Friday, September 21, 2007

Favorite Time

Fall is my favorite time of the year. The leaves are just starting to turn here, so lots of greens yet, and wonderful skies. My husband has all our local photos, but I wanted to post something with these colors. This one is a bit dark, a picture taken in the Rocky Mountains near Canmore. Click on it to see birds and other lovely details. We try to go to Canmore at least once a year.

Canmore's quilt shop, The Sugar Pine, hosts Quilt Art Rockies every year. Leah, the shop owner, is a sweet gal who remembers names like no one I've ever met. The shop was voted one of the ten best in North America. In that setting, who could not want to make art of some kind!

Quilt Art Rockies
is a terrific experience, and that is an understatement!
I've been there twice and am going again in January. (It is usually in March, but the venue has been booked for a movie crew filming there that month!). Instructors for 2008 are: Elizabeth Barton, Phil Beaver, Sue Benner, Susan Carlson, Sandra Meech, Kathy Sandbach and Lura Schwarz Smith.

Now, back to my to-do list.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

It's Better to Aim for the Stars...

The rest of that line is. . . "and hit the woodpile, that to aim for the woodpile and hit your foot."

Log cabin blocks, for some reason, always make me think of a woodpile, and when I quilted this one with stars, the name seemed logical. (Of course, who needs to be logical?)

This was only a sampler. In our Dear Jane group, the facilitator planned to show us how to do scallop bindings. We had to bring a sandwich to practice on, so I figured I might as well make something. With no time to do it, I whipped out some leftover strips and made this odd log cabin block, set it on a piece of black that didn't seem to have much going for it, and quilted it with wavy lines and stars. I used a twin needle for some of the wavy lines and the stars were simply done free form, without any marking on the fabric.

The curved scallop was much easier than I expected. The key is to sew the binding on marked curves before trimming off the excess, in this case, about 3-4 inches of fabric/sandwich/backing. Also, the binding needs to be stretched on the inside of the curve, stopping with the needle down in the point.

After the binding was sewn on the right side, we trimmed the seam allowance, clipped it in the corners, and turned it to the back. Notice, the binding is also very narrow. I can't remember but think it was 1.75" folded double, and cut on the bias, of course.

The quilt was finished with a sleeve and I thought the whole effort would be rather useless other learning a technique, but I just re-decorated a small bathroom and used black and red as accents. This 32.75" x 33.5" practice piece is absolutely perfect on the wall (or as perfect as a practice sampler can be).

You never know what might come out of a simple exercise session...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Lattice on a Blue Sky

When Joen Wolfrom came to town, I had to take the classes offered. One of them was about designing blocks by taking classics apart and putting them back together in a different way. This class included how to use elements from the blocks to design a border. For me, who discovered late in life that I really do love geometry, this was enormous fun.

A second class was about combining ordinary blocks to make secondary patterns. I enjoyed this one too, and the picture is a small quilt that I made as a result. I called it Lattice on a Blue Sky because that is sort of what it looks like, but then if you close your eyes a bit, the blue looks like a design on a yellow background. Joen is a soft-spoken, lovely lady. Take a class from her, if the opportunity comes. It will not be regretted!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

That Last Border

This quilt has been bugging me so much that I decided to either toss it or fix it. It is a Round Robin (more on July 31 post) that wound up with many parallel lines in the borders that totally distracted from my paper-pieced block in the middle.

This is the solution finished last night. I appliqued 13 leaves around the edges, breaking up the lines. First I tried it by cutting leaves out of purple paper and putting them in various spots. After I was satisfied with the arrangement, I cut the leaves out of two batik fabrics, one slightly darker than the other, and sewed them in place.

Now when I look at it, my eye now goes to the middle, not the lines.
At least now I can hang it on the wall without being totally frustrated! If anyone has any other suggestions, please share them!

Friday, September 7, 2007

My Insanity Quilt - in progress

A few asked about my "insanity quilt" so here is a picture of the progress so far. The finished wall hanging (from a pattern by Cynthia England) is 22" x 32" without any borders.

I've posted two pictures. One has the pattern tacked in to show how much is left. You might notice bits of pattern on the section to the left. This is freezer paper left to show me where seams have to match with the next section or the border.

The other photo is a detail version to show the scale of the pieces. The small "R" in the corner is 1/4" high.

If you have opportunity, take a class from Cynthia, or at least hear her speak. She has more energy than a whirlwind, makes you feel as if you can do anything (even if I go crazy doing it!) and is simply delightful, besides having a wacky sense of humor!

But btw, don't hold your breath waiting for the finished version!

Wednesday's Binge

Our young granddaughter came to our city Wednesday to take a job-related training course. Her little girl had her first birthday August 31. We were away on vacation that day. I forgot to enter it in "Life Balance" (where I keep track of my whole life) and am still blushed and flushed that we forgot that very important date. (It's awful having a foggy, fading brain.)

Anyway, Stephie called to say her course was over at 3:00 or so, and we planned an early supper together. I'd cut out part of the bonnet on Tuesday, but that was it... so I spent most of Wednesday making this little dress and the "Little House on the Prairie" bonnet that Stephie wanted. I finished just as she phoned for directions.

She loved it, was ecstatic in fact. I had a blast... haven't made a child's outfit for about ten years. Such fun!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Quilt of Belonging

On our way home yesterday, we stopped at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary (Alberta, Canada) to see the Quilt of Belonging. My husband did the forbidden without realizing he wasn't supposed to... he took photographs.

I bought the book. I'm still in a dazed state. This project is described at the Glenbow website: “
Quilt of Belonging stretches a monumental 120 feet in length and almost 11 feet high (36 metres by 3.5 metres). This tapestry features 263 blocks of fabric that represent all of Canada's First Peoples and every world nation. The wide range of designs, techniques and materials found in the needlework blocks highlight the dream of making a place for all people in Canada. Visual artist Esther Bryan initiated and coordinated this national, community art project. Experience this stunning artwork in person at Glenbow.”

I'll post our photo, but go to the Glenbow site to find out more. The exhibit is in Calgary until the end of this month. It is utterly breath-taking, and made me rejoice in being a Canadian who also quilts.