Sunday, May 21, 2017

Lutherdale 2017 Gala Quilt

Last weekend I had the pleasure of spending time at Lutherdale with the goal of assembling quilt blocks into a top to be auctioned off in August.  The weather was perfect, the food was great and the company was lovely!

I asked the new camp director if we could be given a tour of the gardens, chickens and beehives.  The beehives are scattered around the grounds, but we did get to meet the chickens that provide us with the eggs used in our meals.  They have one handsome rooster, too.


In March, I spoke to the folks that attended the Gala Luncheon and explained this year's block.  Then we gave them kits of pre-cut houses and sky.  It's always a challenge to find a pattern that is forgiving for a group to sew and will still be stunning to motivate people to bid high!

On Friday, we were certain we would have this top assembled before going to bed.  Well-- we did assemble most of it pretty quickly, but then things slowed down.  We had all the rows together before bed and held off to put the borders on in the morning.  It was a good thing, too!  Looking at it with fresh eyes, we decided the proportions were a bit off and we needed to add another row to make it longer.  Some of our houses were...ahem... a little short.  We grouped the short houses together into the same rows, so they could get along.  But-- with multiple shorter rows, the length was sacrificed a bit.  No worries!  We zipped out another 14 houses like nobody's business.

Here is our quilt, pre-borders (the borders are simple yellow that matches the background):

And here are some of the people that worked on assembling the top:

L-R: Jim, Janine, Me, Kitty, Yvonne, Heather

I had a inkling that would would be able to finish that top up pretty quickly, so I brought a few other projects with me.  This is the project I started with the other January Quilters.  I want to assemble this into a random, non-traditional layout.  Janine did this arrangement and I started to sash some of the smaller stars together this weekend, but that's all the further it went.  Hopefully I can finish this up in time for the auction?!?

Insted of getting the stars assembled, we focused on getting this string block top together! I started these blocks several years ago. I had a lot of blue and green scraps and thought this would be a good scrap buster.  I don't know about that?!?  Every time I would work on it, the volume of scraps seemed to increase!  For quite some time now, I had the scraps I wanted to use for this in a small bin.  But it was overflowing, so I had to keep it on the closet floor and was starting to be a bother to me.  Now I'm thrilled to report that it is a top!  Of course there are still some scraps left over-- oh well.  Time to find another scrap project to mix them into.  I had about 2/3rds of the blocks done prior to this weekend and several people helped cut, press, and sew. Janet and I sewed the blocks and rows together. I might add a skinny white border and maybe some blue?  Not sure yet...


Happy to have Judy Hansen  at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts take over the Design Wall Monday Reigns from Judy LaQuidara.  Thank you to both Judies!! =)

Friday, May 12, 2017

Flashback Friday Finish - My own bed quilt!!

Last December, I finished one of my oldest UFO's-- a quilt for me to use on my bed. True to form, I didn't do a final 'finish' post with pictures of the quilt at 100% complete.  I'm trying to improve and document all of my quilts when they are done.  I did write a nice summary of the journey of this quilt
here.  In that post, I said how I couldn't wait to snuggle under it and I am certainly happy to have this on my bed.

On Saturday, the Mad City Quilt Guild had a small workshop on photographing quilts.  A professional photographer talked to us about considerations in choosing how to display a quilt for a photo and the biggest take home message was to think about the light source.  Outdoor light is best and indirect, less harsh sunlight is good.  Having the light source angled from the direct plane of the quilt will show texture by creating shadows.

We all enjoyed our time and experiments with photographing in different manners and we are hoping to set up a recurring time, once or twice a year when we can use the guild's quilt stands and lights to take nice photos of our quilts.  A member of the community was clearing out a family member's estate and donated a stand and two floor lights to us, plus the guild had invested in a very large stand several years ago.  The location that the guild meets at has a spacious community room with a nice covered porch that is that ideal setting-- indirect sunlight and protection from the wind.


linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish Up Friday

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Gudrun Erla Workshop

Last week I was fortunate to attend a trunk show and workshop by Gudrun Erla.  She is from Iceland, lives in Minnesota and drove to Lodi for our event.  It was a great time and after her trunk show, I wanted to make almost all of her patterns.  I purchased one book, one pattern, and her Creative Grids Stripology ruler.  And she gave everyone a pattern for attending!

For the workshop, I selected 'Hekla', a Scandinavian star wallhanging. Hekla is the name of a volcano in Iceland. The pattern is just a little tricky, but still fun.  The center is almost complete and I have one triangle border left to do.  I can't wait to get this together and see how it will look.


