Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My New Bag

With no ulterior motive whatsoever, really, I so admired this shoulder bag that Roberta, our sewing machine guru at Empty Spools last week was wearing as she toured our classroom in the Open House. 

I could see my designs on it from 30 feet away!  They are the digitzed quilting/embroidery designs that are built in to the Bernina 830, but similar ones and more are available on my OESD CD "Quilting Whimsy," available for all embroidery machine formats. 

She used them as outline embroidery to embellish this soft and drapey bag, made with some changes to wholecloth rather than piecing from the La Borsa Bag pattern. 

She used Metrosene red/white/blue variegated thread, #40, and the double stitching and overlaps of the thread made it shimmer and blur so that it has an entirely different look.  I probably would never have done one of my designs like this so it was a delight to see how beautifully it turned out, how muted and elegant it looked on her shoulder.

The design square on the bottom is  my "Bouncing Bananas" motif, and looks amazing as well in this thread.  What Roberta did so well was use her creativity with the digitized designs to create something new and fresh. 

After gushing over this beautiful bag to my class the next morning, who should stroll in but Roberta, with bag, and she totally surprised me by giving it to me.  I was open mouthed with amazement, and a hug and thanks were all I had in exchange.  Thanks so much Roberta, I shall use it often and love it each time.

The designs on the Bernina 830 and my "Quilting Whimsy" CD can be sized and combined, rotated, whatever, to get the effect you want.  There are two designs for a large hoop.  The creativity is up to you. 

Using them as quilting in the quilt sandwich and placing it in your embroidery hoop, then doing some simple free motion work or walking foot lines around them to finish up a very fancy quilt makes these designs a great way to quilt your tops, or try out on table runners or placemats to get the hang of it. 

Or make a bag like this!

Hope you liked seeing this project, and keep quilting!  Your work gets better every day......

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fronds, Feathers, Flowers, Froth, Fun....Home from Asilomar

Another fabulous class at Empty Spools Seminars, at the beautiful Asilomar State Park near Monterey, California!  Above, my intrepid and amazing students, 25 in total, who worked with me for 5 days to accomplish more refined and beautiful machine quilting, all done on a home sewing machine.  My table is in the foreground and this "chairs up" session at the front of our huge classroom/building covered one of many techniques included in the class.

This particular group forged out on their own to counter the next building's group, who chanted all day long and were interfering with our own Zen and the sounds of our machines.  Original chants were devised and performed, highlighting lessons learned and teacher foibles, ha. 

With all the class work, the other activities, the evening sessions, time to eat and sleep, who knows when they had the time to do this, and practice, and perform so very well!  This will be my "chanting" class in my memories, the class where all I had to do was hold out my arms, and a chant would ensue. 

Yes, we had fun.

Yes, we learned about doing beautiful motifs and techniques on our home sewing machines.  Podflowers grew, feathers flowed, gingko stretched our brain power.

My trip home was smooth, my last day there I spent in a fantastic new room far away from the woods, up on a scenic outcropping with a full ocean view.  A wonderful way to unwind, pack for the trip home, and relax.

Class, I never found the gingko handouts with the diagram.  They were not on the kitchen counter after all.  I may have unpacked them in my first night's hotel and left them there.  Who knows what some housekeeper might be practicing in her off time, and what wonderful gingkos she is quilting.....!

Thanks to everyone for making my last class so wonderful.  I will always remember my times at Empty Spools, the fun and talented people, the scenery, the buildings and charm.  Special thanks to Diana, Suzanne, and Gayle for making it all possible and for taking such great care of me and everyone, and for all those over the years who were my classroom assistants/hostesses and made it all go smoothly.  

Special thanks to Roberta for all her assistance with the machines and who provided me with a wonderful smooth familiar Bernina 730 for my quilting demos, and for the lovely bag, which I shall show in a future post.

Oliver was ecstatic when I arrived home, and is still checking out my luggage and interesting crumbs and exotic scents in my things.  There were even a few pine needles.  I think he grew while I was away, but is now so content and happy that I am home and doing fun things like laundry. 

More on what we learned in a future post.

Meanwhile, keep quilting....your work gets better every day!