Joint Venture with Karen Miller: Mystery Quilt Along – Part 4

Jan 7: Announcement post
Jan 21:  Planning, basting, batting, etc
Jan 28:  Stabilization quilting or just to catch up
***Feb 4, Feb 11: Inside center panel
Feb 25: Top and Bottom Rectangles
March 4: Top and Bottom Squares
March 11: Left and Right Side panels
Mach 18: Narrow Sashing
March 25: Outside (wider) Border
April 1: Binding & Hanging

***

Hello Friends, here we are again on our Quilt-Along Monday!  There’s not a new installment because Karen and I know the hustles and bustles of life all too well, and sometimes we just can’t get to quilting like we would like.  The panel center is a relatively large area, so, we though we would give folks a couple week to get that done before we move on to the subsequent sections.  If you missed my post last week on quilting the panel center, here is the link again!

Now, some of you might still be gathering your supplies.  That’s okay — jump in when you are able to. Click HERE where Karen keeps a list of shops where you can purchase the supplies.

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I have heard positive responses from many regarding my book.  THANK YOU!

You may order my book from:

Connecting Threads

Fox Chapel Publishing

Amazon

or email me for signed copies!

I will be using Aurifli 50 wt threads from my Subtle Strings collection.  You may read more about the collection here, and here.  You may order your collection here for $99.99 (regularly selling for $140)!  The collection is IN STOCK again as of this morning!!!

Meanwhile, you may also order the collection HERE and HERE.

My Subtle Strings colors are specially selected to achieve a subtle contrast effect in the quilting.  That is to say, we get to quilt with pretty colors on our quilts, but the colors aren’t really visible from afar and are not competing with the overall look of the quilt, until one looks at the quilting close up.  These colors are also perfect for piecing, machine or hand applique — definitely my go-to!  Why limit yourself to using only beige and light brown, or white?!

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So far, here are the Subtle Strings colors I used for the different sections!  It’s a great time to experiment with subtle colors in quilting!  I hope you like subtle contrast quilting as much as I have!  Where the spool is indicates the area quilted with the color.

Since we are on a downtime installment-wise, I thought I would chat with you briefly on quilting results and personality!  One observation that has been consistent from all the free-motion domestic machine quilting classes I have taught is that different quilters will quilt differently the one motif that is being presented.  For example, we would be working on pebbles (pages 50-51), and students will end up with different shapes or sizes for their pebbles.

I always remind my students how our quilting looks is like how our signature looks!  And that solves the mystery why we often end up with different looks when we quilt one motif.  And you know what, THAT is perfectly fine!  Your quilting reflects and celebrates you!!!

Of course, quilting adds personality to a quilt.  If a quilt is quilted with puppies and bone treats, you know that it is a lighthearted quilt, versus a quilt quilted with 1/4″ cross hatches and feather plumes.  I encourage you to find ways to add personalities to the panel as you quilt it.  I quilted “grass” to the face of one of the sheep — to give him (I think of it’s a him!) a  mischievous personality.  Doesn’t he look like he KNEW BETTER than to chew with this mouth open?!

So, let’s try to analyze my personality from how I have quilted the panel center.

#1.  I tend to be OCD on things — especially when it comes to feather quilting.  I see anything and everything as excuses to quilt feathers.

#2.  I can at times major on the minor — from the way I like to keep my quilting dense.

#3.  I like movement with the curves and swirls — I like things to be non-static.

Anything you can deduce about my personality from the quilting?  NOSY and VERY CURIOUS mind would like to know! :)

I hope you are having the time of your life working on this piece.  I know I have!  See you again next Monday, but not before you check out Karen’s post for today!  Click HERE to go to Karen’s blog.

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Joint Venture with Karen Miller: Mystery Quilt Along – Part 3

 

Jan 7: Announcement post
Jan 21:  Planning, basting, batting, etc
Jan 28:  Stabilization quilting or just to catch up
***Feb 4, Feb 11: Inside center panel
Feb 25: Top and Bottom Rectangles
March 4: Top and Bottom Squares
March 11: Left and Right Side panels
Mach 18: Narrow Sashing
March 25: Outside (wider) Border
April 1: Binding & Hanging

***

Hello Friends, Happy Monday!  I hope your week got off a great start, and that those of you who lived in last week’s extreme cold have thawed out nicely, and are ready to do some quilting on your machine.