Linking up with Judy's Design Wall Monday and Lorna's Let's Be Sewcial

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday Stash - Introducing Blue Bar Quilts!

Not much sewing happened this week and often times when that is the case, I compensate with shopping!  =O

I had 2 great reasons to shop this week:
     1- Our new local quilt shop opened!!! Blue Bar Quilts
     2- I'm taking a workshop next week and need fabric for the project!

Blue Bar Quilts is a fantastic new shop located in Middleton, owned by fellow Mad Mod Member, Gael Boyd.  She's been working on the logistics of the shop for what seems like ages and the opening was worth the wait!  The shop is lovely! Spacious, well lit, full of gorgeous fabrics, huge classroom, I visited there on Thursday night, but did not snap any photos.  There are tons of them on Facebook and Trish Frankland did a great FB live video.  Pay close attention to the customers at the cutting table and you will see me! =)

Here are the goodies that came home with me:

The top 2 fabrics are for the Gudran Erla workshop I'm going to on Tuesday.  It's sponsored by the Lodi Valley Quilt Guild and on Monday night, Gudrun is giving a trunk show.  I can't wait!!  We have the choice of 2 projects to work on and I'm picking Hekla, a traditional Scandinavian star design.  I love the smoky charcoal as a background, but I was struggling to find a good contrast for the stars.  My thoughts were to color this traditional and maybe use red and white or red and black, but I guess I'm being a bit bold by selecting pumpkin for the stars!


Linking up with the Fabulous Molli Sparkles

Friday, April 28, 2017

Quilting Saturday!

I'm working my UFO's right now and really trying to meet some of my Finsh-A-Long goals.  Last Saturday, I did a whirlwind 24 trip to my parent's house and used the long arm.  In that short time, I quilted 3 tops! (2 were baby sized, but still!!)

First up was to quilt the pink/purple XO quilt.  While testing out the machine outside of the quit, the tension was not cooperating.  It took over 1 hour of fussing to get everything sorted out.  Originally, I was going to do a pantograph, but because of my time constraints, I changed gears and decided to do a 'custom' loop-de-loo with a mum type flower in the grey centers.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  Quilting is something where the more time you spend doing it, the better you become.  And I have a lot of gaps between quilting tops, so I needed to brush off some rust. My mum flowers definitely evolved over the course of the quilting!! =O

Lunchtime was so yummy!!  My mom and I went to one of my favorite places-- Big Star Drive In!

Next up-- the twin baby Thousand Pyramid quilts.  I planned to load both quilts on the frame at once and do super simple wavy lines.  I scored some minky at Joanns for $6 a yard the day before!! It gives the quilt an amazing drape and the back just begs to be pet!

I **love** the texture of the wavy lines!!

Ta daaaaaa!

Now to select some binding and finish these quilts up!!



Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sunday Stash and Twins!

Thousands of Bolts has been my favorite online shop for many years now.  I love buying my Moda Bella Solids from them and I've gotten quite a bit of stash enhancements and backing fabrics.  In the last year or two, my purchases from them seem to have gotten a bit more frequent and this week, they sent me an email that I couldn't ignore!  They were selling Camelot Fabrics at crazy low prices-- I just surfed over to take a look at what they had and in the blink of an eye, I filled up my cart with all kinds of goodies!  All of these are Camelot, except for the little floral white print, that is Michael Miller.  I bought 1 yard cuts in the top photo, 4 yards of the grey (I have a plan for using that in a bold modern pattern that is lots of negative space).  And the last photo is a short cut and a fat quarter.  Not too shabby!

Yesterday was muggy and threatening rain.  The sky didn't open up and pour until late at night, but that didn't stop me from holing up in my sewing room and enjoying my Saturday sewing and crafting and ignoring any housework that needs to be done! =O

I joined a Pincushion Swap with Scrappy Girls Club and finished up 2 super adorable pincushions.  I'll hold off sharing photos until I send mine to my partner.

Next up was to work on the pink/grey thousand pyramid quilt that I started a few weeks ago.  I thought I could make two of these and give to separate friends that are having girls.  My plans for this quilt has changed, because I recently found out a different friend is having twin girls!!! How perfect to make this pair for the twins!  (I will need to figure something else out for the other babies!)

Originally I had all the triangles cut for one quilt.  After arranging the two-sies and four-sies on the design wall, it looked like it needed more variety with a bit less of the super light grey/whites.  Not a problem!  I cut triangles for quilt number two and put more emphasis into medium greys and few more black prints. 

