Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thursday morning just chatting

I pulled and washed fabric for the backing to piece for the Koi top-but just ran out of steam to actually cut fabric last night. I got home on the very late side having driven across town to have my bangs trimmed. Every few months my hair stylist place of business is included in an art walk event, and he had a friend upstairs hanging her paintings. Naturally I went up to check it out and it turned out she also was a quilter. I had brought my Kindness quilt to show to my hair stylist as over the years we have become good friends. At any rate, it was fun to pull it out and hear rave comments on it and the artist and I exchanged contact info so when she is ready to dive back into quilting we will get together. She wants to play with "painting" on fabric and I am totally up for playing along. We both love color and it was so inspiring to meet a fellow artist who shares a similar approach in terms of color use and abstract design. In blogland I can find plenty of like-minded quilters/artists to enjoy, it's a little more challenging to find them in person where I live. And, that has a lot to do with the fact that I have a day job I need to go spend 9 hours at. She and I agreed, boy would we prefer to be working away on our art when inspired than having to stop and go make a living!
I can't say I am inspired to work on this back, it's just at this point in my brain, a chore I must do. I have committed to tonight being my deadline to finish it so tomorrow I can drop it off at the quilter's house. I find I need to push myself with a time goal at this stage of the quilt game.
I need to settle on the quilt design for the booty swap project -I drew out one idea, but now a few others have come to me. I don't want to cut my time working on it too short, so that is the next step, settle on a design and get started.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Koi top completed

I have been putting in time morning and night to get this top done. It measures 85 inches by 90 .5 inches...good size120 for a bed quilt. As you will note, it doesn't really fit all that well up on the design wall- sorry, it is the best I could do tonight. This is all fabric from BJ's Quilt Shop in Bend Oregon- bought July 11th with this in mind.
I designed the quilt around the Koi center fabric-straightening out the edges and using it intact. Our friend Denise built the hugest koi pond in the state of Utah by our estimation. What better fabric to make a quilt for her from?
I made Denise a quilt years ago and she always said she needed another one-what a surprise this will be when it shows up. Since D retired, my sweetie has been driving out to spend a few weeks of vacation with her each year. I am thrilled this quilt will be ready to send along with her. I have to piece a back for it next. There is some of the smaller koi fabric left- that will get used up and I just need to raid the stash and see what else I can put together.
I will drop off with my longarm gal and she will fit it in around her other 25 quilts...lucky me. I admit, I am not overly fond of making huge quilts much anymore-but I seem to average about 2 or 3 a year despite myself.
I did spend time during the weekend hand quilting on the K project..once I decided on the color of perle cotton and where to begin. I have my booty swap project up next. I came up with another idea over the weekend and want to play around with that idea. Sometimes it takes more time to decide what you want to do, than doing it!


Friday, July 25, 2008

something different

the wacky FAB challenge was revealed tonight as we gathered online and opened our packages from each other. I can show what I made for Pat and what I received from Norma...we all did FABulous things with the challenge fabric, and they were all different from each other.
Pam and Norma found this 8 purple piece of fabric at a Jo-Ann shop I believe and decided it would make great challenge fabric for all of us. I took my piece of fabric and cut the 8 different purple patterns apart and turned them into small rail blocks. We could add two more fabrics and I chose green and yellow- thus creating a Billie Lauder inspired heart wall hanging. The octagon table topper is a specialty of Norma's- and one of the great things about it, is how much I have wanted one of these but was too lazy to make it! Now I have one, in my favorite color and I don't need to make it, just enjoy it. Thanks Norma!
I have all my Koi blocks made and one set stitched together into a row- ready to be joined to the center panel. All sewing machine projects will be at a stand still while we enjoy visiting family at the beach. I am taking hand quilting, and this time I think I will actually do some stitching. The weather is forecast to be not so warm and that sounds just right to me. Zoe will have Molly their golden to play with and we all should have a happy time together. You all have a lovely weekend and I will check back on Sunday night.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

