Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sorry I've been away from my blog

Evidently, between the trip to Sisters and the trip to WSU, I managed to catch a awful cold, but am much better now and trying to get caught up.

I did manage to sew a few seams in one of my quilting projects, but my brain was a little fuzzy, and after ripping and re-sewing, I decided it would be best if I worked on small, projects and made this Little Wallet from a pattern and kit that I purchased while in Sisters. The quality isn't quite as nice as I would usually do, but hey, I've got a little wallet that I can use, instead of a project waiting to be made.

I also made some progress on the gusset heel sock. Good thing it's only stockinette, as I didn't have to keep track of a stitch pattern and made progress without ripping:-)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Skinny Quilts & Table Runners review and giveaway

Ok, here's the stack of books I'm starting with, and the first book I'd like to tell you about is:

Skinny Quilts and Table Runners is a wonderful book showcasing table runners designed by 15 different designers (in their own style), which I would love to have on my table. As I turn the page to each new design, I see another beautiful runner, and wish I had time to make all of them. If I didn't already own a copy, I’d be tempted to keep it for myself, or running to the store to purchase it.

Some of the runners, like the Rosy Runner and Summer Picnic are quick and easy designs that I could see making as an almost last minute gift, while others like the cover quilt, Arc-i-TEXTURE stimulate my love to try out new techniques. By the SEA wants me to make it to hang on my wall, Arnold MARATHON and TEA 4 Two say “party” to me, and A Garden of SEASONS is calling me to make it, just so I can work with wool! I’m hoping I’ll have a chance to make one of these soon, but since I love all the projects in Skinny Quilts & Table Runners, there’s no telling which one could be first!
All you need to do is leave me a comment on this post by August 1st (including some way to contact you) to be included in the drawing, and on Monday, August 2nd, one of you will win Skinny Quilts & Table Runners. Good luck!

Knitting on the road

My Serendipity Socks are finished!!! They've been on the needles for a while, but only because I haven't had time to work on them. This past weekend there were two 5-1/2 to 6 hour rides, so there was lots of knitting time, and they're now ready to wear when it cools off around here!

Of course, I couldn't let the needles stay empty for long, and came prepared to start another pair just as soon as the others were finished. These are the Gusset Heel Basic Socks from the the book Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy D. Johnson, and I'm getting there. Next month there's another long road trip and unless I end up doing the driving, I can see lots of progress on this pair, but only time will tell:-)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

BB Bag finished, giveaways to come

My wonderful publisher, That Patchwork Place / Martingale & Co. has invited me to review and give away some books!!! I'll try to figure out a schedule that will work and give you all time to enter the drawings, so tell your friends the giveaways are coming!

My new friend Gretchen made a BB Bag while we were sharing a house in Sisters. A picture of her bag can be found in her Wednesday slide show here.

I loved the size and look of her bag, and managed to find the pattern in a local shop, but only managed to get it cut out while we were there. It's a small, easy to make bag, and I'm hoping it will enable me to carry essential items when I don't want to carry a big purse!





Wednesday, July 14, 2010

More Pic's from Sisters

Most quilt shows have some vendors, and the Sisters Quilt Show is no exception, although being an outdoor show, with the quilts being hung around town, there is a lot more variety, and colorful displays are everywhere. I love the colorful stars and bird houses outside of this shop!

Nearby was a vendor that had some beautiful baskets for sale - boy was I being tempted, and I did manage to settle with a picture:-)

The town is charming, and there are lots of cute houses, this one having a canoe on the roof to hold their rose garden up where the deer can't reach!

Many people bring their dogs along, and this one is a Havanese, with such a sweet temperment, it was nice to visit with them for a few minutes.

Flowers are everywhere, and I love the way they included this wagon and filled it with flowers!

One of my housemates found an interesting garden on her daily walks. The lady that lives there actually has her bed on a covered deck in summer, so that she can sleep outside! I'm sure you could find her if you asked for The Garden Angel.

I've always wondered how they get the quilts hung and taken down from the side of the Stitchin' Post, and now I've seen what they do. The firemen come with their truck and ladders and help hang and take down the quilts - imagine that!

A close-up:

Sisters Quilt Show

Let's begin with the most important picture - my friend Cathy purchased this beautiful quilt at the show, and here she is with the lady that quilted it!!! Ellen and I had been walking around the show with her and Cathy was really attracted to this one. She said it would look great at her house and was wondering if it would fit her bed, and as she pulled off the sales tag to purchase it there was cheering by a group of people behind us! What I remember of the quilt's story is that there is a group of quilter's that enter a number of quilts for sale into the show, with the proceeds of those sold donated to a hospital. The lady that made this top had passed away and the top had been donated to their group, and they were very happy that it had sold and would be going to a new home. Another interesting thing is that Cathy is an anesthesiologist at her local hospital, and the sale of the quilt benefits their hospital! What are the chances of this happening?

