Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A New Adventure

Last year in late October I lost my fabulous "Rocket Scientist" job of 29 years.  For most of those 29 years I scheduled the work flow for many successful launches.  I started out working for McDonnel Douglas which became Boeing, and then when Boeing and Lockheed Martin decided to combine forces, I continued to work for the new company, United Launch Alliance.  I started out launching Delta II's and then Delta IV's and for the last couple of years I also worked with the Atlas program.  I very fulfilling career, but when the opportunity came up to take a voluntary layoff, I decided to go for it.

My Last Official launch with the company Atlas OSIRIS-REx

Delta IV - WGS-9 Launched after I left, but I worked on it.

I was missing something in my life.  I have always had a creative side, I would sneak in projects on weekends and vacations, but it just wasn't enough.  I really needed to recognize and develop some of the creative thoughts and ideas that are constantly running through my head.  I am hoping that I can take this second half of my life and pursue this direction.  I do love the art quilts I have created mixing machine embroidery and quilting.  I feel that maybe doing more of these types of projects might be a good direction to start.

Trying to decide where to start this new creative full time direction, and figuring out what exactly it is that I want to do, can be difficult. For me the questions that needed to be answered were:  Do you need to make money?  Do you just want to create beautiful quilts for contests?  Do you want to just make things for your friends?  I answered yes to all of them. 

I recently had an opportunity arise that I decided to grab and take a chance with.  It might possibly help me with the number one item on my list, make money.  I own a beautiful Babylock Destiny embroidery machine that I bought from a shop near me, Quilts and Lace.  The shop just recently acquired a new owner, Beth.  She is full of energy and ideas and was looking for some help in teaching a machine embroidery class or two.  I feel that I am very qualified and signed up for the job.  Beth had purchased a package put together by Kimberbell Designs to make it easy for shop owners to teach classes.  They provide designs, instructions, and even supply lists.   Although teaching somebody else's projects and using their designs isn't exactly what I had in mind, I feel it's a very good start.  I can get comfortable teaching and I can see what kind of other projects my students might be interested in for future classes. 

My first Kimberbell class will be a simple but very cute mug rug all done in the embroidery hoop.  I will be teaching it on Saturday, April 15 starting at 10 AM at Quilts and Lace.

My second class is also bunny related.  I stitched my sample on a linen tea towel.  The bunny is appliqued on using the embroidery machine, and the decorative ribbon is then sewn on using the sewing machine.  I will be teaching it on Tuesday, April 18th.

Both are very cute projects as are the other projects I will be showing you soon.  I will be teaching three classes in May and two classes in June.  I will keep you up to date on how the classes turn out, and as I get the samples made for the future classes I will share pictures.  If you are local, come sign up and take the classes!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Little Shirts

Earlier this year I attended a quilt show in Orlando, Florida.  I love looking at all of the quilts and seeing what great ideas quilt artist from all over the world have incorporated into their works of art.  Yes, I do believe quilt makers are artist. 

I love looking for inspiration and ideas to enhance my own art work.  At this quilt show one quilt in particular caught my attention.  I took a quick picture and once I got home I looked up the artist, Gillian Travis to see what her story was.  Well she does beautiful things and I found her website full of inspiration.  This is the quilt that was displayed at the show that caught my eye.

When looked at very carefully you can see that she has 'stamped' a design on the background fabric, which is wool felt.  Wool felt was a very good choice for this type of quilt. Felt is an easy textile to 'rubber stamp' an image on.  Each one of those little sweaters are hand embroidered. I really love the idea of the embroidered sweaters, but if I ever do anything like them they will be done on the embroidery machine!  If you are interested in looking at any of her other art work you can look at her website. http://gilliantravis.co.uk/ 

I am filing the rubber stamping on felt idea in my head for future use.  I do love a rubber stamp and I have collected many over the years.  I like finding new ways to use them.

I showed you this quilt so that you could see where I got my inspiration for the little quilt I am currently working on.  I must warn you, I love this embroidery machine applique that Chantell digitized for me so much that it will be showing up in a lot of my quilts.  If you are interested in the design, you can purchase it from Chantell's website.  I will warn you, she is in the middle of cleaning up and moving her website so it might be a little messy, but if you click on Quilts and applique on the left hand menu, it takes you right to the page they are on.

If you look closely you can see that the collar and the pocket are '3D'.  I hand sewed on the little buttons on these bigger shirts.   There are 9 of these that I stitched in the 8x8 sized hoop and I am making a little wall hanging out of them.  I will post a picture when I finish.

