Sunday, July 11, 2010

Shipshewana, part 3

Let’s get right to the quilt pics, shall we?

This one had some awesome quilting

A closer look at the quilting

A blue ribbon winner.  Great design & colors.

Another neat design

I’d say a lot of work went into this one.

More fabulous quilting

Then there was this beauty

A closer look at the beautiful fabric choices

I love bold colors on a black background.  The borders really compliment the inner blocks.

Of course, we had to have a cat quilt picture.  It wouldn’t be right not to see a cat quilt on this blog.

Hope you enjoyed the show.  Thanks for the lovely comments on my prior blogs about the journey.  It was fun.  This is one quilt show that will definitely be on my list next year.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Shipshewana, part 2

Continuing on our trip around Shipshewana from the previous blog, we decided to ignore Mrs. GPS after we left the quilt show in Topeka.  We turned right, and she said “re-calc-u-lating” in that snotty voice of hers, so I turned around and went left.  Again with the re-calc-u-lating so I turned right again!! (see Shirley’s blog for more funny stuff about the GPS). I knew from working on the MapQuest that we just needed to head north and we should come out somewhere near Shipshewana.

We came out exactly where we needed to stop at the Little Helpers Quilt Shop.  This store was not on the shop hop, but has been a favorite of mine whenever I’m in the area.  It is a store built on an Amish farm, and they have some very beautiful quilts and other assorted hand made items for sale.  We must have been hungry for lunch as we both ended up with a jar of apple butter.  This one is a little different because it is flavored with red hot candies. It is pretty tasty!  Anyone know what the difference is between apple sauce and apple butter?  Tastes the same to me.

misc 003

Next stop, Essenhaus.  Yessss, finally some lunch with some of the chicken they are famous for, finished off with a shared slice of red raspberry chocolate pie.  I won’t torture you with any pictures (don’t have any pics), well, maybe a little torture with a description of a smooth chocolate pie (think French Silk pie) with fresh raspberries and whipped cream on top.

Full of sugar and ready to go, we went to the next quilt shop, appropriately named, The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus.  It was there that I decided to go crazy and buy fabrics for the shop hop quilt.  I just fell in love with this quilt, the colors and fabric that this quilt shop used.  Here is a picture of the quilt

What was I thinking?  I already have so many UFO’s!!  I do love the soft green, pink and black floral fabrics.  Next stop, the quilt garden at Essenhaus. 

And finally, to Shipshewana and the quilt show (and two of my favorite shops, Lolly’s and Yoders).  This was a juried show, and the quilts were amazing.
The quilting on this one was gorgeous.

a closer look
I bought this pattern a few years ago.  It's on my to-do list

I like this basket weave pattern.

I like the colors and the checkerboard pattern on this quilt.

So colorful!  Reminds me of my NYB quilt.

I’m drawn to pictorial quilts
Love the quilting on the bear quilt
I don’t want this post to take too long to load with all of these pics, so I’ll stop here and post more in the next few days.  Have a great weekend.  Looks like the weather is going to be beautiful!

Monday, July 5, 2010

A day in Shipshewana

We couldn’t have picked a better day to go on our shop hop in Shipshewana.  Picture a sunny day with blue skies, white fluffy clouds, temperature about 80, and low humidity.   We had our day planned to stop at 8 quilt shops, 2 quilt shows and several quilt gardens.  Our first quilt shop, Caroline’s Cottage Cotton’s was a cute little shop in a converted house.  Unfortunately, as we drove up, we noticed the big yellow bus carrying MANY quilters.  Too many for that little place.  It was a cute place, though, with a nice selection of fabric.

Back on the road, we headed to the next shop, Homespun Treasures.  It was a very friendly shop, with lots of people waiting to help and fresh popcorn, yummm. 
 homespun treasures
They were so friendly and one lady demonstrated a new ruler, the double diamond ruler. So I bought it (definitely an impulse purchase) after seeing her demonstration.  Has anyone used this ruler?  It makes this:

You can find the ruler and instructions here or at a newly found favorite blog, I Have A Notion (click on the side to go to the store).  The owner of the blog writes some pretty funny stuff.  Be sure to read the Aurifil Thread Heist.

One of the ladies at Homespun Treasures told us about the million pillow case challenge project they had going on in the town square, a few blocks away, so we checked it out.  All the hand made pillowcase were strung up in lines around the courthouse—so pretty!  We were on a mission, though, so we didn’t stop.  As we were leaving, the BUS showed up again.  Whew, missed that one, but it turned out they had returned to the shop because someone had left their purse at the shop.  Amazing that the bus would turn around and come back for one quilter’s problem.