Now, some of you might still be gathering your supplies.  That’s okay — jump in when you are able to. Click HERE where Karen keeps a list of shops where you can purchase the supplies.

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I have heard positive responses from many regarding my book.  THANK YOU!

You may order my book from:

Connecting Threads

Fox Chapel Publishing

Amazon

or email me for signed copies!

I will be using Aurifli 50 wt threads from my Subtle Strings collection.  You may read more about the collection here, and here.  You may order your collection here for $99.99 (regularly selling for $140)!  I saw that some of you have bought up the stock available on Pumpkinvine Corner.  But don’t worry, more has been ordered according to the website.

Meanwhile, you may also order the collection HERE and HERE.

My Subtle Strings colors are specially selected to achieve a subtle contrast effect in the quilting.  That is to say, we get to quilt with pretty colors on our quilts, but the colors aren’t really visible from afar and are not competing with the overall look of the quilt, until one looks at the quilting close up.  These colors are also perfect for piecing, machine or hand applique — definitely my go-to!  Why limit yourself to using only beige and light brown, or white?!

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BEFORE WE START, here are the Subtle Strings colors I used for the different sections!  It’s a great time to experiment with subtle colors in quilting!  I hope you like subtle contrast quilting as much as I have!  Where the spool is indicates the area quilted with the color.

FOR TODAY’S INSTALLMENT:

#1,  If you have a needle down function on your machine, USE IT!  That way, when you have to turn your quilt, your needle won’t lose its spot if you have to turn your quilt.

#2.  It’s also time to shelf the walking foot for a little bit!  For the rest of the quilting, I foresee myself only using my free-motion quilting foot.  The far left foot attachment is the one I use, in fact, the ONLY one.

I like to use the open-toe foot because I can see better, and therefore decide where to go from one spot to the next when I am quilting.

#3.  I started off doing outline stitching and some on the sheep — just to warm-up a little.  Here I am showing you a few options.  References from my book: pages 30, 35, 50.

Outline quilting around the fluff – and continue with the echo inside the sheep.

Outline quilting around the fluff and tuft above the head.

Outline quilting in oval shape around sheep.

Outline quilting with swirls in the body.

Outline quilting, and then echo closely a few times around the body.

Outline quilting, and a few pebbles in the body to give a bit of texture.

And you know how quilting adds personality to one’s quilt, I added a bit of a personality to one of the sheep.  CLEARLY, he forgot what his mother has told him NOT to chew with his mouth open!!!

#4.  I then worked on the sky.  I outline quilted and then echoed around the clouds several times.  

Then, I quilted swirls with long tail (like a bean sprout almost).  This is a variation stemmed from the basic swirl in page 35 in my book.

#5.  Next I divided the grass into sections.

Section 1.  I quilted pebbles (page 50) and sand dunes (page 33) in this section.  I love the sand dunes because it’s like echoing without having to worry about the equal distance between the echoes.  It is much more freeing and forgiving.

Section 2.  More sand dunes in this one, except I added pebbles in between the pebbles.  And that’s another reason I like sand dunes because you can add bits and bobs in between the echoes.

Section 3.  This section is quilted with horizontal and vertical lines (not necessarily straight) that make a wavy cross hatch (page 72).  I then go back and fill in alternate boxes with closely quilted lines to make a basketweave effect.  Spot the pink quilting? You can also see the occasional grass sprouting on a couple of the empty squares.  Feel free to add any accents to your liking!

Section 4.  I have to admit, I couldn’t help myself with the feather quilting!  I quilted the foreground of the panel center with feathers.  Once you are comfortable doodling feathers (pages 54-59), you could mark your feathers on the quilt itself and quilt by following the line…. OR you may mark the spines of the feather plume as a guide on your quilt, and free-hand quilt your feathers (page 79).

