Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring!

We took a little jaunt up into Apple Country this afternoon. The apple trees are blooming! In all the years we have lived here, we have never gone up to Apple Country in the spring...we have gone several times in the fall, to pick apples and raspberries.


The air was very hazy and there was a lot of glare, so I was lucky this picture turned out - I could not see it on the phone and just had to hope it was ok! No idea why it was so hazy though.

It was peaceful up there without the crowds!

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Rainy Saturday...

So Cal is getting some much needed water...and I did some more sewing!

Made this reversible toy for DGD...almost thought it was going to be a WOMBAT (Waste of Material, Batting And Time)...but DH says its cute and I guess it works well enough..

One side is a caterpillar (made with some scraps of the leftover lime green fleece!)
Turn it inside out and voila...a butterfly...with sparkly wings  - I put gold netting over the fleece..which made the wings much stiffer than I expected..but they do have some shine to them. Thinner fleece for the wings would also have helped..but I only had medium weight fleece in a big enough piece to make the wings.




Also sewed up this panel I got from the donations table at Retreat..its a growth chart...I backed it with the leftover lime green fleece from the Christmas Tree Skirt...and used the cardboard tube of a dry cleaning pants hanger for hanging - didn't want it to be wood or metal....




AZ Retreat Part 5

Not all of the stuff at Retreat is quilting...

My cool New Balance shoes...unfortunately, they are not the most comfortable shoes..but they sure are bright!

I was not the only one with colorful shoes - another gal also has the same shoes and then there are these bright Danskos:

A couple of the ladies made selvedge vests...I really like how they turned out!


AZ Retreat Part 4

Last year at Retreat, the speakers were the Lumberyard Ladies...who showed us what different blocks and quilts could be made out of scraps cut into 'lumber' - 2x2,2x4, 2x6, 2x8, 4x4, etc (if its a common lumberyard term, its part of their system!!)...

So...there was a Lumberyard Challenge for this year:
The quilts were hung on the fence around the pool and ballots were placed in the bucket...we invited the guests of the hotel to vote as well as all the Retreaters...

First place:

Second Place:




Third Place (tie)






AZ Retreat Part 3

One of the mini classes this year was an Improv quilting class. I really like how the improv quilt turned out:

I am going to have to try this technique! (this is the instructor's quilt)

Another mini 'class' was playing with my Tsunineko inks...I brought foam core boards, white plastic trash bags, some coloring book printouts, some PFD fabric and the tray bag of inks...and three of the ladies joined me in playing...I think they all turned out MARVELOUSLY - especially since we only had an hour to do these:


AZ Retreat Part 2 - Eclipse Sew Along

Last year at Retreat, one of the gals was working on an Eclipse quilt...that turned into a group sew along this year..one of the ladies bought a bunch of the patterns and another lady taught us how to cut the curves and stitch them. This is the quilt that started it all:


She made hers out of batiks..chosen to match the border fabric. I don't make very many huge quilts, so mine is the mini version. And I used a charm pack of Fossil Ferns instead of the batiks...
This is before I finished sewing all the blocks and squaring up:


After squaring up...DH said he liked this so I am actually inspired to finish it!

AZ Retreat Part 1

Last weekend was the annual Quilting Retreat in Arizona. The weather was PERFECT..warm enough to wear short sleeves, capris and sandals! I love going on this retreat, it fires me up for working on my projects.

I did a whole bunch of projects....
First was this Christmas Tree Skirt...sadly my Christmas Tree is STILL up..so I have the tree skirt around the tree...(it makes a cozy cape - its lined with lime green fleece...and Misty the Quilt Inspector has thoroughly inspected and uses it as a napping spot) 

I got the borders on the Mixed Media piece (shown in the Road To CA 2014 post).

I got the rest of the fabric on the Drip Painting quilt cut out, marked and pinned..so its ready to applique whenever the mood should strike me to start it...

This was one of my Show and Tells this year:
The David Taylor Hummingbird... I started the quilting on this at last year's Retreat and worked on it sporadically over the summer...One Saturday in the Fall..the power went out at the house and I took it out on the patio and finished up the quilting. The power was still out (I called the Electric Company and they said it would take a few hours...) so I took my hand crank machine out  to the patio and stitched on the facings (like a bigger binding but turned all the way to the back)...the power was still out...so I turned the edges..now normally I would iron them at this point, but since that was not possible, I did it the old fashioned way and basted it!..the power was STILL out so I hand stitched the facings down...the power came back on a few minutes after I finished!

Flying Kites

For my DH's birthday this year, we gathered in a park to fly kites.
Here is our favorite kite-flying spot:
Granddaughter Lily flying the dragon kite:
One of the other features of this park is it is next to Santa Ana River...and if you are careful, you can climb down to the river...last time we went to this park, the mere thought of going down that hill caused tears, but this time, Lily was a brave, brave girl and went down the hill!!
You can sense the hesitation!! Holding tight to Daddy:
But she made it all the way down!
And back up! (it was getting dark by the time she and her Daddy came back up)

Road to CA 2014

Oh my...cannot believe I have neglected this blog for soooo long!

At Road to CA this year, I took two classes - Mixed Media by Patt Blair and Watercolor Painting to Quilt by Katie Pasquini Masopust.

The Mixed Media class was very interesting..we adhered bits and pieces of paper napkins, stamped tissue paper, wrapping paper, rice paper to a piece of fabric using artist medium (gel medium or fabric paint medium) - it dries clear and once you coat both sides of the paper, its pretty impervious to water though I don't think I would wash this quilt!!



Here is the quilt after I added the borders and did some minimal quilting..it needs more!

The Watercolor Painting to Quilt class was two days...the first day we played with watercolors..I discovered my watercolors from high school are probably not the best anymore!! They turned out rather pastel...

We did a bunch of techniques...we blew bubbles on the wet paint, we dripped paint, we used the edges of bottle caps and the rims of cups and an old lampshade, we sprayed water on the paintings, we used rubber cement to mask some areas and stuff called Masquepen to see the differences, we dripped India ink and squirted it from a syringe...




Then..once those were dry, we use a cropping tool to figure out 'interesting' places in our paintings...cut windows out of typing paper and decided which one was going to get turned into a quilt....
This is my drip painting - broad bands of wet watercolors, held at an angle so it flowed into the lower parts of the painting...


Here is the section I cropped out
Looks kinda 'Grand Canyon-ish'...

Then we used acetate, and marked the color changes:




Katie then took the acetate overlays to the copy shop and blew them up twice...my piece ended up around 15 x 40...The next morning, she brought back two copies of the blown up piece - one we stuck onto a piece of poster board to make the pattern pieces with, and the other was pinned to a piece of foam core.
We copied the drawing onto tear-away stabilizer, then started cutting the pattern pieces and fabric and stapling those to the foam core board... She showed us how she uses the poster board pattern pieces to turn the edges using starch and a hot iron (and a stiletto!)...Now..starched edges DO NOT float my boat...so after a couple of inches of stapling to the foam core..I switched to prep for needle turn..I had a suspicion she used starch so I brought my applique pins!!

Got almost done with cutting the pieces of fabric and pinning to the stabilizer.