Monday, October 6, 2014

Keep Hoppin! Blog Hop

Hi All,

Thanks for stopping by!  My husband and I just moved to Oregon from Southern California.

We bought a house in Happy Valley.  We are loving Oregon with the change in seasons.  Have a yard now so summer means working in the yard and playing in the pond in our backyard.

I've been quilting for about 25 years now but have been sewing since I was little. Quilting is my artistic outlet.  My favorite thing about it is that there are guidelines and guidelines and rules, but then you can throw them all out and do whatever you want.  I like to take my thinking out of the box mind and twist up something traditional and end up with something new.

While I usually have 15-20 projects going at all phases, I love completing things.  I like to stay up late and push through to completion....sometimes.

I don't really have a style, except if you ask my friends, they'll say I like to complicate things.  I would have to agree completely.   I like puzzles and love a good challenge.

Some things I've learned...
so here are some of mine.. or is mine the worst  These i use in everyday life as well.

1.  Never stop at a mistake.  Fix it right away!  Otherwise you will avoid picking up that project ever again.

2.  Never tell yourself..."I can't do this"   If you enjoy it, then do it.  Find a way or a technique that works for you.

3.  Practice the areas that are rough until they are no longer rough.

4.  Ask questions of others whose work you admire...and then write it down.  I have forgotten more great tips and had to bump my head on the same wall when it hits me "Du-Oph!  Oh yeah, I forgot about that!

4.  Before starting a project, take a few minutes to think it through.

  • How long will this take? 
  • Do i have what i need?  
  • Do i know what I'm doing?
  • Do I really care about any of the above?  
  • Sometimes you just have to sit down and start.
5.  Are there ever any projects that I throw away? No!  Everything will eventually end up in something.  Really it will!

6.  Does everything have to be a quilt? NO!  Tried that...made one block.  Hey look a wall hanging!

7.  How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.  This project took me 10 years to complete.  Hand appliqued, hand quilted.  Just finished this year.  Thought I would never be done.

8.  Surround yourself by amazing people!  They make life so much richer!

I was invited to this blog hop by Eileen Wintemute.  Check out her blog if you haven't already.  She is an amazing artist and one of those amazing people I mentioned.  Thanks Eileen for inviting me to be part of this.

Also check out my dear friend Dione's blog Crossfit Zen.  They have a community outreach program, bring fitness, nutrition and life style mentoring to kids all over LA.

A few of my favorites are 
and check out follow list.

Please feel free to check my gallery and patterns.  I took a year from blogging so I have some catching up to do.  Although I did spend my first 8 months in Oregon finishing my big Mariner's compass quilt.  Follow this blog if you want to see more.

Have a wonderful week and I hope you get time to sew!

Aunti Nicole

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Voyage of Friendship

Some of you may be wondering where I have been.  Well....its a long story.  Here is the short edited version.  Pete and I transferred our jobs up to Oregon.  We both managed to keep our jobs of 15+ years and work the same companies in different states.  We love Oregon, love the rain and the green. 

We rented a house for about 6 mos and then started house hunting.  Last month we bought a house in a quiet little pocket of Happy Valley.  1970's house fully updated with a beautiful water feature in the backyard. 

We have never had a yard so this should be fun.  Pete bought a lawn mower and I am already loving going outside after work, weeding, trimming and playing in the dirt.  I hear that its only 4 mos out of the year, so that might give me some time to sew.

So while I was moving from November 2013 until last month, I decided to store all my quilting stuff and finish a hand quilt that I started in 2004.  Yes that would make it 10 years, but I am finished!  I love the way it turned out.  The outer blocks were done by my EZ Quilter friendship group.  But influenced by every quilter who saw the work in progress.  I love it and its finally home on my bed.

But before it made it there, I sent it to my Mom for her Shasta Lily Guild - Quilt Show last weekend.  My quilt took first place in the Large quilt division.  There were some amazing quilts in this group and I am honored.  Thank you Shasta Lily Quilters!

