A Walk in the Park

Well the weather here in Victoria has turned windy and chilly the past few days. I look outside and am not really thrilled that Cocoa needs to go for a walk but that is what is next on my agenda after I finish up this blog post. Poor guy loves to go for a walk but right now he is feeling the chill as well (being a Chihuahua he likes it hot) he is in the den with me as I am writing this. He walked over to his bed and grabbed his blanket and moved it around so the blanket was over him lol.  Unfortunately I didn’t grab the phone fast enough to get a video of it.

Last week was nice though and Cocoa and I had some lovely walks. There are many nice trails right around where I live and it’s so nice to be able to get out in nature without having to go for a long drive. Sometimes if I have errands to do at a mall near where I live I take Cocoa with me (if it’s not too hot and he will only be in the car for 5 minutes or so while I complete the errands) as there is a really nice park right behind the mall where there is a small river and woodland trails. It is a wonderful oasis smack in the middle of an urban area.

Above is some sample photos of the trails and the small river. I love walking along these trails and listening to the birds singing, it reminds me to slow down and enjoy the moment.

Well windy or not I should get out and take Cocoa for his daily walk. One thing about dogs is that it forces one to get out and get moving.

Happy Quilting

 

 

Meandering Magic

Meandering Magic

I just finished quilting a quilt for a customer. It was a fun quilt to do. I believe the quilt is to be a wedding present and the couple requested red and green. My customer used a variation of the yellow brink road pattern and I think the quilt turned out to be beautiful. My customer wanted an allover design quilted on it and I thought it could really do with leaves as there are many nature fabrics used in the quilt top. The border is a green forest and there are many fun fabrics included throughout the quilt.

I personally love using Superior Threads King Tut line of variegated threads for these types of quilt tops. There is so much going on in the quilt top design that the thread is able to move and blend with the different fabrics but still be visible without getting lost in all of the different fabrics. On this quilt I used 987 English Ivy on the top and for the bobbin I used Superior Threads Bottom Line 613 Sage.

I don’t do a lot of pantograph quilting designs as I do prefer to work from the front of my machine. On this quilt I used a variation of a design from the book Meandering Magic  by Suzanne Earley. I first saw her demonstrate this technique on QNN video a few years back now. Even though I took my inspiration from the book the quilting always ends up looking different. I love that about free hand quilting. Everyone has their own signature style just like everyone has their own unique handwriting.

Here is a look at the quilt top, I couldn’t get it all in as it was raining today and so I had to take the pictures inside.

Diane Customer Quilt-1

You can’t really see the quilting in this photo however it does show off the design of the quilt top nicely.

Diane Customer Quilt-9

This picture shows the quilting better. I am really happy with the way it turned out and I am hoping my customer will be too.

I have heard Angela Walters say in the craftsy classes I have taken of hers that if you make a few mistakes or some bobbles that are OK but not perfect when you get the quilt off of the frame you will never notice them. I have found this to be so true. When you are working on just 10 inches at a time you are so aware of every stitch that is just not quite as perfect as you would like. Once you get the quilt off of the frame and you look at the overall effect it always amazes me of how wonderful it always turns out.

My client choose an Ikea fabric for the back and I think it is budgies. It looks really cool though and you could almost use this as a two sided quilt if you so chose.

Well on to the next quilt which will be leaves again but this time quilted in purple. I haven’t decided whether I want that one as meander quilting such as above or something a little looser like a leaf with a loop de loop. I will figure it out once the quilt top is on the frame.

Meanwhile happy quilting!

Art Quest and Other Updates

Well Saturday dawned bright sunny and very warm! It was a good day for an art show though. We got a lot of traffic through the show however I was so busy setting up etc. that I forgot to take pictures. My partner Kevin and I did very well at the show. I sold a lot of my Inspirational Journals that I had brought. Kevin sold some of his CD’s, cards, prints and some journals he had made at www.myskoobi.com.

My partner Kevin Finley is a very talented guy (although he gets embarrassed when I say that). I picked him up for our second date (can’t remember why I was driving that day) but the first thing he did when he got into the car was hand me a CD. I listened to it when I got home from the date and I was blown away with how good it was.  Check out the crazy artwork he did for the album cover. You can check the music out at www.coastcafe.ca/albums.html

The most exciting news is that he sold a painting! Yeah! That was thrilling, although I am not sure who was more excited Kevin or the shows organizer Linda! I don’t have a picture of the piece that sold I will have to post that later.

