Thursday, January 31, 2013

WIP

Now that I'm recovered from the quilt show, I finished two more applique blocks.  Well, they are fused, but not stitched down yet, so I guess I can't really call them 'finished', but they are ALMOST done.  I'm not looking forward to doing all this edge stitching, but right now I've got so many other projects calling my name that I don't know when I'm going to get to all this edge stitching. 



 This is the loon, and I have to say it was'nt easy finding a black and white striped batik for the neck.  I finally found a  black batik with white feathers and fussycut the neck from one piece of feather.  I'm happy with how she came out.


Trees - they look pretty, but they are a bear to sew around al those wiggly edges with a machine blanket stitch.

My guild is holding a challenge this year.  We had to pick two paint chips at random (they were face down on a table) and we have to make a quilt from those two colors.  We get to add one color of our choice as a third color, plus we're allowed a background of any color.  There had to be a 9 patch somewhere in the quilt.   I picked two colors of purple, one a reddish violet and the other a true purple.  I have added indigo as my third color, and for now my 'background' color, which I will be using in the foreground, will remain a secret.  Here is my base template for the quilt:






I'll be adding some applique in my 'foreground' color, and lots of embellishments, with some beading and such as well.  I've been working on building the embellishments and have to start on the applique soon.  The entire quilt has to be finished by April, so I have some time to work on it yet.  I think I will glue the embellishments on instead of sewing them - Probably won't have time to sew them all on. 

WAYWO?




Saturday, January 26, 2013

Home from Road

Ok, so I'm home from Road to California, a little bit poorer (one class, one pair of scissors, a night's stay at a hotel, and two rulers for my longarm).  I took a wonderful class from a longarm quilter named DeLoa Jones.  It was called Longarm Quilting for the True Beginner.  THIS was the class I should have started with two years ago when I first started taking longarm classes at Road.  But at the time they either didn't have a class like this, or it was already filled when I registered.  She taught us how to load a backing, batting and quilt top, how to use rulers, do simple stitches, including fill stitches, block fills, sashing and borders.  I learned a LOT and can't wait to try some of these things on my machine.  I'm sure I won't be good at them to start with, but hopefully I'll get better in time.

Joe, my husband, took the class with me, so he can be morale support, and more, from time to time.  That made a huge difference, having him there to work with me and encourage me. 

Anyway, Road was wonderful and I managed to get out without buying any fabric, and very few other things. 

I got home to find the indigos I ordered online had arrived.  They are beautiful and I'm so glad I wasn't tempted to buy more at Road.  Alright, I WAS tempted, but I didn't succumb.

I did two more Northern Wilderness blocks... they still need the edge stitching, but here they are in raw form:


The outhouse block... I love the log cabin piecing in this one, and the colors... But I wish I had more different greens to choose from for trees.


The orca block... He was a lot of fun to make, but I think my dark teal should have been a few shades lighter... it looks almost black... Still, it's what I had and I'm trying not to buy more fabric.

I also finished putting the borders on my third Hidden Wells quilt,  I decided on the turquoise kokopellis because the quilt looked kind of southwest-y to me, what with the gold, coral and turquoise.  So it is what it is now.... Decision made.  Maybe I will get to quilting these Hidden  Wells quilts myself now - on my own longarm maybe?  We'll see...

Friday, January 25, 2013

Road to California

Enjoyed my first day at Road to California today.  Got to see all the quilts... just beautiful - so many amazing quilts... and the quilting... OMG...  just OMG...

And I got through all the vendor's booths, and only bought a pair of batting scissors, which I badly needed.  I feel pretty good about that.  No fabric, not even a fat quarter, and no new Laurel Birch bags (that was hard - there was a really cool one in purple!  with CATS!).  Having my husband along with me helped a lot when dealing with the vendors.  Things I normally would have bought, like indigo fabric and jewelry were easier to avoid with him looking over my shoulder.

Tonight, we are going to see Argo.  It isn't playing anyplace near us, well it wasn't last week, who knows whether it will come back or not, seeing as it's nominated for best picture.  But it is playing at the local AMC here in Ontario, so we are going to see it finally!  YAY!

Tomorrow we take a longarm class together - all day.  We might even still be speaking to each other when it's all over, lol.

Then, tomorrow night, it's back home to our houseful of kitties and our own bed.  Thank goodness.  I love going to shows, and I love taking classes - always so inspiring, but it's always a relief to come home again.  I didn't take any pics of the quilts at the show, not even the winners.  I figure they will all be on the Road to Caifornia website soon enough

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Woodland Creatures

I was provided information about the designer of the Woodland Creatures quilt that I will be doing as a BOM.  It was designed by Rosemary Makhan and has a poignant story behind it.  I recommend reading her page about it here.  Having read the story behind the quilt, I feel so blessed being able to make my own version of this quilt soon. 

Anyway - just thought I'd share with you all.

What have I been doing since last week?  Not much - I made some fabric postcards and put the borders on that Hidden Wells quilt.  Here's the postcards I made:


The theme of these postcards is that we are doing alpha swaps.  We have been going through the alphabet, exchanging cards representing different letters.  We are now up to 'S'... and I figured 'S is for selvage', so I made postcards from selvages.  I hope the recipients like them.  

I will have pics of more Northern Wilderness blocks probably next week after Road to California. 

