Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dog Days of Summer

Company's gone. No other visitors are expected. Hogan has reclaimed the guest room as his personal "office."  We're thoroughly into the dog days of summer. 

Every day it rains. Every day it's hot. In fact, at 82 degrees and 93 percent humidity, this is what happened to my Canon PowerShot when I stepped outside to take a picture. It fogged over! Still, I'll point out the lushness that daily rain and storms bring. We can practically see the grass and palms grow, and the blooming bushes are blooming madly. That red plant is a gone-crazy impatiens planted last fall!

My sewing room continues to seeing the same daily activity - free motion quilting. Thus far, I've logged about 23 hours of quilting - and unquilting, and burying thread tails - in Prism. I might be about halfway finished. 

My personal deadline for finishing is the end of August. Prism has been entered into the QuiltFest Jacksonville (Florida), September 24-26.

I just hope this spool of pale yellow Aurifil #2123 holds out until I'm done. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Then and Now

Can you find me? And my husband of just one year? This picture was taken in 1973, at the wedding of our then-Mason City, Iowa friends, Patty and Greg. (I'm on the far left.)

Here we are, two days ago at the Arnold Palmer Legends restaurant. "Just" 42 years later, looking pretty much the same... ha! Well, maybe not the same on the outside, but feeling the same on the inside. Patty and Greg visited us for five days from their Texas home. Though we only recently reconnected (in February, while in Austin for QuiltCon), the intervening years haven't diminished the wonderful friendship we share. We had a fabulous time together. Who doesn't like a good game of Mexican Train dominoes, even when someone has to be the loser (ahem, like me). 

Patty says she still has a close relationship with all three of us who were her bridesmaids. How many brides can say that? I sure can't!

Patty return home with two of my quilts which were made years ago. They're well-suited to her decorating preferences.
10-1/2" X 14-1/2", foundation paper-pieced
36" X 36", hand-quilted
These once hung in my West Des Moines home - the then - so those who know me can see how my tastes have changed.

In the now... my Pfaff is back in action as I'm steadily making quilting progress on "Prism." I'm still smitten by the effect of double batting - Quilter's Dream cotton, and Quilter's Dream Wool. Such good dimension and texture!

I'm challenging myself to come up with different designs for the long-legged stars, and the elongated diamonds, with the cohesive uniformity of angled lines. Yes, you can see a bit of blue wash-out marker there, and I'm also using a disappearing ink, purple marker.

Top thread is Aurifil 50-weight in a very pale yellow. On the bottom is 60-weight white YLI thread. The design below was inspired by one seen on Instagram, by Dena of LivingWaterQuilter who is a beautiful domestic machine quilter.

Coming up with different designs is becoming more challenging. On the nightstand beside me while I sleep is a pad of paper and pencil.

Inspiration usually strikes at about 3:30 a.m. I honestly wouldn't mind more of those strikes! Linda

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Happy Happenin's!

I've been sewing away for the past couple weeks, and I have a few things I can share.

First, there's been only a little progress on My Small World. After cleaning up the Scrap Vortex mess, I've been slow to shore up energy to scrabble through scraps for the bits needed to complete Section 3.

I did finish a quilt, binding and all, but I can't fully disclosed it now. Suffice it to say that it turned out nicely, and I'll be sharing all of it in September when I'm a stop on a blog hop for the release of Christa Watson's new book Machine Quilting With Style: From Walking Foot Wonders to Free-motion Favorites. I'll have a giveaway when my blog hop turn comes up, and you won't want to miss it!

"Prism" had been languishing since our Central Florida MQG retreat in May, so I finished the top by adding two borders of white Kona. The top is about 72-1/2" X 72-1/2". The quilt sandwich is a wide-back, and two layers of Quilter's Dream batting - Select loft cotton on the bottom, and wool on top.

I've begun quilting, using a pale yellow 50-weight Aurifil on top, and white 60-weight YLI on the bottom. This time I'm keeping a stopwatch to mark the time spent quilting, and burying thread tails, preparing for the inevitable question, "How long did it take to quilt it?"

