Sunday, January 29, 2006

An Amish Gwen

Here is my favorite liberated log cabin Gwen showed us! I loved the colors - they were so me - and I loved all the little centers she started with. She called the tiny centers the composition. Isn't it great. When Tonya said she thought she may make a liberated log cabin with solids my first thought was this, I love it so much!

Also is a pic of 9 of my log cabins sewn together! Many more to go but it is looking good!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Liberated 2 (too)....

OK, here were the quick pictures I tried to post last night.....

Friday, January 27, 2006

I've been LIBERATED!

Oh I can't even begin to tell you how much fun tonight was! I didn't want to leave and come home! I wanted to stay and sew all night! I"ve fallen in love with these little liberated log cabins!
I wasn't sure how my fabric would look. I loved it, but was afraid it would all be too busy since so many of Gwen's liberated log cabins are solids. Well they worked! And never before have I ever even considered doing a series of quilts! The whole way home all I could think about was all the options I would love to do!

So for tonight I just wanted to post a few pictures. More this weekend.

Darn blogger isn't letting post pics at the moment. I"ll have to add them tomorrow.

Yes Virginia, There is a Gwen Marston!

Oh, oh, oh! It was so worth the drive and late night. Gwen was such a down to earth wonderful friendly person! So even though I got less than 5 hours of sleep I'm happy.

And look it! I even dragged Bonnie and Tonya with me! Isn't it fun that we all wore the same outfit!

She talked about her 4 blocks quilts and how she applique's just like women would have back in the 1800's. For circles she just cuts the circle from the fabric - no template. For sunburst type pieces she folds the fabrics and free cuts, as would have been done back then. She eyes her placement, no overlays. A really great comment she made was if you were going to make 80 blocks and have them all identical why do it - make one block and just look at it!

She does a lot of her quilting free form - hear that Tonya! She was said your free form fans were the way to go, Good for YOU! We saw one of her quilts where she free hand drew the feathers on the border of the quilt, no templates. She was curious how long it would take and it only took her 45 minutes. She also had an example of a quilt where she did free hand grids without lines and pointed out how it ended up that parts of the quilt they looked like squares where other parts were more diamond shape. Oh the quilts were so wonderful! I'll post more pictures this weekend. Tonight I get to see the liberated log cabin quilts!

One lady asked how or when she got "liberated"! She laughed and said it didn't take long! Before she found quilting she was the very home ec-y type lady and did all the needle things of the time - macrame, needlepoint, that kind of stuff. Then she went to a quilt show in Flint Michigan and saw the quilts. She said she felt like "....the heavens opened and God said - "You will quilt" - and she said - OK!".Not long after that they moved to Salem Oregon and she went through a blue time in her life. Miss Home-Ec was stuck in a new town, her husband was busy working and the kids were in school and here she was stuck in a pre-furnished condo! But the best thing happened because of that! She was looking through the paper and saw that a mennonite church nearby was having a quilt show. So she went and was in love. She said she pretended to be sick and asked if she could come back sometime (you should see her acting this out)! They gladly told her they met every Tues and Thurs and she was more than welcome. So she started going and never missed. These ladies were all in their 80's - the younger women were not interested - so these ladies were so happy to have an interested young thing! One woman took her under her wing and taught her to quilt and when she got good enough she was allowed over at the group quilt. So she quilts on a flat frame and says her year with these women was really how she learned and involved

OK, so much for the bad summary of the lecture - I'm not a good story teller like Darcie, but at least you get the picture. Tonight - Liberated Log Cabins!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Gwen Marston Lecture

Well I've decided I can go down the the Gwen Marston lecture tonight as well as the class tomorrow! I really don't have the time, and it is a hike from my house, but I've decided I'm going to do it!

And I'm so bummed I haven't had time to visit everyone the last few days - wheh - the days are flying by. Can you believe my baby went to high school orientation for next year! YIKES - that makes me feel old!

As a quick pic for today is another charity quilt I finished. All it is, is a panel from Hobby Lobby (or someplace) that I quilted. But it will make a great little toddler quilt for someone. Feb is charity month for our guild - bet you never guessed with all the charity quilts I've been trying to get done!

