Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Northwest Quilt Expo

Another great show! This is a different kind of show more like, as the title states, an Expo than a show.  Most of the quilts were by invitation, which meant that your group had to be invited to show or you had to enter their challenge for that year. A small group  which reads a book and then makes a quilt from what they read were invited as well as one of the last challenge winners was invited to display. The Hoffman challenge had some quilts and there was a display of historical quilts.  Then there are tons of vendors, nearly every longarm company had a booth and you could try out their machines. Lots of new gadgets and oodles of fabric to drool over!  And... I won a door prize drawing!  I need to buy a lottery ticket!  I won a couple patterns from one of the vendors. Now that things have settled into a routine of sorts I am actually able to get back into quilting so I am off to quilt a gift for my Aunt - Happy Quilting!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Lost my Eyeballs!!! and I won....

I know, what a crazy title huh?!? but that is how I feel. Summer was supposed to be quiet and peaceful, but as evidenced by my lack of blog posts it wasn't! It was 2 weeks to get caught up and then a week or two of company or travel. I had a total of 28 days of family visiting and 18 days of traveling. There was a camping trip, Disneyland, a wedding and NO QUILTING! (Breath, in through the nose, out through the mouth) I think I am having major withdrawals. I managed to get the blocks done for my online block exchange but that is it. Summer only lasted 65 days. Bummer.

Boy, when I was a kid summer lasted FOREVER and I couldn't wait for school to start. This fall I was sad to send my kiddo off. At least I have the great giant beast aka Macie (who is turning out to be a really good dog). After an hour a day of training all summer she can sit, stay, heel, fetch, doesn't bolt out the door the instant it opens, no longer jumps on people, and only ran off twice this month. That is a long way from the dog I found climbing on the dining room table! 

So, back to the title, I have been up to my eyeballs and somewhere along the way they floated off! I am sure of it. They where right here one moment and the next "poof" gone. On the other hand, I WON!!! I can't believe it! Moda is doing a Moda Blog Hop Country Fair and I won a prize from Ann Sutton of Bunny Hill designs.

Isn't it awesome! When she said she was giving away bags of scraps I thought a small bag of scraps, cool. But the bag is BIG! (I put the iron in so you could get an idea of how big it is.) There are enough scraps for a whole quilt!  Thank you Ann! It is a bunch of greys and blues and pinks from her Lily and Will collection. I am thinking I need to make some sort of bag with it so I can always remember this. And a quilt........OH and I found my eyeballs.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Plodding along....

Things have been rather slow here on the quilting front. I finished my Medical Transcription course (finally), Hubby changed jobs (yeah) and is now home more so we have been working on our acre getting it ready for summer, so as I said quilty stuff has been going slow. But I was able to squeeze in a trip to my local quilt guild's show and have a few pictures to share.

This beauty was really unusual. The blocks where made ages ago and bought by the quilter recently. She added the border and she and her small group hand quilted it. It is really lovely and has a very modern despite the fact that these blocks were made at least 40 years ago.

And this quilt was hand pieced! I measured them, each of those little squares is 3/4 finished, looks like insanity and quilting go hand in hand! And yes, it was hand quilted also.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Blog update

A lovely lady named Melanie visited me the other day and left a comment. She has a blog of her own and designs blogs - If you are looking for a professional to help you out, go check her out! She has a few free designs as well and I updated my blog with it. Isn't it the cutest?!?!

And here are a couple quick pictures....
One is from the block swap I joined - I am going for scrappy civil war and this one is great - thanks Robin!
I have no idea what I am going to do with the blocks. Maybe a table runner (I have a long table). Or maybe as a border in a medallion quilt. You know, one of those giant quilts that you need a bazillion blocks for the border. Oh the possibilities!

And here is a picture out my window - the picture is just beautiful! I am kind of shocked that I took a picture that looks this good!
Hugs to all!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Design wall Monday and Monday musings....

It is another dreary, overcast, drizzly day here in the great Northwest. Fortunately it is bright and cheery in my office/craft room!  I still have this quilt up on the design wall, I took a little time to play with my camera and got a much better picture.  The colors are much crisper here.

I had someone ask me what I used for a design wall so drum roll please........ I use a flannel backed tablecloth. Yep, this is one of those fancy, 1.99 red and white patterned picnic table cloths thumbtacked to the wall.  Flannel gets so stretchy hanging up and I just couldn't bring myself to buy insulation boards, secure flannel to them, and then have them leaning on the  wall. I have a child! A monster beast of a dog! and anything leaning is a prime target to come crashing down, blocks everywhere, no, not a good idea. Another thing I have discovered is that a design wall will eventually become covered in thread. Little snippets and bits everywhere, and there is no truly effective way to remove them.  But wait! - with my fancy shmancy tablecloth design wall I just take it down and (wait for it).... throw it away, hit the clearance section, grab another $1.99 table cloth, and tack it up. Wala - fresh clean design wall, no sags, securely fastened. It is easy peasy!

