Thursday, February 28, 2013

February UPdate!!!

Can you believe it? It's already almost March??? The end of the second month of the new year.....which means I am officially 2 months into my word of the year : FOCUS. I must admit that I haven't been as focused as I would have liked, I have been a bit stretched this month at work, and at the quilting job, and in my quest to completely overhaul the quilting/sewing room and the house in general. But my progress just proves that this focus thing really, in tracking my goals, here's the current status...

This years quilty goals....

1. Finish a new pattern every month for QQ. That's 12 new patterns released in 2013. -- 3 totally completed (binding and everything), 2 at the quilter. This one is looking really good. 

2. Finish a new Judy quilt every quarter. That is 4 quilts this year. Specifically, I will be working on Coxscomb, Farmer's Star, Feathered Star and Celtic Wave. And the Glacier Star -- because I need to get that one done for teaching purposes. - Not so much progress on this one this month (thank goodness I was gangbusters on this one last month). Glacier Star units completed : Snowflake, drunken geese (completed in January), Lonestars.  Remaining units : outside geese, new york beauty blocks. All the rest have had no progress since last month, however, I am retreating it next week, so should see some good progress on this front next month.  

3. Attend 2 Judy events -- Asilomar in March, and Montana in August. - on track, all paid up, only the August flights to book. No change since January.

4. Teach 2 Judy classes or retreats each month. - 5 teaching days in January. 4 completed in February. 3 scheduled for March.

5. Finish up a bunch of Judy quilts that just need final touches -- quilting, binding, borders - Touch of Spring (quilting - done, even blogged about it, binding made), Cappuccino Party for 4 (quilting - done, see future blog post, binding made and added, just hand work left), MiniStars (quilting - done, see future blog post, binding made and added, hand work remaining), Summer Solstice (Borders -- retreat???), Amazon Star (borders), Pepperdish (applique, retreat???), 3 Ducks in a Row (border).

6. Blog more regularly -- I finally figured out the scheduling feature, so that should help!! My goal is three times a week. This post is #6 this month, which is 1.25 times per week. Thankfully, I had 18 in January, so my total is 24, which is an average of 3 per week, just barely. Must be more focused on this.

7. Learn how to use instagram. Done. You can follow me at queeniequilts

8. Learn how to code in XML for the website. Not doing so good here, would it count if I hired someone??? Maybe I should look into that, or maybe I should focus more? Maybe I'll just wait and see how this looks next month and make a decision. I've made a decision on this one, and I am hiring someone. I have too much design work to do to learn how to code. Anyone know a good programmer???

9. Sew every day -- even of it is only for 10 minutes, or one section of binding! I really should do some binding prep work to have some projects ready to go for this!!!! I didn't do so good on this one this month. must work harder.

How are you doing on your 2013 goals??? Have you made in progress??? What are you going to focus on in March to get to your Q1 numbers????

Happy Quilting!!!


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Some Quilty Goodness

So, it's almost that time again where I have to evaluate all of my goals at the end of the month and keep myself accountable to all of the things I wanted to finish this year. SO far, I think I am doing okay, probably a little behind on some things and a little ahead on some other things....but I'm leaving that evaluation until tomorrow (why punish myself ahead of schedule, right?).

So, instead I am celebrating some quilty goodness that showed up at my doorstep (er, post office box) this week, courtesy of the lovely Tammy, my most favoritist Montana long-armer....I sent her a group of items to quilt for me, and she did a fantastic job, and hopefully with my vacation next week, I'll get a few more items prepped and ready to go her way. That's right folks, 5 full days of quilting next week, how will I cope with all of the sew-opportunities??? With a good friend and my trusty Helen, I am almost ready to go.

But back to Montana quilting.....This is my A Touch of Spring -- probably the most traditional looking of Judy's patterns (though I realize that is a purely subjective measurement). I started mine 2 years ago at Camp Watch-A-Patcher in July, and I worked on it off and on for about 6 months, and then the border and I got into a fight......and it won. The reality is I made a mistake when I laid out the border, the purples are all lights and mediums, and the greens are mediums and darks, so it didn't flow like it was supposed to, and the corners were really I put it away in frustration until I saw inspiration one day via facebook.....separate the border into segments, and flow across the segment rather than across the whole quilt. Issue solved, and it was finished in just a few hours.

So, here she is in all of her purple and turquoise glory (I know you are surprised by my color choice!!! again)....please excuse the photography, it was late at night, and dark outside, and my place is I did my best to get some good views for you...

 The general layout.....3 x 4 medallions, with a wavy s-curve border.....

 Detail shots of the waves in the a pale turquoise

Detail of the loops in the medallions, these were done in a verigated purple, turquoise, green combo.

The same loop design repeated in the border spikes

This one below shows the thread color of the loops a little has just a little sparkle on it.....

The border treatment...segments quilted in a dark from the same color family (purple, turquoise, or green) in a pointy it!!!!