Toodles, and I'll let you know about the lecture tomorrow! I know Bonnie and Tonya are probably wishing they could zip right over!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Gwen Marston Here I Come!

Well I only have 3 more days to wait until Gwen's lecture and 4 more days for her Liberated Log Cabin class! Above is a picture of what the block looks like we are doing and I went to the quilt shop yesterday and got some fabrics! I wanted new fabrics - just because! But these are all repro like so I'll use the leftovers in my repro scrap quilts!

Today has been so busy at work, but as you see I did find time to update my "look". Kind of hard for me since I'm not the valentine's day kind of girl! But I"m happy with it!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Its a Wonderful Day!

The satellite guy just left and we are up and running! Even using 2 computers at once - AND - I can talk on the phone while on the internet! Now isn't that grand!

BUT BETTER YET! (but wait there's more!)
I got into the Gwen Marston class Friday Night! It is liberated log cabins! So of course I had to run to the fabric store today and get some fabric to play with! What fun would it have been if I used leftovers I had!

I already showed you the one sunburst I made this weekend. Here is the 2nd and my sunshine on my shoulders 30's style quilt. It is looking great I think! And wow how fast I could upload these pics!

Now to go visit blogs in new faster speed!

Quick Hello

OK, this weekend has been hectic! But I did get our computers wireless networked, a new dvd/cd burner installed and attempted to do a wireless print server but that didn't work and I was too tired to keep trying!

Because today I"m suppose to get satellite broadband. Where we live we can't get cable or DSL, so this is our only option. The guy has been out to our house once today, but it a bit hazy out, so he said it would be better to wait an hour or so, so that the dish gets pointed in the right direction. So I'm waiting! But hopefully be the end of today I can have more than one computer on the internet at a time and my phone won't be tied up!

I worked on some sunburst stars this weekend. I"ll show you one now, and hopefully more later when I have faster speed. This one is going to go in a bonus project for the monthly class I teach at the local quilt shop. It will be small wall hanging with stars, sun and moon. I"ll be giving this to a friend for her birthday! I"m loving the colors in it right now!

Oh and by the way, I haven't had time to try out the calculator yet! Can you believe that!

Friday, January 20, 2006

It Came! It Came! It finally came!

Around the first week of Nov I had seen a blip in the Quilter's Newsletter or American Patchwork and Quilting magazine about this new cool quilt calculator that had just come out. I was intrigued, but it only was a small blip and no website to go check it out. So I thought - oh if it is new I'll see them everywhere at quilt shops and magazines.

Well, that night I went to guild and my friend Joan had just gotten back from Houston and pulls me over and says "hey look what I got at Houston"! Well it was that calculator I had just seen in the magazine that afternoon! I was so excited - I asked her all about it - it sounded really cool and worth the money. But then she laughs and says - "You'll never get one now. The company came with cases and cases of them and were so afraid they would have to tote so many of them back home. Well by Saturday morning of the show they were sold out! And they wouldn't have more until Jan!"

Not too long after that I got an email from a quilt shop saying the would be one of the first shops to get the new shipment in and as a bonus they were sending one of their books with it for free for having to wait. It was a book I was always curious about but didn't have so I figured why not!

Well it came today!!!!! The picture is above of what it looks like and here is the link to the "details" about it - Quilter's FabriCalc. On that page if you look just under the overview at the grey bar you can open up the user manual and reference guide to see what it does. Check them out! I have a new toy this weekend!!!!!

2nd Raffle Quilt done, done, done!

Wheh! Finished the 2nd raffle quilt! This one goes to the orig Millburn school where all 3 of my first children went and Emily went until this year! Their school colors are red and white - of course!

I can't believe how busy life has been lately! I am just running crazy and going through withdrawal from blogging and reading all your blogs! BUT - I'm getting satellite broadband Monday so hopefully I'll be able to catch up at night if I'm busy at work during the day. I'm really looking forward to that!

I started working on some odds and ends projects now that the raffle quilts are done - I can't wait to start showing you! I have to take some pics. Nothing will be complete - it will all be blocks or sections - BUT at least I'm starting some new fun things! Last night I made the coolest sunburst block for my 30's girl gang quilt I'm teaching at the local quilt shop.

