Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Split Star

Split Star, block #3 in the Blogger's Block of the Month is now available.
I was so excited to see that the very talented Stephanie Dunphy (Loft Creations) was the designer this month!
I love everything Stephanie makes, and have followed every post for years.
She has the cutest dog Abby, who's personality captures the heart. Abby is the perfect model, helping us see the latest Loft Creation.
You can also run over to Stephanie's blog to see her well done tutorial for Block #3.

I like the positive/negative effect of the star.

And of course, it's always so fun to pull out the Kaffe's and play away.

Block #3 lines up well with September and October.

This process is somewhat like making a mystery quilt, as each month a new designer and block are introduced.
I'm curious to see how all 12 blocks will be placed in a setting.
My thanks to Jackie (Canton Village Works) for bringing us all together.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Quilt Camp/ Part 2

I have a few more pictures to show you from Quilt Camp.
The group sponsors a Small Quilt Auction, with proceeds going back into next years Quilt Camp.
Each person who attended was asked (always optional) to donate a small quilt to be auctioned off.
The handiwork is beautiful and the bidding became quite competitive, accompanied by a lot of laughter among friends.

Kim made an original Christmas wall hanging.

Decorated with bling.

The walls were lined with quilts, wall hangings, pillows, aprons and home decor.

Lee Anna's small quilt had 168 pieces.

Cynthia donated an original art piece, a self portrait sketch of her hand quilting.
The ladies were very generous in their bidding and the auction brought over $500, with everyone feeling like they went home the winner.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

This and That

Can I tell you how pleasant it is in Arizona in the fall?
Yes, the summers are scorchers, but in November we are enjoying temperatures in the mid- 70's.

How delightful to observe my daughter picking bright yellow lemons off her tree in the back yard, and to smell the fresh citrus aroma throughout the kitchen.

The fall is a perfect time to watch our grandson's play soccer. No need for sweaters, just grassy fields with plenty of room to run under a sunny blue sky.

There is nothing better than watching 6 year old's on a Saturday morning play with real intent .
Their facial expressions show it all.
Cheering for Isaak after his first field goal was a great moment for us as grandparents.
It's these small moments added up that bring true happiness in life.

Little Miss Fashion Accessory celebrated her 2nd birthday in style with dress ups from her grandma Nina.
Imelda Marcos you have met your match.
Nothing better than shoes (her favorite thing!) that go clank, clank, clank on the tile floors.

Unless of course it's making sure that daddy fits the TWO tiara's just right.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

How To Eat A Turkey Leg

Our 6 year old grandson Isaak, he guaranteed that if his dad gave him the leg off the turkey he would eat the entire thing.
I had my doubts viewing all the other good foods sitting on his plate during our abundant Thanksgiving meal.
Never underestimate the power of a child who has been double dog dared.
Mission accomplished.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

O Lord that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.
~William Shakespeare

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Quilt Camp Project

Amidst all of the beautiful quilts and wonderful activities going on at Quilt Camp, I worked on my own project too.
I didn't get a finish, but I got close.
I needed my design wall at home to place the rows together to make sure the darks and light sections balanced out.

Remember all of those reds and pinks I cut out before leaving?
These sections will soon be sewn together to complete Cross Terrain.
Modern quilts have been calling to me this last year.

Cross Terrain designed by Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced
Lee offers a free pattern and tutorial over on Moda Bake Shop.
She made her version using a jelly roll of Terrain by Kate Spain, which has a lot of color variation.
I wanted to use up more of my red and pink scraps.
Free pattern + left over scraps= Free Quilt!

There are two mirror image blocks to Cross Terrain, which are simple to make.
Many people walked by my table and thought at first I was making a Bow Tie.

If you decide to make this pattern, I would suggest following Lee's tip of pressing ALL of the seams OPEN. At first I was a little resistant, wanting to speedily press as we usually do "to the dark side". Pressing open takes a lot more time. Trust me, Lee's reasoning all makes sense when you start sewing the blocks together at the end.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Iris Fields

I traveled to Quilt Camp in Prescott with Cynthia Huettner.
You can learn a lot about a person during a 2 hour drive.
I learned that Cynthia is a math and art teacher at a college prep school, and that she likes to create most of her own quilts.

