Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Time for Giving

Our Island Batik Ambassador Challenge for December says Tis' the Season for Giving.

For the last several years there has been a local effort to raise funds for supporting our local Chamber of Commerce (CC).

I am a member and also work with the Economic Development Council to promote our area and better our community.

Last year the local 'Coulee Creators' put several items together, including an unfinished project and several new wine bags that looked like boots of all types.

This year we finished another of those donated unfinished projects --specifically one that was done mostly by hand. We have decided to call it Butterflies in the Wind ---the hand quilted butterflies are flying up and down!

Thanks to several of the Coulee Creators who contributed their efforts to complete this project. We hope it raises lots of money for our local CC.

Given the IBA theme for December, I chose to make this 'ABACUS' design that was part of the Oct/Nov McCall's Quick Quilts magazine where my "Mountain Pass" quilt pattern was also featured.

The colored blocks are a 'Spring Fling' stamp set (5" squares) and then grey and white yardage was also added. The binding matches the backing fabric that is in green/blue/purple tones. Although not exactly what a real abacus looks like, it does give that idea and I loved it!

I hope this one will also raise lots of money for our local CC.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

November Island Batik Ambassador Challenge - Winter Wonderland

It is not yet Thanksgiving, but our monthly IBA challenge is "Winter Wonderland".

I was given these beautiful strips of blues and chose 12 to use with a wedge ruler.

Then, what to do???

Using Island Batik's "Rice" as a background fabric, I split up the wedges and created some dimension to the piece. I'm calling it 'Snowdrift'.

  The quilting is fairly simple. Chose 3 main areas to create a snowdrift feeling to it and echoed them for an all over consistent density. Each blue 'tree' section has a pine tree shape stitched into it. All of it is free motion quilted on my hand guided Gammill long-arm machine (Optimum Plus).

Warm & White Batting. Signature Winter Frost thread.

In case you missed the release of my new design - Winter Bright --it uses similar colors and fit this theme well. More details about the design will be in my article released in many of the Country Register editions around the U.S. and Canada next month. Let me know if you're interested in this design, the pattern is ready! It uses Island Batik's new 'Frost' line that will ship in a few months.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

My 7 Year Milestone

Finished my 70th customer quilt in my 7th year quilting for others (through Nov. 11, 2016). That is a total of 479 so far.

This year ....several customer quilts won awards, if yours won something and I didn't hear about it--please let me know!

Pieced by Nancy Goddard - People's Choice at Lincoln County Fair  (you might remember this one from our own local show last year); also Best of Show in its category and so I got a ribbon to take home too! (Special Award).

 Nancy's 'Jewels' also took awards at Lincoln County Fair. The pink ribbon is from INMQ for the quilting --so I got to keep it!!

Several of my own quilts were in the fair and received Blue Ribbons, and this one in particular got a Best of Show in its Category. This one I designed using the Dogwood block that I shared last year in the Online Seasons Row Along and made it into a window setting. I'm calling this one "View from the Ahwahnee" and it made its debut at the 4th of July exhibit that we put on here in the Grand Coulee area (more about it below), celebrating the National Parks 100 years of service.

Proud of my clients who were willing to submit their quilts to various shows and help to inspire others to create beautiful treasures, regardless of getting the best of show ribbon or any other ribbon.

Karren Pynsia was my shop's Row by Row Experience Winner!

Totals by style of quilting, note all are hand guided.

Pantographs - 51
Custom - 19 --ranges from 'lite' to moderately high level of custom

(includes two samples pieced by my mom and a local quilter (Linda R.) and a special one created for our Island Batik Ambassador 'manager' and her new baby. #islandbatik

Every quilt is special to the recipient and I especially enjoy being a part of that process. You can see all the photos I've posted in this year's album.

