Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I posted some time ago about my "deal" with Twisted Scissor Quilt Shop in Sparks.  I quilt store samples for Karen; she gives me store credit and has my business cards available in her store.  Well, it worked!!

Mari-Lynn called me in June and had a "quilt" for me...but it wasn't really a quilt.  By definition, a quilt has a top, back and middle.  This one had a top and back, but no middle. Her plan was to use it for a shower curtain, so she didn't want any batting to trap moisture and cause mold.  Made sense, but quilting something without batting...for a new customer??? Yikes!

I was in Reno for the Sew-Quilt Expo and met Mari-Lynn there.  The challenge was before me...quilt this beautiful Asian fabric that was predominantly black and white and don't let the thread be an obnoxious contrast on the BLUE backing!  Well, I did it.

I used Superior's Lava Black Sand (black, light silver, gray and dark silver) on the top with Bottom Line Lace White in the bobbin.  I love Lace White.  You'd think that with it being white it would really show up on the blue, but its so fine that unless you're standing 2 feet away, you don't see it.  It was the perfect combination.  During my initial consultation with Mari-Lynn, I had explained that without batting and from my first glance at her quilt, a really dark gray was going to be my thread color choice for both the top and bobbin.  She wasn't thrilled, but she understood.

Sometimes things work out perfectly, quilting-wise.  I had barely started when I was so excited with how this thread looked that I had to run and tell someone.  Poor Dennis got the entire story, to which he listened patiently.  I did "bamboo" in the border and an all-over version of Paisley in the body.  I like how the short runs of silver really seem to give the birds movement.

Another close up...

A cute little story to go with:  When Mari-Lynn and I first spoke on the telephone, she told me she was looking for a longarm quilter.  She also said that she had three quilts to be done, but then she became quiet.  I filled in the rest: She had three quilts to be done but she wanted to see my work before just handing them over.  Although she was hesitant, she agreed that I had it right.  I so understand that...would you want to turn over three quilts all at once to someone whose work you'd never really seen?? I think NOT.  However, I left Mari-Lynn's on Monday with those other two quilts and one more on the way.  *smile*

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ribbon, Ribbons, everywhere!!

This week was our Plumas-Sierra County Fair.  We always have a great showing of quilts, and this year was no exception.  But, best of all, when walking around the display, I found this!!!

I was so excited; this is the first quilt I've entered that has been finished on my Millennium. I couldn't believe it...a FIRST PLACE RIBBON for me!!!  I was elated.  I know its a County Fair and I know that had this quilt been entered in a "real" show, it wouldn't have won.  But I don't care!!  I WON!!  I'm still doing the happy dance!!

After coming down from the ceiling, I continued my tour around the room and found that five other quilts I'd quilted had ribboned as well.

This one got second:


Another First for a group quilt (its my Guild's Opportunity Quilt). I forgot to take a picture with the ribbon on it *pout*

Second for a group quilt

and another first for this Table Topper.

Does this mean I can advertise as an Award Winning Quilter????

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Another Selvage Quilt

Connie did this one.  I especially like the brown as the contrasting color...makes it look warm.

I didn't want to do this quilt exactly as I had with the other, so instead of ruler work on all the center, I did a squiggly line to tack those areas down.  (Had a neat effect on the backing). I also used a squiggly line in the outer selvages as well...just like this.

In the brown, instead of feathers, I used the bamboo fill.  While you can do each area with one pass, you have to do them all individually.  I could not figure a way to make them continuous.

Unfortunately, brown on brown doesn't photograph well (no...its not the fault of the photographer *grin*)

I loved the fabric she used on the backing. And because of the design in it, the diagonal/squiggly lines really added some texture and movement. (I love happy accidents!)

The thread in this quilt was Superior's Bottom Line Lace White in the top/bobbin and their So Fine Buffalo in the brown areas.  The Bottom Line white is amazing thread.  Its very, very white, but because it is so thin, you don't really see it unless you're up close to the quilt.  I really like the effect it gives.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pioneer Sampler Quilt

This will be the first of FOUR of these quilts that I'll be working on.  All four are so different; they hardly seem like the same pattern.

First up:  This one is from Mona.  She chose to do hers in the same fabric line that I used for my sister's birthday quilt. I had a hard time figuring out why the fabrics were so familiar.  Then, she really messed with my head.  I started seeing double...until I realized that she'd increased the size of her quilt by duplicating some of the blocks.

Have a look!

And here are close-ups of a few of the blocks:

Shannon was still here while this one was lying on my machine and I was deciding what to do with it.  She encouraged me to use the same thread throughout to pull the blocks together. After I got over my initial paranoia of my quilting actually being visible *yikes*, I went for it.  I do like the effect and will do that more often.  That Shannon is one smart "doodlebug"!!

Mona is entering this quilt in our County Fair, which started yesterday.  I'll let you know whether she wins anything.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Show us the QUILTS!!

