Friday, June 30, 2006

Grad - Part I - Hair

Graduation from Grade 12 is a big event here in our town. Today is the day that our daughter graduates from Grade 12.

We started today at the hair salon to get a fancy "do". The salon was very busy with all the girls getting their hair done for tonight's big event. Each and every hair style was a work of art.

These are pictures of my daughter's hair-do. Now we need to worry about make up.....
getting into the dress..... pictures......

Quilt Guild Paint Chip Summer Challenge - Fabric

There has been so much interest in my challenge project that I am going to post the steps as I go along.

I now have all the fabrics selected for my challenge. The rules around choosing fabrics were pretty liberal. You can use as many fabrics as you like as long as the colour(s) of the paint chip are the main focus of the quilt. You can see in the picture that two of my fabrics showcase two of the paint chips on the strip. I will use the three fabrics on the right in my blocks and the house fabric on the left in my border.

The next step is to draft out my blocks / quilt.

Technology Woes!

I have been disconnected from the world for the last few days as I waited for my sick computer to be discharged from the "computer hospital" I now have a new motherboard and more RAM. You would think I would be ready to go, wouldn't you?

Yesterday, I went to take pictures to add to a post and my camera was dead. I had a "Lens Error" message which means that the camera needs to be sent in for repair.

There could not be a worse time for a camera to fail. My daughter's Grad ceremony, dinner, and dance are tonight! Lucky for us that we decided to give her a digital camera for a grad present so we will be able to capture the event on "film" tonight. I also have my old 35mm, my old APS, and my video cameras for backup. You will be able to pick me out tonight because I will be the mother with several cameras hanging off her arms--just to make sure I don't miss a capturing a thing. We sent my digital camera off to the "camera hospital" and it will not be discharged for 3 to 6 weeks. : (

So this morning I am ready to load pictures thanks to my daughter's new digital camera and wouldn't you know, Blogger has now failed me! This is what I see when I try to look at my blog:

Where did my blog go? Interesting that I can log into Blogger and create a new post and my daughter can see my blog on her computer! I give up--this technology is going to get the best of me yet!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Paint Chip Challenge

Blogger has finally allowed me to upload this picture.

This is a picture of my paint chip for our Quilt Guild's Summer Challenge. I have placed the chip on top of one of the fat quarters that was in my prize package. This fabric will be one of the fabrics that I use to make my challenge block.

Patient Quilt Holders and Taking Quilt Photos

I have been quilting - just not for myself. I finished the quilting on this customer quilt last night. I really enjoyed working on this one because it is made with blocks from my quilt guild's BOM last year. The blocks were all variations of baskets. The sunflower in the center is from a demonstration we had one night at guild on the Dresden Plate. I thought the quilter was very clever in putting the sunflower into the same quilt as the baskets.
This is the back of the same quilt. Very creative piecing for a quilt back, isn't it?

I didn't crop the picture so you can see the top of my husband's head and his hands. He reluctantly agreed to hold this quilt for a photo. (He was standing on a stool. He isn't really that tall.) The picture was taken before 7:00 this morning. I have found that the best pictures of quilts - to show off the quilting - need to be taken outside, either early in the morning or in the evening. Of course when I asked him to hold the quilt, I mentioned that if I could do it myself--hold the quilt and operate the camera at the same time--I wouldn't bother him to help. He quickly replied, "You have a timer on that camera don't you?" I bet you can visualize the look I gave him at that point--no words were spoken. A reluctant helper is better than no helper at all!

Usually my son helps me by holding my quilts for pictures - he is tall - 6'7" so he rarely needs to stand on anything. His arm span fits a quilt better than his dad too! However, if I want to wait for him, I will wait a few more hours until he gets out of bed, and then the lighting won't be as friendly to the quilts.

I guess if I made this a paid position I might get more willing "helpers"!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Making of a Scrap Quilt

I have received several comments about my scrap quilts. For me, scrap quilts are by far the most interesting and the most fun to make. I feel they most closely resemble the quilts that the early prairie pioneers made--which is where my roots are. Quilts were made for a purpose - to stay warm - made from scraps of material used to make clothing and made from recycled clothing - there was no waste. The idea that you would begin making a quilt by going to the store to buy half a dozen coordinating fabrics from a designer's line was non existent.

I collect patterns that I think are suited to scrap quilts. Sources of inspiration are the internet, quilt shows, show and tell at guild night, etc. As I finish a project, I "catalogue" the pieces that are left over. Large pieces are stored in covered Rubbermaid bins, organized by colour. Smaller pieces are cut into useful pieces--strips of various widths, squares, or recently rectangles. Scraps that don't fit into one of these categories go into a drawer by colour for later use in crumb or crazy quilts.

I think of these pre-cut pieces as quilt "seeds". The part I like the least in the quilting process is the cutting out of the pieces. If I keep my fabric cut as I go along, the worst part of the process is over. My bins are already full of quilt pieces ready to be assembled. (This could be why I have so many UFOs--they sit on the shelves and tempt me to try something new!)

Recently, I went through my stash and culled some of the larger pieces that I didn't seem to have used for a very long time. These pieces brought new life to my scrap stash.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

My Studio

I spent Friday night cleaning, vacuuming, and dusting my studio. Everything has been put back into its place.

These are photos of my studio. I spent a few hours on Saturday quilting. I finished two more rows on my Bricks and Stepping Stones quilt. It feels good to be quilting again!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Quilt Guild Meeting and Summer Challenge

We had our last quit guild meeting of the year last night. Following tradition, we have a pot luck dinner for the last meeting of the year. The pot luck hosted by the Quilt Guild is always the best pot luck I attend all year. Quilters know how to cook! Food and quilting just seem to go naturally together!

