One Day in May

The last few weeks I’ve been starting new projects.  I haven’t actually been doing a lot of sewing, but quite a bit of pulling fabric and cutting fabric out.  Then I zoom on to the next project…I’m not sure how many things I currently have going — well actually none of them are “going,” just ready to go.  After working today, I walked back into my studio, enthused about making a table mat for my son Michal and his wife Rebecca.  The one they have now is pitiful, the quilting on it is soo sad, and it’s at least 6 or 7 years old…

So I started pulling some fabric for it and looking for a set of fabrics I’m already working with.  I opened several totes before I found the one I was looking for.  In the midst of this, I stopped and took a look around.  So here it is for your viewing pleasure, a tour of my studio, as is (warning: these images may disturb some viewers):

My stash, or most of it

My stash, or most of it

From my spinning & weaving days.  Her outfit is made from a horoscope warp -- each thread represents a color assigned for every horoscope degree - 360 threads

From my spinning & weaving days. Her outfit is made from a horoscope warp — each thread represents a color assigned for every horoscope degree – 360 threads

Taken from in front of the stash shelving, looking across my cutting table to the design wall

Taken from in front of the stash shelving, looking across my cutting table to the design wall. See the lamb?  Made from an antique quilt, it’s so cute!

The fabrics overlapping each other are for the table mat

The fabrics overlapping each other are for the table mat. The totes are evidence of my frenzied search

My sewing station, with a couple projects laying beside it (moved so I could clear the cutting area)

My sewing station, with a couple projects laying beside it (moved so I could clear the cutting area). There’s a pile of Dresden Plate blocks on the right…I don’t like their background now.

Just a closeup of a couple projects

A sorted pile of squares…

On the design wall: Winding Ways, 4 blocks assembled; a Dresden Plate modern style quilt; Halie's doll quilt blocks; Serpentine Dresden color run; Mike & Rebecca's replacement Double Wedding Ring blocks

On the design wall: on the left, 4 Winding Way blocks; a Dresden Plate modern style quilt project; Halie’s doll quilt blocks; serpentine Dresden color run; Mike & Rebecca’s replacement Double Wedding Ring blocks (remember their original quilt top is being quilted by the Pioneer Quilters, so I needed to make them another.)

My ironing station, with a Round Robin quilt that Debby and I worked on together

My ironing station, with a Round Robin quilt that Debby and I worked on together. Those are Dresden Plate blades on the board.

Debby made this quilt as a commemoration of a visit to our Elkton home

Debby made this quilt as a commemoration of a visit to our Elkton home, called “Memories of Oregon.”

These tubs and kids' carseats do NOT belong in my studio!  Aargh!

These tubs and kids’ carseats do NOT belong in my studio! Aargh!

A clent's quilt in progress

A clent’s quilt in progress

I drew ten designs for the Grandmother's Flower Garden; the back side shows the quilting

I drew ten designs for the Grandmother’s Flower Garden; the back side shows the quilting

These shelving units and cupboard have all my longarm tools, reference books, thread, and quilts stored in them

These shelving units and cupboard have all my longarm tools, reference books, thread, and quilts stored in them. The quilt above the shelf is done by Sheila Steers, purchased at the Small Quilt Auction for EVQ, 2010

And assorted treasure

And assorted treasure

Family photos

Family photos on the front of the storage cupboard.  No, you can’t look inside!!

Matt about 5, I think; I'm in my 30's in our kitchen/dining room at the ranch

Matt about 4, I think; I’m in my 30’s in our kitchen/dining room at the ranch. What you see is all there was to that kitchen. Notice the drawer being used as a cutting board.

Michal at 17...Rebecca had painted his face for Halloween...

Michal at 17…Rebecca had painted his face for Halloween…

A display plaque from Pioneer Quilters as a thank you for chairing our quilt show

A display plaque from Pioneer Quilters as a thank you for chairing our quilt show

This is our "hospital" quilt.  Whenever a family member is in the hospital, this quilt goes with them.  Apparently we are all healthy right now!

This is our “hospital” quilt. Whenever a family member is in the hospital, this quilt goes with them. Apparently we are all healthy right now!

Photoshopped quiltlet from a picture taken at Black Sheep Gathering 2004(?)

Quilt from a photoshopped picture taken at Black Sheep Gathering 2002(?) and a cute plaque Debby gave me

Our antique Cuckoo clock, and a quiltlet by Sandie Massett purchased at the Small Quilt Auction for EVQ 2010

Our antique Cuckoo clock, and a quilt by Sandie Massett purchased at the Small Quilt Auction for EVQ 2010

Fat quarters from the Fat Quarter Queen (every year at PIQF Debby buys me a dozen new fat quarters) and Sporty Barbie wearing a 1st Place medal I won in a 10k race years ago...a table topper made by Ann Pfrender and a cow with yoyo flowers...

Fat quarters from the Fat Quarter Queen (every year at PIQF Debby buys me a dozen new fat quarters) and Sporty Barbie wearing a 1st Place medal I won in a 10k race years ago…a table topper made by Ann Pfrender and a cow with yoyo flowers…

This is where the magic is supposed to happen.  I supposed even magicians have times when all they do is just think about things…

Back to the fabrics for the table mat for Mike & Rebecca

Back to the fabrics for the table mat for Mike & Rebecca

So now I’m ready to cut those fabrics into pieces.  I hope I will be able to sew a few seams, perhaps even complete a project?

