Wednesday, November 18, 2015

To Mystery or not to Mystery?

Last year I invited friends over every Friday during December and January so we could sew on the current Bonnie Hunter ( mystery.  I didn't love the finished quilt, even though I loved my colors. It was just too busy for my style. I also used the exact colors that Bonnie is using this year! That's happened twice now.  So, do I play along or not? Here are some of my block units from last year:

One friend is going to work on Bonnie's Carolina Christmas quilt. She owns the book and knows what it will look like, but I still had the mystery pattern and gave her the cutting clues so she has everything cut and ready to go for each week. She will sew along every Friday with a new clue.

This is a picture of one-quarter of my Carolina Christmas quilt. It was her mystery in 2009. It is in Bonnie's book, Scraps & Shirttails II, available on her website:  

Several friends have said they're not going to do this year's mystery. I'm leaning toward a one-quarter size quilt so I can play along and be excited about the clues without committing as much time this year.  I've got a lot of fun sewing to catch up on since I spent so much time in pattern writing this year. Our daughter is coming home for Thanksgiving as well, so I definitely won't be starting on time.

If I decide to play along, I'm leaning toward the following colors:

Bonnie                                     Me                              
Black                                      Navy
Red                                         Purple
Gold                                       Green
Grey                                       Grey blue
Neutral                                   Neutral

What do you think? Are you playing along this year? Are you using Bonnie's colors or have you changed things up a bit? 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Mystery Shenanigans

My friend AnnMarie played along with our mystery sew-along and her quilt is FABULOUS! Check this out:

The reveal for the quilt coincided with a Sewing Weekend for the Westside Quilters Guild -- a three-day event we hold several times a year.  Kind of a stay-at-home retreat.  Set up on Friday and sewing all evening. Sew all day Saturday and take down on Sunday afternoon.  I was teaching on Saturday, so couldn't be with the group.  It appears a few of them decided to play with my quilts while I was gone!

We meet in North Plains, Oregon and it has a huge elephant garlic festival every year. That's the "elephant garlic king" statue you see here.  

If you'd like to see more pictures of the first quilt, head over to AnnMarie's blog:  RunandSewQuilts

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pressing Matters

Ever have a project take on a life of its own?! You can see where this went:

I now have over 1300 half-square triangles ready to sew into a quilt!  Woo hoo!  This project began as a "leaders and enders" project and I was amazed at how quickly these little triangles piled up. Clearly, they're anxious to be put into a quilt. They are already sorted into groups of 16 that will make up the 80 blocks. This is not my pattern... sometimes you just need to sew for fun and not because you're testing or writing.  :)  

Stay tuned!

Friday, June 12, 2015

A Friday Finish!

Woo hoo!! I finally finished something!  I've been working on a fabulous, tedious, awesome quilt for the Westside Quilters Guild show in October. When you're one of the featured quilters, along with Elizabeth Hartman, you kind of feel the need to "up your game."  I'm hoping to have that top finished by the end of June, but I did manage to get something else finished -- a pattern!

I made this darling quilt and taught it as a class last year at Ocean Waves Quilt Camp (which will be held October 28-November 1 this year). However, I never finished the pattern.  After presenting it as part of a program at the Mid-Valley Quilt Guild in Salem, it was time to put it on the top of my list. It's really nice to have something finished! Have a fabulous Friday!

Today I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  Check out their sites for more Friday finishes.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Quilt Reveal Part 2

I've been participating in a Round Robin quilt with five of my friends. We brought our quilt centers to a meeting in September and have been swapping quilts every 6-8 weeks.  This was a very wide open, no rules, kind of swap. We each made our own center, included fabrics in a bag, and sent our merry block on its way to grow up into a wall hanging or quilt. We never saw our quilt again until the reveal! I've had a lot of fun with this Round Robin, but don't think I'll be participating in another for a while. This was a bit more challenging than I may be willing to admit.  :) However, the quilts are all beautiful!  I'll try to get pictures of everyone else's quilts, but for now you'll have to settle for several pictures of mine. The quilt is 82" square (!) so it doesn't even fit on my design wall.

I made the center block with stars and poppies based on a Bonnie Sullivan design.

Cheryl added the next border, which she stitched BY HAND while on a trip to Alabama.

Annette added the next border -- a unit we affectionately call wings.

Lynn was known for going over the top on all of our quilts. She added the Churn Dash Stars border.

Donna knew exactly what she wanted to do as soon as she saw my quilt and this fun border was added next.

Betsy had the final border and decided to incorporate an element from my Confetti pattern into the borders. She also included Lynn's Churn Dash blocks in the corners. (Check out my blog header for the Confetti pattern to see the cobblestone border.)

I love, love, love my quilt and have a backing already picked out for it. Not sure what I'll bind it in, but that can wait for another day.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Quilt Reveal -- Part 1

Okay, I really am ready to reveal the results of the 2014 Mystery Sew Along! My friend Jody and I are holding the medium-size quilt below:

The funny story behind this is that I made this quilt, then didn't love it. My friend Donna made the small version and once she had hers quilted, I LOVED it!  Too late, though, as I had already given mine away. I borrowed it back for this reveal and am a tad bit sorry I didn't keep it all along.  Guess it's time to make another. I'm thinking two greens, red, pink, and a white background.  It might look a little like a Christmas cactus and I'm okay with that.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mid Valley Quilt Guild

What fun I had yesterday spending the day... the entire day.... with the Mid Valley Quilt Guild in Salem, Oregon!  A presentation in the morning (Have you Seen my Mojo?) with this crowd:

We had a break for lunch and then got right down to class with 22 students. I'd love to show a picture of that, but I was pretty busy running!

