Monday, December 26, 2016

En Provence Part 5 & UFO Challenge

It was a nice Christmas with family and friends.  I delivered the T-shirt quilt and he was thrilled.  It was fun to watch him tell his family stories behind several of the T-shirts.  My nephew was excited to get his graduation quilt.  When I delivered the "past due" ornaments, one nephew remarked it was for the year he was born.  I'm glad he now has a complete set.

I did not start Part 5 for En Provence until this morning . . . and I'm done.  Thanks to Bonnie for giving us a small assignment this close to Christmas.  Check the progress of the world-wide group at her website:

We only had to make 64 half-square triangles.  Still haven't used the green or yellow??

I was reading a post from Pat Sloan regarding a 2017 UFO Challenge from  It sounds like a lot of fun and since I now have a stack of "requested" tops to finish, the timing is perfect.  During our Christmas Eve celebration, I laid out unfinished quilts and even kits then had individuals go back and select one they would like to have - sometime!  I made no promises as to when it would get done, but I'm hoping this will be an incentive to actually work on them. The quilts were all sizes - queen to 24 x 24.  I'd post a list but it may take 5 years or more.

2017 UFO Challenge

I have friends coming for our third annual New Year's retreat.  Four full days of quilting!!  Great way to end one year and start the next.

Thanks for checking in.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Opportunity Quilt 2017

I belong to four quilt guilds in my area.  After living by a bell and school calendar for 37 years of teaching, I'm having fun doing what I want.  I like each guild for different reasons.  One guild is about 45 minutes away, so I don't want to be on the board.  I've organized their challenge for a few years, but this year the president asked me to organize the Opportunity Quilt for 2017.  There were offers to help in any way, but I ended up just making and quilting it myself.  Three of us selected fabrics.  We had nothing in mind when we went shopping, just the thought that we wanted something bright.

When asked I knew immediately what pattern I wanted to use.  "Irish Mist" from Six Halves Make a Whole Lot More by The Quilt Branch.  This is the pattern I quilted for a friend earlier this year.  The top went together nicely, but I kept stalling on the quilting.  I wanted to do something different, but in the end I did feathers similar to what I had done on my friends quilt.

I used the back side of a fabric for the corners on bottom left star.
I couldn't find a "light" that worked here.   I know quilters are OK
with this, but I wasn't sure for an opportunity quilt.

The drawing will be December 2017.

Thanks for checking in.

Finish and get it out of the house

"Finish" was my theme for the past few weeks.  If I get some of my many projects finished, I can get stuff out of my house.  Since I finished my ornaments one week early (yea!) I had time to do extra sewing.

1.  I finished the T-shirt quilt I said I would do after I retired.  I retired 5 1/2 years ago!  It's done and will be delivered Christmas.  That gets two boxes out of the studio.

This is my second T-shirt quilt - many years apart.
This time I made all the shirt pieces measure the same.
You'll notice a couple of the blocks are pieced,
yet still the same size.

2.  When neices and nephews graduate from high school I make them a quilt.  One nephew served in the Navy immediately after HS so I got his quilt partially finished, then put it away because he couldn't carry it around with him.  I did show it to him before he left to serve.  I would find it every once in a while but just put it back in the box.  I found it a couple of days ago while looking for something else and decided it needed to be finished.  He graduated in 2004.  The quilt was completed, even bound, I just wanted to add special quilting in the light sections.  When I looked at what I had done previously, I realized I've come a long way in my quilting!  I needed to finish feathers in two corners, but the style back then was very different from my current style.  It's done and he gets it Christmas.
sorry, not a good photo.  Too much black and cream.
You can see the music fabrics in the photo below.
My nephew was part of the drum line.

The quilted notes are the school fight song.  When I took this photo I noticed
I forgot to include the b flat symbol.  Oops, I'll have to go back and fix that.
3.  30 years ago I did not finish two ornaments.  I would find them every few years, but they just went back in the box.  I know the date because it was on the back with their names.  All the cross stitch was done, I just never put the front and back together.  Who knows why???  They are now done and will be delivered Christmas Eve.

One of the ornaments goes to the nephew with the quilt above.

4.  I did do some new sewing.  I had a pattern to make grocery bags - in CA you have to take a bag or they charge 10 cents each for what they provide - but they are not very cost effective since each requires 1.75 yards of fabric and 2+ yards of fusible.  But they are so cute I couldn't resist since I had time.  Using fabric from my stash I was able to make 11 in time to present to the ladies at Christmas.  (Last year they all got fabric sachets filled with dried roses and lavender.)

