2017 – Let’s have a terrific New Year

Well, it’s January which means time to get ready for Road to California Quilt show.  This is more than a show – it’s more like an explosion of fabric, classes, vendors and amazing teachers.  So if you are ever in the Ontario, CA area in January, please consider attending at least one day to view some terrific fabric art.

Craftsy star quilt.jpg

Summer Stars

This was a free project from Craftsy and designed by Kimberly Einmo who I met at Road and had as an instructor.  The top is not quilted when I took this picture but my long armer did an exquisite job.  Kimberly is one of the teachers that has also published books on Jelly Roll designs.  For non-quilters, a jelly roll is anywhere from 20-40 fabrics all precision cut into 2 1/2″ strips.  You can find her books at quilt stores or on Amazon.

Spanish tiles is a pattern I bought at a Road show, bought the fusible interface that went with the design but then put it away. Pattern is by Marin and Colusa (always give credit to the designer) and the tile design is already on the fusible interface.  Not sure why, but I put it away.  Well, in cleaning out some items, I found the pattern.  Then found the interfacing so that got me started.  After a nice “cuppa tea”, I read through and found out that it wasn’t that hard after all.  I tried a couple of squares with fabrics from my stash.

Spanish tiles.jpg

Spanish tiles

I really liked it and decided to go on with the pattern.  My lap size turned out to be 5′ X 5′ 1/2 ish.  I also say “ish” as one side is usually just a tad longer or wider.  To quilt this one, I will do hand quilting.   It would a nice change of pace even though I do love standing at the long arm and getting the quilt done in an hour or two (depending on the size and pattern).

Here is a picture of the completed quilt top that Elwood decided to check out.  As usual, my quilts are CTCA, Cat Tested-Cat Approved.  Again, this was done with stash fabric.spanish-tiles-3

Quilting is my hobby, my passion and my stress reliever.  However, when I want to rush through the pattern, that’s when little things will pop up – the tension gets askew, the thread breaks, one of my cats demands my attention, etc.  Plus I usually like to sew when there is day light.  However, since I wanted to get this top done to show at my guild meeting, I plowed through until 8 p.m. (Plus I wanted to watch NCIS).

So I am excited about attending Road to California again. http://www.road2ca.com.   New quilts to ogle, new tools, returning friends and new ones, returning vendors and so much more.  There are also lectures scheduled, late night mystery classes and how to design your own patterns electronically.

Thanks for reading.  I appreciate your time.  Have a terrific 2017!

 

 

So much has happened in one year!

Well, it has been one year since I retired from the Fire Authority.  Since that time I took an extended visit to see my mom in Oregon, had the house fixed up (popcorn ceiling removed, professionally painted, new flooring, new window treatments and new dual pane windows).

I also downsized quite a bit – all furniture got donated to Goodwill/Salvation Army, bags of gently used clothing and books donated to Goodwill, fabric was donated to my guild to either sell or raffle off and a few other things.  It’s great to clean up and start fresh.

Fan Dance With that said about starting fresh, this was the first quilt from Road to California 2015 class that I finished.  Some class projects get done in a year or two or just get shelved.  This one is called Fan Dance and the teacher was Nancy Mahoney.  Nancy has a great technique so the quilt was assembled quickly.  Since I purchased the fabric in La Mesa at Rosie’s Quilt, I named mine La Mesa Leslie.

It was quilted on the long arm, binding on in record time and then shipped to my friend Sharon Elsensohn.  Sharon and I had a fabulous friend named Leslie.  We have known each other for more than 25 years.  Well, that damn cancer took Leslie away from us.  Knowing that Sharon was feeling the loss, I sent it to her.  When she’s down, maybe she can think that Leslie is nearby watching over her.

So Leslie, farewell.  Sharon, enjoy the quilt.  Any quilt guilds, think about having Nancy as an instructor.  Quilters could also use this pattern and use the panels of the fans for signatures. When finished you could use it for a gift for a bride, a retiring member of your company or church or a family gift.

More later as I need to put some binding on another quilt.

Thanks for reading.

