Saturday, October 1, 2016

It's Like Night & Day!

The guest lecturer and featured Quilt Artiste at the Boise Basin Quilt Show last weekend was Boise native, Barbara Shapel.  
I took a few pictures of some of my favorites in her display of works to share!  Each of these beautiful works of art is 2 sided...Day & Night...
I missed getting the night side of this next one...but I got the side that the Dragonfly shows up best on!
 Look who came out to dance & howl under the moon...a moon that you can actually see through!
 My camera battery died while at this display so I started snapping with my phone...hence, I don't have a picture of the night side of this one either! 
"MOM! They're Touchin' Me!"
  'Moooo-m! There's a MONSTER under our Nest!"
Did you know I love Barn Owls?
We sometimes listen to them at night outside our bedroom window.
I caught one hiding and peeking out at me from one of our deeper pasture corrugates on the other side of the fence years ago...all I could see was to just under his beak...we visited briefly before I went on about my business.
This one took my breath away.  It is my absolute, hands down, no doubts favorite!
Yep! I Saved the Best For Last!

Such a Handsome Face.  I think I'm In-Love...sigh...
~Nancie Anne



Friday, September 30, 2016

Boise Basin Quilt Show

I haven't attended a Boise Basin Quilt Show in years, due to the fact that it's usually the same weekend as Quilting In The Garden in Livermore, CA and that equals a visit with my daughter and a chance to catch up with Lynn Wilder!  This year our California pilgrimage is delayed until October so I went and enjoyed the quilt show AND as a bonus did a little unplanned "Junkin" at the event in the next section of the Expo Building, coming home with a teapot, an old mixing bowl and a pearl handled button hook for a shadow box I've wanted to make for years!

I thought I'd just quickly show some of my favorite quilts from the show!  I'm especially fond of Plaid Exchange because it was beautifully constructed by my first quilt instructor who I learned hand piecing & how to draft my own blocks and templates from over 30 years ago. 

Music Is The Voice is an original design by our SIL's talented sister!


~Nancie Anne

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Synchronized Swimming!

A Lovely Labor Day Weekend, Sunday Morning, to all my Quilty Friends!

I received a comment from my sweet bloggy friend, Huggy Helen, requesting a close up of the quilting in my Christmas Country Charmer Quilt, so I've gone back to the vault and am sharing this link to one of my posts about my trip to HandiQuilter HQ last year.

If you would like to see close ups of the darling digital design in progress which was selected from the overstuffed notebook kept by the HQ Educators, they're all there!  There's also a very accurate close up of the thread on the spool, which I'm glad of because the photos don't do the actual stitched on thread colors justice.  The second I saw that spool, there was no going back.  Oh yes, the group insisted on auditioning others, but they finally agreed that I had already found The One!  Unfortunately, in my photos, it just looks all silver, and in person it's not!

Anyhoo...last time I posted I said the Mermaid quilt top would likely be finished the following day, which it was...except for one tweak of one flying goose whose pointy bits were not pointy enough and making it fly a with a bit of a right sided list. 
Yeah, my husband stood over it with me and said, "Nobody's gonna notice it but you...but it's gonna drive you crazy, so fix it if you must!"
I spent two-ish days cutting leftover scraps into nice straight rectangles and assembling a very cute back for my happy little mermaids!
So it was the day after, the day after, when I ripped that little bugger out and ripped it apart and put it back together and #!*#?! ripped it back out and put it back in from the opposite end that time and could breathe again, knowing that now, all was finally flying straight in my little world.  Deep Sigh!

I know that my little Granddaughter, about to celebrate her 2nd Birthday, won't have a clue about the time and love I've crammed into this little quilt for her at this point, I just hope to see her wrap her little self up in it like she did when she tried to snitch Auntie's Flutterby quilt with that grin last year!

Here are some pics of HER little mermaids swimming in synchronicity in my Italian Prune tree!

Did you miss me?  I just went out and reshot pictures after opening up the ones I took with the wrong camera the other day and kicking myself for doing such a silly thing!  Every time I use that camera to photograph anything with red, pink or peach in it the photos coming out flaming!  They're painful to look at and that's not the impression I want anyone to have of this cute little quilt...especially when people other than me put my photos up on Pinterest occasionally!  A week ago it was nearly 100 degrees outside and this morning it's slightly chilly and overcast!  Autumn is upon us!

So here are some pictures from nearly worn out old reliable...

