Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Hard Days Work In Photos...

Woke up early and well rested. Made a pot of coffee, put Pandora on and got right to work. Today was all about tentacles! So I took a lot of pictures just thought I'd share a few =) 

Rise and Shine!

Lots of cutting today!

Starting to come together...

Finally found my references! 

And finished drawing her face!

I Throw Nothing Away!

Even the scraps.

Because Cadence can make anything fun!

This one looks like a monster mouth.

 So many wonderful things in one little photo! <3<3<3

So many wonderful fabrics in one little quilt! <3<3<3

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Best Damn Background EVER!

While patterning out this Octopus quilt has been challenging, picking the fabrics on the other hand was a breeze!  Totally hit the nail on the head wit this one!

It's called "Sun Surf Sand" and I'm loving it! It makes me feel beachy and wonderful... I almost forgot it was a mere 20 degrees outside!!! 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Space Poop!

This is Cadence... My amazing, hilarious, smart, wonderful, beautiful daughter... She is my best friend and the best thing I have ever done. Like many six year olds she loves space and has known all the planets for a while now. So when we got this sweet line of Avlyn Glow in the Dark fabric at the shop I just had to spring for the panel! It's called "Space Ranger".

Janice kindly serged up the edges for me. I simply tacked it up and Whaaa-laaaa Cadence is sleeping under the stars!

At bedtime tonight she requested one of her favorites... "8 Spinning Planets". I was admiring her adorableness as well as the sweet glow in the dark constellations. This panel kicks ass! I spied the Little Dipper, Gemini, Orion, Scorpio, The Sail and then something I have never seen before..... The Poop?!?! 

Yes thats right "The Poop"! I could not help but notice the shape of this unique star pattern. I was struck by its accuracy... I can see two hips and well a plop LOL... I know Im sorry... you get the idea.  Anyways all Im saying is I can see how this configuration could represent a "bm" (yes my daughter attends daycare and I feel stupid just typing that) 

So by now the wheels in my head are spinning and I'm wondering is there really a "Poop" constellation? One quick google search and the answer.... YES! ....Puppis or "Poop" is defined as "Bright constellation of the southern hemisphere, representing a ship's poop or stern" 

Ship Stern? Ok... So yeah you learn something new everyday! Thank you Space Ranger! 

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Pattern

Finished the Octopus pattern this morning... well not entirely finished. If there is one thing I have learned over the years working with tattoo artists something is ALWAYS missing. So after a couple hours, two cups of coffee and a serious case of "craft back" I put down my pencil only to discover half her hair and the details in her eyes were never drawn on the sketch. Sigh.... the hair I can wing but the eyes?!? If you an art quilter you know and if you're not you should know, when is comes to the human forms the lines MUST BE RIGHT! Eyes, nose, lips all so very important... nothing turns me off more than misproportion! So anyways here she is sans eyes and half a head of hair... and yes sorry the picture sucks.

Ikea, Patchwork and Me!

My name is Mary Kenyon and I am an Art Quilter!  It is my personal belief that assembling a patchwork pattern is about as fun as assembling Ikea furniture... too many pieces and instructions that make no sense! Now don't get me wrong I love patchwork when made by other people, but my mind works in color and texture not numbers and angles... patchwork is just not for me. So you can only imagine how thrilled I was when my boss asked me to make a patchwork sample for the shop. Ledra however is the best boss I have ever had and one of the smartest people I have ever known so for her the answer is always YES!

Picking fabrics is of course my favorite part of a new project. For this one I chose fabrics from several new lines, most namely Anna Griffen "Fifi & Fido" (love!), Moda "Basic Greys", Marcus Bros. "Griddled Circles" and my favorite a nice pale green form the Jinny Beyer Palette (love love love Jinny Beyer).  They all felt crisp, clean, light and airy. I wanted this quilt to feel like Spring! I may hate patchwork but I LOVE Spring!

For my pattern I chose a new one from Swirly Girls "Perfect Ten". I like Swirly Girls for several reasons, they are from VA. their quilts are always simple and bright and generally sell themselves. Plus they are well packaged and my art brain just loves that. So anyways this one called for 10 fat quarters, an accent fabric and a border print. Seemed simple enough... leave it to me to the fuck that all up! 

