Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fair Results!

There are some great quilts at the fair this year, I don't know what I'll do next year to compete... I'll come up with something!  We were going to go tomorrow, but we are supposed to have a very rainy weekend this weekend (THANK YOU LORD!), so we decided to go this evening.  I hadn't seen any results yet, but I had a dream last night that my quilt ended up with a third place ribbon overall.  I was sad (they do the Dutch judging system based on standards, and also American for the top).  What a dream... the funny part though was the rosette ribbon (for third!) had a push button in the center and it played a song :)  Can you even imagine? LOL!

Evergreen State Fair, 2015
I was a Class winner again this year!!  I was very excited.  This year my quilt wasn't fully displayed like my Jane quilt was last year, but they placed it near another Orca Bay!  So cool to see the differences.  I changed my layout regarding the dark and light Ohio Stars (the other orca bay shows the layout that Bonnie Hunter wrote up in her pattern).

Evergreen State Fair, 2015

I loved this bench, made by the Stanwood FFA group:
Evergreen State Fair, 2015
Go WSU Cougs!

And then we put the boys in hamster balls into a pool and laughed :)
Evergreen State Fair, 2015
Evergreen State Fair, 2015

We had fun, and now my feet hurt.  I've been using a fitbit since July and right now my goal is 7000 steps a day.  I've been able to make that goal usually, and in a couple of weeks I plan to up it by another 1000.  Today I surpassed that to over 10,000.  If standing and waiting counted with the steps, that'd be awesome since we did a lot of that!   I'm scheduled to do a goal challenge with my friend Julie tomorrow, I hope I make it :)

I'd love a foot massage right now.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Quilt Backs... not exciting but required

I'm finishing up the prep on my Orca Bay quilt since it needs to be dropped off at the fairgrounds today.  This is about the process regarding backs which I know isn't exciting.

I have started buying fabric when it is very cheap at the quilt shops to use for quilt backs, especially flannels since that's been my preference lately (it gets cold here, I like flannel... besides, Seattle and flannel go hand in hand: reference grunge).  But I don't discriminate if the price is right and I will buy regular cotton as well.

Flannel Quilt Back

This quilt back is made with leftover flannels from two other quilt backs.  I don't mind pieced backings, in fact I really like the fact that I am using up scrap pieces.  The back of Darrin's latest quilt was made from the scraps from the top (which now looks like another quilt).

Top of the quilt:
Woodwinds; Ocean Waves

What I used for the back:
Quilt back
This was actually a lot of work in order to get it to the right size.

How many of you have started doing this as well?  If a quilt is a gift, typically I won't piece it like this, and I may actually buy the larger backing fabric like I did for the Desert Stars engagement quilt I made for my step son and fiance.

I have on order some fabrics (that I found with deep savings) to use for backs for two quilts in particular.  If I have an idea in mind, I will do this as well.  But it is likely that what is leftover from those two quilt backs is going to end up pieced together into a back for another future quilt.

Flannel Quilt Back

Now, about that Orca Bay quilt.  Because flannel is such a fur collector, by the time I finally began quilting it had so much pet hair on it that I used the lint brush as I quilted. I pulled off so much fur!  I believe the majority is from Gordon and my dearly departed Gracie, but I know that Loki is as much to blame.  I've had to keep my quilt room shut while I hung it up on my design (my everything) wall because he has taken to attacking the wall.  Washing the quilt de-furred it even more and running the lint brush over it one more time, while also inspecting for threads to cut, I think the quilt is now ready to be dropped off.

Flannel Quilt Back
A very naughty cat who is definitely in plot-mode.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Bordered Diamonds Top

I need to face facts and possibly invest in better lighting for my quilt room.  If you look at the bottom/center of this quilt, just know that is the the best representation of the colors in the border and for the majority of the quilt.

Bordered Diamonds

I love this top so far, but I don't like the technical aspects of the directions.  Cutting ten leftover diamond sections to create the outside edges is kind of a joke because you lose your points when squaring up the top (especially for the corners when you are to cut one diamond into fourths).  I made the decision to square up using the points of my diamonds as a general area to cut. I may have lost their points, but at least there is conformity.  I'm guessing that Liza Prior Lucy has a method for sewing up Kaffe's ideas.

