Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday Stash: Road Trip Report

It was snowing when I left Colorado on my annual May pilgrimage to Idaho for quilt retreat! I had a hard time believing how warm it was in my hometown of Jerome, Idaho.

For the first time, I attended "Room to Learn's" retreat at the Monastery of the Ascension in Jerome. The monastery is lovely, so peaceful and remarkably isolated -- even though it's just a few miles from my high school!


Julia does an incredible job setting up for serious sewing. Five Oliso irons, five "big board" ironing boards, three portable design walls -- and wine tasting each afternoon! Yep, I'll be back!

In between quilt camps, I attended the High School rodeo in Homedale, Idaho. My great-niece, Bekah, rode in four events, wearing a western shirt made by her Mamma!

Bekah's High School Rodeo team sold raffle tickets for this quilt, made by yours truly. She reports they earned more than $1000 for their college scholarship fund!

The following week was spent at Payette Lake, site of Granny's Attic quilt camp and my former Girl Scout Camp, Camp Alice Pittenger. I've already shared some photos of the lake, but here is another favorite (can you believe it's taken from the window of my room at Camp Ida-Haven?):

Shop Report

On the way back to Colorado, I did some serious quilt shop-hopping.  I visited several new shops.

First, a lovely country shop outside Shoshone, Idaho.  Salli's Back Porch offers fabric, haircuts, and massages! Plus, the surrounding countryside is beautiful -- I saw a golden-headed blackbird, one I'd never seen before!

Yellow-headed Blackbird Photo
(Image from All About Birds)

Salli has an online shop, so if Idaho isn't in your travel plans, you can visit her shop vicariously via the interweb!

Another shop I've been want to visit forever is The Charm Shack in Ontario, Oregon.
(Image from The Charm Shack)

What a great selection!  I scored a wonderful handmade ruler holder to keep on my cutting table to hold the little rulers and templates I use most often. Plus, in Oregon, they pump the gas into your car for you!

I was sad that the shop in Nyssa, Oregon, was closed for the day.  Next time, maybe!

Heading home via Northern Utah (where I got lost, but that's another story!), I visited Stylish Fabrics in Logan, Utah. The clerk told me they can display 40 quilts -- and the quilts on display are stunning. This shop is a repro-fabric lovers dream!  (Sorry, I can't find a photo!)

Another shop I'd never visited is My Heritage Fabrics, also in Ogden. It was a little challenging to find, since the Quilters Club of America's iPhone app is not up-to-date, but worth it! This shop knows how to host a sale!

Of course, it was upon leaving this shop that I got well and truly lost in Northern Utah. Well, not really lost, but I didn't know Hwy 39 was still closed for snow. And I didn't have a Utah road map. And my GPS still thought I was in Filer, Idaho!

Thanks to a gracious local at the Chevron station (not an employee, who had no idea how to get to Evanston, Wyoming from wherever I was!), I took an incredibly beautiful side trip near Snow Basin ski area. Eventually, I hooked up with I-84 and found my way to Evanston and another new-to-me shop, Common Threads. Not only did I score a quilt book I've been looking for forever, the shop co-owner recommended a great place for dinner. [Always ask at the quilt or yarn shop for restaurant recommendations. They know the best places to eat!]

OK, enough about traveling.  What did I buy?

First off, do you read Quilt Sampler magazine?  Like the quilt on the cover?

Quilt Sampler Magazine Cover

Did you know shops selected to be in the magazine must present not one, but two quilts for consideration to be included in the magazine? One of my favorite Idaho shops, Quilt Expressions in Garden City, is featured in the current issue. And that's their quilt on the cover!  They also submitted this fun Dresden-variation:

My quilt camp buddy, Martha, made this quilt while we were at camp. (Come back next Saturday to see her finished quilt in the May UFO parade.) I bought only the pattern and background fabrics, and I plan to add my Malka Dubrawsky and Kaffe Fassett fabrics to make the Dresden blocks.

I fell in love with this Bonnie Blue Quilts pattern at Stylish Fabrics. It gave me the excuse to shop for more Civil War Reproduction fabrics!

One of my great-nieces will be attending BYU in the Fall. I was excited to find this for a pillowcase to send along with her!

Julia demonstrated the newest Block-Loc ruler. The designers also published a book showing blocks that can be made with this new tool (come back on a future Tuesday for my own Tuesday Tool post featuring it).

I won the first giveaway at Granny's Attic retreat! How appropriate -- the nationwide edition of Quilt Shop Navigator.  Plus some fat quarters to add to my collection:

Speaking of fat quarters, here is the fat quarter collection I'm offering to the winner of my 500 followers giveaway.  Go to this post to comment for your chance to win!

It's a long weekend in the USA for Memorial Day. I hope you'll take the time to thank a service member, current or former, for their service to our country! 

