Saturday, April 21, 2012

A short-term adventure ahead

This week has brought an interesting opportunity in the form of an adventure to California for six weeks. I'm going along to assist my husband in helping a desperate high school with math and physics teaching to finish out the school year.

When the idea was first presented to me, I definitely wasn't interested (I'm having way too much fun with my quilting business!!), but thought my DH might take the opportunity to try something new given his recent layoff. After a 10+ hour trip one way to California starting Wed. night and getting finger printed on Thursday and returning home by Friday mid-day (thank you to our friends the Bodnar's for hosting us over night both directions in Bend) just might all happen.

In this picture I see cities that represent three different states. When I posted it on FB the biggest laugh I think was the reference to 'Weed', but my thought in taking it was that it seemed like a major cross-roads with such diverse locations being presented in the road signs...and if you stayed down the center perhaps you could get some information? Perhaps representing the decisions going on in our lives and when on the interstate of life, decisions sometimes must be made faster than we might want to handle. As I was taking this my DH was asking, "which way, which way?"

I will take some piecing projects with me and am hoping I can return home for at least a week, sometime during the adventure, to get some critical deadline long-arm customer work in the queue completed and to take a "Storm at Sea" class in conjunction with the Krazy Horse Quilter's show in Pendleton, OR May 4. This is a pattern I have wanted to make ever since I created a unique coloring for this design while on our honeymoon--over 3 years ago. We were in Hawaii and the turtle is an often seen image. Our wedding colors were red, black and white (it was on Valentine's Day). I collected fabrics while in Hawaii, too. It is time! Here is my EQ representation of what I want to create.

The show is May 5 and 6  and I will have 3 quilts of my own in the show: "Spinner" (see below), "Charmed Network"--Terrain version (my pattern is available), and "Mi Amore"--my final entry in the McCalls Quilt Design Star 2011 last year and a new pattern now available.

Other clients in the queue, so far, have been very accomodating and understanding of the situation such that they are willing to wait for their quilts until after mid-June when I return from Ireland and the International Quilt Festival of Ireland tour. I'm so grateful! I see on their website that my tour says "SOLD OUT" ....I think the truth is it has now been combined with another group, but there is still opportunity for you to come along. I still need a roommate!!

I look forward to meeting new quilters in Bakersfield. I see their Cotton Patch Quilter's of Kern County guild meets the 3rd Thursday of the month, so that should work out to be able to attend their meeting (day or evening). If anyone from the area is reading this, let me know so we can connect in person! I won't be able to make the local Bakersfield Modern Quilt Guild meeting (still wishing for a local MQG here in the WWValley), but would love to meet them too! I see there are two local quilt shops -- Strawberry Patches and Bolts to Bindings listed and the big chain Beverly's Fabric and Crafts too. I'm sure if I need anything, they should be able to accomodate.
My Spinner tutorial continues to gain interest with over 5300 views at the time of this writing--very exciting!

The quilt has now been added to the EQ Quilting Gallery #287.

I also have two others there, #137 and #196.
This weekend is the Tour of Walla Walla ---Bicycles everywhere! Mother's day weekend will be the Balloon Stampede and I plan to be home for that. Spring Release is coming soon too. I've put my bottle bags and the vineyard/grape potholder/table trivets on sale at Patit Creek Cellars - Walla Walla Tasting Room. A special SPRING SALE! There are still a few special trivets (Balloon Stampede and WW Onion Festival available for purchase too). I hope to get a few more placemat sets out there before Spring Release (currently sold out). These can also be pre-ordered and made custom to your preferred size and color scheme.

That's it for now, I'll try to post at least weekly about our adventure and progress on my projects. We trust this adventure is to provide a blessing for the students in learning their lessons and will make a positive impact in their lives.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


  • Skill Builder Sampler - top 2 rows put together now!

