Art Inspiration, Photography

Keep on Truckin’

Hello everyone.  It’s been a pretty busy couple of weeks.  Thanksgiving is but a memory, and Christmas is heading our way.  I’ve been truckin’, so to speak in my studio.

I’ve been sewing more of my scrap blocks, and now I’m up to 350.  That means only 50 more to go…

I’m also finishing my last customer quilt job for this year.   It is a beautiful quilt, for one of my great quilt piecer friends.  She definitely keeps her sewing pedal to the metal!

I instagrammed a photo yesterday.  I hope you follow me there, so you can see the first couple borders quilting design.  I think it really ties into the fabric motif so nicely.

Well… today was going to be a full day of quilting on that quilt, but I had to change my plans to go to Denver for some supplies for our barbershop.  The new barber is set to move in on Monday, so we couldn’t wait for shipping, I HAD to go to the city!

I did manage to hit three quilt shops while I was there… and I found a great eagle quilt pattern, a couple yards of fabric, and an extra cone of quilting thread, just in case I run out mid-quilt on this current job.

It really was a beautiful day to be out!  I just love these nice December days in Colorado!

old truck in akronI took my camera along for the ride, and in Akron, I spotted this old truck.  I had to turn around and go back…   The door was open to the building behind, and I did poke my head in to ask permission, but nobody was around.  I hope they like how I photoshopped the image.  I just love playing with my photos!

This truck was empty today, and pretty soon, my quilting workload for Christmas will be unloaded as well.  I hope your projects are also coming along right on time!

Happy Quilting,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

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Art Inspiration, Photography

The Edge of Paradise

Hello everyone.  For today’s photo challenge, I’m taking it back to quilting.  The assignment, “to capture an edge”.  Of course to me… I think of the edge of a quilt, the binding.

This quilt has 4 different treatments to the binding, but today, I’m going to give you a detail shot of the flowers, accented by the edge treatment between the center and the border.  I really love color, and the combinations in this quilt are perfect.

bird of paradise quilt wp_1024I paper-pieced this beautiful quilt nearly 10 years ago.  Bird-of-Paradise blooms are one of my favorite flowers, and I just love this design.

Have you tried paper piecing before?  It is time consuming, but the results are such perfect, sharp points.  I’ve learned a few different methods over the years.  If you are curious, a link to a paper piecing tutorial can be found here.  This is the way, I do it nowadays.

Happy Quilting,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

 

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Art Inspiration, Machine Quilting, Photography

Look what I found

Hello everyone.  One of the great things about blogging is to engage with other bloggers.  I’ve been checking out some great photos and also some cool writers blogs.  One such blogger posted a really neat close up photo of a piano.  More specifically the insides of a piano.  You can find the photos at https://wordpress.com/read/post/id/36807166/103/

What caught my attention was the way the light played across the different parts.  The strings, the pins, and the felt all had different reaction to the light.

We should translate these ideas into our quilt projects.  How is the light going to bounce across the patches?  How does it look up close?  Is it dynamic when viewed from a distance?  Don’t be afraid to think about these types of questions.  There isn’t usually a right/wrong idea.  Develop your own eye for what looks good to you.  Your admirers will take notice.

I decided to add a little poll for my readers.  I’ll keep track, and I’ll update the results in a future post.  Click here to take my 30-second poll.

I hope this journey is inspiring to you.  Thanks again to GrayDaysAndCoffee for inspiring me.

Have a great day!

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

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Uncategorized

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

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Machine Quilting

I’m Back

Hello everyone… Well, it’s been quite a while since my last blog post — six months actually.

I stopped blogging when I left to go to China, Tibet and Hong Kong back in September 2012. I had every intention of blogging when I came home, because I was filled with lots of inspiration–however I just never got around to it.

We had a wonderful tour guide in China named “Mr. Lee”. Ironically most of our guides had astoundingly English sounding names. Of course, I’m sure they have beautiful Chinese names. They probably just got tired of correcting mispronouncing tourists.

One of the things that really stood out for me during our trip was how the Chinese government blocks a lot of the Internet from the citizens. I quickly discovered there was no Facebook, no WordPress–and these are tools that I use on a pretty much daily basis in my creative life.

Since I’ve been home, I’ve actually done quite a bit of quilting for customers. Since the first of the year, I kept a few slots for myself and I’m proud to say that I have quilted four of my own quilts since then. Three of them are bound and finished. The fourth one is just waiting for me to decide if I’m going to do straight edges or a scalloped or wavy edge. Once I decide, I can go ahead and trim the quilt, put the binding on it and it will be done. It’s actually destined to be my next show or museum quilt.

I’ve finished the scrappy trip around the world quilt which I’ve blogged about before. It’s a glorious riot of color, and it made a good dent in my scrap bins. I will get a picture posted one of these days on my blog so that you can see it. I’ve also made another quilt top out of my scraps, using the technique of the “Jelly Roll Race” which you can find by searching on the Internet. It was a really fun project.

Today, my next quilting customer stopped by to drop off her quilt top, and select backing fabric, threads and quilting design. It really is a luxury when I can meet with a customer face-to-face in my studio because then I have access to my quilts as samples to show threads and colors, and also to show designs stored on my computer from my library of possible designs.

Now that those choices have all been made by the customer, I am ready to get started and get that quilt done.

I hope to finish it before I leave on my next adventure. I won’t tell you where yet… but I do hope to return very inspired… and ready to blog!

Happy Quilting,
Fellow Quilter,
Brian Clements

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