Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Me and my quilting peeps

Me and Ronda Beyer in Portland at the Northwest Quilt Expo - Sept 2010 - She's one of my longarm heroes!

The photos below were all taken at The International Quilt Festival in Houston - 2010
Me and Mary Kay Runyan - we met via The Quilt Show.
Me and Karen McTavish. One of my longarm heroes!!
Me and Sherry Rodgers Harrison. Another of my longarm heroes!!
Me and Dusty Ferrell. Yup, another longarm hero.
Me and Dan Novak, owner of Nolting. I bought my longarm from him.
Me and Dana Lynch. We met through The Quilt Show and have met in real life twice.
 Me and Maggie Szafranski - another Quilt Show friend.
Me and Margo - another Quilt Show friend.
Me and Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero - creator of Kaleidoscope Kreator 3 - a friend and fellow Coloradoan.
Me and Hanne-Grete Brink. We met via The Quilt Show. She is from Norway and gives the best hugs!!

Time to catch up

Brandon and Amber came down for Labor Day weekend.  They got to meet Liam then and we had family photos taken on Saturday.  I am truly blessed with a wonderful family!!

The end of September we went to Oregon for 8 days.  Spent the first day at the Northwest Quilt Expo and then spent 4 wonderful, glorious days at a rented beach house, with great friends, in Lincoln City, OR.  The mornings were fogged in most of the visit, but the afternoons and evenings were beautiful!  Saw a couple amazing sunsets. It was nice to have a day to visit with my brother and his wife while we were at the beach.  It had been 5 years since we had seen each other.  There is something about the sound and motion of the waves to calms the soul.

I was busy getting customer quilts done before we went to Oregon and also when we returned.  In early November I went to Houston, TX for the International Quilt Festival.  I had attended the Spring Festival in Chicago 7 years ago, their inaugural year.  So, I was prepared for the vastness of the size of the one in Houston.  I stayed with my girlfriend, Pete, and we had a wonderful time!!  I met ladies in real life that I knew from The Quilt Show and Facebook.  That was the highlight of the trip!!  As much as I enjoyed Houston, I realized that my passion is in longarm quilting and I enjoyed MQS last May more. 

Brandon and Amber were able to make it down for Christmas.  (I didn't get a family photo, darn)  It was such a special Christmas, having my children and their spouses here, and, of course, little Liam.  Yeah, we're not proud grandparents at all.  LOL

This is a condensed update on what our lives have been like the past few months.  I will work harder on keeping this updated and will be posting more quilts.  After all, that is what I want a lot of my blog to be about.  But, being a mom and wife, my family will be popping in here from time to time.

Till next time,
Happy Quilting

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Angel Wings Quilt

Our grandson, Liam, was born August 18, 2010.  When he was 11 days old a friend came down from Broomfield, CO to take newborn photos.  I can't take credit for the idea of this quilt, but I did make it and after the photo session I gave the quilt to Vicki to use in her photography business.  He's our piece of Heaven on Earth!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Time for Farm Market Stands and the County Fair

A local farm market is owned by a woman that Glen graduated high school with.  I stopped by today and brought home a dozen ears of Sugar and Cream corn and 2 cantaloupe.  Rocky Ford is known as the melon capital  for a reason.  Ü  Looking forward to cutting into them this evening!  For dinner?  I'll be wrapping the ears of corn in foil and popping those puppies on the bbq.  Oh YUM!!  If I can get motivated, I need to get corn frozen next week before they get too dry.  Around here, the corn and melons are picked daily.  Again, YUM!!

The ArkValley Fair is less then a week away.  Rachel has been very busy crocheting for baby Liam (due Aug 14) so she will have things to enter in the fair.  I have a quilt for Liam to enter and a crocheted afghan.  I've actually stopped crocheting for him since Rach is having so much fun doing it.  LOL  Since I quilt as a business, I have to enter as a professional, so less things can go in.  Or maybe I could enter more, but I have little time to quilt for me these days.

Summer zaps all energy out of me.  I am so ready for Sept to get here.  We still have warm days in Sept, but we get more breaks from the heat.  The older I get, the harder it is to get through the summers.  Now, if I could spend all day quilting, that would be ok with me.  Ok, so the sewing room and quilt studio are both downstairs, the coolest rooms in the house.  LOL  In the winter, they are also the warmest rooms in the house, so I dress iin layers in the house and undo layers when I'm down there.

