Friday, May 21, 2010

Next stop: Picket Fence Quilts - Novato, Ca

So after my last meeting on Thursday I made it to Picket Fence Quilts.  I forgot my camera, so unfortunately no pictures of the shop.  But boy or boy.... what a bright and happy feeling you get when you walk in the door.  I felt right at home as soon as I walked in the door.  Bright fabrics hit you right away, and you know how I am about brights.

They had a nice selection of batiks as well as black and whites.  I found a couple of fabrics that I need for a few projects that have been dancing around in my head. 

 Too many ideas...  now just need time to make them a reality :-).  Anyway....

Also brought a new book.  Loved all the project ideas.  I think the Art Deco style works well for Miami, so might have to make Raven another quilt :-).

They had a large room in the back as a classroom and also provided Long Arm quilting services on premise.

I noticed that they carried some Superior Thread and for what they didn't have, they provided the thread cards so that they could order what you needed.  Nice touch!

The owner was working and we chatted a bit about the local quilt shops.  She runs the place with her daughter.  She gave me a listing of shops in the area for future trips which was nice and suggested that if I have time to stop into Rainbow Fabrics, Crafts and Things.  She said as an contemporary quilter, that I would fine it interesting.

Boy was she right!  Rainbow in Fairfax, Ca is such an eclectic shop.  They have a little bit of everything, from cotton fabric to fun fabric, to buttons, to beads, to ribbons, etc... etc...  the 'Things' part of the name is real fitting!  While there, two Moms came in with their young children and it was like watching kids in a candy shop.  I laughed, as they said No about a million times.  It really isn't a quilt shop, but of course I found something I liked.    Isn't this fabric cool!  Tons of movement.

Well, it was definitely worth a stop and look see.

All in all a great trip our west.

Now back at home, I finished quilting my 15 month UFO last night.  WooHoo!  I'll post pics in the next day or two...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Quilted Angel: Petaluma, California

I can't believe it has been over two weeks since my last post, but with work and travel, my time has been short.  Anyway, I wanted to share with you two quilt shops I visited while in the North Bay area of California.

Let's start with the Quilted Angel in Pelatuma, Ca. 

 Boy, I sure wish they would pick up this entire shop and move it to Westchester County, NY.  We lost one shop last year and are loosing the other at the end of the summer.  The Quilted Angel is perfect.  They have tons of everything, but what dropped my jaw was the thread!

Aurfil, mostly 50 weight cottons, as well as some 28 wt and some wools,,,, yummy....

Superior of all types....  King Tut, Razzle Dazzle, Rainbow, Masterpiece, Sew Fine, etc....  I was in heaven..

You will note that at the bottom of this rack with the Superior Thread, that they also carry some YLI Silks.  That's right, in quite a wide range of colors....  and no this is not all the thread, they had more racks than I got on camera.

I quess it is only fitting, because not only do they carry silk thread, but they also carry silk batting (which I just had to buy to try) and a delicious array of a silk/cotton blend fabric.

They also carried wool, cotton, and polyester batting.  And you could buy it pre-packaged or off the roll.  And if you need a ruler, believe me they had it.  I have never seem so many types of rulers.  But as I said, they had just about everything in this shop. 

As you can see...  I just had to bring some of it all home..    Oh yeah, I needed something to read on the plane, so I also brought a machine quilting book.  Too bad I had to leave Friday morning, because the weekend they were having a local sale --  all the shops were offering 20% off yardage.  Gee wiz....  just my luck!

Oh boy, oh boy...  got to finish my 15 month UFO so I can play with those silks.

Oh yeah, the folks at the shop were great...  real friendly.  And you could tell that the locals just hang out there.  When I entered there were a few ladies just chatting away about the local school system.  In the back, they have a kids area, with a TV and video games and toys and such to keep the young ones occupied as their Moms shopped or chatted.

I'll share the other shops with you next time.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Quilt Escape - Spring 2010: Part II

OK, as promised here are some pics from the retreat last weekend.  You will see what I meant when I said we had some pretty talented ladies...  the creativity just flowed freely at the Interlaken Inn, in Lakeville, Ct.  Our host from Country Quilter/Flourish ---  art quilter, Jane Davila is always the "hostess with the mostess". 

Alright, without further adieu, here are some pics ....

My roomie, Ashley, worked on two different Kimono projects this weekend.  Ashley is known for her precision piecing and decided to try her hand at paper piecing this weekend.  Here she is next to four Kimono's using Japanese fabrics.  Ashley was unhappy, because in prep for the weekend she sorted her fabrics into 'good' for the Kimono's and 'rejects' for the Kimono's.  Well upon unpacking she realized she brought the 'reject' pile of fabric and not the ones she considered 'good'.

Now you tell me, do you see anything wrong with the fabrics she used in these Kimono's?  I sure don't. 

Here is a close up.....  they work for me Ashley!    The one on the right is a second set she is working with just black and white fabrics with all the sashes done in red.  Very sophisticated looking...  right :-)

This is a piece Donna Chambers started before the retreat for her Mom.  You can see she finished the top, made a fun back and has it all basted to take home and quilt.  If you look closely, there are squares with women in the center to represent the strength her Mother has provided her.  I think this is going to be a wonderful Mother's Day present.  The question....  will she get it finished in time???

