Saturday, July 23, 2011

Outsmarting the technology?

This is a scanned copy of the Heritage Quilt Workshop schedule.  Now if I can just get the paper straight in the scanner bed, I'll have this licked.

I won't claim to have outsmarted the machines until I can manage to get things into the scanner right side up and straight.  Meanwhile, I am sure there is someone out there who is laughing because I just went around the barn instead of through the door, but at least we are staying with the horse images from this evening's earlier post.

Heritage Quilt Workshop News

Nine patch nine patch doll quilt
Whoa!  Or however we spell what you say to a horse that is in a hurry.  The summer seems to be rushing away.  I've been working on the late summer/fall schedule for the Heritage Quilt Workshop in West Yellowstone, Montana.  I'm hoping I can just cut and paste it in here.  Here goes. Hmmm.  Long pause.   Looks like I will need to call in my experts, as soon as they get back from hiking, canoeing, and fishing.  Or as Gramps liked to call it, Drowning Worms.

The 1896 Lady's Star block

Here's the afternoon's project.  The 1858 quilt is a design from Godey's Lady's Book.  Drafting the pattern from the sketch in the book was easy. Deciding what size to make it was a little more challenging.  This block is 8" square, but I will definitely teach it in a larger size. Probably !6" so that the individual hourglass blocks will be 4" square.  That makes it easy to work on, and for new quilters that's important.  (Anyone have a friendly name to suggest for people who who cut and sew bits of fabric together but hire others to quilt the quilt?  I'll take suggestions for a new label, but the name has to be a friendly one,  since some of my favorite people would rather quilt than piece, and the other way 'round as well.)  If you look at my block carefully you'll see where the layers of seams made it hard to get perfect points.  I was hurrying to get a block to scan for publicity for my class.  This block, at least in the 8" size,  will be much easier to hand piece than to sew by machine.  Part of the issue for me was the strong contrast.  I like to press seams toward the darker fabric, but this block is complex enough that there were some places that  had to be pressed away from the dark side. 

Anyhow, this block is one that looks fabulous with a whole group of identical siblings.  This is 9 blocks set 3 x 3.  I love designs that look much harder than they are. If the photo looks a little uneven, blame the scanner.

The plan for the 1858 quilt is to use it for the class I'm teaching in West Yellowstone,  Montana, during the week that the Mountain Man Rendezvous is in town.  We'll have a morning Introduction to Hand Piecing class,  and do the 1858 block in the afternoon.  Hmm.  I'd better be sure we make it clear that the afternoon class is not for beginners, or, perhaps, the faint of heart. Hmm again.  Maybe I should change horses in the middle of this stream and go with a less thrilling design for the afternoon group.  I have a metal image of eager new quilters being swept over the waterfall and down the Yellowstone to the Missouri and then to the Mississippi and thence to the Gulf and ultimately the Atlantic.  I don't think they'd come back. 

Time to shut down the machines and feed the cat.  Thanks for hanging out with me for a few minutes this evening.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July is "Coming up Roses"

Wild Mountain Rose block from Sophie's quilt

The roses are all in bloom. In May, it looked as if 80% of our roses were killed by the weird weather last fall.  After June 21, when our cold wet Spring finally blew itself out and gave way to warm weather and sunshine, most of the roses began to perk up.  Several have come up from the root stock, but those old strong roots produce lovely dark red flowers.

The best news is that some of the oldest roses, both chronologically (the Peace rose is 12 feet tall and 55 years old) and historically (the two antique French roses are only three years old but the antique stock seems to be very hardy) yes, the oldest roses are the ones that have come back unharmed.  Late roses are so much better than no roses.

The season is about three weeks late here, so no cherries yet.  I can't complain much, though, since my cousin in Teton Valley, Idaho had lilacs for the Fourth of July. 

We had a great trip to Nevada and California for a family reunion.  The family visits were great, but absolutely the best part was driving over Tioga Pass into Yosemite. The high Sierras make me want to make quilts that are sky blue and cloud white. Some of the photos from Tenaya Lake will serve as color keys when I get to that quilt.

This is the "All the Colors in the Box" block I hand stitched on the trip over the mountains.  This version of the Dresden Plate is easy and fast.  I only worked on it when the scenery was not terribly exciting..  The Scanner bed is still too small for even this smaller plate.  No, its not a rainbow:  I didn't have any purple in the box.  These are colors I in my box of projects to consider making big fish of some of them.  More another day about the Big Fish.

Meanwhile, I am working on the patterns for the Wild Mountain Rose baby quilt (also known as Sophie's Rose) and the "Grampa Says I'm a Keeper" fish quilt.

This is the paper piecing pattern for the mini fish of "Grampa Says I'm a Keeper"