Archive for the ‘pattern’ Category

Busy Busy Busy…….Two of Seven…..

So it’s a crazy time in the studio right now – 7 projects, five of which are big ones. Two deadlines coming up this next Monday for photography…see, Kathy Nida – I’m calling the photographer ahead of time to get myself to the deadline!

Here are the first two of the seven….I’ve been quilting baby quilts for a friend who works at the middle school we both did, me back in the mid-seventies. You can see the last baby quilt (before all the deadlines hit) here. I enjoy doing them, we usually get a free lunch together, and it gives me a chance to practice my free-motion skills – kind of like practicing free throws before you need them for the big game. You can see the children’s literature theme – the books usually stay the same, and the colors change to the new mom’s preference. ALL pictures copyright 2017, Linda A. Moran. PS – thank you, Superior Threads!

ALL pictures copyright 2017, Linda A. Moran.

ALL pictures copyright 2017, Linda A. Moran.

Now for the next project – I decided to make quilts for my great-nieces and great-nephews when they turned 13. You can see Gracie Mae’s quilt from two years ago here. Now it’s Gavin’s turn, and I did another “modern” quilt with the colors he wanted. Again, a great chance to practice design and free motion quilting. In looking at the one two years ago, I can see the improvement in my skills. In two years I owe two new birthday quilts.

Love the backing – perfect for an adolescent boy!

ALL pictures copyright 2017, Linda A. Moran.

ALL pictures copyright 2017, Linda A. Moran.

ALL pictures copyright 2017, Linda A. Moran.

ALL pictures copyright 2017, Linda A. Moran.

ALL pictures copyright 2017, Linda A. Moran.

I really wanna learn to use rulers like Judy Madsen…..

On to “Eruption” and the “Threads of Resistance” quilts…….

Passive Income

I first heard about passive income about three years ago when I was reading a lot about monetizing my blog and making money without having to do a whole lot of work. Sounds great, but not as easy in reality. I got turned down by a group to host ads, as I didn’t have enough traffic, and they didn’t see quilters as a big draw – despite the fact that I had done my research and talked about a 4 billion dollar industry.

Rather than spend the time trying to get everything up and running to make money, I was still stuck working in the classroom, and I just didn’t have the energy after work. I started doing what I could. And now…I find I actually am getting some passive income three years later, with more possibilities in the works.

First, I receive a commission when someone buys materials from licensing expert Tara Reed. I’ve bought a number of things from her, and I love her work – all the detail and information is exceptional. Every time I mention her in a blog post, I usually make a sale, and consequently I get a few pennies.

I just uploaded my first pattern to PatternSpot.com, and hopefully I will begin to sell patterns there, through Etsy, and on our website. Every little penny helps! I have digital marbling images on Fine Art America. The work there is to figure out the site and get the photos uploaded. Once work sells, they do everything else.

Amazon and Google Adsense are two other outlets for monies. At one time I was getting regular checks from Amazon for books I recommended, and I need to do more of that. Google Adsense is about to send a check, as the clicks on the site are getting up to the minimum for a payout.Part of my issue with Google Adsense is making sure the ads that show are applicable to the site – Jockey underwear isn’t going to exactly get click-through’s….

Surfing Amazon!

So, it takes a while, but getting notices from Paypal about money in your account are very nice. You just have to be patient!

 

Monday Marketing

I figured I would DO my Monday marketing and THEN write about it, rather than the other way around. So I’ve had a productive hour on line taking care of some loose ends. New goodies up ion the Etsy shop, including our first pattern in a VERY long while.

If you have a small table that needs protection – or just some colorful decoration, then these table runners could be just what you need to add some excitement to a room! You have a variety of choices in design, as well as unlimited fabric choices: use that special hand-dye or marbled fabric, or sort through your stash. You have lots of design possibilities in fabric, batting, and thread choices, so don’t feel limited with these samples. I had some great pattern testers help with the finishing of this; their contributions are also featured.

This pattern is available in our Etsy shop, as well as on PatternSpot.com. The pattern is $9.00 and comes as a PDF file, complete with color photos on construction and layout. Eventually I will figure out the coding and get it on the website.

I must confess I am enjoying Pinterest. I thought it would be a waste of time, and actually it is, but it gives me a place to pin pictures that I really like. I am seeing a lot of marbled fabric getting repinned, so I guess people are really looking.

I’ve got another pattern in the works – Spring, part of the Marbled Seasons series. This is really starting to look good, as I was originally wondering if my fabric choices were going to work. I was hoping to have it finished for testing before the next newsletter, but it isn’t going to happen. But as I did my planning for the holiday season, next month will be custom baskets, as it will give us time to marble the fabric and put baskets together….got a new small art quilt up in Etsy, some new fabrics, a major order to Taiwan, so now we wil be ordering more fabric and paints….and threads – I am so out of threads!

Little by little I am getting things accomplished. Not the fifth gear I was in in May, June, and some of July, but at least it feels like getting into second gear.

Work in Progress Wednesday – Learning Lots!!

Well, this has been a week of learning experiences, including running the machine needle through the tip of my finger. I’m somewhat frazzled deciding on a project, since I don’t have any looming deadlines. I do, however, have a list of projects that need doing, so I picked one from that list and then added another.

