Monday, March 28, 2016


The last few weeks have been full with maximizing my time in the studio getting ready for show season.  I received some constructive feedback from Quiltcon and am looking forward to implementing some of the suggestions I received from my students.  I really value my students opinions and am extremely appreciative for the feedback I receive.  I know it takes a little extra time to fill out those worksheets, but it really helps teachers/educators to see what is working and what can use some improvement.  One of the things that was mentioned to me in class and appeared on my evaluation was a suggestion to include in my handouts, a visual of where the class was headed.  The student suggested that this would make sense of all of the "parts" from the get go.  I took this to heart and have drawn out a full page handout of the "end product" for all of my classes.  This has turned out to be a great tool for me in structuring my classes and creating a timeline and class outline to follow.  Just this simple page has helped me to make sure I can fit everything I need into the time slot without missing any important parts.  This was a wonderful suggestion and very constructive, thank you,  anonymous one!!
I'm teaching my Broken Wreath class as a 2 hour lecture/demo in a week.  (What?! How is MQX already almost here??)  I've taught this previously as a hands on class, so the format will be quite different for me.  This drawing (pictured below) has been a great tool for me and I hope my students will find it inspiring and useful as well. Find all of my MQX classes here.

Broken Wreath Handout

 You can see my class sample adheres quite closely to the handout.  In addition, I have started using contrast thread (gasp!) to show the stitching on my samples.  I will be using a high contrast for my demo/lectures as well, (also a bit of feedback I am honoring :) so I figured it would be good to get comfortable with.  And, who doesn't love lime green? 

Broken Wreath class sample

Ghost Shapes class samples below:

Ghost Shapes class sample
 More ghost shapes:
Ghost Shapes class sample

Ghost Shapes class sample

Ghost Shapes 

Compositional Quilting-The Path:

The Path

That is about all I have time to share for today.  Really looking forward to meeting some of you in class at MQX, New Hampshire next week.  If I miss you there, maybe you'll be in Springfield, MQX Midwest, OR maybe at Machine Quilters Showcase in Cedar Rapids??  If none of the above follow me here, once I return from the East Coast I'll share what I anticipate to be an amazing show. 
On the tail end of my New Hampshire trip, I am visiting my brother in PA, who lives close to Lancaster,  if you are a quilter you know what that means.... Amish country here I come!! 
Have a wonderful week. And as always, thank you for taking the time to read.

Monday, March 7, 2016


Re-entry back in to reality from a vacation, retreat, or conference never comes without that bittersweet flavor that only the real world delivers. I recently had the privilege to teach at QuiltCon in Pasadena, California. As a California native, I was delighted at the chance to visit a place I called  home for the first 20 years of my life. My family and I drove from our home in Seattle down to the beautiful Central Coast of California where I grew up.  Morro Bay never disappoints with beautiful beaches full of sand dollars, sand dunes, and clear skies at night with stars that make you never want to leave. This photo was my first glimpse of the ocean hiding behind the hills heading West from Paso Robles.

 It was a short but sweet visit for me, after only a couple days, I left my dog, husband and kids with my folks and got on a plane to LAX heading to teach in Pasadena.
Always sad to say goodbye to my mom.  I admire her for many reasons but especially  her ability to stay in the present, with grace and calm.  She also has mad skills at hiding and hoarding large quantities of chocolate, definitely note worthy accomplishments.
Watching her with my children is always a pleasure but for some reason this time the reality of her being so present really hit home, more about that later.

 Quilt Con was a whirlwind of teaching, my schedule was very full and it wasn't until Sunday that I actually had some time to walk the floor and see the amazing quilts in the show.  There was a special exhibit that I am extremely glad I didn't miss.  The Quilts of Molly Upton left me speechless.  I'd recommend looking her work up and if you ever get the chance to see the exhibit I wouldn't miss it. Pictured below are two detail shots from two quilts that hit me in a way I can't explain:

I didn't take many photos while at Quilt Con but I did manage to get a few shots of some student work from my classes.
Student work from hands on Compositional Quilting:

 More from Compositional Quilting: 

Student work from Broken Wreath:

In class Demo from Compositional Quilting: 

 Student work from Compositional Drawing Modern whole cloth design:

 And BOOM.
 Just like that I was headed back to the Pacific Northwest. On my flight home I noticed that the Earth had been doing its own Compositional Drawing.  It's amazing what you see when you take the time to look a little closer.
 I ended up with one souvenir, that I picked up at the San Francisco airport.  I do love you, California, with every part of my heart.

