Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My wonderful weekend

I totally enjoyed attending the Women's Retreat on Saturday with my daughter-in-love Rachel. She provided music with her key board and her absolutely beautiful voice. The speaker for the retreat was Colleen Cerak from Gaylord, MI. Her daughter Whitney was mistakenly identified as a vicitim in a fatal auto accident a couple of years ago. Five weeks after the accident it was discovered that Whitney was still alive and in a rehab center in Grand Rapids, MI. What an emotional story Colleen had to share with us.
And for a weekend quilting report: I managed to get the machine stitching done on my 2 March Guild Blocks of the Month on Friday evening. On Saturday afternoon I layed out a Mystery Quilt top that I had started at Michigan Quilt Networks Annual Showcase in 2007. It was cold in our house that evening so I pulled out a quilt top, Fandango that I had started hand quilting earlier this winter. It felt so good to have the quilt on my lap and I absolutely love hand quilting. When I have a hand quilting project on my lap and am hand quilting it is like all is well in the world. It is so relaxing and enjoyable to me. Sunday morning we woke up to about 3 inches of snow and some ice on the ground and it continued to rain off and on most of the day. After Church I started machine piecing my Mystery quilt. As you can see in the picture I did get it all pieced. At the end of Step 3 it said to lay the blocks and sashings out according to the diagram. Well, wouldn't you know I didn't have a diagram. So I just started laying blocks and sashings out. I will admit that I did have to do a little un-sewing. The quilt isn't real big but I do like it. I am still debating as to whether I will hand quilt or machine quilt it. When I finish a quilt or a quilt top I usually lay it out on the living room floor and enjoy it for as long as I can. Usually the tops will "talk" to me about the method I will use to finish them.

Friday, March 27, 2009

One last quilt picture from Moutain Quiltfest

I thought this was an absolutely beautiful wall hanging. The surfer girl and her board are all done in beads. It was simply amazing. I have not attempted to do anything with beads in my quilts yet. Some day I hope to give it a whirl. A friend from Church told me that she has lots of beads and that we will have to get together some time and see what we can come up with. I also bought a kit to make a scissors fob with beads. I will have to get that out sometime and see if I can make it. I have visions of beads flying all over the place. Any advice for a first time beader?
What are your plans for the weekend? I am hoping to do a little quilting. I want to machine stitch my Guild BOM's and I have my Round Robin hand quilted - just have to add the binding. Maybe I can get the binding on that this weekend.
I am also going to a Women's Retreat with my daughter-in-love Rachel on Saturday. The retreat is at her Mom's Church and Rachel will be the musician. I am looking forward to the retreat.
I would love to hear what you are doing for the weekend!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More Pigeon Forge Pictures

The first picture is a quilt from the Mountain Quiltfest Challenge. This is the 75th anniversary of the National Park at the Smoky Mountains. All of the blocks in the quilt symbolize the park and /or the mountains. Several quilts were entered in the challenge. This quilt was made by former Hillmanites, Ed and Denise Betoski who now make their home in Wearville, near Pigeon Forge. Denise told Steve that she pieced all of the blocks and then Ed did the hand quilting. The second quilt, a hand embroidered, hand quilted quilt was made by a fellow Michigander. She lives is Crystal Falls, in Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula.
And for a little personal quilting news - I finished my incentive gifts for the Guild meeting for next week - photo to follow. I also bout the little Log Cabin Posie quilt that I made a few weeks ago. Last night I did all of the fusing for my Guild BOM's for March. Hopefully I can have the machine stitching done on them before our business meeting next week.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Quilts from the Show in Pigeon Forge

During our travel to Tennessee on I-75 we spotted several barns displaying quilt blocks. Unfortunatly this was the only one we were able to photograph. Isn't it cool? Steve wants to build a new workshop this summer. Hmmmmm - I wonder if we can put a quilt on his workshop?
The picture of the first quilt was the Grand Prize winner at the show. It was absolutley beautiful. The picture doesn't really do the quilt justice. It was all hand appliqued and hand quilted and you know that is my fave! The circular quilt consisted of all prairie points. It was beautiful too. With my "gloved" hand I lightly lifted the quilt and boy was it heavy. It is always so great to see the crativity of quilters!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

A wonderful vacation in Pegron Forge, Tennessee

Steve and I enjoyed a wonderful vacation in the Smokey Mountains. While there we visited the Mountan Quiltfest. The Show was great and in future posts I will share pictures of some of the quilts we saw. Steve and I attended the Show and Tell on Friday night at the Grand Majestic Theater. There were about 300 people there. I showed and shared two quilts, my Broken Star Wall Hanging and the family quilt that I made for Steve for Christmas. Participants were invited to bring in childrens fabric to be used for charity quilts. I donated 1 yard of fabric and received 4 tickets. Two of my tickets were drawn and I won two full day classes at next years Show. I have to tell you that I am very, very excited about that. I thoroughly enjoyed taking a class with Pat Sloan. I am showing the only block that I completed during the class and who knows when I will get back to that project. I totally enjoyed making the block and am excited about making the quilt from the class but it will have to go on the back burner for awhile. I had some minor sewing machine issues during the class so spent a lot of time admiring Pat's beautiful quilts and enjoying seeing what some of the other people in the class were doing.
It did rain for 4 of the 6 days we were in Pigeon Forge but we were still able to get out and walk every day. We enjoyed the warmer weather there (today it is only 34 degrees here in Hillman). We also enjoyed doing some hiking in the mountains. I thought the first hike 1 1/4 miles up the mountain to see a water fall was going to kill me but it sure was worth it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Flowers, Snow and Wind

