Solitude

Oregon Coast July 2014
Oregon Coast July 2014

Today’s photo blogging assignment is “Solitude”.  I love this photo that I took this summer of my husband, Joe.  He loves being by the ocean… and I love getting photos of him looking out to sea.

Enjoy some solitude.  I will be sewing some more blocks today.  As you know, that is my solitude.

Happy quilting,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

This my dear reader — Is BLISS!

Hello everyone.

Today I’m blogging about “Bliss”.  As you know, my primary creative outlet is quiltmaking.  I love sharing my inspiration, and progress with you.  By posting these entries, I hope that you find ideas that move you to be more creative.

Although, I post a lot about quilts and quilting, I also dabble in many other arts.  Of course photography is a great hobby, and I think I’m getting better and better.  The daily photo blog group this month is pushing me to new ideas.  I also play around with scrapbooking supplies once in a while, and have a neat stash of paper, stamps, punches and embellishments tucked away in my studio drawers.

But… quilting is my passion.  I love looking at new books and magazines, and I have had many terrific shopping excursions.  Oh boy, have I shopped.  My fabric drawers have been so full, that they could no longer contain my fabric stash.

I decided earlier this fall to create some wonderful scrap quilts to utilize some of my stash.  I’m making four bed-size quilts to be gifted to some wonderful people in my life.  I don’t want to name names, since it will be a surprise.

I cut up about 80 yards of fabric into 2.5″ strips, of all colors and patterns.  This will yield 400 blocks, or enough for 4 king-size quilt tops.  Now, all of my fabric stash in nicely contained in my drawers.  I can walk around the studio, and I’ve got space on my cutting table to spread out and work.

I’ve sewn and sewn… and I now have 80 blocks completed.  That’s 20% of the total.  The process to me is full of bliss.  I listen to music or watch shows on my DVR.  Well, actually, I’m “listening” to shows.  My TV is behind me, so I don’t really see the screen.

So, I bet you’re wondering what these quilts will look like.  Of course they are scrappy, so no two are alike, but here is a link to the free pattern from Bonnie K. Hunter.  There you will also find a treasure trove of quilting inspiration.  Go have a look for yourself.

The music I tend to listen to is all different types.  We have a wonderful concert series in Wray, at a place called the Listening Room at 4th & Main.  Just last night was a superb concert by Rita Hosking.  Here is a sample of her music. 

A quick snapshot of my first 80 blocks.  There are 320 more to come.  It's a wonderful project to just get your hands on the fabric.
A quick snapshot of my first 80 blocks. There are 320 more to come. It’s a wonderful project to just get your hands on the fabric.

My photo today is a quick shot of the 80 blocks completed so far.  I figure it will take me at least 40 more blissful hours to complete the rest…  Oh happy me!

Have a great day,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

Water Trio

Hello everyone.  Todays Photograph 101 assignment… Water.

water collage ice tea

I love drinking water, especially when it’s Jasmine/Rooibos tea.  I’ve had three kitchen fires in my life, but not a one was because of boiling water.  I hope you enjoy this little collage I’ve put together.

Happy quilting,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

Tumbleweed Junction

Tumbleweed_Street

 

Hello everyone.

Todays Photography 101 assignment was “Street”.  I looked around on this chilly fall day, and it was as if there were more tumbleweeds than cars or people on Main Street at that moment.  I had a great time shooting in manual mode, and the shadows made me think black and white.  I think the sun hitting the weed really highlights the texture of its branches.  The contrast against the shadow of a nearby car gives a lacy effect.

It’s amazing how different this image is, than it would have been in color.  The atmosphere today is kind of gray, yet sunny, and the wind temperature is a bit cold.  I think it’s a great day to warm up my creative juices.

Happy Quilting,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

Blogging 101 – Day One

So… I guess I read the wrong prompt for today’s assignment.  The second-hand story was a daily writing prompt, not the blogging 101 assignment.

