Monday, December 30, 2013

What'd you get for Christmas??

Dennis knows I love gadgets, so for Christmas I got:

A Fitbit Force!  Have you seen these? They are so much fun. I had never even heard of them until we were wandering around the Reno airport and they had a similar one there. I was immediately intrigued.  We got home, Dennis did a ton of research, and the end result: I'm now wearing my Force everyday. It has a display so that I can check stats directly on the watch, or I can sync with my tablet, pc and phone. Yesterday I took over 10,000 steps (I'm sure it had something to do with moving everything out of my studio and into the dining room), climbed seven flights of stairs (I live in a two-story house) and burned 2,200 calories. I can even track my sleep...its so much FUN!! go with my Force, I now have a Vitamix. I was surprised by this gift as Dennis has often said that he thinks they're nothing more than a glorified blender. However, he's since changed his mind.  I've made just two things so far (strawberry daiquiris and Broccoli Cheddar soup), but that was enough to convince him. My goal is to use it at least 5 days a weed: soup in the winter and smoothies in the summer.

How was your Christmas??


Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Few Last Pics from my Quincy Trip

Just realized I didn't add the last few pics of my trip to here you are:

This is the black/white/red quilt finished. I added a red sashing and then the border. Its not quilted yet, of course, but at least the top is done.

I also worked on these blocks at the retreat, too. These are four of the six completed so far.

One of my customers was working on this Amish with a Twist quilt for me to bring home, quilt, and return it to her in time for Christmas. She got it to me the day before I left...and she got it back two days before Christmas! It should have been there sooner, but for some reason, it sat in the post office in Kent, Washington, for THREE days.  Needless to say, I was a bit stressed!!

And this is the dragonfly that someone found. She made the rounds onto various quilter's machines; however, no one was even frightened by the "big dead bug." Instead, when I got to my machine on the last day, I found her lying in her own little fabric bed with a pillow and a bed runner. Leave it to a group of quilters!! *grin*

When the retreat was over, I spent the night with my best friend, Cindy, in Quincy. The next day, another friend of ours, Lucia, came out to crochet while we sewed. It was a great day. We had beef brisket cooking in the oven and had the house pretty much to ourselves. Lucia was missing her usual walks, so she would ride the exercise bike periodically--while enjoying a glass of wine, of course. Isn't that what everyone does on their exercise bike?

Dennis arrived the next day and that was the end of the fun sewing trip. We spent two days pulling fence posts--not quite as much fun.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

I hope you all have a wonderful and joyous holiday.

I will be back to posting more regularly in the New Year. There have been some changes (especially in my studio) that I can't wait to share with all of you.

Until then...Merry Christmas everyone!!

Dash says Merry Christmas too!


Monday, December 2, 2013

What I did in November saw Paula's quilt, right? (Click HERE if you missed it and want to see more.)

I finished her quilt just in time for my trip to Carson City, Nevada. My sister, Barb, lives there and we sewed for three days straight! And I do mean "straight"! My flight arrived on a Monday in the afternoon; we went to her house and dropped off my luggage and then to her studio and sewed until around 8 that night. She has a condo she used to rent that she uses for her studio now. It gets her out of the house and away from phones--perfect.

While there, I finished three things! First, I put this little table runner together. I've had this kit for years and was looking for something simple that I could test my 1/4" seam with on my Featherweight. Perfect project for that.

 Then I made this top from a free pattern for a friend who is undergoing some serious dental work. She came off her horse and landed on her face on a rock--not good. I'm hoping this quilt will let her know that she's loved.

Finally, I've had all these blocks for years. I took them with me not thinking I'd actually do anything with them. However, I put them up on the design wall and we decided they just needed to be sewn together--no planning necessary. I think the was the fastest quilt I've ever done!!

I had a great time hanging out with my sister; we haven't done that in quite a while. She has really good color sense and her work is perfect. No cut off points for my sister!!!  She quilts, too, but she does her quilting on a Juki. She's taken lessons from Cindy Needham and really does a great job on her projects.

From there...on Thursday...I headed off to Quincy....


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I hope everyone is spending the day with family and friends!!

I know you've probably all seen this one before, but it still made you smile, didn't it??  It always makes me smile.