On these smaller shirts (which fits in the 5x5 hoop) the buttons are part of the applique design so the embroidery machine stitched them.  You can also leave off the buttons if you wish. 

And yes, if you think about it, these would look really good in that Hoffman challenge fabric!  Hmmmmmm 😻

Monday, March 13, 2017

2017 Quilt Challenges

It's that time again!  Hoffman fabrics has announced their fabrics for the 2017 challenge.  I do love entering this contest and this year will be no exception.  Hoffman is giving us two different colors of the same fabric to choose from.

I looked at both fabric choices very carefully as there are many different quilt design directions you could go depending on which fabric you choose.  Although I had ideas for both, I ended up choosing the more colorful one, Blooms.  I have to admit the second I saw the fabric I had an idea pop into my head.  Now I could tell you what that idea was, but what fun would that be?   I will just have to tease you a little along the way. 

I will of course be having the usual help from my friends Chantell and Mia who do my embroidery digitizing for me.  There are some really cute designs this year!

If you would like to read up on the rules and maybe create your own masterpiece here is the link.  http://hoffmanfabrics.com/hoffman-challenge/

Since I was having so much fun with this challenge, I decided that I would like to enter a couple other challenges as well.  The first one is sponsored by Free Spirit Fabrics and the fabric line, Artisan, is from Kaffee Fassett.  I have already started working on it and have the quilt completely designed.  Yes, I will be making the blocks on my embroidery machine! 

There are many different colors and fabric textures for you to choose from.  They are very bright and beautiful.  Free Spirit has included cottons, batiks, and even a woven selection. You can see them here on the Free Spirit Web page:  http://www.freespiritfabrics.com/artisan. The rules and prizes are available at this link. artisanchallenge/IAMANARTISAN_RULES.pdf

The second new challenge is a BIG one.  This one is sponsored by Moda Fabrics and the prizes are cash!  First prize is 5000 dollars!!! The rules are a little stricter for this challenge.  You can only use these twelve fabrics, and you have to use all twelve, plus it has to be an original design. 

I have already collaborated with Chantell and she had digitized the blocks that I am going to use.  There is still some planning required on this one, but I do have until September to have it completed. 

Here is the link for this one in case you would like to try it yourself!  http://blog.modafabrics.com/challengebella-solids/

So it looks like I have a very busy year ahead of me!  I have a few other surprises that I will be sharing with you soon.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Hoffman Challenge 2016

Since I haven't posted here on my blog for awhile I thought that today I would take some time and share some pictures of my 2016 Hoffman Challenge entry.  I thought that maybe I wouldn't enter this year, but Hoffman Fabrics decided to do everything different, so I thought I would go ahead and enter and see how things turned out with the new judges and rules.

They announced it this way:

"Renewed, refreshed, reinvented. Hoffman Fabrics is excited to announce that we are bringing the Hoffman Challenge home with some exciting updates.
2016 marks the first time Hoffman is offering a digitally printed fabric as the Challenge Fabrics, and in two versions — black and white!"

This year instead of sending your finished quilt to them for judging, you had to send a photo of your finished project.  Then, if they decided that you would be in the final judging you had to mail your completed quilt to them at that time. 

I of course went to my friend Mia and asked for some help.  She had digitized a set of beautiful flowers and vases in machine embroidery a few years back that I absolutely loved.  I asked if she would be willing to digitize another larger one for the 'main' block of the quilt and change all of the vases to applique for me.  That way I could incorporate the challenge fabric into the vases.  Of course she said yes and of course the results were beautiful.  This is a close up the main block.  You can see that I have used the challenge fabric in the vase and in the tulips.

Here are some of the other block I used, these pictures were taken before I put the quilt together and quilted it.

This is the picture of the completed quilt that I sent to Hoffman for judging:

The back is even more colorful :-)  You can see all of the different Hoffman fabrics that I used.  And yes, there are two more embroidered panels on the back. 


On July 17th I received this e-mail:

Dear Cherri,

"Congratulations! Your appliqué entry, “Wallflowers,” was chosen for the final round of judging and for travel with the 2016 Hoffman Challenge. Artwork chosen to travel showed strong workmanship and design. The time and effort you put into your piece is apparent."

