Thursday, October 31, 2013

October Finishes

* Kickoff the Technique of the Month Series here in Grand Coulee, WA
 -- What a great group of 13 I have in my classes. They are learning lots and seem to be enjoying our time together.

* Finish the Commission
-- ta da!! Here it is. A full post was done on Oct. 25 as part of the Blogger's Quilt Festival.
2013-#17  - "A Paris Engagement". Please consider checking it out and voting for this quilt!

* Client Quilting
--I did get 7 done.

* Enjoy the AQS-DesMoines, IA show and everything I can learn
--probably the biggest news of the month....not only did I get to go, but "Rosie's BOMb" won
2nd place, in the Bed Quilts - Machine Quilted category.
Whoo Hooo!!! Here is the video that was put together while I was there, and this post has still photos and a write-up about my experience there.

I also put it into the Blogger's Quilt Festival in the professionally quilted category. I hope you'll check it out and consider voting for it. Thanks!!

* Enjoy the MQX - Portland, OR show and educational opportunities maybe --ended up getting most of my questions answered while at AQS with various machine dealers and decided my time would be better spent staying home and getting on with client work. My quilt "Spinner" did receive a Teacher's Ribbon from Georgia Stull. Thank you!!!

Other points of note ....The WSQ-Spokane show resulted in several ribbons.
I entered:
  • 'Florabunda' --my Irena Bluhm class piece.
  • 'Dreamland' --my INMQ 2013 Challenge Symmetrical Wholecloth, these entries were all in their own category.
Two Ribbons: 3rd place from WSQ show attendees; Honorable Mention from INMQ Members.

Karen Ray and her daughter, Kelly Anderson, left, get a close view of Marlene Oddie’s “Rosie” at the Washington State Quilters-Spokane Chapter 35th Annual Quilt Show on Saturday at the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center. After taking in most of the quilt displays, Ray said, “This is it. Our super favorite.”

And on a more personal note....

* Attend my cousin's Wedding in Seattle!
--Congratulations to the lovely couple! We had a great time seeing family and friends.

* Enjoy my Parents being with us for 10 days
--so glad they got to be here!

* Hosting 50 former colleagues and fresh seniors from Walla Walla University to see our area and tour the Dam!
--hopefully some will consider applying for positions here. We'd love to have some newbies interested in quality living out here on the lake.

* My Mom teaching our 'project class' "The Adobe Purse" on Oct. 22
--Enjoyed having her here to share the many hours she has spent perfecting this pattern. Having made over 140 of them, she's experienced!!

Prayerfully thinking about a dear friend who just shared that she is pregnant with fraternal boys and identical girls...yes all at the same time! FOUR in the oven!! AMAZING!!! Glad I was able to sit down as she was telling me. Praying for her own health as well as the four babies during the next 14 weeks of 'bedrest'.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Rosie's BOMb

Excited to share with you my 'Rosie' quilt. Remember Rosie the Riveter? If you're not familiar with this poster, 'Rosie' was an iconic image for the women who went to work during World War II to help with the war effort, many were riveters.

When I saw people participating in the Sewn by Leila We Can Do It! Skill Builder Sampler, I didn't immediately jump on board. Six months in, I realized she had used the poster as her 'button' for the quilt-a-long (QAL).
Perhaps being an engineer by education, I've always appreciated the poster for what the women did in the war effort and had an interest in it. I now HAD to get involved with the QAL, but mostly because I wanted to take the poster and put it in the middle of the quilt. The beauty of the QAL is that it is really a skill builder and everyone was doing their own thing with the blocks. Photos of blocks were being posted in a flickr group and no one had primary colors. This was a fun process to participate in and I was excited about how I would surprise everyone at the end with the addition of the poster being incorporated into the quilt itself.

