Here is just a little peak at the Spice Market quilt blocks. I'm making this gigantic quilt, and because it isn't for my family or a gift (What I really mean to say is that I don't have a flexible schedule, flexible pattern or flexible fabrics).
So, of course I have had a few.... well, issues. Lets just leave it at that!
Anyhow, here is a really small look at some of the finished blocks.
I should have taken MANY more pictures, but I was really overwhelmed with how awesome everything was.
Alex Anderson had several beautiful quilts, but this one I really loved. She hand quilted the entire thing. It wasn't too big, but really a beautiful scrap quilt.
Ricky Tims brought his quilt called 'Simple Gifts' ~ this is the one that came in 101st out of the 100 Best Quilts list. It's really spectacular! He talked at length about the methods he used on this quilt and in the bound handout, he gave us some very detailed techniques.
Ricky also had his quilt called 'Bohemian Rhapsody' This quilt is really amazing, we spent a great deal of time learning about Rhapsody quilts.
Ricky even had his notes on the Rhapsody quilt that is hanging in the Museum in Paducah Kentucky.
Libby Lehman's quilts had the most spectacular threadwork. She was so funny, and it was amazing to me how much she knew about all the different sewing machines out there.
And finally, my son was so excited about Ricky Tims that he drew his own version of a Cave man quilt (Ricky Tims invented the technique Cave Man quilting). He made me promise I would bring it in and give it to Ricky Tims.
Ricky was so great about it! He even kept it with him all weekend and on the third day, when I was working on stage I turned around and found that he still had it with him.
This was a GREAT seminar and I highly recommend it to anyone who considers it. Don't hesitate, drive as far as you have to, just GO!
I recently volunteered at a Ricky Tims Super Seminar. At first I was a bit skeptical about going to this event, it's not cheap. It lasts two and a half days ~ or three very long days if you volunteer.
My skepticism started when I was told that there would be no sewing. This was going to be an affair
that was entirely spent sitting down, listening to or watching Ricky Tims, Libby Lehman, or Alex Anderson speak and sew. I am a pragmatist. If I'm going to spend that much money and time to attend an event, I really wanted something to show for my time, as in some sort of ... well, something that I created as a result. Evidently, I wasn't giving the added knowledge any kind of merit.
volunteer, you are compensated with a certificate to spend at the Ricky Tims store and the opportunity to see all the work and effort that goes on behind the scenes to put on a seminar of this caliber. Any discount on the entrance fee is only the same one offered to all participants, if you sign up as a group you get a modest discount.
In order to make my decision, I polled everyone I could find that went to one of these seminars and they all said the same thing - GO!
So, I went. I also volunteered. I'm SO glad I did. The amount I learned from these three amazingly talented artists was beyond measure. Also, I found out so much about their personalities as well. They really are funny. Even Alex Anderson, had a constant smile and an easy laugh.
Libby Lehman and Ricky Tims both rolled their sleeves up and worked just as hard as all the rest of us at pulling things off the truck and getting them set up. And then again at the end of the show, in tearing down the set and putting everything away. Libby Lehman had her ankle wrapped from a recently recovered broken ankle, yet she was there first thing in the morning and nearly the last to leave. She is also an absolute riot! She is just so very funny!
Sadly, the seminar won't be coming again to our area for a very long time. But if I ever get the chance to take another class with Libby or Ricky I will RUN to be the first in line.
I did learn a lot from Alex Anderson, and she was very gracious and kind. But I'm not a hand quilter.
I'll post more about the conference, and some pictures of some AMAZING quilts.
When I moved to the Pacific Northwest from toasty California, I was in culture shock. The rain wasn't even remotely as bad as I was lead to believe, cloudy ~ yes, but the rain is most often a drizzle. No biggie, the torrential downpours in Sacramento and even in Arizona where when it rains, it floods.
It's the colder climate that has been difficult for me to acclimate to. I wouldn't have survived the first few winters without my UGG minis. I know these boots have become a sort of fashion icon (or don't depending) but I use my UGGs as slippers, and I LOVE them!
The last Friendship Star swap has been trickling in...
I've always loved stars and star
blocks. When I first started doing them it was really intimidating, all the triangles.
I think the worst part was getting the sizes right. If I concentrated on getting the sizes right then I couldn't seem to get good points.
That was years ago, and I hadn't given a Half-square triangle a second thought in eons. But in swaps, when I'm hosting at least, I've learned to separate out confident beginners from those that have more experience with triangles and stars.
Of course, now I'm working on perfecting my curves and my applique. Both seem to allude me a bit still and personally, I dont yet count my self an expert in those areas.
But I know, after all my experience with triangles and those pesky points, that practice helps. And it helps A LOT!
Alas, I'm a chronic over-committer as my husband likes to point out when I whine a bit too much about my busy schedule.
So.... I'll be around.....
but my blogging might be a bit sparse in the coming weeks....
