Another thing I enjoy doing, especially when I find a new recipe or a cookbook with interesting recipes. I'm also discovering that the groceries in Sequim have lots of really fresh food; something that Quincy didn't have a lot of.
My new cookbook is "The Pioneer Woman Cooks," by Ree Drummond. The cookbook itself is fun to read, as is her blog, which I also look at on occasion. My friend and neighbor here, Annie, just had knee surgery. I wanted to take her something for dinner, so I found the perfect recipe: Homemade Tomato Soup in my new cookbook. I did something I never do...I followed the recipe exactly. It was outstanding.
Tonight, I picked up some fresh shrimp (it actually came deveined and shelled!!) and made Penne a la Betsy. I added a bit to this one, but it was still quite good even before my addition of cayenne pepper.
A warning, however, this cookbook is not for anyone on a diet! I will be making more recipes out of this book, but only if I continue to workout so that I can burn off the heavy cream and oodles of butter!!!
For those of you that have been wondering if we were actually taking a slow boat to Sequim rather than a car, the answer is ... "NO." However, once we arrived, we faced many challenges. Being connected to the Internet was a huge one. Finally though, as of yesterday, we have contact!! I'm back in blogging business; I'm sure you're all relieved <snort>!!
But, for the good stuff:
My step-daughters were in Quincy the Friday before we headed out. They were great as we enlisted their husband/significant other to help load. In fact, on Sunday, Rachel and Mike even came by to help us finish loading. They are great kids (I use that term relatively as they are all in their 30s!).
We arrived on that Monday to a house decorated with Christmas lights and our friends waiting for us with dinner. It was lovely! The next day more friends arrived to help us unload. Since then we've been unpacking and trying to organize. The kitchen here is so big that I have too much room, I keep losing things!!
A few days after our arrival, we joined SARC (Sequim Aquatic Recreation Center). Its incredible. They have TWO swimming pools (which would be even more fantastic if I swam), three rooms full of aerobic and weight equipment, a gym for large classes and a smaller classroom for other classes. Today is the second week of our new "get healthy" program.
Today another friend gave me a bike to use for when we ride the Discovery Trail. Equines are only allowed on portions, but bikes can do the whole thing. We're going to check it out by bike first, pony later.
The horses are doing great and we can see them from the house, which I love. We plan to start riding when we have our lives a bit more in order...hopefully not too long from now.
And today my longarm was set up in its temporary quarters...wait til I show you the new digs!! They'll be awesome!!
Thanks for hanging in there...pics of quilts coming soon.
...is being in between two places at once! Most of our stuff is in Washington, except the business equipment. We came back to catch up on our projects prior to moving everything north and to attend our town's Christmas "Sparkle" parade. Its a really fun activity held on the first Friday of December. This year's Sparkle is made even more fun because Dennis' oldest daughter will be having an artists opening reception at our local Plumas Arts Gallery.
Back to the matter at hand: in Quincy is my camera that I use to take pictures of customer quilts for my posts; in Washington is the cord used for transferring said pictures to my computer. Thank goodness for the iPhone. The photos may not be as sharp, but at least there are photos!!
These quilts were made by Diane using scraps given to her by another quilter that didn't like the colors any longer. She put them to good use for her grandkids. This one is for her granddaughter
And this one was for her grandson. Wondering where the pic is of the whole quilt? Me too!!! <snicker>
The design in the 9-patch and large blocks was a new one for me. It came from "Line Dancing" and was really fun to quilt.
When I picked up Jennifer's quilt last month, she had this adorable quilt on her wall. I commented on how cute it was and she told me that her sister had made this shortly before she was taken ill. Jennifer finished it and had it quilted before she passed, so it has a special place in her heart and on her wall.
But then Jennifer posed the dreaded question. She told me she'd taken the quilt to a longarmer with a computer and she asked whether I felt that quilter had done enough quilting. In my opinion, she hadn't, but I wasn't willing to criticize another quilter who had obviously taken a lot of time on this quilt. As you can see, she quilted in the border and in the center sashing. She then went on to stitch in the ditch everywhere and around the birds as well.
My response to Jennifer was that had it been me, I would have done more quilting in the background around the birds and something in the red sashing as well as the pinwheel and 9-patch blocks; and I wouldn't have done any SID. Jennifer brought the quilt to me when she picked up her last one.