Being an art quilter it is against my nature to follow the rules so first I decided that I wanted to use Fido and Fifi in each of the framed blocks. I whipped those up quick and they came out looking pretty cute! I was starting to feel good about this whole patchwork thing....

Then to insure the rest of my quilt was still perfectly balanced I  spent the next 30 min studying the cover deciding which fabrics I wanted where. Now all I had to do was match up my fabrics to the pattern illustration.... Right? WRONG!

Look closely the fabric placement on the cover does NOT match the placement in the pattern illustration! I repeat they do not match!!!! They also call for an extra 4 1/2in block they forget to tell you to cut. Apparently this is a common occurrence in the world of patchwork but to an art quilter it's like torture!  

This is about the point in the day when I start stomping around, cussing patchwork, cussing Ikea... my co-workers of course are laughing as I begin flinging squares around trying to make some sense out of it all! 

Finally after and hour or so of rearranging and bitching, bitching and rearranging I ended up with a 9 fat quarter quilt that was bright and balanced... and nothing like the actual pattern layout.
 Oh Design wall what would I do without you?

Once the high drama was over I sat down to sew this baby up. I chose the 820 again for its large workspace. Thankfully she was being very well behaved and the quilt came together pretty easily. So by then end of the work day I had the completed top (minus the border) and one happy boss lady! 

I shall call her "Balanced Nine" lol

All in all I think it came out pretty cute... and it really wasn't that difficult. The Swirly Girls pattern was simple and easy and as long as you are not an OCD, Ikea hating, art quilter like me I would highly recommend it. 

P.S. I hate patchwork! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Yesterday it was sunny and warm, a beautiful Valentines Day...  And I was feelin' the love!
At work I put hearts on the door!

For breakfast I ate a heart shaped doughnut.... okay okay doughnutSSSS.

And best of all I finally gave Margie her Valentine! 
I call this one "The Hound Dog"...

Elvis was in the house and everyone had a fun time. He hung on the quilt rack all day for all to enjoy. As for Margie, she loved him!  I don't think I have seen her this excited since that day last summer when she bought a taser! LOL! 

The only downside was I'm and idiot and I forgot to get a picture of them together! If you use your imagination it looked a little something like this...

Anyways work was good =) 

And afterwards I went home to see my other Valentines <3<3<3 
It was a simple and sweet day.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Fabrics!

Under the Sea! Day one!

This is the first Sat. that I have had to myself in months! No work, no kid, no pet monkey to worry about. Just me, my coffee, my music and the beginning of what may end up being my favorite quilt of all time! The plan of attack for day one is as follows.... drink coffee... draw one monster size pattern.... drink coffee... make final fabric choices... drink coffee... email client.... drink wine. This is where the fun starts!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tattoo or Quilt?

The answer is BOTH! My next commission is to turn this badass Rodney Raines tattoo into a kick ass Mary Kenyon quilt! Im so fired up for this one, its been in the works for a while. Put your seat belts on ladies its gonna be a wild ride! I'm ready to take this baby over the top!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

To date or not to date?

After a long hard day I realized I'm really kind of missing that monkey of mine.... and i do love bananas!


I did two things today... I made it past the halfway point on my binding. Horray for binding clips! I love them! Even though they are just over priced hair clips, they do the job right! 

The other small project of the day??? Oh just a little shipment of 37 BERNINAS!!! We unloaded and sewed in every single machine today and then loaded them back up to be delivered tomorrow. Phew im glad that is OVER and so is my back! Off they go to the Henrico Co. school... those are some lucky home ec teachers! All in all it was a good day =D

Car Thoughts...

On my way into work I realized that deciding whether or not to have a boyfriend is a lot like deciding whether or not to have a pet monkey! If I wrote a book about relationships I think "My Pet Monkey" would be a very appropriate title. Anyways the sun is out, my Pandora station is Fleetwood Mac, the binding is finally going on my quilt  and I'm feeling much better. =)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Can I vent?

