Thursday, December 24, 2009

Joy to you

This tree has no decorations but the snow, and for me, that is more lovely than a bunch of lights!

Tomorrow could be busy, so today I wish you a Merry Christmas, with blessings beyond count and joy in your hearts.

"When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son." Galatians 4:4

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sunshine Lap Quilt

This one is another UFO finish. It was made from the leftover blocks of a group quilt (see Dayspring...), It is about the right size to put across the knees on those days when this city is the second coldest city in the world! (Last weekend, -46 C)

I decided to use this one for quilting practice also, so quilted different motifs and filler patterns in each square. That was fun and a good idea because practice is helpful yet a six inch square is not too intimidating. It helped me know which motifs are fun and which ones I would rather never do again! Also, this produces a more useful result than practicing on muslin, and uses up orphans and scraps!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Green Fairy Quilts is giving away a layer cake, jellyroll and a really cool pattern. Click the link to check it out and see photos!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Christmas Gift?

Just realized that I'd promised pictures of the new floor, but hadn't delivered. Here are a few. The wood was set on the diagonal. Cost more and took longer, but my DH wanted it so that is what was done. It is dull outside today, so a couple of these seem darker than normal.
Our main floor is very open concept. The U-shaped kitchen has the dining area on the north, living room on the west. The hallway goes to the south and the front door. One of these views is from the front door in, with my sunflower quilt on the wall beside the door to DH's den and the arch to the kit/LR and dining. Turn left there to a bathroom and the door to our walkout, and a few steps down to the laundry and garage door. Clear as mud? 
Anyway, it had been lino in the kitchen/dining and carpet in the halls and LR. The difference in my allergies has been astounding and worth the mess of doing it and cleaning up afterward. It is darker that before, so we are adjusting to that. If anyone is contemplating hardwood, it gets my vote! 

Monday, December 7, 2009

Roosters on the Beach & Monkeying Around in the Leaves

About a week ago, someone gave me a germ that proceeded to clean out my insides - thoroughly. I spent several days either sleeping or... well, no one needs the details. After a few days, I sat around a lot so had occasion to finish two projects, small ones.
They were both leftovers from a charm pack that I used to make a floral top using disappearing nine patch blocks. That one is not quilted yet, but I did some practice designs on these two smaller table mats.

The first one is a combo of rooster and beach fabric. I had quilting thread that was black, red and gold, one of those combos that you wonder why you bought it, but it was perfect for this one. I kind of like the results.

The second was monkeys and leaves. I tried a few fillers that I just made up as suggested by the designs on the fabric or my deranged mind. The border shows up the best, and it was a make it up as I go design too. The bindings are done, the labels are on, and as soon as I feel up to it, I'll finish the floral one, which is larger and not quite as quirky in fabric combination.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Paint Chip Challenge

Grad Club, the group that meets every month at my LQS, had the "Paint Chip Challenge" windup yesterday with everyone displaying their creations. What fun. Every size of quilt on display, plus a hat and a basket made in the colors each selected to match the initials of their name. 

After we oohed and awed over them, we were given voting slips so each one in the group could pick their favorite. 

I was really surprised when the winner was announced... my Paint Chip Pony! On the right is a picture of the prize for the challenge (after I took everything out of the fancy wrapping). The group that meets in the evening repeated the process so there is two winners, but I've not seen the second one yet. This was a lot of fun and the quilts were fabulous.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Strips that Sizzle - I have a copy!

A cousin that I seldom see or talk with emailed me last week. She saw my "trade a book" request and sent me her brand new copy of Strips that Sizzle. She took a class with Margaret Miller but isn't using the book. She didn't want to trade either, just wanted me to have it. Isn't that neat! I also found that her and her hubby will be in the same area where we are taking our winter vacation. Her husband golfs too, so maybe the two of us can to some quilty things while they are on the links.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Leaves, Logs, and Rainbows

This one is finished. I made the label last night and will sew it on today. It is from the leftover blocks used in "Home Sweet Hearts" and shows how different a block will look with a different background. I also did the sashing in the same fabric as the background, which makes the blocks look like they are floating. The two on the sides extend over the outside edge, so the binding goes in a little 'hiccup' around them.

When I quilted "Home Sweet Hearts" I tried doing the traditional cross-hatch and not only felt it was messy, but didn't enjoy the process. (I guess it is hard to like making mistakes.) So this one got the kind of quilting that I love - make it up as I go. There are some inconsistencies in leaf/flower sizes, and I'm still not crazy about what I did in the logs, but this was fun and I like it. Double-click for a better look.