There's a lot of yardage here, but my stash doesn't look any smaller.

Thanks for checking in.
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Busy weekend keeping up with projects & En Provence #4

I have been working many hours trying to get some holiday projects done.  I'm extremely proud to say I have my ornaments completed and wrapped!  I finished Saturday afternoon - exactly one week before I hand them out to the family.  I think this is the earliest I've ever had them completed in the 35 years I've been doing this.  (This does not count the years I purchased ornaments while traveling.)
30 Santas.  A friend called this my basket of goodies.

I think the difference is two fold:
1.  I'm in a get it finished and out of the house state of mind and
2.  I've been listening to audio books while in the studio.  Not serious books,  Light reading that doesn't require a lot of focus.

I worked on the t-shirt quilt for a friend.  The binding is ready to attach.  I just need to make the label.  This will get a quilt and a box out of the studio.  Yea!  Photo to follow.

I finished clue 4 in the Bonnie Hunter En Provence Mystery.  I used the quarter inch foot with a guide and it seemed to help with accuracy for the tri-rec blocks.  I have to keep switching it out because the guide gets in the way for other piecing (going over lots of seams).

80 Tri-rec units.  We still haven't used our green or yellow (aqua for me)
Check Bonnie's site to see what others are doing:

Thanks for checking in.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

En Provence Part 3

Yea to me . . .  I'm all caught up with En Provence, this year's Bonnie Hunter mystery.

Not a lot to see yet.
221 "neutral" 4-patches
100 tri-rec pieces
168 purple 4-patches
Check the progress of other participants in the mystery at this link:

Friday I used my Silhouette Cameo cutter to cut all the pieces for this year's family Christmas ornaments.  Since that put me a little ahead of schedule, I worked on my mystery pieces.  It feels good to have them finished by Sunday!  Now, full steam ahead for fusing Santas.

Thanks for checking in.

Monday, December 5, 2016

En Provence Clue 2 Bonnie Hunter Mystery 2016

I've started clue two, even though I have not completed the first clue.  I'm working it in between other projects trying to keep up with my holiday projects.

It's fun to see what others are doing - check here:

I have 40 of the 100 tri-rec units.  Four-patch units have not changed since last week.
You can't see all my fabrics.  I'm using light and dark purple/violet, green, aqua, and red-orange as my constant.  My neutrals are white with black.  I picked the colors using a piece of fabric I like.  That fabric may not end up on the front of the quilt.

Thanks for checking in.

Quiltopia BOM Quiltin' cousins

I decided to participate in the BOM from a local shop this year.  Recently the owner announced she is closing so I needed to get it done in case there were any problems.  Yea!  The top is finished!!  Approximate size 60 x 60 inches.

I have a prioritized list of what needs to be done in what order.  This was #1.  Now, on to #2 on the list.

Thanks for checking in.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

challenge entry

My guild challenge this year was the "Paint Chip" challenge.  In this challenge you are given a random paint chip sample and must use those colors in a quilt.  We were allowed to add one additional color. Since I was in charge I felt I should have an entry.

Of course, I didn't get around to starting mine until last week and it's due Dec. 14.  I figured a table runner would be quick and easy.  NOT.  Since my colors reminded me of ocean colors, I wanted to use Storm at Sea designs.  Then I put the blocks on point.  Now it's too big!  It would need to be a large table!!  I'll get it quilted and it will be ready in time.

My paint chip.  I added gray.
The quilt will finish about 30 x 56 inches.
The background is light with gray swirls.
 Thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

En Provence Quiltville Mystery 2016

I'm a little behind, but I do have all my strips cut for Bonnie Hunter's 2016 mystery - En Provence.  I have two deadline quilts I need to get finished before I can concentrate on this year's quilt.

As you can see, my neutrals are white with black.  Other colors are light and
dark purple/violet, aqua, green, and my constant an orange red.
Here's the link to see what everyone is doing.

Thanks for checking in.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Sewing on a rainy Saturday and cutting for En Provence Mystery

Yesterday Bonnie Hunter posted the first clue on her En Provence Mystery.  I immediately cut out my strips to make 221 four-patch units.

I sewed a few strips together using a quarter-inch foot with guide.  I usually
don't use that foot, but thought it would make sewing the strips easier.  It did.
I made up 10 of the 221 units I will need.  My neutrals are white with black.

