Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday in the Studio

It always amazes me how quickly these little cross stitch ornaments come together. 

I am defrosting two freezers today. It is convenient to have them in the basement where my sewing studio is...because there is a ton of melting ice I have to soak up with a sponge constantly! I sew a border and sponge a border and sponge up! There is just a tiny bit of ice left.

I have five borders added. Next up is the focus fabric from the star centers. Think I'm going to do a 6" border of that fabric...just have to measure my fabric and verify before I cut.

I still have lots of pieces I mistakenly cut. I am completely out of the white background and light blue mottle batik so I am thinking of taking the remaining pieces and creating a piano key border for the last...and final border. I have done the math and I have enough to just make it happen. Some time with a seam ripper will be required as I had many of the sections joined into long strips. I am not going to waste an inch of fabric due to my failure to read directions accurately!

Ultimately...this lap sized quilt will grow...all on its a queen size. It's just my destiny to make big quilts.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Quilting While Packing

I think I am a bit distracted.
 I have been finishing up the borders on my last quilting project. Somehow I misread the instructions and have cut enough pieces to make three borders. The first inner border went fine. It is the second pieced one that I over achieved.

I was planning to end with the focus fabric from the center of all the stars. I guess my subconscious just knew I couldn't end with a simple band of fabric! Stay tuned for my lemons turned to lemonade solution!

Great news...I just looked at my actual plane ticket and I have one more day in Alaska than I thought. The weather has been spectacular. So hard to leave when it is so pretty here. If there were snow on the ground it would be easier.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sun = Finished Quilt Photos

It is my last chance for a while to bask in the good feelings of knowing I accomplished something wonderful. (Yep, I'm patting myself on the back!)

Kachemack Bay Watch
94 x 94-inches

MANY years ago, I bought the Humpback Whale batik fabric from Hoffman. Not surprisingly, the block "Storm at Sea," was the first idea that came to mind. I designed the quilt at least four years ago and finally took it to Paris last year to piece the top. I used Marti Michell's, "Perfect Patchwork Templates," for the interior patchwork design. Love working with them. It is more time consuming to cut out the pieces when using templates but everything went together beautifully.

The border quilting design is reminiscent of the layers of stonework found commonly around doorways in Paris. What can I say...quilting little Eiffel Towers didn't seem to work in this design, but since I worked on it in Paris I am glad I found a way to work my second home into the quilt.

The border patchwork design is a reflection of the mountains that surround Kachemack Bay. I designed it on EQ7 which allowed me to create actual sized templates to cut out all the border pieces. 

 I found this photo of Kachemack Bay on the internet from Geocaching. It is a perfect shot of what I pictured as I was putting the pieces of this quilt together. I've scheduled with my husband to take a little plane trip down to Homer next summer for our own photo session. I feel pretty special to have my own, private pilot at my beck and call. (HA! He likes any excuse to fly the plane!)

For the backing I used a wideback from Sew Batiks. They have wonderful batik backing fabrics which are a looser weave than traditional batik cottons...a little easier on quilting stitch tension. Great colors too!

The top started out 100 x 100-inches, but with the quilting and washing, shrunk down to 94-inches square. I could use four more inches to fit perfectly on my king-sized bed. There are two layers of batting; Hobbs Heirloom 100% cotton and Hobbs Heirloom Premium Wool. This is a heavy quilt. I have been sleeping under it for the past week. Love how it looks and feels but  it would not be for everyone. I have doubled cotton batting before and didn't notice the weight of the quilt increasing that much but I really felt it on this one. I'm guessing the wool batting made the difference. It washed up beautifully. 

Fall, which only lasts about two weeks in Eagle River, Alaska, is in full force.

I have decided on one quilt so far to bring to Paris. The packing is slow-going.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

So Many Decisions

I just checked in with Bèa's blog, Une Aiguille dans une Botte de Foin, or  The Needle in a Haystack and she has a wonderful post for the Around the World Blog Hop. She wrote it in English and French and has so many wonderful pictures of her quilts. You must check it out!

