Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Little Eye Candy

When I was at the fair last weekend, I managed to get photos of some of the quilts there.  Unfortunately, I didn't get the names of the quilters, so I can't give credit like I should.  Some of these quilts were made for charity.

I love the boxer shorts!

A Quilt of Valor, made from a panel

A Seahawks quilt

I've been working on various projects lately, and I've made some progress on my long-term black and white quilt. 

first part of the blocks

It was so hot here that I could not stand to be upstairs in the quilt studio.  So I moved some stuff downstairs and set up my travel machine on the card table in the living room.  I only sew this project on my travel machine (due to seam allowance differences between my two machines), and so I managed to get quite a few blocks done in the heat wave . 

the rest of the blocks

 I've got about 8 more blocks of each color left to do.  But now the heat wave has let up, so it is put away for now, and I'm working on a different project upstairs!  Progress is progress and I'll take it where I can get it. *grin*

Thank goodness the heat wave has let up here!  Everything has gotten so brown and dry that we look like California.  The last couple of days have been quite cool and we've even gotten some rain.  Yay!  But it looks like the heat is back by mid-week.  Hopefully it won't get quite so scorching as the last time.  97.5* was too much!

Happy quilting!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Quilts and Fabric and Hamlet

I've been trying to do this blog post for a week now.  Life has gotten in the way.  But I think I'm finally getting it done!

I have a rather random collection of things for this post.  I hope you'll bear with me.

First of all is my big news:

"Best of Division" ribbon
I won the top ribbon at the local county fair!  I was totally shocked!!  Also very happy!  I had a goofy grin on my face all day after I found out.  Those of you who are my friends on Facebook have already learned about this, but I thought everybody else might want to know too.

This is the quilt that won, my "Mod 9-Patch: Comma Musings" that I've shown on the blog before.  

We had a rather small turnout this year in the quilts category as the fair turned out to be a little of a last-minute thing.  Our fair has been having problems for the last few years (the county no longer wants to run it), but a new group of local people have taken it over and we have high hopes for next year.

A couple of weeks ago I won a giveaway over on Stephanie's blog kwiltzbystephanie.  Last week my goodies arrived in the mail.  I won some fat quarters of text fabrics!  A big, big thank you, Stephanie!  I love them!

Some of these fat quarters are a very generous size (larger that a FQ).  And I have never seen these prints before either.  Fun, fun, FUN!

My DH recently made a business trip to Taiwan, and I asked him to bring me some traditional Taiwanese fabrics, if he could find some.  I was envisioning something like Japanese indigos.  Here is what he brought me:

He's made a number of trips to Taiwan and knows where "The Cotton Store" is in the fabric district.  So he headed there.  These fabrics were bought in another store that he was sent to, as The Cotton Store doesn't carry the traditional fabrics.  The sales clerk told him these were traditional, and when I did a Google search, this type of design is what came up.  DH says all the women wear dresses made of similar fabrics.  I think these are really fun!  I don't know what I'll be making with them, but I'm looking forward to working with them.  I got a meter of each.

Check out this selvage!  I can barely remember my history well enough to remember that Taiwan used to be called Formosa.  Wait, does that mean I'm showing my age??  *grin*

We had a sad happening here a couple of weeks ago.  My DS's sweet old kitty Hamlet had to be put to sleep.  He was about 15 years old, and was suffering greatly from diabetes and liver failure.  


Here is one of the last pictures of Hamlet, taken in our back yard about 2 weeks before his death.  I think my son got a beautiful picture of him.  Hamlet was the best kitty ever!  He had the sweetest temperament of any cat I've ever met,  and was just so calm and loving. Hamlet got along with everyone, whether they were people, cats, dogs, pet rats or even livestock. He taught my kitty Shade how to be a good housecat when we rescued Shade from the backyard, plus he helped raise another kitten later.  Hamlet was with my son throughout the 7 houses and 3 states that they lived in, and as long as he could be near my son, he was happy.  He will be sorely missed.

Hopefully my next post will not be such a long wait for you.  I've already got it planned . . . hopefully the execution will happen soon.  In the meantime, I hope you're having a great summer (or whatever season you're in), and getting to do some sewing.  Happy quilting!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Happy Summer!

