Tuesday, August 4, 2015

My Big Quilty Secret

I've mentioned before that I've been working on developing a class to teach how to use rulers with a stationary machine, whether a domestic sewing machine or a sit down long arm. The class is already to go and I'll be offering it locally on a small scale.

Sadly, the summer has been busier than I had planned and I am slowly working on the sampler quilt that will showcase many of the designs in this class. I can't be too disappointed that it's not done as I've been making up some fun time with my kids after finishing up my big project of the summer.

My big secret project? Well, it had me boarding a plane for the first time in 18 years, so this could happen:

If you've taken advantage of the fabulous learning platform that is Craftsy, this scene is familiar to you. That's right, I'm releasing a ruler work class on Craftsy and it should be available towards the end of this month!

Squeeeeeeee! You can't imagine how hard it has been to not announce it here as soon as it was a certainty! Especially as so many readers had commented that they wished I would do a class with Craftsy.

The exact release date isn't established yet, but my filming is all done. Craftsy is doing their post production work making sure you get a high-quality class. (Kindly put, among other things, they're cutting out all the bits where I got flustered and messed up!)

I'm looking forward to telling you more about the experience and the class. In the meantime, I've got some great posts lined up and I'll be showing more of my ruler work sampler. I'm hoping to post pictures of it when finished on the "projects" forum of my class alongside pics that I hope my students will post also.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Reorganizing the Studio

I've been doing some organizing and tidying up of my studio. My so-called studio is a tiny room by the front door. If I were pretentious, I'd call it the parlour since it hardly qualifies as the living room. It's 12x12, but it also includes the staircase, front door, large opening into the dining room and the necessary open area to make it from one are to the other. High traffic!

Neatly folded fabric makes me happy!

I do a fair job at keeping things picked up and put away, but since the storage pieces I use are all mismatched and not attractive, I decided it was time to buy a little something to dress up part of the room and make things a little more orderly and not cluttered.

This looks so much better than what was there before! I'm going to replace the big lamp with a little one I have.

I bought two each of two styles of Closetmaid stackable units at Lowe's and they are perfect for the space and my budget. They're not the best quality, but I think they'll do the job. They are the first thing you see when walking in the front door, so I'm glad to have something more visually appealing. I still have a ton of fabric to re-fold to fit and other things to fill them up. The stairs are behind the new cubbies.

Here's the in-progress shot. Now to work so I can show you the after!

But like every organizing project, things always look worse for a time, while getting things moved around! The wire basket set and plastic drawer units in the rear left hand side of this photo are getting emptied and will find different uses somewhere else. The tall metal shelving unit has been partially emptied and hubby is going to break it into two shorter sets of shelves and make me a cutting table that breaks into two halves. It will replace the folding table and odd assortment of storage under it. I can't wait to get that done and show you.

We sat and talked a while and figured out what I needed and how it could best fit into the space without breaking the bank. (Oddly, he wasn't too wild about my idea of adding a room onto the house.) I'm hoping it will allow me to do more actual projects instead of being stymied by the visual clutter and the sometimes mental clutter that my work seems to produce.

I hope to have the "After" shot for you in a few days!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Return to the Ruler Work Sampler

We went to the coast of Virginia this past weekend for a whirlwind visit of the beach and the aquarium. We were at the beach in the afternoon through sunset of the first day. Then our hotel lost power in the middle of the night so we managed to make it back to the beach at sunrise.

Perfect photo taking time! But my kids are not very cooperative when it comes to all looking at the camera at the same time.

They did have a blast however and none of them were afraid of the seaweed, unlike their mother. I can't stand stuff touching me in the water. A few days later and I took the kids and my mom to a small water park. More fun! Poor kids have one full week before school starts, so we're living it up.

In the midst of all the summer fun, I managed to knock over a light fixture in my studio and sent an explosion of glass everywhere. What a disaster. I got it all cleaned up, I hope, but the studio is a wreck. Hard for me to stitch when it's a mess, but I decided I was going to knock out a block of my sampler.

Above, I've used my trusty air-eraseable marker to mark the point at which I will turn these V's. First I had marked at 1/4 inch from the corner, but then I went with 1/2 inch away. I used my quilting ruler to measure it. Then I drew out the design on one of the corners to make sure I'd like it.

free motion quilting with rulers

Ruler work and McTavishing. I was really feeling tight and things weren't feeling good as I quilted with my rulers, but then I started filling in with the McTavishing and it started to flow. I'm not feeling too confidant about the light turquoise thread throughout this quilt, but I want the quilting to show as it is a sampler for my classes. I might re-do the section on the navy. You can see even here that the thread looks white and the contrast is doing funny things in my camera (below). See how those lines on the left look jagged? They're straight! Just the camera and pixels playing tricks.

The McT might be a little dense compared to the feathered center. One of the things I love about using rulers is that it gives great results without having being too dense and stiff. I've been checking Pinterest out for great ruler work and free motion quilting that combines well with it and finding some fabulous inspiration. I need to practice some of the new-to-me designs.

That's all I've got for now. Quilt on.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Free Motion Quilting Video: Amy Introduces Herself

So here's the first video I've ever posted that shows more than just my hands and I've got to tell you that this was the hardest video I've ever done. I want to keep tweaking it and getting it just so, but sometimes you've just got to move on. It's about sharing my quilting adventures, not about how I look.

I am no videographer, but I hope you enjoy seeing it and learning a little more about me.

Watch it to the end and there's a little blooper for you.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunrise at the beach.

Normally, getting up to see the sunrise while on vacation is a nice idea in theory, but not likely to happen. But the power went out at our hotel at 5am and since I use a Cpap machine, I got up.

Once I'm up this early I love the peace of the early morning!