Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Guild Project

Testing block placement
I've been working on the design of my guild's opportunity quilt for months now.  I "volunteered" my friendship group to make the quilt with the understanding that I would take on the bulk of the work. As you can see, it's basically a sampler with a focused center.  The collaged bear is based on a Laura Heine pattern.  I still have to cut out the bear and mount it on a final background...I have an idea of what to do there, but am still mulling it over.  Except for the bear and the corner Tree of Life blocks, block placement is still fluid.

Members of my friendship group made many of the pieced blocks and it is time for me to fill in the blank spaces, stitch the sections together, decide on sashing (at this point, I'm planning to use that medium blue fabric that's just hanging there for the sashing), and get it to the longarm quilter so that it can be finished and we can start selling tickets.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

What's Important?

Last week, residents of my community were expecting to be evacuated due to a wildfire burning nearby.  I had had a couple of hours prior to receiving the order to pack up my car.  My husband was "down below" at work and called to find out what I was doing to prepare and asked me to get a few of his things since he wouldn't be allowed home.  I got his stuff together (not enough clothes as it turned out) and I continued with getting my things as well as making sure that I would be able to get the cat into his carrier at the appropriate time which was actually more challenging than I expected.

In the end I had two laundry baskets of clothes, our fireproof lock box, a few choice electronics, the cat carrier and some supplies for him, some special cross stitch projects, and, of course, my quilts...there were a lot of them. Here's what the car looked like after only the laundry baskets and cat stuff was removed.

As you can see, my quilts are important to me. In previous evacuations, I've also packed sewing machines and thread collections, but this time it was just the quilts.

The evacuation held for four nights and we stayed with my cat-friendly sister-in-law and her family. It took Buster a couple of days to get comfortable, but once he did, he took advantage of the situation.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Group Quilt - Campers

Being creative with friends is one of the best things about being part of a friendship group.  The campers quilt shown above made from an Amy Bradley pattern was the result of a block exchange done by the Cut-Ups, my very talented group of friends and longarm quilter Christy Close. Every year my guild, the Pine Needles Quilt Guild of Wrightwood holds a "mini" quilt auction during the town's Mountaineer Days in early July and members make and donate small quilts to the guild for auction.  For the past few years, the Cut-Ups members have made an extra block for our annual group project to make producing the auction quilt an easier task.

At the time we made the blocks we had ten members and each made a trailer. The only requirement was to use blue for the sky and green for the ground. Since I was in charge of the project, I also made the two tent blocks so that we could use all the trailers in a regular grid and not compete with the trailers.  Each of the trailers reflects a little of the maker's own personality.  My personal version of the quilt (on the frame being quilted) is similar, but different as some of the makers made different fabric choices for each block and at least one made different trailers...the variety is part of what makes group projects special.

The auction quilt won the Viewers' Choice ribbon and took the highest bid among the approximately 40 quilts offered...that was pretty sweet!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Burying Threads

I'm getting close to finishing a quilt that I started in a design class I took with Jenny Bowker at Empty Spools in 2015. Today I am burying threads which is a somewhat tedious task, but because I don't like to shorten stitches at the end of a run or to build up a knot of thread by stitching several times in place, it's one that I live with.  Like binding, it can calm my mind.  However, also like binding, on a hot and sticky day under a cover with wool batting, it can also be just a little bit icky...

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Had a frustrating day - I have a quilt on the frame that was almost half quilted as of this morning and I had hoped to finish it by this afternoon.  Did a lot...and then realized that the tension had gone wonky on the bottom after I had changed the bobbin but not until I had almost finished.  Urgh!  I then got to spend the afternoon unpicking almost everything I had stitched earlier in the day.  Decided to walk away for awhile and I will be getting my Project Runway All Stars fix this evening.

On the bright side, I've been working again on my Sea Swept blocks.  I love my fabrics and even the trimmings make me happy.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Featured Quilter at Pine Needles Quilt Guild Home tour

I was honored to have been chosen to be the featured quilter for my guild's, (Pine Needles Quilt Guild of Wrightwood, CA) annual home tour that was held yesterday.  I had approximately sixteen quilt throughout one of the four houses on the tour, but most quilts were in the main room.  As you can see, I am not married to a single style or technique, however, I really do like using Patt Blair's method for inking quilts - the ballerina is her design although inked and quilted by me. The top three quilts and the lighthouse below the cat are all my original designs.   I painted the fabric for the sunflowers, coneflowers, and chicken quilt in a Phil Beaver class and the quilt with the starbursts off to the right in the background is a Valori Wells pattern...I love paper piecing, too!

I got to talk to a lot of great people and loved the opportunity to show my work.

On November 7 I visited the Havasu Stitchers Bridge of Friendship quilt show with several friends and was pleased to see the Route 66 quilts on display...one of the quilts, "Service Cucamonga Style" (below, bottom row, second from left) is mine.  I believe this was the last show on the traveling show's tour:  the quilt should be coming home soon after traveling the country for three years.  There was a really nice article about the collection in the October/November 2013 Quilters Newsletter.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Finding a Project for a Favorite Fabric

I don't frequently make bed size quilts, but every so often I need one...and then when I do make one I remember why I prefer smaller ones. It's the cutting - there's so much of it!!!  I recently spent about three days cutting pieces for a queen size quilt where the main blocks are made up of 20 individual pieces and each is only 6" square.  Yikes! That is a lot of pieces, however, I finally made all of my cuts and have the pieces stored in labeled plastic bags and sewed my first block.  

I'm using a foundation (paper) piecing pattern from All People Quilt (allpeoplequilt.com) called Sea Swept that appeared in an issue of Quilt Sampler magazine a while back.  Making the first block is always exciting: you get to see how the colors and fabrics you picked come together...unless they don't and then you have to figure out how to adjust to make it work.  The colors I picked are similar to what was used in the magazine quilt which is odd for me because I tend not to follow sample colorways. When I saw this quilt, however, the colors were the same as in a favorite batik fabric I had purchased several years ago and have been saving for the perfect project.

Back to that first block.  The colors are lovely and I'm pleased.  It's a snail's trail block: a  block that I've wanted to make for years, and, oh, this quilt is going to be so pretty.  But I'm looking at the block and notice that the twist isn't quite right and I start analyzing and realize that I did not pay attention to the light and dark placement for the four-square unit at the center.  Urgh!  The pattern had indicated the correct placement, but I had ignored it.  Taking the block apart to fix it isn't a great option. Sigh.  

The good news is that this was just the first block and it was my trial run.  Now I know to pay attention when I set that starter four-square unit.  I think of how many I might have made incorrectly if I hadn't done this first one wrong, so this mistake is actually a good thing. Now I have to decide whether to make an extra block to replace this one or to keep it as a "humility block" to include in the final product.