Ta-Daaa!  I have a lot of the triangles sewn together.  What I discovered the first time I made this pattern, it helps to not sew up all the triangles, because it is easier to re-arrange for better placement when you have a few loose triangles. Here is my first attempt at a layout.  I'm sure after squinting that some will be move a bit.  I can't wait to zip together these rows and have tops ready to quilt!


Linking up with Molli Sparkles  Sunday Stash, Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday and Sew Fresh Quilt's Let's be Sewcial.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Flashback Friday Finish - Mosaic Flood

It seems that I'm very good at documenting the start and creation of my quilts, but not so good at recording a finish.  Perhaps because it can be hard to do nice, outdoor photos of big quilts?  Near where I live, I've found some signs and railings that are ok to drape quilts on, but I'm still looking for a perfect location to display the quilt and have a nice background.

This quilt is not really mine, but I'll take some credit for it!  The fabrics are leftover from the quilt I made Sylvie several years ago (and no-- I didn't do a final 'finish' post on that quilt!).  I wanted to use up the fabrics and found this pattern in a magazine.  I brought everything to a retreat a few years ago, but somehow Heather ended up needing something else to work on and she adopted this project.  It turned out FABULOUS!!!

The pattern is very forgiving, because there are zero matched seams.  It's quite heavy, though, because these squares measure something like 1"!! Lots of seams!  I think I helped with some of the quilting and maybe I did the binding?? I think I did?

Start Date - January 2015
Finish Date - August 2015

We gifted it to Kimberly as a throw to use on the couch and she fell in love with it instantly!

Hopefully I will continue with Flasback Friday Finishes for all of the other quilts that never got a final reveal post.  


linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts - Finish it up Friday!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Finish-A-Long 2017

I've read about the Finish-A-Long for a while now and have followed many people that are participating.  Because I have several quilts that are either finished tops or not too far from finishing, I thought this might help motivate me to bring them to completion.  So-- I'm joining in on 2017 Quarter 2 Finish-A-Long!  Woo-hoo!

The rules are: I post a list of what I want to complete in Q2 to my blog this week and at the end of the quarter, if I've completed any of them, I post a summary and link it up to the Finsh-A-Long hosts.  Every finish qualifies for a prize!  It's worth saying again--Woo-hoo!

Here are my goals:

1- Lion Quilt: it's at the quilter's waiting for its turn.  I would love to get this back and have it bound by the end of the quarter.

2- Charity Chop Quilt:  The top and back are complete (Finally!!).  Can I find the time to quilt and bind this?

3- Pink Grey Triangle Baby Quilt x 2:  There are some babies in my world and I would like to complete 2 Thousand Pyramid quilts in pink/grey/black/white and gift these to friends.

4- Wonky Stars for Lutherdale: I would like to submit this quilt to the August Lutherdale Auction.  Can't do that without completing it!! =O

5- Elephant Parade-- this is where i get ambitious!! This top has been complete for a while.  Do I quilt it myself?  Or have it done by a professional?  It would be lovely to finish this up.

Oops!  I forgot an important top that I want to finish this quarter.  Editing to add the Pink/Purple XO top.

I'll be linking up with Jess at Elven Garden Quilts.  Wish me luck!!!


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sunday Stash + Lodi Quilt Academy + Orange Swap

It's been a very quilty spring for me.  Not a whole lot of sewing, but lots of events!

Last week I attended the Sun Prairie Quilt Show on Monday during the day and at night went to the March meeting of the Mad City Quilt Guild.  On Tuesday, had the Lutherdale Gala Luncheon and yesterday (Saturday) participated in my first Lodi Quilt Academy! What a fun week!

The Quilt Academy was serendipity-- a guild member had an extra ticket and gave it to me.  There were lectures all day, a vendor mall and tons of door prizes.  Below are some of my goodies:

Layer Cake - I was inspired by one of the classes and want to make a simple quilt with this.

Marakech - an alluring pattern and was marked down 50%

Fun Fat Quarters!

Also happening this week: I participated in a 10" swap of oranges through the Scrappy Girls Club.  I love what I got!

Now it is time to get sewing!


Linking up with Molli Sparkles and Sew Fresh Quilt's Let's be Sewcial.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Spring has Sprung!

March in Wisconsin came in like a lion with a cold, snowy winter storm and most of the month has been chilly, windy and wet.  Yesterday was a much needed change!  It was nearly 60 degrees and mostly sunny-- positively delightful! (We won't mention that today is overcast with 50% chance of rain and the same forecast for a few days...)