There are also vendors in Sisters, and one of my regrets last year was not purchasing an antler basket from this booth. Of course I had to remedy the situation, so she's posing with the basket that I bought!

One of my favorite parts of the show is the teacher booth. There are so many beautiful quilts they have to hang some of the largest outside of the tent! This one is "Woody and the Seashell" by Janet Fogg.

Even though most of my current work with textiles includes my sewing machine, I used to do quite a bit of handwork and have started playing with wool and some of Sue Spargo's patterns. This one is on the cover of her book "Contemporary Folk". If I could have fit more classes into the week before the show, I would have liked to have added a class with her.

Barbara Shapel's herons are so beautiful, and I'm sure many of you have seen this quilt before, but I couldn't help posting it.

I've got more pictures from the show, so another post to come...

Quilting Classes in Sisters

I'm still unpacking and getting caught up around here after a week of fun in Sisters, OR. Instead of one extremely long post, I thought I'd break it up into a few separate posts, with pictures of my class projects as I get them unpacked.

Since I don't often have the chance to take classes, I thought I'd fill my days with them while I was there. My week started off in Karla Alexander's "Critical Stash Mass" class, and yes, I cut all the pieces from my stash!

Next up was Unexpected Combinations with Janet Fogg, which was a two day design class. Since I came to class with interesting, but more complex pictures and Dover images, I was happy to have an almost finished design! Here's Janet with her "Caddy and the Cakes" quilt:

Thursday was spent in Barbara Shapel's "Painting with Thread" class, where we learned her method of quilting beautiful double sided quilts. We worked with stencils, embroidery of a heron's head and shading the moon, as she does in many of her quilts. Here's a close up of one of her quilts, showing heron's heads and the moon:

Friday was another easy day spent working with fabric strips to make an abstract landscape in Vivienne Moore's Oasis class. Again, all the fabric for my quilt is coming from my stash (yes, I have a lot of fabric!), although I'm working in quite a different colorway than her quilt. Mine is in blue / green / teal, with peachy pink as my accent color. Here's the sample she had in our classroom:

The week was so much fun, I can't wait until next year!!!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Sunrise quilt and a little more Madrona info.

One of my readers asked about my construction methods for the Madrona quilt - did I use a freezer paper pattern. The short answer is no, but it is mostly because of the size of it. I'll have to go into more detail in another post, however here is a quilt that I found I had forgotten to blog, that I did use freezer paper to construct the borders. When I looked for it's picture, it seems it wasn't blogged because I only had fuzzy pictures, and I have remedied that by taking some new ones:-)

The center panel, and all the fabrics were either hand painted by me with Pebeo fabric paints, or hand dyed with Procion MX dyes. The first thing I did was pin the center panel up on the wall and measure it, and then I tore two pieces of freezer paper that were longer than the quilt's size in either direction to allow for sewing together and squaring up. Each piece was divided lengthwise, then pinned around the quilt, and then the wavy lines were roughly sketched in place.

One strip was cut out to work with at a time and divided into sections when needed(offset from one another). The freezer paper was pressed to the front of the fabric, and then it was trimmed, leaving about 1/4" seam allowance. The seam allowance of the applique pieces that were to be on top was glue basted to the wrong side, and then the pieces were glue basted together. Once I had a couple rows complete, I began stitching the sections together with a tiny blind hem stitch.

A flange of folded fabric was basted in place around the panel and then the border was added. For the side panels, I made a clean cut on the side that was to be sewn to the panel, and then stitched them on and trimmed them to the same length as the panel, and then repeated with the upper and lower panels. I decided to do a free hand cut outer edge, and then a traditional binding and sleeve to finish it up.

Close up of the sun:

Here's a close up of the water:

And a close up of the sky:

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Madrona - progress

My progress is much slower than I would like, although I do have quite a few other things going on, as well as getting ready for the trip to Sisters, OR for classes and the quilt show. Part of the problem I'm having is my work area, and it's also the reason I don't have the greatest pictures for you to see. I'm working with the fabric pinned to the wall, yes, the wall, and in a hall, no less - no nice design wall to pin into, no way to stand back, and with the large size of this quilt, my little door peep isn't really helping very much. The layers are pinned together, so I can take it off the wall and lay it on the floor for a different view, but I don't have wall space where I can work on it - the nice wall space happens to be in the living room, and I really can't work there.

So far I have created the background panel and am working on the tree layout. Once I'm happy with the layout and overall tree shape, I can add shading, highlights and details - in other words, details. With collage, quilts move along at their pace, and sometimes they morph in ways you wouldn't have thought, so only time will tell how it comes out. I've taken pictures fromthe left, right and also a closer picture of the larger tree on the right to give you some idea of what I'm doing.