Let's  give 'em something  to talk about

After 16 long months, QUILLOW TALK is finally here!!

It began in November of 2020 when I embarked on a very ambitious collaborative split screen quilt making challenge video with Chip from The Fiber Hustle podcast. Initially, it was going to be THREE different challenges between the two of us, the first one having the two of us making quillows before moving on to the next challenge, to make a quilt using all the colors in the color spectrum. By July 2021, when my first challenge was already completed and I was well on my way to creating the next quilt with a beautiful line B&W and colored fabric . . . . . Chip informed me that the whole project was too overwhelming and he had to drop out. It WAS overwhelming! It IS overwhelming!! But I had invested too much time and energy in this endeavor to let it go. So . . . . I continued with both of these first projects and they were combined to be presented as "QUILLOW TALK" (which may help explain the cryptic metaphor with the lemonade in the first 20 seconds of the title sequence).

"Kaboom", the first challenge, was completed in May of last year, and I just wound up "Spectrum" last month, a whole year later. This is the year(s) of 'selfish quilts'. In the 40 years I've been quilting, I've only kept my first quilt I ever made for myself. I'm happy to say that I'm keeping BOTH of these!

The quilt/lapse video production is like nothing I've ever done before. It required a lot of work to create so many of these split screen shots. Essentially, what was always enough work for me to complete these videos in the first place . . . . now was multiplied by 2! Most every shot involved two productions going on at the same time.

But, boy oh boy . . . . did the end results ever pay off!! This easily has to be the most fun production I've ever completed for Quilting in the Fast Lane! Lots of Easter eggs in this one (if you want to look for 'em).

And in the end, I have two really fun quilts (quillows) to show for it!!

And, if at this point, you're still wondering what exactly a 'quillow' is, it's basically a quilt that folds up into a pillow, by using a strategically placed 'pocket' in the corner of the back that will allow you to 'fold & stuff' the whole quilt into a unique sofa accessory!

And finally, one last behind the scenes reveal; shot #89!

It's the second to the last shot in "Quillow Talk". It's only a second and a half long. But it was the most labor intensive and time consuming shot of the whole production. Simply, it's a shot of me folding the quilt into a quillow. But to make it work in this production, I had to mask out all the background in some compositing software with a series of dozens and dozens of control points and animation keyframes. It may not look like much . . . . but it took me three days to complete! Don't blink!

OK, so you and I have been waiting long enough!

Without further ado, I present to you . . . .


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Spring is here!

Do you remember what you were doing around this time a couple of years ago?

Boy . . . . I do!

It's been a little over a year since I've posted my last full-length quilt/lapse video ("She's Having a Baby"), but that's not to say I've haven't been extremely busy attempting 3 quilts and 3 quilt/lapse productions at the same time! It seems ironic that this is all called "Quilting in the Fast Lane". This is the longest I've ever taken to complete a quilt! But I'm in the final stages of "Into the Woods" (the 'quilting sequence'), and this will finally be the year I unleash it to the world. I'm thinking around the end of Summer . . .

Quite often, I hear that some people's favorite parts of these productions are when Boo & Gilda make a brief appearance. So, this time around, they get a WHOLE scene where they're helping me make the border of this quilt. I shot this all last October (took the whole month for a 1 minute sequence) . . . . and I'll just say it; it turned out GREAT!! They looked their best and hit all their marks (many times, after several tries).

I had to shoot some of these scenes in a 'controlled' environment (instead of outside), so out came the green screen for some special FX shots. Boo & Gilda were always ready for their close-up!

This special FX shot was eventually cut from the production. It was supposed to look like Gilda was 'flying' across a scene . . . . but ultimately it looked like just what it was . . . . Gilda being carried across a stage, LOL! But I thought I'd include this production shot here in the blog just because I think it's still a hilarious visual. She was so patient with me that day.

But, by the end of the month, we all got what we set out to shoot . . . . and the border was completed, attached and "Into the Woods" was put away for the Winter.


The other quilt(s) I've been working on at this time are "KABOOM" (all shot and completed last year) and "SPECTRUM", the one I'm currently finishing up. BOTH will appear in one 'challenge' quilt/lapse video called "Quillow Talk". A two-fer! It wasn't what I initially set out to make. It evolved from one kind of project . . . .and turned into something a little different. Something better. A challenge with . . . myself!

