Tuesday, October 7, 2014

QUILT TALK Blog Hop Day 4 - Teal

"Something keeps telling me to ask you to make a project for my book." So started my QUILT TALK adventure and a beautiful friendship with Sam Hunter of Hunter's Design Studio.

I was excited to have been invited to play and immediately the design sprang into my head, fully-formed. My only problem was a distinct lack of the edgy fabrics I would need.

My call went out to a top-secret foul-mouthed group of quilters for grunge and punk rock prints - anything from flames to skulls to unconventional colors. I was NOT disappointed with all the scraps that came in.

 I set to work hacking apart the fabric, only to sew it back together in as haphazard a way as possible.  As bits came together, I placed them on the design wall. In contrast, all my letters were pieced in solids, incorporating the grungy prints in the background areas.

Please forgive the crappy cell phone picture in bad lighting. I was on retreat.
Before long, it all took shape, becoming the perfect quilt to welcome a Punk Rock Baby.

Like all her patterns, Sam's book is approachable for a novice and allows enough leeway to inspire even the most seasoned quilter.

Happily, I get to share a copy of the book with one of you lucky readers! Just leave a comment to tell me what sort of project you would like to create using her lovely alphabet. Comments will close at 11:59 p.m. on October 19, at which time Mr. Random will choose a winner. The giveaway has closed, but please go buy the book! I promise it is worth every penny.

While you're waiting for luck to strike, though, you should go download the pattern for a beautiful teal scrap bucket!

Sam has created a whole series of buckets to hold all your previous leftover bits of fabric.

Be sure to check out all the other stops on the tour to collect every pattern!

Post pictures of any projects you create to Instagram or Facebook and tag @huntersds and #quilttalk. She just loves seeing what people create with her designs.

And now, if you'll indulge me, a personal (and very public) note to my friend:
Sam, I am proud to know you. You are a wonderful human being, an excellent baker, and one of the easiest people I know to talk to when things get hard. Your work is, as always, impeccable. QUILT TALK is a fabulous book, and I just know quilters everywhere are going to love it. I'm absolutely chuffed that you invited me along on your crazy ride. Thank you for being my friend.

Jean MN, you are our winner! Congratulations!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Trust your design instincts

You know that moment when you reach a critical point in your project, whatever it is, look at it and think, "Meh."

Don't just let it continue! I know, I know. "But Flaun," you're saying, "I don't want to rip it all out and replace that block in the middle," or, "Ugh, do I HAVE to go back to the store and get another piece of fabric???"


I'm here to tell you to follow your instincts. Do you really want to have a project lying around that you don't love for the rest of your days, or worse yet, that you don't finish because you hate it?

I was making a class sample for SPOOL and got to the part where I tacked my EPP hexagons to the background fabric. Here's the thing, though, I hated it. It didn't make the piece sing.

Back to the shop I went and pulled several options to replace it. I narrowed to down to two colors: teal and mustard.

Neither one is a bad choice, however, in the end I went with mustard Quilters Linen because it set off the purple nicely (being on the other side of the color wheel) and because the teal is ever so slightly off.

I think it looks great!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A funny thing happened on the way to the airport...

You may expect this post to be coming from Australia, but a funny thing happened on the way to the airport.

You see, I received an offer I just couldn't refuse. The BadAss Quilters Society asked me to come be a partner and make my home in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (Wait, no snow for six months? However will I adjust to a life without a brutal Minnesota winter?) Quilting is my passion, and this offer is my dream come true, so I packed up what belongings I had not yet sold and pointed my car south (with a detour to visit my folks in Portland, first).

I am settling in nicely. My first event for BAQS was on July 8 when Alex Veronelli came to Spool, our brick and mortar shop, to talk about how Aurifil threads are made. He is really a very professional, charming man, in person. (Don't believe everything you read online.)

I'm so excited to be planning classes for Spool, unpacking my studio supplies, and designing quilts in my head (for now, since my studio isn't ready, yet).

If you get down to Chattanooga, say for the AQS show and special BadAss Quilters Society exhibit coming up in September, please stop by Spool and say hello. I would love to give you a big hug.

To keep up with all my goings on, like my new business page on Facebook!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The One Where We Hunt the Wild, Elusive Blogger

In the month since my last post, I've been frantically working on commission pieces and (semi-successfully) sorting my belongings.

Let me tell you, it is tough working full time and trying to move to the other side of the world. Keeping things running has been cutting into my move prep and sleep time, and I am really beginning to feel it. Not being one to ask for help much, I felt a little sheepish calling out to all my friends for assistance, but I'm so glad I did. One lovely friend drove up from the Madison area at the drop of  a hat to help me get things in order (I'll tell you more about that later); another will be coming on a Sunday in a couple of weeks; still another is currently vacationing in Switzerland but made a point to reach out to me and let me know he would be home next week and available to help; another friend is flying in from DC to visit and help in a couple of weeks; then my brother, his wife, and their two boys are coming the first week of June. I'm tearing up with gratitude and relief just typing this. There's even a contractor in the house as I type fixing things up so it will be ready for sale next month!

Back to this past weekend... My friend Trish is just the awesomest of awesome. She drove four hours to help me get through as much as possible in a weekend. She set me up on eBay, then took pictures and listed eight collectible dolls there for me. It took hours. While she was riding jockey on the computer, I sorted through boxes from my laundry/storage room.

