Friday, April 27, 2018

Forest for the Trees

Hello Everyone,
I've been working on my forest this week for the Alaskan Quilt Cruise.  The brown fabric for the tree trunks, and all of the rest of the fabrics arrived from Marcus Fabrics last week.  They are perfect!

The Eagle's Nest blocks will be perched above the trees in this row by row quilt.

Today I'm going to work on the Flying Geese which will be flying below the Midnight Sun blocks.

The Aurora blocks are finished.

I have two more Glacier Bay blocks to make.

There are four more Gold Rush blocks for the bottom row.  The little Bear Paws will be walking on top of this row. 

I designed a new block called Skagway that I haven't started making yet. 

Working in batiks is out of my wheelhouse, so it's been challenging, yet fun.  I'm loving the vibrancy of the fabrics which are all from Marcus Fabrics, Primo Batiks lines by Sarah J Maxwell. 

I have to switch gears and start preparing for the quilt show in Grass Valley the first weekend in May.  The show is called Springtime in the Pines.  I will have a large booth full of special goodies for all of the shoppers.....that is if I pull it all together next week!


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Flying Geese Get Their Stripes

Hello Everyone,
Yesterday I made several blocks that I am calling Midnight Sun for the Alaskan Cruise Quilt. There is a subtle stripe in the fabric, and I have to have all of my stripes marching to the same drummer in my quilts.

This is how I make my Flying Geese and get those stripes to line up.  I begin with the center of my goose and four squares.

I place the little squares on top of the big one, and yes, the squares need to overlap.  Notice the major stripes are all going in the same direction.

I use a 1/4" Omnigrid ruler, and mark on each side of the ruler with a Frixion pen.

Then I stitch directly on the lines.

 Then cut between the lines.

Press toward the small squares.

Place the other squares on the units.  The square that I just put on, looks like it is totally incorrect, but it isn't.

Flip the square over and notice the major stripes are in the correct orientation.

 See, both sides are lined up.

Stitch on the lines.

Cut them apart.

I have two geese where the major lines are running horizontally, and two geese have the major lines running vertically.

I trim them with a Bloc Loc ruler.....the best tool in my toolbox!

Then I can place the geese around the center section, and everyone is playing nicely and heading in the same direction.

This would drive me crazy!  Just be careful with the placement and you are good to go.

The extra attention to detail makes the difference in a good block and a great block.  Maybe no one would notice......but I do! 

More 'suns' are all cut and ready to be made today.  I'm afraid if I don't get this quilt done, the ship is going to leave the port without me and my quilt!  Full steam ahead today.


Monday, April 23, 2018

Gold Rush Blocks

Hello Everyone,
If you are one of my followers, this block is probably looking pretty familiar.  It's called Gold Rush, and I've used it in Country Charmer and Heritage.  Now it's going to be the bottom row in the quilt for the cruise to Alaska.

The background looks like little gold nuggets just waiting to be discovered in the earth.  I plan on using the same gold diagonally in all four corners for continuity.  It has been so much fun selecting the fabrics to use in this quilt thanks to the generosity of Marcus Fabrics.  Just wait until you see the fabrics that arrived to make the trunks on my Black Spruce blocks!  I may just have to put one together today.

Last weekend was family time.  We had four birthdays to celebrate.  Everyone in the family is so busy with baseball, softball, and FFA, that we had to schedule dinners with half of the family at a time.  Mr. Joe and I spent all of Saturday watching Little League and High School Softball.  It was a whirlwind visit watching games, feeding pigs and goats, and eating our way through the weekend.

We also had the pleasure of meeting our granddaughter's new boyfriend (hubba hubba)  over dinner Friday night. It is so interesting to hear, and discuss the thoughts of young people.  We were so impressed with the two of them together discussing politics, and the Every 15 Minute program sponsored by the California Highway Patrol.  They are passionate against drinking while driving and drug use.  They are passionate about expressing their opinions on gun control.  They are organizers, doers, and class leaders.  Maybe one of these days they will run for public office.  They will have my vote!



Thursday, April 19, 2018

Mile High Pie

Hello Everyone,
We did a quick trip yesterday to Sonora to drop patterns and a quilt off at Quail's Nest Quilt Company.  Just as we walked out the door, I decided to take Country Sampler with me for a photo shoot.  We called our friend Kaaren and asked her if she wanted to come with us.  Thirty minutes later, we were in the car and headed over the river and through the woods to Sonora.

Part of the plan, and the carrot to get Mr. Joe and Kaaren along for the ride, was planning to stop at Cover's Apple Ranch for lunch.