Summer has finally come to Western Washington - with a vengeance!  It has been blazing hot here for days, and it's expected to be like this all week.  Today is very nice, the high was only 85* and mostly cloudy, which was nice after yesterday being 92* and blazing sun.  It's supposed to heat up all week culminating in 96* on Thursday.  Yikes!  We don't have A/C, so we suffer when it gets that hot.  And we usually only get about 4 or 5 days of truly hot, so this is really unusual for us.  Plus we're having a drought as well, so everything is brown and crispy.  Not my favorite weather!

So, thanks to the heat, I haven't been getting much sewing done,  My sewing room is upstairs and on the east side of the house, which means it heats up early and then stays too warm.  A week ago, my guild had a workshop on Bargello, so I did some sewing there.  And then Friday I sewed at a friend's house, where I finished my Bargello pieces that I had started.

second piece

I'd never tried Bargello before, so I wanted to give it a shot.  The concept isn't hard if you're used to strip piecing, but it can be confusing and achieving a nice curve isn't as easy as I thought.

first piece

You can see that my first try is kind of awkward compared to the second one.  I used all batiks for this project, because I thought they would work well for this.  I like the variations in colors in the batiks - I think that makes it more interesting.  These two pieces are each about 18 inches square. I'm going to be turning these pieces into a tote bag - at least that's my plan at the moment!

"Jungle Cat"
Our local art gallery, where my DH sells some of his pottery, is having an Artist Trading Card sale again this year, to raise funds.  So DH made some pottery ATCs as well as some paper ones.  I, of course, made some fabric ones.  Which only makes sense, since I not really good at drawing or painting, like some of the other artists.  But my ATCs seem to be popular.  The last time I checked, they all had bids on them!

"Time Cat"
These little pieces finish at 2.5 x 3.5 inches.  Not a big investment in time or supplies.  But lots of fun to make.  I fused the Laurel Burch cats onto the background fabrics, and then added the fun buttons and beads.

This last one was made with my smallest hand-dyed and Cherrywood fabric scraps, which were left over from this quilt.  It has kind of an Amish vibe to me, but I had to add those beads just for fun and to make it a little more "artsy".

A week or so ago DH and I got new cellphones.  Our 4 year old phones were dinosaurs, and were starting to die.  So we got a new plan (I can text now!) and nifty Galaxy 6 phones.  These phones have the best camera on them!  I've been having lots of fun taking pix.  The photo above is a barn about 1/2 mile from my house.  I love this barn, and I think I got an interesting photo of it.

This photo was taken directly across the road from the barn. facing east.  You can't tell from this photo too well, but that is Mt. Rainier in the center (where it looks like clouds).

Same photo, just super zoomed in.  That is the mountain, with the clouds hiding the top half of it.  With this warm, clear weather, we're getting some awesome views of the mountain.  Finding a good place to stop the car to get a photo is the hard part!

Dear Son made some "Midsummer" cookies this week, and we finally got them frosted and decorated today.  Sorry this photo is a little fuzzy.

fireworks, flowers, ice cream cones, cats (and a nudist in the upper right corner)!

a tree and a tent, airplane, music note and more fireworks & flowers

the last four cookies
The hardest part is not gobbling them all down immediately.  We love these cookies, and decided they're not just for Christmas.  *grin*

Dunkel says "Happy quilting"!

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Round Robin - Part One

We're almost at the half-way point in this block exchange.  I've done 7 blocks, and there are 16 of us in this exchange.  I thought you might like to see how things are shaping up so far.

You can see my first post about the Traveling Round Robin here.  So, we've all been making blocks and passing them on to the next person.  We haven't followed the list exactly, as some people have been ill, some have been traveling, and so on.  But they're all getting done, and it's starting to get exciting now.

Here's what I've done so far, along with that person's total blocks that were in the passed box.

First, here's my block I made for me:

This pattern is a Sister's Choice variation.

Now I get to make the same block for everyone else, in their fabrics. 

 The first block I did was B's.

P's block.  Sorry, no photo of all the blocks.  I was hurrying to get this done in time for the next "pass event" and forgot to take the picture.  Duh!

 N's block.

All of N's blocks so far.

C's block.

All of C's blocks.

K's block

And all of K's blocks.

D's block

All of D's blocks.

I'm happy with my block because it "works" in everyone's fabrics.  Deciding on fabric placement within the block can be challenging, but so far I like all the ones I've done.  

This has been fun!This is kind of like dating different people - trying out all those different styles of fabrics with no long term commitment!  *grin*  So far, I like everyone's fabrics too.  It's interesting to see how each person's fabric choices reflect their personality.

