Monday, December 30, 2013

Celtic Solstice - Part 4 and 5

Home again!!  We were out of town for the holidays and I got a little behind on the Celtic Solstice mystery, so I'm including pictures of last week's clue also.  I can't believe I'm actually on schedule!!  Bonnie said if you only had time to make a few, then make a few.  I've taken her advice to heart.  We were up in NC for 8 days, so I haven't been able to make anywhere close to the number of blocks needed - especially for these last 2 clues. You can see more here.
These are the latest blocks, fun and quick to make and they turned out pretty good.  We got home Sunday afternoon and 6 blocks was all I could manage before I crashed.
The green and orange blocks were last week's clue.   These 4 patches were super fast and easy and I had time to make a few before we left.
Here is everything I've made so far.  I'm off to work tomorrow, but maybe this week I'll have time to play catch up.  I am very intrigued to see where this is going.  I hope I don't feel disappointed to see the finished quilt.  These are SO not my colors, but I keep telling myself I'm stretching my creative boundaries :).
Here are my precious wee ones on Christmas morning.  Notice how all 4 kids are looking in different directions!  We had such a good time.
This is my mom with her 8th and youngest great-grand.  We had a short but sweet visit with them.

Here are my folks with 3 of their 6 grandchildren and 4 of their 8 great-grands.  I know I've said this before, but I am blessed.
Happy Stitching,

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Celtic Solstice - Clue 3

First let me say thanks for all the sweet comments on my win in the DWR Challenge for Organic Pink Pickles.  It has been such an unbelievable experience.
But in between all that and shopping, wrapping, and getting ready for Christmas, I've managed to find a little time to play.
I'm still not too sure about these colors....... they are kind of bright.  And kind of orange!
But I'm trusting Bonnie to know best.  I've kept the color swatches up on the design wall to help me when I pull scraps.
I've got a lot more of the chevrons to do.  They are really fun, but kind of tedious.  I've been thinking of another way to make these that doesn't waste quite so much fabric - I'll see how it works out. 
This is my cutting table and I can hardly find room to cut!!  I'm using 6 different rulers and I keep losing them under the piles:).  At least I'm using up some of the wild colors.
Have a great day,

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Sweet Ending for Pink Pickles

This is a post that I never quite thought would actually be written.  If you're anything like me, you write lots of posts that never get published.  They all sound good, but for one reason or another, they somehow never get written or posted.  Since I started this quilt last summer, I have posted many times on the progress of this quilt, but this is one that I never, ever imagined I would write.
I found out yesterday that I am the Grand Prize Winner of the NYC Modern Quilt Guild DWR Challenge for my quilt "Organic Pink Pickles"!  I got an email last night from Victoria Findlay Wolfe saying that the judges had chosen my quilt.  I can't even begin to describe the feeling - even today it doesn't seem quite real.  You can go here to see all the winners.  There were so many great quilts submitted.
I had lunch last week with my quilt buddy Kim Brackett.  We came back to my office to catch up and I brought Organic Pink Pickles for her to see in person.  She took these pictures on her phone.  The colors are actually pretty true.  (It's fun to see my Courthouse Steps in the background.)
To those of you who have followed this journey with me, it's an ending that I knew was a possibility but one that I never seriously considered.  I am very honored to have won this contest.  I'll be sending off my "baby" later this week.  So this is the very sweet ending for my happy, wild quilt.  When I set out to make a Pickle Dish quilt I could never have imagined this.  It's really wonderful to be a quiltmaker.
Have a great day,

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Fourth Time - Celtic Solstice

