Monday, July 17, 2017

Making Progress

I have not totally finished anything in the last week, but I have been sewing!  I mentioned in my last post about a contest to guess the number of quilts in my linen closet and instead of picking a quilt out of there for Chelsea, I found a top in my stash and quilted it.  Chelsea said she liked outdoor things, but also purple and teal and bright colors.  Years ago (more than 10, less than 20!) my guild had a block exchange where you picked the pattern and could provide fabrics and other members made blocks.  I chose a tree, but not in your typical greens, I chose turquoise.  I call it Blue Spruce.  I had the top together, but it was in my massive pile of unquilted tops.  I found some flannels for the backing in my stash (I will get a photo of those for my next post).  I have it quilted, and the binding stitched on, it just needs stitched down.   The interesting thing is that Chelsea's great grandmother was in my quilt guild for many, many years and recently passed away at age 95.  She made a block in this quilt!

I have been a charter member of a local quilt guild since 1993.  The guild has changed and lost a lot of members due to various reasons and they also moved the meetings to daytime.  I cannot attend with my work schedule except for two months out of the year.  Over the years we have done several quilt shows and I have been involved in several of the fundraiser quilts.  

A few years ago as a challenge we were each given a piece of fabric and asked to make something outdoor themed for a raffle quilt.  We didn't have a lot of members and didn't get a large amount of blocks back and the blocks have sat for a few years.  I made the larger center block with my challenge fabric.  This year the members made some 18" finished log cabin blocks  to try to extend the size of the quilt.  The idea was that the quilt could be finished and given to the recipient of a Habitat for Humanity house.  

I was asked to assemble the quilt as putting together odd size blocks is one of my specialties and I have given guild programs on this.  I played with the blocks for a while and finally came up with this arrangement.  I had to make 5 more log cabin blocks and adjust some others.  I am very finicky and blocks should measure the correct size at each step of the process as you are making log cabins and they didn't.  I square mine up after each round.  The quilt top now measures 90 X 108 and the last I heard the group was going to have it machine quilted and then raffle it off afterall and donate the proceeds.
Clearwater Quilters Opportunity quilt top assembled by me

closeup of my block based on a book I can't find right now!
There were 4 leftover disappearing 4 patch blocks and one applique block that didn't work in the quilt.  I made 6 more disappearing 4 patch blocks and assembled this top.  It is 38 X 48 and  might be used on the back or as a quilt for a care center resident.

I have been spending most of my time working on the row by row quilt.  I have 11 rows done and plan to do 5 more.  I actually went to all 16 of these shops!  I am making this quilt queen size.  This is not the arrangement I will use and it will have sashing.  I have more one more vertical row and the others are horizontal.  This is my third year and next year slap me if I decide to do this.  The instructions are generally quite awful and to support the shops I purchased kits and I was short fabric on more than one.  I do have another bright  row that I hope will offset the one bright one.  There was one that was all pastels and I redid it.

pastel row that doesn't fit in the row by row quilt

Fancy Fox is the pattern my daughter brought me in April to tell me she was pregnant and that was the pattern for her baby quilt.  I have not yet purchased fabrics, I will go visit in a couple weeks and do that, but for her I get to make two quilts, yes twins!!!!!!!   The fabrics pictured are for a quilted pillow cover swap on instagram.  I am making a small version of the Fancy Foxes with these fabrics.

Linking up for design wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

A Quick Quilt and a Finish

For those that were curious there are 199 quilts of all sizes in that closet in my last post!  I posed an impromptu guessing game on Facebook but didn't tell people I was giving away a quilt!  My son's classmate Chelsea guessed 198 and is thrilled to get a quilt.  I still have to pick one out for her.  They were co-valedictorians in high school and friends.

On Monday there was a request for 8 teen boy quilts for Camp Erin, a grief camp that will be held in mid July in Washington.  They have more campers than usual and were short some quilts.  I dug into my stash and came up with 8 fabrics and made this disappearing 4 patch quilt.  I had a flannel for the backing on hand and have it ready for delivery tomorrow.  I quilted it with an allover leaf and loop design.  The quilting took about 30 minutes!  I volunteered for this camp last summer and it was a very rewarding experience and wanted to be able to help out.  I am not going this year.  I took advantage of the hay bales in the field in front of our house, but the 100 degree heat is a bit much!

I quilted this strip quilt at the retreat last month, but finally got the binding on.  I love this one and it is mostly leftover jelly strip pieces.  I named it Leftover Salmon.

