Wednesday, November 19, 2014

MQX open for registration!

Quilting from my Secondary Quilting class. 

Okay, so I have finally updated my Teaching/Events page to reflect my teaching for next year up until June 2015. MQX has opened registration and my 3 hands-on classes are already filled - sorry about that, but I have 6 other lecture/demo classes that will be a lot of fun and I hope to see you in New Hampshire.  
If you can't make it to the East Coast, then I will be in Paducah (pinch me) and Salt Lake City in April and May. I am also heading to Canada again in June. I will let you know when these other venues open up registration for my classes.  I am excited for the Spring, it is going to be a lot of fun!  In the meantime, I have a lot of quilting to do!

Friday, November 14, 2014

New Zealand Part 1

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I realize that a lot of my posts may not necessarily be about quilting, but I have found that every aspect of my life is who I am and so I want to share this on my blog.  I want to thank you in advance for reading. After my teaching trip to Australia, Clint and I headed to New Zealand, I have always wanted to go there.  Especially since I have watched Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia. I have to say, it didn't disappoint.  Everywhere I looked was green hills with beautiful pastures of cows and sheep.  The topography is amazing there and it was complete eye candy everywhere we looked.  Clint had to learn to drive on the left side of the road instead of the right, and that was hilarious and totally confusing at first.

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We stayed two nights in a loft in Cambridge and the above photo was our view.  It was so beautiful! 

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We made our way to Hobbiton and the tour was amazing!  Seriously.  Everything here is natural and part of the amazing outside set for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies.
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We got to see Bilbo and Frodo Baggins hobbit house.  

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As well as Samwise Gamgee's place. 

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I loved how much effort was put into making this look as real as possible, even down to the mailbox.  

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One of my favorite things about traveling is being able to find different plants and flowers.  These little beauties were amazing! 

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So, so beautiful!

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It was hard choosing which pictures to share, but I wanted to share the things that I really loved about visiting there.
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Anytime I see a bridge it reminds me of the romantic proposal at the end of Anne of Green Gables.  Call me crazy, but I love bridges and one day I will be at the bridge where Gilbert proposes to Anne.  Preferably with my own Prince Charming - just putting a bug in Clint's ear ;-)

Clint and I had a wonderful time walking around the Shire. It was a perfect day.  

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I love these beautiful flowers. 

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I loved the doors to the Green Dragon.  So many inspirations for quilting can be found anywhere.  You just have to look!

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Later that day Clint and I took a walk to an abandoned Military barracks somewhere in Cambridge. This would be the perfect setting for a quilt backdrop, or using the textures within this building as inspiration for my quilting.  I just loved it. 

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Aren't these flowers beautiful?
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These trees were amazing.  We were there in the springtime, so everything was coming to life.  The birds in these trees were chasing each other and singing, it was really amazing.  Clint took a video of the birds in action. 

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Here's a closeup of the blossoms on the trees.  So amazing. 

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We finished the night with a lovely view of the valley and the sunset.  Stay tuned for the other part of our New Zealand trip. 

Have  a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Flourish on the Vine and Around the World Bloghop!

So, I have been asked by the super talented Carla Barrett to participate in the Around the World Bloghop. Carla and I met briefly in Australia and she was kind enough to let me borrow a clicker and lazer pointer for one of my classes.  She was a life saver and she is so sweet! 

The Around the World Bloghop has a few questions that I answer and since I just finished Flourish on the Vine for Loanne - I figured I would kill two birds with one stone and create one blog post for both things. 

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Okay, first question - What are you working on now?

Well, I am always working on something and the current "something" I am working on can not be shared until February - sorry! But, I finished quilting Flourish on the Vine designed by Kathy K. Wylie and pieced and appliqued by Loanne last week. I feel like this project is current enough to tell you all about it now.  

First off, let me tell you that I love this quilt.  When I first took out this quilt to come up with a quilting design, the design concept came to me immediately.  I knew exactly what I was going to do in a round about way.  I always leave a little to the imagination as I am quilting in case a few more ideas come to me during the process.

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I quilted this beautiful quilt on my A1 longarm.  I am a free motion girl and I do not have a computer aided machine.  I have my straight ruler, my purple disappearing marker (both on sale right now) and a lot of patience to help me through each quilt I work on.
The thread I used on this quilt is the color Pearl 20005 from Fil-tec Glide threads.  I used #402 So Fine as the bobbin thread and I really enjoy the combo of the two threads. I used two layers of batting, Hobbs 80/20 and 100% cotton.  I love to use two layers for my quilts because of the detail I put into each quilt.  

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Second question - How does your work differ from others of its genre?

Well, I think my work differs because I see things in straight lines and shapes. I do not focus on feathers as the main part of my quilting (not that I don't like to quilt feathers), but I want each of the quilts I work on to have a different feel.  I don't do curves.  I like straight lines.  It is pretty obvious with my quilting that you can see I utilize the use of my straight ruler.  I like to focus on the background of the quilt tops I work on so that I can show off my quilting, but showcase the piecing at the same time. My quilting has evolved and I pray that it will continue to get better.  I work hard at what I do and I try really hard to make sure my quilting is unique.

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 Another thing that I feel makes my work a little different is that I don't fully plan out a design.  I design as I quilt.  I quilt as I go and do most of the marking with each advance of the quilt.  On this quilt I pre-marked the grid in the center of the quilt, I just had 7 lines as a reference. I did this because the area is large enough that I need to mark it before it is on the frames.  The inside details were added later. That is why there are three different designs within the diamond shapes in the center of the quilt. If I had preplanned this area and marked it all out - I wouldn't have had the flexibility to change or improve my designs. 

