Sunday, January 21, 2018

Catching up.... a terrible blogger still alive.

Greetings and Salutations!

That is how I start an email when it is addressed to multiple recipients. I went back and looked and the last time I posted was back in October 2017. Since then, I have been quiet busy.  I attended leadership training at a location in Greensboro, North Carolina called the Center for Creative Leadership.  Since my mentor, Randy Perdue, retired I knew I needed to get some quality food for my soul and career goals. My sister, Terri Stemple had advised me of a location that she had been given reference to, by someone she had business connections with. She sees something in me and naturally referred me that direction.  After a decently long application process, I was awarded a scholarship. It still cost us a decent chunk of change out of my pocket, but the ball was rolling.


I began a journey that my mentor had not taken, so this was undiscovered territory.  I jumped in and felt extremely successful through the process. I stayed with my sister just a few days and determined that over a week, the trip plus class was taxing/tiring. My sister, the kind and beautiful soul that she is, used her reward points to put me up in a nearby hotel that was much better than I deserved. I owe here a word of gratitude because this opportunity would never have come to fruition had it not been for her.  Thanks Terri! Love you big sis.

I am thinking about making a quilt and donating it. This was a highlight experience in life and I bought fabric to commemorate it. The two purple/blue I bought afterwards.  If you are ever in the Cary North Carolina area, I recommend you visit Elegant Stitches. They have a HUGE selection of batiks, are a certified Bernina dealer and have a great selection of other fabrics including but not limited to Kaffe and Cotton & Steel.

So, I took the class and did quite alot of reflecting as well as reviewing the results of various surveys that helped me along the process. I found several books I wanted to read based upon this training and I have purchased several. The good news was the evaluations that were done by peers, direct reports, family, and bosses reflected exactly what I figured it would.  I have a pretty acute sense of self, so change, when I am willing, will be quite easy.

Quilting......yes please, and then again siiiigggghhhhh!  I am a perfection so as much fun and relaxing as quilting can be, it is also stressful and sometimes frustrating when I make mistakes.

And, if that isn't enough, as I began to write this, I realized I hadn't posted half of my recent work. Tish assured me that she was keeping people informed that I was still alive and on with the pictures

The above carpenter's star was from a pattern Tish had and I decided to make it with Civil War reproductions. I ran out of the tan and was panicked.  Luckily the shop in Summersville, had some left over.  We made an emergency run and landed in the middle of the "Potato Festival"  I liked how it turned out....this one for sure is a keeper. One of my favorites that I have made to date.

This was a kit of 30's reproduction fabric that Tish got me as a holiday gift from Fat Quarters Shop. I used the white in the big squares that came with it, but I didn't think that was quite enough. We had been to Bolts and Quarters Quilt Shop in Parkersburg, WV and they had adorable kitten fabric with a gray tabby cat drinking out of a blue cup and a same sample with pink cup.  They got added in!!!!

Tish had me make this block to....don't ask me why but she did....and I made it.  The fabrics are batik-esq from Bolt and Quarters also. If you ask her, she may remember why she had me make it.

One of our favorite stores in Morgantown, WV..... Country Roads Quilt Shop
 had this new line of Moda Fabric and I fell in love with it.  Tish wanted me to use a red center, but I felt brown.  I did ALL kinds of layouts, but landed on this one.  My first attempt at log cabin was....ok.  The print probably was no the best choice and the repetition was tough, but I did enjoy the process. I would do another, but would be more choosy on my fabric.

I posted the pattern for this group on my previous post.  I have yet to find weather to get this quilt top out and get it photographed, but this is my version in Tula Pink Chipper, with coordinating solids. I ended up having about a third of the fabric left over along with a whole other jelly role of Chipper. I may actually try this with all  chipper and making the solid white center squares out of the coordinating solids... I don't know, that is aways off, if it does happen.

This was the last day of November. Out of respect for this man I will not post his name. As with Randy Perdue,  this man changed my life.  I look to him as a mentor also.  A fine individual, that knew our line of work inside and out, and knew more about basic patrol rifle techniques and everyday management/supervision than almost anyone else I know.  It shook my world also, when he retired.  I miss him dearly and aspire to do as much for my people as he did for me in helping them be better as supervisors and the career.  I miss you my friend.  He has a quilt on the is in its last stages now.

Blue was his favorite color and this is a revised version of Turning 20. I think I may have posted it before.  Tish is quilting this for me as we speak.

Christmas rolled around this year and upon me being off for vacation we...meaning mostly I decided to clean up our back room which contains most of Tish's stash (she says it is mine, but less than 10% is actually mine).  I found my tree skirt I started and decided it was time...finished or not to get it under the tree. I tried a different binding strategy and got it done. Tish has pebbling to may and may not get finished in her UFO projects this year, it looks good regardless.  During that time Tish also got me started on Mister Domestic's woven ornaments. She made one and I did also.. My first was a flop, and once I made the strips longer it got much that I made a bunch!!!! I like the traditional feel of the tree with the home made ornaments.

This was one of my random  patterns I drew up and decided to use some random fat quarters I picked up several months ago at Bolts and Quarters Quilt Shop.  I think it turned out decent. I love the citrus-y look of these colors!!!!!

At the new year Tish asked me about getting into a Quilt Along. Please forgive the orientation of the picture. I saved it the correct way, but when I uploaded it, it flopped it. I wasn't sure I wanted to get involved in the quilt-along, but the fabric (top pic) was some of the first fabric I bought for myself.  A complete set of fat quarters from Moda line Bee Creative. I am wanting to try and get through my back (stash) fabric in order and this was next. So, I made my first block and decided the background......well it was way too bright.