I took this picture on July 4th.  This is one of my patriotic quilts.  It was a block robin from 13 or 14 years ago.  I made the very center vase/flag block and the rest of the blocks were made by others.  I love this one!  I didn't take any block closeups.  I was involved with MANY round robins/row robins/blocks robins with this particular group fo women and the hand applique blocks are stunning!


Sunday, July 02, 2017

Quilt Explosion

I will preface this by saying I have been quilting for 30 years.  I am completely obsessed with quilting.  I used to have more hobbies, but they don't get much time dedicated to them.  Now onto my quilts!  I have friends that have joked they could come take quilts out of my house and I would never miss them.  Those same friends were coming to my house Saturday night.  Plus we are having out of town guests this coming weekend who have never been here.

One of my summer projects was to straighten my quilt closet.  Saturday morning I decided to straighten the closet to make it easier for those friends to take quilts out (joking of course).  This is what the closet looked like when I started, I had to shove quilts back on the floor to get the door open. I have been a slob at putting them away!

After several hours this is the finished closet.  Guess how many quilts are in there?   Seriously, guess! Keep in mind I went through a mini phase and I have MANY wallhangings.  The floor is holding mostly larger quilts with Heart themed quilted on the far right (short pile).  The next shelf up holds 2 1/2 piles of Christmas quilts and 2 piles of fallish quilts.  The next shelf up is mostly wallhanging and smaller with some throw size quilts including Easter.  My patriotic quilts are out right now.  I will say in addition to the quilts in the closet I counted all the quilts in my house not in the closet.  There are 69 more!!!  YIKES!  I give away a LOT of quilts too!

I finally got all my Canyon Dance blocks squared up.  My design wall isn't big enough!  I didn't get a picture before I started auditioning possible sashing strips (or not), see below for options.  I just put a few pieces of each color on the wall.  They will finish at 1" IF I decide to use sashing!

 Option 1 - turquoise
 Option 2 - purple
 Option 3 - navy
 Option 4 - no sashing

Which is your favorite?  This is the original one I made. If I use sashing I will have 20 extra blocks and can make a quilt for a Care Center resident.

Linking up with Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Another Quilt Top!

I know I SHOULD be working on UFO's, but a couple months ago when the May/June Quiltmaker magazine came out I found a quilt in there that hit me hard, very hard!  So much so that I ordered the fabrics used in the sample quilt.  That is not something I do very often, but I loved the Composition backgrounds and the Grunge fabrics.  I cut out the quilt immediately, and it was still kitted up and I threw in my retreat bag.  I manged to get all the pinwheels made at retreat and now I have a finished top.  I LOVE this top.  It's so not me!  I will bind it with one of the bright Grunge fabrics after quilting.  I bought 1/2 yard cuts and cut 4 3" squares out of each one, so they will be showing up in more quilts!  I am basiclaly out of the backgrounds though since it was just a FQ pack.
Grunge and Conposotion fabrics - Tutti Frutti quilt from Quiltmaker

The quilt finishes at 60 X 72 and will go into my never ending collection of tops to be quilted!  

Monday, June 26, 2017

Wedding Gift and Retreat

In mid June we had a lot of family here for my niece's wedding.  We had a great time and it was a busy several days.  I had wanted to make my niece and husband a quilt but struggled and struggled with what to make.  I had a couple of false starts with fabric pulls.  I looked in my cupboard of unquilted tops (about 45 of them now!) and found this block robin from.... oh dear .....  2003!!!!  Yes, it has been languishing in my stash unquilted for 14 years!  It wasn't quite big enough so I found fabrics in the same colors in my stash and added a piano key border and quilted it.  It was done with a few days to spare!  She LOVES it and so does her mother.  It was also fun to see her dad, my brother, all dressed up! I added a few closeups.  A lot of the blocks were hand appliqued.  The friend who made the center Santa on yellow background passed away many years ago and I lost contact with everyone else.
Santa block robin from 2003, finally finished!

This past weekend I went to a quilt retreat in Leavenworth, WA, a Bavarian inspired tourist town.  It's about a 5 1/2 hour drive and I left a day early and took a scenic tour through central Washington collecting rows for the Row by Row Experience.  I have done it the last two years and wasn't going to this year, but I caved and I found some wonderful shops in the middle of nowhere in very small towns.  I had booked a hotel in a neighboring town for the first night as the retreat started Thursday.

The retreat was held at Mrs. Anderson's Boarding House/Dee's Country Accents quilt shop. We rented the whole building and they take all the beds out of the largest room that is separate for our sewing area.  There were 13 of us from various places in Washington and then me, the only Idaho person!  My friends and I went to Leavenworth Quilt Company to pick up their row.  Thankfully we worked on them together as one of the kits had a larger chunk of background and two of us needed more.  Others didn't work on theirs yet.  It needs a few buttons for embellishment.  My friend Mary also blogged about it.

