Thursday, December 16, 2010

Shaking the Winter Blues, top 64% complete . . .

Here's a look at "Shaking the Winter Blues" so far . . . I hope to finish the top over the weekend.  If so, I'll start quilting it next week.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Gifted 2010

"GIFTED 2010"
Original Art for Holiday Giving
The 2nd Annual Holiday Gift Show

On View
December 4 - January 8, 2011

Saturday & Sunday, 
December 4 & 5, 2010
11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (both days)

(while you’re here, check out the 27th Annual Antique Row Cookie Spree!)

Skip the malls this year and make your gift a unique expression of creativity!  PHD Gallery hosts “GIFTED 2010”: Original Art for Holiday Giving, The 2nd Annual Holiday Gift Show.  

Featuring the work of over a dozen artists, the seasonal exhibition offers “recession friendly” artwork priced to fit your holiday budget.  

Included among the artworks, shoppers will find original oil paintings, textile art, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, photography & limited edition prints. 

Featured artists include Mark Weber, Marsha Sanguinette & Susan Nanny, Jim Sabo, Ruth Ann Reese, Casey Rae, Nick Prinster,  Michelle "Mike" Ochonicky, Janet Mueller, Noel Leicht, David Lancaster, Raymond Houston, Mark Florida, and Jerry Breakstone.

“GIFTED” opens in tandem with the 27th Annual Cherokee Antique Row Cookie Spree.  Local merchants will offer a host of holiday surprises with each store featuring a variety of holiday cookies!  Enjoy music, festivities and old-fashioned yuletide charm. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Shaking the Winter Blues," Part Two

The last time I posted about this quilt was June 1, 2010 . . . How did the time get away from me??  That was before we moved, and what I'd worked on got packed in a box.  Now that my studio is "up and running" as it were, I ready to tackle this quilt again.

In case you may have missed my earlier post, this is a drawing of the proposed quilt:
The pattern is a 3-shape tessellation:  alternating, interlocking light/dark blue pinwheels on a background of orange stars and yellow on-point squares.  This pattern features what I call an Integrated Border:  the red border mimics the arms of the blue pinwheels, extending into the body of the quilt to frame the orange stars and yellow squares.  The light and dark blue fabrics are left over from my "Winter Blues" quilt.  In that quilt, each pinwheel was consistently one color.  This time around, I'm "mixing it up."
This past week, I've been sewing squares for this quilt.  The pattern requires thirteen different colorations of the same square!!

Here's the square for the four corners:

Here's the two squares for when a dark pinwheel extends into the border:

Here's the two squares for when a light pinwheel extends into the border:

Here are the four squares for a dark blue pinwheel.  Three of the four squares are for use along the outside of the quilt body, hence the red border pinwheel arms.  Only the lower left square is used throughout the interior of the quilt body to make dark blue pinwheels.

Here are the four squares for a light blue pinwheel.  Three of the four squares are for use along the outside of the quilt body, hence the red border pinwheel arms.  Only the lower right square is used throughout the interior of the quilt body to make light blue pinwheels.

I'm currently laying out these squares on my worktable to see the pattern emerge, and to gimme ideas for square placement.  I'm also sewing more squares as I go; I only started with eight each of the twelve colorations, but I know I'll need more in order to use up as many squares as possible.

I'm thinking of safety-pinning the squares together, so I can easily move the piece around the worktable as it grows.  I'll post pictures of THAT when I get there.

Thank you for reading my blog.  Please take a moment to leave a comment and follow this blog!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Today is World Toilet Day!! (no "potty" jokes, please)

I've posted in the past about the Global Quilt Project to benefit Central Africa Republic.
I'm sorry to report the bidding has ended on this first quilt, but you'll have another chance soon . . .

Thank you for reading my blog . . . please take a moment to leave a comment and follow this blog!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Let the bidding begin!!

Some time back, I mentioned donating seven quilt blocks for the Global Quilt Project . . .

Well, the first quilt made from the donated blocks is up for auction on eBay!!

There were over 300 blocks donated . . . that means there are plenty more quilts to come.  I'm holding out for the quilt that has MY blocks in it!!