I was so excited to get to work on this quilt, "Spectrum". After making a couple of 'earth toned' quilts, it was pure joy to return to my usual pallet of ALL the colors!! It's also a technique that's new to me, called "Hover Quilting". (essentially, a slightly different take on raw edge applique). I was so eager to begin this quilt, I would even find myself up at 4:00 am, cutting fabric!

In the end, the final result will be a very densely quilted monochrome background (straight lines to contrast with all the colored curves I'll be appliqueing on top later).

While ALL the black & white fabrics where given to me by all my friends (for a birthday gift), all the colored curved pieces are from one line of fabric called "Prismachome" from Studio E. I laid out some of these pieces for a shot in the production, and while this picture is NOT how they'll appear in the final design . . . . . I thought it kind of made an interesting quilt design all unto itself.

These circles were then cut into quarters for the next stage . . . .

Out of curiosity (before I even began laying out what would be the final design), I laid out this block just to see a few of the color combinations that could be achieved. This would be called a "Bullseye" block . . . . but that's not what I'm making. I'm attempting a layout that is one of the many variations of "The Drunkard's Path".

The main idea behind "Hover Quilting" is how the quilt looks AFTER a spin in the washing machine. It will fray and soften the edges of each of the curves, and give it the appearance that it's 'hovering' above all the densely quilted B&W background. Here is a test prototype of that process (without the quilting);

And this is what the final layout looked like as it was being applied. This shot DOES appear in the final production, but it whizzes by lickety-split! So, it's slowed down here just a bit so you could see some of the details (even then . . . it's still pretty fast).

After a week or so of standing back and moving many of the pieces around until I finally reached the look I was going for . . . . this ended up being the final layout (now with even more colored pieces than my original design called for).

And I found this delicious, luxurious, super-soft, GLITTERY Minky to use as the backing! This quilt just SCREAMS Todd!!!

And I'm sure nobody will be sitting still for the terribly exciting 'thread sequence'!

So, all of this quilt/lapse production is winding up pretty quickly at this point (after a year of working on it), and I hope to have it all finished in a month or so. But in the meantime, here's a little sneak peek at "Quillow Talk" . . . . the 'cutting sequence'.

This whole production has been such a BLAST!! I'm so looking forward to sharing this one with you!


And finally . . .

Yesterday I was reminded of this catchy little song by Shirley Ellis, and was seriously considering that this might be a soundtrack to one of my future quilt/lapse productions. What do you think?

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Are you ready for a very (VERY) brief sneak peek of a couple productions I've been working on this last year? (there's actually a 3rd one, "Spectrum", but no pictures/video to share, yet)

Ask and ye shall receive!

The following trailer is for a little 'something something' I have brewing on the back burner, that I'll be making more noise about in the coming months. But in the meantime, you get to have the first quick peek at "KABOOM!" and "INTO THE WOODS" along with some old friends in this retrospective for 2017 - 2022 . . .

For those who have been following me on YouTube, you may remember many videos had nothing to do with Quilting in the Fast Lane, but rather more personal videos revolving around my life here at home, which we affectionately call Big Eden, after a sweet little movie that reminded us of our lives and community here in Port Townsend, Washington. I've separated all those personal videos and created a channel all unto themselves, "Life at Big Eden". But I'll be honest . . . . A LOT of it is all about the dogs!!

Direct link; https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ3jb5nyxD7cgjoQilmP7Zg/featured

Don't worry . . . . "Quilting in the Fast Lane" is still on YouTube! You'll always be able to find ALL THINGS Quilt/Lapse here;

Direct Link; https://www.youtube.com/c/QuiltingintheFastLane/featured

And finally, to say that my current quilt "Into the Woods", was influenced by one of my favorite Stephen Sondheim musicals of the same name . . . . would be an understatement. When I had to change plans a couple of years ago from a whole quilt/lapse production being shot downtown, with a cast of thousands, to a solo production shot in the forests of my backyard, the name change of the quilt and accompanying video seemed obvious from the moment I thought of the switch; "Just Watch" became "Into the Woods".

I don't use any of the music from the musical for the current production, but I've often wondered what I could do with it if I chose that path. It seemed fitting, with the recent passing of Stephen Sondheim, that I explore that idea today, with a very brief sneak peek at "Into the Woods", the quilt and quilt/lapse production. This is actually some 'behind the scenes' stuff, shot in my living room against a green screen.

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