Monday, November 5, 2012

Birds on a wire pillow/Salt lake City longarm quilter

a few fall birds by nanotchka
a few fall birds, a photo by nanotchka on Flickr.

Making a few new pillows is a great way to change up your decor a little. I love to decorate for the seasons and bring the seasons into my favorite rooms like the kitchen and the living room where I can welcome guests with something new and fresh every few months. I made this pillow for an online pillow swap and couldn't help making a couple for myself! I love any excuse to make something with a few of my signature birds, doing some fussy cutting and a little thread painting!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

T--shirt scarf/longarm quilter salt lake city

tshirt scarf grey by nanotchka
tshirt scarf grey, a photo by nanotchka on Flickr.

After raiding my garage and pulling out as many t-shirts as I could find, I spent the week end making scarves! These were so much fun to make! I found lots of versions of this fun scarf on Pinterest and added a few touches of my own! I experimented with making some fabric flowers with my scraps and loved the results so much that they ended up as embellishment for my scarves! I made over a dozen in lots of colors and prints!! I thought they would be fun for my studio "open house" that I'm hosting this week! Stop by and say hello!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

daffodil vintage fabric quilt/salt lake city longarm quilter

daffodil quilt by nanotchka
daffodil quilt, a photo by nanotchka on Flickr.

This fabric has quite a history. I was involved in saving the only arts/crafts center in Salt Lake City. The Pioneer Craft House was about to be sold off and the contents being gathered up to be mostly given away or thrown in the dumpster. The historic arts and crafts cluster of small charming and historic buildings was founded in the early 50's by Mrs. Beesley who loved every form of the arts with a passion. Her puppet theater and puppet collection was extensive and priceless to those who knew of their value and had been confirmed when I took a few of them to the "Antiques Roadshow" when it came to Salt Lake. And yet it was all on the chopping block. the good news is that after 3 years of negotiating and getting a bond from the county we were able to save the buildings but of all her many art collections the only one that remains intact for now are the puppets. Everything else was recently sold off at a garage sale by Salt Lake County who obviously didn't know what they had! The buildings will remain but the charm and the history are all gone.

When we were first working to save the center, closets were being cleaned out and drawers that hadn't been opened became my job to clean out. Mrs. Beesley didn't throw anything away! There was even a box of shoelaces from the 50s that someone had donated and they say she used them to teach women at the prison how to weave. Weaving and textiles were another one of her passions so there were closets and drawers filled with cones of yarn and stacks of textiles. One closet was full of sample books and stacks of sample fabrics from a large local furniture store and interior design house that had long since closed it's doors. It was all labed for the dumpster and so instead of taking it to the dumpster, I filled up the back of my van and made multiple trips to my studio until it was out of their way!

This was one of my favorite pieces that remined me of the 60's and 70's years of the "flower child" and woodstock! The look was so very retro and I had been pulling it out every once in awhile just waiting to give it new life. There were two panels that I joined with bright orange ric rac and put it on the quilting machine and just started to play!

I used a high loft batting to give it dimension and to make the daffodils and butterflys pop! I think it will make a fun piece for the wall in a little girls room or as a bed throw! There will be more pieces from the "Pioneer Craft House" Collection in the future!

vintage butterflys/salt lake city longarm quilter

vintage butterflys by nanotchka
vintage butterflys, a photo by nanotchka on Flickr.

I used a batting that would make the flowers and butterflys on this vintage fabric panel pop! The colors were wo bright and the butterflys soooo retro that I just knew it had to be quilted!!
I spent the afternoon just playing with my longarm machine and just free motioned this "flower child"-like design.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

qiana quilt/Salt Lake City longarm quilter

qiana quilt by nanotchka
qiana quilt, a photo by nanotchka on Flickr.

This whole cloth quilt is made with fabric that I used for Bridal parties when I had a Bridal Shop in Salt Lake City in the 80's. The fabric is Qiana. they stopped making this luxurious fabric in the late 80's because it became more expensive to produce than silk! I bought up alot of it because it had the look and feel of silk but was wshable! This Qiana is a very fine knit so I backed this quilt with a fine soft tricot to keep the whole quilt soft and silky! I love the puffy result and the elegant look and feel! The challenge was putting the two knits on the longarm frame and not stretching it to death when I rolled the quilt!

The sheen of the fabric gives such a luxurious effect that I can't wait to do more! What a great gift for the holidays to just about anyone! I have some unique colors as well to work with so it should be fun to make a few more. I used a rayon thread for the quilting that also adds to the elegance of the quilt.

