Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hands on Longarm classes at Island Quilter on Vashon Island and a little eye candy!

Saying goodbye to summer is always hard for this California girl.  With fall in the air, kids back in school and a new long arm machine in one of my favorite Quilt shops I may be able to happily face the fact that I no longer live in a coastal climate that stays 70 degrees year round. Sigh. I miss you SLO town. 

I have been focusing my business away from quilting for customers and in the direction of teaching and lecturing. This is a huge but exciting change for me and I am looking forward to sharing everything I have learned over the last ten years with students.
Before I go into a lot of detail about my teaching ventures I am going to fill you with some eye candy. These are some of the gorgeous quilts I have had the privilege of quilting for friends and customers over the last few months....err...year.

This quilt was made by my good friend Noelle, it is an improv beauty, I love her bright pops of color, compositionally it flows so flawlessly and has so much depth and visual texture.

This next quilt was made by Heather Bostic with Melody Miller's amazing Bee fabric, it is her Hotel California quilt and I was able to squeeze some lyrics in there for her.

The Quilting on both of those Quilts may look complicated but in reality the designs I chose stem from a rather simple formula I have developed which creates a path working you across the quilt with as few starts and stops as possible.
I affectionately refer to this method of quilting as "Compositional Quilting".  In addition to teaching this at Quiltcon2015 I will be teaching locally at Island Quilter on beautiful Vashon Island. Workshops will be hands on working on an HQ18 Avante.

The next few quilts I am going to share with you I quilted for Angela Pingel's book,
 A Quilters Mixology. This girl knows her curves and I highly recommend her book if you are looking for some great designs and instruction working with curves.

One of the brightest spots in my career so far was being asked by Karen McTavish to contribute to her most recent book, Mastering the Art of McTavishing 2nd Edition.  I collaborated with my bestie namesake,  Krista who worked with me to piece the quilt that we submitted for the book.

Does this motivate you to hone in on your longarm skills??  If so, please consider joining me at the Island Quilter starting this fall. Workshops are being held on Wednesday mornings starting the 17th of September. Workshops are four hours in length from 10 am-3pm with an hour lunch break at noon.
Please email me directly at lolabluemar@gmail.com to reserve your spot in class. 
Workshops will be offered at an introductory rate of $90 (this does NOT include a one time $20 kit fee or fabric needed for class) through 2014.
If you are from out of town and plan on visiting Seattle and want to schedule a one on one hands on longarm workshop during the week or on weekends at the beautiful Island Quilter please contact me via email: lolabluemar@gmail.com

Workshops and fall schedule offered at Island Quilter:
Click HERE for availability and workshop info.

Compositional Quilting
Wednesday Sept. 17th 10am-3pm
Wednesday Oct. 29th 10am-3pm

Zig Zag Sampler
Wednesday Sept. 24th 10am-3pm
Wednesday Nov 5th 10am-3pm

Broken Wreath
Wednesday Oct. 1st 10am-3pm
Wednesday Nov.12th 10am-3pm

Ghost Shapes
Wednesday Oct.8th 10am-3pm
Wednesday Nov. 19th 10am-3pm

I'm looking forward to seeing some of you this fall in class as I reluctantly pull on my boots, fold away my summer tank tops and resign myself to the truth that fall, is in fact real. I will continue my slow.... slow knitting on a scarf I hope to finish this life time and fill my soul with lots of fabric sunshine at Island Quilter! Hope to see you there!!xo

Monday, August 12, 2013

Studio Spotlight

So glad you stopped by to visit!
 It is always fun to see where someone else creates, dreams, designs, sews and.....stores their fabric. I hope you enjoy my little studio tour, welcome to the Pacific Northwest! 

photo.JPG photo.JPG

Greetings from Seattle!
 I had all good intentions of having the gardening done before you all arrived, but it started getting dark out and that bag of soil was way too heavy to get out of the picture. So here you have it.  My studio is in a space detached from the house with a door leading in from the backyard. I have 300 square feet to house my Gammill longarm quilting machine, my Bernina domestic machine, a Singer featherweight, my modest but growing fabric stash, my thread wall, my design wall, and a lot of batting.
Yes, I have a palm tree, yes it is out of place in Seattle. Yes, I love California with every part of my heart, what else can I say?
 Hi Victor!