I am stressed trying to figure out what to take to Paris. I want to ship a box this week. So far I have four jars of extra chunky peanut butter. This is just for one year! My husband and I probably each eat three or four tablespoons of peanut butter adds up! Tastes great on a slice of baguette.

Here's my overflowing basket of projects to take. This is really just stitchery projects. I actually believe I will get everything done in this basket. It will be fun to see if I really do!

Deciding on the fabric and quilt projects is proving to  be extremely difficult...I just can't make up my mind and I want to be realistic! I finished five tops last year and I already have three UFOs in Paris I plan to tackle. I want to take 10 new quilt projects with me! 

While pondering...I did finish tacking the felt backings on the last few cross stitch ornaments I made this year. I completed 19 ornaments since November 2013. Time to pack these away in acid-free tissue paper. One of these days we will be home in Alaska for Christmas and I will probably have enough for a cross-stitch only tree. They will be so pretty mixed with shiny colored Christmas ball ornaments. 

I had several coupons for JoAnn's that were about to expire so I bought magazine's for the airplane flights.

I absolutely love the Quilt Sampler cover quilt...but I'm not reading any of these until I am sitting on a plane.

I also picked up this book...because I love borders.

I spent about $50 at JoAnn's but with all my coupons I saved $92. I bought a few other things; tracing paper, markers and needles. Amazing how quickly it all adds up.

I got a great email from Netflix a couple of weeks French. I think it said Netflix is now available in France...just hope I can get it in English. Just in case...I'm taking a couple of DVDs. I really enjoyed the first season of, "Mr. Selfridge." I didn't watch the second season this spring on purpose. No idea if I will like "The White Queen." Definitely chick flicks.

I still haven't made any decisions about the quilt projects...

I almost forgot...I had some visitors today!!!

Can you see all three? There is a baby in front and behind the mother moose. They were at the end of my driveway for some time. When I opened the front door to take a picture the mama moose gave me a serious look. I decided to let them be...more people are seriously hurt by moose than bears in Alaska.

Then a little while later I spotted the babies on the backside of our house. Both of these huge "babies" were born this spring/summer. It is tough for both babies to make it past the first month of life...bears really like baby moose chops...I think the mama moose did an extremely good job of protecting her babies!

Apparently something on the ground was so intriguing this one had to kneel down to check it out. Such goofy animals! 

The other one headed over too.

I never saw the mom again but I didn't get off my deck...just in case she was watching.

Back to contemplating which quilt projects to pack.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Coffee Break - Show and Tell

What a great way to spend a very gray day...with the ladies at Breakfast Club. Let me start with last month's project. We did the Disappearing Hour Glass quilt as demonstrated on You Tube by Jenny Doan from the Missouri Quilt Company. 

I was a little concerned about putting these blocks together because every outside edge is on the bias but not to worry because the star blocks went together beautifully. Check out all the great quilts from this pattern.

Barb's Purple Batik Version.

This one was the Tidepool Bali Crackers set, by Tanya.

This was also a Bali Cracker set, I think this is Seaholly, Bonnie's version.

Another Bali Cracker...Volocano. Look closely at the stars in this one. Ronnie noticed almost at the end of joining all her blocks together that the four patch in the center did not get rotated, so her star looks different.  Her consistent mistake led to a very pretty wonder she didn't catch it right away.  Of course it isn't really a mistake but a new pattern!

And my version with the Volcano cracker set. 

Some of the ladies made mini blocks from 5" squares. Note you loose the triangles in the corners when you join these mini blocks.

Tanya's mini blocks with several borders to make it lap-sized.

Bonnie makes doll quilts. This mini block was the perfect size.

Now for a little general Show and Tell.
This is Tanya, the newest staff member at our meeting place, Seams Like Home. She is a quick quilter! She made the 10" and 5" version of the Disappearing Hour Glass, this autumn runner and this month's class quilt, which you will see pretty soon.

I have mentioned before, several of the Breakfast Club participants also play in the monthly Strip Club. This is Bonnie's version of, "At Sea," done with a Volcano Bali Pop. I think that was a popular colorway last month! It certainly makes up into stunning quilts.

