May 27, 2010

Amish Quilts

Yesterday I was invited to join a a few quilting friends for a road trip to view the Amish Quilt Abstraction exhibit at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. These wonderful quilts are from a collection owned by Faith and Stephen Brown who have spent years collecting these pieces of quilting history and have generously shared it with so many. There were 48 beautiful quilts in this exhibit. Most dating back to the mid 1800 and early 1900.

It was such a treat to see these Amish quilts up close. All the beautiful colors so perfectly placed and balanced to create the designs.

I now have a whole new prospective on the use of solid colored fabrics and their use in a quilt. The handquilting quilting is so beautiful on these quilts. So perfectly stitched. Such patience.

If you have to opportunity to see this wonderful exhibit. You will be thoroughly rewarded with a glimpse into these wonderful quilters lives. Inspired, and in awe.

While you are at the museum, don't overlook visiting the ninth floor observatory that gives you a marvelous view of the city. Here is one view looking down at the Hall of Science across the way, and park area between the buildings.

A beautiful day with friends and quilts---

May 23, 2010

Doodling has Title

I didn't start out to be a quilter. Although I've always loved anything to do with fabric and sewing machines---my background is really art.

I haven't painted or did a watercolor for ages though. However, I still love to "doodle". So, when I read this blog about "Zentangles" ---I thought wow! I'm a Zentangler, and I didn't even know it. There is a name for what I do? Here are my most recent "zentangles" (I feel so official!)

I use a Crisco jar lid and draw around it to make the circles. The shape is not important though. Just whatever paper you have works. I like the circles though. Then I make some lines within the circles. They can be curvy or straight, and start doodling. I use a Zig millennium black ink pen to draw. It's fun, and relaxing and could be incorporated into quilting.

May 21, 2010

Navajo Fleece Quilt

This is the latest fleece quilt off the frame. Navajo fleece. I love the vivid colors and theme on this one.

I couldn't quite decide on a quilting design. I looked for a pantograph that perhaps mimicked the jagged back and forth motion of the navajo motif only in a larger scale, but never could find one. I decided on a soft dwirling free motion.

This is 56" x 76". I used So-Fine dark green thread. The fringe is 4" long. It took about 2 hours to quilt on the long arm after getting it pinned onto the leaders. Fleece quilts up fast and makes a cozy-quick sofa quilt. I'm looking forward to all the new fleece that will start appearing at Joann's soon. This particular navajo fleece was one of the bolt ends Joanns had on sale this past March.

Brown backing fleece and more details of the dwirling effect.

May 18, 2010

Quilting - Pies & Tarts

I finished quilting on this Martha Quilt the Remnants mini group made this past weekend. I started out with a pantograph, but about one row into the quilting I decided I would try free hand quilting the design instead of standing at the front of the long arm instead of staring at the laser pointer .

My own version of Spiral Path---


Maybe it's the name of the quilt. Maybe it's just the challenge to learn a new technique. Or it could be because the project consists of one of my favorite type of fabrics and food groups---but, I've been thinking about this quilt for weeks. I keep going over to the shop website and looking at it. I've Googled every image I can find for this quilt, and today after chatting with my quilting-buds about english paper piecing. ---which I know very little about ---I signed up at Quilters Paradise for their "Pies & Tarts" block of the month. Yummy!

Any quilting-bloggers doing Pies and Tarts? I'd love to hear from you....

May 14, 2010

Orange Dragonfly

This orange dragonfly---called the Flame Skimmer has been flitting around the east side of the hill below the house for weeks and I've been trying to get a good photo. He sees me, and takes off. Yesterday when I came home from shopping---there he was. I stopped the car, grabbed my small Sony Cyber Shot I carry in my purse. I got this picture. (click on the pic.)

The lace in his wings is amazing.

Some facts about Dragonflies:
Dragonflies are heavy-bodied and usually larger than damselflies; their huge eyes are very close together and they are strong fliers. At rest, they hold their wings out flat to the sides, or slightly forward and downward.
Flame Skimmer
Libellula saturata
Size: large; length 52-61 mm
Male: all red-orange including the inside halves of its wings. The thorax and abdomen are unstriped, the eyes, face, legs, stigma and appendages are all red-orange; the wings are reddish out to slightly beyond nodus (slight bend in wing) with a red streak along the leading edge

Female: not as colorful having an orange streak along the leading edge of wings only
Behavior: hawks insects from perch and holds it wings out flat when at rest
Habitat: ponds, lakes, slow streams, pools of rivers
SW flight period: February - December

May 11, 2010

Book Stash Reduction

I'm still on a roll reducing stashes in the Itsy-Bitsy sewing room. This time it's books. I did the magazines a few weeks ago and sold a lot of them on a quilters Yahoo group (sewitsforsale). Some I took to quilt retreat where they disappeared---and yes (shudder) some simply went into the paper recycle can.

There is a nice thing about getting older and not remembering everything. As I was sorting through the books yesterday, I would flip through the pages and wonder why did I ever buy this book? I can't recall why---so it must not be that important.Into the brown bag you go!
I purchased some of those cardboard magazine/book holders at Staples and hope they help organize some of the books into catagories of: Baby Quilt books, Technique books, Jelly Roll/Strip Piecing books and etc. I'm still sorting but here are the results so far. All the books on the floor still have to sorted through. Some will get put in the brown paper bag, others back on the shelf.
This is more difficult than the fabric stash reduction I did last week. I love books so much! Maybe more than fabric, or even thread!

May 07, 2010

Tractor Man

The rainy season seems to have disappeared all of a sudden. Summer is just around the corner and the weeds are taller with each passing day. We seem to have a lot of annoying milkweed this year. Even the deer can't keep it munched down like they normally do. The orchard trees are loaded with blossoms and the bees are busy pollinating, so we should have plenty of apples this Fall. Bill has been busy running the tractor and discing. It's a never ending job for tractor man!

Bill in the apple orchard