Quilts


2011 BOM colors

I’m a member of The Quilt Show and have been since they first started.  It has been a wonderful journey for me because not only have I learned tons but I’ve met some really great people.  Quilters are awesome folks anyway and love sharing their talents.  Each year Sue Garman has created her magic and designed a block of the month for TQS star members (trust me it’s so worth the minimal yearly investment).  This year the quilt really spoke to me and I’ve made the commitment to do the work and stay on track. 

For some reason the quilt spoke Christmas to me.  When you see Sue’s verson stitched in beautiful pastels of yellow, lavender and such, you will think I fell off the deep end.  Still I couldn’t get Christmas out of my head and decided that since I’ve never made a Christmas quilt, this would be the year.  I started shopping in my stash and looking for fabrics that looked the part.  I went shopping to fill in the holes and came up with what I think will be a beautiful Old-Tyme Christmas quilt. 

Sue’s January block is a beautiful heart applique with leaves and roses turned on point.  It’s beautiful.  When I posted my fabric selections on the forum, Dawn threw out a comment that I could change the center block to make it more Christmas — maybe add holly leaves in place of Sue’s leaves and a poinsettia instead of the roses. 

Okay, that was all I needed to hear to get my pencil and paper out and start drawing.  My first draft was so so, but didn’t Wow me enough.  It took me about a week to draw what I loved and then another few days to simplify the design and decide on which methods I was going to use to construct the block.  It was great fun, extremely hard work, and very labor intensive. 

I love the results though and can hardly wait until next month to see it grow.  I will continue to make changes to the pattern where necessary to keep with my theme, and I know that this will become a very special quilt to me.  My husband is loving it as well and has been a great supporter/helper during the design/creation phases.

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Have you ever been reading such a good book that you deliberately would read only a page or two because you just didn’t want it to end?  I think that subconsciously I did that with this quilt.  I loved pulling it out and laying the blocks together.  I would shuffle them like cards trying to decide how to put them together.  I love how the fabric feels in my hands.  Now because I did not finish the class, I never got the instructions for how to put all of the blocks together.  So, while I had all of the block patterns, I hadn’t a clue what to do with them.  My education was incomplete and I was afraid of ruining the blocks.  So they waited and waited while I quilted other quilts for family and friends; took classes, honed my skills, and became comfortable in my own ability to be free and quilt for me and me alone. 

Three years ago a wonderful thing happened to me.  I was among the thousands of Simply Quilts and Alex Anderson fans.  Alex always had interesting guests on her show, but while I enjoyed watching it, I never felt like I learned enough to actually try some of the techniques the guests demonstrated.  And as much as I would love to travel and attend live classes from these terrific quilters/artists, it was just not to be.  Then in 2007, Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims started an online quilting Mecca called The Quilt Show.  I joined before there were any classes simply because I believed in Alex Anderson.  After I joined, I learned more about the co-creator, Ricky Tims.  He has an amazing gift and he artistically shows the most incredible quilts.  Ricky also is very generous in his knowledge, which I truly appreciate.  Since 2007, I have been blown away by the talented individuals that they have brought to TQS and the honest sharing that Alex and Ricky give each and every day and show.  Last year was the first time ever that I quit worrying about a pattern and begun designing my own quilts.   I believe this is a direct result from having exposure to all these ‘greats’ of the quilt world.  I can’t begin to tell you how freeing this has been for me.  I can now step outside my box and no longer do I feel the need to have to have a pattern to follow.  Talk about releasing enormous amounts of creativity!  I’ve become more fearless and think my newer quilts are reflecting my growth and new attitude. 

During this same time, I was fortunate to attend a Janet Fogg class.  She is an incredible artist and quilter.  Janet lives in Oregon and I was so excited to learn that she offered classes in her studio.  Her one-day class taught me the basics of taking a picture and creating a quilt around the picture.  She also taught how to incorporate traditional blocks into the art quilt.  Another freeing moment and more freedom released to quilt in unexpected ways.  Her class directly influenced my ‘The Lady’ quilt. 

