Thursday, November 3, 2016

Our AMAZING National Parks

OurNational Parks are A B S O L U T E L Y amazing! We spent 3 nights on the road to get down to southern Utah and Archer National Park where we arrived at around 7:00 PM. Since we pulled in after dark ... we were thrilled to wake up this morning and find this view behind us!


And then a hike ... revealed this at the turnaround point ... we are definitely enjoying this trip!


Hope all is well in quilting land!

All the best
Lisa

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hostess Gift ...

We are off on a 24-day T@b Trailer camping trip in the southwest US ... can't tell you how excited I am to escape the rain of the Pacific Northwest ... as of today, we have had over 30" of rain in the month of October ... and the month isn't over yet!!

We will be spending 4 of these nights at two different friends homes during the trip.  I wanted to take a small hostess gift that can be hauled around in the trailer while we travel (remember ... a T@b is a very small trailer) and will still be in good shape when we arrive.

Pot holders!


Patricia just bought a new home, painted Polo Navy on her walls and a brown back splash with a white counter ... I think these will fit in well.



Brett has an amazingly beautiful and bright Palm Springs home ... so hopefully this play on color will work well for him.


I use one layer of insul-bright and one layer of 100% cotton batting.  I find this gives good heat protection to the hand, but still allows it to be thin enough to actually stitch effectively.  

I like making potholders ... as you can see here and here and here ... they are quick, they are functional, and lets face it ... no one goes out and spends a lot of money on their pot holders ... they get dirty and burnt and everyone always stuffs them in the drawer where no one can see them ... so home made potholders ... people kinda like that ...

Back to that T@b Trailer ... this ... will be our home for the next 24 days!


Just me ... hubby ... and two 50-pound dogs ... wish us well ;-)

All the best,

Lisa

Monday, October 10, 2016

Fast & bright quilt

Back in 2008, a colleague of mine called me from California.  Her husband was down there on business and had fallen ill and had to go to the hospital.  She flew down to be with him and they discovered in California that he had Leukemia ...

I was one of the few people that she knew that had gone through cancer ... so she called me.  I don't know how much help I was ... but I do remember trying to support her ... remembering how hard it was on John when I was sick.

Fast forward to 2016 ... her husband, "W", has benefited from the immunology treatments that we have been reading about in Time and NY Times, he has written a book on his experience and has been doing quite well ... until about 3 weeks ago ... when he learned that his leukemia was back.

I wanted to do something ... so I made him a quilt.


This is the 3rd time I have made this pattern (you can see my other ones here and here).  It is very straightforward to make ... so it doesn't take a lot of thinking -- which can be important when you're trying to get a quilt made in a hurry.

This time, I added a few pieces of printed fabric.  The other two versions had only had solids.  His wife informed me that his favorite color is blue.  I added a little brown as well to make it a little more masculine.



The back is super simple ... with a single strip across the back where I pieced the fabric.  (Now you can see why I don't like to fold quilts before I photograph them ... you can see the folds).

I added a label ... which says ... "To:  the premiere member of the courage and perseverance club,  From:  two other members who are rooting for you"



I got it done and in the mail quickly ... and got a great note from his wife this evening that the latest infusion seems to be working !!!  She also sent this pic of him napping with it ... NOTHING warms a heart more than seeing a quilt being put immediately to use ...


Finally, we were up in Victoria this weekend for my husband to participate in his 9th annual running of the Victoria Half Marathon ... as well as our annual attempt to explain American Politics to our Canadian friends ...

Victoria Government House

I had the opportunity to meet Janet from What Comes Next as her husband was running as well!  I love the quilting community!  Sadly, we didn't think to get a pic ;-(.

Hope everyone is doing well.

All the best
Lisa

Thursday, September 29, 2016

In loving memory ...

my dad ...
Sunday ... the world lost a fine man ... he was my dad ... 

my family ... 
He was a soldier, a great story teller and a leader ... he had a great sense of humor and made all four of us proud (most of the time ;-) to be his kids ...

from the quilt I made for him as he moved into Memory Care

Sadly ... Alzheimer's played a major role in his last three years ... but in our eyes ... that will be how it ended ... not how he rolled ...


We will miss you dearly dad ...

Lisa

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Ocean Quilt

My cousin's daughter, "K", got married earlier this summer in San Francisco and they just had a reception up in Seattle for friends and family that didn't make the trip.  This is my 3rd quilt for K ... a high-school graduation quilt, a law school graduation quilt, and now a quilt to celebrate her marriage.