Have a good week!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Northern Wilderness, 2 more blocks

Two more Northern Wilderness blocks are done... Excuse the out of focus picture though, I just couldn't get a good pic of the moose for some reason.







I also finished piecing the center of my third Hidden Wells quilt.  I started this one as a class sample, with blocks in various stages of completion.  I figured once the class was over, I could go ahead and finish them all.  Here it is with a potential border fabric I'm auditioning for it.  Even though the original inspiration for the colors came from a wild floral fabric, the completed center has a southwestern vibe to it, so I changed my border choice.




It sure makes the turqoise stand out, but that's okay in my opinion.  Still debating on the dark blue strip as the first border... maybe it needs a gold instead?

Anyway, I am looking forward to Road to California next weekend.  Of course, I am going with my husband, which means less shopping than I'd like, but that is a good thing.  There is nothing that I really NEED.  On an up note, we will be taking a long-arm class together... that should be fun.

After Road, I need to really work hard to finish the applique parts of Northern Wilderness if I can because in March, my new BOM begins.  It is called Woodland Creatures and I'm really looking forward to starting on it.  I'd like to have NW appliques done with only piecing left, so I can concentrate my applique skills on the new quilt.





This is what the quilt is supposed to look like when I'm done with it.  I wish I knew who the designer of this quilt is... It is SO amazing.  I'm just thrilled to be able to participate in the BOM.  If you like it - you can learn more about it here. 

I think I'm going to do mine with a black background though (the choices for the BOM are brown or navy... I'm going to use my own background fabric).  Anyway... it will be a fun journey regardless.  I just hope they don't expect me to do hand applique!  I'm all about the raw-edge, fusible techniques.

Not that I have anything against hand applique, needle-turn, or any other techniques.  It's just I have tried them, and they are not for me.  I like the speed and immediate gratification of fusing.  It's all good - we are, after all, all of us 'material girls' and our techniques shouldn't separate what unites us - our love of fabric and making something beautiful out of it.

Enjoy.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Finished two more Northern Wilderness blocks over the last two days... The appliques are getting harder, though I haven't done ALL the easy ones yet.  I think the mountains will be the easiest ones of all.  Some of the ones coming up look uber hard though - like the fireweed and the outhouse.  We'll see when I get to them I guess. 

 These are forget-me-nots, I did my best to match the colors, but since I'm working from stash, I'm stuck with what I have. Not too bad, I think.


This is a bald eagle.  Very hard block to edge-stitch the appliques on... all those branches and feathers!  Glad it's done though.

Don't get me wrong, I'm loving the process, just not always the backache that I get doing this much detailed stitching.  Maybe I need to adjust my chair? 

Anyway - more to come... soon I hope, though I have  a class to teach on Saturday that I have to prep for so I don't know how much work I'll get done on this quilt until next week.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year

Yes, it is another new year... and I wish for everyone that it be a happy, safe, peaceful and successful one. 

This has been a long year it seemed.  The political struggles seemed interminable and made the year seem to drag on longer than normal.  Maybe in some ways that's a good thing... usually the years just seem to fly by.  Not so 2012.  Not that I got any more done in 2012 than I usually do.  I frittered away a lot of time on little nothings and a lot of movies and television.  Ah well.

Now I SHOULD make some kind of resolutions not to do that in 2013, but in my experience, New Years Resolutions usually turn out to be 'to-do' lists for the first two weeks of the year... then they are forgotten.  So I made no resolutions this year. 

I did promise myself I would finish one more quilt in 2012 and I barely squeaked by finishing up my faerie quilt godmother.  I put on a quick border, cut a back and batting and quilted her up quickly, then gave her a sleeve and a binding and finished up on the 30th of December with this:






For those of you who aren't familiar with this little gem of a project, here's the story behind it.  This awesome paper-piecing website called 'paper panache' did a mystery quilt one month earlier this year (or was it late last year... whatever).  Anyway, they asked you questions about your quilting style, then based on your answers (?), generated a unique faerie quilt godmother pattern just for you!   What's really neat about this is that unlike most of their mystery quilts, these patterns are free forever - so if you didn't get one, and want one, head on over to their site at paper panache, faerie quilt godmother.  The pattern is free, you just have to stitch her up to see what you get.  There is a 'parade' of faerie quilt godmothers so you can see some of the others that were done for inspiration.

Anyway, she is now done and hanging in my new quilting studio.

I have two major projects in the works for 2013.  I am not making any promises on when they will get done, but I am going to do my best to keep up with both of them as much as I can.

One is a block of the month that begins in March.  It is called 'Woodland Creatures' and is a 'by mail' block of the month from Quilting by the Bay.  It's a sort of Baltimore Album type of quilt filled with cute woodland animals.  Lots and lots of applique!  It looks like this. 

My second major project for 2013 is a quilt called Northern Wilderness and is a mix of piecing and applique.  This one I'm doing on my own, using my own fabrics from stash.  I have finally finished piecing all the blocks and have just started on the applique.  The first two blocks are done... of course I started with two of the easiest blocks to applique!




The quilt is a daunting project, but I am doing it one block at a time, and taking my time with it, enjoying the process.  Isn't that what quilting is supposed to be all about? 

Happy quilting to everyone in 2013!!!