Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Road Trip

My husband underestimated the time it would take to drive from Big Sky to Glacier, but we are finally here!  Our hotel has wireless internet so I can post, but for some reason my mail is not working.  I promise, one of these days, I'll catch up on my emails.

The drive gave me plenty of time to sew the binding onto the back of my color wheel.  

I picked up this magazine from Quilting in the Country.  I have never seen this before, but when I get home, I going to see if my LQS carries it.  The "DIY:  cowboy-boot purses" on the cover caught my eye.  The article did not disappoint, and the magazine is jam packed with interesting articles.  There is a website that I plan to checkout as well...when I get home and have a little more time. Is anyone familiar with this magazine?  I think she also has a book out as well.

We stopped in Kalispell to gas up the car.  While sitting in the car look what I saw across the street!  Can you believe my family would not agree to check it out?!  I ran out of a certain green embroidery thread needed to finish my AAQI, but no one in the car sympathized ;-)  Oh well, there is always tomorrow.

Have an amazing day!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Quilting in the Country

Hope y'all had a great weekend!  I did some unpacking (suitcases this time...not boxes), some World Cup Soccer watching and some hiking. 

The weather and views were perfect!  There were some patches of snow still on parts of the trail.  That's why I keep these shoes in Montana.

My toes are happy and warm now ;-)  Nothing like the hot tub after a long hike!  I am soooo out of shape.

Today Yesterday my husband went fly fishing, and I went fabric shopping.  I found this neat pretty cool amazing fabulous quilt shop near Bozeman called Quilting in the Country.

Oh my gosh, what a treasure!!!!  It is quilting heaven!!!!  Quilting in the Country is part of a century old farmhouse...located in a renovated bunkhouse and another building....with amazing gardens and views of the Bridger Mountains.  I think I spent as much time outside the quilt shop as inside ;-)  This is really saying something as the inside of the shop is fantastic.  There were bolts and bolts of Kaffe, some unique batiks that are specially made for the store, quilt books that I had not seen before, gorgeous quilts on display, hand dyed batik ribbons for ribbon embroidery, cute buttons in jars, amazing quilt kits.....

The highlight of the day was meeting the owner Jane Quinn!!!!!  Jane is a lovely, lovely person!  Her two-story farmhouse is just steps from the quilt shop.  Can you imagine?!  We got to discussing quilt retreats as I am still flying from my first quilt retreat experience and she is gearing up for two of her quilt retreats;-)  Jane is also the author of Quilting in the Country, Retreat with Quilting in the Country and numerous quilting/cookbooks as well as being one of the designers of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks. But best of all, she is so giving of her time and took me on a tour of her quilt shop buildings and her gorgeous gardens!!!  {While I was there, several regular customers came in the shop.  One was working on a particular project, and Jane spent so much time with her helping her pick out fabric.  At one point, Jane went into her house and came back with four bolts of fabric she thought the customer may like for her project!}

I don't even know the names of all the flowers as I don't think they grow in Florida ;-)  Aren't they gorgeous?!  Look at this flower bed with the birdhouses ... the tops are made out of old license plates.

Here is a closeup.  Got to love that old sewing machine!!!

I really love this garden with the mountain views.  Jane explained the touching story behind the Dinah's Garden travertine stone.  I'm not sure if you can tell in the picture, but the bottom of the stone is flowers from an applique pattern.  

Here's one more picture!  Love this barn.  What a day!  Thank you Jane and Kim (who cut lots of fabric for me and showed me all kinds of cool stuff)!  I love my husband and kids, but I'm glad they had other activities planned...otherwise, I don't think I would have been able to spend two hours {wow} at this quilt nirvana ;-)  You've got to check out their website....especially the link for The Quilt Widower's Guide to's a hoot!

Maybe later I'll show you the lovely fabrics I purchased here.  Right now, I'm packing up and heading to Glacier!

Have an amazing day!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sew & Tell Friday #33

Another Friday, and I'm on another plane...this time to Montana!  
Before I left, I took these pictures of the quilt top I worked on at the retreat.

I wanted to bring a simple, stress free project to the retreat, because I wasn't sure if I would be able to focus with all the artistic talent surrounding me ;-)

Remember, before the retreat my new friend Julie was thoughtful and brought me a huge stack of six inch white squares, six inch squares of gorgeous prints, border fabric and a pattern she knew I liked?  Well, it was the perfect project for the retreat!  Thank you Julie!  I wish I had taken more pictures of the process because it was great to discover each fabric as I went along.  

You can see some of the fabrics here.  Look at those cute cars!  And the Kaffe!  There is even a Montana fabric!  The blocks were fun to make.  I just stacked up several white squares on top of several print squares, cut at a wonky angle, separated the two piles, moved the whites on the right to the bottom of the stack under the prints,  and sewed the left fabric to the right fabric and squared each block.