I took two machines with me, my Pfaff Grand quilter and my regular machine.  I machine quilted two throws and took pics on the deck outside my room with the gorgeous mountains in the background.  I still need to bind them both.

This quilt was made from leftovers from two twin size quilts I made (and still don't have quilted!).  I didn't have space to do large quilts but this size worked out.  This one is quilted with mostly allover swirls.

 This one is also made from leftovers from a larger quilt (that is also not quilted, are we seeing a theme yet?).  My friend Melissa helped me figure out just to do "pseudo" straight lines.  They look a while but I could go edge to edge easily!

I also made this new Barbados Bag by Pink Sand Designs.  I made one two years ago and it's worn out!  I had a hard time selecting fabrics from my stash, but I am a purple fanatic and this is what I chose.  I have had the prints for several years.  I love all the pockets on the bag and it is a cross body bag, which I love.  The hardware is really silver.  The photo was taken at retreat on someone's cutting mat!  I bought two fobs from the quilt shop for the zippers.

 I also worked on blocks for another quilt, but they aren't together yet.

Linking up with Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Field Trip, Quilting, Walking

School is out!  Last week was super busy.  Monday we took a field trip to Elk Creek Falls and the largest Western Red Cedar tree east of the Cascade Mountains.  It's a long bus ride and the falls are about a 4 mile round trip walk to see all 3 of the falls, but our class made it! It is a series of 3 waterfalls, the middle one being 70 feet high.  
Upper Falls

Middle Falls - 70 ft

Lower Falls - 50 ft.

giant cedar - hard to get the perspective of size.
We also had field trips Tuesday and Wednesday digging for garnets (Idaho's gem) and a museum for Idaho history.  Thursday was our end of school BBQ and awards. 

I finished quilting my Ultra Violets quilt and gifted it to our music teacher.  This wonderful woman has been volunteering for 15 years in our school teaching music, art, organizing our monthly hot lunches (yes our students normally bring their own lunch) and putting on amazing winter programs.  Her youngest child of four kids was leaving our school this year, moving on to junior high. She will continue to volunteer for music but is cutting down on other activities. She loves purple and has been so generous over the years to myself and the other aides and teachers, giving us gifts for every occasion.  I have an incredible number of quilts and didn't need this one.  I took a couple pictures in my pasture.  She was thrilled to receive the quilt and overwhelmed.  She received some other gifts as well and is so giving as a pastor's wife, it was hard for her to be on the receiving end!

Saturday I participated in the Maniac Dam Race.  I am a walker, not a runner. I took the first picture at the viewpoint where the race started.  This is the highest straight axis dam in North America and third highest dam in the country.  The reservoir is 53 miles long and this dam is just 8 miles from my house.  
 Looking down from the top.
Another view.  For a year in the late 90's we had to drive up and over this dam to get to town while the bridge in the distance was being replaced.  It made the trip MUCH longer!
 Beginning of the lake.
My high school mascot is the Maniac.  I had my picture taken with him after the race!  Normally the top of the dam is closed and has been since 9/11 but for this occasion with ID you can cross the dam and back.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Busy Month!

Happy Memorial Day.  I am grateful to everyone who has served this great country.  This is my flag on the front of my house today.  

May is one of my busiest months of the year.  I have squeezed in some quilting, but not as much as I would have liked.  We had a very wet spring, and that caused a huge delay in spring planting on the farm, so May has been go, go, go.  I also had all my end of the year testing for my school, I was in charge of administration of that and I'm glad it's over.

We just have 7 days of school left and although I have a huge list of house projects to get done this summer, generally I do those in the mornings and spend my afternoons quilting!  I have had massive amounts of yardwork to do (and still do, trying to hire help, but having difficulty with that).  I also made a weekend trip to visit my daughters, grandkids and sisters.  It was a lot of fun watching my grandson play t-ball and my granddaughter in a dance recital at age 3!

Now to some things I have accomplished, or tried to anyway!
charity lap quilt I quilted for my guild, it was given to us as a top
backing I had on had

finished tool panel lap quilt for charity

block closeup

backing that was provided, but I had to piece it with some extra to make it big enough
lightweight denim backing I had on hand
printed fabric I added a back to and quilted for charity

all 110 Canyon Dance blocks sewn and pressed, but not squared up

project I am machine quilting to give as a gift
I am linking up to the new home of Design Wall Monday.  Small Quilts and Doll Quilts