Friday, March 8, 2013

Mostly Not About QuiltCon

I was thinking of sharing my pictures and thoughts from QuiltCon here, but Leila and I are going to be presenting to The Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild about it in a couple of weeks, so I don't want to spoil things for my guild members.  I think I'll still plan to share about it, but after the guild meeting. 

By the way, I wanted to show you the cool triple zip bag that Leila gave me for finding her a place to stay in Austin or because she's just really nice.

back - I really love this bag and the fun fabrics.  Thanks again, Leila!

 One thing I will share from QuiltCon is about the workshop I took.  Registration for classes was crazy with classes selling out in nanoseconds, so most of the classes I was interested in were gone immediately.  Although, I already know embroidery stitches, I was curious about the class "Redwork in Modern Quilting" with Rachel Hobson.  I wanted to know how embroidery was translated from traditional redwork to modern quilting. 
The quilt top on the wall is Rachel's second and incorporates embroidery in some of the negative space blocks.

Ready to do a little stitching

Some backstitch, split stitch, stem stitch, and french knots.
Although I already knew how to do these stitches, I did learn a few new tricks.  I am very glad I took the class because it reminded me that I really enjoy handwork.  It was also great to meet Rachel because she's a very nice, interesting, and fun person. 

I also believe that taking the class pushed me to respond to a recent email from Penguin and Fish looking for people to stitch up samples of the embroidery kits being sold.  I sent in some pictures of my work, said I'd love to, and was chosen to be a stitcher!  Yay! 
The patterns I'm stitching came in the mail in this!

First one done - alligator

One done, seven to go
Not only do I get to have fun stitching up these cute patterns, but I'm getting paid in fabric and a book! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Visiting Austin

When I found out that QuiltCon was going to be in Austin, Texas, I sent a message to my college roommate Anna, who lives there.  I asked her if my friend Pam and I could stay with her and she graciously said yes.  Well, it turned out that Leila was planning to go to QuiltCon and was looking for a place for her and her baby to stay.  Again, being a generous hostess, Anna said she had plenty of room and Leila and her little Becca stayed with us too. 

Little did we know that we'd be staying on a ranch!
Anna lives in an apartment above the garage, while a family lives in the main house. 

The ranch is a small one, but they have some cows, horses, chickens, a rooster, and some peacocks.

This is actually a zebu, which is a relative of the cow.


This guy was tempting me to make him into dinner.  The morning after a VERY long day of travel, he decided that everyone should wake up at 5:00am.  He was persistent about it.  I suppose he was just doing his job, but these guys should have a snooze alarm built in.

I took a lot of pictures of these guys.  Peacocks are such pretty birds. 

It was so nice to see flowers!

Hee hee.  There was a "bull" for riding.  I'm pretty sure I lasted more than 8 seconds.  Yeah.
Me, Pam, and Leila

Pam, Anna, Anna's friend whose name I've forgotten! (sorry!), and Leila, and baby Becca

I didn't have my camera when we went shopping, but that was an interesting experience. There are several quirky stores and I'd never seen so many dismembered mannequin hands in my life. There was also a facial hair contest that Kim from My Go-Go Life tells about. They aren't kidding when they call Austin weird. Unfortunately, my friend Pam became very sick pretty soon after that last picture was taken and that was only our first full day there, so it wasn't a great trip for her. I was at the convention center a lot so I feel like I only got to experience a tiny bit of Austin, so maybe I'll have to go back some day.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I'm back!

So for the 2 or 3 of you who read my blog, I apologize for not posting for such a long time!  I was preparing for QuiltCon, at QuiltCon, and then recovering from QuiltCon!  So you can anticipate lots of blog posts in the near future, because 1) I took lots of pictures and 2) I have things I've been thinking about and things I'm excited to share.  

Today I'll just update you on what I did just before QuiltCon.  First, my mother had a birthday at the beginning of February and I thought it would be fun to make her a cake that would be a surprise.
M & M decoration
The surprise inside - it's a rainbow!
It was fun to see her cut into it and realize that it wasn't just a boring old single color cake in there. :)

Then there was Valentine's Day, so I stitched up a little something for my husband.
 I gave my son a bag of Sour Patch Kids.  I think candy is his love language.

