Tag Archives: contest

Fair Love

30 Sep


As many of you know, I entered a couple of quilts into our local fair recently. Our fair is very large. One of the 10 largest fairs in the US actually. It is so expensive to eat or ride rides at the fair so we haven’t done that for several years. My favorite part about the fair though is looking at all of the exhibits, listening to local bands, and the animals.

We had a really great time this year. We looked at all of the agriculture exhibits (which are always amazing). The kids got to do some free activities like beading and painting. We saw a couple different bands and a magician.

We love watching the draft horses. They really are some of the most beautiful animals ever. I caught this picture on my cell phone and thought it turned out really cool (totally by accident).

There was one barn full of nothing but bunnies. We looked at every single one. This little guy stole my heart.

Of course we had to go see the quilts. There were hundreds of them hanging from the ceiling.


Imagine my surprise when I saw my quilt, in this sea of gorgeousness, hanging there with a little red ribbon on it.

I just got my quilts back this Tuesday, and wouldn’t you know it, the Quilting Gallery Contest this week is Flying Geese! This quilt has over 100 flying geese pieces in it, so I decided to enter. It’s not cheating to win more than one award for the same quilt, right? Heehee!

If you are so inclined, won’t you please take a peek at the quilts in the contest this week and vote for your favorite? I hope you choose mine, but there are always many beautiful quilts there so if you choose another it’s okay. I’ll only cry for a week or so ūüėČ Voting starts tomorrow and goes through Sunday.





State Fair Time

29 Aug

I have always been hesitant to “show off” my work to people. It’s not something that comes naturally to me. I have been working on that a lot lately using this blog, twitter, and flickr to show photos of my completed quilts and other projects. It’s one thing for me though, to show a photo online and to have people say “oh, how pretty!” and something else altogether to willingly bring in something I have made and have it judged. The thought of someone judging my work terrifies me to no end.

Last year I had a conversation with someone who said to me “you need to put your work out there where people can see it and touch it. You need to be open to criticism and be open to getting your feelings hurt in order to succeed. If you never put yourself out there, no one will ever see how wonderful you are.” Granted, this person was a family member so they have to say I’m wonderful, but his words really struck a chord with me. He encouraged me to enter a quilt in my local fair.

Here’s the thing about my local fair. It’s the Puyallup fair. It’s the largest fair in Washington state. It’s a tad bit, um, intimidating. I talked to my friend Lizze (who also happens to be my biggest fan) and she encouraged me further. I decided to go ahead and jump in with both feet. I knew right away which quilts I wanted to enter.

I spent the day yesterday hand-stitching labels and hanging sleeves to the back of two fairly large quilts. After church this morning I drove the few blocks to the fairgrounds and my stomach started to knot up. I remembered the message from service and played it over in my mind “Only a fool would wait for the perfect time”. I bit my lip, grabbed my bag, and went inside. Phew.

Entry #1 Urban Cabin
Entry #2 Royal Garden


Now comes the nail biting and the anxiousness of waiting to hear how they did. I’ll have to keep myself plenty busy so I’m not constantly thinking about it. It’s a good thing I have so much sewing to do!



Happy Fourth of July!

1 Jul


I love the Fourth of July! Don’t you?¬† It makes me think of green grass, picnics, barbeques, hot dogs…What’s stange is I totally know how hot dogs are made and yet I still love them. But I digress.¬† My favorite part about the fourth of July is the flags!¬† Seriously.¬† I have a thing for Old Glory.¬† I even painted my house red, white and blue.

Seriously, it used to be pale pink!

And if that wasn’t permanent enough for you, I inked myself up with some American (and quilting!) pride!

Sorry mom!

Yes, that is totally my tramp stamp. Don’t judge! And yes, that’s a needle and thread around my American Flag heart.¬† Which brings me back to why I’m writing in the first place: Red White and Blue quilts!! The quilt above is one of my very first quilts.¬† I had this vision in my head of a flag quilt and I set out to make it.¬† I was so new to sewing, a complete novice, but I¬†wanted to design it, create it and have it finished by Independence¬†Day of 2000.¬† The great thing about not knowing how to do things “right” is that you don’t know you’re doing them wrong!¬† I had a blue fat quarter that screamed of needing stars! It already had glitter in it after all, so I eyeballed it, cut it, traced and cut 50 muslin stars, placed them on my sea of blue, zig zag stitched them mostly on, stuffed them, then zig zag stitched them closed!

The stripes were also a spontaneous design. I pieced two different 2″ (or so) strips together, then cut them into 2″ (or so) segments.¬† Little did I know the REAL patterns would be requiring me to do this for years! Yay me! I was advanced. I discovered that if I matched the bottom left and top right quadrants, the effect was pretty cool! I did that until…well, until it looked right.¬† But that was about my only reasoning. I was pleased with myself when it came out looking like waves!