This is my view from the door. The space sits behind our garage. When we moved in it was a very rough storage room with tacky shelving and concrete floors. A lot of love and work has gone into this space, it continues to be an ongoing WIP

For those of you who have never seen a longarm it is quite an impressive machine. My Gammill is cast iron and sits atop a 12 foot table. I have it pictured here alongside my featherweight for scale. Impressive, no?


This is the area behind where I stand while quilting, I seem to have a thing for a good pair of scissors..or two.. or eight. The plexiglass you see on the floor is a tool I use for planning quilting designs.


Pictured below is a gorgeous quilt made by Jules, I quilted spirals on it with the help of my IQ and quickly became once again obsessed by the elusive selvage spiderweb. I store my batting on rolls above the area where I hang customer quilts I have two additional rolls stored under my gammill. Storage in a 300 Sq Ft space with such a large machine is a continual work in progress.

This is my design wall, it is a nice large wall that I constructed using insulation board and covered with batting. My thread storage is quickly being infringed upon by fabric overflow in need of a place to stay. I love color order and am smitten with my Value quilt WIP. I have completely crushed on value quilts thanks to Katie after taking her value quilt class at Drygoods.

Value quilt

Here is a view from my studio looking out to the backyard, my husband just put screens on my window and a new door, I am lucky to have so much natural and very little direct sunlight coming into the space. 
My cutting table is in a constant state of being a disaster area. All of those trimmings and thread will make their way out to birds nests in the yard. There are a ridiculous number of birds living in our backyard. With all the thread and fabric scraps available for nesting material I get the feeling that my backyard is like the Hamptons of the bird world.



I have somehow managed to collect a few vintage sewing machines. The one pictured below is a before and after shot of an industrial Singer sewing machine dated to 1911 that my step dad found and brought back to life for me. It currently resides in the garage, but we aren't talking about how I am slowly but surely taking over the garage for additional sewing space are we?

 Here is my sewing table and some of the fun stuff that inspires me hanging on the walls.  I love mini quilts and I love to paint and draw. I am in the process of cutting and trading many MANY 6" squares for value quilts. I have amassed enough squares to make value quilts to roughly cover the entire city of Seattle.
 It does rain here a lot.


 I searched and searched AND searched for this IKEA table on Craigslist and finally just caved and bought one new. It was worth every cent. I covered it with a layer of batting and fabric, it is a fantastic ironing/work surface.
I am inspired by so many things and love to surround myself and fill my space with treasures.


Its been my pleasure to have you visit my studio on this virtual tour.
Enjoy all of the other studio and crafting spaces featured,  I would love to see where you create too!
 Where ever you create big or small, living room, dining room, extra room...err...garage.... studio, our sewing/crafting spaces are such special, important places where we can escape to, express ourselves and create beautiful things. I have enjoyed sharing mine with you. As always thank you for visiting and have a wonderful week. xoxo


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Quilting Happiness~Finding my quilting style

What is your quilting style? How do you define your style? 

I have always loved collage and am very excited and inspired to be included in Christina Lane and Diane Gilleland's blog hop for the upcoming release of Quilting Happiness

It has been years since I have done a collage and until now had not realized how similar it actually is to quilting. Selecting pictures from magazines is much like choosing fabrics for a new quilt. We are all drawn to certain colors, shapes and moods. One of the exercises in this book helps you to explore your style by creating a collage and answering questions based on the collage you create.

I found that my selections are very color driven. Many of the images I selected feature colors that have been popping up in my fabric pulls and drawings for new quilt projects.