I finished everything at the retreat except for attaching the last two rows.  My flight wasn't until the next day, so that night at the hotel I pulled out the machine and completed the top.  The sewing area left much to be desired, but it served its purpose ;-)  Luckily the hotel had an iron.  After it was finished, I spread it out on the white bedspread, and it looked fabulous!  

Can  you see the spiraling pattern in this picture?  I still would like to add a wide white border, but that will have to wait until I get back to Florida.  I'm undecided about whether to follow the pattern or not regarding the border.  I may just stick with a wide white border and do the binding in the center square fabric rather than the wonky center square fabric/white border.  

Here's another picture.  I just love the way it turned out!
Don't forget to see all the Friday finishes at Amy's place.

Have an amazing weekend!!!!

Edited to add:  Several people have asked and commented on the pattern for this quilt.  I worked from a picture, but the pattern is an original from Kathy of Material Obsession.  If you click the pattern link above, it will take you directly to the link for ordering the kit.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Retreat Ramblings Part 2

Some of my new friends have posted pictures and summaries from our retreat.  Go check out Doris, Shelly, Terri and Shelly's blogs.  I posted some yesterday about the retreat, and today I have more.

Again, thank you to Victoria for inviting me to come and play. It was fabulous meeting her and the others.  The weekend more than met my very high expectations!  I am amazed at what Victoria can design with a bin of scraps!  She is a creative genius!!!!  I can't wait until she uploads her pictures from the retreat.  They are unbelievable.  

Amanda's blog was one of the first I found when I started blogging in September.  It was great to meet her and see some of her quilts I had previously seen online.  We had some fun and interesting conversations regarding blogging...and quilting ;-)  

Toni and Doris are friends IRL and drove to the retreat together.  They are two fun gals, and I enjoyed getting to hang out with them.  I can relate to Toni's checklists and to do lists {even though I teased her some about this}.  Doris worked on quite a few quilt projects, including a beautiful baby quilt.

Mary is a proud grandma with a gorgeous new grandbaby.  She worked on several projects including hand sewing the binding on her hexagon quilt which turned out beautifully.

This quilt was in the Minneapolis Quilt Show.  It is a very cool cowboy themed quilt with a poem embroidered around the sides.  We had our very own cowgirl at the retreat.  You need to click here to see Shelly's Cowboy quilt.  You won't be sorry...and make sure you click on the quilt to see the larger view.  Shelly brought it to the retreat, and it is simply stunning!   I really need one like that in Montana!!!

I'm actually headed out to Montana tomorrow.  Before I leave, I hope to post a picture of what I worked on at the retreat for Sew and Tell Friday.

Have an amazing day!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Retreat Ramblings Part 1

There is no way one blog post can do justice to all the fun I had at the quilt retreat!!!  Forgive me, but I'll probably be talking about this for some time to come ;-)  The weekend was full of laughter and sewing.

I flew into Minneapolis the day before the retreat.  I experienced my first tornado evacuation while staying at the local Hampton Inn in St. Cloud.  No worries, I met some lovely quilters who were in town for the quilt show.  Everyone was so nice, but they all seemed to think it strange that I would travel all the way from Orlando to sew with ladies I had never met....except on the internet!!! ;-)

It didn't seem strange to me, and I didn't hesitate to book my ticket once I received the call from Victoria.  I have been nervous and excited about this trip ever since...not to mention extremely intimidated by the "guest list"...especially when I learned we were to bring something for show and tell.  I needn't have worried {although I still did} as this group of ladies is not only talented, but also warm, welcoming and a whole bunch of fun!  Thank you, thank you, thank you for including me!!!!!!

Show and Tell was something else!  I had seen some of the quilts on blog posts before, but pictures online are nothing compared to seeing them in real life!!!  I got to see Victoria's Kitchen Sink quilt and Shelly's Leaves quilt for example.  Incredible!!!  I took loads of pictures, but I would rather you see the quilts on the creators' blogs so I won't show them here.  {The first thing I did when I got home was become a Follower of each of my new friend's blog, if I wasn't already one.}  The above picture is from the Minneapolis Quilt Show. We zipped through the show quickly in order to get back to sewing.  Seeing these ladies at work was another treat.  Talk about your creative process.  If only I could have captured some of that and brought it back with me ;-)  I did come home feeling motivated and inspired though!  

Shelly sewed on my right side.  We had to stick together as we were the only southerners ;-)  It was nice to hear phrases such as "Do What?" "I'm fixing to" and "My Granny" among other familiar sayings that I haven't heard in a while.  It was great seeing some of the collaborative work Shelly and Victoria have done.  They gave us a sneak peek at their latest project which is truly breathtaking!  

Terri sewed on my left side and is from one of those "I" states as Shelly puts it ;-)  I had a great time getting to know Terri.  She whipped up two quilt tops and a ton of pinwheel blocks over the weekend!  Another thing you may not know about this group is that they are very well read.  There was a lot of book recommendations and book reviews going on in between sewing.  Anyone make a master list?  

