Saturday, October 3, 2015

Plenty of stitching going on...

...just not much time for posting about it.
Lori's Country Roads SAL was fun. I made mine half the size. Her pattern gave you 5" finished blocks. Mine finish at 2 1/2".
Still pondering how I will quilt it.
Then there is my second version--also made half-size. Still have to stitch the blocks together on this one.

I got my table mat from  Lisa Bongean's class completed. May I present "Winter Cabin"!

I'm so glad I got this refresher course on wool with Lisa. It has been almost 3 years since I took a class from her and that was my very first introduction to wool applique. She is an excellent teacher, but I was so overwhelmed with all of the info I was taking in that I couldn't absorb it all. It was good to have a second chance to see what I had missed.

 I love the little snowmen on this piece. You can see here how the pattern called for them to stand with their arms demurely to their sides. Most of them cooperated.

This cheeky little snowman was feeling frisky and tried to get the wave going. : )

I didn't post these photos first because I didn't want you to wonder if you were on the right blog. : )
Back in January I first saw the Fancy Fox pattern on Nancy's blog. I loved what she went on to create from it and I knew I had to make something from it for my oldest granddaughter, who is enamored with foxes. I bought the pattern back then but didn't do anything with it until Monday of this week. The birthday is the end of this month so I figured I had better get cracking

My daughter told me that they are redoing Abby's room for her birthday and the colors will be orange, teal and grey. I am so out of my comfort zone here, and that seemed to play out in all of the trouble I had putting this together.

Don't get me wrong--the pattern instructions are excellent and the fox blocks go together quickly and precisely. The problem was that I didn't want just fox blocks, and I was back to my "fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants" design method. That always invites problems. Then I made the mistake of choosing a fabric with a very directional print. I have to say that my seam ripper has been my constant companion on this project. : )

BTW, I must add--you do realize that one of these fox blocks by itself is larger than most of the quilts I have made of late? These finish at 20x24".

 I played with my antiquated version of EQ (aka graph paper and pencil) until I finally came up with something I thought I could make. The one to the left was my first idea. I scratched that for an off-center barn raising design. That paper went in the circular file. Then I played with the idea below, and finally hit upon the one to the right.

Our granddaughter will be at our home with her family on Sunday, so I wanted to have the top assembled and hidden away before then. I will still have over 3 weeks to get it quilted and bound. My goodness, it usually takes me at least 3 months to decide how to quilt something. I hope inspiration strikes more quickly this time.

The good thing that came of all of my "resewing" was that there were plenty of opportunities to run my leader/ender blocks through the machine, and I had a healthy pile to add to my collection of windmill blocks by the time this top was assembled.
I keep my leader/ender supplies tucked beneath my extension table as I work. I can easily grab them when needed, but they aren't in my way.

Well, I think that about covers it. I may be in recovery mode for a while from my foray into modern quilting. I'm just not cut out for it. : )

Until next time,
Janet O.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Quiltfest--The Quilts (Photo Overload!)

First Up--Quilts from the Quiltfest show!
Winning Best of Show was this beauty by Ilene H. King. Here  you can click the photos to read her tag and see a close-up of her incredible hand quilting!

My favs weren't always award winners, but they caught my eye.
Click the small photo below to read the tag.

This was a very striking quilt. You may or may not know that after my first love, CW Repro fabrics, Batiks rank a close second. Love the lush, vibrant colors.

 I thought this creation was very clever and well executed.

 Loved this!

Always in awe of the beautiful art quilts--this was my favorite of that genre. Looks like I forgot to watermark this photo. Click the tag below for due credit, please.

 Quilts by Marsha McCloskey

Luckily I had class with Marsha, because I was near the back of the ballroom during her trunk show and couldn't get good shots of the quilts. This is the English Ivy quilt for the class I took.

 This is the beautiful Star of Chamblie. This was a two-day class.

The photo below is a little blurry, but it is made from blocks of the quilt above, in a different colorway. I didn't get a shot of it in class, so I had to rely on the blurry one from the trunk show.
Love the little stars within the feathered star on this one.

Look at those sweet little 3" blocks. Marsha said this may be a pattern soon.

The next couple of tops are still WIP. Look at this beautiful triple star!

The rich colors on this make a striking statement!

Quilts by Lisa Bongean

I had a seat near the front on Lisa's trunk show day (our tables were assigned). Here are a couple she shared with us there.
Yes, I can see that "quilt" is spelled wrong in the watermark. I didn't want to redo it. : )

"Words to Live By" was on display to the side of the podium. I was able to get Lisa to pose by it afterward. Love this quilt.

