Saturday, April 29, 2006

Pitt Meadows Quilt Show - Part IV - Humor and Interest

I wanted to show you the following quilt because it can't help but bring a smile to your face. It had many of the quilters talking. The quilt was called, Menopause and the story from the quilter that went with the quilt went like this. "For those who have been there and for those who are there now, this quilt is my tribute to this time in life. The flames for hot flashes, the snarly look for mood and body changes; no matter how many jewels, we just don't feel ourselves".

The most interesting "piece" wasn't a quilt, but drew a lot of attention none the less. The entire piece was fabric - watering can and flowers. The water streaming from the watering can was made from beads.

Pitt Meadows Quilt Show - Part III - Inspiration

I love to attend quilt shows because they attract the nicest people. Quilters are such warm friendly people to be around. Quilt shows are also such great places to built up my inspiration. I hope you enjoy the following quilts as much as I did.

First, this one's for you, Colette . Sorry you had to miss this show--especially when it was held in your old neighborhood. I thought of you when I saw the "Golden Arches" landmark on the Lougheed and again inside when I saw this quilt.

This quilt would be great for using up leftover strips. The story that went with this quilt indicated that the scraps were cut 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" and then traded with three other ladies. All the scraps were then stuck in a bag and pulled out randomly and sewn together.

This quilt was a chevron which is great for using up scrap strips as well. The thing that really interested me about this one was the choice of quilting design used to finish it off. The quilting gives an optical illusion quality or secondary design to this quilt.

Pitt Meadows Quilt Show - Part II - Artist Trading Cards

The second discovery at today's quilt show was Artist Trading Cards. There were a couple of women sitting in a corner with a display of the most interesting tiny "quilts"--a mere 2 1/2 ' x 3 1/2". I stopped to talk to them to find out why you would make such tiny quilts. They told me that they were Artist Trading Cards or ATCs. They are the size of a baseball or hockey card and fit into the plastic sleeves that hold sports trading cards.

One of the women talked about the small size of the canvas being ideal to try a new technique. She also told me that once you make one of these cards, you are an artist. You don't have to be a famous artist to make and trade these pieces of art. The thing that sold me was that because of the size, there usually aren't any UFOs! This is a photo of one of the cards; a little blurry, but you get the idea.
I copied the following information from the poster that was on display next to the ATCs.

"Swiss performance artist M. Vanci Stirnemann was the originator of the Artist Trading Card (ATC) phenomenon. On a visit to Canada for the Calgary Olympic Arts Festival in 1988 he noticed people swapping hockey cards. Nearly a decade later he made 1000 miniature works of art the same size as hockey cards and in April 1997 he displayed them in a Swiss book shop. Visitors asked if they could buy them but instead Stirnemann asked them to make their own cards and bring them in to swap".

Searching the internet, I found the following links about ATCs: - Pictures of Joyce Hartley's Artist Trading Cards - Instructions on how to make your own Artist Trading Cards - An interesting article on ATCs - Blog reference to ATCs

I can hardly wait to try making some myself.

Pitt Meadows Quilt Show - Part I - The Joy of Quilting

Today I attended the Ridge Meadows Quilters' Show in Pitt Meadows, BC. This guild hosts a small show every other year. It is nice to visit other gilds and see what they are doing differently than my own guild.

This year, I saw quilts with hand Applique borders that were appliqued after the long arm quilter had completed the edge to edge pantograph. This is a perfect technique for those who like to applique and don't want to pay for custom quilting. Excellent idea!

The pictures below are of two quilts that this technique was used on.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Quilting the T-Shirt Quilt

I have been working on the T-Shirt quilt. The quilt top is currently on the long arm and quilting is in progress. It is slow going. Although the t-shirts were stabilized with fusible interfacing, quilting across them is challenging. When quilting over the logos, you have to slow right down or you end up with skipped stitches. This is a picture of one of the blocks.

Monday, April 24, 2006

I've Been Tagged - All That History

I see that I have been tagged by Mary.

Mary mentioned that she wasn't very good at these things - I am not so sure I am very good at this either. I have picked dates that are significant to me and have not necessarily stuck to the 20-15-10-5 "rule". Here goes............

All That History

25 years ago (1981) - I married the love of my life. We celebrate 25 years of marriage this May.

20 years ago (1986) - My son was born. Matt is the computer "techie" of the family and the one who repairs his Mother's computer when it collides with a nasty virus in cyber space.

18 years ago (1988) - My daughter was born. Dana graduates from High School this year. There is a lot of excitement in the house these days as we get closer to that event.

17 years ago (1989) - I started working on my professional accounting designation.

9 years ago (1997) - I started quilting. I needed something to balance my life. All that studying and learning about accounting and finance was suppressing my creative spirit. Let's face it - the world is not too tolerant of a "creative" accountant.

7 years ago (1999) - I graduated from the Certified General Accountants Association. What a long haul - 10 years of study, work experience while simultaneously raising a family. It was worth it though. I had a friend many years ago who was pregnant with her first child when her partner died suddenly. He had not divorced his wife and so the wife received the benefits of the estate and my friend and her new baby were left with nothing. She ended up moving back with her parents and taking a job washing dishes in a restaurant. She had never worked and had no education past Grade 12. What an eye opener! I vowed that I would never allow myself to end up in such a state. That year I set about getting an education and a career. I am now in a profession that is in great demand.

6 years ago (2000) - I started working for the Federal Government. I work in a correctional facility as the Chief of Finance.

1 year ago (2005) - I moved to the next "level" of quilting with the purchase of my long arm quilting machine.