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Friday, May 24, 2013

A Really BIG Friday Finish!

May is such a great month this year -- FIVE Fridays!

OK, I don't have five finishes to show you, but I do have a funny story. It's about my most recent "Scrap Squad" quilt for Quiltmaker Magazine's Quilty Pleasures Blog. I wrote a tutorial using the "Tri Recs" tool for the Quilty Pleasures blog. But you, dear 52 Quilts readers, get the "behind the scenes" story.

When we received the pattern for Robin Waggoner's "Mandarin Express" quilt, I immediately thought of the huge pile of purple-and-tan four patches left over from Judy Laquidara's purple monochrome quilt challenge several years ago (at least three, because it was pre-52 Quilts blog!).  "Great, I'm halfway finished," I thought to myself!

I went to work cutting the triangle-within-a-square blocks and sewing, sewing, sewing.  Because there are two blocks to this quilt, and I want the four corners to be the same, it must have 63 blocks.  Up on the design wall, and man, this quilt is getting to be big.  And I'm only halfway finished.

That's only 40 blocks, and my design wall is filled! On I plug, sewing and sewing. At Barb Gardner's EQ7 class, I design a border to continue the chain blocks into the border. Finally, it's all pieced and ready to go to the long-arm quilter, Ann.

We measure the top, and it's 96" by 112" (!)  I know magazines rarely write patterns for quilts this large, what is the deal?  That's when I go back to the pattern and realize:

The pattern calls for 2" squares for the four-patches. Mine are based on 2.5" squares.  I've made a really, really big quilt!

So big, in fact, that when I hang it over the edge of the second-story deck, it almost touches the top of the light post on the patio below!

This will be a wedding quilt for the son of my late friend, Susan. He is a US Marine, currently attending flight school in Pensacola, Florida. When I took him and his fiance to lunch, I told them they could choose what they wanted for a wedding quilt: modern or traditional, and what color? Priscilla wouldn't say, so Spencer answered for her, "Traditional, and purple!"  I think my Mandarin Grape fits the bill, don't you?

Linking up to Confessions of a Fabric Addict "Whoop Whoop Friday."

LAFF - Richard and Tanya Quilts

Have you entered my 500 Followers giveaway yet?  Go to this post to enter!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

WIP Wednesday and 500 Followers Giveaway

Wow!  While I was gone to quilt camp, the number of 52 Quilts followers jumped to more than 500! This calls for a major giveaway -- but first, WIP Wednesday.

WIP Wednesday

Can you believe there are only 30 days left of Spring?  We haven't even HAD Spring yet in Colorado -- my furnace still kicks on every morning!

Here is my Anna Lena Block-a-Day Chevron quilt. The idea is, even if you can't make a whole quilt, you at least can make one block per day! These blocks are the easiest, I have no excuse for not keeping up:

My second WIP this Wednesday is the Fat Quarter Shop's 2012 Designer Mystery BOM. I absolutely love the fabric, Vintage Modern by Bonnie and Camille. In fact, I love it so much I added three blocks to make the quilt 15 blocks rather than 12!

The blocks are (top row, left to right):
"Weather Vane" by Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson; "April Showers" by Sweetwater; "Lakeside Retreat by Joanna Figueroa, "County Fair" by Julie Comstock; and "Mint Julep" by Lisa Bongean.

(middle row, left to right):
"Mexacali Rose" by Marti Michell; "Cherry Sundae" by Barb Adams and Alma Allen; "Five Geese Flying" "by Marti Michell; "Signed Sealed Delivered" by Amy Burg Gibson; "Lime Sherbet" by Bonnie Olaveson and Camille Roskelley.

(bottom row, left to right)
"Laundry Days" by Anne Sutton; "Moonlight Serenate" by Sandy Gervais; "Breezy Afternoon" by Aneela Hoey; "Sunday Drive" by Polly Minick and Laurie Simpson; and "Town Square" by Kate Spain.

While searching for the names of the blocks, I found more made with the Vintage Modern fabrics. I may make this quilt 20-block size!

The Giveaway!

52 Quilts has had a bump up in followers thanks to a post by Free Quilt Patterns and a link on Quiltville's Facebook page.

This calls for a "Big Giveaway!"  And what could be bigger than a stack of 24 fat quarters? I love this collection, "Spirit" by Lila Tueller for Moda. Plus, both the "M" and "S" sets of Marti Michell's templates.

To enter the giveaway:

  • I'd love to know how you found 52 Quilts in 52 weeks. Please comment below and tell me.
  • Since this is a celebration of 52 Quilts followers, to enter the giveaway you must be a follower!
  • Of course, international entries are welcome. If you're a no-reply commenter, be sure to leave contact information in your comment.
  • Giveaway will end Thursday, May 30 at noon MDT.

I have some great finishes to show you on Friday!  C'mon back!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature