Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Couple of Quick Quilts

First up are more of these adorable bunnies.  (You might remember the others from this post - click here)My customer, Marei, has made one of these for all of her grandchildren.  This is the last one...whew!  Although the quilts are all basically the same, Marei uses such bright colors and just wants an allover loop meander on them so they're easy and fun to work on.  I'm so glad she didn't want cutesy...I don't really do cutesy. 

And here's a close-up of one of the little buggers.  I used King Tut Autumn Days on top and the colors were perfect.  There was enough contrast for the variegation to show without taking over the quilt top.
Next up is a quilt with Maple Leaves all over it.  My customer wanted a very basic maple leaf panto with a cable border.  A cable border on a longarm??? 

The panto was simple, the cable border not-so-much.  But I marked the quilt and stitched each row individually.  As far as I can tell, unless your magic (or a computer) there is no way to stay exactly on the line you've marked to make each row to the cable perfect.  But a magical thing happened as I kept didn't matter.  Yes, you can tell that its not perfectly even, but because I used a matching thread, the unevenness is not glaring.  You get the look and feel of the cable border's customer thought it was terrific. *whew* 

A close-up of the front and the back.  I used matching thread, since I knew this was going to be a wall-hanging.  Even on the back, I was pleased with the results.  (Sorry the leaves are sideway!)

And now for some training.  I'm spending the rest of the afternoon on my education so that I can be a better quilter.  I purchased Jamie Wallen's Mystical Cotton Tracks training.  Time to get some learnin'!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Guilty Pleasure

Okay, I'll admit it. Dancing With The Stars is my guilty pleasure. This was season 10, and I think I've pretty much seen them all.  I even remember the first season with the cute little soap opera actress and the comedian guy duking it out to the very end.  Back then, only the judges voted; then it turned into a popularity contest.

This season went just as I'd hoped.  Erin and Maks were my favorite couple, but they weren't the best.  I was so happy she made it to third place and that Chad Ochocinco's popularity didn't win out.  He could dance, but not as well as Erin. Plus...I think there's more than "friendship" in store for the two of them *wink*

I had fun watching Evan and Anna as well.  Generally, I don't pay much attention to the stars on the show, so this was the first time that I'd really noticed Anna.  She appears to be such a sweet person and it was nice to see how human she was, actually crying sometimes, wanting so badly to do well for Evan.

 But Nicole was just incredible from the very beginning. Last season, Maya was clearly a terrific dancer, but you got the feeling from her that not only did she know it, she was sure she was going to win. I was so glad she didn't; she was just too full of herself for me. Nicole, while obviously a very good dancer, really seemed to have to work at it; plus, you didn't get the impression of ego with her. In fact, the last three finalists really seemed to care about and for each other. Okay, so I could be imagining all this, but its still a fun show and I loved it.

 Oh, and here's a little tip:  If you want to watch this show, you have to either have a DVR or record it--the commercials will make you crazy!!

What does this have to do with quilting or ponies?  Not a darn thing!!  But I'll leave you with this:  below are two pictures of some placemats I made for my friend's birthday.  Not officially quilted, but they were pieced with the stitch-n-flip method and then, on my Janome, I SID'd to hold things together.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Break Over!!

My unscheduled break is over. I've pieced extra fabric to the back, reloaded the quilt (thank goodness for zippers and staples) and finished it and all the stars.  I think it turned out pretty nice...

Kind of hard to see (if you click on the picture to make it bigger, it helps), but I did stars and loops in the border, stars and loops in the outer border and ribbon candy with stars in the sashing.  Everywhere you see a dark blue square, you'll also find a star...along with the stars on the wings of the plane.  I'm feeling a bit starstruck *wink*

A couple of close-ups will show you even more stars...or at least I thought it would...they're in the dark blue squares.

