Monday, October 10, 2016

Getting Back in the Groove

First, I'm sharing a photo I took one morning about 7 am when I dropped my husband off to work in the Mohave Desert.  The desert always shows us the best sunrises and sunsets, doesn't it?  
I just arrived back in Montana, and that means I've got a studio with a longarm.  And a quilt that is 80% done and waiting for me to finish!       It also means I've got to get reacquainted with everything in there, and unpack my bags of quilty 'stuff' that I haul between Montana, California, and Arizona.  It takes me awhile to figure out what to take, and then I have to find places for everything when I get home.  It's the story of my life for awhile, and I'm not complaining...much.  I am a bit irritated when I can't find things.  For instance, I know I uncovered my chalk and ounce pads in a bin in California, and was so happy!  I had been looking for them for ages in Montana.  Well, now that I am back I can't find them.  I could have sworn I packed them.  Oh well...    

Saturday, October 1, 2016

It's Okay to Give Up, too...A Series?

In my lsat post I said that it is okay to change your mind, at least I was giving myself permission to do that!  Well, today, I am giving myself permission to give this up, and move on to something else.  It was an experiment and I'm not terribly unhappy that I've decided to quit this.  I didn't buy any fabric, in fact, I made myself just use stash.  I learned some new circle techniques, as well as appliqué ideas.  But this little project is going in a bag until I decided to toss it, or maybe I'll use that background for something else another day. 
I am going to try some different techniques in the next few days.    
Thinking I might like it if I organized the circles.  Not.   

Here are a couple earlier versions.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

It's Okay to Change Your Mind

I'm so glad that this worked out!  It's done, every row has been finished with stitch in the ditch (SID) and I've tidied up the edges.  I learned a lot with this quilt. 

 I know that next time I spend this much time on a quilt, I want it perfect before I start, so if I decide to show it, I can.  I also learned that I will do all my SID with Superior's monopoly rather than thick Omni.  What was I thinking??  Haha!  

My daughter learned that she will speak up next time and suggest I go a different route if she thinks something isn't quite right.  The S.  She knew it was going to get lost, and make it look a bit off, but didn't say anything.  Didn't want to hurt my feelings, I think.  I wished she would have!  It would have saved a lot of time.  

Oh well!  It's done now and I've already forgotten the pain.  

Thanks for looking!!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Liking it Much Better Now

So after I removed all the quilting I didn't like, I began to enjoy myself.  I'm not worried about how this will look now, I'm sure it will be good enough.  This is not for a show, it's not for a paying customer (it's for my daughter), so I can do what I want.  I've chosen some fun fills, and also some time-consuming semi-fun ones.  You know how that goes, right?  You start on a dense area, fun for the first hour, but then you begin to lose interest and by the time you're on the home stretch, you're absolutely sick of it!  Kind of like winter snow, right?  You love the first snowfall but are sick of it by February or March!

I was driving home from my daughter's house on Wednesday evening and I stopped to take this picture.  Not a lot of color, but I thought it was pretty.

And this is a picture of what most of central (where I live) and eastern Montana looks like.  The Yellowstone River is down below the rims.  

Thursday, August 11, 2016

I Have a Problem

But I don't know how to solve it.   I have really been trying to challenge myself with my quilting and design skills.  That means I am taking risks, big risks.  For example, enlarging a letter, in this instance, an S, drawing it on the quilt top, stitching it out, not once, not twice, but three times, filling it in with fills, and then. Yep, you guessed it, I am ripping it out.  I'm skinning again.  Ugh!  

Why can't I decide before I do it?  I need to remember that taking quilty risks is not for me, that is for the Jodi Robinsons, the Angela Walters, the Sharon Schambers.  Why can't I stitch out a sample like Deborah Poole who stitches out her wholecloths completely before she does the real thing. Why am I never happy with what I do unless I am copying someone else?  

I've read a couple books on design and creativity and taking risks, and copying.  I'm working on trusting my instinct.  I think the S was a good idea, but I don't think the fills worked.  And it definitely didn't work with the designs stitched around the S.  

Here is the S.  Yes, it is there.  Look closer.  I know, it gets lost.
This looks good, but not in the S, and not on this quilt.

