Monday, January 31, 2011

Doodles and Flutters -- Oh, My!

Where was I last week?  I think most of you know the answer to that - I was getting to know Vinnie Gammill better!  I did quite a bit of practicing, but I have a long way to go before I load up a "real" quilt!  I realized the past week that I am more of a structured quilter as opposed to a doodler!  I found I could do a few things well in freehand mode - like stipples and squiggles, and sometimes I can even to a feather that almost looks like I know what I'm doing.  But when it comes to anything else - forget it!  So....I did quite a bit of research this week and I believe I've found what works well for me.  Pam Clarke, one of Gammill's resident quilt artists is the gal for me!  She draws lines and graphs and shows you how to quilt shapes into them.  She was even kind enough to email me back when I asked which of her starter packages of training guides might be best for me!  She lives just about 3 hours north of us, too!  Unfortunately, she only gives live classes at shows - perhaps I have another reason to return to the Portland Quilt Show this year!
Here is a portion of the quilting from my first practice quilt - the one that Jack loaded onto Vinnie when he set the machine up for me.  I'm not going to show you the entire piece as it's rather "flawed" in places!  I was practicing a pantograph and couldn't figure out why I had a bulge in one section - I later realized that I had forgotten to baste down either side of the quilt when I rolled it forward.  Little things like that really make a difference!

I decided I would show you my first feather - ever!  I first drew the feather (which I made right after Jack left the first day), then attempted to outline it - big mistake!

The flutters came when it was time to load my second practice quilt!  I think that process scared me more than anything else!  Don't worry, I've already re-basted that puckered side - there are a lot of things to watch for!  I decided to go for a black top this time so I could see my stitching better and also be better able to chalk in some stencils that I can see well.  I used Warm & Natural batting in this one - my favorite - and it also makes a huge differece.  Your quilting is much more "flat" than with a poly batt.  I haven't decided which I like best. I've now rolled this 60 x 80 practice piece twice with much more to go!  Next quilt might be a real top!  I'll just do some stippling and a little outlining to start. Wish me luck!

A few posts ago I showed you the Art Deco lamp we found at an obscure antique shop in Oregon.  It has now been re-wired and the other day we had it hung in our entry.  Lighting is always difficult to photograph, but you can get the idea.
Here is a view standing under it in the daylight.  I was surfing the internet looking for places to buy replacement shades if we ever needed one.  They are extremely difficult to find - and one shade costs more than what we paid the the light!  All in all, we can't believe what a great deal we got!

Over the weekend we heard from a woman who grew up in the Squash House! Her parents had the house built and lived in it for 50 years.  She will be coming to town next weekend and wondered if she could walk through the house.  Of course we are delighted that she wants to come by - and can't wait to hear more about the house.  Already she's told us some interesting tidbits!  I don't want to spoil the story now, but do please come back next week as there will surely be a great post or two about her visit!

29 comments:

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Vinnie looks like so much fun to get to know Candace. You are doing great.
And your light fixture is amazing in it's new home - gorgeous!

Jackie said...

Your doodles are just fantastic!!! You're doing really, really well. You're a natural!

Cheryl said...

Uh, it sounds like you are having so much fun. I want one of those in the worst way. And you are making speedy progress! Have fun.

Linda said...

Practicing looks phenomenal Candace!! You're a pro and I new you would be!! Love the light fixture and can't wait to hear the stories of the Squash House!!:-)

Lynn said...

My first doodles are now part of a doggie bed for Zinny! Your first doodles are amazing.

ferne said...

Your quilting is really looking great! I was free motion quilting a little quilt the other day and thinking of you...I have a real hard time getting the hang of this on my machine. I think it is the table, things get stuck and stitches don't go where you want them, is it easier on the big guy?

Darlene said...

Love your new light fixture - looks stunning.

I think your doodles look great - relax and enjoy.

Sharon said...

I am a "color inside the lines, don't cut the points off" kind of girl too, and I LOVE Pam Clarke's dvd's and stencils. A to B, B to C etc. Once you get that down, the freehand stuff will come. Some great dvd's out there as well. Also, after you "quilt" your practice piece, just put another piece of muslin over it and requilt it. Don't load up a new back and batting. Big time and $$ saver. Then see if the local animal shelter needs some blankets, zig zag the edges and donate.