I spent the beautiful spring day at Lutherdale attending the Gala Luncheon-- the event they host to thank all of the people that make and donate quilts to the August Quilt Auction fundraiser.  This is the third year I've attended and each time I've spoken to the group (184 people!!!) to explain the block we would like each person to make and send back to the camp.  This year's pattern is a variation of the Village quilt pattern. A few of us will return to camp in May to assemble the top (cannot wait!!)

Here is a picture from the stage:

After lunch (absolutely delicious!), they had a speaker from the Wisconsin Quilt Museum and she brought a trunk show of antique quilts.  The newest was 1945 and the oldest was early 1800's! 

In other news-- I started to hang mini quilts up in my sewing room.  This was part of the plan from day one, it just took a while!  I have a few more to hang but ran out of the command clear cord clip things I use to hang them.

And in sewing news-- I've been making slow progress on a pink/grey thousand pyramid quilt.  All of the triangles are sewed into pairs.  

I'm hoping that March can go out like a lamb.  I really enjoyed that sunny warm weather!


Linking up with Let's Be Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Sunday, March 19, 2017

National Quilting Day - 2017

Yesterday was National Quilting Day and I celebrated by spending most of the day in my sewing room.  Cleaning and errands be damned--I wanted to sew!!

I'm happy to share that I finished the improv back I've been working on for my Charity Chop Quilt,  I thought I had enough put together, but it needed 2 separate extensions.  I'm happy to report that this is now big enough and is 'done'!  

After finishing that up, I needed to focus on some tidying.  My sewing room was pretty much a disaster and thankfully, is in better shape now.  Along the way, I knocked over the boards that were holding the parts to my Goodnight Irene leader/ender quilt.  What better time to revisit this project than when it is spilled all over the floor?!? I have 36 16 patch blocks and 31 blue x blocks done.  I lined up the remaining blue squares with bright squares and have them next to my machine, ready to sew.  I would love nothing more than to have a finished top by the end of the year!  

A big goal of mine for the past few weeks was to assemble the top of the XO Pink/Purple quilt.  Last weekend, I finished sewing the blocks together and this weekend planned to border the quilt with a thin bit of grey and then a wider bit of pink.  But now that I'm at the point to put another border on, I'm not sure if it needs it.  Or should it be purple?  Borders are not fun, so I'm tempted to call this good and use either of these fabrics as the binding?  I'm open to hearing your opinions!

Lastly-- I can't make this much progress on UFO's without starting something new!  I loved the Green/Grey Thousand Pyramid quilt I did in January.  It was so quick and turned out super cute.  There are more babies being born all around me, so I decided to make another of the same pattern, but use pink instead of green.  Most of my triangles are cut and I'm itching to get this up on the design wall and start stitching!


linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts and Patchwork Times

Sunday, March 5, 2017

XO Progress-- getting there!

I've made great progress on my XO quilt since my last check in! All of the blocks are done and the blocks are sewn into pairs.  Before long, I'll have a top!  My plans for borders (subject to change), are to do a narrow grey followed by a 3" pink.

I snapped this picture as I was working.  I thought it was so cute-- my in progress blocks, my Featherweight, Finn stealing my sewing chair (it's basically his now), Fannie on the ground on her new fleece bed, 2 blocks on the design wall and the Sasquatch lurking to the side. Life is good on Saturdays!


linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts and Patchwork Times

Sunday, February 19, 2017

XO Rekindle

I'm a firm believer that quilts are like fine wines and cheeses.  They need to age!  I made 4 X-O blocks 3 years ago to enter in the Madison Modern Quilt Guild's monthly Block Lottery.  For some reason, I couldn't make it to the meeting, so my blocks never got entered.  I tucked them away in a tote with the thought that I would turn them into a quilt someday.

This year, I brought the blocks and fabric I had set aside with me to retreat, where they safely stayed tucked away in their tote!! =O  I was hoping to find a way to arrange the blocks with the 2 yards of grey fabric that I had into a modern design with a lot of negative space.

Last week I was motivated to move this project along.  I hung the blocks up on my design wall and squinted at them a while.  More blocks!!  I need to make more blocks!  So I started to assemble what I could with the grey that was separate from my 2 yard cut.  That made almost 6 blocks. Now that I have momentum, I've decided that I need to do 20 blocks total and arrange them in a 4 x 5 layout.

Here is what I have so far:

Ironically, Timehop shared with me that it was 3 years ago this week that I made the original block!!
I can't wait to assemble this top!


linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts and Patchwork Times