Friday, January 26, 2018

Dying to Quilt

Hello Everyone,
Today, Gail and I are at Friends Around the Block in Colusa, CA.  I will be teaching Patchwork Math today, and Heritage tomorrow.

Before the building housed Friends Around the Block, it was a mortuary.  The owner was going to the name the shop Dying to Quilt....but thought better of it.

This shop is adorable!  It is large too.  I forgot to ask, but I'm quite sure the lights are original to the building.

There is a wonderful selection of fabrics from which to choose.

I bought a ton of fabric from their reproduction section to make bundles for my shows.  I want to keep it ALL!

They also have a long arm in this room and offer long arm quilting to their customers.

This is the classroom where I will be teaching.  I brought the two Country Sunshines along with me.  I literally finished machine quilting the Country Sunshine that is on the table, about five minutes before I had to walk out the door and drive to Colusa.

The classroom has wonderful lighting and is so spacious.

There's my Patchwork Math sampler quilt on the design wall.  One of these days I'll get the pattern written and quilt it.  Zinnie's Choice is on the quilt rack.

We are looking forward to a fun day at Friends Around the Block.
On another note for those of you living close to Livermore. Alex Anderson is going to have a one-woman show this weekend.  Alex will have 25 quilts on display at Berkshire Hathaway Real Estate office in downtown Livermore, 1983 Second Street.  The reception will be between 4-6pm on Sunday, January 28th.  This would be a great time to stop by and see Alex and her quilts.  Tell her Lynn sent you.
Well folks, I have to get ready for my day at Friends Around the Block.  I'm dying to see the students!  Pun intended.
P.S.  The patterns for all of my quilts and Patchwork Math book are located on Etsy at my shop.  Click HERE to go to my shop. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Machine Quilting Madness

Hello Everyone,
Just a quickie this morning since I'm off to class this morning.  I wanted to show my machine quilting progress on Country Sunshine.

I made the borders 8" wide as I planned on filling the space with plate feathers. My plan almost went in the dumpster when I had to pick out every stitch of what you see.  I checked my tension in the beginning and proceeded to merrily quilt.  The front looked gorgeous, the back was horrible and turned into a continual birds nest!  Something went wrong with the tension and I had the BIGGEST mess.  What took 20 minutes to quilt, took 2 hours and 20 minutes to rip out.  Click HERE for a link to plate feathers tutorial.

My head finally hit my pillow around 11:30pm and the top border was done.  It's 5:6am now and I'm starting in again before I head to the shop to be with my Sew'n Wild Oaks girls.

I will quilt all day tomorrow, then Thursday I head to Colusa to teach Patchwork Math and Heritage at Friends Around the Block on Friday and Saturday.   I can't wait to see the shop since it is located in a former mortuary.  I was so mad at this quilt last night, I was ready to throw it in the crematorium!  I'm better today, and no longer have such dire thoughts. For me, quilting plate feathers is like trying to rub your tummy and pat your head at the same time.  They do not come naturally at all.  Heaven forbid that I get distracted, and that is my middle name!

Off to the quilting room to get some quilting in before the sun comes up.  The girls are going to have to prop me up in class and make a coffee run or two or three.......


Friday, January 19, 2018

First Flimsy of the Year

Hello Everyone,
Borders on......check.  Dog on.....check.

As soon as I get the camera out, Mazey goes into "pose" mode.  I always take pictures of my quilts draped over this old sled, and she knows it's time to have her picture taken.  Her golden hair blends in perfectly.

Today is backing least favorite part of making a quilt.  I will most likely use the leftovers, cut them all up and stitch them all back together in a scrappy back.  Mazey loves backing day because she will roll around on the fabrics so carefully arranged on the floor.

We just got a dusting of snow in the night.  The deck looks like the angels sifted powdered sugar from the heavens.  We aren't going to have to dig our way out today.  I can probably use a broom on the driveway.

We had another load of wood delivered the other day.  The young man said he would stack it for us for an additional fee.  I guess he thought we didn't look robust enough to carry all of the wood down the hill to the cabin.  We declined his offer, although it was a fair price.  By the time we finished, our hill looked more like Mt. Everest every time I went back up to put another few pieces of wood in my carrier.  Mr. Joe manhandles the wheelbarrow.  He likes to think he's Paul Bunyon.  I guess that makes me Babe, his trusty blue ox. 