This is a close-up of how it originally looked (click on the pic for a true "close-up"):
And this is how it looked when it left my studio:
I really felt the quilt needed these whimsical touches. What do you think??
Several months ago, Barbara told me a story about a friend who had spent some time with her and was now in the Congo in Africa helping women. Lyn Lusi co-founded HEAL Africa, an organization that partners with communities to transform the status of women. Barbara was asked to make these two quilts to hang in the hospital there using the fabric that Lyn acquired for her in the Congo. I was very pleased that she trusted me to quilt them for her.
This is the first quilt Barbara finished for them.
My goal was to keep the quilting subtle. I quilted circles in the outer border and also around the fussy-cut circle in the main "arrow" piece. The background and sashing are both done in a heatwave pattern, with continuous curve in the arrow, itself.
This shot of the back shows more of the quilting.
And this was the second quilt; I really had fun with this one.
The outside border was quite busy so I just did a meander (no matter what I did, I couldn't get the lighting right...its a wonder I didn't go blind stitching this border!!) and carried the meander into the background of the blocks. Barbara wanted a simple continuous curve in the baskets and in the flowers with a "stem" connecting them. I also did a cc in the sashing.
Things are changing and hopefully, they will be good changes.
Dennis and I have been coming to Sequim, Washington, for the last three years visiting friends and hanging out in the cabin on Sequim Bay. During our last trip, we decided to try something more permanent.
This will be the new home for Crazy Horse Quilting...what do you think???
It won't exactly be the new home. Initially, I'll be quilting in the garage; but then another yurt will be set up that will be all mine. Dennis will have the upstairs office and one of the guest rooms for his business...at least the bits that aren't messy. He will NOT be screen-printing in the house!
I will even be providing my customers with mailers that are both tear- and water-proof for sending their tops and backings to me. Return mail will be on me in an insured Priority box. Seems fair, yes??
We will be up here for the winter beginning in December and then head back to Q-town in late March. At some point, we will have to make a permanent decision about residence, but for now we're a two-home family.
Marei sent this quilt for me to work on after showing the flimsy (un-quilted top) at our guild meeting. Everyone loved it so much that she's now scheduled to make a presentation at next month's meeting on how to put it together. Apparently, it goes together quickly so is a great one for when you need a last minute quilt.
The bright fabrics in this one are beautiful and are really set off nicely with the black and cream. I wanted to push the black and cream to the background to make the other fabrics shine, so I did some pretty dense quilting.
Marei's only request on this one was to do "something special" in the top. This quilt is going to her grandson, Jakob, for his bed and the top will be over the pillows. I outlined the designs on the top with matching thread, so while nothing much shows here...
It does on the back! (click on the picture to really see the detail)
Today I discovered the difference between quilting for yourself and quilting as an occupation. Are you dying to know?? Well, you have to read through this whole thing to find out the answer (or just skip to the bottom).
When I first started quilting (my good friend Lucy introduced me to it after our house had burned down), I had a really bad day. I had purchased a "box" Brother machine from Costco and I could not get the bobbin to load correctly. After trying for quite some time and still not getting it to work correctly, I gave up and got my horse, Elly, and we went for a nice, relaxing ride in the forest.
Today, I could not, no matter what I did, get the tension adjusted correctly on my longarm when using Bottom Line thread in both the top and bobbin. No matter what I did (changed bobbins, needles, adjusted the tension), the top thread kept breaking. Then when I finally go the top thread to behave, the bobbin thread started breaking! It wasn't making any sense, since the stitching was turning out beautifully. Finally, when working on the last two blocks, things were adjusted correctly and I made it through both blocks without having any broken threads!! Go figure. *sigh*
The difference: If I were quilting for myself, I would have thrown my arms up in the air, changed my clothes, grabbed Kate and gone for a ride. However, since I have a business and this quilt has a deadline, I kept working until the end.
But, it is Tuesday morning and I didn't get back until last night so I haven't been ignoring my blog.
MQX was terrific! The venue was great and I got to catch up with my good friend, Lisa, from Canada. We only had one class together, but we stayed together so we made up for lost time.
More about MQX in general later, but here are a few pics of the beautiful quilts I took while there. Please note, these aren't pictures of the entire quilts as I don't think that would be appropriate; these are just some of the bits that I really loved. Perhaps it has to do with the subject matter??
