Showing posts with label The Quilt Show. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Quilt Show. Show all posts

Saturday, June 1, 2019

This one will be next

I'm about to begin a new project, although for some reason, I'm dragging my feet.

I'd like to start, albeit it late, this Block of the Month from “The Quilt Show,” a quilt that contains several beautiful paper-pieced blocks.

It is called "Sizzle" and was designed by Becky Goldsmith. The pattern came in two different colorways , one cool and the other very hot with lots of red and yellow and orange. I was drawn to this one though, since turquoise has become my new favorite color. I chose against buying the fabric kit, which would have made this so much easier, but I wanted to use the fabric from my own stash. After all, that is why I collect fabric every chance I get.

Several days ago I picked out some fabric, primarily turquoise, with some blue, yellow, and a hint of yellow-green, along with three that are white/off-white. I plan to make this scrappier, and just pick colors and fabrics out of a generalized selection of fat quarters and yardage.

This color decision is a source of anxiety because I want to make sure I will like it when it is all done. I am loosely following the design, but the fabric I use will dictate the final product. That always makes me nervous, although it shouldn’t. I’m never disappointed in a finished quilt.

I'm not sure why I’m intimidated by this quilt. I suppose I always am when there will be new skills involved that I’m not yet comfortable with, but I know I need to just pull up my big girl pantaloons and get going on it. The thing began in January after all.

I'm not sure what is holding me back. Perhaps it is my color choices. Perhaps it is my lack of skills. Perhaps I just can’t picture how to fit in one more thing into my busy life. Perhaps it is all of the above.

I can’t help but wonder if other quilters feel these anxious moments before they start a project. If so, I’d love to know how to overcome it.

One of these days though, I will stop second-guessing myself and will dive right in. It just isn’t quite yet.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

I’ve always believed that quilting was good therapy. But as of late, I know it.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that my husband had a debilitating stroke almost four years ago. He is now getting around in a power chair. I do love when he can wheel over to where I left the remote or can bring glasses into the kitchen when I just can't imagine leaving my comfy spot on the couch.

But, his illness has left more chores to do, so I am busier than ever before. And somehow, I’m not getting any younger. I have little time or energy for quilting, though I have two projects I’m anxious to work on. One is to be hand quilted; the other to be machine quilted, yet all three layers are not yet put together. My imagination has seen better days and it seems my creativity quotient is running in the negatives. I’ve even had some bouts with anxiety lately that exacerbate my fears of the ‘what-if’s’ and the ‘oh no, another birthday is coming around.’

I am making progress however. The other day I cleared off the dining room table, pitching all the junk mail out, and made a space to work with. I got took out the 8 yards of backing fabric that I ordered more than a year ago for my second project, a Craftsy quilt that is rather large. I pieced the backing fabric, and spray starched and ironed it along with the quilt top. They just need the batting, which remains rolled up in the closet. Oh, and then there is the dreaded basting. I’m not fond of this step, which is probably why I haven’t done it yet. I have only small spaces on which to work and I’ve yet to find a satisfactory way to get this done. I’m leaning toward spray basting, but I also just purchased some new curved safety pins.



I have also begun working on my hand quilted project, a Dresden Plate quilt that I started ages ago. I’ve found that hand quilting isn’t as easy as I remember. I think the multiple layers of those little wedges are a deterrent, but I’m convinced that I want this traditional quilt to be hand-quilted. In just one afternoon, I broke 3 needles. This is not the way I remember it.

But much to my surprise, I’ve found that physically putting the needle to fabric isn’t the only way to satisfy my quilting fix and relax my ever racing mind. In general, I’ve been watching quilting videos.

In particular, I’ve been watching The Quilt Show (TQS) hosted by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. I had not been acquainted with Ricky, but was a big fan of Alex through her work on “Simply Quilts,” her television series several years ago that inspired me to actually make my first quilt. I consider Alex Anderson to be a quilting mentor for me. Her hand quilting is wonderful and as a 30-year quilter, she is also a wonderful teacher.

I’m almost ashamed to say that even though I subscribed to TQS I had only watched a couple episodes.

One day I returned to the website, already listed as a favorite on my browser toolbar, only to learn that my current subscription had run out. I hurriedly renewed it and started watching the current episode. It had the same appeal that had always endeared me to Alex Anderson, except this time, I was so intrigued by Ricky’s approach to quilting. Not only is he a renowned quilter, but he is a musician who writes and performs the kind of music I love.

I found that as I binge-watched a couple episodes, I was feeling relaxed and even inspired by the wealth of information presented by so many quilt artists.

