Jul 12, 2015

My first Quilt Show!!

Quilfest 2015! Yay!!

I waited and waited for about two years, and then it was a mere coincidence when a lady visiting the office mentioned that Dewey was opening doors to this gorgeous celebration of quilts. So, can you guess was there, no questions asked? Yep, you guessed it - ME!  I could not let the chance of experiencing a quilt show for the first time!

So here, let me take you along this incomparable experience of learning, discovery, adventure, awe and creative ideas tickling at 100 mph!  :)

This was my first corner... A burst of color and quilts that seemed to belong to different eras, but somehow came together. It felt like a contradiction, but the craftsmanship and the attention to detail made them happy together.


There were quilts for all tastes - modern, 30's, appliqué, mod log cabins... You name it!


And there were corners that just made you smile. Like this little doll patiently waiting for loving arms to carry her, lending a sense of coziness and home to it all.


Wherever I turned, there were rows and rows of welcoming friends willing to share a bit of their hearts and hard work.


Take Cheryl, who welcomed me almost the minute I walked in and made me feel at home. It was almost as if we had been friends for years! In just a bit, we had walked around several quilts, and she had shared the story of how she and her sisters get together about 3 or 4 times a year for a sewing weekend. What a blessing! One of her sisters does not quilt; she saws. But they all came together one weekend to make a quilt for a family member. Cheryl prepared and cut almost all the fabric before, and they just poured their hearts in such a fantastic quilt.

Cheryl explained that she doesn't show her quilts, but that she lends hers, like some ladies belonging to the Jewel Quilt Guild, to complement the exhibit and give it all a more homey look. This is one of hers, and Cheryl is hiding behind.


It lay folded on a char in one of those happy corners. What a beautiful work! I thought those were the merriest pinwheels, and then Cheryl said that I could touch it, because that was hers...  I almost jumped to the ceiling in joy!!!  

Her pinwheels were sewn to the quilt only by one side, so they had a "floppy" triangle. Cheryl mentioned that this is 3D quilting, and that the quilting pattern is called "long and short." Now you know what I want to try next! 

And yes, that's my finger saying hi... lol


This is another one of Cheryl's, "Fat Cat."  She made sure to give me directions so that I could get to it and see one of her twelve banners she displays at home each month. Fat Cat is the official August mini.


Another sweet lady was Georgia, and this is one of hers. She said that she used cheater fabric, but the quilter treated the print as if it had ditches, so it was a nice optical illusion. If Georgia hadn't told me this was cheater fabric, I'd have decided that this was pieced!


Did I tell you that Gloria was wearing the coolest shoes? They were pink, orange, yellow and lime green... I heard several comments on them. 

I learned a lot. I mean - A LOT.

If you have read my blog, you pretty much know everything I know about quilts, which means that all of my quilt knowledge has come from blogs, Craftsy and pictures.  

I got the same feeling I've had at museums before. In my very first post, It ain't like in the book, I shared my experience with Degas's ballerinas. I didn't like them, until I saw the real thing. This happened to me at Quiltfest; quite honestly, it was unexpected, but it was a good unexpected. Log cabins had been one of these designs that I had never paid much attention to. Triangles inside triangles was another one. But a vendor had this beauty in display, changing my thoughts forever...


And how about some good hand stitching? 


"Kansas Son" is the quilt above, made and tacked by Muriel Armstrong. And the picture below is from "Oriental Turning Twenty," by Sharon Payne and quilted by the Union Chapel Dorcas Society.



I could not help walk to this happy and bright corner... It was a vendor's booth; I thought that it was really neat how the mini-sashing sort of outlined each shape and all the triangles and squares worked together perfectly!


Yes! Color! Itty bitty squares as cornerstones and solid blocks... Great effect! Pat Osborn made "Bright and Bold" and Wanda Jones quilted it - by the way, I think that Wanda Jones is my new quilting hero! She quilted and made several of the quilts showed, and her work is amazing.  Just take a peek at the mini labyrinths in each block - perfect for kiddos (and grown-ups) to have fun!


Sure! These are modern styles, but I made a HUGE discovery... I actually like traditional quilting, too. The next two quilts are just a token of this eye opening event.  

"Threads of time" was made by Merrie Keonig and quilted by Cindy Thompson. The cue card said that she made over 300 flying geese!  And it is beautiful!


This was another more traditional quilt that made me smile... "Jewel," made by Gay Cooper and quilted by Wanda Jones. I really like how straight lines can make curves, almonds and circles appear out of nowhere.  This is a technique I've kept my eyes on and I hope I'll make a similar quilt one day.



And the following is probably the goofiest quilt I've ever seen! I probably looked like a silly lady laughing with herself... It is called Chicken Buffet, made by Shala Lunt and quilted by Sue Williams. I could not stop smiling and having a good time with this fantastic idea!


The first thing I noticed was the different quilting motifs in each block; only then did I notice how the chicken thing worked! It made me smile wide!  :D



I was drawn by this wall quilt; I was wondering how they managed to pull the fading color effect, so I came close to it and realized it's painted! It is called "It's Lonely in the Desert," and was made by Barbara Reynolds.


Oh man! Where next? 

So many beautiful quilts with fantastic stories behind them! By no means is this everything at Quitfest 2015, but it definitely is a good starting point to share my super adventure at my first quilt show ever!  

I have so much more to share, but I'll probably dosify it over two or three more posts... Who knows! I just was thankful to have such a fantastic experience and I am thrilled to be able to share it here with all of you!

