Sunday, March 30, 2008

Daiwabo Works in Progress

I thought I'd share a couple of works in progress, both featuring yummy Daiwabo taupes that I've largely purchased at Bigsby's Sewing Center in Brookfield. This first project (with curved piecing) is all pieced and sewn together, but I'm not ready to do a full reveal yet because I want to have it quilted first. The second is a work-in-progress with some borders remaining to put on. I'll share both again when they're finished.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

What Season is It?

Yes, I do realize that today is Easter and that it is (supposedly) spring, but Mother Nature doesn't seem to have gotten the memo and we're just picking and choosing from the seasons as well in our daily life.

Yesterday, we spent the morning finishing up dealing with the foot plus of wet, heavy snow that fell throughout the day on Good Friday (thankfully, Ben was here to help me deal with this storm!). Last evening, we grilled burgers out on the grill in the sun and relative warmth that belied the winter storm we'd had the day before.

And last night, I finished up this Cardinal Season quilt by Gathering Friends (Kathryn Squibb and Deborah Jacobs). Yes, I know it's a Christmas project. Truth be told, I started it well over a year ago but had yet to finish. I made two other ones - one for each of my grandmas - which I gave to them as gifts for Christmas 2006 (just a few weeks late). I'd gotten mine pieced, but just hadn't gotten around to quilting it. I did most of the quilting over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend earlier this year, but didn't rip off the Golden Threads paper until last weekend.

The cardinals were panel pieces and I like them because they feel Christmasy but don't scream Christmas at you and I figure I can leave it up a bit beyond the official Christmas season. I meandered around the birds; the border includes a holly leaf/berry pattern. Note: it's not as crooked as it looks: I've got it stretched a bit between hangers that are a bit too wide, and it's hanging right in front of a bow in the design wall that I put under the hangers. Not necessarily the best photo conditions, but what I've got to work with!

Depending on how you look at it, I've got one Christmas project done well ahead of time!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Quilt Show Photos

Whether you missed our quilt show last weekend or want to see the quilts that were there again, you're in luck! Ben was a sweetheart and took photos of all 300+ items at the show. I think this took him longer than he expected. He killed the batteries on both of our cameras and had to borrow memory from Lisa, another quilter. But he was going to get through all of those quilts!

And then he spent a good portion of Sunday fixing the shots, uploading them to his Picasa album, adding all of the information from our program book so that people could search by quilt number, category, quilter, or quilt name. I think that probably took longer than he expected, but he was totally into it. I wasn't going to complain or intervene! What a sweet guy - a keeper - as one of the guild members described him!

I've also linked to his album to create the slideshow running at right. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Quilt Show - Recovery

It's hard to believe it, but our quilt show is over already! Lots of work, but a fabulous show, and everyone came together to make it happen. I feel lucky to be a part of a group that makes such fabulous works of art.

I entered nine quilts in the show; some of which I've shared previously on this blog, others of which were made before I began the blog, and one of which I finished up last week and have yet

This first quilt, my French Braid Quilt, is the one that I just finished and have yet to share. I started this quilt in a class at Fabric Fusion last fall. I fell in love with the fabric I selected for the outer border and used it as my starting point for this quilt, based on the Oriental Palms pattern in French Braid Quilts by Jane Hardy Miller. While most of the images in the book featured one-color palettes, I chose to work in both the blue and green ranges because I didn't want another blue-only quilt. The quilt finished at 68x96 and was quilted by Sandi Goulet.

I bought the fabrics to make this heart bargello for Ben just before our fifth anniversary when I was in New Hampshire for my fifth college reunion and had the opportunity to go shopping at Keepsake Quilting. Unfortunately, I was a bit slow in getting around to it and finished it about two years later. While the colors aren't exactly masculine, Ben does love the quilt, which is based on the book Bargello Hearts by Nancy Podolsky. The quilt is 76x95 and I had it quilted at Patched Works.

I finished this Lone Star quilt shortly after our last quilt show, and just before the Cutting Table quilt shop closed. I was looking for a challenge and the Lone Star is a good one with all of those inset seams and this arrangement also uses some curved piecing blocks. Alicia Avila taught the class; the central portion of the quilt is based on the book Lone Star Quilts and Beyond by Jan Krentz, but I modified and enlarged a paper piecing pattern from Quilter’s Newsletter for the outermost corners. Juli Meeks did an awesome job custom quilting this piece for me (final size is 47" square). I had it professionally appraised at the quilt show and was surprised at the value placed on it.

