Thursday, January 31, 2019

Catching up from 2018!

Happy Blog-a-versary for me in January 2019 = 10 years for this Blog.

I recall that it was my goal to learn a new technology each year and 2009 was the year to start a blog! 
2018 was sporadic for blogging as most all photos on taken on phone and that makes Instagram (and (even Snapchat with my college kids) an easy post. It takes an additional step and more words to post here. But, I want to keep this going as is marks history for me for the past 10 years.  

My plan for 2019 is to post once a month. I am cheating a bit for January (date altered) but it will do.

In January several things were accomplished! First, I finished the top of Cheddar Cheese Crackers mini quilt. It is 24.5 x 28.5" and squares are 1" I begin long ago inspired by design and technique of  Lori from Humble Quilt from Dec. 2009. WOW! It took a while to find the original link ...time flies. Well, I am persistent if nothing else!  So..I love the design, technique used, fabric, just everything about this quilt. It needs to be bound next. I am thinking knife edge for binding - to try it and keep with the style for the time period. Also, something new to learn. I am thinking this could be a 2019 finish. 

Next, I finished the binding on rescue double wedding ring quilt. This was good learning /practice for binding inner and outer curves. The quilt has some very interesting fabric choices. It is currently hanging on display in the family room. 

Now, here is a bit of quilting news from 2018 that I seemed to have overlooked in previous posting:

May 2018 - I was quite inspired by the art quilting style of Jack Edson when I came across his FB page and admired how he translated historic paintings and photos into quilts. Then in April, I had the wonderful opportunity to go at the last minute to Washington State to attend a two day workshop and see the exhibit with many of his quilts featured at the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum. This was a most wonderful trip! I traveled on Southwest Airline points, used Airbnb Superhost voucher and only needed to pay for workshop and rent a car. It was meant to be! Weather was BEAUTIFUL and such a lovely artsy community of La Conner, Washington to explore about an hours drive north of Seattle. Here is the project I started on. Very inspiring! Such talented artist participants, each with their own style. ...But alas, my girl with the pearl earring rests quietly in a project bin, waiting to gain my attention again. She needs to be posted on my design wall with fabric pieces strewn around for some real work to be accomplished.  

Oct. 2018 - A bit more hand applique on another Cherry Tree block. I enjoy sewing stems - really! This block is finished now. That makes about four Cherry Tree blocks complete. I have many more patterns traced to freezer is just a matter of time before I find the background fabric to cut more blocks so I can baste another block. Will add a photo later of finished block.

Nov. 2018 - I jumped on the Instagram #50daysofhandquilting band-wagon and pulled out my Blended color quilt from 2004? 2005? I purchased the base in Indianapolis near when I began school at IUPUI. I had hand quilted about 1/3 of it and then it was put away. Now I renewed the work and recall how much I like hand quilting! The stitches don't show much, so good time to practice and get stitches smaller before I began on small bow tie quilt of solid fabrics (photos later). I also experimented with different needles and a new thimble. This rubber thimble with metal top is the best! The top knuckle on my middle finger would get irritated by the rigid metal thimble and this rubber one is very comfy! Also, after so many broken needles, I found I like these Tulip # 12 needles the best! Shorter (12) is easier for me to work with for quilting and less likely to break. Plus these Tulip needles are thin - slide nicely and so strong. I have not broken one needle in months. 
That's a quick update. Now moving on to February - Happy Quilting!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Bally Hall & Paper Piecing Inspiration

New book added to my library from Paducah - Inspiring!
Bally Hall Center block appliqued border
Busy summer with so many great road trips! First, weekly trips to university 50 miles/ an hour away for summer classes (Intellectual Assessment & Career Development). Also relocating daughter from Los Angeles to Cleveland (with a couple extra days in Pasadena visiting cousin and museums there. Memorial day took us all (mom, dd, dh ) to see son and get him set up with summer housing in Iowa. Went to lovely White Coat ceremony for daughter and met her boyfriend. We ate great food and visited Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Next was participation in "Cousin Camp" at a lovely place in Granby, Colorado with all 6 first-cousins and partners - no parents, no kids. This was a fun filled week! - complete with zip line, rafting, games, etc. and abundant food!

Hand quilting projects went along on most all trips. Friend Teri and I have also met several times this summer as she began on a Jen Kingwell BOM where there is a fair bit of applique. We meet to applique as she is learning. She is doing amazing and is claiming needle turn as her favorite approach from the various techniques she has tried. I did a little applique and lots of embroidery words on the blocks. Beyond the Cherry Tree applique was also is in my bag and both Bible quilt blocks and two Cherry Tree blocks traveled with me to San Diego while I was there visiting mom. Most work on the Bible quilt this summer during "TV time" with mom, particularly Last Ship binge for season 4 on Hulu. 