Now with 500 bolts of fabric available in the studio, I spend more time working with individuals seeking to create their next treasure. Here is a glimpse of the 'fabric' sections inside the shop now.

and a few of the special collections I have available:

This summer I worked with the SHARP Middle School girls and their group of adults, including Carol Estrada who was a huge help, to create a special quilt. They attend Lake Roosevelt and the colors are red and gold I've had fabric made with their logo (with permission) and it is now available in the shop with many coordinating prints.

The second quilt was actually the first one made as a collaborative effort with Linda Roberts and myself. These can be commissioned or stop by the shop to get your own supplies to make a Lake Roosevelt themed quilt. There are multiple options of fabric choices.


Having just finished Veteran's Day --here are some beautiful Northcott fabrics to make a special quilt for a veteran you know.
And I now have all 135 fabrics in the Northcott Toscana line ---so yes, you can call or email me your order by # if you'd like and I can cut it ahead of your arrival, or can ship it to you directly. It is still $7.90/yd but will go up to $8.50/yd January 1. Still a great price!

Another fun thing that happened this summer, we were able to host the National Parks in quilts. All 59 parks were represented by 3 quilts in a curated exhibit by Donna DeSoto Marcinkowski and is now available in print form in the book by Schiffer Publishing. In preparation for this event, we did some extra advertising at the Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center with my "Bordered Beyond the Block" quilt on the left (adapted from Beyond the Block issued as an AQS Mystery several years ago and had been juried into AQS Knoxville at their last show). It then got switched out for the one on the right "Psychedelic America" (original design is American Beauty by Marti Michell) for the rest of the summer. I have returned "Rosie's BOMb" now to this place.

Many of you stopped by as part of Row by Row -loved seeing you all this summer! Thanks for your business and coming through Grand Coulee, WA. Here I am with my "Road Trip" design --a finishing design for your--after you collect your own 8 unique rows and want a way to put them together in a way that will help you remember where each row came from by adding the shop's Fabric Plate (where available) to the design--quilt. I had thought this photo was taken to share on the Row by Row Studio blog, but alas I've never seen it.

Participating in Row by Row and our local North Central Washington Shop Hop took time away from quilting too, but I got to meet many new people and enjoyed sharing about our serene area with them. Thanks to all who ventured here....we look forward to seeing you again. And if you missed out on our 2016 Row by Row -- my "Heartwarming" kits and plates are still available along with the "Road Trip "pattern and finishing kits.

I had a special opportunity to show some quilts in an exhibit at Eastern Washington University along with one of my client's - Linda Roberts. This was coordinated through WSQ and included several WSQ member quilts. Linda was one of my testers during my Rondure pattern writing and this was her first edition.

I had two of my own quilts -- Rose of Hope and Rosie's BOMb in the show. They used Rose of Hope in their advertising campaign.

I'm pictured with my co-authored the book drawing winner in front of Rosie's BOMb.


I continue to write for the Country Register and have many of my articles picked up across Canada and the rest of the US Regions that print this free bi-monthly newspaper. Sometimes I even share quilting tips in my articles. This year I was able to share one of my own designs, made by Linda Roberts, on the cover of our local regional paper. A lovely photo shoot in her yard resulted in us getting the cover. This pattern is now available (Rondure) and I will be hosting a 3 day intensive class "Rondure Retreat", April 25-27.

Other initiatives have included getting into a magazine. McCall's Quick Quilts Oct/Nov 2016 issue. Be sure to read my guest blog post at McCalls about the piecing details which were not included in the magazine pattern. There are photos of how to line up the triangles which are fairly critical.

I also did almost a monthly Island Batik Ambassador Challenge and designed several more patterns with Island Batik. I'll do a separate post to highlight all of those at the end of the year.

I had two quilts juried into AQS-Phoenix. Not sure I submitted entries to any other shows this year. Just focused on family activities and my own health.

Dangling Diamonds (left) and (in 2nd photo, 2nd from left is Fire Island Jewels from my pattern 'Jewels')

Dangling Diamonds also received People's Choice at EESchenck's Trends Sept 2016 event. I've also received information that it was selected to be in the AQS Quilt Art Engagement Calendar for 2018 --so be on the look out for that!
At a new show - Connections Quilt Festival in Nashua, NH this month I sent several of my top quilts for the east coast to enjoy!

