Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bloggers Quilt Festival Group Quilt Entry

I'm excited that the Bloggers Quilt Festival is here! It's like strolling through a local quilt show from the comfort of your comfy chair!


My entry for the festival is a Group Quilt created with many, many hands from our local quilting guild, The Five Bee Quilters Guild.

Our small group of 40 is just two years old, and we are trying to support local charities through the making and giving of quilts. Oh, and pillowcases, too. The past two years we've sewn more than 400 pillowcases that were given to campers at Camp Rainbow Gold, a summer camp for children of all ages with cancer of all types. They get to use the pillowcase at camp and then have a tangible souvenir of their experience. Huge smiles abound when the kids see what type of pillowcase they've been given!

One of our members designed the quilt, another did some design work for the appliques and did a wonderful job hand appliqueing the focal blocks. Yours truly did the quilting. The block with the fisherman and the mountain in the background is actually Bald Mountain, or Baldy as skiers call it, and has some of the best skiing in the country!

The outdoor theme of the quilt was decided upon to be representative of the area in which we live, and so we've called the quilt, "Colors of Sun Valley". 

There's wildlife (don't feed the bears!)

And more wildlife
On a side note, a mama moose and her twin teenagers decided hanging out in residents' backyards was a pretty good way to go this late summer/fall, especially after a huge forest fire devastated the habitat for big game animals such as these.  It's been fun hearing reports of where this moose family has been spotted. Seems they've been especially fond of fruit trees.

And a mountain experience isn't complete without a  snowy cabin.

This is a king-sized quilt made from batiks and measures 118" square.  There's even enough room to tuck your pillows inside!  The Swoon Blocks are quite large, but I forgot to measure them.

Here's a close-up of some of the custom quilting I did, but unfortunately it doesn't show up too well. We used a variegated thread, which turned  out quite nicely and complemented the colors throughout the quilt.

We tried to count how many hours of labor went into this quilt. But then decided that the hours really didn't matter. It was more a matter of love that drives each of us to quilt. Plus we got to know one another better through the process!

This quilt is being raffled off in December and hopefully we'll not only get enough money to pay for the materials, but to continue to help the kids at Camp Rainbow Gold, and help a struggling single mom care for her family through The Advocates program, or contribute to the hospital auxiliary's fund with philanthropy quilts. Turns out we're a little better sewists and quilters than we are raffle ticket salesmen and we haven't been hitting the pavement as hard as we should.  So if you have any interest in buying a ticket, just let me know. Your chances of winning are probably fairly good!

It's been fun seeing all the great quilt projects this year in the Bloggers Quilt Festival. Be sure to check them all out!

Remember to quilt with a smile,

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Poinsettias, Spiders and a Winner!

Mr. Random Generator has done his thing, and #13 is the lucky winner today!  I'm happy to announce the winner of Quilting A Circle of Nine:  Laurette, who said, "Congratulations my friend. I would love a copy of your book."

Thank you to all who entered.  If you didn't win, I'd certainly recommend getting a copy of this book. The Circle of Nine concept can be applied over and over during your quilting career and is a valuable asset.

And for a little eye candy, here is a photo of a simple Christmas table runner I made up for my Etsy shop.  I found this wonderful fabric and quilted it with a poinsettia design. The back almost looks better than the front!!

And here's the backside.

 And, just to see who is reading through to the end, here is a photo of a little guy (well, he didn't seem so little when he was peering in the window at me) who decided to drop by for a visit this weekend.  My husband thought he was a Black Widow, but couldn't get close enough to tell before the spider met his untimely death.  Regardless, we're getting the house sprayed for spiders next week. 

Quilt with a smile,

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Quilting a Circle of Nine and Giveaway

I am so excited today! Why? Because I just got my copy of "Quilting A Circle of Nine."  Yep, it's hot off the press and ready to be in the hands of sewists and quilters across the country. And....there are two quilts in the book that yours truly quilted!!!

This is the second in a series of quilt books by Janet Houts and Jean Ann Wright, and while I am biased about it, it's a book I'd recommend for everyone's arsenal of quilting books - a great addition for your collection.

And why am I so biased? Because I got the privilege of doing the quilt work on two of Janet's quilts (squeals with delight)!  I did these last spring just before the book's deadline, and so now it's great to see how everything went together in the final version.  These are the quilts I quilted on my Gammill longarm machine:

The theory behind A Circle of Nine quilts is easy, and one you can use over and over in designing your own quilts. This book has 12 wonderful quilts and patterns to choose from, and you can learn the construction methods so you can set your blocks using the ingenious approach of the Circle of Nine quilts. How many quilting books give you the recipe for success in creating your own designs? 

Janet Houts displaying a Circle of Nine quilt

I became friends with Janet Houts through the formation of our local quilt guild two years ago. Here she is at our LQS - Sun Valley Fabric Granary - for the book signing of her first book, "Circle of Nine."  She and her sister, Jean Ann Wright who is the former editor-in-chief of "Quilt" magazine, have produced three quilting books together and have many other published patterns and designs to their credit.

Check out this fun video to get a better idea of what's inside this book by Landauer Publishing:

Janet's and Jean Ann's other books:

I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have something I've done published. For 18 years I was a freelance writer and newspaper correspondent, and I had my byline published regularly. But I was always, always writing about what other people did. Now, my name is a credit in this book, and I am very proud to have contributed in a small, small way to this publication.  I'm so tickled it makes me do The Happy Dance!!!

So to help me celebrate, I am giving away one copy "Quilting A Circle of Nine."  If you'd like to be entered into the drawing, you have three chances to win.

1.  Leave a comment below and let me know if you think there is a Circle of Nine quilt in your future.
2.  Spread the word.  Blog about Quilting A Circle of Nine, Tweet about it, or post a link to this blog on your Facebook. Then leave a link for me to check it out!
3.  An extra entry for old or new followers. Tell me how you follow for a third chance to win!

Easy! Three chances to win.  I'll leave the giveaway open until midnight Mountain time on Oct. 16, so enter today.

And if you make a Circle of Nine quilt, I'd love to see a photo of your quilt top!

Quilt with a smile,

Remembering All The Little Things

I have let my blog side away in lieu of posting photos and updates over on Instagram. For me, it takes less time, and is a faster way to doc...