Synchronized Swimmers
I added an inch to the white side sashing pieces so that I could stick another flying goose unit in to maintain a continuous line of "waves" rather than having each one broken up.  I likewise, added an inch to the horizontal sashing pieces too so that spacing would be the same. 
Then I did some math, (and then the teeny tiniest seam allowance adjustment) to adjust the outer border squares.
These are my husbands two favorite to his Granddaughter, of course!
I am super partial to this sweet little polka dot and the aqua print made me imagine plant life floating in water, so I decided it could be wonderful mermaid hair! 
Here's the back made from leftovers from the numerous fat quarters & 1/2 yards used in the top.
I found these 2 bluer, unrelated prints when contemplating ideas for the back and brought home FQ's to audition.  I was glad I had them, otherwise I'd have been back at the quilt shop buying more of the Coral, Queen of the Sea prints!
Here's a picture taken with the bad camera the other day, when it was brighter outside...I couldn't resist taking this photo and sharing the back with the light shining through it and the stained glass effect.
See how harsh the camera makes the foliage background look though? 
Stupid's going to have to go bye-bye, so I'll stop wasting my time using it then trying to manually adjust on the computer after I download!
~Nancie Anne

Friday, September 2, 2016

Seeing Stars & Ribbons Of Blue!!!

Earlier this week I brought Christmas Country Charmer, Housewarming & The Great I Am home from the Western Idaho Fair.  All three had been awarded blue ribbons, 100/100 scores and some very kind comments from the judge(s).   I know these quilts better than anyone...I know what we've been through together to get into the finished category, and knowing what I know, I never expected blue ribbons!  I got up the morning after returning from the Baby Shower in California, threw the required sleeves on the back of these quilts and dropped them off at the fairgrounds in the early evening!  I waved goodbye and didn't return til the fair was over.  I never saw them displayed. I never saw the other entries.  Shame on me!  The day we thought we might go to the fairgrounds was the day we decided Maecee needed to go have a once over at the Vet's instead.
My Husband's Housewarming Quilt
 I used up leftover scraps from special quilts previously finished to back this quilt with memories that I knew my husband would enjoy.  Not sure my poor dear quilter still loves me! But it was worth it!
The judge commented that she loved the fun back!
I had enough time to throw a sleeve on the back of The Great I Am.  Since I was making the trip across the valley to enter the other 2 quilts, I decided this fun little Christmas Novelty Quilt might entertain some younger fairgoers.
and...TA DAAAAA!!!!!!
Christmas Country Charmer was also the recipient of beautiful rosette for Best Of Division. Included with this award was an extra bit of premium money and a large Mountain Mist quilt batt!
On the bottom of the scorecard was written, "Perfect! Great quilt. Thanks for sharing! (You made my job easy)"
Considering that I'm still scratching my head over one fair judges comment a year or two ago, I'm pretty tickled with that note!
Thank you again & again & again, to Lynn Wilder, who sits by calmly when I go messing around with her designs!
To think that this quilt started out as a naughty secret surprise for the end of the Country Charmer QuiltAlong between Sue Abrey and I, and the places it's gotten me to!  My dear, HRH Sue is always in the back of my mind challenging me, with a bob of her head & her Yorkshire accent, to perfect my "Pointy Bits".  I've told her that, when I'm having a really challenging time achieving perfection & about to give up, she appears on my right shoulder, wearing her wings, lopsided halo and starts poking at me with her pitchfork!
 The center tree portion of this quilt, is called A Tree For All Seasons, by Julia Ziegler at Room To Learn.
I've also let the HandiQuilter Educators know that the quilt we decided to quilt with metallic thread & sweated bullets over in the classroom a year ago this month has sparkled its way to these sweet little awards!

I'm winding down from my Happy Dance now...

~Nancie Anne

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Oooh Baby, Baby!

As always, there's a lot going on in my little corner of the world! 

In this past month I've finished projects, ripped apart projects, adjusted projects and was away a few days to attend my daughters baby shower in California.  The intensity to finish baby shower quilts really ramped up earlier this month!  The shower was well attended by family, co-workers and friends.  My daughters worked along with Daddy-To-Be's family to decorate and provide a really yummy shower luncheon.  The Spanish Fortress style clubhouse in their subdivision was the setting, complete with rock walls, forged hinges and huge paintings of Spanish Galleons!

My 2 local daughters and I went and had our nails done for the Monsters Inc. themed celebration prior to leaving.