Right now, this new one is hanging across shutters folded back so the window is letting light through it and giving a stained glass effect. I can enjoy it from my computer chair and when I walk into the studio. It is 35.5" x 48.5" and has a hanging sleeve.

My main level is still a mess, but most of the new floor is done. Pictures later, after the dust is cleared!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Dusty Reno & Half Crazy quilt

Dust is everywhere. The installers came yesterday, ripped out lino and carpet in kitchen, dining, living, and L-shaped hallway. They have put down a bit of the new flooring, a patch that I have labeled "Hope"!

I'm doing something quite fun along the line of patches. These are out of my scrap drawer labeled "Blue" and are crazy patched onto a 7" very lightweight pellon square. When each was finished, I trimmed to 6 1/2" so will have 6" squares, finished. 

I'm thinking sashing right now, but will have only enough blue to make a row. So I'm now thinking maybe a rainbow that goes around the color wheel. I sorted blue-green fabric last night and have more of it than these darker blues. This is easy and fun and using up even the oddest shapes!

I'm not doing the traditional Crazy Quilt embroidery though, so am going to call the quilt "Half Crazy." 

I've also another PHD finished, but haven't made the label yet on so will take a picture then, and post it soon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Paint Chip Pony - Finished

Well, nearly finished. This one needs a label. I might not put a sleeve on it, hang it instead with those rings that have a clip on the bottom. This was so much fun to make. Again, a big thank you to Bob Coonts for his inspiration and permission to make quilts based on some of his creative ideas. This is only 14" square. I'm thinking a full-size horse could be a dramatic quilt, but also a challenge!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Trade books?

Does anyone have a copy of 
Strips that Sizzle 
by Margaret Miller 

in really good condition? I would like to trade you. I offer one new copy of either of the following:

Ruth McDowell’s
Design Workshop
Jane Sassaman’s
The Quilted Garden
Katie Pasquini Masopust’s
Color and Composition 
Let me know!

Home Sweet Hearts

Another finish. The name of this quilt is courtesy of Peg at Pieces on My Mind. While some like this, I'm not all that fond of the pattern or the fabrics that I put in it. I tried to quilt it on my HQ 16 with the same freedom that I have on my domestic machines, and was humbled by the results. Sigh. However, all that said, it is done, and it looks better than my grumbling. Best of all, that UFO pile is a little smaller.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Paint Chip Pony

This week I'm working on a "paint chip challenge" given at "Grad Club" at Earthly Goods. Each participant has to find three (or more) colored paint chips that begin with their initials, in my case, EPM. I have one called Midnight Blue. The E's were harder.

Anyway, I started with this horse painted by Robert Coonts. It is much more brilliant at his website! Also, he generously gave me permission to interpret his art as quilts as long as I gave proper credit. This is my first attempt.

I drew my own version, not a lot different from his, but I didn't trace it, and put in another background. I liked his color scheme, so mine is going to be something like it. 

Now I am layering it with fabrics in the colors of my paint chips. I want to paint the eye so that it looks real. The quilt is about 16-18" square. I used to have horses, draw and paint horses, so am hoping that I can quilt it somewhat densely, in lines that work with the contour of the horse and yet make it quiltery. So far, this is what Paint Chip Pony looks like - a bit of a blank stare, but he has some blue fire in his nostrils!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Full size photo of "Just a Tad Over Par"

With the comments on Judy's quilt, I realized my post for my golfing quilt did not have a full view photo. Here it is.

It was in a show, hence the fingers at the top holding it up. I've never take a full photo myself, so this is a scan of the one taken at the show. Remember, par is average in golf. Over par is below average, so the title is a play on words. It is heavily quilted, free-motion. I even put a hot air balloon in the sky. My golfing husband loves this quilt.

The pattern was in a McCalls quilting magazine, 1995 or 1996 and is called "Follow Through" by Cynthia Wheeler. I saved it, but no dates on the pages. Try this link to contact Cynthia. It is not in the McCalls archives.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Judy Villett - Quilt Artist & Instructor

Yesterday's Grad Club at Earthly Goods brought back the person who had the idea for a quilter's degree program in the first place. She is Judy Villett who now lives in Vancouver. She brought two quilts, but I didn't bring my camera. Her slide show did feature this one. It is done in 2" squares, watercolor fashion, with some fabric painting added for effect. 

Judy encouraged me during one of my first "degree" classes on color. I brought "Just a Tad Over Par" (above par in golfing is not as good as below par so this title is a word play). When I showed it to her, she actually gasped and told me I should put it in a show. That remark is one of the big reasons that I'm still quilting. 

One note, any references on the www for Judy's website will take you to one that you do not want to see, so just have a look at the link on her name above.

