Tuesday, December 31, 2013

WIP 2013 Recap

Although I didn't have a strong finish at the end of the year of personal projects...I did for my clients.

But this report is about my personal projects for the year and includes commissions or charity projects that I collaborated on.

On my original list for 2013 and finished:
1 -Rose of Sharon Bird Block --"Rose of Hope"
2 -Irena Bluhm Colored Pencil class project "Florabunda"
3- Skill Builder Sampler --"Rosie's BOMb"
7 - Valentine Jelly Roll Race- "Racing Hearts"
15 - Christmas Friendship Star Block Lotto win in December - "Christmas Friends"

4 - Valentine Postcard - sent to a friend (domestic machine)
5 - QR Code "KQ via QR"
6 - Book Cover --gave to my mom (domestic machine)
8-11 - 4 similar tree quilts to commemorate the life of a mother and wife
12 - Jeans brick wall - "God's My Foundation" - to commemorate the life of a daughter
13 - 19th Anniversary Commission
14 - "Day and Night" - Barbara Shapel class piece - Maple Tree (domestic machine)
16 - INMQ Wholecloth Challenge - "Dreamland"
17 - "A Paris Engagement" Commission
18 - Fall Table Runner Commission
19 - "Coulee Vintage Sonnet" - pieced by Peggy Nevsimal - donated for auction at the Grand Coulee Chamber of Commerce Vintners and Brewers Event.

Misc. 20 -- Various Charity Blocks: Boston Strong blocks sent to Boston. Also sent several blocks and fabric donations for the Facebook group 'Just us Quilters' charity projects, this included several unquilted and no batting receiving blankets for an orphanage in Africa (domestic machine).


Still WIP: 5
  • Christmas Gift #1  --(ready to quilt)
  • Christmas Gift #2 --(ah well....good intentions, so much for my week before Christmas body ordered rest)
  • Honeymoon Storm at Sea
  • Fall Wallhanging
  • 2007 Alaska Shop Hop

    • OWN
    • Out of the Darkness
    • Basket BOM (ready to quilt)
    • Peace Park
    • Snowflake/blizzard --except that I used some of the snowflakes as inspiration for the Cool Penguin design.
    • 2007 Shop Hop the Blues
    • 2009 Shop Hop the Blues
    2013 Completed: 19

    p.s. ---including these and client quilts, I quilted 101 items on my long-arm, 3 on my domestic and pieced a few unquilted blankets and blocks for charity too! Not bad for a slow start given the move to Grand Coulee that started in January of this year and finished up in March.

    Hoping my shoulder will start cooperating in the new year so I can get back to a balanced schedule of productivity!

    Happy New Year everyone!!

    Sunday, December 1, 2013

    December Goals

    Sometimes it feels like I've lost the opportunity to do any of my own work now that I've got so much going on with the business.

    I do have a couple of Christmas gifts to finish up and of course all the --'please by Christmas' client quilt tops to get done as well.

    Our Technique Class is going through methods of how to make Flying Geese this month and there are no project classes so that we all can spend time with our families.

    Two personal projects that would be really fun to try and get through before the end of the year --the Fall Wall Hanging and my Storm at Sea quilt. With a full week from Christmas to New Year's...just maybe this can happen!

    The Fall Wall Hanging I think will have evolved from the last time you saw it because I made some leaf blocks that won't fit in their intended project (I used the wrong grid size (DOH!), but might add so much to the wall hanging. yeah!

    The Storm at Sea now has all fabric bits ready and waiting to be sewn and then the assembly of at least the center. Borders..well, we'll have to wait and see.

    November Finishes

    Missed posting these as goals, so here are my results for the month.

    1. This month's Technique classes cover Half Square Triangles. It has been so fun to see the light bulbs turn on in my students! Their results are improving every week and their excitement makes me smile. Here is a shot of the morning class after block 2.1 (1st block of Month 2)....the Churn Dash.