I will update with photos next week.  Hopefully there will be lots of fair ribbons to share.

Happy Quilting!!!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

May 13, 2010 - Karen McTavish and Sue Patton

Me and Karen McTavish

8:30 am - 10:30 am - Thursday started with another class with Karen McTavish.  Victorian Feathers!!  She worked with a white board and a longarm.  She had a camerman there so what she drew or quilted was shown on a screen.  I like to think I'm proficient in quilting feathers and it was fun to see another way to make them unique.  It was a packed 2 hours with quilting and drawing!  As Karen would draw, so would we, and then she would quilt the feathers out.  I have pages of drawings to continue practicing on.  Soon I will be making time on the longarm  to play with these fun feathers! 

11-12:30 - Luncheon and fashion show.  The theme for MQS this year was South Of The Border.  So lunch was taco salads.  Dawn Cavanaugh was the MC for the fashion show and it was a fun event.  Kim, Betty and I met up for the luncheon.  Then it was off to the next class...

Me and Sue Patton

1 pm - 3 pm - Sue Patton Edge to Edge quilting designs.  Again it was a fast paced 2 hours.  Two women left after 40 minutes and that is a shame.  Granted, not everything Sue does is for everyone, but the second hour she also discussed how to keep quilts square on the frame.  For a longarmer, that is very important!!  Sue's free motion technique is one I will have to practice more on fabric than paper to get then swing of it.  She was also a fun teacher!  A voice that carries throughout the room without the need of  a microphone.  She says she is banned from using them.  LOL  She also demonstrate on a white board as we followed along with our handouts and drew along with her. 

Since we had a little time, we went in search of the mall we didn't find on Tuesday.  We managed to go to Penney's and that was all.  LOL  But, Kim, Betty and I managed to find a few things there we couldn't live without.  Then we saw a Burger King and stopped for burgers.  Nothing fancy but it worked for us.  :-)

Now it was time for the evenings event, the Audacious Quilt Auction. The money from this auction is where the grant money comes from.  IMQA offers grants to those that apply and are awarded one.  When one applies for a grant, they agree to  make a quilt for this auction, either the year they receive it or the following year.  I am a lucky recipient of a grant this year and I wanted to make something that would hopefully garnish a fair amount of money to help this very worthwhile program. 

Kool Kaleidoscope front

I designed this Kool Kaleidoscope from the directions from Ricky Tims Kool Kaleidoscope DVD.  It is all made in batiks except for the blue background.  I hadn't planned on doing much for custom quilting on it but when I got started on it, I knew it needed to have special quilting done to it.

Kool Kaleidoscope back

The back turned out just about as pretty as the front did!  It was very difficult for me to give this away, but I made it for the auction and that is where it went.  I sat with Karen McTavish during the auction, but she has to leave mid way through.  I asked if she would mind looking at my quilt and give me her opinion on it sometime.  She left and then came right back.  She had taken photos of the quilt and had a couple questions for me.  One was, why didn't I stitch in the ditch on one section.  I told her I didn't now I was supposed to.  Then she asked me why I was giving it away.  I told her about the grant I received.  She told me this was a show piece and couldn't understand why I was giving it away.  Ok, so these few minutes with Karen validate (to me) that my quilting is good!  I am good at what I do!  She could not have been more gracious to me then she was at that moment.  I mean, honestly, Karen critiqued my quilt!!  At that moment, I was so pleased to have made this quilt for the auction.  After she left, a young lady I had met wanted to see the quilt, so we went over to see it.  I bought my Nolting from the company and had been to their factory 6 years ago and met the owner, Dan, at that time.  The men of MQS (the vendors) were all involved in the auction in one way or another, mostly holding a quilt as it was being auctioned.  I saw that Dan had mine and when I told him it was mine, he told me he knew that when he saw the label and that is why he was going to carry mine.  I was so pleased with that!  The quilt sold for $400 and I was brought to tears with it.  I don't know who bought the quilt.  I hope they enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.

The end of the 3rd day was amazing!!  I was on a high that I can't put into words.  And there was one more day to go!!  Until tomorrow, Happy Quilting.