I attribute pulling out my PTTD quilt, hand piecing the final block, and designing the rest of the quilt to fit my blocks with where I am now in my life.  In a way, this quilt is my life.  Piece by piece it reflects not only where I was in my quilting journey but also in my life journey.  I smile when I look at the butterfly block because not only was I a brand new quilter, I was also brand new in my faith when I began this block.  The circles in the wings are not smooth and perfect and neither was I.  God was just beginning to mold me and teach me.  I’m still not a perfect circle, but through His grace and love, my edges are smoother.   There’s much joy in those blocks and equally there’s much sadness.  Life isn’t always perfect nor is this quilt.

Now that the top is done, I have a hard decision to make.  Should I attempt to free motion the top myself, which I’m really new at; hand quilt it, which will take me at least 6 months; or give my quilt to a longarm expert and have him or her add a new dimension to it.  It turned out to be a nice, big quilt which will keep us warm both in heat and memories.

As I sit here typing this and admiring the top, I can’t help but think of other people just starting their journey and hoping that they have as wonderful a time as I have had living their life and quilting. 

Thank you to all of the selfless teachers I’ve met during my journey.  Without your sharing of your talents, the world would definately be a less colorful and joyful place.

Introducing my complete top of Piecing through the Decades (1987 – 2010).

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And Dillan’s approval, of course.  :)

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Before you think I’ve gone completely crazy with animal homesteading, the geese in our house are of the fabric kind.  I am sooooooooooo close to finishing this quilt top that I can now officially taste victory!  My points came out so perfectly too.  I used the new to me Flying Geese x 4 ‘No Math’ ruler made by Lazy Girl Designs.  I love this ruler and will never go back to the way I used to make flying geese units.  UPDATE:  Here’s a video link where you can learn about the ruler I used — http://tinyurl.com/2b3qmyh.   

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Next, how about a little kitchen crafting.  How many of you use the plastic scrubbies to clean your pots and pans?  I really like them because they don’t scratch but they aren’t the most pretty and lack the needed styling for quilters.  I mean you need style in every room right!  Well, now you can make your own scrubbies!

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Pretty cool, huh!  This is my first one and I learned that I need to cast off much looser so it lays nice and flat.  I love the look and feel of it and plan on making several more so I always have a clean one.  I knit mine but I’m sure you can also crochet one if that’s your favorite method.  Here’s the blog that got me started on making them.  She has great photos  –  http://tinyurl.com/67vjcd 

I must admit to NOT cutting the tulle like she did.  I found it too slow.  I used my rotary cutter and ruler and it went very fast.  I also only cast on 14 stitches so the scrubby would fit in the palm of my hand.  It fits down inside a coffee cup and tea glass very well if you need to do some extra scrubbing. 

Items Needed:

No. 9 knitting needles
1 skein of yarn
Tulle – the roughest one you can find (I bought a half yard to play with — it’s cheap)

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I love the yellow tulle with the yarn.  Have fun making these they are quite fast to do.

Work is busy and I’m nearly finished with the first half of the soccer order.  I’ve got peaches waiting for me to give them their preserve makeover later today.  YUM.

Oh, and here’s my sleepy assistant all snug in my (I mean HIS) office chair.  There’s no room for me on there!

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A while back I received an email from AccuQuilt announcing it’s barn quilt contest.  I kept the email thinking what a fun contest it was but not really giving it much more thought.  I was outside working/painting the chicken coop and had been thinking of a fun design to add to it when I remembered the email about the contest.  That was enough incentive to get me to playing, measuring, and thinking of colors.  The instructions said that the block must be colorful so I pushed myself to go BOLD

Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and it rained, and rained, and rained some more.  I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to finish it before the deadline.  So, out in the rain I went with pencil and ruler in hand to draw my design.  Drawing on a vertical surface is not as simple as I had envisioned it would be.  Of course, my coop isn’t made with finely sanded wood so going over bumps and imperfections in the wood added to the difficulty of getting straight lines, but I endured and ignored all but the worst of the rain.  I drew one day then quit.  Next day I realized I couldn’t really see my lines very well so I went over all of them again with tracing paper.  Okay, so tracing paper doesn’t work great either but at least I could see the lines better.  Next day I painted one section and then had to quit so that it would dry before doing the next section.  All the while, it rained which made the drying s.l.o.w.  Thankfully on a Sunday I got a weather break and painted and painted and painted.  I thought I was done when I found a black paint pen and wondered what the design would look like if I went around each block with the black…….  This was scary because if it looked awful, I wouldn’t have enough time to repaint the areas before the deadline ended.  I asked hubby what he thought and he pushed me to do it so I did.  The result I think is much better and more like leading in a stain glass piece.  I love it, hubby loves it, and I think if my girls could speak, they would nod in agreement too.

