Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I've been making samples and such for my trip to Cleveland next week. My samples will be a combination of newly made fabrics and items specifically created for this segment/workshop and a few pieces I already had that were made using the technique I'll be teaching.

I made this 12x16" pillow cover to try out some different shapes. I've had this triangle for a long time and wanted to create this particular pattern. I've pieced windmill blocks and though it would be interesting to mimc that pattern in dye.

I reimagined my "Nate" pattern, but this time as a table runner. I hate to make things without some kind of purpose in mind, so this piece is destined for our new coffee table.
I hadn't originally planned on the white spaces in between the blocks, but when I haphazardly slapped the dyed and pieced squares on to my design wall I really liked the white in between, so I decided to incorporate that into the design.

Also new are these step-outs to demonstrate the process.
There is one piece I'm bringing that is about four years old and very special.

I made this quilt for my eldest girl when she was 13. I can't even remember how many hours I spent dyeing the squares in different color combinations. It was all worth it though. She loves it and uses it daily. In fact I asked her if I could borrow the quilt for the taping and she agreed. I pulled it off the bed and set it aside so that I could wash it and pick off dog hairs. I hadn't quite gotten to it yesterday, but when I went to retrieve it this afternoon she had put it back on her bed. I'm assuming that she didn't want to spend the night without if she didn't have to. That right there is the reason I make stuff.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sigh:: The Week Ends

I'm torn. I really love the busy week. I love filling my days with things accomplished and planning for things yet to be done. But most weeks I come to the end feeling more than a little grateful for the opportunity to take a day or two off. Every Friday night we as a family light candles, have a nice meal and wish each other a Shabbat Shalom. That literally means a peaceful Sabbath. It's not something that's exclusive to my family. Jews all over the world greet each other with these same two words. They might not speak any other Hebrew, but most know what that means and why we say it. I think the feeling that comes with that phrase is so ingrained in me that even as I write this I sense that I'm breathing more deeply. That's good I guess, but I haven't even made dinner yet.
I have, however, finished this project:

A challah cover for a friend. On Shabbat it's traditional to eat challah, an incredibly tasty egg-based bread. The table is laid out and the challah is usually covered until a blessing is said. Thus the need for a challah cover. In case you don't read Hebrew, it says, from right to left, top to bottom, Shabbat Shalom.
I've made several of these before and I always enjoy improvisationally piecing the letters. It's fun to play around with the scale of each letter and to add and delete bits of fabric so they'll fit together.
This week I was particulary inspired to sew up some aleph-bet letters after I saw this wonderful wordplay quilt .
You might take a moment this weekend to check it out.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm not quite ready for my closeup

A recent blog guest( I'm fond of the way they call all the customers at Joann's "guests", so I'm going to appropriate that) asked if I was going to teach the technique I use for making the twinkle quilts here on my blog. Well, not exactly, but yes...sort of.
I did explain it in the article I wrote for the Dec/Jan issue of Quilting Arts. Sometimes though it's hard to work from written instructions. Well, guess what, lovely guests, I'm going to tape a Quilting Arts Workshop on DVD that will explain this process in detail. I'm heading off to scenic Cleveland in less than two weeks to tape the DVD and a segment on PBS's Quilting Arts TV. I'm pretty well immersed in prep work like going shopping for non black,white or, red clothing to wear on the set. Those colors are a verbotten. I'm also getting my haircut tomorrow and, because vanity has apparently overtaken me, am considering coloring my hair. See. I'm tackling all the important stuff.
All kidding aside I am working on all the step-outs needed to demo the technique, writing an outline to make sure I'm covering everything in the time allotted, and even some new applications for this process.
I've never been on TV before, so this is pretty exciting. I'm planning on assigning myself the job of roving reporter, so I'm inviting you, dear guests, along on this little adventure. Over the next few days I'll be posting a few sneak peeks of what I'll be teaching and maybe even a shot or two of my lovely new wardrobe. My computer will be accompanying me up North and I hope to post from there as well.
In the meantime I'm uploading this image of a Twinkle pillow that I made as a custom order. It's not exactly for the show, but I can't bring myself to post without a picture.

The temperature here in Austin is 75 degrees. Should I prepare myself for Cleveland in February?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

So many pretties

One of the coolest services flickr offers is mosaic maker. You can use it to make photo mosaics from your own sets, links on the internet, or from your flickr favorites. Though I like to fancy myself as computer savvy, the truth runs more towards semi-luddite, so it took me a few tries to make one of these. Now that I've "mastered" it though, I really enjoy making them.
This probably represents a week of lurking around on flickr and "faveing" various images. it's pretty interesting to see what I'm drawn to. Not suprisingly, there are quite a few quilts or quilt blocks, a lot of repeated patterns and plenty of color.
I really enjoy making these compilations and re-experiencing all the wonderful images I've encountered over the past week.
If you're as drawn to these beauties as I am and would like to know their titles as well as be able to follow a link to their respective flickr pages head on over here .

Monday, February 2, 2009

Here I am

I'm the one with one of my eyes stuck in a semi-permanent squint. That's because I've spent the better part of the last week finishing up the photos for my book. It has been quite a learning experience. I feel like I've come out the other end with a lot more photo know-how and a whole lot more questions. There's a guy I know who's a professional photographer and I actually wondered today if he'd mind if I just rang him up, out of the blue, to ask some questions. I should note that I hardly know this guy. He's an acquaintance at best, but I am bursting with what-ifs.
In lieu of making a total fool of myself, or maybe just staving it off, I've bought this . Maybe that can keep humiliation at bay for a little while.
Other than the book, I've only bought one other little thing to make the picture taking go smoothly.
A little, eensty, weensy macro lens. I so love it. If I wasn't already to committed to the hubby, I'd marry the macro lens.
Unfortunately, I can't really share most of the decent photos I've taken with it and, since I already stated I'm working on limiting my exposure to humiliation, I won't show you the really bad pictures, I'm left with this:

It's a detail of an Indian textile that I'm featuring in discussing inspiration. The photo's not all that special, but I love the way this lens allows you to focus on something so small. My heart is also aflutter over the wonderful way you can control the blur. I'm telling you I'm busting out in-love with this lens.