Saturday, August 8, 2015

Quilters and Gardeners

Are you a Quilter and a Gardener?  From what I read, there are lots of you out there.  The two hobbies seem to go hand in hand.  Quilters like to garden, and Gardeners like to quilt.
Not me...
As much as I admire beautiful flowers and gardens, I just don't have a green thumb.  Everything I plant seems to die... don't know why...  it's just not my thing.

But my mother grew GORGEOUS hydrangeas!

I, apparently, did not inherit the green thumb gene.

After Mom died in March, and I realized that Dad would be putting the house up for sale, it occurred to me that I might never see those beautiful shrubs again.  So I took a cutting from each plant, with the thoughts of sharing them with my daughter, hoping to see Mom's hydrangeas blooming once again in our home gardens.

I took 5 cuttings, put them in a pot, and am happy to report that all 5 took root!
I spent two hours this afternoon planting 3 for me, and will pass the other 2 on to my daughter next week.

Two hours to plant 3 cuttings, you say???  Well, I was determined to do everything right, so I googled and googled and googled how to do this.  I dug and dug and dug before I added everything you might imagine to amend my soil.  Removed stones and rocks and weeds.  And this was after walking the entire property to find just "the right" spot...  Finally, they are in the ground and watered.

If my hydrangeas are half as pretty as Mom's I'll be happy.
If they don't grow, I'm going to throw in my gardening gloves for good.
If you have any connections with Mother Nature, please put in a good word for me...  on Mom's behalf.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Making Cherrywood Fabric

In 2008, I made this quilt called Cherrywood Checkers.  I had been to my first major quilt show in Lancaster PA, and absolutely fell in love with Cherrywood fabrics.  My budget was pretty tight at the time, and I didn't have a project in mind, so I treated myself to a little bag of Cherrywood scraps.  Lots of little bits in lots of luscious colors.  The perfect indulgence!!!

Then I found this pattern in a magazine (sorry, it's been too many years to remember which one) and decided that it was just the right project to use all those scraps.  I still use the quilt today, and have it draped over my sofa to curl up under on cool evenings.

These fabrics were very precious to me, so when I finished the quilt, I couldn't bear to throw away even the smallest scrap.  I tucked all the leftovers into a small ziplock bag to use "someday".  That was 7 years ago...

Then I learned how to "make fabric" in Pat Sloan's workshop that I took a couple of weeks ago.  So this weekend I found that old bag of scraps buried under even more scraps, and made more fabric!

I started with this small pile of bits...

And ended up with over 4 yards of this piano key border...

And this patchwork panel...

And I still have all of these little bits left to make MORE fabric!!!

I don't know what I'm going to make yet, but at least I have some great new fabric to work with!


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Name That Quilt

I can design quilts and make quilts, but when it comes to naming my quilts I hit a roadblock.  I mull over names when I should be sleeping, I test names out loud in the shower, I write down ideas when I doodle.

I just got word that three of my quilts have been accepted into a modern quilt show coming up in September at the Gmeiner Art & Cultural Center, here in Wellsboro PA.

Prior to submitting my applications for these quilts, I had to name them...

  Can't say I'm thrilled with the names I came up with, but I just couldn't think of anything more unique.

How do you come up with names for your quilts???

And if you want to see the front of these quilts, come to the show at the Gmeiner Sept. 6-27, where you can view lots of modern quilts made by quilters within a 150 mile radius of Wellsboro.  Should be a great show!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Making Fabric with Pat Sloan

Wow - today was just amazing!  A day spent in the company of fellow quilters...

Learning new skills from the amazing Pat Sloan!

I have always admired improvisational quilting, but it has always intimidated me.  I have spent so many years working on perfecting my cutting and piecing skills, striving for perfection.

I have even tried to train myself to cut my scraps into perfect 1 1/2" or 2 1/2" wide strips, ready for piecing into a log cabin block that would be perfectly square when finished.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, and I will continue to strive for perfection in my work, but there is something so liberating and fun about just grabbing scraps, chopping them into chunks, and sewing them together at random.

It really is FUN!!!

Today's workshop with Pat Sloan was a technique class.  I really didn't put much effort into picking the "right" fabrics.  The instructions were to just bring a basket full of scraps.

I love the technique.  We learned how to create new fabric from our scraps, including non-traditional log cabin blocks like the ones shown above, with "kisses" or "x's" spliced into them, as well as curved seam strips sewn together to make "new" fabric.

I will definitely be doing more improv work in the future, although I'm sure I haven't given up on the pursuit of perfection either.  I see a combination of both in my future quilting projects.

Pat Sloan is an excellent teacher, and everyone seemed to come away with the skill and desire to try something new.  What a wonderful day!  Thank you Pat, and thanks to the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild for hosting the event.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Pat Sloan Workshop

First of all, I have to thank you all for your patience and understanding during my blogging absence.  It's not that I haven't been busy with lots of quilting projects, but I kind of lost my "voice" after my mother died in March.  Every time I sat down to write a blog post, I found myself at a loss for words.  There just weren't any.  I guess the depression affected me more than I expected.  But I'm finally starting to feel like my life is becoming more normal again, and I'm happy to be back.  It's time to move forward and honor my mom's memory with joy, not sorrow.  So... 'nuff said...  On to the "quilty" stuff!

I'm sure most of you have heard of Pat Sloan.  If not, you'll just have to click on this link and read all about her.  She was the guest speaker at our Quilt Guild meeting tonight, and while I'm not one to regularly attend meetings, I just couldn't miss the opportunity to meet her in person.  I am so glad I went!  Pat is an excellent speaker, and I enjoyed her program very much.  And tomorrow I get to attend this workshop!!!  I promise to take some pictures and report back to you soon...

And I'll get busy writing posts of some of the projects I've been working on during my absence.
Soon...  I hope...

In the meantime,  Cheers!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Ohio Star Quilt Final

As promised, here are some pictures of the completed Ohio Star quilt, now that it is safely in my client's hands.  The only place in my house that I can spread out a large quilt like this is my living room, and it just barely fit.  I had to stand on the couch to get a picture.  I dream of having a large studio someday...  don't you?

And the pair of pillow sham covers.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ohio Star Is Done!

Yes, my Ohio Star quilt is finished.  But it doesn't seem fair to post pictures of the finished quilt here before my client has seen it, so here is just a peek at a portion of the pillow shams that he requested to go with the quilt.  I'll post more picture of the quilt and shams soon!