Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More Long Beach International Quilt Festival; No Reply

I've gotten a little traffic from the giveaway from Trends and Traditions.  I reply to all comments but there have been a bunch that have come up as "no reply" bloggers.  Acknowledging comments is something that means a lot to me so I'm sad when I can't, especially to first time visitors.  So, readers, please double check that your profile says "show email"--otherwise I can't say "Hey" back!

Here's some more eye candy from our fantastic Saturday.  All photos were taken at the Long Beach International Quilt Festival:
Fabulous piecing on this star.

Another wonderful antique.

It is hard to see, maybe impossible, but the quilter repeated the applique leaf's shape in the quilting.  This was hand quilted. 

Amazing realistic wallhanging of fairly large size.  Love the kitty!

This was one of the quilts in the Hoffman Challenge fabric exhibit.  The fabric was paisley.  I loved the 1920's glam and styling in this portrait of "Margaret".

Large size quilt with astounding piecing and proportions.  I loved the red piping emphasizing the scallop around the rays.

A closeup of the center medallion.  Fun fabrics!

One day I will make a Lone Star.  This was very vibrant and happy.  There are a few photos left to share, plus news about my giveaway for my 200th post.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Long Beach International Quilt Show

Our party at the Long Beach International Quilt Show was fun and oh so enjoyable!  The car ride down was smooth--we arrived nearly 45 minutes before the opening!  Parking was smooth, and entry to the show was smooth.  Immediately upon entering we headed to the extensive exhibits area.  Our first stop was the antique quilts show and there were some spectacular examples--the sad thing was that so many of them were "Unknown Maker".  Ladies, labels are a good thing!   All photos that follow were taken at the Long Beach International Quilt Show.

This was all silks with strips finished at about 1/2" for the logs.  It was exquisite!

A Nearly Insane quilt.  This feathered star finished at 6 inches.  Definitely insane!

This realistic looking Dahlia was about 4-5 feet wide and nearly as tall.  Stunning!

Closeup of the satin stitch outlining. 

Tanya, a blogfriend from Japan!  When we were coming back to the show from lunch, I recognized her son Takumi and his girlfriend from her blog and knew she was there and was so happy to get her phone call.  It was great to get the chance to meet this lovely lady. She graciously met my mom and our friend Dawn and gave us handkerchiefs as souvenirs.  My mom gave her a used tube of L'Occitane hand cream.  Oh, Mom!  We chatted and shared show loot.  I did not realize I was towering next to her until she posted a photo on her blog!  Later my sister Kathy joined us about 2:45 after arriving by plane and getting a ride to the show from our very agreeable dad.  Thanks Daddy!

These hexies were about 1" in size.

That's a kersquillion of those suckers!

So, so pretty wall hanging that had a woodblock effect.

Closeup of the unusual colors the quilter used.

It was hard to choose, but this was one of my very favorites.  It was about 4 feet by 5 feet and absolutely beautiful.  All pieces were appliqued on and it was photographic in quality.  Amazing work!  I took lots and lots of photos so will share more later.

We definitely shopped until the others dropped!  My friend Tanya and I were ready to stay and close the show but finally dragged ourselves away at about 5:30 from the vendor mall.  Going on Saturday was definitely better than rushing through the shorter hours of the show on Sunday.  We had plenty of time to meet in a group several times as well as have a relaxed lunch at a restaurant across the street, and see all the quilts and vendors we wanted. 

My loot consisted of some shot cottons, some one yard cuts that were $5 apiece on sale, a bunch of fat quarters that were $1 each, a redwork pattern, some Texture Magic that I wanted, pincushion filler, and the big item, the stack of Bonnie Blue Cotton Basics.  I looked for but did not find any Frolic yardage, or Monica's Santa Gnomes.  I'm sure they were there, but with over 300 vendors it was impossible to see it all in one day!  But what a day we had, just terrific! 

OMG!!!!


