Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Quilting Lessons and So Much More...

I would like you to meet Helen Smith Stone, a local machine quilter who just happens to be a fabulous teacher. Just look at that joyful smile on her face! She loves her work. Helen is also the President of our Northern Lights Machine Quilters Guild in Duluth, MN. Helen strives to promote continuing education for all quilters. She makes it possible for us to come together to share our knowledge and passion for quilting.

Helen is teaching us how to draw. I learned the importance of drawing designs (on paper) to teach our brain how to draw the quilting designs before we attempt to sew them on our quilts. We spent a good amount of time on this before taking our newly trained brains to our machines to practice drawing on muslin sandwich squares. We used cotton batting that was secured with basting spray. I purchased the lined paper that children practice printing letters on and an unlined drawing pad to continue practicing drawing techniques that I learned in Helen's machine quilting class. It is a great tool, she also suggested using the erasable boards if you like.
She taught us about the various threads, needles, batting, quilting gloves and machine tension. If the proper tools are used the results will be so much nicer. We also talked about the proper height for our chair while at the machine. I was setting mine too low. Higher allowed me a much better view of my work!

This is a teaching sample that Helen shared with us. All of this is free motion quilting and it is beautiful! This is my friend, Wendy holding the piece.

Machine time was interesting. There were a lot of OOPS and AHA moments. We had a lot of fun and now we are so much smarter and knowledge is power!

I am still a machine quilter wannabe, but closing in on it! Thank you so much, Helen!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Real McCoy...

Alli brought me this pot. She figured it was a "McCoy" that had been painted white. The price was right, so she grabbed it. She gifted me with this and five old quilt magazines from the 1980's. The magazines were a lot of fun to browse through. I noticed that like clothing fashions, quilting trends recycle every 30 years, too! I wasn't quilting in the 80's so it's all new to me.

I did the soaking in hot water/dishwasher detergent test. See the paint starting to lift away?

Here it is...the Real McCoy signature revealed!

More soaking, a gentle brushing, some work with a tool to clean out the water tray which was difficult to get the paint off and here she is. Not a crack or chip underneath all of that white paint, this beautiful pink was revealed. This pot replaces one that I dropped and of course broke to bits! Alli remembered how sad I was about my big Oops, so she brought me this one and I just love her thoughtfulness...thanks DD2!

In case you are wondering. I learned this technique while researching hardware restoration. Soaked the painted hardware for my house doors, too. It sat in a bucket soaking for a week. Used a brush and steel wool to get back the original hardware.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lucy Lou...

For those of you who have asked who Lucy is, this is Lucy Lou, our border collie girl. She is a sweet dog. Serious about her work as well as paying close attention to us, her flock! She's laying here by my side as I write, dreaming of a squirrel chase and long runs down Stillmeadow Road.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Ya, You Bettcha It's Cold...

It's winter in Minnesota
And the gentle breezes blow
Seventy miles an hour
At twenty-five below.
Oh, how I love Minnesota
When the snow's up to your butt
You take a breath of winter
And your nose gets frozen shut.
Yes, the weather here is wonderful
So I guess I'll hang around
I could never leave Minnesota
'Cause I'm frozen to the ground!
I have no idea who wrote this, I know it wasn't me, if
you can take the credit be sure to contact me!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Kay's Mountain Time Quilt...a retirement adventure

The squares in this quilt were pieced thirty years ago by Kay. She was living in the mountains, in a cabin where the scenery was beautiful. It was a peaceful place to live. However, she needed more to do than to admire nature so she decided to take a quilting class. As you can see she learned several techniques. Her hand appliqué work is excellent. She made some fun squares. This was the first quilt class for Kay and also the last...this is where I come in to the picture. She had the completed squares stored away along (luckily) with the enough fabric and scraps to add the sashing and a piano key border. I found a multicolor blue that works perfectly for the backing fabric. Now, it is on my hand quilting frame. It's turning into a real quilt for Kay! I plug away one square a day (or so!). I can't wait to finish so I can ship it off to her. Kay no longer lives in her mountain cabin. She has settled in a beautiful area of CA (a neighbor where I stayed in San Jacinto) along with her DH who sort of believes that quilters have way too much time on their hands. I let that one slide...this quilt is going to change his mind. PS: As it turns out, this in NOT a square a day quilt...the stitching has been slow, but sure!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I Been Tagged? I'm Stunned! How Does This Meme Make the Rounds So Fast?...

Tagged? Does that make me "it" again? Well, here goes, my last tag for the year...I'm doing it for new blogger Ruth Ann because she tagged so nicely and all. I better make it good! THE RULES: We know them by heart so I'll save a blog-land tree by not putting them in print.

Seven Silly Wisecracks From Me...