I was so proud of my students in my De-mystifying Feather Quilting Class last week at Road to CA, who were able to free-hand quilt their feathers, having NO prior feather quilting experience, and AFTER learning the basics of feather quilting well.

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT, for today’s installment!  You noticed how the colors I used in the quilting don’t jump out at you?  That’s the beauty of subtle contrast in quilting!

It might look like it is a lot to quilt the panel center, but wait, you actually get to quilt the panel center over the next three weeks!  I will still check in the next two Mondays.  The next installment isn’t till Feb 25.

I timed myself.  The panel center took me about 4 1/2″ hours of solid quilting.  But it’s all good fun.

However, if all this is overwhelming to you. Tackle one section at a time.  Even if you have to mark on your quilt before you quilt with a washable fabric marker, it is ALRIGHT!  I use either a Frixion Pen or this blue marker.

***

Remember, BABY STEPS!

NOW, I wonder what Karen has done …. remember, it’s ALL a mystery between the two of us!!!  I am heading on to her blog to see what she has been up to.  Click HERE to go to Karen’s blog.

See you next week!

Joint Venture with Karen Miller: Mystery Quilt Along – Part 2

Jan 7: Announcement post
Jan 21:  Planning, basting, batting, etc
***Jan 28:  Stabilization quilting or just to catch up
Feb 4, Feb 11: Inside center panel
Feb 25: Top and Bottom Rectangles
March 4: Top and Bottom Squares
March 11: Left and Right Side panels
Mach 18: Narrow Sashing
March 25: Outside (wider) Border
April 1: Binding & Hanging

***

Hello Friends, I just spent a better of last week at Road to CA show.  It was a fun show making new friends, and sharing the love of domestic machine and feather quilting with my new friends!

I even met some who already heard about our Mystery Quilt Along, and for those heard about it from me at the show, they were excited.  So, today is another minimally demanding day for those who already sandwiched their quilt.  Some might just now be getting their supplies in the mail.  All’s good — you just catch up whenever you are able.  If you are just now joining, click on the previous dates above for more information.

Now, I have heard that certain shops sold out of the panel, click HERE where Karen keeps a list of shops where you can purchase the supplies.

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You may order my book from:

Connecting Threads

Fox Chapel Publishing

Amazon

or email me for signed copies!

I will be using Aurifli 50 wt threads from my Subtle Strings collection.  You may read more about the collection here, and here.  You may order your collection here for $99.99 (regularly selling for $140)!

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FOR TODAY’S INSTALLMENT:

#1,  If you have a needle down function on your machine, USE IT!  That way, when you have to turn your quilt, your needle won’t lose its spot if you have to turn your quilt.

#2.  We are stitching straight lines.  So, you have the option of using your walking foot, or  your dual feed foot.  Both feet ensure all layers are moved at the same time!  Please note that your walking or dual feed foot might not look exactly as what I have.  If you have any doubt, please reach out to your local machine dealer for help.  I learn so much from my machine dealer.

 

 

Today, we are going to stabilize our quilt sandwich.  I try to stabilize, but not over-stabilize, my quilt sandwich by first stitching down the edge of the quilt.  I stitch very close to the edge of quilt top just to anchor my quilt top so I don’t have to deal with “loose leaves” so to speak with the quilt top, batting and quilt back.  It’s totally fine if you don’t catch all of the fabric edge.

If you have a needle down function on your machine, USE IT!  That way, when you have to turn your quilt, your needle won’t lose its spot if you have to turn your quilt.

One of my tips I share in my book Stitching Pathways is instead of using the quilting foot as a guide, watch your needle to see where it lands to ensure accurate stitching.  A student of mine told me in one of the classes I taught at Road to CA this past week, that tip was the game changer for her.  So, in order for you to practice that, we will stitching around the large center of the panel where the dotted boundary is.  Try to stitch slow, and keep your eye to the needle.