Has anyone ever used myskoobi.com? It is a company here in Victoria BC that you can upload photos of your artwork and create beautiful journals from them. The quality is fantastic and if you haven’t looked into it I would recommend it.

On other news I finally decided to upgrade my phone! I used to have a BlackBerry Z10 which I loved. I had it for 3 years and it was still going strong! So why did I change you might ask? Well, a number of reasons. Blackberry was slowly getting less and less support from different app makers and although I loved the phone and the operating system now that I am working for myself and I only have the one phone I needed something that allowed me to have access to more apps than the Blackberry was able to support. For instance I want to be able to offer debit and credit card capability to my customers and I was not able to do that with my old phone.

So yesterday I bit the bullet and purchased a Samsung Galaxy S5 Neo. 

Why not an iphone you might ask? Well, the iphones are just too expensive and really the specs on this phone far outperformed the available iphone in the same price range. It has taken me most of last night and some of this morning trying to figure everything out though and getting things set up the way I want it to work. So far so good. I think I am really going to like this phone once I get the hang of it.

On other news I finished quilting a customer quilt today so stayed tuned for some pictures and some info on that quilt tomorrow.

Happy quilting!

 

 

Getting Ready for Art Quest

Well things have been busy around here this week. I have now completed making the Inspiration Journals for the upcoming Art Quest Show and Sale at my church. Here is a picture of more of the journals I have made.

Art Quest Journals

They have all turned out very nicely and I have actually sold 3 of the journals before the sale has even started. These are really fun to make. The only downside is you can’t really sell them for the time involved to make them. My plan is to create a written pattern and also to post some how to videos so people can start to make their own if they want to. I will hopefully have that posted in the next month.

I have another finished quilt (yeah), one that has been sitting in my “to be quilted pile”.

Asian Sampler Quilt-6

This one I have simply called Asian Sampler for lack of inspiration at this moment. A few years ago I had made a Border Creek Mystery quilt and it called for making all of these small 6 inch sampler blocks. The mystery had two sizes queen and a bed runner. Well I turned the bed runner into a lap quilt but I only needed about half of these little 6 inch blocks which meant I had all of these blocks left over. What to do with these blocks? Design and make another quilt! So that is what I did, I love blocks on point so I used mostly fabrics from my stash however I did end up buying fabric for the border.

I had fun quilting this quilt although I have to be honest and am not totally happy with my choices for the border. I used a matching metallic thread and you can’t see it at all. I used the same metallic thread in the green plan squares with a stenciled quilting design and I am very happy how that turned out.

The quilt is Cocoa approved too!Cocoa on Quilt 2

I was sewing on the binding and had to get up to get something so I placed the quilt on the floor for less than 3 minutes. When I came back look who had crawled on it and made himself comfortable. What is it about quilts on the floor that dogs and cats like so much?

This afternoon I am off with my Mom to pick up my Aunt and Uncle from the airport as they are flying in from Kamloops to visit my Mom for a week. It will be good to see them. Tomorrow is helping set up the church for Art Quest and Saturday will be volunteering all day at the show.

Hope to see you at the show on Saturday June 4, 2016, 1600 Cook St, corner of Cook and Mason enter by the garden gate off Mason St. It is from 10 am until 5 pm.

A Special Art Studio Visit

Last Wednesday afternoon I had a very special treat. I got the chance to visit one of my church members art studio along with two of my friends. It was the studio of Alan Thompson who is 90 years old and has been making art for many years. My friends and I were privileged to see a studio filled with wonderful treasures and the walls filled with both Alan’s art and others that he has collected over the years. It was especially wonderful to hear some of the stories that went along with the art and treasures.

Alan Thompson Studio-10

The above is a photo of Alan standing in front of just one of his walls of art. A lifetime of work!.

Alan Thompson Studio

Here is a look at a work in progress. Alan made his living as a draftsman and created art in his spare time. He is still creating art to this day.

Alan Thompson Studio-7

Another corner of the studio.

Alan Thompson Studio-9

Some more of his work. I loved the black, white and red sketch.

Alan will have some of his work available for sale at the Art Quest Show and Sale, Saturday, June 4, 2016 at 166 Cook Street, Victoria BC. This is on the corner of Cook and Mason and the entrance is through the garden gate.

Thank you Alan for opening your home and studio to us. It was a wonderful afternoon and I’m looking forward to seeing your work for sale on Saturday.