1) I still think
red licorice is better than the black flavored stuff that Paula prefers!
2) I ate an entire loaf of my mother's date nut bread all by myself! She is a great baker and...
3) I had to eat the date nut bread because Julia ate all of the chocolate!
5) I just happen to know there is another "no blog" quilter among us, but I won't name, Anna, any names. Shh!
6) I dream of a Yaya's Coffee House double Latte'...oh, how I miss that!
7) I gave away the fine china. Yep, sent it to live in D's pretty cupboards. Who needs forty year old china anyway? Let the simplifying begin, but stay out of my quilting room!

There you have it. I am not going to tag anyone else because what goes around comes around and lord knows I've been around a couple a two three times already. LOL, anyone know how
many times that is?

Starry Night Hollow Quilt Shop...

Ginger has posted a fabulous collection of photos that were taken at Starry Night Hollow in Encinitas, CA. Enjoy the tour. I did! I was there while doing an early San Diego Cruisin' Quilters Shop Tour from San Jacinto to San Diego.

Very friendly and interesting folks at this shop. The owner, Kim had a quilt entered in the Road to California Quilters Conference and Quilt Show this year. It was a Rapunzel art quilt...totally wonderful!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Saturday, February 9, 2008

I've Been Tagged by Connie W...

Connie has laid out the rules of this tag:

1. Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post THE RULES on your blog.
3. Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog.
4. Tag 7 people and link to them.
5. Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.

Seven random or weird things about me:
1) I love to stop by my LQS just to take in the aroma of fresh fabric.
2) I finished my second beginners machine quilting class today. There's hope!
3) My cats are named after publishers Simon and Schuster.
4) I am very curious about England and Australia.
5) California folks think I have a strange accent.
6) I adore goat cheese melted on cranberry walnut toast.
7) I have no idea what the TV program "House" is...yep, no clue!

There you have it. Strange and boring tidbits about me. Now...heeheeee...I get to tag seven poor souls to take a stab at answering this same question. I am picking some new to my blog gals.Tina, Steph, Kathie, Jackie, Julia, Perry, Wendy and one more for good luck, Anne! I have more new quilter's than this...will have to tag them in the next round. :)

Friday, February 8, 2008

"Rosie" is Traveling to...

Many thoughtful comments left here by friends old and new, supporting acts of kindness. Thank you, everyone. It's time to move on to the winner of this drawing!!!
Bren! Rosie is packing her car and heading your way! Congratulations to Bren and thank you to all who entered comments for the drawing. This has been fun..."toot toot" for now, Rosie's pulling onto the highway as soon as Bren emails her snail mail address!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

All Things Spicy...

Found the pattern at Road. Jelly Roll in stock at Cozy Quilt Shop "Home of the Strip Club" in El Cajon, CA, where I found incredibly friendly service. This was the third shop I checked to find the Allspice Jell Roll that I was after for my pattern. I should probably have purchased it at Road as that would have made some kind of sense! I may not have found Cozy Quilts if I had and that would have been a crying shame!

Here is a selection of Quilt in a Day, Marti Michell and bits and pieces found along the dusty trail. Believe it or not, there are five quilt tops laying here on this table...just add sashing and border fabric and I'm good to go!

There is a Summer Porch quilt pattern in Eleanor's Quilt through the Seasons book that well be a fun "Sew-a-Long' project, especially for those who are looking for a fast and easy project.

The needle threader that I picked up at QIAD is fantastic! Threads the tiniest betweens! Have to try the rotating cutting mat, but my friend Wendy tells me that it works just fine. Also, I found some toolsfor marking half square triangle sewing lines that I like, a yard of fabric that I never dreamed I would find more of...sigh, life has been good.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Royal Mail...

My very first ever, Royal Mail from the UK. Thank you Jane!

You'll notice that the chocolate pictured here isn't shown above...enjoyed my goodies with a nice hot Latte' before I wrote my thank-you...where are my manners? Jane did wonder how my DH managed to leave the chocolate waiting for me! Such an honest I just had to share it with him. Yum! He sends his thanks too.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Rosie Giveaway

Rosie is up for some good natured giveaway fun. There is a lot of strength in the number of quilters who share life in our ever expanding circle of bloggers. Rosie seems to reinforce the "can do" attitude that we share. We support and encourage one another every day as we share the joy of quilting and life as it happens. The drawing for this Rosie panel will take place on February 8th.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Lunch with Ricky Tims...

Not sure how I forgot to mention that Diane and I had lunch with this character! Ricky came over to our table, asked if he could join us. Well now of course he could join us! He is very down to earth, excited about quilting and The Quilt Show he shares with Alex Anderson. Such a chatty guy, and, he was "manning" his own booth of hand dye fabrics at Road to CA Quilters' Convention. He does have some kind of magical talent when it comes to quilting!

PS: He looks even better in person! Uff da! He's a cutie and do you think I gave a thought to my camera? Good grief! I was so "in the moment" I just didn't think about it. He sure did look like a cowboy who had just hopped off a horse and mowsied on in for lunch!