Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Stitches in Bloom Quilt Show

Returned home from Silverton last night.  We had the most wonderful time at the Stitches in Bloom Quilt Show.
As I said in my last post, I won this trip.  It included a nights stay at the Oregon Garden Resort, breakfast, lunch, a massage or pedicure for two, and entry to the quilt show of course.  
I told Mr. LB that I should get him a shirt to wear when he attends quilt shows with me - it would say, "I'd rather be fishing."  He's such a gem.
So, on with the pictures.

I had to vote for this one because I am me:)  She said it took her 16 years to complete it.
This one is simplistic, but I like it for that reason and the craftsmanship was great.  The flowers are needle turned.

                                                                                                                       This one just impressed me as an art quilt.  Those are little square pieces of fabric flying above the flames all quilted on in a geometric design. The quilting was all geometric on it - very interesting.                                              
And this one just had such nice quilting.

 This one might not look extremely impressive - a star quilt,
Oh but wait - Those are little 1/2 inch squares in the midst of all those stars and very nicely done too.

Though the colors are pretty bright, it was all needle-turned applique which I appreciate.  And the bright works for this one.  I love the top center square for some reason.                                                                         

Our room was beautiful complete with fireplace.  I like the garden gate head boards - very appropo for a garden resort.

Here is one shot of a portion of the garden.  We were at about the farthest point when it started to sprinkle.  By the time we made it back, we were drenched so needless to say we didn't take many pictures along the way.
I didn't take a picture of my toes, though they look so nice as I shove them into my woolly socks and warm shoes.  We have about 8 inches of snow to trudge through around here.
I am so thankful.  This was a wonderful quilt show and weekend.  I didn't even know about this show or this place before this trip.  The internet is an asset in as many ways as it can be a detriment. 

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Quilt Show in January and Flowers

My favorites - yellow roses. 
I found these day before last so treated myself.  
They needed a little extra something so...
I added a piece of artificial ivy as filler.

I've had this little ol' picture for some time and love to use it for flowers.
I haven't seen it since last summer so
having it on the table just makes me smile.
It just seems so genteel.

I stated in an earlier post that I dress my table.
People kinda look at me funny when I say that.
That's what it is called.  Even though the majority of the time
it's just Mr. LB and me, there is a table cloth, place-mats, a center
piece, and of course cloth napkins.  Since they are my favorite,
when I found yellow rose fabric, I made napkins.  So my table 
at the moment is just a happy place.  These napkins look really nice 
with a soft blue as well.  I showed the foot and how I make them
in a post prior to Halloween here.  

The other exciting news is that there is a quilt show in January!
It is in Silverton, Oregon at the Oregon Gardens.
January 25 and 26.
We are heading out tomorrow to attend.  I have never been there,
but there are 80 acres of gardens, and the Stitches in Blooms Quilt Show
is in the pavilion in the gardens.  It is supposed to rain,
so I am thinking a lot of beautiful quilts will be a wonderful site.
I actually won this trip and will be sharing more upon returning - 
hopefully with lots of pictures.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Friday, January 18, 2013

Old Beauty

At least several years ago, maybe more, I purchased a quilt through ebay.  It was found in a Chicago attic, no musky odors, but in pretty rough shape.  I think opening bid was ten dollars and I ended up paying eleven due to one other bid.  After I received the email confirming I had won the bid, I received another email - from the seller.  His remark was, "Really?  It's in really bad shape.  Did you look at the pictures?  If you don't want it, I understand."  I responded, "I looked at the pictures and am aware of the condition.  It's fine."  I'm sure he thought I was nuts.  And I knew there was no convincing him of its beauty.  A week or so later I received it.

Every year, I use this quilt as the tree skirt to my bedroom Christmas tree.  Yes, we have a tree in the bedroom too.  The other eleven months of the year, I generally have it hanging over the rocking chair my great-grandfather was rocked in.

I still see its beauty.  There is just something so wholesome and non-intimidating about those deep rich colors.  There is no maker's name or mark, but whoever she was, she too found beauty in it at one time.  And when she was gone, and there was no longer someone to admire it, it was packed away in an attic to wait for me.

I have other quilts that are far more pristine, in far better condition, with far brighter colors, but this one, yes, this one - I find it to be absolutely beautiful.  It's kindness welcomes me.  It's tattered fabrics let me know that my seams are strong and even beautiful when I am feeling completely worn out.  It reminds me that if someone cared enough to add a few embellishments to my life a long long time ago, I should still remember them.  