Thank you for reading my blog . . . please take a moment to leave a comment and subscribe/follow this blog!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Studio Tour, 2010!! (Part 2)

Earlier this month, I gave you a tour of my proposed studio space . . . the place was a wreck!!  Well, slow but sure, I've been working on the room:  moving boxes into the closet (mostly); and, setting up my worktable, sewing table, and ironing table (finally!!).  Here's what the room looks like from the stairs coming up from the 2nd floor:
Now, here's standing at the top of the stairs (my latest quilt top, "Winter Blues," is on my worktable):
Turning to the left you see my sewing area.  I've placed two long tables at a 90 degree angle; the table to the left is good for holding the quilt I'm feeding through the sewing machine.
To the left of the sewing area is my ironing table.  I made this table from a 3 ft. by 6 ft. sheet of plywood, covered with batting and that silverish ironing board cover material, stapled down.  The ironing table is supported by a pair of sawhorses at  waist height.  Of course, you can't see any of this because of the quilts stacked on top of it, LOL!!  These quilts are for an upcoming exhibit at a local gallery.  I want the quilts to lay as flat as possible (to ease out "folding wrinkles").

Here are a couple of shots of what's on my worktable.  I love this worktable because it's large (4 ft. by 8 ft.) and stands about 36 in. tall (waist height).  I can comfortable stand and work at the table without bending over (which can be murder on the back!!).
Here's a closer view of my pinning, marking, and stitching on this quilt.  Because I used foundation piecing, I only back the quilt with a layer of flannel.  I pin the top to the back with safety pins at the four corners and at the center of each square.  I am quilting a grid at a 45-degree angle, dividing the squares into thirds.  To mark the quilting lines, I lay my acrylic ruler where I want the line, then run the dull, back edge of a regular table knife along the ruler several times.  This leaves a depression on the fabric and a shiny line (kinda like a suit that's been pressed one too many times).  I pin across the line the distance of the width of my palm.  Then, I stitch.  The stitching lines never come close to the safety pins, which I'll remove once the entire quilt is done.
As always, thank you for reading my blog.  Please take a moment to leave a comment and subscribe to this blog.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Men and the art of Quiltmaking . . .

I went to the AQS quilt show in Des Moines this weekend . . .

I had Friday off, and I busied myself shopping, packing, cleaning the litter box, and taking out the trash.  When I picked up Ed from work, we headed northeast.  We listened to the last hour or so of "Abarat, Book Two" by Clive Barker, then started on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larson.  We drove as far as Ottumwa, IA, and stopped for the night.

Saturday morning, after breakfast, we hit the road again.  We got to Des Moines in plenty of time:  we parked the car, got our passes, and found the hall where Joe Cunningham was gonna speak.  There were two other men present who were also included in Joe's book, Men and the art of Quiltmaking:  Mike McNamara and Erick Wolfmeyer.  The four of us did a round-robin of autographing each other's copies of the book, LOL!!  Then, we took the time for a "photo op."
Pictured above (from left to right) are Mike McNamara, Erick Wolfmeyer, Joe Cunningham, and myself.

Joe gave an interesting lecture, featuring many of the men in his book and their quilts, but it wasn't well-attended; there were less than two dozen people in the hall.  Afterwards, Ed and I went to see some of the quilts, particularly the display curated by  Joe of some of the male quilter's quilts.  This is me beside the quilt I had on display (which is also featured in the book).
Ed and I wandered around for a little while, looking at some of the other quilts, but I had seen who I came to see, and there were a LOT of other quilts to look at (it would have taken the rest of the day).  I still had a long drive ahead of me.  So, I had a twelve-hour drive for a two-hour visit, but it was worth it for me.

We headed back to St. Louis, stopping only for gas, and food (and chocolate).

I may do it again next year . . .

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Des Moines, here I come!!

Remember I mentioned being interviewed for Joe Cunningham's book, Men and the Art of Quiltmaking??  I submitted three quilts for inclusion in the book, and prepared a pattern for one of them.

Well, his book is now REALLY a book (a living, breathing, physical thing)!!

AQS (American Quilter's Society), the publisher is gonna launch the book at their show in Des Moines, IA, October 6-9.  Joe will be there, signing copies of his book.  One of my quilts will be there, as part of a promotional quilt show, in conjunction with the book launch.

And, I'M gonna be there, to stand near and talk about my quilt . . . I'm thinking of driving up for opening day and driving back afterwards (or maybe find a hotel along the way and sleep).