another round of Sisters Quilt show photos

It's nice to have so many photos to share and be of interest to other quilters stopping by-
the alligator is not a quilt- it was artwork in one of the local bookstores I really, really liked-inspiration fodder ! The horse photo is another of those mosiacs from a photo,11,397 one inch pieces, 54 fabrics, for sale at $3,500, made by Wanda Barkhurst, 91 inches by 119 inches, her sister machine quilted it and that is her standing by the quilt-and the title of it is Rock It. The last two photos feature a Portland fabulous quilter and award winner-Janet Fogg's work . The folded log cabin quilts are by a Bend quilter, Sarah Kaufman. Taking photos of their bios was a good idea-just not always photo handy. On the home front, I continue to make progress on the Koi project and work this week has slowed so's hard to stay awake at my desk! I have very limited paid time off, two weeks a year-period. No sick or personal time off days are paid benefits, which means
taking time off would be unpaid and the budget doesn't allow for much of that! I am going to go visit LMAW (littlemissalicewonderful) after work tonight however. We are off to the beach this weekend and too much time away from this precious child is just not acceptable to me.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

another batch of Sisters Quilt Show photos

If you can't be there, photos are the next best thing it's been commented. I thought I would share more of my favorites-I am busy on the Koi project-one block done and a whole lot of chain piecing ahead. I played a part in tonight's guild program on charity quilts-sharing about my small group and the quilts we make for Wraptheminlove. Since our group started in July 2001-we have donated 714 quilts to wrap children in loving warmth. Considering we average 4 people once a month getting together and making quilts-I would say we rock!


Saturday, July 19, 2008

it's my turn...

What a fabulous day it has been! And, not just because I completed the k project top, nope, besides that, the sun came out and I mopped the kitchen/hallway/ and entry way...I just love walking on clean floors in my bare feet ! So I did not have to feel guilty about ignoring the housework entirely. I am happy dancing with how this top turned out-I just love it.
My sweetie did the errands and as I hoped, I never left the house. Now, I will have to decide on a backing and get this sandwiched up. I pretty much know how I want to quilt it and as I kept it on the small side, that should not take nearly as long as the pink quilt I have started. This came out 29 inches by 26 inches..just in case you wondered. I have two more current projects to work on next. One is the booty swap-which I have two different ideas for and the other is the Koi quilt for our friend in Utah. And, it's only July 19th-plenty of time to have these done by the end of the month if I keep at it. I will work out in the garden tomorrow-the trade I made for sticking with the K project today with myself.


4th day of Sisters photos

Nothing like fun quilt photos for visitors to enjoy stopping by - this works out as I continue making progress on the k project- I spent about 45 minutes yesterday morning before leaving for work to move it along. I am putting up 5 photos today- I am sure you will figure out what they all have in common :-) Today I plan on spending the morning in my jammies stitching and at some point-will put in some garden work time out front. This is my favorite kind of day. If I am lucky, I won't ever get in my car and go anywhere. There is an online retreat going on this weekend on a quilting list I am part of-another motivation to stitch and make some headway.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

day three of Sisters photos...

Here's the thing- so far I have uploaded 12 photos to my flickr site- cher0427 is the name I use-however, they have been taking forever to load. So...I am going to keep posting a few here until I get them all up there. I know lots of folks are putting up their own photos too-I am sure you can find them by going to flickr and putting in Sisters Quilt Show.
And, I am also showing my progress on my summer class-my k project. Also, more good news, my longarm quilter has my jigsaw puzzle top on her frame. woohoo! project is pretty obvious-it's not pieced together except for the letters..I still need to play around with all the color around them.

