Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Happy times!

What a week and a half it's been.  I think I've experienced every emotion imaginable, from low to high to extremely high.

I always seem to go into a mini funk whenever I finish a large project and in this case, I'm referring to my "man quilt".  I like to compare it to coming to the end of a great book.  I want it to be over so I can see how it ends but after I read the final "The End"...or in this case, the last stitch...I feel somewhat melancholy because after enjoying it so much, I want it to continue.  

We all give so much of ourselves with every quilt or hand made project we make, don't we?  Because of that, I personally like to take a little "me" time between each.  

One of the positive things that happened during our four day loss of power following tropical storm Arthur was that I came up with a new design that I had hoped to start last week.  Well, I didn't.  My head just wasn't there.  So rather than talk or guilt myself into it, I did a bit more organization in my studio, read a bit and spent more time in the kitchen preparing home-cooked meals.

And then the good things started happening!

First, my friend Lucie and her husband decided that they are going to take a "little" detour and will be paying us a visit for two days in August before making their way to PEI to attend a wedding.  I can't tell you how excited I am about their impending visit.  We haven't seen each other in almost five LONG years. 

Not too long ago, Lucie asked me to design a Fall themed mini quilt and that's the design I worked on and came up with during our power outage.  Now I have the incentive to get the sample done before she arrives!  So tomorrow, the sewing begins!

Then yesterday, look what arrived in my mailbox...


A box of my favorite threads from Aurifil!


Don't they look good enough to eat?  The colors are so rich and yummy!


Good things happen in threes, right?

On Monday of this week, I put the finishing touches on yet another new design that crept into my head over the weekend.  I started the initial sketches on Sunday but stalled about half way through.  Then on Monday morning, the proverbial light bulb came on and I was able to finish the design.

Yesterday, by coincidence, I heard from Jeni, the Editor and Creative Director of Primitive Quilts & Projects magazine.  She was writing to tell me that my latest project for the Spring 2015 issue had arrived safely, that they had just finished shooting my project for the Winter 2014 issue and that they would be sending me a photo just before the magazine was ready to go to print.  I'm over-the-moon excited to see it because her words were, "It's stunning!"    

While we were "talking", I told her that I had just came up with another new design and to make a long story short, it is now scheduled for the Spring 2016 issue. No hurried deadlines with this one!  Whew!


So that's been my last week and a half.  My funks never last long because it doesn't take too much to make me happy.

I have SOOOOOOOO much to be thankful for!

Happy stitching!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

It's been a while...

Since I last posted here but I'm going to come clean and admit that I was in a bit of a funk.  It was a week ago today when tropical storm Arthur...remember him?...decided to pay us a visit.  Rather than bore you with all the sordid details, the long and short of it was that we were without power and water for F-O-U-R long days.  

If you ever hear me say I want to go camping, shoot me!

F-O-U-R days without water is 3 and 3/4 days too long, especially when you're on a well.  I don't know how many trips we made to the local spring just outside of town to fill 5 gallon jugs with water to freshen up with and to flush the toilets.  And I'm soooooo tired of sandwiches because we couldn't cook either!  

Having said that, neither we nor our property suffered any damage apart from some tree limbs and tons of leaves that fell.  We did lose the contents of our large freezer and fridge freezer which kinda hurt.  The sad part is that there are still tens of thousands of people in Atlantic Canada without power and my heart goes out to them.  Thank goodness it's not winter!

If you recall that just prior to Arthur blowing in, I finished my "man quilt" flimsy.  I don't know about you all but when I finish a large project, it can become very anticlimactic for me...kind of like coming to the end of a really good book where you want to finish it to find out how it ends but when it does, it can also leave you with an empty feeling wanting more.  And not only that, I had to write up the instructions for my second Primitive Quilts & Projects magazine project that are due by the end of the month and I hadn't even started that when the power went out.  I wrote them all out in longhand which did help to pass the time and I also redid the line drawings which are as close to perfect as possible because I had so much time to spend on them.

So my "man quilt" is off to Alice to be quilted and my Spring 2015 project is on it's way to West Virginia to Primitive Quilts & Projects. I can't tell you what a load that is off my mind.  Yay!

Another positive thing that came out of the Arthur debacle is that I designed another small quilt project.  I had so much time on my hands and the ideas just kept on coming so instead of asking myself what my next project would be, I now know what it is...especially since my studio is all clean, neat and tidy again!

Yesterday Mr. Painted Quilt, Ollie went to visit our friends who live on the south shore of Nova Scotia to pick up a cabinet that she was selling.  Guess what I did this morning?  

Yep...cleaned and reorganized my studio!

I usually do this after each project but Arthur and the no-power thing threw me off my usual routine.  

