Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sunshine and Sunbonnet Sleuth

Today's Quote:

A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition.
William Arthur Ward

It's another cloudy day here in Marietta, GA. So I have decided to bring some sunshine into my life by my own initiative. So I clicked on the NASA image of the day and found some glorious pictures of the sun taken from space. All of the images make great inspirations for art quilts. Here is the link, click it and prepare for a real fest for the eyes.

Then, as one thing leads to another, and as I was thinking sunny thoughts, it occurred to me that it is time to awaken the long slumbering Sunbonnet Sleuth and to start another mystery quilt project. It may take a week or two to launch (like a rocket) because I want to get all 4 or 5 steps done and ready to upload so they are ready to be put in place in a timely order.

As usual the mystery will be based on traditional blocks, but you can expect a bit of modern quilting to creep in for an up-to-date project.

I will keep you posted!

Monday, January 30, 2012


Today's quote:

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.

Here is an idea that gives me comfort! Sometimes thoughts and ideas pop through my head like fireworks. They burst forth in technicolor and from other direction. Some fizzle out quickly and others burn brightly for a longer time. The best stay firmly in place and become dancing stars.

I strive to make every quilt a dancing star, not all of them make it, they are good quilts but not great quilts. The quest for creativity is worth the effort.

Here is a quilt in two colorways that I designed for Marcus brothers that put my creativity to the test, and passed. They are free patterns that can be downloaded from the internet. The blocks are easy, the placement of the fabrics and colors was a challenge. I am more than satisified with the results.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Winter Solstice

I am reading a book I somehow missed a few years back when it was published. Winter Solstice by Rosamund Pilcher. I am so enjoying it and recommend it if you want an uplifting story.

Here is a winter quote, one that appeals to me as I also love to work in the garden.

"Every Fern is tucked and set, 'Neath coverlet, Downy and soft and warm." 
Susan Coolidge

It is comforting to think that the plants that seem to die in fall and winter will come to live again when spring comes 'round bringing warmth and long sunny days. I do look forward to winter though, it is a wonderful time to really get into quilting new projects and to snuggling down under warm handmade quilts to read a good book, knit socks or just watch TV.

I found this website showing three beautiful art quilts with a winter's theme.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Public TV quilting programs

I live in Atlanta, a pretty big television market and a metropolitan area with lots of quilters, quilt shops and quilting guilds. The ONLY quilting program we have available to us is at 5:30 AM on Saturday morning. It is a good one, Quilting Arts, but we have to get up very early to watch it, or we can record it to watch later. I also subscribe to the Quilting daily email and they often offer free e-books (pdf format) teaching various quilting techniques.

You can subscribe to Quilting Arts magazine, hard copy or e-magazine. Last year I decided to only subscribe to the e-magazine version of all my magazines because the pile of paper in my house was getting totally out of control. I put them all in a folder on my desktop where I can refer to them with a click of the mouse.


So far I have only made one art quilt myself that I think is successful. It has rotary cutting without rulers except for the borders and extensive hand beading on the surface. It was great fun and very satisfying to make this quilt and I have a few more designed, but haven't found the time to make them yet.

Friday, January 27, 2012

its a symphony

Today I got off to a backwards start, it has been one of those days. I went to the East Cobb Quilters Guild monthly meeting. The best part is the show and tell and the best quilt was designed around a distinctive cat fabric, it was very cool. After coming home, I had email and work to catch up before I could blog for today.

My quote for the day is by Blaine Lee, here it is:

The great leaders are like the best conductors - they reach beyond the notes to reach the magic in the players. 

I like this quote because I used to play the clarinet and understand about reaching for the magic within. Quilters do this with each new quilt. We reach beyond the fabrics, the colors, the patterns and look within ourselves for the magic of creativity.

This past year I designed a Log Cabin Trim Tool that is being manufactured by Creative Grids. I have been having a great time making Log Cabin quilts. This tool saves so much time I can make a quilt a week. It is amazing! I am so addicted to log cabin quilts and the many creative ways you can arrange the blocks to make a quilt.

Here is one I made about 5 years ago from batiks, one of my favorite fabrics for log cabin quilts.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

getting started with quilting

I start every day with a devotion, then I sit and sew while I meditate on that devotion. I like poetry, verses from the bible, or a line from a book I am reading as inspiration as a text to start the day. I like to start this way because it doesn't take long for my day to start spinning into lots of activity as I design quilts, fabrics, new quilting tools, or whatever! Oops, I forgot to say working on my next book. It's fun, hectic and creative.

How do you start your day?