Friday, December 6, 2013

Foundation Piecing - Quilts for Sale

I have an upcoming 'craft' show this weekend where I will hopefully sell most of my baskets and some quilted items that I have recently completed. Since being laid off from my job of almost 12 years in September, I began making baskets and finishing quilts. I've made so many of them in the last few months that I need to sell them and make room in my studio and spare bedroom.

The baskets vary in color, shape, size and style. I have something that everyone will like and enjoy.

I also decided to make more small quilted wallhangings in hopes to sell those as well. I really enjoy the accuracy and speed of foundation paper pieced quilts. I found some cute shoe patterns and used scraps from my stash to complete 4 different quilts. Here are three of them.

There is one more, 5 boots stacked upon one another, but the binding isn't finished so I won't post it. That one even has my own UGG boot pattern that I designed in it.

In addition, I wanted to create a few other quilts that were priced lower, and created 4 tree quilts. When I finished them, I decided they needed to have some embellishment on them, so I used hot fix crystals to add a touch of bling to them to make them sparkle.

All of these were made with fabric I already owned and quilted together on my long arm using batting scraps from other projects. I learned an important lesson, sew the batting scraps together if quilting multiple quilts so the edges of the individual items do not scrunch up as you quilt them. The backing for the shoe quilts was one piece of fabric as was the backing for the trees. I even had enough left over from the 8 quilts to make little sleeves for hanging on each one that match the backing fabric.

The binding on all but one of these was made using the magic piping binding I have discussed in a past post. The last one used a piece of leftover bias binding and needs to still have the stitching down to the back done. I have until 6 p.m. tomorrow to finish it. It will get done.

Okay, did anyone notice the weird word on one of the quilts that appears out of no where? I laughed really hard when I saw where it ended up and how it looks to read. Humor, its everywhere.... :-)

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

What Music Do You Listen to While you Create?

As the holidays draw closer, I am compelled to pull out some different CDs to listen to while I quilt. Right now as I type, I am listening to "Elvis Sings The Wonderful World of Christmas."

I realized that it was exactly what I needed to relax, and put some serious miles on the old long arm today. I am trying to finish up 4 different wall hangings that I created and I am struggling with quilting the borders. The machine seems to be fighting with me every step of the way, the threads keep puckering and the wheels aren't gliding. It started last night after quilting all day and I decided that I needed to just quit for the evening and tackle it this morning. Yesterday I had no music on while sewing, just the hum of the machine and the sounds of my dogs in the background as they played and slept.

Today is very foggy out because its unseasonably warm here in New Jersey. It reminded me that a little holiday music, such as "Blue Christmas" might be just what I needed to work well. I cleaned the machine, checked the threading to ensure it was correct, oiled and am ready to crank. And it occurred to me that my quilting mood is definitely impacted by the music I play.

Sometimes when I am quilting an original design, I love to listen to Rock n Roll music or maybe some Pop!

Other times, when quilting on a customer quilt, I will listen to classical music, including Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart and others. Classical music helps to ground me, working slowly and methodically to ensure my best quality quilting. Some of my favorite music to listen to when quilting for others is New Age music, such as Yanni, his music really provides a nice rhythm to stitch to and its very hard to sing along to instrumental music so the right parts of my brain are engaged in listening and sewing.

I love to hear from you what type of music you enjoy listening to while you create. What method of listening to your music do you employ? Are you more old fashioned like me and listen to it on CD via a player and speakers?
Or do you plug into your phone, iPad, iPod or such with headphones and tune out the world. I find that I cannot easily connect to something else while I am long arming. I also do not like to have earbuds in my ears for long periods of time. Being disconnected from a device and listening to music allows me the freedom to dance around while I quilt sometimes if the mood strikes me.

Here are some recommendations for quilting music for December. These come from a series of CDs released by Windham Hill Artists and the albums are Entitled, "A Winter's Solstice", "A Winter's Solstice II", "A Winter's Solstice III", "A Winter's Solstice IV & V." These CDs represent some really nice acoustical music, with a wide variety of artists with an occasional set of original lyrics thrown in.

And finally, for the more adventurous stitchers, you may want to try an old classic, Zamfir...

Yep, that's Zamfir of the notorious pan-flute fame. It sure beats the heck out of Alvin and the Chipmunks....

Happy Stitching...

Feedback and comments welcome.