Saturday, September 05, 2009

The New Studio @ Workspace Harlem

Are there ever times when you do something and think, my life won't be the same after this?  There's a huge sense of excitement and little trepidation about the unknown...and sometimes the reverse (lots of trepidation and only a little know what I mean!). Today is one of those bold step days for me.

This week, Morna McEver Golletz  of Professional Quilter  blogged about taking inspired actions.  I have ALWAYS been willing to share whatever knowledge I have with anyone who asks.  I've given presentations and lead demos at my guilds, helped fellow quilters take quilting adventures,  hosted quilters gatherings and taught dyeing, embellishing and layered design cloth workshops in my home.  I've now joined my creativity with two other like-minded creative souls in an effort to bring more sharing to more people.  Our workshop studio won't be ready for a few weeks, and in the meantime there's a lot to be done.  To see some before shots of our studio and various other rooms, click here.  As soon as the workshop studio is up and running, I'll post a schedule on my website.

While I'm taking inspired actions, I'm going to make one more bold step, and I'll let you know the outcome of that soon.  I don't want to jinx it!

Walkabout in the 'Wood

I love walking.  In NYC, it can be the fastest way between two points, particularly crosstown.  Town or country, there are usually surprises to be had on a walk that you miss in a car.

I especially love walking in the fall, and seeing the beautiful art and inspiration that nature provides.  The photo is a GINORMOUS fungus I found at the base of a large oak tree.  Oak trees seem to always have the most beautiful growths on their leaves, barks and roots.  I'll have to ask one of my gardening buddies why that is.

I cannot wait to use this in a quilt!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Weekly Tip: Seams So Easy

On my website, I post a weekly tip, which I post here so they can be archived, as I take them down from the site at the end of the month. 
This week's tip is really six tips about dealing with seams that will make the back of your quilt look better, and by doing so, make your piecing, assembly, and quilting easier.  
First, a repurposing tip. Repurposing  is when I take something meant for an entirely different use and put it to work in my quilting studio.  I keep a wallpaper seam roller at my quilting table and in my class kit.  It's great for pressing seams quickly.  

If you finger press first or use a wallpaper seam roller, you will have an idea of whether the seam needs to be pressed differently, before you've pressed it with the iron.

When it's preferable not to press to the darker seam, press to the lighter seam, and then trim the darker seam.

When pressing seams in your quilt block always press the seam flat first, the way it was sewn.  This is called "locking the seam".  It sinks the thread into the fabric and reduces the bulk of the seam.  Your seams, when pressed to one side, will lie flatter.

Often, I prefer to press multiple seams open instead of to one side to reduce the bulk.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Tuesday Night Group

It's wonderful to be able to get together with friends and have no other agenda than to have a good time crafting.  Working hard, hardly working, the laughter is flowing, the critiques are helpful, and the opinions and conversation are uncensored.  Our self-designated outreach person has already lined up a charity for our charity quilts.  This group started with a bunch of us wanting to sew together on a regular basis, and has grown beyond the original few.  Whoever can make it, comes; no attendance, or membership necessary.  We recently decided that fifth Tuesdays would be reserved for one member to show the others a particular technique.  We kick in a small donation for snacks and the center.  I've included my photo holding my preemie charity quilt, hand dyed (which you can plainly see) and machine quilted (which you cannot see at all) by me.  It's a welcome change (remember, I sit on three guild boards) to get together and not have a meeting, an assignment or task to do in preparation for it.  Just sit and sew! That is my idea of what heaven is like.