I like this.  I will do more of this.

I have much more to say along this topic, but it will have to wait.  I have a bit more to skin, and then I want to get back to the stitching.  

Please tell me I'm not alone.  And please encourage me to start doing more along the lines of improv, Sherri Lynn Wood style, or Gees Bend quilters, with basic, basic basic quilting.  I need to free myself of all these indecisions and insecurities. 

Monday, August 8, 2016


We went on a family vacation to Bear Lake which is half in Idaho and half in Utah. We had such a great time! This first Picture, though, is from Bloomington Lake.  
This is where Dean and I used to go fishing 30 some years ago but has now become a popular swimming spot because they hung up a big tree swing. We tried our hand at fishing and caught three little fish. Or rather the grandkids caught three little fish.

Here we are with all four of our little grandkids.
My daughters and I.

A view from a restaurant in Idaho.
Riding the hot dog!

Dean and I are relaxing. My daughter used Prisma a new photo app on this. I think I might need to download that one.
And finally some of the grandkids riding the raft. this was a blast!
Now we are home and I am working on a quilt which I hope to be able to show pictures of very soon. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Happy, Isn't It?

This little quilt of Diane's just says HAPPY.  I used a sweet flower panto on it. Thanks Diane!  It was fun quilting this for you. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Spineless Feathers, Continuous Curves and My Family

This beautiful quilt belongs to Sherrie and I was so thankful she asked me to quilt it.  This quilt was originally meant to have a panto on it, but it has a flange, so that would have been a problem trying to keep that flange down and not caught in the needle.  So Sherrie agreed to a light to mid custom budget.

I was inspired to do my feather arcs like this by seeing pictures of Bethanne Nemesh's sampler quilts online.  I love her work!  It was fun to do these super easy feathers, and I always love to do continuous curves and challenge myself to the least amount of starts and stops - kind of like a puzzle!  

I used Hobbs 80/20 and Superior's So Fine thread. 

I haven't posted pictures of my family lately, so I thought I would post a few today.

My younger daughter and her two children:

My older daughter's two children, and then one of her family.

If you're reading my blog, PLEASE leave a comment!  I'd love to know if anyone is reading this (other than the few wonderful people who do leave comments - thank you for commenting last week on my YouTube video!  I'd like to do more blogging and less of the other social media apps.  I'd also love to read your blogs, so please leave a comment!   Thanks!!

Thanks for looking!  

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Skinning a Quilt - You Tube

If you follow my blog, you'll know that I have this strange love for skinning quilts.  I have no issue at all skinning a queen size quilt if I don't like the quilting on it!  Yes, I know!  Early on in my early machine quilting days I quilted a beautiful quilt of my own.  As my quilting abilities became more, um, mature, I just couldn't stand looking at the horrible job I had done, so I ripped out every single stitch - but not with a seam ripper.  No!  I used a rotary cutter.  Disclaimer - I have never done this on a customer quilt, and doubt I would just because of that Murphy's Law thing.  

On my own quilt?  Yep!  It's the fastest way to remove stitching I no longer like.  If it's still on the frame and I only have a row or two to remove, I'll skin it on the frame, but if it's more than that, I'll sit with it on my lap and skin away.

So here we have my very first selfie video, and my very first attempt at You Tube.  Super easy.  

Hmmmm.... I can't seem to get it to link here.  I hope it works.  

Thursday, July 7, 2016

I'm Back in Montana and Back to Work!

It has been about six weeks since I have touched my longarm and at least two months since I set up a panto.  I started off slow, but I am right back in the swing of things. This is my customer Joanie's quilt.  Isn't it beautiful?  I used the panto Splat by Anne Bright, Hobbs 80/20 batting, and Omni thread. I'm so thankful that I have this opportunity for income.

We bought a newer boat and last weekend we took it to Yellowtail Lake in the Bighorn National Recreation Area.  It is half in Montana and half in Wyoming.

I think these cliffs are so pretty.  Next time I go I will take better pictures.  These just don't do it justice.

We were so amazed that this is how the boat docks looked over the holiday weekend.  Empty!


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