Monday, February 12, 2018

Seasons of the Mountains

Last week a long term project that I have been working on finally came to an end.  I helped with the design and construction of the Ashe County Piecemakers Guild 2018 fundraiser quilt.  We started the process in July of last year and it is currently hanging in the Ashe County Arts Gallery as part of a month long quilt exhibit.

This year’s fundraiser quilt was inspired by the beautiful place where we live and the seasons we experience as the year progresses.

Starting at the top of the quilt, we have the snow-covered mountain tops and then the dark greens, browns and greys that cover our hillsides during winter.  In winter, we see the pine cones of the conifers and a peek of red from the holly trees.

As we move down the quilt, spring with its pale greens, yellows, pinks and reds lighten the mountains and our spirits after a long winter.  The woods are punctuated with the bright oranges of the fire azaleas and the pale whites of the dogwoods.

Summer brings the darker, richer greens of the trees and the pastures.  Our hillsides are now covered with blooming rhododendron, the woods with trillium and the pastures with chicory.

As the season changes into autumn, our quilt is vibrant with the bright yellows, oranges and reds of the leaves as they swirl in the wind.  The acorns mature and the pumpkin patches open.  And the Christmas trees begin their long journey off the mountain to brighten the homes of people around the world.

Ann Becker quilted it on her long arm and many guild members worked on making the long cabin blocks.

I wanted the design of this quilt to be traditional with a twist and I think we achieved that goal.  I am linking with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Like Riding a Bike - Sort of

I have finally had a chance to work on quilting a quilt! In 2014 I designed a mystery quilt for my then guild - Cobblestone Quilters Guild

I pieced two different versions for myself - one out of yardage and one scrappy.

Fast forward nearly four years and I am working on quilting the scrappy version.  Although I have done some free motion work in the ensuing years, and even taught a few beginner classes, I have not worked on anything as large as this in a long time.  I have also purchased a ruler foot and rulers for my machine and am learning to use them.

I feel like a newbie all over again.  I know what I want to do - but the muscle memory is very rusty.  It is like riding a bike again after many years - you know what to do but are very wobbly.

I am not pleased with my stitches or the thread colors I have chosen.  But as I work, the stitches get a little better, the movement of the quilt gets a little easier, and I remember why I love to quilt.  So I will pick myself up and keep at it.  Linking with nina marie sayer and her post on troubleshooting free motion quilting. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Maybe Next Year

I had hopes to be able to spend lots of time in my new studio quilting this past year and although I did do some I was not able to do as much as I had planned.  Much time was taken up by getting both Pendle Alpacas (the farm and business) up and running.

One piece I did finish and exhibit was a dragon base upon Smaug from The Hobbit.  I had fun coming up with ways to make his scales three dimensional and if you look closely there is a small hobbit in the left hand corner that has just stolen the Arkenstone.

I also help design and construct the 2018 raffle quilt for my new guild up in Ashe County.  It is currently begin quilted by Ann Becker so I don't have a photo to show yet.

Other projects completed were a banner for our new booth and several animal coats - got to keep my fur babies warm!

Hopefully 2018 will see more quilting and pattern designs.   I also hope to get this blog updated more that twice a year - it makes a good way to chronicle progress on projects and to keep me a bit more accountable.

Monday, July 31, 2017

At Long Last

It has been a long journey. 

It started with packing up my studio on the Marsh in February of 2015. Most of the rest of 2015 was spent finding and buying the farm, moving (and more moving), getting the space leveled and selecting a building. 2016 saw the building delivered, more moving, the start of finishing the interior and a just a little bit of creating around the mess. This year we finally finished the building and I have begun using it for its intended purpose - my quilt studio and the workshop for Pendle Alpacas. 

January 2015 - on a very, very cold day

We have actually been working in the space for a little over a month preparing for our first show as Pendle Alpacas, but it was still a bit chaotic. Only in the last few days have I been able to organize the space. There are still bins to go through and one wall is still acting as a storage building but - I am actually working on quilting again!

The studio to the left of the door

The wall opposite the door
The studio to the right of the door

The first project on the table is the 2018 raffle quilt for my new guild - Ashe County Piecemakers Quilt Guild.  I am also working on a new pattern for O Tannenbaum - the prairie point Christmas Tree I designed several years ago. Several other project are about to begin and I hope to share their stories here.

The garden outside the studio (please ignore the weeds!)

My marsh view is gone but my love of quilting remains.  

Monday, October 31, 2016

A Little Quilting Among the Chaos

Yes I am still here and have managed to do a little quilting, a little teaching and a whole lot of construction work in the last few months.

The Studio under construction
We are getting closer to having the alpacas on the farm - hopefully within a few weeks.  If you would like to see what is happening on the farm - check out our Facebook page PendleAlpacas.

I hope to maintain my Marsh Isle Fiber Arts blog a little bit better in the coming months with its main focus my quilting adventures.

I designed and taught two classes over the summer - the first here in my new home town of Jefferson, NC.  This class was on dye painting and was a big success as you can see from the quilts.

One of my samples
Working hard
Practice paintings

Almost ready for the background
Show and Tell at a guild meeting
The second class was back in Charleston on my Prairie Point Wreath pattern.

The Christmas version

Lots of fun sewing and pressing

Working on the flower

Sunday, January 3, 2016

After A Very Long Hiatus

First of all Happy New Year.  I did two things today that I have not done in a very, very long time.  I managed to get my featherweight machine up and running

and sewed a few blocks together from Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt (the one I started in late 2014.)

I am very rusty - but it felt really good to be sewing again.  Of  course I can't press the blocks as my iron and ironing board are still in Charleston - top priority to bring them up to the farm next trip!

The second thing is posting on my very neglected blog.  But if you are blogging mostly about quilting and you haven't touch a sewing machine since April of last year - it is hard to write much. 

This is about to change.  We are getting more settled in our new home - the little farm house is slowly getting the TLC it desperately needs.  And we will be getting our first new building in about two weeks - my new studio!  It will be a shared space between my quilting design and teaching business, the farms fiber work and my daughters art business - but it will be a dedicated creative space.  It will be an empty shell when it arrives (12' x 28') and we will have to do the finish work before I can move into it.

If you had a new studio - blank canvas so to speak - what would be the top thing you would include?

Monday, July 13, 2015

Tale of Two Socks

Two years ago in August I posted a picture of "bad sock" - too big, too pointy of a toe and heel and general not a good sock.

Fast forward to June of this year - we are in temporary housing while waiting to close on our farm house in NC.  All of my quilting supplies are in storage.  Most of my knitting is in storage.  Almost everything is in storage.  But I did keep out the yarn and the restart of "bad sock".

I loved the yarn and now that I am moving back to a colder climate - wool socks will definitely be necessary -so in June I started working on it again.  I tried to work on it where every I could - it even went out on the boat while the guys went fishing.

I got a few rows done - they didn't even get a nibble!

By the middle of June, I was the the cuff on the first sock.

I avoided second sock syndrome - I finished both of these last week.

I am especially pleased at how the stripes match.

Now if we could only get to started on our new adventure - we were supposed to close today but ran in to some issues.  Hopefully they will be resolved this week and the next post will be pictures of our little farm house.