However, I have to do things in order.  I needed a small "thank you" gift for our guild meeting Monday night.  I couldn't make a decision, but finally settled on small pin cushions.  I have one that I keep on my sewing machine and like having it there.  It's small and stays out of the way.

The base is supposed to be a tea light holder.  These are a bit larger, but it's
what I could get at my local $1 store.  The cushion part is about 2 in across.
Thanks for checking in.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

En Provence Mystery Bonnie Hunter, Quiltville

I'm getting my fabrics together for Bonnie Hunter's 2016 mystery - En Provence.
I used the fabric at the top to gather fabrics.  I did this once before and liked
the results.  Last time this focus fabric did not appear on the front of the quilt.
Not sure what will happen this time. I plan to use the orange-red as my constant.
I'm undecided on my background.  In the photo I have assorted whites or assorted white with black.  I've got 5 days to make a decision.  I'm open to suggestions.

Thanks for checking in.

Two finishes!

I'm back after 2 1/2 months.  Where does the time go?

I started a tradition of gifting tree skirts to nephews and nieces when they marry.  This year I had two weddings - May and November.  I'm proud to say I have both skirts finished!  I wanted to give them at Thanksgiving so they could be used this year.

This is the third time I've used this pattern.  Diamond Log Cabin blocks.
6 vertical, 6 horizontal.  Different fabric combinations make it look different.

I tried a different version of a feather.  Curls.

The bride requested black, gold, and cream as her colors.
I first saw this design on Pinterest.  I was trying to figure out the piecing
process when I found out it's in one of the French Braid books by Jane Hardy Miller.

I originally purchased the Christmas boot fabric as a possible backing.
I'm glad I was able to use it on the front of the skirt.
FYI:  The bride and attendants wore boots for the ceremony.
 I thought this was perfect for them

I used the same curly feather in one round, a holly leaf in one,
and generic fills in the rest.
 I've been working on other projects.  One I can't show here until after December 8.  It's an opportunity quilt for one of my guilds and they are not having the reveal until then.

I'm working on a T-shirt quilt for a friend.  I said I would make it after I retired - 5+ years ago!  I finally got started when I realized I could get rid of two boxes from the studio if I just got it done.

Today I embroidered three labels:  Two for the tree skirts and the other for a friend.  I need to keep practicing the process until it becomes natural.

Thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Update on projects

Just a quick update on what I've been working on.

I started a tradition that when my nephew's (so far no nieces) get married: I give them a tree skirt for a wedding present.  This year I have two weddings. I decided to revert to something I did when this generation was 5 - 8 years old.  I laid out all my quilt tops, had them select the one they wanted, and quilted it for their birthday that year.  I decided to do this for tree skirts.  I will see the couples this weekend so I will show them "tops" I have made and let them select the one they want.  I have three done.

The color for each photo is not true, but I think you'll get the idea.

This was the first one I made.  I saw it on Pinterest and figured out 
the pattern.  It has lots of good space for quilting.  That will make all 
the difference.  Otherwise I think it's a little plain.

This is my second design.  I first made this pattern years ago for my parents.  It
is a "quilt as you go" design.  I found the technique frustrating and decided then
I would never make it again.  I finally made it a couple of years ago, but just made
the blocks and put it together like a regular quilt. (Much better)  I left one set of seams
unsewn for the opening.  This is now the third time I've used this pattern.
It's becoming my favorite pattern!

this was actually a kit for a quilt - from my stash.  I decided to make it
up.  I'll cut into the top to make it into a tree skirt. The center
is a panel, the outside a border print.

I have one other pattern to put together.  I would really like to complete four skirts before Christmas this year.  Two for wedding presents, one as a donation for a tree auction fund raiser, and one for ME!  I'm making great skirts for family and the one I use is an old, plain one I made about 40 years ago.

I'm also making a quilt for one of my guilds to use as an opportunity quilt.  Photo to come later.

Thanks for checking in.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Works in progress

I'm currently working on a couple of projects.

1.  I'm making a quilt to be used by Old Town Quilters of Nipomo for their opportunity quilt.  It's a pattern from 6 Halves makes a Whole Lot More by The Quilt Branch.  A friend made it previously and I quilted it for her.  I liked it so much when I was approached to make an opportunity quilt this was my first choice.