I am uploading from Sisters a series of quilts from a class given by someone-sorry I did not jot down their name-but they all have black and white four patches in them...and thanks for the great comments..out of 1,200 quilts I only took photos of about 90 of them-and some are multiple shots, or someone walked in front of me as I was taking the photo. Plus, I chose not to take photos of quilts that, though beautiful, are not my style- there were quilts of every possible type- civil war, 30's, plaids, brights, hand dyes, batiks, on and get the idea.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

more Sisters photos

a few more photos - the two that remind me of Gwen Marston were taught by Toni Phillips and made by her students-apparently she is a well known and popular local quilt teacher. The dog quilt is from another pattern-but I did not take down any information. I am going to take a look at my flickr account and see about uploading the majority of the photos I took at Sisters there.
I chose to put a few bright quilts here as they were just so much fun to see in person. If you click on the photos, they do enlarge. I have packed up my Wacky FAB challenge and will mail it off tomorrow. I also finished the binding on the king size bed quilt-so tonight was good in wrapping up two ongoing projects. I started hand quilting a pink quilt from last fall-made from leftover fabrics from the quilt I made one of my dil's for Christmas. I found every color of perle cotton I could imagine at BJ's Quilt Shop in Bend, OR...oh my. All I will say is I spent most of my money on a large sack filled with these gems. I pulled a pink one to use on the quilt. When I get a bit more quilting done, I will share a photo-but I have barely started so there is not enough to take a photo yet! This is my first time using perle cotton for hand quilting and I due to using a fabric foundation for the string blocks..I am already realizing why I meant to machine quilt it. Oh well, it will just be a bit more work to quilt through the extra layer of fabric. Next up is cutting the fabric we found to make a quilt for a friend who lives in Utah.
We found the perfect focus fabric and it only took me fifteen minutes to come up with a quilt design and figure yardage. I have it washed and ready for cutting too. I want to use the blocks for this new quilt as a leader/ender project as I continue on the K project.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

first photos from Sisters Quilt Show

It's time to kick off photo sharing of Sisters Oregon Quilt Show- a terrific outdoor event held every year on the second Saturday of the month of July.
Dot had 4 quilts entered in this show- we managed to find 2 of them-and I am sharing my photos just to give her a chance to see them hanging up- they both sold by the way. I took about 93 photos and have uploaded and labeled them all for now. I did not find several quilts by blogland friends-with over 1,200 quilts, it was a lot to hunt down and see. Sometimes due to the crowds and placement, it was impossible to see the information on the printed labels attached to the quilts. It certainly recharged my batteries for inspiration-though honestly, I have been having so much fun in my quilting area, I was not lacking for inspiration to begin with! And though I took some hand quilting with me, I never did take a stitch while being away. At any rate, plenty of blog fodder until I have something new to share.


Friday, July 11, 2008

inspiration thoughts

I recently was chatting with a new quilting friend and something she said has really stuck with me. She waited until she retired to learn quilting. She seems close to my age, so I think she was very smart and was able to retire early-but imagine waiting years to learn to quilt. She does wonderful quilting and is a delightful person.
We know we are all different and diverse people/quilters. Some stick to patterns and make a quilt "just like" the photo example. Others wander off on new paths creating their inner vision of a quilt. There is a wide world of types of quilting to explore. I can remember being too timid to cut into my fabric and overwhelmed by having to choose a pattern. An online friend suggested five inch squares and just stitch them up into rows. That was exactly what I did. I learned that fqs are not always enough fabric to make the pattern you want in your quilt. I learned to machine quilt straight lines on that quilt and my first charity quilt was done. That was back in January 2000.
I had done some quilting previously in my life, but, that date marks the real entry into full tilt quilting for me. I bought books, patterns, rulers, fabric, more fabric, lots of fabric and discovered quilt shops and fellow quilters online and then in person.

So, I made a few quilts before taking my first quilting classes. Almost all my ufos are from taking classes back in the early years, with a few more during the last few years of projects I wanted to try pattern ideas out on and then got sidetracked.

Inspiration? In the beginning, from books and quilts I saw in person. When the world expanded to include blogging and photos online-wow! inspiration overload is easy to have happen.