I began to watch shows whenever I felt the least bit stressed. I’ve started watching from the very beginning—in 2009, season by season. It is fun to see how far quilting has come and the myriad ideas that have and continue to shape the quilting world. Every now and then I will notice I’m watching a rerun of a show I’d already seen. No worries. It is always nice to brush up on skills, tips, hints, and trends. So even if I’m not doing as much quilting as I’d like, I still feel as though I have my hands in it, so to speak. So once again, Alex Anderson for leading the way for me. And Ricky, I love what he does as well. He brings a fresh, new, artistic approach which perfectly complements Alex’s more traditional work.

Watching TQS is no longer limited to those moments when I feel a panic attack coming on. I now watch just because I love it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Teachers are the ultimate

None of us would be who we are, or where we are, were it not for the people who have inspired us, taught us, and helped with our struggles along the way. The people who teach are some of the greatest gifts any of us has ever received.

The most inspiring teachers in my life, and there have been many, are not just those poised in front of a chalk board, while some were. But they are those who loved and shared knowledge, inspiring me to learn what they knew. Some of them were the greatest influences of my life.

Image result for leah dayI was fortunate to have people like that throughout my life, including my quilting life.

Recently, I was enjoying seeing two women who could be considered my strongest influences. They were together, in the same time and place--Alex Anderson and Leah Day. Search this blog to see several instances where I've written about both of them.


The two of them appeared on the subscription-based The Quilt Show, an online production by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. More information can be found here.

I love The Quilt Show. I was elated when I learned that Leah Day would be the guest on yesterday's show.

For me, it was nirvana, to see both of these women, each of whom excels at her craft and has given so much of herself in the form of experience and education. It is clear to me that the most inspiration comes from people who simply love what they do and want to share it. These two ladies exemplify the best teaching has to offer.

It was a joy to watch as Alex and Leah relate to one another far beyond just how they make their living. They bonded as women who speak a similar language and who connected in a much deeper way, as women as well as artists. As I watched, I felt the connection too, as I have since I first 'met' them, relating to their experience and the language they speak.

To say the least, it was a very excellent way to begin my day. I love quilting. I am so grateful to Alex Anderson and Leah Day for introducing me to an activity I will always cherish. Quilting is precious to me.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Quilting roots revisited; back to my first qulit




As I continue along my quilting journey, I decided to take a trip back to my roots. I finally signed up for a star membership in The Quilt Show, which is not unlike an online television show. I have no idea what has taken me so long to jump into this.

The Quilt Show, hosted by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims will keep me on my learning quest. It isn't that I needed more to learn because every time I pick up a needle I'm learning something new. I already have the motivation and inspiration. I could use a little more time to practice, but that will come. For now, I'm still enjoying the seemingly endless quest for quilting knowledge.

first quilt
This is where it all began
My very first quilt top
I spent yesterday watching a few of the past shows, with access to all the teachers and techniques that have been on the show since 2007. I may go through the episodes one at a time eventually, but for now, I'm just picking and choosing.

Simply QuiltsAlex Anderson provided some of my earliest inspirations for quilting. Not only did she host "Simply Quilts," a wonderful quilting show, but she was an excellent quilter in her own right. I used to watch religiously. If I knew I was going to miss it, I recorded it. Like so many others, when I learned it was going off the air, I was crushed. I learned so much from that show. Most importantly, I learned that I really wanted to make a quilt. I wasn't a quilter when I first started watching.

When I finally did get around to making my first quilt, I had no idea what I was doing. I tried to follow the steps laid out in my head from all I had observed for years. Finally, one day my daughter and I went to Joanne Fabrics in Orland Park, IL to pick out fabric. I hoped I was getting the right amount. I was exhilarating, but frightening to look at that pile of folded fabric. I realized right then that I loved having all those yards, half-yards, and quarter-yards in my hands. Nothing was as terrified as cutting into that beautiful bleached muslin the first time.

The picture is just the quilt top. I did finish the quilt. Never having done applique before, I made some mistakes, but when looking at the overall pattern, I can cut myself some slack. I never did needle-turn applique before. I figured back then that I can only get better. I picked out a simple rosette to hand-quilt into the empty spaces and outline quilted the elements of the Rose of Sharon blocks. It isn't the best-looking quilt ever, but it made me very happy to complete it.

I'm not sure when I finished this quilt. Judging from the photo though, this had to be taken sometime between 2003 and 2005. I notice a Delft blue container on the dresser that was from an arrangement I bought for my father's funeral in June, 2003. We moved out of that house in Jan. 2005. I completed that quilt in 2004 because it was done before we moved. I guess the moral of this story is to always make a label for our completed quilts.

I still put this quilt on the bed now and then. But mostly, it rests in good company, sitting on a quilt rack with the quilt my husband's mother made him when he graduated from eighth grade and one his late grandmother cross-stitched and quilted that she used on her bed.