Once I had the completed top, I needed to finish it! It was a¬†pretty impressive top¬†for a novice 20-year-old¬†with no pattern! (*not that I would have done the pattern right!) All I knew how to do at the time was pillowcase quilts, and attaching satin borders to baby quilts. I was completely unaware of the phenomenon of “binding”.¬† I pillowcased¬†it, used remnant¬†batting and stitched-in-the-ditchish.¬† The finished quilt was not as impressive as I had hoped, but I was still proud of my scrappy, 57″ x 37″ piece of America!¬† I proudly displayed it on my walls for years!¬† And then I started quilting.¬† Really quilting.

My sense of pride in this piece began to diminish.¬† In my new-found experience, I began to see glaring flaws in my once beautiful quilt.¬† I had disgraced my flag! I couldn’t bear it anymore and took it down from the wall, folded it up and put it away.

A couple of years ago I mustered up to courage to revisit this quilt.  I tore it open, ripped out my quilting, I bought new backing (A beautiful Moda flag print, Red, White and Bold, the only boutique quality fabric in the quilt at that point! I was such a newb!!) heavy red, white and blue variegated thread and set off to finish this quilt right! The thread was so heavy and was awful to deal with, even on the Bernina! But I did it. I stippled the blue and used a wavy stitch in each stripe.  It is hand bound in my favorite red RJR fabric.  I finally have made this quilt the way it was supposed to be! Now, 11 years old, long may she wave!

It certainly wasn’t my last patriotic quilt either.¬†I used to participate in the Mystery Quilt Series at The Calico Cat, my favorite local quilt store, and ended up with a red and white churn dash. I added a blue border and ended up with this:

Red White and Blue Churn Dash

So pretty, right? Naturally it looked like it should be a Quilt of Valor quilt. If you are unfamiliar with the organization, they hook you up with a long armer who donates their services.  The result was this:


Look at that quilting!

Holy hell! Look at that quilting!! Did I seriously make that?! If this isn’t a testament to having quilts long armed, I don’t know what is! Her quilting took my average quilt and made it incredible!¬†I was SO PROUD to donate this!¬† Granted, I did want to keep it, but JUST FOR A SECOND! I made a matching pillowcase and sent it off.¬† Goodness, I sure do love that quilt.

Anyway, among my myriad of other quilts-to-be-made is another red, white and blue.¬† I got¬†the kit¬†as the replacement for a shabby chic kit I’d had for years and made for my sister.¬† I would like to think I’ll have it finished by next July 4th. Stop laughing! I’m serious!

July 4, 2012 quilt...I promise. Now hold me to it!!

In other news, I have finished all my Buck a Blocks from 2009. (Shut it.) And am working on finishing them up.¬† I hope to have all finishing blocks done tonight.¬† Currently I have 2 done…only 10 to go! Seriously! I’m going to finish them! Ask me about it tomorrow!!

12 7.5" buck a blocks...They'll make into a king size somehow...?

Should¬†you deem my millenium¬†Quilt worthy of a vote, it is competing in the Patriotic quilt contest this week (starting Friday, 7/1) over on the Quilting blogger’s Directory! Thanks so much! And Happy Independence Day, America!!


Unusually shaped quilts

28 Jan

Who says a quilt has to be square or rectangle? No one! You can make a quilt in any shape you want to!

My husband has a 1957 Ford station wagon. I personally think the car looks like a hearse, but what do I know…

He loves this car probably as much as he loves me and the kids. We take it to hot rod shows during the summer and the only award it has ever won was a “hard luck award” because it took us 5 hours to get from Puyallup, WA to Elma, WA. FYI: It’s 62.43 miles according to mapquest. Longest. Day. Ever.

The hubs asked me one day if I would be willing to make a quilt for his car. A quilt for your car? Ha! You must be kidding! He wasn’t.¬† He wanted it to put in the back for car shows. I reluctantly agreed and ended up making one in black and red so it would match the rest of the car.

We covered the door panels and the tailgate panel in a black and red fabric so I decided to incorporate some of that into the quilt. To make the quilt a little more interesting I chose to set the blocks on point, like this:

I then had to add oddly shaped¬† pieces to the sides so it would fit nicely around the wheel wells. It was quite a challenge, but I finally finished it and I’m pretty sure he’s happy with the results.

The Quilting Gallery is having a contest for unusually shaped quilts, and at the prompting of dear Lizze, I decided to enter this one. To see the finished quilt  click on the link below. It will take you to the voting page where you can see all of the lovely, unusually shaped quilts and vote for your favorite (AHEM, that would be mine, right?)


Thank you friends!



Star Quilts!

3 Dec


Lizze here.¬† I wanted to share a link to Quilting Gallery,¬† mostly for selfish reasons. =)¬† I have entered my favorite quilt into their Star Quilt Contest, it’s the one named “A Hunter’s Star”.¬† This quilt is the one I challenged myself most with.