Drop by the studio and touch this one!

Friday, July 20, 2012

salt lake city longarm quilter/denim quilt

love quilt finished whole by nanotchka
love quilt finished whole, a photo by nanotchka on Flickr.

I spent this week cutting up my husbands old jeans and shirts for this quilt! I wanted to make a quilt embroidered with the words to a song I had been thinking of alot lately. "have I done any good in the world today? Have I helped anyone in need? Have I cheered up the sad or made someone feel glad? If not I have failed indeed" This is just one verse that is embroidered with free motion embroidered on patches in the quilt.

I started piecing with traditional seams and decided that I wanted a more frayed, rough look to the quilt so I started lapping some of the seams and brushing them with my wire chenille brush! I loved the frayed/fringed look of the new seams and used that along with the traditional seams throughout the rest of the quilt.

I fused shirt pieces and began cutting free form hearts to applique over my frayed blocks to keep the theme of love in the quilt. The pant pockets were added after the quilt was completely finished.

I wanted to keep the "re-cycled/repurposed" idea of the quilt when I was looking for a backing. I was shopping for a flannel sheet in the department store when I thought of going to the thrift store for something for the back of the quilt. Two thrift stores later I found the perfect bright red knit vintage sheet! My "found" fabric quilt was complete. I'll be taking this quilt to the Restoring Love gathering in Dallas Texas next week! I hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

On the Edge/ longarm quilter salt lake city

flower on the edge by nanotchka
flower on the edge, a photo by nanotchka on Flickr.

I've been collecting bags of selvage edges thinking that I would eventually make a full size quilt. I just haven't had the time to dedicate to the project so I thought I'd play with a few mini quilts using up some of these bright designer selvage strips. I also purchased a new 9 degree ruler that I had wanted to play with for months! This "on the edge" flower seemed like the perfect project! It was fun to play with and I made several extra flowers that I think would make a fun quilt along with some strip pieced selvage blocks. What do you think? I used a scrap piece of polka dot piping for the stem and was really happy with the result. Sometimes the best things happen when you just have an afternoon to play.

Monday, June 4, 2012

flamingo quilt/ Salt Lake City Longarm quilter

flamingos quilted by nanotchka
flamingos quilted, a photo by nanotchka on Flickr.
I put the finishing touches on the flamingo quilt this week end. It was fun to put the quilt back on the machine and do a little thread painting to make my flamingos come to life. Just a little quilted grass for them to nibble on and now it is finished. The finished size of the quilt is 66X 80 and I added a sleeve for hanging it on the wall. I was inspired by a quilt  artist that I saw at the American Folk Museum in NYC.[    Now on the setting up schedules for classes and a few jacket workshops in my studio this summer. Get ready, set, lets sew!

You can find the quilt artist who inspired me here!  His work is amazing!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Quilting on a longarm in Salt lake City

think pink by nanotchka
think pink, a photo by nanotchka on Flickr.

A rainy memorial day week end has given me the opportunity to do a little WIP work for a few days. I have had this queen size quilt made with some ugly stash vintage fabrics all pieced and quilted for awhile. The quilt just wasn't doing anything for me. After returning from New York City where I experienced an inspiring quilt lecture and trunk show at the American Craft and folk museum on 66th Street I had been thinking of using this simple pieced quilt as a canvas for something more exciting. I guess it was because of the touch of pink in some of the blocks that brought visions of flamingos into my head. Although I toyed with other ideas....the flamingos just wouldn't go away. I am definitely not an artist and I don't often feel inclined to even attempt to draw anything let along a pair of flamingos but I couldn't find anything that I liked on the internet...a few close but no prize possibilites. In frustration I finally pinned a few sheets of tissue paper together and began to sketch. This pair was the finished result. Now it's time to put it back onto the longarm and do a little thread painting. I'll let you see it again when it is all finished and bound. I think I'll take it to Liberty Park for it's final photo session. They need to be close to a little water and maybe a few fountains! Have a good holiday week end!

Monday, May 14, 2012

HQMS show Salt Lake City/Innova longarm quilter Salt Lake City

I was working in the Innova Longarm Quilting Booth at the HQMS Show in Salt Lake City, Utah this week end and took a few minutes away from selling to snap a few pictures of some of my favorite quilts.  The quilt exhibit was amazing this year with a variety of quilts from traditional to art to liberated in style and construction.  This quilt was one of my favorites.  It was created from an image of a bird that was photographed in Africa.  The colors were acheived with the use of disperse dyes and heavy thread painting especially on the body of the bird.  The detail was incredible and this large quilt had the look of a live bird in its natural habitat.