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Leaves & Life

I have been very busy this winter: John had been in the hospital for 18 days during December, and I worked very little during that time. Just enough to meet Christmas deadlines for clients, and putting aside quilts that could wait. So I started the new year about four quilts behind, and soon zoomed to six quilts behind. January 1st my folks moved to Cottage Grove, and came to live with us until they can move into their home here.

Mom & Dad

Mom & Dad

The move to their home here has been complicated: first it had to clear escrow. Then they wanted a little work done on it. Then they found the entire foundation was rotten…so they’ve been delayed moving to their house, but we now have two Lowrey organs in our home. Mom & Dad love GoodWill. They visit nearly every day.  It’s amazing the bargains you find there.

Mom's Lowrey Organ on the right, John's on the left...

Mom’s Lowrey Organ on the right,  John’s on the left…

In addition to collecting organs, teaching John to quilt, and working on my clients’ quilts, I’ve also been relearning to cook dinner for four every night! It’s been a very intense time. John and I also started going to the gym and working out…it’s been busy, but good. Very good. And just because you’re probably wondering, we’re all getting along very well.

That’s just the lead-up to show you what I’ve just finished, a quilt for a very special client, Joyce Garrett. Joyce and her sister Jamie are the featured quilters at this year’s Pioneer Quilters’ show (um, yes, I am the chairperson), and I’m quilting a quilt for each of them. Here is Joyce’s:

$5 Sampler BOM Quilt

$5 Sampler BOM Quilt, maybe 2002

I was working at Quilter’s Junction in Junction City, Oregon, when they hosted this $5 Sampler quilt.  You began the quilt by paying $5 for the first block kit.  The next month you brought your completed block to their meeting and were issued another block kit.  This is one of my favorite quilts, and I have one of my own from that time.

Jamie made some wonderful quilting space for me to play with

Joyce made some wonderful quilting space for me to play with – note the doubled cross-hatch lines

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I became very attached to this feather-fern motif and used it throughout the quilt. Each cornerstone is an individual motif

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These half stars are fantastic, aren’t they? More feathers, more tendrils, lots more quilting!

Apparently neither Joyce nor Jamie make small quilts! And in fact, most of the quilts in my queue are large  I have a Grandmother’s Flower Garden that just arrived yesterday that is 100×101. “The better to quilt upon, my dear!”

The really good news is I’m now only three quilts behind.

There’s a New Quilter in the House

Sometime this past January I showed my husband John how to sew a seam.  Then he sewed another.  And another.  And then he had a quilt top made.  And then I quilted it for him.

Quilt Number One!

Quilt Number One!

He gave this quilt to a young lady who is recovering from distress in her life.  We began with the four patch in the center, then added a couple borders.  Then he found my Civil War reproduction fabrics and made a bunch of squares.  He likes squares.

Nice feathered wreath in the center...

Nice feathered wreath in the center…

Quilting Closeup

Quilting Closeup

Here’s a photo of him binding this quilt.  John is a retired surgeon, and at one point he came into my studio in a huff, saying, “These needles are archaic!” and looking for a curved needle…He has settled on a larger needle, I think a #3 basting needle.  I did explain to him that I’ve been sewing for over 50 years, and it just takes time to get used to the small needles.  He does have the grace to admire my invisible hand stitches…

The back side is Minke, not the easiest to hand sew

The back side is Minke, not the easiest to hand sew

So that quilt (Audrey’s Quilt) was barely out the door and he was ready to make another…

Whing-Ding-Thingama-Jing

My husband and I lived in Elkton, Oregon for seven wonderful years, and we still miss our country life and the wonderful community there. During those seven years, a quilting group was formed that meets at the Elkton Community and Education Center (a wonderful facility just west of town). Elkton Quilters and Friends meets twice a month for a sew day, sharing information and techniques, hosting classes, and working on group projects.
They recently asked me to quilt a sampler quilt the group had worked on, a wonderful appliqué pattern from Piece O’ Cake designs. The beautiful applique is set off wonderfully with a darker background, giving the piece a modern look.

DSC05862The first step in quilting this piece was to stabilize the blocks and the appliqué.  Since it has a modern look, I knew I wanted to do something a little different in the background for fill.

So I scratched around on some paper for a while and came up with this motif that I’m calling “Whing Ding Thingama-Jing” because that’s what I say when I’m doing the quilting!

The applique blocks are wonderful!

The applique blocks are wonderful!

I just put wavy lines in the sashing, wanting to keep in the same whimsical style as the applique blocks.  And here is a closeup of the border:  it’s not as hard as it looks…DSC05875

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I just have to include a couple of small bird blocks so you can see the wonderful detail:

I believe these are actual representations of the chickens and birds from our place in Elkton…

DSC05866Head west on Highway 38 to reach Elkton.  The community there sponsors events all year, and their community center and library features wonderful art shows.  Perhaps you will see this wonderful quilt there!