Viewer's choice in the show went to Bev Roper with this original piece.  This was exquisite work and I love the celtic work in the sashing.  Bev is an amazing artist and quilter.

I have more to share from the show and a recap on the Quilt Sew Knit show here in Portland.  I am a little behind on posts so I have lots to post.  Stay Tuned!

I hope you find some time to sew today!
Love Aunti Nicole

Sunday, July 21, 2013

4 Patch Posie - La Japonaise

I haven't had anything I could share for a little while.  Have been working on some top secret stuff and working on our Flying Geese Quilt Show coming up this September.  I am in charge of vendors this year at the show.  Its fun to see how all the different pieces of the show work.

So today I'm sharing a 4-patch posie that I did last summer at the EZQ mountain retreat.  My friend Sharon Sutton had some great tips so she shared them with us.  She is totally hooked and has been popping these out like candy.  This is my second one and I'll tell you its a lot easier than stack and whack!

This one only uses 4 repeat instead of 8 and squares are pretty easy to handle.  

It too me a while to determine a sashing for this and I went out on a ledge for this one with some fabric I bought a while back and was just dying to use it in something.

There is a lot of quilting in this one, I wanted an opportunity to practice my machine quilting.  Note the large panel down the left side.  This to me is more of a challenge than borders.  What the heck to do with all that wide open space?

Sorry about the poor quality photos, I'm a quilter not a photographer ;]

As quilt judges would say...."...ambitious quilting there on the borders and background, lol.

For the side panel, I broke up the space and did a zentangle type design.  It really helped me just jump in.
If you are every wondering what to do in a wide open space, divide it somehow and just play in the different sections.  Its fun and turns out really well.

I roughly drew on the sections here to give you an idea of how i divided the space.

Hopefully this will inspire someone to take on some wide open spaces.
Hope you all get a chance to quilt this week!
All my bestAunti Nicole

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Tessa is almost done!

Amanda and Tessa are just about done with their first quilts!  I am so proud of these girls, they have really hung in there and are getting this quilt finished!

Amanda has some borders to add and we can start the quilting.
Tessa is done with her quilt top and is ready to start the quilting.  Almost there!

I managed to quilt a baby quilt for my friend Sharon this April.  What a happy little quilt this is.
So you see, I have been busy.  Just not on my quilts....  Oh I have been working on one for a challenge but I can't share it until June.

Hope you get to sew this weekend!
Love Aunti Nicole

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ghastlies Reunion revives some old blocks!

Last year at Road to California my friend Debbie Vaupel brought these 12 blocks that she made 20 years ago, in hopes of finding a fabric that could pull them together.  

Well we didn't find anything at Road 2012 but persistence paid off on a shop hop later in the year.  Look what we found at Tranquility Quilts and Fabric Shop in Garden Grove.
Alexander Henry's Ghastly Reunion.  

It pushed her out of her comfort zone and look how fun this is!

 She helped me machine quilt it yesterday.  I used some of the designs I learned from DeLoa Jones class at Road 2013.

I've been keeping busy and have a few other quilts to posted.  Will share them soon so check back!

Hope you all are sewing this weekend,
Love Aunti Nicole

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sneak in a Zentangle or Two

I've been working like crazy and trying to set some time aside for the stuff I like to do.  Found a slice of time on Thursday night to visit with my friend Sharla at Soft Expressions.  Seems she has been zentangling with a wonderful bunch of people from dusk till dawn.   Yep...Its a zentangle friendship group and they welcomed me with open arms.  I sat down and got back to tangling.  They meet once a month at Soft Expression and usually learn a new tangle pattern or two.  Maybe a new technique, tool or toy to play with.

This is the first one I made when I sat down.  After some direction from Sharla, I just started drawing and this is what came out.  The piece is only 3"square so not very large.

