Saturday, September 27, 2014

Time for the reveal……

As I mentioned in my last post, I finished (mostly) the hexie quilt that I was making as a challenge from my “Creative Group” (we really need to find a good name!!)!!!

It was good that the meeting was at my house because I was upstairs up until 25 minutes before the first guest arrived trying to get my project finished.  

We started our meeting with a lovely dinner, compliments of my sweet husband…..

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Then came the fun….

Linda started us off with her miniature piece using 1 inch cut squares, resulting in 1/2 inch finished patches….wow.    Linda is fairly new to quilting so this was quite an accomplishment for her……

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Denise was the next to show her TWO quilts, both working with small squares as well.  Her first was a reverse color wheel which was finished months ago.

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She started a second one late in the game and was just putting on the binding when our meeting started…….DSC03323

Deb wanted to work with some lower contrast pieces and has come up with this beautiful design.  Her embroidery is exquisite….cant wait to see it finished!!DSC03324

Brenda had planned to do some crazy work using some old handkerchiefs from her Mom.  In the final analysis, she couldn’t bear to cut them up so at the last minute she opted for tumblers and crazy patchwork hearts.  I think that she is planning to add some beads to the top and bottom border…should be cute….DSC03325

Ruhanna had already given her quilt away but brought photos and a cute story about her granddaughter being scared of thunderstorms.   Apparently the quilt arrived in the middle of a storm and now it is her Thunderstorm protector !!!DSC03326

Faye started out with larger blocks of Dupioni silk and then found a 3-D butterfly from a class that she added with great effect.  We especially loved the wired antennae!!DSC03327

Lastly, Cleo chose a piece that was monochromatic as her inspiration, however she got quickly bored with the one color so the palette expanded. She does gorgeous beading and is a wonderful teacher as well.    This piece is still a work in progress and we cant wait to see the finished project…..DSC03328

We had a wonderful evening together….cant wait until the next meeting in November.   Our mandate for that meeting is to make prayer flags to share with each other!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hexies

Back in June, I posted about a project that I was starting for my Creative Group….part of one of our challenges….post is here.

My first hurdle was figuring out what fabrics I wanted to use.   The first thought was to use florals

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But while I was looking for other ideas, I cam across two large Ziploc bags full of fabric that had been marbled….MANY years ago.

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I pulled out these fabrics and started cutting hexies.   I wanted to be able to place the hexagon pattern exactly so I developed my own method.   First I cut out a pattern for the hexagon and placed it on my fabric…..

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I then put the hexagon pattern back into the opening…..

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Remove the outside paper and have the hexagon in just the right spot to cut out the fabric…..

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So, I started making hexagons and placing them on my portable design wall…..

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It looked ok, but there just wasn’t any focus for the piece.   The three white blocks were going to be open, but it still didn’t float my boat.  

I was talking to another quilter friend and said that I might add some beads to it to spice it up a bit and then it hit me…..why not make the beads be the focus???

So, I started making more hexagons and adding more open spaces.   The resulting piece looked like this…..

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I knew that I needed to add some stability to the top, so first sprayed the entire piece with starch and gave it a good pressing.  Then I removed the basting stitches and started removing the papers.   I was afraid that it was going to be hard to do, but found that when I stuck my seam ripper into the paper, it would pop right out…..

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I fused a piece of fabric to the back and then added a layer of fusible batting and then started adding beads.

Most of this beading work was done while sitting in the main room at Snowbird.   When I would look up, this is what I would see…..

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I had fun trying to think of ways to compliment the fabrics with beads….DSC03337

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Then it was time to fill in the empty spaces.   I enjoyed using some beads that I bought in Italy and other miscellaneous pieces that I had on hand…..

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I have fused a backing fabric on but still need to do a bit of trimming up so that it doesn’t show from the front, but here is the final piece…..

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I am fairly happy with it as it made me try a new technique and enjoy using some of the bits and pieces that I had on hand or bought in our travels….a two-fer!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Hiking again……

On Wednesday morning we decided to drive away from Snowbird and do a little hiking on the Appalachian Trail.   Stecoah Gap was only about 20 minutes away from the Lodge so that is where we started out.

