Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Generations of Quilters:

Quilting has been such a big part of my life. My mother quilted but she only made 1 quilt at a time and it took months. She even hand quilted everything she made. I, on the other hand, have several quilts in progress. This morning I looked through my sewing room cabinets and found several quilts that just needed a border, or the backing made, or the binding. So I made a "Let's get this finished" list and stuck it on the wall where I have to look at it every day. Of course, today my friend, Janine, and I are going shopping to pick up a couple more black/white fabrics so we can start another quilt.

A few years ago my daughter, Krista, surprised me by taking me to Paducah, Tennessee to the big quilt show. We decided to go at the last minute so our Motel was about an hour away. But she was a real trooper and walked miles every day through the quilt show, vendors mall, and took classes with me even though she doesn't make quilts. She says she does like to be the recipient of quilts and that counts for something.

My daughter, Nicky, has spent a lot of time with me looking through quilt magazines and picking out quilts to make. I had made a couple of Chenille baby quilts and so she decided that it looked fairly easy and she would make one....but bigger for herself. After hours of sewing those lines and then cutting them she said 1 was enough! Here is a picture of the one she made. The picture doesn't do it justice tho. It is pink and blue and so soft.


Nicky started this Storm at Sea quilt about 10 years ago when she was in High School. She set it aside for awhile because she was busy with other things, hadn't quite caught the quilting bug, and said it was a little boring sewing the same lines over and over. However, when she started putting the blocks together and she could see the pattern emerge.....she was hooked. She loves the way the straight lines look like curved lines to the eye. She even took a sewing class in college her first year and they made a sampler quilt. I think she may have known more than her teacher since she had watched me for so many years and had actually made a quilt herself before the class. It isn't finished yet because she doesn't want to have it quilted by someone else, she wants to do the whole thing. Now she has several quilts marked in magazines that she wants to make some day.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

O.k. So I hit a wrong button and the picture of the Sneaky Snakes quilt went on before I even wrote anything about it. This blogging stuff can be intimidating some times!

I have made several quilts for my grandchildren. A few years ago when my oldest daughter, Denise, had 2 little boys I decided to make them a Sneaky Snake quilt. Each snake is made from bright fabrics with 3 dimensional heads with beady eyes. All the snakes are creeping through the grass going in one direction....except one sneaky snake who is heading the other way. I couldn't find any cute snake fabric for the back so I used a bright colored lizard fabric. I knew I didn't want to scare them with real looking snakes. Jordan, one of my grandsons used to call me and give me ideas for their next quilt. It is fun that they are so appreciative all the quilts I make for them.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I have such a good friend, Janine. She is always willing to go to quilt stores with me, start a new project and of course encourage me to make more quilts. She found this fabric that she thought described some of our adventures and made this quilt for me for my birthday. I love it! When I made her a quilt several years ago she didn't even sew. Now she makes quilts with me and is just as addicted as I am. Often she will buy fabric and then come to me and ask me to find a pattern that we can make. She always has enough fabric for both of us to make a quilt out of it. I bind them for her as payment. But I tell her I am getting the far better deal. Recently we made 4 quilts out of the same pinks and greens. We now have some blacks, whites and a red that we are going to start cutting out soon.

It has been 100+ degrees the last few days. The air conditioner hasn't seemed to keep the house cool. I finally figured out that the fan isn't going around so today I have a repairman coming out. It is just too hot to even move....good reason to look at quilting blogs!

I was so surprised today to check my blog and see that people other than my own family have made comments. It is so exciting to read what you have to say about my quilts. Thank you each for your comments. I had to hurry and check out your blogs also. I feel a little intimidated by all the great quilters out there but I am also inspired by the things that you do.

Happy quilting!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hand dyed fabrics...

Our Quilt Bee decided we needed to try dying our own fabric. So one summer morning, about 15 of us gathered at a park with fat quarters of white fabric, buckets and gloves. We had several buckets of dye on the picnic tables and each of us took turns using each color. The lawn area was covered in plastic squares covered in bright colored dyed fabrics drying in the sun. We found that if we crinkled up the fabric, topped it with salt or objects, we would get funky fabrics. Leaves laid on top of the wet fabric or sewing utensils like scissors etc. would leave their own design. It was messy but so much fun. We each went home with stacks of colorful fabrics. We had to let it cure for a few days before we could wash and iron it. I kept it for a couple of years just enjoying the bright colors before I finally found a pattern that I wanted to use. It was a little difficult to make that first cut into fabric that I had dyed but I am so happy with the results. The black background really makes the colors "POP".

