Saturday, March 29, 2014

Precious Time

Hello Everyone,
Yesterday was a day to play quilting hooky and go to Yosemite.  This was our view at lunch time.
Our drought has put a damper on the amount of water that normally cascades down Yosemite Falls.  But the word impressive is still the adjective I would use to describe the falls.

Bridalvail Falls also had less water for this time of year, but it was still beautiful.

El Capitan rises 3,000 above the valley floor.  I can't imagine how climbers climb this or why they want to climb it!

Yosemite National Park is just about my favorite place on this planet.  No matter how many times I go there, I always see and experience something new.  The park is my spiritual refuge.  I've been spending way too much time in front of the computer and sewing machine.  The extent of my line of sight went from the end of my nose to the computer farther.  This is what I needed to rejuvenate my spirit for the days and weeks ahead.  

On our drive back to the cabin, we passed a horrible car accident just outside of Groveland.  We found out later there was one fatality and two people with major injuries had to be airlifted to area hospitals.  This sobering sight makes you stop and think how your life can change in an instant. Shortly after we passed the accident, Pat Benatar's song Precious Time came on the radio.  I don't particularly care for the rest of the lyrics of the song, but the phrase  Life is too short, so why waste Precious Time struck a chord with me and lingered in my thoughts all the way back to the cabin.    Our day in the park and seeing the accident makes my to-do list unimportant. I'm going to make better use of my precious time.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sew'n Wild Oaks Class is in Session

Hello Everyone,
Life is finally returning to normal after my flurry of activity over the past few weeks.  The enormous pile of quilts, patterns, product, booth props and stands are packed away returned to their proper places and I can finally see my living room floor.
The 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month are when the Sew'n Wild Oaks girls get together at In Between Stitches. Karen is working on her flowers for Madrigal.  There is a link to the flower tutorial HERE which I posted several years ago.  They are fun little flowers to make, and they give the centerpiece added dimension.

Karen is adding mixing in appliqued flowers along with the 3-D variety.  It is going to be a beautiful, full basket when she's finished.  I am teaching Madrigal at Ladybug's quilt shop in Manteca on April 5th. It is going to be a fun class which will include lessons on applique, these cute little flowers, and block construction.

Then I have my basket girls, Barbara, Kaye and Gail.  There were cute little baskets in the making, decorating the design wall all around the room.

Every pattern in For the Love of Baskets contains a block layout sheet so the girls can layout their parts and pieces to see how they like the arrangement of color.


Then I have my Harvest of Hope girls, Irene, Evelynne and Isabelle working on barns and acorns.  They are going to have their barns raised, and completed just in time for fall.

Carol, Cindy, Marti and Vivian, next time I will include pictures of your projects.....what was I thinking forgetting to take pictures of your work! I'm not hitting on all cylinders yet after my busy week! 
I'll be pattern writing and speech writing the rest of this week and next week.  I'm speaking at the quilt guild in Paradise the middle of April at the meeting of the Ridge Quilters Guild.  I'll be teaching a workshop on Patchwork Math the day after the talk.  So, there are many more busy days ahead as my schedule is starting to fill up with activities. I think I need an administrator to keep track of me and my schedule.  I also think I need a nap!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Auburn Quilt Show

Hello Everyone,

It's only 8:07pm on a Saturday night.....and I'm in my jammies, sitting at the computer in a hotel room after a rewarding day at the Foothill Quilter's Guild Quilt Show in Auburn,

Thanks to the help of many hands, from the twins, to Mr. Joe, to my sister Gail, the booth came together beautifully.

How about the buggy?  A last minute addition since it fit into the car...AND I could display another quilt on the handle.

I could have made a fortune selling my lanterns!  Forget the quilts, ladies wanted to buy the lanterns!

We got so many wonderful compliments throughout the whole day.  Ladies just wanted to pull up an easy chair and sit in my booth!

Lucky me, the ladder didn't fall down!  The zip ties, bailing wire, and bubble gum held tight.

The best part of having a booth at a quilt show is meeting and chatting with the customers and fellow bloggers.  Sue, from Cozy Little Quilts lives just down the road from Auburn and we were able to meet for the first time today.  We had an immediate bond.  I knew her instantly, and I'd felt as though I'd known her forever! I tell you, quilter's are THE BEST!  Sue, I hope we can get together again soon and I wished we lived closer to one another.  We could get into so much quilty trouble I mean fun together!

Another day of meeting customers, and then it will be time to take the whole booth down until the next show.  I appreciate each and every one of you who came to my booth today.  I can't express how much you mean to me and how thankful I am for my quilting friends, both old and new.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Booth is Ready to Go

Hello Everyone,

My "mock" booth was completely set up yesterday by the twins.  They are budding decorators at heart.

Kinsey had her clipboard and was responsible for checking inventory.  Emily finished stuffing the last of the patterns into plastic bags.

Emily and I went around the house and gathered up picnic baskets, tool boxes, and quilt stands to use as props.

All of the pictures are on my phone so we can recreate the same scenario tomorrow during set up. 

Now, almost everything is packed up and ready to be carried to the car and taken to the show.

I can't imagine what it must be like going to Quilt Market.  Preparing for this show was monumental for me!

If I have time, and the energy, I'll try to post during the Auburn quilt show......maybe.  My sister Gail will be here first thing in the morning to follow us to Auburn.  Her SUV will be loaded to the rafters too!  It takes a village to pull a booth together.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Beginnings of a Booth

Hello Everyone,

I'm in full preparation mode for the quilt show in Auburn this weekend.  We are setting up a smaller version of my booth right in the living room.  I  always use a 7 foot antique ladder to display at least six quilts at shows. I'll be gathering the quilts up at the top and tying them to the ladder with ribbon.  I won't do that until the real set-up.