So the previous image also illustrate a very important point — if you see any basting pins that are too close to your needle ensemble, go ahead and remove the pin before you stitch.  That will keep the pin from catching the needle ensemble and produce poor quality stitches.  Generally, I leave my stitching area about 3″ around and all all sides my needle clear  of any obstacles (basting pins).  So in real, before I quilt any further, I would go ahead and remove that basting pin.

So there you have it, for today!  

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Now a quick note on starting and stopping…. I like to pull up my bobbin thread before I start.  You can do that by rotating the hand wheel, and tugging on the top thread.  Once you have the bobbin thread up, you will have two thread tails on the quilt top.  I hold on to the tails, and take a few small stitches (if it’s with feed dog, I just reduce the stitch length) before I quilt normal.  To stop, I will reduce the stitch length of my stitches as well.  This time, I will only have the top thread on top.  So, after those mini stitches, I will have my needle up, pull my quilt sandwich out from the needle, and cut off enough top and bottom thread to have tails, and then, I bury all the tails into the quilt batting.

To get us ready for next week — when we get to the actual quilting part, WOOHOO — you might do some practice quilting on a practice piece using my Stitching Pathways book, specifically the motifs covered in pages 30, 32, 33, 50 and 52.  I think I am going to add a bit of feathering in there too.  Feathers are covered in pages 55-66.  

In today’s baby step, we stabilized our quilt for stress-free quilting on the machine later.

NOW, I wonder what Karen has done …. remember, it’s ALL a mystery between the two of us!!!  I am heading on to her blog to see what she has been up to.  Click HERE to go to Karen’s blog.

I CAN’T WAIT TO SHARE WITH YOU NEXT WEEK HOW I AM QUILTING THE PANEL CENTER NEXT WEEK — SEE YOU NEXT MONDAY!

Joint Venture with Karen Miller: Mystery Quilt Along – Part 1

Jan 7: Announcement post
***Jan 21:  Planning, basting, batting, etc
Jan 28:  Stabilization quilting or just to catch up
Feb 4, Feb 11: Inside center panel
Feb 25: Top and Bottom Rectangles
March 4: Top and Bottom Squares
March 11: Left and Right Side panels
Mach 18: Narrow Sashing
March 25: Outside (wider) Border
April 1: Binding & Hanging

***

Hello Friends, today is the day we start working on our Free-motion Quilt Along!  We are so happy to hear about the warm responses indicating you will be participating.  Again, this is low-maintenance stress free!  If you haven’t already joined us on this sheepish adventure and are thinking about it, I say, “Just do it!”  Click on the announcement post above if you aren’t sure about the details.

Now, I have heard that certain shops sold out of the panel, click HERE where Karen keeps a list of shops where you can purchase the supplies.

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So, today I will share with you my tips on planning, pinning and basting.

#1.  I first starch-press my fabric pieces – panel and backing fabric piece.  You don’t have to use starch if you’d rather not.  I find that starch helps keep the fabrics nice and stiff for the pinning process so that I don’t end up with unexpected slack.

#2.  I am not doing anything to the panel.  I then trim my backing fabric to be about 1.5-2″ larger than the panel itself.  Then, I cut the batting piece to the size of the backing fabric piece.  The reason I don’t like to cut the backing or batting pieces larger than that is because I don’t like to deal with too much excess with the quilt sandwich.  I have had cases where I had too much excess on the backing piece,, and I would accidentally quilt the excess to the back of the quilt in the process of scrunching and pushing the quilt sandwich through that little throat of my machine.

#3.  This is a light-hearted and really cute panel.  So, I decided to add a little something fun to the quilting scheme.  Besides quilting the free-motion quilting motifs, I am going to quilt the word BAA along the left and right wide borders.

To fit the mood, I just scribbled the letters A and B about 4″ in height onto a piece of paper.  This piece of paper from Miss Baby’s stationery drawer has seen better days.  But I am a frugal Mom.  My daughter will never use that piece of paper, so I get to do the honor!  I did darkened the letters with a Sharpie.

Then, I just slipped the piece of paper under the panel, and use a Frixion pen to mark the letters onto the panel.  I am SO excited about these letters!

