Tag Archives: quilt

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!!


Blown Away by Generosity

18 Jun

Wow, have I been busy!¬† Not tracking-infectious-disease/saving-mankind busy, but end of the year school party/two birthday parties in two days/mom, I made you coffee, didn’t close the tray, need to clean grounds off everything for the next 45 minutes busy.¬† Now that I have a spare minute, let me tell you about our happenings:

You may recall the devastating tornadoes to hit the south on April 27.  At the end of the storm, 31 were confirmed dead, 13 in the tiny town of Smithville, Mississippi alone.  The destruction was unimaginable, and tragic.  Selina and I have made many friends all over the country, including the south, and our hearts broke for our fellow Americans.

In this day and age, connecting and interacting with people across the country is just as easy as calling your girlfriend down the street.  Twitter (among other mediums) has been instrumental in building our quilting friends network, and through Twitter we reached out to our friends across the country and asked ourselves what we could do.  We all have the desire to help, and making a couple of quilt blocks seemed like an easy request.  We would request blocks and create a quilt to send, with love, to someone who may have lost everything.

It’s amazing the desire to give that quilters have.¬† It swells my heart two sizes (a la The Grinch)¬† when I think about it.¬† I don’t remember exactly how the Twitter feed read, it was during #gdas after all (the Friday night Get Drunk And Sew party we throw weekly on Twitter), but I do recall a Tweep (Twitter friend) offering to give a quilt to a guild in the affected area, and many many Tweeps offering to make two blocks to create a beautiful quilt to donate.¬† I offered to assemble, quilt and ship our final masterpiece.¬† CaraQuilts generously donated the beautiful pattern “Avalanche”

for participants to create their blocks with, APrairieSunrise created blocks and donated the backing.  SewAmanda not only created blocks, but donated batting, binding and border fabric as well!  All this giving!  Ladies, you amaze me!  In total we had blocks from:

Amanda W. from Kentucky
Sharon T. from Wyoming
Rebecca M. from California
Tiffany L. from Tennessee
Molly (need a last initial and state. I spaced it and didn’t write it down. Sorry!)
And Cara W. From Ontario Canada for supplying the beautiful pattern

As well as the blocks from Selina and me in Washington!  Talk about an American Quilt!  This is exactly why we chose to have the blocks done in red white and blue!  This was to show the solidarity of Americans.  That this may not have been in our state, but it affects us when it affects our fellow citizens.

Our Completed Quilt

Additional pictures can found on our Flickr Group.

Sadly, while putting this beautiful quilt together, the storm season grew worse.  Joplin, Missouri was hit with the most deadly tornado in 60 years.  The path was a mile wide and six miles long, destroying much of the town.  Again, we have many quilting friends in Missouri, as well as personal friends.  Again, our hearts broke for our fellow Americans, and the decision was made among the Tweeps to send the quilt to Joplin.

The Quilt Shoppe in Stewartsville, MO, is collecting quilts and quilting supplies to distribute.¬† The supplies will be to help re-guild the quilting Guild that lost everything in the tornado.¬† Also, a big thank you to The Stitchin Heaven in Texas for helping coordinate the relief effort!¬† Truly, the generosity of quilter’s is amazing!¬† Thanks to everyone for their donations and time!

In unrelated news, I made some of these Zippy Strippy bags as teachers gifts!  They were super easy and well received. (Four of them!) Why is it everyone else in the world knows to give teachers end of the year gifts except me?! It only took me three years to get it! (The oldest is in First grade).

Ta da!

I’m off to the post office.¬† If you have any spare rotary cutters, yardage, etc, consider donating to The Joplin guild!¬† Take care!


Royal Garden and Bloggers Quilt Festival

18 May

Woo! I’m skidding in here just in time for the bloggers quilt festival. I’ve been working on this quilt for quite some time and when I saw that this festival was going on, it motivated me to kick my butt into high gear and finish it.

Amy over at http://amyscreativeside.com/ is hosting this festival for quilting bloggers and it looked like a lot of fun. There are over 500 blogs linked up for this event. What fun!!!

The quilt I’d like to show off is called Royal Garden. I literally just finished it today. It was quite a challenge for me as I usually make big block, patchwork type quilts. I’m not one for matching points and all that nonsense. I saw the quilt pictured in my connecting threads catalog a very long time ago and I just fell in love with it. I didn’t really care that it looked way beyond my skill level. After I got all of the fabrics home I started cutting. That’s when I realized I may have bitten off more than I could chew.

This is the daunting pile I ended up with. It actually scared me to think of having to sew all those pieces together and try to make them all line up. I’d never made a flying geese block before and this pattern required me to do about 6,256 of them (I’m exaggerating, of course, but it felt like that many!)

This was the block I ended up with.The points aren’t perfect, but they are much better than I thought I’d do! One down, 15 to go.

There were also 15 snowball blocks that were needed for this quilt. And a whole bunch more flying geese for the border.

This is the quilt top I ended up with. And after all that work, guess what I did? I folded it up and put it away. The thought of quilting it was more than I could bear. One of my worst fears whenever I make something is that my quilting will completely ruin it. I was so proud I’d gotten as far as I did and now I didn’t want to screw it up.