We decided we could use a bit of lunch, so drove a big Rubbermaid bin full of books to the library for donation and went to lunch.

Arriving back home, we thought we would get to work on the studio, but I wanted to put the small amount of things to ship to Australia in the hall closet, which was full of crap. Where to put the closet things? To the garage!

It took all afternoon, but we sorted and cleaned the garage, all while inhaling an inordinate amount of dust and mouse poo, I'm sure. I can actually pull my car in far enough to walk around the tail end while the garage door is closed. You have no idea how huge an achievement that is!

Showers, dinner and a bit of frivolity ensued.

Then came the studio! We went in and I began to sort, handing things to her. Just having her sit there to assist me in working out what stays and what goes was immensely helpful. She didn't even tell me until we were half-way through the sort that the boxes and boxes of things I was getting rid of would be going home to Madison with her. She plans to sort it, bundle things together, take pictures, create a spreadsheet so I can assign values, list them for sale through another friend's blog (Megan is not only funny, she's one of the sweetest people I know), ship out said items, and send me the money when she's done. Shut. Up. I started crying right there.

Here is the back of her SUV full of my things.

You can't see them, but there are NINE (9!) UFOs in that load. Trish promised that she would find volunteers to finish them and donate to charity. Isn't that wonderful?! I'm so pleased to know either someone who needs them will have a quilt to wrap up in or it will be auctioned off to support a charity.

I'll give you a look at the quilts I've been working on next time. Are you doing anything exciting? Spring cleaning or moving? I would love to hear what you're up to.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I'm not dead, yet!

It's been nearly two months since I blogged, and much longer than that for a proper post, but I'm still here! I'm spending most of my time working on commission pieces and getting set for the big move to Australia in June.

Part of the move prep is touching every piece of fabric I own, sorting it by color or into the sell pile, then folding it properly. I'll be taking a suitcase full of fabric and other quilting supplies to Oz; I only get two suitcases and a carry-on to transport my whole life and these items will be essential to my well-being. (Shipping is prohibitively expensive for anything over four pounds.)

First, I had to be honest with myself and pull out all the fabric I've purchased in the last year and haven't bothered to put into my stash. I then sorted it into color family.

Then, I started folding it (as previously discussed in a guest post on the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild blog).

Looking better!

I'm quite pleased with the stack of blues I've set aside to sell or donate.

Of course, I'm still working on my commission piece, King of the Cuttlefish (the one with all sorts of lovely purples). I've made it through all the half-square triangles, creating a fade from dark to light. It's getting closer!

I'll be very busy getting things squared away, here, but hope to check in periodically. Upon arrival in Oz, I plan to regale you with all the goings on and adventures, quilty or otherwise! I'm looking forward to...

the farmers market...

interesting creatures...

the beach, and my guy!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Winner, winner!

Well, it seems several of you could do with a laugh or a snort. Without any further ado, I used Mr. Random to decide the winner:

auntiemern said:

I could not agree more.

Unfortunately, auntiemern is a no-reply blogger. If you're reading this, mern, please send me an email to claim your prize.

Should I not hear back from her within a week, I will choose another winner.

Those of you who weren't lucky enough to win a copy of the book from me or any of the other neverending blog tour participants can pick up your very own copy either in paperback or electronic form. Read it in good health! Remember to use the restroom, first, and do not, I repeat DO NOT attempt a sip of anything while reading. You have been warned.

Edit: auntiemern didn't contact me, so Becca is the new winner! She has already responded via email and should see her copy of Quilting Is(n't) Funny in her mail box, soon.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Quilting Is(n't) Funny!

Let me start by saying I absolutely stink as a blog hoppee. I was supposed to post this little stop yesterday and it totally blew past me, as work has been hectic, and I've just been falling onto bed face first every night. Megan, I apologize for being tardy, but I'm here, now!

With that mea culpa out of the way, I must tell you about the lovely Megan Dougherty, or as you may know her, The Bitchy Stitcher. I first found her blog more than three years ago. I worked at a job I hated and to make myself feel better, I would peruse blogs from time to time. Hers made me snort with laughter. I'm not kidding you. I snorted. At my desk. In a gopher farm. The first time she dick-rolled me (you know what I'm talking about), it was love. A fan was born.

I admired her from afar, thinking she was a really cool chick and probably wouldn't give two snaps about me. And then it happened. We joined the same vulgar quilting bee. I got to know her through the camaraderie of the group online. I was up close and personal with her tender heart, her snarky wit, and her beautifully creative self. Turns out, she farts just like everyone else, though she'll tell you she farts rainbows, so that must mean they smell like Skittles. (I told you I'd do it, Megan!)

Of course, that doesn't make me admire her any less. I love her even more!

When Megan said she was self-publishing a collection of some of her essays including new material), I KNEW I had to get my hands on it. I ordered a signed copy for my mom for her birthday. Last week, as I was home visiting her, she began reading Quilting Is(n't) Funny and was literally laughing out loud, just as I knew she would.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of your very own. I'll choose a winner on Monday, January 20.

If you'd like to snort, or laugh out loud, or choke on your coffee because you can't stop reading to even take a sip, this book is for you. Go here. Buy one for you, one for your best friend, and one for your mom. You won't regret it.

And while you're at it, get a copy of the Quilter's Shirtless Man and Spicy Burrito Calendar. It's sure to brighten up your studio and all proceeds go to a good cause.