Iris Fields is Cynthia's latest creation.
Believe me, these pictures do not do justice to this amazing quilt.

Using a wide variety of theads, Cynthia intricately quilted every section on her domestic machine.

Iris Fields will be entered into the AQG Quilt Show in March at the Mesa Convention Center.
I predict Cynthia will go home with a ribbon.

Friday, November 18, 2011


If the Nimble Thimbles quilt guild had a mascot, it would be Tim.

Tim is a Service Dog In Training, being prepared to help someone who is either mobility impaired (in a wheelchair) or hearing impaired.

Tim goes everywhere with his trainer Melanie.
If she goes to work, Tim goes too.
We see Tim at all of our guild meetings, and he was just like another quilter at Quilt Camp.
Well, he didn't sew much, but he did hang out with the group, take long naps, play with his toys, and snack just like the rest of us.

Melanie will train Tim for 2 full years.
While he is wearing his harness he knows that he is working and on duty.
For hours he sat quietly at Melanie's side, and yet obediently responded within seconds to a request.
To put it mildly, I was impressed.
Out of respect for Tim's training, we were asked to not pet or distract him during working hours.
But in the evening, Melanie would happily announce "Tim is off duty!" and he was given time to roam the crowd, sniff every crevice, and act like a regular dog.
The machines would stop humming, while Tim would energetically move from chair to chair, turning his attention to "Here Tim!" with words of love and lots of petting.
We all doted on him like grandmother's in waiting.
I have deep admiration for Melanie and her devotion in training dogs, who will in turn become great contributors to our society.
And I wonder who will be the lucky person to get Tim, because he is a keeper.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bag Ladies

Quilt Camp wasn't just about quilts.
The ladies were making so many bags that my camera could not keep up.
Here is a sampling of just a few:

Patty was quite creative as she fussy cut a panel for the outer pocket of her bag.

Just puts you in the Christmas mood, doesn't it?

Nice interior with plenty of pockets

Recycled jewelry used for the zipper pull.
Nice job, Patty.

Lynette might have to take the title of Queen in the Bag Ladies division.
She made one bag after another.

I especially liked this ergonomic bag made with batiks.
Pattern: Butterick B5054

Front straps are adjustable.

So many other bags being displayed around the room,

with beautiful fabric combinations.

I sat next to Pam who made over a dozen of these zippered bags out of fabric scraps.
She free motioned quilted the fabric onto batting before cutting out the front and back section.

I kid you not.
The name of this pattern?
Big Bottom Bonnie Bag
Maybe I should be grateful they haven't named a bag after me as of yet:)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Quilt Camp/ Part 1

Quilt Camp with the Nimble Thimbles quilt guild was a lot of fun.
We stayed up at a Christian youth camp in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona.
The setting was rustic, slightly primitive, and stunningly beautiful.

Many women finished several projects.
I especially liked this one.

We looked a little like a sweat shop, speedily sewing away hours on end.
Machines humming, happy chatter, good music, and lots of snacks.

When we arrived there was snow melting upon the ground.
From my chair I could look out the window and watch the leaves falling.
We did take a little time out from sewing for short walks through the trees.

Melanie came so prepared, she even decorated her machine.

Kim had a nice table mat that kept all of her supplies right at hand.

Shouts of "A Finish!" rang through out the days.

I'm always drawn to observe what other people are working on.

Beautiful batiks

Lee Anna was our delightful Camp Queen, who organized the arrangements and made sure our needs were taken care of.

All of her efforts are as a volunteer with the guild.

I only had one request from her.

I asked that next year everyone cut out 2 kits of the projects they are making, and give one to me.


I wanted to make everything everyone else was making.

Can you believe she just laughed at me?

I sat next to Pam who was working on a very scrappy quilt.

I love scrappy.

At first I was a little curious when I saw the individual blocks because Pam's fabric choices did not match on any level.

But once the quilt was put together, it worked!

This reminded me of a antique quilt where they used little pieces of what they could find or trade.

Are you looking for a homemade item to be given to another guild member?

One of the ladies made this Christmas ornament as a gift.

Sew cute.