Wednesday, February 10, 2016

One of many new WIPs

I took a great class last Saturday from a National quilt artist, Barbara Olson 

I am so inspired and motivated now (as if Road 2 CA wasn't enough!). I want to make five of these now. OK maybe not five, but I did learn her process, and I think I can apply it to other images whether it be a photograph, or a drawn image which I have created, or a copyright free image that I find. It was really fun and got my creative juices flowing again!

It is also nice to have something to work on at night so my husband and I can spend some time together watching movies and I can be doing some handwork with this.

I have not been able to do any machine appliqué on this because I do not have a blanket stitch on any of my five yes count them five sewing machines that I have here with me in Montana. I have one machine in Arizona that does a blanket stitch, and I think my daughter may have one that someone left her. So I will be trying to get my hands on that machine soon.

Have you taken any fun new classes lately? I'd love to hear about them. Oh I almost forgot I also started an online class with Lisa Calle, it is called divide and design, and that is for my machine quilting.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Quilting Education and Information

First, here is my latest finish.  I think I showed you my first string quilt earlier, and since I had so many strings left over, I made another.  It was really fun to just stitch away without having to think.  

Now, getting back to the title of this post...
Wow. I have recently allowed myself to dip my big toe back into Facebook and I read a post that mentioned an Academy of Appliqué. So being the curious person I am, I googled that, and came up with not one but two of those. That then led to at least four different online quilt class websites, two of which I had never heard of; Academy of Quilting, and iquilt. Geesh, who knew there was more than Craftsy? So that led me to YouTube, and from there I ended up on some site called, ICAP. International Association of Creative Arts Professionals. WTH? Then there is QNN and the quilting show.  

I feel like I already spend too much online time absorbed in quilty things, and yet I am unearthing so many organizations and classes and people that I feel like I am just a newbie. If you compare names on labels at quilt shows to names of people teaching in person and online...and then there are the!

I don't know why I find this so mystifying and overwhelming. Do you take advantage of these classes and organizations? How did you learn to do what you do? I see that many people offer free tutorials, videos, advice. How do you manage your learning vs. creating time? Does anyone else feel the same way I do?!? 

View from our little California home below.

I attended Road to California a couple weeks ago.  30,000 people.  1000 quilts.  700 vendors.  It was fantastic, and I'll have a post about that next.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

String Quilt Progress

Hello!  I'm having a great time this week finally working on one of my old, old UFOs. I started this string quilt project at least two years ago.  It's moved with me from California to Montana, and traveled back and forth several times, with stops in Arizona and Utah!  One of my favorite quilt projects is a scrap quilt, so when I saw pictures of a string quilt, I jumped on it.  I initially started sorting my scraps by color, but then I pulled my brights together and that seemed a better choice.  
This is my setup at our California rental.  I leave my featherweight here and I'm always so happy when I get to bring it out and use it.  
I use newsprint paper which I cut to 10-1/2" squares, and draw my lines on it to line up my black and white strip.
We are getting some snow here and it's perfect weather for me to enjoy staying inside and sewing.  I didn't bring my boots with me otherwise I would be walking outside.  The snow is coming down so hard that you can't see the mountains on the other side of the valley.

Thanks for checking in!  What are you working on this week?  Send me a link to your blog if I don't already follow you, and I'll stop by your blog!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Party Hosting - Whew!

I hosted two holiday parties this year.  One was a neighborhood get together since we have lived here in Montana for a year now and had not yet met all of our neighbors on our street. The other event was for my daughters birthday.  Christina was born on December 18 so oftentimes her birthday gets added to the holiday mix.  I decided to take advantage of the sparkly decorations and a clean once, entertain multiple times approach.  I also used the same recipes (and some foods) for both parties.  

The festivities began when I hosted a wine tasting party for my daughter's 34th birthday.  We had 11 guests.  I joined a wine club to earn frequent flyer miles and received nine bottles of wines that would not otherwise be available to me here at the grocery stores in Montana.  We printed wine tasting etiquette cards as well as tips on why wines were boldest, etc.  then we made a game for the women to try to guess which unlabeled wine was a merlot, a cab, a Shiraz, etc.  I didn't realize I knew so much about wines and tasting!  Hiccup!

A platter of the mini cheesecake bites I made.  Luckily this is Montana so I was able to make ahead many items and store them in my car for a day or two!

I made chocolate covered pretzels and peanuts 

Cheese, tomatoe, pepperoni and olive spears.  

These salad filled pasta shells were a big hit.  

I made at least six different appetizer platters, too.  Some of the treats were phyllo wrapped asparagus, bruschetta, and salad filled pasta shells.  

For the neighborhood party, we served beer, wine, and more appetizers.  We entertained seven couples.  It as really fun and gives us a nice feeling knowing our neighbors a bit better.  

