New AK Pattern

is almost ready. I sent it off to be quilted. Actually there are two… one is the whimsical bears and can you believe it? I forgot to take a photo of it before I sent it off to be quilted! when it comes back and I bind it I’ll post one.

The other is a smaller wall hanging that features Cook Inlet (right outside of Anchorage… I used to look at it almost every day!), and Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau. Of course I threw in a fireweed as well. When I get it back from the quilter I will add some applique vines and leaves, maybe some forget me not flowers.

Quilting on the Kenai

ALSO I got pictures of the quilt I taught in a workshop at Chisholm Trail Quilt Guild. Here are the photos Gail sent me… her quilt came out stunning!

Gails Blue Jamaica quilt


and here are some close ups of her work:

Also, for those of you that have been asking: we have decided that we will print the Vanilla Jamaica pattern again and offer it on the website. I just got back quotes from the printer for the oversize pages that contain the large applique images and rewrote the instructions to make sure they are clear with no errors. As soon as I can I will send this on to the printer’s, then start the folding and stuffing process and get them on the website and out to my distributors so they will go into the stores. Whew.

AND good news: I have been designing some new quilts. they are Easy Peasy quilts that will use strips and fat quarters. I’ll let you know when they are out, too. I am still working on learning all I need to know to offer patterns on the website as e-patterns. The hats on my head are getting higher!

The sun is out today!

Wow. it is amazing what a difference the sun makes! It’s bright and shiny and I am going to go sit in the sun and bake this cold out of me. Yes, I got a cold! but who can blame me after this wet and snowy winter? I’m still piecing the bear quilt. I’ll post a photo soon.
Happy spring!

Work Continues on Alaska Patterns

I’ve had a few more days to work on the ideas I have for the Alaska set of new patterns. Most of what I have been doing is applique. Here’s a sneak peek at the bears I am working on.

You’ve seen squirrels trying to get into the birdhouse… well, this guy is hanging in there.

Wait until you see her response to his complaints… it’s so funny!

This is not going to be one of the images in the whimsical bear quilt. These two are watching one of the spectacular sunsets that happen regularly in Alaska.
Well, that’s all for today.

It’s snowing again!

Hard to believe… I thought spring was here after our last snowfall. Today we got 3 more inches! When I went for a walk I saw these trees and they looked so surprised! Like their arms are up in the air and their faces got rubbed in the snow. I surrender!

Here’s the driveway leading up to our house.

Spring is here!

I could not believe what a winter we had here! We had the most snow fall happen for 111 years. Here are some of the photo’s I took of our poor little bird feeder in the back yard.

snowed in!


our back yard


Here’s my new project. when I am not working on the new patterns I am going to repaint my front door. I painted it blue last summer and it turned out, once I had spread the paint over more than a 3″ area it was ELECTRIC blue. Once I sand it all off (groan) I will be repainting it. before it gets too hot out. Enamel has a tendency to drip and droop so wish me good fortune.

Dallas Show

The Dallas quilt show was great! Thanks to Teena, the owner of Blue Ribbon Quilt Shop for having me in her booth signing books. Sorry, I didn’t remember my camera so no photos!!

New Alaska stuff

I’ve been working on some new patterns for Alaska. I’ll be going up there this summer to teach in Soldotna, below Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula. Here are a couple pictures of the works in progress so far.

my sea otter


halibut


Humpies


Art Nouveau Fireweed


Peek a Bear


My next goal is to get a new camera. one that I can get clear pictures with…. I think I need that stabilization feature. jiggle jiggle isn’t just for the fat around my waist. eeeeeeuuuww.

Mineola Mavens

Whew! I got back from the cruise just in time to head over to Mineola, TX, League of the Arts. Those women are crazy!

Before class started


I went over to teach them Interwoven Diamonds from the UnderCover Strip book. That’s practically the most difficult quilt in the book but we had a lot of fun piecing those blocks together.




This quilt used Green Tea Bali Pops





And now for the Maverick of the Mineola Mavens… Nancy was not content to make a Normal sized block…. Oh, NOOOOOOOoooooo!!! She hand pieced (!) a Miniature.
It’s gorgeous.

I was honored that they asked me back for a future session. Now we have to come up with another project they will like.

I wasn’t allowed to take the art work I saw home, but you should see the League of the Arts building where they all play. It is so wonderful to have a facility like this. My mom came along and was able to look at all of the different types of art that people create there.



Mom is a painter and works in watercolor, acrylic and oil: very versatile in the mediums she plays in and so artistic. Seeing the different works displayed, plus prowling the halls looking at the sculpture work and weaving was inspiring.

For those that took the class, I put together two short videos to remind you of the techniques you learned in class. Some of the students only wanted to make a couple of blocks to learn the technique. There were a few that had enough material to make a larger top, though, so I hope this helps you remember what you learned.

Here is the first video…

Lynn was very helpful, being a teacher of quilting; Thank you Lynn. And Betty was the initiator on this and was the one that picked the project for the class. Way to go, Betty! I am looking forward to seeing what we come up with for the next class.

Here is the second video.

I can’t wait to see what we come up with next.

Back from Cruise

Let me begin by saying that I am sorry you have not heard from me in so long!! Holidays and getting ready to leave on this teaching vacation was amazing. Sorry I lost touch with all of you.

Waiting to board the ship


This is a picture of my mom and I in the terminal. We were waiting for the fog to lift so the ship could pull in and we could board.