I like the contrast of colors and the abstract look of this mini quilt.  The pieced background was broken with the lines of the fused raw edge applique and had the look of trees.  This quilt was an amzaing art piece, very similar to some of the pieces I saw in galleries on my recent trip to New York City.  The use of "untraditional" fabrics added to the interest of this quilt and it was heavily stitched to give it even more depth and additional color.

There are always a few show stopping quilts that you just have to pause and look at, just to take in all of the details and to dream of making a quilt of that calibur "someday"!  From the intricate scrolling victorian workwork to the hairs of the cat and the feathers of the bird I loved taking time to study every inch of this quilt.  The colors of the flowers and vines were blended in such a way that they appeared to be handpainted even though it was all appliqued and pieced.  The quilting really added to the dimension and depth that you felt as you were looking at  the quilt from across the hall or just a foot away. 

I am always drawn to quilts that incorporate unusual fabrics.  Although I love all of the fresh modern prints and contemporary designers in the quilt world, I  love so many different types of fabrics.  I am fascinated with the use of what many designers now call  "found" fabrics and the use of silks, woolens and even synthetics (heaven forbid!) in todays quilts.  I imagine that the maker of this quilt must have traveled to Guatemala and wanted to use the colorful handwoven fabrics found there in this beautifully handstitched, pieced and appliqued quilt.

The new modern abstract quilts seem to be a perfect canvas for unbelievable quilting!  This quilt is an example of  how a fresh modern quilt can and should be quilted.  The variations of stitching patterns was amazing and the  extraordinary use of color and the placement of the random piecing was very dramatic

 If you are looking for inspiration for longarm quilting, this is the show!  These are just a few examples of the quilts and the fabulous quilting that inspired me during the three day show!   Each and every quilt in the show was a joy to look at and offered something new to think about and  prompted new ideas and possibilities of future quilts.  I couldn't wait to get back to my studio and sketch.  It didn't take me long to be pulling fabrics and piling them up on my worktable to begin new projects.  I can't wait to cut into the neatly stacked piles and begin the process of turning these fabrics into quilts that I can get on my longarm.  My father could never understand the concept of cutting fabrics up so you could sew them back together again.....I guess it's just because..... I can......Now to get to work!!!!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I just returned from a fabulous trip to New York City.  I have been away far too long!  I lived in New York City when I was studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology and have claimed it as my second home ever since.  When I had my retail stores I would travel to the city twice a year to buy ( and go to the theater and dine mostly!).  It had been a long time since I had been back to the city that I love, in fact the last time I was there was before 911. 

One of my stops was at the City Quilter not far from my F.I.T. neighborhood that I knew so well. Their gallery had an exhibit of Sue Benner's amazing art quilts.  I was so inspired by her work that it's the first thing that I want to share with you from the trip.  This was one of my favorite pieces.  Visually it is circles, but the base is simple blocks.  The circles are created with narrow bias pieces that she has swirled and fused to the base.  She also does alot of stamping and printing on her quilts to add dimension and interest. 

I love to use unexpected fabrics in my quilts.  I do love all of the new modern cotton quilting fabrics that are out there....but I have worked with so many different types of fabrics over the years and I love the qualities of fabrics like silks, rayons, woolens and more!  Sue uses alot of "found" fabrics in her quilts.  You can see the difference in the overall look of the quilts.  There were alot of silks and other fabrics, even polyesters.  These fabrics gave her quilts a sheen and colorations that she would never have been able to achieve with cottons.  The quilts are also heavily quilted with rayon and yarn dyed threads to add even more color and contrast to her quilts.

Another thing that Sue does with her quilts that makes them hang well and look perfect in the exhibition is a trick that I want to try on my next art quilt.  She has a sleeve in both the top and the bottom of her quilts.  The top sleep has a 2 inch board in it to keep the top straight and smooth .  The bottom sleeve also has a board in it.  It weights the quilts and it really makes a difference in how her quilts hang and show in the exhibit.  I hope you enjoy looking at these wonderful quilts as much as I did!  Be sure and visit Sue Benner's website to see more.

As you can see there was a wealth of inspiration to be found in the "City" and I can't wait to share more of it with you!  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Red Butte Gardens in bloom

Red Butte Gardens in bloom by nanotchka
Red Butte Gardens in bloom, a photo by nanotchka on Flickr.

