Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Kit Zone

Hello Everyone,
I've been in a "zone" lately.....the kit zone.  I've been cutting and packaging 48 kits for the Alaskan Quilt Cruise.
This is a photo of all the fabrics for Row-Mancing Alaska.  The kits are too pretty to open up and start cutting the fabrics.

This is the final kit.

Here are the pictures of the fabric for Country Sampler.

Here's the final kit.

We've always jokingly called this area of the cabin our FedEx Mail Center.  The telephone office sign complete with bullet holes, antique stamp dispenser, and old crank phone are added character to this part of the cabin.

These packages are full of kits ready to be shipped.  Mr. Joe and Mazey made two runs to the post office yesterday.  I'll try to get the rest shipped by the end of the week.

Some of the Alaskan quilters are taking both of my classes and have two kits and patterns headed their way. They get to experience double the fun!
This morning I'm headed off to Benicia to pick up my sister Gail, then we are heading over to San Rafael for a lecture at the Mt. Tam Quilt Guild tonight.  YIKES, I'd better sign off and start getting ready to leave.  Lots of driving for me today and tomorrow.  I'll practice my talk on my way out of the mountains......and try not to put myself to sleep.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Row-Mancing Alaska is a Flimsy

Hello Everyone,
It feels good to get back to my quilting.....if only for a few days before I take off again.  Tuesday, I finished the borders on Row-Mancing Alaska.  Just a little touch of color in the borders fit the bill for me.

I finished writing the pattern yesterday and sent it off to my testers and readers.  I'll let it sit for a couple of days and go over it again with a fine-tooth comb.  It's amazing what will jump out at me once the pattern sits and percolates for a couple of days.

When I was approached by the quilting cruise tour director last year, she told me that she would like me to design and teach a quilt with an Alaskan theme.  After many months, several dry runs, head scratching and general procrastination, I came up with this design for a row-by-row quilt.  Alaska has such a rich history, and I could have included so many more blocks.  I had to call it quits and keep it more of a wall hanging and not a California king sized quilt.

I poured through my extensive collection of quilt block books, and looked for blocks pertinent to Alaska.   The first row is called Aurora.  I looked at many images of the Aurora Borealis and tried to imitate the color scheme.  The second row is called Midnight Sun.  I wanted the sun to be rising over my quilt, low in the sky.  Of course I had to have flying geese! 

Next comes Eagle's Nest followed by Black Spruce.  I then worked my way down to Glacier Bay.

There is controversy over this little block.  I'm calling it Bear Paw, but many look at it and think it's a fish.  So whatever it is, fish or bear, it is either a fish swimming in Glacier Bay, or a bear walking along the bank of the bay on top of Gold Rush blocks.  You decide.

So there you have it.....from the heavens to the earth. My version of Alaska even though I've not been there before.  Next month at this time, I'll be sailing on the high seas, and stopping to explore the coastline and interesting towns and glaciers along the way.

The majority of the fabrics came from several different lines of Marcus Fabrics.  The lines are called Jewel, Sea, and Tranquility by Sarah J. Maxwell.  Many thanks to Marcus Fabrics for providing the fabric for this quilt.

I'm now putting the kits together for this quilt.  I've scoured quilt shops, and online shops for just the right fabrics to replicate this quilt. I have my work cut out for me today....tomorrow.....and quite possibly the next day.


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Wine Country Quilt Show

Hello Everyone,
It's time to get you caught up on what I've been doing for the past week or so.  Last weekend I was a vendor at the Wine Country Quilt Show in Santa Rosa, CA.

It was a great, 2-day show.  What you don't see are the days of preparation prior to the show.  I was busy cutting kits and printing patterns for days and days.

Our friend Nancie was so helpful during both days of the show.  We were so busy, it is good to have an extra set of hands to help.  Nancie has also made so many of my quilts, that she's a natural when it comes to answering questions.

Setting the booth up takes my sister Gail and me about four to five hours from start to finish.  We have a good system going and each of us know, and carry out our duties.  Our carrot at the end of the day is a glass of wine with our dinner.  (Well, we were in the heart of wine country!)

I demonstrated behind this table for the entire show.  I came out from behind this table often to give out hugs to many of you.  It is amazing how many people we know from vending at shows in this area, lecturing to the guilds, and holding workshops.  There are so many familiar and friendly faces.

Here a just a few of the 200+ quilts at the show.  We quickly walked through the show Sunday morning before the crowds arrived.

The featured artist was Kathi Carter-Sweet.  Her body of work was incredible.

