Thursday, August 28, 2014

Progress... Mckenna Ryan Quilt

I have been working on this McKenna Ryan quilt since 2008, though not with any dedication.  The real push has been during the last year while I've been taking a class at my LQS in how to make a McKenna Ryan quilt.
The quilt is called Forest Hollow and it's all/mostly owls with a few other little critters here and there.  I'm pretty happy with it, mostly just pleased I got this far on it.  It still needs to be quilted, which is a major thing on a McKenna Ryan quilt.  If you're not familiar with her method, it is to do all the applique raw-edge, with the quilting being done around the motifs with invisible thread to sew them down.  I've got SO much work ahead of me with the quilting, But I'm glad the cutting and fusing is done.  There's a lot of detail in this quilt and I hope all the pieces stay fused til I get the quilting done! 

On the non-quilting front, I've got a very sick elderly cat who is declining rapidly.  We are doing all we can to support her, but I fear we are coming to the point where we will need to make some hard decisions about her care.  I love my furbabies, and I hate being in this position, but I have to be a responsible caregiver too.  Sometimes just love alone isn't enough. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Home again home again, jiggity jog

I flew to Dallas on Friday to attend the Quilt Plano Show.  Oh myyyy!!!  The ladies of this guild are SO talented!  I was amazed at the incredible skills they evidenced in their myriad quilts.  Just amazing.  Not only was it a judged show, which is not typical for a guild quilt show, but the quilts were really impressive.  It was like a mini-Road to California.

Obviously it was not as big as that show, but they so many great displays.  The mini-quilt silent auction was wonderful and I would have bought a couple of them, but the ones I really wanted were sold for the 'buy it now' prices (which were about $175-250 each) before I'd even gotten there.  Then there was the show itself.  The quilts were hung in groupings, so you could see in most cases which quilts were in competition with each other, for easy comparison and ability to see what the judges saw.  I really appreciated that.

There is a group of art quilters in the area as well, and they had several mini-displays, showing off their work as well - SO wonderfully talented!

The best of show quilt was a Baltimore Christmas quilt (one of two at the show), but what set this one apart was the fantastic quilting!  I could absolutely see what set it apart from the other quilts in the show.  They were all beautiful, but this one was superb!

Anyway, against SO much tight competition, I felt honored that my quilt took a second place ribbon in the 'large applique, two-person quilt' category.  The quilting by Kathy Bradbury REALLY was key to the quilt getting an award.  I hope it does well at my guild show in October.  I  think I will try to submit it to Road to California as well.  Not sure if they will take it, but I can try!.

While I was in the Dallas/Plano area, I got to visit Quilt Country shop in Lewisville.  I picked up their row-by-row pattern, bought a few small pieces of fabric to make postcards with, and had a ball walking through their thousands of bolts of fabric admiring all the batiks (enough to rival Candy's Quiltworks in Northridge), and their wonderful brights and fun fabrics.

I even bought a foot pedal sticky mat at the show to keep my pedal from sliding on the floor.  I am going to give it a try next time I sit down at the machine.  I also bought a new quilt cabinet from Kerry's Collectibles while at the show, but I don't actually get to pick it up until Road to California in January (they don't ship, it's prohibitively expensive).  It will be nice to be able to put away more of the quilts I'm not using, as they DO tend to pile up around the house.

Many are memory quilts of one kind or another, so I am loathe to donate them, as the memories are only for me, and I don't have enough wall space to hang them all.... so storing them seems the only option.  Some I do rotateout depending on the season, but others are just stored all the time.

What do you do with your finished quilts?  Donate?  Keep for yourself?  Give as gifts? 

A Mysterious start to the year

Well, I finished one of last year's mystery tops... The Meadow Mist Mosaic Mystery.  I have to say I really like how this one came out.....