I had been searching for a pattern for a quilt I would make “one day”, and came across this one while at my mother’s.¬† She has the Better Homes and Gardens, Quilter’s Favorites books.¬† They are spiral bound and sent quarterly.¬† They are gorgeous books with lots of very traditional patterns.

I kinda stole the image. Sorry!

I came across the Hunter’s Star pattern and just knew it was the one!¬† Not only was it beautiful, but the significance of the title meant a lot to me.¬† I asked to borrow the book and set off to find the perfect fabric.¬† It is a two fabric quilt, and I didn’t think finding “the right fabric” would be difficult.¬† The criteria I had was: Batik, blue and/or green, contrasting colors.¬† I found two beautiful batiks that worked, kinda, but my heart didn’t leap when I saw them.¬† They were going to have to do since I had committed to the purchase.¬† I had to buy three or more yards of each color, so it was a bit pricey.¬† The fabric sat on my table, uncut, for a few days.¬† I was not anxious to start just yet.¬† As it happened, I needed to take my mom to a quilt shop she had not yet been to to find her “perfect fabric” for a project,¬† (The Quilt Barn in Puyallup)¬† and there it was.¬† They have an incredible selection of batiks, and after cruising the aisles, I found this…Now, I don’t know about you, but this fabric strikes me as the night’s sky.¬† I fell in love, and I needed this fabric.¬† Which of course meant I also needed a new coordinating fabric.¬† This fabric spoke to me, it was “the one”.¬† I bought it and started the project that night.¬† What I was undertaking was more of a challenge that I expected it to be.¬† Hundreds upon hundreds of pieces needed to be cut.¬† Sewing on a 60 degree angle, pressing, matching points…but it was worth it.¬† I had made something that I was proud of, and that I loved.¬† It came together after the course of about a month, which is relatively quick considering the complexity of it for me.¬† I was able to use some of the batiks I’d already purchased for borders.¬† I’m kind of a border queen.¬† I love adding the extra size and having a canvas for my quilting.

I knew I wanted to quilt constellations into the quilt, and I was very selective about the ones I chose.¬† They all have a good story, or are significant in some way.¬† I quilted them into some of the square blocks.¬† I quilted a freestyle helix into the first border, and song lyrics into the outer border.¬† I chose¬† a variegated thread for my quilting so it would blend, yet also show up, if that makes sense.¬† The outer border fabric is darker to highlight the quilting.¬† The song lyrics I chose are from songs that are meaningful to me, and also star or sleep related (I like music, so it wasn’t hard to find lyrics.¬† It was hard to choose which ones!)¬† I chose 10 songs in all.¬† The binding was another fantastic find.¬† It is a blueish batik with gilded stars, and was perfect!¬†

As if I didn’t love this quilt enough, I backed it in Minkee.¬† You know, the ultra plush, super soft fabric that makes you want to rub your face in it?¬† That.

Would you believe after all that, I gave it away?¬† There is seldom a quilt I make that I don’t want to keep, but this one…*sigh* went to a good home.¬† I know it is loved, and that is really all I can ask for.

the finished Hunter's Star Quilt


So, there you have it.¬† You now know why I love this quilt, and I hope I have earned your vote for “Star Quilt”.¬† Thanks for reading!



Shabby Cabin

5 Aug

This quilt gave me fits. It was my first Log Cabin and I had never machine quilted before (I used to do it all by hand, but that takes too long). Lizze had just shown me how to do binding the “proper” way as well. This quilt was a mess waiting to happen.

I found the fabrics at my local quilt shop and I just loved them. It was there in the shop that I decided I should make a log cabin quilt. I got the blocks pieced just fine, but then came the quilting. My tension was off and I had big loops on the back. The best part is that I didn’t know until I was ALL DONE since it looked fine on the front. As an inexperienced machine quilter I had no idea that I should stop and check once in awhile to make sure it was nice on both sides. And that weird noise my machine was making? Yes, I ignored it and kept on going.

I ended up ripping out all of the quilting I had done and went crying to Lizze’s house. She let me use her Bernina to re-quilt it. Then came the binding… I did it wrong. I was so fed up with this quilt that I just folded it and put it away for months. Recently, I decided to try again. I took off the binding and did it correctly. Now that I have made several quilts using the proper binding technique, I felt much more confident. Now that it has been quilted twice, and bound twice… it is finally done.

No sooner do I get this quilt complete, I stumble upon a Log Cabin contest. Well, you know I had to enter. I’m certain that my quilt will not win, but I’m proud of it regardless. Voting starts tomorrow so I’ll post a link if you’re interested in voting for me ūüôā

In the meantime, this quilt is listed for sale in our etsy shop (the link is on the right hand side of this page).