This one shows the planes.  Marlene initially wanted me to quilt propellors with dark blue/black thread, but I suggested she either leave them as they were and/or emboider the propellors.  I just didn't think quilted ones would show up as well as embroidered.  When I delivered the quilt, she wasn't sure what she was going to do.  Please note:  two stars per plane in the wings!!! 

I like how it turned out when it was finished and luckily, Marlene did too!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I'm Seeing Stars

Since I'm taking an unscheduled break from this quilt, I thought I would take the opporunity to post a  picture of it.  Its another Victory-type quilt, but this one just has planes and a complimentary block.  Problem is, I'm doing stars in each of the dark blue squares, a star/loop in the sashing and stars and loops in the border.  I'm going to be a star expert when this is done!

The unscheduled break has left me with a few hours prior to class tonight, so I'm going to utilize my time trying to implement Bonnie Hunter's theory.  This is a pile of the leftover fabric from the Pioneer Sampler quilt I've been making in my Wednesday night class.  Its finished, so with these leftovers, I'm going to start my scrap stash ala Bonnie.  I'll be cutting them into useable pieces and organizing them in my rolling bins that live under Lily (my Millennium).

Per Bonnie's system, I"ll be cutting these pieces into useable sized pieces: strips, anything 12" or longer in different widths; squares, 1.5" to 3.5" -- no 3" squares though since nothing ever finishes to 2.5"; and bricks, from 2" x 3.5 to 3.5" x 6.5" for flying geese, etc.  The idea is that if you do this at the end of each quilt its not so overwhelming and will eventually give you enough scraps that you can actually make a scrap quilt. We'll see....I'm not even sure I like scrap quilts!

And finally, a bit of silliness.  Longarmers go through a lot of thread but this is the first time since I've started that I've actually used an entire cone of thread.  Of course, it was only white, but I used the whole thing.  So now, this empty cone sits on a shelf in my yurt.  And there it will stay until I find something to replace it with.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I'm Baaaaack...

Or at least the title is...thanks to my good friend Shannon.  My blog now has a title again!  Check out Shannon's blog if you haven't already; she does most excellent work, hosts block swaps and even has an online block of the month (click here). 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Quilters' Derrières

I'm sure you've noticed the new picture in my header; you've probably also noticed that it no longer says "Crazy Horse Quilting."  The former was on purpose, the latter was not (I'll be calling on my friend to help me fix my mistakes...I'm still blogger challenged!)

Are you wondering why I chose this painting from Leslie's many subjects?  I just thought that these guys, especially the boy in the middle, have something very much in common with most quilters *wink*  After all, we generally sit a lot, which causes certain parts of our anatomy to spread a lot--and when have you ever known quilters to get together where there wasn't also tons of really good food???

Enjoy the painting and visit Leslie's site  Her talent is amazing and has been admired by me since I first saw this original of hers hanging in Truckee, CA.

Leslie will be at the Thursday Night Street Fair in Truckee from July 1 to July 4 (apparently Thursdays last a really long time in Truckee!).  I've got it on my calendar; I'm not missing a chance to see her work up close.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Military Quilts

A woman in my Guild, Andrea, has a son that is in the military.  He works in a hospital and commented to his mom that the injured soldiers come in in their uniforms which are then removed and thrown away.  When the soldiers are well enough to leave, they don't have anything that is really "theirs."  He asked his mom to make quilts for these soldiers; she approached our Guild with the request and we've been giving her blocks to put into quilts ever since.

Here are the two most recent.  This first one is another Victory Quilt that I put Deb's Swirls on it.

A close up -- Swirls is such a simple design that it worked well on this one.

This second one was these friendship stars set with sashings and borders.  I played a bit more with this one. Loops on the outside two borders, smaller ones on the inside white border, squiggly cross-hatching (no ruler required) and then Continuous Curve in the stars. 

I used Rainbows Patriotic (red/white/blue) on the front and Bottom Line Lace White on the back.  Tension was perfect...I love my Millennium!

And a close-up of the front...

