Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday Morning

This was the view from our window Saturday morning. We got about 2 feet of heavy wet snow. Yesterday we managed to get out of the driveway, & I went to the Alaska Fiber Festival Board meeting. Mostly we went over what was good & not so good about the last AFF, & scheduled to have the next meeting to plan for 2010. Yes we're going to do it again!
Here I just wanted to share a bit of fiber content. This is a pin that I bought last Wednesday at Pat's. It was made by Polly Lewis, a retired art teacher. It's about 1.5 inches square. The back is wool felt with a layer of collage, a bit of fabric, & a leaf with some beads. I loved it, & it's the colors I love to wear.
Now off to work I go.

Kathy if you're reading this, we want an update on John!

Friday, April 25, 2008


Unbelievable! That's all I could think when I looked outside this morning. The past week has been in the 50's. Beautiful sunny days, & today we woke up to this!
We went to the bank, & did a few errands, then had lunch at Kinley's, one of our favorite places. By the time we got home the snow looked like this out the front door, & there is probably another 4 inches since I snapped this last snow picture. Happy Arbor Day! Don't think I'll be planting any trees today!
We did pick up a mat & frame for the Emerald Isle, but I still need to get the clips for the back, then I'll pass it on to Mindy for the auction next week.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I had a really fun & interesting evening tonight. It was a Wednesday at Pat's house. Pat Sims is the lady above on the left unfolding a large textile that was brought by Eli, a lady who is cleaning out her stash. She used to be more into textiles, but is now into book binding, & decided to give away some stuff. (sorry I didn't get a picture of Eli herself).
Pat started the evening showing us this woven piece that's actually a garment. Bonnie Bucknam bought it in Guatemala when she went there with Nancy Crow, & she gifted it to Pat.
George Taylor is one of our local quilters, & has recently retired from his engineering job. When he retired he decided to take Gail Harker's classes, & shared some of what he's been doing with that. He had some beautiful hand dyed threads, & some lovely samples of weaving & embroidery stitches that he did.
Jeannie Smith, who I just love, shared her "Yard Art Quilt". It included some old weather wooden spoons & things that had actually been weathered out in the yard.
Dr. Tina Thomson came, & brought Trust, a lovely young lady from Thailand. Trust is an exchange student & staying her for until the end of June. Tina has introduced her to new art forms, & she says that she has found freedom in the art here, that she never had in Thailand.
Trust showed us 2 Altered art books she had made for memories of her stay here in Alaska, & Tina gave her this pink computer cozy that she made for her to carry her laptop in when she flies back home.

Tina also got crafty with some old shirts & made oven mitts with them, & did some woven fabric pot holders, out of beautiful hand dyed fabrics (yikes, I'd never want to use them for fear they'd get messed up).
Tina also showed us this big group quilt that she made for a girl she knows who was in the Peace Corp, & met a man from Mongolia, & now she's marrying him. So this quilt was an interesting mix of Alaskan bears, moose & fireweed,

with Mongolian camels & Yaks, & YurtsThe back was pretty too.
I also met Jack, a very interesting young man, native Yupik, who sews, & tells stories, & is a radio personality, & is writing a Yupik opera. He has written a screen play.
Oh, & Broccoli said I hadn't posted his picture lately, & thought I should show you how cute he is.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Emerald Isle & Comfort quilt

Today I took a break from Lily to work small. I used multiple layers of semi-transparent & different textured fabrics for the sea. The mountains are made from gauze that I painted. This is the start of a piece I'm making for the Irish Dance auction. I'm thinking I may mat & frame it rather than bind it, as it's fora non-quilting group, & I'm thinking it might do better if it were framed.
Below is the a center detail of the quilt I finished on Lily yesterday. Can you see the butterfly?
Here's an overall view of the comfort quilt finished. I'm satisfied with how it turned out.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Small Purse & Making Progress on Lily