It is suppose to snow tonight so I"m getting ready to hunker down at home this weekend!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

One more friend joins the blog world!

I have been bugging my friend Kathie to start blogging for a month now! And she was ready to do it, but life sometimes gets in the way - you know! Anyway, she finally broke down this morning and got her blog up!!!! I'm so excited! Above are her Gwen Marsten baskets she is working on!!! Aren't they the greatest! Read about them on her blog!

She is turning very "maverick" in her quilting and loves Bonnie's site! I also turned her on to Tonya's!

Like me she loves the old reproduction fabrics so of course they aren't those brights Tonya is waiting for me to use - but those lucious muted 1800's colors! Mmmmm! But I have seen a wilder side of Kathie! So you never know!

Anyway, her quilts are spectacular and she can churn them out (when life isn't interupting)! You will have to start visiting her blog!!!! 2 of my favorite projects she is working on are posted! Oh and Lucy - you will LOVE them - I told her all about your blog too and we watch it daily!

Grade School Raffle Quilt #1 done, done, done!

See a theme here! I was a working maniac to finish "stuff" this weekend! I got the 2 grade school raffle quilts back last week and have the first one done with binding! Woooo Hooo!!! I'm a happy camper!

Oh and look closely on the right side.... I cannot get a picture of a quilt without Pooh Bear popping up somewhere in the pic. It is kind of funny, but also really a pain when I can't have a single picture without him in it! I usually try and cut him out, but this was too funny!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Another Charity Quilt - done, done, done!

I finally finished quilting and binding another charity quilt for our guild this weekend! It is done, done, done! And it is adorable - using Bonnies Bricks and Stepping Stones - I LOVE that pattern! I'm going to do more of those! I did this quilt entirely from stash except for the backing and outside border. I saw those 2 fabrics on sale 50% off at JoAnns and had to get them for this quilt!
I did all the quilting on my home machine and I think the flowers I did in the outside border turned out adorable and looks so cute with the border fabric!

One more charity done! Woo Hooo!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Fabric Find!

Wooo Hoooo! I went to Cedarberg yesterday with my friend and we spent the entire day strolling through town browsing. It turned out so sunny and in the 30's - but there was no wind and it felt so good to see the sun we didn't mind!

And did I have a great find! Last store we went to because it is way down the street from the other shops is the old woolen mill which is now a quilt/wool store. I like to look in there because they must not get much business because I often find old lines of fabrics that are gone in other stores. Anyway I was browsing through the reproduction lines and found this AWESOME fabric! I had been so good all day and didn't buy anything, but this just kept saying come home with me, come home with me.

Well I looked at the price and it was only $7.93 a yard - for a moda! Around here moda's run from $8.50-$9.50 yard. Then on top of it all fabrics were 20% off! Oh my gosh. I decided I would buy 6 yards for backing on this quilt I've been hand applique'ing now for years - I thought it might be perfect, and if it wasn't I loved the fabric so much I would use it in something else. So they measured out the 6 yards and there was only 1.5 yds left. Well I couldn't leave that 1.5 yds there - so had to bring that home too!

So much for not spending money!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Say it ain't so.....

Say it ain't so, Joe, say it ain't so!

Yep that ran through my mind all day. Yesterday in IL we had bright beautiful sun and high 50's! Today - grey cloudy day and SNOW! And here I had planned a fun day with my friend tomorrow to Cedarburg, WI to antique and gift shop! Well we may still - we decided to wait and see what the weather is in the morning.

But in the spirit of things I have to share some photo's I got from a different friend in France that she sent from some email that has been passing along. The pictures are suppose to be from Versoix Switzerland (near Geneva City) and Leman Lake. If anything for those of you who the weather is too warm for it will cool you down!

Tonya's Hugs and Kisses

I've been eyeing Tonya's hugs and kisses quilt she is making - man I am loving the colors and I am not a bright vivid color person. But those are wonderful. And I love, love, love her border fabric. I like the extra X's but I"m not sold on the one border on the left side only. So I figured I can't say I don't like it without suggesting something else - which may create some other really fun design.

