A View of My Quilt Life

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Beginning of a Contest Journey

I had this really cool idea.   A theme for an upcoming contest is “Flying Geese”.  OOOOO – so many things can be done with this unit… and have been.   The wonderfully, dynamic work of Caryl Bryer Fallert comes to mind.  But how am I going come up with something new & different and unique?

Well, it kind of starts if I don’t think too hard about it – just let it jiggle around in the back of my mind.  And then – BAM – all of the sudden of out the blue, when I’m not expecting it, something pops into my mind. A thread, a visual sketch in my mind’s eye, a flash of color inspiration and I’m off on a path.   I may not stay on the path; I may turn sharply in another direction; but that’s how it can start.

Not very methodical or conveniently planned!  And this is how I get into a crunch deadline, if the path doesn’t hit long before the piece is due for competition.

So I’ve been thinking randomly about flying geese. We’ve all seen quilts that use these and bend them and twist them and use all sizes of them.  But I want to back to the triangle shape. No, further back than that – to the outline of the shape, and take it from there. That brings me to line – the beginning of design.

And that leads to the vague sketch I have so far. I’m thinking bright batiks – citrus colors maybe.

It’s a line; it’s a squiggle; its flying geese!

As you can see it’s very vague. I’m okay with that – I have time for this one. It’s not due until November 2016!  Which means it can percolate all it wants to for the next year. Then it’s time to get down to business.  Or it very well may decide it needs to be made sooner than that. I’ll let you know.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

New Quilter's Book!

WICKED… the Quilter’s Book.

Remember way back last spring when I participated in the WICKED challenge by Cherrywood Fabrics?  

And then they kept all 114 entries as a traveling exhibit?  And 27 of them are currently at the Gershwin Theater on Broadway where WICKED is performed?  And the other 87 are on display at the store In Minnesota?  And they have 14 show venues and museums that the exhibit will be travelling to in 2015?

Well, Cherrywood Fabrics has just announced that they will be publishing a BOOK of all 114 entries that were created for the WICKED challenge!! 

The preview of the book is posted here.  They are now taking pre-orders to help determine the quantity to print.   I just ordered mine! More than anything, it will be so cool to see how everyone interpreted the theme in fabric!  Can’t wait…

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Culture Sunday

This may well become a new Holiday tradition for the DH & me.  We joined our friends T, P & S for a Sunday performance of ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee. 

This theater was built in 1895 (119 years old) and is the 4th oldest continuously operating theater in the U.S., as well as a National Historic Landmark.

This is from The Pabst Theater website:
“With a full proscenium stage that includes a hydraulic orchestra pit, the theater is suitable for virtually all performing arts including theater, opera, dance, and music. The auditorium is drum shaped with two balconies, and stunningly decorated in reds and maroons with gold and silver accents. A magnificent crystal chandelier that weighs over two tons hangs over the auditorium. Measuring twelve feet in width by sixteen feet high, it is lowered to seat level once a year so that its 33,000 running inches of Austrian crystal can be cleaned.”

The performance we attended was AMAZING! Simply AMAZING!!

Afterward, it was off to a lovely dinner.  And a long drive home...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Adventure Saturday

On Saturday, with the weatherman forecasting a high of 47 degrees, the DH & I made our annual trek to downtown Chicago to visit the Christkindlmarket.  

German food, sweet spiced hot wine and shopping!  

That’s my kind of pilgrimage!  We have learned that it is SO much easier to take the train down. The station is a 5 minute drive from the house. Once we get down to Chicago, that station is only a 15 minute walk to Daley Plaza for the market. 

The Daley Plaza is home to the Picasso statue.

During the holiday season, it shares the space with the city's Christmas tree. 

Right across the street is City Hall, built in 1909.

We did make our annual visit to the honey shop. The Winter Season honey is a particular favorite - elderberries in honey - YUM!!!

We didn't stay long this year, as the crowd was unbelievable! Everyone was taking advantage of the beautiful weather to spend some time outdoors.  I took a few pictures on our leisurely stroll back to the train station.

Next year, we are planning to do this on a weekday to avoid some of the crowds, as well as possibly traveling up to Milwaukee as they held a smaller version for the very first time this year.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Squares, Squares, Squares

Double Four Patches to be exact!  

Yes, I am excited.  This is for Clue# 3 of Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion.  I get to pull out the Kiwi Green batik and see how it plays with the black & the cream when it’s cut into small squares.  I auditioned a ton of greens – you’d be surprised at how many nuances of bright, lime-ish green I found at Lolly’s before deciding that this one would be best.  

We had a lot planned for this weekend (more on those activities in another post), so I wasn't sure how far I would get by link up time.  I wold have gotten farther if I hadn't sewn these wrong!  Fortunately I caught the mistake after only one set and did some un-sewing and then some re-sewing.

Not a huge pile yet but it's a start!

Click for the Grand Illusion mystery link up party for Dec 15th and see quilter’s progress and excitement as we work on the Clue # 3.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Winter Greenery

What a difference this winter has been versus last year at this time!

Today's high temp will be 40 degrees, the Sunday's high of 50 degrees right around the corner. WOOHOO!!!  To put the glee in perspective, last year the  high temps were below zero. Not to mention last year's snow pack that is current no where to be found.  

But it is still winter and greenery, outside of evergreens is hard to come by. Except in my kitchen.

I have one little bright spot of spring hanging out on the kitchen counter.

And the first bloom has just opened!  While I don't wish the holidays away, and the extra quilting time from winter weather - Come On Spring! 

This weekend brings some holiday traditions - old & new - but minus the cold & snow and Clue# 3 of the Grand Illusion mystery.  Let the decking of the halls commence!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sewing Progress

Yes - some stitching has happened here!  Yesterday I drew the last of my hundreds of lines on my end squares. Then last night I was able to sit and sew and sew and sew.  The drawn lines made it easy to keep me on track and the units flying under the needle.

Yep - all my units for the Grand Illusion Clue #1 and Clue #2 are finished.

If you are wondering why I get so excited about doing the mystery (this is my second year participating), you're not alone.  As someone who usually runs the other way when it comes to someone else's pattern, books and kits, I needed to think about this.

I, for one, spend most of the quilting year designing my own quilts, mostly for competitions or challenges, but definitely a solitary endeavor.  

The Bonnie Hunter mystery allows me to relinquish control AND share the process with thousands of other quilters across the globe.  I don’t even need to make color decisions unless I want to! It’s an awesome way to wind down the quilt year, recharge the creative batteries, find the rhythm of the vintage machine, enjoy the fabric and end up with a spectacular quilt!

Whatever you are working on - enjoy the process!