Monday, September 15, 2014

Quilt Fundraising Auction for Libby Lehman

Earlier this year I had a few posts sharing a quilt that I was making that would be part of a special exhibit at Houston and Paducah intended to be an auction fundraiser for Libby Lehman.  It's all coming together and I'll be able to share all the yummy details VERY soon so keep an eye out! 

I received an email from Ellen McBurney sharing a quilt that she, too, created as a fundraiser for Libby's medical expenses.  Although it is not part of the Houston/Paducah exhibits, she has this for sale on Ebay and is hoping that it will have a nice auction outcome on Libby's behalf.  If you are interested be aware that the Ebay auction ends VERY soon!!! 

Check it out HERE!   Beautiful work Ellen...congratulations!

Cindy :)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

New Demos...Progress on Irish Linen

Our family just got back from five days on the beach for a much deserved "breathing break" for all of us.  I've hit the ground running and ready to dive in and get things rolling for next month's 5-day design workshop.  (Yes, those are clouds at sunset in a wave pattern...pretty cool!)

Since I've been writing the new 2-set design books I've come up with oodles of new and fresh ideas and demos for my workshops.  That's one of the perks of writing a book...I get new stuff for my classroom as well as new stuff for next year's handbook updates.   For those of you who have purchased my handbooks, and signed up for yearly updates, you'll have some really cool stuff coming your way.

I'm also starting a new book for the teachers out there...those that travel and those that don't.  When I started traveling and teaching 8+ years ago I didn't have anyone to help me out with tips and ideas of how to do things, and things you definitely DON'T want to do.  I've come up with some very practical ideas and cool tricks over the years and thought it would be nice to pass all this good information forward.  This will be available for sale after the first of the year and will also be sent out free to my Complete Collection ladies. 

For those of you who have the first book of the Designs'll be happy to know that the 2nd book is up to about 65+ pages.  I'm hoping to have this out to all of you early this fall. 

In between all the writing and drawing I'm pecking away at the Irish Linen I posted about a few months ago.  The work on this piece is soooo tedious but it will be well worth it in the end.

I ended up taking a few steps forward and many steps back.  I was unhappy with how the Irish crocheted lace poofed up because it wasn't quilted underneath.  Sooooo, I took off the border lace that I had added, folded up the unquilted outer embroidered areas and lightly quilted under the lace.

I then carefully removed the center crocheted lace, quilted underneath, and then placed the lace back.  I am now beading the lace down with miniature freshwater pearls  and it lays flat and looks so much better. 

Now I'm going in and carefully ditching all the embroidery to stabilize the fabric and then doing very tiny echo quilting around all the embroidered motifs to nail the fabric down.  The fabric is discintigrating as it is so old.  I had previously placed a very thin fusible stabilizer on the back of this piece before starting to hold it together.  By heavily quilting the background it is almost making a new fabric...the embroidery and lace will be around for a long time now.

Because the original border edge to this piece was so tattered I had to remove it which just made me sick.  I hate to do things like that.  I ended up finding some beautiful, heavy pillowcase crocheted lace that had the same patina as this linen.  I am quilting repetitive lines thru the underlayment and then placing the crocheted lace on top of this just barely covering the tattered raw edge.  The lace is being tacked down with more freshwater pearls.

I will be off and running on Sunday to The Belle Point Quilters Guild in Ft. Smith, Arkansas and am really looking forward to my visit.  McCloud and my Designs Workshop are coming up in September and then I really get to have fun as a guest teacher at Alex Anderson's retreat the first week of October.  I'll be bringing my new stuff there too...

Hugs, Cindy :)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

HUGE Craftsy Sale This Week!!!

CLICK HERE to take advantage of a huge sale at Craftsy that will run from August 7th -11th.  All quilting classes are up to 50% off!    Enjoy...Hugs, Cindy :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Featuring Sharon Engel!

I recently received a wonderful email from one of my Craftsy students, Sharon Engel, about a blue ribbon award she received at the county fair on her linen quilt  and I just had to share her, and her quilt, with all of you!  Congratulations Sharon on a beautiful quilt!  Her story is below...

