Friday, May 30, 2014

Q & A on Header Photo

This quilt is in my blog header and I have been asked about it several times.  I finally have this quilt back so here are the details. It's called Derailed by the Stars.  This was one of the earliest quilts that I pieced.  My understanding of color was good, I knew the difference between red and blue but I had no concept of value.  This started as a Rail Fence. 
At the time of piecing this, I was living in Vancouver, BC and did not have a car.  It was about an hour to get out to the Cloth Shop via public transit and I was working full time.  I made 2 or 3 trips out to the shop to use their design wall and every time I stood back and looked at it, the Rail Fence just didn't make sense.  This was because my lack of understanding value.  The zigzag of the blue got lost with some of the lighter blues.
After spending so many hours trying to get this together, I threw all the blocks, 260 of them, back into a bag and went home, again, with no plan.  Then I had an idea, add some stars.  We all love stars, right? 
A few weeks later, I decided to pull the blocks out of the bag, and randomly sew them together.  My only parameter was that I didn't have two of the same fabrics together.  This is what I ended up with.
Details - Blocks were made with 2" sewn into strata's and cut into strips and blocks are 4 1/2" x 4 1/2"  There are 10 stars in the body of the quilt, and four more in the border, one for each corner.  The border plaid is 4 1/2" wide.  Total of 270 blocks and it finished out at  approx. 76 x 88.  The back is cream flannel, and this is the only quilt that I have had someone else quilt.  I purchased an Americana variegated thread of red, blue and cream and brought that to the quilter.  She quilted a pantograph of loops and stars all over.  The binding was made with scraps of blues.
This is one of my favorite quilts and I learned a lot from this piece. My struggles trying to put a round peg in a square hole made me start thinking outside the box. So what if what we start isn't what we finish?  As long as I learn something new, am challenged, and enjoy the process, then it will be a successful quilt.

I'm off to Vashon Island for a day trip with my fellow Running with Scissors guild members. We have an appointment here.  Yes, I have my guy's credit card, I'm ready for the day!

Enjoy  your weekend,

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I Had to Share This

I have no idea where I picked up this picture. I would love to have it painted on a canvas and hang it in my house.

How true are these words????


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Yellow Stars

This lovely lady arrived at my LQS while I was there one day. She was looking for a border print for this quilt and after having the great staff work with her, she ended up with backing and a binding fabric.
She thought she needed to make this bigger and was convinced her granddaughter wouldn't like this. 
We all loved it and convinced her that it was worthy of gifting out to her g.d.
There is metallic embroidery on all these flowers and if you can click and enlarge (not sure how my tablet is cooperating with this) you will see the centers are filled with different colored stitching knots.
I couldn't resist twirling feathers for the border of this quilt, along with feathering the setting triangles.  The rest of the quilt was kept simple, outlining and terry twists in the solid squares.
This lady is getting up there in years and when she dropped off the quilt, she had all the binding cut.  I asked if she wanted me to finish the top for her, and questioned if it was just too much to wrangle the quilt to put the binding on.  In fact, it's her eye sight that is failing.  I prepped all the binding, attached it, and did all four corners with hand stitching.  I had a few minutes the other night and got one side completely done, a little surprise for her when she gets her quilt back tomorrow.

I think her grand daughter will treasure this quilt and I hope the quilter lets her know that this will probably be her last quilt.  What a wonderful gift, from her heart and hands.  I think that's why most of us quilt!


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Flag Waving

Many thanks to all those who have served, my grandfather, my father, my friends, and to all the families who have active and past service men and women in their family. You are appreciated.

I love this little tumber piece, it's perfect for the door.  With Memorial Day in May, Flag day in June, 4th of July, I've got my door covered!


who's 35 yr old g.f. is in boot camp right now.  Go Haley Go

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Solid Wedges and Stars

Busy, busy.  I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed this week.  I have a long list of things to do and I want to do them all this week.  I know it's not going to happen, but one can always dream! 

I'm playing with solids this week and am loving it. It's been a few years, yes, years, since I've worked with my solids and I don't know why.  They are great to work with.

I tried bordering the center star with all these scrappy wedges, but thought it was too heavy in the middle.  Plus I made some blocks a very funky size.  Now it's about making things work.

Another idea that failed.  It needs more blocks along the top and I'm not prepared to make any more blocks.  I could go on and on with these, they are addictive and fun, but I only want a small sample.  So............

I've now decided to add onto the four medium sized blocks and make them the same size as the center block.  I'm going to float the 4 smaller blocks with more background fabric, but make them off centered so they don't line up.  Then the whole piece will be bordered with wedges.  At least that's what is rolling around in my mind today. 

Here I've used larger wedges to make a jewel toned table runner.  Quilt Table topper in a day, and I couldn't resist a little change up with the binding colors.  A little piece of light purple added a little liberated touch. 