I went to the local St Vincent de Paul and found six vintage aluminum serving trays for a whopping $22!!  

Thanks for stopping by!!  I hope you had a peaceful holiday.  

Monday, December 7, 2015

Crayon Practice

When I saw Judi Madsen's Bohemian quilt, I knew it would be a perfect layout for some blocks that I had won in a block exchange with friends.  Of course, I knew I would be using many, many of her quilting ideas as well.  She is so talented.  So here it is, Crayon Practice.  My quilting was a lot of practice in ruler work, SID, and just plain custom quilting.

I love the way the texture shows in the sun.

I think my favorite part of the quilt is this little blue border.

I think this quilt will spend most of its time on this wall in our bedroom.  

Here is a shot of the quilt on the quilt hanger my dad made, and in the cabinet below, are some of the quilts I inherited from my husband's family.  

Monday, November 30, 2015

I'm Starting to Like This

I'm using lots of pictures from Judi Madsen, of greenfairyquilts, to guide me on this quilt. It laid around for months while I debated how to quilt it and last week I just decided in a spur of the moment to pull it out and finish it. 

Indecision and fear should not be about quilting, for Pete's sake!  It's supposed to be about relaxation, after all, it is a hobby, right?!?

I wouldn't do the same quilting a second time, though. Waaaaay too many starts and stops for a non-show quilt. Don't you wish sometimes that you had the heart and the motivation to make a second quilt exactly the same as the first, but quilt it better and differently?

Thanks again for stopping by!  If you are a blogger and I'm not a follower, please comment here with your blog name and I'll follow you!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Inspired Yet Uninspired

The blocks in this quilt were made by friends in my Loose Threads group and I 'won' them in our monthly drawing.  I say 'won' lightly because I was one of the last two women to win in our 15 month BOM and drawing event, so I was allowed to choose the color theme.  When I started putting the blocks together and created the layout I had big dreams. 

As I got further into it I realized that I a) must scale down my dreams to a more realistic outcome, and b) needed to be the only person happy with this quilt because it was not going to dazzle at any show. (My big dream - that I can make the jury cut of some really big show.  Think Ed Sullivan there ��). 

I copied Judi Madsen's work (green fairy quilts), and added a bit of my own work. Then, I soon got bored.  Rather than continue on with more ruler work, I'm just doing some mindless and super simple, fast fills.

I know I read this on someone else's blog but I can't remember who:  it seems so silly to spend so much time quilting something that has no purpose.  How true. What was I thinking?  Well, I will chalk this one up to another learning experience.  I think I need to go for broke, or just go for something utilitarian.  Whaddyu think???

(Another reason to love quilting for customers... I can quilt with a purpose!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cobwebs and Cowboys

Karen made this cute little table runner, too.

I don't know why I never think of making anything smaller.  I think I will make a few.  It's seems to me many things I make tend to be over big, over quilted, over thought (I'm sure that's not proper grammar).  Why, oh, why, can't I make simple and small?  Table runners or dresser runners would make great gifts, too, don't you think?  

While I was out and about driving home from my daughter's home, I spied some working cowboys.  Unfortunately, I didn't have my nice camera with zoom, but I snapped these with my iPhone 5. It's nice to know that not all cattle are rounded up by helicopter. 

The day was dreary, and the view long, but thought I would share anyway.  Have a great day, and thanks so much for checking in!  If I don't already follow your blog, please send me the link!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Karen's Cute Snowman

This is such a cute table runner. Karen must have spent so much time finishing all those raw edges by machine. I didn't see one stray thread. Thanks Karen for sending me this cute piece!  Next up is her adorable Halloween runner.  

Thanks for stopping by!  

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Picasso, Matisse, and MOMA

When I so fortunately was given the liberty to wander the streets of Manhattan, I decided to peruse MOMA, Museum of Modern Art, for the first time.  On previous trips, I toured the other grand New York Museums.  Overwhelming to say the least.  I have little appreciation for modern art, but I'm so glad I went.  These are a few of my favorites and I apologize for not taking note of each artist's name.

Of course, I frequently think which elements could be used in a quilt.

Is it the shapes, the colors, the emotions?

I have never taken any art classes in history or appreciation, or even practical.  Two years ago I told myself I would get a bachelors degree in art, but I am questioning that now,  between grandkids, and travel, and quilting, and learning the guitar, I'm so busy!  
I think one might have some interesting conversations with these questions.

I've always loved this piece above, but didn't realize it was considered modern.  By Andrew 

Pablo Picasso.  His metal sculptures are on exhibit for a few months.

I did learn quite a bit about modern art while I was there.  I learned about cubism, and the history of modern art.  

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and sharing s bit about my life!  I WILL have some quilty pictures soon!!


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