I've been wanting a cabinet or cupboard large enough to hold lots of fabric but not too large that it would overpower my sewing room.

It's perfect!


Her husband made it as a sewing cupboard but she really isn't a sewer so she wouldn't need it in the new house.  Can you see the thread holders on the door on the left?  Cool, huh?  I was able to neatly pile all the the fabric inside that I had out on shelves, exposed to the UV light rays.  I'm thrilled!
I moved the bookcase that was there over here...
which allowed me to keep BIG Bernie where she was...
and little Bernie too!
Here's the view to the left while sitting in the chair behind little Bernie...
and straight ahead.
After all the moving, sorting, vacuuming and dusting this morning, I'm too tired to start on anything new today but you know what I'll be doing tomorrow.  

I always feel so inspired when everything is clean, neat and tidy!

Nap time...ZZZZzzzzzzzz.


Happy stitching!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Officially a flimsy!

I can officially call my "man quilt" a flimsy! Yay!

It's been slow going over the past week or so partly due to "designer indecision" meaning that I'd sew something, not like it, rip it out and start again...too many times than I'd care to mention...

And the continuing, persistant pain in my hip allowing me only limited time to be able to sit and sew. But that's okay because it's the journey I love and not the speed at which I can complete a project.


I have no problem painting what I see in my mind's eye but I still have some issues when it comes to transferring my ideas to fabric.  Most times I cannot get it to look as realistic as I'd like because we're limited by the fabric that's available on the market.


Having said that, I'm really pleased with the end result. It's going to be a biggie, finishing at 98" x 108"...a large queen or small king.


I took these photos of the flimsy on the double or full sized bed in the quilt room that Darlene has set up at A Needle Pulling Thread Quilt Shop because it is lower than ours at home. Sometime this week I'll be sending it off to my friend Alice who will custom quilt it but because it's summer and vacation time, she won't be able to get to it until August. 

In the interim I'll be able to take my time writing up the instructions because I'll be releasing the pattern as soon as I get the binding sewn on and the final photos taken once it arrives back home. I haven't decided on a title as yet but it will be chosen from all the suggestions that came in for which I'd like to thank you all.
Oh, and I just would like to add that Mr. Painted Quilt loves it and asked when I was going to start on "Part II". They just have no idea, do they? *wink*

Happy stitching!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Valdani Signature Sets Back In Stock!

I think I'm beginning to sound like a broken record!

My signature sets...Sentimental Favorites by Kaaren Johnston of The Painted Quilt...of Valdani threads are back in stock in my Etsy shop as of 5 minutes ago.

  
I think I'm beginning to sound like a broken record!  Oh wait...I just said that!



I have several pre-orders to fill so if you'd like to have your very own set, I urge you to order yours as quickly as possible because they sell out really fast. The good news is that I'm still able to offer them to you at my introductory price of $49.95 + shipping. I hold my breath every time I place an order because I know the price will be going up any time now.

Here's the link to my Etsy shop if you'd like to order a set.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/kaarenjohnston?ref=si_shop

Just a note...if you would like to order anything else from my shop at the same time, you will be billed the shipping charges for each item. Don't panic because I refund you the amount of any excess shipping fees as soon as I process the order.  Postage costs are crazy high to begin with!


L-O-V-E these threads!


Happy stitching!


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Need your help, please!

At the outset, I'd like to thank you all for the encouraging words you had to say about my new MAN QUILT design.  I'm really happy with the way it turned out and so is Mr. Painted Quilt.  I had to smile when I heard his comment, "It's about time!"

The 130 flying geese are made and are ready to be sewn on as the second to last border.  I've been having some mobility issues accompanied by severe pain over the past couple of days and it's just a matter of getting the pain under control before I can sit down at the machine and sew away.  *sigh*



Now, if I may bore you with the MAIN issue at hand and wonder if someone can help me? 

Okay, it's confession time.

I really am technologically challenged and I probably rate in the top 10 of the worst computer dummies that you'll ever come across.

Here's my dilemma.   I've had a "dot com" address which I've been dutifully paying for the past 3+ years.  I would like to change my current blog URL to my "dot com" one and even after having read the instructions on how to do it in the Blogger "help" section, I'm petrified that I'll blow it and lose everything on my blog.

I know bloggers who have done it but it's usually a friend or techie son or daughter who has done it for them and I'm too "shy" to ask for their help.  

If you think that you can help me, could you please email me personally?  I'd be eternally grateful...honest!

Update:  Thanks to Kathy and Karen, my dot com url is now functional.  I took their advice and called my domain host which happens to be "Go Daddy" and they walked me through it.  Now when someone types in www.thepaintedquilt.com they are directed to my blog.  I wish I knew it was going to be that easy.  I would have done it years ago!  

I'm happy!  Doesn't take much, does it?  *wink*