Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Playing the Name Change Game

You'll notice the spelling on my blog title has changed from The Gypsy Quilter to The Jypsy Quilter.  Apparently there is online quilting store that also goes by the name of The Gypsy Quilter.  The owner contacted me concerned that a professional business and and informal blog with the same name might cause people confusion, and asked that I change my blog title.

While I tend to give people more credit than that, given that she is a fellow quilter, and made her request courteously, I saw no reason not to comply.

I had to laugh at the irony of the situation though.  As some of you may remember, I started out as The Desert Quilter, became the Prairie Quilter when I moved to Kansas, and decided after the move to Texas to choose a name that I would not have to change if I moved again (which I did, by the way ~ move that is).  Hence The Gypsy Quilter.  And now, I am indeed changing the blog title yet again, albeit in a very minor fashion.  Maybe this will be the last time?

*And a shout out to my cousin, Lori, who suggested simply changing the spelling.  That made life easy.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday Miscellaneous


I am not a huge fan of panels.  However, last year when I saw this panel of twelve different delightful fairies, well, I had to have it. 

One of twelve fairies
Had no clue what I was going to do with it.  I considered making a quilt for my then 8 year old cousin, but I did not get it done.  It's interesting what changes occur in a child in one seemingly short year.  Now at 9 soon to be 10, she is really too old for fairies.  She is currently into zebra stripes.

However, I recently got news that another of my cousins and his wife are expecting a baby girl in April.  The fairies will be well-used in a baby quilt.

Lovebug had to do a little pre-quilt inspection.  I think she approves.

Cat is NOT out of the Bag:

This is the bag in which my mom is keeping her crocheted baby afghan project (for the aforementioned baby girl).  Yeah, who knows why cats do what they do, but I had to giggle when I saw Lovebug make herself comfortable in the bag.

It's Vegas Baby!

Thursday will find me flying out of Oklahoma City to spend the weekend with my childhood friend, Michele in "Fabulous Las Vegas".  My trip is courtesy of Michele, who works in the airline biz and was able to procure me a free ticket.  (Sometimes it is who you know!)

The trip is a two-fer me.  First of all, I'm always glad to get together with Michele.  We've known each other since we were six.  We can go years without seeing one another (last time was in 2003) and months without talking, but it's always like we just spoke yesterday.  I'm so excited!

And after living in Vegas for two years myself.  It will be wonderful to reacquaint myself with its vibe ~ although I suspect Michele and I will mostly be hanging at her place.  Once you've lived there, you just don't really feel the need to spend much time in the casinos.

The city can be beautiful to look at.  The view from the hill behind my first house looked much like this ~ although a bit further away.  (The last time I was there though I discovered they'd leveled the hill and built houses in it's place.  Only a memory in my head now.)

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Straggler

I am making this Maple Leaf table runner for my mom for Christmas.  Shush!  I'm well-aware of the fact that it's late ~ horribly late.

When my mom saw the table topper I made for my cousin, she had to have her own, but like, longer.  Hence the table-runner.
The great thing about leaving the table-runner for last, and then dawdling over it, is that it gave me time to concentrate on my free motion quilting. Most of the "dawdling" was planning the quilting.  The actual quilting I did over a two day period at 20-30 minute intervals.  

I did several motifs on the runner ~ pebbling, a wind inspired swirl on the leaves themselves, and a very simple try at echo-quilting on the background.  Overall, I'm quite pleased.
As with everything one practices, my free motion quilting is improving.  I'm more confident; more adventuresome.  That said, I'll admit that while I am getting better at regulating my stitch length compared to where I started, it could still use further improvement.
I'm just down to doing the binding.  Life is good!

I'm linking up with 15 Minutes with Kate and WIP Wednesday (for the first time ever).  Join the fun!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Miscellaneous

It's the Little Things in Life:

In this case, my new Apple I-pod Shuffle.  I bought it in hopes it would help inspire me to get out and walk more.  The fact that Apple sells these teeny music libraries in various colors, allowing me to coordinate with my custom-made purse, is just an added perk. 