I had placement errors when sewing my rows together, but I decided not to rip out because of the stretching bias. Also, I discovered after I sewed my end pieces that the diamonds I chose to cut for the top/bottom (right now the quilt top is on its side)--3 were of the same center fabric. Sigh. At the time I was focusing on the border fabrics. I should have looked again the next day. Oh well.

I am considering making a round of simple blocks to make the top larger.  I do love the vibrant colors, but when people mentioned to me about being careful with the bias edges, that's no joke.  I think if I did it again I would starch the fabrics to a cardboard consistency :)

From Kaffe Fassett's book "Simple Shapes and Spectacular Quilts".

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Scrappy Trips

Talk about a hard quilt to photograph.  I'm not a professional, but usually I can get close to the real colors on fabrics, this one was as hard as red to do!  I tried an indoor shot on my design wall, but I wasn't happy with the colors.
Scrappy Trips Around the World

I used two jelly rolls for this quilt top (plus a few strips from my stash), Aloha Girl by Fig Tree Quilts (by Moda).  The colors are pretty soft, but the dark blues are very vivid and dark.  Next up is to find what to use for backing and quilt away!

Scrappy Trips Around the World

Yesterday I played with different layouts:
Scrappy Trips Around the World

I liked the one above, but I decided to go with an "around the world" layout.  I know if I just left it alone, it would be weeks before I finally did anything so I decided to just go for it.
Scrappy Trips Around the World

I like the softness of the fabrics, I'm hoping the recipient enjoys it as well (now on to quilting!).

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Finish and Retreat Time!

I just got back from a quilt retreat and I had such a great time!  I love quilt retreats but they don't happen very often because of logistics with the kids.  But I have been able to sneak in at least one a year for the last few years now (actually, thinking about it... two a year!).

First, I finished Orca Bay!  I am so excited!  I had a goal to get it done so I could enter it into the fair this year, so for the last two weeks I have been working on my Juki after doodling some designs on my post-it notes (I like to have post-it notes around the house for all sorts of things, including if a design pops into my head or I see inspiration for a quilt).
Orca Bay aka "Kaffee Klatsch at Orca Bay"

A closer-up pic of the border and blocks:
Orca Bay aka "Kaffee Klatsch at Orca Bay"
The border inspiration are waves and whales spouting out water.

I was so surprised when I got to the retreat, my friend Julie had a gift for me and it was her contribution to Quiltmaker's Scrap Squad!  Dogwoods in Bloom by my friend Julie Huffman

Dogwoods in Bloom by my friend Julie Huffman
To say I was so excited for this quilty gift is an understatement!  It even had a sleeve already on it, and now it is hanging up in my living room :)  I absolutely love it!!

And now the boys are trying out making ice cream.  I, on the hand, bought some Talenti gelato to try out instead (because some friends at the retreat were talking about how good it is).  I don't know if I'll share or not :)
Ice Cream

I have two other projects that I finished the blocks on at this retreat too.  I started them at the retreat I went to in June, so it feels great to have those ready to be placed into a top.  One will be a gift, so I am going to wait to post about it, and maybe I will make up another blog post about the other.  Most of all, I am so happy to have my Orca Bay finished.  I absolutely love that quilt so much... I called it "Coffee Time at Orca Bay" since I used coffee fabrics for the browns, but today I was thinking that I should have named it "Kaffee Klastch at Orca Bay" since I started the quilt project at one retreat and finished it at another... there is a lot of talking and visiting at retreat, they are special times for sure.

And last but not least, my vine is finally blooming.  I have to search to find out what kind it is again, but I have been waiting two years for a bloom!  This was the year finally!
Blooming Vine
edit: It is some sort of hybrid of the trumpet vine campsis radicans, but it dies back in the winter so not so invasive as it would be in the south.  Also, I have one that is grafted to a stalk and the other is more of a creeping vine.  This one is from the creeping vine, but the other is starting to finally put on blooms too.
Happy August everyone!