Speaking of being a "babe".....I got my hair cut yesterday......all of them......very, VERY short.  I guess I forgot to mention to my new hairdresser that I didn't want my hair shorter than my husband's.  I guess I also forgot to mention that I didn't want to be able to see my scalp.  I guess I also forgot to mention that I would prefer to look like a woman.....not Babe the Blue Ox. I also learned not to get my hair cut short when the temps dip into the low 30' ears are cold.  Maybe this new "do" will grow on me.....literally.



Thursday, January 18, 2018

Country Sunshine Version #2

Hello Everyone,
I've hunkered down over the past couple of days and finished all of the blocks, sashing strips, and got this quilt together.

Today, I'll trim up the sides and get the borders cut and sewn on.  Very simple borders will highlight the quilt center.  Tomorrow I'll make the backing.

Next week I'll get this one on the long arm and machine quilt until I drop.
On the fugitive front, he's still at large.  We don't have the huge police presence in town, so I'm assuming that law enforcement believes that he has left the area.  We are still keeping vigilant, with the doors locked night and day.  Our alarm is on at night.  If it goes off, we will be shocked and terrified at the same time. 

We are back to walking Mazey at night.  I was a little jumpy when I heard something in the woods which got this old heart pounding.  Mazey started barking then whining.  Two dogs came running toward us.  Mr. Joe had the composure to pull out the air horn and gave it a couple of good blasts.  Luckily the dogs retreated one way and we retreated the other.  When the dog's owner walks them by our house on a daily basis, he can hardly keep control of them on leash.  This is only the second time we've seen the dogs running loose since 2005, so it isn't a daily occurrence.  They are scary animals.  One of them is named Samson......does that tell you anything?  A bear would be in retreat mode if it saw Samson.

It is supposed to start snowing tonight.  Mr. Joe is so anxious to use the new generator.  It think it is a little noisy.....but I can't hear as well now after the double blast from the air horn the other night!


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Country Sunshine

Hello Everyone,
I've not dropped off the planet, I've been traveling.  This week I was at the Folsom and Fiber Quilt Guild for a lecture and a workshop.  I'll post picture of those fun ladies and their creations tomorrow.
My sister Gail went with me to Folsom to be my "Vanna" during the lecture, then she helped out with the workshop the next day.  When we returned to the cabin, I put her to work pattern testing Country Sunshine. Here is Gail's block.

I'm down to the last five blocks for this quilt. Of course there are more sashings to make, setting triangles, borders.....etc. etc.   I would love to be able to get the top together before the big quilt show in Folsom in February.  It would only be a flimsy, but it would show a different colorway.  The fabrics used in this quilt are Crystal Farm from Andover Fabrics.

Here is the first Country Sunshine using Rachael Remembered fabrics from Moda.  This one is going on the long arm in the next couple of weeks.  I'm going to make the backing and get this one done!  Side by side they don't look like the same pattern.

I usually make every pattern twice, if not three times, in one case four times to show the quilt using a different fabric palette. You know me, I would love to make this into a very scrappy quilt and use black in the sashing.  That is NOT going to get done anytime soon!

I'll be working on the pattern directions today during football playoffs.  I may try to sneak back into my sewing room and make another block or two. A lot depends on how exciting the games are, and how much they hold my attention and keep me from my appointed writing task.

There is a fugitive loose in our area, a robbery suspect with a long list of warrants out for his arrest.  A reward has also been posted for this "most wanted" man in Calaveras County.  We curtailed our nightly walk with Mazey.  These two, gray-haired geezers would be easy "pickens" since we couldn't out run each other let alone a desperado. Mazey would lick him to death and want to play.  A two-legged creature scares me more than a four-legged furry creature.  The air horn isn't going to work on this fugitive.  We drove to town twice yesterday, and each time we saw four sheriff vehicles patrolling.  I didn't know our county had that many.  There was a big community meeting the other night at Independence Hall regarding this man, and crime in general.  Mr. Joe tried to attend the meeting, but by the time he arrived it was standing room only, and the only standing room was outside in the cold.....he was home early.  Needless to say, we are keeping the cabin buttoned up pretty tight both night and day.  Our trusty guard dog slept like a baby all night.  I wish I could say the same for me.


Saturday, January 6, 2018

Over the Propane Tank

Hello Everyone,
I've been fussy cutting my heart out for the new blocks in Heritage.  What started out as creating examples for my class at Friends Around the Block, has turned into an entirely new quilt.