My Wholecloth

It's hard to get a good picture, but this is the wholecloth I designed in Karen's class.  I still have the crosshatching to do.  I'm thinking between the rope and feather borders to give a break between all the curves.

This is the bottom center.  Each side has a center and this is the part I didn't do right.  You shouldn't have fathers "kissing" as these are.  What I am thinking of doing is putting in a medallion in this section, maybe a small heart.  It is marked and the marking can be removed, so I will be working on this to get it the way I want it.
More later this evening.  Every day at MQS just got better and better!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May 12, 2010 - Karen McTavish

8 am - 3 pm - 7 hours with Karen McTavish marking a wholecloth quilt!!  Who knew there was so much to learn about making a wholecloth quilt?  Not me!  I have her book, I have read through it (tho it has been a whlie ago) and now things make more sense.  I'm a visual person.  I can read an instruction book and sort of understand the how-to's, but when I am in a class and am being taught the how-to's, then they make more sense.  :-)  Karen explained the process of choosing your stencils, specifics on the borders, and we were on our way then to go through the stencils spread out on the floor.  (and why didn't I take a picture of them?)  Several of us took our fabrics out to the hallway (again no pics) to lay them out and start marking.  Ok, so I didn't totally understand at the time what to do for the border, and of course, I picked a stencil that wasn't exactly "right".  Karen came out and we talked about it, I realized what was wrong before she came out.  I told her what I was going to do and she told me to keep marking.  At the end I think it is going to work.  I was able to get my outer border, center medallion and center border marked in before the end of class.  We took breaks so Karen could show us different techniques.  Some people took a lunch break but many of us stayed to keep marking our quilts.  Even with a 7 hour class, there wasn't enough time to get it completely marked.  And when you make a wholecloth, you have to have it completely marked, including the crosshatching.  So, a crosshatching stencil is next on my shopping list.  :-)

Karen's website -

Karen has authored 4 books (of which I own) including her Wholecloth quilt book which  has been put back into publication due to popular demand.  She is an award winning quilter and is the sweetest person.  I have known about her for years (as anyone in the quilting/longarm business does) and I first "met" her on facebook a few months ago.  It was so good to meet her in person and to chat with her. 

My wholecloth is still folded up but I will put it up and get photos taken in the next day or two.  I'll show  you where I made my mistake with the outer border.  When I get back to it, I won't think of it as a mistake, I will think of it as a design challenge.  :-)  Next will be to work in the time to start quilting on it.

From 3-7 it was Shopping Frenzy with the vendors.  Oh my!!  It was the first hours the vendors were open and it definitely was a wild frenzy!  It was so much fun.  LOL  I bought a few things that afternoon and continued shopping on Friday.  Between rulers and backing, that was where I spent most of my money.  A big purchase was a Quiltazoid.  Yes, you read that right.  LOL  They are made to order so mine should be here in about 2 weeks.  I can hardly wait to get it and start playing with it!  Imagine a large spirograph mechanism that can make 600+ designs.  PLUS you can get other templates to use.  The ideas are endless.  It just dawned on me that I didn't even test drive it, just ordered it.  LOL  I knew I wanted one and just watched in awe as it was being demonstrated.  Many say that the difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.  Well, I think when it comes to quilters, the saying is the same.  :-)

More tomorrow.  Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May 11 2010 - classes with Judy Allen/Ronda Beyer and DeLoa Jones

8 am - noon - My first class at MQS was with Judy Allen and Ronda Beyer  The first half of the class was with Judy, lecture style, the second half was with Ronda Beyer using the Judalator rules for curve cross hatching.  We were using Gammill longarm machines.  I don't for certain, but I have a feeling the one I was using was new because it was like driving a Mac truck, very hard to maneuver.  Then again, I own a Nolting so it was a very different machine.  But, I did learn a lot and had a blast!!  Both ladies were great to take a class from.  Now to finish my class sampler!!

