The Quilt That Refuses to Be

Every time I try to work on this Feathered Lone Star quilt with the bird embroidery, I am forcibly reminded of Candy Goff’s Misery Quilt. You must go read that story. Don’t worry, I’ll be here when you get back.

Now, my quilt started innocently enough, really, about three or four years ago. I wanted to make something different, but small-ish, to enter into the AQS show that year. Life got in the way, and the pieces are still sitting here waiting for me to put them together. I pulled it all out earlier this year to see what I could do with it, and maybe finish it up for the Houston show this year. I wanted to do something a little different with the setting, and the only fabric I had that I liked, I didn’t have enough of. (How this could be, when I have this much fabric in my house, is beyond me!) I carried all the parts with me to the States when I went to the Diane Gaudynski workshop in Paducah, and looked in every quilt shop we could find between Nashville and Paducah, but couldn’t find any more of what I really wanted, nor could I find something else to substitute that I really liked.

After I came home and I started thinking about selling my Pfaff embroidery machine so I could get the Bernina 440, I had a sudden inspiration about this quilt, and decided I wanted to put machine embroidery in the setting squares around the star, which meant that if I sold the Pfaff, I’d have to get the embroidery unit for the Bernina 440 right away if I wanted to do this quilt. I made that happen, and did test stitch outs of all the birds I wanted to use, purchased more thread, and things were just clipping along, except for the missing fabric, of course. I did finally settle on something else that’s a different color, but it gives the same effect so it’ll probably work out okay. I got all the birds done, and I put the whole kit and kaboodle up on the design wall to see if it was going to really work. I had cut the curvy pieces to fuse to the outside edges of the bird blocks, and thought I liked the way it looked. I fused all the pieces, then had second thoughts. And third thoughts. And then I didn’t like it at all. Continue reading “The Quilt That Refuses to Be”

Not quilting, just playing musical rooms!

Not much quilting going on here, but lots of activity. We decided that we should move a few rooms around in the house, so that the girls would have a little more privacy and separation from each other. Their “rooms” were on the top floor of the house, and while the space is sort of divided into two areas, there’s no door in between them. There’s a hallway with a bathroom, but no doors except for the door that leads to the whole set of rooms. This setup was okay when the girls were 8 and 3 years old, but now they’re 15 and 10 and it really no longer works.

So, GuitarGirl (that would be DD#1, now 15 years old) moved into my office/studio, and LittleOne (DD#2, 10) moved into GuitarGirl’s old room, since it’s cooler in the summer. So far so good. Now, the biggest part of the problem (notice I said “biggest” not “only”) is that the only other room in the house that’s available to house all of my own activities is the basement, where ITMan hangs out. It’s not big enough to handle all of my machines, tables, shelves, and cabinets, not to mention my fabrics Continue reading “Not quilting, just playing musical rooms!”

To write an artist’s statement

Material Marquetry

I’ve been sitting here for at least an hour, probably much longer than that actually, trying to write an artist’s statement for a quilt I’d like to enter into a juried special exhibit. I’m beginning to think it’s a completely wasted exercise, right down to entering the dang thing to begin with. The quilt in question: Material Marquetry.

The exhibit: In the American Tradition V.

The point of the exhibit:

This special annual exhibit features the very best in contemporary traditional-based quilting. You are invited to submit work for consideration for the fifth year of this very special exhibit, In the American Tradition. We are looking for both contemporary interpretations and traditional quilts, either by hand or machine, appliquéd, pieced, or wholecloth.

Material Marquetry seems to fit right in, contemporary quilt based in tradition that it is. So where’s the issue, you ask? The “write an artist’s statement” requirement for entry seems to be beyond me. Here’s the assignment:

The artist statement explains the artist’s impression for creating the quilt and/or how it relates to the theme; concise, well-written, and no longer than one-half of an 8.5″ x 11″ page

What the heck do they really want here? Is this artist’s statement to be used in the jurying process, or is it for the end viewer’s benefit? I feel like the most that I could say would be stating what the viewer can already see for themselves, Continue reading “To write an artist’s statement”

Bernina 440 LOVE!

Okay, I’m officially in LOVE with this machine, from top to bottom and side to side. Oh, BTW, I just want to point out that I did NOT buy a sewing machine, no. This is a “sewing computer!” Really, it says so in the manual. Nowhere does is say “sewing machine” when referring to this “thing,” and since it has a USB port and something that looks suspiciously like a PS2 port, it’s obviously not just stuck on itself or being snobby. Maybe that’s why we already get along so well, since I’m admittedly somewhat of a confirmed techie girl. Anyway, to continue…

Bird designI’m officially in LOVE with this sewing computer. Right now, as I type this on my laptop computer, the machine sits here stitching away on a nice little bird embroidery design, and it’s the laptop computer that’s controlling the stitching. This embroidery unit that goes with the Bernina 440 works hand in hand with the Bernina Embroidery Software EditorLite on the laptop. I opened the embroidery file (which I just purchased online this morning!), changed the thread colors in the design to match what I had on hand here and wanted to use, and told the software to write to the sewing computer. Another program called the PC to EC (Personal Computer to Embroidery Computer) opens up automatically, and makes the link to the embroidery unit which is hooked to the Bernina 440.

At this point, you can move the design in the hoop, zoom in or out, Continue reading “Bernina 440 LOVE!”