Thursday, May 31, 2012

Abstract cont.

Traveling to Port Gamble involved taking a ferry and driving through places that felt like we had stepped into a Norman Rockwell picture. We booked into a room in Poulsbo, about 10 minutes outside of Pt. Gamble. It's a very cute town right on the water.
There were many photo ops, here is a decorated alley.

It led to a Mexican restaurant.

Here are a few more pics from the workshop.  I really liked how this one evolved, great lines and designs.
Gwen with her new BFF's.  There was a lot of a Medallion love going on, I think Gwen's new book came out at the best time!
Here I am with my first project and here is Muriel with her front and back.  We think they are both tops.

I loved how the borders evolved on this piece.

I wish we had a few more days with Gwen in this amazing setting.
There's always next time.........

Monday, May 28, 2012

Abstract Days

I am on overload and can't seem to put my thoughts into a blog post, so I thought I'd just say it with pictures. I spent the last two days with Gwen Marston in Port Gamble, WA doing a 2 day Abstracts with Solids workshop. Look who I found wandering in town on the first morning :-)

If you haven't taken a workshop with Gwen, and it's on your bucket list, you best be making plans. Her classes book up quickly, and she has quite a following. I admit it, I'm a Gwen groupie!

 This was my piece from the first day.  I have to say, it didn't evolve like I had hoped, but I do love how it turned out.  I know the quilting will really make a difference on this piece.  It's about 20 x 20 and will fit in nicely with my other red and white pieces.

Here is my second days' work.   I got busy on my Abstract in Solids on the second day. I'm loving the process of the liberated triangles and wanted to make a piece that would give me a lot of practice on this method of piecing.  The more I do, the better I've gotten at it.

 I got this far by the end of the day.  Loving how it is working, and I can't wait to get this finished and start on the hand quilting.  The samples Gwen brought were amazing, they looked so loved and soft and the feel of the hand quilting is spectacular.

Here are a sampling of the amazing work going on in this workshop.  Creativity was oozing out of my class mates, I was constantly wowwed by their work.  I have to admit, I'm not the best with names, but here is the great work that was going on.

This is M's, she was my travel buddy and it was her first Gwen workshop!
 Love the medallion style going on here.
 These flying geese started out as square in a square.  After they got cut up into geese, the maker decided she needed some square in a square.  She was planning one more border on the top.
 Liberated Churn Dash.  Suzanne (i think?) was unsure of the liberated method of piecing, so she came with a back up, she brought a pattern to work from, just in case.  LOVE this piece.
This one is so good.

Working with neutrals and reds, this combo never fails.
Fun with some bright pastels, love the spiky border.
Love the bits of print in this, it's great.

More to follow on my next post.  Hope your weekend was wonderful.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Travelling Applique

I took a little trip on Thursday. The weather at my destination was 101. Thank goodness for the big winds, but I have to say, I was thrilled to be in a place where it was warm. OK, it was hot, but I soaked it up. Here's where I went.
Here's why I went. A marriage renewal, Elvis style!  What a fantastic weekend.
Airport gates and a window seat on the emergency exit gave me lots of time to stitch. I've now worked on this top in WA, NY, AZ and NV. It's my 'travelling' quilt.
One border appliqued, three to go.  I have the center blocks stitched together and then my iron died before I could press the seams.  I've laid the border beside it, I'll stitch the cherry stems before I attach the borders.
Over the past four days I put a lot of miles on my feet and a lot of smiles on my face. The group of people I traveled with were amazing, it was more fun that I could have ever anticipated.

Take time to have some fun, it's a great feeling to have sore cheeks from laughing so much!

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Great Day

Today is my special birthday, I turned 3 years cancer free today.  I'm going to stop counting after 5, I guess it's just the mindset that I have with the numbers. 

To make my day even better, I got an email from Carolyn Forster  She's the quilter who wrote the book, Utility Stitches. 

I'm waiting for the mailman to bring my copy that I ordered last week. Anyways, I digress to my purchase instead of talking about my win!

30's reproduction, pre cut Apple Core blocks.  Yes, PRE CUT.  My day can't get any better than this!

Hope you have a great day,

Friday, May 11, 2012

Decisions, Decisions.