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Third question - Why do I write/create what I do?

Seems like a simple question with a simple answer.  I love it! I love creating! If you have read my blog from the beginning you would know that I started quilting out with the whole thought of it being a side job while I pursued my pattern and book writing.  What I didn't plan on is that quilting would be the reason I could pursue a book, and now teaching. It's amazing to think that God's plans for you are always better than the plans you have for yourself.  Because of that, I thank Him each day for the gift of creating and quilting and that I am able to do this as a job where for the most part, I am home with my family each day. 
 I feel lucky that I get to work on my next book throughout this next year.  I am excited for the new designs and approaches to the quilt designs I have come up with. 
 
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I hope you are enjoying this quilt.  I had so much fun quilting it.  Sometimes I struggle to work on the quilts that take me a long time.  I get bored and want to move onto something new.  Not this one.  I had so much fun with the ceiling tile background as shown above.  It gives the quilt a movement that is incredible.  The applique pops on top of the quilt and the quilting is a wonderful element that enhances the work that Loanne put into the piecing and applique.

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This border is a new design for me.  I love it.  I had so much fun coming up with this design and I think it looks incredible! 

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I figured out how to complete this in two passes of the quilt and I hope you love it as much as I do.

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Isn't this texture fantastic!?!  I am really proud of this quilt and I feel really grateful to Loanne for letting me "do my thing."
 
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Last question - How does your creative process work?

So, my creative process starts first when I see a quilt. I usually take a day or two to mull over what design I want to put into the quilting.  With this quilt it was a lot quicker.  I leave my options open and design as I go.  I let the quilting speak for itself and a lot of times it just comes together. It is hard to explain how I come up with a lot of my designs because they just "come."  I can see exactly what a quilt needs just by looking at it.  I look back at where I was in the beginning and realize that the quilting art is an ever evolving thing and with time - it gets better and easier.

You can see in the above picture what it means when I say I quilt as I go.  I leave my options open to new design elements.  I quilt around the applique first, then I quilt the designs in the background. I only pre-mark lines that are too big to fit within the quilting area that I have.  I have about 18 good inches to work with on each pass of the quilt.  

I hope you enjoyed this post and I really hope you like my latest project. Take care ~ Judi 

 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Australia Part 1

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It's pretty obvious that I have been home for a couple weeks since my trip to Australia.  The fact that it has taken me this long to blog about just part of my trip will tell you how crazy busy I have been since getting home.

Clint and I flew out from Las Vegas the end of September.  The skies were beautiful as we flew out, but I cried throughout the plane ride to our first layover in Honolulu. We would be gone for two weeks and it was killing me to leave the kids for that long.  We left them in good hands though, my sisters are lifesavers and I am so thankful that they took care of the kids while we were away.
 
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Clint and I were able to stay in a hotel in Honolulu and spend a good time of the next morning waiting for our next flight out to New Zealand.  We spent time listening to the waves crashing and enjoyed the beauty of Hawaii.  I love that place!

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We stopped in a Mauna Quilt store and I had fun looking at all the quilty eye candy.  I convinced Clint that I needed a quilted bag and we bought a yellow one.
Adelaide Convention Center
Before we flew into Australia we flew through New Zealand and had to spend the night in the airport.  It was a long trip over there and I was tired, but I was able to adjust to the time difference fairly quickly.  I had 4 days of teaching 10 different classes.  I had the most amazing time and I have to tell you that the ladies in Australia are so sweet! They made me feel so welcome and I had a wonderful time.

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So the view along the bridge in Adelaide is so beautiful, especially at night.  This area is just outside the convention center and Clint and I enjoyed walking here almost every night.

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I thought it was pretty cool to see a Black Swan, since I have never seen one in real life.

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As you know I love sunsets and this particular one was so beautiful.  It is amazing to think that every where I go, I can witness the beauty of God's creations.  I am so thankful for this beautiful world we live in.

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Clint was adventurous and tried Kangaroo and Crocodile meat.  What we didn't realize when we went to the Stonegrill in Adelaide is that they let you cook the meat yourself on a hot stone.  Interesting experience, but I have to say - I like to go to a restaurant to have my food cooked for me. ;-)

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So I taught Thursday, Friday and Saturday and had Sunday off.  Sunday is important to me and I do not work that day. I am grateful that every quilt show that I have taught at has worked with me and my scheduling so that I don't have to work Sundays.
 
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So, we had the day to walk around Adelaide and Clint and I had a wonderful time. 
It is a beautiful city.

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I found a lot of fun textures.  I love brick and stone work.  I imagine taking quilts and being able to photograph them in places like this.

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I really loved this small door.  Clean straight lines are always inspiring when I think of quilting this type of design in my quilts. 

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I think my favorite part of going to Australia (besides the awesome beauty of the city) was the people.  They were so kind and with all the traveling I have done, I have never had so many people ask where I am from.  It was so great.  Even the customs people at the airports were so nice.  I guess they like our crazy American accent!

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 I love everything about this picture. The beautiful iron fence, the tree and the beautiful building.  
 
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Quilting inspirations are everywhere, you just need to look.

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We were able to enjoy this beautiful church at sunset. 

It was a trip of a lifetime and I am thankful to Tracey Browning for inviting me.  She hosted a beautiful show and I recommend it to anyone planning a trip to Adelaide!