Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Began in 2009

I have a good friend who made the MOST Beautiful Wedding Quilt I've ever seen... and delivered it to the couple on their 10th Anniversary. I  have always loved this story as it gave me the okay to spend years getting a special quilt top done.  7 years ago, my hubby saw a  colorful pieced stars quilt in a show and he loved it. I wanted to make something like he saw...only MUCH larger ( a California king bedspread.) .  While I never found a pattern... just had the idea of 'it' in my head... I spent the next 3 years gathering fabrics... lots of batiks in a zillion different colors and values.

Then in 2013, I started working on it, creating  star blocks from 6" to 16", ultimately piecing blocks into a colorful field of star blocks.  This has been one of those quilts you work on a while, then put away cause you are sick of it at the moment.  Piecing is largely WORK for me as I'm a much more a painter than piecer.  I think the fact I had no pattern added to this. I'm a decent problem solver, but it gets old fast. This week, while hubby is far away traveling and totally unaware I've been doing this for 7 years, I got the top together. Whew.
Yep... pretty Big 106" wide by 122" long
Loaded on the longarm... no call for custom quilting design...  my goal is a simple overall pattern that doesn't feel so quilted when sleeping under it.  
This is a big pattern called Flamingo Sunset ( by Anne Bright).  It meets my goal. Click on photo for enlarged view.

Finally done but for binding. The quilt lays all the way to the floor on the back side of the longarm frame.  EEK! This is the largest quilt I've put on my longarm... I had 1" of leader left  after adding wider backing and batting.  A quilt this big absolutely requires basting.  I usually completely longarm  baste an entire quilt before adding quilt motifs... I questioned whether I absolutely had to for this one. The answer YES!!!!  When working this large, it's EXTRA easy for the top and back to become misaligned... so basting is helpful insurance!!!! 
Hubby coming home early tomorrow a.m.  After 2 long flights coming from Australia.. He should be wanting a nap.  Clean sheets and a new bed cover await. 
UPDATE:  So... he came home, liked it, and asked me to scratch his back.  For that he seemed excited! I'm laughing! but MEN! 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Gift Worth Giving

Have you ever made a quilt specifically planned for giving, but had trouble giving it away?  So I planned to make a gift a Baby Quilt for a dear friend...  Got the top done in early May ( making it was fun) ... then quilted... now 'TIMES UP'... Time to let these happy Owls take flight.
 Please excuse this description, but every one of these little guys is a "HOOT"
It seems to me a cute Owl Quilt should be accompanied by a good Owl Book, and a baby owl stuffed animal.
Okay... It's been wrapped and in the car for 3 days.... I must deliver it soon. 
 6-24-16 UPDATE: I delivered  yesterday and believe I got the biggest hug I've ever received.   Happy Baby! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Devoted To Diana

 One of the joys of my Painted Quilt Art Retreat in May was the inclusion of new student Diana Bicknell.  This is Diana's dog Lexie who was lost this year at 14 years old. Lexie helped Diana through  breast cancer treatment. She wouldn't leave Diana's side on really bad days. So, Diana did the same with her on her bad days. Such a touching story of mutual devotion. Animals are such a gift from our Creator. 

This painted Quilt will hang in Diana's house as a reminder of her devoted friend. 
One of the things Diana has done extremely well  especially for a new painter is to see and project value change. Likewise Diana has added interest and depth to this piece through her varied use of greens.  
I know Diana was pondering how to border. I somewhat think this piece is so powerful, that a border isn't requited.    Beautiful work Diana!   

Friday, June 10, 2016

Retirement Planning

Here's the beginning of a totally fun creativity journey using mostly Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  I'm about 1/3 way through the fusing process and now will need add some other softer value flowers and foliage, etc  There's so many little pieces to work on having limited space at my vacation spot.  I'll hold up on this til I get home as I'm lucky enough there to have a custom BIG Board ironing board that fits a 30 x 60 table... so  there I can design and fuse on the same surface. This is like broderie purse on steroids....   It will either require a lot of quilting to hold edges or maybe even a netting overlay.  Will see.  Looks fun, huh?  May need to do a class on this.  Pattern is titled Flaura by Fiber Worksinc.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

My Hubby Has Wings!

It's "The Good News" for him.  First... Ray, a daily runner since age 14, has long spoken of creating such an image as this in glass. It's done and he is pleased with the result.  The skin tones in this stained glass were fussy cut to put shadows in the 'right' places. He loves and has adopted the quilters term of "fussy cutting."
This man I love marches ( 'or runs') to his own drum... and leaves late this week for a 3 week  backpacking walkabout in Australia.  I pray for his safety and return .. yep...I'm a worry wart wife,  but in my defense not without cause, he came home severely injured summer before last. Enough said!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Maybe Next Visit...

I've been to Sedona dozens of times but never before came across this small engaging quiet boutique hotel... How sweet it is!.... El Portal sits adjacent to Los Abrigados Timeshare resort... But oh so quiet and sweet.This is the main entrance to El Portal .
Walk through the shadowy entrance to a lush open courtyard. 
They do serve breakfast/lunch to the public too. Next visit I think. 

On this visit we shared lunch at Oak Creek Brewery and Grill at Tlaquepaque  (
check this out
A microbrewery beer tasting of seven unique beers.... plus a tray of flatbread ,veggie, grapes, strawberries, orange slices,  (brie/bleu/swiss) cheeses. Delicious!!! We shared it all and were stuffed  still bringing  plenty of fruits and cheese back 'home'  

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Disappearing in Sedona

Once a year a gal pal of mine( Laurie)  and I  travel to Sedona, AZ  for a week of chilling and sewing, and  just whatever. We do what we call traveling alone together staying in adjacent timeshare units on the banks of Oak Creek. Sweet!!!  Ofcourse, we shop, go out to lunch, etc together but back at home turf' do whatever we wish,   Sooo Sew beautiful!  I'm starting work on the most simple pieced quilt .. I needed some almost mindless sewing !!!!   So here goes the Disappearing Nine Patch which requires no written pattern and in this case... not even cutting out fabric as I'm using Moda's  mixed selection of 5 inch squares in  contemporary charm backs. ( 'Basic Mixologe' - with colorful focus fabrics and  background fabrics from "Behind The Scenes' pack offering  lighter value greys and taupes. The process is so simple it's just fun.  First .. a  slightly perplexing looking sewn nine patch with 5 focus, 4 background fabrics.
 CUT VERTICALLY AND HORIZONALLY  at the mid point of the block's center . In this case... the remaining background squares are 4 1/2 "  side seam to side seam... so the split cut is made 2 1/4 " in from side seam edge.
Now time to re-position  2 diagonal squares.   I chose to re-position the  bottom right sub-block to the top left and vice versa. Some chose to merely rotate 180 degrees in same sub block position.. Your call !
Finally re-stitch  together and press....    Yahoo simple is that.  
 My quilt will be made up of 20 blocks (each made up of  different fabrics)  and likely a small border. How easy is that? You won't see the end of the quilt here...  This will call for 3 sets of charm packs and ofcourse, I brought 2 sets with me. Apparently I needed a vacation!