Friday, March 25, 2016

Hold 'Em or Fold 'Em

March appears to be going out like a lion here in the Seven Devil Mountains of Central Idaho. My log cabin home is shrouded in clouds and the snow line is just above us. I am going to cover the flowering apricot tree tonight since the forecast is high 20's.

Chai waits for a junco to land. 
I have been working on my Ugly Christmas Sweaters as promised, and have proof of my progress. I am having a blast with this pattern and my Christmas/Holiday scraps. I have seven completed sweaters and five in the works. The pattern can be found on Sew Fresh Quilts, under the quilt-along tab. Theirs are made with tropical solids. I have halfheartedly attempted to choose prints that are low volume. In this photo they seem to work. Yay!

Abby has a round butt. 
My Stash Bee block exchange month is March, and it is more fun than a rodeo clown in a barrel. I picked the pattern Cowhands, designed by Pam Rocco for June 2014 Quilter's Newsletter Magazine. She adapted the cowboys from the traditional tin man block. Then she made a cow block. The creativity and generosity of my fellow quilters is over the moon. One gal is even sending a purple cow block!

I never saw a Purple Cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one.

That was written in 1895 by Gelette Burgess and has been favored by lots of silly people ever since. So far I have a dozen cowboys and two cows, and I have also got a cowgirl block coming. Here is a layout of the blocks so far. My new pal, Susan sent a fun print of a cow and calf that looks to be from a feed sack. It might go on the back, where I like to piece the rest of a quilt's story. 


On my queen sized bed. Quite a posse! 
I will have a good time with some free motion quilting on this bunch of cowhands. Happy Trails.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I Heart February

February is the month of paradoxes. Groundhog day silliness. Signs of spring. Slushy icy on Payette Lake. Gorgeous seed catalogs and dreams of gardens. Mud. Days getting longer. Teaser warm days followed by surprise snow storms. Cold winds.  Lots of time in the sewing studio. Relaxed resolutions and lots of new project starts.

I pieced my wonky churn dash quilt top. The blocks were gifts from my stash bee honeys. I chose the pattern and colors, they sent me the blocks. I love the coral border. It is  "Charlevoix = Summer...Beach...Rural Americana 1910-1935 By Minick and Simpson for Moda." The surprise was how many of the blocks contain my favorite fabrics, prints I assumed were obscure. This is a quilt top I am finishing for myself.

In other cheerful news, I have started making myself a Christmas quilt. The color challenge is red and black, a combination I have never cared for. I am making ugly sweater quilt blocks, in a quilt along offered by Sew Fresh Quilts.

I am falling in love with the color combination. There are going to be 20 different ugly sweaters in all. Each sweater will have a different quilt block in the center. Two blocks a week, stay tuned for more homeliness.

The next photo is a lovely tiny quilt I finished for a friend who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. My intention is to send her love and happiness, which I believe is the secret to healing energy. Pineapples are the symbol of hospitality and welcome. I did a lot of Free Motion Quilting (FMQ) and was pleased with the results. Yay for my new Brother sewing machine. The binding is striped Kaffe.

The tiny disc says, "handmade." 
Now I return to my secret Valentine sewing.... do you heart February?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Dog's Best Friend

   I was commissioned to make a memory photo quilt via my etsy shop. The client told me her  young sister was recently widowed. Her husband had loved the outdoors, canoeing, his family, the color purple, and his dog. I wanted a simple, classic frame for each photo, and decided on a bear's paw design. Searching for a dog pattern, I found this "Dog Gone Cute" pattern at SewFreshQuilts. It is an instand pdf download, and very easy to follow.

