Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Fast-Piece Applique Spotlight #1

It has been loads of fun to share my Fast-Piece Applique method with so many quilters through my books and personal appearances. It is a fun, fast way to stitch together your own designs, and many of you have let it find a way into your own quilts.

Would you like to meet some of them? Well, on Friday's, right here on the blog, I'll be turning the spotlight on one, fun loving quilter... it could even be you!

Today I'm really pleased to share with you the wonderful Melanie Wilson who has taken Fast-Piece Applique to her own personal heights. I feel honored that she chose FPA to stitch together her award winning designs.

Melanie took first place in the McCall's Quilt Design Star 2011; and last year her quilt was amongst the winners of Quilt Your Colors contest in 2010.


She and her winning quilt will be featured in the McCall's May/June issue, so you'll definitely want to get a copy.

I asked her those questions we all want know the answers to:

How long have you been quilting?
I began quilting about 6 years ago. Up to this time I tied quilts and thought that was quilting. NOT, not the same at all! 

How did you get started?
I began watching Simply Quilts and at first I wondered why people would cut up perfectly good fabric and sew it back together. Didn't they have anything better to do with their time, I wondered. As I began to view more episodes I could see how many different techniques were used and how there was no limit to peoples imaginations in how to create something wonderful! I became hooked! I had hours and hours of episodes stored on my DVR so that I could watch and re-watch them. I finally got a new sewing machine after wearing mine completely out after 33 years of very frequent use and with it came a quilting class of which I made "First Star" which was my first completed quilt. I was so hooked! 
What makes you happiest about quilting?
I'm learning that if I can imagine it, I can find a way to do it. The more I quilt, the more I have to learn and I love learning new techniques! One of the new techniques that I have enjoyed soooo much is Rose's Fast Piece Applique. People are always wanting to know how to do it. Each day I get to quilt is a perfect day!  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Today in the Studio -

My mind-mapping aside and my admin branch under-construction I am happily able to give you an update on the commission piece coming together in the studio. The piece is really three pieces that when measured as a whole will be 9ft wide and 6ft long. Good thing I have a open wall space in the back studio.

This month and next will continue to be busy and while I work on these pieces I will also be running off to teach and prepping for my two-week teaching cruise to Hawaii. BUSY... but loads of fun.

I have also heard from so many of you that have taken a class, or learned Fast-Piece Applique from my books that I am working on feature for the blog - Friday-Fast-Piece Applique Spotlight. First up, this Friday, will be Melanie Wilson who has used the FPA methods to stitch her McCall's Quilt Design Star 2011 winner, and others winning quilts, too!

In the meantime you've been patient with me as I have been moving along on the commission works so to catch you up I'm giving you a pictorial overview starting at the beginning.
The patterns are drawn -- and await all that comes next.
Bins and stacks - fabric everywhere is pulled for selection.
ok, students -- here is my set(s) of numbers to help keep me sane during in the selection process.
After all the sorting and auditioning these are the selected fabrics.
On to cutting the pattern(s) apart -- do you know what comes next?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mind - Mapping Check-In

As 2012 rolled in all seemed rather elusive and unfocused. The mind mapping 2-minute lesson really helped me to identify the larger areas of my work life, and as Roisin said the mind dump had the immediate calming effect that I needed.

It let me get it all out of my head and out there for me to see. Each major category has it's own branch that then can be pulled out and mapped on it's own. Once mapped out, tasks can be added and the priorities seen.

My own two branches that needed tending were -administrative & -product development.
Time is still tight, but I can now see what must be done and know that all the other things have there place on the map and will not be forgotten.

and, even though my original mind dump was with paper and markers I found a great app for my iPad that lets me take the maps along and work on them anywhere. my app choice... iThoughtsHD

above is a peek at my admin map -- what you can't see are the little +/- sign indicating more branches to be seen, but they are there to guide the way.

I'm off now to find some more coffee, check the map and start my day.

Friday, January 6, 2012

2-minute Lesson /or Pulling it together in 2012

True confession here! Things for me since the fall have been almost totally out of control. Amazingly good stuff on top of holiday stuff, but good or bad doesn't change the crazies you feel while being pulled in a hundred different directions. And, worse than anything, 2012 rolled in I was having a hard time focusing on just what I wanted to do with my time and energy.

Those closest to me will attest to Rose having the crazies, and I knew that it is time to take a step back and gain clarity, but HOW?

Luckily, a dear friend/ Roisin-Creative Dynamix, on the other side of the world helped me do this. Her two-minute lesson on how to mind-map has enabled me to find a pathway through the chaos. I had heard of mind mapping before but never really tried it. Roisin told me to get some markers and a big sheet of paper and drawn a circle in the center and mark it 2012/work. Then draw lines or arrows from that notating everything you can think regarding the various things related to 2012/work.

Just taking 10 minutes to start this mapping made a huge difference in how I felt. I now had cleared out the major areas that I know are part off my work life from my head, and each noted areas could now be seen, worked on, fitted in and generally (as I see it) dealt with. Opening up pathways of conversations with myself and others, too!

I am highly recommending that you give this a try, and there are a ton of resources out there that can help you open the gate and allow you to walk existing paths and carve out some new ones.

Each of these lines lead me off in a clear direction. Try it for yourself!
Just since yesterday I even found a couple of apps for my iPad to help with this mind-mapping journey... I can hardly wait to get going!

Sunday, January 1, 2012


On this first day of 2012 I find that I am grateful for all the good things that have come into my life so far. Some seem to have sprung up overnight, yet I know that most have required nurturing, and a willingness to hold on tight as the chaos that sometimes sets things whirling kicks up. In those times I am forever grateful for the lessons of those that have helped me understand that nothing worth doing can just miraculously appear. Good things come together one step at a time. But everything begins with that first step.

Nowhere is this clearer than in my quilts. Some inspired by bright, clear sunny days and some that come from the whirling chaos. Each coming together, nudged along stitch-by-stitch.

The four quilts here are part of Noble Seasons, an invitational exhibit that has been traveling for several years. This year’s Winter quilts will be seen in many places. Then for a finale all the quilts will be seen all together. My own pieces are the same size, 45”x 45”, and each show my ravens at play.

Stitch by stitch, all good things have a start-a middle and an end.
it's in the air
In the words of Edith Lovejoy Pierce
We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.

bounding thru the woods
winter frolic
Guess it’s time to get stitching!
Happy New Year