18 November 2014

Winged Pillow

I just got COLD in Michigan.  All in one day, Wednesday, it snapped to winter weather.  Frankly, I'm a little peeved about it as I really enjoy fall weather and would like it to come back!  Oh well, the cold gives us good reason to pile the quilts on the bed and curl up with our handwork.

I'm posting today as part of the blog tour for Bonnie Christine's fabric line, Winged.  This fabric is really about another season, the very beginnings of spring, as Bonnie Christine writes,"i have always noticed the very first butterfly each spring. it has been one of the sweetest sightings for me each year. it means a new season is upon us, warmer weather is on it’s way and fresh blooms will be emerging from the ground. it also evokes this feeling within me of inspiration- like all things are possible."

But working with this fabric this fall, especially since I chose to work with these bird prints...
Winged fabric

...it also seems like these particular fabrics could be about the autumn and the coming winter.

With the move out to the countryside, one of the marvels that I have witnessed is the mass migration of sandhill cranes.  Now, I haven't managed to snap good photos of this myself, but this is a scene very much like one that I have driven past a few times...
La Chua Trail  -  Flight Formation

...fields FULL of sandhill cranes! (Photo by Marjika Willis) The cranes are moving south and doing so with great purpose.

While I had a few ideas for these fabrics, ultimately I decided to echo the migration of the birds by piecing them flying across a pillow.  This also adds just a touch of color to our bedroom, where the winter linens are all white.

Winged pillow

This pillow was made by using english paper piecing (EPP) to make the hexagons and then appliquéing them to some solid white fabric from my stash. I love the Art Gallery substrate for so may things; it's great for EPP.
Winged Pillow

Winged pillow

Isn't it lovely?  

You can see yesterday's part of the blog hop at Rad and Happy; tune in tomorrow at One Shabby Chick; and see the whole schedule on Bonnie's page.

You can see other pillows I have made in this style on this post and this one. Full disclosure: some of the fabrics for this pillow were provided to me at no cost.

30 October 2014

Woof woof

Recently, I did a trunk show in Detroit (at the Detroit Area Modern Quilt Guild -- love those ladies!)

One of the questions that I knew they had for the chatting part of my presentation was how I got going in quilting/blogging/and generally being "out there" as a modern quilter.  To answer, I brought a picture of my first dog, Buzz.

first day home

Buzz was adopted from a shelter in Wisconsin in 2006.  His parents were working farm dogs and while he ended up being bigger than your average border collie, he showed every sign of being a pure-bred border collie in his behavior and herding ability (yes, I put him on sheep!)  The picture above, which was taken within 10 minutes of my bringing Buzz home from the shelter, sums him up pretty well--he was so pretty and so attentive and just a lot of fun to be around.

Before Buzz was very old, I started a dog blog.  I had to. 
Because Buzz was constantly being photogenic...
dog log

And he always looked deep into the camera lens...
nom nom nom

And so Buzz is the reason that I knew about Flickr and Flickr groups.  He was the reason I knew about blogger and had written a blog regularly prior to staring my quilting blog.  

I do find that blogs tend to have a lifespan, so I had stopped dog blogging by the time Buzz was four, and around then started to have things I wanted to say about quilts, so I started this quilting blog.  Just a funny little bit of my blogging history I thought I'd share.

quilt for em's baby

ALSO, I want to point any dog lovers out there towards my cousin Emily's Kickstarter campaign. Because one of the many special things about Buzz was that he was allergic to dog food.  As in, he was never not having diarrhea if he was fed any kind of commercial dog food.  It was really tricky to get under control and in the end, my poor non-mammal-eating soul had to buy and serve raw meat to him. Like almost two pounds or raw flesh a day and then some organ meat and bones as well.  It was truly an adventure.

Fedwell would have been another solution had it been around at the time. My cousin Emily founded Fedwell because her dog Fenway couldn't stomach the usual foods either. Emily adopted Fenway while she was in the Peace Corps (in Togo/West Africa). He almost died when she brought him to the USA and started feeding him commercial dog food. She fixed him with her own cooking and now she's in the dog food business! If you follow this link to her Kickstarter, you can watch the video to learn more about Emily and Fenway and how far this company has already come. Please consider backing her. I did; I know what a difference food can make for me and my dogs. Serving real food took Buzz from regular ear infections and a continually upset stomach to perfect health and happiness.

My current dogs (Hobbes and Vin) are thriving on the food we buy at the local store, but I know they'll love Fedwell kibble as treats!  For those who aren't dog owners or currently ready to switch their dog's food, but would like to back the project, you can have food donated to a Boston area shelter on your behalf.

Please consider going to Kickstarter and helping Emily reach her goal of $20,000.  She's almost there and there are just eight days to go! 


Dogs and quilts...its a thing!

Great news...Emily met her funding goal!  Yay for Emily!

22 October 2014

Autumn Columns (the Oakshott Blog Hop)

I love autumn and Michigan is having a truly beautiful one this year!

Fall in Michigan

I’ve also been excited about shot cottons since I first laid eyes on them over five years ago.  And I really enjoy mixing shot cottons with modern prints, which happens in my DoublePlusGood quilt   and in my megaXPlus quilt. They add a lovely complexity to the patchwork.  Oakshotts are among my favorite shot cottons--the colors are wonderful, the fabric doesn't curl when you press it, and the weight is very similar to standard quilting cottons.

Today’s post shows my first quilt top made entirely from shot cottons.  I made these simple improv columns so that the colors in the Autumn fabric bundle would really shine.  And I’m sharing this quilt with you today as part of the blog hop for Oakshott’s Autumn bundle. 

Autumn Columns

Autumn Columns

Fat eighth bundle of  Autumn Oakshott fabrics
½ yard if Nilgiri (the bluest fabric in the Autumn bundle)
½ yard of white Oakshott


My quilt is 48" x 64"; I could have made it even larger as I didn't use all of the fabrics.  

Autumn Columns

Be sure to catch all the stops on this blog tour--each has a tutorial!
21 October     Sonia Spence               www.fabricandflowersuk.blogspot.co.uk
22 October     Rossie Hutchinson        r0ssie.blogspot.com
24 October     Mary Menzer                 fairlymerry.blogspot.com
28 October     Alison Dutton                www.allison-sews.blogspot.com/
29 October     Nicholas Ball                 www.quiltsfromtheattic.wordpress.com
30 October     Kati Spencer                 www.fromthebluechair.com
31 October     Wynn Tan                      www.zakkaart.typepad.com

Full disclosure:  Oakshott sent me these fabrics at no cost.  All opinions are my own and are genuine.