Yesterday - It was a beautiful spring day here and I was able to devote the entire day to quilting as the sun streamed in the window of my studio. It doesn't get much better than that.

Today - After work today, my daughter and I went for a walk with the dog to my parents' house and back. The total walking time was just under an hour. This is the start of our commitment to regular exercise and a healthier lifestyle--for my daughter, myself, and the dog.

Tagging: I am tagging Hanne. I am of Norwegian descent and would love to hear about Hanne's life in Norway.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

T-Shirt Quilt Top

I have been working off and on on a T-Shirt Quilt for a customer. It is now a completed top and I will be loading it on the long arm this afternoon.

There have been many interruptions in my quilting related to a heavy workload in my day job so I haven't been doing much quilting lately. (Sometimes work gets in the way of quilting.) Hopefully, the worst is over and I can get back to doing what I love!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Grad Dress Has Arrived!

Back in January, my mother and I took my daughter out grad dress shopping. We found the perfect dress and ordered it. We received a call last week that the dress had arrived and my daughter could go in and try it on. It is almost a perfect fit. We have an appointment in May for the few alterations that are required.

Doesn't she look pleased?

Friday, April 21, 2006

Fill Up?

I was reading Vicky's blog about the price of gas in California. Vicky paid $3.159 per US gallon for fuel. If it helps, Vicky, this is such a deal!

$3.159 per US gallon works out to 83 cents per litre. This morning, I paid $1.094 per liter for fuel. That works out to $4.19 per US gallon.

(I haven't factored into this equation the conversion of US dollars to Canadian dollars so the gap will shrink a bit. Gas is definitely more expensive in Canada than the US.)

According to the news, the high price of gasoline is here to stay for a while. The following cartoons were sent to me by a friend and seem quite timely.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Blog is a Family History Treasure

I have started printing out my blog post each day and putting it in a binder.

I have been writing about my quilting primarily, but because quilting is part of the fabric of my life, I often include other things that are going on around me. My postings have become my personal journal. I had a moment of panic thinking that if something happened - a computer crash somewhere in blog land - I would loose everything.

I was showing my son by binder and I jokingly told him that he could inherit it someday. He expressed sincere interest in me leaving this bit of history to him and so I dedicate my blog to my son who will treasure it and will make sure my story lives on forever as part of our family history!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

New Iron #2

Yes, this is yet another new iron. The iron I purchased less than three weeks ago died last night. I returned it today and bought a new iron from Sears. Hopefully, this one lasts longer than 3 weeks! Back to quilting.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Best In Show

Thank you to all who sent such nice messages welcoming me to the Stash Quilts Webring. I am pleased to be joining you.

Carolyn mentioned that she really liked the Rail Fence Around the World quilt. Since I am working on a project right now for a customer, I have no current work of my own to show you. However, Carolyn's comment reminded me of the quilt that I made in 2003 that actually led to the making of the Rail Fence Around the World quilt.

This is Scrap Rail Fence. This quilt took Best In Show at our local Fall Fair in 2003. I was very pleased that year to enter 7 quilts in the fair and take home 7 firsts, including Best in Show.

This quilt was quilted quite simply on my Bernina- in the ditch around the perimeter of each block. This quilt pre-dated the purchase of my long arm so there was no fancy quilting on this one--just stitch it together enough to keep it functional.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Stash Quilts Webring

Check out the link to the left marked, "Stash Quilts".

My site has been officially approved and is now an active site in the webring, "Stash Quilts".

Thank you Judy!

Sunday, April 9, 2006

Happy Easter

Happy Easter!

This is a quilt I made several years ago that hangs in my house each year at this time.

Saturday, April 8, 2006

Little Yellow Birds

The little yellow birds - or goldfinches as they are properly known - are back.

My husband has had the feeder filled with black Niger seed in anticipation of the return of his birds for the last two weeks. Tonight was the first we have seen them this spring. They are fascinating to watch as they hang upside down to eat.

Stained Glass Quilt Class - Part II

Today's class was a lot of fun! There were 20 of us and by the end of the day, 4 people had managed to finish their butterflies.

This is a picture of me working on copying out the pattern onto freezer paper.

This is what the leading looks like when it is completely cut out and before the fabrics are added.

Here are the 4 butterflies finished in class today. Everyone's butterfly is a different colour, but they are all beautiful!

I didn't manage to get my top finished in class. However, after getting home, I set up shop on the dining room table and managed to finish my butterfly by 8:30 tonight.

Here is my butterfly:

At this point the top is fused and there has been no sewing. I will be adding a three inch border to my butterfly before sandwiching with batting and backing before quilting. This is one of those projects where the stitching doubles as the quilting. Once the stitching is done to hold the leading in place, the project is complete.

By the way, I did substitute that dark purple for a different purple - not quite as dark. The substitute allowed for more contrast against the black leading.

Friday, April 7, 2006

Stained Glass Quilt Class - Part I

Tomorrow, I am taking a quilt class from Brenda Brayfield. The class is called, "Stained Glass Butterfly". This is a day long class hosted by our local quilt guild. I signed up for this class many months ago.

These are my fabrics. The fabric on the far right looks black but it is really dark purple. I may end up trading it for something lighter as I am not sure that it will show up against the black leading in the stained glass technique.

Brenda has authored a couple of quilt books, one of which is about stained glass applique.

Spring Tonic

The rhubarb in my garden is really growing! My father-in-law used to call rhubarb, "spring tonic". I really look forward to that first feast of stewed rhubarb in the spring. It is such a treat.

Aren't the textures and colours wonderful!