Yellow Brick Road

It’s a tried and true classic pattern, yes? And a good pattern for a new quilter.

So I talked it up…I showed John pictures of it. I looked around and finally found the pattern in my attic storage area. I haven’t gotten permission to show a photo of the pattern, but here is a photo (from a free images page) of a Yellow Brick Road quilt:

This is a nice example of the classic quilt pattern

This is a nice example of the classic quilt pattern

So he looked at the pattern. Then he pulled fabrics from my stash:

This is my stash, or most of it...

This is my stash, or most of it…

He likes blue, so he was working with blues. I had forgotten there is quite a bit of cutting initially  And, since I’ve been sewing for over 50 years, it’s hard for me to remember that he hasn’t learned to read patterns…so it was slow going there. By the time he had all the pieces cut out, he wasn’t interested in constructing the blocks.

Patches on the Design Wall

Patches on the Design Wall

So he just put the patches up and kept working on them. I was a little flustered at this point. I really wanted him to get the idea of making a block, and using those blocks to construct a quilt. Er, umm…he was breaking the rules. Well I shouldn’t be surprised about that!

Yes, very nice!

Quilt Number Two

So he just kept at it. and pretty soon a top emerged. He had controlled, for the most part, the placement of the values, and created a design he liked. Of course, this needed to go to the top of my quilting queue. So here’s a closeup of the quilting:

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And one of the back:

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The back is a deep blue flannel we bought at Joy of Quilting in Florence, Oregon. Just right for this top. So there’s Quilt Number Two for John, another really pretty piece.

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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!

It’s All About Time…

I knew I’d neglected my blog, but I didn’t realize I had started neglecting it so long ago!  I have been working steadily; I think I’m now only two quilts behind — which really means I’m caught up…

I did a little more beading and painting to enhance the border

I did a little more beading and painting to enhance the border

Here's a closeup of the beading, just so ya know...

Here’s a closeup of the beading, just so ya know…

Autumn Pathways didn’t make it into the Road to California show.  I was disappointed but my friends all consoled me and then I felt better.  It was accepted to the AQS Lancaster show that opened today, and it received an HONORABLE MENTION!  It is also accepted into the AQS Paducah show held this April. I have always lionized the Paducah show, and really did not expect to have the quilt accepted.  I am thrilled!!

The experience of entering competitions and receiving comments from the judges has been very valuable.  Yes, they did notice all the little details that weren’t perfect.  But yes, they have made very nice comments about the design and execution of techniques.  I know I want to continue to explore this type of work.  I can’t remember how many hours I spent creating Autumn Pathways, but I know it was somewhere in excess of 400 hours.  That’s ten work weeks…if you work full time (and I really don’t)…

I can feel my biological clock ticking, and I want to give myself enough time to make a few more of these quilts. And of course, I also need enough time to make as many SpongeBobSquarePants skirts as possible!

Halie

Halie

The “Emergency Quilting”

As I was working on Phoebe’s quilt, I received a call from my friend Helen Andrews, owner of The Quilt Patch.  A customer had come in, telling a story to break your heart.  Her stash had been vandalized, ripped and cut into pieces, her equipment ruined.  She had one completed quilt top in her car that escaped the damage; she had come to her daughter’s home for refuge from this incident.  Could I, would I, quilt this top for Helen’s customer?  Immediately?  I have a hard time turning Helen down.  She has supported my quilting efforts for over ten years, and is a very good friend.  I looked at my calendar.  I waffled a bit.  Then suddenly I saw how it could happen, if everything went just right.  If I worked longer on Phoebe’s quilt that day, and finished it, I could slip in the “Emergency Quilt” — Helen got in her car and brought the quilt to me and I began work on it the next day.  I worked extra hours, skipped attending Pioneer Quilters, and finished it that week.  So here is the Emergency Quilt:

My name for this quilt was “Almost Amish”

Imagine my distress when I realized I had no black Glide thread…

I used dark navy thread, and I actually prefer it to the black

Detail of the appliqué

I heard that the client loved the quilt.  I never actually met her, only know her through this vibrant quilt.

Holiday House

I really enjoy being crafty…and I thought you might like a look at a couple of the little crafty things I did for autumn:

This little table is by our front door. I didn’t actually make the gourds…they came from our neighbor!

I did make these pumpkins, from a kit I bought at the Emerald Valley Quilt Show in September. I’ve made a few more sets from the pattern, but gave them all away!
This is in on our coffee table in the living room.

No holiday is complete without a few yo-yo’s

Seriously, yo-yo’s rule!