Finally, I went with new quilting pal Brenda to MOKA Quilt History Group meeting near Kansas City for a fabulous weekend of antique quilts. Together we have agreed to serve on the exec. Committee to take on the planning Oklahoma meeting in fall 2019 and are working on venue and speakers. Fun to explore options! MOKA event deserves it's very own complete post - another time after I collect images residing on phone, Instagram & FB.

Now and then I have also worked on a little quilt project purchased in Paducah at the same time friend (Mary Ellen) bought a similar pattern. We agreed to each work on these, but have not shared updates with each other. She is sooo speedy, she probably will have it finished and I have just traced and cut out patterns and fabric for about five applique blocks. They were originally 6" but I have enlarged all to 8" - a bit easier to work with and show the lovely fabric. It is about the same amount of work really for a little larger size. about 6 block. 

That is a quick recap of a full and wonderful summer! (Also kept busy with many guests - a pleasure as always!) Enjoying the great group at church and ladies in class. I am sure I am forgetting something else- all good!

Now to my new job "AKA new life" has begun for fall semester with new employer where I plan to finish my career over the next 10-13 years. My goal now (again) is to balance it all and leave time for more quilting and limit "taking work home" (mentally and physically). New job is devoid of administrative responsibility I am just a small cog in a big system. VERY different for me and I am working to adapt - it has taken an ego adjustment, but I can see the value of this change at this time. 

Yes, I have sorely limited blog posts partly due to almost exclusively taking photos on my phone - is it an extra step to add them to the I am less likely to post because photos are a key element. Next time I will add more photos and updates with images.

Happy Quilting to all!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

AQS Paducah 2018

Awesome Winner Award Ribbons
Went to my first ever AQS show in Paduch, KY last week! What a wonderful time we had. It started out with finding the awesome loft apt. just blocks from the Quilt show and museum. It is on Airbnb (my favorite) and sleeps up to eight. BEAUTIFUL kitchen and large gathering room - all open and light with many windows.
Celebration by Carol Gentry
as seen at AQS Paducah, KY

Next challenge was finding other gals to join me. Originally the plan was for a few ladies locally to go and meet up with our good quilting friend who had moved to Tennessee a few years ago. But, turns out she could not attend. So there were just three from our little town. I put out the invitation in the local guild and MOKA (Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas Quilt study group - see their FB group) to find others. Three other ladies contacted me and signed up for the adventure from OKC, Tulsa and Pennsylvania! What awesome new talented and fun quilting friends! We had a blast, cooked and ate meals together, plus had "show & tell" each evening sharing our adventures, the highlights of the show, so much inspiration, and new treasures gathered each day. 

Now for the quilts! Here are just a few pictures of some of the amazing quilts!

 There were many Japanese Quilts including an AQS exhibits and in the Quilt Museum (no photos there). The workmanship is amazing!

National Parks quilts display @ Rotary

Cherrywood Challenge 2018 Wall Quilts - Van Gogh theme
The shops and windows in town were also decked out with quilts! What an all-around wonderful quilt adventure!
Quilt inside local gourmet kitchen & gadget shop made by shop owner.
Paducah AQS 2018 - Six awesome, fun & quilt
 travel adventurers (+ photographer)

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Frozen Pie!

We were pretty much froze solid the past few days - here is the view.

Catching up on the blog...I made some pie potholders over Christmas while visiting family in San Diego. At mom's house, used her old singer. It runs so well and is simple and straightforward without any bells and whistles. Love it! And the pies turned out so cute! I am finally getting around to sharing them.

Happy Quilting to all!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Happy New Year for 2018!

Happy New Year & Happy Blogiversary to me!
WOW! This blog is 9 years old this month. Time flies.

Below is Di's Bally Hall quilt (hanging in Houston - guest photo).
The quilt is one of the classes I took in in November. At that time I 
learned  hand paper piecing of hexies and pentagons. Not sure how
I have been quilting all these years an d never learned this technique,
but it is captivating! I have made hundreds of paper pieces since that
time for this quilt and for the beautiful Giggleswick Mills quilt, another
class taken while at Sentimental Stitches quilt retreat in Shipshawana,

I have made much progress on this quilt at the retreat and since then. 
On a personal note, I am feeling good about the career opportunities
and spring 2018 work plans. Mainly balance is my goal for work and
for personal and crafty endeavors! 

Bally Hall by Di Ford

Di Ford teaching paper piecing

Antique Show & Tell quilt at Shipshewana Retreat

Antique Show & Tell quilt at Shipshewana Retreat

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Happy Quilting! Change is in the air...