Then I had some bee blocks to make:
I used this tutorial to make these blocks for the Harmony circle of do. Good Stitches and I really like how they turned out.
I made these blocks for Deb from Trio Stitch Studio for the Mo-Stash Bee

I had some extra pieces from making those two blocks, so I made this one for fun so she can put it on the back of the quilt.
Then I made two more blocks for the Sister's 10 BOM at Gen X Quilters. 

And I made myself a new name tag to wear at QuiltCon and guild meetings.
I used a leftover strip that was cut from my QuiltCon block submission (the header of my blog) for the border and cut out the letters for my name from the Julia Rothman line"Type".

Backside of my name tag.  My son loves elephants and my husband has drawn a really cool picture of a turtle, so these are little reminders of the guys I love while I'm away from them.  It has a little pocket so I can stick business cards in there.
Okay, so that about wraps it up for what went on before QuiltCon as far as making stuff.  Tomorrow I'll share some about the trip to Austin!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mo-Stash Bee Quilt

On the last day of January, I received the last two blocks for the Mo-Stash Bee for the quilt I will make.  I've posted one of my blocks here, but I thought I'd show all of them together.
Here's the first layout I tried, Roy G. Biv style.

Then I tried Roy G. Biv going down the first row, up the next, and down again.

Then I tried random placement.  I think I like this best.

Then I wanted to see how it might look with sashing.
I think I'm going to go with the random placement, no sashing, but I do think I'll add a border to make it a bit bigger.  It could be a good baby quilt size right now, but I kind of want it to be a lap quilt that I can snuggle under and feel cheerful.  I'm thinking I'll make the border white with some scattered wonky stars in the various colors of the blocks.  Thought, opinions, ideas? 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Madrona Road Challenge

Well, I finished my Madrona Road Challenge quilt in time for the deadline.  I know that it will not be chosen for anything, but it was fun to do and it is done!

I made four large greek cross squares and quilted with concentric circles. I would have liked to do something spectacular, but I do like it and even more special for me is that my son immediately claimed it. I backed it with a microfiber sheet that I got super cheap at Target on Black Friday and it's really soft. I think that was the selling point for my son, but I think maybe he liked the truck, too. :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

God makes messy things beautiful

We gave Tom├ís the Slugs & Bugs Under Where album for Christmas.  It has lots of fun songs and it's one of those CDs for kids that is actually not bad to listen to as an adult.  The first Slugs & Bugs & Lullabyes album is also quite good. 

Anyway, in the one we recently bought, the first song says:

God makes messy things beautiful
when you put them in His hands.
God makes messy things beautiful
like only He can.
After the showers, look for the flowers
and you'll find out it's trutiful
God makes messy things beautiful.

Of course, this is simply stated and uses a made up word so it's fun for kids, but it is a reminder that I need sometimes.  There are so many things that either I mess up or are just messed up in general and remembering that He can turn it into something beautiful gives me such comfort and peace. 

For my favorite story of God making messy things beautiful, check out the story of Joseph in Genesis chapters 37-45 (minus chapter 38.  That's a brief strange story about one of Joseph's brothers.)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

I'm going to QuiltCon!

In just a couple of weeks, I'll be enjoying warm temperatures, time with one of my best friends, eating in fun new places, checking out the sights in Austin, Texas, and enjoying QuiltCon!

Here's a picture of me for those of you also going who might want to find me:
It's not the greatest picture, but it's me.

 So, to participate in the whole "I'm going to QuiltCon. Here are 5 things about me.", here are 5 things about me!

1)  First and foremost, I'm a Christian and want to love God and others. 

2)  I can tie a maraschino cherry stem in a knot in my mouth. 

3)  My sister and I used to talk to each other in a made up language called Ong.  Basically, you spell out each word and for every consonant, you add ong and for every vowel you say it long.  For example, my name is E mong I long yong.  Our favorite to say was our grandma's name (Helene Mowen) Hong E long E nong E Mong O wong E nong! :) Really, say it fast.  It's fun.

4)  Speaking of my Grandma Mowen, I miss her very much.  She was a quilter, crafter, and wonderful lady.  She passed away when I was 18 and I have only started sewing in the past few years so we didn't get the opportunity to really share our excitement or love of quilting.  I find myself frequently wishing that I could ask her opinion about a quilt I'm making, but I'm so thankful for the time that I knew her and that I have quilts that she has made. 

5)  I get to stay with my college roommate while in Austin!  Anna visited me here a couple years ago and now I get to visit her.  She is graciously letting me, my friend Pam, Leila from my quilt guild, and Leila's baby stay at her place.