This is a picture of my latest finished quilt. It was a block of the month through my Guild. The pattern called for using the same fabric for al of the sashings. But since I am on a bit of a mission to reduce my stash (although so far I haven't noticed a difference in the stash) I used fabrics I had for all of the sashings. This BOM was a fun project.
Winter has returned to Hillman today. We are getting some snow and lots and lots of wind. The temperature has been falling steadily all morning. Predictions are for up to 60 mile an hour winds and temps near zero tonight. Sounds like a good time to "get out of Dodge" doesn't it? And that is exactly what are plan is. After work today I will finish packing suitcases and we hope to be on the road bright and early tomorrow morning. Destination is Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and the Mountain Quiltfest. We plan to enjoy the Quilt Show and the vendors and I am taking a class with Pat Sloan. Then we plan to do some exploring in the mountains and relaxing. I will share some pictures when I get back into the office.

Friday, March 6, 2009

My newest project ~ Tilt-A-Whirl

This is my newest hand piecing project. The pattern is Tilt-A-Whirl and was published in a Fons and Porter magazine several years ago. Since I love to hand piece and hand quilt I thought this would be a very fun project to work on. We have a road trip planned for next week so the timing is perfect. I started quilting about 25 years ago with a group of Church ladies. We made a couple of raffle quilts for the Church. This was before a lot of machine piecing and machine quilting. I love to do both piecing and quilting by hand. The picture shows the blades for the fans. I made a template out of x-ray film, traced the template onto the back of the fabric, then cut each piece out, eye balling the quarter inch seam allowance. This quilt has close to 250 fan blades. I will hand stitch the blades together in groups of 9. I do not have the background fabric yet (the yellow in the picture). I guess that means it is time for a shopping trip. I absolutely love scrap quilts. I have several totes of fabric and it is fun to dig into them and pull fabrics for quilts. I have been on a mission to try to reduce my stash.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wonder Wallets made for Guild incentive

I made 20 of the Wonder Wallets as my incentive to my Guild members for making their February Blocks of the Month. It was fun making the wallets. They went together very quickly. And it is fun to share with my fellow Guild members. Once again we had a beautiful Show and Tell at our meeting. We have a very talented group of quilters in our Guild.
Now ... what can I do for next month? Any ideas?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

And the winner is .........

Thank you to everyone who visited my blog and left a comment. The winner of my first contst is Pieceful Jane. Please e-mail me with your name and snail mail address and I will get your prize out to you. I have a consolation prize for The Quilting Principal, Carol Sc, Cathy, Sue, JustBQLTN, Donna K., Jo and Quiltmania. Please also e-mail with your names and snail mail addresses and I will get your prizes in the mail. Congratulations and thank you. My e-mail address is pam@thunderbaygolf.com.
These two big guys live here at Thunder Bay Resort. Last Fall they were "strutting their stuff" and doing a little sparring.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

One more quilt from the retreat

Isn't this absolutely beautiful? The quilter told me that it was a Block of the Month from her local Quilt Shop. The quilt is all needle-turn appliqued. She said this was her first needle turn project and she did not take a class!! What an ambitious project.
I have been working on finishing up a few projects at home. Steve and I are planning a trip to Pigeon Forge next week for the Mountain Quiltfest. This will be our 3rd annual trip to Pigeon Forge. We are hoping for warm weather. This time of year it is great to head to warmer climates for a break. (It is only 17 degrees right now here). I have also signed up for a class with Pat Sloan and I am excited. Now I need to be putting together a project or two for the trip. Yesterday I looked through some patterns and came up with a couple of ideas. One of the patterns is from an older Fons and Porter magazine. The quilt in the magazine is made from some very bright colors and I think that is what drew me to the quilt. They also showed the quilt in some darker fabrics and I liked that one too. For my birthday fat quarter club at Guild this year I asked for batiks. I am not a big batik fan at all but thought I would give it a try. So this morning I thought I would take a look at the batiks and see if I could use them for this pattern. And ..... no, it is not going to work for me. The batiks just look so dull and boring (sorry to all of the batik fans). So this afternoon after I do a couple of other little odd jobs (shop for a new internet provider, get things ready for income taxes) I plan to search through my stash for some bright fabrics. I know that some day I will find something to do with the batiks. Any suggestions? Perhaps I will get some inspiration in Pigeon Forge.
Thanks to all of you who registered for my blog prize. I haven't been able to talk with Jack yet about my prizes but hope to do that tomorow. Stay tuned.