    2. Tuesday before Thanksgiving--our project class was a Jelly Roll Race!

    3. Client quilts --including a run to Walla Walla for dropoffs (4) and pickups (12) and two headed for publication in a book. This month I finished my first 4 years of owning a long-arm. An entire post about it is here. Amazing that it has been over 250 client quilt tops delivered to me that I returned at least quilted ...some bound. Added to that would be my own quilts and commissions that I did from start to finish. I quilted 14 client tops this month and did a commission as well (see below).

    4. This fall table runner was commissioned to be given as a gift at a Thanksgiving Celebration. How thoughtful of the guest. - Finish #18

    5. Donating the fabric and my quilting of a vineyard themed quilt for our local upcoming Wine Auction. I convinced the Chamber manager, Peggy Nevsimal (also one of my students) to piece it! The event is sold out, but remote bids are being taken via the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce, 509-633-3074. The event is December 7.  (p.s. I'm going to count this as finish #19!)

    6. The latest Country Register in your region will likely include instructions to make this adorable penguin. Be sure to pick up your own copy!

    Thursday, November 21, 2013

    Warm & Plush Batting from The Warm Company

    Blog Hop Party with Give-AwaysBlog Hop Giveaway--is now over. Thanks for stopping by.


    This year's Inland Northwest Machine Quilter's (INMQ) challenge was to create a 30" symmetrical wholecloth. The Warm Company had given me a baby size Warm & Plush batting--their latest product at Spring Market. It was so new, they didn't even have the packaging ready and for months I wasn't sure what it even was. I decided I would use it on my challenge piece. The Warm Co. has provided today's giveaway and I hope you'll enjoy reading about my process of creating this wholecloth, and seeing the results.

    Taking inspiration from the Sharon Schamber class presented in March of 2012 in Spokane, WA, I designed the symmetrical wholecloth with a 1/8th section on vellum on a scale of 6" radius so I could put my mirrors on it and see how it would ultimately look. Then scaled it to a full 15" right angled side and traced key elements on top of a lightbox onto the fabric with a purple 'evaporating' marking pen and mirrored it 7 more times.

    Only thread work was allowed in the challenge piece and it provided the batik that had hints of pink/purple/blue in it. I chose to work with various threads with a pink tint in the center moving to purple and ultimately on the outer edges, blue. Mostly using Wonderfil threads including their metalic, hologram and 100 weight (fills). The feathers are Signature variegated 'pansy patch'. A bit of blue metallic Madiera and YLI silver was also used.

    The Warm Co. batting--"Warm and Plush" is a luxury loft 100% natural cotton. For more information about this batting, here is a link to their information about it. It is a very soft 6oz per sq yd of 100% pre-cleaned, needle punched cotton! It has no scrim and has 50% more cotton than their Warm & Natural or Warm & White products. This makes it heavier and warmer.

    The Benefits of Needlepunch
    • Will Not Separate or Bunch
    • Contains No Glues or Resins
    • Will Not Beard - Shift or Migrate
    • Quilt or Tie Leaving Up To 6"Open
    • Once Quilted, Machine Wash & Dry

    This was my first legitimate wholecloth and most pre-designed quilting work I've ever done. Learned a lot though!

    The story continues when I showed pictures to the Warm Company representatives at the mini-market put on at EESchenck in September. They loved it and wanted to use it at Houston in their booth. Wow!! That was exciting.

    It was already scheduled to be in the Spokane show  right before Houston.

    These are the ribbons from that show given by the show viewers (the yellow one) and show attendees that are members of INMQ (the purple one), and then it was shipped to Houston for International Quilt Market.

    If you by chance were at Houston and happened to get a photo of/in their booth and it captured my quilt --I'd sure love to see it!

    I almost like the backside better!

    Thanks for reading along and participating in this blog hop. The Warm Company is sponsoring this giveaway. You will receive a Queen Size Warm & Plush batting directly from them. It is wonderfully lush and you can see what it did with my quilting! They have agreed to ship internationally as well.
    To enter the givaway, please leave a comment about what you would do with the batting and be sure I can contact you to get your address if you are the randomly selected winner. Following along on my blog and/or on Facebook would be most appreciated.
    Comment #39 was chosen by the random # generator...that's "Barb"! You have been sent an email to confirm details to receive your batting.
    Get back to the Blog Hop Here!

