Friday, February 28, 2014

Block Exchange

This past year I participated in a block exchange based on the Rosemary Youngs Civil War books, and the Farmers Wife book.  Our last exchange took place this month (Feb 2014). There are forty blocks, and I decided to play around with them last night.

My first instinct was to use this dark, dusty blue CW repro for sashing, and I think its very effective. I like the way it makes the background on particular blocks disappear, and really pops out the colors.

But then I had this niggling little bug in my brain, asking, Do you really want another dark blue quilt? I think I've made at least three of them in the past two years, and another one just doesn't excite me all that much.

So I started digging around in my "large hunks of fabric" bin to see what else I might audition.

I've had this pretty 'rust leaves on blue' hanging around for about a million years, and had frankly forgotten about it.

Its pretty blendy, but I like how it gives it a happier look. Lots of the blocks have cheddar or yellow, which both appear in the leaves, so I think it "goes" as far as that goes. Although its not a repro, but who cares? btw I just threw the blocks up there, they have not been arranged yet.

I'm liking it a lot at the moment! What do you think? Can I get away with it?


Monday, February 24, 2014

PVQA Quilt Show

I wanted to post pictures of our quilt show which occurred over the weekend, but then I realized I had not gotten permission from any of the artists to show their work, in fact forgot to take pix of the labels so I would even know who to give credit to. Besides that, my pictures were crap.

Thankfully, not everyone around here is so dense. My friend Claire took great pix, and posted some of them here. Good job, Claire!

Meanwhile, here's a picture of our new black drapes - with no quilts!

Take my word for it, the quilts look fabulous against them, and the look really transforms our show.

I thought the Bargain Garden was a safe and worthy topic, but there was no way to capture it in one shot, not with my camera anyway. It's huge!

I'm happy to report I walked away with only a bag full of magazines, which will no doubt end up back in the Bargain Garden next year.

Another safe subject is the Live Auction, which got off to a slow start, but once everyone was warmed up the bidding really took off. We had a new auctioneer this year, unfortunately I don't have his name handy, but he was great! Here he is, auctioning off my quilt, which is sideways.

That's my friend Cheryl holding the quilt.

Do you know any other quilt show that features a Man Land? Here's ours, ready for those weary (or bored) husbands.

I took one later of someone's husband asleep in the recliner, but not knowing who it was, I thought it might be cruel to post it.  You never know when these things might go viral and embarrass someone.

I hope I don't get in trouble for posting the following photo. Last year, two Santa Cruz police officers were shot and killed, just days after the 2013 quilt show. One of our members, also a 911 dispatcher, created this quilt as a tribute to the two officers and presented it to the police chief.

Rather than end this post on a sad note, I'll end it on an encouraging one. The quilt below was made by a ten-year-old boy, as part of a 4-H program run by fellow quilter Rosa Kitchen.

Ten-year old Josh McLoughlin designed, sewed, and quilted this himself on Rosa's longarm machine.  Its amazing what these kids can do, when they're taught that they can do anything! 


ps  Incidentally, the teal and red quilt at the top of the page was a rescue from the flea market, donated to the auction and sold for $150. Crazy!

pss  Here's a link to the newspaper article featuring Rachel Clark, this year's Featured Artist, and Josh, the boy who made the dog quilt. I figure if the paper can publish these pictures, so can I !

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

More Stars and Marmalade

I'm still having fun with these.

I've been playing around with the idea of using a variety of shirtings for the backgrounds and/or setting blocks.

Its all in the mulling stage while I continue to piece more stars

Above are the two latest I did over the weekend.

Meanwhile, my oranges are ripening, and it just so happens the Clementines are in at the farmers market, so...

Time for a batch of marmalade!

By the way, a Clementine is a type of tangerine, which gives a unique flavor to the marmalade - almost like eating those jelly orange wedges. Quite yummy. This batch ended up with an ever-so-slight bitter note at the end (I suspect the barely ripe lemon) which lends it a unique complexity - kinda like hops give to a good IPA Ha ha - nice try, I know! At any rate, once it hit the buttered toast it was perfect so I'll call this a success!


ps don't forget the PVQA Quilt Show this weekend! (see previous post)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

PVQA Quilt Show This Weekend!

