Thursday, March 27, 2008

Smiling and whistling and all but dancing

as I worked. If it were possible to dance sitting on ones butt as you machine quilt my bottom would have been doing a jig. I was happy, I'm still happy. I felt somewhat like all six of the seven dwarfs rolled into one in "Snow White and the..." kind of happy. There was no room for Grumpy. Not even the rain and the clouds spoiled my days.
While it is hard for me to come up with names for my work as I've said previously, and staying true to myself, this piece doesn't have a name either, but I know it needs to called something that speaks to happiness. Like "Ode to Poppies" maybe.
I love what I do, (creating with fabric)therefore 99.5% of my days are planned around my studio time and I can't wait to get there. Some days I go knowing that what I have to do that day, or for the next several hours to get a pieced finished is going to be down right boring, like miles and miles of free motion quilting that isn't terribly creative, just necessary. But I go. After all showing up is 90% of the battle. A lot of times it is while I am doing something boring like miles and miles of FMQ or hand stitching to hold down a facing while listening to a continuous loop of news on CNN or MSNBC that sometime wonderful pops into the head. I find it is harder for something exciting to pop into the old nogging while listening to a book on CD.
The idea for this piece that began in a moment of boredom has had no boring moments from start to finish. I couldn't wait until the last stitch in the facing on my latest piece was done to get started. (See previous post) I knew from the start I was going to be happy with this piece too. I began to smile when the first glimmer of the image popped in my head. I could see the reds and the oranges and the yellows and I continued to smile until the last stitch in the facing was done before supper last evening.
Truth to tell, I am still smiling this morning, so I hope the image makes you smile too.
The piece measures 29" x 55" and was dye painted. Start to finish, 5 days. Not bad hey!
The down side of not being bored while working on this piece is I have no idea of what I will start working on today. I am hoping something comes to me in the 30 feet between where I am sitting at the computer and my studio space.
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Friday, March 21, 2008

Didn't realize I'd been away so long

but as you can see I have been working.
This is my latest piece, measures 48" x 60" so it was no small effort on my part and a legit reason for me not sitting here blogging.
We are high and dry here in our part of Missouri, but my thoughts have been with all the rest of the State and locales that are under water from the rain we have been having.
I am happy to report the grass in the back yard is greening up and the soil is not washing away like it did our first year here. Although I know I need to complete at least 3-4 four more quilts before the middle of May, I really want to be outside getting the front and back garden cleaned up, mulched and ready for planting flowers, but it is still too wet.
Seeing bunches of daffodils for sale in the local market made me a little sad on Monday of this week and I began mentally chiding myself for not planting Spring bulbs last fall. But that latest only as long as it took for me to purchase 3 bunches of the wonderful yellow things, bring them home and placed them in a large drinking glass where they now sit on the coffee table. I must confess, I have enjoyed them probably as much or more than I would have enjoyed having them growing in the front yard.
May these holiest of days to come bring you peace and joy. Happy Easter.
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Thursday, March 06, 2008

I'm in love... I'm in love

No, not with a guy... but with a quilting foot and my new glasses. Here they are perched on the nose of a holder that Karoda gave me. Karoda knows from being around me, how many times I can turn in place searching for my glasses because I cannot remember where I left them laying. To off-set that small failing on my part, I had at least a 1/2 dozen of those over-the-counter drug store variety readers that I could snatch up and use in pinch. Since this rather large nose thing sits on the shelf behind where I sit at my sewing machine, most often my glasses can be found there and my collection of over the counter ones are no longer pressed into service. Again, thanks, Karoda.
This is a look at the new free motion foot available for the Janome 6600P. I've quilted several square feet on my newest piece using it this afternoon and couldn't wait to report to one and all that I love it.
I never was a fan of the darning foot that came with the Janome. For at least two years I have been using a 12 mm generic foot similar to the one on the right in the image below instead. But two days ago the rubber gasket on the foot and the weld broke and the foot became non-functional. Have you every looked at something (not someone) you loved and ask it "How dare you fail me in a time like this?" I had to sit there a moment and gather myself.
Why all the drama you ask over a thing. Why didn't I buy another one?.
Believed me I tried to several month ago; knowing from past experience that it is always best to have a spare. I purchased my beloved 12mm metal foot from Clotilde but learned they no longer carry it. I spent several hours on the Internet back then and again yesterday looking for another source for one, with no luck.
What was I to do, but return to the one that came with the Janome.
If I must, then so be it....
Then I remembered reading something on the Art Quilt list about a new foot Janome had introduced and to my amazement the Janome dealer here in Columbia had them. The reason I say this with awe is because he has not been in business long and last year when he opened I needed a screw for my sole plate and he had none. I had cleaned the lint from the bobbin area and while replacing the sole plate, I sent one of the two screws scurrying across the room. After a fair amount of time looking with out luck in locating into what corner it was hiding I went to his s hop to get another one. But I must admit he was very helpful. Having no extra screws in the shop, he simply removed one from one of the models on the show room floor and gave it to me. I hope he stays in business, for such a small market we have all of the major machine dealers; Husquvarna, Pfaff, and Bernina, here and all are within a 6 mile radius of each other.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I use them every day

and I would be useless without them for anything I need to see in detail, but for some reason going to buy eye glasses is almost as much a pain for me as going to the dentist. Generally I do this eye glass thing every other odd numbered year in January, but I let all of 2007 slip by and so I found myself in the third month of 2008 and I was still putting off getting them.
On Saturday I finally broke down and made an appointment for the eye exam which is this morning. Mind you, my eyesight has not changed over much and if I didn't have an astigmatism, over the counter cheater would be an easy out for me, but not any cheaper. I have insurance that covers the total cost of my glasses as long as I don't what Ralph Lauren or DKNY or some other celeb frames riding on the tip of my nose. I did see a reasonable priced frame by Niki the "just do it" people that I liked. So what will be gracing my face in a couple of days will be different from what is there now.
I have finally read and/or listened to all of J. D. Robbs "death series" and am on to other books on CD now that are not as demanding of my full attention. This has left room in my brain for me to start on a new piece with more than an eigth of my mind trained on it.
Right now all I am doing is the pre-quilting in preparation for the applique. Not very interesting at this point I must admit, but it is a way back to getting more into my work.
On the way to making enough work for my solo show, there is always other stuff happens I'ver found out and so it is with this piece I am currently working on. The gallery called last week wanting a large piece for their anual spring show and since they and I had such good reviews from last years spring event, they thought it would be to our mutual benefit for me to make something for the show to add to the what they already have. By the way the show opening should correspond with the time that the Inside Columbiamagazine issue I will be featured in hits the news stands and subscribers mail boxes.