It seems I'm a sucker for a mystery - especially one from Bonnie Hunter.  And this year (for the first time) I'm doing it right.  This will be my 4th mystery quilt by Bonnie.  All the other three I waited until it was over to see if I liked it, and then decided to make it.  Which is kind of like cheating, but it's a lot of work, and I wanted to make sure I was willing to put that much time into it.
These yellow and green chevrons are Clue #2.  They are really fun to make.  This time I am making this quilt in the same colorway that Bonnie suggests.  The last 2 times I have changed her suggested color choices.  This is not at all my normal palette, but surprisingly I had fabric in most of the colors.  I bought a few 1/8 yd pieces but for the most part I'm stash busting which really feels good.
The neutral and gold triangles were step #1.  Bonnie recommended using the Tri-Recs ruler set, which happens to be one of my favorite rulers.
I used this ruler set for my Pineapple Nine Patch quilts that I did last year.  Love it!!
So here is where I am at this point.  Bonnie's suggestion is to make some of each step so you can get an idea but you don't have to stress about making the entire amount.  Bonnie's quilts are always HUGE - and this year she's offering a smaller version.  But I'm guessing it will still be big.  So I'm not making the total number of blocks at this point.  Hmmmmm, I guess I still want to see what it looks like before I totally commit :).
And here's an update on"Jubilee Tribute".  The 1/2" crossed hatch quilting is about halfway done but  I still have a long way to go.  I'm trying to do a little bit every day and I can see progress.  This is the most hand quilting I think I will have ever done in a quilt.  It is such a special quilt but it still speaks to me :).
Stay warm, happy stitching, stay healthy.
Until next time,

Friday, November 29, 2013

Organic Pink Pickles - Revealed

My labor of love is finally finished (little happy dance). :)  I've renamed it "Organic Pink Pickles" due to the nature of the quilting. This quilt is being entered into the NYC Modern Quilt Guild DWR Challenge.  I first heard about this contest last summer and started thinking about entering.  I designed this quilt on EQ7, started the blocks in July and just finished in Dec. (not exactly a quick process)!!  But I am so pleased the end result.
The longarmers are able to use the specialty rulers and arcs and get nice, neat lines.  But quilting on a domestic is so different and due to the freehand nature of the quilting, my lines are very "organic".  (Plus I thought the play on words of organic pickles was extra fun)!!
I took the quilt outside and tried to get some different shots.
Several family members helped hold it up.
I love how your eye travels around the inside from the lighter circles to the darker ones.
I decided not to do all red melons around the outside border but mixed in some of the darker pinks.  I like very scrappy quilts and this one is all that and more.
I have wanted to do a Pickle Dish for a long time....... and now I have.  I will take some close up pictures later.
This journey has been so much fun.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed as the judges make their choices on the winners.
Have a great day,

Saturday, November 23, 2013

At the very end... I'm seeing dots

Someone told me once, that the binding is the last creative chance you have to influence your quilt.  So true.  I decided on the Michael Miller dots.
I had used them several times in the arcs and in the centers and I liked the way they kind of forced your eye to travel across the quilt.
I decided to quilt points in the grey arcs to mimic the pickle dish arcs (they are kind of hard to see). But it balances out the border blocks.
And I finally got to the store for red thread, so it's done except for stitching the binding down.
Good thing I really like this part. 
I can't believe that this is it, I'm at the end. When the quilt looked like this, I wasn't even sure where it was going. That's kind of normal for me when I design a quilt that's in my head.  But it's been a fun journey and I'm so happy with where Pink Pickles ended up.
Stay warm and have a great Saturday.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Slight Detour

Since I'm out of red thread, and haven't been to the store yet, I switched gears and quilted this sweet baby quilt for a friend's grandson.
I used the motif found in several of the fabrics and just did a freehand overall swirl.
Such a nice change from all the ESS  and custom quilting on Pink Pickles :)
It's amazing how fast this goes, I'm almost done.
I had the perfect variegated thread, yellow, gold and orange.  I love how the colors change as they move over the blocks.
My friend chose a pattern from Kim Brackett's Scrap Basket Surprises - one of the best.
This is made from the line Sunkissed by Sweetwater, such great colors.
It's done and waiting for binding.  Feels so good to have a finish (even if it's not mine) :).
Off to work today, hope it's a great one,