Me and Ronda

1 pm - 5 pm - My second class was with DeLoa Jones.  For my birthday Glen got me a set (6) of her longerm rulers.  Three of them are made for curved crosshatching but I also found them VERY useful for quilting continuous curves!!  What I like about them is that the curves are the same on either side of the rulers so they can be flipped.  I emailed DeLoa in March and told her how much I loved these rulers and wished she would make them in smaller sizes.  We emailed a couple of times, she telling me that she would see what she could do.  Imagine my excitement when I walked into her classroom and on her merchandise table were 2 smaller rulers!!  Of course I had to buy them immediately!  In fact, she sold out the next afternoon when the opened up the vender mall, she had to have more shipped in for Friday.  Now to find the time to work with them!!  Her class was also hands on.  This time we used an A-1 machine.  It ran nice and smooth, I was having more fun with this machine.  But, I didn't like that the rollers sat on top of the rails because I moved the machine once and it came off the track and sat sideways on the table.  LOL  DeLoa would draw out how to do a feather technique and then we would go to the machines and stitch them out.  Then we would sit down and she would draw out another feather technique...  It was great!!  I love doing feathers and am always looking for new ways to use them.

Me and DeLoa

My days started at 5:45 am.  (I'm not the best morning person normally)  My first morning was getting my registration pack and then sitting and having a few small pastries and meeting a few ladies.  With the hour lunch break, I met up with Kim and Betty and we had sandwiches at the convention center.  They were ok, nothing to write home about.  When I left DeLoa's class, I met Karen McTavish in the walkway between the convention center and the hotel.  We had become facebook friends a couple of months earlier.  She recognized me right away and gave me a big hug.  She is so sweet!!  She was setting up for classes so I told her I would see her the next morning.  For dinner we found a Panera Bread close by, tried to find the mall but didn't (found out a few days later we were going the wrong direction) and then settled in for the night.

My first day at MQS was amazing!! My classes rocked!!  Next up, 7 hours with Karen McTavish....

Monday, May 17, 2010

MQS 2010

I spent 4 days last week taking classes from AWESOME longarm quilters!!  Judy Allen, Ronda Beyer, DeLoa Jones, Karen McTavish, Sue Patton and Dawn Cavanaugh.  These are ladies that are top in their field and I came out of each class with my head reeling and buzzing with all the different techniques I learned.  I have a number of customer quilts to do so practicing what I learned will be on hold for a while.  BUT, in the meantime I will practice on paper.  In the quilting world there is the PPP factor, Practice, Practice, Practice.  It's the way we work on the muscle memory.  I didn't really understand muscle memory until one of the teachers said it's like our signature.  Our signature is uniform because of muscle memory.  We don't think about it when we sign our signature, it comes naturally.  The same happens with anything you do with repetition.  I never thought of why my quilted feathers were getting easier to make, now I understand it.

And, of course, I am sitting at the shop with no pictures here to upload.  But, as I update this week, I will be adding some photos.

So, do you have a passion?  Mine used to be crocheting.  My great grandmother taught me to crochet when I was 14.  She came over to the states from Germany when she was 16.  She was a wonderful woman!!  For everything I make, I send up a special thank you to her.  I still enjoy crocheting, but quilting on the longarm is much easier on my wrist and arms.  I also feel privileged to now be able to quilt for others and make an earning from it.

I feel as if I am still trying to catch up on rest from last week.  It's probably good that I'm at the shop this afternoon or I would crawl into bed and take a nap.  LOL  Hopefully photos will follow in the next couple of days. 

Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt

When we went for our anniversary weekend, I knew I needed to find fabric for this quilt. There are 5 of us that are going to make this quilt. Each of us have a list of blocks we will be doing, and we will make 5 of each block. We keep one and everyone else gets one. This way we don't make each and every 111 blocks ourselves. Each person will make 1 block a month and it will take us almost 2 years to complete the swap. These are the ones I bought for this project. We went to Harriet's Treadle Arts in Wheat Ridge, CO where I got these civil war reproduction fat quarters and thread. I LOVE Presencia thread!!

Than there was a stop at High Country Quilts in Coloroado Sprgs where I got a yard of Jo Morton ladies head fabrics and a bundle of 15 Jo Morton fat quarters. Such yummy fabric!! I took a couple of classes with Jo 4 years ago. Her mom was with her and we had some time when we were able to sit and chat. What a sweet lady!! Her passion is for civil war era fabrics and quilts and she specialized in miniatures. What fun these are going to be to play with!!

