Saturday, May 23, 2015

Quilting Happiness

Last week I had just a really fun time quilting! Most of the quilts I quilt are fun, but this one was just a joy!

I had this Metro Rings Quilt on hand for several weeks before I started on it because I had signed up to take a quilting class from Helen Robinson and Jenny Pedigo of Sew Kind of Wonderful at the Home Machine Quilting Show in Salt Lake City.  It was a good move to wait, on my part, because I gleaned the knowledge they presented in class. And best of all, I bought the Quick Curve ruler (for quilters) which tracks fairly closely to the curves in the rings. With the ruler, I was able to quilt rings to my heart's content, echo them, and move on to make even more rings. Talk about fun!

This quilt, sent to me by Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts, has the perfect amount of negative space to create some gorgeous designs. See? Fun, fun!

The backside

I used a double layer of batting. All I had on hand was Hobbs 80/20, so I just doubled up on that.  It gave a great texture and shows the relief around the rings. And it's quilted with Fil-Tec's Glide, which gives it a nice sheen.

All in all, there are an estimated 4,220 pebbles floating throughout this piece. OMG - around, and around, and around, and around! But hey - who's counting?

 Now I have the bug to make a Christmas quilt just like this for myself. of these years....

This is why I quilt with a smile,

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

HMQS - Stunning Quilts and Fun Times!

Quilters are the nicest people. True fact.

I think that's part of the reason I love long arm quilting so much - I get to spend time with ladies who have spent many hours creating quilts for people in their lives. Those givers touch a cord in my heart, and through my ability to help finish their quilt tops by quilting lovely patterns all over, I get to play a small part in their gifts. How special is that?

I'm being kinda sappy, for sure, but again, true story!  A week ago I returned from spending three days at the Home Machine Quilting Show (HMQS) in Sandy, Utah.  I've been there twice before: once as a brand spanking new quilter who had just bought a long arm and didn't know quite what to do with it, and then a year later with a little experience under my wings but still feeling very much like the novice.

Oh - there's my friend. I think she's camera shy....
This year, I returned and had every bit as much fun as my previous trips. I went with a quilty friend, and we talked our heads off about quilting. Good thing our husbands stayed home because I don't think we stopped talking once during the five-hour drive down there. Or back! My time at HMQS was filled with classes, checking out the vendors, and of course, oohing and awing over the awesome work that went into the creation of each and every quilt on display. And there were some stunners!

Quilting Sampler for Class by Judi Madsen

I took classes from Judi Madsen, Angela Walters and Jenny Pedigo & Helen Robinson (Sew Kind of Wonderful). Could it get much better than that?  These are all women who fell in love with quilting, kept at it, and developed their own style to turn it into a business which gives them a good livelihood. And the best part? They like to share with us.

Angela Walters giving instructions for FMQ at the HMQS 2015

Sisters Helen Robinson and Jenny Pedigo make up Sew Kind of Wonderful, best known for their Quick Curve Rulers and curvy quilts. Class was fun!

I won the drawing for the quilting sample that Jenny Pedigo did during class. It's even signed :)
I also ran into people I knew from my local quilt guild, an old friend, and I even found myself in class with a blogging buddy whom I had never had the pleasure of meeting in person before. Val Reynolds of Val's Quilting Studio. What are the chances of that?

Oh - and I ran across a quilt that was entered by another blogging friend, Helen Ernst of Till We Quilt Again from New Jersey.  Her quilting is stunning, although it doesn't show up well in this photo. I snatched up an unsuspecting attendee to snap this photo of me in front of Helen's quilt.  Poor lady, she had no choice in the matter and I then proceeded to explain to her the story behind the quilt and how far it had traveled to get here, and that it had become lost in the mail, and fortunately found, and now graced this spot in the show!

If you zoom in you can see the quilted helicopter. Very impressive work by Helen Ernst of Till We Quilt Again

Anyway, I learned lots and had fun in the process.  I'll leave you today with a bit of quilty bling in these photos of some of the wonderful quilts on display. I took more than 150 photos, so count your lucky stars that I'm not posting them all!

I cannot figure out how to get these to appear upright - my apologies!

That's all for now.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Blocks and More Blocks

I've been busy constructing blocks for the two Bees I'm participating in this year.  Having never paper pieced before, it is forcing me to do something out of my comfort zone. While I've discovered I like the finished look achieved from paper piecing, I can't fathom making an entire quilt from these types of blocks. It would take forever and a day for me!