Look at the background quilting on these quilts; as a quilter, I find it so interesting to see what quilters do.
Nope, not my puppies. These ones are in a quilt and a pillow top that Jennifer made.
Aren't they cute? I quilted the two pups in the quilt with the same tight swirl stitches to make them look like they were the same dog. The nine-patch blocks have a terry-twist and I swirled inside the dark purple circles to give a tufted effect in the light blue blocks. I used Quilters Dream Puff, so the effect worked quite well.
In the pillow top, I used a thinner batting and bigger swirls in the dog's body this time.
And a photo of the back. The quilting actually shows up a tad better if you click on the picture to make it larger.
This is a hydrangea that Dennis bought for me when I retired. I've kept it alive for over a year--a record for me! But look at it now...the leaves have white on them. What does this mean? What do I do??
This bed runner was made by a a new customer, Donna. She's taking a class and this was one of their projects. The double-duty part comes from the fabrics use.
The top is Christmassy (yes, that is a word!)
And the back fits in with her Americana decorating scheme the rest of the year. (If you want to see the quilting on the back, click on the picture. When you're done, just click the back button to come back here)
And this is a photo of the whole thing. When its finished, there will be prairie points on each end.
This is a sneak peak of my beautiful step-daughter's wedding quilt. She hasn't seen it, but she does know its coming. In fact, if I could only read and follow directions, it would be done. However, twice now, I've put the four-patch units that go in the outer border together backwards! Okay, well not backwards, exactly. The first time I used the wrong fabric, the second time it was backwards.
Remember the Machinations quilt I did for Marei? Remember the backing fabric she used and how I was trying to figure out if she'd notice if I switched it? I love red and I loved that red fabric so much!!!
Our Guild meeting was just the other night and guess what Marei brought me???? My very own bit of that fabric!! She went back to the store and bought what was left on the bolt for me...I have almost 2 yards now to call my own.
Its all pre-washed now and proudly added to my stash. I'm thinking of making a log cabin in blues and reds...this will be in there! Isn't it pretty??
This was on a fence board at the Dungeness Spit in Washington. Quilt designs can be found anywhere!!
And this was a most frustrating discovery when I looked at the back of a quilt recently. The bad thing: all those stitches had to come out, probably a bobbin's worth; the good thing: these are the easiest type of stitches to pull and I'm pretty sure I know what caused it. Mostly operator error...as usual.
And a short trip down memory lane. This was my first paying quilt that was done for a charity. It was so scary putting the first stitch in. Turned out fine though.
Today is Dennis' daughter's wedding day...pics of that tomorrow, hopefully.
Yep...still on vacation and loving it. We won't head for home until oh-dark-thirty on Monday. So's you don't think I fell off the face of the earth, here are some photos for your viewing pleasure. This is my view every morning just before sunrise. We enjoy it on the porch with our coffee.
And while we drink coffee, the boys are enjoying their vacation, too.
I think these birds are Cormorants, but I'm really not sure. This was just a cool picture of them on the dock in front of the house next door.
This one is of a house by our friends, Don and Annie. I love this house!!
Another view shot. Often these mountains aren't in view because of the clouds. When they are, they're gorgeous.
Notice the painting in my header?? This one is called "Big Butt" and is by Leslie Ann Webb. Click hereto read about Leslie and see more of her work.
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Show me the Quilts!
Not really interested in the ponies and the rest of my life? Would you rather just look at quilts?? You have two options: 1) in the search box below, type in "customer quilts," or 2) scroll down to the "labels" and click on "Customer Quilts." Either way, the eye candy is all yours. Enjoy!!
Dorothy, Dort and more recently, Dory. Yes, three names. I was called Dort when I was little (much better than Dot) and now its morphed into Dory. That's the problem with a name like "Dorothy." What do you do with it?? (For the rest of this thrilling saga, click on "About Me" at the top of the blog.)
I'd love to hear from you! crazyhorsequilting [@] gmail [.]com
Authorized APQS Sales & Service Representative
Are you ready to try the top-of-the line longarm? Do you already have a longarm and need a beginning class? Call me at (530) 394-7762 or (360) 681-8175 to schedule an appointment anywhere in western Washington.
"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." Ralph Waldo Emerson