Meanwhile back in the sewing room, I was spending way to much time trying to achieve
purr-fection with this goofy little flannel cat quilt. 
I love that the majority of these kittens are little boys, as my Veterinarian SIL is fond of cats, and that with the brown and blue plaid makes it more gender neutral, since we don't know if we're having a boy or girl.
I had purchased this as a kit and held onto it for several years waiting for THIS baby.  It reaffirmed my feelings about buying kits.  The amount of yardage to be able to match plaids and be able to adjust the directions and make the same width border all the way around was lacking.  The amount of backing needed to extend the width to be able to load it on the long arm was also lacking, so those sides were extended with unrelated flannel that was later removed when I trimmed it for binding.
This flannel in the top piecing just wanted to pucker and retrospect, I should've just starched the heck out of it and saved myself a bunch of time and frustration.
Then, Horrors upon Horrors!  A little cluster of holes was found in the backing fabric!  This weren't very visible from the right side, but from the back were blackened almost like little cigarette burns.  Since the kit had been carefully stored and sealed, I know this wasn't moth damage.
Upon further inspection, I discovered the damage was located just about where one traditionally applies their quilt label...problem solved!
This is Lyra, Vet Girl adopted her as a rescue while in Vet School.
I'm not sure they've told her she's going to have a younger, less furry sibling yet.
We spent a lovely day re-bonding and watching Olympics together!
"What do you mean, "No! It's for the baby?!"
I AM the baby!"
They've been instructed to enjoy this quilt, use it up and wear it out, and they are complying, there was a photo of their little niece and their itty bitty dog playing on it together on FB the other day! 
Then there's the Apple Quilt.
My daughter was nicknamed "Apple" by the Newborn Nursery staff when she was born,
then she went to school "Up North" and became addicted to their delectable northern raised Honey Crisp apples, and then she moved "Down South" and lives near an area of Placerville, CA called Apple Hill that is a delight to visit.  There are many fruit stands along the scenic drive as well as picnic spots, tree farms, vineyards and crafters & yummy pies and other treats to enjoy.
Given all that, I decided the time had come to make this Eleanor Burns design.
 I went stash busting and pulled everything from what I had on hand for this one.
The border print is really old, but so appropriate for my critter loving kids.  There was only so much of it and it's directional to boot, so I had to do some creative reconfiguring and decided to add some tumbler shaped keystones to the border.  I tried the red plaid, but that was simply horrible.
So...I added brown apple tree trunks instead to match all the little brown apple tree limbs in the print.
In the process of making this quilt, you wind up with an extra apple block, so I slapped some scraps on around it, played with the different decorative stitches on my machine and quilted it.  I used the template from Thimble Blossoms Charming Bibs pattern then strayed from the directions!
Yes, it's a BIG bib! 
My daughter popped open the Velcro closure and had my SIL model it briefly at the shower. 
It fit quite well actually!
This is supposed to be a quilt it, THEN back it and turn it right side out project.  I backed it then quilted and bound it!  Don't look too closely at the puckers on the neckline.  The leftover scraps weren't large enough to allow me to cut the binding on the bias! 
When I had it all together I was surprised that I had fussy cut those bottom corners without even attempting to!  Look how that little dog and kitty are placed, looking right at each other!
It was stuffed in my carry on with all the little clippys on it and Lyra Kitty helped me finish it during our day of Olympics watching together!
The other little project that traveled with me was my N block for Let It Snow.  Upon reviewing the photo I had posted in my last post, I realized that I'd forgotten to add the fringe to the snowman's muffler!  Oops!  That has now been rectified with two contrasting strands of Valdani and a series of little Colonial Knots with long clipped off ends!
The current project under construction is still the Mermaid quilt.
We've had a meeting of the minds regarding nice "Pointy Bits"
and nice straight Concave Bits too!
It's further along than this now but here's where it was at the point when I shifted gears and made some adjustments, in addition to having already changed it from a 9 mermaid quilt to a 12 mermaid quilt. 
I've changed the sashing to accommodate another flying goose "wave" to the ocean!
The original sashing leaves a gap between sets of waves & I wanted my ocean to flow a little more smoothly. 
Maecee is snugged in her usual spot, in the chair, napping behind me as and is recovering from one of her rounds of stomach upset, that includes a hard tummy, burping, rumbling, no sleep and most distressing, anorexia.
  It got bad enough for an office visit this time, as it was accompanied by a cough that sounded like she was trying to clear something out of her throat. 
Bless her nervous little gut, at least she ate almost all of her kibble this morning, with the exception of the new sensitive stomach stuff that we collectively decided to try.
All I could get down her yesterday was her burger and rice and some cottage cheese.
She spent a couple of days snubbing me after Dad got home, she's been mad at me about the famotidine and cough syrup! 
So with my miniature assistant at my (back)side and some luck, the mermaids should be a finished flimsy this evening!
Have a Great Tuesday!
~Nancie Anne