Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Quilt Local Blog Tour and (Giveaway!)

I remember when Heather Jones did her talk at QuiltCon on finding inspiration for quilts in everyday things.  Heather has now brilliantly translated that concept into her new book, Quilt Local from STC  Craft, an imprint of Abrams Books.  I agree with Heather, inspiration is all around us, but we need to train ourselves to notice and to see.  Heather shares four habits that she has adopted that help her observe, record and translate the inspiration around her.


Heather's Third Street quilt was one of many favorites in the book.  It was inspired by a grid on the back on an abandoned building. I love the lines (of course) and the asymmetry makes me so happy.  Simple surely is beautiful.  Each quilt in the book is paired with its inspiration and is done in two colorways for additional inspiration for the reader.

The Third Street Quilt
Photography by Jenny Hallengren

Heather asked that we share something in our local area that inspires us.  I live in the Westside neighborhood which is a small neighborhood right on the edge of downtown and the Crossroads Arts District in Kansas City.  This amazing building, the Kaufmann Center for the Performing Arts is just a few blocks from my house.  I walk by it all the time.  It's an awe inspiring building.  I love so much about it.  The simple sweeping curves and the spaces and shadows that are created are lovely.  I think about those sweeping curves all the time.

As I've been working with the activating space concept, I've kept the Kaufmann Center in mind.  I'm sure this won't be the only quilt inspired by that building.  The love how the curves come together to create other shapes.  

Even the one block on the back keeps the concept alive.  

As you can see I'm kind of hooked on this one.

Be sure to follow along with the rest of the Quilt Local blog tour to see more of Heather's quilts and more local inspiration from lots of talented folks.  If you'd like to win a copy, (and you know you do!!) just leave a comment and I'll draw a winner on Halloween at 5:00 central time.  Even better, get one for yourself right away and start being inspired by Quilting Local!

The winner chosen by the good ole random number generator is Wanda of Exuberant Color.  Send me your contact info and Abrams will send you your copy of the book.  Congratulations!!
10/10: Sew Mama Sew
10/11: Creative Bug
10/16: Pellon
10/29: Okan Arts
10/30: Kara Sews
11/11: Aurifil 

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Remodel - Kitchen and Living Room

I know I've been promising this for a long time, and today I had time to dig out the camera and take some photos in the house.  Buying this condo in Kansas City was all about the space, the high ceilings, the angles, the light.  Everything else was tacky, low quality or didn't work at all.  The kitchen was a dark cave with black countertops and backsplash and weird brown paneling on the walls and ceiling, not to mention a wall of cabinets that opened up in the living room.  There was no functionality or storage.  The entry and living room were filled with potential, but had buckling laminate bamboo floors and brown, painted metal mesh railings that looked like they were stolen from an office building.  Walls were painted a dull beige with a few accent walls randomly painted in murky green and gold.  Just about everything in the place has been touched by the remodel and I can't thank Jerad and Ryan from Studio Build in Kansas City for their vision, their patience and their awesome taste, quality work and design sense.

My vision was modern Jacquie, minimal with clean lines and bold color.  I was willing to take risks in this place that I wasn't brave enough to do in decorating all the other homes I've lived in.  I listened to my voice this time with only a little moderation from the design team and my husband.  I didn't think about resale.  I tried to stay true to how I wanted to live and how I wanted to feel in my home.  I agonized over every choice, floor, lighting, tile, paint color, cabinet color, cabinet layout, etc, etc.  It's not easy making all those choices without being able to see everything together.

Let's start with the entry, living room and kitchen.  Here are a couple of photos of what the place looked like before.  There were two giant frosted glass doors that went into a bedroom from the kitchen.  That is now the back wall of the kitchen.  You can get a glimpse of the mesh railings in the second photo.

This is what it looks like today.  I hope you enjoy.  I'm loving living in my place.  It was a six month adventure, but now that it's over, I don't remember any of the hassles.

You'll enter our place on the ground floor and come up the stairs to get to the main level.  The orange door and railing set the tone for the place.

The stairway wall goes up about 40 feet and so it needed a burst of color and interest.  I think the art does it for me.  I love coming up and going down those stairs.
The stairs come up right between the kitchen and living room.

At the top of the stairs the living room is to the left, kitchen to the right, but it's all one big room.
The end of the living room has a giant window that lets in loads of light.  My two mid century chairs are there.  It's where I sit to do handwork and where we'll sit in the chillier weather to enjoy the fireplace.
I had the chairs reupholstered and went bold this time.  No more safe beiges for me.
I have so much wall space that art is very important in this house.  Quilts move around the house as my mood changes.
The living area isn't big, but its totally functional for chilling out watching a movie or sitting and having conversation.  I found the vintage couch and chair at a local retro store.  I traded in my old orange sofa for a beautiful green one.  The color makes me so happy, though my boys thought I had taken it over the top.  They admitted they were wrong.  The coffee table I picked up years ago at a vintage shop. Steve finally got his recliner, but it's modern and Jacquie approved.
The credenza was a Chicago find.  It set the tone for the whole place.  In my mind it's an art piece.
I love the minimalist grandfather clock.  It's one member of my clock collection (obsession).
The fireplace is modern and sparkly.  I can't wait to enjoy it this winter.
I didn't go safe for my rug either.  I'm still pondering additional rugs for the house.  Again, all choices are hard.
The other end of the room is the dining room/kitchen.  The table was designed and built by the Studio Build guys.  My metal chairs work so well with it.  The metal hanger for the light over the table was fabricated by a nearby motorcycle shop.  
Everything in the kitchen is simple and functional.  I've been wanting to use the semi pendant lights since I first saw them in Chicago.  I knew they would be in this kitchen.
The upper cabinets lift up so I can reach everything.  No more cabinets above.  I don't need them and I couldn't reach them anyway.
We eat at the table and snack or chat at the counter bar.  Everyone gathers in the kitchen and there's room for loads.
Almost all the storage in the kitchen is in drawers.  I have all my dishes except glassware in drawers.  Makes setting the table and emptying the dishwasher a breeze.
The cabinet color was a challenge.  They're rift sawn oak with a blue/gray stain.  Took weeks and weeks to finally achieve the color I was going for.  It's so unique.  I adore it.  It's set off by the white counters and white upper cabinets.
The sink is a simple rectangle with an easy to use faucet.
Most everything in the kitchen is hidden including the coffee maker and microwave which are squirreled away in a cabinet next to the fridge.  I only have out things I use.
The kitchen connects seamlessly with the living room.
It's fun to be able to have a quilt hanging in the kitchen.  Have you noticed the position of this quilt has changed multiple times!