Using my EQ7, I started drawing each block in the software and placing it into the quilt. I also chose to color the blocks in a way that would complement the poster. Emphasizing white/blue in the top blocks, yellow in the middle blocks, and the dark red in the lower blocks to help anchor the whole quilt. Each corner block has angled elements, placed to help frame the whole piece. The sashing and borders bring in the rivet theme, and complement her head scarf.

I had all the blocks made and still needed to create the center piece. I tried to print it myself on a large format inkjet plotter (left before rinsing). Treating the fabric before and 'rinsing' it as instructed. Well, it became an 'antique' after rinsing, and all the quilt blocks were bold and bright, so I opted to submit the original poster image to Now anyone can have it!

"Rosie's BOMb" - Photo Credit: Bruce Andre Photography

Detail of the 'rivet'.

 This design is trying to make it looked like brushed steel between the rivets.

Using the sampler as a way to quilt each block uniquely. My long-arm machine quilting clients would then be able to see easily within one piece how different styles of quilting look all within one quilt. Open vs. closed/formal feathers or background fills vs. not, traditional vs. modern, etc.

 Quilting Rosie was the hardest. Here is where I was at when I needed to tackle the smooth face and arms. Consulting with Virginia Greaves helped significantly.

And this is where I ended up.

Some of the back side.

Thank you for stopping by during the Blogger's Quilt Festival. Your nomination is much appreciated. Before clicking through --copy the URL you are at, then use it to paste into the nomination linky.  I am a professional quilter (KISSed Quilts), and quilted this myself.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Photo Gallery Throw

My cousin got married this past Sunday.

Thanks to BusyBean's inspiration, this quilt was my aunt's request for me to make as a wedding gift for my cousin from his parents. Excited to work on something kinda modern, I found the writeup of the original designer, from the blue chair, that indicated she took inspiration from a photo gallery mosaic. She has a blog post with other's quilts using this idea, too. She also gave me permission to use her concept. My sizing needed to be different though based on my aunt's request...a couch throw ...I like to call it a cuddle quilt! So, I thought about 72" x 72".

First I needed to figure out the fabric to use. Joe and Janae got engaged in Paris.

When I found this focus fabric, I thought it would be perfect and used that as my palette to pull mostly geometric prints and a few that have special meaning based on their interests, work, or personalities. Specifically --old cameras (turned out it was an important part to the theme in their wedding), data --Joe worked with lots of data on a large health study while he was in school, chalk writings--Janae has a degree in Art Therapy, landscape elements often seen in Paris (rocks and grey bricks), time pieces (a his and hers based on how I fussy cut the same fabric), French news headlines, US news headlines that talk about love and being YOU, several fabric just kept with the 'round' object theme. Always fun for me to create extra meaning and symbolism within the fabric selection. This was close to the end of the narrowing down of fabrics....there would be a bit more narrowing in the process.

I thought maybe I could put images of the fabrics into Picaso and make a collage, but then it wouldn't be so random on the edges. My aunt really liked that aspect, so I roughly created the shapes in EQ7 as a 'custom' layout, but struggled with sizing it to the lap size she requested. When I read that it was typical photo sizes, that gave me some thoughts on smaller dimensions and locked in the sizes. Then I created an Excel spreadsheet with enough cells to represent half inch increments. Darkening the shapes, I could then easily identify the sashing sizes needed between each one. If I didn't like a spacing, I could move the entire shape easily in Excel.

I printed the layout from Excel and drew ending lines for each section of sashing that would make sense to piece so that I minimized my partial seams. There were still quite a few, but it ended up going together quite easily once I had this plan. I could also easily cut the sashing pieces exactly because of the Excel layout. On the computer screen I could easily highlight the sashing section and know how many cells were the 'finished' size, and then just add the half inch in each direction for seam allowances.

Here it is before quilting.

I had found the panto "April in Paris" at and thought it would be very appropriate for this quilt.

And here it is all bound up.

The happy couple on their wedding day! The yellow leaves made a beautiful backdrop to the yellow accent used in the wedding colors.