I am also working on a 2010 BOM hosted by a fellow blogger and am on block 6.
This looks a little hazy, but that isn't the camera, it is the pattern overlay. The Piece O Cake design team uses a plastic overlay for their needle turn applique. But there are several problems with this. First, the plastic must be handled carefully, once creased it is permanently creased. After you have transferred your design to the plastic you must be careful to keep the tissue paper on it or it can rub off, sometimes on itself, sometimes on your block (major bummer). And every time you go to position an applique piece you have to reposition the entire overlay.

Instead I use pattern fabric. Available at any fabric store, dressmakers use it for their patterns. Some of it comes with dots, some not, but it is lightweight, see thru, and the ink won't rub off onto your project. Plus, a big-time bonus is that you can baste it right to the project. This means your pattern is always in the same position. You no longer have to reposition it every time you lay it on your block, lining up folds or marks. Just lay the block out flat, smooth out the fabric and everything is right where it should be! When I need to applique, I just scrunch it up out of the way. It is light like tissue paper so there is no bulk and it doesn't crease easily.

Anyway, enough for today. I have studying to do and a great beast of a dog who is having kittens. Over cows. The neighbor has a Christmas tree farm and recently put a few cows out. They walk within about 50 feet of the house, don't make a lot of noise and really aren't a problem. Except that 60 lb puppy has never seen a cow before and is totally freaked. It reminds me of the scene from Twister "I gotta go, we got cows" says the psychiatrist as she hyperventilates in the back seat. The dog is on high alert; pacing, growling, and running to the window, hackles raised, to bark loudly "MOM WE GOT COWS!" Ah yes, life in the country.....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Scrappy civil war in progress

The scrappy civil war is coming along nicely.  I have changed out the cream background blocks for brown and like it a lot better.  The brown is making the "squares" pop out and the stars kind of melt away. It is much more interesting then the cream background.

I am still getting the hang of the new iphone4 with flash, I think I will have to play with photo taking!
Anyway, I like all of the movement in this quilt, the way you see the scrappy square within a square, then the stars, then the sort of lattice background effect.  I have one more row of stars to add at the bottom and may add one on the side as well and make the quilt square, a large lap size. The small scrappy squares are 1 1/4 finished. This pattern is out of American Patchwork and Quilting - my favorite quilt magazine. Maybe when it is done I'll send in a picture - I've never done that before.

I also have 2 applique projects in the works, I just finish block 2 for Floribunda baskets and block 6 of the Floribunda BOM from 2010. These are 2 totally different projects, from 2 different designers - I didn't realized they had the same name when I started them! I will press them and make them my next post. Whoo Hoo! Tally HO - onward to quilt! Oooops, I am from America, The WEST.  I should say YEEEHAW! Get along little quilt doggies! ( I think I have been watching a little too much Masterpiece theater!)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Quilting is back in full swing.

My small group frequently gets together and agrees on a challenge or 2, or 3. The first challenge of 2011 is a scrap quilt made entirely from stash. And since I need another project likea whole in the head I jumped right in. I only have about a bazillion projects going, I really need to complete something! Anyway, this is a small scrappy quilt with my civil war repros. I have had my eye on the pattern for  awhile and the civil war eras have been calling my name so it was a perfect fit.  Here is stage 1- 4 patches!

And now they are coming together like this....

But after having this sit on the design wall I decided I didn't like the white so I am replacing it with brown. I am eliminating brown stars entirely - because you won't see them against a brown backrground - and doing them each a different color. More pics soon - happy quilting everyone!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Block Swap Adventure has Begun!

I joined the Block Swap Adventure (see side button) where I will sew a block for someone else and receive one in return. I have never done a blog Block Swap so this will be lots of fun. My block partner for January is already on top of her game and already sent me my block. See....

Isn't it awesome! I am going for a civil war scrappy, cause you just can't go wrong with civil war prints, not possible. I'll mix them with some blocks I make, maybe an applique center surrounded by a scrappy border. Just thinking about the possibilities makes me happy. Now I am off to sew my partners block - I plan to get it done this week so she can have it ASAP.

On a side note, I got my results back for my final exam. I passed section A with flying colors and then totally biffed it on section B.
I mean TOTAL COMPLETE FACEPLANT. Not pretty. This is a major disappointment. I have a chance to repeat that section so I will be studying like crazy. This has shaken my confidence a bit and I am literally sick to my stomach with the thought that I may not pass and all this effort will have no clear payoff. I share this here, where it is safe, because I need to say it somewhere.