UUuhhhhhhhhhh (massive exhale) ... I guess I'm just at the point in my life where I think all men are idiots!!! A man that manages to land a woman (ANY WOMAN) should work his ass off to keep her! Because as far as I'm concerned good men are few and far between... and a good woman? A good woman is a dime a dozen....(deeeeeeeeeep breeeeeeeeathessss)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Back to work...

Just sitting in my happy place waiting for the day to begin! I SHOULD be working on my binding but you know im just not feeling it right now... and as any good quilter knows these things cannot be forced... then you just end up fucking it up and having to start all over... so im just gonna sit here and breathe in the beautiful fabric until i feel the binding motivation take me over!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mantra of the day

Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Hoffman Challenge 2011

I plan on winning this!

These are a few of my favorite things...

Since I work in a quilt shop I get to see all the new tools and gadgets, some are worthwhile, many are not! When I'm working there are two tools I CANNOT live without! And not surprisingly I have punctured myself pretty badly with both of them... but being my all time favorite tools the fact that they have been christened with my blood only makes me love them MORE! Did i forget to mention I am SERIOUSLY clumsy... I mean like walking disaster area clumsy... ironic that I work in a trade full of sharp dangerous objects. LOL ... Anywho here they are!

Easy Kut Spring Action Scissors, or as I call them "my lil nippers". These babies are so rad... tiny and SHARP, perfectly curved and best of all they are RAINBOW!!! The only thing better than a good tool is a CUTE tool! I <3 Titanium Oxide!
Next in line is my good old Clover brand seam ripper! Its the perfect size also nice and sharp, but what makes this baby is the handle! Unlike so many seam rippers out there is actually give you something to hold on too!!! Who the hell designs these teeny tiny seam rippers anyways... sure its fits in my machine but its also giving me freaking carpel tunnel syndrome! Not a fair trade in my book. The little rubber no slip grip is also great, a butterfingers like me can always use a little extra traction =)

Now tools aside there is one new item in the shop that I have fallen in love with and simply cannot go without!!! BATTILIZER!!! Not only is the name AWESOME but the product is pretty damn sweet too!
 It's made by HoopSisters and its batting and stabilizer in one! I love it because its soft, sturdy and rolls out perfectly FLAT no kinks or ripples to be seen. But to be perfectly honest there is something about these big soft rolls that makes me want to hit somebody with it!!! I mean it is called BATTLE-izer after all!  I have tried to talk more than one of my coworkers into a Battilizer joust! But being the only employee under the age of 60 I doubt it will happen anytime soon, though I  never give up hope (MARGIE!)

An Allison Kraus kinda day

Allison Kraus is my Pandora station for this rainy morning. I woke up feeling like I just stepped into a whole new chapter of my life. I've been producing and selling quilts for quite a few years now. But never as a full time profession. Just mommy's money... Now after the breakup of my marriage and the dwindling funds in my savings account I feel great urgency that its time to step into the real world. Its time to make a name for myself and provide the best life I can for my daughter. This is what I want! I want to be a professional quilter and nothing else! I want to be surrounded by fabrics and threads and shiny sharp scissors, that i will inevitably impale myself on! I want new people, new places and independence! I've been thinking about it, dreaming about it, manifesting it for a long time... but nothing is possible without real action. So I have finally stopped dragging my feet, I have entered and been accepted to a national competition. And now Im just sitting here in my happy place thinking... "Holy shit! It's happening!" ... Wish me Luck!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Moon Crane is going to the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival!!!!!

Sew much for Snow!

Was all geared up for a fantastic day of sewing in my pajamas... until I looked out the window and realized there was NO SNOW! No snow, no ice... but no school??? So Cadence went to daycare and I went into the quilt shop to spend some quality time with the 820 and little stitch in the ditch action! We have been getting along wonderfully today!

Snow Day! Sew Day!

Well ice day really :) Either way Cadence is out of school and that means SEW DAY for mommy! Just gotta roll my ass out if this cozy warm bed, get the coffee on and the music going... Today's gonna be a good day!