2.  I would like to make at least 5 Christmas Tree Skirts this year.  Two (maybe 3) for wedding gifts, one as a donation for a tree auction in November, and one for me!!  I actually started one yesterday.  I ended up changing the border from my original choice, but I'm hoping I can salvage this one.  the other border did not do anything for the quilt., but even now it didn't turn out like the vision in my head.

 Thanks for checking in.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Threadology with Philippa Naylor

Last week a friend and I went to Superior Threads, St. George, Utah, for four days with Philippa Naylor.  It was not a class to make a project, but rather four days to learn her techniques:  precision piecing, curved piecing, applique, and finishing techniques.  I learned a lot!!

The building seemed to be camouflaged.  It
blended in with the mountain.  Mother Superior
told us the red dirt would make any building
red, so why not just start with that color.

These is what we made for Precision Piecing.
1/2 square triangles, square in a square, mitered borders.

Our curved piecing sample.  My first border matches my background so
the star would appear to float in the sky.  I'll add another border for more practice.
Philippa had this pattern for us, but gave us instruction on how to make our own.

I tried to take photos so I could remember the techniques.
How to prep a sharp corner for applique.

How to make a narrow rouleau strip.

After the workshop, we stayed two extra days and went to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks.  I had been before, but it was about 40 years ago.  It was Barb's first time.  The two parks are very different but each has something special.  We did a little hiking and lots of "ohh"ing and "ahhh"ing.  It was interesting to see the changes in the desert scenery throughout the trip.

Zion National Park.  You are at the bottom looking up.

Bryce Canyon National Park.  You're on top looking down.

Of course we visited quilt shops.  The shop in Hurricane, UT, told us of an event in the history of Panguitch.  Quilts saved the town!  The town celebrate this historic event every June.

Thanks for checking in.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Seven Sisters Quilt Show

Last weekend was our Seven Sisters Quilt Show.  I'm involved in the planning so I spent all of two days there, plus some computer work on the night in between.  I just finished all my thank you letters and got them in the mail along with two raffle prizes that had to be shipped.

My quilts did well in both styles of judging.  We have formal judging done by an outside judge.  Two of my quilts took top honors in the Miscellanous category.

Sponsored Awards are given by groups and/or individuals who establish the category and amount of award.  It is not formal judging, but rather a quilt (or garment) the judge feels best exhibits the parameters for the award.  My award was the Suzanne McDermott Memorial Machine Embroidery Award.  Since I knew Suzanne well, I was excited to get the first award in her memory.  I feel like she's looking down and saying "Good for you!"  Not so much that I got the award, but that I perservered and finished the project.

"Nine Fabrics, Nine Blocks" was awarded 1st place
and received one of the sponsored awards.

"Snow Blind" received Honorable Mention.
I found out later only two awards were given
in this category.  My 1st and HM.

You can't see much in the photo above, but here's a close up of "Snow Blind"
"Yes, It's a Panel" was not judged but I got a lot
of comments from atendees about this one.
Next year's show will be June 24 & 25, 2017.  Plan to attend!

Thanks for checking in.

Gwen Marston workshop

I had the opportunity to take a three-day workshop with Gwen Marston.  Liberated quiltmaking is not my style, but I couldn't pass up this experience.  Gwen is delightful and so open to sharing.  I've always felt like a fraud when it came to art quilting, but she gave me encouragement to just "do it".  I'm excited about my end result.

30 x 33 inches
I'll quilt with straight lines and heavy thread.
The "drip" at the top was not planned.  Nice!
 Thanks for checking in.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Retreat weekend

I usually go to the mountains during Memorial Day weekend, but since I had just seen all the family the weekend before at a wedding, I elected to stay home.  Well, not really home as I spent two days sewing with friends in Cambria.  My goal was to get the blocks together for the BOM from BJ's Quilt Basket, Bend,Oregon.

This is the inside.  I included the triangles at the top to show
how it fits in the applique border.  I would like the quilt to
fit a queen bed, so I'll need another border.  I'm going to try
and find a pieced border that looks good with the inside.  I don't
want to just add fabric to the outside, but we'll see.

Just some of the blocks.  I do machine applique.
I struggle with the quilting design when each block is different.
I can't do in the ditch because some of the seams are pressed open.

I have to repeat this section 8 times.  There will be flowers at the end of the stems.
The pattern has the vine coming out of the triangle and ending near the corner.
I've decided to make the vine continuous around the quilt.  The stems are hanging
because I can't sew them down until it's attached to the quilt.  It's easier to do
the machine applique on a small piece rather than a 70' square piece.
Once again, thanks for checking in.