Stay blessed,

Yiya


Jul 11, 2015

2015 BOM - May baskets

I know, I know, I know... We're in July already, and I'm just posting something about May! I'm sorry, I really am. I should be better with my posts, but I cannot go back in time and ask life to take it easier or slow down. This is probably the busiest time of the year at work, so I kept going back to my ex-dining room table and sewing, but I just couldn't make it all the way here.

Thank you for being so patient and staying around. You keep me encouraged, despite all the misshaps, ups and downs...

And talking about misshaps... I almost fainted when I found that half of my pics in the camera looked... BLACK!

After some tweaking, here is my picture of getting things ready for the first May basket...


And here are the handles... I promise! This picture doesn't have much tweaking, that's why it's grainy, instead of foggy.


Well... iPad to the rescue! Not the same quality photos, but I cannot complain  :)


Here is the first basket; I get all excited each time I see a matching seam! Remember, intersections make the piecing!  :)


I kept celebrating each matching seam, despite the weird angles... 



And then, I also celebrated that I had a working camera in the iPad, but kept wondering about my camera... It turned out that a battery went bad, so it was all a matter of getting a new set of batteries - phew!


Little by little, the baskets started to take shape.



As I have mentioned before, I decided to make this quilt to go beyond my comfort zone. This quilt has a lot of firsts, and a partial seam is one of those.  I really like how different pieces come together nicely, and how we can "sew out of the box" to make the final composition work. If you want to make this quilt, try watching Craftsy's 2015 BOM, a free class that will make you learn a lot about accurate piecing - oh, did I say it's free?!?! :)

The only thing missing at this point were the handles.



One was a bias-cut appliqué and one was paper-pieced.



Here they are! May baskets starched and pressed, ready to go in the drawer of the waiting blocks...  :)


Stay blessed,

Yiya

Sarah's Drawstring Bag

What do you do when you ordered a gift for your niece, who is about to go to college, you suddenly realize you're out of wrapping paper and the closest store is about 35 miles away? Make one!  :)  (Uhm, did I mention that she lives about 6 hours away and that my in-laws were leaving the next day to see her?) 

Yes, that's where I was when I thought of using my stash to make a little something for her to use, and Crafty's Bag-Making Basics: Drawstring Bag & Bucket Bag, with Kristin Link came to the rescue!  

The class calls for two fat quarters, but I made Sarah's with one fat quarter (the printed fabric) and yardage - I knew she would like these colors! You really can use any cut or yardage, or a combination of either; it is really easy to follow the instructions and the class materials.


I really won't share much about measurements or the process itself, so this will be a post with lots of pictures and not many words.  I guess some may actually go like: "Phew, about time."  lol

These are the outer panels, before and after sewing the cuts together.



Getting ready for the lining and marking what will become the opening for the drawstring... loving my tailors chalk!


After pressing,...


... following Kristin's instructions all the time.


Tada!


Well, not just yet... But the lining was ready, and I really like how the topstitching makes a cute addition to the design, making sure everything is in place.


The same goes for the channels where the drawstring will be.


Here is the bag with just one drawstring; Mr. Fuzzy's help was crucial in making this little fellow behave and go all around the bad, as it was supposed to... :)


Yay! The finished product looks even better than what I could have imagined!


And of course, a pretty picture outside could not be missed!



I think this is one of the cutest gift bags... Not really because I made it but because it had Sarah in mind since the beginning. Sarah wrote a sweet thank-you note; she mentioned that the gift was going to be very useful, but that she really loved the hand-made baggie that she can use and take to college with her. I don't really know what she'll think when she pulls the drawstrings to open or close the bag, but I know that every once in a while, she'll remember that we've got her back and that she is loved!

Why don't you try making one of these for your next gift? If I can make it, you can! :)  Don't forget, it's ! Crafty's FREE Bag-Making Basics: Drawstring Bag & Bucket Bag, with Kristin Link :)

Stay blessed!

Yiya


BTW... If you click on the links in this post, I get a commission, because I am a Craftsy affiliate. Don't let this stop you from getting the most out of Craftsy classes - that's where this adventure started for me, and I'm enjoying it more and more every day! Who knows? Maybe you'll be next Crafty's affiliate! :)  


Jun 20, 2015

Zooming in on Spring

It's that time of the year when the hot weather comes back and Summer is about to make its grand comeback!

So, why not say good-bye to Spring with some shots of those amazing moments when everything looks dry and lifeless, but little spurs of color start peaking out from here and there, reminding us that they're back, and that they will inject a burst of hues where there seems to be none...



Our cherry bushes finally are strong enough to gift us fantastic cherry blossoms! We got them three years ago and we were hoping they liked their little spot - and they do! Each blossom is perfect!





How about the carpet of itty bitty flowers?  Yes, they are weeds! But I must confess there's something inside me that smiles each times I look outside and there's a carpet of lilac with hints of blue...  




I could not resist slowing down and turning back when driving to a friend's house, just to get these beauties! It's a phone pic, so it's not my favorite shoot - no worries!  I just think that having the blessing of enjoying a bit of something pretty at the side of the road should not go unnoticed...  :)



And how about this vibrant pink little flower! It grows on a bush in the back of the house, so it generally sneaks out! I'm glad I didn't miss it this year! :)


How could I forget the first comers... Daffodils! So cheery and beautiful! I thought they looked particularly strong next to the garden lamp that didn't quite make it through the winter...



Hats off to the humble wild rose! Nothing seems to shy her away, and each years it comes back stronger, sturdier and with that fantastic deep pink that manages to make me smile each time... :)  (And I smile even wider when I remember that somebody mowed it more than once... lol He just made it hardier!) 



And how not to mention storms... A mighty witness of the power of nature that invites us to remember God and His multiple blessings!




Another survivor of my non-so-green thumb... I look forward to having blackberries any time soon!




Stay blessed!

Yiya