Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Quilt Con Quilts

In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. 

Kahlil Gibran


Here as promised are a few pictures from Quilt Con.  If you have never been to a large quilt show you should make it a goal to get to one.  While I am not a fan of large crowds I know there are plenty of shows that do not have the large attendance that you will find in Houston or Paducah.  I heard that there was about 10,000 at Quilt Con but it did not seem crowded.  Remember this is a total for all days and much of the time a large number of attendees were in classes or lectures.

It was a nice show but I was not crazy about the way the quilts were displayed in zig zag rows.  I know that that creates more display space but I kept feeling like I was missing quilts as I walked down the rows.  I have read similar comments from others who were there also.  That was my main complaint.  

I took pictures of the cards hanging by the quilts and they follow the pictures of the quilts so you can see who made them and what they had to say about their quilt.

































I hope you enjoyed these.  The following two were in the American Made Brand Booth and I have no information on who made them but I did like them.





I am refraining from commenting on each quilt so as not to bias you with my opinions or comments.  I did like them all because I didn't take pictures of any that I did not like.
I would love to know what you think about these and which one(s) you like best.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Marching Onward

Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward. 
Henry Ford


I am back home again and have had almost two weeks to get my act back together and get some things done.  Why is it that it takes me as long to get over my vacation as it does to take one.  Yeah, I know I just slow. 

So where have I been?  I was gone for 12 days and I went all by myself!  Needless to say it put a big dent in February.  Well, I drove all the way to TEXAS!  I spent a week at a resort and took most of 3 days to drive out and another 3 to get home for a total of about 2300 miles on the road.  That's a lot of driving!  Thankfully I had some great audio books to keep me company.  I didn't know anyone that would be able to take 2 weeks off to go with me so I decided to do it alone.  It was a good trip except for some rainy and cold days.  I stayed busy, I took my sewing machine and more projects than I could possibly complete.  I did get a lot done.

So why did I go to TEXAS?  Two reasons:  1) We had a week at the resort that we would lose if we didn't use it and 2) I had decided 2 years ago that I wanted to go to QUILT CON so this had been a goal of mine for a while.

Proof I was there!
 I didn't do any classes or lectures, just the show.  The above were the few freebies I got. Below is my one purchase, other than food, from the vendor mall.

I have been looking for this ruler for a while and finally found it.

I have already pulled some fabrics for the Urban Beads pattern.  Looks like I wasn't as done with solids as I thought I was.  LOL  Any of you used this ruler?  There are lots of patterns and if I like it I plan to try a few more.

I did take some picture of the show quilts but I will share them in a later post so this one will not be too long.

Here are some of the things I worked on while I was gone.  Most of these are projects that have been going for a while and I am more than ready to get them done.


This is a Stack and Whack that I started a few years ago.  I had about half the blocks sewn together and the rest were in 1/4 block units.  Now there are 12 completed blocks.


This is how I make the centers of blocks like this lay flat.  I am not a big fan of pressing seams open but I do it occasionally.  Blocks that have 8 or more seams in the center can benefit from just the center being pressed open like this.


This has been a travel project for me for about 4 years.  It has lived in my travel bag for that long at least.  Now all 96 blocks are made and ready to be squared up.  Then they get the design wall treatment.


I got all the 9 inch Churn Dash blocks made that I had cut out.  For some reason that was just 40.  I have cut out 2 more since I got home and then these will be ready to take a turn on the design wall.


The 12 inch Churn Dash blocks came up 2 short too.  There are 18 finished.  It would have been 19 but I found a flaw in one of the fabrics.  The remaining 2 are now cut out although I had to introduce a new fabric into the mix since I had done such a good job at stash busting with this group.  I'll be glad to be saying goodbye to the old calicos in these two sets of blocks.
When I worked at Cloth World the calico remnants were always following  me home.


I have shared this one on the blog a couple of times.  Now there are 182 blocks ready for the design wall.  I even got the new ones pressed yesterday.


I have had this one cut out for a while.  I cut it out at the same time that I cut out another one with these fabrics.  I'll share the link back to it when these are pressed and look nice.  They are from a magazine pattern called Cottage Romance.


So you will doubtless see these babies again.  Hopefully it will be soon.  Now to give my fellow North Americans hope for the future and an end to this long winter.  Here are a couple of nice pictures of what is in my yard now.  These are late.  The last few years they have bloomed in January.


You can see there are still more to bloom.  If you look real close you may see two pink hyacinths blooming in the center.  They got a little nipped by frost this week.  I'm hoping they will bounce back this week but we are to get lots of rain.


This weekend was delightful weather wise with temps in the 60s and 70s.  Just hang in there and quilt away all you snowbound people.  Spring IS coming soon!