I haven't seen their San Francisco digs ... but her mom said think lots of blues and grays ... so i was at least pointed in the right direction!

I had personally fallen in love with a quilt that I made my sister last year and wanted to try a variation of that one ...

I started laying it out on the design wall ... and it looked too boring (top photo below) ... so I then added a little "new-growth green" and it was exactly what was needed to spice it up a bit.


On the other quilt, I had used gray as the main solid ... which I loved, but wanted this one to pop a bit more ... so I used Kona white instead.  

For the back ... I over did it as usual.  I have this "thing" for backs ... I LOVE piecing them and usually go overboard with something that adds little value but takes up a LOT of time.  In this case, I probably added 3 hours of time to the quilt for something that is visually appealing, but probably not interesting to many people besides me < sigh >.  I used Kona white on the top third of the back and Kona ash on the bottom two thirds.  


I bound it with Botanics in blue by Robert Kaufman, with one strip of navy solid on the long side to ground it a bit.  I quilted it with overall meandering pattern with white cotton thread over the entire quilt ... hoping to get that scrunched up crinkle that I love so much.  


If I had made it for me, I would have probably preferred the kona ash that I used on my sisters version ... but for this young couple just starting out ... I think the white was definitely the right choice.  Hopefully K and here new husband will find it handy as the fall chill starts to hit the air in the coming weeks.  



Hope you're having a great week out there ... 

All the best,
Lisa



Monday, August 1, 2016

How to design a quilt in Excel ...

I wanted to put together a post on how I use Excel to design my quilts.

First ... I quilt a lot in solids ... I love many of the beautiful prints that are out there, but my budget has been limited and I enjoy the simplicity of using solids to create from.  Second, this design tool only works for rectangular shapes ... it won't work for circles or triangles.  Finally, I use Excel on a Mac (granted ... not a great user experience, but it's what I have and haven't been able to convince MicroSoft to make a better version for Mac).

The following reflects a view of some placemats I want to make ... then I will follow up with a few views of how I have used it for quilt decisions.

1)  Start with a blank spreadsheet:


2)  Then I resize the height and width of the cells to make squares -- on the Mac, I use 0.21 for both the height and the width.  I then use Borders to make an outline of the quilt/placemat.  You can choose the dimension of each square.  For this placemat, I am using 1 square = 1".  That works well for high-level design -- typically, for more complex quilts I will go to 1 square = 1/2".


3)  I then fill in the square with the background color I intend to use ... remember, my quilts are usually solid, so there is often a base color that I am using.  In this case, it's gray.


4)  Then, I add color where I want to add design.


5)  In this case, I am making multiple placemats, so I copy and paste and then put in a different design with color on some.


This gives me an opportunity to evolve my design.  Try different dimensions, colors, shapes, etc.  I have had a vision in my head multiple times and when I put it on an excel spreadsheet ... it didn't go well ;-).  

You can change the view from 100% down to 25%.  I design at 100%, but then, in the case of quilts, to see the whole thing ... take it to 25%.

Here are a couple of examples of quilts designed this way ...

The back of a queen size quilt ... went with the design on the right.


A quilt design for my brother's birthday ... I didn't like either of them.


A quilt for my niece for her high school graduation.  Went with the one on the left.



As you can see, using Excel can work as a design tool for quilting ... it's not perfect ... but it's a tool I am comfortable in and it's already installed on my computer ...

Hope everyone had a great weekend ...

All the best,
Lisa


Monday, May 9, 2016

French-press Coffee Cozy

I haven't been posting much ... because we've been out camping ... but after 11 mornings of using a french press and only having the 1st cup come out hot each time ... I got working when I got home and made a French-press Coffee Cozy!


It was pretty simple.  2" squares from the scrap bin, a 3x5" piece of scrap to go through the handle.  Add lining, batting a velcro and it was done!  

We went from Hood Canal, WA to Crescent City, CA and back along the Oregon Coast road.  

T@b Trailer in tow with kayaks on roof

Our French-press cozy during the trip


Destination reached (and oh were they AMAZING):

Redwood State Park (dogs allowed on Cal-Barrel Rd trail
And we even got a little kayaking in (albeit in the rain)

Then back home and immediately into celebrate my 55th birthday in Seattle with great friends ... April was definitely a whirl-wind month!

Hope you all are doing well!

All the best
Lisa




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