Exciting to me was the fact that we were able to see all of the little quilts in Lisa's new book of mini quilts, Little Gatherings!
Here she is displaying a couple of them. I got more shots of them in the classroom afterwards. You'll see those farther down.

Two more warm and woolly quilts.

A fun little wintery quilt from her newest line of fabric, Snowman Gathering II.

This quilt captured my heart. I want it badly, but all of those little HSTs may bring on another migraine!!

Beautiful wool table mats and runners. Many of these have "crazy stitch" embroidery--like a crazy quilt, only no seams to stitch over.
Now for the minis! Here they are, all spread out over the classroom tables. Gives you some size perspective.
Here are the close-ups! Click to enlarge, if you wish. Enjoy!!

Wish I had a prize for everyone who stayed with me through all of that. I really was selective about the photos I shared, if you can believe it.

Today I have spent some time on Lori's SAL, Country Roads. I started two of them because I couldn't narrow down my fabric selection. This was a disease I suffered from a few years ago and I thought I had it under control, but apparently it was just in remission. I'll share my progress down those two country roads next time.

Janet O.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Utah Quilt Guild Quiltfest--People and Projects

I spent three days this past week at the Utah Quilt Guild annual Quiltfest. This was my first time attending and I had a blast. 
Wednesday I had a class from the very talented Marsha McCloskey. She was teaching the English Ivy block you see behind her, to the left, in the photo below. 

Marsha likes to make sure you understand how to draft the pattern before you embark on the cutting and stitching. She patiently walked us through the steps of how to draft the ivy block in one of two sizes--6" finished block, or 3" finished block. Which do you think I chose? Marsha had her little sample of the 3" block in a frame. So cute.

The goal was to learn the drafting process and then actually complete one block in the class, which I happily did.  Don't we look happy about it? This woman loves mini quilts as much as I do.
Marsha is an excellent teacher, and she really knows her stuff! This was the last conference she is going to be attending that requires travel by air. So in the future, if you want a class from Marsha, you will have to go to her!

 After dinner that night I went to my hotel room and set up to sew. I was struck by this stipple patterned chair and ottoman in my room. Then I was struck by a migraine, which made sewing a challenge, but I powered through it.


I turned the ottoman into my cutting station.
The desk was my sewing table.

And a small end table rounded things out as my pressing station.
By the time I was ready to turn in for the night I had completed three more blocks. It felt so good!
I know I am going to make a small quilt. Just can't decide whether to set the 4 blocks, go for 6 blocks, or take it all the way to 9 blocks. (Just in case the thought crosses your mind, Julie L., no--I am not going to make an entire bed quilt with blocks this size.)

Thursday I was in class with Lisa Bongean as teacher. I have had class from Lisa before and I knew I was in for a good time.
 She is very thorough, and extremely patient with her remedial students, like myself. Did I mention that she is a lot of fun? You can see our project on the table in the photo below.
 She had a friend with her, which made for twice the laughs. Do you recognize Geoff's Mom? Well, I didn't, but I sure will now. I knew the pattern name, but didn't know her name or her face. So I was talking to her for some time before it clicked. I felt brilliant. : )

I took a couple of my small projects that were designed by Lisa, and I did get her signature on the label of "Burgoyne Strikes Gold".

My project is far from completed, but I do have everything on the front two scallops stitched. I love this cozy little piece. It is named Winter Cabins.

I missed Friday, but on Saturday I was back and spent the first part of the morning manning the hand quilting station. Can you see what is behind me? How appropriate.
 The rest of my morning was spent taking tickets for the quilt show/vendor mall.

In the afternoon I browsed the show and vendor mall and then sat and stitched on my Winter Cabins candle mat.
Now and then I would stretch my legs, and on one of those ventures I happened upon Sandra Starley's class on vintage quilts. She invited me in to take a look at the quilt that was currently being discussed.
 I've seen Sandra do a trunk show before, but someday I'd love to sit in her class.

Next time I will share quilts with you. Both Marsha and Lisa did trunk shows and displayed quilts in their classes. And there was a quilt show, too, remember? Don't worry, I didn't photograph everything, but there will be plenty of eye candy.

Until then,
Janet O.

P.S. The night before attending Quiltfest, I stayed with my friend, Gayle (Middle Sister blog). Her home is a quilt show all by itself. There were dozens of little quilts, hooked rugs, and needle punch projects at every turn, displayed with lovely vintage and prim decor. This woman is so talented--creativity is evident throughout her home. And her studio is amazing. I strongly encouraged her to post about her home, and I really hope she does so that you can all enjoy it as I did. (hint, hint) : )
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