The big reveal.

Here is a full shot of the quilt, hanging off our deck.


Thank you for stopping by on Amy's Creative Side -- Blogger Quilt Festival. Your nomination is greatly appreciated. Before clicking to nominate, copy the URL you are at and use that to paste into the nominate linky. Thanks!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Rosie does well at AQS-Des Moines!

Photo Credit: Bruce Andre Photography
What a surprise when I returned an unknown number to me, phone call on Tuesday, October 1. Andrea from the American Quilter Society answered the other end of the call and told me that "Rosie's BOMb" had won 2nd place in her category (Bed Quilts - Machine Quilted).

I was already scheduled to leave on Wednesday afternoon to go back to the show just because I wanted to experience 'Rosie' getting juried into this big show. NOW, THIS, WAS AMAZING!

This journey started near the end of 2011 when to my surprise I realized the Skill Builder quilt-a-long (QAL) hosted by "Sewn by Leila" was using the iconic 'Rosie the Riveter' poster image as her blog button for the project. Although they were six months into the QAL, I decided I really did have to jump in.

Using my Electric Quilt 7 software to design a layout which included the Rosie poster as a center medallion, I chose colors that would coordinate with the poster and used colors within each block to create a layout to frame and mimic the poster's colors. Blue/white backgrounds in the top area, yellow in the sides and red at the bottom (dark and 'anchoring' to the whole quilt).

Mid-year in 2012 I was away from my long-arm for several weeks while my husband took a job out of state. I worked diligently to catch up on the QAL. Towards the end I drafted the feathered star so no "Y" seams were necessary through a paper piecing technique and was honored to be asked by Leila to draw up the butterfly pattern so that all followers could use the necessary templates through an easy pdf download. The whole idea of this QAL was to start out with basic techniques, building confidence and moving on with more difficult ones. This included doing things improvisationally, creating your own 'crumb' fabric, and designing your own house. I laid them out in the quilt from start to finish, top row to bottom row, left to right. There were typically about 3 blocks per technique.

My personal printing attempt...rinsed.
Now I needed to create the poster on fabric. I tried a couple of times after much planning to print it on an inkjet plotter on self-treated muslin. The 'rinse' process took out all magenta and it looked quite 'antique'. The effect might have been nice, but I had used such brilliant colors in the quilt, I really wanted a brilliant level of color in the poster. I decided to try and got wonderful results.

My sashing details included finding a MODA fabric that had a row of buttons. I fussy cut many yards of it. Finding the red fabric that reads as a polka dot but is actually various buttons was great for the border since it tied in with Rosie's headband so nicely. I then added appliqued rivets to emphasize the original concept of what was going on with 'Rosie' in WW II.

The bottom of the poster needed to be filled in. I had found a fabric with all the different quilt block names and terms printed on it that seemed to be very appropriate.

In designing the quilting I wanted to be able to show my clients in one piece, different types of quilting. For example, one block might have a background fill and the next one doesn't. Some have formal feathers, others open feathers. Edge to Edge design within a block following the piecing as a registration guide or just ignoring the piecing.

The border quilting was designed to look like polished steel and I wanted the rivets themselves to have a movement about them. I used some kitchen tools to help. Thank you Martha Stewart! These are made to put around a rolling pin to get consistent depths to you pie dough.

Quilting Rosie herself was the biggest challenge. So grateful to find Virginia Graeves online who provided me with some advice and gave me the confidence to move forward with Rosie's face, arms and blouse details.