I've never been to one of these shows (no, I've never been to Paducah, either) . . . what are they like??  If you've been to one, I'd love to hear from you.

Studio Tour, 2010!!

Alright, alright . . . I told you I found my digital camera some time ago, but I haven't taken any pics of the new studio space (until this morning).

Here I am, nearing the top of the stairs to my studio, and this is what greets me:

. . . a mess, huh??  Another step or two, and I'm at the top of the stairs and you can see more of the room:

I'm facing south.  To my right is the only unbroken wall in the place; it's painted brick.  Leaned up against it are the top and shelf to my worktable, and my ironing board.  In the far corner are the sawhorses that support the ironing board.

Now, I'll turn to the left a bit . . .

Here's more of the room:  bookshelves, boxes, and a computer table that holds my sewing machine (in the case) and microwave (for fabric dyeing).

Now, a little more to the left . . .

This wall faces east.  There are two windows in this wall (one holds the a/c unit).  The only electric outlet in this room is just past the window on the left.  I have a rolling secretary's chair (which rolled fitfully on hardwood floors and this place is wall-to-wall carpeting).  There are three white plastic tables and one sewing machine cabinet (which isn't for the machine I have).

Now, a little more to the left . . .

You can't see it from where I'm standing, but that dark vertical bar at the left of the picture is the opening to a closet (I'll have to move into the room to take a picture of that).

Turning left again . . .
The opening to the closet is at the right of the picture, now.  The closet is neither very wide nor deep, and there is no door on it.

Turning left again . . .
This window faces north, and overlooks the roof of the second floor bedroom.

One final turn brings me . . .

. . . back to the stairwell I just came up.  There's a little shelf level with the floor.  I put my "Road Hog" on it:  he's a plush pink pig dressed in leather cap and vest.  When you squeeze his hoof, he dances and sings a cute little song that ends, "c'mon baby, talk dirty to me!!"

Well, there you have it . . . the start of a beautiful relationship.  I just need to put things in order.

I'll keep you updated on my progress (I promise) . . .

Thank you for reading my blog.  Please feel free to leave a comment and subscribe to this blog.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Is it Christmas, or what??

As you may recall from my last post, I moved last month . . . I promised pictures of my new studio space (once I unearthed the digital camera from the box it was hiding in). Well, I've found the camera (though I was looking for something else at the time)!!

I intend to take "Before" pictures of the room (even though it's full of boxes) . . . I'll also give you an inventory of what's in the boxes, too. Now, even though I have an idea of how I wanna arrange the room, I'd like some input from you . . . Think about it: how would you arrange your perfect studio??

On a different note, I received two packages in the mail: a new set of 3" templates from Ardco (I've been considering working in miniature), and "Head First WordPress," a book for my other blog, Tessellation Nation. There'll be more about them as I get into 'em.

Thank you for reading this blog. Please take a moment to leave a comment and subscribe to this blog.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

MOVED!! (but not yet settled) . . .

This past weekend, Ed and I moved into our new home. It is a 3-story, 3 bedroom, 2 bath townhouse. For the past month, we've been packing boxes (or, repacking boxes we hadn't opened in years). Last week, I took a week vacation: three days leading up to the move; the move; then, three days after the move.

The movers removed the front door for ease of moving, and leaned it against the porch. The door fell over, shattering the glass (so much for sneaking out on the landlords, lol). The moving company will replace the glass, but the glass company won't even come to measure the door until next Monday; the glass won't arrive until the following week. In the interim, I've stapled a shower curtain over the opening (it LOOKS like glass, at least).

There's just a carload or two of small things that weren't packed in time for the movers to transport to the new place. Then, I'll put the keys in an envelope with a list of the defects the landlords need to address before attempting to rent the apartment to others, and drop the envelope in the landlords' mail slot. I'll call and leave a message on their voicemail (I ALWAYS get their voicemail) telling them we've moved and the situation with the front door. Then it's "bye, bye slumlords."

The BEST news about the new place is my new studio: I get the entire third floor . . . it's one, big room (15' x 30'). I have room to set up my 4' x 8' worktable (which spent the last three years propped along a wall because the movers couldn't get the table top up to my old studio). I have room to set up a separate dyeing area. There's a great closet for storage. My sewing machine will set between two windows with an eastern exposure (ah, to sew and watch the sun come up).

