Tuesday, March 30, 2010

More Flower Show ... and a Quilt Show, Too!

A few more photos of the exhibits at the Boston Spring Flower Show to brighten my dark and rainy day. The ground is saturated and there is nowhere for the water to go! The rivers are at flood stage or over their banks. Fortunately we live on a hill and are high and our basement is dry. I am staying in and sewing and visiting with my quilty pals online today ... and enjoying the pretty pictures from the weekend ... and looking forward to better weather. As soon as the sun comes out again the forsythia in our backyard will burst into bloom like the ones in this photo. Yellow and green are just my favorite colors.

It was a fun-filled event weekend. On Saturday, my husband and I also went to a quilt guild show in Needham, MA, that was hosted by the Quinobequin Quilters ...

which was just wonderful! It was not the largest of shows in terms of number of quilts or vendors or venue, but ,oh my, the quilts they displayed were all so unique and just beautiful! My husband even had a difficult time filling out a Viewer's Choice card. Many times we attend a show and he does not even find one quilt that appeals to him enough to vote. This time we actually went around in circles with our little pencil crossing out and changing our choices. We wish we could have voted for many more quilts. It shall be interesting to go visit their website to see their announcement of which of these beauties were chosen. Here is a photo of both mine and my husband's choice for large quilt ...

This is an intricate applique quilt is called, I believe, "Ladies of the Sea" and was made by Kelly Savignano. Each tall ship is different and the border has wonderful swags of applique flowers. The card said it took two years for her to make. This same amazing quilter made this small quilt called "Sunset at the Bourne Bridge" which was my husband's choice for small wall quilt. For those of you not familiar with Cape Cod, the Bourne Bridge spans the Cape Cod Canal. For an idea of just how true to image this quilt is, I am also posting a public domain file image of the actual bridge at sunset. I love landscape quilts although I have never made one. I am so overwhelmed by the artistry of quilters who can create with fabric and thread such a realistic portrait of nature.

You can click on the smaller photos to view them larger so you may enjoy the details of these beautiful quilts.

One last quilt from the show ... this amazing quilt has been displayed in an astronomical exhibit in Washington, DC. It is called "The Great 25-inch Telescope at Foggy Bottom" and was made by Sara Schechner. This quilt was accompanied by photos and the story of its display in DC. The tiny attention to detail, including the astronomers in historical dress, in this small quilt cannot be appreciated in just a photo. I wish all of you may sometime have the opportunity to see these quilts in a major show somewhere. I am awed by the creative skill of these quilters and feel blessed to have enjoyed their quilts at this show. This really was a small sample of the many gorgeous quilts in this show.

I did my small part to support the vendors at this show by taking home these pretties that just called to me ... I have no idea what I will make with them but I just could not resist their call and they are all washed and folded and fondled and enjoyed ...

I love fabric way too much ... ;-) Pat

Monday, March 29, 2010

Boston Spring Flower Show Time

It was a cold but sunny weekend in my quilty corner. Yesterday, I went to the Boston Spring Flower Show with my husband and our daughter, our oldest son and his girlfriend. I have enjoyed this rite of spring since I was a child and missed it last year when it was cancelled. It was nice to see this tradition return. I always enjoy the sights and colors and scents and sounds of spring ... the birds in the aviary exhibit ... the tulips and daffodils and other spring bulbs ... the roses and azaleas ... the pine trees and green grass ... the quiet fish pools and the whispering waterfalls and fountains. It was beautiful. This year there were also elaborately decorated cakes and cooking demonstrations.
A good time was had by all ...

:-) Pat

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Making Baby Quilts!

... with the Quilt & Needle "Quilty Aunties" is one of my very favorite things to do. We meet here ...

... and sew in our homes and send the pieces out with hugs and kisses and in a manner of months we have an adorable baby quilt to cuddle a newborn in one of our members families. We are always welcoming new members. Please join us! I like to think we are making life in our world a little softer, warmer, friendlier.

Above is the very first baby quilt we made together in the summer of 2006 and it winged its way to an adorable baby girl in Australia. Her Nana posts pictures of her on occasion and we are enjoying watching her grow!

We use free patterns that we find online and dip in our stashes. The quilt in the picture above was made with a free pattern on one of my favorite sites, Bonnie Hunter's "Quiltville" ...

