Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Coming together

I finally took a trip across the border to Joanns fabric in Bellingham, WA ... my first in almost a year!  It's been a busy year and I hadn't had a decent sales flyer in a long time, was very excited to go.  One of the top things on my list of needed fabric was some white on whites.  All I had left to do on my Mariner's Compass were the 4 corner triangle units.  I had 1 done, and 2 compasses done but no background triangle to applique them to.  Finally this week I was able to make the last compass and get all of the remaining corners done.  I put borders on them today and will hopefully get them attached to the center tomorrow.   Then I'll see how big it is and if it looks like it needs a final white outer border.  I'm planning to put it in my guild's quilt show next fall.  Haven't decided yet how I'll quilt it, probably feathers and some sort of grid ... we'll see.

My niece got married this fall, so I have to get busy on Christmas stockings for her and her new hubby ... plus my other niece had asked me earlier in the year if I'd make one for her boyfriend.  Emma wants one for her boyfriend too.  I guess I should get busy on those soon.  

Friday, August 2, 2013

I don't get it

Well, for the first time in 9 years my entry for the Hoffman Challenge will not be traveling in the trunk show.  It's weird because every time my entry was chosen to travel I was surprised, yet this year for a change I'm surprised it didn't get chosen.  I put more thought and work into this one than any other, really thought I'd hit it this time.  Don't get me wrong, the entries that won prizes are beautiful, excellent work ... but when I look at them I have to say I just don't get it.  In many of the winning entries the focus fabric was used as is, like huge chunks of it cut out and sewn on ... a flower is used as a flower, a medallion is used as a medallion, etc.  The third place applique entry is a prime example ... particularly the border.  Yes, it's a beautiful quilt and was done really well, but I just don't get it.
Anyhow, congratulations to the winners ... nice job done by all.  
Bring on the next challenge!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hoffman Challenge 2013

It's done!  It's mailed!  I'm freeee!  I feel like I've been working on this forever ... it's completely applique and seemed to be never-ending but now it is completed and in the mail to Colorado. 
So ... the feature fabric this year  is called Peacock Gold.  I loved it from the moment I saw it, it's filled with my favorite colors -- shades of blues and green on tan!  As soon as I saw it I knew the flowers would make great 3-d fish scales.  The leaves, of course, make great leaves.  Every year I take apart the images in the featured fabric and blend them in with other fabrics to make something else ... and every year I lose.  Inevitably the winners have used the flowers as flowers ... like just cut out great big frickin flowers and sew them on as is!  Yes, the resultant quilts are beautiful and there is a lot of other work in them besides the flowers, but it always seemed like cheating to me.  This year I decided to make an exception and used some leaves as leaves ... turned out pretty good, though it still feels like cheating.
Here you can see where I actually used the focus fabric ... fish scales, eye, yin yang circle, leaves, flower center, and the little green thingies on the outside of each flower.  

Colors always manage to elicit an emotional response in me, and no doubt many others.  To me shades of blues, greens, teals, aqua all inspire a feeling of calm.  The fish in the centre represents the yin yang.   In conjunction with that I put a watery wavy circle around it.  Then surrounding that are the flowers and feathers.  I quilted it all with variegated thread ... beige in the middle, green in the feathered area, and blue in the outer area. 
I find it nearly impossible to make an appliqued quilt perfectly symmetrical and even.  At a glance it looks very even and lined up, but when you get right into the nitty gritty of it, it's very much NOT, thus I named it "Unbalanced". 
All hand appliquéd and hand quilted, of course.  It should get to its destination just in the nick of time .... wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Busy, busy, busy ..... and maybe a little slack

I realized recently that I hadn't posted anything in a while so I figured I'd best get to it.  Since my last post before Christmas I've been working on a lot of things, none of which are finished yet.  Thus is the life of a quilter ... many PHDs (Projects Half Done).  I usually have a few things on the go at varying points of completion ... usually a large quilt, some applique, and a smaller quilt.  

The large quilt I'm doing now is one for my niece's upcoming wedding in September.  I can't show it here yet in case she decides to peek at my website, don't want her seeing it before it's done!  I have finished quilting the body of it, doing the borders now, so when it's done there will be photos.
Appliqué .... I LOVE APPLIQUE!  I tried machine appliqué once and that was enough.  I much prefer hand appliqué.  I have more control over how it turns out, I can tote it along with me when I go to appointments and things that I know there will be waiting involved.  So here are a few of the PHDs I've got going at the moment.  

I love red and yellow together.  I finally decided I want to make a red and yellow quilt for my bed.  I'm using multiple scrappy yellows for the background, scrappy reds for the applique.  Each block will be unique with a theme of hearts and/or feathers throughout.   As you can see in this block, it'll be kind of heart shaped made from feathers (I love love love feathers), then there'll be a heart thingie at the top between the ends.
Besides feathers lately I've also been into trees.  Funky twisty trees in particular.  I had forgotten about this gorgeous green and gold print I had in my stash until one day I was digging for something else.  Right away I knew it was what I needed for a new tree.  It's going pretty slowly because this is usually the one I take along with me to meetings and stuff.  Not sure what I'll quilt in the background yet, but whatever I do it'll probably be with green variegated thread.

This pale one is again hearts and feathers.  This is the centre of it where 4 feathered hearts meet.  I have no idea what I'll put beyond them yet but obviously I have a while before I have to think about that anyhow.  

And this is my Hoffman Challenge entry for 2013.  It's actually quite far along, probably another week of appliqué and then it'll be ready to quilt.  Sorry, not showing any more of it than this little section until it's done and off to Colorado for judging.

Last week I did a talk at the Blue Mountain Quilters Guild in Port Coquitlam.  I showed some of my quilts, then talked about Quilts of Valour.  They all seemed to enjoy it (nobody left halfway through lol) and I had a great time.  It's funny how you can walk into a room full of quilters in a place you've never been with people you've never met and feel right at home.

I'm approaching the one year mark since I started volunteering at Canuck Place Children's Hospice.   Every Saturday evening from 5-9 I get to hang out with the kids ... we make crafts, paint, watch movies, play games, go for walks or play basketball in the yard ... always something different and always lots of fun. 

In between all of this other stuff I'm also researching my family tree.  It's so easy to get lost in reading all the old stories, diaries, wills, lists upon lists of names, I lose all track of time.  Gradually I'm filling in names and dates here and there, lots of fun when I get going down one particular branch of the tree and a name will pop up that I know I've seen before.  I take a closer look and lo and behold, that branch is now connected to another branch.  Lots of fun stuff.