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Posts Tagged ‘Moonlighting Quilts’

Beach

Join me in the Caribbean!

I love it when I can combine a bunch of favorite things in one event, don’t you? Next March (2014), I’m teaming up with Quilt Retreats at Sea and Artistic Artifacts for an eight-night quilting cruise where I can enjoy:

  • Travel to warm places while it’s cold at home
  • Spending time with my hubby
  • Spending time with quilting buddies (quilters I know now and quilters I will meet)
  • Sharing my favorite original quilt pattern with other quilters
  • Giving out prizes and surprises
  • Food, food, and more food
  • Ocean view
  • Sewing!
Cruise Project, Ocean View

Friendship Chain, Purple Rain Colorway — Fabrics will vary

Sounds good, right? I’d love it if you’d join us! We’ll leave Baltimore on Friday, March 28, 2014 on Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas. Our ship was refurbished in 2012 and is just beautiful! Click here to read all about the ship. Our stops include Port Canaveral, Florida; Nassau, Bahamas; Coco Cay, Bahamas; and Key West, Florida. We can have beach time, shopping time, sightseeing time, and just lazy time. We’ll return to Baltimore on Saturday, April 5.

On three of our days, we’ll be at sea, having fun piecing a quilt. I’ll be teaching the techniques you’ll need to successfully complete our quick and easy project. This is my favorite pattern, Friendship Chain. Back before the Dawn of Time (when I was in elementary school), we used to make these zigzag bracelets out of paper chewing gum wrappers. This quilt reminds me of those bracelets, hence the name. I can almost smell the Juicy Fruit gum!

Tangerine Sunrise Colorway

Tangerine Sunrise Colorway — Fabrics will vary

Quilt Cruisers will get to choose from two colorways: Purple Rain and Tangerine Sunrise. Our sewing machines are being provided for us along with an expert to troubleshoot as needed and keep us rolling in full bobbins! But the best part about our quick and easy project is that I will cut the kit for you. When you sit down to work, you will not have to cut strips or subcut blocks — it’ll all be ready for you to get started!

If you are a fast worker (and you know who you are!), you might want to bring a small UFO or two. While the ship has lots of distractions for your free time, you may finish your quilt top and want something to work on during the optional Stitch-and-Sail sewing times.

Toward the end of our cruise, I’ll have a surprise project for you to work on. We’re going to have lots and lots of fun!

Cruise Ship

Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas

So, what’s included on the cruise? The Friendship Quilting Cruise Package includes:

Snow on the Deck

March 2013 in Virginia – Wouldn’t you rather be in the Caribbean in March 2014?

  • Eight nights aboard the Grandeur of the Seas
  • All port fees and taxes
  • Prepaid onboard gratuities
  • Trip/travel insurance
  • Two group cocktail parties
  • All onboard meals
  • Onboard entertainment
  • Quilting classes and instruction
  • Project kits and materials
  • Open Stitch-and-Sail sewing times
  • Group events, prizes, giveaways!

I’d love you to join us! For more information or to register, contact Quilt Retreats at Sea. If you have any questions, e-mail me.

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Power Suit Challenge LogoHave you ever walked a quilt show, seen challenge quilts, and wondered how you could get in on the fun? Wonder no more! This is your official invitation to participate in Power Suits: An Art Quilt Challenge.

A few months ago, I received a call from a local tailor asking if I would like his outdated fabric swatches. When I said yes, I had no idea how many swatches he had! Let’s just say it’s a good thing we had a truck when we went to pick them up.

Initially, I wanted to share these treasures with my art quilt students. Once I saw the boxes (and boxes and boxes), I knew this was bigger than my classes. And so I teamed up with Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts to offer you this art quilt challenge.

Pallet of Boxes

Boxes of Swatch Books

Theme
What does “Power Suit” mean to you? Does it conjure images of smoke-filled rooms where deals are made? Is a Power Suit a garment or a person? Do you plug in a Power Suit? What if a Power Suit gave you Super Powers? Using Power Suits as your inspiration, create an art quilt that expresses your point of view.