I'm back at the cabin for a few days before I head off to San Rafael next week for a lecture.  I'm cutting kits for the cruise, working on the pattern for the second cruise quilt, and trying to relax a little bit.  I keep telling myself I can relax on the cruise.......wait a minute......I have 53 quilters to teach! 

Just one month from today, I'll be sailing North to Alaska with many of my friends.  I can't wait.


Thursday, May 31, 2018

Road Trip

Hello Everyone,
I've been pretty quiet this week on my blog, but anything but quiet at home while preparing for the Wine Country Quilt Show in Santa Rosa this weekend.
It's been a flurry of activity here.  First order of business was getting my latest pattern finished, printed, and stuffed into the plastic envelope.

This pattern is going to be part of my new guild workshop presentation.  Now that is it finished, I want to make another one!  This is also one of the quilts that I will be teaching on the quilting cruise to Alaska in July.  YIKES.....that's next month!

My sister Gail has been pattern testing for me.  She makes the components then places them on the block layout sheet.  A block layout sheet is included in the pattern for each of the nine blocks. The sheet really aids in the layout and construction of the block.

My friend Joyce has also been testing the pattern for me.

I've also been cutting, folding, and pricing bundles for my booth this weekend.  Here is just a sample of Jo Morton's new shirtings fabrics, and Pieceful Pines by Pam Buda.

I'll add these collections to my other reproduction bundles. My booth will be full of choices, (or temptations) for everyone!

Hope to see some of you at the show!


Monday, May 28, 2018

A Rite of Summer

Hello Everyone,
An annual rite of summer for me is the changing of the quilts.  Memorial Day signifies the date when this begins.
My Buttonwood quilt is the most 'summery' quilt that I designed.  This quilt will now greet visitors at the front door.

I'm preparing for the Wine Country Quilt Show in Santa Rosa this coming weekend.  This is my last show until the middle of September.  I'm making lots of bundles and quilted goodies for the weekend.  This show is always a good one!

Today isn't a day to celebrate.  It is a day to remember and think about the number of lives lost in military conflicts. My  husband, my father, my father-in-law, my uncles, my cousins, voluntarily enlisted in the service, and came home alive.  They all had stories to tell.  Mr. Joe volunteered for Vietnam.  Luckily he wasn't selected because he was a jet mechanic.  At they time the military was looking for helicopter mechanics.  His story could have had a much different outcome.
 Thank you to all Veterans and their families for their ultimate sacrifice and service. 


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Sew'n Wild Oaks Class Was In Session

Hello Everyone,
I was happy as a clam spending Monday and Tuesday with my Sew'n Wild Oaks girls at In Between Stitches in Livermore.  They have been so productive since we last met.
There were a lot of Country Sunshine quilts and blocks in the room made with so many different fabrics and colorways.

We also had a Christmas theme going on too.

We have a Country Sampler quilt in the making and pattern testing phase.

The box of yo-yo's looked good enough to eat!

I finished up my Gold Rush blocks for my Alaskan quilt.

I also made a huge decision to change the entire background of the quilt and removed the aged muslin fabrics.  In class, one of the girls made a comment about the background which validated what I was thinking.  I knew if I didn't make a change, I would never be happy with the quilt.

I took out my seam ripper at 5am yesterday, and removed every piece of muslin.

Then I replaced the muslin with a batik which has a very small, overall polka dot print.  I'm so much happier with the quilt now.  Yesterday was a full day of ripping and re-stitching.  It was exhausting but worth the effort.

We are headed back to the mountains today just in time for the Memorial weekend.  We will get a jump on traffic and arrive at our mountain haven before the masses arrive.  This is just the beginning of the summer visitors.  Our little town is transformed from a sleepy community to a bustling area of summer activity.  Our street will go from one car passing by per hour to at least five cars!  It's a huge change from the San Francisco Bay Area traffic.
We had a very busy five days back home in the city. We attended the awards ceremony for our granddaughter's track team.  Harleigh received her Varsity letter and scholar athlete certificate. 
We watched our grandsons play two Little League play off games. The result wasn't the way we wanted the season to end, but we were there to cheer for our little kids. My grandsons Jess, and Kade are not only cousins, but good friends.  If you look closely you can see Kade's black eye which he received during practice.  Such a cute picture and representation of the All American boy.

We had dinners every night with all of the kids and ate our way through the last five days.  We need to go back home and get back to our normal, boring schedule!

We enjoyed our family time......it was the best!