Wednesday, October 5, 2016

What happened?

I have written this blog post a million times in my head but it was nothing like this.
Here is my truth:
I sold my machine. 
Why?
 It was time. 
 To be completely honest,  my life is in a state of limbo,  hopefully the next few months will bring forward movement and some sort of focus.  Until then,  I suppose I just need to have faith,  something I have never really had much of.  I am exhausted with the quilting industry and all of the drama and bullshit that has found its way into the craft of creating something warm and soft.  I don't have the personality or the patience to deal with it.  Over the years, being on the side of the industry that I have found myself on ( aka: trying to "make it" in the industry) has felt less and less about talent/artistry and love of the art/craft and more about keeping up with the social media beast, and being good at marketing.  It's not my jam.  Never was,  clearly,  never will be.
It has always been my goal to put out positive energy,  especially through social media like this, we all know that whatever you put out there comes back, right? 
Well, honesty feels better than force feeding myself and you all an illusion. 
 I am not all that happy or positive right now.  I am sad that I spent the last ten years of the only real "career" I've ever had in an industry that I no longer trust.  Maybe I have brought this on myself,  I suppose that lies ahead for me to figure out.  At the end of the day,  I realized I chose to let it become a burden and I had to let it go,  so I did.

What is next?  
Two weeks from now I'll be teaching MQX Midwest.  I love this show,  I attended it very early on in my career,  as a student,  and I am happily headed there to teach my heart out for probably the last time,  to those of you who are able to attend.  My classes are ALL still open including my hands on classes,  click here if you want to catch this last gig.

From there,  I just hope to sit on the other side of the industry and make stuff, from my heart. Simple. I guess.
Here's me:
 Looking happy but honestly a little out of sorts and kind of nervous about what is next, and wondering, "did I make the right decision?" and knowing it's too late to look back.



 Here's what I am currently working on:


 Yes, these make me happy.
 This glorious pattern is the Octagon Shimmer Quilt by Jennifer Sampou. I can not say enough good things about this quilt or its instructions. Click for the pattern here



I hope that I have explained myself well enough for those of you who have wondered what happened.  As it turns out,  nothing really "happened".  I just needed to let go and move on.





Monday, August 8, 2016

EDIT: SOLD Gammill Classic Plus with 12' Table with IntelliQuilter



Have you dreamed of starting your own machine quilting business?
This is an amazing opportunity to purchase a fabulous machine and IntelliQuilter  in addition to tools books and thread that I have collected and used for the last ten years to run a very successful machine quilting business.
You can contact me via email: lolabluemar@gmail.com
Serious Inquiries ONLY
$21,000.00


 I will spend two 5 hour days with you (after you have  the machine completely set up)
Teaching you any combination of things that you would like to learn from me. I will set up two workshops catered to you and your skill level.
This workshop option is only offered for LOCAL buyer (Greater Seattle area)



Gammill Classic Plus with 12 foot table
Purchased in December 2006 from Boersmas
IntelliQuilter added in 2010
Stitch Length Regulator
Needle Up/Down
Batting Bar
Vertical/Horizontal channel locks
Zipper Leaders
Boersma's Hydraulic lift
Boersma's Light bar
Easy Glide wheels (new in 2015)
Extra tall rolling chair
Towa bobbin tension gauge
Removable Extended Base
3 Extra bobbin cases
Many extra bobbins
The sale of this machine includes ALL of the Longarm rulers listed, many books and thousands of dollars worth of Superior "So Fine" thread (see photos).
Rulers:
3 sizes -Linda Mae's Rolling Feathers templates and instructions
Deloa's Boomerang
Quilters Groove pro pebbles template
Quilters Rule Micro Maneuver tool
Amazing Ray and Arc template set from Renae Haddadin with DVD
Longarm University:
  12" Feather guide, template and instructions
   8" Feather guide, template and instructions
   6" Feather guide, template and instructions
   1.5" Circles and Waves Template
   3" Sashiko Stars Template
   1.5" Diagonal Grid Template
Circle Set 6 Gadget Girls 12" Circle
Come Quilt with me 1", 2", 3", 4", 5" and 6"
Three  1/8" oval rulers for marking
Five 1/4" thick ovals
The Little Girl Ruler from Gadget Girls
Applique Helper Linda's Electric Quilters
Over 60 unused plastic stencils
Books:
Quilting Inside the Lines with Pam Clarke comes with a full set of stencils and Pounce Pad and extra chalk.
In The Studio with Angela Walters
Infinite Feathers with Anita Shackelfield comes with template
Ultimate Guide to Longarm Quilting by Linda Taylor
Beyond the Extreme by Mary Nording
Blooming Background Designs by Irena Bluhm
Pocket Guide series to Freehanding:
textures and fillers
meanderings
borders/sashing

Purchaser is responsible for pick up and transportation, reassembly and all associated cost.
Machine has been maintained by Boersma's. If you choose to contact them they can help with moving and reassembly of the machine for a cost to be determined when you contact them.




