Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Visiting an Art Gallery

Since the end of August, the grands spend Mondays and Wednesdays with us. I get to play princess, mama/kid (sometimes, I'm the baby and sometimes I get to be a little girl), coffee shop and restaurant. It is an absolute hoot! In the afternoon, DH takes them to meet up with their mama who works at an elementary school. (She is the special education teacher.)
"Please take our picture here, Gran!"
If it is a nice day, we often go to the park. Monday, it was rainy, so we went to an art gallery.  My friend, Joanne, is part of a quilt group that makes wonderful art pieces. She posted about the exhibit here.

This art gallery is located on the Mt. Hood Community College campus in Gresham, Oregon. Joanne told me that three times a year, the gallery hosts an exhibit other than student work. It is a nice gallery and I will check out the student work at other times in the year.

We walked through campus to the gallery which was good for those young legs! Those legs jumped, hopped and bounced to the gallery and back! The youngest legs NEVER miss the opportunity to splash in a puddle!

The oldest's favorite was "Green Washing."

At the end of the visit, I asked what was their favorite piece and then took their picture by it. It is important to them that I send the photo to their mama! The oldest, loves dresses--the fancier the better! So I wasn't surprised at her choice at all!
The description. . .

The youngest's favorite was "Egg-Actly."

The youngest loves animals. I thought she would pick the pig exhibit; but, I had to agree with her about how cool these eggs were. They were 3-D!

The description. . .

The piece I came to see!
I'm thinking that one of the rules the makers placed on themselves for this exhibit was that at least 50% of the materials had to be "green" for each piece.

"The North Side" was the piece that I came to see as Joanne had blogged about it sometime ago. It is amazing because looking at it sure gave me the feeling of one of those old growths deep in the woods covered with moss. There was no moss used; but it sure looked like it!!

There were some interesting materials used in the pieces. I snapped a few photos; but, I had to be quick as the attention spans of an almost 4 1/2 year old and an almost three year old are ever changing!

Seeing the exhibit was inspiring. I have wanted to experiment with paint. . .who knows when I will get to that!  First, I am finishing the "42 Minis" and then I'm planning to finish a couple small projects. . . .although, plans change! :)

The description. . .
As for the grands, they think they are going to see quilts when we go to an art gallery! Remember, I'm doing my best to infect each of them with the "quilt pox!"

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Featured Artist Show

Shazam, a quilt pieced to use up scraps!
In between grandkids, quilting, working, rehabbing the knees and having fun with hubby, I've been organizing the Featured Artist Show for our guild. The show, "Showcasing Quilts of Our Past Presidents," will be held October 21-23 at the HH Hall Building in Vancouver, Washington. Show hours are 3-8 on 10/21; 10-5 on 10/22 and 10-4 on 10/23.  Suggested admission is a $3 donation. If you are in the area, please come and visit!

We will have works from 21 past presidents who led the guild from 1985 to 2016! I am also one of the featured artists. Sadly, one of our past presidents, died last July. With the support of her family, I have her quilts to display.

One might think working with 21 leaders would be challenging based on the fact that they are all leaders! I've tried to not send too many e-mails, I tried to foresee problems and asked for solutions. Most of all I have been so thankful to all the past presidents who stepped forward to take on tasks for the show. (At this point, I have  have perturbed only one past president. So I must be doing okay!)
Inspired by the book, "The DaVinci Code."

We will have about 200 quilted projects--most of them quilts. The photos I'm posting today, will be of some of the items that I will have in the show. At the guild meeting last Thursday, I asked those past presidents in attendance to stand on the stage with me during our committee reports. The most recent past presidents shared their completed President's blocks quilt while I reminded members about the show and introduced the past presidents.

I wrote what I wanted to say so that I wouldn't forget any names--speaking in front of a large audience is always a challenge for me although few people would ever know how much of a challenge it is for me! What I forgot to say was that many of our past presidents have continued to be active in the guild, chairing a committee, teaching classes, leading a subcommittee and stepping in to help when asked.
Inspired by the book, "Snowflower and the
Secret Fan"

When I was president in 2013-2014, our membership was about 525 and there were 60 board members. Yes, you read that correctly! Although, attendance at a board meeting averaged 30 people.  My goal was to leave the guild's finances a little better than when I came and to keep the ball rolling!

Today, I attended a new member tea and promoted this event to those present. Fingers crossed that lots of people will come see the show.  Fingers crossed that the quilts fit in the space allotted. Fingers crossed that I bring all that I'm supposed to bring. Fingers crossed that "42 Minis" AKA President's Blocks is finished in time to be hung with the other quilts at the show on Thursday!