When 3 Sisters first came out with this Vienna Nights line and pattern, I fell in love with it. The red in this quilt is one of my favorite colors ever and I’ve used the colors in this quilt to pull together other items for our living room. I was a bit annoyed with the kit for this quilt: I didn't have enough of some of the fabrics in the borders, but had WAY more than necessary of the interior fabrics. To date, I've made three table runners from the leftovers and still have a fair amount of fabric remaining. The quilt finished at 76x92 and was machine quilted by Julie Meeks.

This Twisted Sisters quilt was begun in a guild-sponsored workshop with Ami Simms two years ago. Up until the day before the workshop, I was undecided as to the colors to use; in the end, I went into my closet, touched fabric until something really spoke to me. In this case, it was the luscious sea greens and blues. The finished quilt is 56x75 and was quilted by Patched Works.

I just loved this sweet pattern (Taffy Treats by Bunny Hill Designs), especially because it gave me the opportunity to learn how to create a scalloped border and use bias binding. Once I saw the pattern, I knew I had to make it in these sweet April Cornell fabrics. Julie Meeks quilted this one, with a finished size of 56x65.

I took a Drunkard’s Path class at the Cutting Table just before they closed to practice my curved piecing and to spend more fun time with Alicia, the instructor. For the central portion of the quilt I used only fabrics that I had received in the guild’s batik and dots exchanges earlier in the year. I machined quilted this 37" square project myself, using some yummy King Tut variegated thread by Superior Threads.

The other quilts I entered were the Country Stars and Civil War reproduction quilts I wrote about earlier this year. No ribbons for any of my quilts this year, but that's okay. I'm inspired to begin work on a whole bunch of stuff and to finish up some other projects that I just knew wouldn't make it in time for the show.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Television Star?

On Wednesday morning, I had the opportunity to appear on a local television program to promote our quilt show. Kelli Effinger, one of the co-chairs for the show, and I appeared on The Morning Blend, an hour-long show that appears Monday through Friday on WTMJ-4 here in Milwaukee.

It was great to have this publicity for our show, but we were a bit disappointed in that the questions Molly and Alison asked were more about quilting in general and less about the quilt show. And they led in by giving the wrong dates for the show! But overall, the message came through and it was a fun opportunity; once you get started, you kinda forget that there are cameras out there, and the time flies.

If you're interested, you can watch my segment online.

I'm exhausted today, having spent all day yesterday setting up our awesome show. Watch for more postings with photos in the coming days.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Fat Quarter Club

Today I received in the mail my monthly Moda Fat Quarter Club installment from the Fat Quarter Shop (12 fat quarters from a Moda line arrive on my doorstep each month). I was really hoping that this month's selection would be the Simplicity line by 3 Sisters, and guess what I opened today!? Yep, you got it, the line that I wanted!

What am I going to do with this? Heck if I know, but I've got all kinds of lovely spring ideas, and on a cold day like today (and what has seemed like every day for like forever), that's what I need. This cute project by Marg Low would be perfect, don't you think? Or this Summer Days pattern by Deborah's Designs?

Any other suggestions for projects for these yummy fabrics?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Another Postcard Received

Over the weekend, I received the fourth postcard from my Valentine's exchange, this gorgeous one from Debra in Virginia. According to a posting on the Bernina_Aurora Yahoo Group, Debra created this postcard using the embroidery module on her machine, digitizing the stippling in the postcard size and importing the ballon design (an online freebie!) on top of it. It looks fabulous and certainly screams "Valentine's" to me. Now if I could just figure out how to use my embroidery machine, I'd love to use it more to do fun things like this. (A more accurate description of my problem: I need to figure out how to hoop fabric so that I can embroider on it where I want the embroidery to be!)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Thoughtful husband

You know you have a wonderful husband when he goes on a business trip (which includes plenty of time for skiing) and he comes home with quilting goodies for you! I was sad that I didn't have the opportunity to go skiing, but I had a wonderful "auntie" weekend in Ohio with my family (with a wee bit of drama involved in getting there: a cancelled plane flight).

Anyways, look at the fun things he brought back for me: two patterns and a fat quarter bundle from the Tea Time Quilting & Stitchery shop in Breckenridge, which will apparently be featured in the next issue of Quilt Sampler. (I can't wait until this comes out. Always a fun read.) He really does know my tastes, and seems to share them too, for the most part, which is good. I'd seen the Three for Tea pattern by Celine Perkins of Perkins Dry Goods on one of the Fat Quarter Shop postings a while back and had really liked it, but I did manage to resist the purchase. And this At Home quilt by Elizabeth Scott of Late Bloomer Quilts is really cute too. I just need some new jelly rolls to be able to make them (but I'm not supposed to be shopping...).

I love the brown and pink fabrics and already have two of them in my stash designated for other projects. So he was right in knowing that I'd like them. And who doesn't mind having more fabric?

What a sweet guy!