Rules
1. Finished quilt size: 18” x 18”

2. The finished quilt must have a top, a middle, and a backing with some method of connecting the three layers.

3. The finished quilt must be labeled and have a hanging sleeve.

4. There may be no internal or external structure, rods, or hangers.

5. Just have fun.

Challenge Packet in Bag

Challenge Packet

Dates

August 31, 2011: Quilts are due. Ship to Artistic Artifacts, 4750 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304

Oct 22, 2011: Debut, Artistic Artifacts

Jan 2, 2012: Quilts shipped home

Questions
E-Mail: Cyndi@MoonlightingQuilts.com
Call: 703.407.0916

The Fine Print
You are responsible for providing your own insurance from the time the quilt leaves your hands to the time you get it back. We reserve the right to refuse quilts that we feel are inappropriate for the exhibition.

How to Participate
Ready to get started? Great!

To participate, you’ll need a packet of swatches. Your swatches will include suit fabric and shirting. To round things out, we’ve thrown in a tie and some random buttons. You may use all, some, or none of the materials we are giving you. The idea is to embrace the theme and express your opinions. What does “Power Suit” mean to you?

You can get your challenge packet from Artistic Artifacts or directly from me (if you’re local). If you plan to pick up your packet at Artistic Artifacts, visit their website for hours. If you’d rather receive your materials in the mail, click here to order your packet from Artistic Artifacts. If you order the packet alone, then a $5 shipping charge will apply. If your order includes other items, then you pay shipping only for the other items and Artistic Artifacts will throw in the swatch packet for free. If you have trouble, you can also order the packet through my website.

  

Contents of Challenge Packets
Challenge Packet – Contents Will Vary

Judy and I hope you will join us in the fun. Sign up now and get started!

Cyndi

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Give a Little Gift Bag Cover ImageWhat’s better than a gift? A gift that’s wrapped in a gift!

I love pretty gifts. I appreciate the time it takes to wrap a beautiful gift. All my life, I’ve taken time to wrap pretty gifts, and I’ve gone through a lot of paper. I have nothing against wrapping paper, but it seems like a one trick pony. You buy it, use it once (or more if you’re really careful), and throw it away. Make one simple gift bag, and you’ll realize how quickly you can make a stash of bags large enough to wrap an entire year’s worth of gifts!

Stack of Fabric with Red Thread

Ready to sew!

For years I’ve wrapped holiday gifts in fabric bags. I started small, using the bags only for special gifts and then I ramped up production and started to use the bags exclusively. What started as a whim has become a bit of an obsession, and I want to share that with you. There are lots of benefits to using fabric gift bags for your wrappings:

  • Fabric gift bags are green. These gift bags can last for years, creating traditions among your family as the bags travel back and forth between households. There’s no waste beyond the gift tags and any tissue paper you may choose to use.
  • Fabric gift bags can be really personal. When I shop for gift bag fabric, I watch for fabrics that will appeal to specific family and friends. Dinosaurs and trucks for my great-nephews, cardinals and snow-covered trees for my mother-in-law, anything less froofy for the men in my life.
  • Fabric bags are the perfect canvas for trying out new things. You have lots of special stitches on your sewing machine; why not use them? Are you hoarding variegated thread? Use it up! They’ll make more!

    Bag with Bernina Specialty Stitches

    Pretty Bernina Stitches

  • Fabric bags are convenient. My family has begun to build up their own gift bag supplies as they receive the bags each year. My niece, my mother-in-law, and my husband all commented this year about how easy it was to wrap gifts.
  • The bags are great for travelers who can’t wrap gifts before they clear pre-flight security. Grab a stack of bags and wrap your gifts when you get to your destination. No paper to wrinkle, no shopping for tape or ribbon.  
Miles of Drawstring

Making Miles of Drawstring

The pattern’s a great stashbuster, as you begin to pick through your fabric collection with a new perspective. You know that fabric that you don’t want to cut up because it’s too pretty? Make a bag. Only have a fat quarter? Make a bag. Have over a yard? Make a BIG bag! And don’t forget you can sew your own drawstrings! I use my Bernina binding attachment to fold and sew it closed. Yes, I make miles and miles of the stuff!

I still make a nice supply of simple cotton bags for my gifts every year, but now I’ve started making a few special bags with some very special materials.