Twist Around Hawaii

This is the name I gave my last quilt. As I have stated before, going to Road To California is the highlight of every January. Held in Ontario, it is a week of classes, shopping, meeting up with old friends and making new ones.

I have also previously blogged about Breast Cancer, Race for the Cure held in Newport Beach and the quilts I have raffled off to raise money. Some quilts I give away, but some are donated for a raffle.

Well a co-worker, who is so awesome, recently told me that not only had she just recently had her thyroid removed due to cancer, but her latest mammogram came back with signs of breast cancer. She had thanked me earlier because I sent out an email to our office staff that said when getting dental x-rays or mammograms, to ask for a neck guard. So to be told that she was facing potential cancer treatments, I did what I could do. I made a quilt.

This co-worker loves Hawaii and visits there when she can. So while running around the vendor mall at 2014 Road To California, I had to stop by Beyond the Reef. They have the most extensive selection of Hawaiian/surf/turtle/palm tree fabric. There was a bolt of Hawaiian fabric with a pink background. I immediately bought 3 yards, came back the next day with a Judy Martin pattern book. Twist around the Garden was the perfect pattern. I’ve made it before so it would be snap to make. The next day (yes, I took 4 classes at Road this year) I went back, and their staff help me select 2 colors for the Twist part plus I bought 2 more yards of the pink background. Look, when the fabric speaks to you, purchase at least 4-6 yards.

This would be my next project – I put away the class projects and started cutting. Here it is:
Twist around Hawaii

Happy to say, she loved it. I would like to close with if someone tells you they have breast cancer, tell them they can beat it. By keeping a postive attitude, getting second opinions, talk to others that have gone through it. Another co-worker found that when going through treatment, she was often cold, thirsty, dry mouth, etc. So she put together bags for others that included a lap blanket, Jolly Rancher candies, water bottle, socks and positive affirmations.

This is one of my long writings but just be there for those going through cancer treatments. Look at them and think “THAT PERSON WILL BEAT THIS!”

Thanks for reading

New York Beauty Simplified

Image

Linda O’Riley Hahn, instructor

First let me apologize for the photo as I should have checked the phone to make sure the lens was clean or asked the lady to take a second one.  That being said, this quilt is called New York Beauty Simplified.  Linda O’Riley Hahn taught at the recent Road to California Quilt Conference.  Paper piecing made so easy.

Now I have taken numerous paper piecing classes where you would have to rip out the paper or I would use freezer paper.  Linda has a method where you leave the paper in.  No, it doesn’t make the quilt stiff or hard to use.  When you wash your finished quilt, the paper ends up being more like a stabilizer.

Linda is from New Jersey and has an engaging way of teaching.  Plus her books are easy to follow and they have some great color combinations.

I am currently finishing up the class I had at Road which was titled “New York Beauty Diversified”.  All I can say is if you want to try her method, you won’t be sorry.

I’ll try to post another picture when I can find my camera.  Every year I vow not to buy a lot of items from Road but end up with a basket full.  Then I need to find time to put items away, reduce my stash along with old magazines.  Now where does that stuff go?  To a local senior living facility where they have a small contingency of quilters.

Thanks for reading – now go get creative.

 

It’s Show Time – Road to California in Ontario

Well, Road to California started off with a bang! Extra tent for more vendors and lunch seating. Great Teachers! Beautiful fabric! Wonderful staff! So far, here are my comments:
Thanks to my first two instructors – Linda Ballard for Harmony Square. Also, thanks to Linda Hahn who taught New York Beauty Diversified. Great tips on sewing curves and copying the pattern. Usually if you copy a pattern, the distortion will show up in your quilt – especially if you use 2 different copiers. Both instructors brought in their quilts for layout ideas, colors and quilting the finished product.

