Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me!

I turned 32 last Sunday. This marks my first single birthday in a very VERY long time. After a break up and a birthday I think I've had a little too much fun this past week lol. Time to slow this train down! The cutoff date for the Hoffman Challenge is July 15th. That gives me 19 days to get my shit together and get to work! 

Saturday was my day at the Quilt & Sewing Center... my favorite place on earth! I had a lot of fun with the girls and got A LOT of work done too =) Here's the final pattern... ready to cut.

Fusions makes fantastic skin tone so I decided to give myself a tan!

And of course my FAVORITE new fabric for hair! I think it's Micheal Miller? I promise I'll read the selvage one of these days and let you know for real.

You can't tell me that doesn't kick ass! I love the way this picture came out... kinda creepy. I spent a long time staring at myself on Saturday... pondering the nature of my personality LOL. And as always I ended up buying a few more fabrics at the last minute. This here is the official final cut! 

 A few new greens, some rich brown and a nice deep skin tone and a Marcus Bros. blue <3<3<3

I'm L-O-V-I-N-G this!

... On a side note I have graduated from M. Ward's " Post War" to Joss Stone's "Colour Me Free"

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Today's Undertaking...

Today the final thread of my relationship was officially sniped...  My only choice was to put on M. Ward's "Post War" album and tear off a fresh sheet of freezer paper... 

A sharp #2 with a full eraser put a smile on my face...

This time there were no tears. Just poured it all out on paper...

Can you see the resemblance?

Work went quickly. So I spent the rest of the day cuddling Cadence... and listening to "Post War" on repeat.

This one's dedicated to you... 

And this one's dedicated to ME! Easy Come, Easy Go...


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Evolution of an Octopus... Part Two!

... On to the thread! Choosing the colors for this quilt was a bit tricky. The fabrics were so bright and the image itself had so many levels I had to be sure to find colors that would provide enough contrast to make the details visible without being overwhelming. I ended up with a total of 8 colors. Yes there are only 7 in the photo because at this point I was so focused on how in the hell I was gonna pull of these tentacles that I completely overlooked the fact that the woman had a head full of hair! So some brown was added later.

By this point in the process it was mid- March and I had promised my client I would be done by the end of the month!!! I deiced the only way I would find the time was to pull early morning shifts. Waking up between 6 and 7 am gave me a solid 2-3 working hours before going into the quilt shop. While not a morning person by nature I found out that I work every well with a hot cup of coffee and a little sunshine....

Rise N' Shine! 

I deicide to start with the smallest pieces first. Her face had a lot of details and some very tiny pieces. I figured if I started here it would be all downhill from then on.... right?... WRONG! ( Side Note: I wish all my ex's would read my blog... that way they would see that on a rare occasion I am not ALWAYS right! Rare!)

On day one I stitched out her entire face in black, took this creepy pic and was all in all feeling pretty good at this point. 

I still wasnt sure how I was gonna work out the tenticles, so after the face I moved on to the long flowing lines of the Octopus itself. This phase moved very quickly. It was a total breeze and gave me hope that I might make the due date after all. I was really happy with my thread choice it provided just the right amount of contrast.

Halfway through the purple I decided to attempt a "Tentacle Test Run" I simplified the shapes avoiding circles all together. I wasn't very pleased with the outcome. Compared to the striking lines of the purple the orange was almost non-existant and the shapes were not exciting in the least. (It looked like shit)

This photo makes the differences obvious... All I'm think here is "Fuuuuuuuuccc****....... Where's my seam ripper?"

And there was definitely a lot of seam ripping going on with this one!

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

If you look closely at Exhibit B you may notice that the lines in her face are no longer black! About half way through stitching her body I realized I had pink legs, pink arms, pink hands and a black face!!! Boooooooo! Commence freak out! And this my friends is why I have a seam ripper tattooed on my arm!

I made an executive decision and chose to leave her eyes black. I couldn't risk screwing them up this late in the game.  However with my fingers crossed,  I restitched the rest of her face. I also choose to bite the bullet and stitch out each and every little tentacle. 284 circles to be exact! It was incredibly time consuming and my client was gracious enough to give me an extra 2 weeks to complete the quilt, which was a huge stress relief. I went with a deeper orange this time and it really did the trick! Morning after morning I got into my teeny, tiny circle "zone" and just knocked them out one by one. Here you can see the difference between the the old and the new.