Thank you, Bonnie, for generously sharing your wonderful scrappy patterns with all of us!!

We have used many free online patterns over the years and made many pretty baby quilts. Recently when one of our grandmas announced that her daughter was going to have a new baby boy in August and that she would love to receive an applique giraffe and star quilt, we looked all over online and could not find a suitable free pattern ... so we decided to make our own pattern. I used my EQ6 and my rudimentary drawing skills to come up with this layout. I tested the pattern sewing up these blocks which will become part of the baby quilt. Then the quilter who volunteered to coordinate this project with me and I uploaded the files to our sign-up thread and we are on our way to making another cute baby quilt!!

Here are the pattern how-to's for our Baby Giraffe Star Chain Quilt!

The Baby Giraffe Applique Block ..

The Star Chain Block ...

(Star Chain Block Rotary Cutting)

(Star Chain Block Templates)

(Baby Giraffe Quilt Layout)

If you make this quilt I would love to see pictures!

Have a happy quilty day, everyone!

:-) Pat

Monday, March 22, 2010

Getting Ready for Easter!

The weather in my Quilty Corner was just gorgeous
for the 1st Day of Spring on Saturday!!

Easter countdown banner

The need to be out and about ... and to find jelly beans and chocolate Easter bunnies ... took over and I went shopping, did a little retail therapy and came home with a bagful of goodies which I have hidden away for a few more days ... well after leaving a few Lindt truffles out for sampling. I had a lot of help making those disappear over the weekend ... all three of my adult children stopped by on Sunday. This always makes me very happy. I told them they all have to come back on Easter Sunday to get the rest of the goodies. So I am preparing for a lovely Easter Brunch with my family.

Then on my trip to the grocery store I bought a ha
m and started menu planning. Yum! I also could not resist the lovely, yellow daffodils that now grace my kitchen table. They smell so lovely and as the weather has turned gray today and there is more rain coming, their sunny smile is really brightening my day!

... and ...

Since the grocery store is so close to a quilt shop, I just had to stop in and see their new goodies and I found this wonderful bolt of "Bunny's Day Out" border print in the clearance section!! So clearly I had to partake of this bargain fabric ...

I am planning to make a table cloth with it for Easter!! I used some of this fabric that was left from making some charity blocks and a baby quilt last year in the placemats that were in the previous post so they will match perfectly!

While I accompanied my daughter as she looked for new spring clothes at Kohls I could not resist those ceramic Easter baskets. Too cute. I am sure the guys in my life have been missing having a pink ceramic Easter egg basket in their lives! ;-)

Still working on my Mystery Quilt. I am loving how the center medallion is coming together. I am thinking of changing the borders around to better suit my needs. So my mystery will remain a mystery a little longer.

Well, I am off to clean my home and then to sew!!

Have a happy quilty day!! :-) Pat

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quilts and Swaps are Springing!

The sun has at last come out again in the northeast! The rivers will still run high for a few more days but the deluge is passed. The windows are open and the winter quilts are getting tucked away. Above is my favorite spring wall quilt. (You may click on the images to enlarge either of these two pictures to see the fabric and quilting details.) I made this quilt two years ago and it was my first attempt at adding some free motion quilting to my stitch in the ditch and contour quilting on my home machine. I am still pretty proud of the stipple on the mint green that help to make the flower basket stand out. This was also my first medallion quilt. I found the center "Grape Basket Block" on Block Central ...

... and I just kept adding borders until it felt like it was "done." The green basket weave fabric always makes me think of Easter baskets and bunnies. I liked these colors so much that last spring, I took the scraps and added some strips left from my Spring Flower Swap Fabric and made place mats and pot-holders. For a tutorial on how to make the pot holders follow these easy directions for "Quick Hot Pads and Coasters" from Jess on the Quilt & Needle ...


What have I been working on lately? I have been catching up on some swaps and blocks, like these pretty blue and yellow ones for the April "My Favorite Block" lotto on Block Central ... I sure have my fingers crossed that I win all these pretties ...

... and I am working the new Mystery at the Q&N. Here are my fabrics ...

I am still on the early instalments so I will post more pictures later. I love these Stonehenge fabrics.

