Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September Lovely Year of Finishes Goal Completed!

I am very happy to report that I was able to complete my goal this month for A Lovely Year of Finishes! Granted, it wasn't a huge goal - I just had to get the binding on these two fun table runners. But considering all that I have on my plate this month, this was about as good as I could get.

I really loved the fabric I used for the backing and binding. I debated long and hard if I wanted to use it for backing. But then decided it was so pretty, I could easily flip it over and have two table runners in one!

This was a fun project! I used a charm pack of squares that had a variety of Amy Butler fabrics. It was fun to see how the placement of the prints altered the design.

Which one do you like better?

I have a little breathing room in October, and I'm very much looking forward to it. My daughter will be coming home to help me celebrate my birthday. And our son is moving back to Idaho as his job search wasn't very fruitful in Oregon. It will be good to have him closer.

Oh! And another great thing about October - we have our guild's Quilting Retreat scheduled for a lovely lodge by a mountain lake north of here. I'll have a couple more things to add to my ALYOF for October, and maybe I can make some headway on them there. One can only hope.

Stay calm and quilt!


Linking up with Fabric Tuesday, A Lovely Year of Finishes, Linky Tuesday,  and Finish Along 2014, Needle and Thread Thursday, and Show and Tell Tuesday.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Goal for September's A Lovely Year of Finishes

I'm traveling two weeks out of this month, so I'm trying to be realistic and keep my goals workable. With that in mind, I'd really like to finish this set of table runners.

I made these from one charm pack of Amy Butler prints.  All I need is binding, and I've got a finish!

I can't decide which is my favorite of these two?  I quilted a real fun pattern in the center prints, but it doesn't show up well at all. It's from  Angela Walters' new book "Shape by Shape - Free Motion Quilting With Angela Walters"  and is called Swirl Chain. It works in well with the outer swirls.

 Once I get the binding on, I'll try to get a better photo from the backside.

The second runner had me stumped as to the quilting, so I just did some stippling. Don't think I was feeling all that well that day, so I scribbled. Fun, fun!

So, with my Day Job taking most of my time this month, getting the bindings on these two darlings will please me greatly!  Thanks again to Melissa and Shanna for hosting A Lovely Year of Finishes. I see that it is inspiring many of us to just "Get 'er Done!" especially when time is scarce.

Be sure to join the fun and link up your September Goal for ALYOF. See you on the flip side!

Quilting with a smile,
Linking up to Needle & Thread ThursdayALYOF

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cowgirl Up Quilt Finished

My goodness! When a person moves through the day at 1400 mph, some things get forgotten. And I, unfortunately, forgot to take a photo of my finished quilt I made for my niece's wedding.  Here is the best photo I can come up with when it was on the frame.

Not to brag, but I think it turned out really nice actually! I used a pattern I bought from Melissa called Dizzying Diamonds, and the red background fabric really stands out. For the backing I used a plain brown down the center half flanked by a brighter red fabric that had rope lassos laced through it. Fun, fun for a true cowgirl!

Here's a photo I took before the rows were sewn together. Gives you a little idea what it looked like.

Speaking of that, here is a photo of her as her dad is walking her down the aisle. Notice she wore her favorite cowgirl boots under that lovely dress!

Here's a pic of my favorite girl, my daughter Jessica who flew in for the wedding. Always such fun to spend some time with her. Here she is writing out the card to go with the gift. The quilt is wrapped up in a huge gift bag which was sitting right next to her, just out of camera shot...... 

And this is a pic of my baby brother and I.  He had lung cancer and just had a major surgery three months ago to remove part of his lung.  Public Service Announcement:  If You Smoke, STOP NOW!  I was so happy to be able to spend time with him. So happy.

And to finish off this post, I'll just share one other photo of the newlyweds.  Turned out her colors were blue and I fit right in!

So, you can see I took a lot of pictures. I just forgot to take a pic of the finished quilt. But honestly, I did get it all bound, hand-stitched and out the door last week. Hope she liked it!

Smiling big this week,

Linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes, Linky Tuesday, Fabric Tuesday and Needle and Thread Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things and Show Off Saturday.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Joy of Quilting

Sometimes we get an opportunity to do something that is just plain fun. 

This was the case last month when I had the privilege to custom quilt a t-shirt quilt to honor a special person who has been instrumental in providing a sense of 'community' to our small town of Hailey and the Wood River Valley in southern Idaho for more than three decades.

Collage of the Northern Rockies Fold Festival Quilt 2014

For the past 32 years, Pete Kramer, a.k.a. PK, has served as the volunteer coordinator to bring the Northern Rockies Folk Festival to town. And the best part? It has always been at an affordable price so locals can bring their kids and families, coolers and picnic baskets, lawn chairs and smiles, to the city park to listen to two days' worth of down-home, foot-stompin' good music under the stars.

We've lived in the valley for 31 years, and haven't missed too many of these summer outdoor concerts. But, being about the same age as I am, PK had gotten tired of  this exhausting volunteer effort, and so decided to step down as director.  When PK's wife, Cheryl (a quilty friend I've gotten to know through our quilt guild), asked me if I'd be interested in quilting up this t-shirt quilt which she was making for PK to commemorate his many years of service, I was tickled to help out!

Unveiling of the NRFF Quilt

An emotional presentation of the quilt by PK's son.
Aside from the great sense of community that I received from playing a small part in this 'thank you,' I just had a great time doing custom quilt work in each of the t-shirt blocks.