The final results where really impressive and well worth the time!

The morning I finished sitching I was nearly speechless. This project was so overwhelming at times but in the end it all fell together. I'm not really sure how I pulled this sucker off! But I did! It took and entire day to tear away all the stabilizer. When it was finally done I took about 100 pictures of the front and just as many of the back! 

I also added something per my client's special request... my signature!

To finish it off I chose a funky, yet subtle black swirl by Micheal Miller and just did some simple wavy lines for the quilting. I only had a day to take it all in before shipping it off. But man what a day! I couldn't stop touching it... all that texture feels amazing! I just stared this quilt every chance I got thinking over and over "I made this... I MADE THIS ?!?" 

My name is Mary Kenyon and I made this! THE END!

Monday, June 13, 2011


The comment I get the most when I hand someone my business card "THAT is a quilt?!?"...Yep!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hey Look! IT'S ME!

I recently received an email from fellow quilt blogger the The Bitchy Stitcher. She said to check out the June/July issue of Quilters Home Magazine, specifically the article on the Top 55 Quilting Blogs.

I was excited, expecting to see my friend's blog on the the list. The one thing I did not anticipate was to see MINE!!!! And on the first page!!! Check out the bottom left corner =D

Margie brought this copy into the quilt shop for me to see and that silly woman made me autograph her copy!

The little write up was really nice and I love that they mentioned Cadence. I have been in quite a few tattoo publications but this marks my first ever mention in a quilting magazine!   
That's a pretty big milestone for me. A personal goal I've been working towards for a while. And even more exciting since it came out I have been receiving some intriguing emails. Apparently someone is paying attention.

Now onto to the next step CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP!!! You hear me Janome?!? Bernina?!? 

Sunday, June 5, 2011


I forgot to mention I also finished those blocks for my friend... Here is the finished product!

What a Week... or Two...

When I left for my vacation I had a happy relationship, a healthy daughter and a great job... When I returned my daughter was sick as a dog, my relationship was not so healthy and my job... non existent.

I was so focused on nursing Cadence back to health there was little time left to focus on the fact that pretty much everything else in my life was about to change... big time... AGAIN! Sigh... Im not gonna lie, it's a little scary. But Im old enough and wise enough now to know that I can handle this and as long as I stay focused everything will be just fine. With out struggle there is no growth. Or as Ledra would say " Thank God you were born a woman! That means you can do ANYTHING!"

So with Cadence at Disney, no job to go to and a relationship the was only hanging on by a thread I had a lot of time to think about where I am going and what I really want. The answer of course was simple  I want to wrap my arms around my daughter and never let her go (boy I missed her!) And I want to pour myself into my quilts in a way I have never done. I have out grown the image based style of my past and I can feel my subject matter moving in a much more personal direction. My life is overflowing with inspiration and after a year of nothing but custom orders Im really looking forward to this new phase.

Project number one is to finally nail down a color scheme for the Hoffman Challenge. I'm shooting for the "Best First Time Entry" award and I think I have a fair chance. After collecting fabrics for about 6 months this is the final cut.

I tried to use as many Hoffman batiks as I could find and I threw in some good old Jinny Beyer blenders, Fusions (of course) and a touch of Micheal Miller Fairy Frost. Oh and the blackberries because they're just plain awesome! If you haven't seen the focus fabric yet it looks like this...

Gorgeous right!?! But defiantly a challenge for me. Green is my favorite color but I rarely use anything that would fall in the "minty" category. I'm a jewel tone girl (as Im sure you know). I also made it tougher on myself by swearing up and down I WOULD NOT DO ASIAN! Everyones gonna do asian and I want to stand out! Shit I want to WIN! It doesn't have to be first place I just want a ribbon on my wall for once.

So anyways here's to the start of a new project, a new focus, a NEW JOB and a new happier healthier me! Oh and just to make you smile here is a beautiful picture of my girl loving the manta rays at Sea World.

Look at that face! <3<3<3