And the piece de resistance ..... the feathers, oh, they are amazing!!!!! tiny, beautiful, floaty and pristinely perfect. Did I mention that I love feathers???

To Tammy -- remind me to let you choose the design, always!!!! I love it!!!!

Happy Quilting,

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

15 day delinquent

So, it's been 15 days since I last posted, and I can say they have been 15 of the busiest days of quilting in my life. Not that I have done that much sewing (because I haven't). I have been doing a lot of teaching, and prepping for teaching, and prepping for retreat, and packing for retreat, so while my sewing hours have not been many, they have been productive....

I finished my snowflake blocks for my Glacier Star.....I am liking how the turned out....though I must admit they aren't what I had pictured in my head.

I also finished all of the prep for lonestar units, and got them about half sewn, so hopefully I will get them finished this week.

Happy Quilting,

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hello Monday

Well, it is Monday -- I'm not particularly sure where the weekend went, but I can say it was great respite from the work week. It's going to be a busy week here, so here's a sneak peek at what we are up to this week...

1. Board Meeting Tuesday
2. Guild Presentation Wednesday evening in Glendale
3. Bali Wedding Star  - Guild Workshop on Saturday in Glendale
4. President's Weekend Holiday!!!! -- yippee, an extra day to sew, sew, sew
5. Preparations for a private retreat next week
6. Sewing, Sewing, Sewing -- I REALLY want to finish my Glacier Star this weekend. Not sure if that is particularly reasonable, but I am going to go with it, and sew, sew, sew!!!
7. Planning and Booking classes and shows.
8. and......TAXES, ooh-vay!!! did I mention I hate paperwork??? I made a pact that I would get these done before I do any sewing. Hopefully that way I won't procrastinate!!!!!

So, off to the trenches I go!!!!

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tools of the Trade

I often get asked what my favorite gadget or tool is, and the reality is I could never pick just one!!! I use different ones every day, depending upon the project, technique or requirements, but I do think my collection is a little odd, and sometimes a bit overwhelming!!! Seriously, I use "weird" supplies all the I thought I would show you some of them. Some will be "normal" some are just shortcuts to make my quilting life easier (or cleaner)!

So, here you go, a few of my favorites :

Rotary Cutter -- pretty standard, I like the 60mm one best.

Thread -- pretty basic, I like the DMC 50 wt for binding, and Aurifil 60wt for piecing, but I am testing a new  one by Wonderfil -- I'll let you know next week what I think.

A Glue Pen -- I started using these for paper piecing, and now I use it for everything. I glue down my binding before I sew it, so I know it "fits" smooth, and I don't have pins on my couch poking me. 

Sewing Machine -- Her name is Helen the Husquavarna -- yes it is cheesy, but she loves it!!!

Her details.......

Camera -- essential for success. I love to look at designs in it, the viewfinder really helps you get perspective on value and color -- I will often switch it to B&W and take a photo to make sure that the value is right.

Baskets -- essential for keeping all the parts organized. I like to have one for every project. For active projects I have these white open ones, and for longer term or travel projects I use the ISIS locking scrapbook boxes.

A bowl -- I admit I stole this one from Rachel Ray -- I have a bowl on my cutting table to "collect" all of the scraps, trash and threads. Since I do mostly paper piecing, I end up with little scraps, which have a tendency to "wander" between cutting and the trash can. This keeps them corralled, and makes it easier to dump them into the trash all at one time. It helps keep my area and brain free of clutter, and cuts down on the vacuuming (which is always a benefit).

Here's another view of the scraps and papers from my glacier star.

And my biggest requirement.....Diet Coke!!!

What are your essential tools for quilting???

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Busy, Busy Weekend

So, as per normal it was a busy weekend, with running errands, getting ready for shows, getting new fabrics in the shop and getting some mystery fabric!!! The mystery fabric came in the form of fabric that I didn't order, that showed up at my was odd, and I hadn't paid for it, so I knew something was wrong, but it took a few hours and a couple of phone calls to figure out what.....the boxes ended up being for the Queene Bee quilt shop, and had been stickered by UPS, so I didn't get to keep them!!! But, my checkbook thinks that was a good idea. So, once that was sorted out, and I was able to reclaim my entry way, it was time to start working on projects...lots and lots of projects. I have sewing organization projects in process in the garage (painting, sanding, painting, distressing, etc). Meal preparation projects (via Pinterest, this could be very interesting). And several sewing projects. I can't quite believe that it's just a few weeks until I head out to Asilomar, and I have SO much to do before I go!!! I need to spend some serious time prepping, but that will have to wait until next week, for me to get some new rotary blades and a chunk of time to cut.

I the meantime, I have been working on my Glacier Star, and have gotten quite a bit done! I got my Feathered Star Units (right and left), and my Snowflake centers  all done, and ready to go, and I am really liking this colorway, even though it is totally new for me.....I can't believe I have never done anything in this colorway, with 200+ quilts under my belt I've never  done a fall quilt. I am really loving it!!!

Here are some of the units....

Happy Quilting!!!