Let the Quilting, Fusing, Dyeing Begin

Let the Quilting, Fusing, Dyeing Begin

Summer is here, the garden is in and my sewing machine is in the shop for its yearly checkup.  Apparently June is tune-up-your-sewing machine month as it’s been in the shop for two weeks and it’s just now ready to come home.  Since today is a Friday in the Summer, I’m not going to retrieve it until tomorrow.  I find that about 2 pm Friday afternoon, about half the population takes a stupid pill and hits the freeway.  It should be a lovely weekend so there will be lots of traveling to lakes and beaches.

Sunday, Barb and I head for the hills, (literally) when we drive up to Sisters, OR for a week of quilting topped off with the Outdoor Quilt Show on Saturday.  Sisters is located on the east side of the Cascades at the edge of Oregon’s high desert.  It’s a lovely setting for both Quilter’s Affair classes and the Outdoor Show.  I’ve been going since 1993 except for a year when we vacationed in Europe and the year my son got married.  This year I have four days of classes and a day to just hang around.  There’s a lot to be said for the relaxation of just hanging around.  In this day and age, people don’t do it so much and I think that’s a shame for both adults and kids.  Enjoying a day, taking it all in, is good for the soul.

On the left, the highway through town is closed on the day of the show.  On the right, quilts are hung on the outside of most of the buildings in town.  How can you not love this?  Also, being with friends and not cooking or cleaning is always good.

For the first year ever, all my quilting stuff is packed up and ready to for Sunday.  Clearly, that’s because the sewing machine is gone (although I could’ve borrowed Barb’s) and I found the need to clean the quilting studio.  Who saves tiny bits of fusible web?  Not to mention some weird junk that I have no idea what it does?  The good news is that it’ll be ready to roll when I get back.  This year I’m doing a fusing class, quilting with rulers and painting on fabric.  Barb will be dyeing fabric and making tote bags.  So much to learn, so little time.

         All packed up and ready to roll (left). Just a small mess in the background.       For me, this is neat.  Just a little more quilting to do on Submariner’s Compass.

I’m already thinking about fall.  I have a couple of ideas in my head and will get lots more inspiration this coming week.  Now I’ll go bake some cookies for my housemates.

If this post has issues, please know that I couldn’t preview it and hope to have the problem solved quickly.  I love the internet, but it’s always something.

Have a wonderfully fun and safe Independence Day weekend.

Keep quilting for Fun!

Summer in the Air

Summer in the Air

Almost the entire Northwest is dancing in the streets as the past couple of days have been sunny and warm AND there’s no rain in the ten-day forecast.  AND it looks like a sunny and warm holiday weekend.  We’ve set some records for rainfall this winter so the sun is ever so welcome.

I finished the top of my Submariner’s Compass quilt using the RobinRuth books and rulers.  The smartest thing I’ve done for a while is to start working on it the day after I took the class.  There’s now a good chance I’ll remember how it works when I want to do other compass projects.  Robin’s books are very clear and there are videos on her website (robinruthdesign.com) which will be a big help.

My small quilt group is returning to a challenge we did some years ago for our first project.  We each made a medallion for the center of our quilt and included some fabrics and a few guidelines and sent it to make its rounds through the group and did not see it again until the top was finished.  (We could see all the other quilts as they progressed.)  The group was smaller then and not everyone knew each other well.  It’s a giant leap of faith to release control of something you’ve made to others and let them  add to and work on it.  Forget any vision you may have had when you made the center.  It’s like falling backwards and trusting that your friends and fellow quilters will catch you.  The new quilts started their journeys through the hands of dear quilter friends in April and we won’t see how ours turned out for a year.  I’ll work on part of every quilt, comment in the journal that accompanies each quilt while trying to imagine what will work best and what the owner will like.  The challenge is not in getting the quilt you want, but in letting go and receiving the gift of friendship that will be handed back to me next June.

Here’s my quilt from the original challenge:  I had no idea what to expect at the big reveal.  It’s one of my favorite possessions.

If you’re a Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan, you’ll recognize the appliqué on the bottom.  It’s both fun and a little scary when your friends know you this well.  I can hardly wait to see what they come up with this time!

We’re heading into Red, White and Blue season.  The “Blue Star Mother” pattern will be on sale until the end of June.  Check the Shopping Page and consider what some of the other patterns might look like in patriotic fabrics.   I enjoy working with the colors and the themes of this season.  There are lots of patriotic quilts and craft projects I’ve worked on over the years.  I love bringing them out and making new ones.  I’ll show off a couple in my next post.

Enjoy the upcoming long weekend and be safe!

Keep quilting for fun.

Candy

 

And Now for Summer

And Now for Summer

June weather in the Pacific Northwest can be anything, from hot, sunny, and 90 something degrees to 60 and raining.  The last couple of weeks have seen it all, including thunder hail on Tuesday and Saturday.  It’s always exciting when thunder cracks and hail blows down sideways.

The good news is that it didn’t last long and didn’t beat up the flowers too badly.

 While my son was deployed in Iraq some years ago, I made him a patriotic quilt.  It serves to remind him that I am proud of his service.  At the time, it also provided therapy for me.  Sometimes there is very little we can do about a difficult or challenging situation and quilting is something we can manage.  After my son’s quilt was finished, I remember thinking that all returning service members should get a quilt.  Also service members of the past should get one.  I searched the internet and found Quilts of Valor.  I made a couple of quilts and sent them along.  I now find there are active QOV groups close to home and have made a few tops and given them to be quilted (doubtlessly more quickly) by local long-arm quilters. If you’re not familiar with Quilts of Valor, please look them up and consider making a quilt for a service member.

The current quilt, shown below, I decided to quilt myself to practice straight line quilting with a walking foot.  I’m getting a little more practice than I bargained for, but I’m getting close to the finish line.

This pattern came from Fons & Porter’s “Patriotic Quilts” magazine from the summer of 2013.  All the quilts are appropriate for Quilt of Honor Quilts and I’ve now made three of them.  All fifteen of the  quilts have easy piecing and I plan to eventually do all of them.

 

The patriotic quilt below was made a couple of years ago from a kit.  The quilting lines were done free motion, so the actual straightness of the lines is iffy at best.  It gives the quilt a more relaxed look.  This one lives on a bed in my office where naps occasionally take place.  It’s one of my favorites.

We’re enjoying a perfect first day of summer, warm and sunny.  As my “Maxine” calendar says, seems like only yesterday it was spring.  I actually took some time to just sit outside and listen to the breeze in the trees.  To do that AND quilt in one day is a joy.

Enjoy the longest day of the year and as always, quilt for fun.

Candy