Sunday, July 17, 2011


So, I sorted all my 2 1/2” strips into color groups in my storage drawers and realized I had quite a few of a couple blues, some of which were already sewn together.  I remember them from the green/blue/orange toddler quilt I made a few years ago (isn’t it funny how seeing a fabric triggers a memory?).

At any rate, I figured it was a good time to see if I could do something with them.  At first, I was just thinking four-patches as leaders/enders, but then a brainstorm hit.  Blew right in without any warning! ;)

So I sewed all the blues together – even the little partial strips – and got to digging through my ruler stash to see if I had something to play with.  I chose a triangle ruler and then realized that more options for these blocks were possible.  If I added white . . . found two full strips of a WOW print in my 4 1/2” drawer . . . It’s still too much blue – what about an accent color?  I found a whole bunch of a beautiful red solid, but hmmm. . . . how about this gorgeous gold print??

I knew that if I flipped the gold on either side of the blues, it would make the cut pieces more interesting.  And if I sewed the gold to the WOW, it would keep everything the same width and open up even more possibilities.

So, I’m just stripping along and got to thinking, “What about adding a thin red as another accent?”  I seriously considered it, but then realized once we started playing with the blocks, that I didn’t really need a red (at least, that’s what I think right now – I could change my mind yet!)

Anyhoo, here are pics of the eleven “leftovers” blocks – I held out one two-blue strip set to be sure I had enough of the right sequence of pieces and I have to finagle a few more pieces out of that to complete a few of these (see the post-its?)  But, it’s not bad for strips that were languishing in a drawer, doing nothing!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Details from Columbus!

Yes, I’m running behind – as usual! 

I had a grand time in Columbus in June.  NQA puts on a great show, and it was incredibly interesting, exciting and enlightening to be able to help and then enjoy it.

I learned so, so much in the Judging Room and made some great new friends.  It was amazing to see the quilts up close and also to see three judges working together with such professionalism and cooperation.  And everything went off pretty smoothly – you can tell that the judging process has been well thought out and planned, even to the smallest details.

The last day of judging was a half-day and so I was able to help hang the quilts and met some terrific gals there as well – Bobbi was a blast to be around and one gal I’d be honored to work with again.

Wednesday, I became a student by taking Linda McCuean’s “Bit of Bella” class.  It was a hands-on class on Gammill long-arm machine and I realized quickly that I was a bit out of my element.  It will take a whole lot more practice before I feel comfortable with a long-arm.

Thursday, I was in Kathy McNeil’s design class – I took lots and lots of notes, because she shared tons of great information!  Plus, we shared some stalled projects of our own to get advice from Kathy and our classmates.  Thank you, ladies, for all your great ideas!

Friday, I took Karen Stone’s “Spinning Stars”.  She’s terrific to be around – very upbeat and laid back.  Here’s a picture of the blocks I came out of there with:


I really like how they turned out and the paper piecing was mostly easy to accomplish.DSC_0148

Saturday, I had a great time in Esterita Austin’s “Pow-erful Portraits” – she’s amazingly talented and I pushed my boundaries quite a bit in this class.  It was the first ever portrait piece I’ve ever attempted, plus it included painting (which I’ve always wanted to try, but was afraid to!).  Actually, I still haven’t painted, as Esterita was the hand behind the brush on my piece, but I loved watching her work on it!

She still needs a hand, hair and a shirt, but she’s pretty cool even without all that, I think! Winking smile

I must admit, I was glad to be coming home, though.  Saturday night, my last night in Columbus, I awoke around 3 am to strange sounds and lights outside my lower level window.  When I peeked out, there were cop cars in the parking lot and a helicopter hovering overhead.  Cops were checking random rooms - looking for someone, I suppose.  They didn’t come to my side of the hotel and so didn’t knock on my door, but it still made me a bit anxious for a little while.

All in all, it was a grand experience and I’m looking forward to next year!

By the way, I came home to find that our dog, Duke, had been hit by a vehicle while I was gone.  He was a copper Beagle and a wonderful pet – we all miss him terribly!015_14

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Alex, our son, with Duke as a puppy and full grown.  Unfortunately, both of our kids saw Duke get hit and it was pretty traumatic for both of them.