Saturday, March 31, 2012

If you ever visit Eastern Montana...

you must stop at these two fabric shops that we visited yesterday.  Seven of our guild members jumped in my Suburban and headed south on a two hour drive to a beautiful shop just north of Sidney, Montana called Quilts and More.  We first visited this store a year ago.  The owner, Nancy had turned the attached garage of their home into a quilt store and had added on twice (if I remember right) to her garage ending up with a three room quilt store complete with a classroom and two long arm quilting machines.  Last June a fire took Nancy's home and most of the quilt store and in the past year, she has rebuilt a brand new beautiful home and most of her store.  That's a load on her shoulders!  Here's what you see when you walk in Quilt's and More's front door...

It's bright and airy with room to move and stand back and take it all in.  The store is immaculate and very well laid out for browsing. I am guessing that the door on the right of this photo leads to Nancy's home.  If you look closely you can see the roof in the window above.   Here is a picture of the same room from the other angle.
This was once a garage!!!
And the last photo of this room shows Nancy at the counter and the front door on the far side of her.

Off of this main room there are two more rooms.  A classroom that I didn't get a photo of and this room filled with more fabric and two long arm Gammills.
See what I mean about immaculate.

Thanks Nancy and Vonnie and we'll be back soon.
Vonnie (left) and Nancy (right)  
Here are two photos of us inside and outside Quilts and More.
Charlene, Colleen, Chris, Theresa, Christa, Tracey(me) and Terry

On a very sad note about our trip, we visited Sidney on the day that Sherry Arnold was laid to rest.  Our guild sends our sympathies to the Arnold family.
Tomorrow I will showcase The Enchanted Room in Glendive.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New York Beauty Progress- Tracey Holzer

My latest project has been The New York Beauty Quilt-a-long with Sew Sweetness.  Every Monday there is a different block and tutorial and after ten weeks you have paper pieced ten different blocks.  I decided to make a double quilt and I am doing seven of each block.  I won't lie to is painful for me.  Each block takes me an embarrassingly long amount of time to finish.  On the bright side of things, I now know how to paper piece and by the end of 70 blocks I should be rather good at it.
Last week I finished the six remaining Block 0s and here's what I have finished so far...
Thirteen finished blocks

Friday, March 23, 2012

Today at guild

I wasn't able to join the girls for our guild meeting today, but here are a few photos from today.
This is Jane Marcotte and her Nickel Quilt.  Jane has fantastic eye for color, an endless imagination, no fears or limits in her quilting, and a fondness for scraps and good deals.  Slowly but surely the guild girls are igniting a fire in her for high-quality cotton!  Just wait till you see Jane's Dragon Fly is something special.

Behind this baby quilt stands our newest member, Charlene Wimmer.  Sorry Charlene, but the picture with you in it was too blurry to add to the blog.  We'll try again on Wednesday when we travel to Montana to fabric shop.  Charlene made this beautiful scrappy quilt for her daughter Brittany's "almost here" second baby. 
Member Narrie Lowe's brand new machine and her stunning Nickel Quilt.  Narrie is quite new to piecing, but does she have a talent for it and like Jane, she has an eye for color.  Good work, Narrie.  We know that your quilting future holds many beautiful quilts in store for you!
Next week a van load full of us are traveling to Montana to visit two gorgeous quilt stores.  If you ever get to Sidney, Montana check out Quilts and More. It is a little bit off the beaten path, but well worth the stop.  For me personally, it was a jaw-dropping store.  The Enchanted Room in Glendive, Montana is the second shop we will visit.  It is this perfect little house on the outside, but once you step in it, it blows your mind.  The store doesn't seem to stop.  One room opens to the next and then the next and then the next, you get the idea.  On our first visit to both these stores, we were met by gracious owners who went that extra mile with snacks and beverages for our group.  These extra little touches meant a lot to us.  We are looking forward to visiting the shops and we hope to post pictures of our trip.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One more block to add- Tracey Holzer

I finished Block 7 this afternoon, and it may be my favorite block yet.  After sewing the long triangles together, it had me wishing that I would've only used plain black with various shades of red, orange and yellow.  That would have been stunning.

I have some creases and puckers in my blocks, but I'm still happy with how the blocks are turning out.

This past week... - Tracey Holzer

Six of the past eight days have included some form of hockey for us, so progress on my New York Beauty QAL has been minimal.  These are my latest three blocks.
My second Block 5

Block 8

My second Block 1
All three finished blocks.


I have decided to make this QAL into a double sized quilt for my oldest son, Aidan.  I am guessing that the quilt will need 70 blocks plus a border or two.  65 blocks to go!!!  This has got me thinking...  In my six years of quilting, I have never once worked on more than one project at one time.  I start a project and I finish a project.  The girls in the guild know this.  I like it this way and it keeps my organization and focus in check.  But this New York Beauty quilt has me itching to start another quilt which is really crazy because every inch on my quilting table is covered in bits and pieces of fabric for this quilt.  Here's my proof
43 different fabrics
and I cleaned before taking this photo!  I'll see what happens, but its against my better judgement!!

This Friday is a guild meeting.  I can't make all of the meeting, but I plan to bring my camera to guild after lunch to take pictures of what the other members are working on.  I'll try to get these photos on as soon as possible.  See you then.

Monday, March 12, 2012

New York Beauty QAL Block 5- Tracey Holzer

From this

To this

And this

To this

And finally this

As the pieces get smaller, my blocks get wonkier!!!  I'm hoping that I am able to trim some of these edges off and make this block more square.
Thanks to Terry for sending me these gorgeous fat quarters yesterday.  They go perfectly with the fabric I already have.
Fat quarters from Terry

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Slow and Steady - Tracey Holzer

Typically, our guild meets two Fridays a month and yesterday was meeting day.  I brought along my New York Beauty quilt-a-long.  I was able to finish the first block of the QAL on Thursday.  It was a painfully slow process, but here is the finished block.
New York Beauty QAL Block O

I was at guild for five hours and this is what I was able to get done.

See, painfully slow progress!  I love the precision of paper piecing and the way my colors look together!  Thanks, Terry and Christa for your help...that is exactly why we get together.
This morning I finished the second block of the QAL and wanted to share a couple pictures of how my curves were sewn together.
Adding the middle border.

Adding the background.

Blocks 0 and 1
The blocks should have finished at 8 inches square and these come up a little short of that.  Again, another lesson in 1/4 seam allowances!  Not bad for my first time.  Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

New York Beauty - Tracey Holzer

It has taken a lot of convincing myself (and a bit from Christa) that I should tackle a paper piecing project.  Truth be told, paper piecing scares me, a lot.  I've done one 12x12 inch piece and it took a long time and it all felt backwards while I was sewing it.  These are the fabrics that I have chosen from my very scarce stash.  They are mostly leftovers from a quilt I made my son, Zachary.
Christa and myself are following Sew Sweetness' New York Beauty quilt-a-long.  This is a ten part weekly series making New York Beauty blocks.  It looks like a good beginner project.
Look through my fabrics and try to find Emma hiding under the coffee table!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

A Finished Quilt Top- Tracey Holzer

I finished the double hour glass quilt that I made for my daughter, Emma.  And yes, Colleen, I mitered the corners on the piano key border!  And now we are off again to hockey.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Piano Key Border

This morning I added one piano key border to my double hour glass quilt.  There are 43 piano keys and this means 42 seams.  After sewing the piano keys together, I was almost an inch and a half longer than I needed to be.  I ended up resewing 32 of the seams on a different needle position.  I guess that I didn't have as good of handle on my quarter inch seam as I thought I had!