Ask, and ye shall receive. Seems I've heard that somewhere before??

This is the quilt that I made for my sister's 60th birthday.  She doesn't turn 60 until September, but the plan was to go to Phoenix on July 29 for her party. The party happened, but because of dealing with family issues (mother-in-law), I just didn't feel good about leaving.  As it was, I think Dennis and I put over a 1,000 miles on the car searching for the perfect placement for her.  We finally found it.  She's at Eagle Lake Village in Susanville. If you've never seen an assisted living facility, let me tell you, they are not what you'd expect.  They are like having a room at the Ritz!  Its amazing!!

But, back to the quilt.  I made this one in a hurry (I think its called a split nine-patch?) with some charm squares I'd purchased to match the colors of my sister's house.  Unfortunately, I hadn't thought to purchase sashing at the same time.  That meant a trip to our local hardware store (yes, I said "hardware store") to look for some.  Dennis picked this out from their limited supply...what do you think?

I used Kristina's Quiltazoid (mine is on its way) to quilt the blocks and then just did feathers and some weird loopy thing in the sashing (good thing my sis isn't a quilter *chuckle*).  Lesson learned: When using the QZ, fill in some of the empty places to balance quilt density.  Unfortunately, since I was on the clock, trying to get this done before I flew out, I didn't go back and do that.

A couple pictures of the back.  I love it when the quilting shows! (okay, so you may have to click on the photo to make it larger so you can see it, but it does show...really!)

I think she'll be happy anyway.

Oh, and here's a little test for any of you that are puzzle solvers:  There's something wrong with a photo in this post--can you see it??

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Company Came...and went

I had so much fun with Kristina and Shannon that I still haven't caught up!  They arrived on Thursday afternoon...both looking exactly as their pictures. (No Shannon didn't wear this hat all the way from Reno!) Although we'd never met each other in person, it was as if we'd known each other forever!

Thursday we hung out and sweltered in the yurt for a bit; then it was off to my Guild meeting.  I drug them along since I was both dropping off and picking up quilts.  Kristina is actually a member; she wanted to go to the retreat...(note to self: remind her to sign up if she's coming.)

Friday the real fun began!  We played in the yurt in the morning with Shannon showing us tricks and tips and then Kristina did some playing and demonstrating of her Quiltazoid.  I even talked her into leaving it so that I could play with it after she'd gone.  The pictures are of a couple designs we did and then filled in--Shannon even tried some thread painting.

While she was here, Shannon taught me how to needle-turn applique (yuk--not my cup of tea) and how to English Paper Piece (much more my style).  Friday night Dennis and I went to bed around 11; at 2:30 he woke up and noticed lights on.  Then he woke me up...those girls were still up playing!!  I think that was when Kristina painted Shannon's toe nails that lovely shade of green!!

The girls got to meet the ponies and Shannon insisted on playing with them as if they were dogs.  They weren't sure what to make of her, but I do think Emma enjoyed it.  She is so spoiled, she loves any attention.

And, of course, I got special presents while Shannon was here too!  First, she brought me this lovely little "train case," which now houses my English Paper Piecing supplies.
Then she made me a cover for my sketch book from my very most favorite fabric in the whole world.  It was so painful watching her cut it; but I'm so happy she did.  Isn't it beautiful??First she had to quilt it...

Then she put it all together. The pocket on the inside holds all my colored pens.  We bought the sketchbooks in Reno, so Kristina will have her very own too!!

For those of you not from this planet that don't recognize the fabric, it's Laurel Burch's Mythical Horses.  She came out with this design shortly before she died and I've collected yards of every design and colorway I can find.  Until my sketch book, I've never cut it up...I do, however, take it out and pet if often!!

The three of us went to a quilt show in Reno where not only did we spend too much money, but Shannon bought a basket like mine and then had to figure out how to get it home. Did you know you can get them wet, squish them for shipping, then get them wet again and reshape them? No?? Me neither.  That's what she did though, and it worked.

Those of you that follow Shannon's blog know that not only is she a fabulous quilter, but she also hunts...with a gun *yikes!* Before she got here, we'd had a visit from a bear (he left a large deposit by the barn)and a mountain lion was in the valley (he'd attacked a dog). She was really hoping to see the bear; knowing  that seeing the cat was pretty much impossible.  I was unable to provide a bear sighting, but one evening as I want to the yurt, I heard a rattle--just like what you hear on tv in the old westerns.  A snake was right by our back door.  Shannon and Dennis dispatched him to the other side rather quickly.  Shannon really wanted to remove the rattles, but figured getting them through security at the airport could be an issue.

Shannon's last day here we spent shop-hopping in Gardnerville and Reno. It was so much fun to have her here.  Now it's my and Kristina's turn to go to Georgia...but NOT in the summer!! I'll leave you with one last shot of our play time in the yurt.  We had such a good time!!