In this case those initials stand for One More Giveaway.  Unbelievably, I am the so, so fortunate winner of a fat quarter pack of Sanibel by Heather Mulder Peterson of Anka's Treasures.  Excitement reigns here at Casa de Orts!  Now I really DO have to buy a lottery ticket I think...

Friday, July 23, 2010

California Gold

Today I picked up my sister's friend Dawn from the airport and showed her some California Gold, namely the gorgeous city of Santa Barbara.  After strolling the sidewalks of downtown State Street and getting some lunch in an outdoor cafe, we walked over to the next block to see the beautiful Santa Barbara County Courthouse (look for it in the background of a scene in "It's Complicated"--Meryl Streep running across the street after a Farmer's Market visit).
Uh oh, scaffolding on the clock tower.  Maybe it's closed!  We checked with the information desk and luckily it was still open so we could get these vistas:
Looking southeast towards the ocean and home.  The coastal marine layer is seen hanging over some of the hills in the distance.  It played nice and stayed offshore while we were in Santa Barbara.
Looking northwest towards a future sunset.

Hey, there are quilts down there on the lawn!

Dawn officially loved Santa Barbara!
A group of tourists heading through the beautiful huge archway to the front of the building. The beams in the ceiling are all hand painted.
You know I had to get a closeup of that quilt!  There must have been plans for a concert later in the sunken garden as these picnic spots were all unattended.  We took our leave of Santa Barbara and drove down the coast to Ventura, where I dropped off Dawn at my parents'  house.  When I got home there were two packages waiting for me on the porch.  One was my Moda Greenpiece BOM (I'm now 6 months behind!) and the other was the giveaway prize I won from Kim.  I thought I was getting this:

Which I did.  But included in the stuffed package was a lot of unexpected gold...

Wow, definitely hit the Mother Lode here.  Kim sent one of her own patterns, Cherry Delight, along with another Kate Spain charm pack and a matching panel, the two other patterns shown and the charm pack of Boutique.  Very very generous and totally a surprise.  Thank you so much Kim!  Now, off to bed as it will be an early morning meeting to caravan to the Long Beach show, and a full day of quilty goodness!   

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pictureless Wednesday

I have seen lots of blogfolk doing the Wordless Wednesday, but mine will be the other way round this time! 

Thank you to all the folks who made such nice comments about my bowtie quilt design.  And I have more followers, which is so lovely!  I am happy to have visitors and love comments, so welcome all of you to stop by often!

On Monday I received the IHAN giveaway winnings of the special ruler and patterns from the Diamond Diva but haven't had a great deal of time to check them out (Thank you Kelly and Kim!) Monday night my friend Tanya and her friend Debbie came over for the first meeting of our quilt circle.   They are both relative newbies to quilting so we talked about basics and Debbie showed the quilt, a top, and some blocks she has made, having taken a beginning quilt class at the LQS.  We decided to start at square one and all make some 9 patch blocks with two colors, and put them together in a mini quilt.  I said that we need a name for our quilt circle and Debbie suggested "The Orts", after getting an explanation of what that word meant from my blog title. Too funny!  I am thrilled to finally be able to form a quilting group, even if it is only three of us right now!

Monday and Tuesday I was covering the front desk for our receptionist and was totally beat at the end of the day.  Covering 4 phone lines, 2 docs, and many patients plus rescheduling an entire afternoon's patients and prepping for the next day was just exhausting.  I've always said it's one of the hardest jobs in the office!  So last night I crashed and after a nearly 2 hour nap, had no energy for more than dinner, a little blog reading and email.  Though I went into my sewing room, it was a mess and I didn't feel like cleaning up so I crawled back in bed to read.  Tired again today, but perked up by several email exchanges.  One from Tanya, who is here in California for a month and may be coming to the Long Beach International Quilt Festival on Saturday too.  I've given her my cellphone number and we hope to meet and chat for at least a few minutes.  This will be my first meeting of a blog friend so I am excited!!   Also I exchanged emails with my sister's friend, who will be flying in earlier than Kathy on Friday.  I've arranged to pick her up and show her some sights in Santa Barbara.  She's never been to California before so it will be all new to her.  Our quilty weekend is shaping up nicely and I can't wait for Friday.  I'm taking a few days off from the office to relax and have fun.  Yay for vacation!     

