Sunday, March 31, 2013

Friendship Block

One of our local quilt guilds is having a friendship quilt challenge. I didn't feel compelled to participate by creating a quilt, but my friend, Kathleen did. Kathleen is a fantastic quilter. Her applique is impeccable. Her piecing is thread perfect.

She gave me a block to embellish for her friendship quilt. She is a dear friend, but I'm still intimidated by having a block in her quilt.

I mulled over my addition to her block for a week or two, before I settled on little hexie flowers and appliqued leaves. Kathleen is the one who showed me how to use freezer paper and starch to do applique. I thought it was appropriate to throw in a little applique.

At first I tried needle turn applique. Quick, just draw the leaves on the fabric and sew them on. OK, that is one applique technique that I can cross off my list. I had very sad, lumpy looking leaves. I took them off and decided to go the freezer paper route.

I have freezer paper right? Well, it must be in a box somewhere that hasn't been unpacked yet. So, continuing required a quick trip to the grocery store. Whenever I find the other freezer paper, I'll never need to buy any again.

The hexies are 1/4" on a side, and English Paper Pieced. Paper Pieces has an incredible variety of papers to choose from. I bought the smallest package of 1/4" hexies that they offered, 200 pieces. While they were perfect for this project, I don't think that I'll be creating any more little hexie flowers. Miniature quilts are not calling to me.

Anyone want 178 1/4" hexies?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Meet the Diva

Meet the Quilt Diva. She's already for class with her rolling bag and tote full of fabrics. The pattern is from Amy Bradley Designs, and was made by the talented ladies at Seams Sew Right, one of our local quilt shops. Fun isn't she?

I wanted her to have some dimension, so I used Quilters' Dream Wool batting. The background is quilted densely enough that it makes her puff a little.

I pulled the background fill from a book by Diana Phillips.

The borders have different quilting designs that move around the wall hanging. They don't stay within their assigned border. There is a little bit of each spilling into the next.

The green border design is from Dustin Farrell's Freehand Filligree book.

The design in the yellow area is from Marilyn Badger. I learned it in a class that she taught at Road to California a couple of years ago.

I'm sorry I didn't get a better picture of it or the first part of the pink border. The pink border started out as a variation of Dawn Ramirez's Wonky Feathers. It morphed into stylized feathers.

I think the echoed hearts are also from Diana Phillips.

For the life of me I can't figure out how to rotate the last picture. I rotated it in my photo editing software, but when I imported it into Blogger it reverted to its original orientation.

I can't find a way to rotate photos in Blogger. Humph.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


The chicks are here!

I arrived at the feed store five minutes before they were to open thinking I would be the only one there. This is the third shipment of chicks after all. Wrong. There were already twelve people waiting.

Several of them had boxes for taking their chicks home. I didn't bring one and worried for a few minutes that they might not let me take any home. I was assured that the store had boxes for transporting my new babies home.

They only allowed five people in at a time. I guess they have had problems with near fights ensuing over the chicks. I watched the customers coming out with small boxes of peeping chicks. Then I watched a couple come out with three large boxes of chicks. They probably had 30-40 chicks. Oh no, would there be any left for me?

I was allowed in in the third wave. There were only three Salmon Faverolle chicks left out of the twenty-five that arrived yesterday afternoon. People are passionate about their chickens around this neck of the woods. Whew, there were lots of Ameraucana (the shipment was 100 chicks), and there were still 15 or so Dominique chicks.

I broke my resolve to only get four chicks. I ended up with six.

Two Ameraucanas, who will lay pale green to aqua colored eggs.

Two Salmon Faverolles, who will lay white to cream colored eggs.

Last but not least, two Dominiques, who will lay brown eggs.

They are settling in. I'm trying to be good about not spending all day watching them.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Design Wall

I have something on my design wall. Shocking, I know, but true.

Pat Sloan visited Thumb Butte Quilters' Guild this month. I signed up for her class on fusible machine appliqué. I've taken a class on machine appliqué before, but you never know what great tips you'll get during class from a different teacher.

I had pieced the foundation for the appliqué beforehand. I didn't trust myself to complete it after the class. We were going to be working on her pattern Little Blue Bird. Being the annoying student that I am I changed the colors, so I have a red bird. I also created different flowers.

There didn't have time during the class to work on the actual project. There was only time for the practice piece.  I surprised myself by actually working on it after the class. I cut all the pieces out, and I'm starting on stitching the appliqué.

I've had a little trouble with the fusible not holding up. Pat warned us about not "cooking" the fusible by pressing it too long. I pressed it for just a couple of seconds, but pieces were falling off.  I tried turning the iron to a lower setting, but still the pieces were falling off. I used Heat 'n Bond Lite, a new product for me. I am assuming it is operator error, because Pat loves the stuff. Several of my red berries have fallen off, and many of the stars are only partly adhered to the quilt.

I love the look of appliqué mixed with piecing. I'm going to keep trying different techniques until I find one that works for me.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Chicks Are Coming

A few years ago we had a few laying hens. I loved having chickens. I liked watching them scratch around the garden, and I loved the really fresh eggs.

But, we moved, and they didn't move with us. I missed them.

We couldn't have chickens at the rental house. Now however, we can have chickens.

The local feed store gets new chicks in every Tuesday this month. The breeds I'd like to have come in on the 19th. I'm hoping for two Ameracaunas, a Dominique and a Salmon Faverolle. We'll get green, brown, and white eggs. Won't that be a pretty bowl sitting in the fridge?

We have the chicken coop set up. We're working on the covered run. We hope to be all ready by the time they are ready to be out.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, March 7, 2013


I quilted this lovely landscape for my customer and friend, Mary, last fall. I shipped it back to her and she was very happy with the quilting. Done. Checked off my work log and mental list.

Unbeknownst to me,  Mary entered her quilt "El Capitan at Yosemite" in the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival.  She kindly shared the judges comments with me.

One of the reasons I enjoy entering judged quilt shows is receiving judges comments. Judges can be very helpful in giving a quilter information on where to improve their work. In this case however, the comments were a written pat on the back saying, "Well done."

Who doesn't like to get compliments like that?