    Awaiting quilting:
  • McCall's Mystery - Spring Time
  • McCall's Mystery - Hot Jazz
  • WWVQG 2006 Basket BOM

'Til Next Time
  • Pam Bono's Block - #4
  • Rose of Sharon Bird Block
  • Alaska 2007 Shop Hop...on track....ready for block #5 in May
  • Oddie's Wild Nature (O.W.N.)
  • Snowflake/Blizzard Quilt
  • Irena Bluhm coloring sample --the one I started in class

2012 STATS
Completed: 11
In Progress: 10
To start: 3 (Peace Park, Shop Hop the Blues 2007 & 2009) I'm going to put off these starts until I get some of the other small projects finished.

Are you going to Ireland in June? Pricing available for the 'tour' only, i.e. do you have miles you can use to get there? Join me!! I need a roommate.

More WIPs at the linkup on Lee's Freshly Pieced blog. Happy WIPping ;-)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Festival of HSTs

Linking up at CanoeRidgeCreations for the Festival of HSTs (Half Square Triangles).

My Hugs and Kisses, Royal Peacock Jewels, Will you Accept this Rose? and Mi Amore quilts all use alot of HSTs, but Mi Amore is the only one that has been finished in the last 6 that is the one I am entering in this Festival. Recently I've been working on a sampler quilt that each block has HSTs. It is not finished yet, but I was excited to learn about Eleanor Burn's 8 at a time with no bias edge method. I have a link on my 'Resources' tab if you're interested.
Will you Accept this Rose? (pattern available)
Hugs and Kisses (pattern available)
Royal Peacock Jewels (pattern being written)
Even my new Charmed Network pattern uses HSTs (but not 75% worth of the quilt!)

So, on to my entry: Mi Amore
Mi Amore (pattern available)
originally entered in the McCall's Quilt Design Star 2011 final round challenge,
did you see it in the May/June 2012 McCalls magazine?

A complete writeup of how this quilt was made.

Other versions that have now been made include:

Check out the entire festival at
Come back on April 23 to see if I'm a selected top 10 finalist that you can then vote on.

Have a great week! Hop Skip and Tackle that next project. (another way to think of HST!!)

Design Wall / BOM's Away Monday

Skill Builder Sampler - Blocks 11 and 12
  • 11 - make your own fabric, Beacon block
  • 12 - improv house and tree...well, I was inspired by the 'beacon' and wanted to do a lighthouse, so still tried improv. Went looking for night sky in my stash and discovered this background fabric, but that limited my improvisation though since it made it more difficult to do weird angles. Would have liked the lighthouse to have some angle vertically (larger at the bottom than at the top).

  • And on my design wall...

    Hope to get the 2nd row sashed together this week.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    More design walls at Judy's Patchwork Times
    and BOM Progress at WhataHoot.

    Another oldie

    Not sure the vintage of this one, but with the 10lb sugar sacks used to back the crazy piecing...what do you think?

    So, how to quilt this? Decided to machine stitch at each intersection with 12 stitches to the inch double up and back about 1/4" to 1/2" in the ditch along each line of the intersection. i.e. if a Y seam, start at the center and stitch out the 3 directions and back again.

    Added a hanging sleeve and now it is ready to be displayed on the wall in the owner's home.

    A few of the very light satin or silk blocks you can see the 10 lb. sugar sacks through the fabric. Kinda cool!

    I also worked on a commissioned memory quilt this last week. This has been in my queue for some time. I never want to do regular piecing with well worn clothing again. Maybe an art quilt, topically applied or something like that. Just saying, for me it was not a good experience. This piece is about 3' x 3'. Only the fabric from the shirts was used. If asked again, I'd make a sail boat out of the fabric, a bicycle, maybe cutout the shape of Michigan, a golf bag, etc. Then applique them onto a scene using regular fabric for the scene. Then bits of the fabric are used in the piece, but not the WHOLE thing. More photos are in a 'memory' album on my Facebook page.

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012


    • Alaska 2007 Shop Hop....Night Star

    • Skill Builder Sampler - Block #9 and #10 !!