From left to right:  Harvest of Hope, Heartfire, Once Upon a Vine, Winter's Warmth, Madrigal,The House on Edgewood Lane, For the Love of Baskets
Bottom row:  Winterset, Buttonwood, Party in the Garden

The actual booth is larger than what we can do here at home.  The fireplace hearth and a piano that we can't move, have confined us to a smaller test run booth.  The display will also be two feet taller since the quilt racks will extend beyond the 8' ceiling.

We are picking the twin granddaughters up after school so they can help arrange and re-arrange product that I'll be selling for the shop.  I have to get out all my props such as picnic baskets, tool boxes and anything else I might have to create an attractive display.  Once we get it set up, I know the girls will be doing pretend shopping and checking each other out with the adding machine and credit card processor.  I have either two budding entrepreneurs, or two shoppers in training!

I'm still learning also.  This is only my fourth show and I'm still trying to get it right.  Everything that we need for the show will be in this room and packed up Thursday night.  Boy do I have a long list of things I need to bring!  Doing the mock set up really helps with that list.  We will also take photos so we can recreate the whole scenario once we get to the show.

It is so much fun to have all of my quilts home.  They've been traveling around the country for months.  Now it's my turn to spend some time with them and share them at a show!


Monday, March 17, 2014

Introducing Once Upon a Vine

Hello Everyone,

The quilting is finished on Once Upon a Vine

Just about every square inch of this quilt has quilting in it.  I loved densely quilted quilts.

This is one of the easiest quilts I've designed, yet it looks much more complicated that it is.  I tried to make the baskets look like they were hanging from vines in the rows of a works for me!  I live right in the middle of wine country and my active imagination has been working overtime trying to achieve this effect.

Here is the whole quilt hanging out in the sun.  The binding has been started and I hope to finish it tonight after work.

I'm going to be a vendor this weekend at the quilt show in Auburn sponsored by the Foothill Quilters Guild.  I'll be setting up a mock booth in my living room all this week.  Our twin granddaughters came over yesterday and they stuffed patterns for me.  They did all the pricing and counted inventory.  They were little angels and they love to help.  Pretty soon they will be running the whole booth and waiting on customers.

I'm off to the shop this morning for my Monday workday.  Melissa and I will be putting my "store" of items together that I'll be taking with me to the show.  I'm bringing In Between Stitches to the foothills!  I wish I could fit the whole shop into my car....which would be totally awesome and totally impossible!  I would need a whole moving van!

Come on by and visit with me at the show.  My sister Gail and I will be manning the booth.  If we get really busy, I may just put you to work! 


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Once Upon a Vine Continued

Hello Everyone,
Thank you all for your comments about my rebel block.  You confirmed my thoughts exactly.....I'm not changing a thing! It was a long day of quilting.....and I'm still not finished with Once Upon a Vine.  Maybe I'll get it finished tomorrow and take it off the machine so I can see what it looks like.

I could have quilted longer yesterday, but my back and aching neck were telling me to stop.  I think I need to tipple more when I stipple.....maybe I was a bit to tense which tied my back and neck up in knots.  I spent the evening in the recliner with a heating pad wrapped around my neck and watched TV.

I wanted something simple and classy in the center. Crosshatching adds an old fashioned look which I love in my quilts.  I'm just an old fashioned gal!   I stitched around each clump of grapes and added a few tendrils to nail the center down.

I'm achieving my "baskets in the vineyard" look.....but I won't know for sure until the quilt is off of the machine.  I'm getting a little anxious to see the end result!

Happy Saturday.  Little League team, here we come!  I'll take the heating pad off of my neck before I get to the field.  I don't want to embarrass my grandson.


Friday, March 14, 2014

The Rebel Block

Hello Everyone,
Once Upon a Vine is now on the Handi Quilter.....finally!  I was dragging my feet when it came to making the backing, just too many other things on my plate and backings can be so boring to make.

Once I decided exactly what I wanted to quilt and started marking the spines, it all started coming together in my mind and on the machine.

I first quilted my spine then filled it in with feathers going one way....

.....and then feathers going in the opposite direction for an interesting, and different look to my feathers and border.  Quilting feathers upside down and backwards really makes both sides of my brain kick into high gear.  It's a good thing I'm ambidextrous.

It took me quite a bit of time to mark all of the setting squares.  I want the quilt to look like it is in the middle of a vineyard with rows of grape vines running through the baskets.  I know this is a stretch of the imagination, but you have to work with me on this, and see my vision.  (My vision can be a bit blurred and cockeyed according to Mr. Joe!)

Look at my piecing boo boo!  The second basket on the top row is pieced incorrectly and it is too late to do anything about it!  The top gray four-patch section is turned horizontally instead of vertically.  Once the quilt is on the machine, and partially quilted, there's not much that can be done other than to move on and say oh well, I planned it like that....NOT.

This is a picture of the whole quilt I posted a few weeks ago and the mistake jumps out at me now that I know where to look.  As far as I can tell, it's the only one......I guess there just has to be one rebel block in the group.

I'll be at the quilting machine today working my way down this densely quilted quilt. I have to remember to take lots of breaks and try not to spend too much time at the machine.  When Zinnie drops her ball at my feet, I know it's time to go play at the park.

Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend.  Little League baseball is in full swing here.  Time to watch our grandson play while our son coaches the team.  It is so heartwarming to watch the little ones play their hearts out, and we will be there to cheer for them every step of the way.