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

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Happy Birthday Dana!

Today is my big sister Dana's birthday.  I know I posted this before, but this is still my favorite photo of us.  My sister has ahold of me, probably because I have a bit of a lean, haha.  Always looking out for me.

Happy Birthday Dana, Love you!

Since this is a quilting blog, here is the latest skinny at Aunti Nicole's Corner.  Was at Road to California weekend before last.  My Mom and friend Phyllis stayed with me.  I took Friday off to go with them to a long arm quilting class with DeLoa Jones. 
This is her entry in the quilt show, just amazing!
Great class I highly recommend it.  I bought some new tools which I'll post soon

The class was called Block Party and it discussed what to do with sampler blocks.  The challenge is to make a continuous pattern for each block and not have to stop.  I win!

Here is one I just quilted this last weekend for neighbor Betty.

Great fun and I'm not just making a mess, Betty really liked the results!

Lots of stuff going on in February including some quilting mentoring of a couple of angels this weekend.  Can't wait to share their progress with you.

Hope you get a chance to sew this week!

Aunti Nicole

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013!

Hi All,

Wow what a busy year!  I can honestly say that 2012 was not a lazy year.
In May I bought a Tin Lizzie and have been cranking out UFO's like mad.

In July 2013, I was sick of sitting on my duff and got off it.  My best friend Dione and her husband own a Crossfit Zen gym in Manhattan Beach and helped me find a crossfit organization in my area.    I joined Citizen Crossfit  and haven't stopped moving since.  The people at Citizen and Crossfit Zen are really supportive and they push me just enough and scale down what I can't handle.  I went from being tired old couch potato to the best shape I've been in for 20 years.  I feel great and have made some great new friends in the process.   I could go on about this (So says my husband) but this is a quilting blog afterall...onward!

Working out 5-6 days a week and changing my eating habits have taken up a lot of my free time.  But its all time I was wasting before with things like sleep and procrastination.  I actually now have more energy for quilting, yeah!

This huge 9 patch was a block exchange with my EZ Quilters group.  I ended up with my mom's leftovers after she made hers.  I think I only have about 6 blocks left.  It took me a while to figure out what border to put on it and my friend Donna said, maybe it doesn't want one.  So I asked my quilt, "Really, you done?" and the quilt just sat there there, so I guess it was done.

It was oddly enough the exact width of my long arm rails  7' which those of you who long arm know that means 6" in each side are not getting quilted. Grrr.  But I did it anyway.  I pinned the side to the top and then clamped it to the lower rails and hang it over the edge.  Then I just move it a couple of times. The biggest challenge is to make the back nice and smooth.  Just takes patience, which I'm learning.   I keep forgetting to take a picture of it.

I put a little piece of striped fabric for a flange before adding the binding.  A colored binding might have taken away from the quilt and a plain binding was just too plain.

I finished this before the holidays and my plan is to give this to my niece Madison who graduates from high school this year.  Done early? are you kidding?

So I've been on vacation for 11 days, today is the last day.  We got to go up to the mountains Mt. Shasta/Weed for Christmas and spent some time with my folks and my sister Dana and her chillen.  It was so nice to spend time with them all.  Sniff sniff, I miss em already.

Yesterday I finally got back into my quilt room and cranked out 3 projects.
The first was a philanthropy quilt top made by someone in our guild.  I try to quilt one of the unfinished tops as often as possible.  The fun wiggly design breaks up the stripes and plaids.

My friend Sharon made this for philanthropy and asked me to quilt it for her.  I have had it a while so it was time to get this one done too.  The basket with flowers was my mum's idea.

Finally, Sharon's friend Cathleen asked me to quilt this for her friends baby.  Such a bright and happy quilt.  and now its done too.  
So you see I have stayed busy.

I hope you all have a wonderful and prosperous 2013 and may you find the time to quilt!

Love Aunti Nicole