Monday, August 25, 2014

Trip To Colorado

 No quilting here for a few days. I have been married to Mr Enchanting now for 20 years. When it was getting close to our anniversary I told him that I did not want anything for a gift, that I have enough stuff and there is really nothing that I need. Instead I asked that we go and do something fun and make some memories instead. Well he took that to heart.  He told me to pack for about 4 days and to bring some hiking clothes for day hiking. Ok good clues so I packed  casual attire, some hiking clothes, a day pack, and some warm clothes just in case. Well I got the packing just about right. The only thing missing was warm gloves for the top of Imogene Pass.

We started off heading North out of Albuquerque and went towards Cuba............humm that kinda means Durango and Southern Colorado................this is gonna be good. The first night we stayed in Durango at a very nice historic hotel. We saw the sights and listed to live music up on a deck. Very fun time. Next day we went to the train museum which was fun. Then we headed over to Silverton and stopped at the visitor center and got a map. We decided to take the Ophir Pass across and see Telluride. The pass was not bad and there was one spot where Mr Enchanting asked me to get out to check that he was doing ok, yep the car went into the right traction control and went up on three! Then a slow descent, the road was very narrow and very steep............much steeper than it looks in the first photo! Then lunch in Telluride and over to Ouray for a few days of fun which included staying at a great B&B a hike, some 4 wheeling up to Imogene Pass and a Beer Festival. Yes we made some awesome memories!
Going down Ophir Pass Colorado

Near Ridgeway Colorado
Ouray Colorado from the Perimiter Trail
Near Ouray Colorado
Mr Enchanting on top of Imogene Pass Colorado
Abandoned Mine Near Imogene Pass Colorado

Yankee Boy Basin Colorado
Near Imogene Pass Colorado

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Progress on Ellen's Quilt

This is Ellen's quilt and it has taken up residence on my longarm. It is a beautiful sampler and I am having lots of fun thinking up quilting designs for it. She wanted a touch of modern more than traditional so here is a sneak peek of my modern take on the outer borders. The final two borders are really wide so I have broken them up by combining the final two with a zigzag line alternating piano keys on the outside and some nice pleasing loose swirleys freeform on the inside. Sounds pretty easy but it is a lot of ruler work. For the inner border I went with a fun swirl and squigley lines. I am pretty happy with how it is taking shape and hope to have it off the longarm in the new few days.

I also got my Mountain Majesty blocks all sewn into a "flimsey". That would be a quilt that is just the one layer without backing, batting and quilting. They change so much from flimsey to quilt.

I am excited that I have quite a few blocks that will soon be arriving for Nicole's comfort quilt. If you would like to make one please leave me a comment and I will e-mail you my address. I hope to have some photos of the blocks coming as these start to arrive this coming week.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Comfort Quilt For NIcole

I have a friend in the Methow Valley in Washington State whose home and studio just burned up in the fire. She is devastated in loosing everything. She is a jewelry maker and makes some wonderful unique items. To read more about Nicole you can visit her blog HERE I am putting together a comfort quilt for her bed. The colors will be as you see in the photo above; dark brown/light brown or cream/medium to light blue. If you send a block please sign your block and put your city and state. The block is a 12" churn dash that can be found on Quilters Cache HERE

If you would like to send me a block for her quilt please leave a comment and I will e-mail you my information on where to send it. I will be posting progress of this quilt in the coming days and weeks.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Block Layout Is A Success

 Since I have been working on so many UFOs this is my reward quilt that I started just recently. The blocks went together very fast and then I got stuck on the layout. I finally had it all decided in the traditional layout of Mountain Majesty until I saw this layout on a blog and changed my mind. The good thing about this layout is that I also already know how I will quilt at least the orange parts. Now to get busy and put these blocks together..............right now they are just laid out of the design floor and photographed from the second story looking least it is an option till I get a real design floor.

Here is the Pineapple Christmas Table Runner with the border sewn on. I made nice mitered corners. I have not made a miter on a border for some time but figured that this is going to be on a table top and I want it to look its very beat. I am going to quilt a large sampler for a customer  and then this will be next. I am pretty excited that this UFO will finally be done soon. I started this project at least 10 years ago.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

First Finish For August 2014

 I have finished my Improv quilt and am calling it A Walk In The Woods. The colors and the movement bring to mind hiking in the tall trees with the trunks. There are spots of blue where you see the sky and spots for green. I really love the flow and colors in this piece. It is not meant to be straight and the sides and bottom are gently curved. It measures about 36 X 41". I posted a tutorial for this quilt back in January and you  can see it HERE

I enjoyed the process of working on this quilt. It was very freeing not to worry so much about block construction and to be able to work with form and movement. The little blue and green pieces were gleaned from the scrap bin as I am always trying to make a dent in it. Of course the quilt generated more scraps than I used but those will be for another day and another project.

 When it came to choosing the binding a problem presented itself. I do not have a stash with yardage so the fabrics used in the quilt were no longer available to do a binding. I needed bias because the edges were not straight and a binding with the grain would pucker. I found a quarter yard the width of the fabric in a perfect color that tied all the colors in the quilt together perfectly. It was the exact color of the thread I had used for the quilting. Well making a bias binding for that would use very short strips so I kept looking. In the end I came back to the first fabric and had an aha moment. Cross grain has some stretch, if you cut it at a greater angle there is even more stretch. I finally decided to go with an angle to get the longest strips but not a perfect bias. The stretch in the strips was still good. Please do not tell the quilt police on me! The strips finished at 20" which meant there were two seams on each side of the quilt in the binding.

 For the quilting I first went with wavy lines which added vertical movement with the piecing. I then filled in the colored inserts with a modified "spiral" design. I also did pebbles in the pieces between the inserts. Then I went back and filled in a line of pearl between some of the wavy lines. Looks simple but I spent 12 hours quilting on the longarm.
I really like the definition in the darker colored thread in the light areas of the quilt. I used Superior thread in So Fine (medium brown) for top and bottom.

 This past weekend we took the bike out for breakfast and a day of riding up east of Santa Fe, New Mexico. We visited the Pecos National Historical Park just south of the town of Pecos. It was a huge ruin. In its heyday the pueblo was 5 stories high and had 2000 residents. The sign shows what the site looked like during its better days. Now it is just a mound with a few areas where they have excavated. The panoramic view that these people had was awesome.

Then we headed north along the Pecos River all the way to the end of the road at Jack's Camp. On the way back down we stopped Cowles. This is just a crossroads that gains access to National Forest campgrounds and trail heads in the Pecos. It was a wonderful day filled with beautiful scenery. Because of all the rain everything was very lush and green.