Friday, July 26, 2013

Drumroll Please

After months of planning and hard work, I am proud to present "Vintage Blooms" - the Opportunity Quilt made by the members of Pensacola Quilters Guild. 

Below is a picture of the entire quilt.  As is almost always the case, a picture does not do this quilt justice.  The colors are rich and wonderful.
I remember starting out last June when I did this post.
I owned the book "Hop To It" and was very intrigued with Edyta Sitar's method of combining batiks and prints.  I knew I wanted to try this method and decided to base the quilt on her Love Letters fabric line.
I also had fallen in love with Di Ford's version of the Phebe quilt.  This quilt was originally made by Phebe Warner in 1803. 
I found several shops that carried the Love Letters line and started with these fabrics....
and then pulled these from my stash.  The palette was just what I wanted.  After only a few days, I had completely designed the quilt using EQ7.  Little did I know that was the easy part!!

Very slowly the rows came together, and then I stalled.  I just couldn't make decisions as to what colors to use for the sawtooth borders and the inside sashing borders.
Many different scenarios stayed on my design wall for weeks as I kept waiting for inspiration.  Slowly but surely, decisions were made and at last I had the center and a plan.
A wonderfully talented friend of mine (Alice) agreed to applique the center for me in what I called "Baltimore Albumish".  It looked exactly like the picture I'd had in my head.
Each row brought more joy as I watched this quilt emerge from my imagination to something very real.
Block by block...
little by little......
until it was finally ready for the big reveal at our guild meeting.

As you can see, the appliqued vine border was still unfinished.  But many hours and many months later, I am looking at this. 
I wanted this quilt to be a combination of hand quilting and machine quilting.  I wanted it to look like an antique, but by using the batiks, I knew it would have a slightly modern feel.
Fellow guild member, Sheree, did all the machine quilting.  It is beautiful and exactly what I wanted.  I didn't want the quilting to be the "star of the show" but I wanted you to see the design and the fabrics first.  And then I wanted you to notice the quilting.

Alice did all the hand quilting in the center.  I really wanted that to be all "her baby".  The cross hatching is at 1/2".  The flowers almost look 3 dimensional.
Various other members did the hand quilting in the green borders as well as the 1" cross hatching in the vine border.  My friend Lisa Jo did ALL the construction of the quilt top as well as the blocking and binding.

So this part of the journey has come to an end.  I couldn't be more proud of our effort.  This truly is exactly the quilt I set out to create :).  The quilt show is April 11-12, 2014.  In the meantime, this quilt will do some travelling as we promote the show and sell tickets.  Since I'm the Quilt Show Chairman, I know you'll be hearing more about it as the time draws near.
Now that this is off my plate, I can get back to "my" things.
Enjoy the day, we've got sunshine!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A New Ruler and the Cousins

I got an email last weekend from Jackie at Canton Village Quilt Works that I had won the ruler set for the Double Wedding Ring Challenge giveaway and it came yesterday!  It's always exciting to win something.  I have already committed to myself to participate in this contest so I'm excited to give the ruler a try.  Stay tuned....
I also wanted to include some pictures of the cousins on the 4th of July.  We had almost the whole family here to celebrate for the week.
Here are my 2 (oldest ones) and my sister's 4.  The outfits were a group effort.  They made ruffled shorts (hard to see), monogrammed tops for the boys and girls and the red stripe shorts for the boys.
This little punkin was the only one missing :(.  With her new brother's due date a few weeks away, they couldn't make the trip from Myrtle Beach to Pensacola.  My DDIL made her this cute shirt with her initials and fireworks so we enjoyed seeing them thru FaceTime.
Here are the boy cousins (minus little Jack, still waiting....).  James is so happy to have some boy cousins.

Here's another picture of my youngest granddaughter.  My DDIL has been busy sewing clothes for Karis and for little Jack.  He's due any day.  It's so hard being so far away - but I can't wait to be a Nana again :).