It's fabulous to be at this point. I'm now in the decision making stage with all the blocks. Do I straight set them 9x9 for a 90 x 90 top?
or set them on point for a 98 x 95 top with 22 blocks left over for a small quilt?
There is more work to set it on point, but this hasn't been a fast project anyways.
So what's your preference, straight set or on point?

Gorgeous blocks

Our JT2 group met on the first Sat of the month. I have been a slacker. Look at the beautiful blocks people are making.

The keener of the group :-) Look at her go!

Verna is doing Black and White, WOW, I've said it before, this is going to be an amazing top.

My only redemtion was that I did the Grandmas Compass block by hand. I had this pineapple block already made and I've got a second strip of FG that are ready to go. I don't have the time to commit to this project but if I can do at least one of the blocks each month that will keep me on engaged in the project.

M is really doing well with her blocks.  She made extra strips of FG.  I'm sure they will come in handy down the road.

Look at how fabulous the pink and brown combo is.  We are going to get a demo on embroidery at the June meeting.  Lovely work.

I should spend more time sewing and less time on the computer! 

Hope you've got some stitching time in this week.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Long Time Coming

This quilt has been in the making for a very long time. A bit of history on this piece. I signed up for a class about six months after I learned to quilt. I realized I didn't want to waste time cutting during the class, so I got busy and cut all my strips in advance.

Then they cancelled the class.  I was a new quilter.  So I put everything into a bag.  They did tell me the class was based on a pattern in Quilts, Quilts, Quilts.  Oh, and it was out of print.

Fast forward to the rise of Amazon and Ebay.  I ordered the book and now had the recipe for this top. I carefully put all my strip sets together, carefully cut my diamond strip sets and through trial and error, learned how to offset the seams for this pattern.

The top came together and then it sat...................and sat.............and sat.

I knew I wanted to do some nice quilting in the corner squares.  I would have loved to have appliqued, but heavens, I'd moved 3 times and 9 or 10 years had passed since I cut all my strips.

Recently I saw a "new to me" tool from Lisa Calle for doing 1" grid work and I knew that was going to be my border treatment.  Did I mention I LOVE this ruler?   Yup, it rocks.  And I got my quilt quilted. It was on and off my machine a couple of times so I could keep up my customer quilts.    I was grateful to have the quilting finished when I got laid up with my knee.  It took me 3+ weeks to put the binding on it and now it needs a label and a sleeve and it will be ready to gift.

This will go into a couple of local shows before I deliver it.  I'm confident the reciever of this quilt does not read my blog, but I know she knows about quilts and believe me, this lady is very deserving of this quilt.  She has been my guiding light, the shining star keeping me on task while I took a journey through the pink doors of breast cancer.  I'm 3 years cancer free on May 14th.

Do something nice for the shining star in your life this week, it sure feels good!
ps Lesson learned with this quilt.  Value is SO important, if I was doing this exact top again today, I would swap the print single ring with the 2 rows of pink and have one row of pink where the print is.

Friday, May 4, 2012

I Wanted a Date

I know, you have to put yourself out in social situations to get a date, not sit at home with your leg up on a pillow and a glass of wine by your side.  But I really wanted a date,...........on my Beyond the Cherry Tree quilt.  I've pondered putting a vase on the bottom border and the date inside that, but when I looked at my blocks,this one seemed so big and dark.  It was the perfect place for a date and this is going to be my center block
I finally made it up the stairs at work today and got my blocks all arranged on the design wall. (Yes, we have an amazing big room with a huge design wall, thanks to Debs) This needed to be reverse appliqued so I did that tonight. Two borders have the vines and cherries stitched down. You were right, Lori, the borders do go fast. Now if only I had prepped the leaves like I did the cherries.

At least I'm getting around, I've spent every bit of home time with my leg up, trying to be a good patient. I think I'm done with that, I have too much to do and I'm way behind on my customer quilts. Losing 2+ weeks when I work full time is a lot, so I shall have my head down and be busy this weekend.

Thank goodness my lawn will get mowed while I'm at my JT2 meeting tomorrow! Nothing like gardening by check!

I hope everyone has some sunshine this weekend, we are hoping for a sunny Sunday in my corner of the world.