Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I'm Doing a Challenge

...because, as you know, I simply don't have enough to do!!!!!

Its not my fault though, really, it isn't. I adore Cherrywood Fabrics and I have since I first found out about them years ago. I have never seen such beautiful fabric--its cotton that looks like suede! Nuf said!!

I received an e-mail at the end of April about the Focus Through the Prism challenge and the fabric fat-quarter bundle from Cherrywood that was the only requirement. Of course, I ordered the fabric without having a clue what I would do. I mean, really...look at those colors!! I couldn't resist (I didn't try real hard though <wink>)

So I've had the fabric for a few weeks now and just the other day I finally came up with an idea. As you know,  I'm a quilter and while I can come up with many different ideas for quilting a quilt, I have little to no designing talent when it comes to piecing. However, I've been reading a series of mystery books with an Amish theme and the light bulb flashed! What if I make my projects to resemble Amish quilts...ding, ding...we have a winner!!

These quilts are to measure 20" square and each month for the next seven months, we are to use one color from the bundle as our focus fabric. At the end of each month, we are to submit a picture of the finished quilt and at the end, quilts will be chose to travel with an exhibit for a year. Now I have no fantasies that mine will be among the travelling quilts; however, I want mine to coordinate when I hang them on my wall. Seemed like Amish quilts fit that requirement.

Oh, and one last requirement: we are to work from a specific quilt block chosen by Kim at Persimmon Dreams. This month's block is Churn Dash.  After playing in EQ, I think this is what mine will look like:

Not sure that I'll use red, but I like the idea of black as the background. Or maybe I'll do a Modern Amish??? (Ignore the white bits around the blocks in the corner--I just didn't move the blocks enough to cover that area up) 

So what do you think??  Amish-Amish or Modern Amish??  And what do I do when its time to use the dark blue fabric? I'm thinking dark blue on black may not have enough contrast!!  (Can you say, "duh!")



Thursday, May 14, 2015

Crabapple Hill's Snow Day's Quilt

Isn't this quilt beautiful??? The pattern is called Snow Days and its put out by Crabapple Hill Studio.

Donna sent it up for me to play on.  I got it loaded and then I just stared at it--for THREE days!!  I was stumped. I wanted to treat the outside border as if it were a solid, rather than pieced, border. With the embroidery overlapping into those blocks, I felt that was the best design idea. However, once that was decided, I couldn't come up with a design I liked.  Finally, I settled on swirls with sort of a feathered flower. (Sorry about the wonky pics--most of these were taken while I was unloading.)

Then I stitched around the applique to make it pop...

Finally, the blocks in the center were quilted. I did many designs with enough similarities to tie them all together. You'll definitely see some Angela Walters' designs peeking through.

This was such a fun quilt to work on!!


Friday, May 8, 2015

Same Quilts, Different Quilting

Remember my allovers from the last post?  Well here are two more of the same quilt with different fabrics and different quilting.  First, Katherine's:

Katherine wanted a bit more quilting on hers, so I accented the different color blocks with complimentary designs. I also did a loop meander type in the white "stained glass" bits to make that stand out more.

A closer view:

This is the same quilt, albeit a bit smaller--that's because I made it.  I did just the four blocks and now have a table topper/wall hanging. 

I really played with this one, trying out new thread and some new designs.  The best design was the center, which I saved for last. I didn't know what I wanted to do in the middle, but I knew I wanted it to be unique.  I love how these straight lines appear to be curved!

From there it was line work and feathers...with my favorite over/under feather in the outside border.

Here's a shot of the back...and that's what I didn't like about the thread I used.  Rather than my usual prewound magnetic or Bottom Line bobbins, I wound my own. The thread was just too thick for that and it caused my tension to not be as perfect as usual. But, since it is my quilt, as the saying goes, "Its good enough for who its for!"

Thanks for stopping by!!


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Few All-Overs

Generally, my quilting is more custom, but I can do all-overs.

This first one is from Carolyn. Its from our Quincy Crazy Quilters retreat last September. I've quilted one of these before and I have one of my own. Carolyn wanted an all-over pattern, so I did what I call Heatwave.

Below are a couple of closeups.  They show the texture on the front and back.

Then Gina sent these two for her nephews.  I loved the panel and wanted to do something that would be good for little boys. I ended up doing geometric squares that I've seen in Angela Walters' books.  I love how they turned out.

 A couple closeup to show texture on these.  Perfect for little boys!!

 The back.  They were both backed with flannel, so the quilting shows up nicely.

Happy stitching!!!


Friday, April 24, 2015

Home From Quilters Dream Weekend

I'm just home from the Quilters Dream Retreat held at Camp Arnold in April and October. I've been going to the April retreats since moving up here. My friend, Lisa, from Canada, found this retreat and got us in -- no easy feat since they are usually full.  Since then, we've met there annually. This was the first year that Lisa couldn't make it--still fun, but just not the same without her.

The first year we had no idea what we were getting into. However, we were fortunate enough to pick a place to sit that turned out to be the best place ever. We met Shirley and Donna from Linden, WA, and we've all be friends ever since. :0)

Here are pics of some of the things I worked on while I was there.  First, the ugliest!!  At the April retreat they have classes and do a challenge block. I've never participated in the challenge block; however, this year, Donna and Shirley shamed me into it.  I had no extra fabric, so this is what I managed to put together.  The only positive thing that can be said about it is that it is exactly 12 1/2" unfinished. Other than that--well, you be the judge. (I think its awful--however, it wasn't the most awful one there! Go figure!) Next year the theme is "Rootin, Tootin, Quiltin." That will be a fun one.  I see lots of cowboy boots and hats...

After working on the block, I put this top together for my neighbor. She's expecting her first baby, a boy, in June.

Then I spent several hours on this Buggy Barn Pattern. Its called "Poker Run" and will be for Millie when its completed. Below are the ponies before their barns were added. Notice the one on the bottom right? He totally disappears, so I won't be including him (I may put him on the back, though--haven't decided yet.) I received many suggestions of what to put in his place, but the funniest was the person who thought I should do a horse's butt!

And here they are in their barns

After that, it was work on a QOV that I was volunteered for and finally some work on the Cabin Fever Quilters Mystery. This is the fabric combo I'll be using for the mystery. My friend, Donna, helped me choose; she's got great taste! She also had me take a pic of the fabrics in black/white to make sure the contrast was there.  Who knew????

 Finally, don't you just love these two cases.  The pic distorts the size a bit. The top one is only about 10" square. Last year at the retreat, Mary's friend had a set of these that she used for her sewing stuff. I was admiring them and Mary said she never used hers so would bring them for me this year...and she did!!  They are gorgeous. They remind me of old fashioned train cases.

Thanks for reading!!