Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Featuring Monique Figlietti!!!

Monique and I have been friends for many years.  She and her daughter, Eva, have been coming to my McCloud retreats for a few years now and Monique always brings beautiful things to work on.  She loves details like I do and doesn't seem to mind spending many hours on a project.  She was working on this piece in McCloud and sent me some beautiful pictures of it all done.  I just KNEW you would love seeing this too!  Here's her story.  Thank you Monique and congratulations on a beautiful quilt!  

"A friend called me to come and look over some vintage linens she had since she knew that I liked to do wholecloth quilts.  I saw this tablecloth which was a taupe color and I really liked it until we opened it up. It looked like someone had spilled car oil all over it.  I took it home and tried several ways of cleaning as recommended on-line for vintage linens.  Nothing made a dent.  I figured it was ruined so one day I decided to soak it in Oxyclean while I went to church.  When I got back it was a sparkling white with no stains.  I can't say I would recommend this process but if it was going to be ruined, anything is worth a try.

I brought it up to McCloud for Cindy's quilt weekend and found the perfect background fabric of linen taupe.  Cindy had me pick out some stencils that I liked and we worked on a pattern.  I felt as if I was over my head but decided it was time to dive in and just do it!  I'm really proud of the outcome.  Actually one of the hardest parts was beading the quilt as it is so tightly quilted.

Thank you Cindy for believing in me more than I believed in myself.  It was a joy creating this".

Monique Figlietti

Winding The Year Down...

It has been  Mr. Toad's Wild Ride for October and November...I've been home just long enough to unpack and then repack and then off I go again...tomorrow I'm headed to Bakersfield for my last traveling/teaching engagement of the year and I'm really looking forward to spending some quality time at home working on my newest project.  I'll be able to share more about that in another week or so.

You may have noticed some big changes to the website...Jenny is working on getting things cleaned up and making things  easier to navigate so please be patient with us.

I just got back on Monday from filming a new episode for The Quilt Show with Ricky and Alex.  We were in their new studio at the Comcast building in Denver...WOW is all I can say.  They put together a small video showing off the studio and the set...CLICK HERE to take a sneak peek!

While I was there my dear friend, Karen Azevedo (you've seen a lot of her work in my past blogs), was my taxi driver and I was finally able to give her the piece I've been working on the past few months.  I call this "Morning Inspiration" as she's always sending photos of beautiful work for my morning inspiration.

The linen itself was originally gifted to me by my friend Julie Woods while I was in Australia.  Loved the original embroidered birds.    Karen does French boutis work so I used a pattern out of one of her books and used that for my quilting design.   

Of course I had to add lots of beads everywhere to add that last little detail.

I'm looking forward to spending more time with all of you once I'm back from Bakersfield.  Have lots going on and tons to share!  Hugs, Cindy :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Inspired By Libby...Charity Auction to Begin!!!

If you're a regular blog stalker you've already heard about the amazing fundraising auction that will be taking place for Libby Lehman starting on Wednesday! 

For those of you who aren't "stalkers", Libby Lehman is an amazing quilter, teacher and author who has made a very significant impact on the quilting world...worldwide.  She has inspired and touched SO many of us .  About a year and a half ago Libby suffered a brain aneurysm followed by a significant stroke.  Her recovery has been made in "baby steps"...many steps forward followed by a few steps back.   As many of us know from personal and family medical situations, medical and rehab expenses are staggering.

Clara Lawrence came up with the fabulous idea of inviting quilt artists and instructors to create a 30x30" quilt that was "Inspired by Libby".  We were to choose a quilt made by Libby and then create our own piece using her work as our inspiration.  These quilts were to be auctioned off and 100% of the proceeds would be donated to Libby to help with her medical expenses. 

Thirty four quilts have been completed and the auction is ready to start this coming Wednesday and will end on November 5th.  This fabulous collection of quilts will be shown at the Houston International Quilt Festival next week and will also be shown in Paducah next April.  The quilts will be distributed to the winning bidders after the Paducah show.

Bidding will take place on-line.  PLEASE CLICK HERE to be taken to the auction website.  It's as simple as registering and then you are ready to bid.   If you would like to see a U-Tube video of the quilts being shown to Libby please CLICK HERE.

I would like to personally thank Clara Lawrence for all of her hard work getting this exhibit together.  What a wonderful tribute to Libby Lehman and a way of giving back to somebody who has given so much to all of us.

Hugs, Cindy :) 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Touching Base...

I've missed you!  It seems to have been forever since I've blogged and I've missed keeping in touch.  My schedule is crazy at the moment with back-to-back-to-back engagements thru the middle of November.  I stay so focused on the next fire to put out I sometimes forget to sit down and take a deep breath and visit with all of you.

I'm getting ready to leave for the PIQF show in just a couple of hours where I'll be working at the Superior Threads' booth.  I am trying to carve out a few moments each morning to work on a wonderful piece and thought I would share my latest project!

This was a very simple linen tablecloth but has been made spectacular by designing a complicated star/feather medallion in the middle.

It's a little hard to see here (I didn't want to take this out of the machine), but you can at least get an idea of all the detailing that is involved.   I'm still getting the main motifs quilted down before I start all the fill work.

I am using Superior Threads' Magnifico, Kimono Silk and a very heavy 13 wt. silk to outline the main motifs.  I'll have more blog posts on this very soon!

I just finished up my last retreat of the year in McCloud last weekend where I worked on this tablecloth and also made up a great shopping bag for Houston. 

I was lucky enough to find some beautiful vintage Yak wool lace on Ebay and had just enough to embellish this bag. 

Of course I had to add some beautiful stone beads...this lace is just stunning. 

Just prior to McCloud I was thrilled to have been invited to be a guest teacher for Alex Anderson's retreat in Dublin.  Oh my...if you ever get the chance to attend one of her retreats I highly recommend it!  It was an exceptionally fun and amazing group of could you possibly not want to be with Alex all week???!!! 

LOVED their show and tell....absolutely amazing quilts. 

I will have a big newsletter coming out in November with loads of great information.  Just a teaser here...I have a GREAT new designing idea that I've come up with and will share that with you both by blog and in my newsletter next month.  I am VERY jazzed about it and can hardly wait for my schedule to slow down a bit so I have time to share this with you.

For those of you waiting for the 2nd designs book that was supposed to be done early fall, I've decided to hold off on that and ship it out to you in January.  I want to include this new designing technique in that 2nd book and want to take my time and do it right.  Not slacking here...just want to do a VERY good job!

All for now...gotta run and get ready to head down to the show.  I'll be bringing my camera with me  so will have loads of inspiration in the next blog post.

Big Hugs, Cindy :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

HUGE Fall Craftsy Sale!

Just a big shout out letting you know that Craftsy is running a huge sale on all of their on-line quilting classes up to 50% off!  The sale will run from today thru Monday the 22nd.

Click HERE to take advantage of the sale and load up on some GREAT CLASSES!

Hugs, Cindy :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"Inspired by Libby" Video...

As mentioned in yesterday's post, a special exhibit entitled "Inspired by Libby" will be at the Houston Quilt Festival as well as Paducah.  A number of quilt artists were invited to create a 30 x 30" quilt that was inspired by Libby.  These quilts will be auctioned off in October and the proceeds will go to Libby to help with her medical expenses.

Clara Lawrence came up with the brilliant idea to do this and she took all the quilts to Libby to show her.  The Quilt Show edited the video of this moment and it's wonderful. 

Click HERE to be taken to The Quilt Show newsletter for the first part of the video.  Part Two will be coming soon. 

As I receive information on the auction and all the details I will be sure to share with you.

Hugs, Cindy :)

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 :)