I showed the quilt at a local show in Tri-Cities where it received an "Outstanding in the Field" award from a group of local quilters. Then she went to the Krazy Horse Quilt Show in Pendleton, OR and received the "Best Machine Quilting" award which I believe is given by a local long-arm quilting business there in Pendleton. I then submitted the quilt for jury selection to the Association of Pacific West Quilter's show in Tacoma, WA. I also submitted the quilt for jury selection into AQS-Des Moines. I knew the timing would be tight if she got accepted into both shows, but I'd work it out if that came to fruition. Shortly thereafter, I was asked by the International Association of Professional Quilter's to provide a professional shot of the quilt so they could consider it for their cover of The Professional Quilter --a business journal for the organization. grateful to Bruce Andre Photography (Buggy Barn's photographer!) for being willing that next morning to meet with me and shoot the quilt. She was accepted to APWQ and I got word that Rosie was accepted to AQS-Des Moines...and was excited just to be included in both of these shows. The cover came out on the Professional Quilter journal and I received some very constructive but also many very positive comments from the judges at APWQ. One comment I knew I could fix and proceeded to do so in the day that I had after picking the quilt up before shipping it to AQS-Des Moines.

And so...that is her story so far. I'm excited about the possibilities of where this might lead.


Perhaps you're wondering ...'Rosie' or 'Rosie's BOMb' ??? Well, BOM in quilting lingo commonly refers to Block of the Month. So, get it?? Sometimes the word "bomb" may not have a good connotation, so sometimes I don't use it, and other times in the right setting, I can because it will be appropriately understood when capitalized appropriately.

A local quilt shop last year asked if I would get fabric yardage of Rosie to sell as well as write up a 'technique of the month' type program for them to use as a class. (TOMb ?...felt too negative) Most blocks are public domain, but a few are copyrighted and so I have been working through the process as necessary to either gain permission to use the design within this context or select another block that still demonstrates the technique and writing single page instructions for constructing each block.

Modern block credits:
Breaking Out : Jennie Finch, Canandaigua, NY (generously sharing)
Starry Night : Faith @ Fresh Lemons (only for personal use)
Circle of Geese : Beth McBride @ Piece by Number (see blog for usage details)

With our recent move to Grand Coulee, WA and many asking for classes, I decided to introduce them to quilting through this process and I have just started using this as a curriculum too. Most are not using the whole 'Rosie' theme, but the techniques learned truly are worth it. Their colorings will tell their own story, making it personal to them. I love the idea of making one block at a time ...not 50 of the same thing. This allows the learner to be exposed to a variety of techniques and ultimately find their personal niche in this art world and craft of quilting.

I thank Leila (left) for inspiring so many of us who participated in the quilt-a-long and giving me the launch pad to take it to the next level of incorporating Rosie the icon and honoring those women who did so much for our country during the WWII era. The recent interview with a gal on NBC that was part of that original brigade was exciting. I just hope she will see this and know it is to honor her and her fellow riveters!

Next year the quilt will likely grace the Visitor Center of Grand Coulee Dam along with an exhibit of what women did in the construction and starting operation of the Dam. I'm excited about letting her be seen and inspire, motivate, encourage those who have been there or are trying to make it in the world today.

I forgot that Road2California requires a mail-in entry, so I missed the deadline for that 2014 show. Maybe I'll submit her to some other ones. We'll see. I'd just be happy for her to be exhibited for more people to be inspired.

The connection of what they were doing in WWII to the idea of mastering the skills of quilting is a fun parallel. It takes us all working together, sharing ideas and opportunities to make it happen. Maybe it is my engineering background that has contributed to my personal affection towards this iconic symbol, but regardless of what you put your mind to...We Can Do It!

Thank you for all the love, encouragement and support to all of those who have been a part of my journey.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October Goals

Kickoff the Technique of the Month Series here in Grand Coulee, WA

Finish the Commission

Client Quilting

Enjoy the AQS-DesMoines, IA show and everything I can learn

Enjoy the MQX - Portland, OR show and educational opportunities maybe

And on a more personal note....

Attend my cousin's Wedding in Seattle!

Enjoy my Parents being with us for 10 days

Hosting 50 former colleagues and fresh seniors from Walla Walla University to see our area and tour the Dam!

My Mom will also be teaching our 'project class' "Adobe Purse" Oct. 22