I tried to match the quilting with the theme of the t-shirt logo. Each year had a different logo, so each block is different.

With all these different quilt blocks, I ended up changing thread colors about six or seven times - whew!

This is a shot of my free-hand quilting of a treble clef and a musical note. I added these all around the outside border.

PK took to his quilt right away!
Anyway, I was pleased that he and Cheryl liked the quilt. Life throws you a few curve balls now and again. So it's especially nice to be able to celebrate the good things that make us smile.

Remembering to always quilt with a BIG smile!

Linking up with Needle and Thread ThursdayThursday Favorite Things by Katherine's Corner, Let's Be Social, Linky Tuesday

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wedding Quilt Progress

I wasn't planning on working on this quilt this week, but in a strange turn of events, I was able to sew away to my heart's content!

First off, my laptop for my Day Job has been at the technicians office for almost two weeks now. And it's still not finished with the upgrade. To top it off, it's 150 miles away, so it's no easy task to hop in the car and fetch it when it finally gets all its upgrades. The net result of that is I am limited on what I can do with my Day Job. Funny how we're so dependent upon technology to function these days.

And then, Monday - wouldn't you know this would happen on a Monday - my Gammill longarm decided to take on a mind of its own. Right in the middle of quilting in some clouds on this lovely quilt, the computer board in the control panel decided it had had enough of being told what to do all the time. So it started stopping and going, all on its own accord! And then it wouldn't function at all. Please be fully aware that in my old age I do know how to throw around a vast array of explicatives when warranted! 

Laying out the sewn rows. Not enough room in my sewing studio, so I had to use the space on my longarm!

Then after becoming frustrated at not being able to connect with my sales rep in Salt Lake City area, I called directly to Gammill. Their  technician immediately told me that a new control panel was on the way - oh, joy! It should be here today or tomorrow and I'll be back in business.

In the meantime, I was able to get all the half square triangle blocks sewn in rows for this Wedding Quilt I'm making for my niece.  The big day isn't until the end of August, so I'm feeling quite happy that things are rolling along and it's not a total last-minute effort to get it quilted, bound and wrapped.

I always number my rows - saves a lot of headaches later!

And to top it all off, our son is coming to town today for a short visit. And he's leaving his dog with us for a few weeks. I love it when I get to sit my grand-dog. Big smiles this direction. Hey -  if you don't have grand-kids, enjoy the grand-dogs, I always say.

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with Linky Tuesday

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Third Quarter Finish Along Goals

I have been thinking about what I want to accomplish over the next three months, in terms of personal quilting projects. The first one is easy because it's a wedding quilt. But I'd like to do more than that. But what, pray tell?

Okay. Here goes. These are my goals to finish for the 2014 Finish Along by Katy of The Littlest Thistle.

1.  Completely finish piecing, quilting and binding this Cowgirl Up quilt for niece and her fiance. The wedding is Aug. 23, so I only have about a month on this one.  I have most of the half square triangle cut, sew, pressed and squared up. Counted last night and find I need 16 more before I can start arranging them.

2.  Make this cute fabric into a bag. I've never constructed a bag before, so I thought I should try. I love the colorful sunglasses, and the purses, too. I found this fabric at Material Girls quilt shop in Redmond. Dh just knew he couldn't keep me away from all the quilt shops on our trip last month. Nope - wasn't gonna happen.

3.  Make a pillow for my daughter. We picked out this pile of fabrics at The Stichin' Post in Sisters, Oregon. Not sure what the heck I'm going to do with them, but something will come to me.  I plan on making about four all together.  But we'll see how it progresses.  I told her to pick out six fabrics she liked, and then see chose the two neutrals on the bottom. But then she threw in the black flannels. What to do, what to do?  I love this PillowPOP book - lots of good ideas in there.

 4.  Nope - I don't need a fourth project to finish. This will be enough. Aside from the all the busy times of summer, this fall will hit and I'm busy with my Day Job. So realistically, this will be plenty.

Looking forward to seeing what you are working on this summer!


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Strange Way to Spend Fourth of July

It began as a typical drive to the cabin where we were going to meet family and friends for a Fourth of July celebration. Except for one thing: fire.

We rounded a curve in the highway and saw the beginnings of a forest fire about 12 miles in the distance. Panic set in immediately because we knew the Sawtooth Valley in Stanley Basin so well, and we knew this fire was far too close to home.

The photo above was taken from the bluff above our cabin only two hours after we had seen the first trindles of smoke rising from the forest. Dry conditions and lots of dead lodge pole pines (due to pine beetle kill) have set conditions up for disastrous fire potential.  And this fire was only a mile from our cabin!

We watched the fire spread, and the wind whip it towards us and we could do nothing. Finally, about four hours later, air support arrived in the form of helicopters to drop water and a huge DC-10 that dropped fire retardant around the perimeter of the growing monster. Yeah for the cavalry!

There had been about 30 camp trailers set up at the base of this hillside, and they were successfully evacuated. Behind the fire is a popular hiking trail that let to high mountain lakes, and apparently rescue crews were able to get everyone out to safety as the fire closed the road to the trailhead and the trail itself!  We debated about whether or not to pack our belongings and leave, too, but after the fire retardant drops, the flames subsided somewhat and so we felt more comfortable staying.

WAY too close for comfort!  What was I going to take from the cabin if we had to evacuate? A photo album, a television, and my flannel quilt! Never gonna leave a good quilt behind.
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