Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More Quilts in the Gardens

It's a good thing I have some show quilts to show you as I haven't stitched a thing in weeks and I miss it terribly.

This one is my friend Lee's first quilt - nobody can accuse her of picking an easy pattern - I think she did an amazing job!

There was so much talent displayed that it's really hard to pick just a few to post.

It's pouring here today and I'm not feeling much better, in fact, truth be told I feel worse so I think there will be a lot of sitting and cuddling of my baby going on.

Sandra snapped this picture of him at Easter - doesn't it look like he's raising his head to the sun? Bring it on!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Stop The Merry-Go-Round...

I need to get off. It has been such a busy time - our Guild Quilt Show was this past weekend and it was quite an event. From the Gala opening on Friday night to the magnificent quilts, the classes and the vendors I am worn out and my body is rebelling. I've got another infection in my lungs - always my weakness, and it feels like I have razor blades in my throat every time I swallow. I have enough drugs to open a pharmacy, so hopefully they will do their job and I'll be feeling better soon.

Enough about me - on to the Quilt Show. I thought after seeing the work at MQX that our Guild quilts might be a let down - not so - there were some quilts that could have hung proudly at MQX and might even have taken a ribbon or two.

This was made from a kit by Jinny Beyer - the border fabric was beautiful as was the quilting.

I hope when you enlarge this you can see the quilting and the detail - I believe these squares were 1/2" finished.

Once again, I didn't get the names of all the artists - you'd think I'd learn my lesson but it was very busy on Saturday when I took the pictures and it was also very hot. I couldn't get good shots of a lot of the quilts as the crowds were just too dense.

This is Rosemary Makhan's "Woodland" quilt. You can read the story about it here.

This is Bunny's version of this quilt, done completely by machine embroidery.

These quilts are by award winning artist Carol Goddu who has a very unique and distinctive style.

I really liked this one - it's pink and it's floral - it had my name written all over it!

I have more pictures to share, but I'm going to call it a night and go to bed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

MQX - The Finale

Are you sick of looking at breathtaking quilts yet? I didn't think so, so here's some more from MQX. Close up of the poinsettias.

This 'Affairs of the Heart' was stunning:

There were a lot of quilts done using Irena Blum's coloured pencil technique - some of them I liked, some I didn't. This one was beautiful.

You already know how much I like blue and white quilts and the Irish Chain is one of my favourite patterns so this quilt was right up my alley.

Here is another fairly simple pattern with what I think are stunning results:

Finally, this one made me chuckle - what imagination the artist has shown with the boa!

The banquet with guest speaker Mark Lipinski was great. I haven't laughed so long or so hard for a long time - the tears were running down my face. I've heard that some people have been offended by his talk - if that is true, they must be the biggest prudes around - he was hilarious!

Now.....what did I buy? Lots! There is no sales tax in New Hampshire so to my way of thinking I was instantly saving 13%. We went to a place in Maine that a friend from the APQS forum had recommended and got name brand fabric for less than $2.50 a yard - bolts of it! We also ordered some bolts from my favourite on line supplier before we left and had them shipped to the hotel so they didn't have to go through customs. I also bought the 7 Treasures of Buddha giant templates for my Circle Lord tax free!

Then there was the Superior thread......and the Deb Tucker ruler to do the Hunter Star that I've been going to make for years....and.....and.

One thing I talked myself out of and I'm now kicking myself is this:

The QuiltCut2. We watched a demo and were really impressed and then talked to several people who own it who just love it. So today I spent ages trying to source a Canadian dealer and also pricing shipping from the dealer in NH. I may just have to call on my friend in Buffalo to help me out on this one and have it shipped to her.

We stopped at Keepsake Quilting on the way home. What a beautiful store with the most gorgeous fabric - I'm sure we were both drooling. You do need to have projects in mind as it is so overwhelming you really don't know where to start. I picked up some Amish black, some background fabric I needed for a project and also a couple of yards of batiks I found in the sale room. I always like a bargain!

Now all I need to do is actually make something with all that fabric and put the knowledge I gained to use on Tillie.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

MQX Continued

This piece caught my eye - look at all the embellishment on it.

A close-up of the detail.

Crystals and beading were everywhere but I found the ones I liked the best were more subtle.

This quilt had crystals around the perimeter on the spine of the feathers and was gorgeous.

I believe this won Viewer's Choice. I apologize that I didn't get the quilter's names on these - I was so overwhelmed I was just snapping away and didn't think of it until later.

Here's a fun one for you - can you figure it out?

After a while, you run out of adjectives to describe these quilts - they were all so amazing in their own right.

I have more pictures but Blogger is taking forever to upload this morning and I have an appointment in an hour to see about my carpal tunnel.

We had fun visiting all the vendors - I have the credit card receipts to prove it! For any of you in the market for a longarm, I must say I was most impressed with the new Fusion. This baby had it all - the stitch quality was very good and has an on-board video play-back system so you can download videos and watch them on the screen while you are quilting. You can also plug in your iPod and listen to it through the machine. You all know how much I love my Tillie, but for any of you interested in a first time purchase, I would seriously look at this machine.