I made this little neck-purse/needle case as a gift for my quilt guild to give to Marcy Tilton when she come here in May. It is wool on the inside & velvet on the outside, & the front cover is Angelina Fibers under black lace, with a little ribbon accent.
I also used one glass bead, & a fabric bead that I made from the wool & Angelina. I was pleased with how it turned out.
On Lily today, I have another comfort quilt. This one has some big spaces for nice quilting. I was a little nervous about trying it so soon, (this is quilt #5 on Lily), but I dived right in & decided I had to just go for it. My first feather wasn't as smooth as I'd like, but not too terrible for a beginner.
By the time I had done the 2 short ends, & turned the quilt sideways, so I could work the long sides, my feathers are looking a little better. Not prize worthy yet, but I'm making progress!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Quilt Guild

Today was our ALCQ guild meeting. Kay our president was helping set up the Power Point for Irene to show the slide show of last year's auction quilts. Irene had on a pretty patchwork jacket.
Doris was wearing another neat jacket. The patches are made of woven ribbons, sewn onto a black fabric background.
Jan showed an applique quilt she was working on, & below Angie sowed a quilt she made for her husband using all of his old Air Force patches.
Below is a card I made for my friend Kathy's birthday. I did needle felting, then some silk ribbon, & Perle cotton embroidery.
Kathy was the person who first introduced me to Silk Ribbon work.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Comfort Quilts #3 & #4

I quilted 2 more quilts on Lily today. Both are comfort quilts, made with unusual fabrics. This one patch quilt has velvets & fleece, & satin, & flannel & other odd fabrics. It's made specifically to be given to someone suffering from Alzheimer's. The textures are supposed to be good for them. I did just a large (thumb size) stipple all over this one.
This second quilt is made from denims, & the hearts are all fleece. I did loops all over, just toe get the feel for making loops. I was fairly happy with how they turned out. At least they aren't squared off.
Tomorrow I'll turn these into the Guild, & if I get the chance I'm going to load something more challenging on to Lily. Something that might actually turn out pretty!

Oh! & check out my DD Michelle's blog! She made a dress from recycled paper, & it made the cover of the Stranger!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Getting Familiar with Lily

Our friends the Mindy & John & their girls Christie & Hope came over for lunch on Sunday. Mindy brought a sign she fused for Lily.
Here Mindy got to test drive Lily, & so did Hope & Christie.
Christie then switched to Bernina to make herself a big book bag. I'm afraid I didn't get a picture of the final product.
I worked yesterday on getting familiar with quilting on Lily. I learned several things. #1 is that all those people who were screaming "Not Fair" about stitch regulators & longarms in the quilt shows, have obviously never actually used a longarm. I found out you can't just start sewing & expect to have perfect prize winning quilts. Even with the stitch regulator, the operator has to keep a fairly even pace, or stitches won't be smooth or perfect. It takes PRACTICE & SKILL to be a really good Longarm quilter, & believe me I don't have enough of either one right now.
Stitching in the ditch is another thing that isn't easy. Even with the special ruler that I got from Megan, it takes practice & skill. Below I marked little silver dots on my hopping foot to help me know where I needed to line up for stitching in the ditch.
I also had to pick out some stitches, & play with thread tensions until I got things right.

This is the 1st quilt I finished. A small baby size quilt from the ALCQ guild Comfort Quilt stash. Below without the flash you can see the stippling better. I tried for thumb size stipples. It was hard for me, because I usually work a lot tighter than that.
Here is Comfort quilt #2, finished.
I did swirls in the borders, & stars in the rail fence blocks. I am pleased with how it finished up, but will need a lot more practice before I can open for business.
When I first started yesterday morning I was wondering if I had made a BIG mistake. I was feeling very much a novice. It was like starting all over, learning a new skill. By last night I could already see that I'd made some progress. Now I just have to practice, practice, practice!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Flexing My Muscles

I spent a couple of hours today, just doing the kind of free motion exercises that I have my students do on their machines when I teach my free motion class, only here it takes a different set of muscles, & my quilting isn't as pretty as it is when I push a quilt around on my Bernina.
The arm muscles are actually sore tonight.
But I had fun doodling with a variegated thread.
It's not great yet, but it's a start. Tomorrow I'll put a real quilt on & start quilting some comfort quilts for the Anchorage Log Cabin Quilt Guild.