About a month ago – after this top had collected plenty of dust and cobwebs – I decided to pull it out and have a go at it. Here’s what she looks like now:

I’m very happy with the way it turned out and I’m glad I finally got up the courage to finish it. Getting this done has taught me to not be afraid to do anything. As long as I put my mind to it, I can make whatever I want. Even if it’s difficult I will no longer tell myself I have to pass up a pretty quilt because I could never have the talent required to make it.

Lizze is trying to encourage me to enter into this years fair. It isn’t perfect, by any means, and I’m certain there are no awards to be had for this one. But it might be fun to try it once and see what happens.

So that’s my contribution to this years Bloggers Quilt Festival. I hope you like it. Please be sure to visit the other blogs linked up too! There sure are some gorgeous quilts to be seen. Here’s the link again for you to hop on over to Amy’s blog to check out all the lovelies over there:


Thanks for stopping by!


Are you going to quilt market? Yeah, me neither.

12 May

For those of you who don’t know, I am an avid twitter user. I have “met” some really great people there. Many of these really great people (henceforth referred to as “tweeps”) are headed to Salt Lake City in Utah right now. They get to spend the weekend schmoozing and drooling over beautiful new lines of fabric that are not yet available to the rest of us. This event is called Quilt Market and it happens twice a year. One in the spring where the location changes from year to year, and one in the fall which is always in Houston, TX.

Sadly, I am not going. I love that I get to “see” it live though. It’s like I have a special V.I.P. backstage pass to quilt market. I’ve gone on the journey and felt the excitement for the tweeps packing their suitcases, heading to the airport, and boarding their planes. Or, in the case of one, driving an SUV with a 12 foot trailer and feeling invincible for it! I would feel that way too! What a wonderful and exciting time for those who get to go and experience it in real life. But for now, I am content to live vicariously through all of them through photos and 140 character updates. Someday soon, I hope to be able to board a plane with an empty suitcase (to fill with new fabric, of course), and super comfy shoes.

Royal Garden Quilt

I’ll be working on quilting this over the weekend. Maybe I’ll have a finished quilt to show off when market is over!

And before I forget… update on the Mother’s Day post: Lizze won 2nd place in the quilting gallery contest for her Mother’s day quilt! Congratulations, Lizze!


P.S. If anyone going to market is reading this, feel free to pick up some new Aneela Hoey’s “Little Apples” and TulaPink’s Prince Charming for me. I’m good for it, I promise!

A word about Mother’s Day

6 May

I sure do love The Quilting Gallery!¬† It’s a wonderful site for quilters that links to blogs from all around the world! (Including ours!)¬† They often host swaps and host a weekly themed Quilt Contest.¬† I have entered before (I have made a few quilts, occasionally the meet theme criteria) and have entered again this week!¬† I’d love to give you a little back story on my quilt this week:

Every June for the past 13 years, Western Washington is taken over by traveling quilters!¬† For four days, quilters caravan around to participating independent quilt shops for the Western Washington Quilt Shop Hop!¬† If you plan to visit all the stores, you really need all four days!¬† They range from near the Canadian border to near the Oregon border, from the eastside all the way to the ocean and the peninsula!¬† It’s a good time and you get a block kit from each store, designed by that store, all in that years themed fabric.

Selina and me doing last years Shop Hop

It’s a good excuse for friends to get together and have a great time shopping for fabric!

Sometimes you can make projects!

Last year Quiltworks Northwest in Bellevue had a set up to make little bags for free!¬† (And demo Berninas…so tempting!) I use my bag to keep my shop hop blocks and fabric in!¬† It’s such a great time!

When I was new to quilting, I had never heard of shop hop.¬† I happened to be shopping and saw the store’s block for the year.¬† It was rainbow triangles with an umbrella charm with this as the focus fabric:

Shop Hop fabric 2006

If you knew my mom, you would know that that just speaks of her! I decided then and there to participate.¬† I was seven months pregnant and had a two year old, I knew I had better do it now before the kids got to be too big and wouldn’t allow me to go in the future!¬† I shopped and I hopped (more like waddled), dragging the little one and a husband around.¬† It was an exciting road trip, and I was able to get quite a few blocks!¬† Over the next few months I worked on the blocks with no particular finishing project in mind.¬† I decided to finish the project for mother’s day (I already missed her birthday in October, but I had just had the baby in August!¬† DON’T JUDGE!) but I would need to add elements to make it bigger. I remembered seeing a pattern while on shop hop at Undercover Quilts in the Pike Place Market of a stained glass (quilt) Orca mom and baby.¬† I chose the Orca mom and baby because I had babies on the brain, but also because my mom lives on Puget Sound.¬† It just felt right.¬† I free cut Mt Rainier and fused it to the sky background, and fused some free cut trees to hide my seam!¬† I ended up with this:

Northwest Family Quilt for mom

Yes, it’s busy, but that’s the nature¬† of shop hop quilts!¬† And she loves it enough to hang above her bed, so what more could I have asked for?¬† When I held it up to give to her, she gasped and said “My God.”¬† Which is kind of a big reaction from my mom.¬† I knew she liked it and that means a lot to me.¬† I bordered and backed it in tulips for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival (another favorite of hers)¬† and free motion quilted appropriately for each block, as well as waves in the water.

Should you wish to vote for my quilt this weekend, You can find the contest HERE!¬† Thanks again, and happy Mother’s Day, mom!