Saturday, July 30, 2016

Getting A Quilt Fix (Blaine, WA)

While we were in La Conner, I had to visit the La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum.  I'm not sure what I enjoy seeing again - the quilt exhibits or this grand old Victorian mansion built in 1891.
I was only allowed to take photos on the first floor which included the old kitchen and a gift/fabric shop.  So, here are a few photos that I was able to take.
The parlor was filled with a weaving exhibit.  Of course, I had to get a photo of the cat.
The rest of the first floor was filled with Colonial Revival Quilts.
Each quilt's story was told by its maker accompanied by a photo of an old quilt that inspired them.
The second and third floor were filled with fiber art and quilts from Japan by Sachiko Yoshida and students using silk from old kimonos.  The fabric does not look easy to work with, but the results are amazing.  Since I could not take a photo, I borrowed photo from Pinterest.  You can find more work by Sachiko Yoshida online.
Sachiko Yoshida Flowering:
from Pinterest
One more photo of the couple with a vision for this beautiful home we are still able to enjoy - Mr. and Mrs. Gaches.
Photos of the Gaches and their home
Across the street from the museum, there is a small butterfly garden open to the public.  I did a quick walk through since I had already spent quite a bit of time in the museum.
I am in love with the gardens in the northwest.  So lush and vibrant!  Interesting flower below.  Does anyone know the name of this one?
Walking down the stairs to the main street, I noticed the big cherries on this tree.  Not quite ripe for picking, but a great photo op for a colorful scenic view of La Conner.
On The Cutting Board
Sales have slowed down, so I am getting caught up on my UFOs.  Three more Happy Campers are ready for edging and layering.
I spent one beautiful day basting the Lover's Knot quilt.  It is now in the hoop and getting a little attention each evening.  So nice to be back to hand quilting in a hoop.
Happy Quilting!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Connecting With Pieced Quilting (Mount Vernon, WA)

I have been in a WiFi black hole for the past three weeks.  No cell phone service and very little internet connection.  Even satellite TV was iffy at times. The campground in La Conner is a great place to be if you want to get away from it all,
 I love La Conner for the scenic views, the small quaint towns, and the delicious food, but the charm of being disconnected from the world is short lived with me.  I'm happy to say we are sort of connected again even if it is on the slow side here in Mount Vernon.  We move tomorrow (Monday) back to Blaine, WA.  I hope to do some catching up in the next week with everything I have been doing lately.

On The Cutting Board
And while I'm on the subject of feeling disconnected.  It has been a long time since I sat down and did some serious hand-pieced quilting.  Sales have slowed down in my shop and my inventory is overflowing with Mug Rugs, so I'm taking the quiet time to finish two retro quilts in 1930s design fabric.  I love this fabric so much that I have a Rubbermaid tub filled with just this fabric.
So far, all the work has been by hand.  From marking the fabric for cutting and for the quarter inch seam line to cutting each piece out with scissors (no multi-layered cutting here) and sewing the pieces together by hand.  
Still working on the Nine-Patch
Time consuming? Yes.  One of the best ways to stay entertained while disconnected?  Absolutely!  Okay, I cheated a little by listening to books on my iPod.

The thing is that I did not realize just how much I have been missing the process of making a quilt by hand.  The anticipation of marking/cutting the fabric and dreaming of what the quilt would look like while sewing the pieces together.  Granted, most of the pieces were cut out a long time ago, but it turned out the I was short a couple of blocks, so I did have to go back to the start with templates and pencil.

The feeling of seeing a top finished and knowing it all came together with no help from a machine is so satisfying.  If I do need to use a sewing machine, it will be to sew on borders.
 I finished the Lover's Knot top and I do believe that it is time to blow the dust off of my quilting hoop for a quiet time of hand quilting.  The nine-patch will take a little longer to finish since I am thinking it will need some applique work as well.  Hmmm...
Happy Quilting!

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