We have a really great mechanic who has gone above and beyond a few times. I've thought of making him a wallhanging for his office area and when I saw this fabric at HCQuilts, I thought it would be perfect. The quilt will be simple so that the focus fabric pops. The lady that was cutting my fabric said they just got this in last week and have sold quite a bit of it already. Hmmm, could that be because racing season has started? Ü

I also found this beautiful birdhouse fabric! So, I picked up 4 coordinating fabrics to go with it. The quilt will be simple as I will use the birdhouses as the focus and use the colors to add accent. I have an idea of what I want to do.

There is nothing more tranquil then to give a quilter new fabric!! I have no quilt shop here within an hours drive, so when I get to a quilt shop every 6 months or so, I'm like a kid in a candy shop. LOL

Happy Spring

We just got back from a long weekend away for a little belated anniversary. Wow, 30 years!! It doesn't seem possible until I think of all that has transpired during this time span. We spent Friday evening and Saturday morning with Brandon and Amber up in Greeley. Ok, so why didn't I take any photos? No idea. Saturday we went down to Denver and did a little fabric shopping (Glen is such a dear!!!) and topped the evening off with having dinner with Joy and Jim, dear friends of mine in Arvada. Then we drove down to Colorado Springs for a few days. Sunday was Disney on Ice at the World Arena, then dinner across the road at Outback. The day was very relaxing!! Monday we spent the day with Glen's brother and wife, got back to the motel at 2:30 am! Ok, so are we thinking we are youngsters again!! Tuesday was another quilt shop, lunch at Red Top and then home. Rachel and Mike stayed at the house to take care of the animals for us. That really helped to make it possible for us to have the time away.

Now, as Easter will be here in a couple of days, I thought I would share a wallhanging I made a couple of years ago. It was a challenge piece for the Pueblo Quilt Expo. The them was "Memories", of which the word "memory" or "memories" had to be used. This is what I did with the fabric that was included. For me, my own families memories are holidays and birthdays. Since the Expo is always close to Easter, my thoughts went to Easter. This didn't win anything, but that didn't matter to me. I don't make things to win ribbons (tho they are always nice!! Ü). I make what I like, otherwise why bother. Ü

Now, will someone please tell me where the time goes? I have been very busy with quilting, so I'm certainly not going to complain!! I also hate the first of the year because it means it's time to get taxes done and I hate that. That is when having your own business bites. You would think after 27 years it wouldn't "hurt" so much. Oh well, taxes and death, you can't avoid them, and I'd rather pay the taxes than deal with death, so that is my positive thought for today! Ü

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's already the middle of January

It seems I get more involved in more things and forget to keep up with some of them, my blog included. As I sit here in my recliner, typing on my netbook, Glen is sitting in his recliner playing on his laptop. Boy, aren't we a pair. LOL

It has been a couple of busy months, but that doesn't seem like any kind of new news around here anymore. We got a family picture at Thanksgiving, but that photo is on the desktop, so I will add another blog with photo later. :-)

For Christmas, it was great to have our kids all here. We did get a special, early Christmas present December 7th when Rachel and Mike told us they are expecting!! There is only one Dr in town that is taking new OB patients but Rach can't get in to see him until January 27th, so we are still waiting for a due date. I think we are all waiting for a due date!!!!

We have had some cold temps this winter, but very little moisture. We did have a sort of White Christmas, only because there was a little snow on the ground Christmas day. Not enough to cover the ground, so it wasn't a pretty White Christmas. Our snowiest months are March and April, and hopefully we will get some moisture to get us into spring. We aren't missing the mud that comes with the moisture tho. LOL

With a baby coming, Rachel and Mike will be postponing their move for a while. We aren't going to complain! It will be nice to have a grandbaby to spoil for a while!! :-)

I was quite busy with quilting until New Years. Then I had a little break to get back into the swing of things. I always seem to need a couple of weeks to come down from all the high of the holiday activites. I have done some quilting, but mostly for me on small things. I have a customers quilt I will put on the frame in 2 days and another new customer/friend is sending me 2 to quilts from Montana. I'm very excited to quilt these for her!!

My next blog will be made from the desktop, then I can add photos!!!! LOL
Until then, Happy Quilting!!