Donna also worked on a top from a kit she picked up at Lancaster.  Here she is busy at work...
As you have heard me say before, Donna always has some interesting fabric...  even when she buys a kit.  I guess she just has an eye for it :-).

Jean was her normal quiet self, but as you can see, she was also focused...

She brought this fabric and the pattern at Lancaster, when the Pelham Quilters went to the AQS Show.  But by the end of day Saturday, she had the top all put together.  I just love the colors.  I told Jean that should she decide she doesn't like the quilt, or that it doesn't fit into her color scheme at home, that my quilt museum would feature it with honor :-)....

Next in one of the other rooms, Jane's sister, Linda decided that this was her weekend for hand work.  She didn't cart her sewing machine, just one bag with this master piece....
the fabric is all her own...  either dyed or painted, or both....  it is all needle turn applique.  Can I hear the OMG's as you read this.  Here is a close-up....  take a breath...  breathe....

I said breathe!  Absolutely stunning.....  My hat's off to you Linda! 

Back into the room I sew in...  the Garden Room.  One of the women who rides up with me, has a strong tie to very traditional fabric and patterns.  So Lorraine spent the weekend working on her 56 12" blocks.  This will be a Queen size quilt when finished...
Here they are layed out on the design wall.  She completed 42 of the 56 blocks.  Boy my hat goes off to her for her determination!

Tonight, Lorraine told me one of her friends saw it laid out this week and fell in love with it and wants it.  Now that it has a home, it means it has to get finished, so Lorraine asked me to quilt it.  Yikes...  Queen size...  haven't done that in a while.  But, it will get me into practice...  another story for another day, but I am thinking about quilting on commission.  Of course when I told Lorraine in the car going home, I told her I would start on smaller projects first.  But as she said tonight...  this will be a good practice piece :-).  We'll see...

Another of my car buddies is Margaret.  Margaret is also pretty quiet most of the weekend.  She just sits at her machine and sews..  not much talking from her.  But that usually means that at the end of the 3 1/2 days, Margaret has finished more than one top. 

Here she is with her 'Suduko' quilt...    always a challenge to lay out, so that you don't repeat a color in a row or column.

And here is Margaret with a top she fused before we arrived, but needed to be machine appliqued down.

That is a picture of Margaret's mischievous cat sitting in the flower pot amongst the tulips!

Maria, is a girl after my own heart.  She does a lot of paper piecing.  Her points are always exquisite and her quilts stunning.  I thought I had a picture of one of her tops finished, but it must have been blurry, because I can't find it.  But here, you can see she spent the weekend creating spiky sections via paper piecing.

Can't wait to see this one finished next year :-)...

Next are a couple of photos I took in one of the other rooms, but I don't know whose work they are, as the quilters were doing the same thing I was....  wondering the three rooms, getting inspiration from others work. 
Yes, I am an AKA, so pink and green hold a special place in my heart, but don't these squares just sing to you....  boy I can't wait until the fall to see this one finished...  at least, I hope she brings it back.

This was a quilt on one of the design boards....  It is string pieced, but you can see the pattern and the design is pretty interesting.  I love the way the colors move around....  but in this state, who knows where the quilter may be taking this piece.  Guess we will have to wait until the fall on this one as well :-).

Ok, I confess...  I just can't pull her name out of my head right now....  come'on, give me a break, there were 51 women this weekend.  She sits in the room right next to mine and is at all the retreats....  why can't I remember her name.  Oh well, take it from me...  she loves color....  and her quilts always full of it..  Here she just finished squaring up a block.  As you can see, color abounds.  Gee...  why can't I remember her name...  and I can't blame on a Senior moment, because I have been bad with names for years :-)....

Well I think that is about all the photos I have.  Except one of the group...
We are a motley crew, aren't we!  This is right after Sunday lunch and most of us, just want to get back to our machines :-).

I do have a bunch of photo's from Donna of quilts she had made prior to retreat, but I think I will save those for another night.

Night all.....

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Quilt Escape - Spring 2010

So I finally got around to going through my photos from retreat last weekend.  I didn't realize I took soo many pictures.  But there was alot of creativity going on in those three rooms.  I must say that the Country Quilter / Flourish staff, did a wonderful job, as usual, making sure that the inspiration was all around us!

So I have sorted and cropped my photos and picked out a bunch I think you will like, but if you indulge me, I will start with what I worked on over the course of the weekend. 

The first was a male dancer inspired by a piece of art work I had seen years ago.  My sketch had sat in my sketchpad, waiting for 2 years.  Then while at Lancaster last month, I saw the fabric that he was waiting for....  a piece of hombre fabric....  yummmmm...
He is appliqued on with a satin stitch using Black Madeira Rayon thread.  Then using Superior's Metallic, I used a straight stitch and created a fuzzy or feathery stitch on his clothing, head dress and the accent fabric. 
I enjoy using a little thread play to add texture to my tops.  Using the metallic thread adds to it's interest.  He isn't finished yet.  I still have to take gold metallic thread and add his arm and neck bands and them some Superior Razzle Dazzle in the bobbin and do some bobbin play on his wrists and ankles.  I will probably do some other thread play in the right hand upper corner, before I sandwhich it up, but that is all I accomplished Friday night / Saturday morning.

