Art Inspiration, Photography

Glass Fringe

Hello everyone.  I’ve had a busy beginning to this Thanksgiving week.  I am a few days behind on the Photo 101 challenges.  I’m going to catch up now.

For Tuesday’s assignment, we were to photograph glass.  Our house is filled with glass.  To be specific, we both collect glassware, and our home has 47 windows.

I just finished sewing 80 more strip sets for my scrappy quilts, and turned off the main studio lights, thinking I’d head to bed.

However, I noticed the awesome fringe on this lamp, just outside my studio in the hallway.  It’s late in the evening, so not much light in the upstairs hallway, except for one of the bulbs in this lamp.  I love the effect that a lone light can play on the mood in the area.

I had to play with my camera.  My favorite things about this photo…

lamp fringe wp_1024

1-the mood the light gives.

2-playing with the juxtaposition of in-focus strands against the out-of-focus ones in the background.

3-the way the layers just lure you into the center of the lamp.

I hope you enjoy this photo too.  Have a great night on this Thanksgiving Eve!

Create something special!

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

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Photography

Craftsman

Hello everyone.  Today’s photo blogging prompt… “Architecture”.  Well, that was an easy target.  Joe and I love our 95 year-old craftsman bungalow.  We are only the third owners of this grand home, and it’s beautiful inside, and out.  I could have shown you photos of the original woodwork inside.  Mrs. Groves had the foresight to apply 15 coats of varnish to the trim and doors, so aside from a few minor dings, they are as perfect as they were back in 1919.

I chose to go outside.  It’s been pretty cold here, but today is a bit of a break from that.  I took several totes of recycling to the local center, and I shot 38 photos of our home, all in black and white.  (a suggestion from the photo blogging assignment team)

I chose two images.  One for the literalists, and one is a bit more abstract thinking.

A beautiful craftsman bungalow, built in 1919 by T. Barr and Merle Groves

A beautiful craftsman bungalow, built in 1919 by T. Barr and Merle Groves

Architectural Elements - from about a century apart.

Architectural Elements – from about a century apart.

Let me know in the comments which image you like better.

Have a creative day!

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

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Uncategorized

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

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Art Inspiration, Machine Quilting

Awesome August

Hello Everyone,
Today, I’m taking a break from customer quilting and quilting one of my MANY UFO’s.  It is a pattern called “Butterfly Kisses” by Nancy Davis Murty.  Her blog is located at http://nancymurty.typepad.com/ and this is the third of her quilts that I have pieced.  I’ve also done “Harvest Home” and “Harvest Spice”.  It is quilting out beautifully with a pattern called “Butterfly Fantasy”.  Pretty cool, eh?
As you may know, I finished the 256th block for my taupe quilt, “Blue Ridge Beauty” on August 8th.  What a great birthday gift…  On that day I turned 47 years old, and although I didn’t plan this out… my birthday was the 47th consecutive day I have worked on my quilting projects in a row.  I am amazed at the amount of work that I’ve been able to accomplish during this time.
After working so hard on those 256 blocks, I’m ready to give that project a break for a few days.  So, I decided to work on my “Scrappy Trip Around the World”.   This project is one that I’m making from my scrap bins, but cutting 2.5 inch strips from scraps, and some small pieces from my stash to round out the color selections.
ImageHere is a photo of one of my scrap bins.  I actually have about 5 of these.  One is for selvedges, another is for leftover binding strips, one is for small strips to use for locker hooking, and two others hold random pieces that are left over from various projects.  I try not to return odd size pieces to my main stash, which consists of 26 elfa drawers like the one in this picture.
My main stash is sorted by colors, and neatly folded, unlike the scrap bin.
In the class I recently took, I was reminded that the scraps are also worth $10/yard, so it got me set on a course to use some of them for something nice.  This scrappy quilt is super easy to make, and is a riot of color… which of course, I love.
ImageSo, probably the part I don’t want to do is to pull out the fabrics and iron them flat.
{Notice my cool iron…  It’s the Oliso Pro iron.  It has legs and stands up on it’s own.  I’ve always ended up dropping my iron off my table at some point until I discovered this brand.  What I like about the Pro model is it’s 30 minute shut-off time.  It stays hot while I piece and press, piece and press…  Awesome.  If you’d like one too, let me know.  I sell them at Fellow Quilter.}

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Next I stack up my pressed scraps.  I usually can cut 8 layers with my giganto 60mm rotary cutter… but you might want to try 4 to 6 layers.  I use this Charming Strip Buster ruler for this task.  It’s 5 inches wide, and marked only for 2.5 inch strips, and 5 inch squares.  (You know the ones… just like the popular charm packs put out by many fabric manufacturers these days.)  But today, I’m making strips, so that’s what I’ll show.