I would have taken a picture of the new studio, but I packed the camera . . .

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Updated Male Qulters list . . .

A long time ago (or, so it seems), I wrote a post listing other male quilters like myself with an internet presence . . .

I've spent the better part of the day updating that list, adding new quilters, checking links, and so on . . .

I invite you to take a look (or another look) at Male Quilters with an Internet Presence . . .

Thank you for reading my blog . . . please take a moment to leave a comment and subscribe to this blog.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blocks for the Global Quilt Project . . .

Here, in no certain order, are the seven blocks I'm donating to the Global Quilt Project:

The blocks were fun and easy to make, but mind you, I had stacks of the different shapes in different colors already cut and ready-to-sew. In fact, sewing the blocks inspired me to write several future blog posts (but, you'll have to wait to see 'em).

The blocks above are going out in today's mail . . . Amy at says going to check the mail is like Christmas every day . . . I can well imagine it is!!

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Monday, July 12, 2010

. . . what was I thinking??

I no sooner pressed "Publish" for my last blog post when I was struck by two flashes of insight. I didn't like the "haphazard" look of the first block I made, but I LIKE the "ordered scrappiness" of these blocks. The first four blocks used 90 degree rotations but I hadn't looked at 180 degree rotations (there are a few more variations to take a look at).

Here's variation 5, with all four patches facing the same direction:

Here's variation 6, with the lower two patches rotated 180 degrees:

Here's variation 7, with the left two patches facing upright and the right two patches rotated 180 degrees:

Here's variation 8, with the upper left and lower right patches facing upright and the upper right and lower left patches rotated 180 degrees:

Thank you for bearing with me during my absence . . . it feels good to be back.

Blocks for the Global Quilt . . .

Last time I posted (has it really been nearly a month??), I told you I had offered to make two quilt blocks for the Global Quilt Project . . .

Well, I got to work on them this weekend.

Since I only sew blocks using my design tile, and since I'm sure the block would not match anything else sent in, I went for a "scrappy" look, with only one piece all the same color throughout. This is what I came up with . . .

I kinda liked the orange star in the center of the block, but I wasn't all that happy with the "scrappy" bits (they looked too "haphazard"). I wondered what the block would look like if I maintained consistent colors for each shape throughout, so I made another four patches. Placed together, they look like this . . .

Now, if I rotate all the patches 90 degrees clockwise, they look like this . . .

And if I rotate all the patches 90 degrees clockwise, they look like this . . .

And if I rotate all the patches 90 degrees clockwise yet again, they look like this . . .

Which variation(s) do YOU like??

Now, you may know how I am about "pre-coloring" patches--I'm against it. I feel that shapes that adjoin from patch to patch really should be the same color, which you can't always maintain when you color the patches first, then put them together. So, looking at these four designs I see I can color the first and third variations with only four colors; I can color the second and fourth variations with six colors.

I'm off to the fabric store this evening . . .

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"And now for something completely different . . ."

This morning I was invited to participate in a Global Quilt Project. The project invites quilters from around the world to donate blocks to be sewn into a quilt for an auction to benefit Central Africa Republic.

"Shaking the Winter Blues" may have to take a backseat for a while . . .

I invite you to join me in this cause.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please take a moment to leave a comment and subscribe to this blog.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I've been published (again)!!

I almost forgot to mention that I'm in the latest issue of Quilter's Home!!

Some time back (maybe a year??), I got an email from a freelance writer in Paris, wanting to know if I had any stories about my inspirations. Well, I did, and I told her so . . . she just had to find a magazine to buy the story.

Lucky Quilter's Home!!

My name is even on the front cover!!

If you haven't seen it yet, go out and buy a copy!! I bought five!!

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Shaking the Winter Blues," revised . . .

A couple of weekends ago, I started sewing squares for my "Shaking the Winter Blues" quilt. I started with stacks of cut fabric like this . . .

I sewed the first two pieces to my muslin foundations to see how far they'd go. I sewed two different squares . . . I sewed eighty light blue and orange pieces (until I ran out of light blue), then I sewed 100 dark blue and orange pieces (until I ran out of orange).