The assignment was actually “write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post.

Vacationing – yet sewing/quilting is on my mind.

First of all, I am a good student, so I’m going to correct my mistake.My name is Brian Clements from Wray, Colorado.  I am a quilt artist, who does some long-arm machine quilting for customers, as well as makes quilts for my own personal use.  I’ve been quilting since I happened to watch a show on PBS in 1989.

At the time, I lived in Lincoln, Nebraska.  I was always good at math and geometry in school.  I’m good at solving puzzles, and I’m a logical thinker.  The Double Irish Chain quilt being shown on Kaye Wood’s show, seemed like something I could figure out.  I hit the local big-box fabric store, and purchased black, grey and white fabrics.  Color wasn’t always my forte.  The black fabric I chose, was from the special occasions area.  A nice shiny moire taffeta.  Now, if you’ve sewed much… you already know that wasn’t the best choice for a beginning project.  The fabric had no give or stretch to the weave, and the fabric squares I cut, were quick to begin to ravel.

Well, I finished the quilt piecing, and I “tied” my quilt sandwich, by bar-tacking satin ribbon about every six inches.  I then tied the ribbons into nifty little bows.  This quilt was destined to be a wedding gift for my Brother and Sister-in-law’s upcoming wedding.  The quilt was finished on schedule, and gifted.  They used the quilt for a long time, and it has held up remarkably well.  The ribbons are pretty tattered now.  Their cat found them irresistible.

From that humble beginning was born a love of fabric and quilts.  I have progressed, and learned so many things about the craft.  I’ve also learned quite a bit about myself, too.  I have used my journey in quilting, to create beautiful art, using techniques that come from my logical ways.  It’s opened my eyes to beauty and design, that I did not notice in my early years.

I’ve made countless friendships through quilting.  Some are near, some very far.  I’ve become much more confident in my abilities, and I’ve enjoyed sharing my talents with others.

Since moving to Wray, Colorado 18 years ago, I’ve really honed my craft.  I have a wonderful husband who supports my creativity, nudging me into the sewing room on occasion.  We joke about this, but it’s true… when I’m down, sewing is a reliable way to bring things up.

I started my blog a few years ago, as a means to share my ideas and inspiration with a new community of online artists,  Also, current and future customers can find my information here.  In reality, it’s pretty simple to blog, yet I seem to go in spurts.  My good intentions get caught up in thoughts of “what should I write” or “how do I keep it fun”, so I’m here in Blogging 101 with hopes of finding ideas to keep the blog flowing.

Thanks for reading my intro, and I hope you find something enjoyable on my pages.  I always love when people follow the blog, and or leave me comments.  Thanks for reading all of this.  Have a great day!

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

Second-hand Stories

Hello Everyone.

To coincide with my Photo blogging project, I have also signed up for a daily blogging project.  Today’s prompt was to tell a second-hand story.

As a professional long-arm quilter, I hear stories all the time.  I hear about the journey that the quilt-maker has undertaken to produce the quilt top in front of me.  I hear about quilt classes and retreats.  I hear about wonderful shopping trips to quilt stores, large and small.  I am told about family and friends, celebrations and trials.

One of my clients, named Karen tells some great stories with her quilts.  She has made four of these quilts so far.  The story goes as such.

She inherited her mother’s fabric stash, and as a sewer herself, Karen had accumulated quite a collection of scraps herself.  These scraps are dated from the 1930’s to today, and are everything from scraps from clothing projects, quilt fabrics, recycled clothing and draperies, and t-shirt logos.

The process is pretty straight forward.  Karen cuts the fabrics into equal sized squares.  I believe hers were about 4 inches square.  Mind you… you fit a lot of various fabrics that size into a king-size quilt.  These fabrics all have meaning to Karen and her three sons, who each now have a quilt of memories.

