Friday, October 17, 2014

Mountain Quilt Retreat: The Ties That Bind

Two weeks ago our quilt guild had the great opportunity to meet at a mountain lodge for a weekend quilt retreat. The 5 Bee Quilters Guild mustered up two dozen quilters to work on quilt projects, share stories, do some hiking and kayaking, drink more than a little fine wine, and enjoy the solace of the mountain's beauty.


Fog rising from Perkins Lake greeted us each morning on the way to breakfast.

Warning:  The following post is photo heavy.  Notice how a good time was had by all!

Can you believe how much I had to take just for two nights? Note: The dog stayed home :(

Fun times were had by all!

 Janet Houts (standing), co-author of Circle of Nine, Quilting A Circle of Nine, and Log Cabin Quilts: The Basics and Beyond, works on log cabin blocks made from Kaffe Fassett prints for a class she will teach next spring.

Needle, thread, thimble, scissors . . . and some good light make hand quilting a delight - oh, look - that rhymes!

Helping one another is a side benefit of attending a quilt retreat. Loads of ideas and good advice.

Ann Lynn shows off her nifty little basket she made out of 12-inch squares, some batting and some inspiration from the little class I instructed. Sweet!

Here's another example of the quilted basket by our guild president. Is she a jester or a jokester?

Concentration is the name of the game!

Shawn shows off the quilt top she started, and finished, during the retreat. This fun rainbow of scrappiness was put together with foundation paper piecing and went together in a flash! Oh wait - do I see another basket hat?

  Speaking of flash, no flash needed as Ann Lynn snaps a lovely shot of the lake one morning.

 Frost or no frost, Rose is out for a morning stroll around the lake.

 This was Shirley's first quilt ever! I quilted it for her, and she finished it up with the binding this weekend. Way to go, girl!

Fun times indeed, and the gift exchange was especially fun. But darn it all - someone stole this little notebook away from me!  Oh, well. We're already making plans for next year's retreat.

Always quilt with a smile,

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sneak Peek at Sew Sweet Simplicity Free BOM and Giveaway!

Fall is in the air and what better time to take on a new project than now?  Especially when you see this quilt!

Oops - that's not the quilt! That's a picture of my front yard. Autumn is in full swing around here and I just love the contrasting colors of red, yellow, green and blue, even with a little neutral tone in the house - the perfect makings for a quilt!
I'm participating as one of the Featured Bloggers for the Sew Sweet Simplicity Free Block of the Month Blog Hop sponsored by Henry Glass designer Jacquelynne Steves, The Art of Home.   And unlike some BOM's, this one is free! Just sign up and join us for the fun and prizes.

For this quilt I'll be making six blocks, but there are many options you can choose to make this quilt your very own. You can do just four blocks, or six like I am doing. You can include embroidery or applique in the center of the blocks, or just piece the blocks and let the fabric tell the story.  And you can choose to make the blocks into a lap quilt, table runner, pillows - whatever your heart desires.

The block designs are beautiful, and they work up well. 

I've been having fun selecting my fabrics, and finally settled in on Soho Chic by Sandy Gervais for Moda.  I fell in love with the rich teal color and the happiness the fabrics invoke.  Now I just have to dig in and start cutting.

The first block will be released on Oct. 27, so you still have plenty of time to sign up.  I'll be having several giveaways of books, fabric (did someone mention fabric?) and thread throughout the Blog Hop, as will the other featured bloggers.  So be sure to sign up today.

Did someone mention GIVEAWAY???  That's right - today I'm giving away this awesome bundle of patterns.  Entering is easy and you have two chances to win. Plus, it's open for International entries as well as US entries. This giveaway is open through Oct. 23.

1.  Leave a comment telling me if you have participated in a BOM before and if you finished the quilt.
2. Follow along with me here on my blog, on Facebook, or Instagram for another chance to win! Just tell me how you follow.

Fun times ahead! And you'll end up with a cozy quilt to boot! Sign up today and then check back on October 27 when we all get started.

Quilting with a smile,

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September Lovely Year of Finishes Goal Completed!

I am very happy to report that I was able to complete my goal this month for A Lovely Year of Finishes! Granted, it wasn't a huge goal - I just had to get the binding on these two fun table runners. But considering all that I have on my plate this month, this was about as good as I could get.

I really loved the fabric I used for the backing and binding. I debated long and hard if I wanted to use it for backing. But then decided it was so pretty, I could easily flip it over and have two table runners in one!

This was a fun project! I used a charm pack of squares that had a variety of Amy Butler fabrics. It was fun to see how the placement of the prints altered the design.

Which one do you like better?

I have a little breathing room in October, and I'm very much looking forward to it. My daughter will be coming home to help me celebrate my birthday. And our son is moving back to Idaho as his job search wasn't very fruitful in Oregon. It will be good to have him closer.

Oh! And another great thing about October - we have our guild's Quilting Retreat scheduled for a lovely lodge by a mountain lake north of here. I'll have a couple more things to add to my ALYOF for October, and maybe I can make some headway on them there. One can only hope.