Tomorrow, I'll be finishing the handwork on the label and running the lint roller over it the remove hair from my friend, Bailey AKA our dog!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

4th Quarter QAL Goals

My fourth quarter goals are:
Quilt this mystery project that is a top!

Finish the binding, label and sleeve on my president's blocks AKA "42 Minis" Of course, I thought that I would finish that six weeks ago at LEAST!!

butterfly quilt--get it pin basted

TQS BOM--figure out the embroidery for the border that I want to add, 

Six past book club and one current book club projects:

Finish this little top.

Add the skinny pieces to liven up the background and appliqué the flowers to finish the top.

Add the quilting to this project. I also want to add some beads which will be a first for me!

Quilt this piece of linen that has been in my stash for about 30 years!

Figure out how to fit the bridge on this piece and what to do with the open bottom right corner:

These are two starts to book club quilts. . .Are you seeing a pattern??? I must return to my word for the year. . .FOCUS on finishing!!!


Keep putting in a little time each month on appliquéing the pieces that over lap the blocks on this chicken wall hanging. I only stitched on it three times in the last quarter. I'm thinking that I need to designate a day to work on it each week to really make progress!

Finish the online mystery BOM top. I just have the last clue to complete!

Start new projects.

This is the fabric for a pieced, appliqué and embroidered project! I have it cut out; but, haven't started stitching!

The granddaughter asked to make a skirt. . .well, we picked the fabric and the pattern. . .also fabric for a skirt for her sister!!

Finish this bag that I started in a class on how to use various machine feet and machine embroidery stitches.

I also need a new bag to carry my quilt projects. I have this bag of selvages to work with:

Sew another 50 yards from my stash during the year. I've been using fabrics from my stash; but, since I haven't completed much using them, I haven't listed where I am on that goal. 

Make more of these bags using some scraps. This is a scrap from the backing of my president's blocks AKA 42 Minis quilt that might work.

Make a pillowcase to store 42 Minis.

Have FUN!

This is a lot for a list and many of the projects are hold overs from the first quarter. I'm okay with that. As long as I'm making progress, I don't mind having long lists!  Also, I have found that if I am more specific about the result of the progress, I make more progress!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Quilting Is . . .Almost Finished!

Red sashing quilted!
I thought that I could finish quilting my "42 Minis" AKA Presiden't blocks today; but, I didn't get there. When I last posted on October 3, I was quilting the pieced sashing. I did purchase another spool of YLI silk thread to finish quilting the red sashing pieces.

The down side to all these continuous curves was that I didn't take enough breaks and I strained my thumbs from pushing and pulling the fabric. I actually had to rest three days before I could move my right thumb with less pain!

Was I feeling the stress of not being able to quilt??? YES!!! Rest, ice and an acupuncture session helped lessen the pain too. I'm on the mend.

Oops, I caught the edge of the backing in
the quilting!
At the end of one quilting session, I discovered that I had caught the edge of the back in the quilting.

I was sad. I thought about ripping out that section of the pieced sashing; but, decided instead to cut the fabric away. I used tweezers and was able to remove all of the back fabric. I only pulled the stitching in two spots and it didn't take too much effort to restitch that area. It didn't take long to do the cutting either. I was happy!

The continuous curve shape I free
motioned quilted on 56
Then, it was on to quilting the 56 white cornerstones. Originally, I had planned to quilt a continuous curve there as well and add an X. Instead,  I used a hera marker to make an X on the cornerstone. Then I free motion quilted continuous lines around that X shape. I liked the result. I also liked that the shapes aren't perfect.  I call them "organic" and "artisan" shapes! :)

Sample of straight line stitching in the navy
sashing. . .boring!!

Those navy sashings were next. I had decided that I'd use my rulers to quilt two lines in the navy sashing. The problem was that it was too hard to push and it hurt my thumbs way more than I thought that I could bear.

The first plan looked great on this block;
it didn't look great on the next quilt!

After stitching one and half blocks, I decided to remove the stitches and to make a new plan.

Sample of the wave quilting design I
quilted in the sashings!
I decided to stitch a gentle curve instead which worked!
Of the 42 blocks; I have quilted 38 so I SHOULD be able to quilt the last four tomorrow!

I didn't work on the binding; but, I did write a draft of the label. The show is now 12 days away. Surely, I can get the binding, sleeve and label stitched in place before the show!
Time will tell!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Fishing on the Siletz River

Even with many boats, it was still peaceful on the river.
Last Sunday, Bob and I, along with our daughter, Amanda and her husband, James, went salmon fishing on the Siletz River which is near Lincoln City, Oregon.