Stephanie said...

You and Vinnie look like a perfect match. Your quilting already looks very professional. How exciting to get inside info on Squash House. We'll be waiting...

onlymehere said...

Vinnie is certainly giving you joy! That's exciting too about the lady coming to see the house. Hope she has good stories for you! I like the light fixture too. It's really unique.

lpnjam@aol.com said...

I want to ask you if the "Jack" is from a shop in McMinville, Oregon? I am serious about getting a "Gracie" like your Vinnie and think Jack could be my man....you can e-mail me direct if you don't want to be real public. Also we live in Western Washington and my husband is bugging me to retire in a couple of years to Eastern Washington!! Lots of questions there too....Great doodling!!! lpnjam@aol..com

Barb said...

Oh...you are coming along nicely...those feathers are wonderful...you are too hard on yourself...

Ulla said...

Your quilting looks just great, the stitches are so even and the shapes so smooth! I will stitch straight lines only. The new lamp is really nice.

Quilt Hollow said...

Your quilting is looking fantastic...how wonderful too that somebody can tell you some history about your home.

Louise said...

Hey I think you are getting the hang of it by jove! When I first got my Gam in '98 all I ever did from the first day was freehand. I felt it was far more creative and fun. Sometimes I feel some mellow music really helps to relax me. Absolutely love your new entry light it, it is gorgeous.

Magnolia Bay Quilts said...

Your quilting looks really nice! I'm sure you're having lots of fun.

The light fixture is so unique. And how exciting about your visitor! Can't wait to hear about your home's history.

Chris said...

You are having so much fun!!!! Both with Vinnie and working on your home - WONDERFUL!! I look forward to your gardening posts in a few months.....they are always enjoyable...and nice to compare to our area here in NJ.

Chris said...

Let's make it two Chris's in a row!! :-)

Your practicing looks wonderful! I think you're a natural. :-) Well done!

Anne said...

Yep, I knew it...You're a natural! Your feathers are wonderful. You're on your way, girl! How fun that you're gonna get to hear about the Squash House's history. Can't wait myself.

Mary said...

Are you sure you weren't a quilter in another life? Impressed doesn't say enough! And how fun is that to find a former resident of your house. I look forward to reading about her visit!

Colleen G said...

What a find to discover the light fixture. We had a similar one in the entry hall of our 1825 stone house, not original of course but installed some where in time prior to our time there. One of the petals was broken when someone (nameless to protect the guilty) was not paying attention when a furniture piece was moved from one room to another. I spent many an hour searching a replacement to no avail or at any cost. So the moral of the story is to look up when rearranging large furniture! lol

Sandi said...

You might want to check out Innovations Machine Quilting Expo in Tacoma Washington in September.

I took two classes from Pam along with some other great teachers.

Have Fun!

Carrie P. said...

It looks like you and Vinnie are getting along quite well. I think you are doing pretty good for a newbie. Keep up the good work.
Fascinating light.

Kim said...

I sure do get the idea. The light is gorgeous, the quilting is coming along really well I think - don't you? And your pending visit with a former resident of your home is going to be a fun story - I just know it! Glad things are going so well with Vinnie!

Libby said...

You and Vinnie are getting along famously. It will be fun to see what you two come up with *s* And that light . . . . oh, how I covet that light!

Carole said...

Congratulations! Vinnie will be lots of fun! So, which package did Pam recommend for you? Just curious! In one of the classes I took with Linda Taylor, she mentioned creating a map/template of all the various doodling etc that you like. You keep it close by when you quilt. That's the one thing I find difficult, remembering doddlewhachamacallit! lol I'm still not at the stage where it comes naturally!lol

Love your new fixture! Thanks for sharing! Cheers!

pratima said...

Candace, you are doing splendidly on your first tries. The feathers and doodles hardly look like they were done by a newbie. Fun times with Vinnie!

Michele said...

What fun! Fantastic quilting....and I'm sure there is more to come :) Enjoy having a visitor tell you stories about your home!

PamKittyMorning said...

I'm really impressed with that practice swatch! Nice work! As usual have loved all the pictures of your recent posts. I'm the crappiest commenter ever. Love the fish, loved the boat. Loved the Gammill set up...wonderful all of it.