Last spring Craftsy had a class sale and I have been lurking at Cindy's blog for quite awhile and decided to sign up for both of her classes.  My mother had several family linens, mostly dresser scarves and this round linen.  She doesn't remember who embroidered it, but I thought it would be a perfect beginner linen to try Cindy's class.  I did soak the linen in Oxyclean but a couple of stains just didn't come out.

One great thing about purchasing a Craftsy class is that you own them forever and can watch them as many times as you wish, which is exactly what I did.  I drew up a design, actually several designs on tracing paper the size of the linen.  I then did a practice quilting sample on white muslin.  I was happy with that design and decided to jump in. 

After I quilted the center, I just didn't like the areas next to the edge of the linen.  I had used a template but the fabric just sagged around it. I sent Cindy a picture, lo and behold, she emailed me back with a wonderful idea for that area. I used the idea and it looks so much better.  I've added a before/after picture.

I ordered a spool of white silk thread for the white center.  I have never sewn with silk and it is a lovely thread to use. I love purple, although I did audition several colors, but ended up choosing the solid Kona purple.  I also decided to quilt the purple with feathers around the linen to keep the theme of feathers moving to the outside and then stipple the remainder.

So here is the final piece with a pretty blue ribbon from our local county fair.  She is getting puffed and polished to send next week to the state fair.

Thanks Cindy for the wonderful suggestion and for very precise instructions in the Craftsy classes.

Sharon Engel, Colorado

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Progress Reports!

It's been quite awhile since I've posted any "works in progress" blogs and I think it's because I've been bouncing around on LOTS of different things.  Rather than focus on one project for this post I thought it would be fun to have a mixed bag of sorts.  I've definitely not been sitting around eating bon-bons for sure...although I'm working on  a wonderful piece of Ghiradelli chocolate at the moment!

There has been a lot of interest in the Irish linen piece I posted about a few months back.  Although I haven't devoted a ton of time to it lately I do peck away at it a bit in the evenings.  It's coming along beautifully but it's oh-so-tedious! 

Before the quilting...

 After the quilting....

If you remember it was literally falling apart with lots of previous repair work done, holes, tears, and generally just discintegrating.  Using Superior Threads' Bottom Line thread in the top and bottom and a Microtex Sharp 70/10 needle I am painstakingly ditching around every tiny piece of embroidery and then tediously doing micro-echoing to fill in the background.  This is strengthening the piece (stabilizer is underneath the linen) and covering up the holes and tears.  I think it's turning out gorgeous!

This pretty piece will be ready for the machine soon...reverse applique of a hankie center, embroidery piece in the middle and both pieces together  will create a beautiful medallion for this quilt. 

Beautiful lace doily was meticulously quilted with birds, ribbons and flowers and used as a medallion for the center of this piece.  The lace is being beaded down and attached to the linen with itsy-bitsy freshwater pearls.  I am also adding hundreds of french knots to open circular areas below the swags.    Still loads to do on this one!

This piece has turned out to be my quilt-from-hell but I persevered and am seeing it thru to the end.  I ended up having to add a wide border AFTER the quilting was done and then added the lace on top of that.  I'm in the midst of adding lots of pearls and beads, getting the binding hand stitched and the rod pocket and signature linen stitched on. 

When I am done with the above quilts I will have a special blog post for each with great close up pictures and details about how I did particular techniques.  

On top of quilting and teaching I'm still plugging away at new quilting designs for the second set of my newly written designs book.  This is going much slower than I would like but progress is being made!  For those of you who have purchased the "Oldies But Goodies" book of designs you will be getting the second set of newer designs by the end of the summer. 

I also have several new class samples I'm working on for my Heirloom Feathers & Backgrounds classes.  I'm off to the Washington State Quilters in Spokane on Wednesday and then turn right back around and go back to teach at the APWQ Symposium in Tacoma.  Hopefully my new samples will be ready for those workshops.  Can hardly wait!  I plan on having down time in the airports, airplanes and hotel/dorm rooms to get some of the hand work done...

Hugs, Cindy :)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Congratulations Karen!!!!

I wanted to give a big shout out to Karen Azevedo for the awards she won this week at Quilt Colorado!

If you are a blog stalker you are very familiar with Karen's amazing work on linens...she does all of her work on a long arm and I am always amazed at how tiny she can get her details. 