Class squares from a 2006 class with Roxanne Carter

Class squares from a 2006 class with Roxanne Carter


Vendors – Thank you Beyond the Reef for coming over with great rolls of fabric – best Hawaiian fabric ever. ‘Quilt in a Day’ – Eleanor Burns is at her booth and I have to ask “Does this woman ever get tired?” She is one of the most upbeat vendors. “Come Quilt with Me’ and Pat Yamin who does triple duty this year – has a booth, judged the quilts and also taught. Another powerhouse vendor/teacher – she is awesome on handstitching. Kai Scissors have a terrific booth with some great show prices, Tracey’s Tables, Bohn from France with needles, scissors, etc, Island Batik and some many more. Tons of sewing machines – both regular machines, long arm, and every attachment possible.

Today is another class, Stacked Hexagon Stars Quilt with Norah McMeeking, and Saturday will be handstitching and learing new decorative stitches. I will be able to post more pictures later. I wasn’t going to do that much shopping as I need to reduce my stash of fabrics but couldn’t stop. Plus I found the most comfortable thimble that is absolutely gorgeous. She told me it was a JL Lane.

Ontario Convention Staff/Road to California Staff – all super helpful.

A few tips for those who attend – wear comfortable shoes. If you are taking class and want to sit with your friends, then get there early so you can sit together. And lastly, have fun and don’t forget your “P’s and Q’s”. That phrase, as I was told, means Don’t forget your PLEASE AND THANK YOUS”. There is a lot of work that goes into these shows. This year, Road is dealing with one teacher that had to cancel due to illness, one vendor broke down in Texas, one instructor woke up with the flu,,,,,, meaning cancelled classes. But you could not tell from their faces. All staff, both paid and volunteer, have smiles on their faces. So head out to Ontario as the show will end on Sunday at 4p.m.

what’s the Point? Where’s the Point?

I love to quilt on a machine – either on my Bernina or on my Featherweight. However, there are some people out there that will tell you in their most serious tones, “It is only a quilt when it is all done by hand.”

Seriously! You just have to smile and walk away. Now here is one that I started that has been PIGS (Project inna Grocery Sack) for awhile. The pattern is called Nosegay.
nosegay

This was a class taught by Pat Yamin (Come Quilt With Me owner and established in Brooklyn). Pat does her quilts by hand but also teaches machine methods. Now my points got kind of mushed in the center so that tells me I really need to slow down when making this pattern. Or just do it by hand.

Pat will be at Road to California Quilt show, Jan 23-26, 2014 at the Ontario Convention Center both teaching and selling items from her booth. She is a very patient teacher and keeps us laughing with jokes and stories. She has some great fabrics as well as templates. The templates are very sturdy.

I have a few of these blocks done but will probably do a bunch by hand just to make sure my points are perfect. The quiltzillas are out there – if you see them, just smile and get out of their way.

Thanks for reading and if you are looking for a new hobby, try quilting. You meet some great people along with the quiltzillas.

Quilt shows

401456_2892964757041_1047947865_2914844_2071931620_n[1]

One of my favorite things is to attend local quilt shows or national shows. I have been attending Road to California for over 17 years. I always stop by “Come Quilt With Me”, Pat Yamin’s booth.

Pat lives in Brooklyn and has been a long time participant, both as a vendor and a teacher. Her templates are the easiest to use and she has a terrific teaching style – very open, very helpful and is always prepared for anything.

If you see a flyer in your town or at the local fabric store about a show, take a moment and attend. Quilting has changed – it’s not just little old ladies anymore. The patterns are bold with color and shapes but there are also the traditional quilts displayed.

It’s a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. Road to California will be opening up registration for the 2014 conference and Long Beach Convention will be held at the end of July. Wear good walking shoes and bring your camera. Lots of great ideas and color combinations to enjoy. I’m wearing my Martini In The Morning Race for the Cure Shirt.

If you like great music while you are quilting, check out http://www.martiniinthemorning.com for Michael Blube, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr and so many more.

Thanks for reading.

Road to California Quilt show

Let me tell you about Road – it is the most fun, people packed week for quilters. It is held in Ontario right around Martin Luther King Day. There are classes with long arm machines, hand piecing, crazy quilting, paper piecing and many others. Check out the webpage http://www.road2ca.com for more information.  The quilt in this picture was done by the instructor, and this is one class I was hesitant to take.  Curves have never been my friend – either in quilting or on the body (little humor).  I am blanking out on her name but she is in the San Diego area and has published a few books of patterns.

new york beauty004  But I took the class and really enjoyed it.  I have conquered curves – at least with fabric.  And speaking of fabric….