Front of Machine with Extended Base

Boersma's Excellent Light bar

 Boersma's Hydraulic Lift,  with the push of a button go from standing to sit down or just adjust it slightly every hour  or so of a long day to reduce fatigue. Worth its weight in gold.


Easy Glide wheels new in 2015~ awesome!

 Very comfortable adjustable Chair that is extra high to sit and work.


The rainbow in thread, every color you need for starting a business and having the perfect thread for your customers quilts. This machine loves Superior "so fine". Bottom shelf is Madeira Poly Neon wonderful shine.

Over 60 unused plastic stencils.

Rulers Galore!





Monday, March 28, 2016

Feedback

The last few weeks have been full with maximizing my time in the studio getting ready for show season.  I received some constructive feedback from Quiltcon and am looking forward to implementing some of the suggestions I received from my students.  I really value my students opinions and am extremely appreciative for the feedback I receive.  I know it takes a little extra time to fill out those worksheets, but it really helps teachers/educators to see what is working and what can use some improvement.  One of the things that was mentioned to me in class and appeared on my evaluation was a suggestion to include in my handouts, a visual of where the class was headed.  The student suggested that this would make sense of all of the "parts" from the get go.  I took this to heart and have drawn out a full page handout of the "end product" for all of my classes.  This has turned out to be a great tool for me in structuring my classes and creating a timeline and class outline to follow.  Just this simple page has helped me to make sure I can fit everything I need into the time slot without missing any important parts.  This was a wonderful suggestion and very constructive, thank you,  anonymous one!!
I'm teaching my Broken Wreath class as a 2 hour lecture/demo in a week.  (What?! How is MQX already almost here??)  I've taught this previously as a hands on class, so the format will be quite different for me.  This drawing (pictured below) has been a great tool for me and I hope my students will find it inspiring and useful as well. Find all of my MQX classes here.

Broken Wreath Handout
 

 You can see my class sample adheres quite closely to the handout.  In addition, I have started using contrast thread (gasp!) to show the stitching on my samples.  I will be using a high contrast for my demo/lectures as well, (also a bit of feedback I am honoring :) so I figured it would be good to get comfortable with.  And, who doesn't love lime green? 

Broken Wreath class sample

Ghost Shapes class samples below:


Ghost Shapes class sample
 More ghost shapes:
Ghost Shapes class sample

Ghost Shapes class sample

Ghost Shapes 


Compositional Quilting-The Path:

The Path

That is about all I have time to share for today.  Really looking forward to meeting some of you in class at MQX, New Hampshire next week.  If I miss you there, maybe you'll be in Springfield, MQX Midwest, OR maybe at Machine Quilters Showcase in Cedar Rapids??  If none of the above follow me here, once I return from the East Coast I'll share what I anticipate to be an amazing show. 
On the tail end of my New Hampshire trip, I am visiting my brother in PA, who lives close to Lancaster,  if you are a quilter you know what that means.... Amish country here I come!! 
Have a wonderful week. And as always, thank you for taking the time to read.
xo

Monday, March 7, 2016

Unedited

Re-entry back in to reality from a vacation, retreat, or conference never comes without that bittersweet flavor that only the real world delivers. I recently had the privilege to teach at QuiltCon in Pasadena, California. As a California native, I was delighted at the chance to visit a place I called  home for the first 20 years of my life. My family and I drove from our home in Seattle down to the beautiful Central Coast of California where I grew up.  Morro Bay never disappoints with beautiful beaches full of sand dollars, sand dunes, and clear skies at night with stars that make you never want to leave. This photo was my first glimpse of the ocean hiding behind the hills heading West from Paso Robles.



 It was a short but sweet visit for me, after only a couple days, I left my dog, husband and kids with my folks and got on a plane to LAX heading to teach in Pasadena.
Always sad to say goodbye to my mom.  I admire her for many reasons but especially  her ability to stay in the present, with grace and calm.  She also has mad skills at hiding and hoarding large quantities of chocolate, definitely note worthy accomplishments.
Watching her with my children is always a pleasure but for some reason this time the reality of her being so present really hit home, more about that later.





