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 . . .