    Tuesday, November 12, 2013

    4 years completed on this special day 11/12/13

    Besides being a sequential date today 11/12/13 ...it is also my 4th anniversary of taking delivery of my long-arm quilting machine.

    What a difference a year can make! A year ago my husband had started a new job in another town and we were figuring out how to make the move. Now, it has all taken place and KISSed Quilts has its own commercial space studio in Grand Coulee, WA. A grand opening happened in June and we started teaching classes in the local Art Room of the Senior Center in September. We're on a great journey!

    So here is my recap:

    Customer Quilts
    Last night I finished Customer Quilt #252 (a secret project) since receiving my Gammill Opt+. That makes 65 customer quilts during year 4 (same as last year). Photos of each are at http://www.facebook.com/kissedquilts in the album 'Customer Quilts v.4'.

    I also did 7 commissions. Five memory quilts (one was a bonus that I felt compelled to do with the original request). Two quilts were for special couples--one celebrated a 19th wedding anniversary (and got bonus pillow cases too) and the other was for my cousin's wedding.

    Special contributions: Have you seen a custom scooter quilt? I got to back one with minkee, quilt and bind it.

    I made several blocks and receiving blankets for charity and donated them through the 'Just Us Quilters' Facebook group and the Quilts for Boston effort.

    New Patterns No new ones this year (all are available at Craftsy):

    Quilts in contests or made it into noteworthy shows included:

    'Rosie's BOMb'

    • TriCities show - Outstanding in its Field
    • Pendleton show - Best Machine Quilter
    • Juried into Pacific West - Tacoma
    • Juried into AQS-Des Moines and received 2nd place, Bed Quilts, Machine Quilted (HUGE deal!)
    • WSQ-Spokane - INMQ Challenge category; 2nd Place - WSQ, Honorable Mention - INMQ'
    • Displayed in the Warm Company's booth at the International Quilt Market, Houston

    • juried into MQX-West in Portland and received a Teacher's Award from Georgia Still
    • Best of Show at Ferry County Fair.
    • 2nd Place at Lincoln County Fair

    'KQ via QR'
    • Exhibited in the 'What's App-ening?' exhibit at the International Quilt Festival of Ireland
    • Special Award at Lincoln County Fair
    • Reserve Champion at Ferry County Fair

    'Rose of Hope'
    • Grand Champion, Ferry County Fair
    'Night and Day'
    • 3rd place, Viewer's Choice, Small Quilts, Walla Walla Valley Quilt Festival
    • Grand Champion, Ferry County Fair
    'SuperNova - BlackHole'
    • Grand Champion, Ferry County Fair

    In the Walla Walla Valley Quilt Show, there were quite a few client quilts in the show that I had quilted. So grateful to have such wonderful representation of my work. One area had 3 glacier star versions hung next to each other. First place, Large quilts, Viewer's Choice went to Charlotte Collier for her Christmas Celebration and Third place, Large quilts, Viewer's Choice went to Rayni Lambert for her Glacier Star with extended borders. I had the honor of quilting both of them.

    Now have classes every Tuesday in Grand Coulee. We have a year long series going on that meets the first 3 Tuesdays of each month. Each month is a new technique. My morning class is full and my evening class has several spots still available. On the 4th Tuesday of the month a new project is taught, and if there is a 5th Tuesday we do something fun!

    The Country Register continues to be my muse. Every other month, for the past three years, I have written a new article. It is now being picked up by many of the regions across Canada and the United States. Next issue---a free pattern that is quick and simple and is really cute!! Pick one up to see it.

    Personal WIPs have included 10 items finished so far this year. I've been participating in a 'Year of Finishes'. The link will take you to all my blogposts that feature these finishes. I'll do a more indepth review of these at the end of 2013.

    Thank you for following along, your input and business throughout the year has been greatly appreciated.

    Thursday, October 31, 2013

    October Finishes

    * Kickoff the Technique of the Month Series here in Grand Coulee, WA
     -- What a great group of 13 I have in my classes. They are learning lots and seem to be enjoying our time together.

