Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tropical Twist

I was asked by a dear friend to make a quilt as a wedding gift for her daughter.  She gave me a great deal of leeway.  I was asked to make the quilt blue and orange, and she wanted it to have a scrappy look.  I sent her a few pictures of quilts, and we decided on this Bonnie Hunter pattern, Tropical Twist, from the January/February 2009 issue of Quiltmaker.  I purchased the batiks in five states... Wyoming, California, Wisconsin, Utah and Arizona this summer.  I am really pleased with how it turned out.  I quilted it freehand.

I found a new place to display finished quilts for photographing -- from our new arbor in the back yard.  It worked out great!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I am Quilting a Triple Irish Chain

I have finally been able to get to my machine and although I feel like I have spent as much time removing stitches as I have been making them, it has been enjoyable.  I completed about 80% of the cc'ing in the dark squares when I realized that about 40% of them had bad tension on the back.  I think it happened when I changed bobbins and I must have had something in the spring.  At least ripping stitches from loose tension is easy, right?

Anyway, my plan is to cc all the dark squares, and then stitch out a beautiful stencil pattern in the white.  I got the stencil from Cheryl in Washington.  I am not sure how I will do the lighter borders.  Definitely feathers in the dark border.

I basted the quilt while I was stitching the cc's.  As I skipped over the big white sections, I changed the speed and moved over to the next section.  I hope I will happy that I basted it this way.  I am not burying threads on this one.  It is mine, and the back is so busy nothing will be visible.  

I am using Constatine Quilts No Frills cc ruler for the cc'ing.  It really makes it easy.

Lastly, here is a sneak peak at the commissioned quilt that I worked on this summer.  I did a really fun allover on it.  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Finding Quilting Designs Around You

I guess I am finally able to see quilting from a different part of my brain, or have really been missing quilting.  I have been seeing quilting designs so much more lately.  In my previous post I saw different designs in stone, bricks, marble, etc.  In these photos I saw new ideas in the windows.  Can you see what I see in the first picture?  The flower-shaped design with circles at the ends of each flower petal?  I want to stitch that out and see how it looks.

These pictures are a few of many I took in Barcelona, at La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's greatest masterpiece.  the exterior photos show Gaudi's use of the gnarly pillars to represent tree trunks.  He uses the same concept in the interior, too.  I love the windows in the ceiling that allow the light to shine through and depending on the time of day, they seem to spotlight different naves in the cathedral.    

Wow!  This cathedral is beyond words.  I have been to many of Europe's cathedral's, and this is my favorite.  It is still not completed.  It is impossible to capture the wonder that you feel when you stand inside.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Back Pain, Quilting, and Spain!

First things, first, let's talk quilting...  I love machine quilting.  I prefer it to piecing most times.  Unfortunately, I have had a wake up call these last coupla months, and realized something has to give.  Over the last couple years I have managed to gain (back) about 20 pounds that I had worked so hard to lose three years ago.  Now, I know, for some people 20 pounds may not be much, but for me it is a lot, and most importantly, it has really affected my back.  I now have a hard time standing for more than a couple hours without  back pain.

Do you have back pain?  How do you deal with it?  Has back pain affected your quilting time?  I would love to hear from you.

I work full time outside the home, so there is only so much time leisure time in the day, right?  Add to that my kids, husband, and grandkids, and some serious exercise, and there isn't much time left for quilting and blogging.  So where am I going with this?  Well, nowhere, just my ramblings, but maybe a personal commitment that I MUST spend more time strengthening my core, and trying to lose those 20 pounds so I can lose the back pain.

I am so jealous of the many bloggers who can quilt full time, but that isn't the cards for me...yet.  It really isn't a big deal if I don't blog every day or every week, as this isn't a business, and I am guessing that I may only have five people who read my blog on a weekly basis.  I will have to spend less time online and more time exercising, or less time quilting and more time exercising.

Okay, enough with my ramblings. I was gone almost six weeks this summer!  Wow!  One of the exciting destinations was a trip to Spain and France!  Yep!  Here are a couple pictures to pique your interest, hopefully.  I find the textures of old Europe so fascinating, and of course, I find quilting ideas in the bricks, stones, architecture, too.  Here we are in Vilanova, in Catalonia, just 40 km south of Barcelona.  

 The marble, and other stone floors and walkways are so incredible.  When you compare their plazas to ours here in the United States, it is like and day.

Pictures from our hotel, El Ceferino.  Beautiful and reasonably priced, too.

 Look at the design in this little table top, diamonds, I am going to quilt that out soon.  Oh, and the drinks?  It's cava, THE drink of Catalonia.  It is everywhere.  It is similar to Champagne.  I drank quite a bit of cava with my tapas.
 Here I am (on the right) with my friend, Jan, from Denver on the left, and our new friend, Mama, from Senegal who sold me a beautiful bone bracelet.  She was really fun.  They weren't supposed to be vending to tourists, but we invited her to sit at our table, so it was okay.
Hopefully soon I will show you some quilting projects I am working on, and the commissioned quilt I just finished.  I have to wait until after the wedding to show you that one.


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