Friday, September 28, 2012


I've been following Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project for some time now and I recently became interested in her UFO Sunday blog (she blogs every day, by the way).

Her Sunday blog has motivated me to work on my machine quilting practice quilt sampler and also got me thinking about all my projects in progress.  Actually, they are ALL UFOs (unfinished objects).  They are all sitting there looking at me saying "work on me today!" 

The idea of devoting Sundays to this is great.  To me, Sunday has always been kind of an off day.  Growing up in a very religious household, Sunday was to be observed as a day of rest with no work being done.  That meant no use of the sewing machine although hand work was OK.  I loved to sew even back then of course, and that meant an entire day banned from sewing!  Sometimes on Sundays even now I find myself not wanting to do anything constructive.  I think I may have turned the corner now!

I completed the applique and block settings for Pots of Flower Power (above) and now I'm planning the border design. Below is a mock-up from EQ7 which helps me with size and color ideas.  I plan to add lots of appliqued leaves along the vines and also corner motifs.

Speaking of wasting time:  I am going to use my blog today to vent a little (I normally make a point not to do that.)  I am now locked out of Tumblr and my website - my computer actually freezes.  I spent HOURS yesterday trying to add a page of my patterns only to fail time and again, even though I have easily done it in the past.  There is obviously something in my OS interfering with Tumblr.  OK - ya!  What?  I'm going to have to get some pro help here. Tumblr's "help" has been no help.

All that precious designing and sewing time!  I do love blogging, and I've been told I'm fairly computer literate for someone my age (ahem), but man, what a waste of time messing with these techie issues.   

On that note, I will simply post this blog to good old Blogger and be on my way.  Looking forward to Sunday!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pacific International Quilt Fest

Flower Power will be traveling again, this time to Santa Clara, CA to the Pacific International Quilt Fest, October 11 - 14.  I branched away from my usual favorite shows, entered this show and was accepted.  Here's hoping one of the judges is of my vintage (aging hippie) and is taken just by the title alone!

I thought I'd share the process I go through to enter a major quilt show, step-by-step:

- Choosing which shows to enter is the first step.  I make quilts for me, number one, and then I find shows I think are a good fit for my quilts.  I have my favorite shows, which I enter every year.  (see AWARDS on my web site)

- An entry form with required fee needs to be completed and mailed by the specified deadline.  Some shows require digital images of the quilt on a disc; some just photos.  Getting a good photo is the hardest part for me.  A bad photo can disqualify an entry immediately. 

- Once my quilt is juried into the show, I will receive a notification letter with delivery instructions and dates. Each show has it's own criteria.

- I keep track of dates on my calendar, and keep a file folder for each show.  I need to be sure I don't enter the same quilt in two different shows at the same time!

- Next, I need a proper box and clear plastic bag to pack and ship my quilt, again following specific instructions for each show.  I always use UPS or FedEx, with tracking numbers.  I never disclose on the outside of the box "quilt" - and I am never asked what I am shiping, nor am I asked the value amount.  I use a pack and ship store, but always package up my quilt myself.  Return instructions and shipping fees are also included.

- Each of my show quilts has been professionally appraised and I carry a rider on my home owner's insurance for each quilt.  Loss or damage in shipping is covered, so I do not purchase extra insurance. However, the same is NOT covered while a quilt is on display at a show.  The show itself has liability coverage and I enclose a copy of the quilt appraisal when entering so that it's insured for the proper amount.  I would surely miss my quilt if anything happened to it;  cash itself couldn't replace it! 

- I look forward to receiving my quilt back with the judges' comments (and maybe a ribbon) and I keep big binders with all the info from each show, for each quilt.

- That's it!  It is fun to enter shows.  I love the idea that thousands of quilters (and non quilters) can see my work.  Every quilt I make is made to be "show quality" whether I intend to show it or not.  That goal has helped me improve my skills and makes the act of creating a quilt very enjoyable for me.   Although some day, I just want to whip together a fun quilt.  I wonder if I can do it?? 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fun with Flower Power

I'm working on a 4 block wallhanging using my Flower Power designs.  For this project, I created  flower pots as a base for the appliqued motifs instead of the pieced baskets found in the original quilt.  This smaller version is fun to stitch up, and I have a nice wall all picked out here at home for it to be displayed. 

The new Quilter's Newsletter arrived in my mailbox today.  As you may know, my quilt Flower Power is being featured as a series quilt in 7 issues; currently on #4. One of the blocks featured in this issue happens to be the same one I'm stitching!  I do love this quilt and love hearing from quilters who are making it.

ALSO:  if you followed my blog at this site in the past, I hope that you continue to follow me at my new website:  I have been unable to blog on Tumblr recently - problems with text - so I'm back to using blogger, for now.  Funny, I kind of feel at home here.

Back to my machine! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Step Back

My very first quilt, untitled, which I made when I was in high school.

This quilt was hand quilted by my mom and presented back to me as a surprise in 1972.

Why am I posting photos of my first quilt?  Hardly a materpiece, but I have kept it all these years and always loved it. Every story must have a beginning, and this quilt would mark the beginning of my quilting life story. 

Speaking of stories, I've been thinking lately about why and how I blog.  I started blogging about 2 years ago.  Others were blogging so why not try it?  It was fun and seemed to validate my work.  I had no real goals in mind, but since I started blogging, I have written patterns, been published in Quilter's Newsletter and also have written a book of my quilt designs (to be published by The American Quilter's Society in 2013. 

Looking back at my blog archives, they do tell my story and are a diary of my quilting life. 

My blog is still mainly about my work and I have not entered the world of reblogging.  I do have a Pinterest account and boards full of neat stuff that all belongs to someone else.  It makes me wonder:  have I been paging through Pinterest posts and Tumblr blogs, looking for ideas rather than letting my ideas occur naturally, like they always have?  Are all these images crowding out my own creative thoughts?  Should I be gathering and storing my own inspirations in my head and sketching them on paper? 

My first quilt was not made from a pattern - I simply cut squares from whatever fabric remnants I could find and arranged and stitched them in a geometric design.  Now I know that it really is reminiscent of  the traditional pattern: "Trip Around the World" - and maybe I had seen it somewhere and it stuck in my head.  In other words, we are always "reblogging" the work and ideas of someone else.  Nothing is truly, completely original.

So, I'll continue to write my blog, share my personal stories and ideas and progress.  I hope you are inspired by what you see and create something!  And we'll see what we shall see.