I enjoyed the gardens so much last week that I went back for another stroll! what a nice way to spend the morning! There is nothing more inspiring for the creative spirit than nature itself!

Monday, April 9, 2012

I Often Go Walking

Today is a bittersweet day as I remember my mother who passed away just one year ago.  I wanted to remember her by spending the day doing the things that she loved.  My first stop was the Red Butte Gardens where the 234,000 bulbs that have been planted there were in full bloom.  My mother was known for her love of flowers and for her garden.  It was a beautiful sunny spring day and my mind was filled with sweet memories  and thoughts of my mother.  I have been thinking about the words from a favorite childhood song that I learned in Primary.  I will let the words of that song tell my story because they describe beautifully just how I felt today as I walked through these beautiful gardens and remembered my mother.  I miss you Mom.

I often go Walking in meadows of clover,

And I gather armfuls of blossoms of blue

I gather the blossoms the whole meadow over

Dear mother all flowers remind me of you.

Oh mother I give you my love with each flower

To give forth sweet fragrance a whole lifetime through;

For if I love blossoms and meadows and walking,

I learned how to love them dear mother from you.

                                                                            Phyllis Luch

Friday, April 6, 2012

Flickr Swap/The Simple Thimble Longarm Quilter Salt Lake City

PLP swap sneak peek by nanotchka
PLP swap sneak peek, a photo by nanotchka on Flickr.

I love taking part in online swaps! It have met so many wonderful quilting friends online from all over the world! I love following their blogs, chatting with them online and sharing with them through a variety of swaps from mini quilts to "Pretty Little Pouches"! This one is for my secret partner in the Pretty Little Pouch Swap number 4! I saw this design online and have had it in the back of my mind for months. I spent all morning trying to find it again so I could post the link but with no success! I hope someone will remember seeing it too and will be able to help me find the original designer! I thought this was such a clever way to use a simple hexie log cabin with extending the final row out to the edges and adding some handstitching. I am using an imported characoal grey linen for the base and my favorite new Moda collection of hand dyed design prints for the bright pop of colors! I love taking the time to do the handstitching. It gives the bag such a personal finished touch. You will see more tomorrow when the little bag is finished and ready to be mailed! If you haven't done an online swap! Do it! It's so fun to share what you love and it gives you the opportunity to try new techniques and designs.

Friday, March 16, 2012

My quilt on the cover of Quiltmania

I was thrilled to find out that my quilt was chosen for the cover of the new issue of Quiltmania Magazine. The magazine is published in France but is distributed in the US as well in an english version. If your local quilt shop doesn't have it you can find it at Barnes and Noble Bookstores! We will also have copies available on my website. as well as kits for the quilt. This was such a fun quilt to make and the chenille gives it a wonderful texture a little bit of a vintage feel. I hope you will make yourself one for spring!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bird on a Wire Quilt

Bird on a Wire Quilt by nanotchka
Bird on a Wire Quilt, a photo by nanotchka on Flickr.

My Bird on a Wire quilt is on the cover of the Quiltmania Magazine! The pattern and instructions are in issue #88. This was such a fun little quilt to design and make. I hope you will enjoy making one for yourself! Kits for the quilt are available here

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Eat Play Sleep quilt

Eat Play Sleep quilt by nanotchka
Eat Play Sleep quilt, a photo by nanotchka on Flickr.

I just finished this little "Eat, Play, Sleep, Repeat" Quilt for an upcoming show in Puyuallup Washington March 1st through the 4th. It's one of my favorite shows of that year. This is the firt year I won't be teaching but I will be teaching again next year. It will be nice to have time to just visit with so many of our wonderful customers that we see there every year. If you've never been to the Sewing Expo in Washington, it's one of the largest in the nation. All of the national teachers are there and it's worth fighting the crowds ot enthusiastic sewers and quilters to attend! Hope you'll drop by and say hello and see all of the new surprises we have waiting for you!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

sewing studio wall

sewing studio wall by nanotchka
sewing studio wall, a photo by nanotchka on Flickr.

It's the new year and I'm finally back on track and ready to blog again. I have so many new projects in progress and I'm excited to share them. My studio is organized and is such a pleasure to work in. You can see my studio wall here with all of my new shelves for my collection of fat quarters. I will share more views of my studio in the coming weeks. The little white chair stacked with my mother in laws vintage bread pans full of fat quarters was the chair my husband sat on to have his hair cut when he was a boy! You can see that my shelves on the wall on filled with memorabelia. These are some of the things that inspire me and bring back so many memories as I work.