Monday, April 30, 2012

Not at all about quilting, but...

do you remember last year in Saskatchewan?
Our farm from above May 2011

This is land that should be seeded.  No, not with rice.
My husband took these pictures early last May from a friend's airplane.  Devastating is really the only word for the rainfall we had last year.  This was our front yard

Topsoil in a pile waiting for drier weather

We had just built a new house at our farm last year, moved in March 2011, so we had no grass, gravel or trees.  If you could get to our house, you couldn't get out of your vehicle most days to get to our door.  We would fight our way up our slippery clay driveway and pray that we would be able to get into our garage.  It is almost impossible to imagine.  I lost the fight with the mud and four kids!  It was everywhere.
So I am happy to report that tomorrow is tree planting day! Yay!!!  and then maybe grass one day.  This was our yard as of today.
North east side of our house

Back yard from west

Back yard from East
Now if the wind would stay away, I could get the exterior doors painted! It has been a difficult road for us these past two and a half years, but we are where we want to be and are very thankful for that.
Oh, one more thing...see the three windows in the basement?  That is my sewing room.  I guess this post was about sewing after all!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Makoshika Quilt Festival

Yesterday Christa, Jane and I were able to attend the Makoshika Quilt Festival in Glendive, Montana.  This is our second time attending this show.  Of course, we couldn't pass by Sidney, MT without stopping at Quilts and More for a  purchase or two!
The members of the Patches on the Prairie Quilt guild put on another good show this year and here are a few photos of our favorite quilts.

Wandering Stars
Wandering Stars
Close-up of the quilting

The Hoffman Challenge 2011 was featured again this year showing the work of quilters all across the globe.  These entries were really stunning!  The level of artistry and imagination are second to none.  Hoffman picks a fabric that has to be used in different categories such as pieced, applique, dolls, clothing, etc, and that fabric has to be used in your piece.  The 2012 challenge is open until July 20, 2012 and if you are interested, click on the aforementioned link and you will find the required fabric and rules that you need to follow.  Here are some of the quilts on display at the quilt show.

Jane checking out the Hoffman Challenge quilts

The flowers were so perfect!
One of my two favorites.
My other favorite.
The Bigfork Bay Cotton Company was the featured quilter.  This company specializes in unique raw edge applique quilt patterns.

We met some wonderful ladies at the show who asked us to display some of our guild's quilts next year.  So the Block Party Quilt Guild's quilts may also be on display here next year.  We are honored.  Thanks, Ardie.  I think that the next year's show dates will be April 26 & 27, 2013.  We will keep you posted.

Before we headed back for home, we stopped at The Enchanted Room.  We always seem to find something to buy here.

Lastly, a picture of my purchases from all three stops.  Two books, a rotary cutter, a new ruler, some thirties, a batik, brights for my New York Beauty QAL, some funky florals for an apron( HA, HA, Colleen)., a black for my Farmers Wife and some more Eva for a table runner for my last quilt. And no snow/rain to drive home in like last year.  It WAS a good day!!!

I almost forgot.  I am looking for a good pickle dish pattern.  Anyone have any recommendations? any books? anything???

Friday, April 27, 2012

Curve Master Update

Colleen called me this afternoon and made a few suggestions.  She suggested first that I use my NYB pieces as templates and make exact replicas using scraps. Then I'd see if using a single fabric instead of a pieced one makes a difference.  And secondly, to put the concave on the bottom and the convex curve on the top.  I had been doing the reverse.

The fabric pulled apart a couple times

and I had to rip and resew.  In the end I had this

The yellow fabric is almost a quarter inch longer that the navy.  And now the NYB

And now the yellow is too short.

Here are the two pieces placed one on top of the other.  Keep in mind that I used the orange/yellow stripe as a template to cut the navy and the yellow fossil fern as a template for the yellow with black dots.  So why would they be difference now???

Contemplating the Curve Master foot

So I need some sewing advice from my friends.  Helen suggested that I try the Curve Master foot for sewing my New York Beauty blocks.  I did a little research online and on Youtube and then gave the foot a try this morning.  I started with this

The packaging boasts an accurate scant 1/4 inch seam allowance

and got this

You can see that there is a 3/4 inch difference.  Let's give this another shot.

And three is still a difference of 3/4 of an inch.  Then it dawned on me that I need to include my seam allowance which I hadn't done in the first two tries.  I simply cut a square on my first two tries.  On the yellow piece, the fabric got away on me a bit and I had to stop, rip and resew.    On both blocks, there wasn't a pucker or a crease.  This is good, right?  Lets try the NYB now.

No gel nails for this girl!

And three obvious puckers.  The difference in the three tries is that the first two did not have pieced concaves and the third does.  The bottom piece has thirteen pieces and is very, very stiff.  It was really hard to manipulate the bottom piece.  There wasn't the flow that there was in the first two tries.  I didn't bother to iron the third piece because it needs to be taken apart and resewed.  Is the Curve Master foot going to work on the pieced or not?  I am reluctant to do any more for fear of the same results.  What do you think?

Also, if there is a 3/4 inch difference in the fabric, it makes me think that the 1/4 inch seam allowance on the Curve Master is too large.  Shouldn't it be closer to 1/2 inch?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Log Cabin Quilt

I had previously posted a picture of this Log Cabin Quilt, but it wasn't quilted or bound.  Fellow guild member Terry Whitman did a breathtaking job on my quilt.

Terry's quilting
This is my first log cabin and I followed Harriet Hargrave's method of cutting your logs 1/8 of an inch larger than needed and then trimming each piece.  It was quite a bit of work, but it was accurate.  On my second log cabin quilt, I cut the pieces the size they needed to be and it was still quite accurate, but way less work.  I think I will use the second method for all my log cabin quilts from now on.  This quilt is en route to it's home in Regina.  Carolyn saw this quilt when I was piecing it last summer and she doesn't know that I am giving it to her.  I hope she enjoys it.

Christa Marcotte of blogged about her Judy Niemeyer's Cattails quilt. This quilt is gorgeous!  Go take a look.

This afternoon a car load of our guild members are going to the Weyburn Crocus Quilters quilt show, supper at guild member Chris' house and then a trunk show by Wayne Kollinger.  It should be a fun evening!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The evolution of Block Seven

This is my first Block 7 that I sewed.
The arch with the long spikes looked great to me, but I didn't love the colors in the smaller arch.  So in my second block, I made the smaller arch a solid orange
and didn't love that either.  Third time is a charm???
Tell me what you think because I have four block 7s to make for Aidan's quilt. As you can see, the inner arch isn't as straight as I would like it to be.  I will be putting all three versions of the block into the finished quilt.