Friday, August 26, 2011

Work. Play. Design.

Bernie and I have been servicing sewing machines in schools this summer.  By the end of the year these machines are in pretty rough shape.  In fact many of them sound like tractors and can't form a stitch.  We open them up, clean them out, oil them and give them the TLC they need.  When we put them back together they purr and stitch beautifully.  Very rewarding.

My Niece, Lauren, came to visit the other day.  I was sort of boring because I was entering data into the computer so she decided to head outside to take some pictures.  I love her perspective.  Beautiful.

I was given many special moments as I walked around the yard with the camera.  I snapped photo after photo and started to see more than just a rock...
Wool is one of my favourite fibres to knit with so that could be influencing me...I see the profile of a sheep.

Speaking of knitting.  The other evening my dear friend Brenda and I got together for a knit night.  She surprised me with this beautiful shawl that she knit for me.  A treasure.
 As a little girl I spent a lot of time with my grandma.  I loved her very much.  She always had a ready smile and laughter to her was like breathing...she also made great pies...My grandma loved roses and I think about her every time I see or smell them.

As I was photographing the wild roses and thinking about grandma I swear this rose was smiling.

To Grandma with Love.  I miss you.

Dragonflies.  I have tried to photograph them but they always seem to be on the move.  Then to my amazement this happened...
She...I think she's a she...just sat there while I held my camera inches from her face.  Wow.

This little critter, along with his elusive partner in crime, stole all the Hazel nuts off our trees.  They will be well fed through the winter.
Back in the studio.  I have been teaching quilting for many years.  One question I'm often asked is "How do I know what quilt pattern I should use?" My answer..."The quilt will reveal the pattern to you as you work on it."  I know this sounds like I'm evading the question but I do believe this to be true. While working on my spool quilt I could envision feathers that gracefully flowed off the spools but the actual quilting pattern wasn't clear to me. Yesterday I decided to try a few things.  I took my Truflex flexible curve ruler, placed it onto an open area, bent and twisted it until I found the shape I wanted for the spine of the feathers.

I then found a feather pattern that looked like it would work.  I enlarged the pattern, changed a few of the plumes to fit the area, traced one of the patterns onto a sheet protector and placed the feather on the quilt top.
I soon realized that just one tracing would not allow me to see what the feathers would look like in all the open spaces.  I ended up tracing enough feathers for the entire quilt.  My original idea looked awful!  I wanted the soft portions of the plumes to be on the inside edges of the borders.
 So after turning the feathers this way and that I finally came up with the answer. 

I love how the feathers gracefully fill the spaces around the spools.

Audio books.  I enjoy reading but since I haven't figured out how to read a book and quilt at the same time I listen to audio books.   I have access to thousands of books online through British Columbia Libraries.  I can download and transfer books to a portable device such as iPhone or iPad.  I'm currently listening to True Betrayals by Nora Roberts.  Next up is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.  What books do you enjoy?

If you would like more information on Truflex rulers and free motion quilting on a domestic sewing machine visit  Here you will find inspiration, DVDs, notions, rulers and more.

Just a few of the DVDs in my library.

Happy Quilting,


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