Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Time of Distraction, Discovery and Delight

It's been a while since I've rambled, well, online at least!

I've been delightfully distracted lately. In several ways actually. I'll share just a few.

I don't think I can count a lunch out with my youngest son as a distraction, but it was a delight as we enjoyed a Sunday lunch together. And a rare photo op so thanks for indulging me (grin)

I've discovered something this week. A new use for tearaway stabilizer - and I don't even own an embroidery machine! I actually have several ideas for this product, Stabilglider Embroidery Stabilizers: Fil-Tec's Tear Away Backing, but one I'll share in this post.

I had a customer request for butterflies in the background that matched the butterflies in her border fabric. Now, you can add this to your growing fact file of the things I like, and that's butterflies. Especially the delight in seeing real ones on an afternoon in the park. Several years ago I tweaked Jamie Wallen's trademark dragonfly to become my Quilts 'N Kaboodle butterfly logo - making it first on a tote bag I designed to carry at the Houston Quilt Market/Festival (you can see it in webshots) and later having that same photo on my business cards. So I'm no stranger to quilting butterflies, but I had my own style. The request was for one that resembled the ones in the fabric.

Okay. I can do that. First thought about just tracing the figure with blue washout pen on the background and then realized that I really didn't want to mark the quilt top, so thought of my standby of Golden Threads tear-away paper, but in the past had been disappointed becuase it would shift on me and it was a nightmare to get all the paper pieces removed from the project...then I thought AH HA why not use Fil-Tec's tearaway stabilzier - why not indeed!

I appologize in advance for the sideways photo, blogger is acting up again. So I used my blue marking pen and drew out the shape I wanted to quilt - and of course, decided it would be in my best interest to try this on a practice fabric prior to quilting the customer quilt!

I chose to use the wash out pen for my outline in the event that my needle would push the ink down into the fabric - this way it would at least wash out verses using a sharpie and it being in the fabric forever and ever amen (ask me how I know)

Okay, so I bobbled on the outline, but it was practice so ignore the goof up - focus instead on how easy the product tore away from my stitches without disturbing them! I'm hooked on this new way of transfer!

Here is the "real thing" in the customer quilt. Do you recognize my fiddle faddle feather puff meanderings in the background? Something I drew on a napkin at lunch a week or so ago.

I love distractions! Sometimes its an email from a dear friend, or a text saying let's meet for lunch, or packages in the mail! Not too long ago I received a delightful package in the mail.

It's so much fun to fondle fabric - the bright colors just call my name. I have such plans for these temptations!

Actually, all the major shipping companies were ringing my doorbell this past week - here's another new addition to my studio, an iron press. I quickly put it to good use this afternoon as I prepared eagerly for my "day off" - my day to delight in the desires of my heart totally uninhibited by any "to do list" or other obligation, taking a break only for nurishment - both physically and emotionally. Laughter is good medicine too.

For some reason I'm really into purses and totes. Another fact to add to your file on the Quilt Rambler, I'm a self-professed Bag Lady!

So today, using my new fabrics from P& B called Paulina and a pattern from Lazy Girl Designs called Summer Tote as well as my new iron press I was totally distracted from any other activity and focused on making a new bag.

I did change the pattern up a tad, I am into zippers right now too (another tid-bit) so I adapted a technique I've learned to make the inside pocket a double pocket, a zippered area as well as a pocket behind the zippered pocket.

The bag went together very nicely and Pixxie was pleased as punch to expand her duties as Professional Quilt Model to include modeling with my latest creations. To her it all pays the same. Sit still, wait for the flash, then jump up and beg for a treat!

The black bag is one I started earlier this year but discarded due to waiting on a tool to be able to trim the piping. It's an Amy Butler Design called Sophia Carry All. I carried it as a purse this week, but neglected to put an outside pocket for my cell phone (sigh) so I think I'm going to use it as a carry all for makeup and such when I travel. I have plans for a larger matching bag called Weekender Travel Bag... I finished up the Carry All sometime between my last post and now, and didn't have time to post photos due to other delightful distractions so I included it with this one, got a two-fer from Pixxie, two purse poses for one treat!

Well, the night was still young so decided to work on another pattern by Lazy Girl Designs, called Wonder Wallet. Again I changed up the pattern to include a zipper - they were using Velcro for the change pocket.

What I like about this little wallet is it's small size. It will fit in my hip pocket on my jeans so if I need to run out somewhere real quick and don't want to carry a big purse, such as a walk where I only have my phone and my wallet, I can do so. Notice the little butterfly closure (grin)

Here's another close up of my new purse - I added a key clasp that actually flips inside the interior so no more fumbling in my purse for keys. I like the outside pockets on this purse, as you can see there's a special place to keep my phone in easy reach.

All ready for a day out! Oh! I neglected to mention some of my adventures 'out' this week - three quilt guild meetings in one week! What a schedule to keep up with, but what a delight! I truly needed inspiring this week, and hearing national teachers and seeing their trunk show was simply wonderful. But more wonderful has been the times spent with friends. I am truly blessed to have such amazing friends. Time to talk, to catch up, to laugh, to be outside on these few rare days of sunshine - the kind of distraction I'd like to have more of! Yep, nothing better than the delight and discovery in the distraction of spending time with those who are special in my life.


Laurie said...

You have been busy Karen! I love your bags.

Jeanne Turner McBrayer said...

Love all your new projects. I will have to try that stabilizer...I agree that Golden Threads takes a long time to pick out after you stitch the design.

Sunshine said...

Hi Karen,

I used to have problems with pics turning side-ways during upload too - here's how I solved it: I always turn all the pics I plan to upload once clockwise and then back again - no more problems with the upload. You can do as many pics at once as you like when you go to the thumbnail view in Windows Explorer, highlight the pics you want to turn, the right click and you should have the options to clockwise or ccw turn them.


penny said...

Please tell us more about your new press and why you chose the one you did.