    Awaiting quilting:
    • McCall's Mystery - 2 quilts!
    • WWVQG 2006 Basket BOM
    'Til Next Time
    • Rose of Sharon Bird Block ....more border design ideas generated, probably close to finalizing
    • Pam Bono's Out of the Darkness...ready for block #4
    • Oddie's Wild Nature (O.W.N.)
    • Snowflake/Blizzard Quilt
    • Irena Bluhm coloring samples

    Bonus: I belong to the 'Just Us Quilter's' Facebook group and this month's charity block is going into a quilt that hopefully will raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

    2012 STATS
    Completed: 11
    In Progress: 9 (10 if the Mystery counts as 2 since there are 2 quilts ;-))
    To start: 3 (Peace Park, Shop Hop the Blues 2007 & 2009) I'm going to put off these starts until I get some of the other small projects finished.
    Are you going to Ireland in June? Pricing available for the 'tour' only, i.e. do you have miles you can use to get there? Join me!! I need a roommate.

    More WIPs at the linkup on Lee's Freshly Pieced blog. Happy WIPping ;-)

    Monday, April 9, 2012

    Design Wall / BOM's Away Monday

    So excited to get my taxes done yesterday! Celebrated by going out to dinner and then doing a couple of blocks and continuing to work on the border designs for my Rose of Sharon bird block that was selected for inclusion in NinePatchMedia's DVD.

    The design wall is virtual this morning with this concept. I like the tunnel effect that the light and dark border treatment gives it. I want it to feel like you're looking out a very deep wall through a window.

    I also got another Alaska 2007 Shop Hop block done ...Night Star from The Calico Cow Quilt Shop.

    This month on the Just us Quilter's Facebook group is an opportunity to do a "Love in the Mist" in red and grey block for Juvenile I whipped this up last night.


    More Design Walls at Patchwork Times and BOM's Away updates at WhataHoot.

    Saturday, April 7, 2012

    Antique Crazy Quilt

    This week I worked on an antique coverlet, we believe c. 1897 based on this stitching in the quilt:

    When presented with the project, I was confident we could get it into a usable state as requested by the client. The more I got into the project, I got  more concerned that I would not be able to do it justice. Here is my journey....

    The two long sides of the coverlet had borders, one extended longer than the other and they were different widths (one 13", one 10"). Initially the client wanted to just fill in the end border where the one big extended...partly on my encouragement, but I really didn't know what we should do to preserve as much of what was there as possible. She picked out a pink paisley since there is a fair amount of pink in the quilt and that would at least square the end off.

    Before Front + ends                                                                        Before Back + ends
    Several times I posted here in my blog and on Facebook looking for ideas on how to quilt it. The research I did, seemed to indicate only quilting in the ditch of the squares that were pieced once I got that figured out, I regained some confindence.

    The client showed up with her mother to look at the quilts and indicated that more of the black border fabric might be available at her home. So, I put the project back on the pile and waited for the fabric. None arrived and the client finally decided to have me go ahead, but perhaps we should put black ends on the piece and keep it visually similar. Sounded like a good idea and I was headed to Fabric Depot in Portland that weekend, so I could have a lot more choices to consider.

    Fabric Depot personnel thought the black fabric was silk suiting well washed. They didn't have any plain black silk suiting, but they felt the dupioni silk would be a good compliment. Well, I asked for two yards, she didn't tell me a price until she had already cut it. YOWZA! Not for the faint of heart. $45.98/yard! I just hoped my client would see the justification of this fine fabric on this more than 100 year old piece.

    The photos above include the new borders on the short ends. At this point it measures 106" x 67".

    Now, I need to figure out what to quilt in these large borders. Three sides are about 13" wide, and one is 10". Most images of crazy quilts either don't have a border at all, or a small border and don't seem to be quilted. I did find one that had feathers. I do free-hand work, and with my newly learned skills from Sharon Schamber, I decided freehand feathers, echoed with 2-d stems would be appropriate. I could do corners with 2 blocks in each direction thus completing the short ends and going into the long ends, then do a center element along the long-sides that covers 3 blocks.

    With all the yarn embroidery stitching in the crazy quilt blocks, I thought the flower bits in this center part reflected that.

     Here it is bound with a MODA reproduction print with the fabric fussy cut so the black medallions in the fabric would show up in the binding all the way around.