Heather was only able to join us for a little while.  I was happy for the opportunity to meet her and personally say thank you for her giveaway I had won during the Cross Country Christmas blog Hop.  She is so sweet and left a huge box of fabric for us all to go through.  I tried not to be greedy, but it was hard to resist ;-)

Andrea celebrated HER birthday during the retreat by giving US goodies....New York City fat quarters and yummy Jacques Torres chocolate!

Here's the room that I bunked in.  Andrea and Amanda were my roomies.  Not only did I learn a lot from the other women while I was there, I also learned something about myself...something I didn't know...something I'd rather not know....I snore!  Sorry girls...I didn't believe my husband ;-)

I have so much more to share about the retreat, but I think this post is long enough ;-)  In the meantime, go see if the others have posted their thoughts and pictures on the retreat yet:  Andrea, Amanda, Doris, Mary, Shelly P, Shelly S, Terri, Toni and Victoria.

Have an amazing day!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

New Friends

I'm back home, but still on a high from my first quilt retreat!!!!!  

Here I am with my new friends Toni, Amanda, Shelly, Mary, Victoria, Doris, Terri, Shelly....

...and Andrea!  {Heather could only stay for a few hours and left before I got her picture.}

I can't tell you how much fun I had!, how terrific these ladies are!, or how they inspired me!, but I'm going to try....tomorrow after I've gotten some sleep ;-)

Have an amazing day!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sew & Tell Friday #33

It's Friday and I am in Minneapolis for my quilt retreat! Before I left I uploaded pictures for Sew and Tell thinking I would write the post and publish on my new iPad from the road (left my laptop behind) but I guess I should have practiced beforehand as I am having issues. So excuse the lack of format....all the writing will be in one spot with pictures at the bottom.

I really love this laundry line quilt for my new laundry room. As I mentioned when I first started this quilt, the inspiration came from Jacquie and this adorable quilt.  All that is left is the binding....and it needs a little something next to the laundry basket at the bottom to make it look grounded rather than seeming to float in the air....oh and I need to add little buttons on my husband's Tommy Bahama shirt....otherwise it's done ;-)

All the fabric used are scraps, even Max's bandana (see guard dog) is from one of his bandanas. I love the FSU shirt for my son Eric. This is leftover from the apron my daughter made with my mom. My daughter suggested I add "strings" for Alex's board shorts. Ally insisted on a bikini for herself, even though I added matching mother daughter dresses...not that we ever had those when she was little;-). Ally had other opinions and suggestions for this quilts fact so many that it got to the point where I told her to make one herself;-)))

One aspect of this quilt I love is the addition of the three mini quilts hanging on the line. These are also from quilts made. I even pieced the backs and did some FMQ on them. I velcroed the little quilts so that I can change them out for a change of pace or seasons.

I hope you like it. I know you will see things you like at Sew and Tell Friday headquarters. Go check them out. See you Monday.

Have an amazing weekend!!!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Happy Dance

I can't believe it, but in a few hours I will head to the airport for my quilt retreat!!!!  I've been so busy trying to get my house in order, organizing things as best I can for the family I am abandoning for a few days that it didn't really sink in that I will be gone for FIVE. WHOLE. DAYS. ALL. BY. MYSELF.!!!!!  Whoo Hoo!!!!  I won't know what to do with myself ;-)

I got a special treat a few days ago when I got my hair cut.  My friend Leslie's Mom is a quilter, and she made this adorable wall quilt just for me....just because!!!!  How sweet is that?!

The fabric has the funnest sayings.  Can you read them?  There is "Happiness is relaxing after the shop hop", "If I stay here long enough, maybe they'll make their own dinner", "A clean house is a sign of a broken sewing machine" and others.  I love it!!!!!  I am so touched that she made this especially for me!  Thank you so much Mariane!!!!

I received another wonderful surprise from Julie.  At our last sew day, I mentioned how I wanted something fun and easy to work on at the quilt retreat, and Julie suggested this Red Center quilt.

I thought it was perfect.  Well, Julie knew I was a teeny bit stressed with the move and all and showed up at my house with these gorgeous fabrics all cut up and ready to go!!!!!!

Can you believe it?  Look at these luscious fabrics.  I spotted quite a few Kaffe Fasset's in there.  Julie supplied a whole quilt kit just for me!  Incredible!!!  Thank you, thank you, thank you so much Julie!!!!

I have to thank my family too!  They have been very understanding about me wanting to go on this quilt retreat...even though I am leaving them to contend with the house in disarray...over Father's Day weekend....with family coming in town to feed and entertain.  I will miss not being home to celebrate Father's Day with my husband and kids, but we all go to Montana a few days after I come home!!!

Can you see now why I'm doing the happy dance?

Have an amazing day!!!