Thursday, April 19, 2018

Time to Start Something New

A year has a way of
slipping away if you're not careful.

It's hard to believe
that it's already been a year
since I had the opportunity
to visit the Netherlands.

I was so fortunate to travel with
7 wonderful women from Virginia

and then, even met some new delightful Dutch quilting friends!

Besides touring Amsterdam
and the surrounding countryside, complete with tulips,

we, of course, went to Petra Prin's shop

to do a little shopping.

I brought home the kit for this quilt.

Last week I decided it had 
lingered long enough

and opened up that delicious box
filled with fabulous fabrics and the
beautiful colors of this large Dutch chintz.

It felt so exciting and brought back
sweet memories of my awesome trip.

One block

quickly became 3

then doubled to six.

It's been such a treat working on this.

The only thing better would be
working on these blocks during a "sew day"
together with friends.

Until Next Time-

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Broken Dishes--Oops!

John Denver sang a song,
"Some days are diamonds,
some days are stones."

The same can be true with some of 
my quilting efforts.
I've been working on finishing up
some older projects and I must admit,
sometimes in my hast I miss 
paying attention to some details.

One phrase you hear in quilting making 
is there is no right or wrong design.
It's just whatever makes your own heart sing,
creating your own song.

That may be true, but what
if you finish a quilt
and you're just a bit disappointed.

I finished sewing my broken dishes swap blocks.
 from 2016, organized by
Barb from Fun With Barb.

The quilt went together beautifully. 
 The blocks had been perfectly sewn
by lots of dfferent quilters.

I set the blocks together with some lovely new
French General fabrics.
Atelier de France

Debi,  my machine quilter, used a simple over-all
 feathery pattern.

I loved how it looked.
It kept the focus on the fabrics and the blocks.

But there is something that can happen to dishes.
They can be broken or shattered.

After sewing the whole quilt together
and finally hanging it on a vertical plain,
(I only have a design floor)
I could see that my design idea of having the blocks
and the alternating squares forming
perfect radiating diamonds was shattered.

I felt very disappointed.

Instead, the darkest ring had two different looks.
My original paper drawing didn't 
show how the reds in the blocks
and the darker red setting block
would react with one another.

 I didn't even see what was happening
until after I had sewn  it together.

Well, it's done.

It's not my usual 
uniformed, structured, balanced style,
but it does remind me 
how I feel when a favorite plate, bowl,
or dish slips from my hands,
shatters to pieces 
and then can not be put back together again.

Well. in reality, 
I'm not shattered by the quilt's finish.
Yes, a little.

It simply took it's own path
and created something new and different.

Some quilts are diamonds
and some quilts are _______
(well, unique)
Until Next Time-

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

What's On Your Bed- Springtime

Spring is starting to make her presents known
even here is Colorado.

Oh, it makes me feel
so carefree and giddy.

It's the perfect time to take 
the winter quilts off the beds and
exchange them for a fresh springtime look.
On one guest bed you'll find this quilt.

Springtime Garden

This was a Gerry Kimmel-Carr pattern
from Red Wagon 

This quilt brings back  a lot of memories
of appliqueing in the car through all kinds of weather
while parked behind the music building on the campus of
Colorado State University during
my daughter's weekly cello lesson.

Oh, what mothers do.

On another guest bed is this quilt.

Ewe and I

2014 - 20015

This quilt was the BOM from the Quilt Show
in 2014 designed by Janet Stone,
 but the fabrics were from 1998.

This is such a happy quilt
with spring fabrics, a line from Sandy Gervais.
I just could never find the right project over the years and
  was glad I had held on to them
 for this one.

If you happened to drop by,  you'd
find this quilt on my bed.
One of my favorites.

"Blue Tick"

This pattern is designed by Barb Adams and Alma Allen
from their book
Celebration of American Life.

There were several friends who bought yards and yards of
this wonderful blue ticking.
The reverse side of the fabric had a soft aged look so
that's what I used.