Saturday afternoon I took out another sketch I had captured from free clip art.  I enlarged it and using some Dupioni Silk, I made the center of this piece.
I think I am going to love this piece.  If you remember, I have had paisley images dancing around in my head for awhile.  Right now the silk applique pieces are outlined in satin stitch in matching thread (some Madiera and some Isacord).  It amazes me, but I do love the satin stitch on my old Viking Lilly...  I carry the Lilly with me on retreats, because it is light weight and easy to manage, but I must say it is my favorite machine for satin stitch.  The Bernina 830 is very heavy and too fragile to drive around, but I will use it for the bobbin/thread play and of course the quilting.  Quilting on the 830 is a dream.

OK, back to the quilts...  each element will get jewels added to make up the design which calls for small dots on the outside of most of the elements.  I am then thinking of adding ribbons of silk that will overlap onto a mostly purple border.  I haven't chosen the boarder fabric just yet, which is why I didn't get much farther on this piece :-).

On Sunday, I took out a piece I had been working over over the last two retreats.  It was my 'backup' project in case I ran out of stuff to do on previous weekends.  Well, I picked this one up and finally got the center of the quilt together.
I really enjoyed working on a more traditional piece.  The colors are wayyyy off, but I will share more pictures once I get the boarders on...  hopefully before next retreat:-).  This was a give away pattern a few retreats ago, that has been hanging around with me ever since.  It is called Bento Box and was designed by Mary Gay Leahy.  Nice....

That is all I got done this time.  No finished projects.  Although, I did draft out the next round on my 3D Mariners Compass, it wasn't speaking to me enough to actually make it.  So, I put it away this weekend.  But, I did see something at the quilt show in Somers yesterday that gave me an idea.  I sketched one corner last night and I will let it soak in for a few days, while I work on my 15 mo old UFO.  Yes, that is progressing nicely.  I will grab a picture of them both and post sometime later this week.

So I have three posts to do now....  First, the remainder of the photos from the show, then the photos of the retreat from all the other quilters and then my UFO and 3D quilts.

But again tonight I am heading to bed...  so tired.  We went up to RPI today and picked up some of Robert's stuff before he comes home for the summer....

You know, I just realized I have 5 pieces going at once.  This from the girl who was never comfortable with 2 works in progress.  Now 5...  guess I better get busy!!  But first tomorrow night, Pelham Quilters Guild meeting...  oh well, guess posting and quilting will have to wait another day or two :-)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Northern Star Quilt Show - A World of Quilts 2010

I won 2 ribbons!!

Today was the opening of the Northern Stars Guild Show and when I arrived to work my shift as 'Quilt Security' I got the surprise of my life...  2 Ribbons.  I entered three pieces, Celestial Enlightenment, Sistah Chat and Miami Waves.  Sistah Chat won a Third Place....

Miami Waves won an Honorable Mention in it's category....
It was a great show...  even without my ribboms :-).  Here are some of the pics I took...  enjoy the show...

This quilt is stunning.  It was right as you entered the show.  I love the movement and the use of all commercial fabrics.  Each blue section is made up of multiple small strips of fabric.

This quilt won it's category.  The image is so real, as if you were looking at a photograph.  The quilting is tiny, giving the piece quite a bit of texture.

This quilt is taken from the Ricky Tims Rhapsody book.  She did an excellent job with the piece and the quilting is exquisite!

I have seen ths pattern before.  It is a wonderful take on Grandmother's Fans.  I thought it was visually striking.  Loved the colors pulled from the focus fabric and the way she made the boarder apart of the design.

This Mom as the card read was forced to make a monochrome quilt for her 'other daughter'.  It is entitled OM3 = Other Mothers Monochromatic Madness.  I love the way she used the one color in many shades.  I remember my second quilt was going to be 2 colors and the women in the quilt shop recommended against it.  She said the eye would not travel well across the top.  Well I made it and my sister loved it and I just love this piece.  My eye continually travels across this piece.  Doesn't yours?

From one color to the color wheel.  This quilt is called Circular Color Wheel.  The quilter's neice brought a circular bed, so she made a circular quilt to go on top.  According to the quilter, it is actually used on her niece's bed!  I would love to walk into my room and see this on the bed :-)....

My friend and fellow Pelham Quilter, Donna Chambers made this piece.  Believe it or not it is her first quilt!  You have to know Donna, she is a true artist.  Each piece she makes is more beautiful then the next.  As soon as I post pics from last weeks retreat you will see what I mean....

Anyway, I don't know about you, but what first quilter thought to take an ordinary log cabin block and turn it into this!  Her fabrics are always so full of life.  I think I should go fabric shopping with her :-)....

Ok, that is enough for now.  I have a few other pictures, but I am tired.  I will post those sometimes next week.

And yes, I know I owe you guys photo's from retreat.  I promise to post them soon.....  we had such a wonderful time, I came home exhausted!