 Quilt Con was a whirlwind of teaching, my schedule was very full and it wasn't until Sunday that I actually had some time to walk the floor and see the amazing quilts in the show.  There was a special exhibit that I am extremely glad I didn't miss.  The Quilts of Molly Upton left me speechless.  I'd recommend looking her work up and if you ever get the chance to see the exhibit I wouldn't miss it. Pictured below are two detail shots from two quilts that hit me in a way I can't explain:





I didn't take many photos while at Quilt Con but I did manage to get a few shots of some student work from my classes.
Student work from hands on Compositional Quilting:


 More from Compositional Quilting: 




Student work from Broken Wreath:


In class Demo from Compositional Quilting: 



 Student work from Compositional Drawing Modern whole cloth design:

 And BOOM.
 Just like that I was headed back to the Pacific Northwest. On my flight home I noticed that the Earth had been doing its own Compositional Drawing.  It's amazing what you see when you take the time to look a little closer.
 I ended up with one souvenir, that I picked up at the San Francisco airport.  I do love you, California, with every part of my heart.



Getting home involved unpacking a weeks worth of swag from my visit to the Central Coast as well as a few great finds at Quilt Con: 


Pictured below are my samples from my Piece as you Quilt class, I see some pouches, totes and pot holders in my future.

 So, back to what I touched on earlier about my mom being present.  As some of you know,  I recently deleted my Instagram account.  Deleted, not just erased the app from my phone to reload a half hour later, but deleted from existence.  All of my photos, all of my followers, all of my comments, all of my likes, all of my tags, basically my entire social media presence with the screen name, Lolablueocean, gone.  My first emotions following my deletion were filled with, dread, regret, sadness, and a loneliness and empty place that hung like a dead weight on my back.  Lucky for me most of those initial emotions faded quickly and were washed away with an overwhelming feeling of relief.
Why did I do it?  Simply, because IG became a place that I spent too much time.  More complicated, because the time that I spent there was no longer time spent being inspired or energized, it was time spent judging myself, but not even my self,  my edited self, against every one else's edited selves.  I worried about offending people, I was aware when I lost a follower and I watched the number of people following me more than I am proud to admit.  All in all these feelings never made me feel good, the wanting to be accepted,  the wanting to be liked.  I had moments of feeling super left out and lonely at quilt con because while I was eating hamburgers in my hotel room everyone else was having a super fab time taking Quiltcon selfies without me.  Right?  Yeah, well, truth be told I like watching trash TV eating hamburgers alone in my hotel room and I'm old enough to know that not everything is always as it seems.  And so it is, the social media debate goes on and on.  I am not judging IG or anyone who loves it, I just realized that it is no good for me, and I am no good to myself within the context of this kind of social media.  I have a great big handful of people that I know in real life that are right in front of me that really really love me, I need to be present in the moments with them. These are the moments I want to be in, these are the moments I don't want to miss, these moments are true and real and unedited.  If I had better self control I would be happy to have stayed on IG, but I'll give you the unedited truth, 
I was totally addicted to it and I had to let it go.

That is the personal side of deleting IG, the equally important side for me lies in being creative within the IG context. I found myself working on a project and posting a picture and suddenly the creative process became an edited process that relied on positive feedback, comments and likes to press forward. I started to feel like my work became less and less authentic as I began editing my work based on what more people would "like". 
Seriously,  Krista? 
 What the F*ck?
 That has never been me, and yet suddenly there I was, worried about what 3500 people (most of whom,  I don't even know) think.  And that's where it ended.  This is also where I will stop discussing IG, I hope if you were curious about why I did it, you now get it.  Below, is my last IG selfie that was supposed to be my #helloquiltcon hash tagged photo,  ironically,  I never posted it,  because, 
 you know, someone might not like it................

Getting back into my studio after a teaching gig is always very rewarding, I am amazed by what I learn from my students, I love processing the experience by creating with the experience in mind.
 I was sad to have missed the opportunity to take a class or see a lecture from Gwen Marston while I was at Quilt Con, but was very happy to find a pod cast with Gwen here.  I know a little bit about her work, but have been particularly intrigued by her small studies or "sketches". 
Hearing her talk made me think about working on a smaller scale using only the longarm to create my own studies or sketches.
Pictured below are the studies I have been working on since I got home, I started by working with a  10x11" and went smaller to a 6x6" size. I am not sure where these are going but the process has been a breath of fresh air for me and good to get out of my edited box.











Looking forward to teaching at both MQX and MQS, I am working on some new samples. I will be doing hands on lecture/demos at both shows which is a new format for me that I am very excited about. Pictured below is a sample from my Ghost Shapes lecture/demo.





  Lastly,  is a shot of my spastic and disorganized design wall.  I hope that letting all the crazy out in my studio and on my wall keeps the crazy from taking over in my head. Or something like that.
Thanks for reading, have a great week, stay inspired, stay real and stay you.
xok