    * Finish the Commission
    -- ta da!! Here it is. A full post was done on Oct. 25 as part of the Blogger's Quilt Festival.
    2013-#17  - "A Paris Engagement". Please consider checking it out and voting for this quilt!

    * Client Quilting
    --I did get 7 done.

    * Enjoy the AQS-DesMoines, IA show and everything I can learn
    --probably the biggest news of the month....not only did I get to go, but "Rosie's BOMb" won
    2nd place, in the Bed Quilts - Machine Quilted category.
    Whoo Hooo!!! Here is the video that was put together while I was there, and this post has still photos and a write-up about my experience there.

    I also put it into the Blogger's Quilt Festival in the professionally quilted category. I hope you'll check it out and consider voting for it. Thanks!!

    * Enjoy the MQX - Portland, OR show and educational opportunities maybe --ended up getting most of my questions answered while at AQS with various machine dealers and decided my time would be better spent staying home and getting on with client work. My quilt "Spinner" did receive a Teacher's Ribbon from Georgia Stull. Thank you!!!

    Other points of note ....The WSQ-Spokane show resulted in several ribbons.
    I entered:
    • 'Florabunda' --my Irena Bluhm class piece.
    • 'Dreamland' --my INMQ 2013 Challenge Symmetrical Wholecloth, these entries were all in their own category.
    Two Ribbons: 3rd place from WSQ show attendees; Honorable Mention from INMQ Members.

    Karen Ray and her daughter, Kelly Anderson, left, get a close view of Marlene Oddie’s “Rosie” at the Washington State Quilters-Spokane Chapter 35th Annual Quilt Show on Saturday at the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center. After taking in most of the quilt displays, Ray said, “This is it. Our super favorite.”

    And on a more personal note....

    * Attend my cousin's Wedding in Seattle!
    --Congratulations to the lovely couple! We had a great time seeing family and friends.

    * Enjoy my Parents being with us for 10 days
    --so glad they got to be here!

    * Hosting 50 former colleagues and fresh seniors from Walla Walla University to see our area and tour the Dam!
    --hopefully some will consider applying for positions here. We'd love to have some newbies interested in quality living out here on the lake.

    * My Mom teaching our 'project class' "The Adobe Purse" on Oct. 22
    --Enjoyed having her here to share the many hours she has spent perfecting this pattern. Having made over 140 of them, she's experienced!!

    Prayerfully thinking about a dear friend who just shared that she is pregnant with fraternal boys and identical girls...yes all at the same time! FOUR in the oven!! AMAZING!!! Glad I was able to sit down as she was telling me. Praying for her own health as well as the four babies during the next 14 weeks of 'bedrest'.

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

    Blogger's Quilt Festival - Rosie's BOMb

    Excited to share with you my 'Rosie' quilt. Remember Rosie the Riveter? If you're not familiar with this poster, 'Rosie' was an iconic image for the women who went to work during World War II to help with the war effort, many were riveters.

    When I saw people participating in the Sewn by Leila We Can Do It! Skill Builder Sampler, I didn't immediately jump on board. Six months in, I realized she had used the poster as her 'button' for the quilt-a-long (QAL).
    Perhaps being an engineer by education, I've always appreciated the poster for what the women did in the war effort and had an interest in it. I now HAD to get involved with the QAL, but mostly because I wanted to take the poster and put it in the middle of the quilt. The beauty of the QAL is that it is really a skill builder and everyone was doing their own thing with the blocks. Photos of blocks were being posted in a flickr group and no one had primary colors. This was a fun process to participate in and I was excited about how I would surprise everyone at the end with the addition of the poster being incorporated into the quilt itself.

    Using my EQ7, I started drawing each block in the software and placing it into the quilt. I also chose to color the blocks in a way that would complement the poster. Emphasizing white/blue in the top blocks, yellow in the middle blocks, and the dark red in the lower blocks to help anchor the whole quilt. Each corner block has angled elements, placed to help frame the whole piece. The sashing and borders bring in the rivet theme, and complement her head scarf.