Each block is hand appliqued

Each block was designed to
symbolize many of the values I cherish.




It's a delightful quilt to sleep under
when some days are still cold and
others bring the warmth of spring.

Each season is represented in our quilts.
They include memories of a time
or event making each one special.

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

March's Small Quilt- Let's Have a Potluck

There's nothing better 
than going to a Potluck.
It's a communal gathering
where each guest brings a different
and hopefully, unique and delicious dish
to be shared.
hosted another block swap.
This time with the Broken Dishes block.
With new blocks arriving for the swap of 2018,
I decided it might be time to
sew together the previous group.

I sewed the majority of the 4" blocks
together into one large quilt.

Here's a small peek.

It's off to the quilters so 
Debi can do her magic.

But there were several lovely blocks left.
What better to do than to sew them together
for my Small Quilt for the month of March.

(Being red and white it probably qualifies 
more for a February finish.💖💖)

20" x 28"

A block swap is exactly like a Pot Luck.
Each quilter sharing their blocks,
 using their best sewing skills,
and allowing everyone to enjoy
the fabrics they picked out.

It's amazing how they all work together.
I couldn't decide on a single border fabric.
Why not use 4 different ones.

Add some simple machine quilting
before you know it these broken dishes
are serving up a delicious feast for the eyes.

Until Next Time-

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Throw Back Thursday

There are times 
when it's fun to look in the past
and smile.

Perfect hair required being 
tethered to a hose.

No backpacks
to carry your books home from school.

Listening to the top tunes

on your own transistor radio.

Recently, Barb at Fun With Barb, hosted a 
swap with Churn Dash blocks.
It's a great little block that can
be sewn with any style of fabric
and set together in a variety of ways.

I thought I'd share today on
Throw back Thursday a Churn Dash quilt 
I made in 1989.

It's still one of  my favorites.

 6" blocks set on point
with a  alternating indigo blue square.

Back then I hand quilted everything

and generally used a solid for the backing.

Fabric styles have a changed a bit too.

VIP fabrics were very popular.

Jinny Beyer fabrics 
were a major change from the small
calico prints you could still find.

Country blues and mauves,
 definitely a popular color scheme.

If you've quilted for a few decades like me,
you might even recognize a print or two.

It's fun once in awhile to look
back and see how styles, tends, and ideas
have changed.
Can't wait to start playing with some new
Churn Dash blocks soon.

I have a set of vintage blocks too.

What to work on next!?!

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Vision verses Ability

Do you ever feel like this?

This little chipmunk seems to have 
bitten off more than he can chew.
Oh, how I know the feeling!

The pieced top for the mystery quilt, Discovery,
  designed by Petra Prins in 2016 for Quiltmania magazine
has been finished for almost a year.

The delay?

  I've wanted to quilt it myself,
but the task seemed daunting.
My vision far exceeded my ability.

So for 9 months I've moved it
from list to list,
dragged my heels, and
totally procrastinated.

A couple of weeks ago I finally I 
ordered a collection of Aurifil #28 thread
in the pefect colors so my stitches 
would blend in, yet add
texture with the thicker thread.

So then last week

I pulled up my big girl panties and 
said," What have I got to loose!  Just do it."

It took more time and 
thought than I had originally planned,
although I knew it would.
Each section brought new challenges.

Figuring out what to do,

practicing, practicing...,
and attempting to make the designs look cohesive.

I left the center section until last.
I was unsure if I would be able to  fill in the background
with a swirl design that looked appropriate
for this beautiful design.

Not perfect, but acceptable for me.

I was excited to finally
 add my special label.
 When I was in the Netherlands
last spring, Petra signed it for me.
Now both of our names are included.

(notice how I changed the date!)

This quilt was a long term
project with many discoveries.  
I discovered Dutch chintz designs and how lovely they're to work with,
EPP piecing is accurate and fun to do,
and my machine quilting skills may be far from perfect,

but you never know what you can do until you give it a try.

Until Next Time-