Thursday, February 24, 2011

Nothing Really Is Something...

Very few posts lately, I know.  But just because there is nothing doesn't mean there isn't something! 
I've had my nose to the studio grindstone lately, but I can't show you my two Supreme sewing jobs just yet. I did reveal a peek of one HERE, and here is the other peek.  Aren't these four patches pretty?  I just love Central Park by Kate Spain!  Oh - and my "Supreme Boss", Stephanie, has just had several of her fantastic bag patterns published HERE!  Hip, hip, Hooray!

You're probably also wondering if I've been practicing on Vinnie!  Yes, I have!  I made this little blankie for Sophie recently.  It's just a simple quilt sandwich that I made to practice turning a quilt.  All I did was stitch a stencil pattern in the middle, then a panto around the edges.  Instead of adding a real binding, I brought the backing around to the front, folded it over and stitched it down.  I discovered that it's really easy to turn your quilt!  There are a lot of mistakes in it, but it's just practice and helped me immensely! I also ordered a set of Leader Grips for quicker loading of my quilts - I watched Manquilter demo them on his website and was sold!

Yesterday I did some more cutting on my Lil's Simpler Tymes quilt.  Lots more to cut before I can get to sewing, though.

When Mr. Squash and I were on our recent winter fishing adventure, we stopped at a little quilt shop.  He saw this Bali pop and wanted to know if I could make something from it - I think you all know the answer to that question!  The King Tut threads above are a recent purchase for Vinnie - they will be used on several of my recent finishes!

Snow began falling heavily late yesterday and we're expecting several inches - just before we're scheduled to head over the Cascades to a memorial service near Bellingham!  The passes have been unrestricted all winter - wouldn't you know it would snow now!  Cross your fingers the roads are passable, otherwise I'll be doing a lot more sewing!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Winter Fishing Adventure!

In case you wondered where I've been since my last post, I'm here to tell you!  First, I've been doing a lot of practicing on Vinnie.  There hasn't been much to show other than random doodles, feather and panto practice and even some stencil practice.  I promise the next quilt I put on Vinnie will be the real thing! 

The past few days we have been in Yakima, Washintgon at Canyon River Lodge fishing with a guide from Red's Fly Shop!  Mr. Squash and I have birthday's two weeks apart, so this year we decided to give ourselves this trip for our birthdays!  We've always wanted to fish the Yakima River and we finally got the chance!  It is a rare, year-round trout fishing stream and holds some beautiful, native Rainbow trout!

We were stunned at how beautiful the lodge was!  Here is a photo of the back of the lodge.  Those tall windows to the right of the fence are the main part of the lodge.  Our room was on the ground level, just to the left of those windows.  The lodge is set in the middle of the Yakima River Canyon - with nothing else but a few privately owned cabins for miles on either side!

In the distance behind those trees is the Yakima River.  I took this picture standing just outside of our room.
Our room was more of a small condo than a hotel room.  Here is the living room - gas fireplace and all!

On the other end of the living room is the dining/kitchen area.  Granite counters, full size appliances and everything needed to cook and serve a meal!  We cooked our dinners each night rather than drive in and out of the canyon in the dark.
This was the master suite - there was another bedroom with twin beds!  We slept like babies to the sound of the river outside our window!
Here is the best part!  We caught lots of HUGE Rainbow trout!  This was one of Mr. Squash's catches.  One great thing about having a guide is that they do all the handling of the fish - you just catch them, bring them up to the boat and the guide (Derek) unhooks the fish and releases it back to the river - of course with a quick photo-op beforehand!

This Rainbow I caught was the same size as the one above (about 18-19"), but the photo was taken a little farther away (honest!)!  I can't begin to tell you how cold it was!  We put up with rain, sleet, hail and wind!  500 feet up the canyon walls it was snowing!  Thanks to Gore-tex shells and four layers underneath my fishing waders, I was pretty warm.

Here are the two happy customers at the end of a long, productive day of fishing!
Oh - and the best part is that Derek brought along lunch that he and his wife made for us!  Tomato basil soup, chicken salad sands, hummus and chips, Valentine sugar cookies and apples!  Check out the bowls - they even have dry flies on the side!  That hot soup was so welcome - it really helped get us through the rest of the afternoon!
Here is Derek at the end of the trip - his drift boat was a gorgeous, wood boat and quite comfortable!

Finally, the trip wasn't without quilts!  This little collage are photos of some of the quilts that were hanging in the main lodge, as well as a beautiful railing above the main room.  The Yakima Valley Quilters Guild comes to the lodge for retreats.  We were told they spend a week sewing and cooking great meals in the main lodge.  Hmmm....this gives me an idea ;>)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Solo Supreme Peek!

As many of you know, I am one of the "Supreme's" for Stephanie of Loft Creations.  We Supreme's help to test Stephanie's instructions for all of her fantastic patterns!  The other day Stephanie came up with a quick project and sent it over to me.  I noted that I wasn't doing anything special if she wanted me to test it right away.   So I got my first Solo Supreme Testing job!  She even decided we could post a sneak peek of this great project, so please go here for her peek!

I made mine using Anna Marie Horner's Innocent Crush Velveteen and some jeans fabric (more about that when I can reveal the entire project).  I have to say I really love this Velveteen!  When I was a teenager I made a prom dress for a neighbor's daughter out of a gorgeous green velveteen.  I saw the pattern before being asked to make it, but when the fabric turned out to be Velveteen my stomach turned to moosh!  How I hated sewing with that fabric and vowed to never touch it again!  (The dress came out fine, but not without major headaches along the way!)  Recently I was in my LQS and the gals just had to show me this new Velveteen.  One of them had already worked with it and assured me it was nothing like the old stuff.  So I picked up a bit of it to put away for the next Supreme project.  I was so happy to be able to use it here.  Once Stephanie has the pattern ready for distribution, I'll reveal the whole thing!

While we're at it, how about another sneak peek?  This fabric is just one of the fabrics in my next Supreme sewing job!  Doesn't it make you long for spring and warmer weather?

In case you're wondering, I'm still practicing away on Vinnie!  This was one of the pantographs that came with the machine.  I thought I would give it a try and was amazed at how easy and quickly I did these two rows!  (By the way, that wall is a pale cream color, but for some reason the photo's always read it as a deep yellow!)  I'm done with this second practice piece and am toying with the idea of putting Baby Rose on Vinnie.  What do you think?  Should I just throw caution to the wind and go for it?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Last UFO Done!

Yesterday I finally finished the top of my Fat Quarter Shop 2008 Designer Mystery BOM!!  This is the last UFO I have!  It is now ready for Vinnie - but first I need to practice a tad more...more later. 
Mr. Squash is doing his best here to hold it up - his arms weren't much longer than mine!  I set the blocks in a little different order than on the pattern.  There were too many darker blocks at the end, so I mixed them up a tad differently.  I really loved working with this line - Peace on Earth by 3 Sisters for Moda.  I only wish there were more leftovers so I could make some matching pillowcases!
Here it is spread out across our bed.
My next project is Lil's Simpler Tymes Quilt by Jeanne Horton.  It is a reproduction of a quilt her mother, Lil, had as baby!  Jeanne also designed the fabric for the line.  Jeanne owns a wonderful quilt store called the Country Sampler in Spring Green, Wisconsin.  I love everything about this shop and hope to someday visit in person!

Practice on Vinnie is going great!  I am now watching the videos I ordered from Pam Clarke.  They are perfect for the way my brain thinks!  She has this great idea of copying pages from her accompanying workbooks, unthreading your needle and bobbin, and stitching over the pages as practice - works great!  I'm not quite ready to load a real quilt, but will be soon!