I have this philosophy that you should never make a promise to a child. Children don't understand or care about extenuating circumstances. So making a promise to a child is like telling them that it will never rain and things will never go wrong in life. This philosophy serves me well when, on occaision, fun plans must be changed.
But sometimes I forget! And I did promise my son his own quilt when he got his big-boy bed. I made this promise a very long time ago, and he never forgot!
The hunt for the perfect Robot quilt has emerged successful! I found this fabulous fabric called Nuts and Robolts that has a lovely panel that can be cut down into 8" squares as well as some fabulous supporting fabrics.
I found the perfect and simple pattern in Fons & Porter and Voila. My easy framed blocks will be placed with easy Nine Patch blocks!
On a final note, I was really excited to see my 'HOWL' in Tonya's quilt top 'Slither-Eek-Boo' ~ Pieced letters are so difficult for me and I loved how my HOWL came out. And it looks fabulous along side all the other Halloween noises!
There are some wonderfully talented ladies that contributed to this quilt top and I am so happy to be included among them! Not only that ~ I have learned so much from Tonya as well!
Did you know there was a song by Three Dog Night called Pieces of April?
I didn't. Actually, I'm ashamed to say, I'm sure I know songs by Three Dog Night, but I can't name one off the top of my head. They have some really famous ones too, I'm sure.
Well, I took a break from sewing, [and cooking and cleaning and working and all the other commitments that go along with a busy family] to check out my friends on the internet and I ran across this GREAT blog.
It has nothing to do with Quilting, and nothing to do with sewing either. So this is a bit out of character for me, because I generally reserve this blog for mostly quilty-thoughts.
On other news, my July swaps finally finished. And I was so happy with the results. My little swap club, which we hosted through a private blog has grown bigger over the last year and we finally did a website for it. But now that we opened it up to the public, I've decided not to spread myself so thin with so many different swap groups.
Between that and all my Quilting commitments (and the family and working full-time) it's a good thing!
On that note, the September swaps have opened for sign-ups. We only do three swaps a month currently (beginner, intermediate, and expert) and so far every month has filled up since we started almost a year ago. Check the Swap Club schedule out if you are interested: iQuilty.com
I've decided that today is a beautiful day to tackle applique!
I mentioned earlier that I'm doing a commissioned quilt for a woman named Kristen in Seattle.
The pattern is called Spice Market and the whole thing is going to be done in some really spectacular batiks that she carefully chose at the local quilt shop.
I've only made a few really large quilts - less than a dozen, and never in Batiks!
I finished cutting out the fabric and I started on the sewing when I discovered that the half-square triangles, of which there are MANY, are a very odd size. I don't know why I didn't thoroughly read the pattern before I committed to a time frame.
So here I am marking each and every HST by hand before I am able to stitch it. Wow, that's time consuming.
I originally promised this quilt by the end of the summer, but it's been rather slow going so now I'm looking at something closer to the end of September.
Fortunately, Kristen was very understanding about the situation.
Of course my son reminded me this weekend that I promised to make him a Robot quilt for his new Big Boy bed ~ leave it to the kids to NEVER ever forget.
The quilt show was about 100 degrees and boiling hot. But we had a fantastic time. Here are a few pictures of the show:
This is the only Cathedral Window quilt I saw at the show. One day I'm going to make one of these:
I've seen pictures of car covers on the web before, but it's pretty spectacular to see these cars in person!
Here's another one:
This full size swan Bargello was embellished with real feathers.
There was a kids section with several very expensive sewing machines where kids could sew their own quilt blocks or little projects ~ such as a glasses case or coasters.
The younger kids were able to design their own blocks, but had help with the sewing: There was a whole section devoted to the 'Next Generation' of quilters. Here one of my girls stands next to the very first quilt she has ever made.
Here is my other daughter's quilt:
This quilt was entirely pieced. The swirly bits are actually some very creative quilting! Here I am with one of the quilts I had hanging in the show. This quilt almost didn't happen so many times, the further along I got the less I liked the fabrics. Fortunately my daughter LOVES this quilt, so I told her when she gets a Queen size bed, she can have it. It might be a while, I hope she still likes then.
I was surprised to see many antique quilts as well. I don't remember seeing any antiques last year, and even more surprised that the owners didn't mind these quilts hanging in the brutal sun all day long! The yellow tag means it's for sale, maybe that's why the owner didn't mind. Not many quilts sold this year. Ann, the show director, told me this year they had an extremely high turn out, but it was the lowest show on record for quilt sales.
This dragon was made entirely with squares and half-square triangles. I have a ton more pictures, but only so much space on the blog. If you've never been to Sisters and have the chance, I highly recommend it! This year the featured presentation was the Gees Bend Quilts and Quilters, but it sold out so quickly that I wasn't able to take the class or go to the lecture.
Gwen Marston and Freddie were there as well and OF COURSE, those classes filled up super quickly as well. They hosted a lecture/picnic, but I couldn't go because it conflicted with some of our family time.
I was REALLY happy with the class I took with Karla Alexander, so I don't feel too bad about missing some of the other classes.