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pink Pickles - Almost Done

I can't believe it's been a week and a half since my last post.  Besides working (at my paying job) and continuing to hand quilt my Jubilee quilt,  I have spent LOTS of quality time at the sewing machine working on Pink Pickles.  I had some areas of the border that needed to be un-stitched, so while I was sitting out on the back porch this afternoon doing that, I thought I'd do an update.
The centers are finally done with the teacup design - YAY!!!  The melons are all outlined and quilted - all 56 of them.  The pink points are all done, but I ran out of red thread so there are still 18 of the red point arcs left to do.
After much deliberation, I decided against doing the teacup design for the outside border area that I did in the centers, and went with just straight line quilting.  I must say that one thing that has taken so long is stitching in the ditch for every little part of this quilt.  When I took the classes with Cindy Needham last spring, she talked about ESS.  That's Every Single Seam or Every Stinkin' Seam.  And while it's a pain, it does make a difference in the final look.
All in all it looks really cool.  I always have trouble getting good pictures that really capture the quilt.  You can see the outside grey arcs are not done yet.  I'm still deciding how I want to quilt those.
 I can't believe that I am almost done and that it has taken me so many hours.  I started this quilt last July on vacation, I ripped the paper arcs in August during my husband's surgery and then spent most of September trying to figure out how to piece the blocks.  Then I spent weeks putting the blocks together and agonizing  deciding how to quilt it. But now the end is almost in sight.  I've learned a lot with the quilt and I'm really happy with it.
Hope your weekend was happy -

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Some Texture for Pink Pickles

Just a quick update.  I have finally quit procrastinating on how I'm going to quilt Pink Pickles and yesterday I just started!
I'm not sure that looking at all the wonderful blogs by long armers and their incredible quilting is helping me.  The truth is I will never accomplish what they do and I don't want to feel frustrated.  Quilting on a domestic is so different than quilting on a long arm and I have to remember that.
But I'm not whining, because I am doing something. It's not perfect, but this quilt will be done - and it will be done by me!
And I know I will have learned something and maybe I'll be a little better.
I think when it's all done, I'm going to be very happy with the end result.
I'm off to work so no quilting today.
Have a great one,

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Different Look

I decided to try my Nine Patch Pineapple quilt on the couch this year.  Last year it was not quilted.  I was scheduled to teach this technique as a 2 day workshop last January. So I needed to quilt this one and then decided to make another quilt (the Christmas table topper). 
I must say, I do think it looks quite wonderful!!  With all the light areas, it brightens up the couch.  It's not an exact color match, but still very "fallish" looking with a great graphic pattern.  I'm enjoying having it out where I can see it every day.
This simple quilt is the one I normally use on the couch during the fall.  I made it years ago in fabrics that almost exactly match the couch.  This year I decided to try it in the foyer on the deacon's bench.  Love it!!  With the morning sun coming in, it looked so pretty.
And last to put up for my fall quilt decorating, is my "One of Kind" fall sampler.  I finally decided to put a sleeve on this instead of just pinning it up.   It looks so much better that I sometimes wonder why I procrastinate so long on something so simple. Still love this one.
And this weekend in downtown Pensacola, was the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival. The Pensacola Quilters Guild had a booth in the Heritage Arts section.  We were able to hang "Vintage Blooms" and sell tickets.  
I was told that it earned an award and won $100.00!!  Yippee :).  So happy, this quilt just makes me smile every time I see it.  And to think that for one mere dollar, it could go home with someone. :)
It was a great weekend - this is a beautiful time of year along the Gulf Coast. 
Thanks for stopping in,

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Sweet Memory - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Welcome to my quilt for Amy's Fall Blogger's Quilt Festival.  Be sure to pop in and see all the great quilts.
It all started 2010.  I had discovered Kaffe Fasset and began collecting some of his fabrics and some brights that coordinated with them.  I'd made several "bright" quilts but was still wanting to make one more.  I found a pattern in a magazine and modified to suit me and decided to see what happened.
I prepped some strips for a road trip and was able to cut a bunch of blocks out.
They all looked so pretty.
I was really liking where this was going.  Not sure where I would end up, but I was happy.  The only constant was that each block had the same Kaffe fabric.
I must tell you, making these blocks was addictive.  They grew and grew.....
until I had this many.
And then my granddaughter and her family came for a visit.  She brought her own sewing machine and wanted to make a quilt.  She was 7 years old that summer!!
She saw my Kaffe quilt up on the design wall and wanted to make one just like her Nana Girl :).  Of course I couldn't say no.  She went thru my stash and picked all the fabrics herself.  She made her own choices for each block and auditioned them on hew own design wall.  Her instincts were spot on!
Here she is sewing the blocks together - she got really good at that 1/4" seam allowance too.
And then it was time for me to quilt it.
She looks so proud...
and here we are together with our matching quilts.
Since then, I have finished my quilt.  It stays over the back of my quilting chair and I get to enjoy it every day. 
Here are the little bright kitties.
I did an overall meandering feather vine.
The journey of this quilt is indeed a sweet memory.
Have a great day,