 

ImageSo this is how the strips look after you cut them.  They are random lengths.  But for this project, I only need 15 inches, but I’ll cut them 16″ to have a bit of wiggle room in my strip sets.  There is no need to waste much time sewing strip sets longer than I need.

 

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Now, I’ve got a huge pile of strips, ready to be sewn into sets of six.  No color planning is allowed.  If that is hard for you to do… you would need to put the strips in a brown bag, and pull them out as you sew.  The beauty of this block is the random aspect.Image

Sew them together into pairs, and press.  Sew two pairs together and press.  Sew a pair to that set, and you’ll have your six strip units.  Remember, they need to measure at least 15 inches!  They will look like this…  You’ll get one 12″ finished block from each strip set.  Make as many as you need.  Be careful, this is addictive!

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Well, that is where I’m at…  sewing strip sets, and quilting my own quilt.  WOO HOO!  Thanks for following my blog, and I hope my progress is inspiring you to try something new, or just work on one of your own UFO’s…  Leave a comment here, and tell me and my readers what you’ve been up to…

Have a great day!

Fellow Quilter,

Brian Clements

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Art Inspiration, Machine Quilting

A Week of Progress

Hello Everyone,

Some of the 512 half-square triangle units

I’ve been keeping up with my new commitment to sewing/quilting every day.  I have been diligently working on my blocks for the Blue Ridge Beauty that I started at a class in mid-June.  I’ve decided to make the central portion of the quilt about one-third larger to accommodate the king-size beds we have in our home.  Soooo…. I need to make 256 of these pieced blocks.  That meant I needed to make 512 half-square triangle units, and 512 4-patch units.  I did the half-square triangles first, and I’ve had them ready for a couple of weeks.

In the process of pressing the 512 4-patch blocks

I started making the four-patches by sewing two strips together.  I cut all of this quilt out of some fat quarter collections that have been gracing my stash for several years.  They are awesome… part of the Daiwabo taupe collections that are so popular right now.  Since they began as fat quarters, the strips were only 20ish inches long.  This allowed me to create a very scrappy combination of 4-patches.  Then I cut the sewn strips into sections equal to the original strip width.  Once this was done, I paired up random units, to create the four-patches.  It seems like I’ve been making them for quite a while.  Alas, they are finished.

Now, I take two half-square units and two four-patches to make a block.  Then another, and another….   Right now, I’ve got 103 blocks done, of the 256…  Oh boy!  I must say, I love the way this is turning out.  I did have one scare along the way… I think I was going to run out of fabric….   Hard to believe, looking at my stash.  I almost called the store where I purchased this fabric, hoping they might still have some more.  Then I told myself to go look again in the stash.  I found two fat-quarters that blend in perfectly with the collection.  See, it does pay to buy fabric ahead!

Annie B Oxygen S&W in machine

I’m also working on my customer quilts this week.  It’s really fun to be challenged to work on a variety of projects.  I’ve quilted two stack-and-whack quilts for my good friend, Annie B.  The first one, made of a poppy print was set off nicely with a brilliant green stripe fabric that she used for her sashings.  I forgot to photograph it, so you’ll have to go to her blog on www.highplainsquilting.com and perhaps she’ll upload something.

Her second quilt used the “oxygen” fabric line.  It really has such great movement to the blocks, and Anne Bright recently released a terrific edge to edge design called Alexis that seems to have been made for this one particular quilt.  Thanks Anne Bright!!!  If you look closely, you’ll see that Annie B. ingeniously pieced her backing, using her leftovers from the project, and making the quilt a i beauty.

Next, I quilted a quilt top for Mark, who lives near to the Aurora theater where 12 people lost their lives last Friday.  Needless to say, I called him right away.  After a few hours, I hadn’t heard back from him, so I texted him.   Fortunately, he texted right back to say he was okay.  Thank goodness for that.’

