Friday, April 29, 2016

Trunk Show at The Old Country Store!

Today was so surreal - I'm not sure I can even begin to capture all the emotions I'm feeling.  
(Even though this post is dated 4-29-16 for chronological purposes, I am only now writing this post on January 22, 2017!!!)

I am still so overwhelmed with the way God prepares, inspires, orchestrates, and opens doors.  And blown away by all He did to make this day happen.  I couldn't have made it happen.  I've been struggling with chronic health issues in recent years, and in no way whatsoever could I have physically or mentally made any of this happen.  But God did.... And so beautifully, wildly, kindly and generously....
First, He gave me the opportunity to attend the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show back in 2014.  It was there that I had the chance to hear Jean Wells speak and then view her quilts outdoors in the most beautiful setting you could ever imagine, in chronological order.  It indeed was a very pivotal part of my journey.
He then gave me the inspiration to hang my entire quilt collection on my cousin's family barn last summer, as well as giving my cousin John the willing heart and body to make sure that it happened.
As a result of that venture, He didn't lead me to just any quilt shop, but to The Old Country Store where owners Dean & Jan Mast and a whole team of wonderful staff embraced me and allowed me to run with the idea that there was value for an unknown local woman to showcase her personal quilt collection.
He purposely prompted me to hang on almost every single quilt that I've stitched in the past 25 years, even numbering them right from the start in 1996, so that I would have them to display at this trunk show as well as ones to come.  
And, He directed me to quit my full-time job three years ago so that I would have more time to take care of my health and devote even more time to quilting.

I wasn't feeling well at all today, but God showed up in powerful ways.  (Sometimes I'm convinced that God is more fully glorified on the days that I am less.)  He gave me the words and energy to get through the day.  And it was such a gift - it was amazing to be able to share my quilt collection with two sold-out seatings of 40 guests each.  The attendees were so eager to view my quilts and hear what I had to say about them, as well as hearing my passion for quilting.  Several aunts, an uncle and a cousin traveled a distance to be there.  A number of friends I hadn't seen in ages made the effort to come.  Several friends brought their mothers as an early Mothers' Day outing.  Some newer friends were present as well.  A number of people who really aren't that into quilting came because they know how much it means to me.  And a whole host of loyal customers of The Old Country Store came because of its reputation for outstanding events.

Here's a few pictures to capture the essence of the day:

The day before, I loaded up 40 plus quilts, my quilt hoop on a stand, a special chair, my Featherweight, and a whole host of other quilt-related items to display around the room.  My dear friend Lori met me at the store and helped haul all my things up to the second floor event space in the misty spring rain.


We viewed my quilts collection in chronological order, including some antique and vintage family quilts.

I never cease to be fascinated by the evolution of a quilter's skills and style!!

Staff members and friends were so kind in holding and folding,

and then arranging the quilts around the room so guests could get a closer look:

My cousin loaned me his Broken Star quilt for the day - the one I had made for him back in 1996, back when I was foolish enough to part with my quilts.  :)  I still miss it!!

It meant the world to me that a variety of friends came from near and far, some surprising me with their presence.

And that they then cheerfully folded up my quilts and loaded them back in the car for me.


I continue to be filled with gratitude and in awe....

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Jen Kingwell-Inspired Applique

I just stitched up this pillow sample for my upcoming Starch & Freezer Paper Method Applique class at The Old Country Store.  

I knew I wanted to cover the basic shapes (circles, hearts, stars, stems and leaves), but was stumped how to incorporate all those shapes into a project someone would actually want to stitch!  

Thankfully Jen Kingwell's work came to mind, so I was able to sketch out a design in her style that included each of those shapes.

This background fabric is so fun - it actually lists lots and lots of quilt shops around the country, 

including some of the quilt shops I visited in Oregon last summer!

I did a simple envelope cover on the back,

and machine stitched the binding to save some time.
(I'm getting better and better at that technique - glue basting is the secret!)

Click here for the link to register for my class on June 29th!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Another Finish!

Spring is here, and I have lots of yard work and garden planting to do.  So what do I do instead?  Stitch the binding on another quilt, of course!

The color aqua does seem to make a frequent appearance in my quilting these days, not to mention my home.  I just can't get enough of it!  Hopefully it won't be as dated of a color as that 80's peach, once my fascination with it wanes!

This is the last of the aqua/red/pink quilts, I believe!  I took the rest of my scraps, cut them into squares, and made half square triangles with them.  

This dear backing fabric by Sarah Jane dictated the size of the quilt..  At 41 x 49", I just squeaked by with one WOF.  In fact, I had to trim the quilt down a bit on the one side so that the selvage print didn't show!  :{

When it came time for the machine quilting, I really wanted to do rows of tall loops like Kathy O. does, but I just couldn't get the hang of them.  After several attempts (and several ripping sessions!), I gave up and settled on a spiral design to give the pinwheels some movement.

I always love taking photos of the binding.  :)

(This little chair has served me well when it comes to photographing my quilts!)

I contemplated putting this quilt up for sale, but not sure I can part with it!