I calculate that I can make twenty 4-patch blocks of light blue, and twenty-five 4-patch blocks of dark blue, for a total of 45 4-patch blocks. Knowing how many blocks I have to work with, I drew the quilt again.

I sewed red pieces to a limited number of squares for the border blocks.

Now, I'm sewing blue pieces to the remaining squares.

(I'll be at this for a while . . .)

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Has it really been two weeks since I've posted??

I could say, "my, how time flies when you're having fun," but I'd be lying . . .

It's been pretty much "business as usual" (until recently) . . .

Saturday, I started working on "Shaking the Winter Blues." I sewed the first two pieces to eighty foundations for one colorway, and started sewing the first two pieces to foundations for the alternating colorway (I just don't know how many, yet). Once I have an accurate count, then I can determine how big this piece will be (I'm determined to use up ALL that leftover fabric).

I hope to post some pics, soon . . .

Today, a friend on Facebook told me I'm on page 35 of the latest issue of Quilter's Home . . . now, I've got to find a local shop that sells the magazine.

Next weekend (Memorial Day weekend), I'll be attending the first International Society of African-American Quilters conference, here in St. Louis . . . I'll even be presenting design workshops. I'm pretty excited about that.

Thanks for reading my blog (though you should gimme a yell when I've been away too long) . . . please take a moment to leave a comment and subscribe to this blog.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ketchup (or, Wow!! What a week!!)

Monday: I joined Facebook . . . I started with the people in my mailing lists who have Facebook profiles . . . then, I moved on to people with common friends . . . now, I'm being approached by people who I know (but haven't seen in awhile). I'm at 355 friends (with no end in sight). Monday night, I bought some more orange fabric for "Shaking the Winter Blues" (and now I need to buy some more yellow).

Tuesday: I took the day off so I could prepare for my lecture at Bits 'N' Pieces quilt guild. I spent the day stapling bundles of muslin foundations and gluing card stock templates to sandpaper. I packed the car, and picked up Ed after work, but had to make a stop before heading to the lecture because our new car was ready!! We now have an '09 Chevy Impala with 35,000 miles (and loving it). After signing the paperwork, we left the car on the lot (and picked it up after the lecture).

The lecture went well: there were about 90 people in attendance, and many of them told me how entertaining my talk was. One woman owns a quilt shop in Eureka, MO, and offered to sell me a copy of Electric Quilt 7 at a 30% discount if I plugged her shop in my blog: Susie Q Quilting, 131 S. Central Ave., Eureka, MO 63025 (636-587-2772). It'll be a couple of months before she'll have EQ7 in her shop.

Wednesday: My blog, Tessellation Nation, was chosen as "Website of the Week" by The Stitch-N-Frame Shop. Needless to say, the blog experienced the second highest number of views since it launched!! After work, Ed and I went to our usual microbrewery, Mattingly Brewing Co. to celebrate.

Thursday: Ed and I joined some of my fellow choristers for dinner at a posh French bistro for Dining out for Life. Restaurants throughout the city donate 25% of their proceeds to the St. Louis Effort for Aids.

Friday: At work, I was awarded a Justice Award from the Circuit Attorney's office to recognize my contributions to the office . . . I won't bore you with the details of their praise, but it involved taking on most of the work of my office-mate for several months while she recuperated from back surgery (and continuing the workload even after her return). There was a nice framed certificate, and a check for a couple hundred dollars!!

Saturday: This morning, Ed and I drove an hour west of St. Louis to have breakfast with my dad and brothers. Afterwards, we drove back to St. Louis to do our usual banking and shopping errands (I rewarded myself with a new mp3 player to download audiobooks). Late afternoon, we went to see The Clash of the Titans 3D. This evening, I downloaded my first audiobook, Under the Dome by Stephen King (over 34 hours of listening).

I'm tired . . .

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Please feel free to leave a comment and follow this blog!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Facebook, here I come!!

Yes, I broke down and did something I thought I'd never do ("never" should never be used in thought, word, or deed) . . .

Yesterday, several attorneys were talking about the benefits of Facebook profiles . . . specifically, a defendant in a case they were working on had posted pictures and comments about the very case they were working on!! (is that Stupid or Arrogant??)

One of the attorneys turned to me and commented that she was sure I'd have a Facebook profile, with my quilting and all . . . I had to admit I did not, but it was a very slow day in the office and I'd check it out.