As we traveled to the next shop, Emmatown Fabric and Gifts, the GPS took on a new life.  We started talking back to Mrs. GPS as she routed us down this and that winding road.  Where in the world are you taking us, we asked??  Lost, it took us to the wrong side of town and we had to turn around.  But, it was a blessing as we drove by many beautiful Amish farms and were forced to slow down and enjoy the trip.  We saw farmers plowing their fields using horses instead of tractors, beautiful gardens, clotheslines filled with freshly washed laundry, and even went by a farm that seemed to be gathering for an occasion, a wedding perhaps?  There was a field next to the barn marked for “parking” the Amish buggies.  Unfortunately, I was driving so there are no pictures.  :(  Here is a stock photo I found that looked like what we saw.

Our next stop was the quilt show in Topeka.  This was a bit different from other quilt shows I had attended.  It was more of a quilt sale than quilt show.  Many beautiful quilts, quilt tops and blocks were for sale at some very reasonable prices.  Several were hand quilted by the Amish.  The fabric room had beautiful fabrics on sale for $4/yard.  They had a bed that they laid the quilts on every 5 minutes, so that was fun to see them laid out like that.  I only took a few pictures at this show
Shipshewana Quilt Show 2010 051
Shipshewana Quilt Show 2010 050
This is getting to be a long post, so I’ll continue the story later this week.  If you’ve enjoyed the trip so far, come back to see some beautiful quilts from the Shipshewana Quilt show.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

New York Beauty

It’s done!!!  Finally, 3 years after it was started, my New York Beauty is done.  The trip to Shipshewana was the push I needed to get this done.  Why?  Because (shhh…don’t tell anyone) but I bought some fabric for a new project and told myself I had to finish a UFO before I started another project.  So, that’s why you haven’t heard much from me lately.

I’ve been seeing on other blogs The Process Pledge, where quilters discuss the process of making their quilt, so I decided to do that with this quilt.  It all started with a class at the LQS a couple of years after I started quilting.  I saw the sample for the New York Beauty on the wall and decided to make one.  This quilt was made with purchased foundation fabric from a bolt.  I believe it is a Karen Stone product and it looks like this:

New York Beauty and others 017

All of the foundation pieces are printed on the muslin:

New York Beauty and others 009
It’s like paper piecing, but you don’t remove the paper.  You cut out the muslin templates.  Then you sew the templates to the fabric. They give you the lines for the outer edge of the fabric and the 1/4 seam line.  You sew the fabric to the muslin in between those 2 lines.  They numbered the rays of the sun so you would know the order and the direction to sew.

New York Beauty and others 010   New York Beauty and others 011

They give you the step-by-step instructions as part of the fabric purchase.  But since I was new to the foundation piece technique (I had never paper pieced), I was glad I took the class.
New York Beauty and others 016
They even give you a quilt label and possible quilt layouts.New York Beauty and others 019
New York Beauty and others 015

The back of the quilt looks like this:
New York Beauty and others 021
It is easy to sew, even the curved seams, because as long as you sew on the 1/4” seam lines, your quilt comes out straight and even.  And your points don’t disappear.  Did I mention no paper to remove???  The downside is that the seams are a bit thick where 2 pieces come together as you have 4 pieces of fabric instead of the usual 2.  So quilting may be a little more of a challenge.  I plan to send this one out to be quilted.

When I took the class, I had no stash (imagine that), so the LQS helped me pick out the batik fabrics.  I had a great teacher who encouraged me to not be afraid of the colors and just start making blocks.  She said I could “play” with the patterns later when I was done.  I decided that no 2 blocks were going to be the same.  When I found the overall pattern I liked after the blocks were finished, I was short by several blocks, so I added several purple batik blocks in the corners.  This worked to frame the quilt, calm it down a bit, and not take the attention from the NYB blocks.  I added a dark blue/black batik for the borders.

Since all of the NYB blocks were lined with muslin, I felt I had to line the purple blocks and the borders so the quilt would have a uniform feel to it.  The teacher even suggested that it would make a nice lightweight quilt if you didn’t use batting in the quilt.  But I think I ‘d still like to use batting.

New York Beauty and others 020I stitched stay-stitched the muslin to the outer border edges so it wouldn’t flop around.

Since we’re talking about the process, I had to include a picture of my helper.  He comes running when I turn the sewing machine on.  I have to put down a blanket for him, or he lays on the quilt I’m working on.
New York Beauty and others 022
And here is the finished quilt.  Lots of colors that I wouldn’t normally put together, but it seems to work for me.
New York Beauty and others 025
 New York Beauty and others 026
I’m quite happy with the finished quilt, and glad to have a UFO off my list!!  I'm also taking a cue from my friend Shirley to post something positive on my blog for the month of July.  Today, I'm glad that Google for changed Blogger so that you get a true preview of your blog before you post.

For those in the US, I hope everyone has a great 4th of July.   I love this quote by Erma Bombeck.

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism. -Erma Bombeck”

It is also a day we remember to thank all of the men and women of the armed forces who have sacrificed so that we may have the freedom to enjoy this Fourth of July.  Take care, and drive safely this holiday weekend.