ALWAYS mark before you start pinning!

#4.  And let the pinning party begin.  A quilt sandwich is made of quilt backing piece (wrong side up), then batting piece, then panel (right side up).

a.  So, before actually pinning, it’s a good idea to tape down the backing piece with painters tape to make sure the fabric is taut all around.  This should take care of any slack as well as any puckering that might happen otherwise during the quilting process.

b.  Then smooth your batting piece down on the backing fabric before placing the panel.

c.  Starting from the panel center, pin outward in all directions with nickle-plated safety pins about 2″ apart until your quilt sandwich is securely basted and more than likely covered with pins.

d.  Pat yourself on the back — you have done well!

***

For my quilt, I am using the Hobbs Silk Tuscany batting.

And I will be using all the colors from my Subtle String Aurifil 50wt collection to quilt this piece.  You may purchase the threads HERE (a $140 value offered right now at $99.99).

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This panel piece is perfect for us to try out the subtle contrast quilting concept that I so love!  Basically, I got tired to being relegated to only using gray, beige or white threads for quilting while there are so many other beautiful threads out there.  So, I began using pastel colored threads to quilt my quilts for a subtly colored effect.  I have been more than pleased!

Alrightie, FRIENDS!  I call it a smashing success if you have done this part.  Remember, successful machine quilting is made of baby steps.  In college, I was taught to set up the equations right for engineering calculations.  In today’s baby step, we set up the quilt sandwich correctly for stress-free quilting on the machine later.

NOW, I wonder what Karen has done …. remember, it’s ALL a mystery between the two of us!!!  I am heading on to her blog to see what she has been up to.  Click HERE to go to Karen’s blog.

Featured on WeAllSew.com

I am a bit chagrined to admit that even though I am a Bernina girl, I hadn’t known about We All Sew (a sewing site sponsored by Bernina).


I was happy to receive in my inbox an email notifying me that Ivory Spring was going to be featured on the site!


Can you see me?  It’s in the Favorite Blogs section:

I have had lots of fun just poking around We All Sew this week.  Lots of neat sewing/quilting information.  Check out their free stuff section – great great links!

Things will start picking up for me.  I did a little bit of sewing last night because I have an impending deadline to meet.  I also receive more fabrics.  Come back for pictures!  Till next time.  Have a blessed day.

Bernina’s THROUGH THE NEEDLE (Issue 30)

Good morning! I hope you are having a good day.

Story of my humble beginning in sewing is featured in the issue:

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Had it not been for the patient tutelage and encouragement of my quilting mentor and friend, Barbara, I would not have been able to discover the joy of sewing and quilting – let alone having the opportunities to be featured in magazines. And because of that, I consider Barbara as one of the most influential people in my life!

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With much gratitude, I dedicated the article to Barbara, and the wonderful ladies of my local Bernina Club! These ladies are ever inspiring, and encouraging!

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Joining the QUILT FESTIVAL Fun

Amy of Park City Girl is hosting her first annual Quilt Festival, and thought I couldn’t miss out on the fun! “Select your favorite quilt, make sure you have a good picture of it and go post about it! It doesn’t matter what size, style, or era it is from – there’s no judging here :) In your post tell your quilt’s story.”

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It’s hard for me to have to pick a favorite quilt because all the projects I have worked on end up being special to me in their own way. The most meaningful quilt I have made, however, is my interpretation of Mrs. Susan Nokes McCord “Harrison’s Rose Urn” (circa 1860) for a wholecloth. This is Mrs. McCord’s quilt:

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This is my wholecloth interpretation:

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Both works are in honor of our 9th President, President William Henry Harrison, also the grandfather of President Benjamin Harrison:

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I added an “H” to the urn as a monogram, and a grouse silhouette to commemorate the President’s favorite past time, grouse-hunting. The President named his house “Grouseland” — that’s how serious about grouse hunting! :)

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You can see the background stippling compared to the size of a penny:

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The quilt top is a cotton/silk blend, quilted with silk thread over a wool batt. Finished size is about 13 inches square:

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It won first place in the 2008 Grouseland Festival of Quilts Old Tippecanoe Block Challenge. It is now part of a permanent collection displayed in the Grouseland Mansion. If you are a subscriber to “The Quilter” magazine, you might have also seen it in their March 2009 issue:

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Thank you for stopping by. If this is your first visit, I would like you to stay a bit longer and look at my other favorite quilts. Please leave a comment – that way I can visit you back! Have a lovely day!

