Once in a Blue Moon Fiber Art Retreat 2015

Once in a Blue Moon Fiber Art Retreat 2015

I had the privilege of attending the Blue Moon Fiber Art Retreat with Susan Brubaker Knapp and Lyric Kinard in Black Mountain, NC. The weather y’all. She was a BEAST! One the first day I arrived, I happened upon a spectacular view. One of those see for miles in the mountains style views with tons of low hanging clouds and emerging fall colors. This is what it looked like the rest of the weekend (I drew in some mountain for you, ha!) The upside, the rain created an interesting opportunity for photos. The colors were nice and muted and all of the water created really fun reflections and unexpected colors. Here are four of my favorites.   Despite the rain, Susan, Lyric, and the other attendees created a fun, inspiring, and unique retreat experience. In Susan’s workshop, we learned how to create whole cloth painted quilts with transparent textile paints. We were instructed to bring photos of something we’d like to paint. I brought about eight and finally settled an image of a clock I took in an aloft hotel. Something about the lines really sang to me and I was interested in giving them a painting try. You can see, I took more than one liberty with the colors, but I really wanted a bit more pop. It is totally possible a plastic yellow clock could have that much saturation, right? This was a really fun room to be in. Every single person had an interesting photo and were creating interesting images. It was really hard to pick favorites (except for the Octopus, that thing is FANTASTIC). I...
My Brother Embroidery Machine and Embird Software

My Brother Embroidery Machine and Embird Software

I’ve been learning lots about my newish embroidery machine and software. Those of you that have been following along (thank you) often ask about my machine and process. I thought it may be useful to have a more thorough review then just an amazon link. My Machine I have a  Brother Designio Series DZ820E Embroidery Only Machine(affiliate amazon link). I understand that she is a sister machine of the Brother PE770 5×7 inch Embroidery-only machine (affiliate amazon link) with a few extra accessories and thread. If I was not being so impulsive and had spent more time shopping, I may have realized how close they were and went with the PE770. I didn’t shop around a ton, here was my requirements list that this machine met: Cost less than $750 with prices published and easy to compare with different vendors A minimum of 5×7 hoop size USB port for transferring files Embroidery only (I didn’t want to deal with multiple feet, feed dogs, and other sewing machine features) Multiple speeds, on screen stitch adjustments Touch screen LCD Needle threader, thread cutter, drop in bobbin loading Brand name that I’m familiar with and has well received support Readily available commercial embroidery files and patterns I’m getting close to 1,250,000 stitches and so far I’m very happy with the machine. I do keep it running at the lower stitch speed because I find it does a nicer job especially with the tiny letters. I’m using a box of 200 pre-wound bobbins I bought and they work great. I’ve only had a few issues with thread shearing and breaking, but don’t find...
ArtSpark at SparkCon 2014

ArtSpark at SparkCon 2014

I still have chalk buried under my fingernails, my muscles are so sore I’m not sure I’ll ever walk right again, and I slept hard for a full 9 hours last night. Know what? Totally worth it. My kid and I were able to spend some solid time together this weekend doing something fun for both of us and we made art! I thought about how to summarize the story for quite some time and never came up with something super clever which means you all get a book report style version! Friday Night I intended to leave work ASAP, but as is common, I was held up. This was extra frustrating because the rain had been two seconds or less from pouring down all day. I knew it was coming and I knew my kid was going to be terribly disappointed if we didn’t go. I picked her up at camp and pointed out that the weather was not promising and by her reaction, I was positive we were going either way. Good news is, we made it and put down chalk as fast we possibly could to beat the rain and ended up with “Princess and the Frog” Emily wanted to do something with the frog. Since we had such fun with last year’s alien, we figured why not make the princess an alien. We named the pair Carla and Frank and had a ball drawing them. Emily added the planets, including Jupiter on the right. I swear, it doesn’t look as much like a boob in real life as it does in the picture. We’ve laughed...
TheBoredZombie.com picks AQS Chattanooga favorites!

TheBoredZombie.com picks AQS Chattanooga favorites!

We just got back from AQS Chattanooga. It was a lovely show with tons of amazing quilts to see and study. It is always so much fun to guess at how people did things or what they were thinking. It is a known fact that while I almost always love the winners of shows like these, they are very rarely my favorite quilts. Sometimes I wonder if it is the resistance to authority in me, but after lots of reflection and studying many quilts, I think it is because any of them could be the winners or the judges are privy to details we can’t see from our viewing angles. That and, for me, it comes down to a visceral reaction. This time, I played a little game and picked my favorites. Some are ribbon winners, some aren’t, but all amazing. (All images and artist names link to artist when I could find a web site for them.) Show Favorites Theatre Izabella Baykova, Saint Petersburg, Russia This quilt is amazing. I saw it and swooned over it in Charlotte too, but couldn’t get close enough to really look at it. I tell you – it’ is really special. Every single detail is so well thought out and her use alternate materials is spot on, every time. I love quilts that tell stories – this one tells 20+! Absolutely my favorite in the whole building. (note: This quilt was in a special exhibit and not in competition) GREG’S SONG Cheri Meineke-Johnson and Linda V. Taylor, Corinth, Texas Whoa. This is a stop in your tracks, omg, wow, quilt. It’s so...
The Sew South 2014 Report

The Sew South 2014 Report

I’m home! I’m home! I had a most excellent time at Sew South this weekend, but I can’t lie to you all – I’m so glad to be home. February and March have been packed to the walls with events, work, snow days, and stress with Sew South being the very last event on the list before a much needed break! While I’ve enjoyed every single thing I’ve had my hands in, I’m tired and quite glad to be back in a more relaxed state of being. I better enjoy April, because things are going off the rails again in late May! OK – focus now – Sew South… I so enjoyed the Sew South retreat! Jennifer does an amazing job of getting everything together and making sure we’re all welcome and comfortable. Even “crazy social anxiety riddled” I managed to feel comfortable almost from the first minute. I ate well, slept well, sewed a lot, came home with mounds of swag, found myself inspired to the max, and enjoyed great company. One thing I didn’t do – look at screens! I barely looked at my phone. No, really, my phone battery was 90% charged at the end of being downstairs for 16 hours. No screens turned out to be one of my favorite parts. I realize I spend way too much time looking at a phone, kindle, PC, etc and I’m looking forward to cutting back on that at home too. After this weekend – I’ve proved to myself that I totally can ignore them for a few days and it is OK. The downside, I only managed...