Check back soon for pictures from Quilt Con.  I am also feeling the need for a GIVEAWAY. 
Anybody interested?



Saturday, February 7, 2015

Progress

Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb. 
Sir Winston Churchill


I am finally able to report a little progress in the studio.  Where did January go? I had way too many days that I was not able to get into my studio.  I don't know that February will be any better since I will be taking a trip for about 11 days.  That's almost half of the month.  I will be taking my machine and computer with me so I may actually make more progress while away than I have been at home.

So what has been demanding my attention?  Well, I got to spend a little time with this little cutie.  She is eight months old now but still not too big.  She's only about 16 lbs.


She has learned how to sit up now and is very pleased with her achievement.

Speaking of achievements.  I have enrolled in a few online classes.  I'll be telling you more about them soon.  The one that I am most excited about is a photography class.  It will also be. and already has, taking some of my time away from quilting.



I got the remaining 5 checkerboard blocks finished for my quilt.  Last night I even got them pressed.  Now all I need to do is play on the design wall for a while.  There is an obvious reminder of what happens when you sew with black fabric here.  It grabs every loose thread and piece of lint it comes in contact with.  Sigh....  I do love the look of quilts with black backgrounds but I was asking myself last night if I really wanted to have a black quilt on my bed.  What do you think?  You can read a little more about this quilt HERE.





I have so many projects that I have started sitting around in my studio.  I've decided that I want to get some of them finished and out of the way this year.  This is one of them.  The Scrappy Trips Around the World blocks that I started a couple of years ago.  I had paired the strips for about 6 more blocks and had these three sliced up and ready to sew into blocks.  I got them done and pressed.  I can't say that I am all that thrilled with them.  individually I like them but together they are very busy.  I have tried to place a lighter strip in the center diagonal in each block.



The novelty prints in this one are fun!  That is a very old calico in the center from the 60s or 70s.  I think I made a blouse from it when I was in school.


The cat faces peeking out at you are fun in this one.  You can see the other blocks that I have made in THIS POST.  The link to Bonnie Hunter's Free pattern is there too.

I also came across a selection of black and white strips and strip units.  Some of them are from a guild auction a few years ago.  I was browsing through the quilting books in JoAnn a few months ago and saw a black and white quilt I liked.  It was the only quilt in the book I liked so I didn't buy it.  I don't remember who the author was but it was triangles cut from strip units like this.  A narrow bright solid strip was inserted in the center seam.

I think I will try a few of the blocks from these before I commit to a large quilt.  Maybe I should make a small project for a change.  I hear they are faster. ;-)  I seldom make anything smaller than lap size.




I have made some progress on the RSC 2015 blocks.  I have made some decisions about what to work on and got a number of blocks cut out.  I'm hoping so get some of them sewn this weekend.  DH just came home and is saying something about the movies so that may not happen either.

I also got a quilt loaded on the longarm last night that I want to get done.  Do you think I have too many things going on?  I think I either need a clone or a maid.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Do Over

Live this day as if it will be your last. Remember that you will only find tomorrow on the calendars of fools. Forget yesterday's defeats and ignore the problems of tomorrow. This is it. Doomsday. All you have. Make it the best day of your year. The saddest words you can ever utter are, If I had my life to live over again. Take the baton, now. Run with it! This is your day! Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again. 
Og Mandino


Sometimes in life we get the chance to do things over again.  Not very often. Perhaps as quilters and sewists we do.  The seam ripper is a great tool sometimes for eradicating mistakes.  Sometimes things turn out better the second or third time around.  Words and actions in relationships are a bit harder to correct.  Hopefully you don't have to correct many of those situations in your life.

This week I changed the hem on a pair of pillowcases.  I made these for my Mother a few years before she died and gave them to her with a new set of pillows.  After she died they came back home to me.  They are made of a wonderfully silky feeling lawn.  It might be a Liberty print, I don't remember.  Since I have a king size bed I decided to take the hem out and add an eyelet edging that I had in my stash so they would be long enough for king size pillows.

  
There are still a few creases that would not iron out but that will disappear in the wash.  They will be a nice memory for me when I use them.

I was so excited that the hand dyed fabrics I ordered from Vicki Welsh arrived.  They will be used in part for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2015.  I spent some time yesterday looking at the patterns I had planned to work on for the year.  Now to get up the courage to actually cut into these beauties.  There will be no chance of a do over when that happens so I want to be sure of what I want them to become.


I also figured out that I need 5 more of the checkerboard blocks I showed in the last post.  I got the strips sewn for them and now just need to make the blocks.  Then I can play with the layout on the design wall.

Guess I need to get on with it.  Hope things are going well for you without the need for a do over.
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