Soon, they will be able to play in the yard as they are getting much bigger and the hawks won’t be able to grab them.  I think the Mariners Star is the perfect evening guide to welcome them in each night.

I didn’t win the contest but sure had a great time creating my very own Barn Quilt.

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And the full view!

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I attended the Clark County Quilt Show today and was finally able to meet Terry Knott (aka quilting00). I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to spot her but found her right away in her white gloves at the beginning of the show waiting to assist folks who wanted to take a peak behind quilts. I felt like we were old friends being that we’ve corresponded so much at The Quilt Show. Thank you Terry so showing me around and inviting me to join your guild. I went to join up front and realized that I had used my last check! I’ve never belonged to a guild before and am looking forward to joining at next Thursday’s meeting.

The quilt show was fantastic, and I had a great time looking at all of the awesome quilts. Everyone I met was so friendly that several hours slipped by quickly.

Below is a slideshow of just a few of the beautiful quilts. Terry — oops — I somehow missed taking a picture of the printout on who made the big duck quilt!

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Bk2Basics

Many of you know that our baby dog, Dillan has had a rough 2010.  I give many thanks to the Lord for hearing all of the prayers going up to heaven on behalf of Dillan.  A huge thanks goes out to all of you too for the many personal emails received during this difficult time.  Dillan is continuing to improve and we have very high hopes that the disease will go into remission.  Just yesterday, his medication was reduced to a half a pill twice a day.  Yippee!! 

I have always had a deep-seated desire to create with my hands, heart, and mind.  Cooking began at a very young age and from there quilting, sewing, weaving, spinning, and not to forget embroidery which is my love and how I make a living.  There are many other artistic venues included in my life toolbox and I’m always growing and learning more.  It’s important for me to have my toolbox full and varied but at the same time it can sometimes create overload because I usually have several artistic creations going on at the exact same time.  This means that it takes me longer to completion but that’s okay because I love the process as much as the finished projects.

Lately, I have really stripped down to doing what most would scratch their head and wonder why.  Things like making homemade butter and bread and learning how to make my own natural soap.  For me this process has been very fulfilling and brings me closer to my grandparents’ days.  It’s also a very natural, earthly feeling which I find intoxicating and irresistible.  It’s also less expensive.  The older I get the closer I am drawn to nature and a more natural way to living.  And if you’ve followed any news these past many years, you have learned right along with me that what is available to purchase is not always the safest.  It doesn’t stop with our food, but other products have so many safety issues that it seems only normal to learn how to do as much as you are comfortable with in providing for your family.  For me, I want safer foods with fewer artificial ingredients, soaps that actually contain soap and lanolin.  Many manufacturers strip out the lanolin and sell it separately.  Please!  That’s an important part of soap — well besides actual soap that is.  I have a whole lot of information on soap that I plan on sharing later this year.

My back to basics with quilting started with pulling out my oldest hand pieced project.  I’ve since put all of the blocks together, added borders, and am nearly finished with the top.  I just finished all of the flying geese for the last border and need to attach it and then it’s ready to quilt.  Tracy, my husband and best friend, gave me a new hoop for quilting at Christmas and I can hardly wait to get it hooped so I can sit and handstitch with him and Dillan in the evenings while watching tv. 

After this top is in the hoop, my free time will be devoted to working on The Lady again.  She’s been very patient waiting for her turn again.  I love looking at her on the design wall.  She almost looks like she’s looking at me and smiling.  This is my first artistic quilt that I’ve designed and it really has been a satisfying experience working on her.  Am I the only one that actually starts to talk about a creation as if it were living being?  Bizarre I’m sure to some.

Don’t forget to spend a little time on something creative today.  It’s good for the soul. 

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Oh no — what have I become?  Me?  The person who loves quilts but leans more toward free form artistic quilts.  I love the look of traditional quilts but don’t normally find myself making lots of them…..well — until now.  On my way out the door of my local quilt store, I caught a glimpse of an unfinished quilt top.  The geometric designs jumped out at me and pulled my hand right off the door knob and back into the store.  I literally sat down on the floor and silently studied the little blocks.  The colors of the blocks were quiet and subdued and really didn’t need anything else because the designs were enough to stop any dedicated quilter in his/her tracks.  Obviously by now the store owner spied me and came over to give more information (read — set the hook firmly into my mouth)!  LOL  :)   I really didn’t need much encouragement and purchased the book called Dear Jane and began my search to find out as much as possible about these tiny treasures.