Now, I've been on other "social media" sites (which will remain nameless to protect the innocent: me), and I was less than impressed. But, in the spirit of adventure, I posted a profile, and allowed Facebook to comb my email address books (I have three) to find other people who have profiles posted on Facebook. There were so many profiles, I had to click "ALL" rather than send a friend request to each individual.

Hoo Boy!!

Twenty-four hours later, I have over 200 friends!! Someone asked me how much did I pay them . . . I told him that I paid them the same amount I paid HIM, LOL!! "Wow, they must really love you!!" he said. I guess he's right.

Now, I wonder what will happen if I invite those people in my address books who DON'T have a Facebook profile . . . but, first, I need to learn my way around a bit better, post some pics, make some comments, you know, "learn the lay of the land" (unlike those OTHER sites where I "learn the land of the lay" (my bad)).

There have been several new people join my mailing list, and a couple new followers of the blog . . . we'll see where this leads.

As usual, thank you for reading my blog . . . feel free to leave a comment, and follow this blog (and now, Facebook, too)!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bidding Farewell to Quilt University . . .

After much deliberation, I have decided to withdraw from Quilt University . . .

I had been teaching there since before my appearance on "Simply Quilts" (I was not allowed to mention Quilt University on air). I held the double distinction of being the first male instructor, as well as the first African-American instructor.

My class was called Symmetry Play (a precursor to Beyond Symmetry). The first time the class was offered, eighty-one students enrolled!! Carol Miller, the dean, closed enrollment and offered the class again the following month (a rare occurrence). I've taught students from around the world.

Several years ago, around the time I started working on my book, Beyond Symmetry, I discussed updating my class. Carol said "fine," but the more I worked on the book, the less interested I became in the class. My heart just wasn't in it. Last December, I submitted a class based on my book; Carol was less than thrilled. I told her I'd work on the changes she suggested.

Now, four months later, those changes STILL need to be made (talk about procrastinating!!). I bit the bullet, and wrote Carol to tell her where I stood and ask if she'd remove me from the faculty roster. I told her that teaching is a learning experience, and I thanked her for the opportunity to do both.

Carol accepted my resignation graciously, and said if I ever came up with a new class, she'd be glad to look it over . . .at least, I haven't burned my bridge behind me.

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Please feel free to leave a comment, and follow this blog!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tessellation Nation changes for the third (and final) time . . .

A couple of weeks ago I launched a new blog, Tessellation Nation. The format displayed line drawings of the 4-tile blocks and 9-block patterns. I worked hard to have plenty of posts (about 125) for people to pore over.

A week later, I changed the format to display a line drawing of the 4-tile block and a colored 9-block pattern in black, white, and shades of gray. I deleted all of the previous posts, through a stupid mistake. I have no one to blame but myself.

Well, a couple of days ago, I made a discovery: a 4-block pattern and a 9-block pattern are not necessarily colored the same way!! ARRGH!!

Yesterday, I tried something new. Now, each post displays a line drawing of the 4-tile block and 4-block pattern, followed by a step-by-step coloring of the pattern. Then, there's a line drawing of the 9-block pattern, and a colored pattern (if different from the 4-block pattern).

I'm certain this is the LAST time I'll change the format!! And, I won't delete the prior posts until I've replaced them with new ones, LOL!!

Thank you for reading my blog(s) . . . please feel free to leave a comment, and follow these blogs!!

Shaking the Winter Blues . . .

Last week I mentioned I had a lot of leftover fabric from my Winter Blues quilt . . . well, I've come up with a way to get rid of it. Granted, I'm limited to the same pattern as before, since all the blue fabric has already been cut in only three shapes. What I need is a different background (instead of the black I used before).

I decided to use warm colors for the stars, squares, and border: yellow for the squares; orange for the stars; and, dark red for the border.

What do you think of it?? This is just my preliminary drawing of the final quilt (the actual colors may vary, depending on what catches my eye at the fabric store). I may even "mix it up" a bit with several shades of the different colors (three different yellows, oranges, and reds).

As usual, thank you for reading my blog. Please feel free to leave a comment, and follow this blog!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

"Ring around the Rosie . . ."