The tile backsplash was a quandry for me.  I'm so happy I chose this clear glass tile.  It's so calm and pulls everything together for me.

The rest of the main level is my husband's office and the guest bath.  They're next to show you.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

New Craftsy Class

I filmed the follow-up to my Creative Quilting with the Walking Foot class and I'd like to give my readers the chance to win the new class for free. Just click the link and enter.  The class will go live later so stay tuned for a discount link from me to sign up.  We'll review a little and then on to some new cool designs that are walking foot friendly.  I sure hope to see you there.

You all know I love that walking foot.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Action Kivu Fundraiser...Time to Give!

It feels like yesterday that Alissa first told me about the work of Action Kivu in the Congo.  I was impressed from the beginning by this grass roots effort to use sewing to lift women and children who have suffered so much.  Through the work of Action Kivu, making changes lives.  It is time for the 6th Annual Action Kivu fundraiser which will provide funds to continue to support this important work.

I have been so proud of how our community has come together to donate to this organization and I know that this year will be the same.  Please give what you can.  Our goal this year is $15,000.  We can only achieve our goal with your help.

If you'd like to know more about the work of Action Kivu, read more about how the work began and about the women and children who benefit from the dollars we give.

If you need a little motivation, Alissa has put together an amazing group of prizes for all donation levels. These are just some of the great prizes you could win.  I've donated my featherweight...yup...for just $65.00 you could get a lovely vintage machine that will be your sewing partner for a long time.

As sewers and quilters many of us have so much and get so many benefits from sewing and quilting together.  With a donation to this fundraiser we can give women and children the chance to change their lives for the better.  I'm not sure what's better than that.  Please give today.
Please share with your friends and family in person and on instagram, facebook, twitter or any other place you frequent in the virtual world.  The more folks who know, the more money we will raise.  Thanks from me for helping support this great work!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Travels with Jacquie

I got home from Sisters, Oregon after teaching for a week at Quilters' Affair and enjoying the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.  It is a unique experience in a beautiful place.  If you've never been, I highly recommend putting it on your list of things to do and places to go.  I was able to sneak in a little hiking in the mountains with my husband in addition to all the quilty things to do.
I got up early to watch the fireman hang the quilts on the side of the Stitchin' Post.  
 As we all know, any event takes loads of enthusiastic volunteers.  Colleen and her team were a bit giddy at the end of the hanging process.
 The best of QuiltCon hung at the show and in this beautiful setting.  It's fun to see our quilts blowing in the breeze and enjoyed and so many people.

 More of the Best of QuiltCon!
...and even more! (I got all sorts of interesting questions about the Conan quilt!)
Speaking of beautiful places to teach and learn, I'm heading to Madeline Island in the Apostle Islands in August.  I'm looking for folks to join me.  Madeline Island School of the Arts is one of the premier places to learn in an inspiring location.  I'll be teaching Composing with Line which is the same class I taught at Asilomar in California.  It's a great opportunity to learn over an extended period (5 days) and really dig into a concept.  I'm loving the extended class format.  It's an opportunity for me to get to know you as artists and quilters and to learn and create together.

I'd love to have you join me on the island.  It's easy to get to and a lovely ferry ride to the island and then a week of line and fun and beauty.  Pop over and register.  It'll be a week to remember!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Working and Waiting

On the days I'm home, which aren't many,  I've been in my temporary studio (in a small garage) and for the most part I've been working on class samples for current and new classes.  I'm chomping at the bit to work on larger pieces, but I have to wait for the remodeling to be done.  

I'm excited to be updating my class catalogue.  I've got a new class that I'll be teaching at QuiltCon in Pasedena called Activating Space in Modern Quilt Design.  I'm really pretty stoked about that one.  It's going to be so great! Also working on a Creative Quilting with the Walking Foot "The Sequel" with remixes of designs done in part one as well as new designs and new techniques.  You all know how much I love that walking foot.  
Sample for the Walking Foot Class 35" x 45"
Sample for the Modern Crazy Piecing Class 30" x 40"

In other news, the remodeling of the Kansas City condo is finally starting to show visible progress.  February 20 was our start date and I'm sure hoping to lay my head at home again by June 20.  I know this upset in our lives will be so worth it in the end!
The new kitchen coming together! Oh happy day!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Famous Mr. B

Bruno died today.  I'll miss him terribly.  He was a good dog.

These are some of my favorites of the many faces of Bruno.  

Be at peace, Mr. B.