June 26, 2013

Best Little Quilt Shop - Northern Hemisphere

I've been keeping a little secret here: hubby Stephen and I went overseas for 4 weeks - two weeks in Paris, then a few days in Florida (visiting my cousin and fellow-quilter Toni) and then on to Colorado (visiting long-time friend Katherine and her partner Kathy).

I didn't go anywhere near a quilt supply shop in Paris - just the usual museums, historical monuments, cemeteries, and touristy places. But no trip to Florida would be complete without a visit to "The Quilt Place" (heaven on earth for quilters).  If there's a better quilt supply store in the US, I'd sure like to see it!  I love this place.

Yes, I know I was just there last October. Yes, I know I bought a boatload of fabric at that time. But when Toni said "let's go" - I just couldn't resist.

I asked for (and recieved) permission to snap some photos of the shop and of some of their sample quilts and here's a few:

Here's their wall of quilting books.  I couldn't quite get it all into the photo - but you get the idea... plenty of reading material and ideas here:
On the opposite wall - their collection of patterns (again - too big to fit into one photo):
I recognized some of the sample quilts hanging around the shop from my trip last year - but there were quite a few new ones, too:
This one (below) is intriguing. I stared at it quite a while before I realized how it was done (border prints):
 The Christmas tree applique one (below right side) is VERY clever!  Christmas-ornaments in various colours applique'd and placed to "suggest" the shape of a tree.  I haven't done applique yet (although guru Pauline is predicting I will, and that I'll love doing it) but this design has me tempted to try:

Miles and miles of lovely calico!

There are a few other photos to share - a couple of interesting samples that really caught my eye, plus a handbag one of the other customers had with her (she graciously permitted me to have a photo for this blog).  Stay tuned for those...

June 19, 2013

Saying "Goodbye" to Mom

No post this week. I haven't had the energy.

A week ago today, I learned that my mother passed away. She was 84.

I'm grateful for all the kind and loving words from my friends and my cousins (who have shared quite a few lovely memories with me, made me laugh and smile a bit). Their support has made this a time of gentle reflection, a time to be quiet and call up happy memories of a woman I loved very much.

June 12, 2013

And Now... Time for a "First"..

My second quilt project was a queen-sized bedspread - Ohio star. Here's a photo:

It's been on our bed ever since. I've never gotten tired of it.

Back in March we decided to have the master bathroom renovated. It was a project we'd talked about for the 6 years we've been here - but we never actually got around to doing it. Procrastination was finally swept aside, however, and a local tradesman was hired to upgrade it for us.

Well, that's all grand, but why am I mentioning the quilt?

The bathroom, you see, is just beyond the red curtain shown in the photo above. The "pocket door" was broken before we bought the house - and wouldn't close properly, hence the need to hang a curtain there (it's a workable substitute). The tradesman noted this and said he would drape sheeting over the door to prevent dust from the job getting into the room.

Stupid me - I trusted him.

I stayed well out of the way on day one of the renovation (which was mostly demolition). I should have checked up. I should have used my head. I didn't.

After he and his companion left for the day, I went in to see what it all looked like. I was horrified to see dust EVERYWHERE - no plastic sheeting - and they'd even laid the towel bars and shelving DIRECTLY ON MY QUILT.

I was livid.

Stephen helped me cart the quilt outside and give it a good shake to remove as much of the dust as possible. It's better, but it's not completely clean.

I've not washed this quilt - it doesn't get dirty because we roll it back every night, out of the way. But I'm going to have to wash it now.  It's a large quilt - almost king-sized (made large because our mattress is quite thick). I was looking at it the other day, and yes, it will fit in my washing machine.

But here's the problem - Laka, our parrot, grabbed at it with her beak, piercing through the seam on one of the Ohio star blocks. It's a fiddly tear - can't simply be sewn up. Some kind of "patch" is going to have to be made before I wash it, or that tear is likely to fray and leave an unsightly hole (as it is now, you have to hunt to find the spot where she tore it).

Of course I've got scraps from this and can do the work... but it's not going to be fun - and will be hair-raising to put this into the wash.


I'm going to have to do something with it. I've been procrastinating on this - but somehow that quilt isn't washing itself, and I can't have it on the bed again until it's clean.

Wish me luck!

June 5, 2013

Quilt 16: DONE!

Once I got the "snowball blocks" for this one done (the center of the quilt), it didn't take long at all to finish this top. All that was left was a succession of border strips. Here's the design I was working from:


I seem to have formed the tradition of photographing my projects draped over the stairwell - so here it is:


And this is what it looks like on a bed.

I email'd these photos to Katherine and asked her if she was pleased - she was. I offered to add another narrow border around the edges (there wasn't enough red, but there was plenty of the soft grey left over).  She declined (and I agreed). 

And now, here's a mystery: The original design called for the finished quilt to be 80" x 82". The actual size is 78" x 78". I can account for some of that. I always add a one-inch border to the outside of any quilt design to simulate the binding. SO... that accounts for the quilt going from "80" to "78". But what happened to the 82"? I have no idea.

I've measured and thunk this over so many times my brains hurt. I just don't know.

No matter - Katherine and her partner are happy with it as it is. THAT's what is most important.