Sunday, May 29, 2011

Views from Egersund...

The walk to town...

One of the many bridges...

The Historic Church...

The LOCALS! (aka Ivar's crazy old Uncle LOL)

And of COURSE the teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy fabric shop!

Color Wall!

Fat Quarters!

And Notions!

And this my friends is what Norway looks like at 9:30pm in May!

... I miss it already!


What a week! I'm happy to say my bout with homesickness quickly passed and my Norwegian adventure ended on a very high note =) I narrowly miss the Icelandic Volcano and made it home just in time to nurse Cadence back to health for a week. Poor thing had 102-103.5 for 3 days! Roseola was the culprit!

So anyways I'm home, the dust has settled and its time to get back to work! For the last month or so I have been putting off a very special project. I was asked to make a 12x12 block for a friend and the deadline was set for June 1st. Subject matter was completely up to me. I had brainstormed a ton of ideas but hadn't managed to come up with any thing really special. Then yesterday morning as I was waking up it finally hit me. With a mere five days to go I decided to make not one but THREE blocks! So I climbed out of bed and got started. I managed to bang out three patterns in the hour I had before leaving for work. I choose flowers that each held an important symbolism in my friends life. So here they are.... drumroll please!




I of course was determined to use stash fabric for this project but when I came into Quilt and Sewing Center I couldn't resist the batiks! I mean just look at these colors! 

My boss Kiki helped me work out a few kinks with the colors and was kind enough to let me get some cutting and pasting done in my down time. So by quitting time I had all three blocks ready to go!

The thread choices were easy thanks to the 418 spools of Isacord to choose from at Q&S. My final choices were  2521 Fuschia, 5934 Moss Green, 5866 Herb Green, 0453 Army Drab, 2715 Pansy and 0970 Linen. I would chose a box full of jewel toned threads over a box of actual jewels ANYDAY! Well... unless of course I sold the jewels to buy more THREAD! That would be great too!

Woke up bright and early again this morning. It's amazing how well I sleep when I'm not freaking over a fever =) I packed Cadence up and sent her off for a week at Disney and Sea World with her Dad. After holding back a tearful goodbye I sat down to sew. Made it about halfway through the Dahlia before leaving for work today. 

Four days left and counting, so far so good! And I gotta tell you I am LOVING this Fuschia thread! It's on FIRE! Expect to see a lot more if it in future projects! 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Real Talk

So I'm in Norway and I keep trying to convince myself I'm having a fantastic time but the truth is I'm miserable. I miss Cadence so much it hurts!!! My boyfriend is being a jerk and I'm an emotional mess. If there is one thing I know about myself it's that I work well under pressure... my head is overflowing with inspirations... beautiful woman alone in paradise... bleeding hearts... things of that nature. And YES I'm being a little dramatic! But I'm an artist so it comes with the territory LOL! I'm just trying to keep myself together... pouring my emotions into my sketchbook and counting the days till I can hold my girl! God as my witness I will never leave my daughter or my sewing machine for this long again!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Greetings from Norway...

This is Norway!

...and Cesar! What a handsome dog!

Egersund has the most adorable little quilt shop! You can barely move but its wall to wall fabric. Here is a picture from my last visit in Jan... just imagine it without snow! 

A return visit to this little shop was of course number one on my to-do list. Norway is an amazing place to visit but its not cheap! Here is my $100 fabric score...

Yup thats it... just under 4 yards. But as we all know its not really about the price its the THRILL OF THE HUNT!!! I was a huntress on a mission and definitely made the most of my budget! 

Now this little town may not have a lot of fabric to choose from but one thing it does have is a TON of  SHEEP! This little guy greeted me on my morning walk!

And as we all know sheep means YARN! THIS my friends is the yarn shop! Wall to wall color! You could fit the whole quilt shop in this one corner!

This is my yarn score! Ohhhhh how I wish I could knit! 

Luckily my good friend Rose, an experienced knitter, is picking me up from the airport... I plan on bribing her with these goodies in return for a sweet little scarf! I have no shame!

Other than shopping I have spent a great deal of time eating, drinking and being MARY!

... And of course spending some serious R&R with my pet monkey... lol that's my man! <3<3<3

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Did I forget to mention?

IM IN NORWAY! Went Norwegian fabric shopping today!

Evolution Of An Octopus... The Pattern

When a client requests a quilt version of their tattoo the answer is always "No Problem!" So late last year when I received a call from Henry a client of my good friend artist Rodney Raines I was very excited to take on the job. Rodney and I had been talking about a collaboration for a while and just never seemed to find the time. Since Henry wanted an exact copy of the piece Rodney had done on his calf it could not have worked out bettert. Little did I know what I was getting myself into LOL.

If you remember from earlier posts this is the original...

AND THIS... is what I managed to pull off. It only took 3 1/2 months, of planning, patterning, bitching, buying, cutting, crying, whining and of course the stitching. SIDE NOTE: I sincerely apologize to those of you that may have gotten in my line of fire while I was stressing over this project... lets just say I was a bit of a hot mess, diva quilter if you will!  

After it was all said and done I had only two days to take a good look at what I had accomplished before sending it of to a new home... I have to say I was pretty pleased with myself and how the whole process unfolded... Here are some of my favorite photos from the first few days! 

This is my pattern... with a glass of wine and some good music it came along quite easily. Rodney was nice enough to send me  a rough sketch of the original which helped me to fill in the bulk of the line work. I was feeling pretty good by this point in the process because I had yet to realize the amount of detail missing form the rough sketch.

The fabric choices were easy thanks to the fantastic selection at Quilt and Sew (I love my job!)
I had my eye on this piece called "Sun Surf and Sand" for a while now... waves really don't get any better than this, it was a no brainer. With all the fabric in line it was time to cut!

At first blocking out the large shapes was easy. This quilt, a lot like the Tiger, had tons of tiny overlapping pieces. But unlike the tiger these pieces must all fit together in precise twists and turns for the shape to come out right. These photos were taken just about the time I realized this was going to be a very detailed process and a much bigger project than I had imagined. Also about this time it occurred to me that I had over looked one very important thing, I had absolutely no idea how I was going to pull off these tentacles!!! Let the stressing BEGIN!

So for the next two weeks all of my free time looked like this... and my walls looked like this... and the floor....

Well the floor pretty much speaks for itself!!!

 ... and Cadence of course, she simply looked adorable as always!!!

I hit one road bump. As I started working in the finer details I realized that the woman in the original sketch was missing significant lines in her face. The octopus was also missing a good bit of detail. The pattern had so much going on I had completely overlooked this until now. I spent a good deal of time looking closely at the photos so that I could recreate her facial features as closely as possible. Its not a perfect match but all in all I was pretty happy with it =)

Here's a quick tip!  I cant stress enough the importance of labeling your patter pieces!!! 

Finally after about 3 weeks everything was cut, placed and traced and I was ready for the next step...THREAD!!!

Sit Down Strap in and Enjoy the RIDE!!!

I apologize for the loooooooooong delay but after sewing my ass for the last several month I just had to take a break. So I spent the last few weeks cuddling my daughter in my spare time instead of writing. Just look at her adorableness!!! Who could blame me... it was a good month! 

So now as promised here comes a sweet set of photos I like to call "Evolution of an Octopus"one seriously kick ass quilt from start to finish!