I am still quilting that hearts/log cabin quilt and working on a little one for a paint chip challenge. Pictures soon. Right now I hardly have time to quilt, never mind take pictures and blog. Sorry about that. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pity Party and a Giveaway

Today is foggy and yet bright. The light in my studio is perfect. What am I doing on the computer? Aghhhhhhhhh!

With that out of my system, I'm thinking of a giveaway. Right now, I'm up to my ears in writing deadlines and don't even have time to quilt. :-(

However, I'm still reading blogs and discovered a really neat giveaway at this link and if you enter, mention my blog in your comment. The more comments she receives, the more fabric she will give away. I love this idea and should plan a giveaway soon!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Iron, Hearts & Log Cabins, and Humility

Recently our city hosted its annual Creative Stitches Alive with mostly quilting or scrapbooking vendors. Normally, I am a hard sell and don't buy things that are pushed on me. However, as soon as I spotted the sales person using this iron, I wanted it. She gave her pitch, but I would have bought it no matter what she said. It is a Eurosteam Evolution. 

The purchase has been remarkable. The directions need to be followed (LOL) of course, but it does an amazing job. I press one side of the pillowcase and all the wrinkles are out, or one side of a sleeve. The best part is that you can take a fat quarter that has been folded up forever, and press all the creases out with one or two passes. 

It sits flat, will not burn anything, even silk. It goes over buttons, and will press beaded quilts without hurting the beads. It works on a steam boiler principle, so the steam is pressurized inside and released when the button is pressed. I love it. $150, and apparently sold only at shows and through the shopping channel. A mini steam travel iron came with it. So not me to buy this, but it was not because of the pitch!

On a quilt note, I'm doing Hearts and Log Cabins (see two posts ago) on the HQ 16, again a humbling experience. However, the quilting is black on black fabric, and if you stand 6-10 feet away, it looks okay. Thanks to Wanda and Elaine, I'm not sweating over it! This is practice, and the quilt will go to a very far-sighted person!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Quilts for sale

I've taken a huge plunge and set up a website for selling my quilts. This is a huge for me, but the ladies at the Library show insisted that I should be doing this. It has only five items so far. Those of you who know how to do this please offer tips. Are my prices within reason? Too much? Too little? Is there enough information on the page? Click here (or at the side) to see it. I have thick skin. Be honest.

Termination Dust, Hearts and Log Cabins

In Alaska, the first snow is called Termination Dust. This is the Alberta version and the view out my bedroom window this morning. Gasp and dismay - the leaves are not even off the trees!

On a happier note, this is a UFO from a class I took in 2005. The applique leaves/hearts are now fused to the border. They need to be stitched. I did the inside ones in a satin stitch, but am feeling lazy. Should I or shouldn't I just lightly zig-zag these in place? Finished is better than perfect?

The stem is sewn. It is purchased bias tape. I opened it and sewed one side with normal straight stitch, then closed it and used invisible thread in a hemstitch to catch it in place.

I'm thinking of quilting it with lines in the background that line up with the logs in the log cabin blocks. This one also needs a name, so Susan, if you are listening... 

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Library show

Yesterday our small neighborhood library had its second annual quilt show. This time I took six art quilts, first picture. The others are 'hung' the same, draped over chairs and on tables. It isn't the best way to show off quilts, but the people who came loved it. I could have sold my skinny seashore quilt at least three times.

The last quilt in the pictures is one that I don't have a name for. It is an exercise from Jenny Beyer's book on Tessellations, and I did it in English paper piecing. It was fun, and the result is interesting. I'm still open for name suggestions. Right now it is: 2D-SS-16, not very imaginative! If you double-click the detail view, you can see how I quilted it.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Teaching Others

Our quilt group meets the last Monday of the month. One young woman came with plans and fabric for her second quilt. The first one she tackled was a kaleidoscope (not finished in this photo), and this time she made up her own pattern, figured out the sizes of the pieces to cut, and how much fabric she needed! It is a simple block, but I'm so impressed!

Another gal in the group is working on her first quilt, a variation of "Catnip" from Fons & Porter. She used primary colors and black with fussy cut cars/trucks/etc. in the centers of the blocks and a stripe for most of the sashing. It is delightful. I'm showing her how to make the sandwich today. She is learning English, so I need to take pictures!

(photo from Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Making Progress

First an accolade to Wanda, who makes the most beautiful things. This is the notebook and cover that came in the mail yesterday. It looks even better in life than the photo. I love it! Hugs to Wanda.

Also, here is my Nova Leftovers with the beads. It turned out better than I expected. That HQ 16 is a humbling experience though. I used a jar lid to do the curves, and only hiccuped in a couple places, but still feel very challenged using this monster that has taken up the most space in our house of everything except the pool table!