This was Dawn's, "Rock Candy," table topper from Little Jaybird Quilts using the Sidekick ruler. I bought this pattern and template to play with in Paris. (My effort to make smaller quilts is officially underway.)

Dawn also brought in two huge scrap quilts. I think both patterns were from quilting magazines. I'll have to check with her on that!

Erin is a new grandma! So instead of quilting she is making baby clothes.

This is what happens when I forget to take notes during show and tell...there is always one I can't remember anything about! This is Kathy's and I know the pattern originally called for hexagons joined in rows but she made the blocks and then joined them which meant sewing "Y" seams. She also appliqued the center hexagons on the black hexagons because she really didn't like the black holes she was originally left with.

And here is Barb...I corrupted her! She is now a collector/maker of Susan Cozzolino's Santa ornaments. I don't understand why everyone isn't making these...they are like potato chips...

And Barb's Strip Club quilt, LeMoyne Magic.

September's Breakfast Club pattern was a book. 

The book utilizes acrylic templates to make a variety of designs.

Marcia, our class leader, saw this quilt magazine cover and was compelled to buy it.

She especially liked the cover quilt and finally realized it was designed by Karen Montgomery and used one of the templates from her set.

Marcia quickly pulled batiks from the shop floor and made a kit for this quilt for the shop. Tanya bought it and had it made in time for us to see yesterday. It is so pretty!!! One of these kits came home with me.

Here is another quilt using the book and templates. Made by Bonnie. She followed a color wheel to layout the design. This one is called Sawmill.

I tackled Big Sky. I got three blocks done at the shop and the rest last night. A very quick block to put together...and a biggie at 16 1/2-inches.

Here's a better look at one of the blocks. I had so much fund putting this together...all fabrics from my stash.

Here's a different star block Bonnie was putting together. 

And we always find out what next month's pattern will be...

Marcia even had the sample completely ready. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Two Weeks

Time to enter the Panic Mode. In two weeks I leave for Paris. 

I am officially done quilting on my Nolting until next spring. I'm so frustrated it will be six months or more before I get back to it. No sunshine, but I did click a quick photo of my final finish of the season.

One last Breakfast Club to attend on Thursday. I spent all day making the borders for the Disappearing Hour Glass quilt we started working on in August. I bought a matching Bali Pop and went with a piano key border. It's the volcano colorway.

Sunday I attended the Anchorage Log Cabin Quilters annual show. Here are just a few of my favorites.

"Lost at Sea: Trying to find my way home," by Irene O'Brien. A scrappy batik rendition.

A gorgeous hand applique quilt...I can't get the colors quite right in this photo but it was so lovely.

"Carol's Surprise," by Carol Wright Jones, quilted by Deb Hardman.

Can you tell I am a machine quilter? I focused on those quilts at the show.  Here is, "Floridian Compass," from Kay Fiero. The pattern is called "Isabella," by Tony Lischko in Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting, Nov/Dec 2009.

"Asian Influence," a panel quilted by Susan Mirau. I had no idea this was a panel when I was looking at it!

The quilting is so simple but effective!

I'm always drawn to Christmas themed quilts! This is "Here Comes Santa," by Jamie Thompson.  Quilted by Jane Hair.

How about these Santas? This is "Sweet Santa," by Lynnette Motz. Machine appliqued with a buttonhole stitch. It's a Kari Pearson Pattern.

There was also a special display of art quilts made by some of Guild members to commemorate 100 years of Anchorage history. 

Here were a few of my favorites.

"Land Auction - 1915, Did They Imagine?," by Gail Ramsay. I love the modern Anchorage skyline at the top of the quilt and the hand written log of auction winners at the bottom.

"Captain Cook Statue in the Sunset," by Marilyn Barnett.

And...because I know a few Alaskan pilots...
"Lake Hood Mid-1940s," by Jan Wills.

And just for fun...artichokes in the flower beds near the building where the show was held.

I bet the moose don't like artichokes!

Hope you enjoyed the little quilt show.