Thursday, May 17, 2018

Pattern Testing and More Kit Cutting

Hello Everyone,
It has been full steam ahead here at Sew'n Wild Oaks cutting fabric, writing the pattern, and pattern testing for my Country Sampler design.  The quilters on the cruise to Alaska are going to have a great time making this quilt.  It is a wonderful example of learning how to make components any size you want to create beautiful, and intricate blocks surrounded by a ribbon sashing which is made without any triangles.
Part of the pattern writing process is testing the pattern.  Yesterday, my sister Gail and I finished cutting all of the kits for the cruise.  My great room started to resemble a war zone with bolts of fabrics, cutting tables, and sharp cutting tools scattered around the room.  Once we were finished, Gail started making the first block for Country Sampler.

She selected her fabrics then made the components for the first block and placed them on the block layout sheet.  She started her second block at 5:30 this morning.  She was up and making the coffee before I started stirring.

Before she got to that point, we had to finish cutting and folding all of the fat 1/8th's

Here is the selection of blacks, golds, plums and blues from the Fresh Cut Flowers line by Kansas Troubles for Moda.

Here are the lights, greens, and reds.

While Gail worked on her block, I cut the fabrics for the border and sashings.


Today while I'm finishing the pattern, Gail is going to work on her block.  She says she's having a ball, and I believe her.  We are surrounded in gorgeous fabrics, and entertained with a passing thunder storm rolling down the spine of the Sierra.  Mr. Joe built a roaring fire, and we were happy campers.

More work ahead today.  But is it really work?  Hope you have a fun day "working" while creating.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Sierra Quilt Guild of Tuolumne Country

Hello Everyone,
I've had the privilege of spending the last two days with the Sierra Quilt Guild in Sonora.  They are a very friendly and prolific group of quilters.

Monday night, my sister Gail, my friend Kaaren, and I drove over to Sonora for my lecture and trunk show.  I saw so many people I knew it was like old home week.

After my trunk show, the guild had their own trunk show.  The guild members taught 4th graders how to hand piece.  Here are their works of art which are going to be raffled off to the community.
The guild donated fabrics, their talent, and their encouragement to the young quilters.

This group of quilters is extremely prolific!  This is just a small portion of their Show and Tell.

Yesterday, I taught my Patchwork Math class to sixteen guild members in this spacious classroom.

There were many beautiful creations in the room.  Did I get pictures of all of them.  NO!  I get so preoccupied with teaching, that I forget to capture the moments.

You were a great group and I'm looking forward to seeing some wonderful projects from this class.  Thank you all for the wonderful day.

My sister is here, and we are cutting kits for the cruise.  We are almost finished with the kits for the first leg of the cruise. I'll post pictures of our progress tomorrow.


Saturday, May 12, 2018

EQ Blocks

Hello Everyone,
I've been quilting, writing directions, picking up yardage by the carload, designing, and coloring blocks in EQ software.

All of the blocks I've been working on are in my Country Sampler quilt, the quilt I'll be teaching on the quilting cruise in July.  When I made this quilt, I combined several different lines of Kansas Troubles fabric together.  Of course the identical fabrics are no longer available.

I'm using the fabric line called Fresh Cut Flowers by Kansas Troubles.   Cloth and Quilts in Turlock ordered the entire line.  Margaret, the owner, called me and said I was going to love this line.....and I do.  Yesterday Mr. Joe, Mazey and I drove to Turlock and picked up bolts of the border and sashing fabric so I can include it in the kits.

I downloaded all of the images of the line from the Moda site and imported them into EQ. I'm using the images to fill in the components in EQ software. I can then import these images into the pattern directions.
This block is from the original quilt.

This is the same block using different fabrics and placement is everything.  Can you believe it?

This way I can play with the fabrics without cutting a thread.
I also make my signature block layout sheet for each block.  The component size on the sheet is the exact size your components need to be.  I use a touch of glue from a Sewline glue stick and place my components on the sheet.  This sheet leads to accuracy, and gives you a good preview of what the block is going to look like.  The block layout sheet also includes pressing directions.
It's been a tedious process, but I know it aids in the writing of the pattern, which in turn aids quilters when they make my quilts.  

My pattern writing process has evolved over the last 10 years. I'm trying to cut down the amount of words and rely more on pictures.  A picture is worth a thousand words.

During this entire process I designed a new quilt using the blocks I created in EQ.  Sometimes I can't help myself and get so distracted when it comes to designing.  The possibilities......oh the possibilities are endless.

Spend your day creating and you can't help being happy.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Exciting News

Hello Everyone,
Just look at this version of my Heritage pattern made by Kate Phillips.  It's gorgeous!

In fact it is so gorgeous that it was selected to be in the American Quilter's Society (AQS) 2020 Quilt Art Engagement Calendar! 

I received an email with this picture of the quilt and a release form to sign and return, giving my permission for publication.  It took me about a nanosecond to sign on the dotted line.  I'm absolutely thrilled, and I look forward to seeing it in the calendar.  Now I just have to be patient and wait until late 2019 to see it!

Congratulations to you Kate!  You did a superb job which deserves recognition.  Your selection of fabrics to your accurate piecing is top notch.  Well done!  Thank you so much for making my pattern.


P.S.  If you are interested in making your own Heritage,  it is available HERE on my Etsy shop.


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Quilt Show Recap

Hello Everyone,
I took a few days off to decompress from vending at the Quilt Show in Grass Valley, California.  It takes hours/days prior to a show cutting kits, printing patterns, and packaging items.  My sister Gail and I worked for three days getting things ready. 
Here are just a few pictures from over 200 amazing quilts on display.  The butterfly is all 6" blocks.  It is a work of art.

This quilt is not out of focus.  The rows were off set creating a unique look.

We met so many delightful quilters during the show.  It was like old home week seeing so many people that we knew.  There were lots of hugs all round.
Our friend, and weekend hostess Nancie, met us at the show and helped us create the booth. Nancie's home is the best B & B EVER!
 I can remember that I was terrified the first time I was a vendor and wondered how in the world could I possibly fill a 10' booth.  Now I'm up to 20' and run out of room.

I love it when I get an end booth so I can display quilts on the side.

It's never too early to start those Christmas projects.

I demonstrate how to make Grammy Square blocks during the 2-day show.  This quilt was the big seller for the weekend.

Now you have to look carefully at this photo out of our dining room window.  Monday morning, I was standing by the dining room table reading the obituary column in the Chico State newsletter, when something caught my eye.  A bear had crawled up the side of the deck and was having breakfast at the bird feeder. I was so surprised, it's a wonder my name didn't appear in the obituary section!  By the time I found my phone, I was only able to capture the two little paws in the middle of the picture.  No, it is not Mr. Joe wearing furry gloves, it was a juvenile bear. I was so glad that Gail was there and saw it too.  Now the bird feeder comes into the cabin every night.

Mazey was a little skittish throughout the morning and stuck pretty close the us and the cabin. 

I've been working on the Alaska quilt.  I'm pleased with the progress so far.  I just need to step up my game and get it finished......soon!