Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Quilt Retreat 2017

 Our annual quilt retreat started on Monday.  This year we are 21 women who all love fabric and quilting and eating.  Here's a photo of a portion of our workroom.




We have seasonally appropriate centerpieces on our eating tables.




Also, appropriate cocktail napkins.



Part of our snack table, before happy hour begins!



I placed this sign on our outside door.



The coffee bar.




Now for a little bit of our work.  (You'll see more in a later post.)

What do you see in this quilt?  Dark cats?  White cats?  No cats?



Here's a close-up to help you see.  I think this quilt is amazing.



This year we are again making squares for a Quilt of Valor.  (See post from last year's retreat.)  Each person used two 10" squares of contrasting fabric to make two half-square triangles.  I love that there are so many ways to arrange HSTs.  

I used light green flannel for my design wall, so please disregard that odd color!




Another arrangement.




I've been working on quilting last year's Quilt of Valor.  (I know--how can it have possibly taken me a whole year to get it put together??!!??  I have no good answer.)  I'll show more later, but I'm doing some straight line quilting, using a decorative stitch, and those curves inside the square parts.


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Are They Paintings or Are They Quilts?

While I was in San Francisco over Christmas, we went to the deYoung Art Museum.  They had an exhibit of art by Frank Stella.  Actually, it was MomStitches's idea to go see this exhibit.  I admit I didn't know anything about Frank Stella's art.  And I was a little surprised when I saw his art, because to me, the paintings looked a lot like quilts!



This first one, above, looks similar to a quilt I made many years ago.  Except I started with a rectangle in the center, and added border after border after border to it.




And this one I like because the center is a little off-kilter. (is that even a real word??)
That makes it even more interesting.





This one looks a little less quilt-like, but I can still see doing it as a quilt.





This one was really, really long.  I've taken the photo at an angle to the wall, and still had to crop some off of it.





Now this one I can really see doing as a quilt.  I think it would be a nice challenge.  It might be difficult to find a way to hang it, though.  




This one has beautiful curved piecing; kind of reminds me of a Drunkard's Path.




And then there were a few three dimensional pieces of art, which really threw me for a loop!  I have no idea whatsoever about this piece of art.


The Challenge Show for my quilt guild this year is themed "Inspired By. . ."  We simply have to render in fabric something that we are inspired by.  Now to me that is a really easy challenge.  Everywhere I look I see something that I want to make into a quilt:  a building design, a flower bed, just some pretty colors combined in an interesting way, even highway interchanges!  If I weren't already working on a piece for our challenge, I would seriously try to make one of these designs into a quilt.  Maybe if I get my current quilt finished in time, I can make two. . .

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

52 Happy Weeks

Disclaimer:  This is not necessarily quilt-related.

Near the end of 2015 I read somewhere--I don't remember where--about an idea where you write down something wonderful that happened during the week and put the paper in a container to save for all year.  I thought that sounded intriguing, so I started doing it.  I wasn't sure at all if I would continue for a whole year, because well, sometimes things happen and I don't follow through on something.


But I continued, and did it for the whole 52 weeks.  At the end of the year, I had this little jelly jar full of strips of paper.  Then I dumped them out on a table, and read through them all.



Here are just a couple of things I'd written down.  It was so interesting to read them, and it gave me lots of smiles.  




Even though it's the last week in January as I write this, I think I'll continue the practice.  Some times last year, I found that I'd gotten behind for a week or two or three.  I would simply look at my calendar to see what I'd been doing during those weeks, and then I could remember something to write down.

I had a good system for remembering to do this.  I have a very messy desk, so setting a small jelly jar on it was no problem at all!  I cut sheets of paper into strips one inch wide.  Then I'd write down:  "1st week in July," and underline that.  After I'd written down my wonderful memory of that week, I cut it off of the longer strip, fold it, and put it in the jar.  Then I immediately wrote "2nd week in July" on the strip, so I would know where I'd left off.  I stuck the long strip of paper right inside the jelly jar with the weekly memories, so it was real handy for me.  I didn't have to look for a piece of paper, and I knew right where I'd left off.

A really good way to count your blessings.

"Thank you for all the good memories throughout the year."

Sunday, January 1, 2017

An Afghan For Project Santa

Here is another baby afghan, the latest one I've made.  I took this afghan and four others to Project Santa in December.  Project Santa helps people out at Christmas time with food and gifts to those needing them.  I was glad to find an "outlet" for some of my baby afghans. 


I simply used double crochet for each row--very easy.


I just love using variegated yarn to crochet with!  It's fun to watch the colors change as I work row after row.



Sunday, December 18, 2016

Hospice Tree

Every year in Gualala a very large Christmas tree is set up inside a shopping area.  On it are heart ornaments that people use to remember someone who has died.  Several years ago I put up a heart ornament for my Grandma Irvine, and one for Rick Hansen.  

A couple of weeks ago at my Tuesday quilting group, Lori brought all of the raw materials for making these hearts.  She had volunteered to make some, so she roped us into helping her!  It actually was quite fun.  One person traced shapes onto red felt, green felt, and white cotton.  Another person cut out the red felt, another the green felt, and someone else did the white cotton hearts.  Then we each took several of them home with us to finish up by layering the fabrics, inserting the ribbon, and doing a decorative stitch around to hold it all together.  Lori encouraged us to put a little decoration on the hearts, like a button, or a bow, or green felt holly leaves.  I sewed mine up, then looked in my button container for some appropriate buttons.  I saw this little tractor button that I had been saving for a special occasion.  And I thought, even though the tractor is the wrong color (!)* this would be a good  way to remember my dad.  So I wrote his name and dates on this heart when I gave all my hearts back to Lori.  



There are literally hundreds of these memorial hearts on the large tree.  And now my dad's ornament will be there with them.


* For those of you who don't know your tractors, this green and yellow tractor tells us it is a John Deere tractor.  On our farm, we had red tractors, which were made by Farmall.  But, the tractor button I found was green, so I hope no one minds about the discrepancy.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Hand Quilting

MisterStitches and I made a road trip up to Ashland, Oregon (before the weather got colder and wet!), to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival again.  So as usual, I needed to ready my handwork for the long drive.  I really didn't have much going at the time, so I made up a new project.



I decided on another hand quilting project.  I found some nice light blue fabric (above) with leaves scattered around on it at my local quilt shop, The Loft.  (Fifty percent off, too!!)



I backed it with this nice blue flowered print that I had in my stash--they play very well together, I think.




I'm simply stitching around each of the larger leaves.  




I chose this pretty variegated thread in pastel colors, and I think it looks nice.




And here is my little portable sewing center suction-cupped to the car window!  I can happily stitch away all along the very straight highway.