Friday, April 27, 2012

Back to Business

Is it a quilt, or isn't it???

This pattern is actually printed on the fabric. When Paula showed me this, I just had to quilt it. Imagine, SID that really isn't a ditch??  It was so easy to follow the "seam" lines. Perfect pressing, don't ya know??

I did feathers in the "pieced" blocks and squiggled a line over the "stitching" in the solid blocks. It turned out pretty cute and was just so easy to work on.

The back, which is often my favorite part.

So...what do you think? And if you were going to enter it in a show, what category would you use? Its not pieced, its not applique? Its a  thinker.

Thanks for stopping by,


Monday, April 23, 2012

R.I.P. Little Girl

Its the end of an era for us.  Dennis and I got together late in 1998 and picked up Chloe that following June. She was born in April 1999 and died yesterday in our arms. Chloe has been in congestive heart failure for over a year now and taking all sorts of meds. Moving to Washington seemed to give her a new lease on life. I think the lower elevation made it easier for her to breathe. She even enjoyed chasing Cash and Dash around; something she rarely did with Hank.

We had been working the horses yesterday while she watched; then we realized she wasn't there. Dennis carried her into the house as she was unable to walk on her own. We pet her and loved her until she took her last breath. We were so grateful that she spent the afternoon doing what she loved and that we got to say goodbye.

She's watching the horses in this photo.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Convergence Flimsy; BLAH

This is my first attempt at a Convergence Quilt.  I've been excited to make one since I first saw them demonstrated at my quilt guild in Quincy. Of course, I left and they had a class...figures.

I had some fabric in my stash and decided to throw one together. I HATE it. But, live and learn (I seem to keep saying that a lot these days).  And I figure I can probably save this one by appliqueing a giant rooster on the front.

On a good note, though, I was able to use my design wall to help during the construction and to audition borders. Now that was wonderful.  I've never worked with a design wall before and trust me, if you don't have one, you need one.  They're wonderful.

I will be making more of these; I love the idea and if I use the right fabrics, I may even love the finished product.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Quilters Dream Weekend!

My friend Lisa from Canada called a few weeks ago and was in need of some serious getaway time. She'd found this retreat and asked whether I wanted to go.  What could I say, but "Yes."

Quilters Dream Weekend is put on twice a year, April and October. It is a lovely venue with plenty of room to sew and some really nice folks to sew with. In April, they offer "mini" classes that are taught by other participants; in October, you just sew.  Well, except for October 2015; Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville fame is coming then! (Marei...maybe you should mark your calendar)

This is the basic set-up.  You bring your table or can use one of theirs and they have several ironing stations set up in the middle. A block challenge, a fat-quarter giveaway and raffle prizes are all given. Food is included and it is the best I've ever had at a retreat. I sat by a group of ladies from NW Washington. Sharylann owns Tangled Threads Quilt Shop and her friend, Shirley, has her longarm set up in her shop. There were also two Donna's, a Deb and several other wonderful ladies who were all friends that adopted Lisa and myself and made sure we were having a good time.

The sleeping cabins; beds on both floors. You can upgrade to private accommodations, but I didn't see the point. I spent the majority of my time sewing!

This photo is of the grounds. I woke up early and took a walk each morning. One morning, while talking with Dennis on the phone, an entire herd of elk ran by. That was the coolest thing ever. Made me wish I had a real camera and was ready to shoot. Although they were in the mist, so I think my "memory" photo is better.

I took several projects to work on and actually finished one top and made a second from a Hunter's Star class.  Now here is where reading directions actually would have paid off.  They said two "contrasting" fabrics, what'd I choose...two BORING fabrics. They wouldn't have been boring had I not put them in the same quilt or added something for some pop. Live and learn.  And now I have a lovely, muted, Hunter Star background to do some applique and/or thread painting on (I think that's what they call "making lemonade from lemons")

This is what it could have looked like, had I read the instructions.

This is the top I took and finished. I purchased this "Quilt in a Bag" kit years ago at PIQF in Santa Clara. I figure its a close as I'll come to that Africa trip that's on my Bucket List. It turned out pretty well, although I don't love it as much as I did when I first saw it. But that is one less UFO.

Hard to tell from the crappy photo (sorry), but the outside has pictures of lions, zebras, elephants, etc., and the inner fabric is suppose to be zebra stripes.  I'll do better if/when it ever gets quilted.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Family Affair

 In 1979, my neice, Corrie Rae, died at the age of four. She was a very special little girl and we all still miss her.  She was the daughter of my sister, Donna.  Donna has kept a box of Corrie's clothes all this time not wanting to get rid of them, yet not knowing what to do with them.

Several years ago it was decided to make a memory quilt with the clothes. Corrie's older sister, Christy, took the clothes apart. My other sister, Barbara, pieced this beautiful Sun Bonnet Sue quilt with the clothes, adding fabric (like the background) where necessary. Barb will bring the quilt to me when she visits in May and I'll quilt it. I think we'll have Dennis embroider a label for the back.

Not only has this project been a family affair, but it is such a great tribute to a wonderful little girl that will forever be four in our hearts.

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Finally...Off the Frame

As promised, here is the finished "2007 Great Alaska Shop Hop Quilt." This quilt took such a long time to finish, over a week I think. Between life and thread changes, its a wonder I ever finished. This is a photo of the main threads that I used on the quilt. Quite a variety.

I wanted to make this quilt fun, without going too crazy. First a reminder "before" picture. This has actually been quilted, but without better lighting (which I'm working on), you can't really tell.

And now...some of the many different blocks. I tried out several things for the first time ever and am quite pleased with how they turned out. For example, curved cross-hatching. I used Deloa Jones Boomerang ruler and it was quite easy. For a better look at the quilting, click on the photo to enlarge it.

Nothing special about the quilting on this block...I just liked the colors.

This block has my favorite "flower" in the center. I used the design in the center of a few other blocks as well, for some continuity.

These blocks represent Aurora Borealis viewed over the mountains. (click here to see a real picture of the Northern Lights that is quite similar to these blocks.) Lyn wanted to make sure that the mountains actually looked like mountains. I thought the diagonal lines quilted in the same direction as the mountain "tops" accomplished this.

With this block and a couple of other areas of sashing, I used Deloa Jones' "Rope-a-Dope" ruler for making cable. The hardest part was trying to determine how to do the corner; I was pleased with how it turned out.

I did meandering feathers for the leaves in this tree and then tried another new quilting design for the grass and the tree bark.  The grass design came from Darlene Epp's Pocket Guides. I've had these guides since I began longarm quilting and I refer to them all the time. They are indispensable.   

There were several tree blocks on this quilt. With this one, I did "bricks" (something new for me) at the bottom to give the effect that the tree was behind a bridge with water flowing underneath.

I kept the sashing and border quilting more simple to keep attention focused on the inner blocks in this quilt. A swag in the sashing and paisley fill in the border with matching thread accomplished the look I was going for. 

This was a fun quilt to work on. My brain was tired by the end, so I took a day off and made a convergence quilt. 

Thanks for looking!!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fool's Day...almost

As you all are quite aware, today is April Fool's Day. Yesterday, however, we woke up to this trick thanks to Mother Nature!

Miss Emma was not impressed!

Fortunately, by early afternoon, the snow lost the battle and had almost completely disappeared. Spring snow storms are beautiful!