Stay calm and quilt!


Linking up with Fabric Tuesday, A Lovely Year of Finishes, Linky Tuesday,  and Finish Along 2014, Needle and Thread Thursday, and Show and Tell Tuesday.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Goal for September's A Lovely Year of Finishes

I'm traveling two weeks out of this month, so I'm trying to be realistic and keep my goals workable. With that in mind, I'd really like to finish this set of table runners.

I made these from one charm pack of Amy Butler prints.  All I need is binding, and I've got a finish!

I can't decide which is my favorite of these two?  I quilted a real fun pattern in the center prints, but it doesn't show up well at all. It's from  Angela Walters' new book "Shape by Shape - Free Motion Quilting With Angela Walters"  and is called Swirl Chain. It works in well with the outer swirls.

 Once I get the binding on, I'll try to get a better photo from the backside.

The second runner had me stumped as to the quilting, so I just did some stippling. Don't think I was feeling all that well that day, so I scribbled. Fun, fun!

So, with my Day Job taking most of my time this month, getting the bindings on these two darlings will please me greatly!  Thanks again to Melissa and Shanna for hosting A Lovely Year of Finishes. I see that it is inspiring many of us to just "Get 'er Done!" especially when time is scarce.

Be sure to join the fun and link up your September Goal for ALYOF. See you on the flip side!

Quilting with a smile,
Linking up to Needle & Thread ThursdayALYOF

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cowgirl Up Quilt Finished

My goodness! When a person moves through the day at 1400 mph, some things get forgotten. And I, unfortunately, forgot to take a photo of my finished quilt I made for my niece's wedding.  Here is the best photo I can come up with when it was on the frame.

Not to brag, but I think it turned out really nice actually! I used a pattern I bought from Melissa called Dizzying Diamonds, and the red background fabric really stands out. For the backing I used a plain brown down the center half flanked by a brighter red fabric that had rope lassos laced through it. Fun, fun for a true cowgirl!

Here's a photo I took before the rows were sewn together. Gives you a little idea what it looked like.

Speaking of that, here is a photo of her as her dad is walking her down the aisle. Notice she wore her favorite cowgirl boots under that lovely dress!

Here's a pic of my favorite girl, my daughter Jessica who flew in for the wedding. Always such fun to spend some time with her. Here she is writing out the card to go with the gift. The quilt is wrapped up in a huge gift bag which was sitting right next to her, just out of camera shot...... 

And this is a pic of my baby brother and I.  He had lung cancer and just had a major surgery three months ago to remove part of his lung.  Public Service Announcement:  If You Smoke, STOP NOW!  I was so happy to be able to spend time with him. So happy.

And to finish off this post, I'll just share one other photo of the newlyweds.  Turned out her colors were blue and I fit right in!

So, you can see I took a lot of pictures. I just forgot to take a pic of the finished quilt. But honestly, I did get it all bound, hand-stitched and out the door last week. Hope she liked it!

Smiling big this week,

Linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes, Linky Tuesday, Fabric Tuesday and Needle and Thread Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things and Show Off Saturday.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Joy of Quilting

Sometimes we get an opportunity to do something that is just plain fun. 

This was the case last month when I had the privilege to custom quilt a t-shirt quilt to honor a special person who has been instrumental in providing a sense of 'community' to our small town of Hailey and the Wood River Valley in southern Idaho for more than three decades.

Collage of the Northern Rockies Fold Festival Quilt 2014

For the past 32 years, Pete Kramer, a.k.a. PK, has served as the volunteer coordinator to bring the Northern Rockies Folk Festival to town. And the best part? It has always been at an affordable price so locals can bring their kids and families, coolers and picnic baskets, lawn chairs and smiles, to the city park to listen to two days' worth of down-home, foot-stompin' good music under the stars.

We've lived in the valley for 31 years, and haven't missed too many of these summer outdoor concerts. But, being about the same age as I am, PK had gotten tired of  this exhausting volunteer effort, and so decided to step down as director.  When PK's wife, Cheryl (a quilty friend I've gotten to know through our quilt guild), asked me if I'd be interested in quilting up this t-shirt quilt which she was making for PK to commemorate his many years of service, I was tickled to help out!

Unveiling of the NRFF Quilt

An emotional presentation of the quilt by PK's son.
Aside from the great sense of community that I received from playing a small part in this 'thank you,' I just had a great time doing custom quilt work in each of the t-shirt blocks.

I tried to match the quilting with the theme of the t-shirt logo. Each year had a different logo, so each block is different.

With all these different quilt blocks, I ended up changing thread colors about six or seven times - whew!

This is a shot of my free-hand quilting of a treble clef and a musical note. I added these all around the outside border.

PK took to his quilt right away!
Anyway, I was pleased that he and Cheryl liked the quilt. Life throws you a few curve balls now and again. So it's especially nice to be able to celebrate the good things that make us smile.

Remembering to always quilt with a BIG smile!

Linking up with Needle and Thread ThursdayThursday Favorite Things by Katherine's Corner, Let's Be Social, Linky Tuesday
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