I did take a little break during class to go visit the quilt documentation that was going on down the hall.  This is one busy, active guild!

Then, an evening session with my Start to Finally Finished program (a humorous look at tackling your UFOs) with this crowd:

All in all, a very fun day! I'm off to knit with friends today... and to keep my feet up!  :)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mystery Quilt Along Reveal

It's finally here! Time to share the finished quilt... and I would except the quilt is with the Westside Quilters Guild at a sewing weekend.  :)  Click the Mystery Quilt Along tab above to find the final clue.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Quilt Sculptures

As quilters, we see inspiration all around us. Imagine my surprise when I spotted an entire series of quilt sculptures -- at City Hall in Memphis, Tennessee! Here are a few of my favorites:

These "quilts" were made by Greely Myatt using street signs; you can find a You-tube interview with him here. I love that he collaborated with his deceased grandmother on this project. 

I'm so happy we stumbled upon these quilts and would love to hear of any other quilt installation projects that you'd like to share!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Design Wall Monday

How many color combos can I test before I get happy with these colors? This is just a tiny glimpse of what I go through when choosing colors.

So, guess what happened after this? I completely redesigned this part of the quilt in black, blue, red, and pink! Ugh. I really need to just trust my gut. One design is more vintage and old-fashioned looking and that's where I was originally headed. However, and this is a big however, the second design is pretty fabulous as well.  I've printed out copies of both and will take them with me on vacation. By the end of the week I hope to have it figured out. I'd like to start sewing when I get home.

Today I'm linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times. Head over there to see more design walls.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Mystery Quilt-Along

Just a quick note to let you know the final clue and reveal for our Mystery Quilt-Along will be posted on Friday, May 15. Westside Quilters Guild is having a three-day Sewing Weekend. I'll participate on Friday and Sunday and will be joining the Columbia River Gorge Quilters Guild in Hood River for a lecture and workshop on Saturday. It's going to be a jam-packed weekend and I can hardly wait.  If you haven't finished your clues so far, now is the time. Get a wiggle on it! I can hardly wait to see everyone's color combos.

If you've been following along with the clues, you'll know that the triangles above have nothing to do with the mystery! I'm just playing with a new quilt design on my wall.  :)  Truly, it's a quilt I designed years ago and am trying to get happy with my colors so I can have it made before our guild quilt show in October.  

Speaking of October, Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson! and I will be the featured quilters at the Color POWer! Quilt show on October 3 and 4 in Hillsboro. Visit the Westside Quilters Guild website for further information. I hope to see you there!

Friday, April 24, 2015

On the Needles

My sewing room is upstairs in our house and away from everyone. That's great when you need to get a lot finished, but not so great when you want to be social.  My husband is a woodcarver and he sits in our sunroom, adjacent to our living room, downstairs in our house. I've started knitting more in the evening so we can be together, listening to television or just talking.

We've got a week of vacation coming up and I don't love flying, so will plan to knit on the plane. This new sock pattern is exactly what I needed. I usually knit two socks at a time, but decided to try just one and I'm loving it!  I really intended to just knit the toe and test a few rows, but enjoyed it so much I got carried away.

The pattern is Fish Scales and Fairy Tales and is free on Ravelry.  I used the Anatomical Round Toe pattern by Chrissy Gardiner and the fit of my socks has improved immensely.  Head over to Patchwork Times to see more projects.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Design Wall Monday

You know how sometimes you're too sick to sew but feel well enough that you have to do something? That's where I'm at. This bronchitis is really kicking my rear end, so instead of finishing up new patterns for class, here's what I'm working on -- trying to get happy with my colors for a future "just for me" project. I know the differences are subtle in the gold fabric, but I want this one to be perfect. These triangles will finish at 1-1/2"!  Wish me luck.

I'm linking up with Judy over at Patchwork Times. Hop on over to see what others have on their design wall.

Friday, April 17, 2015


Friends -- what would we do without them? I recently came across a couple of childhood photos that remind me I've always been surrounded by strong, kind, loving women (even when we were little girls!). I'm grateful that I'm still surrounded by strong, kind, loving women. Friends who make me laugh when bronchitis is kicking my rear, friends who call me out when I'm being less than kind or impatient with drivers, and friends who love me even when I'm not good at staying in touch.

My birthday is Christmas so I never had a traditional birthday party when I was young. One of my sisters-in-law decided to fix that with a September party that included a trip to the Portland Zoo and overnight at her house. (Thanks Laura!)

Now my slumber parties are disguised as quilt retreats! Less giggling, more laughing. Still surrounded by friends. I feel very blessed.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Almost There! New Mystery Clue

Can you believe it? We're almost finished with the Mystery Sew-Along! Just one more clue... next month will be the big reveal.  I hope you're enjoying this process as much as I am. Please bring your blocks to April's Saturday Sewing and we can play a bit! :)  Check the tab above to find this month's clue.

No, this picture has nothing to do with the mystery. This is my friend Anna, who was brave enough to take my class, at quilt camp earlier this month. Her blocks look fabulous! (And yes, I caught her mid-sentence.)