I only got a brief story about the fabrics in general, but as I quilted each quilt, I could imagine a few generations of life through their energy.  I could tell that this square was likely a curtain at one time.  Oh, this was surely a kids shirt in the 1980’s.  I love the pattern on that… it must have been popular in the 1950’s.  Some squares were more obvious.  There were patches cut from old family reunion t-shirts.  There were sports team logos, and cartoon characters.

It was so much fun to “read” the stories presented in these quilt tops.  I am a lucky artist indeed.

Have a great day!

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

Home

Hello everyone.  Today I thought I would post a photo of my sewing studio.  When I am in this room, I definitely am at home.  Amidst the chaos and clutter, things are fairly organized for me.  I can spend hours and hours here.

Sewing Studio

In the many drawers are supplies and projects for my creativity.  There are threads, fabric, and cutting and marking tools.  The bookshelves organize a variety of books, and are sorted by topic.  There are books on piecing, applique, color theory, and quilt history.

My sewing machine sits at the base of the three windows, where I can watch the birds, and the cars driving by.  It’s a wonderful spot.

Today is the first day of a month-long photo-blogging project that I’ve joined, and todays photo inspiration was to be “Home”.  I thought about this, and many things came to my mind.  My husband Joe, and obviously our historic, nearly century-old home.  Our two cats, Lucky and Dudley also remind me of home.  But I took the challenge a bit further, and for me, this is my creative home.  My mind just changes when I am in this space, and I am free to just be.

I don’t always spend time in here every day.  But if I stay absent very long, my core being gets out of whack.  It’s so obvious, that in our household, when I’m feeling blue, you’ll hear Joe say “you should go sew something”.  And I know he is right!

I hope you enjoy peeking into my world.

Have a great day, and happy quilting!

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

Some Sunday Inspiration & The Yuma County Fair

July_2014_Wedding_Vacation_Brian_0489 July_2014_Wedding_Vacation_Brian_0490 July_2014_Wedding_Vacation_Brian_0491

 

Recently, Joe and I took a road trip in the Pacific Northwest.  I thought I’d share a couple pictures from the Old Morris Tobacco Shop in Victoria, British Columbia.  I really loved the old tile floors, so I had to snap a couple of shots, so that I’d remember them.

Also… the marble light pole in the middle of the room is an antique Italian marble floor lighter.  Yes, it still works.  They told us it is one of only two in the world.

A great shop… lots of manly inspiration here.  Maybe someday, these inspirations will wind up in a project.  Who knows?

Their website is Old Morris Tobacconist Ltd

Also, today is the day that I’ll be entering my newest quilt into the Yuma County Fair.  It’s a strippy quilt that features a vintage French fabric that Joe purchased for me at a show many years ago.  I knew it was destined to become something very special.  I followed the quilt project, as it spoke to me and told me what to design next.  It really was a labor of love.

I digitized some special quilting motifs for the borders.  I think it turned out really well.  The quilt just returned from Seattle, where it was displayed at our wedding two weeks ago.  I hope you enjoy the pictures,2013-03-21 10.46.45 2013-03-21 10.47.03 2014-01-13 10.40.28 2014-01-13 10.41.06

Happy Quilting,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

Quilts of the Plains 2014 – Another Year of BEAUTIFUL Quilts!

QOTP_2014_Image_001Hello everyone.  It’s been a busy summer here in Wray, Colorado.  We did host the annual Quilts of the Plains show on Main Street on June 21, 2014.  Once again, the antique quilts and the smaller items were showcased at our gorgeous Wray Museum.

Thanks to all the sponsors, volunteers, and especially the quilters!  The winning quilt was by Hazel Chapman and her Grand-daughter.  It was a beautiful appliqued quilt.

I won’t say a lot, but just invite you to peruse the show, by way of the photos I captured that day.  I really appreciate if you could leave a comment about the show – perhaps your favorite quilt, or something relevant to the show.

The photos can be viewed at my Quilts of the Plains 2014 Photo Album

I hope you are enjoying this blog.