This is a shameless plug and total exploitation of my blog, but I HAVE to tell you about our Quilt Show this weekend. If you are anywhere on the Central Coast of California, you HAVE to come!

I may be biased, but I sincerely believe PVQA consistently puts on one of if not THE best guild quilt show on the Central Coast, or anywhere else I've been for that matter.

Quickly, the show runs Saturday Feb 22, 10 - 5:30, and Sunday Feb 23, 10 - 4  at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds,  2601 East Lake Avenue  Watsonville, CA 95076.  Scroll down further for more details.


This year our featured speaker is Rachel Clark, fiber artist renowned for her wearable art and jewelry. Go here and check her out. Rachel will also be hosting the Fashion Show, another popular event, on Saturday.

Always entertaining and informative, this year our Bed Turning will feature twelve quilts on loan from the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles! How cool is that? This event takes place several times during the weekend, times published in the program.

Bring your hubby, and if he gets tired he can retire to Man Land, a little corner set up like a den complete with recliners and sports magazines. Now tell me, what other quilt show has that?

Not to be missed is our Live Auction on Sunday, where approximately sixty pieces will be going on the block, auctioned by a real auctioneer, which makes this the most popular event of the weekend. An excellent chance to own a work of art, a piece of history!

We have a Quilt Appraiser, but you have to book an appointment which are going fast (call Ann Murphy 831-479-8777.)

The other most popular feature is our Bargain Garden, where we have all donated our unloved stuff, then buy everyone else's unloved stuff. Which ends up being a dollar a bag, at the end of the show. Many many fabulous quilts have been made with these discarded materials!

Below is the basic info as it runs in our press release. 

Pajaro Valley Quilt Association Quilt Show

"From Sea to Shining Sea - What America Means To Me"

February 22-23, Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds
2601 East Lake Avenue  Watsonville, CA 95076

Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
Sunday 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    •    Exhibiting over 400 quilts, dolls and wearables.
    •    Special exhibits include: Red and White quilts, Modern quilts,       
         Wearable Art, Pincushions, Totes, Bags and Dolls                              •    Featured Speaker: Rachel Clark Saturday 2:00
    •    Fashion Show - Saturday, 12:30
    •    Live Auction - Sunday 12:30
    •    Ongoing Demos
    •    Bed Turning  (see program for times)
    •    Over 40 vendors
    •    Flea Market  aka Bargain Garden
    •    Certified Quilt Appraiser

Ample Free Parking
Lunch and snacks available to purchase, provided by Eric's Deli

For more information, go to

I hope to see you there!


Monday, February 3, 2014

Moving Things Along

I've been sick with the flu (no, I did not get the flu shot). It was not the worst flu I've ever had, but still. It had me flat down for an entire week, during which time I had not cut one thread, nor sewn a single stitch. About the quiltiest thing I'd done all week was look at blogs and comment on a few of them.

I finally started feeling human again. I decided to make another star last night, which you see above. I used the mirrors, and came up with this one. You could go crazy with all the possibilities. Don't look too closely, its not perfect. A little wonky in the center. Oh well, adds to the charm I guess.

I also tried making a couple more of this style. I really like these. I think they're more - I don't know, homey or earthy looking than the fussy cut single-fabric ones. I'm not sure which direction I'm going to go with this. I'm not sure they'll all "go" together, if you know what I mean.

Meanwhile (before flu) I've been reevaluating this piece.  Something about the scale just wasn't right, the applique in the center ended up being pretty much dwarfed by all those extraneous strips, blocks and borders. So I removed all the junk, leaving this, which looks correct to me. It kinda reminds me of a Lori Smith piece, so I guess it can't be all bad. So, it will be yet another wall hanging. Or table topper. Whatever.

Here's what it had evolved into earlier:


I had to ask myself, what is the purpose of this quilt? Do I want to make this into a large quilt? Would it even work for a bed? What about the wall? Would I hang this in my home? No, no, and no were the answers. So.. where was it going, and did I really want to spend my time completing it, when it was just sort of making me crazy? Another resounding NO. 

I think it was just one of those crazy ideas which manifested in a sewing frenzy, giving birth to a Frankenstein, and I'm glad I'm over it.

Ahhh.... I feel much better now!