    I used my newly acquired Martelli Zip Bind tool. It took a little while to get the hang of it. Definitely worth practicing on. The grove side goes on the bottom! Here is what I learned: use a walking foot to put the binding on to begin with (on the top) --much happier with that idea. The antique style of the quilt, I decided a 1/4" seam on the top would be most appropriate. I then wrapped the binding to the back and SID w/the ZipBind catching the binding on the backside with the SID stitching. For this type of binding, the Martelli system is helpful.

    A top stitched machine binding is still easier for me!

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012


    Spinner - 2012 finish #11

    Read the tutorial, including EQ design tips and piecing instructions.
    The 'flag' blocks were made as part of EQ (Electric Quilt design software) 2011 BOM (Block of the Month). The layout or setting was designed by me for the contest and it won! The quilting was done on my Gammill Optimum Plus long-arm machine and was my first attempt to quilt-it-to-death. Learned a lot in the process, and also formally blocked it--never done that before--after adding another border (yes after quilting it ...doh) and then putting a piped binding onto it too. All new adventures for me. Biggest lesson learned--be sure to color-fast test your fabric if you intend to ever wash the piece you're making.

    • McCall's Mystery - Part 3 -- both quilt tops are done! The link takes you to a group shot with all but 1 of my small group's progress as well.

    • Skill Builder Sampler - Block #8 - Breaking Out -- flying geese. I think the block turned out bigger than 12.5" so not sure what I'm going to do, but maybe I can get it to shrink ;-) ha.

    Awaiting quilting:
    • WWVQG 2006 Basket BOM
    'Til Next Time
    • Rose of Sharon Bird Block
    • Alaska 2007 Shop Hop....on track! ready for block #4
    • Pam Bono's Out of the Darkness...ready for block #4
    • Oddie's Wild Nature (O.W.N.)
    • Snowflake/Blizzard Quilt
    • Irena Bluhm coloring samples

    Bonus: I belong to the 'Just Us Quilter's Facebook group and last month's charity quilt was for Epilepsy Society ...purple with any brights and the Calico Puzzle block from Quilter's Cache was the request. I made these using Eleanor Burn's Quilt in a Day Method for 8 half square triangles out of 2 squares. It's sure purple! :-)

    2012 STATS
    Completed: 11
    In Progress: 9
    To start: 3 (Peace Park, Shop Hop the Blues 2007 & 2009) I'm going to put off these starts until I get some of the other small projects finished.
    Are you going to Ireland in June? Pricing available for the 'tour' only, i.e. do you have miles you can use to get there? Join me!! I need a roommate.

    More WIPs at the linkup on Lee's Freshly Pieced blog. Happy WIPping ;-)

    Monday, April 2, 2012

    Design Wall / BOM's Away Monday

    My small group got together this morning to take a progress photo of what we've been working on this year. We chose to do the McCalls Mystery. The last part of the mystery came out in the May/June issue --also the issue that they show the 12 Finalists from the 2011 Quilt Design Star of which I'm in!!! That was cool! (p. 87!!) here is a shot of us. All but one was able to be here--spring break in California...tough call ;-) We missed you Becci!

    Our Fearless Design Small Group:
    Pictured (l-r): Marilee McQuarrie, Marlene Oddie, Betty Jackson, Ann Bisgard, Barbara Bohlman
    not pictured: Becci Lund.

    The large quilts hanging behind us are Marilee's and Barbara's.
    The purplish one in front is Betty's and is made as a bed runner size (not square).
    The green w/dark red centers and yellow petals with poppies in the big snowball block is Ann's. This one is very happy when you see it laid out.
    Mine are folded over on the ends in the front row. I think the rest did the best at getting the contrast right. Mine are more subtle and with the dark one on the right it gives it a different effect. I think the spring one on the left would make a beautiful table cloth.

    Both of mine now need to be quilted...but that is what was on my design wall yesterday when we had a sew-in and I was able to do part 3 of the mystery--make the snow ball blocks and assemble both tops. Whoo Hoo!!! I think I was sewing for about 7 hours.

    More Design Walls @ Judy's and BOM's Away at Lyn's