I had a most wonderful quilting weekend at Shipshewana, Indiana a couple weeks ago. The drive was peaceful and I enjoyed the fall leaves. Aussie Quilt teacher Di Ford-Hall taught classes for Gay Boomers (of Sentimental Stitches) at the 4 day Quilt Retreat. It was lovely!... and I met and shared a room with the friendly, kind, and talented quilter Penny Prichard! She was with me all weekend while I reeled from the news that the university I was working for was abruptly closing at the end of the semester, in less that 30 days. Quite the weekend!

The inspiring quilting classes were a welcome diversion and fun time of creativity and peacefulness. Here is a glimpse into the weekend...

Di brought a suitcase full of some of her beautiful quilts as seen in her books AND new design Bally Hall, a class that I attended (photos to come in another posting).                Happy Quilting All!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Non-Quilting Adventure (with photos)

Notre Dame floor tile mosaic
When our daughter graduated from college in May we promised travel for her grad. gift. Since age six years old - when she began studying German in summer language immersion camp, she has wanted to go to Germany. With sports commitments, school, and internships, timing has never worked for her to go....until 3 weeks ago when the start date for her job was delayed two more weeks.

The schedule delay just happened to coincide with some very cheap flights to Germany from LAX (near her). For under $450 each, round trip, I booked flights for both of us on Thurs. night and we were in Germany by Monday night! (Ironically, it costs more to and from Oklahoma--California than to Germany!) Happily, I was able to go along for week one of this two-week adventure to Germany, France, Belgium & Netherlands. Here are some highlights from my camera. (There is more on phone but not yet downloaded). Not to bore everyone, I have posted only a few photos (eleven to be exact).
View of the Rhine from Marksburg Castle, Braubach Germany

This was a true whirlwind travel adventure in that we stayed at Airbnbs, planning where to stay 1-2 days in advance. We also used Rick Steve's travel guidebook to give us some tips and guides. But, for the most part we did it on our own! We had a general idea of a circle route around the area, but really we made final decisions about where and what we wanted to do based on weather, opportunities, and tips from the locals. We hopped on buses, trains and a boat to go everywhere!

Climbing up inside Arc de Triomphe, Paris
Germany was the main target as dd enjoyed speaking and reading German to guide our way. But she realized that we were so close to Paris (3 hrs by train) that we must go...and so we did! We found two great places to stay right within walking distance of everything in a second floor and a 4th floor apt. with lovely hosts. We saw people atop the "Arch of Triumph" and decided we wanted to check it out. Turns out is was free to walk up the many flights of narrow circular stairs (with our backpacks on) to get on top for excellent view all around Paris! We had walked near the Eiffel tower the night before for spectacular view of night lights.

We also visited other Paris highlights. The Louvre was simply incredible inside and out! We also enjoyed paintings by Monet, Degas, Manet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Cezanne, and even James Whistler's mother (AKA Victorian, USA Mona Lisa) with up close an personal viewing at Musée d'Orsay. We also walked our legs off all around the city enjoying the views. I have a special souvenir from the Paris subway because I was not fast and pushy enough to clear the metro doors before they slammed shut on my upper right arm causing a lovely double row of door width bruises (2" x 5"). Reminded me of subway in NYC!
St. Goar, Germany - cruising on the Rhine

View from Arc de Triomphe, Paris
Notre Dame, Paris, France

Relaxing after visiting the Louvre, Paris, France

No caption needed!
Cathedral - Kölner Dom, Cologne, Germany
Did I mention the food???
In addition to wonderful fresh bread and pastries, in Germany I ate Jägerschnitzel mit Champignonrahmsauce (breaded pork-loin with mushroom sauce) in Dusseldorf, Käsespätzle (German cheesy noodles) in Bracbach. In France we had what my dd said was "the best meal of her life!" Next, there was Belgian chocolate, mussels (moules marinière: cooked with shallots, parsley and butter), and frites (Belgian fries) - which our host assures us originated in Belgium and are NOT French fries. Delicious!

Grand Palais, Bruxelles, (Brussels), Belgium
In Brussels, it was "Journée sans voiture à Bruxelles" dimanche 22 septembre 2017 - a day without cars while we were there! Streets were closed for the entire city, people walked and biked in the streets. Trains and electric buses/trams ran free for everyone. There was also a big flea market, lots of music, and all types of street vendors and individuals selling antiques and used items right outside the front door of  their apartments. It was fun just to be able to walk all around and look at everything. There was a big festival at the square of the Grand Palais too with a parade and larger-than-life puppet figures and people dressed in costumes.

German /French countryside from the train.
After my 7-day journey, it was time for me to return to the USA - back to work.
DD however, continued traveling solo another week to Netherlands, Berlin & Dortmund, Germany.
Wonderful memories!!
Thanks for sharing them with me ~ Wanda.