Just so ya know, I do also hand quilt…

So that’s our house, all ready for autumn.  I had these up before Halloween and will keep them up until Christmas decorations appear.  (I am working on a couple of table runners for Christmas, using modern fabrics from Valori Wells.)

Catching Up!

I know it’s election day!  Maybe this will distract you for a few moments.  I have been working a lot, getting caught up with client quilts, and here are some pics of them!

First is Phoebe’s quilt.  Phoebe is the granddaughter of a friend of mine, and this is her first completed quilt project.  The instructions I received were to quilt it just like the magazine, and I sort of did.  I just added a few flourishes.  Really.

Halfsquare triangles, not too hard…but the hearts on the outside? Lots of bias edges, pretty hard to piece together

Just imagine it right side up…

These are the flourishes I was talking about

Corner detail, just a sweet quilt

I did get a chance to see this quilt after the binding was sewed down, and it is truly beautiful.  Phoebe will be able to enjoy this quilt for many years, and I’m super happy to have been a part of it.

AND THEN…Deanna’s Fairy Quilt

Deanna is the same quilter who made the Wedding Star quilt that took Viewer’s Choice at the Coburg Quilt Show.  I think this piece will take some honors as well:

Each fairy is associated with a flower, and the border also has each flower appliquéd on it

A quilt like this is tricky to quilt.  There is so much beautiful space for quilting design, and yet you don’t want to take attention away from the appliqué.

And notice the matching flower in the border…

I love each of these girls!

And a couple more:

I love this kick. And look at the beautifully done legs and feet!

The detail shows the triple crosshatching I did on the border as well as the variety of feathers

So I think this quilt is another winner from Deanna.  Thanks to her I got to work on this gorgeous quilt, and I didn’t have to do the applique myself!!

Report Card

I have been working steadily the last month on client quilts and am almost caught up with my queue.  There were also a few quilt shows to attend in September and October, and I have a report for you on Autumn Pathway’s journey.  At Northwest Quilt Exposition it won FIRST PLACE in its category.

The view of my quilt as I approached it at the show. (I don’t know those ladies.)

I was pretty excited, even though I already knew I had won a prize.  I had been called by the NW Expo staff to invite me to the award ceremony.  As well as a ribbon, I came home with $500!!!!!

I’m a little happy!

To make the day even sweeter, my friend Jenny also won a first place ribbon for her hand quilted piece!

This quilt is truly wonderful!

And here is a photo of Jenny, she’s also pretty happy!

The next show was the Emerald Valley Quilt Show at the end of September, and I am so happy to report that Autumn Pathways was selected as Viewer’s Choice for both days of the show.  I received two beautiful handmade ribbons (made by my friend Sheila for the guild) and a large bag of prizes! I was thrilled!!!

Autumn Pathways then traveled back to Portland for the Machine Quilters Exposition.  It did not place in that show, but I did get some very good marks from the judges and I appreciated the information on the judging sheet.  The next show is “Road to California,” in January.  I will hear by December 1st if it is accepted into that show.  In the meantime, I am thinking about and working on designs for a show quilt for next year!

Small Quilt Auction

23×20, Untitled

I got a little busy this afternoon and finished the beading on my small quilt.  I don’t have a name for it yet, but I’m open to suggestions.  This was done with the same process as Autumn Pathways: first a design on graph paper, then transferring that design to the quilt top.  The fabric is Pfd (prepared for dying) 100% cotton.  It is layered with two batts, a Hobbs Heirloom Bleached Cotton and a Hobbs Polydown, then quilted and then finally painted with pastel chalk.  After all the color is applied I mist it with water and then (here’s the magic ingredient) spray it with Aqua Net Hairspray (because I’m an old-fashioned girl at heart).  By the time the beads are applied, all the extra bits of color have been removed, and the quilt is quite soft.  The last step is to block it, just lay it flat and mist with water to return it to square shape.

Closeup of the Flowers, with gold beads

Here is a closeup of the feathers, showing the bead clusters:

Remember you can click on the photo to enlarge it

I just happened to have a collection of blue beads, left from a project I did about eight years ago!  When I started looking for beads for this quilt, it took me just a moment to look in the bead box and see that these would do the job.

Curved Cross-Hatch Diamond, with very small pink beads at each intersection

I am so happy to have this quilt finished, just ahead of the deadline for submission!  It will be auctioned off on Saturday, September 29, at the Emerald Valley Quilt Show.

The very next thing I am going to do is clean up the studio.  I’ve been working pretty steadily on a number of projects and things are getting a bit cluttered and scattered, so it’s time to clear the deck!

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