Ad Libbing
In the latest, and definitely most exciting news, I received an email from IQA - International Quilt Association - letting me know that "Ad Libbing" is a finalist in the International Quilt Festival, in Houston, Texas, October 29 - November 1. This is a first for me, and for Lora, my quilt co-creator. When I forwarded her the email, I have no doubt I wasn't the only one jumping up an down!

As well, we've been asked to ship Ad Libbing - or "AL," as Lora and I affectionately refer to this quilt - to Houston as soon as possible. While it's needed for the show, Quilting Arts magazine also wants to photograph it to "possibly be featured in the seventh annual edition of International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene." Wow.

If you're interested, here's the complete list of quilters juried into Quilt Festival. You'll doubtlessly recognize a few names of "celebrity quilters." What can I say? So darned cool. Linda

Monday, July 13, 2015

The winner is...

JavaDiva who wrote: I have been blessed to meet 3 Instagram friends IRL!

She'll get to choose whether she wants a digital copy of "Offset" or "Matrix," Anne of Springleaf Studios' newest patterns. Thanks for the giveaway, Anne!

By the way, of the 37 people who commented, eight of you were "no-reply commenters." I wouldn't have been able to contact you, even if you'd won! So you can be contacted in other giveaways you might enter, you should change your profile settings:

Andrea; Molly; Needlin' Nancy; Carole; Susan Arnold; Gina; Sharon T.; and Kelly

It was fun reading everyone's responses, as nearly everyone has made an IRL connection. Isn't technology amazing?

I jotted down and counted up all the people I've met and I came up with 24 people! I'm not sure if the first person I met online was Deb or Edith, but I met each of them early-on - in 1995! - through one of the first quilt chat rooms called Kaffee Klatch. At the time, Deb lived less than two hours from me, so our meet-up was fairly easy to arrange - at a quilt show, obviously. But Edith lives in Switzerland, so our IRL didn't happen until 2000. And Edith and I have been together three more times since then!

All this makes the world seem small, doesn't it? Linda

Friday, July 10, 2015

Another Giveaway!

This giveaway is closed!

My good friend, Anne, lives in Colorado. We first "met" through the online Mid Century Modern Bee, and then in February we met IRL (in real life) at QuiltCon in Austin. In this picture, Anne's the second from the right. Cindy on the far right is the founder of the MCMB; René on the far left is another Florida gal.

Anne has so much talent! She can put colors together like nobody's business, and she knows heaps about design. Each time she was our Mid Century Modern queen bee, the block she had us make for her was simple, but fabulous. And now, she's turned our blocks into quilts that appear on the covers of two new quilt patterns!

"Matrix" includes instructions to make a quilt in four sizes - baby, lap, twin, and queen - along with a blank coloring sheet so you can plan the colors for your Matrix quilt.

"Offset" is 60" X 80". Instructions include a design lesson, so you understand how color placement affects the design; and a blank coloring sheet.

Anne's patterns are always very clear and thorough. You'll have no problem following them.

Whether you're in the US, or somewhere else in the world, here are the ways you can get a pattern:

1. Enter my giveaway now. A winner will be picked Monday, July 13.
2. Enter Anne's blog giveaway at Springleaf Studios.
3. Purchase a digital copy now through Sunday, July 12, for 20% off through Etsy.
4. Purchase a digital copy now through Sunday, July 12, for 20% off through Craftsy.

To enter my giveaway of your choice of Matrix or Offset, comment to tell me:
Have you ever met IRL someone you first met online or through social media?
Be sure I have an email to reach you if you win! Linda This giveaway is closed!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Giveaway Winner

Thanks to the 40 of you who entered my giveaway of the Quilting Arts calendar. It was interesting reading what everyone is looking forward to in 2016: births, graduation, reunion, and more quilting - it's all about people and our favorite hobby, just as it should be.

Surprising me, the winner is a local friend!

Debbie commented:
In 2016 I would like to find more time to spend with my quilting friends, learn new skills and hopefully become a grandmother! :-)
We hope so too, Debbie! Congratulations on your win! Linda


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