Another lady sitting at my table, Sharon, and I were commenting that we never seem to win anything. When they drew membership numbers for the door prize, we both won! We each won a piece of Christmas fabric. My piece was a fat quarter featuring Jim Shore's Santas.

Our guild usually sponsors a summer challenge. The challenge this year was to start by picking a paint chip from a paper bag (so that you couldn't see which one you were getting) to determine the colour scheme of your project.

Using the pinwheel variations block shown below and the paint colour chip selected you have to make a quilt or wall hanging no larger than 18" square. You can make just one block or as many as you want as long as the quilt is no larger than 18". You must use at least one of the colours from the paint chip and you can introduce other colours but the paint chip colour must be the predominant one.

At first I thought I had drawn a "dud" when I picked my paint chip. I picked a neutral beige coloured chip. I watched others at my table pick pretty pinks, greens, blues, and reds and I tried desperately to trade with someone. No luck.

Then, the winner of the UFO challenge was announced. We had an ongoing challenge since Sept. to see who could finish the most UFOs. I won the prize for the most UFOs finished in the large quilt category (having the long arm definitely helped here). My prize was 15 fat quarters from the Teresa Kogut's Williamsburg collection.

The fat quarter on the top of the pile was a perfect match for my paint chip. I was no longer interested in trading!

Oh, and remember my saying that Sharon and I "never win anything". Well, Sharon won the prize in the UFO category for the most small quilts finished. Sharon and I decided that we should probably be buying lottery tickets. For two people who never win anything, we each won our share last night!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bring on the heat--We are cool inside!

Bring on the heat, bring on the sun! We bought a central air conditioning unit over a year ago but never had it installed at that time. All last summer, on the hottest days, I would drive into the garage and look at that air conditioner, sitting all cozy inside its cardboard box. We would be melting in the house while that air conditioner was safe and secure in the garage. Not this year. My husband arranged to have the unit installed today. Bring on summer! We are ready!

The only downside to this installation is that everything in my studio had to be moved to the centre of the room in order to give the workmen access to the electrical box and ceiling to install the unit. Of course, there is now dust, sawdust, etc. that has to be cleaned up before I can go back to quilting.

Once I have cleaned up and put everything back in its place, I will be quilting in comfort!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Graduation Celebrations!

This month, our daughter graduates from High School. Because we had some family members in town to celebrate our anniversary this weekend, we decided to extend the celebration to the next day and host a celebration barbecue in our daughter's honor. In all, we had 14 people over.
Every great celebration starts with food!

Dana and her Dad were in charge of the cooking.

The weather was great! We timed the eating perfectly. Mid afternoon after we were through eating, a big storm blew in with wind and rain and chased us inside. We had already eaten and opened gifts so it was ok. It made it challenging for family pictures though as we squeezed into the living room to take the pictures.

This is Dana and her very proud grandparents.

This is Dana and my brother's family.

This is a picture of our son, Matthew, Dana's boyfriend, Matthew's girlfriend, and Dana.

This is Dana and her godmother - my aunt, her great aunt. What a treat to have here here for a visit.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

25th Anniversary Celebrations!

Our kids, with the help of their Grandmothers, put together the best Anniversary celebration you could ever ask for. I believe someone said we had a count of 67 in attendance! The atmosphere was casual and friendly. Everyone brought a pot luck dish and we shared a wonderful meal together. We are blessed to have so many friends and family that wanted to share in our celebration! A highlight of the evening was a slide show prepared by my son, complete with music - including the music from our first dance on our wedding day.
This is a picture of my family - my son, myself, my husband, and my daughter.

This is a picture of the members of my husband's family that were in attendance. Quite a crowd--and they all weren't there!

This is a picture of me, my mother, my dad, and my brother. My brother and his family traveled down from the interior of the province in order to celebrate with us. My brother did an excellent job of the role of MC. He was very gentle in the stories he chose to share.

This is a picture of my aunt and my mother--they are sisters. My aunt traveled all the way from Saskatchewan to join us. She was in the original bridal party so it was great to see her here!

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Bricks and Stepping Stones

Today was a rainy day - a great day to stay inside and quilt.

I worked on a quilt inspired by Bonnie's Bricks and Stepping Stones pattern. I am making my quilt larger than Bonnie's--mine should finish about 86" x 104". I am half finished piecing the top - 5 rows complete - 5 more rows to go!

I am determined to make this quilt from scraps. Placement of fabrics is totally random, no planning or engineering in this one to make it a "controlled" scrap.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Quilt Shop Hop 2006

This weekend is the Westcoast Quilt Shop Hop. Five of us who quilt together regularly on Tuesday nights got together, rented a van, borrowed one of the husbands to act as driver, and headed out on our journey yesterday morning.

The hop lasts from Friday, June 2 to Sunday, June 3. Thanks to the organization of Dot, we managed to complete 12 of the possible 14 shops yesterday. It was a long day, but very fun! Each shop had their own block kit with a garden theme available for $5.00. This price included the pattern. At each shop, we picked up our $5.00 block, had our "passport" stamped and did a little bit of shopping.

This is the 5 of us, outside the first shop at 9:30 yesterday morning. We arrived at the first shop before they opened. We are eager quilt shop hoppers!

This was my favorite block. It is a paper pieced humming bird. The shop that had this kit was Wineberry's (Dewberry's to my friend, Colette).

These are the treasures that I picked up at some of the shops other than the $5.00 blocks. I bought some floral fat quarters for my floral Yellow Brick Road quilt, some 1/2 yard pieces for my chicken quilt, a floral panel that I will use to jump-start another floral quilt, a bag pattern, and a kit to make a poppy table runner.

I am now off to finish the last two shops on my list. They are local and so I won't have to travel far.