins I used but I went through five spools of 100 metres and two half spools on 500 metres of thread! That's a lot of thread!

Speaking of the thread, I used my new favourite kind of thread for quilting: Presencia Mercerized Egyptian Cotton.  I've made a few quilts with this thread now and I'm hooked.  It doesn't break, the lint isn't too bad, and the colours are wonderfully saturated. For the grass quilt I used three different greens and alternated colours for each row of grass that I quilted.

The binding still needs to go on, maybe tonight.  It will be another multi-pieced one.  First I need to sneak into the closet in the girls room and grab my bin of green fabrics.  Smilosaurus was having a rough day and went to bed early, early tonight.  Hmm, maybe I'll skip the binding and head to bed myself because I feel an early morning coming on.

PS  Stay tuned for one of my announcements later this week...

13 August, 2009

Another Form of Improvisation

Just in case it wasn't obvious in those photos of the water layouts, here is my current design wall. It's our brand new fence.  Gates optional at this point. It sure works well as a design wall, with one of our old white sheets thrown over it.

I haven't had a chance to work on any more layouts for the water quilt. And sadly now, some late summer rains are here for a few days so I'm not sure I'll get to them these weekend.  At least with the rain it means I am let off staining duty on that fence!

In the meantime I'm plugging away on the quilting of the grass quilt.  Over half done now.  And when I'm not quilting I've been trying to gain some order in the house and find another nanny. Our wonderful nanny decided to go back to school in September.  I've known  for a few weeks but Hubby was out of town and I couldn't motivate myself to do anything.  Despair is setting in. Good thing I have some vacation time to use.

There is more quilty stuff to come in the next few weeks.  I have a couple of announcements and bigger projects in the works.  Stay tuned! 

10 August, 2009

What Do You Think Of?

Thank-you so much for all your comments on the different potential layouts for my water inspired quilt. One of the things that struck me in the comments was the difference in what it meant to think of water.  Some thought of waterfalls or rivers, others thought or tranquil lakes. Most saw blue and most saw easy movement.

To be honest, I wasn't sure myself what water meant when I started it.  It was really inspired by a pile of fabric that simply read water to me.  But all the comments got me thinking about what I wanted this quilt to truly represent.  So I dug through the photo archives and found some inspirational water photos.

Hubby at the deserted beach bar on our honeymoon.  An hour on the scooters, some very scary looking Cuban military guys, and this completely deserted beach with a bar.  A stocked bar, and an eventual bartender who fed us fresh papaya and cold beers.
That's me in the water at Pilar beach, again on our honeymoon.  We snorkeled there one day and went back to simply soak up the sun another day.

The view of the ocean storms of the Northumberland Straight on our vacation to Nova Scotia two years ago.

Hubby jumping the waterfall at Sierra de la Laguna in Baja this past Christmas.

A water fight in Baja.

Introducing Smilosaurus to the ocean in Baja.  A calm day, perfect for babes in water and more snorkeling.

The girls getting creative on a hot day in the backyard.  Yes, that's a blue box for recycling and the garden hose.  And our new grass.

Smilosaurus in the bath.  Our lovely harvest gold bath suite.  Don't you love it?

That cute the little girl again.  This time in Waterton National Park, just a little over a week ago.  Mountain lakes are perfect for her and her favourite pastime of throwing rocks.

Does that help define water for me?  Let's see... Adventure and tranquility, activity and relaxation, excitement and calm.  Now, what kind of quilt will that make?

07 August, 2009

Water Version 5

Okay, I'm changing things up again. But in reading through all the comments I think I need to try a few more things before I settle down and make a decision.  You've come up with really interesting ideas. Good challenges too.

Before I go making any more changes, what do you think of this one?  So far the basket weave effect has had mixed reviews. This one builds off that overall effect, but I think it might be a bit more balanced in composition.  What do you think?

We're off for the weekend and unless the weather cooperates next week I'm not sure if I'll get a chance to play with layouts again soon. You've given me SO much more to think about.  Thanks again for all your opinions.

06 August, 2009

Water Version 4

So, so? Did you see this coming?

I combined v3 with those small bits, focusing on the vertical in them. Ignore the crookedness, but what about the layout?

One of you commented that I take criticism well.  I don't actually see this process as overly critical.  You guys are being honest and kind.  Those of you who are reading and are absolutely hating what you see are probably just keeping it to yourself. Its okay, you can tell me.  I've got incredibly thick skin.

Besides, I am really interested in the opinions.  I'm looking at my own work in a new way. I can't say that I'll do this with every quilt, but it is a fascinating process and I will do it again. Quilt design by blog.

05 August, 2009

Water Version 3

Look at me changing things up.  This time I got rid of all the small pieces in this one.  And after so many of you liked them thrown into v2.

There needs to be some sort of transition between the short and long pieces, or could they simply be sewn together?  Thoughts?

And because I anticipated the comments, here is the same layout, flipped 90 degrees.  Water is horizontal, not vertical, so many of you said.  So here is this layout another way. Ah, the joys of photo editing software.
PS  Like so many of you I am really starting to see some of those more yellowy greens. Not sure what I'll do about that yet.

04 August, 2009

Water Version 2

Hmm, some very good and frank comments yesterday.  Thank-you so much. There is already more for me to think about.

This is v2.  v1 did not include all the pieces I made.  You can see that this version has those sections of more random, smaller pieces in the middle.  This design builds out from those pieces.

Oh, and to answer a question from yesterday, these layouts are probably about 70 or 80 inches by about 50-60 inches.  I'm just estimating.

So, thoughts on v2?

03 August, 2009

Water Version 1

What do you think?  Seriously, what do you think?

I had some time yesterday to play with layouts for my water quilt.  I want your opinion.  Every day this week I will post another version. Please tell me what you like and don't like about it. Tell me if it works or if it is complete crap. I've got very thick skin, so please be brutally honest. I have some preferences, but I'm not going to tell you what they are.  I'm looking for other opinions.

A couple of things to keep in mind.  I'm not tied to using all the pieces I made, nor am I opposed to making new ones to fit in. If you have other ideas for layout I would be happy to hear them. And just so you know, none of these pieces are trimmed because I do plan on joining them together as I pieced them, with wavy lines.

So, v1.  What do you think?