Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fun Mail, and Free Motion!

Halloween Day brought three large envelopes in the mail addressed to me. Love days like that! The first one I opened was totally unexpected. I recognized the name on the return address and knew it was from my good blogging friend Doniene, in Texas. It was totally unexpected and completely overwhelmed me. Look at this lovely little quilt she made. She had pinned a note to it saying she thought I could use it for family dinners--especially Thanksgiving. How sweet is that? It is beautifully hand quilted, which I couldn't seem to capture no matter how many photos I took. I love it, Doniene, and will use it and treasure it! Bless your heart!!
The next envelope was from another good blogging friend, Grace, in Maine. I knew this one was coming, but it was still great fun and I am enjoying it. Grace remembered that I don't subscribe to any quilt magazines and rarely buy any. She offered to send me some of hers that she was finished with. I hadn't seen any of these issues, in fact two of them are magazines of which I have never seen any issue.
I've been pacing myself and still have one I haven't cracked open yet. I am savoring them. Thanks for thinking of me, Grace!
The third envelope was a pattern I had ordered earlier this week. Sandra, at kwiltnkats, shared in a post some photos of the quilts she had on her walls for this time of year. The one of falling leaves particularly caught my eye. I checked the website for the magazine she said it was from and even though it was a few years ago, they actually had the pattern in stock--and on sale!! I know what fabric I will use for this. A couple of years ago DH and I took my parents with us on a trip to New England. It was peak fall color time and Mom and I collected fabrics in the Ivy Thimble quilt shop in Victor, New York that replicated the beautiful colors all around us as we drove through Ohio, New York, and Vermont. Mom's  quilt is finished--even hand quilted--and hanging on a quilt rack in her computer room. I, on the other hand, have changed my mind over which pattern to use about three times already, but I think this is finally it! Sandra told me she loved how it looks like the leaves are really fluttering down, and I agree.
That is all for the fun that came in the mail. Now for the free motion stuff.

You may recall that recently I took my first class in machine quilting. I posted my attempts from the two sessions of the class and received much encouragement from many of you, for which I am grateful. It is easy to think you will never master the techniques, but I was reassured that there was hope for me.

Yesterday I had my first session of a second machine quilting class. This class is taught by the woman from whom I learned the perforated paper piecing technique on the Mariner's compass in this post and this post. She is teaching three sessions and during this first one she had us doing stippling, echoing and pebbles.  We didn't do any of these in my first class, so this is new ground for me. As I tried the stipple I kept inadvertently making little loops or sharp turns. I definitely need work on smooth shapes--and everything else, for that matter. But I will admit it is becoming fun. Okay, don't snicker so loudly that I can hear, but this is the result of Tuesday's play.
I didn't use such contrasting thread this time. I also left my feed dogs up. Barbara concurred with what Leah Day says here on her website--that some machines have better tension on free motion quilting if the feed dogs are left in place. Mine seems to be one of those machines.
Finally, this quilt shop where I have taken these classes has a tradition of 30% off all of the bolt fabric on any fifth Saturdays, such as last Saturday. After a day like that you should always be sure and check out the remnant baskets--they are 40% off! Look what I found this week, following the sale. See all of those CW prints--and some fun fall Sandy Gervais prints with a matching orange? I'm not usually one to gush over designer lines of fabrics, but I must admit that when one catches my eye, it is more often than not hers. I have two charm packs of her Late Bloomers line to which I am itching to apply my rotary cutter!

Enough of my ramblings. Just want to close with something totally off the subject of quilting. This afternoon I heard Temple Grandin speak at the local university. She did two presentations--one dealing with her work with livestock, and the other dealing with living with autism. DH, my daughter and her husband and I attended the latter one. Fascinating! Now I want to see the movie of her life and read her book. If you know and love anyone diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, I highly recommend you check out her website.

Until next time, from the little mountain valley where the sagebrush grows,
Janet O.

20 comments:

  1. see what some practice will do!! You are getting it.You are very willing, so that all helps.
    Nice fabrics you purchased.
    Leah Day's site is great isn't it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I used to leave my feed dogs up on one of my machines. It helped me to slow down my movements.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a sweet gift from Doniene. She is very prolific!
    You're doing great with the FMQ. Good to take classes and get ideas from lots of people. Repros are hard to find in my area. Lately, I've just been ordering online. Love the ones you found. I have quite a bit of Sandy Gervais too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the sweet words!!! You will love Temple Grandin's movie!!! It was awesome! I'm sure the lecture was wonderful. Absolutely love the fabric. The cheddar in the CW group is wonderful. I've not seen that in my ganderings! Your FM is great!! Have a great day!

    Blessings

    ReplyDelete
  5. Janet, I love your machine quilting. It doesn't take that much practice to improve. I also think the more you add to a quilt the harder it is to see any mistakes:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love your new little quilt - a treasure for sure!
    Your machine quilting is great.
    Isn't Temple the best?
    Thanks for sharing all of your FUN!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your quilting is looking great! You will be whipping out quilts in no time. Love your new purchases and your little quilt too!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Admiring your machine quilting...I just can't seem to connect with the process yet.

    Yummy looking stack of fabrics - the browns and butterscotch - perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  9. You've had a full day of quilty blessings. Gifts and new fabric. The only thing missing is some chocolate from the sale bin and a fat cat tangling your thread cone. If you send me your address, I'll ship Lucas to you so your cornucopia will overflow.

    ReplyDelete
  10. some nice gifties! and i love the fabrics you got....drool over sandy gervais' fall fabrics, always nice. have fun with all!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your FMQ looks great! I can't stipple for the life of me. I've heard about leaving the feed dogs up - I will give that a try. Lucky you to have seen Temple Grandin.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow! Your cup is overflowing. Wonderful gifts, beautiful fabric, and terrific machine quilting. Best of all, generous friends. A perfect week, I would say.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi! Greetings from Finland! Your quilts are so fantastic! I love them! It's so nice to find other quilters all around the world!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Janet, How did you change your little Blogger Icon to the mountain? I've noticed that several bloggers have done that - so of course so do I!! lol

    Blessings

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow! Your quilting has such nice depth and I think that it looks great! Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I don't know how I missed this posting when you first posted... Busy week, I guess. You're FMQ is getting better, you'll have to try it out on some Christmas placemats or something. I want to go to that LQS, nice CW fabrics!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Janet, your machine quilting is just wonderful. I think the machine quilting is fun, too. I'll never win any prizes, but I think there is something satisfying about doing a quilt from start to finish all yourself. I love the pattern you ordered, and those fabrics you bought will look great there.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Christmas has come early to your house! What fun and thoughtful gifts. BH&G Quilt Sampler is my favorite magazine. I open it and dream of visiting each shop. I'm glad you found the perfect pattern for your special New England fabric. It's been fun to see the progress with your FMQ. It looks great!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love your new little quilt and your machine quilting is wonderful...what a treasure.

    Always fun to see what you are working on.

    :) Carolyn

    ReplyDelete
  20. If you ever get back to Ivy Thimble, let me know because it's only an hour from here!!!

    Great job on the FMQ class. I'll admit I have never mastered stippling. I don't like how mine looks so I learned how to do other things. You may discover a design that you just can't seem to master - just find another pattern and you'll get your groove.

    I alternate between feed dogs up and down - it tends to be the quilt telling me if something is or isn't working and not the machine. Sometimes I finish quilting a project and then discover the dogs were up but it worked fine so I don't worry.

    ReplyDelete

I love to have your comments and feedback.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...