Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thanks to Robinson Crusoe, I got everything done by Friday!

Well, almost. At least I got the first border of Autumn Harvest done. And I learned that the houses are called 'Schoolhouse' blocks. Next comes the flying geese borders that are already half pieced.
And then there are all the other projects I am working on. This blog thing motivated me to work diligently on my little quilt, so maybe by posting pictures of the other projects, I will make some progress on that front as well. Besides, Dee will love to see the progress on this one.

These are the three blocks I have completed for the quilt that will grace our guestroom here at the cabin. It is from Kim Diehl's book, Simple Comforts. Only one more to go, and the background units are already cut and ready to piece together.

This quilt is awaiting the final border. It is from the charming book Remembering Adelia by Kathleen Tracy.

Friday will take me to the Durango quilt shop as a reward for finishing the first border on the little Autumn Harvest quilt. They don't have much in the way of reproduction fabrics, but they have a yummy collection of batiks. I don't usually work in batiks, but I am making a scenic art quilt that uses them. We'll also visit some antique shops and perhaps be fortunate enough to find some antique quilts. I would love to own one like the ones Taryn shares. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

And the final answer is...

The original designer was right! The houses look better sashed. I kept the 5" finished dimension and used a combination of 1/2" sashing and 3/4" sashing to get my desired center dimension, 12" finished. My favorite house is the red one and my daughter, who is also my design consultant and business partner, loves the blue one. She helped with the fabric selections for 3 out of the 4 houses. The fabric selection is always the lengthiest part of the process and my favorite. Piecing the houses is quick until you have to get those chimneys and roof lines to fit perfectly! Now I have to make 5 more turkey track blocks and two more baskets and then the next border of the quilt will go on. So the last day of my son's visit was spent, you guessed it, hiking. To take my mind off my burning thigh muscles, I was educating everyone else on how to identify poisonous flowers. I guess I was boring them, because when it came time to really listen to me, they tuned me out. We reached our destination, a lovely creek, and the others decided to hike up it. They left me to take pictures, and the last thing I said was, "Just come back the way you came." After taking a few pictures, I got a little lonely and decided to follow them. Well, they didn't come back the way they went, and to make a long story short, they lost me. After an hour or so, I decided I was not going to spend the night on the mountain, and returned to the spot where we first separated. No family! Another 15 minutes goes by, feeling like hours by now, and I start imagining all sorts of horrible things happening to them. Come to find out, they came back a different way and when they didn't find me, they headed to the car. When I wasn't there, my husband ran up the mountain searching for me. Serves them right for not listening to what I said! Perhaps the extra workout will make an impression and this will never happen again! We now call this previously unnamed trail, the Lost Mom trail!

And the wildflower of the day is the poisonous Monkshood. Again, the name is so appropriate that I will surely remember it. I might have named them Prairie bonnets if it were up to me, but no one asked me.

Back to Turkey Tracks. I think I'll work on another green one. Now, which fabric to choose?...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Finally, the first little house!

Finally, the first of the little houses that will be in the center of my Autumn Harvest quilt. The reason it was not the first block I made is that I decided to redesign it. This required increasing the size to 5" finished, instead of 4", so that the detailing was achievable. In the process, I ran into technical difficulties, specifically printing issues; but now, thanks to my computer programming geek, known in better circles as my son, I am ready to go. The problem with designing your own patterns is that you doubt your design. I like the scale of this house, but the original design had the houses sashed with cream so that they stood out on their own. Now what do I do? Make all four houses with this design and decide if I like the end product, or go back to the drawing board? Yikes, it is so much easier to use an already tested pattern. Stay tuned for the final answer!

My son and his girlfriend are visiting from Arizona for the weekend. They love hiking as much as we do, so we took them up to the Continental Divide at Wolf Creek Pass. Our ascent took us to 10,600 ft. above sea level, and it literally took my breath away. The views were breathtaking as well! As we climbed, I lectured the kids on the names of all the wildflowers. Of course, there was a test at the end!

With every hike I go on I try to learn the name of a new wildflower. Today's wildflower is Little Red Elephant. Of course, this is the purple version and I just love the little trunks and bigs ears on each flower! This one will not be hard for my old brain to remember!

Today is the gathering of my small scale quilt study group at the shoppe. I miss them all, but thanks to one of the clever members, she will blog about the meeting and keep me up to date, pictures and all. I love this forum. What a perfect way for me to stay in touch!

Back to the drawing board...Cheryl

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's catching...

After spending a day perusing blogs from other men and women with the same passion for quilting and fabric arts as myself, I decided to give it a try. Show and tell has just become global! I am inspired by what I see others doing and hope to inspire someone else, or at least entertain for a brief moment or two.

Presently, I am in Colorado enjoying the cool mountain air. It is a hard decision each day whether to quilt or explore the outdoors. I fancy myself a photographer these days and enjoy trying to capture some of the beauty of mother nature that I see all around me. However, I do spend a fair amount of time playing with my fabrics and working on the 5 quilts I have in progress. Yes, I am one of those who gets about half done with a quilt and then sees another quilt I want to pick the fabrics for! Sometimes these fabrics will come from my stash, but usually it means a trip to my favorite fabric store, The Olde World Quilt Shoppe in Phoenix, AZ, to fondle, then possess new ones. Perhaps by sharing the progress of my quilts with others, I will be motivated to complete a few so they don't become UFOs. However, after looking at other blogger's posts, I want to start the hexagon flower garden! Oops, I am going in the wrong direction!

I did complete a wall hanging for our cabin from Liberty Homestead patterns. The custom hanger comes from Summer Sky Creations. My favorite style of quilting is small scale quilts. I love all things miniature. Besides, I have a better chance of finishing them, although I constantly remind myself that a small quilt can take as much, if not more, time to piece than a large quilt.

I occassionally will piece a larger quilt. This bed quilt is from Kim Diehl for our room at the cabin. How fitting it is a log cabin design for our log cabin home. And scrappy, I love scrappy.

Recently, my good friend, Lin, inspired me to design a small quilt that will be set in a medallion style with wool applique in the border. It is a fall themed quilt inspired by Fall Harvest, originally published in Quilter's Newsletter. So far I have pieced some of the first two borders. The blocks are 4" finished and are paper foundation pieced. The center will be 4 saltbox style houses. The borders will include the fruits and vegetables, mostly pumpkins, of the fall harvest. I will keep you posted with pictures of its progress.
This new adventure has taken the better part of my morning--a steep learning curve as I learn to navigate the site. Off to fix french toast for the breakfast crowd, and then we are hiking. More wildflower photo ops!...Cheryl

Fell Off the Wagon

 It was bound to happen. I had stuck to my guns until I saw Laundry Basket Quilts' pattern, Alaska Magic. I told myself,  "It is te...