Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jamie Wallen -- Quilter Extraordinaire

I was looking at Facebook the other day and saw Jamie on a ferry. From the background, I was sure it was a Seattle ferry--but Jamie lives Michigan or Indiana or somewhere far from here. After getting a reply, I found out that he was going to be on Bainbridge teaching his Thread Fusion class on Thursday and Friday. I signed up!!

Today was the first day of class. Six hours of design drawing later, my brain is tired. I'm so excited to try out the many new designs he showed. Watching him draw them out and then doing it myself makes the learning process so much more efficient.

Best of all...I get to go back tomorrow for another day of learning and fun.  If you ever get a chance, take one of Jamie's classes. He has a wealth of information and he's always willing to share.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Happy Birthday Mom!!

If my mom were still alive, she'd be 90 years old today. That's a hard thing for me to imagine. This photo of her was taken during WWII. She was a Marine, although at that point I think all women were allowed to do was cook. I remember her telling me about peeling potatoes!! Lots and lots of potatoes. *grin*

I was 31 when she died and hadn't even met Dennis yet. I like to think if she were still alive, there are many things in my life that would make her happy: being married to my best friend (for 12 years next month); having horses (I used to make her NUTS when I was little); turning my passion for quilting into a profession; and my dogs. My mom always loved animals (I think that's where I get it from), and she's always loved my dogs. 

Happy birthday mom...I still miss you.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Real Snow Storm - Sequim Style

We got a real snow storm the other day. I say real, because on occasion, you'll look out and we'll have five minutes of those beautiful white, puffy flakes. Then it stops.  This time though, well look:

I need to learn how to use photoshop so I can do something about the dog derriere in the picture, but isn't it beautiful? (The snow, not the dog butt!) I just love the snow here because, as my Quincy friends say, "You can shovel that with a spatula!" And its true...if I wanted to shovel--which I don't!

The boys thought it was great too.  A little too bright for Dash who could barely keep his eyes open.

And Cash (a.k.a. Moose), whose intent focus is on Dash. Cash has the most herding instinct of any of our Border Collie I've ever owned. Whenever they're outside, Moose herds Dash--or tries to.

And finally, a picture of both boys in my studio.  Used to be that Dash was the only one that wanted to come in. Now they both do, but they're on their rug and being adorable. How can I resist??

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mystery Quilting Project Finished!

I did it!! I finished this a few days ago; of course, there's no binding, but that doesn't really count, right??
Cindy Roth, Longarm University, does a mystery quilting class on New Year's Day. This is the first time I've ever had mine pieced and ready to go. Well, I was a bit late, but I still got started on it on New Year's Day. I was very interested to see the techniques she'd use for quilting an art quilt. I've never made one, nor have I ever quilted one.  Granted, this wasn't the most involved art quilt, but for a first time effort, I think it turned out okay. 

The house was one of my favorite parts to quilt. Getting to the house took awhile, as we quilted the border, the interior of the stars and the sky first. I love how it turned out. 

I've quilted trees before, but never like this. Here's a pic of the back to really show how the quilting went. It was almost like thread painting...well, almost!

I loved the effect of the hilly terrain and the tufts of grass; what I didn't love was my thread choice. I think I should have chosen a more subtle color. We actually used two colors of thread in this area. I chose a variegated Lava (Superior) green and a variegated Lava gold. I think the gold should have been darker.

The last step of the quilting was embellishing. I couched (for the first time ever) yarn to the "terrain" in the grassy area. It gives it some depth I liked that effect. Then we couched white fluffy yarn to the trees and house to look like snow. It works, if you really squint. Finally we added the rays coming off the stars and the smoke coming from the chimney.

All in all a fun project that I'm glad I did. Here's a final pic of the entire back:

This was fun! I hope to participate again next year. I've already incorporated bits of the border quilting into the customer quilt that's on my frame now.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Too Much Positive Thinking...

Did you ever think there could be such a thing? My older sister, Barbara, calls me Pollyanna because I always tend to look on the bright side. Did you ever see the movie? Its worth watching even though it was made in 1960 and based on a book written in 1913.

Anyway, because I am such an optimist, I had my fabrics cut for Planet Patchwork's mystery and I was busily working on my top for Longarm University's mystery. I had planned to work on my piecing in between quilting the different bits of the quilt. However, since I didn't finish my top until almost 10 a.m. (this was after getting up in the middle of the night and working on it from 2:00 to 4:30 a.m. and then starting again at 7), this didn't even come close to happening.  I was so far behind with my quilting, I never even looked at the Planet Patchwork website.

Of course, had I paid more attention to the instructions, things may have gone a bit faster *shrug*

These are some of the pieces, stars, trees and a cabin...

This is what the top looked like when I'd finished it. That border was rather fiddly, but I finally got it to work properly.
Alas, the top is still on the frame, but here's a sneak peak of what some of the "mystery" quilting looks like so far.

I downloaded the directions from Planet Patchwork's mystery and plan to start working on it soon. Its still a mystery for me since I haven't seen the finished top.