Thursday, July 31, 2008
The Tioga County Fair is coming up soon and my son plans to enter a photo again this year. This will be the first year in which he has to compete in the adult division, so the competition will probably be tougher than he's had to deal with in the past. He has won several ribbons in the Junior division, so he's hoping to continue the tradition.
My husband usually enters a photo or two in the fair as well, but has decided not to this year. Good thing, because life in my house might have been difficult if they both had entered and only one won a ribbon...
Gary has had one of his photos win a contest in Wild Bird Magazine (his is the Eastern Bluebird) and he also provides a lot of photos to the Tiadaghton Audubon Society's website. Check them out if you're into birds...
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
After a dinner at Duke's Bar and Grille on Chocolate Avenue (their menu is huge!), our van found its way to a local fabric shop, Quiltmaker's Cottage. It was just the beginning of a credit card marathon...
We spent the night in the Hershey Lodge where the show was held and ran into many other quilters and even some of the well-known teachers. Here's a shot of the wallpaper in our bathrooms...
Of course, since we were in the vicinity of Amish country, a fabric shop hop was on the agenda. Bright and early on Friday, the red quiltermobile hit the road. First stop was Burkholder's Fabrics in Denver, PA. The store sign in the middle of the rolling farm countryside was just the beginning of a quilter's dream...This is just an example of what was waiting for us inside...the photo is just the batik aisle. With over 12,000 bolts of quality fabric, overdosing was inevitable. And they were even having a sale (the regular prices are amazing, so the sale prices were a bonus)!
The next stop was Sauder's Fabrics, also in Denver, where in addition to great fabric, we stocked up on some bulk food supplies.
Lunch was at the Park Place Diner and Bakery in Denver...great food and comfortable atmosphere. Here is what I had for lunch...
... and this...
I saw no reason to waste time with a sandwich or something...I went straight for the good stuff -- a root beer float and a piece of Boston Creme Pie (the others with me assured the main courses were good as well).
Although our credit cards were starting to smoke a bit, the quiltermobile somehow found its way to the Quilt and Fabric Shack in Bird-in-Hand, PA. We felt we had to do our bit to help the economy, so we spent a dollar or two...
Finally, with a van stuffed full of fabrics and exhausted quilters, we made our way home to Tioga County, stopping for dinner at Country Cupboard in Lewisburg, PA.
It was a wonderful way to spend a couple of days...but I'm beginning to think that a couple of days is not enough....
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
I loved making this Double Pinwheel quilt back in early 2001. I just used a lot of scrappy (some ugly) fabrics from my stash and I was amazed at how well they looked together when the whole quilt was completed. Although I don't agree that I could have made the entire quilt in a day, I do like Eleanor Burns' techniques for making difficult-looking quilts using easy methods. From what I remember, the machine quilting in the inner border was my first attempt at meandering, using my Bernina. Thankfully, the thread blends in well with the fabric so the inconsistent stitch size is not very noticeable. I stitched in the ditch in all of the double pinwheel blocks which made them stand out nicely. This quilt now hangs in my foyer and it's the first thing that guests see when they come in the front door. It makes a very nice visual impact.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Wow, my computer really doesn't reproduce greens very well. The greens in this block are really much more vibrant than they look on my laptop's screen.
This is "H-5 Michael's Motorcycle", an intermediate-level paper-pieced block. The author of the DJ book, Brenda Papadakis, named this block for her son who is the webmaster of the Dear Jane website. My son is currently working on designing a website for my quilt guild as a high school graduation project (he graduates in 2010), so if I stretch things a bit, I can say that this block fits the theme for today. Thankfully, as of now, my son shows no interest in riding a motorcycle. He prefers riding his bike 6-7 miles a day instead...
Friday, July 18, 2008
Here's a better look from the side.
Or how about these? They even have ties in the corners...
I don't think I'd find these in any of the stores in Wellsboro that sell shoes...Paducah, maybe, but not Wellsboro.
I found both pairs on the Converse shoe website. It's amazing how many designs they have available.
Now I'm completely prepared for spending many long hours on my feet at quilt shows and on shop hops.
And my family is definitely convinced that I'm obsessed...
But I like to quote a passage from the movie "National Treasure" -- Nicolas Cage's character asks "One step short of crazy, what do you get?", his friend Riley answers "Obsessed?", Nicolas Cage says "Passionate".
Thursday, July 17, 2008
After I made this block, I realized that when I made "E-3 Paddle Wheels", I forgot to mirror the image, so I wound up with the pinwheel spinning in a different direction than Jane's did. You can see it in my post dated June 27th. At that time, I was more concerned with fixing my triangle points and didn't notice the wrong spinning. I don't think it bothers me enough to redo it.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
...this is truly a disease...
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
This block, "C-7 Megan's Mountain Laurel", is accurately labeled as an advanced-level block in the DJ software. I'm afraid that the mountain laurel that blooms in Pennsylvania is much prettier than my block.
I paper-pieced the diamonds around the center square and then appliqued the four outer diamonds in the corners. Again, a lesson in applique. I figure that by the time I'm finished with my Baby Jane quilt, I will have learned everything there is to learn about what NOT to do when appliqueing. But I'm satisfied enough with this one to move on to the next (probably not a block involving any applique work).
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Now to the quilting...this block is my 25th block -- halfway to my goal of 50 DJ blocks by my 50th birthday later this year. I'm still on schedule.
This was less than an hour's work
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I took this photo the other day at my guild's meeting of the Laurel Janes. Several of us put some of our blocks up on a design wall and we oohed and aahed for quite some time. It was a great way to share tips on difficult blocks. I wish I had taken the shot earlier in the day when more members' blocks were up on the wall.
We have quite a variety of fabrics being used; some are using civil war reproduction fabrics, some are using 30s-style fabrics, and then some (so far I think only me) are using batiks or brights. There may be others in our group who are using bright colors, but they haven't come to our meetings yet.
I believe some of the ones on the top are placed as they are in the original quilt. Mine are the batik blocks down below, and I just put them up on the design wall without any plan. Eventually, they should fall into place in a "trip around the world" design.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
This is beginner-level block "B-3 Mirror Image". I think it turned out much better than my applique attempt yesterday. Using fusible interfacing is definitely my preferred method now. No needle turning involved. And no small pieces involved. Very manageable for a beginner. I am also pleased with how the silk thread camouflaged my stitches.Now for the next block...
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
No, there's nothing wrong with the computer or your eyes...I just thought I'd try to hide some of the flaws in this one.
This was the first block I started (see my post from May 22) when I thought I was going to work my way from the center block out to the edges. The first block turned out to be tougher than I would have liked, so I decided to do a few easier ones before finishing the first. If I had to do this block over again, I would do some things differently and definitely better.
OK, here's a shot in focus, but don't look too closely. Kind of looks like a stick figure running somewhere...This may wind up being a block that I decide to redo at the end of the journey. But for now I'm considering it finished.
Going to the monthly gathering of the Laurel Janes has proven to be invaluable. I have picked up extremely useful tips, especially about applique. Hopefully, I'll use those tips to make future appliqued blocks look a bit less beginner-like.