You may have noticed (or not) the new button(s) in the upper right corner of this page . . . I've been invited to join a quilt designer's blog ring!!

Some of the names I recognize, and others I'll get to know . . .

So, if it's working, take a spin around the ring (and tell 'em, "Raymond sent ya," wink, wink).

I've also added a button with a link to my other blog, Tessellation Nation. If you visited it before, you'll notice a slight change . . . like, 121 blog entries are missing!! The other day, I was surfing the 'net, looking for other tessellation blogs/websites because I intend to start a Links page. What I found inspired me to trash everything and start over (and, I won't be doing THAT again, LOL)!! So far, I've received favorable comments about the change. I'm liking the look, myself.

Thank you for reading my blog(s) . . . please feel free to leave a comment and FOLLOW THESE BLOGS!!

So if it's Springtime already, why do I still have these Winter Blues??

Yeah, it's time to shake the winter blues . . . not that state of mind that comes from being cooped up inside during the cold months, but a pile of fabric.

Earlier this year, I made a quilt I dubbed "Winter Blues" made from blue fabric from a fabric swap with the QuiltGuy Yahoo! group.

Well, I still have stacks of light and dark blue fabric left over!! I do not own a stash, and these piles of fabric are too "stashlike" for my tastes . . . They've got to go!!

What I have in mind is buying some fabric in warm colors (yellow, orange, and red) to balance all these blues. I'll put together a drawing to see how I like it . . . and, I'll share it with you (to see how YOU like it).

More to come . . .

Thanks for reading my blog. Please feel free to leave a comment, and follow this blog!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A New Blog (no foolin')!!

I was gonna save this news until tomorrow until I realized it's the first of April . . . I didn't want you to think I was pulling an April Fool's joke.

I've launched a new blog (I may have hinted at this before) . . .

The blog is Tessellation Nation (it's got a catchy ring to it, don't you think??). It's primarily a catalog of the blocks and patterns possible using my design tile. I intend to post to it often, but, even so, it'll take 5-6 months to get through all of the patterns. The blog entries are drawings, nothing but drawings . . . all the real meat is in the pages in the sidebar.

I invite you to take a look, leave a comment (or two), and subscribe (via reader or email) . . .

Don't fret . . . I'm not abandoning THIS blog. I just thought the patterns deserved a blog of their own. Besides, I'm still quilting!! Just wait till you see the next project . . .

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My 100th post!!

Yes, I've been quiet . . . several people have written to ask "what's up"??

The truth is, I've been busy. Too busy to write, you wonder?? Well, in a word, "yes."

Several weeks ago, I got an email from Joe Cunningham. He's the quilter in San Francisco who interviewed me last year for the book he was writing about male quilters. Anyway, he sent me a pic of the book cover. This book will be out in the fall, and I'm in it!!

Joe had a favor to ask of me: would I be willing to write a pattern for one of my quilts shown in the book?? Though I'd never written a pattern before, I said, "yes." The process was quite fun, actually. I configured Electric Quilt to print the templates to a file; then, I imported that file into CorelDraw, where I made the cutting lines thicker, the seam lines dashed, and positioned the templates next to each other to facilitate cutting them apart. The instructions were originally 12 typed pages long!! I managed to edit them down to three (which is what the editor wanted). I could see doing this again . . . in fact, I DID do it again with the templates for my design tile, which leads me to my next activity.

Last week, I gave a lecture and workshop for the Santa Rosa Quilt Guild in Santa Rosa, CA. I prepared about 35 sandpaper-backed templates for my design tile, and 500 muslin foundations!! I shipped slides, templates, foundations, and quilts to Santa Rosa overnight, rather than stuff 'em all in my suitcase. The lecture was well-received, with about 200 quilters in attendance, and there were about 14 quilters in the workshop the following morning. And, of course there were requests for patterns!! I'm gonna have to work on those . . .

Now, I'm home and getting ready for a lecture at a local guild next month. I want to have plenty of templates and foundation muslins on hand, LOL!!

I'm toying with the idea of starting a new blog . . . don't freak out!! I'm not abandoning THIS one (and leave you behind), but I want to focus on a single topic. I'm all over the place on this one, LOL!! I will certainly keep you posted on developments . . .

Thank you for reading my blog . . . please feel free to leave a comment and follow this blog!!