Happy Town

2019 Happy Town (41” x 41”)

2019 Happy Town (41” x 41”)

Happy Town is challenge quilt that I was obligated to keep secret until the reveal a couple of weeks ago. This original design was made for the Mt Bachelor Quilters’ Guild “My Hometown” challenge. Rather than doing a specific place I did one of my imaginary hometown scenes of whimsical houses. Because it’s Happy Town, I also added the Bluebirds of Happiness. This cheerful quilt was a lot of fun to make!

The background was improvisationally pieced. This includes the grass, the sidewalks, lawns, and sky. All of the other elements were added with hand applique. The fabrics are all prints designed by Marcia Derse, except for a few solids and the grunge for the sky. I machine quilted the whole thing and then added some hand embroidery to finish it. My favorite part was fussy cutting the art history:101 graphic print to make the doors, windows, trees, and flowers.

The challenge quilts were shown and voted on at our July meeting. Then the quilts will be shown at our August Quilt Show at Pioneer Park in Bend, August 17, 10am to 4 pm. They will also be shown at the Sisters Quilt Show next year.

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Uppercase Magazine Feature

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A couple of months ago I got a message from Janine at Uppercase Magazine asking if she could feature my folk art cat painting in the next issue. Of course I said yes! It’s such a colorful, lively page and I’m honored to be there along with other wonderful artists including Mogg Shop because I own a couple of her paintings myself.

The issue just arrived in hands all over the world and I realized that it’s poor timing on my part because my shop is on holiday until July 15. Never fear though, that cat painting and several others will be available as soon as my shop opens. Shop links are in the header.

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Our Dear Scrabble

Scrabble, 2004 to 2019

Scrabble, 2004 to 2019

It’s been a rough couple of months, but it’s time to get this blog rolling again. It all started in late April when I got really sick while on a trip to California. I was there for the SAQA conference, but only managed to make it to one morning of talks. By the time I got home a couple of days later I could barely breathe for coughing. Then, later that week our sweet little Scrabble took a turn for the worse (he had a heart murmur) and we had to put him down. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I still miss him like crazy. I haven’t had such a hard time with a pet’s death since my childhood dog died. I think about him every day and can’t believe he’s not underfoot and ready for hugs.

As time went on my cough actually got worse and I am sure I had bronchitis at least and possibly pneumonia which I’ve had several times before. It took many weeks to recover from the cough and exhaustion. In the meantime we were still trying to get ready to put our house on the market and also make decisions about the new house we are building. It was exhausting to try to get it all done while recovering from my illness and dealing with grief. Then, just as we were getting a handle on things a couple of weeks ago my sister had surgery for a burst appendix and I was visiting the hospital for several days. Thankfully, she’s home and recuperating well.

Our house is now tidied up and on the market and we are getting on top of the decisions that need to be made for the new one. We hope to be moving in by late August or September. While I’ve kept up with hand stitching, knitting, and spinning (easy activities to do while recuperating) I hadn’t really had much studio time. As it turns out though, deadlines don’t disappear just because life is crazy. So, in the past couple of weeks I’ve also managed to finish my guild challenge quilt (it’s secret for now) and work on my SAQA challenge quilt which is due in a couple of weeks. I even got out an old WIP which is getting exciting again. I’m looking forward to getting back to regular posting again soon!

No Country for Fools

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Big Snow, February 2019

Last week we had a huge snowstorm that went on for several days and in the end we had nearly 3 feet of snow on the ground. It was a record amount for this area and led to all sorts of cancellations. It’s also been so cold since then that not much as melted. Now, a new storm just blew in and we’ll get several more inches. I can safely say that just about everyone is kind of sick of snow. We live so close to the mountains that we’d be just as happy to have it stay there and not come down to town! Anyway, it does give one lots of indoor time to catch up on projects when you aren’t clearing snow.

Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark

No Country for Fools, 21” x 24”

No Country for Fools, 21” x 24”

One project I managed to finish is called No Country for Fools. it’s inspired by Temperance Creek by Pamela Royes. This book was chosen by QuiltWorks as an alternative to the Novel Idea book this year. In this case, the author lives in Oregon and she will come to town for the quilt reception and will do an author talk the next day. Here’s a link to the book trailer which is pretty fascinating. Maybe you’ll want to read it too!

The title of this quilt comes directly from the book and is a description of the area of eastern Oregon where it takes place. I took one line that the author had about a dream that she is reminded of just as she drives toward her new life in the wilds of eastern Oregon. Her dream was about a crow flying beside her car window as she drove.

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I used some old shirts that my dad was done with. I cut them into various odd shapes and saved a couple of labels that I incorporated. I combined the shirt fabrics with some Japanese taupes that were in the perfect colors. The background was pieced improvisationally. Then, I appliqued the bird down and added some hand embroidery with embroidery thread (some of which was hand dyed).

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This piece measures 21” by 24”. I machine quilted it around the embroidery. I would have liked to hand quilt it too, but that would have taken too much time and I am having arthritis issues again so I have to be careful.

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I really love the fabric that the bird is made from (you can see it up close below). I have this stuff in several patterns and colors and it’s really different from any other fabric I’ve used. I call it bubble fabric, but I don’t know the official name. The pattern is created with texture rather than printing. These fabrics were made by Diamond Textiles and I haven’t seen them in a long time, but they are really great for turned under applique because they are thin, but very sturdy and the turned under edge just holds a crease really well. I added the embroidery embellishment by just following the pattern on the fabric.

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I washed the old shirts from my dad, of course. But I also didn’t obsess about stains or holes as you can see below. They tell the story of the cloth and the quilt, so I actually highlighted them.

I have seen a few of the other quilts in this exhibit, but I am really looking forward to seeing them all up. It should be an excellent exhibit. If you can be there, the reception is Friday, April 5, 5-7 pm and the author talk is the following day. Contact QuiltWorks directly if you are interested.

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