I noticed however, that lots of folks would see a quilt and be thrilled to make one close to it or just like it or their own version of it. And I did the same-with grateful thanks to those folks for sharing their pattern sources.

The years have gone by and now I find myself inspired more by my own ideas and wanting to capture them in fabric. I embraced Gwen Marston's whole playful - see-what-happens style of quilting. I have expanded into more abstract type playing and found validation in playing with straight lines - like those I drew as a doodling young student in class, being acceptable as a quilting design. I like quilting with little regard for rules or the "quilt police". And, I still enjoy doing a traditional patten quilt at times too.
The main change I have been mulling is: how I enjoy seeing what other quilters do, but, does that influence my own originality? Think about all the quilts you have seen and/or read about.
We know many folks come up with the same idea in the same time -a pattern independent of each other but so similar-who can say which person actually came up with it "first"? And, folks can share great ideas, but, someone else entirely can put that idea into a book and claim credit.
So, do you limit your exposure to others quilty ideas to stay un-influenced? It can be rather like writing music, with so much already out there, coming up with something "new" can be daunting.

I find it useful to take a break from the outside world and just focus on my own thing at times.
I think it is great fun to take someone's idea and allow it to be the springboard for your own work. I also think it is relaxing to follow someone's pattern and not have to think at all to make a beautiful quilt too. Today, you can chose to express your inspiration in your own way.

Tomorrow I am choosing to be inspired by all the wonderful quilts waiting at the Sisters Quilt Show. My camera is charged and I will come home to enjoy photo memories of the quilts I liked best.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Meet up at Sisters anyone?

I find each day so filled, it's hard to believe it's Thursday already. I went over to play with Alice last night and only took a few photos before the batteries went dead on me. I have made a few more letters (woohoo!) and can see that part almost done now. I am not as far along as I was aiming for, but, I have been enjoying the process and that is great. The challenge of keeping the letters on the small size and more consistent is making my brain work hard *vbs*!

I have been stitching a king size binding down in the evenings while we continue to watch season 2 of Veronica Mars...we are still enjoying it a lot. Too bad there are only 3 seasons in total - we are checking these out from the library, what a score.

It seems there are likely to be many other bloggers at Sisters on Saturday- over at the stashbuster list, we have a date to meet up at 1 pm in front of the library- I invite any other blogger to show up if you want to meet in person myself and a few other wonderful quilters. We are going to be wearing a red bandana for those who did not meet up last year with us.

I will save for tomorrow a post on quilt inspiration...


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Sunday update...

I am at the binding stage of both the kingsize quilt and the WFC. I thought I would throw up a photo of the k project for Tonya's summer class - the one that was more in my head than on the design wall until this weekend. It is the main focus now. It was a bit challenging to get back into the letter making groove..I needed some refreshing on mostly getting a letter the "size" I want-I am doing small as in not capital small letters, which are new to me and a bit tricky. I look at all of T's letters and boy the years of making them sure show. I am working from the sewing table scrap collection and loving the playing part. this photo is a tease, as I do not know how it will end up really being arranged..I have a whole lot more letters that need to be made. The whole thing I want to keep small sized too. Sad that today is my last day to play as I please. However, I am feeling pretty much over the sick thing now and though not ready to go out and do manual labor i.e. serious gardening (much in need of doing!) I am up for visiting Alice Wonderful and another round of cooking for family tonight. We have not decided whether I am cooking here or there-I need to call and check in with my son about that idea. I would love to get this project to the top and hand quilting stage by Friday morning. We leave for Sisters that day. We are spending the night at Bend and will be at the Sisters Quilt Show first thing Saturday morning. I will have a charged camera ready to capture some of the most wonderful quilts I know we will find there.

However, there will be plenty of quilting time-driving/ hanging out at the hotel room/driving home. A quilter needs her handwork don't you think?

