Monday, November 23, 2015

At Long Last

If you have ever looked at this blog you will know that I've been working on this quilt for over a year.  After completing the Urban Owls quilt designed by Wendy Williams and offered as a BOM by Material Obsessions, I was once again tempted by a Wendy Williams design named Cat's Away.  I don't say "no" to many temptations and signed up for this 2014 BOM.

Of course, it would have been finished more quickly had I not added more embellishment or if I worked on fewer projects at the same time.  My original plan for the quilt was to hang it over my stairs but then I realized that it would be too big.  My solution was to make it even larger to fit on my bed.  The finished size is 106" square.

It was beautifully quilted by Cindy Paulsen who expertly added the final touch.  I'm really fussy about quilting.  Extremely fussy.  In my opinion, the quilting is more than a method of holding the layers together, it should enhance the quilt pattern.  Yes, it can be expensive, but with the cost of fabric and the time I have invested carefully stitching, why would I scrimp on the final design element?  Not every quilt is suited to straight lines or curves, applique should be quilted too, and yes, embellishments are added before quilting. 

OK, as I said, it's just my opinion, I hope it doesn't sound like a rant.

Next on my list I hope to finish up Lorna Doone, a Kaffe design, get back to Roseville Album, my sketching pad, a class project, and some Christmas gifts. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

A bit of this and that

Last week my husband had a guest instructor teach here in his studio.  Ten of his friends were here for 5 days and my goal was to make cushions for the window seat in my living room.  Our dogs lay here and look out the window every day.  We just repainted the walls a light gray and this Kaffe home-dec fabric was the perfect addition to our room.  The 3 cushions are 52" long x 18" wide, and 2" high.  

I ordered plenty of fabric from just in case I made a mistake and ended up with about a yard left over which was used to make a new purse.

I have a few upcoming classes where I will be teaching a variety of embroidery stitches.  This little Spring Garden was completed with 9 different stitches using both Silken Pearl and Pearl Cotton on felted wool.

Wednesday was a fun day as my stitching group has started up again in my sewing room.  This group is hand-work only and we have a variety of projects going - English paper piecing, needlepoint, applique and embellishment.  I really look forward to this great group of friends sharing a common love (addiction).

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Kaffe Class and More

The highlight of last week was Kaffe Fasset's visit to Salt Lake City.  Tuesday evening Kaffe and Brandon presented a lecture and slide show which was very inspirational.  Wednesday morning was our class on Overlapping Squares from the book Heritage Quilts.

As I pressed my fabric and packed up my supplies I had a good idea of what my quilt would look like.  Surprise!!! I took all the wrong fabric as small or medium scale prints are best for this quilt design.  "Luckily" Elaine's Quilt Shop had plenty of fabric at the class so shopping was my first task.

Amazing is the word I use to describe working with Kaffe and Brandon!  At first it was a bit intimidating to have them stand next to me and look at my selections, but they quickly put me at ease with their easy manner.  They both explain why a fabric/color works or doesn't and quickly make suggestions.  Kaffe would walk back to my table, go through the fabric and say, "try this one".  When I explained that it wasn't my fabric his response was, "that's OK, she is your friend, just use it".

Needless to say, my quilt doesn't look anything like I thought it would.  There is more choosing and cutting and then the dreadful sewing together of all these triangles but I'm excited about it.

Elaine's did an amazing job of setting up the classes.  We had plenty of room, wonderful lighting, lunch, snacks, a handmade quilted bag, and they even set up our design walls.

When I sit down it's time for more Kaffe fabric and Block 4 of the Roseville Album.  I prepped 2 blocks and the one I was going to do first just looked too difficult so I did this one which will sit in the outer corner.  It may be more sensible to work on all the center blocks first but this one looked "easy".  The truth is, none of them are easy.

I am finally back in the "groove" of needleturn applique after the easy whip stitching on wool.  It took some practice to get the feel of the smaller needle and to hide the tiny stitches but I'm there.

Oh, how I love all of it!!

But, this week is dedicated to covering cushions for the window seat.  Are you surprised that I'm using a Kaffe fabric? 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Got Fabric?

Do you need some more?  How about a fabric you love and just can't find anymore.  I've got some good news for you.

My friend, Sheri, has started a new fabric company called Fabric Gypsies. Sheri has been buying NEW "old" fabrics from quilt shops and will be offering them online when she gets her website up and running.

Right now she has a huge supply of 
  • Moda, Windham, Marcus Brothers, Civil War, Batiks, and blenders - 100's of bolts
  • 5 pack fat quarter bundles
  • Bakers dozen bundles
  • Loose fat quarters
  • Pre-packaged yardage, Scrap Bags
  • On the bolt yardage, 1/4 yard bundles (think tuffets

Until then, she is having a Fabric Yard Sale this weekend.  If you live within 50 miles of Salt Lake City you don't want to miss it.  Here are the particulars:
Saturday, October 10
9 a.m. until 1 p.m. or until done
3513 East Dover Hill Dr. (7660 South)
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If you can't make it to the yard sale but want to see if Sheri has something you're looking for, just call her or text 801-558-5499.
Bring a new pair of socks in exchange for a free fat quarter. Socks are being donated to Primary Children's Medical Center in participation of Socktober.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Roseville Album

After sending off my Enchantment and Cat's Away BOM to be quilted, I was able to get back to my sewing room.  As soon as we returned from the wood carving show in Wisconsin, I prepared this block and took it with me to our cabin.  This was one of the "easier" blocks in this beautiful quilt and I was able to complete the applique in a few days.

