Quilting is a true joy in my life. It is not just a hobby, but more of my passion and creative therapy. It keeps me grounded, intrigued, gives me a purpose and identity. It keeps me focused and preserves my sanity.
We have been in the midst of a heat wave that has been the hottest ever on record. I took this opportunity to stay inside and work on a couple of projects. We finally finished up the blocks for Dana's quilt. I will post a picture when the quilt has been put together. I was working on the Ocean Waves quilt. I thought I was making good progress with the 80 or so blocks and then I made the mistake of actually counting the blocks...I only had 35, so my frayed nerves needed a break from the Ocean Waves and I switched over to sharpening my paper piecing skills. I have come a long way in 30 days. I started a New York Beauty wall hanging (all paper-pieced) and it is looking pretty good if I must say so. I had a few glitches, but I didn't give up. I kept reading and re-reading the instructions, taking my time and making sure everything was right and avoiding as many shortcuts as possible. I love shortcuts...instant gratification. I even made a hand drawn sample picture with my granddaughter's crayons (I have EQ6 & 7) to give me inspiration and for color placement. There are 16 blocks in the quilt. I have completed 11 with 2 more almost complete. I counted them, have confirmed that I only need 5 more and I am happy with the results. Then I was so psyched with my progress on paper piecing, I decided to do something that I have wanted to do since I started quiliting. It's crazy...I don't know where this energy is coming from but I am going full steam ahead. I have started a Double Wedding Ring. That's right, I must be nuts or suffering from heat exhaustion, but I am doing it. I have completed 20 arcs and they are perfect so far. It remains to be seen if they will fit when I put the rest of the quilt together but right now it works. I don't know anyone else who has completed a DWR quilt, so if you are reading this entry and you have completed one, please leave me some insight in the comments section. I only had one setback on the DWR so far. I mis-read the number of arcs that was required...silly me. I was so happy that I thought I only needed 28 arcs...DAH...I really need 98, but oh well. It was a temporary setback. And I only need 78 more. I am completing about 3.5 arcs per hour. So this shouldn't take me 20 years to complete! Here are pictures.
We are still working on the 25 or so blocks for Dana's quilt. And as the blocks are circulated among the staff, more folks want to participate. I have made 5 including my own. We are also taking pictures of each block and everyone who contributed will write a note to Dana. The picture of the block and the note will be put into a scrap book and given to Dana along with the quilt, so that she will know who made the blocks. Here are a couple of the blocks that I completed for my fellow staffers based on their vision. Hard work... It has been fun doing this for Dana.
Every year in June, Quilters Unlimited Guild of Northern Virginia has a wonderful show with over 600 quilts and other media. The show is always well attended and there are over 80 vendors of all types. I am not a member of the guild, but my friends are, so we make it an annual event and we have lots of fun getting together, shopping the vendor booths, eating and yes, looking at some of the most gorgeous quilts ever. Of course, I had everything except the kitchen sink and my camera in my bag, but the one thing that I love about this show is that they produce a cd with pictures of the quilts. You preorder it at the show and it comes to you in the mail in about 2 weeks. I do have one picture to share of my show favorite that my friend took for me so that I wouldn't have to wait 2 weeks to share it with everyone.
I also took a class at the show. This was a first for me, but the instructor was Norah McMeeking, artist and author of the Bella Bella Quilts. These quilts are some of the most intricately paper-pieced and beautiful quilts that I have ever seen. I thought it was going to be over my head, but the class was wonderful. Norah was very thorough, she had written instructions (with visuals), she was funny, attentive and most importantly she was patient! I only completed one block of the Roman Rings pattern, because it is paper-pieced with lots of little pieces, and those of you who have read my blog before know that I am sort of paper-pieced challenged. But I do plan to finish it. I am still working on the ocean waves quilt and I have started paper-piecing a NY Beauty quilt with hand-dyed fabrics and once they are done, I will pick up the Roman Rings quilt again. I have a feeling that it is going to take much more time than usual for me to complete this one. If you haven't experienced the Bella Bella quilts, the web site is http://www.bellabellaquilts.com/. They are amazing.
I shopped at my favorite vendors and purchased some really beautiful African hand-dyed fabrics in stunning colors. I am making a NY Beauty quilt with this fabric and as soon as I have more blocks completed (paper-pieced :0), I will post some pictures. Here is a picture of my favorite quilt at the show. There were others, but I didn't take pictures. It is a Drunkard's Path done in African fabrics. The picture does not do it justice, but it is a beautiful quilt with lots of texture. Enjoy!