I spent Saturday night adding the music to it.  When I began the selection process, I realize just how varied my tastes have become.  135 songs later, my I-pod is filled with rock, reggae, classical, traditional, Latin, blues, and my cousin-in-law's music mixes.  (He allows anyone to download his themed mixes for free, so don't hesitate to take advantage.)  The only genres unlikely to be represented are country and rap, but even then I occasionally run across songs in those genres I like too.

Beyond the Mortal Coil:

For a period of years, my dad and I wrote short stories and novels together.  I freely admit that he was the imagination behind the endeavor.  I had a few non-fiction articles published, but fiction thus far has not proven to be my forte.  The last book, Beyond the Mortal Coil, was reviewed by an editor at Ballantine.  We were so excited to have the manuscript under consideration by a big New York publisher. 

The editor had the manuscript for 3 or 4 months.  When he'd finished with it, he sent us a glowing review that said, the book was well-written with good plotting and characters; very original, but since it didn't fit in any specific genre, he did not know how to market it, and therefore was turning it down.  Really?  WTF?  Every publisher's website claims to want original stories.  I guess they forgot the caveat ~ but don't make them too original.

The manuscript has since made it through 3 computers with me, getting transferred every time.  Now technology has caught up making it easy for authors to self-publish.  I've used Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and now have the digital version available for purchase

And the hard copy version is in the works.  The proof has been mailed to me. 

Now, I just need to become an expert in marketing.  If anyone has any suggestions, don't be shy!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Favorite Things Friday

Hey it's the first second Favorite Things Friday of the New Year!  Okay, the first for me.  Somehow I had more holiday type visiting in the first week of the New Year than I did during the holidays.  In any case, FTF is a blast and it's terrific to be back at it!  To join in the fun take a turn over to Quilting in My Pyjamas and play along.

So my favorite thing this Friday is.... (drum roll please)...my Woman Cave!  I moved back in with my mom while I do some job hunting in Wichita and she gave me the rather large, unfinished basement room for sewing stuff:

 and my office stuff:

Perfect!  I love it.  This is where I spend most of my time.  After all, it has all of my favorite things!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Miscellaneous

Christmas Gifts:

I was the ever so fortunate recipient of this lovely piece of quilt-work from P. at The Way I Sew It:

The colors, the funky designs in the fabric, coupled with the black border..., well, it just makes me happy.  Every time

I left it on the floor, where I could admire it no matter where I sat, until this fuzz butt quilt inspector decided she needed to test her claws on it.

To quickly remove this already cherished piece from danger, I grabbed it and put it on the back of the couch.
It looked so good, that there is remains.

I also received a lovely purse and tissue holder (although I keep my driver's license and credit cards in it) from my mom at Suzi's Stitchin'.  She is one talented lady. 

She used all my very most favorite colors in the creation  Talk about "custom made!"

A Tale of Two Table Toppers...er Wall-hangings:

For Christmas I got on a handmade kick.  I showed off some of my work here and here.  But there were two items I didn't show because the recipients read my blog.

The first was made for P. at The Way I Sew It:

The second was made for my cousin:

Same pattern ~ one I've decided I like a lot.  I enjoyed seeing it made up in two different fabric groupings.  While my cousin's uses the traditional Christmas colors, I used one of the later Christmas fabric collections for P.'s.  (Actually, I won that bunch of fabric in a giveaway a year and half ago, so it was nice to finally use it.)

I put the border around P.'s, but as I knew my cousin would likely use hers as a table-topper on a very specific table, I left the border off.  The border would have made it too large for the table. 

I am quite pleased with them both.

If you look carefully, you'll see that besides the color and the border the two are not exactly alike.  

When I was making P.'s, I accidentally inverted the pieces attached to the center square.  I decided it looked pretty cool and left it that way.  I think I may actually like it better, design-wise.  A happy accident.

And I must add that I really enjoyed quilting these. The free motion holly ~ well, it's organic, and proved to be a lot of fun to do. I remember when I started free motion quilting, I was terrified.  Now an unquilted project is my playground! (Cue the maniacal laughter.)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Merry 2012!

Got a laugh over at Sunshine?  Paradise?  Thought I'd keep the giggles going.

Happy New Year!