Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ice-Dyed Fruit Loop

As this year winds down I find that I still have creative obligations knocking on my studio door.  Houston International Quilt Festival is over for 2012 but planning for 2013 is already in the works plus I was just asked to be part of the faculty for a fantastic 2014 Panama Canal Cruise that Deb Roberts Tours and Road to California are planning.  This is going to be a big event. 

So we need some new patterns for that cruise.  Oh, I forgot to tell you that all these proposals have to be in by December 5th. 

So, for the last couple of weeks I have been working out the bugs on some new pattern ideas.  Not all my ideas have worked out and I thought you might like to see how it has been going.

This may not look like anything but a yellow blob but I have always wanted to do an orchid. Orchids grow all over the tropics - perfect for the Panama Cruise!  By day 3 my husband, who now works out of the house alongside me, decided to take one of his 3-4 "breaks"  during the day to visit my studio and inform me that maybe this orchid might be a little too hard for a cruise.  Remember the gals on the last cruise?  They didn't  want anything too challenging, they just wanted to have fun.

 To be finished on another day..
OK, he was right. This may be better for another day.  Back to the drawing board. 
Then I found the perfect tropical subject matter and it's not a flower.  How about my favorite bird, the toucan? 
He is so cute and has such personalty and I made him in 2 hours.  Now this is more like it.  I started adding leave to the background using my ice-dyed green fabrics.   It gives the leaves a  watercolor look without having to use a lot of different fabrics, which is great for the cruise because the cruisers don't want to bring that much stash with them.  I will have the ice-dyed greens in their kits. 
Finally, he is done.  Next is the stitching, which will have to be done at home but the pattern will have details for how to quilt this cute little guy.  I think he needs a about Fruit Loop?
He looks hard to make but he's really easy.
Now, for all you orchid lovers out there, don't worry,  I am still working on the orchid pattern - just not right now.  It will be a great one day class for the future.  Maybe at the next quilt show near you? 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Its Here at Last

Stop the presses!  Hold the wire and kick the cat! I think that might be kick the can?  Oh, well...that explains why the neighbor cat doesn't come around anymore.   I have exciting news - my book, Cutting Garden Quilts has just been reprinted.  Martingale/Patchwork Place is the publisher.  I think this is the fourth printing, but who is counting?   They arrived  just in time for my trip to the International Quilt Festival in Houston this last week.  I did feel a little sorry for my UPS driver having to pack the 4 heavy cases up the 8 steep stairs of my cute country porch in the rain.  Joe is now carrying the cases off my cute country porch back down to the garage in the rain.  Those books go more places than I do.  I love men with muscles but if UPS guy and Joe ever compare stories I may end up having to move all my stuff myself.   Happy to say the case sold out in 4 days of classes and I didn't have enough for the Saturday sampler.

Well, happy days are here.  I do not mind that I had to cut a deal to get the book back out,  it's worth it.  Why? you may ask. This is the one and only first book that shows you how to create a flower quilt from your own flower photo as an artist paints a painting.  It's like having me in your sewing room helping you or messing up your sewing room just like I do here at home.  What could be better than that? You cannot get the basics of my technique, unless you get the opportunity to take a class,  anywhere except in Cutting Garden Quilts.  Yes, I have learned so much more over the last 5 years of teaching you, my students, and I will be putting that in the next book but the basics are a classic to build upon.  As my art teacher always said, Melinda, you cannot break the rules until you know the rules.

The pictures and layout are one of the best.  It is like a fine coffee table book.  The book also has 5 flower patterns that turn out beautifully. Many of my students have won ribbons on the quilts they have made from this book.  Love That!

This peach rose is called Just Joey.  It was given to my husband by my mother after Joey's Mother died.  She always called him Joey.  It produces wonder fragrant flowers in our garden and can now bloom in your home.   I recently sold this quilt to a wonderful quilt collector couple on Cape Cod.  That was how I was able to get Joe to go to Australia with me.

I have learned many new tricks since writing this book but the basics of developing your own flower into an art quilt is still the same.

I love this flower, the clematis.  I just taught 3 fabulous classes in Peoria, Illinois and one of the classes was the clematis.   I had a great time and the clematis flower class was from this book.  Here are some of the pictures of their wonderful flowers.

You can now go to my web site and order your book if you do not already have it.   If you have it, but can’t find it (believe me, it happens) you may need another.

I love this student.  She was bold and creative and not afraid of color in any way. Her flower turned out amazing.  The only other student that has done this color way was Helen in Ukiah, California and she rocks!

If, you like, I will sign the book to whomever you want.  Christmas is right around the corner and this would make a great gift.  It is a classic because when the publisher stopped printing this book about 5 months ago, the book was selling on  for up to $1,000 a copy.   So hold on to this one because if I have an an  .. unforeseen accident, and there are a few here in town that have me on their short list, this book could really be worth something.  Enjoy!  And a big Thank You to Martingale for re printing this valuable book.