Getting home involved unpacking a weeks worth of swag from my visit to the Central Coast as well as a few great finds at Quilt Con: 

Pictured below are my samples from my Piece as you Quilt class, I see some pouches, totes and pot holders in my future.

 So, back to what I touched on earlier about my mom being present.  As some of you know,  I recently deleted my Instagram account.  Deleted, not just erased the app from my phone to reload a half hour later, but deleted from existence.  All of my photos, all of my followers, all of my comments, all of my likes, all of my tags, basically my entire social media presence with the screen name, Lolablueocean, gone.  My first emotions following my deletion were filled with, dread, regret, sadness, and a loneliness and empty place that hung like a dead weight on my back.  Lucky for me most of those initial emotions faded quickly and were washed away with an overwhelming feeling of relief.
Why did I do it?  Simply, because IG became a place that I spent too much time.  More complicated, because the time that I spent there was no longer time spent being inspired or energized, it was time spent judging myself, but not even my self,  my edited self, against every one else's edited selves.  I worried about offending people, I was aware when I lost a follower and I watched the number of people following me more than I am proud to admit.  All in all these feelings never made me feel good, the wanting to be accepted,  the wanting to be liked.  I had moments of feeling super left out and lonely at quilt con because while I was eating hamburgers in my hotel room everyone else was having a super fab time taking Quiltcon selfies without me.  Right?  Yeah, well, truth be told I like watching trash TV eating hamburgers alone in my hotel room and I'm old enough to know that not everything is always as it seems.  And so it is, the social media debate goes on and on.  I am not judging IG or anyone who loves it, I just realized that it is no good for me, and I am no good to myself within the context of this kind of social media.  I have a great big handful of people that I know in real life that are right in front of me that really really love me, I need to be present in the moments with them. These are the moments I want to be in, these are the moments I don't want to miss, these moments are true and real and unedited.  If I had better self control I would be happy to have stayed on IG, but I'll give you the unedited truth, 
I was totally addicted to it and I had to let it go.

That is the personal side of deleting IG, the equally important side for me lies in being creative within the IG context. I found myself working on a project and posting a picture and suddenly the creative process became an edited process that relied on positive feedback, comments and likes to press forward. I started to feel like my work became less and less authentic as I began editing my work based on what more people would "like". 
Seriously,  Krista? 
 What the F*ck?
 That has never been me, and yet suddenly there I was, worried about what 3500 people (most of whom,  I don't even know) think.  And that's where it ended.  This is also where I will stop discussing IG, I hope if you were curious about why I did it, you now get it.  Below, is my last IG selfie that was supposed to be my #helloquiltcon hash tagged photo,  ironically,  I never posted it,  because, 
 you know, someone might not like it................

Getting back into my studio after a teaching gig is always very rewarding, I am amazed by what I learn from my students, I love processing the experience by creating with the experience in mind.
 I was sad to have missed the opportunity to take a class or see a lecture from Gwen Marston while I was at Quilt Con, but was very happy to find a pod cast with Gwen here.  I know a little bit about her work, but have been particularly intrigued by her small studies or "sketches". 
Hearing her talk made me think about working on a smaller scale using only the longarm to create my own studies or sketches.
Pictured below are the studies I have been working on since I got home, I started by working with a  10x11" and went smaller to a 6x6" size. I am not sure where these are going but the process has been a breath of fresh air for me and good to get out of my edited box.

Looking forward to teaching at both MQX and MQS, I am working on some new samples. I will be doing hands on lecture/demos at both shows which is a new format for me that I am very excited about. Pictured below is a sample from my Ghost Shapes lecture/demo.

  Lastly,  is a shot of my spastic and disorganized design wall.  I hope that letting all the crazy out in my studio and on my wall keeps the crazy from taking over in my head. Or something like that.
Thanks for reading, have a great week, stay inspired, stay real and stay you.