Hand Dyed Fabric and Trim

Treasures From Artistic Artifacts

Artistic Artifacts creates wonderful hand-dyed collage packs and I have fallen in love with them. I choose a color, pick a collage pack, and then augment the contents with vintage linens, doilies, and trim that Judy Gula (Artistic Artifacts owner) has lovingly collected and then hand-dyed.

Hand-Dyed Gift Bag

2 Doilies, Fabric, Rickrack & Lace, All Hand-dyed

One more thing: don’t keep the bags to yourself. I tried that in the beginning, but it felt selfish. The bags are part of the gift. Give them away and encourage the recipients to do the same. I put labels inside my bags for everyone to sign so that each bag has a record of who has used it. It’s that simple. Give away the bag, get a smile, and save some trees that would have become wrapping paper. Give a Little Gift Bag and help change the world, one gift bag at a time.

The pattern is available on my website: www.MoonlightingQuilts.com or click here to go directly to the Pattern Page. Send me pictures of your gift bags…Thanks!

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It’s that time of year again. We’re counting down until it’s time to open gifts in the Souder household. Do you celebrate your holiday with stocking stuffers? When I was little, we didn’t have much. Our stocking stuffers were practical gifts with a few chocolate coins and a tangerine. I think practicality when I buy stocking stuffers. And so, how would you fill a quilter’s Christmas stocking?

  1. Christmas TreeCotton swabs — for cleaning our sewing machines
  2. Bobbins — for the sewing machine we use the most (yes, we have more than one); I could use some for my Bernina 820
  3. That Purple Thang — really; it’s just purple plastic, but it’s a surprisingly useful tool
  4. Clover seam ripper — no one wants to rip out stitching, but I think this is the best ripper on the market
  5. Bobbin thread — in neutral colors; I’m a big fan of Wonderfil‘s Invisifil bobbin thread
  6. Machine needles — Microtex or Denim needles in size 80 or 90 would be wonderful
  7. Rotary cutter blades — sneak into the studio and check the cutter size, but don’t look for any gifts we might be making
  8. Something fun and inspirational — this will be different for each quilter; for me, something hand-dyed from Artistic Artifacts might be just the thing
  9. Subscription (or extension to a current subscription) to your quilter’s favorite magazine — in my house, that’s Quilting Arts, but Machine Quilting Unlimited would be good, too
  10. Gift certificate from the family — good for one full weekend of quilting time with no other responsibilities

From Moonlighting Quilts and the Souder family, we wish you all the best for this holiday season. See you next year! (Don’t forget to print this list and leave it where Santa will find it.)

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I don’t know what the scariest stage of a quilt commission is: getting the work, doing the work, or delivering the work. I think perhaps the delivery is the toughest part.

Steve's Photo

Untitled by Steve Alterman

Longer ago than I’d like to admit, some former neighbors decided they wanted me to make them a quilt. Steve and Lynne are avid art collectors and possess an unerring sense of style. I was particularly inspired by one of Steve’s photographs and the commission took shape from there.

As an artist, I sometimes need a shot of confidence. The idea of creating an art quilt to hang in this wonderful house on the beach was, well, intimidating. I had the concept, but I didn’t know if I could take the quilt from concept to reality at the level I felt they deserved.  Finally, I made them promise to tell me if they didn’t like it so that we could work together toward something they did love. That promise helped unstick my quilter’s block and I was able to complete the quilt.

GQH wielding a level

My GQH working on quilt placement

On the appointed day, my husband (GQH, see previous post) and I packed our tools, the quilt, and the dog and headed to the beach. The quilt was designed to be hung above a set of stairs, which created its own logistical challenges. Two ladders, a strong board, and a bunch of bungee cords later, we had a makeshift scaffolding that was more than up for the task.

Eric marked the placement with tiny bits of masking tape until we all agreed that we had found the perfect place for the quilt. He fine-tuned the arrangement with a level and a tape measure and then we (he) drove two anchors into the wall to support the surprising weight of the quilt.

Dressing the Quilt

Dressing the Quilt

Once he finished securing the quilt, I picked my way along the scaffolding and dressed the quilt, removing any lint or dog hair or stray threads and straightening the quilt on the hanging rod. (Did I mention that five dogs supervised this process?!)