That's all for now...with our weather all I've been able to do is quilt.  I'm a fair weather rider, so riding Kate in the pouring rain just isn't an option.  Besides, its May...isn't it supposed to be nice weather now??

Working on the Yurt

We've been making some changes in the yurt these past few days.  Its a terrific space, except for Dennis' corner.  Yes, he has more than a corner, but there is a specific corner with his desk that has been very cluttered.  Originally, we both thought the desk was a great idea.  It would give him a great place to work on designs on his theory.  However, because its a smaller rolltop desk, it ends up looking like this:

After a trip to Dennis' mom's house and replacing the desk and a table with two pieces of her furniture, we now have this.  With the heat press on the dresser, we not only have it out of the way, but now there's storage underneath.

And finally, where the headpress stood, we put in this small desk.  There's room for our computers and we can see the tv (important when you're trying to watch "Lost").  Since the top is so open, I'm hoping we'll keep it looking this nice all the time.

And look...we even have flowers!  Dennis gave me a hydrangae plant for my retirement...our first yurt plant!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Moose Smoochies!

Are moose smoochies a noun or verb? Interesting question...well, maybe not to you, but.  My good friend Shannon often signs her post sending me "moose smoochies."  I, of course, return the sentiment with "pony smoochies" (what else?)  Shannon was in New York recently teaching classes and found these while she was there:

I realize it doesn't show up well from this picture, so here are the items included in the package I received just the other day.  First was this card with a Sunflower on it...I adore sunflowers and I'm going to frame it and put it in my studio.  The "fish" on the envelope is "Dory Fish" from Finding Nemo. Shannon's longarm is named "Nemo" and she often calls me "Dory Fish" when she thinks I'm being silly. (go figure!) They're both lying on a gorgeous FQ of fabric that has butterflies on it...for Butterfly Valley (I live in Butterfly Valley).  And finally, there's a tube of "something,"

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Its a tube of Mad Gab's blackberry flavored "Moose Smooch." Isn't it great???  Thanks, Shannon...I love it!!

That's the end of the fun for today though...retired or not, there's far too much to do.  Today's agenda includes preparing minutes from last night's Fish & Game Commission meeting, revising minutes from the C Road CSD meeting, preparing the newsletter for my guild and rearranging some furniture in the yurt.  Its going to be a busy today...but not a quilting one. *pout*

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Bears...Oh My!!!!

Actually, that should probably be: Wasps and Lizards and Snakes! Oh, My!  First thing yesterday morning, there's a wasp up in the dome...12' up.  There's no smacking that guy with a shoe (at least not without risking breaking the dome).  Luckily, I opened it up and out he went.  Then, as I'm walking into the yurt and telling my pup, Hank, that I'm sorry, but he can't come runs a lizard.  Granted, they're adorable, but really, would you want a lizard, no matter how cute, quilted in your quilt?  He's not the first to be in there, but we couldn't catch this guy before he went under some drawer units.  He's still in there; however, his buddy, who came in looking for him, is back outside.

Finally, going out to open the windows, a 4' garter snake went slithering by.  I know they're not dangerous; I know they eat mice and other things I don't want around; but I don't want him around either.  I can deal with the occasional lizard in my yurt, but what if the snake got in.  I would not deal well with that at all!  Dennis pointed out that there was no way he could get in through the bottom as its clamped too tightly to the base, but still...what if?????  Not only does spring in the yurt bring warmth, it brings critters.  I didn't sign on for that.......

On a quilty note, the selvage quilt is done.  What do you think??  Its my second feathered quilt and I'm pleased with how it turned out.  You can't see the selvages to see what I did, but basically I followed the lines of the selvages and did diamond shapes.  This was one of the quilts I took to Carla's class and these are what she drew:

and after talking with my customer, we combined the two designs and this is what I quilted: straight lines in the selvages on the inside, the curved border treatment and feathers in the red. 

Here's a really bad picture of the whole quilt (I really need to hire a better photographer *smirk*)

And two close-ups:

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