Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sponsored by Mom

I have to say, the journey I find myself on while raising my son is great fun.  I made Sam take piano lessons when he was little which lasted about three years.  He did a good job but wasn't loving it.  He desperately wanted to take guitar lessons so we bought him a guitar and signed him up.  Thinking now, that was only about 3 1/2 years ago.  In that time, we've learned about, listened to, read about and studied many great guitarist and bands.  His guitar teacher once said, that when he asks some of his students what songs or styles they like, they shrug their shoulders, I don't know.  He said Sam on the other hand, could tell you Randy Rhodes' pedal configuration in 1982. 

Somehow, we live in an area with great guitar synergy.  The local guitar shop has great clinics with some amazing musicians. I've learned a lot about guitars through this process.  Sam is a great teacher when he's trying to talk us into buying him a new guitar, pedal or something else he truly needs.  We had a 15 minute conversation a couple of days ago about picks.  So he has taught me a lot!  But it is really cool when we go to a clinic and I really understand the lingo. 

Last night, I accompanyied him to a Guthrie Govan clinic.  Don't know who that is?  I didn't either but the place was packed.  The guy sitting next to me said that Guthrie was pound for pound the best guitar player out there today.  The clinic was assoicated with Suhr guitars which makes the Guthrie Govan Signature Guitar (pictured to the right).  We couldn't stay the whole time due to homework constraints but it was a great time.  He is a fabulous guitar player.  And I have to tell you, that guitar is pretty amazing, as am I.  Thanks to Sam, I was totally understanding of the Humbucker pickups, 24 frets, the Waa sound, and the challenges of tuning associated with the Floyd Rose bridge (that's associated with the metal thing or Whammy bar that sticks out of the Guitar Hero guitar that wobbles the sound and helps rack up points).  I'm a ROCK STAR, because I sponsor one.

So a quick plug for Todd at Guitar, Etc., there's a link to the left.  Oh, and did I mention, Sam is as passionate about drums, too, but that's another story.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Style of Quilting

I sometimes wonder if my quilting style is boring. Not on one particular quilt but if you took them all and looked at them, would the quilt police note how they all look the same. I hope not! But I do have a style.

After seven years of longarming quilting, I do know somethings about my quilting.

I'm not formal. I love to look at those beautiful quilts that have formal feathers and perfect crosshatching, perfect wholecloths, etc. But I'm more of an ADD quilter. Maybe one day, I'll spend hours marking a pattern, but not yet.

I'm not a microquilter. Once again, I admire microstippling, but I just can't.... Again ADD quilter.

I do want it well quilted. I do like the sharpness of stitch in the ditch.

I'm an enhancer not a star. If the quilting is the first thing you see on a quilt, I didn't quilt it. I like to match threads and add texture. I like the WOW, when the light shines on it just right and you can see what is really there. This kind of style doesn't bode well with picture taking so I don't take a lot of pictures because frankly, unless the light is perfect, you can't see what I've done.

With that being said, here is how I plan a quilt.

I like to use feathers and feather derivatives in the border. Because I don't like to mark, I tend to break the feathers up and put the portions up as I progress the quilt. That way, the border is done when I get to the bottom and I don't have to turn the quilt or anything.

I try to keep the different quilting patterns to three or four per quilt. For instance, on the snowman quilt, I have straight lines, loops feathers (and Terry twists).

I always fill spaces. I never leave thin borders or sashings empty (because the batting isn't stabilized). On a very few instances, I've left triangles or small squares empty but for specific reasons.

I don't like to stipple unless I really can't think of anything else to do.

I don't like to over quilt but I do like to moderate texture a bit. So I'll have areas of heaver quilting and lighter quilting.

I'm still looking for inspiration for the next great filler. Lately, I've filled background spaces with straight lines, freehand, so the spacing can vary. Here is one of the quilts I completed last week.
I did my feather portions in the border segments and then did lines in the inner and outer thinner red border. I tried to do loops in the area of the snowman collector but there wasn't enough space for it to really work so I ripped it out and put in the thin vertical lines. It looked great so I decided to carry that through the background of each block.
With the background being somewhat dense, I added the lighter quilting in the two block borders. Loops in the thin inner border (yes, quilted) and a two leaf feather swirl in the wider border (Deloa Jones sashings inspired). Finally, I did Terry Twists in the squares. Again, the texture is varied but consistenly throughout the quilt.
Finally, I have a double look in the blue border which mirrors the thin sashing loops (carrying the themes through). I simply outlined the applique pieces and secured inside as necessary. Then because I had trees in all the blocks and the border, I did a simple wavy crosshatch in each of them. Again, carrying the theme throughout the quilt.
Can you see the quilting? I must have quilted it.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Guild Breast Cancer Quilts

My local quilt guild makes quilts every year to present to those who have been touched by breast cancer. The block of the month committee heads this process up. This year, we were given directions and four squares of the theme fabric. We were to add a cordinating and a white fabric. Anyone in the guild can then nominate someone who they want to receive a quilt. If there are more nominees than quilts, they then draw names (so they won't have to decide who is 'more' deserving). Twelve quilts were completed this year. Four were made on point. I got to quilt two of the quilts this weekend.

I loaded up both machines Friday night and spent about eight hours quilting both quilts. I have only used my CQ machine on Edge to Edge quilting because I haven't quite got the machine to glide like I would like. So doing custom on this machine was a bit of a challenge. The wheels are better ajusted now but it still needs help. These pictures show the quilt block and setting square designs used with CQ. Sue Patten designed the block pattern and Darlene Epp's designs were used in the white setting areas. I filled in the other areas and the border.

The second quilt was done all freehand on my 2008 APQS Millennium. Here are the corresponding freehand quilt blocks.
Not a bad start to the new year. I really enjoyed this project. Now back to a couple of customer quilts.