I'll be back soon with more regularly scheduled programming. Wait til you see what's been taking up all of my time...


Friday, November 1, 2013

Paula's Pretty Egg Money Quilt

Paula sent this quilt up a few weeks ago. Its been done, but I was only able to deliver it yesterday. Yes, deliver it: I'm in Quincy!! I've just spent three days sewing with my sister and now I'll be spending three days at the Quincy Crazy Quilters Guild retreat. Then a final day sewing with my best friend and another friend and then Dennis arrives and the fun is over. It will be an exciting and bittersweet trip. We should be signing the papers and saying goodby to Butterfly...but more about that later.  Now for Paula's quilt.

It came with a note that said "I want custom," and that was it! Silly, Paula. After talking with her I discovered that this quilt was potentially earmarked for a friend who'd given her a beautiful piece of furniture. However, there was a caveat...she loves this quilt and she loves the fabric and she wasn't totally committed to giving it away. She wanted to see what I did with it first.  So...this is what I did:

The design in the sashing is ala Deloa Jones and the block is from a technique I learned from Sue Heinz at MQX this year. 

This one was the result of playing around with lines and feathers...

Drunkard's Path...the bane of my quilting existence. I have such a hard time trying to decide what to do in these blocks, but I just played with this one and I really like it. Hope Paula does!!

The lighter area of this block has a design I learned in Angela Walters Dot-to-Dot class at MQX. Its a simple concept, but it sure turns out nice.

Another one with just some simple line work...

And a shot of the back. What blog is complete without at least one shot of the back? Paula used her leftover fabrics for the back, so while the quilting wan't obvious, you could see some nice patterns in places.

So, what do you think? Would you keep it or give it away??

Monday, October 28, 2013

Puget Sounder's First Voyage

Puget Sounder is the name of our new-to-us boat. It has a raised salon, which just means that rather than being like a normal sailboat, the area down below has big windows and lots of natural light.  We may change the name of the boat, but so far, we haven't come up with anything.

Friday morning we took off with another couple on their boat and motored to Port Townsend. There was good wind and we could have sailed, however, the other couple just wanted to motor. By car, Port Townsend is a 40 minute drive. By boat, its three hours...go figure.

Dash was the first mate. He thought sailing was great.

Port Townsend was sunny and beautiful when we got there. We walked around like tourists, checked out shops and had a great dinner at Sirens. Saturday was more of the same, but this time the boys got to go with us. It was great exposure for Dash and Moose made friends with everyone.

The plan on Sunday was to have a leisurely breakfast and then head back. The weather had other ideas though, so we were up early and sailing back by 7:30. The seas were rough, but not as rough as they were predicted to be later in the day.  This is Dennis at the helm on the way home. It was cold, windy and rainy--not the best weather.

Fun trip! Now I'm in the car heading for the airport to sew with my sister for a few days. Life is busy!!


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Portland MQX Report

I had a great time at MQX again this year. We had four people in our room and if you combine the number of hours we spent asleep during those four nights, it would probably be enough sleep for one person! But then, who needs sleep?? I met many new quilters and got caught up with others that I see so rarely. I even Kay Bell, a fabulous quilter from Scotland that I've e-mailed with and her roommate from South Africa.

I took so many really good classes. When I start browsing the catalog looking for classes, I'm drawn toward the ones that offer creative fills. I get so tired of using the same ones. My first class was with Sue Heinz of Kismet Quilting. She was offering a class called Fill Harmonics that was so great! We learned to take a gridded pattern and do it in the round. That class, alone, was worth the trip.

This is the first example and the most basic one we drew. It is based on the clam shell design, and once we got the hang of it, it was really quite simple.

This one is a tad more elaborate! I'm going to have fun with these!!

I wasn't disappointed with a single class this year; something that is rare. I did have one instructor that wasn't prepared (apparently, that's her teaching style), but I still learned something from her. It wasn't a total loss.

And the quilts! Oh, my...the quilts entered were so incredible. I think I'm doing well with my quilting until I go to one of these shows. Then I see what a piker I really am. However, I'm not giving up. I'm going to practice and practice and I even have an idea for a wholecloth quilt that is percolating. I am not one to do the typical wholecloth; I don't want to design 1/8th of the top and then repeat it around. I want a specific design (probably horse related) and then I will fill the outside with quilting. That's what rattling around in my head right now--who knows where that may lead.

