Thursday, October 30, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Steam Punk Lone Star Quilt

It's that time of year again!  I decided at the last minute to join once again in Amy's Creative Side's Blogger's Quilt Festival.  The only quilt that I've finished since her Spring Festival is my Lone Star Steam Punk Quilt, which I'm entering into the large quilt category.

This quilt is 85" by 85" and was made for my youngest son from a pattern called "Two plus 2", by Colleen Blackwood.  I deviated a bit from the pattern in the outside border.  It uses 2 jelly rolls and 2 yards of fabric.  I also decided to make mine monochromatic, based on my son's "style", and cut my own strips.  I did my own quilting on my domestic machine, adding gears, pulleys and "fire" to contribute to the "Steampunk" theme.

Be sure to click the link above to see all of the other wonderful quilts!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Last week, Caroline of Trillium Design extended a very nice request that I participate in the "Around the World Blog Hop".  I have followed her blog for quite a while now.  I don't even remember how I found her first, but we both share a home state, both are into science and she even was kind enough to write up a paper pieced pattern I designed for an on-line contest.  In a few weeks, I'll get to meet her in person at the Sewtopia Retreat in Salt Lake City.  It'll be my first ever retreat of any kind, and I'm very excited!

The "Around the World Blog Hop" asks us to answer 4 questions and nominate 3 other bloggers to continue the hop.  I hope you enjoy the questions below:

1. What am I working on?

Besides trying to stock up my Etsy shop and "inventory" of things made from Pendleton Wool for the holiday season, I tend to focus my quilting time in the Fall getting tops that I've made ready to quilt and quilting them.  This "Sea Star" quilt is next!

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I really really really like science of any kind, and many of my quilts reflect this.  I also tend to use darker colors as the backgrounds of my quilts, and no matter how hard I try, "wonky" and "asymmetrical" seem to be modern quilt themes that I just haven't been able to embrace.

My recent addiction has been to paper piecing!  I love the variety of shapes you can create with it!

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

Why does anyone?  I think it's human nature.  When so much of the work I do as a mother and wife gets undone as fast as I do it; cooking, cleaning, laundry, giving rides, sewing is something tangible that I have to hold onto. It satisfies a creative need that I think everyone has.

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

I just write from the top of my head.  You can tell, and frankly, I have never considered myself a writer.  It's not my strength.  When I found quilt and sewing blogs, it instantly appealed to me as a way to share the visual images of what we all do, and to connect with other people who share my love of sewing.  I love looking at other quilts almost as much (sometimes more) than I do making them.  I'm afraid lately posting on Instagram has been satisfying that desire to connect as much as blogs do with even less of a time commitment, so I'm a bit guilty of neglecting my blog because of that.

When it comes to sewing, I use leftover school notebooks as idea files, and also have picture files on my computer and on Pinterest that I add ideas to.  As I mentioned, science is a big inspiration for me, but I also love on-line challenges.  Life is always an influence, as is the on line community.

I use graph paper as much or more than my EQ 7 computer program.  Luckily I love math and find the quilt math really fun :-).  Why let a computer do it for me?

OK  so how about you?  Part of the blog hop is to nominate 3 other bloggers.  If you feel like adding to it, please do.  I've met many people in real life after I've met them on-line.  3 of these people are:

Shanna of "Fiber of All Sorts".  She and I met after swapping fat quarters on-line, and after she saw that I also lived in Eastern Oregon.  She's helped me get my UFO's almost all finished with her "Lovely Year of Finishes", and is always up for a trip to a local fabric store, or a trip to the coffee shop!  She's just as nice as she is talented.

Marlene of "Kissed Quilts" and I met on a Fickr group, I believe.  She has a long arm business and just opened up a brick and mortar quilt store in Grand Coulee, WA.  She has quilted a few quilts for me, and used to be a regular lunch companion when she lived in near by College Place, WA.  She is a true wizard when it comes to EQ7, and has given me lots of advice and support about starting up my very small business.  She has been winning awards at quilt show with her amazing quilts!!

Finally, I got to meet Debbie of "A Quilter's Table" in real life when we took a Spring Break trip to Seattle, WA a few Springs ago.  She is very talented, and even more generous with her time and wonderful comments.  I've been following her blog for a while now, and she keeps rising over and over again to a new level of inspiration with each new quilt that she makes.

Part of what keeps me blogging is all of the wonderful people I've met through it and other social media.  We all know that people who sew and quilt are some of the kindest, more creative, down to Earth people that there are!!  If you've made it this far, thanks for reading!!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Steam Punk Lone Star, and other finishes

Gosh, It's been so long since I last blogged that I'm not sure I remember how!  My summer was busy with the usual garden tending, kids' swim practices and meets, and holding the fort down while my husband worked with the summer's wildfires.

I did get a lot of sewing in though, and thought it'd be easiest to do a big recap post and see if I can jump start my blog up again!

My latest finish just got quilted a week or so ago, now that the weather is getting cooler.  I took a class, in Walla Walla, WA, called 2 + Two by Colleen Blackwood.  I knew it was going to be for my youngest son, and asked him what colors he wanted, knowing that he really likes these lone star quilts.  His response was "all black".  Ha!  Challenge accepted!

I deviated a bit from the pattern's last piano key border, because I only had the black and script fabric left.

For the star, I quilted gears on the center.

Then pulleys, sin waves and a ring of fire for the borders.  It measures about 85" by 85", and is already being used on my son's bed!!

Below are some other finishes, including my swap block quilt, which I finished just before our May Quilt Show, and 2 queen quilt tops that I finished, a "Square Foot Garden" quilt made with some orphan quilt blocks I'd made a while ago, and Tula Pink's Space Dust pattern, which I made as part of "Quilt Dad's" Space Dust Quilt Along this summer.
If you have a keen eye, you'll notice our redone deck.  We kept the base, but put up a new railing.  Besides visits from family and a wee bit of local travel, our summer was mostly spent at home.  The most exciting news was that my oldest son qualified for the US Swimming Federation National District Swim meet.  He had to have a fast qualifying time for most events, and swam in 4 Freestyle events, placing in the top 12 for 2, and top 25 for 2 more.  This kid can swim!  He also got his first "real" job life guarding at our local public pool!  I'm a proud mama!!

My other pursuit has been sewing with plenty of Pendleton Wool, making and selling lots of goodies, including these beer growler bags.  I'm stocking up my Etsy store for the holiday season, and crossing my fingers!

I hope you all had a fantastic summer!!