Monday, July 19, 2010

Design Wall Monday

On my design wall today are some bow tie blocks in the layout that I am using for my brother's quilt


Today I bought a few more reds and some surprise fabrics for the bow ties. I will be mixing in new scraps for the double four patch blocks so that is why they are not yet complete.  Doesn't look like much yet, does it!  The trip to my not-so-local quilt shop 25 miles away was just lovely.  I had the sunroof open and was enjoying the warm summer air as I drove through the backroads and farmland.  It helped that I was driving Grant's car, which has better seats and way better suspension than my poor 17 year old car (which had to be towed to the auto shop for a new ignition switch).  The Cotton and Chocolate Quilt Shop was pre-selling entry tickets to the International Quilt Festival and that was my main reason for going there.   

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lucky

A run of luck in giveaways means I have two new favorite numbers--40 and 64.  Coming my way from Kim is a lovely pack of Christmas fabric (thanks so much Kim!).  She advised I go out and buy a lottery ticket, words I planned to heed.  However, when I was leaving my house today to head to the lottery counter, my car wouldn't start.  At. All.  So I guess my luck has already run out.  Dang, and I really wanted to win that GO Cutter giveaway I entered too!  Oh well, at least I am lucky in love...and family. 

Speaking of family, I unearthed a WIP that has a deadline of October.  My other older brother, Tyler, turns 50 and since I made my other older brother a quilt, of course I said I'd make Tyler one.  My design includes 50 bowties, each in a different fabric, some solid background squares, and double four-patch blocks made from scraps and stash.  I am trying not to buy anything specifically for this quilt other than the background--yet--though a backing will be in order at some point! 
I am calling that center block a double four-patch, not really sure that's the right description though.  Green, blue, brown, red and "other" are my color groups, 10 bowties of each. 

Got the browns all picked out.

And the greens.  I may have to break down and purchase more reds since traditional prints are depleted from my stash and scraps presently.  Happily there will be plenty of opportunity at the Quilt Festival next weekend.  Plans are coming together for the big day, which we have decided will be Saturday.  The show is open until 7 pm so that gives an extra 4 hours over the Sunday schedule.  With nine folks going, we will need some of that just to find each other at times during the day!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

And now for something completely different

Monty Python fans, remember that line?

Erica came upstairs to the office this morning where I was working to ask me a question.

Erica: "Mom, have you had any of that Raisin Bran Crunch?"

Me: "No,why?"

Erica: "Because I was wondering where all the crunch was..." and drew her hand out from behind her back:

Erica: "and then this fell into my bowl from the cereal box!"

Me: "Ha ha ha ha ha!  Where's the camera?"

Well, she got all the crunch she wanted and more.  Lovely nails, no?  That girl loves bright! 

In other completely different news, I was just emailed that I am the winner on the I Have a Notion blog of a great tool and pattern set by Kim Templin.  Lucky Number 40.  Thanks for the giveaway, Kelly, and thanks to Kim for putting together an interesting new way to craft.  Can't wait to read all about it and pic out fabrics to use for a project.  Whoo hoo!

Finally, this is my 200th post.  Look for a related giveaway I plan for after the big adventure to the International Quilt Festival July 23-25th.  Sure to be some quilt show goodies I have to share!

Monday, July 12, 2010

A July finish

It's another small quilt, but a finish is a finish!  This one will hang in my work cubicle.  I have the smallest workspace of anyone in the office but it does have a nice window and high ceilings. 
This was a fun project and I'm sorry I took so long to get it together.  I could have been enjoying it brightening up my workspace for the past year!

Simple machine quilting with matching thread.

I like the effect on the back too.

