Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Parisian Street Performer

My husband and I went on our first trip to France in September 2009 and stayed in a small apartment on Rue Mouffetard in Paris.  Rue Mouffetard is an active market street in the 5th arrondissement with lovely fruit and vegetable stalls, butchers, fish shops, bakeries, and a variety of other foodstuffs...oh, and some of the most amazingly fragrant rotisserie chickens and potatoes I have ever come across and which, due to unfortunate circumstances, I did not have the opportunity to taste.

Returning to our apartment one afternoon, we found this gentleman performing to a crowd on one of the nearby corners.  He was standing on one foot, juggling three clubs while simultaneously balancing a large carafe with water and a goldfish on his head.  I snapped the photo on which the quilt is based and put some euros in his hat.
Parisian Street Performer (c) Beth Stanton
Quilting Detail

I finished this piece just recently.  Starting with a plain piece of PFD fabric and an outlined version of my photo, I inked the image using using Tsukineko inks and markers. Both the inner and outer borders are commercial batiks.  I quilted this one on a domestic machine.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Longarm practice

I've been quilting another guild mystery quilt and am generally happy with the results so far.  
I'm just a beginner with the longarm and I'm not very smooth yet, but every stitch I make gives me experience.  I'm trying a few new things on this one, including creating the loopy figure eight filled quilted inner border.  Getting evenly spaced lines is a challenge, but I'm really trying to focus on the gaining experience part. I'm still surprised that getting consistent curves can be difficult...seeing around the hopper foot and the tendency for the machine (it's got to be the machine and not the operator, right???) to mysteriously go straight when my mind says to curve...and then don't talk to me about stitching a straight line when I want them.  My acrylic ruler has become my best friend.

Monday, June 2, 2014

I bought a Juki longarm in October last year.  I'd been looking longingly at different models at shows but they were all so large and so expensive it was easy to talk myself out to the impulse to buy.  However, I went to the Pomona craft and sew festival at the LA County fairgrounds one Saturday and passed by the Moore's Sewing booth where they had two of the Juki's on a single frame (one with the computer module on it and one without).  I stopped to look and play and George Moore started talking to me and telling me the price and offering several incentives to purchase one of the floor models.  I have a Juki 2010Q and love the quality of the machine and the stitch even more.  When I found out that I it came standard with 5ft and 10ft options and that I could add a 2ft extension to make it 7ft or 12ft, it became a real possibility.  I left the booth with a written quote and called my husband to discuss.

I made the purchase and after waiting a little bit of time for the 2ft extension to arrive, the unit was delivered and setup in the 7ft width in my rather small (probably 10ft wide) former guest room now sewing aka "did a bomb go off in here" room.  Since then, I've been learning to use the machine and I've been surprised at how different it really is to use the longarm vs. a domestic machine.

Quilt on the frame is a mystery quilt I did with my guild: that's the only excuse I have for those colors and patterns. It was a good top to practice on.  If I hadn't used it for practice, it probably would have been stuck into a dark corner of a closet.

My working space is extremely limited and I have to laugh every time I try to get to my closet to access my stash on one end of the frame and the open shelving with boxes of my thread and various other supplies at the other end.  I also have to remind myself that I did this to myself.  So far I'm having fun, but my skill level on this is way behind where I am with my domestic machines.  I'm confident that I'll get there someday.

Friday, February 7, 2014

I keep meaning to post here, but things come up or I don't have photos loaded to the machine I'm working on and then time just passes so quickly...

I finished my inked quilt, "Missy," back in May or June and I was so pleased with how it turned out that I decided to try to get it accepted at Road to California and I didn't want to jinx anything by publishing a photo of it.  Anyway, it was accepted at Road and was displayed in the show last month.

Missy (c)
Missy came to us as a stray.  She was a muted, "heathery" calico.  She was vey sweet when she got used to us, but we think that she had been abused because was always wary of men, even my husband  who became fond of cats through interaction with Missy.  She passed away a few years ago and this portrait is one of my ways to keep her in my memory.
Closeup of Missy (c)
I didn't really realize that the quilt was relatively small (although much larger than the actual cat) until it was hung next to a David Taylor quilt at Road.  I have to say that it was quite an honor to share a rod with one of his pieces.  His birds are giants compared to my kitty!