The past month has been busy making samples for workshops.  It's pushed me out of my comfort zone of colors and fabrics, as I'm trying to make samples in a variety of colors/prints.  I start with my favorite and work out from there.  By the time I got to the final sample, everyone who has peeked at it has told me it's their favorite, so I am on the right track.  Having the time to be in my studio, without interruptions, has been amazing.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Variety = Spice of Life (and Quilting)

The doll quilt swap has been finished for a few weeks, but I pulled out the second piece and finished it. I LOVE how this turned out. Inspired by a quilt in a Jo Morton book. If I could find the book I'd share the title with you, but geez, my sewing room needs an overhaul. That's on my list for this coming week.
So a little retail therapy never hurts.  I couldn't resist a sale on the Party of Twelve collection by Judie Rothermel.  This is the first time I've ever bought a collection of any CW prints, so it was a big splurge.  It's all washed and folded, just waiting to be cut and sewn into something. 

This came out of hiding this week, it's from a Gwen Marston workshop I took several years ago.  I have to say, it still appeals to me and I'm going to get back at it once I clean up.  This is a project that I have to have the whole table cleaned off and at least a few hours of uninterrupted sewing time.

How cute is this!  Joyce from Wash Tub Quilts put out a call for I Spy blocks.  I happened to have this perfect sized cowboy and since it is going to a young man, I thought it would do the trick.   Joyce organized many online swaps that I participated in, it seems like such a small way to give back. 

What's happening in your sewing room these days?  The gardens and yards are challenging our quilting time.


Friday, May 9, 2014


I'm ticking along on my Metro Rings quilt from my workshop with Jenny Pedigo. I have 18 of 36 blocks completely done, 6 in some degree of process and all the pieces cut for the remaining 12 blocks.

I've been giving this pattern a test run, having fun playing with Metro Hoops.

I had some issues once I went to put the finished blocks together.  The four corner triangles would not line up, and yet the blocks went together perfectly.  They were all the same size.  What the heck?
When in doubt, ask the designer.  Jenny took one look at my blocks and noticed I had cut my 'hoops' two different sizes.  Yup, I sure did.  But I had this all together and it was so pretty.  Time to test out Jenny's quilting motif.  I think I did a pretty good job copying her design.  I have some variations, but the core design is from her piece.

Now I know where to put registration marks for the quilting, I know where to look on the ruler when it comes to cutting rings, and I know how the whole concept of this pattern works. Testing out something new is always a good idea. 

Stay tuned for version two.

My sew day got postponed.  My guy has been sick this week and this morning was too much for me, so off to the Dr. he went.   He's now on antibiotics, and guess who has the sore scratchy throat now???

Off to stitch a binding,

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Black, White, and a Colorful Backing

My sewing buddy has a unique way of making fabulous quilts. She's color blind, so working with white is usually her "go to" background. She also loves machine embroidery and she added some terrific touches to this quilt which shall remain in her home.

She had a Japanese print panel and after adding some black all around, she had a gorgeous backing

I met MF at a LQS where I used to live, we were taking a machine applique class together, and she phoned me a few weeks later to do our first and only shop hop.  Then I moved away.  She had battled a terrible cancer the year before I met her, and here we are, 10+ years later, going strong and making more quilts!

She is one of the most positive and upbeat people I know and I truly enjoy every minute I spend with her.  We are having a get together this Friday, and it's long overdue.

She leaves me in the summer now, as she and her DH have a place in the hot sunny Okanogan and they enjoy the relaxed retired life there during the summer.

The quotes on this quilt are things we could all relate to, I'm blessed to have her in my life and I'm grateful for our friendship!

Hope you get some stitches in today,

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Perfect Cabin Quilt

I've had some fun quilts in my studio lately. This is the perfect outdoors/cabin quilt. I can imagine it in a log house on a big bed with flannel sheets!

MB wanted all the applique to be embellished, so the roof now has scalloped tiles.  There are stars in the sky,

leaves in the bears paws and all around the tree trunks.

Snow capped mountains

and I couldn't resist a wreath of leaves in the open square plaid.

She used a beautiful flannel for the backing and I'm thrilled with how it turned out.  It's fun to step out of the all over quilting,  and watching this quilt come to life is the joy of quilting for me.

I've love to be your quilter, if you are interested you can contact me via my blog or email. 


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Traditional Blocks

It seems that many of the new patterns that appeal to me are steeped in tradition. I decided to flip through some of the 'state quilt' books that I own and fell in love with this block. There are several variations and sizes, but after testing a 9" center (too big) and a 4" center (too small) I settled on a 6" center.

This is a classics Double Sawtooth and it is perfect for using the Easy Angler ruler for all those HST's. I've got the pressing all figured out so every seam will nest together, but haven't got the math done for the setting triangle squares.  I want them to be 1/2 blocks so I'll let out my drafting paper and make a test block.  I'm using 2 prints for each block and have a stack of 35 prints for this top. It will be a long term project, my goal is to cut all the fabric and bag each block together. It will make a great sew day project and I have one coming up in June with our guild.

On a garden note, a lovely trillium growing in my guys garden.

The lilacs and Rhodies are breaking out in bloom, the scent is heavenly. Hoping the rain stays away today, my Dad's horse is running in the first race at Exhibition Park in Vancouver. It will be a family affair, as we all love to show up and support Dad and his horse hobby! I'm hoping to get my picture taken in the winners circle, but so are 9 other families!

Have a great Kentucky Derby day,