48" x 48" with soft flannel on the back for lap snuggles

Vinyl pleather made the eyes and nose shiny
Getting into blogging and sharing online has helped expand my creative flow. There are so many inventive sempstresses out there, and they make my quilting world go 'round.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Welcome January

I have been pondering my 2016 Sewing Manifesto. Apparently it is NOT to use only the fabric I already own. ha! Today I was in McCall, the closest town with a fabric store, 45 miles south of our home. I had to stop in at Huckleberry Patches to see what was on sale and say hello to my friends. After selling lots of fabric strips and scraps, I have less than a quart zip lock baggy of yellow fabrics, which is so very pathetic. So, I had to buy some yellows for stash building purposes. I chose 4 ~ quarter yard bright saturated pieces (long quarters, not fat ones) and a yard of a sale 30's yellow. I had used some yellows for a set of cheerful pineapple blocks. The pattern is here.

One for Stash Bee block exchange, one for me!
I framed mine with a strip of white on white, and then a strip of olive green. I think I'll FMQ it with pineapple peel designs. I like that pineapples are signs of hospitality or welcome. This will make a nice addition to the entry way in our almost completed home.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Holiday Wrap Up

As 2015 winds down, I am thinking of what I've accomplished and which goals I have for next year. This month I finished Addison's A quilt. This was a start from June of 2014. The client had a change of mind, and this quilt got relegated to the UFO box. I knew from the start that it would be a gift for my granddaughter. The backing is soft pink pin-wale corduroy with little embroidered flowers.

I quilted this in an all over scroll. I bound it with bias binding in hot pink, aqua, and white. This photo is the only one I have of the quilt. (I lost some photos in their transfer to my laptop.) My granddaughter loves the quilt, She wrapped it around herself as soon as she opened the package for her 6th birthday.

I did catch a few of my holiday gifts on the camera,

Nautical theme potholders for my sister's boat.


Mail Sack cross body purse by Pink Chalk Studio
One of my new year's resolutions is to spiff up my blog, the photos and the layout. For now, this will do.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Meet My New Brother

After my last blog post and a facebook rant about a recalcitrant sewing machine, I got a new one. The old one is at the shop for the third time, for a new thread uptake lever. Meanwhile, meet my new Brother, a Brother Nouvelle 1500s. It is a speedy, hardworking quilting machine that sews up to 1500 stitches per minute. The link just previous has all of the particulars, needless to say it is bona fide.

Bee and dragonfly stickers and a new pair of quilting gloves.
This machine has rocketed me into the fourth dimension of quilting. I have done free motion quilting before, but the speed and ease are charming. (Charm: that ability to make others feel good about themselves.)  It came with a carry case and the cat accessory.

Earl in his natural habitat.
I recently bound and attached a sleeve to this little cutie for one of my fabric enablers, Sonja the Moda rep. It was quilted by my sister, Pam, who did a wondrous job. It is from a kit by Laundry Basket Quilts. The finished size is 14"x18."


At first it reminded me of an entomologist case. 
Each butterfly is unique.

My goal for  this month for  ALYOF is to finish quilting Addy;s  A quilt. It is nearly finished, thanks to my new brother, but I have to unstitch a pucker in the back. Photo to follow. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

On the Fritz

Nothing like the last day of the month to hasten a blog post, whether or not I met my goal for the month. I did not finish my September goal of completing Amber's baby quilt, but it is NOT my fault. My sewing machine is on the fritz again, and I am taking it to Boise to get to the bottom of this.

Meanwhile, here are a few photos of the almost completed baby quilt and big sister dolly quilt, with some of the fabrics I auditioned in the last post.The inner purple borders are folded and dimensional.

Sweet and simple.

Dolly's quilt is 16" sq.

The back of each is soft flannel.

My favorite fabric enabler, Pam, sent me some super duper Kaffe Fassett fabric for my birthday last summer. I finally got around to setting the colors, along with some Moda fabric from a local shop. As I admired the colors of the fabrics hanging on the clothes line, I realized how well they work together. The coral and tangerine don't quite match the Kaffe colors, but all the better. The colors are pushed and really glow. The lime green really makes the aqua and turquoise ZING.

My solar dryer.

Mmmm baby, I love colors.
Today's harvest included chokecherry bark for cough drops. I also gathered hawthorne berries for heart tincture, and elderberries for Wild Elderberry Chutney. Spoiler alert!! Holiday gifts!!