Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Getting the word out

Life is coming on full force for me right now, and I am having a blast keeping up with it all.

Most folks take on one big project at a time, but I have had a couple of big ones being held off in the wings due to things outside of my control -- like finding the people who can actually do to work for us and coming up with a time to make it happen.

As it turns out, the intersection of yard, backyard and inside redo of flooring throughout the entire house are occurring RIGHT now. Of course, I said yes to it all ---

There are daily ups and downs, like rain or high winds...
all the cable service being cut off accidentally...
things that make an appearance only after they are dug up....
Like enough rocks to create a rock garden,
or just how the 50 years of previous owner leave their choices under the carpeting.

But, all is rolling along -- and it is terribly exciting!
(there will be pictures to follow)

Art happenings do not go away with all the 'house' happenings, so I wanted to get the word out about a couple of these as well.

First, If visiting Paducah during April or May this year you can find a small exhibit of my some of my favorite landscape quilts at the Freight House.
A wonderful new dining experience here in town.
The Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway Office and Freight House, simply known as the Paducah Freight House, is a historic railroad freight depot located in the southern portion of downtown Paducah, Kentucky. 330 S 3rd St - Paducah, KY 42003
Then, in early May my on-line workshop
Shaping Up with Fast-Piece Applique is scheduled to begin May 6th!

There will be more as things settle...
Hope to see and chat with many of you soon!


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Couching the Curves

Couching is a stitching technique where you add a decorative element to a sewing project by laying yarn or other materials across the surface of the ground fabric and fastened it in place with stitching.

The materials can be almost anything...
the threads used for the stitching can be chosen to blend or enhance,
and the stitches used are really up to YOU!

In the majority of my work I like to lay yarns down along the edges where my fabrics meet and use a wide & long zig-zag to stitch it in place.

The only limitations to be aware of is the thickness of the materials to be laid down, for something too thick, when stitched may cause bulging not lay flat.

A couple of years back I produced a tip sheet for couching, and you can click over and get a copy for yourself.

I've recently been stitching two very curvy projects, so today I wanted to share a little bit more about stitching curves and circles. Here we go!

I begin with my quilt top, batting and backing sandwich made,
and I love using spray adhesive for this step.
 the gentle curves are easy enough
if you follow the basics on the tip sheet.
 but for spirals, and other circular motifs you will want to:
1. slow down your stitching
2. keep you hand flat on the piece as it goes under the needle
3. take 4-7 stitches as the curve goes-
then with your needle down- lift the presser foot
and relieve any tension that may be starting to form the stitching.
 4. Continue stitching and relieving any
tension every few stitches as needed.
 5. When the point of the spiral is reached
(or any sharp corner)
take one additional stitch in place
and end with the needle down.

6. Pick up the presser foot.
Make the turn let the presser foot down again,
and continue stitching on.

You can see from the finished piece that the couching enhance the fabric element. It allows me to give the viewer a better idea of what is on top/ or in front of something else, and also to move the color around the piece.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Come Along for the Ride?

In my last post I shared with you how a few of the 5-minute drawings from last year's challenge truly came in quite handy for ideas on quilts.

I have finished the one based on the flowers, and though I would love to share it; it will have to remain hidden until Quilt Market in May.

The other, that I am now calling Crossing the Ohio is coming together quite nicely -- and the updated picture here show it today as it is being couched.
The Facebook group that came together for the daily 5-minute drawing kept coming to mind while working on these projects. These drawings based on a word of the day are really valuable, so I decided to re-open the group, and take it to the next level, making words available everyday.
To do this I came up with a years worth of words, changed the name of the group on FB to Daily Creativity - 5 Minute Word Source, so starting this coming Sunday there will be posting a week of words at a time.

The Plan:

Words will be posted a week at a time.
You then can jump back in-5 minutes a day drawings.
Posting/sharing your drawings and even bigger projects that they may inspire is highly encouraged.

Afterall -- it is only 5 minutes a day, AND
In 5 minutes a day you can:
improve your drawing skills
loosen up-get your mind open for the day
increase your creativity
get your imagination stirring
and, possibly produce new concepts
Here's how it works..
Each week (Sunday) there will be a new WORDs posted on our FaceBook Group page.
That’s your queue to grab your sketchbook or some paper & a pencil.
1. Then draw anything/ everything that comes to mind when you think about the WORD.
2. STOP at 5 minutes.
3. (optional but highly desired) Snap a picture of your drawing and post it to our group page here on Facebook.

Join Us!

ps -- don't forget that my on-line workshop
abric'ating Embellishments starts tomorrow...