I'll post some more quilts later when Blogger wants to behave!

Monday, April 20, 2009

WOW - What A Trip!

We got back last night from MQX and had a wonderful week. The quilts were amazing and I have lots of pictures to share with you. We played 'quilters craps' at the Ice Cream Social for 2 1/2" strips and I won a game so came home with about 45 strips. It was a lot of fun and would be great to play at a Guild or Stitch Group.

This is a close-up from Renae Haddadin's Best in Show. All the pictures should enlarge when you click on them.

The full quilt:

The back - which looked just as nice as the front:

As is usually the case, these pictures do not do justice to the quilts. My photography leaves a lot to be desired.

I took classes from Deloa Jones, Pam Clarke and two from Dawn Cavanaugh. Dawn was awarded Teacher of the Year at the Banquet on Friday night. She is an amazing teacher and her Potpourri and Hodge Podge class was the best I've ever taken. I am so happy she won as it was so well deserved.

The Fashion Show was fun and Summerset Banks stole the show with her amazing vintage garments.

I was most amazed by the background fill on so many quilts - talk about micro - unbelievable:

To be honest, this quilt didn't appeal to me from the front, but when the Angel turned it over and we saw the back, it was breathtaking.

We all agreed the artist should have reversed the fabrics.

Since I have a lot of things I should be doing today (including laundry) I'm going to leave it here and post more pictures in the next couple of days.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Catching Up

As the saying goes, I've been busier than a one handed wallpaper hanger. I've been on the run all week and my blog has been sadly neglected.

Here's what I accomplished at the Retreat last weekend:

All that was left to do on this was piece three half blocks and sew it all together. I took it to Retreat to get some encouragement to finish it as I have been procrastinating on this for a long time. This is my first and LAST paper pieced project. I enjoyed piecing the blocks, hated sewing the rows together and detested taking the paper off. I still need to add a black border and I think I am go to bind it with strips of the different colours in the top. From a galloping horse this looks not too bad - you wouldn't want to get too close, trust me!

I also got 36 of these blocks finished for my Blue Rover quilt:

Now they just need to be laid out 'in a pleasing manner' and sewn together.

I haven't forgotten my commitment to work on Christmas projects throughout the year. I got this little guy finished:

Tomorrow we are celebrating Ian's birthday, as well as Easter. It's hard to believe that my 'baby' is now 28. It seems like yesterday when he had colic for almost a year and I was ready to throw him out the window. He no longer has colic but now finds other ways to still make me want to throw him out the window some days.

Only 3 more sleeps till we're off to MQX. I am really excited about this and we've decided to extend our trip and visit some quilt stores on the way home. We're planning a trip to Keepsake Quilting and will then travel home through Vermont and northern N.Y. state. I just hope we make it home before the credit card completely melts.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I'm Back...

I got a last minute call to fill in at a retreat this weekend and I just got home. I had a great time and even got some things accomplished.

Here are Margaret's spring wallhangings just waiting for the binding to be handsewn. They might say spring, but the weather was anything but this weekend. It was extremely windy, rainy and freezing cold all weekend.

Laureen got her dolly quilt finished except for the hair on the little dolls. This is so much cuter in person. Any little girl would love putting all the dolls to bed.

Jeanne finished her machine embroidered quilt. The crazy quilting border was a cheater fabric, but she embellished each seam with decorative stitches.

Diane whipped up this table runner in a couple of hours - the fabric is gorgeous in person.

These are Margaret's blocks from the new 'Vintage Iris' collection from Northcott.

This is a very bad picture of Nicki's gorgeous Hunter Star quilt. Just for the record, I didn't take this picture :-)

The quilt is actually brown and a light turquoise and is absolutely stunning.

Heather made this for her little girl and appliqued her daughter's initials on it.

Here's a picture of the back - this was a kit which included the backing.

Grace pieced most of this top this weekend and put the final border on just before we left.

This picture doesn't do it justice either - it is very rich looking and the fabric has a toille look to it.

Finally we have Nicki holding up the blocks she finished for her Birthday Presents quilt. You may remember I bought this kit at the last retreat so it was nice to see what it is going to look like and Nicki gave me a couple of pointers for the quickest way to sew these blocks!

It's going to be an early night for me. All that sewing and socializing (not to mention the eating) has me worn right out!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Two Different Shows

I'm starting to get excited about going to MQX in Manchester, New Hampshire - in less than 2 weeks we'll be there! I'm going with my good friend Lee and we've signed up for some classes, are planning to attend the Banquet with speaker Mark Lipinski, the Fashion Show and an Ice Cream Social! Somewhere in there, we are also planning a trip to Keepsake Quilting.

I've never been to a longarm show before so I'm really looking forward to it and also to meeting many of the people on the APQS forum that I've chatted to.

The week after that is our Guild's Quilt Show - Quilts in the Gardens. It is being held at the Royal Botanical Gardens this year and a great deal of work has been put into making this a success.

If you are in the area and are looking for a great way to spend a day, please pay us a visit - you won't be disappointed.