Then she passed out some more of her favorite tools, This is white on black was done with a white Gelly Roll Pen and Pastel Chalk pencil for the shading.  I am learning shading as you can see.   These two pieces were done in about 2.5 hrs
Sharla Hicks is a Certified Zentangle Instructor and owns and teaches at Soft Expressions.  Here is a list of her upcoming classess 

If you have never taken art classes or are an accomplished artist.  This is a different way to expand your brain and learn to fill space.  It is typically done in smaller bite sized pieces so you can actually accomplish something incredible in a small amount of time.

I started zentangling in 2011.  It has really helped with my quilting by showing me how you can free form draw in a structured space.  I highly recommend taking the time out to take some classes you will amaze yourself at what you can create.  

I hope you all get a chance to sew and relax this weekend.  That's what I'm doing ;]
Love Aunti Nicole

PS - Some anonymous commenter asked about my blog design.  I created my own background and logo in Adobe Illustrator.  Thank you for the kind words.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Budding Quilters

Yesterday I got to spend my Saturday with a couple of budding young quilters. Amanda and Tessa King spent about 5 hours with me yesterday.
First we talked a little about what we wanted to do.  They learned about contrasting and complimenting fabrics.  Then I gave them some time to poke through my stash of larger pieces and pick a focus fabric.  I planned about an hour for this.. and they were done in 10 min.  No brainer for them, I need to learn that trick.  Look at the wonderful fabric choices here.

Then they learned:
Rotary Cutting
Trimming threads
Ironing again!
Pinning again!
Sewing again!

Tessa's First Block

Amanda's First Block

Breath....Time for a break... so we took a break.  Had a yummy snack.  Apples, beef jerky, chicken.  Went for a short walk.  

And back to make the next one...or is it two ;] muah-ha-ha!

I had them each take two squares and draw an "X" diagonally.  Then they had to sew 1/4" on either side of each line.  Wow Aunti this is hard.....after a while, Wow this is so easy!  Then we cut them apart for 16 little half square triangles.  Magic!  Sewing the little pieces together took a little helped with the pinning but they did all the sewing.

Check out those Points!  Awesome Sauce! High fives! Whoo hoo

Took a little longer to sew these together, but the girls did very good and we pressed on even though we were getting a little tired.  Around 3:30 we started looking at the clock.  
Girls:  "Are we going to finish with the quilt today?
Aunti:  "Girls, we are just getting started we've got 9 more to make!" Big toothy grin ;]
Girls:  "Ooo no!" girly giggles all around

Their Mom and Dad came back about five as we were finished up our last seams.  They got to see a little of the action.   

This is Tessa, she was student of the week last we at school.  She loves pink and blue and found some fun fabrics and even got a chance to use one of the ones she brought.  Her favorite part is the ironing part and asked her Mommy if she had any shirts she needed ironing.    Her Mom (Dawn) and I both looked at each other and said "Really?"

This Amanda.  She likes all the parts of quilting, but probably sewing on the machine the most.  She has a headband that disappears and reappears on her head right where she left it.  Apparently her sister has the ability to make it reappear.  I have glasses that do that...

Willie came in and investigated and played and hid a lot, and napped a lot.  Toward the end, Pete went into the kitchen and willie followed him and this was what we heard.

Willie:  "Mrowww"  trans. (hey dad)
Pete:  "Hey buddy, theres girls and girly stuff everywhere huh?"
Willie:  "Mroww rowwwo wowo wwow mrow" trans "Yeah you should see it, there needles and razors and hot irons and momma's eyes are all bulgy!"

So we got to finish 3 blocks.  We are probably going to make a 12 block quilt, MAYBE one or two with fusible applique.  Add a border and binding.  We are going to display their quilts in our guild show that's coming up in September.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about our day, we sure had a great time.  The girls follow directions and were such a great way to spend my sew day.  I am looking forward to their next visit.  

Now i have to go grocery shopping and our breakfasts and lunches for the week.  Pete and I are enjoying a 28 day Paleo Challenge.  Basically Meat, Veggies, Fruit, Nuts and Seeds.  One week down and I think we are doing pretty good!  Its a little more effort and planning but the results are worth it.

Hope you all get a chance to sew this week!
Aunti Nicole