Friday, November 30, 2012

Finished is Better Than Perfect

     My primary business for the last eleven years has been longarm machine quilting for others. It's funny, but November and December are often my slowest months  of the year as everyone thinks I'm completely swamped with work.  I have learned to expect this slowdown and consider it a wonderful gift to have a bit of free time. 
      Another aspect of my business that I'm developing is a new product line: my Textile Design Stencils. With the development of my new designs, marketing, video development, teaching, and writing, I have a lot to juggle, and these tasks usually get neglected when I'm busy machine quilting for others.
Video camera graciously loaned to me by my brilliant step sister.
I'm so intimidated by this apparatus that I have a hard time even opening up the gear bag.

     So, these last couple of weeks I've been trying very hard to upgrade my technological skills. The most difficult lesson I've had to learn is when to just stop worrying  the minute details to death that plague me so. It's been incredibly freeing to let go of the frustration of things that won't work right, change of their own accord, or are so mind boggling in their complexity.
A beautiful quilt I'm quilting for Kemset.
     Right now I am reveling in the fact that I have grown in great leaps and bounds as I tackled tasks that have long daunted me. Tomorrow I am back to the longarm quilting as orders are thankfully beginning to roll in again.
My next challenge is to develop project and time management skills, and I would really love to hear from any of you who have suggestions on this topic.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

DIY Weekend Project: Settee Makeover

This weekend I am going to recover the cushions on and old rattan settee that belonged to my great grandmother. It is signed on the bottom by the maker with a date of 1920. My mother said that she remembers it being on her grandmother's front porch when she was a young girl.
I found this really soft chenille fabric several years ago and repainted the settee to match probably five years ago, and it has just been sitting there all this time. I plan to also redo the cushions.
My friend Jeanne Blonski is coming over tomorrow to work on quilting a wallhanging, so I thought it would be a perfect time to tackle this long overdue project. I also want to remake the pillows using the existing fabrics. It should be fun. I'll post the photos of the finished project.

I know this fabric doesn't really go with the style of the furniture, but it was so warm and soft that I couldn't resist buying it.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Purple Poppy Dress

Here is another of my upcycled clothing pieces that was hand-painted with my Poppy Stencil. This was a 15 year old cotton knit turtleneck dress that spent the last several years hiding out in the back of my closet. I have so much fun making these pieces, but it is even more fun to wear them.
The ruffles are made from hand-painted silk organza. Now I have started embellishing the clothing with a little bit of hand embroidery and beading. It's amazing what a little bit of texture and sparkle can add to a piece.
I think I this could be an ongoing project. I just pick it up in the evening when I feel like doing a little handwork and add a few more stitches. I am putting together a tutorial on this project for my Free Newsletter that is coming out next week if anyone is interested.