First, I’m only one of many people who have gotten the hook because finding information on the internet was fantastic and easy.  In fact, I spent a great deal of time just reading other blogs about the Jane adventures of what seems like thousands and thousands of other people.  Isn’t the internet grand!

First mistake — Don’t start with J7.  It has 41 pieces.  Okay, I’m not normal and must actually thrive on pain.  Of course now that it’s done, it wasn’t as hard as I guess I felt at the time, but I still wouldn’t recommend others following in my path.  The positive side is that the next three blocks seemed really easy, and I actually enjoyed making each one.  It’s amazing how much prep time it takes to even get to the point of sewing one of these babies.  I’ve decided to not keep track of the prep time, only the sewing time and it’s really only for me to see if I’m improving.

I’m hand sewing each of them because it just feels good and these are great take-along projects.  I’ve imagined what it must have been like for Ms. Stickle back in 1868.  I wish I could speak with her and ask her about some of the blocks and what inspired her to create some of them.  I’d also like to ask her whether a nip of Whiskey was partaken before designing a few too!  Seriously, what was she thinking on some of those itty, bitty pieces.

So my own Dear Jane adventure has begun and I’m proud to add one more blog for others to read as I continue making these small gems.  My colors are white on white background and black/white fabrics for the rest.  Maybe I have even tempted you to begin your own journey and if I have, please allow me to welcome you to the fold!  Do you think Ms. Stickle is smiling down from Heaven knowing that one more person has been smitten with her creation?  I like to think so.

 

 

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Well, she’s coming along better now that I have found new fabric for the moon and earth.  And, notice the sky’s fabric has a new look too.  I figured if I were going to redo, I might as well go all out.  LOL  The hair is gruling to sew together but will be worth the effort when it’s done I’m sure.  At least that’s what I keep telling myself!!!

And look what else I’ve found.  Oh la la…. Isn’t is simply perfect.  Don’t ask me yet how I’m going to sew it yet because I have NO IDEA, but I love a challenge. 

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Whew — what a fantastic feeling it was to spread the dress out for pictures.  A large portion of the dress (about 90 percent) was completely sewn by hand.  The remaining 10 percent of mostly the straighter seams were sewn using my Bernina.  I had so many deep curves that it was so much easier to sew by hand and I found it quite relaxing too. 

So without further delay, here is the “Lady’s” completed dress.

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 I’m not sure what I will work on next but I think it will either be the sun or stars.  I need a little break from all those curves!  :)

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Help me out here please — what words am I missing.  And, please be kind — I’m gathering words that could be included on the quilt I’m working on (see pictures below).

A – Artful, Amusing, Astute, Artist

B – Bright, Brave, Bewitching (Thks Eileen!)

C – Caregiver, Creative, Compassionate, Crafty, Cook, Cuddly (Thks Eileen!)

D – Daughter, Discerning, Disciplinarian

E – Eager, Equal, Encourager (Thks Dana!), Eternal and Exuberant (Thks Eileen!)

F – Friend, Feminine, Faithful, Fearless

G – Grandmother, Good-natured, Goddess (Thks Eileen!)

H – Healer, Homemaker

I – Inspirer, Imaginative, Intelligent, Impish (Thks Eileen!)

J – Jovial

K – Keen, Kind

L – Lover, Learned

M – Mother, Majestic (Thks Pati!)

N – Nurturer, Noble, Nonjudgmental (Thks Dana!)

O – Open-minded

P – Peacekeeper, Protector, Provider, Powerful

Q – Quilter, Queen (Thks Eileen!)

R – Resourceful, Respectful

S – Sister, Soul Mate, Servant

T – Teacher, Taskmaster (when needed), Tender

U – Unbounded, Unique (Thks Pati!)

V – Valuable, Virtuous (Thks Pati!)

W – Wife, Wise, Wholesome

X –  XOXOX [thanks to Karen [wren1010] from TQS!]

Y – Young-eyed (forever and ever)

Z – Zealous

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