Friday, November 1, 2019

Wait for it ......

Wow, I've been so lazy at posting here.  So much for promising to do better.  Regardless, I have something to share that should make up for it. 

First off I'd like to announce that earlier this year I was contacted by Shannon of Skunk Hollow Fabrics who asked if I'd be interested in being a featured artist on her blog.  Of course I would!  So (drumroll please) I am Miss October ... just click the link and you'll be sent to the article.  Thanks Shannon!

As usual, I've been busy making and selling lots of JOY runners ... some people save them for Christmas decorations, others use them year-round.  I think I only have one on hand right now, should probably get making a few more just in case. I'm thinking my next one will be blue and silver, then maybe a red and gold, a traditional red and green .... the possibilities are endless!

A few years ago I designed a small tote bag, mainly out of necessity for my own use.  I made it exactly big enough to hold 2 hardcover novels and used it as my library bag.  I tend to spend a lot of time at the library, at least a few visits a week, checking out books and doing ancestry research.  Then I started taking it with me on my trips to Nova Scotia to carry around everything I need when doing my cemetery visits.  You can read about those adventures here if you like (be sure to check out The Tale of the Ancestral Eye for a chuckle).  The bag was perfect for carrying my camera, notebook, sticks (for cleaning up lichen on headstones or dirt off footstones), all sorts of things.  My tools are gradually becoming too many for this particular bag so I may have to make a new one for my next trip.  Regardless, people started noticing this little bag and asked if they could buy it, so I got into bag production.   As I said, the bags are exactly big enough to hold 2 hardcover novels, so they're about 7" x 10", with a strap to comfortably carry it over your shoulder.  They have a split pocket on each side (split meaning each pocket is divided into 2).  And the bag is reversible ... the colours are reversed on the inside, and it can be turned inside-out and used either way.  It is also machine wash and dry.  They've become very popular.  I've been selling them for $20 each so far.

Ok, now here's the really exciting part.  I've been quilting since 1998.  When I first started out I had nobody to teach me, I knew no quilters, and although I had a lot of sewing experience I had never tried quilting and knew nothing at all about it.  I bought a magazine and the rest is history.  I collected magazines and books and started making quilts like mad.  Since 1998 I'd guess I've probably made well over 1000 quilts of all sizes, from placemats to king size.  I've always been a hand quilter, all my appliqué is by hand, my piecing is sometimes machine, sometimes hand.  And at the risk of sounding too immodest, I will state with fair confidence that I'm very good at what I do.
In the past few years I've pretty much stopped using all the books and magazines I've collected over the years.  If I need to make a quilt for someone quickly and don't have the time to come up with an original plan I will dive into them for that, it's a guaranteed way to get a good result fast and it takes the pressure off.  But if I'm just making something to make it, or I have time to ponder and play, I usually try to design it myself.  I have several patterns for sale actually, mostly just small stuff like runners.
I decided I wanted to make something really cool and different.  I had an idea for a rooster quilt for my sister for Christmas, so that got the creative juices started.  She lives on a farm and has a rooster, so I found a picture of a rooster and got started on her wall-hanging.  He looks exactly like a rooster, I'll post a picture when he's finished.  It's her style, and I'm confident she'll like him.  He's not my style however, but I wanted a rooster for myself anyhow.  So I googled various rooster ideas and got out the freezer paper and drafted up my own.  Of course he's blue, that's always my colour of choice for anything.   The background is various strips of light prints machine pieced.  The rooster himself is entirely done by hand, from the appliqué to the piecing, and of course the whole thing is hand quilted.  He is so far out of the box from my normal quilting, the box is nowhere in sight.  I have a feeling I may never see that box again, I love this guy so much.  His name is Cockadoodle Blue.  He's 40" x 52".