The last one is an English paper-pieced experiment. I was drawing my way through Jinny Beyer's excellent book "Designing Tessellations" and did #16 of the 17 variations of two-dimensional symmetric groups. My sketch looked interesting so tried it in a small quilt.

This one will go on a table. It is a tad under 30" across and partly quilted at this stage. I am marking the feather wreath with chalk and quilting it on my Baby Lock using variegated thread. It isn't the 'prettiest' quilt but has been interesting. I will be trimming the batting, then turning the backing inside and hand stitching it. This one doesn't have a name yet. Any suggestions?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nova Leftovers and Portland

Yikes, where have I been the last few weeks? Actually, I'm working on two quilts. One is English paper piecing, and it is pieced, but not been exposed to the camera. 

The other was made from the leftovers from "Kelly's Stars", a quilt that I made earlier using about 10-11 fat quarters. I am calling it "Nova Leftovers and planning on putting some beads on it, but here is a photo without the beads. The binding isn't finished in this picture. I'll post a bigger one when the beads are on it.

I also promised Portland pictures but didn't take any. I spent all my time in "Fabric Depot" an incredible store with massive stock of quilt fabric. I planned to get backing for three big quilts and fabric for two, so was able to focus (barely) and not spend all my money. The rest of the time (and money) went to quilt books at Powell's City of Books... heaven for book lovers. Their shelf of quilt books was about 8 feet high and 20 feet long. I bought eight... and that was all my suitcase could manage!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Yesterday's mail brought me a parcel from Julie with three patterns. Thank you so much, Julie. I know you didn't use them, but I hope to.

And how timely... we leave today for Portland and that huge Fabric Depot store is first on my list! Yikes, my stash is large enough already so do I need some restraint? Mmm, my hubby will be golfing so he won't do it.

Pictures when I come back, that is if my suitcase doesn't fall apart with overload! There is also a huge bookstore in Portland...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hammered I & II - Finished

Finally I quit procrastinating and finished these two pounded-flower projects. To do it, I layered them and quilted both densely and randomly with lots of meanders, leaves, flowers, etc. and used variegated thread in the square one.

Then I trimmed the batting and backing back from the top piece and fringed that top piece. It got lost on the gallery canvas, so I previewed a few prints and picked two, tore them into a couple of strips and left the edges ragged. I put these strips behind the sandwiched and quilted pieces and tacked them with glue. Then I put the quilted pieces over top, with Alene's glue.

The tops are semi-transparent on the edges because of the fringe and the uneven trimming of the batting. These print accents are much more subtle in real life than the photo. My husband (who is not a bead and fringe kind of guy) really likes them. I do too.

The square one is 12" x 12", the other one is 12" x 16" and both are on a canvas that is 1.5" deep.

However, now they are finished, labeled and ready to hang, I'm itching to get to other projects!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cheater Quilt & Advice Please?

Our middle grand-daughter (in her mid-twenties) had her second daughter last week, so now we have three great grand-daughters. I have a really cute pattern/fabric for a boy's quilt and waited to see if I could use it. Sigh.

Instead, I bought a panel and whipped this one up this week. I washed it after taking the picture and want to cuddle up in it myself. We hope to see the new babe this weekend.

This other one is Hammered II, one of my two flower-pounded projects. I plan to attach it to this studio canvas (1.5" thick), but now have a question. What do I put on the canvas? Does it need a coat of something just so it will not hold the dust? Would it look better if it were tinted? The quilt background is creamy and the canvas is really white... which is kind of an elegant look, which I prefer to "cute" but I'm not sure if I should just leave it that way. Any opinions and suggestions?

Hammered I will match it, but I've not fringed and finished it yet. The canvas for it is 12 x 12. This one is 12 x 16.

Now if the weeds would just stop, I could get some more of those UFOs finished!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hammered I & II

These are my flower-pounding efforts. I've beaded the small one (7" x 9") and am quilting the other one (10" x 12") so you can see that the quilting is very miniscule. It will also have beads. Sorry, my camera is not able to get sharp pictures this close, but if you click on them you can see them a bit better.

I'm naming these two with tong
ue in cheek. I'm also trying to figure out what to do with them. I have a couple of frames, but not sure this is the best way to finish them off. They are so little, and don't really go in my house, so I might find them another home.

Give me your thoughts -- is there a better way t
o display or frame them? I was planning on that no-glare glass but putting them back enough that the glass doesn't touch the piece, but don't know if that will make them too hard to see.
Any other ideas? Little quilts framed is a first for me so I feel unsure of what to do. All suggestions are welcome!