How exciting!!!  So I packed it up and shipped it off.  It was selected for travel, but didn't win any prizes.  Here is the link if you would like to see the winning quilts.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Turtles in Paradise

Today I would like to showcase a small wall hanging that I made for a very good friend in March 2010 for her birthday.  Normally I wouldn't show you such an old project, but this one has recently been returned to me under very sad circumstances.  On December 3, 2015 I lost my friend Beverly.  I decided that showing her quilt would be my way of paying my respects to her.  Her loss has left a big hole in mine and all of her friends hearts.  Here is an excerpt from her obituary.

Beverly A. Brown, a retired aerospace administrative professional, died unexpectedly on Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 as a result of an automobile accident. Bev was born in New Bedford, MA, March 28th, 1948 to Edward Earl Brown and Clara Miriam Woolley.

Bev is survived by longtime friends, Jacqueline Grillion, Cherri Kincaid, Joan Winnett, Jennifer Hubert, Dr. Lisa Edwards and many former co-workers from Pan-Am, McDonnell Douglas and Boeing. Bev is also survived by her beloved pet cats Louie, Zoe and Fancy.

Bev had many hobbies which included quilting, sewing, genealogy, photography and creative writing. She loved to travel, touring 12 countries; however, her favorite place to visit was Hawaii, where she traveled numerous times with family and friends. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her.

 Bev loved turtles!

Here is the label on the back:

And since I was sharing all things Beverly, here is a tote bag that I made her in honor of one of her trips to Hawaii.

Beverly and her good friend Jackie:

Her she is with Zoe:

Good Bye Beverly, you are missed every day!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Update and a Share

First, I wanted to show you a final finished picture of the Cherri Tree Branch quilt.  I didn't finish it the typical backing and binding way.  I did what Chantell calls TIRSO (turn it right side out).  Which basically means putting the quilt front and the backing right sides together and stitching around it leaving a 'hole' big enough to then turn it inside out.  I then just stitched in the ditch and glued a few little flower buttons that I bought from Stamp-in Up on it.  And here is the result, first an over all picture.

Then a close up so you can see the little flower buttons. 

Although I am not really a 'stamper' I do find that Stamp-in Up has lots of products that can be used for my quilting.  I have a wonderful Stamp-in Up demonstrator, Catherine.  I will add her website on the right just in case you might want to check out what they have available.

Next up is my 'share'.  My sister Patti asked me if I would stitch her a dragon on my embroidery machine for her.  She was taking a quilting class at our local quilt shop and had bought some fabrics to make her quilt with and one of them had dragons on it.  Mia had digitized a set of dragons for me a while back and I immediately thought of the one which was my favorite.  Below you can see the results, her finished quilt.  I think she did a great job!

Here is a close up of the dragon fabric.

And finally a close up of the embroidered dragon.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Cherri Tree Branch

Time to share my latest project with you.  It started out with an idea for a new competition quilt.  But before I could start working on the new quilt I needed some help from my friends Chantell and Mia.  Mia and I had already discussed the idea that I wanted to create and she has already worked on her part and has most of it done.  I started out thinking that I would use Chantell's tree and branches that I had used on the Owl Quilt.  But the more I looked at it, the more I realized that I needed something a little different.  So I wrote Chantell and requested just a tree branch, no tree.  She said yes, but that I would have to 'draw' out what I wanted.  Well I spent way to much time trying to find some clip art that would work, but nothing was exactly what I wanted.  So I went and took some photos of actual tree branches and traced different parts of the photo and came up with a pretty good drawing.  I sent it to Chantell and she cleaned up the art work and produced eight panels for me.  All of these needed to be test stitched, so I did that.  This was the end result.

Well, of course I wasn't happy with it yet and wanted to add a couple more panels.  I felt that the concept of what I was trying create needed more panels, it just wasn't quite wide enough.  So I went back to the drawing board and came up with two more panels.  I think it will work out much better for the idea I have for the competition quilt.

Not wanting to waste anything that involved that much work, I decided to go ahead and make this into a small wall hanging.  I added some birds that Mia had previously digitized to the panel.  It is not quite finished yet, I still have to put a back and binding on it, plus some little extra's that I am going to add, but you can get a good idea of how its going to look.  I will post the final product when finished. 

Now, that I have all the 'tools' that I need, I am off to create the new quilt.  I might post a sneak peek or two as I am creating it.  I have the feeling that it is going to be another one of those that takes months and months to finish.

Just in case you would like to create your own 'Cherri Tree' branch panel, Chantell does have the design set up for sale on her website.  Just the tree branch, not the birds. 

On a sad note, my friend Bev lost a member of her kitty family this week.  Jake will be missed by all, he was a sweet boy and loved lots of attention.  Here is a picture of him in one of his very favorite places, the kitchen sink.