Our goal is to have them done for the quilt show in October, but I'm dubious we can get them all "done-done" in time - you know, quilted, bound and quilt-show-ready DONE.  Fingers are crossed!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

An Old Beauty

The sun has been shining here!  And it's been warm!  Just glorious.  I think it's almost summer, finally.

Here is an old quilt that was for sale at a local quilt guild meeting a few months ago.  A group was trying to raise money with this; I believe it was going for $70!  I wish I'd had a extra $70 to give it a good home.  So instead I took some photos.

I could have taken a photo of every single block, as they were all different and scrappy.

Lots of good shirtings and indigos!

This block has been appliqued with a running stitch
 instead of a blind stitch.

And some great cheddars and chrome yellows.

These were big blocks too - probably 16 to 18 inches or so.  There are 22 vanes per block.

I boosted the brightness and the contrast in these photos in the hopes that some of these old fabrics would show up a little better.  The fabrics appear to have faded quite a bit, but the quilt wasn't very worn.  It was more like it was made with previously used fabrics.  

Also, the quilt appears to be almost whole cloth.  There is one seam in the white background fabric up the middle of the quilt, but I can't see that there were any "blocks", the plates are just appliqued on the whole cloth.  The first clue about that for me was that the plates are very close together.  

And one more thought . . . the centers of the blocks don't seem to be appliques, but rather that the plates were appliqued onto the ground both on the outside of the plate and the inside instead.  What a curious quilt!

Interesting!  I've never seen a Dresden plate made like this one before!  Does any one have any ideas on the time period for this quilt?   I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sewing But Not Blogging

It's been pretty quiet around here lately.  But I do have a few things to show you.

I went down to my sister's a few weeks ago.  My DH was off on a business trip and DS was home to take care of the kitties, so I took the opportunity to go play.  Sally and I had a lot of fun.  We went to Pioneer Quilts down in Portland, and then she took me to a place that I've been kind of afraid of, Fabric Depot.  I knew I could get myself in trouble there!  And I did.  But I had a blast.  And we got 25% off!  So it could have been worse.  Fabric Depot is everything I've ever heard about it.  A giant warehouse FULL of fabric, but it's all very well organized and so easy to find what you're looking for.   And even stuff you're not looking for, but discover that you need!  hee hee!

My Dad, about 1920

I ended up staying an extra day because we went through old family photos that our Mom had, and we just couldn't get through them very quickly.  We laughed so hard at some of those!  And it's a good thing we did it together, because what I couldn't remember, she could!  And vice versa.  I've brought home a box-full of photos to scan into the computer so that we can share them.  It's gonna take me awhile!  And we still have 2 more drawers full of photos to go through.

Zoe, my sister's tuxedo kitty
I've also been getting some sewing done.  Here is a quilt top that I got put together down at the California retreat.

This is the Big O blocks that I won from Block Lotto last December.  I managed to find a good border fabric at Fabric Depot, and I even got backing fabric from the clearance section - $6 a yard!  And it's perfect too.  So, now I have to get this finished.

I've also been working on another set of blocks I won from Block Lotto.

These are the Tall Stars blocks from August 2013.  I'm slow at getting things put together, but eventually they get done!  I've gotten more blocks put together since I took this picture.  I got this brilliant setting idea from Joe Tulips.  So far, I think this quilt is gonna be one of my favorites!

This past week, my quilt guild took a field trip.  It was our annual trip to Martingale Publishing (That Patchwork Place) for the tour of their offices with so many quilts to see!  It's always so much fun.  They have lots of quilts hanging all over their offices from books that they've published, and the tour leader, Linda, is a fun lady.  We  then got to visit the "hurt book" room and buy books at severely discounted prices.  I got about 6 books, and I'm having fun reading them.  And you can't tell that they're "hurt" at all.  A sweet deal!

Saturday my guild had a "sew-in" day and we made aprons to sell at the quilt show in October.  I got one child's apron done, and an adult apron cut out and ready to sew.  The next child's apron I make, I think I will make it reversible.  Putting on all that binding was a pain.  I made a mistake and bought the really skinny binding.  Ugh.  I think making it reversible will be easier - at least I hope so! 

My big project right now is to clean up the quilt studio.  It's gotten very cluttered and there's almost no room to work.  So, I've been plugging away at it for a few days.  Still  have quite a ways to go.  Wish me luck!  I'd rather be sewing, so after a while of cleaning, I sit down and sew a little bit.  Very slow progress on everything, but progress is progress!

Have a creative week!