The quilt itself is quite heavy. The “swoosh” down the length of the piece is comprised of stones and glass and shells and beads and silk scraps. The embellishments are piled and layered for a lush effect but the added weight posed structural problems. For added stability, I incorporated a layer of buckram behind the quilt top. Then, to encourage the quilt to hang true and straight, I added a second rod pocket, this one along the bottom, for a flat metal slat. This plan worked and the quilt hangs better than I could have hoped.

The Finished Quilt in Place

"Windswept" hanging in place

The result is a quilt that pays homage to Steve’s photo and incorporates the colors and textures they have used to decorate their home.

Windswept (the quilt)

Windswept

Okay, if you’re a quilter, you may want some detail:

  • The border fabric is Dupioni silk, channel quilted to mimic a gallery frame
  • The background fabric is a hand-painted cotton piece I commissioned from Mickey Lawler of Skydyes.
  • The “swoosh” is made up of glass, Swarovski crystals, pearls of all shapes and sizes, amethyst, Peruvian opal, and a variety of other beads. There is one shell that came from their beach and one black pearl to honor Lynne’s love of pearls.
  • The soft texture that is especially evident along the left of the swoosh is silk “Frazzles” purchased from Judy Gula’s Artistic Artifacts.

The clients are happy. My GQH is happy. I am…thrilled. The stress of creating art for friends was almost my undoing. I probably won’t do that again, but I’m so glad I had the opportunity to make this quilt for this couple.

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Did I mention that I love my job?!  I really do!  Last night, I visited with the PieceMaker’s Quilt Guild in Middletown, PA, and talked with them about the care and feeding of their fabric stashes.  Of course, they’re seasoned fabric collectors, and so we treated it as a graduate course!  While I was so close to Hershey, I had to stop at (You expect me to say that I bought chocolate, right?) the Quilted Cottage, a wonderful quilt shop.  If you’re planning any trips to the area (for the Quilt Odyssey in July, perhaps?), check it out.  Anyway, I spent my afternoon and evening in the company of quilters and it was wonderful. 

I’m writing this from a coffee shop called Cool Beanz in Harrisonburg where I have internet access.  (I’m sure internet access is my biggest addiction.  The folks in charge of signs on the highways should post which exits offer internet access, don’t you think?)  I’m on my way down to Smith Mountain Lake for the VCQ (Virginia Consortium of Quilters) 2008 Celebration.  I get to spend the entire weekend in the company of more quilters!  I can’t wait to get there and start the, um, celebration.  Stayed tuned for more news about the gathering.

You may have noticed that there are no pictures in this post and it’s been a while since I last blogged.  WordPress, in its infinite wisdom, has upgraded the software and now I cannot figure out how to post pictures!  Give me time.  As soon as I have it figured out, I’ll post the rest of the pictures from the Annex opening. 

In the meantime, be well.  Quilt on!

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Under Construction

I’m thrilled to announce that my first solo show is now open!  The exhibit includes five quilts, including some of my favorites.  From left to right:

Broadway Lights was designed by Kathy Lincoln  for a quilt retreat for our local quilt guild, the Burke Chapter of Quilters Unlimited.  I chose these colors to imitate what the lights look like from stage. 

Placeholder One normally hangs above our fireplace.   I chose the design (which was created by Laurie The Finished Exhibit WallShifrin), but my husband was skeptical.  He suggested this quilt would be a “Placeholder” until I made something we both liked.  Luckily for him, he liked the quilt once it was completed.  Ironically, he has no memory of this converation.  Hmm.

Time Flies is the first quilt I ever entered into a juried show.  I aimed high; the quilt hung in Houston at the Quilt Festival. 

Fiddle Dee Dee was one of the fastest quilts I’ve ever made.  Lonni Rossi was visiting my guild and I volunteered to make a sample for her new pattern and line of fabrics.  The quilt was done in record time and traveled with her to hang in show booths. 

In stark contrast, MonarchChromatic took longer to make.  Each bead, each bauble, each Swarovski crystal was affixed by hand with needle and thread.  I love the tiny rainbows that dance around my living room when the sun hits the crystals just right. Click here for more details about this quilt.

The quilts will hang through March 2008. I thank Kathy Lincoln for helping me hang the show and making sure I didn’t fall off the ladder.  A special thanks goes to Dyann Bishop of the Shirlington Library for making this all possible.

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