I think the border fabric has to stay big at least in parts to keep that awesome design and colors. So I was thinking something maybe like this where there is big parts of border (and maybe a bit of small), but not really border. Any thoughts?

Oh by the way, the big white open area where I stuck the X's and O's will all be her X's and O's, I was just too lazy to fill it all in!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Go visit Laura!

I just found out an internet friend of mine who actually lives near Purdue started her blog 2 days ago! You'll have to go visit. She has made some awesome folk art/primitive quilts - I hope she shares them with you.

I was so surprised to hear she had started a blog! And I saw that Tonya had already been to visit!

Just to get Laura started and to entice you all - I am showing one of my favorite fall quilts Laura made! It is in those dark colors I love so much! So I'm hoping she will share some other quilts I find just as fun and exciting. Come on now beg to see - Jess' Birthday Quilt, Allelujah and Love Much which is perfect for the upcoming Valentine season!

Chatting about International Friends

I was chatting this morning with a really lovely new friend of mine and the subject of international quilt friends came up.

I have a really great friend I met maybe 6 years ago now by accident on the internet who lives in France. She is an amazing quilter. She does all her piecing by hand and all her quilting by hand. I can't even begin to tell you what amazing things she does! About 2 summers ago she and her husband even came to visit me for a week - it was so much fun! I speak no French (and let me tell you, they died laughing trying to teach me) but they did an amazing job of speaking English while here! In fact when Christelle and I first met we started emailing because she figured if she had to make her children learn and speak English for school she should also force herself to practice. At first I used small careful English. Some days it would take her 3 hours to translate and understand the whole email. But now - WOW - I type and talk just like I would any of you! So practice makes good!

Anyway, she brought a suitcase of quilts with for show and tell when she came, and over the years I have gotten some amazing gifts from her. I couldn't even begin to tell you how amazing these are! And some of her more fun quilts I've seen - use the old "cut up old clothes" method. This was way before my maverick days. And here I see all of you being creative.

Anyway - on to the quilt show - ok so I'm really sidetracking above. It has been a stressful busy 2 weeks at work and my time has been so short. So I guess I'm also releasing my pent up quiltness here!

The pillow cover shown above is called Boutis de Provence. It is an old style of French quilting. They used to do this for fancy petticoats, corsets and vests for men. (Now why would you make such beautiful stuff and cover it up for a petticoat or corset I have no idea). The pillow cover she made me is made from an antique petticoat she found in an anique store. It is very heavy and dense fabric. My fingers just ache from thinking about quilting through it. With Boutis de Provence you quilt all the lines through 2 pieces of fabric (no batting). then on the back side you poke a needle inbetween the lines of stitching and "stuff" it with yarns or threads. In mine she said each little line has 6 yarns pulled through - and let me tell you they are TINY. When your done you can brush the fabric with your needle and no longer see the hole - so basically the back is identical to the front! Unbelievable. Oh and her is some more info on Boutis de Provence if your interested (see # 3).

The second quilt is a very small applique piece she did for me one year. The pieces of the little flowers are so tiny they are about 1/2 the size of your pinky fingernail! And look at that quilting - is it awesome or what!

The mariners compass quilt was a gift last year for Christmas. I LOVE mariners compass/stars. Anyway - to her quilts should always be in brighter happy colors. Even the mourning quilt she made while mourning her mothers death is almost all white with some muted purple. So she said she never, never, never used black in her quilts. Well you know I love darker more primitive type earthy colors. So her challenge was to make me a mariner's compass and use a dark blue/black/grey fabric. I think it is wonderful! Even she was happy with it! (and believe it or not if I go bright I LOVE lime green so I loved that she used all shades of green!)

The last is a little table mat she made after visiting me. She was making a similar one on the plane trip for her friend who was taking care of her 4 children while they were on their trip. I fell in love with these little stars. They are very tiny - the inside star is maybe 1 inch across. So I was so thrilled to get this from her.

And can you believe this is only the tip of the iceberg of her talent! Maybe tomorrow I'll have some more time to dig up some more pics.