Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bev's Garden Quilt: Final

Today, I finally gave Bev her quilt. Yes, it's 2 months late for Christmas, but take a look!

I attempted and artsy casual picture above. The glare from the sun was a bit too bright. Here's a more typical quilt picture, the quilt on the bed.

This is a queen-size bed, so the quilt itself is roughly twin size.  It's a good size for curling up with on the sofa, or a nice picnic quilt.

Here's a close up of one of the quilted areas. I had a lot of fun quilting this one. I did a blocked loopy pattern in the moss-green negative space, and at the intersections of negative space, I improvised. There are 24 different designs in those spaces. Some of them turned out better than others, but it's interesting to look at, nevertheless. Here's a close-up of one such intersection that I thought turned out well.

I used variegated green 100% cotton thread (Gutermann) and I think it worked well on the plain fabric. I washed the quilt before giving it to Bev and the washing make the surface have a delightful crinkly texture. In the squares, I started doing a straight-line design, but it was taking way too long to do. I can't improvise straight lines in free-motion quilting - they need to be really straight! I used the feed dogs and my integrated dual feed (on the Pfaff machine), but then I had a lot of stopping and starting. Bleh.

I switched to a medium size stipple pattern within the blocks. Fortunately, I could alternate the blocks like I intended to use the two motifs!

The batting was a sustainable organic bamboo-cotton blend batting (Bev is an environmentalist, among other things). It quilted nicely and gave a nice drape and heft to the quilt.

So...what's my next big project???

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Art of Vacation

My husband and I are members of Disney's Vacation Club, and we go to a Disney resort about once a year. We are celebrating our 15 yr wedding anniversary this week at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.  Other than the nerve-wracking journey to the Kansas City Airport amidst the first significant snow storm of the winter, it has been a lovely vacation so far.

Why did bad weather hit the one day I needed good weather for flying? Murphy's Law, I guess. Nevertheless, we both made it here in one piece.

We are focusing on relaxing and pampering, this time.

Usually, I bring some hand sewing with me when I travel. It's a great way to pass time quickly on planes. I also like to work on projects while lounging by the pool. This year, I did not bring a project - I don't have anything I wanted to work on. I have been in the mood to do embroidery, but I don't have a project in the works and I didn't have time to pull one together.

It's easy to be inspired at Disney World. Things are very colorful and artful here. When browsing the stores of Downtown Disney Marketplace, I found the books shown above. Flipping through The Imagineering Workout, I was intrigued - it contains "exercises" for your creativity, collected from the imagineers at Disney.  We all experience creative doldrums from time to time, and creativity exercises would sure help find a way through it.

I could sure use this kind of help for the KC Modern Quilt Guild's latest challenge to make a wall quilt inspired by one of Kandinsky's abstract paintings. I need all the creativity I can get.

As usual, on vacation, I forget to bring one thing or another. I forgot the card reader to download digital pictures from my camera to my computer. Of course, Disney has one for sale - they have nearly anything you could need in their stores. Since many people take lots of pictures while vacationing here, they do offer a nice selection of photo equipment. This is the cutest little card reader ever!