I’m back from the cruise I taught on. We went to Jamaica, Montego Bay, and Cozumel. What a wonderful time!

champagne greeting


Champagne and dessert greeted us when we arrived in our stateroom.

the first class


I met a great bunch of quilters. I taught this group first.

Classroom 2


This is the second classroom… and the class that was in the dining room…

the third classroom


There are more photos and I am thinking I should put a separate page on the website for them. If anyone on the cruise wants to send photos to share, email them to me and I will add them to mine.
Debbie Luttrell, the owner of Stitchin’ Heaven was the instigator and I have to say, she did a marvelous job. It takes a lot of organizational skill along with a positive attitude to do something of this magnitude.

We had 2 rooms for the classes. One room housed two classes. The two classes were separated by fabric panels (what else?) and although it was a bit crowded we all had fun. The second room was actually a dining room where a portion of it was turned into a sewing area during the day. It was just around the corner from the main classroom so we were never far from each other.

There were three of us teaching: Myself, Debby Maddie, and Sarah Moe/Miller. We rotated so each class got a different teacher for the three days of classes at sea. WE moved so they didn’t have to. Sewing machines were supplied so no one had to lug their own. That was also a benefit as we were sailing into international waters. I don’t know how that would have been with customs questions and all…

We had early seating in the dining room and boy, were the waiters/waitresses ever professional. Not to mention being entertaining. They sang to us, danced for us, and brought us some of the best food you have ever tasted. Of course, there were lots of things to do onboard so you had no opportunity to be bored. Pat and I attended a comedy show one evening but truly, I was so tired out from all of the options that I didn’t take advantage of near enough of the opportunities on board.

Debbie had lots of games for our quilters and a TON of giveaways for the students. You could earn tickets according to different tasks you were to complete. Of course, the more tasks you did, the more tickets you had and the better your chances of winning a prize.

Every day Deb gave away a quilt! You all know how long it takes to make one of those so we all were very excited to see them and have the chance at winning one (well, my mom and Pat could win… it would be pretty bad if one of the staff won a prize!). We even had a fat quarter toss. Watch out, we were all throwing fat quarters at the students as fast as we could go and people were wild! The fat quarters were to give everyone a chance to play the game LCR. Never played it? Me either, but it sounded like fun.

My mom came all of the way down from Fairbanks, AK, graced me with her presence and put up with me in our room. My dad kept my husband, Tom, busy while we gallivanted around the open seas. Oh My GOD! Our room steward was fabulous! I wanted to bring him home with me but my husband might have objected. And every day we found a new little creature made from towels. So cute.

Towel Frog

Bunny Towel

My friend, Pat Edmunds, from Anchorage also joined us.

Pat and I


I couldn’t believe she was able to skip town long enough to do this….We did excursions at the ports together and I will never forget our time together.

View from the bobsled in Jamaica


It’s really a once in a lifetime experience that I definitely want to repeat. We climbed a waterfall, took the bobsled down a mountain, swam with the dolphins, and Mom and Pat went snorkeling.

Our Carnival Conquest ship


I stayed on board the ship while we were in Cozumel to help any people that wanted to sew while we were in port.

I didn’t realize how short everyone was until I saw all of these pictures!

Linda

Some people just prayed they’d finish their quilt on the cruise!

Alice Wilhoit


And then, of course, there was Alice…
BTW, I have just finished putting together a few videos for the Jamaica Vanilla quilt we sewed on board. That should help all of those that got started on the quilt but did not have time to finish it. It was an ambitious project that was too time consuming to complete on the ship but these videos should be a big help in remembering how to do the techniques that I taught in the class. Watch the videos here. Make sure you see them in order.

At the end of the cruise Deb gifted me with a marvelous massage. I must have looked a little tense, but believe me, by the time my massage was done I was as relaxed as a cooked noodle. Thanks, Deb, for treating us all so well.

I’m campaigning to teach on a cruise to Alaska in fall 2011. Up the inland passage. Mmmmm. If I get to go, I want to bring my mom, my dad, my husband, my son and his fiance. No, I won’t come close to break even but who cares? I’m going to start saving now for the trip in hopes that I am asked to teach. Even though I lived my whole life in Alaska and have visited Southeast (as well as other areas in that huge state) I miss it! It will be good to see it from a tourist’s standpoint, too. I have been developing a whole slew of new patterns for Alaska that should be ready to go up there for this summer season. I’ll show you a preview of some of them in the next post or so.

Quarter square triangle units

Now that you have seen the video on half square triangle units, take it a step further and create quarter square triangle units. This opens up a world of possibilities in the types of quilt patterns you can create. Pressing is, of course, a key component and watching the video shows how to avoid warping the block when you press. Also, trimming the units to the perfect size before you attempt to sew them into the block can make life a lot easier.

I used to pooh pooh the idea that I had to square up units or trim them because most of the time it was a sliver of fabric that I was removing. Plus, who wants to waste the time!??!

Then I realized, I am dealing with 1/4″ seams and the more accurate the units are, the easier it is to have beautiful blocks. Trimming before I continue piecing has saved me ripping out many times. I am not as frustrated and if there is a place where my unit swerves in a bit, maybe a little too small, I can easily see that when I sew the units together. It lets me accommodate the discrepancy in the seam allowance or lets me know when the error is too big to fudge when sewing…in other words, it lets me know I need to rip out and re-sew a seam. And my quilt points come out, my top lays flat, and the pieced top is square when it is completed. YAYYYYY!

I hope this video helped you.

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