I knew it was out in the country, but we'd not been there before.  I thought surely it would be a great place to get some pictures of Country Sampler.

.....and it was the perfect location for pictures.

Just take a gander at this pie!  And yes, there are ganders at Cover's much to the delight of children.  Each pie contains 12 apples!

To serve this pie, you don't cut it into slices, you just put it in the center of the table and everyone dives in with their own fork.  This pie would last a nanosecond in our family.  The only exception would be our daughter who doesn't eat desserts.  I need to run a DNA test on her to make sure she is my child. 

We are looking forward to a return trip to Cover's to try their breakfast menu.  I have it on good authority their biscuits and gravy is top notch.  I have never ordered biscuits and gravy in my life, but there's always the first time for everything.

On another note, stop by the Manteca Quilt Show this weekend and visit my buddies from Quails Nest, Ladybugs Quilts, Lori's Jellies/Jams, and Material Girlfriends. 

No vending at a show for me this weekend. I'll be on the baseball and softball field watching the grand kids play ball.  Watching them on the field is my favorite to quilting!


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Making of a Heritage Quilt

Hello Everyone,
I'm so happy to show you all of the progress the Independence Hall Quilters made on the 2019 Scholarship quilt yesterday in the classroom at Independence Hall.  This quilt is over halfway finished.....IN ONE DAY!

Many of the girls drove through ice and snow to get to class and spend the day in the sunny classroom.  They were on a mission.

It all begins with the block layout sheet.   I'd prepared several for the group, and then they started to select their own color choices and create their own blocks.  Many of the girls took home sheets filled with colorful swatches.  More blocks will be added to this beauty soon.

There was one group working on the Log Cabin blocks, while the other group worked on the Gold Rush (star) blocks.  At times I felt as though I was herding cats trying to answer questions, cut more fabric, and put on my Quality Control hat.  These girls are good quilters!  They received my highest stamp of approval.

The blocks are not trivial.  There are 53 pieces of fabric in each one.  There are lots of seams and triangles which require precision.

The girls were precise!  Just look at their work!

The design wall started to fill throughout the day, and became more and more interesting and  beautiful.

This is the result by the end of the day!  I was floored at the amount of quilting accomplished in one meeting.  This quilt is going to be a stunner and sure to raise a ton of money for the Scholarship fund.  I couldn't have been any happier.  The person who wins this quilt is going to be the lucky recipient of an heirloom quilt.

Marcus Fabrics graciously donates fabric bundles for me to give away at workshops and lectures.  Phyllis won the raffle and knows just what she is going to do with this bundle of 30's fabrics.

Here is a picture at the end of the day.  Some of the girls were gone, but I managed to get a shot of almost everyone.

I'll keep you all posted on the progress of this quilt.  I will also let you know how to buy tickets when they become available.  I know I'm going to buy a bunch!

Many, many thanks to each and everyone of you who worked tirelessly throughout the day.  Your laughter, and funny stories made for a lively day of companionship and creativity.  And remember, what happens in the classroom.......stays in the classroom!


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Heritage Remake

Hello Everyone,
I have a fun day planned with my Independence Hall Quilters today.  We will be working on a remake of my Heritage pattern for the guild's 2019 Scholarship Quilt.  The guild gives out scholarships every year to deserving high school seniors.  Our goal is to raise as much money as possible to support the youth in our community.
Here is my original Heritage.

The new Heritage is going to be scrappy.  Each and every star is going to be different.  The log cabins will be the glue that ties the quilt together.

I spent a very snowy day in my dining room selecting fabrics, cutting fabrics, then lightly gluing the fabrics on my block layout sheet.  When I get to class today, I will let the girls select the block they want to make.

 Here are a few of the layouts.

I'll take pictures today of the quilts progress on the design wall.

Twenty guild members have signed up to help me with this endeavor.

Doesn't this look like a tile floor?  During the storm yesterday, I also cut all of the fabric for the log cabin blocks.  I have all the hundreds of pieces in marked baggies. 

After dinner last night, we enjoyed our evening walk around Snowflake Lake. 

Two geese glided over to see us.

 It was so peaceful and quiet at the lake.  The only sound was the geese talking to us.

We emerged from the woods to the lights of our cabin, sweet cabin welcoming us in out of the cold.

It's 25 degrees here now at 5:30am.  I hope it warms up a bit to thaw the snow on the roads.  It could be a bit dicey getting to Independence Hall to work on the quilt.  I do not enjoy ice skating with the car!
P.S.  If you are interested in making a Heritage quilt, the pattern is available HERE in my Etsy shop.