Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Jumping in with Both Feet

Okay, I lied. Well, sort of. I'm still going over the contract and the other documents and I kind of got excited about getting started. So, today I went to one of my local quilt shops (I'm so lucky to live in the center of four quilt shops within about a 30 minute drive). I took along diagrams for five of my quilt projects for the book.

The last couple of nights I've been shopping in my own stash, but I was having a hard time deciding where I wanted to go with the projects. When it comes to selecting fabric for my projects, I have to consider several different factors including time period and geography. My stash just didn't yield what I was looking for. Most of my fabrics are the supporting actors, I don't generally stock up on the stars. Most of the time, I start with my focus fabric which may or may not be the border and then I select the supporting fabrics using a combination of my stash and shopping. I'm going to try to stick with shopping at my local shops as much as I can (doing my part to keep them in business), although I do dearly love to shop online as well.

So of course I headed to my nearest quilt shop today. After fondling many fabrics, stacking and restacking, walking round and round, I finally narrowed my choices and left with fabrics for two complete projects and borders for three others. Not a bad beginning, I must say. Now I that I have borders, I can shop in my own stash again and see what I have already that will go with the borders.

I'm not going to show you my fabrics right now, but I will say this much: PAISLEY. Hmmmmmmmmmm......

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Contract!!!!!!!!!

My new book contract has finally arrived!!!!!! Now, of course, I have to read it carefully and write down any and all questions. I'm going to pull out my first book contract and do some comparison/contrast too. When I received my first contract, I went over ir with my lawyer. Most likely I'll do the same thing again, that way I know that I understand what is expected of me and what I can expect from the publisher. Of course, I'm now working with a different publisher, so there are bound to be diffferences, but overall they're probably very similar.

Once I get the contract business taken care of, then I am going to jump right into my new book project! Since it won't be released until July 2013, I have plenty of time. Of course, time will fly by so now will be the time to get going.

I, of course, have been working on it all along. I have the projects all designed and current;y I've been working very hard on the historical research end of the things. Yep, you've guessed it -- my second book will also have an historical theme.

My first book, ORPHAN BLOCK QUILTS, was about quilt history and using orphan blocks (antique/vintage OR contemporary) in new finished projects. My second book has a more world history flavor.

So stick with me through the journey of writing my second book, and I'll share bits and pieces about the process as I proceed. What fun we'll have together!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Fiendish Frenzy!

Whew -- I've been really working hard in the last couple weeks trying to get my fist eclass with CraftArtEdu completed. I've taught a lot of quilt classes through the years, but this format is very different. It's a slide show with voice and photos/diagrams. WOW! I think my eclass has like 70 slides -- that's a lot of photos, not to mention vocal recordings. I just emailed my coordinators to have them take a look and provide feedback on the finished eclass. As soon as the class is up and running, I'll provide a link here if you'd like to check it out -- maybe you'd like to take my class.....who knows?!?

I've also been working with my coteacher, Mary Lee, on getting our 2012 quilt class set up. I think this is our fifth year teaching at our local quilt shop together. We really compliment each other -- I'm into quick and easy and Mary Lee is excellent at the more fussy aspects of quilting. This year's class is called "Christmas All Through the Year" and will consist of a series of projects that you can make for yourself or for someone special. The projects will take either 1 or 2 months to complete and the class runs from February to December. We've had a nice response to the class so far, but we still have a few spots available. Here's a tentative list of our class projects: the convertable bag, jelly roll race, bargello, quilty slippers, reversible table runner, quillow, jelly roll apron. What fun!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

First Collection

Well, I am so excited to announce that my first collection, Cocktails at Eight, with Northcott is finally done and is going to the mill on Monday!!!!!! It sure seems like it's been a long time since I started this project (not to mention that the actual collection has changed several times), but it's finally moving forward. AND I CAN'T WAIT! I will post images as soon as I can! In the meantime, you can watch the the fabrics coming soon pages on Northcott's website: www.Northcott.com.

We even have a google group for our Northcott Designers and I've been really learning a lot about Photoshop from more seasoned designers. Right now I'm exploring creating textures because textures are very popular. I'm sure you've all heard of Stonehenge -- most likely you have some in your stash -- well, Stonehenge is Northcott fabric of course! I'm so lucky to be part of a group of designers who are really caring people and go out of their way to help those of us who are still learning.

Here's what I've learned about textures so far:

1) It's way harder to make a repeat for a texture than it is for something more graphic.

2) There's a whole giant world about brushes and how to use them like stamps in the creation of fabrics, particularly in textures.

3) There's no end to the creativity and work involved in creating textures.

4) There are lots of resources on the Internet from examples of textures/brushes to tutorials.

So, if you have Photoshop, I challenge you to play with textures!

Here's a few of the ones that I created during my Photoshop play. They're not perfect but it's a start! Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Off and Running

Whew -- it's been a busy year already.....and it's only begun! I just finished writing the patterns for my most current Quilter's World projects for the August 2012 issue as well as 2 pillow projects for an upcoming House of White Birches pillow project book (not sure when this will be out). I love designing for magazines and project compilations, but it sure is time consuming -- and I'm not just talking about making the project!

I've also been doing more research for my new book project which has a Russian theme. Although I do not speak Russian, I've been slowly translating some documents! It's amazing what you can accomplish when you have to.

I'm even working on a couple of new quilt fabric collections too.....

Oh, did I mention that I'm still working on getting my first online quilt class set up too? I think I'm finally in the homestretch now! More on this later.

Ah, yes, I did promise to share photos of some Chrismtas gifts that I made for my two BFF's, Leslie and Cathey. Here they are:

I bought the two miniature tea cups (which were glued to their saucers) at a flea market and thought they'd make darling pin cushions!

The two pieces of fabric are my very own attemps at hand-dyeing a yard of fabric using shibori techniques. They really turned out well and both Cathey and Leslie were thrilled -- can't wait to see what they do with them.

The last photo is of the three of us -- aren't we cute? I'm the tall one in the middle (ha ha -- I'm barely 5"4' and I'm the tall one....).