As I was ripping out pictures from magazines I had no idea how closely they would relate to my recent fabric choices and quilting projects, but when I uploaded the pictures it was pretty undeniable.

This exercise was both relaxing and informative, I am looking forward the collection of quilt projects and other exercises, tools and quizzes that will be found in Quilting Happiness.

I also found that I have an over abundance of food magazines. As it turns out I like to EAT,  QUILT, and BUY FABRIC. Maybe next time I go to eat something I shouldn't I will rationalize it by saying I am eating it for quilt inspiration. This quilting happiness may lead me to something creative and tasty....homemade ice cream perhaps?
I am also seeing a trailer vacation with rainbows and a Tilamook bus in my future, hopefully filled with beautiful pillows, quilts and lots of cheddar.

Please hop over to the other fabulous bloggers who also took part in this fun exercise.
15.Jul : Diane Gilleland @ CraftyPod
  & Christina Lane @ The Sometimes Crafter
16.Jul : Jennifer Casa @ JCasa
17.Jul : Krista Withers @ Krista Withers Quilting
18.Jul : Amber Carrillo @ One Shabby Chick
19.Jul : Karyn Valina @ Make Something

Monday, July 8, 2013

Mermaids, Unicorns and other mythical excuses for hoarding fabric.

If you are like me, you have been hanging onto mermaid and unicorn fabric and you know that the longer you have it the harder it becomes to use, the more difficult it becomes to find, thus the more it hurts to cut. It's actually quite a brilliant excuse for hoarding fabric but it's time has finally come.
After seeing Katie's triangle quilt it became very clear to me that I needed to make a triangle quilt for Lucy. I backed it with lavender minky rosebud swirls because yes, I love her that much.

Snuggling up beneath it with her made me realize that I had to have my own version, so the pulling began. Lucy's quilt has a palette of pink, purple lavender, yellow and orange. I am making my version with blues, greens, cerise, lavender and orange. It feels very ice sherbet,  it IS summer here so,
 tis the season!

As is the case with most anything I piece, a bit of Frankenquilt works its way into my work. I can't let these precious bits go unused.

On the design wall just needs a few more triangles!

 Already thinking about the backing fabric. This green Kaffe paperweight is a front runner. Have you felt the hand on the newly released Westminister fabrics? HOLY SOFT!

Because I can't stop I have pulled for yet a third mermaid quilt:
Happy Hoarding.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Maze and Swirls

For some longarm quilters our tendency is to quilt the heck out of it. Yet often all that a quilt really needs is a flowing design to add texture and movement without overwhelming the quilt. This quilt was made by Amanda in Katie's value class. I was instantly in love with the quilt and knew that to make this quilt shine without overwhelming the stunning overall design that a simple swirls pattern would be perfect.

Amanda's Value Quilt

I have quilted this digital swirls pattern on many quilts now and it always seems to work, the quilt stays soft and cozy and is never stiff. Baptist fans have the same overall effect but with a slightly more traditional twist.

Now it would be silly for me to say that I don't like a lot of quilting because obviously I do and when Michelle sent me this beauty with her only instructions being, I want it custom and do "whatever", I couldn't resist. I love the traditional look of the orange peel design which is perfect for a quilt with a lot of squares.I added some very big swirls some maze here and there and I even squeezed a moon in there.

Michelle's scrappytripalong

Speaking of Moons, when Cindy brought me her peace quilt I immediately thought I needed to add a moon. I am a bit crescent moon obsessed.

Cindy's Peace Sign Quilt

What about the Maze I was talking about? Well, I have another digital pattern that I have grown to know and love, it is an on point maze and like the swirls it looks good on anything. It adds the same texture and movement yet the quilt retains the supple soft quality. We chose it for Penny's drop dead gorgeous snowball quilt.

Penny's Snowball Quilt
Penny's snowball Quilt
Thanks for taking the time to stop by.
Happy Sunday!