Tonight I will be having a small Quilt Circle meeting at my house.  My SIL Laura has a similar cat pattern but it is an allover tessellated pattern and she's asked for my help.  A co-worker also wants help with a project.  This will hopefully be the start of many gatherings here.  I'll have to come up with a name...hmmm, pondering.

Design Wall Monday

On my design wall today is the start to the backing for Erica's quilt.  After some preliminary math and a bit of cutting and sewing--and a small mess up involving unsewing and recutting and sewing---the first initial was done.
Then, realizing I was going to have to square up a LOT more of the triangle squares, I took myself to Michael's with the "make your own sale" 50% off coupon and bought one of these rotating mats.
I wish I had bought one years ago--this thing is great!  I could layout and trim four pieces at a time, rotate the mat and cut the other two sides.  What an amazing time saver.  Kicking myself now for being cheap!  Also while I was out I had to hit the quilt shop for more of the background, being short just inches of the final piece I needed. Not that it's a hardship for me to go to my LQS...anyway, back home more cutting and arranging took place and by the end of the day I had the initials all made.

The squares are 7" finished and the triangle squares 1 3/4" so the initials are about 35" high.  The overall piece is about half the width of the finished quilt so will make a big splash on the back!  Not sure how we're finishing out the remainder of the backing.  Another trip to the quilt shop may be in order.  Oh, darn!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Had to have

My friend Tanya's mom is holding a fabric and craft sale this weekend.  I was given the privilege of a preview on Thursday night and boy, did I have fun!  Mrs. B sewed has sewed for a lifetime, even making a living at it when her girls were small.  She also does tole painting and taught classes for many years.  My shopping was confined to the fabric area but there were a lot of "had to have" remnants, patterns, and yardage that I picked up.
Aren't these cute?  I can see them made up in some of these fabrics:

I liked these folk patterns and the paper-pieced kitties and was happy to acquire another template.
A few repros. I love the red one at the top of the pic especially.
True to form, I came home with lots of green prints, reds, and dots!  There are a few novelty prints in there as well.  Note the two lonely neutrals at the bottom of the pic.  I have the hardest time with those.
This little box also enticed me.  Green, of course.  The cats both came over to inspect but someone had to take a swipe at the other so no sweet noses in the photo (bad Mini, bad!).

My wallet $110 lighter, I happily headed home thinking of what fun I'll have with all this cotton candy.  Today I am going to finish the binding on Twisted Tails , which has finally been quilted--a year later-- and work on Erica's backing.  I have not sewn but one night this week however you wouldn't know it by the mess in my sewing room!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

One Mystery solved and another revealed

My proposed layout for the Mystery Quilt is what Judy had already designed, so I am happy!  She put on three borders but I've not yet decided if I will do all three--mostly because I am just barely gonna squeak by with enough of the red fabric if I do the two borders.  Playing it by ear--I guess that is a mystery still!

Erica's quilt top is complete.  I actually got this together last Sunday but haven't had a chance to get a full sized photo, so y'all will have to imagine it from these pics:
This is a big quilt!  It is nearly 90 inches square.  The binding is the same suede, cut at 4 inches wide, which is a bit alarming.

This one shows the texture of the silk and the suede better, as well as the color.  In foraging for something else in one of my quilting supplies drawer I came across a stencil with fleur de lis, which will be perfect for this border.  Erica loves that emblem.  I bought this and a bunch of other stencils at Tuesday Morning for super cheap, some years ago, but haven't used them.  I have a fear of marking quilts, I guess,  and really need some help with that!
And now, my brilliant idea for the back of the quilt:  I want to take this pile of pretty leftovers and this pile of bonus triangle squares from the flying geese and make Erica's initials as a big block.
See where she has signed off on this idea?  It's a lot of sewing but I think I have the math worked out.  I'll do a sample block before I cut for all--they will be 9" squares/rectangles so it will be a big block!  I think it will be a fun addition to the back, perhaps medallion style like the front. I'm excited about it and--fingers crossed--it will turn out as well as I envision.  Stay tuned...divine or disaster, I will reveal all!