And, be still my heart- my dil has brought up a quilting project she wants me to do for/with her...oh..oh...turns out she really enjoys hand work-sewing handwork. She is interested in learning/doing hand quilting. And, garment sewing for you suppose this could be the start of something really special? yes...I do believe so...I am going to hold back my wild enthusiasm and tread very lightly into this new realm. She and I share the trait of thinking about doing things over a long, long time before we are ready to plunge in. Some call it procrastination, I think it is more like knowing when you are really ready.

And to wrap up the quilty goodness, I have settled on an idea for my booty swap project. I can show some teases of is going to be really fun to work on!


Saturday, July 05, 2008

update on quilting

I am so much better today than yesterday. Yesterday, I managed to piece together the secret WFC (wacky fabs challenge) the FABS group challenge and sandwiched it too. Today I will quilt it up and be one step closer to having it ready to mail off. We are not allowed to share any photos until after the group reveal. Trust me when I tell you it turned out so great, my sweetie complained it was being sent away! I also pinned her quilt, which will go traveling with her to Utah in September. She chose the same butterfly flannel backing fabric as I used as the border and backing on my rail trip around the world, a year ago this month. At least the label says I finished the binding on July 7th 2007. I know I posted at least one photo of that quilt as it really tells you what fabrics I love best. So, yesterday was pretty productive in the quilty sense. Today I have machine stitched the miles of binding on the king size quilt- tonight I can sit and watch tv and do the hand part. It was not a problem replacing that quilt on the bed-plenty more to throw on as needed. I also want to put the K summer class project back up on the design wall and make serious progress on it. I figure I can quilt the small WFC and then do some piecing. I am so close to having the K piece ready for putting together into a top...I really want to see that happen today/tonight. Plus new photos of it would be nice here too. I am throwing salmon into the oven tonight for dinner-throw some veggies together and it's a done deal. By the way, I made chicken enchiladas last night thanks to LJ saying she was making them for supper-I had all the ingredients and they turned out great. Lots of those for leftovers too.

And, inspiration has struck for my booty swap-I now have a great great idea to play with. And, it will use the scraps on my sewing table too. I am beginning to think having a pile of bright scraps on the sewing table is a good thing!

Life is good!


Thursday, July 03, 2008

almost quilting

Monday allergies hit me in a major way. All week I have been miserable and can't decide if it is really allergies or a bad head cold- whatever it is has zapped my energy and constant watering eyes makes using a rotary cutter very challenging. However, I kept on and was able to post my postage stamp squares swap today (going to Scotland). I ended up doing 25 sets using 50 different fabrics. I used from the scrap basket near the ironing board in the fabric room and when suitable fabric was exhausted from there, I raided the scraps on my sewing table. I was too lazy to actually get to my fabric shelves and pull from them. I have plenty of fun sewing I could be doing-but the library left a message that season two of Veronica Mars is in and we only have 2 discs left of season one to watch. What great timing! My sweetie is a total video/tv/movie buff - always watching something. I wander in and if it catches my interest, pretty soon I am sitting down and engrossed.
Coming home each night after struggling through the work day feeling terrible, it has been nice to lounge and watch this entertaining series. I will get some extra sleep tomorrow morning and plan on puttering in the garden and the same in the quilting space. I am anxious to get back to my letter K's and wrap up that top. I am quite looking forward to hand quilting it. I have been adding to my perle cotton collection- I found one ball of black size 8 perle in Georgia and bought it. I need to take Finn's advice on buying some clear pencil boxes for storing my growing collection of perle balls. I left work early today and stopped at the market for groceries -we shouldn't starve now. I really enjoy cooking when I am home all day and can approach it with more of a leisurely attitude. Sleeping, and a bit of this and that is pretty much the plan for the next three days-I am at the cranky stage of putting up with this head stuffiness/nose dripping, eyes watering business, I assure you. M's mission is to take good care of me and I am following orders-I am to drink a large glass of wine tonight...I think I can do that easily :-) Here's to feeling better and enjoying what the next three days bring.