This block is a combination of Kim Diehl meets Laundry Basket fabrics, along with Moda. They all play well together.

Here's the progress as of yesterday morning. 

In making a parody of an Erma Bombeck phrase, I'm changing my quote to read, "Life is Greener Over the Propane Tank!"  This is my view out one of the windows in my sewing room. Not much going on outside, but it is oh, so sweet inside.  Mr. Joe came into my room during the week to check on me since he hadn't seen me in a fair bit of time. I completely lost all track of the hours while working on my blocks.  I was having a ball!  I was digging deep into my stash to come up with different combinations of color.  Just like a chef, a dash of this, and a dash of that, and I was cooking up some blocks.  This quilt is going to be a melting pot of colors.

I discovered I'm at my happiest when working with a LARGE palette of choices, and really stir things up.  I'm absolutely only pulling from my stash.  Nothing new at all for this quilt. 

Today is going to be a day to pull up a chair by the fire, and enjoy a good read during a nice, soaking rain. We have to run over to Quail's Nest quilt shop in Sonora this morning to pick up Grammy Squares, then home to this cozy spot......or I'll be in my spot over the propane tank!

Next week I'm headed to Folsom, CA to speak at the Folsom Quilt & Fiber Guild.  The lecture is Tuesday night, and the Patchwork Math workshop is all day Wednesday. I'll have to stop quilting long enough to prepare handouts, and give my talk a good run through.  If you are in the area, come on by and introduce yourself.

Gotta propane tank is calling me!


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Lessons Learned

Hello Everyone,
Here are images of two more new blocks for Heritage. 

It takes me awhile to select just the right fabrics.  I don't want them to be too matchey, matchey.  I want them to be unique and be able to stand alone on their own within the quilt.  There are 49 star blocks in the quilt, giving me 49 chances to get it right!  I can't knock it out of the park every time, but I can try!

I have a couple more that need to be sewn that are on the block layout sheet.  Maybe this afternoon I will put everything else aside and work on them.  I've already changed the block on the bottom right to give it a bit more "zip".

I hope you all had a good New Year's Eve.  We had a quiet one and binge watched "The Last Post".  It is an Amazon original series and it captured our interest with the first episode.  There are only six episodes and we have one more to watch.  Unless I'm working on an applique project, I usually doze off at night in front of the TV.....but not during this show! 

I'm going to take a different stance on the new year.   I don't want to sound like Miss Congeniality in the Miss America contest, so I'm not going to say that I'm wishing for world peace.  I'm going to look at what I learned from 2017, and try to apply those life lessons to 2018. 

If someone had told me last year at this time, that our son was going to get divorced.......I wouldn't have thought it possible.  Lesson learned - Nothing lasts forever.  Choose forgiveness over anger and life will be sweeter.

If someone had told me last year at this time we were going to move after being in the same house for 30 years......I wouldn't have believed you.  Lesson learned - Downsize, downsize, downsize!  I repeat DOWNSIZE NOW!!

If someone had told me that my business was going to take me to heights I'd never experienced before.....I would have laughed and said, "No Way"!  Lesson learned - Keep plugging away at what you've set in place and it will grow with constant care and feeding.

So what did I learn?  I learned to roll with the punches, accept change and know that everything is going to work out for the best.....and it will if you BELIEVE it will.

Now comes the Miss Congeniality spiel for 2018. Let's all be kinder, and let it begin with us, the quilters of the world.  There are millions of us, so let's put all of that positive power into action and make the world a better place, one kindness after another.  End of spiel.

I have it by good authority that my High School Freshman English teacher might be reading my blog.  I'll apologize right now Mrs. Boness for my lack of proper punctuation.  I must have been asleep during that whole unit.  Now spelling on the other hand is good.....thanks to spell check!  You were always a positive influence on our young, hormone and testosterone driven teenage brains.  Because of you, I love the English language from poetry to the classics.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't read a few chapters, and write a few words from my to-do list to my blog.  End of "suck up" time, at least I don't have to worry about a grade anymore. Thank you for putting up with us. I hope to see at a guild meeting in the future.

I have hit the reset button and hit the ground running for 2018.  The creative juices are flowing and I'm excited about new opportunities, challenges, and changes.


P.S. If you are interested in purchasing my Heritage pattern, it is located HERE in my Etsy store.