Saturday, April 30, 2011

Forum Mini-Quilt Swap

For the second time, Shannon put together a Mini-Quilt Swap with members of our APQS forum. It is a mystery swap in that you know who you're make for but you don't know who is making one for you!

This was my first time participating and, as usual, being the procrastinator that I am, I made this little mini at the last minute. Its totally my style, and I hoped my swap partner would like it.
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Then, in the mail, I received this one! Can you believe how beautiful it is and how much time and work Tracey put into it?? Its stunning! Her appliqué is so perfect; I love it!!!

A picture of the back:

And  look at the goodies she included. I made out like a bandit and my poor swap partner got only the quilt.

 If Shannon does this again, I will do better next time. Plus, my swap partner will be receiving a few late goodies in the mail to make up for my lack of planning!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Our Family is Growing by Leaps and Bounds!

When we lost Hank, I really didn't think another dog would be able to steal my heart so completely. Dennis talked about wanting to get a puppy that was born after Hank died because he felt that dog would have Hank's spirit, so he started looking. A call to some recommended breeders in Fallon turned up a woman with a litter of  eleven Border Collies born two days after we put Hank down.

We made a trip to Fallon when they were five weeks old and this little guy chose us.

On the left is Cash as at 6 weeks; above he's 8 weeks old.

In the meantime, I had been checking rescue sites wanting to give a "disadvantaged" BC a good home. I saw this little one, Dash, filled out the adoption application and sent it in. I received a return e-mail that Dash had already been adopted. Then, three days before we were to pick up the puppy, Dash was back on the available list. Several e-mails later, we decided we were meant to have him and drove to Gilroy to pick him up. His foster mom brought him into PetSmart in a shopping cart--it was just too cute. He has a bit of Airedale in him. Notice the beard?

He was so insecure when we got him, it just tugged at my heartstrings. I sat in the back with him the first leg of our trip home with him sitting as close to me as he could get; then he sat in the back with Chloe for about an hour until he just couldn't stand being away from me and came up and sat on my lap the rest of the drive. Since then, he's made it very clear that he's going to be my dog.

We picked up the puppy the day after picking up Dash. Those two are inseparable now and play constantly...its really cute. Although the puppy is quite a bit smaller, he really holds his own. Dash is slowly learning to trust and next week he starts obedience training. That will be interesting!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It's a Big One!!

I got a call from a quilter in another town close by that had seen my quilting. She wanted me to quilt this really big quilt for her for her niece's wedding gift. The quilt was 104" square and had 14" borders so that it would fit their bed and have a nice drop over the side. Large borders are very scary for a longarm quilter--they often don't fit well and have a bit of a wave. Not these, Sue pieced and attached them perfectly.

Its almost impossible to tell from this photo, but the stars are literally 24" across. They are pieced from many red batiks. In the diamond-shapes of the stars, I did a feather fill. The background triangles and four corners got curved cross-hatching. The borders were scalloped, then a bead-board to finish out the rest of the border.

She had pieced the back. This is a photo of a corner of it showing the quilting in a bit more detail.

Thanks for taking the time to have a look! (Remember, you can click on the picture to make it easier to view)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Is it really April??

As I sit inside the office by the fire typing this, it's snowing outside. Snowing...isn't this supposed to be April? Seriously, it would almost be funny if I weren't so sick of cold weather!

It does give me lots of time to quilt though. Since we're still not riding, I haven't had to rearrange my schedule much. Marei has given me four beautiful quilts to do for her. Two have hearts on them...this is one. This one, I thought, was the one she wanted back quickly. I finished it on time, put it in the mail and she called me to tell me that she loved the quilting, but....yep, wrong heart quilt. *sheesh* Good thing she loved it!!

A close-up so you can actually see the quilting!

And the back. I always love Marei's backs. They are usually such that the quilting shows up nicely. Its like two quilts in one.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Empty Spools Seminar with Sally Collins

Empty Spools is an expensive vacation, but if you're spending it with Sally Collins and a good friend, its priceless! Sally is such a fantastic teacher and so nice...hard to believe that anyone could honestly be that nice, but she is. Classes start at 9 a.m., you get a break for lunch and they're over at 4. Last year, my teacher strictly adhered to those times. Not Sally. She was in class before breakfast and stayed every night until way past 9 p.m.

This was the quilt that our class was based on. However, before we even started, we had a basic drafting lesson and then we all changed her block to whatever interpretation we wanted.

We made mock-ups of our block, created templates, auditioned fabric and then finally pieced it together. Sally gave lots of instruction about accurate piecing, pressing and the perfect 1/4" seam. Due to my lack of planning, it didn't take long before I realized that the fabrics I'd brought were all wrong. This quilt needed "serious" fabrics and I had grabbed brights.

First "draft":


See what I mean? It needs serious fabrics, like maybe some beautiful greens, grays, whites and a little blue like the colors of our meadow after a snow storm. One of the best parts about all of this was the experience. I will redraft my block, lose the star in the middle, and start over again. Another terrific benefit: the new friends I made there.

This was the view from our classroom. We were in the back of the main hall with this lovely view of the ocean. Our room was close by and had a fireplace! Every day the cleaning staff put in one of those bags you just light and watch burn, and every night we did just that.

This is one of Sally's quilts. Looks like your normal lonestar, right? Wrong!! The diamonds in this lonestar are only 1/2 inch (yes, inch!) in size. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Have you noticed??

It's been forever since my last post.  My lack of planning, Empty Spools and Uncle Sam are to blame. I, of course, accept no responsibility!!
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With a little luck, taxes will be mailed off tomorrow and life will start to return to normal. Thanks for not giving up on me!