I have been reading quilting blogs from around the world. I am attracted to the ones from Norway and Ireland since that is my heritage. Many of the Norwegian ones are also in English. It is really fun to see what is popular in other countries. I would love to be able to go there sometime and see for myself the beautiful country that I now only enjoy in pictures.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Road to Oklahoma

Since I started working full time I really miss attending a Quilt Bee. A few years ago while I was a member of a Bee several of us decided to make a patriotic Road to Oklahoma quilt. We each brought strips of reds, blues, and creams to share with each other. We spent the day sewing together and then went home to finish our own quilt top. Putting a couple of simple quilt blocks...a 4 patch and half square triangles...together results in blue stars surrounded in red. I never noticed the mistake I made until the quilt had been hanging on my stair railing for quite some time. If you look closely you may be able to see that the red surrounding the star in the 2nd row down, 2nd star from the left, doesn't connect correctly on the lower right area. When I first started quilting that mistake would have bothered me. But now I realize that I quilt because it is fun and relaxing and I love to see the finished product that I have created.....not because I want a "perfect" quilt.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Never too old to learn a new trick!

I learned something new while talking to my youngest daughter, Nicky, the other day as we were looking at my blog. Found out I can click on the picture and see the quilt enlarged. What an exciting thing to learn.

I had so much fun making this Plump Chicken quilt. I loved finding all the black and white fabrics to use for the backgrounds and then going through my stash to find the fabrics for each of the chickens. The eyes are sequence and the quilting defines the wings. The binding looks like corn kernels and the back is pieced with lots of chicken fabrics. I used to make all my backings out of one fabric but I have a friend, Melory, who showed me how much fun it is to piece the backs of my quilts with fabrics that repeat the theme of the front. So much fun to make the back as interesting as the front.

My daughter, Denise, made the oak quilt rack for me and the vinyl lettering on the wall. It says, "Wrapped up in the warmth of a cozy old quilt". She made the rack in Illinois where she lives and gave it to me when I went out for a visit. We then packaged it up and mailed it home to myself in Utah. It hangs on a high wall in our living room. I went through a "chicken" phase and made a few chicken quilts.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Several years ago I belonged to the KNOTT Bee. We had retreats where we would get together for a weekend and quilt, quilt, quilt. On one retreat we stayed in a house right next door to a fantastic quilt shop. I purchased most of these fabrics there and worked on this quilt the whole time. The palm trees were really fun to make since they were paper pieced. At first I tried to make sure the sky was perfectly placed around each house or dressing cabana but I found it more and more difficult to make sure the clouds and sky were perfectly placed but I think it turned out rather well anyway. I chose bright fabrics for the houses to give it a real tropical feel. This quilt spent a few years on the bed in the guest room. Since then the room has been turned into a grandchildren room so the bigger bed was replaced by bunk beds and the tropical vacation has been put away for now.

I have noticed since my daughters took these pictures that I am going to have to break down and buy a camera and learn how to use it with the computer. I would like to have added close up pictures to show some of the features better.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

This chicken quilt was the hardest Buggy Barn pattern I have done so far. It was lots of fun shopping for all the fabrics with my friend, Leslie, but I seemed to lose the ends of the chicken beaks as I was sewing them together. By about the 5th chicken I figured out how to keep the whole beak intact while sewing the blocks together. If you look closely you may be able to see that I appliqued a few beak tips on some of the blocks.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Buggy Barn Experience!

The Buggy Barn experience!

I was raised in Spokane, Washington but now live in Utah. I also love Buggy Barn quilt patterns and always wanted to go to their store just outside of Spokane. So one day my friend, Janine, and I decided to hop on a plane, stay overnight with my sister, Jeanie, who lives in Spokane and visit the shop for ourselves. I need to add that I have a daughter who works for Southwest airlines so I fly free and she got a ticket for my friend also. Flying free, staying with my sister, more money to spend at the Buggy Barn!

As we were driving along, laughing and talking quilting, we almost missed the sign to the store. Janine yells, "There's the sign!" I slammed on the brakes, skidded around the corner, bumped down the lane and stopped right at the Barn. What a great store!! Hundreds of bolts of fantastic fabric, a wall of kits and books and quilts hanging on every wall, ceiling and even in the bathroom. We had a great time touching every fabric, looking at every pattern and picking out the perfect ones for us. As we were talking to the manager she mentioned that they were getting a shipment of their latest book ready to send to a quilt store in our hometown that we go to a lot. So after saying we would be happy to deliver them, they loaded us down with several books to deliver, a few bags of purchases and we were headed back to the airport. We must have looked honest for them to trust us to deliver the books. Of course, we had a few hours to thoroughly enjoy the books ourselves and of course decided that we just had to buy one when we got home.

This quilt is one of my favorite Buggy Barn patterns....I say that about all of them tho. Every young girl that sees it wants one for themselves. It is so soft and feminine and so simple to make. Of course, by the time I made this one I had already tackled a couple others so I knew what I was doing.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Log Cabin Fish

Two of my three daughters are in town for the 4th of July, and have convinced me to start a blog. I really enjoy looking at quilt blogs from around the world and am inspired by the talent of quilters. I have been quilting for several years and thought it would be fun to have a place to document the quilts I have made. Sadly, I have given most of my quilts away before taking pictures. I will be posting many of my quilts/crafts and maybe a few other things when I start to get more comfortable with the whole blogging thing. I belong to a quilt bee where we made this log cabin quilt and each person chose a different item to put in the center. Since I have several grandchildren, I thought they would enjoy the bright colored fish.