Have a great day,

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Talking to the Animals

Here is the end of the story to this -
After listening to the animals talk to me, I decided to use my favorite "One of a Kind" technique and make "sort of" matching quilts for the 2 twin boys.  I guess you could call this "Two of a Kind" :).
After trimming the 54" fabric to 36", I was left with about 18" WOF times the length, about 2 1/2 yards.  I cut up as many animals as I could, starting with a 16 x 18" block as the largest and going down from there.
I pulled as many fabrics from my stash that matched the basic colorway and cut 2 1/2" strips.  This is a slight variation of the original OOAK technique which is built on a 4" grid.  But 2 1/2" finishes at 2" so it's basically the same, only a little more complicated as the pieces are smaller.
I tried out several different layouts, putting them up on my design wall and taking pictures.  As you can see, I ended up with a Lion quilt and a Hippo quilt.
There were random body parts and pieces I was able to use - which I hope, when they get older, will be fun for the boys and not too disturbing to see a one-eyed lion and an elephant with no head :).
Here are the 2 backs, pretty much identical.
So they ended up the same, but different.
Which to me was perfect for twins.
 So, all in all, I think the animals did a pretty good job talking to me.  Hopefully, one day I'll meet the parents at church and see if they liked them. 
At the end of the day, it's always good to exercise your brain and do something really different and outside your normal box.
I'm happy I said yes.

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Fun Weekend in Dothan, AL

I have been so remiss to not post pictures about my fun trip back to Dothan, AL and the wonderful girls of the Evening Star Quilt Guild.  Dothan was where I went last October when I judged their Quilt Show.   This time I was asked to present a lecture on Friday night at their regular meeting and then do an all day workshop on Saturday.  They picked Momoe's Star as their workshop (the same workshop I did last Spring in Morgan City, LA).
This is the most wonderful technique and I enjoy sharing it with new groups of people. 
It's interesting to me to watch each person find their own way and tweak the technique. 
I present it exactly the way it was written in 1986, and then we talk about how to apply 21st century tools and techniques and make it modern.  All over the room I would hear "What would happen if I did ......".  And off they would go trying something new.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with not changing a thing and staying true to the original ways.
These gals are just getting started setting out lunch, which was delicious, by the way :).
This sweet lady (getting another cup of coffee) is Bonnie, my wonderful "hostess extraordinaire".  She has a beautiful home, a very sweet husband and we enjoyed a lovely cup of coffee on her back porch early Saturday morning.  Thanks Bonnie for making me feel so welcome.
I loved seeing the fabrics each person brought.
Don't they look so serious??  Such concentration!
The lighting was wonderful, this was a great room for all 22 of us.

Thank you Evening Star Quilt Guild - I so appreciate the invitation to come back and I hope to see some finished projects soon!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Office Art - Courthouse Steps

My office art is officially hung!!  I've been working for 6 months and I never thought it would take this long.  (Remember I had a hard time finding a border fabric, and then I couldn't decide on a final quilting design).  But the wait is over.
I had 2 bare walls in my new office, this is the smaller one.
The one by my desk is the larger one, the one most people will see. This is also the wall I look at 95% of the time, as I mostly do work on the computer.
Several months ago I brought in a bunch of quilts I already had and auditioned them.  This one worked perfectly.  It was made for a guild challenge a few years ago.  I love the quirky nature of the blue leaves and the asymmetry of the square in a square blocks.  It's always been one of my favorites and I'm thrilled I get to see it hanging.
We moved the bookcase to the corner, and it looks perfect.
I initially thought I would make a tumbler quilt for the big wall, but when I auditioned it, I didn't really like it.  So I decided on the Courthouse Steps, I was working for an attorney after all LOL.  There is a wool rug in my office that gave me the palette for the colors.  The neutrals look great with the wall color.
It is just wonderful that I can look at this all day long.
I get to look at the quilting as the shadows cross it - too bad it never photographs as well as it looks in person.  No surprise that I put the kitty where I could see it up close :).  It's at the top of the middle block.
And here's the kitty in the small piece - so fun
This is the view from my desk of the huge downtown metropolis of Pensacola!!  I'm on the 7th floor which gives me this great view.  The building on the left is the Courthouse -
and hidden behind that bush are the............ Courthouse Steps!!  How cool is that?

Even better than getting to look at my quilts all day, is the fact that my boss is totally on board with this.  He has mentioned several times that he really likes the way the quilts look. He was not really familiar with "wall art quilts" and I think it was a pretty big stretch for him to agree.  So it makes me even happier that what makes me happy also got a big thumbs up from him.
Have a great day,