A fun day at the Sewing Center

I was more than ready to get out and meet some people after being cooped up for weeks in meeting those quilt deadlines.  And whom could I meet that are more pleasant than these ladies of the Rogers Sewing Center?

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We spent a few hours at the Sewing Center exploring and enjoying some Bernina Stitch Regulator fun!  For me, the BSR is almost the best thing since mechanically sliced bread!  And it was gratifying to me to see other enjoying it as much as I do!

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There were some ladies that I met for the first time, and there were those I have met before and hadn’t seen for a while.  So, it was great to catch up with what’s new in their lives.  There’s just something special about being friends with these sewing ladies —

bsr-event4[Rhonda is the maker of the heirloom christening gown I had shown on this blog a few weeks ago, and look at what is the newest baby at the Sewing Center – the Bernina 830!!!]

bsr-event6[More pictures from this little gathering will appear in Bernina’s “Through the Needle” in 2009.  Stay tuned!]

***

Meanwhile, here are some sayings to warm the hearts of my quilting, sewing, and crafty friends:

1. May your bobbin always be full!

2. One quilting project, like one cookie, is never enough!

3. Quilts made with love age with time, but never lose their warmth.

4.  Warning:  This vehicle stops at all fabric shops.

5.  When I give to you, what I make with my hands, I share with my heart.

(Go to www.goldenthimble.com for more sayings)

Bernina’s THROUGH THE NEEDLE (Issue 28)

I received my complimentary copies of “Through the Needle” over the weekend. Bernina didn’t just send me one or two copies – I received SIX copies (I smell a giveaway once things settle down for me)!!! And kudos to the editorial staff for a job well done. The magazine turned out to be very eye-catching!

I had seen the draft sent to me for final review, but it is NOTHING like seeing the real thing:

Here are more pillow shots:

Back of pillow – the fabric was one of those that I just couldn’t pass up at the quilt shop:

Click here if you happened to miss the previous post.

[Through the Needle will feature another article on me sometime next year. Stay tuned! I think it’s going to be really fun working on that project. This project will be done with the help of Rogers Sewing Center. You may contact Rogers Sewing Center for more information. You may also contact me should you be interested in a custom-made pillow like the one shown.]

Making something we can ACTUALLY use…?!

Remember this?


I received my pillow back from Bernina that is going to appear in their “Through the Needle” issue coming out in November. I was told this issue debuted in the Houston Quilt Market over the weekend. I will post more pictures when I receive my complimentary copies of the magazine:

It is another project with the whole-cloth theme except the main motifs were done by machine embroidery. I had also monogrammed an S for our family last name to give it a more personal and custom look. The background quilting was free-motion quilted with the Bernina Stitch Regulator.

What am I going to do with the pillow? It will be used as a decorative pillow to be looked at admiringly, and occasionally to be handled with clean hands. :) My husband aptly asked me upon completion of the project a while back, “When are you going to make something we can actually use?”. You know what, he had a point…

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have a lovely Tuesday! As always, I love reading your comments. So, if you are able, do let me know when you’ve been by so that I can visit you back!

Dish-aholic Part 5: Sucker for Blue Transferware

Hello Everyone – I hope you have had a splendid week.  Over at my end, I am up to my eyeballs in deadlines!  I was going to do a post on more fall tableware, but I just ran out of time.  Instead, I am going to show you just what a sucker I am for Blue Transferware — especially those made by Spode.

This is my “festive” transferware platter – the pattern is officially called “Festival”.  I used to only put it out for the holidays, but I like it so much that I have leave it out all year round.  I just love that majestic look of that turkey, don’t you? :)

This is a Seder or Passover platter that bears the background pattern of antique Jewish filigree.  I am not Jewish, but I have always loved the story of deliverance in the book of Exodus – the things foreshadowed in the event are simply amazing!