What is interesting about Mark’s quilt, is that the quilt top is made entirely of seersucker fabrics in white, blue, grey and black stripes.  I pride myself i

n choosing designs to complement the quilt, and this quilt kept saying “nautical” to me.  I found a really cool sailboat with a star on the sail in a pattern by Ellen Munnich.  I called Mark, and he thought that sounded good…. plus he said I always choose well.  Thanks for the compliment!!!

Joan Schmidt’s One Block Wonder

Look How Well

Well, that’s what I’m up to.  What are you working on?  Leave a comment and let me and my readers know….

Happy Quilting,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian Clements

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Machine Quilting

Jessica Vaughn Class

Hi everyone!  I’ve been a bit absent on the blog this past week.  I’ve been really busy, though… so I thought I’d give a bit of an update.  Last Saturday, June 16th, the Carousel Quilt Guild hosted an all-day class from Jessica Vaughn of Aurora, Colorado.  You can find Jessica on facebook at  http://www.facebook.com/jaymarie0826?ref=ts

The class was using the Bonnie Hunter techniques to work on two projects at the same time.  Bonnie has a load of quilting information on her website… free patterns, tips, etc., so got to http://quiltville.com to check it out.

The main project is a free pattern on Bonnie’s website called Scrappy Trip Around the World http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2005/06/scrappy-trips-around-world.html and here is a photo of many of the blocks from many of the students.  ImageNotice how well the blocks blend together, and although we each have different fabrics in our stash… the blocks are very harmonious.  It is pretty easy to do, and a great way to create something useful out of your odds and ends, or scrap basket.  You should give her technique a try.

ImageAt the same time, we were sewing using the Leaders and Enders technique to work on blocks for a second quilt… this one from the book called “Leaders and Enders” from Bonnie Hunter.  The Blue Ridge Beauty quilt is shown in the book in lovely blues and tans, however, I’ve had this collection of Daiwabo fabrics for several years now, and this seems like a perfect choice for this pattern.  I only got a few blocks done in between strips for the scrappy quilt, but here is a peek at them.

Aside from that, I’ve got the Quilts of the Plains this coming Saturday, June 23rd.  ImageI decided a week ago to pull out a quilt top that I pieced AT LEAST 16 years ago, called Burgoyne Surrounded.  With Independence Day right around the corner, the patriotic nature of this quilt made it jump to the front of the line.  I have another quilt in the show… but, if only I could quilt this up, and get it bound, I could have another, right?  Here it is on the machine, and you can see the design… however, come to the show to see the whole thing.

The quilts are coming in… and there are some beauties!!!!  I hope you’ll join us in Wray on Saturday.  Don’t forget to vote for your favorites, buy some raffle tickets, and bid on the great items at the silent auction.  This event helps raise funds for the Chamber of Commerce for all the events it offers throughout the year.  visit www.wraychamber.net/quiltsoftheplains.php if you want more details.

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Studio Sneak Peek

I love looking at other artists studios. So… I thought you’d like a peek into mine.

As you see “Artie” is busy stitching out a design on my latest customer’s quilt.

Actually, that reminds me… This customer, Benita from Greeley, Colorado asked me to quilt a dear sentiment on her quilt.

She told the story of her father helping her with story problems in her math homework as a young girl. He would prompt her to solve the problem by asking “What do you have… and what do you want?”

I thought this phrase was so awesome. Really fits with the puzzle theme of this sudoku quilt pattern for sure.

It took some time to quilt, being that each letter is stiched out as an individual pattern, but the end result is marvelous.

I hope you like the peek at my studio, and especially a glimpse into this quilt’s legacy.

Fellow Quilter,
Brian Clements

Machine Quilting

Studio Sneak Peek

Studio Sneak Peek

I love looking at other artists studios. So… I thought you’d like a peek into mine.

As you see “Artie” is busy stitching out a desing on my latest customer’s quilt.

Actually, that reminds me… This customer, Benita from Greeley, Colorado asked me to quilt a dear sentiment on her quilt.

She told the story of her father helping her with story problems in her math homework as a young girl. He would prompt her to solve the problem by asking “What do you have… and what do you want?”

I thought this phrase was so awesome. Really fits with the puzzle theme of this sudoku quilt pattern for sure.

It took some time to quilt, being that each letter is stiched out as an individual pattern, but the end result is marvelous.

I hope you like the peek at my studio, and especially a glimpse into this quilt’s legacy.

Fellow Quilter,
Brian Clements

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