As you lay your stitches upon your fabrics with love, and pass the treasured quilt on to the recipient, keep in mind that perhaps, just perhaps, your stitches might mean something extraordinary to someone you will never know.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

PS. - Those are chenille flowers and leaves, silk ribbon daisies, and pearl
cotton and silk floss embellishing stitches.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Oh Happy Me - WIP

Night before last, I returned home after working, and it was there.  It was the package I had been waiting for.  For two long weeks, I waited and waited anxiously checking the mailbox each day.  And what was I waiting for?
Aren't they pretty?  14 new colors.  I have about a dozen colors and got started using this #8 pearl cotton so wanted to remain consistent.  
Now you will either laugh at me or cry with me.  I love living in a rural community, but trying to find certain things such as pearl cotton is a bit challenging.  The closest pearl cotton is an hour away and only a few basic colors.  It is at times like these that I value the internet.
And to show you what I am using it on...
These are all works in progress so please excuse my markings and a few of the stitches that require more than one color are incomplete.
This will be a long term project as I don't get to work on it a lot.  None of these blocks are finished as I was waiting for more colors.  Now I can finish up a block at a time which is more like me.
I'm not quite sure how it happened that I have two hand stitching long term projects going at the same time.  Baaad me, shame on me.  Oh well, I won't be board - will always have something to work on.
The other long term project in my Cathedral Window quilt which if you are keeping track (as I'm sure you are:) I only have 54 more blocks to iron.
Keep warm and until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Sunday, January 6, 2013

More Portland Quilt Expo

I fiiiinnnallllly got the real photos off of Mr. LB's phone so will really just treat you to some eye candy.  As I said in the earlier post, the end of September I do believe, there were a lot of art pieces.  I am a bit of an old fashioned gal. I like quilts to be quilts.

This one was absolutely gorgeous but was all fused rather than stitched.  It was so beautiful; I was disappointed that it was 'glued' together.  It may have been zig-zagged around the edges.  I can't quite remember.  Still so beautiful - those are 'me' colors.

This was beautiful - not quite my colors, but the the quilting was incredible.
Another beauty - I love the border.
More great quilting.

One of the art quilts - I like peacocks - this one was pretty neat.  The tail feathers were 3D.

Farmer's Wife - it was done in blue and white which is a little different.  There was a group of about a dozen ladies that all did them, but I liked this one.  Just love the border.

More pretty quilting - the swirls were a nice contrast to the sharp points of the pattern.  Notice the diamond on the right side.  I didn't get a picture of the whole quilt though so you could see the masterpiece.

I like the repros anyway, but thought this was clever.

I think the lady who made this said that the blocks were supposed to be 8-9 inches, but she shrunk them down to a 4-5 inch block.  Just sweet.

This pix is a little fuzzy, but this was really a work of art!  I don't think I mentioned, there were A LOT of people there so trying to get pictures proved a bit challenging at times.

I saved this one for last.  It was the quilt that most intrigued me.  It was sewn and quilted then painted.  I'm not entirely certain how I feel about painting a quilt.  As I said earlier, I am a bit of a traditionalist, but this just seemed to move and flow.  From the fantastic quilting job, to the color pallet, to the overall design, it just worked.  Don't know that I will ever go there, but I do admire it.
Have any of you ever done this?  I would love to hear about the technique.

Until Next Time,
Nimble Fingers & Even Stitches

Thursday, January 3, 2013


It's January.  Hasn't been above freezing since who knows when.  We have a couple inches of icy snow on the ground that won't go away.

And, we ordered our seeds.  Yep, it's that time of year.  For multiple reasons, I haven't planted a garden for the past year or two.  Usually, I say my house is where plants come to die.  I think it has something to do with water.  I heard once that they grow a little better if they have some once in a while.  I might have to try that.
In all honesty, last time I planted a garden, though small, it was great.  
I like herbs, mmmm.  The best spaghetti I ever made was when I just went out and snipped all fresh herbs for the sauce.
I keep hearing about a fresh start and New Year's Resolutions or about the horrific things to come (we just experienced the end of the world, remember.)  I try to see things from a pretty realistic view.  2013, I have no doubt, will have it's own challenges just as certain years through history have. The thing is, none of those historical events were really just one day or even one year.  To recover from the effects took some time.  And so it will be - we can focus on the miserable, or we can try to be prepared and take it in stride the best way we know how.
How does all this relate to planting a garden you ask.  Yes, I can hear you asking.  It's one of my superhero powers:)  Without getting political, I am uncertain about the upcoming year and what it might bring.  What I am certain about is that I know how to plant a seed.  And if I can do that and nourish it into a productive plant - and maybe even add a little H2O, it will help take care of me.  That's something we can all do.  Plant a seed of kindness, nourish it, and  watch it grow.  You might find a friendship growing someplace you would have never thought possible.
I am so grateful for my family and friends, I want them to know that and continue to know.  So, if I can scatter a little kindness in their general direction, fabulous.  If we plant a seed and forget about it, usually there is nothing to show.  It takes care.  Even if we plant the seed and get it started, it still takes care to continue to grow and bear flowers &/or produce.

That said, I would like to share a little portion of my garden with some folks. My hollyhocks were about 6-7 feet tall this past year and the most beautiful deep fuchsia color.  You would think I would have taken a picture, but alas, I did not.  If you would like a packet of seeds to plant and tend to, just be sure to be a follower of the site (so your picture shows:) and leave me a comment.  I have 6-7 packets to give away so if there are more of you wanting seeds than that, I will draw names.  This is just a little bit of sharing so will keep it short.  I will draw the names January 9th (next Wed.)
Happy digging.