Archive for August, 2011

Springfield Trip

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Driving to Springfield, MO on Monday, the skies were at times threatening with dark clouds and at times sunny with blue skies – you never know in the mid west! I only encountered a few raindrops though.¬† This was my first trip in the new car and it was quite comfortable, I’m still getting used to the differences from my old one which I think I like better, but this one is gaining favor!

Could this be the spot that inspired the “Longhorn Splashdown” quilt? There were no longhorns visible this day.

Roadside wildflowers are beautiful this time of the year.

My time at the Ozark Piecemakers Guild for two lectures and a Coneflowers workshop was delightful! Had a bit of an equipment malfunction but nothing that couldn’t be fixed. My hostess and everyone I met there at the meetings and in my workshop couldn’t have been nicer!¬† If I lived closer that would be a guild to join!

When I tried to take workshop pictures I discovered that my camera batteries were dead. Again.  I had packed the charger but it was in the bag that got left at the venue, not the bag that went with me to my lodging. I guess  I need to start making packing lists!

I arrived safely home yesterday (Thursday) afternoon to a huge backlog of email and stuff to put away so  today will be spent catching up and hopefully tomorrow I can get back to quilting on the elk!

Busy Week

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

This morning I will begin my drive to Springfield, Mo for my visit with the Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Guild, where tomorrow I will do two lectures and Wednesday, a workshop on Introduction to Picture Piecing. Looks like a good day for a drive and yesterday I got most everything packed so the hard part is done!  I probably will not post here until my return on Thursday.

Repairs And Returns

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Compared to the previous posting, it was two hours well spent, I think!  Now the area in front of the nose is not so jarring.

This week two quilts came home; “The Merchant’s House” from IQA Houston where it has toured for a year with Tactile Architecture. Beautifully packed and in just as good shape as when it left here, as is always the case from IQA.

“Spring Encounter” returned from Milwaukee Machine Quilting Show, not so lucky. It was crammed in a box with it’s padding tissue stuffed in the corners and arrived quite wrinkled along with it’s rather strange third place ribbon, also wrinkled. Strange because it is blue! But it is large and rather pretty and will look nice on the wall with the others once I press out the creases.

This was my first year entering that show which I believe is only in it’s second year. Unfortunately this year I have missed the entry deadline on some of my favorite shows, most recently Asheville, NC.

Quilting The Elk

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Progress is slow as I am quilting very densely. Yesterday I got quite a bit done on the lower portion, put it up on the design wall at the end of the day and noticed the dark strip by the nose. Well, I did notice it before, but it is starting to bother me now.

Of course now, it is quilted in. I know once something bothers me it doesn’t go away, it just gets worse, so I will probably fix it.

Garden Distractions

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Living in the country as we do, we have trouble with mice. They even chew holes in the heavy rubber liner of the watergarden/fish pond. So when my husband said he couldn’t keep the water level up, we expected to spend the weekend dismantling rocks to find the holes to repair. NOT fun! Instead we discovered that the waterfall was so overgrown, water was being diverted to the outside so I spent the morning pulling out plants and pruning back plants. The water level stayed through the day so I hope the problem was fixed, we’ll know when daylight comes today. At least now we can see the waterfall!

It was so cool I ended up staying outside, weeding and pruning for about three hours and then I came inside and quilted for a few hours more, before being lured back outside to read two new gardening magazines that came in the day’s mail. This hellishly hot summer has not been conducive to enjoying the deck, but today was delightful with a little breeze to make it comfortable, so I took advantage!

So far, the quilting of the elk is nearly finished but not any of the background. I put away the remainder of the wool batting that I had left laying out to relax the creases out, but they never did disappear. This does not bode well for the theory that quilts quilted with wool batting don’t crease which is the main reason that I tried it in the first place. The only time I fold quilts is sometimes for shipping so fold creases are not a big deal for me, usually.

Elk Top Finished

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

I made the three changes, can you find them? I forgot to take a photo of the finished top so here is one after the layering and pinning was done.

I have never used wool batting before but I have read that it is wonderful at not holding creases and that it has nice loft to show off the quilting, so I bought some Matilda’s Own. When I opened it it was terribly creased and since it didn’t seem to relax out I decided to wet it and spin it out in the washer. It recommended drying flat so I laid it out and darn! all of the creases were still there!! I put it in the dryer on low and let it tumble dry. Creases were still there.

I went ahead and layered and pin basted and the creases are not noticeable
now; I think it will be fine but not sure if it will be better than cotton in the long run.

I got a start on the quilting, just the outline of the whole elk, but then life got in the way and I had to set it aside. Hopefully today will be more productive.

Nearly Done

Monday, August 8th, 2011

The new fabric came Saturday. We don’t get mail til afternoon, so by the time I washed and ironed it there wasn’t a lot of work time left. By Sunday afternoon this is what I had.

It didn’t work to have yellow flowers in the foreground, too choppy. The darker fabrics work as a subtle border, grounding it down there. The elk’s shoulder blends in better and the bush to the right looks more natural. I still see a few things I want to change but I should get the sections sewn today!

It’s still rainy and cooler today – such a relief! I hope to get outside and do some weeding while the ground is soft. Things are looking so much better, but the heat took it’s toll.


Thursday, August 4th, 2011

So– I changed out the darker weeds around the elk’s front legs, changed some of the other fabrics and added some more. I think that lets us see better what is going on there. The brush to the right needs to blend better but it is coming along!

I really like how these large yellow flowers brighten and lighten the foreground and harken back to the original photo’s yellow weeds.

Originally they were part of a landscape print panel and this is all I had. I went back to get more but the store didn’t have it any longer as it is several years old. I found some on line in a shop in New York and ordered a couple more panels yesterday which I should have in a few days. I’m thinking I may bring some into the foreground in front of the log as well, if I have enough. It feels like I have done more un-sewing than usual this time, but I think to make this technique work, you have to be willing to make the changes.

Changing out some fabrics to the right has integrated the brush better and I will still need to remove that glaring dark spot. Also I think the elk’s shoulder needs to be darker as that whole area should read as one big shadow. I can do that and perhaps sew some section seams while I wait for the fabric to arrive.

It’s RAINING!!! Yesterday it was 112 degrees here, an all time record high. Everything was just burning up so this rain and cooler temps are just what we need.