This wild colored block is for my Hive in The Stash Bee.  I think when they all come together, it will make an awesome quilt!

This block for The Bee Hive is called Wanta Fanta, and is seriously understated as a stand alone block. But once all the blocks are put together, they form the coolest, swoopiest design ever!  Hard to visualize with just one block, but it definitely works.

May is my month to be Queen Bee for the Stash Bee.  I'm still working on my sample to decide block to use.  Decisions, decisions, decisions.  I must say, I am enjoying working on blocks for others. It's fun to go through my stash and pick out colors I think they will enjoy, and then having the practice to make blocks that I would never have done on my own accord.

Time to get back to the sewing room!  Have you participated in a Bee Swap before, or now? How did you like it?

Quilting with a smile,

Monday, April 6, 2015

Baby Quilt Cuteness to Warm Your Heart ALYOF April

I missed the deadline in March for posting a goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes. And I almost missed it this month, too!  But, here I am, just in the nick of time.  This program is such a great motivation to get projects off the shelves and completed - thank you Shanna and Melissa!

So, for April I am going going to get this darling little baby quilt quilted up and bound, ready for a new home.

I had the center finished for awhile, but wanted something a little snazzy for the outer border. I found this great design from Cotton & Steel and I think it works well.

Today on the frame I have this very fun quilt that just puts a burst of spring into the room!  I love the star pattern on this one. The backing pieced with the same fabrics, and it will be an awesome quilt for my client.  I'm just quilting an edge-to-edge tight floral design. It should make it puffy and comfy cozy when washed.  And it makes me smile, so it's all good!

We're supposed to get a week of rain and snow, which we desperately need. So I plan on getting lots of quilting done.  What are you up to this month?

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up to ALYOF

Monday, February 16, 2015

Bee Block, Log Cabins, and a Winner!

It's been a very nice long weekend for me.  I got to attend a sewing class, I went for a drive with my husband up into the mountains, and I'm finishing up some little projects.  Plus, I have selected a winner for the Grow Your Blog Giveaway.

The first order of business was to make up a block for my Stash Bee Hive 4 group #stashbee. This is a fun, modern block to construct. It was easy and I love the way the colors in the fabric played out. Queen Kathy wanted navy blue or dark yellow on one side, and modern neutrals on the other side.  Hope she likes this one - it's going clear to Australia! Super fun, fun!

The class I took on Saturday was to learn how to use the Curvy Log Cabin Ruler, created by Jean Ann Wright (former editor in chief of Quilt Magazine).  Jean Ann and her sister, Janet Houts, are now pattern designers, and Jean Ann has been having fun designing quilting rulers, too.

I didn't have time in class to get the other 'set' done. If I had, you could see how the curviness of the blocks comes into play.  In my block, the white background is smaller than the printed blocks. When put together, it gives an optical illusion of curves.  I need to make a mere 57 more blocks for my quilt, so I do believe this quilt is my long-term project!

These are 6" blocks, and four blocks make one larger block. Very scrappy!  I thought about doing each one the same, but that taxes my brain too much. So I chose to go scrappy.

Yesterday, I didn't sew or quilt a single stitch. Nope, not me. My husband and I drove up north about 60 miles to see how the Stanley Basin in the heart of the Sawtooth Mountain Range was fairing this year.  While our snow has melted in the valley (elevation 5,500 feet), there hasn't been too much snow melt up high.  We have a cabin that sits about 7,200+ feet, and the peaks are 10,000 or higher in these photos. So lots of snow in the high country. Which is a good thing for our drought-stricken state.

View from Galena Summit looking north across the Sawtooth Range.

This is the view from our cabin. Kinda hard to take, but someone's gotta do it!

The Sawtooths and Mt. Heyburn and McGowan peaks. Redfish Lake sits on the other side of the trees.

Oh! My winner!  It was a fun month to get responses from the Grow Your Blog Giveaway.  I met a lot of nice people and followed several new blogs myself.  When it came right down to it, the winner of four fat quarters of wonderful Kaffe Fassett Collection fabrics is:

Diane Wingo

Thank you, everyone, for participating, and thank you Vicki at Two Bags Full for hosting this event. It was a pleasure to participate!

I'm going on a road trip soon, so I have this strange sensation that Fabric From Far Away is calling my name. Perhaps there just might be some Stash Collecting in my near future?

Quilting with a smile,


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