I took this photo with my cell phone and it doesn't show how beautiful the colors are.  The background is a light blue dot on white and all the colors are very bright.

I have 2 more blocks prepped and now I have to clean up my sewing room for the Wednesday stitching group that starts up again this week.  Let me tell you, cleaning up is going to be quite the project as I've ignored it all summer.  I have fabric on all the tables, books, threads and more projects stacked around on every surface.

One of the fabric stacks is for the Overlapping Squares class with Kaffe Fasset next week.  I'm really excited to attend his lecture next week and take the class.

Fall is in the air here and although I'm no fan of cold and snow, I do enjoy an excuse to stay home in my sewing room.  I have a list of projects to work on in the coming months (years).  Making a list helps me keep "somewhat" on track.  Do you make a list?

Friday, September 11, 2015

If it's not one thing.............

It's another, and I can't believe what has happened in a week.

First, the good news.................
I finally finished both my Enchantment and Cat's Away quilts and was thrilled to deliver them to my machine quilter.  I've been working on both for over a year and it was a relief to give them a "temporary" good-bye.

 Two quilts done and it's time to start some more.  I'm going to get my next Roseville Album block ready in case I get the go-ahead from my doctor to travel with my husband next week to Stevens Point, WI for a wood carving show.  I have some ideas for an embellished wool wall-hanging and the Yazzi bags need to be covered.

A second good-bye was to my friend, Berylene, at her funeral.  I will never forget the memories I have of her.

We then packed up groceries and traveled to our cabin for a rest.  The first few days of our "rest" were spent staining, but on Wednesday our friends and neighbors arrived at their cabin and we planned a fun night of dinner and cards.

So much for plans,  when we arrived with our contribution of home-made coffee Heath bar crunch ice cream, I stepped back and bumped into a large rock and because I'm a klutz, fell backwards, ripping my leg on a metal post and hitting my head on the ground.  Anyway that's what they tell me because I got a concussion and have no memory of the event.  My husband loaded me into the truck and rushed me to the nearest hospital which is an hour away.  I don't remember that part either but I stayed the night and was released yesterday.

Once again I was reminded of what a loving family and friends I have as they came to the hospital, have brought us food, and check in by phone.  I would post a picture here of my injured leg but then you would see how fat my leg is.

Thanks to all my blog world and Facebook friends too for your kind messages.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Goodbye to a Friend

Yesterday was very sad as my good friend, Berylene Frampton, passed away.  I met Berylene 20+ years ago and we knew immediately that we were kindred spirits.  Although I was almost 20 years younger, I couldn't keep up with her.  She lived big, had a smile for everyone and was always ready to go.

Berylene had her own candy company and was well known for her wonderful chocolate creations.  Every Easter she had orders for over 1,000 personalized chocolate eggs with a variety of fillings and Christmas was 2 months of filling special orders.  We always found personalized chocolate eggs from the Easter Bunny on our doorstep Easter morning and Santa delivered our favorite candy on Christmas day. 

Berylene loved to quilt and did it in a big way.  She had 8 children so each quilting project for the home needed to be made 10 times, one for each child, one for her and one for her sister.  I lost count years ago of the grandchildren and great grandchildren that needed quilts and for each month her home was decorated in a theme which, of course, meant quilts to hang.  There was also the "cookie of the month" that she special ordered and had decorated for that month's theme and was given to each visitor to her home.  I could go on and on with stories but I will finish with the final quilt story of her life.

Last September Berylene underwent surgery and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer which would be terminal, even with chemotherapy.  She elected to skip the chemo so she could feel good and make 34 baby quilts before dying...... her surgeon told her she would have only 2 months to live.  Even for Berylene it takes more than 2 months to make 34 quilts so she didn't die in December.  She finished the baby quilts about a month ago and started working on a quilt for her coffin.

You see, she wanted daffodils on her coffin but this isn't the time of year to buy daffodils, so she thought a daffodil quilt would be nice.  A few weeks ago I took her out for ice cream and she was telling me about this daffodil quilt - how some blocks were machine embroidery, some were appliqued, some were pieced, and to be honest I thought "wow, another big Berylene project".  She didn't tell me it was for her coffin.

During one of my visits last week, one of Berylene's daughters asked me if I could put the blocks together for her.  You've heard me say many times that piecing isn't "my thing" but knowing how important this was to my dear friend, something must have clicked deep in my brain and within 8 hours I had all these various sized pieces put together.  I rushed to show it to her and lay it over her on what was to be the last time I could see her and tell her how much I loved her.

Berylene's friend, Karen Morgan, completed the machine quilting, I added the binding and large daffodils, and delivered it to the family last night.  It was such an honor to fulfill this wish for my friend who I will miss each day.

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