    I had all the blocks made and still needed to create the center piece. I tried to print it myself on a large format inkjet plotter (left before rinsing). Treating the fabric before and 'rinsing' it as instructed. Well, it became an 'antique' after rinsing, and all the quilt blocks were bold and bright, so I opted to submit the original poster image to spoonflower.com. Now anyone can have it!

    "Rosie's BOMb" - Photo Credit: Bruce Andre Photography

    Detail of the 'rivet'.

     This design is trying to make it looked like brushed steel between the rivets.

    Using the sampler as a way to quilt each block uniquely. My long-arm machine quilting clients would then be able to see easily within one piece how different styles of quilting look all within one quilt. Open vs. closed/formal feathers or background fills vs. not, traditional vs. modern, etc.

     Quilting Rosie was the hardest. Here is where I was at when I needed to tackle the smooth face and arms. Consulting with Virginia Greaves helped significantly.

    And this is where I ended up.

    Some of the back side.

    Thank you for stopping by during the Blogger's Quilt Festival. Your nomination is much appreciated. Before clicking through --copy the URL you are at, then use it to paste into the nomination linky.  I am a professional quilter (KISSed Quilts), and quilted this myself.

    Friday, October 25, 2013

    Photo Gallery Throw

    My cousin got married this past Sunday.

    Thanks to BusyBean's inspiration, this quilt was my aunt's request for me to make as a wedding gift for my cousin from his parents. Excited to work on something kinda modern, I found the writeup of the original designer, from the blue chair, that indicated she took inspiration from a photo gallery mosaic. She has a blog post with other's quilts using this idea, too. She also gave me permission to use her concept. My sizing needed to be different though based on my aunt's request...a couch throw ...I like to call it a cuddle quilt! So, I thought about 72" x 72".

    First I needed to figure out the fabric to use. Joe and Janae got engaged in Paris.

    When I found this focus fabric, I thought it would be perfect and used that as my palette to pull mostly geometric prints and a few that have special meaning based on their interests, work, or personalities. Specifically --old cameras (turned out it was an important part to the theme in their wedding), data --Joe worked with lots of data on a large health study while he was in school, chalk writings--Janae has a degree in Art Therapy, landscape elements often seen in Paris (rocks and grey bricks), time pieces (a his and hers based on how I fussy cut the same fabric), French news headlines, US news headlines that talk about love and being YOU, several fabric just kept with the 'round' object theme. Always fun for me to create extra meaning and symbolism within the fabric selection. This was close to the end of the narrowing down of fabrics....there would be a bit more narrowing in the process.

    I thought maybe I could put images of the fabrics into Picaso and make a collage, but then it wouldn't be so random on the edges. My aunt really liked that aspect, so I roughly created the shapes in EQ7 as a 'custom' layout, but struggled with sizing it to the lap size she requested. When I read that it was typical photo sizes, that gave me some thoughts on smaller dimensions and locked in the sizes. Then I created an Excel spreadsheet with enough cells to represent half inch increments. Darkening the shapes, I could then easily identify the sashing sizes needed between each one. If I didn't like a spacing, I could move the entire shape easily in Excel.

    I printed the layout from Excel and drew ending lines for each section of sashing that would make sense to piece so that I minimized my partial seams. There were still quite a few, but it ended up going together quite easily once I had this plan. I could also easily cut the sashing pieces exactly because of the Excel layout. On the computer screen I could easily highlight the sashing section and know how many cells were the 'finished' size, and then just add the half inch in each direction for seam allowances.

    Here it is before quilting.

    I had found the panto "April in Paris" at willowleafstudio.com and thought it would be very appropriate for this quilt.

    And here it is all bound up.

    The happy couple on their wedding day! The yellow leaves made a beautiful backdrop to the yellow accent used in the wedding colors.

    The big reveal.

    Here is a full shot of the quilt, hanging off our deck.


    Thank you for stopping by on Amy's Creative Side -- Blogger Quilt Festival. Your nomination is greatly appreciated. Before clicking to nominate, copy the URL you are at and use that to paste into the nominate linky. Thanks!!