Within the first 1/4 of a mile, we hit large areas of rocks that we had to scramble over.  They were still wet from the previous night’s rain and were a bit hard to navigate.   Fortunately by the time we came back to this area, much of the water had dried so it wasn’t nearly as hard going down.

We enjoyed walking along and enjoying the flora….mostly mushrooms and fungi.   We passed a beautiful white mushroom and stopped to take photos.  I had the idea to place the camera under the ‘shroom and point it skyward.   I was thrilled with the result…..

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We came to this cool tree that was covered with fungus……

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….and once again I had fun taking photos from the underside…..

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We did find this one beautiful flower……

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Michael did a great job of leading our expedition…..DSC03094

….and we were happy to return to our starting point, some 4.5 miles later…..

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Now, before I continue this post, let me say something to any of you who know my Mother…..DO NOT tell her about the next big trip that we are planning.   She worried when I told her that we were hiking for one day so what do you think she will say when she hears that we are planning to hike for 10 days in the Himalaya’s next May????    This has been on our bucket list for the last several years and we finally decided that we just needed to plan the trip, train for the trip and GO!!! 

I have been a bit worried about my knees and a pinched nerve in my back, but everything seems to be working fine and I didn’t have any issues on this most recent hike.   We are going to do a few other practice hikes in the next few months and also pay a visit to our friendly Orthopedic Surgeon for some  “not so free” advice. 

We are planning to do a trek with REI, spending 10 days in the  Annapurna Sanctuary and several days in Kathmandu.    Michael has also contacted the University at Kathmandu and he will give a talk while we are there as well…..it must be nice to be famous!!!

I am sure that you will hear more about this in upcoming months….wish us luck!!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Home Again…..

For the last five days, Michael and I have spent time at our favorite relaxing spot…..  Snowbird Mountain Lodge.  We have been visiting this Inn for the past 18 years and figure that we have been there well over 10 times!!!  It is a wonderful place, with three meals each day and lots of places to relax and enjoy!!!

Three of the days were spent on the property, enjoying morning views of the mountains in the mist…..

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…..and afternoon views of the gorgeous ranges….

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There are two walking trails on site and we enjoyed a walk to one of the points.   There were wonderful pieces of art along the way……

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….and more examples of the attention to detail that Snowbird is known for…..

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We spent one day hiking on the Appalachian Trail (more to come about that) and I spent two days working on my hexagon quilt (more to come about that also).

It was a wonderful way to say goodbye to a fun, relaxing summer!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What I Did This Summer……

 

Remember on the first day of school when you were asked to write an essay about what you did that summer?   Well, since Labor Day has passed and that has always marked the end of summer, I decided that it was time to write my essay.

This is the first year since 2005 that we have not had at least one major trip during the summer months.  We both greatly enjoy our travels, but were looking forward to a bit of freedom.  At the end of May I wrote a post (click here to read) about this fact and what I was wanting to accomplish during the free time.  Let’s see how I have done…..

One of my plans for the summer was to spend time having coffee or lunches with friends each week and I managed to do this 12 times during the summer.   Sometimes there were two during and week and sometimes none, but a lot of fun spending time with old and new friends!!

Another goal was for Michael and I to go out to dinner each week and to try a few new places.   We went out ___ times and tried 5 new restaurants.

I spent quite a bit of time in my office getting things caught up and am very happy about where things stand now.  I was also able to get some organization done on things that I brought from my Mom’s house last year.

I was hoping to spend lots of time in my studio, maybe even spending some time each day up there.  That plan didn’t work out as well, but I am happy with the projects that I was able to work on, including…..

Istanbul domes….

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….piecing the Guild’s Raffle quilt (here is the finished product)……

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…..Diane’s Strip Quilt…..

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….the two quilts for Qingru and Luhan……

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…..and I finished the quilting on my Pueblo quilt that was started in December…..

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Looking thru all of these, I see that I am very much into using Turquoise as an accent fabric!!!

 

In addition, Michael has worked at home this summer, writing on a book, so he and I have enjoyed numerous lunches together on the deck, watching the birds at the feeding station and generally enjoying our time together.

Finally, I have enjoyed doing some reading, starting with the Harry Potter Series (again) and now I am reading books from the “Longmire Mysteries” series. 

All in all, it has been a  relaxing, wonderful summer……now onto Fall!!

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