She received a second place ribbon in her category on one quilt as well as Director's Choice for the other.

Congratulations Karen....awards very well deserved!

Hugs, Cindy :)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

"Nana Cindy" Days...Teaching the Girls to Sew!

I have the privilege of being Nana Cindy to my two favorite granddaughters...Chloe and Samantha.  I decided that this was the year I could finally spend some time teaching them to sew by creating their very first quilts!  I spend half a day alone with each of them, take them out for lunch and ice cream and then we spend the rest of the day working on their quilt tops.  This was week one...I wanted to show the process of how I've pulled this off hoping it would provide inspiration to the rest of the Nana's out there in case they want to do the same thing!

First things first...gotta have a sewing machine!  I thought it was very important that they learn how to sew on their very OWN machine...not Nana Cindy's.  When I teach at shows I try and request Janome machines as they are so user friendly and I have fabulous classroom support.  At several shows on the east coast I have been fortunate enough to have David LaValley from the Bittersweet Fabric Shop supply the Janomes for my rooms.  He and his support staff are over the top. 

I have taught for the Vermont Quilt Show twice and they have a special category for the youth...first time entrants.  At each awards ceremony David has gifted each and every youth entrant a new sewing machine.  There's hardly a dry eye in the room when this happens.  I've never forgotten that.

Soooo, when it came time to buy a sewing machine for Chloe and Samantha I went directly to David.  He highly recommended the Janome "My Style 100" and he assured me this machine could stay with the girls forever.  Sold. 

The machines arrived last week but I had to wait until I was home THIS week to give them to the girls.  They were SO excited and I have to admit the learning curve was very easy and the speed easily controlled by little feet. 

So now we have to take a step back to show you the process of getting the quilt top started. I created half-square triangles on white card stock and colored each half.  I gave a bag of squares to each of the girls and told them to create a design for their top and have their mom, Jenny, take a picture of it. 

Then I gave each of them a piece of paper with the rows of the quilt all drawn out.  They had to color each block to make the design.  This was going to be our "road map" when assembling the top.

 I decided it would be best to have the girls make large half-square triangles...6" to be exact.  These would go together quickly to complete their tops.  I ordered the half-square triangle paper on a roll, precut all of their fabric into strips and pinned the paper to it.

Each of them sewed the paper to the fabric following the dotted lines...sort of! 

Oh, you're probably wondering how those little feet reached the foot pedal????  A long basket of course!

Once the strips were sewn together I cut them apart but the girls had to rip off the paper and cut off dog ears...I pressed the squares and then they were ready for the design wall.  VERY cool to watch this part!

This is turning out to be a fabulous summer project and a great way to spend quality Nana Cindy time with each girl on their own.  They will finish the summer with their very first quilt that they have sewn on their own (kind of) with their very own machine.  Life is good.

A very special thank you to David LaValley for ALL he does to support our youth. 

Big Hugs, Cindy :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Quilting Adventures~Linen Ladies Workshop!

Last week I had the pleasure of teaching my 5-day linen workshop for Quilting Adventures.  This is the second year I've taught for them.  The first year the workshop was held at the T Bar M Ranch and this year was at the Jordan Ranch.  Both facilities are wonderful with huge classrooms.  If you ever get a chance to indulge in a retreat with them I highly recommend it!

In this workshop we were totally focused on learning to create the linen wholecloth quilts.  The classroom was literally oozing with beautiful linens...they were everywhere!  Students got the chance the first evening to do the "nanner nanner...look what I have and you don't" as they showed off their treasures and chose what they were going to work on during the week. 

The next day was spent designing and marking their tops...

I always try to get into the classroom extra early to set up for that day's lessons and get things cleaned up and organized.  One particular morning it was pretty cool as there were linen quilts in progress draped over machines and chairs.  Beautiful way to start the day!

Another extra duty of mine is to wash linens for the students...since there were no clothes lines or large flat places to lay them out to dry we had to get creative!   

I love to end my workshops with show and tell the last morning.  Each student shows what she worked on, problem solving, threads, etc.  This was an AMAZING class filled with very talented students and I thoroughly enjoyed my week with every one of them!

Hugs, Cindy :)