When I was a kid, I hated fishing with my dad because we did it from dawn to dusk and there wasn't a potty in the boat! In my married life, I've come to enjoy the fun of fishing. (It must have been those years of bank fishing where it was possible to pee that contributed to changing my way of thinking!)

We've taken a couple vacations to Alaska to halibut/salmon fish. We have hiked along streams to trout fish. We have bottom fished along the Oregon coast and we have drifted the Rogue River a couple times to catch steelhead. We don't own a boat.  If we are fishing in a boat, we hired a guide. We have always had fun and almost every time we've brought fish home!

Amanda and the fish she caught. It weighed
about 20 pounds.
The other part of fishing is that it can be cold and wet so you need to dress for the weather. On this trip, rain sprinkled on and off on us. There was no wind. You can see how calm the water was in the photos.

For me, feeling the fish take the bait/lure and then hearing the reel zing as the fish takes line off the reel is such a high. The real adrenaline rush is landing the fish. Both of the fish I caught were fighters and what fun it was to bring them to the boat for our guide, Jack Glass to net them!

James and one of the fish he caught. This one
weighed about 22 pounds.
Amanda hadn't fished for salmon before and it was at least 20 years since James had fished so it was fun to see their excitement as they landed four fish between them. We lost one and had to release one--it was a coho and not a king salmon. Five fish in a day when not many others were landed was amazing!

Terry, guide, Jack Glass and fish!
Bob, my husband, didn't actually land a fish; he did bag some garbage that was floating along the river.  He generally catches the most in the group; but, fishing is the kind of activity that some days you will catch and other days you won't.

This was the 18 pound king salmon that I was able to keep. My first one was the wrong species so we released it. This is the same red coat--for luck--that I've taken on fishing trips since 1999.

We've been fishing with Jack Glass for years. . .like 25! I really don't know how we were able to catch so many fish on this trip. I didn't see all that many on his "fish finder" and other boats weren't landing many fish. He'd say, we should get a hit or bite here. . .and by, golly we did!

I find it relaxing to fish. You put your line in the water and wait. I enjoy seeing all the green along the banks. Sometimes we chat; but, sometimes, we just are quiet which I also enjoy.

Note the colors that are in this fish!
This is a close up of the head of the fish I caught, I marveled at the burnished green that was about the head of the fish. Coupled with the darker scales, I thought the color might work into a quilt some day!

Jack cutting a fillet.
At the end of the day, Jack fillets the catch. I tried to fillet a fish once. Let me tell you, it wasn't as easy as Jack made it look. Jack can have a fillet ready for the bag in about the time it takes one to grab a bag and open it!
Fillet in the bag.

Our cooler was actually a little on the small side. Once home, Bob cut the fillets into a serving size and vacuumed packed the fillets. In the end, we ended up with 40 packages of fish! We ate some for dinner this evening and it was delicious!

Here we are with our catch! It was a super day!!

I think we will go back next year!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Quilting Sashings

I'm plugging along with quilting the '42 Minis'--my president's blocks quilt. Here it is October and now the show is three weeks away and still this project isn't finished!

Continuous curve in progress.
Those continuous curves take much longer to quilt than I had thought. I spent about 15 minutes to quilt one 2x10 inch section. Since I had 97 to quilt, that equates to a little over 24 hours on just that part of the process! I have 26 sashings left to quilt which equates to 6 1/2 hours! (Maybe, I don't really want to calculate how much more time I have left!)

The reason I wanted to make those continuous curves was that I pressed open some of the seams in the sashing to reduce bulk. Open seams don't have a ditch to stitch in so those seams weren't secured and I thought if something were to fray, that would be the spot where fraying would happen. I thought that the continuous curve would be the ticket to supporting those open seam lines. Time will tell if I'm correct. However, this quilt will not be slept under many times so everything should "wear" well!

In retrospect, I could have quilted straight lines through the sashing and those corner stones using white silk thread. I would have finished much sooner and I think I would have liked the texture those lines would have added to the quilt. Hindsight is always 20/20!

Needing more red silk thread!
This week, I will cut the binding and sleeve as well as make the label. Then, I will finish quilting the outer sashings. I will need to purchase another spool of this red thread as I had just enough left to finish the "inner" sashings!

The navy sashing is "requesting" some
After the sashings, I have 56 white corner stones to quilt and 42 navy sashings. I hadn't planned to quilt the navy sashings. As I've quilted the checkerboard sashing, the navy sashing started to pucker which happens when the density of the quilting isn't even. I'm thinking that two lines of straight stitching will solve that issue!