Monday, February 15, 2016

Thank Goodness for Sketchbooks

You know the saying, 'When it rains, it pours"?
Well, this week I received two requests to participate with quilts in some fun projects. Naturally, they both had very short deadlines... so I had to think about whether I could meet the deadlines, or decline.

As luck would have it, I knew that I had a good start on a design for each sitting, waiting for me in my sketchbook. I was able to use  a couple of the 5 minute - word sketches from the 30-day challenge last year.

So, taking these two sketches -- and turn them quickly into designs, and say yes to those deadlines.

The word for day here was 'summer', but the flowers I chose to quickly sketch that day worked nicely into a quilt design that will show up soon on a very special project.
 And for the second project I used the sketch below.
The word for this day was 'bridges'...
and since the theme of my drawing was the bridge going over the river between Paducah and IL it was the perfect start for a 'River-themed' quilt.
The design I came up with is below, and I am pulling fabric for it today... but, I am happy that I have a bunch of possibilities to kick start designing.
I'm looking forward to digging through those silk bins.

This is one of the flying geese bridges that are close by and inspired the original 5 minute sketches. This single one crosses the Tennessee River and there is a double on that crosses the Ohio.
Happy Stitchin!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Home, home, home

Hi All,
I've been home from Tucson for a couple of weeks now -- and one would think that being home was to be laid back and lazy time. (wishful thinking on my part, really)

Since my return I have been working on one largish task and two high on the list 'things to do'. The largish task has been the reworking of my website rosehughes.com.   Since my plan this year is to stop with traveling too far afield for teaching there needed to be a major overhaul. I believe my part now is done, and it is now my webmaster's turn.

The first of the high on the list 'things to do' was to get ready and actually film my episode of PBS Expressions. The filming took place on Friday and it was a blast, the photos here find me first in the green room, then caught mid-sentance during the interview. I look forward to sharing the particulars on when it will air with you all, but for now I am happy to have this behind me...
...so jump in the 'things to do' number 2.
Number 2 is working on my latest on-line workshop. To kick this year off I chose to work on taking another of my favorites & my students favorites real world workshops into cyberspace. The workshop is Color Journaling, and I have a whole week of days this week to continue with preparing and recording some of the fun activities that will be part of this class.

Today it has been snowing... lightly all day...
The perfect day for some more color fun.

Stay tuned.
~Stitch on

Friday, January 22, 2016

Making if home for the snow

I headed off to Tucson to present and teach last week. It began on a clear day -- the earlier snow had cleared out and I went off without a care. Little did I know that on my arrival at the gate in Nashville that I would discover  I left my phone sitting on the passenger seat of my car -- now in long term parking. A strange feeling of fear came over me -- fight or flight. Calculating quickly I determined that there was no way to get to the car and back through security ----

I was phoneless, in a sea of phones, tablets and computers.
Aughhh, I was looking at 5 days without phone, camera, music, book, work, and social media---could one survive?

Thanks to the wonderful hostess at the Tucson Quilters Guild I survived. She helped me take it in stride while learning how to make calls again with a credit card.

My lecture Color it Bold and the human color wheel that is part of it was well received and there are now a ton of quilters that learned about natural neutrals and the power of color journaling.

And, there were so many saguaro trees that are going to love their new homes on some amazing quilts from the Dream Landscape workshop.... but, I have no pictures.
After one class we hit fun filled Mexican folk art shops and I made purchases of tin and milagro hearts that I longed for. After day 2 of class I was witness to a postcard perfect visit to Saguaro National Park (east) which ended with a sunset every photographer drools over... but, I have no pictures.

I do have lots of new hearts and memories of the periwinkle skies that deepened with yellows, oranges, reds, and pinks.

And, my phone was right where I left it -- to no surprise, dead.
I plugged it back in and was happily chatting with folks on my drive home.

The pictures here came afterwards...
For, I definitely survived and got home with clear skies just in time for the winter storms to come through.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Baby Steps - Giant Leaps

Some days are filled with just trying to figure out which way to go--
Just what should come next...

Other day the pathway is unfurled and is waiting for you to just jump.

My 2016 has been filled with the former...
This year I am choosing to only a selective number of teaching opportunities that take me flying from one coast to another;

and I am happily planning to get at least two more on-line workshops added to the two I have already. (BTW - My Shaping Up with Fast-Piece Applique is a great way to kick start your own year and begins next week- Friday, January 15th).
With the vision boarding-Infinite Possibilities Program -- many things are popping up -- so it seems a good time to play with small little stitchings, and houses seem perfect.

Here we go: the first was just pulled together with scraps;

though even as I worked on this one I started to think of it in other ways. Monochromatic little houses - primaries and secondaries.

Who know where these will end up;
the stitching begins...
Baby Steps!