Last Saturday I braved the rain and went to the first Quilt Guild Show of the season that was an hour and a half drive from my home. It was the Thimble Pleasures Quilt Guild's Biennial Show and it was very well run. There were many beautiful quilts to see. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera! I also stopped at two wonderful quilt shops that are a little too far away to visit often ... I am already thinking I want to go back soon though. Charlie found some Asian fabric and magazines and I added to my Stonehenge fabric stash ... two of my purchases are going to find their way into my mystery quilt. :-)

Back to sewing ... have a happy, quilty day! :-) Pat

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Q&N Retreat in Tomball ...

... is this week in Texas ... and I will not be there this year in person. This is the photo of last year's retreaters ... Jess, Cindy, Jami, Milica, Connie, Lizzie, Nancy and me ... and Miki, Vicki, and Jenn (with Jacob) who went shop hopping with us for a day ...

So ... I am waving wildly and wishing my quilty pals safe journeys and a wonderful time! ;-)

Looking back to last year ... this is a photo of the center block of last year's Mystery Quilt hanging on the wall in the sewing room at the retreat. I bought a personalized kit from Jess of the Sisterhood of Quilting fabrics and had everyone sign a part of the panel and worked these into the border for my Q&N Panel Challenge project. I packed the pieces of my quilt and my memories and carried them home to complete. I am a slow piecer and I was having too much fun gabbing and enjoying my friends to get this done in Texas. ;-)

Here is my finished quilt top with borders of my own design to enter this into the online Q&N Panel Challenge ...

To see all the projects from this challenge and to see the winners, enjoy the eye candy in this thread ...

Looking forward ... I will be snuggling under my finished quilt at home for this retreat and I will be there "in spirit." I will be chatting online with my quilty pals in the "Snug" on Friday evening at 6:00pm CST. My Mystery Kit is on the way to my mailbox and I will be sewing along at home this weekend on Jess's newest Mystery!

New friends are always welcome to join in the fun. You can sign up here for the pattern ...

... the fabric requirements and cutting chart will be sent to you by email and you can be there sewing along with all of us this weekend as we post our progress on the forum ...

Hope you will join us!

:-) Pat

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring Is Coming!

Spring countdown banner

The windows are open There are buds on the forsythia and I found that the crocuses are coming up under the winter's accumulation of windblown leaves. Spring will soon be here!

Saturday was a fine day for a drive through the north country. I shop-hopped my way through seven quilt shops on the Leprechaun Shop Hop in NH and found some lovely buys to add to the 30's Layer Cake Swap. Here are some of my new pretties ...

These fabrics are swishing in my washer. :-)

My favorite "new to me" shop was "The Quilted Frog" ...


The fabrics in this picture were all purchased at this shop. More pretties ...

All of these fabrics are Darlene Zimmerman prints. I seem to have a lot of her repros in my 30's stash. The Quilted Frog is right by the bridge to Weirs Beach. My hubby even enjoyed browsing and bought a book called "Easy Japanese Quilt Style" and we found some gorgeous geisha fabric for his personal stash. The staff is very friendly and helpful, too. This shop is well worth a stop for quilters visiting the Lakes Region.

It is Monday house cleaning day. Since it is so spring-like the spring cleaning mode is kicking in. I have done three loads of winter bedding already today. Some quilts ready to put in later.

Hmmmm ... time to be hanging a spring quilt on the wall ... ;-)

New song for the player is "Morning Has Broken" ... a song I always associate with spring and new beginnings.



Thursday, March 4, 2010

I Love Fabric Swaps!

Above is a sweet homemade jelly roll that I rolled myself with all of the lovely 30's fabrics I received in the mail from a 3" strip swap on the Block Central Quilting Forum. In these monthly "mini-swaps" you pack the goodies in a standard business envelope, tape it up well and send it directly to the recipient. I also received this lovely stack of 6" blue Charm Squares in a recent monthly swap. This month we are swapping pretty pink strips and batik charms. To join the fun register and jump right in here ...

I cannot get enough of these cheery bright fabrics right now! Here are my strips laid out with my 30's repros stash.

To add to my fabric fondling, I have also started a new 10" Layer Cake Swap on the Quilt & Needle Forum. In this swap I collect the fabric sets, swap the squares and send your new layer cakes out to you. We are swapping sets of TEN 10" squares. Everyone is welcome to join in here ...

I love getting "squishies" in the mail!

:-) Pat