It is going to be tight getting this project finished in time for the show. . .notice, I didn't write before the show as I believe that ship has sailed. . .!!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Machine Foot Workshop

When I upgraded machines, I decided that I was going to learn how to use more than the zig zag stitch for making swimwear and the free motion quilting when making quilts!

Last week, I took a workshop about how particular machine feet can make construction work easier and decorative stitching sing.

Triangle zipper bag--going to be a gift item!
The first day, we learned about programming the knot function on our machines in the setting menu. The review was great and I have it down now. Generally, I don't want the securing stitch on because when I am quilting, I sure don't want a knot at the beginning or the end of a quilting line. I generally take tiny stitches to secure the beginning and end of a stitching line.

We also practiced finding and using the memory pages of our stitches. I had forgotten about where these were! It is valuable because there were times when I was stitching and turned off the machine and later I thought.  . .uh, oh. . .do I remember the settings of that stitch?

Finally, we were able to stitch. We used the 12, 12C, 39C and 20D feet. (I had the 20C foot; but, purchased a 20D.) This little bag started off as a 5x10 rectangle. How fun is that decorative stitching on the zipper? What a great way to use a smallish scrap! I may make a few more because they will make great gift bags to hang on the tree at Christmas. I won't share what I'm putting inside the bags because some of the recipients read this blog!

The 'sample' project
The second day of class, we were to make a small bag which would be perfect for a cell phone and a little tube of lipstick. I understand about technique orientated versus project oriented classes. This was a technique class meaning it was about the process so it wasn't going to be "best" work. There were about twelve people in this section of the class. (The class the first day had 23 participants.)  Three of us had the seven series Bernina 790, 780 and 750. The remainder of the class had the eight series Bernina 830 and 880.

When I take a class, I try to bring all the items on the supply list to the class. The teacher didn't put those items on the list  because he/she wanted us to spend loads of bucks; she put them on the list for a reason. I look at it as an opportunity to try what works for him/her because it might also work for me.

Out of the 11 people in class at least five people didn't have the supplies required for the class. Their comment was, I didn't want to buy it until I tried it! What happened was that the teacher had to split the parts of the project up so the supplies could stretch and everyone could be stitching. It didn't work that way. . .the teacher was split trying to lead two sections of the project at the same time.

Also, when I take a class, I clean my machine--service it if it is necessary; I pack the foot pedal,  the power cord and the throat plates. (Once I forgot the 9mm throat plate--lucky DH brought it to me!) I sew with a variety of threads, I can adjust my tension and although I am primarily a quilter, I can stitch other types of projects. I've read my machine manual and feel confident stitching with my machine.

Imagine my surprise when the 8 series machines, wouldn't stitch the Isacord thread in a double needle or the stitcher could't adjust the tension to a satisfactory stitch. The teacher then was trouble shooting for these individuals and of course, what worked for one didn't necessarily work for another!

Making pin tucks and using a double needle
to decorative stitch between the spaces.
Also, a number of the participants were either new to their machine or to Bernina. They weren't familiar with their machine's screen system. That unfamiliarity slowed the class progress. Also, we all learn differently. Some "talk" while doing the steps, some see the photos in the power point and do it, some read each step and check it off, while others need to be guided through each step. That teacher was put to the max with all of us!

In the end, our class didn't finish the bag. We didn't practice an invisible zipper application. We didn't make corded pin tucks. We didn't make a monogram. She didn't show how to use a foot I asked to see demonstrated. She didn't demonstrate the 16W foot.

Am I unhappy about all the didn't list of items? No. I learned loads. I invited a gal with a similar machine to sit next to me so I could help her with the screen functions. It was hard for me to walk her through the steps instead of just pressing the buttons on her screen! But, in a couple of hours, she was feeling much more confident about the screen functions and started opening windows just to see what was there. Before class, she was too worried that she was going to freeze something if she experimented and then wouldn't be able to stitch! How exciting it was to see her blossom and get excited about the capabilities of her machine! Plus, I now have a new friend!

This was the first time the teacher had taught this foot class. If I were teaching a new class, I think I would have presented less materials and had the class accomplished that, then I would have have done some demonstrations. . .like how to make corded piping or what piping looks with this particular foot as to that particular foot.

The selection of machine feet that I used during the
The piping I made wasn't made with the correct foot. I thought I heard use a 12C when it was use a 12. I got my bag together and was ready to add the lining and then I looked at the piping. . .ugly. . .ugly. . .ugly!!

I did make some great button holes in the elastic strap though. The button holes don't photograph well. . .it is black on black. . .you'll just have to take me at my word! :)

Once I finish the president's blocks, I'll go back and redo that piping.  An update on the president's blocks, I'm about halfway through the 97 sashings.