Below are some great pics of designs I learned as well as bits of quilting in the show quilts that I photo'd.  More to come later after I've downloaded everything from my camera.

I love this design and hope to do it on my next quilt with stars!

The "e"s and "l"s exactly opposite each other really appealed to me in this one.

There were several similar designs like this done in this quilt. I loved how unique they were.

I loved the secondary design and the thread colors used in this one. What do you think?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

I Love my Customers!!

I tend to take things a little too personally, even though I know better. I had a customer that lived in Reno; however, it had been almost two years since I'd heard from her. I kept telling myself that it wasn't personal, it wasn't that she didn't like my work; she'd just found someone closer to home and didn't have to mail her quilts.

I believed this until she called just the other day. She had a quilt for me to do...and she went on to tell me that she hadn't done any quilting since the last one I'd done for her. But she's getting back into it and she doesn't care that I live in Washington now; she'll mail the quilts here. She even sent me a photo of the quilt she's currently working on that will be coming my way when its finished! really wasn't me!!!

This is the quilt that MariLynn sent...I love the embroidered flowers in every other block. She wanted some simple quilting that would help to "hide her mistakes," her words, not mine.  The quilt is flannel and so soft! I just love flannel fabric.

Here's a close-up of the quilting in the embroidered blocks. I did a swirl to frame the embroidery and loops to fill the sashing. Since the loops are free-flowing, your eye isn't drawn to any inconsistencies in the sashing.

I'm including this picture of the back. The quilting doesn't show, but the texture is fun. 

MariLyn's quilt made it home just the other day and I received a phone call. She loves it!!  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Quincy Crazy Quilters Raffle Quilt 2014

Once again, the Quincy Crazy Quilters asked me to quilt their raffle quilt for 2014. I've been quilting their raffle quilts since I began long-arming, and I love that they keep asking me to do them. There are so many longarm quilters out there that they could choose from, I feel so privileged that they choose me.

This is a selvage quilt. I've done two of them in the past for members of the guild, so I've had a bit of experience with them. This one came with a special twist--a solid black backing. I LOVE solid backings...but first, the front.

The really fun thing about this quilt was recognizing many of the selvages and trying to remember who they belonged to. It was easy to remember the fabric, not so easy to put it with a customer though.

A close-up of the front. I did paisleys in the selvage parts and cc's in the smaller selvage squares. In the black, I stippled. All of these designs were "framed;" I stitched just inside the blocks to make them stand out more and to give the back a very polished look.
And here are the shots of the back. I really, really like how it turned out.

And here are a few more of the back...I just think its so cool (sorry to sound like such a broken record!) They're worth clicking on for a closer view--trust me.

Thanks for stopping by and having a look. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sad News....

For those of you that sent in money for the purchase of tickets, you didn't win...

The lady who did win had the audacity to not be home when her name was drawn last Thursday. Some people...she should have been sitting by her phone!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Quilting Retreat

I was invited to a retreat in Poulsbo...a retreat that lasted for an entire week! Of course, I accepted. I only knew two of the twelve ladies that would be attending, but two was better than none and now I have ten new friends to add to the two original ones. That has been one of the incredible things about moving to Washington. People here QUILT!!

This is the house we had for the week.  Poulsbo is an incredibly cute town. There's a small area downtown that is the main touristy part of town. Its old and cute and right on the water. This house is just a couple of blocks from the water and the downtown area and a really great ice cream shop!!

There were three bedrooms upstairs, one down, the sewing room, plus a full kitchen and dining room. This is a shot of the sewing area.
Shirley, the friend that was responsible for my being there, had won these blocks at a previous retreat. She wasn't sure what to do with them, so she'd just hung them on the design wall. In the morning, she woke to this top--completely constructed by two of the ladies that stayed up til 4 a.m. working on it.

I did four blocks on each of my Aiming for Accuracy quilts to get caught up (the caught up part only lasted for a few days--I'm behind again *sigh*) and then I made two of these Five-yard quilts. Its a really simple and easy pattern if, and I do mean if, you follow the directions.  This one is for a friend of mine who is having a baby in December.

This one is for...I don't know what or who. I just liked the fabric.