I spent New Year’s Day putting away fabric I had purchased earlier this year and also any fabric I had sitting out. Then I put together a top with some borders (picture later) and pulled together fabric for one of my classes at Road to California.  Normally I will go to the fabric store and buy specific fabric for the class. This year – I am working through the stash of fabric.  In two of my three classes, it will be stash fabric.  My third class is done with felt and the kit will be sold by the instructor.

So if you aren’t busy January 24-27th, stop by the Ontario convention Center.  This is for quilters, crafts people (you should see the crystals, buttons and stencils that are offered), dress designers, or anyone who likes to sew.  Plenty of sewing machines, both regular, long arm, embroidery, etc.  Hope to see you there.  Also, the most amazing quilts on display – it is an overload of color and wonderfulness.

Thanks for reading.

 

Star Quilt

star quilt 2010
Points were never my friend. As hard as I tried, my points sometimes got cut off, sewn over or were too far from the seam.

I tried a paper piecing class at a Road to California class and loved it. My points are perky and the instructor (whose name escapes me because I’m typing this before work and the pattern is at home) made the class so easy.

So if you are a novice quilter, try paper piecing. There are some great products out there that don’t dull your needle while sewing.

I love the color purple so that is usually somewhere in my quilts and I found this fabric at Bear’s Quilts in Garden Grove while waiting for Earlene Fowler to start her talk. Earlene Fowler is a local author and writes the Bennie Harper mysteries.

Not much else to write – have a great Christmas and a wonder New Year. Do what you like, learn what you don’t know and be a nice person.

Thanks for reading.

Long Arm Quilting Machines

When I started quilting, it was on my Great Aunt Margarite’s 1957 Singer.  It must have weighed about 40 pounds.  Straight stitch and zig zag and a lot of attachments.  I then purchased my first Featherweight (weighs about 2.5 pounds). What a joy to take to classes with the Featherweight. 

To finish my quilts, I just did Stitch in the Ditch.  Occasionally, I added some hand quilting but I really wanted  more.  At a Road to California show, I met a long arm quilter from Astoria (I was a white glove lady-wear white gloves and pull the quilt up so people can see the back).  I took the plunge and asked Linda to do my next quilt.  I would bring it up to her in Oregon when I did my annual trip to Seaside, Oregon.

Linda did a fabulous job.  She is still in Astoria quilting and teaching.  You can see her work at Homestead Quilts on 10th in Astoria.

Back to the picture – yes, I tend to wander sometimes.  I found a local quilter in Orange County. Diane Beachamp, who like Linda did a great job on custom quilting.  Diane opened up her own quilt/fabric store.  She put her Gammill long arm machine in the store and advertised classes on the machine.  If you wanted to rent it, you had to take a class.  I was in the first class and was immediately hooked and frustrated.

It takes time to get use to threads breaking, running out a bobbin thread, finding the right pattern for your quilt, the right thread color, etc.

But once you get the feel for it, it such a treat to watch your quilt just pop.  You the backing on the right roller, add the batting and then the top.  Baste it so that it doesn’t move, add the clips on the side, check for any pins, and hit “Start”.  There is a lot more to it but if you want to learn, find a store that rents the machine and take a class.  I have been very fortunate that Quilter’s Garden has 2 machines and a terrific staff that is there to assist you.

Now when I want to quilt my quilt tops, I can schedule time on the machine, peruse the store for more fabric, meet new people (there is always someone asking about the machine) and just relax.  There are many long arm machines but I really like the Gammill.  You can order one with a computer or without.  Without the computer, it is easier to do freehand quilting.  If you decide to buy a long arm, go to a large quilt show like Houston, Paducah, Chicago, Road to California, Long Beach show and try out all the machines.  The ease of working the machine and the cost vary.

Thanks for reading.  The quilt on the machine is called “Dressed to the Nines” by Lynn Mann.  The top quilt is Road to Oklahoma (I think.  It was made in 2002)