This is a smaller platter that shows the “Girl At Well” pattern.  I have always loved this pattern even though this is the only piece I have.   The wholesome beauty of the girl drawing water from the well reminds me of the beauty of serving others:

Soon, it will be the season for this:

***

Meanwhile, these came in the mail today – my blue ribbon from the Grouseland Old Tippecanoe Block Challenge, a certificate, and a hand-written note from the organizers.  While designing the quilt block, I learned that there are more quilts named after President William Harrison than any other Presidents even though he was only in office for 32 days:

Thank you for coming to my show-and-tell.  I wish you an enjoyable weekend!

I WON!!!!

I received the following comment on my Harrison Urn Quilt Block from Jane in Indiana on Friday —

“I had just come home from the Grouseland Quilt Show because I had won a place in the challenge. And wouldn’t you know, it was your block who beat me!! Congratulations on your first place winning in piecework!! I had placed second in piecework, also!! I was, also, blown away at you work. Beautiful!!! I had consequently found your blog a few days ago and saw your block there. I had to go today to see who beat me, and when I saw that it was yours, I wasn’t really that surprised. Your work is wonderful!”

I was excited and surprised and feeling a bit unsure about the news at the time, because I hadn’t heard anything official from the organizers…

Jane assured me that I had indeed won in emails we exchanged later, but still no official word from the organizers…

Then, this afternoon after we returned from church, a message on the answering machine confirmed my FIRST PLACE win in the Pieced Category at the Grouseland Festival of Quilts Old Tippecanoe Block Challenge held in Vincennes, Indiana on October 10th and 11th, 2009. Later in a phone conversation with Judy Morton representing the organizers, I was told that my quilt block will be displayed in Grouseland, with the possibility of being part of a traveling exhibit as well. I was also told that the winning entries will be featured in “The Quilter” magazine. What an honor this is in my short quilting journey!

Right when I was about to publish this post, I received an email from Jane. She went back the following day and took pictures of my block with the blue ribbon (bottom left corner). Jane had won second place in the “Pieced” Category, and first place in the “Applique” Category (top left corner, and bottom middle are Jane’s blocks – stunning!). Thanks bunches, Jane!

As I let the news soak in, I am thankful for many that have encouraged me beyond measure in my quilting journey:

1. My Lord and King – without Him, I am nothing. Indeed, “I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” (Psalm 16:2)

2. My husband – he was the person who had first planted the bug of “you ought to try sewing” in my ear ever since we were newly married eons ago (well, not that looong!). I was an engineering student at the time and later proceeded to work in the field of Chemical Engineering for about seven years, and had NEVER had any interest to sew in my whole life. Nonetheless, he is always supportive in all my learning opportunities. He certainly was and still is in all my heirloomy pursuits — always with constructive ideas!

3. Barbara – my quilting teacher, mentor, close friend who is also a fellow Jane Austen fan. If it weren’t for her teaching me in my first quilt (which is an applique and pieced quilt, can you believe the naiveté for someone who has never sewn?), I wouldn’t have learned the love of quilting. I tell her that every quilt that gets any recognition is a tribute to her.

4. Annelle – my heirloom sewing teacher who is never discouraging in any way. Sharing our love for heirloom together has been an incredible journey.

5. Dan and Rhonda of Rogers Sewing Center – they have been invaluable to me as friends. They have helped and encouraged me tremendously ever since the day I purchase my machine from them. Through the Sewing Center, I have also made many sweet friends with whom I have forged great friendships. There’s just something when I can talk sewing with another person.

6. My sister – very very different from me, but she is never too busy to stop and oooh-and-aaah about anything I make!

7. I am certainly thankful to the bloggy friends I have made through this blog. Thank you for your ever encouraging words about my work. Your comments often brighten my day while I take my breaks from working at my sewing machine. I always make a point to respond to every comment either by email or visiting you on your blog if you have one.