In May I was the featured Artist at a Womenn's Retreat in Spokane, WA. I had the opportunity to share my journey of quilting and how the Lord has truly blessed.

I continued to teach locally and am still considering some travel teaching (interested?). We had some great results from the classes in the Spring. This fall I'm typically offering a basic class and a project class each month.  If you're interested in taking one of the classes or would like to be kept informed of future releases, classes, new products, etc., be sure to join the email list. Sign up at
Since this post is intended to be more about my quilting than anything else, I'll share it here too. The Inland Northwest Machine Quilters host several challenges each year. This year I only participated in the table runner. Each runner is pieced exactly the same and then we can quilt it without any additional embellishments. I used colored threads to give it the same shape but larger down the middle which helped to break up the open white space. I always leave these to the last minute, but I always learn from trying something new.
I'll do a review of my personal WIPs, all #islandbatik work and other finishes at the end of the calendar year....until then I'm looking forward to what the new year will bring, what treasures you'll entrust to me and who will come by in search of the needed notion or perfect fabric...happy sewing!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Pumpkin Fest

As fall harvest comes to an end in most parts of the country, there is lots of bounty!

Our Island Batik Ambassador challenge this month had a theme of Pumpkin Fest.

Throughout this year, Electric Quilt's Heidi Kory has continued to share inspiring ideas. I found several this month that I particularly liked and downloaded the project files (.PJ7) and started to play around. You can find her ideas at the EQ Website Monthly Project Downloads area.

Do you ever try to combine blocks from various .pj7 files?

Here is a quick tutorial on how I combined them.

Open one of the files, or a NEW project file and name it.

Using the top level menus ...
Libraries, Block Library, Import ...
Choose the .pj7 file that the block(s) are in that you'd like.
The blocks in that project file are then displayed in your popup window.
Select a block and 'Add to Sketchbook' for all blocks desired.

Then you can have fun creating a completely new quilt or modifying an existing one in your project file with all of those new blocks.

I started with 4 blocks that were part of two different downloads
- Maple Leaf
- Sunflower
- Pumpkin
- Acorn 1

I modified the sunflower (removed the stem) and Acorn 1 (changed the shape of the stem and added a 'ground effect' at the bottom at the sides.

Some elements seemed to be easy enough to rotary cut, others perhaps a template and others still via paper piecing. In the end I should have done a bit more paper piecing, but it worked out sufficiently.

Island Batik's fabrics came together beautifully, but I had limited quantity of each, so chose to do an interesting glow effect with the background fabrics with the lightest being used in the middle and then they suddenly got darker going towards the outer edges. The ground effect on the very outer edge completes this secondary design.

The intended use is as a table topper, so I tossed the leaves and rotated all blocks so that their 'base' was on the outer edge.

I also chose to put Thermore batting in the middle of it.

The backing is a fall color ombre with golden wheat heads.

I used the Curly Maple pantograph to hand-guide the stitching on this quilt. YLI Pecan Sundae thread on top and A&E Tex 30 Taupe on the bottom.

I've heard repeatedly that Dawn liquid dish soap is what to use when you're concerned about bleeding fabrics. Well, I decided to try washing this quilt right away (I had not pre-washed or treated or pre-tested my fabrics before using them) and drying it in the dryer. Just as a little experiment.

I used maybe a tablespoon or so of Dawn and put it in the washer to soak for a few minutes then let the delicate cycle continue. I then threw it in the dryer for about 20 minutes and wah lah! it looked fantastic.

I sneaked over to my neighbors yard that has these beautiful yellow leaf trees and red burning bushes to capture a few extra photos!

Here is one from my back porch:

and another from the front of my shop.

I hope you enjoyed this peak of Fall in our area and wish you the best at getting your fill of pumpkin this year!  Enjoy!