Crown Royal Quilt

Hi everyone.  Wow, has the time gotten away from me and my blogging habit.  You should know that I’ve been really busy quilting and creating in my studio.  I thought that a good place to begin to catch up would be with my Crown Royal Quilt.

brian-clements-crown-royal-quilt

I finished this quilt last year in October, but kept it under wraps for the most part.  It has been shown at the Yuma County Colorado Fair (of course) where it was awarded “Best Use of Color” and at the neighboring Phillips County Fair in Colorado as well.

On a larger stage… it was exhibited at the Machine Quilters Showcase in Cedar Rapids, Iowa earlier this spring, and I won a faculty ribbon.

Today, my quilt returned from display in Chicago at MQX.  I didn’t win a ribbon, but it’s a great honor to be a finalist, and have your work included in their show.

The quilt features an original design of 84 Crown Royal bag embroideries, carefully cut and sewn into the blocks and borders.

brian-clements-crown-royal-quilt-detail

This was truly a solo work, as I designed, pieced, quilted, and bound this beautiful quilt.  I hope you enjoy seeing it too!

I’ll keep it short and sweet today, as I’m busy with a customer quilt on the longarm, and I should be working.  Thanks for stopping by and checking me out.

Happy Quilting!

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

Chicago Shopping

Yesterday, we had some time to stroll about window shopping after taking a great tour, which included at stop at the National Mexican Art Myseum in Pilsen.   

http://www.nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org

Following the planned tour, I had hoped we’d find time to visit a quilt shop that I had found online prior to our trip from Colorado to Chicago, called the Needle Shop.    

  The Needle Shop

http://www.theneedleshop.net  

     

It’s not your basic quilt store, but a super artistic sewing and quilting space.   The fabrics were carefully selected, and included some independent fabric designers, mixed in with the likes of Alexander Henry and Robert Kauffman.    It’s really unique the way they transfer the fabric from standard flat bolts to a very cool wall of rolled bolts.  The fabrics are so easy to shop, and if you see something you like, they just unclip it and cut what you need.  

They also had heavier weight fabrics, buttons, zippers, and had specialty hardware tucked away smartly in cute little filing drawers.  

An impressive selection of books covered many sewing techniques.   

Rachel was very helpful with my selections, and I had a great time meeting her.  She also told us to go around the corner just a short distance to the Second City Quilt Company.  

   
Second City Quilt Company.   http://www.secondcityquiltco.com. 

   
After a bit of a walk, we found this cute little slice of a store.   They carry some of the more mainstream fabrics by modern designers.   The woman, or shall I call her a dynamo, Gabi was a total hoot.  We had a great time hearing her stories, and telling her ours.   She told us she’s turning 70 shortly.   I hope she doesn’t mind I said that.   This lady is so energetic.   I can see why this shop, less than a year old, is so popular.   

All in all, it was a great afternoon spent pawing over fabric, and being inspired.   I tried to limit myself from purchasing too much, as I’m still whittling away at my existing stash.    I did reward myself just a little bit.   

This is the first time I’ve been to Chicago for any length of time, and I can tell you, it won’t be the last. 

I hope you’ve had an equally thrilling week, and have been inspired by this little glimpse into my world.  

Happy quilting!

FellowQuilter,

Brian

Frost

Hello Everyone.  Today’s photo challenge is “The Natural World”.  And my world today is freezing cold.  I grabbed this photo of frost on the window in my quilt studio.  The darkness you see in the back are the trees off in the distance.  I just love the intricacy of lines and patterns in the image.  It’s also very cool, how the leading edge seems to be in a curve each time.

Enjoy the cold…

frost on the window

Be creative today,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

Flirtation Point

Hello everyone.  Today’s photo assignment was “Landmark”.  I considered a few ideas, but Flirtation Point is perhaps the major landmark here.  In fact, you’ll find the rock formation on old postcards from the very beginning of photography.

I decided to give you two views.  I drove around town capturing it from about ten different vantage points.  It’s a very cold day, and it will probably snow tonight, so we are lucky to have this image of the fading fall colors blanketing the town.

For the first view, it’s looking at the backside, if you’re speaking relative to the town.  The three crosses on the top were put there by the Wray Ministerial Alliance some years ago.  The smaller monument is a Masonic marker.

flirtation point from the back

The second image will show you the view once you go on top of Flirtation Point.  The city looks so great laid out before your eyes.  I’ll tell you… it was cold standing up there today!  I hope the photo conveys that feeling.

view from flirtation point

Enjoy the view, and have a creative day!

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

Connected

viaero tower closeup ps

We sometimes take our connections for granted.  On my way to the dentist today, I was looking for connections to photograph.  I think this image is perfect, because this is a main conduit for the many connections in our lives these days.  In fact, you might be viewing this image over this tower, or another one very similar.

I had fun cropping the image, to give it a bit more of an abstract nature, and then I went further in taking some artistic license with the color tones.

I’m having a great time connecting my creative process, my camera, and my blog.  This photo challenge is great!

Have a great day.  I’m recovering from the dentist, and trying to piece some blocks.

Happy quilting,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

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

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