I made the first one revised after I made it through the second two and decided it didn't match.. I may still yet revise the first one, because I am just not sold on it.

How it was coming together as of two weeks ago. The picture just about and below here are also save in the correct orientation, but when I uploaded them "Blogger" flopped these also. I apologize.

And last but not least, I have started a second first actually dual project going least I am pretty sure.  One of my friends is wanting to do a raffle to raise money for a Christian School/home school group of kids to get them a field trip/ vacation. So, Tish and I opted in. I am piecing the top and she is going to quilt it.

 Needless to say, I am very much still alive and quilting.Recently, I learned that my services to my employer were, at least temporarily, needed elsewhere in the agency. This occurred just prior to my training in North Carolina.  To date, the paperwork has not yet come through, so I have not started yet.  I will be busy with that job, though I am going to try and quilt in my off time.  I plan to do ALOT of reading during that time also.  However, the quilt along, will keep me going on the weekends for sure.  I have not even really had much time to read blogs, though I do get around to them occasionally.  I guess what it boils down to is that being a male have to have a niche to get recognized....I don't have that. Even though I  "feel" I am a better than average quilter and definitely a designer, I have made a couple attempts to get recognized, and have failed (ego aside). Quilting is pretty "in" right now and is very competitive, especially in the non-traditional/modern quilting venue.  I like the traditional, orderly and balanced, looks of the older that is what I typically make. To each his/her own and let everyone make what they like. Anyway, quilting is more of Tish's arena anyway.  I will help her in every way  that I can, to make her successful. But, for me it will have to be just be a hobby.

I hope everyone is doing well. Tish and I have talked about combining forces and that is still up in the air.  But, I will be continuing to quilt, blogging and reading blogs somewhat less. For those that bought our first pattern we thank you very much and would love to see your  final projects.  Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Have a wonderful day, week, or what fits your observation of time.



Monday, October 30, 2017

Quilt Bloggers International Retreat (QBIR) 2nd Annual - Minus the International

Thursday, October 26, 2017 through Saturday October 28, 2016

These were the days of the 2nd Annual QBIR.  This year it was minus the "I" as Sandra of  mmmquilts was missing this year. However that did not hamper the fun.

Tish and I stopped along the way and I picked up a new pattern that I was going to use on my Tula Pink Chipper stash fabric. I ended up later deciding to save it for a different project.

The fun began with Tish and Beth setting up to to quilt, Tish was working with a machine and Beth with some hand stitching. I myself got caught up with Julie and did some fabric dyeing. I did my first Tie Dye process as well as one section of green, blue, yellow and red.  It was a morning filled with donuts and discussion about various quilt related ins and outs.  Julie surprised us with a piece of Tula Pink.

I got started on a new small wall hanging project made up of fabrics that are fun in yellows, pinks, and maroons as well as a white background. I decided to just make it impromptu with some half square triangles as well as some simple solid blocks. During the time up there, I decided to frame a small HST and the smaller solid blocks and went through a bit of trial and error. Needless to say today (Sunday) I finished the top as well as a pieced back. I have them sandwiched and have started straight line quilting. I have about 2 full length rows finished out of four or five wide (I can't remember).

Friday we met up with a new member of the QBIR, Karen. Karen's husband "Tuna-Helper" also came along. This day was a shopping day in which I picked up a few pieces of fabric a couple gray and one blue for a special project I am going to start designing very soon. It will likely be a paper-piece project consisting a "stitch and flip" processes.  I am not giving anything away about it.  It will be very "manly" in design and I look forward to doing it

One of the first stops we made was at a lumber and supply store that, in size and layout, rivaled Cabelas.  It truly was the Cabela's of woodworking and house construction. I also found a nice piece of Moda fabric at an outlet store up in Amish country of Ohio. It will go nicely with the first iteration of Moda's "Bee Creative" line (check out that price per yard). I was wore out that evening and most of the party recognized it.  We stayed at a Red Roof Inn and that first night (Thurs-Fri) I got very little sleep. We had Mexican for dinner and it was wonderful conversation. The night ended fairly early as everyone was tired from shopping.

Saturday started between 0800 and 0900. We met at Julie's studio and did some sewing as well as talking.  I washed out my fabric from the dyeing process we wrapped things up with some hugs and a short goodbye, at around 1230, and a brief discussion about the possible timeline for the next years QBIR. As always, Julie was a very gracious and wonderful host. I am hoping that someday Tish and I will be able to repay the kindness that she and her husband have shown us.  I also hope that we can evolve the QBIR into something that will put less work on Julie and allow her to enjoy it to the degree and depth (relaxation) that we feel when we attend.

Tish and I, followed by Beth, shot over to Zannesville, OH to a wonderful little shop for a first time stop to see if we would like the shop as well as a short impromptu shopping process.  Tish picked up some thread and we both picked up independent thread stands (a great investment) as well as two rolls of wool batting to give a try. 

We parted ways with Beth at that time and started home. Tish and I did stop at a Dairy Queen as we had been hoping to do the entire time we were there. All in all, I believe Tish and I had a wonderful short vacation and enjoyed the retreat.

I apologize for the poor pictures.  I had taken pictures and it did them as video and I could not edit it. Until the next time, Keep on Stitching...Keep on Stitching....when you want to Stiiiiitch!