First, from the UFO list. Several years ago (going on three?) I took a class with a friend on a Judy Niemeyer pattern, Stepping Stones. You can see the pattern here. Originally it was going to be a king-sized bed quilt, but I was still teaching, so that got put on hold. When I reorganized the studio (twice), the blocks made it into the UFO pile, and when I made my list in May of projects, I listed these. But….I listed them as a potential table runner, figuring that way they would be done, and I could actually use the table runner, as we have a new dining room set (new to us – we’re babysitting it for a friend). I would also have enough for 6 placemats, too.

Well, there were loads of problems. Could I find the black fabric I was using for connector strips (three searches)? Could I do all the matching, since it had been about 3 years? How would I quilt it? What would I use for backing? I got the four completed blocks into one runner, and then I spent the next three hours taking out all the paper….note to self: you still need to vacuum. The blue I thought to use for backing was a stretchy polyester that wasn’t long enough, so plan B was leftover dark blue from another quilt back. Then I had to buy batting.

Finally everything is together and ready for quilting…..and I had no idea what to do for the quilting. Didn’t seem like feathers would work. Didn’t want to do a stitch-in-the-ditch. Tried some outlining, but I didn’t like it. Then I thought about the overall loopy pattern from the May challenge, but ended up picking all that out. I realized I would need to go with monopoly thread, so the stitching wasn’t obvious. And I was playing around with tension, including two more ripping sessions.

I tried doing some partial circles on each block, so it would look like rippled water. And then I discovered the settings on my machine were set for the decorative stitch I used in the black borders. Seems like I still had the setting on one of the decorative stitches, and I was trying to free motion and there was a lot of drag. I also discovered that I could use a variation of a zigzag stitch and still have the feed dogs up. Turns out I liked the ripple effect, and that’s what I went with for the rest of the runner. Here’s a pic:

Here’s the finished table runner, which is absolutely perfect on the table. It will work with any of the leaves when we put them in.

Then I was feeling somewhat at loose ends. I had been watching The Quilt Show and following the color lessons from Michelle Jackson. I decided to do the first color study, and again I learned a huge amount. The first lesson was really interesting, especially since I have a lot of trouble choosing and working with color. This was to take  a monochromatic color and determine dark, medium, and light. I chose greens, because I have a lot in the stash. I discovered that when I’m choosing, I really need to analyze tones and hues. I also need to be sure there is definite contrast. The first study I did was the one where you had a light, medium, and dark, with not a huge amount of contrast. I did not have enough contrast within those three colors.

I also was working with fusing for like the second time ever, and my pattern pieces were not always meeting up. I spent a lot of time trying to make this piece look like something – going back to linear me and not being able to just work without it having to be “something.”

I finally got all the pieces ironed down, and I felt I was moderately successful. Mostly because I learned a great deal about choosing the colors. I was still trying to figure out what to do with the piece. Yes, it’s just an exercise, but the linear part of me needs it to be “something.” Ideally I want to be able to work with light, medium, and dark marbled fabric, but I can see I have a long way to go.

Again, I couldn’t figure out what to do with quilting it. I tried out one decorative stitch and didn’t like it. I reverted back to the satin stitch I was doing two table runners ago. All of a sudden I began to like the piece more. It began to look more “painterly,” and pretty abstract in a pleasing way. I ended up binding in, and the piece would work as a nice little runner or table mat for a vase. It’s going up in my Etsy store.

Who knows where I’m headed next? There are 6 placemats to finish…..

Top Ten Tuesday

 

There’s a lot of great pictures and all on line for this week, but I just stumbled on this video that is a MUST SEE for women. It’s an important statement about women in our society. Knowledge is power. “Misrepresentation.”

 

From Cool Hunting, a really interesting photography contest: repurpose a pattern.

Great stuff on JPG Magazine – voting on one of their contests – lots of movement to these pictures.

Mathias Roller

 The 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2012 – from The Best Article Every Day

Here’s a really interesting post from Laura Bray – really unusual – about make “play food” for the kids to use in their “play” kitchens. I loved the pasta, and this ravioli is genius!

thought-provoking from The Creativity Post: The Responsibility of the Audience. thoughts from you?

Also from the Creativity Post: Mozart, Newton and You? Again, very thought-provoking. I love this comment:

“Creativity is essential to particle physics, cosmology, and to mathematics, and to other fields of science, just as it is to its more widely acknowledged beneficiaries — the arts and humanities. Science epitomizes the extra richness that can enhance creative endeavors that take place in constrained settings. The inspiration and imagination involved are easily overlooked amid the logical rules. However, math and technology were themselves discovered and formulated by people who were thinking creatively about how to synthesize ideas — and by those who accidentally came upon an interesting result and had the creative alertness to recognize its value.”  Your comments? For example, were Gates’ opportunities more important than his drive and talent?

From the 365 Project – this week’s top ten:

Microwires by peter/zip

Now this is weird…..Bent Objects by Terry Border, from The Best Article Every Day….

And from SewCal Gal comes a virtual tour of Hoffman Fabrics – really interesting if you’re any kind of a fabric-oholic….really interesting to see the process for producing all those yummy fabrics.

That’s it for this week – let me know what you find that’s unusual on line this coming week!

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