Letters

envelopes

I heard this piece on the radio coming home from work a few days ago: Letters of Note.  I love letters. I love words.

I like fun words like gee whizz and buzz off. I like flowery words like serendipity and sentimental. I like alliteration.

I like legal words like jurisdiction, justice and jury pool.

I like phrases like “have you lost weight?” and “the test results were negative.”

I like words you have to yell like “timber” and “defense.”

I also like writing letters with those lovely words.

When I was a child I wrote letters to my grandfather who lived in another state. The last letter I sent to him was put in his casket. It didn’t arrive before he died. At that moment I realized how important letters were. I hoped my grandfather loved those letters as much as I enjoyed writing them.

I send out a Christmas letter to my friends and family every year. I’ve kept a copy of each one and they tell the story of our lives.

I enjoy getting cards and letters from my family and friends as well.

I really like putting words together with photos and graphics. That’s why I blog. I’ll keep using characters to create letters of note.

Take care,

Wanda

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I                                                                                                                              LOVIMG_2802          YO flowerU board

 

Football and Faces

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For many Friday nights I have attended high school football games. My husband is the head football coach at Deep Run High School. The last two seasons I’ve been taking photos at those games. I have a Canon EOS Rebel T3i with a standard lens. My attempts at action shots have been less than stellar. My lens just can’t zoom far enough to catch the moves of the players on the field.

I like the sideline action and the faces. These are the faces from this season:

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Some faces from last season:

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Sew Elbow

I’m suffering from lateral epicondylitis, also known as “tennis elbow.” My doctor says I have “sew-itis.” So, no sewing or cleaning or sweeping for at least three weeks. I can type, though.

I thought I’d share some photos I took at the Richmond Quilt Guild‘s recent show. The first two are by ladies I know.

Annette Lemon designed this fabulous quilt, “Liberated My Way”:

Liberated My Way

Joyce Brown created this stunning quilt, “Dancing Batiks”:

Dancing Batiks

I really liked this appliqued quilt:

hot pink applique

And, the subtle mix of fabrics in this quilt caught my eye:

subtle

 

Take care,

Wanda

Row by Row Experience: Sew a Season

sew a season quilt

The theme for the Row by Row Experience was “Sew a Season.” Each quilt shop chose a “season” and created a pattern which you could pick up for free at each of the shops. My intention was to make a project from each of the quilt shops I visited, so 8 shops 8 projects. So far I had made a tote bag using the pattern from Blue Crab Quilt Co., and a pillow cover from The New River Fiber Co. Next up on my list was Creative Quilting Connection, located in Roanoke, Virginia. Their block was called, “Autumn in the Star City”.

The fabrics reminded me of the quilt pattern, The Grove, by Carolyn Friedlander.  I purchased it some time ago:

The Grove

I made four trees with the batiks, and of course they look like “Autumn.” Now I needed the other seasons: Summer, Winter and Spring and maybe Football Season because it’s always Football Season at my house.

During my Row by Row by Experience, I traveled across almost all of Virginia from the city to the valley to the mountains and to the sea. We visited Chincoteague, Virginia, an island on the Atlantic Ocean, and I got the kit from Quilts by the Sea. The fabric was perfect for my “Summer” row of trees:

quilts by the sea fabric

After making a few “Summer” row trees, I didn’t like having to add a border in between the blocks so I flipped them. The blocks are mirror images left to right anyway, so up and down seemed like the perfect solution:

season in progres

I had “Spring” fabric from the kit I purchased at Sew Biz, located in Radford, Virginia:

sew biz fabric

I liked the idea of white trees for winter, and I made “football season” in school colors: black, blue and white. I plan to hand quilt it.

sew a season quilt

Just a quick note on our trip to Chincoteague Island. We ate the most heavenly ice cream at The Island Creamery.

island creamery

Raspberry — my favorite!

Row by Row Experience: The New River Fiber Co.

dogwood pillow

The New River Fiber Co., located in Blacksburg, Virginia, was a great find during my Row by Row Experience. It had a modern vibe, and I just loved the “Spring” block they created for this “Sew a Season” shop hop:

The New River Fiber block

The photo, taken from their Facebook page, does not show how beautiful the fabric was. I bought the kit:

dogwood fabrics

The New River Fiber Co. had wonderful quilt fabric as well as lots and lots of yarn. They also had really soft pillow forms. I bought one and made a pillow with this quilt block.

The “dogwoods” were easy to make, basically a snowball block with one background corner missing:

almost a snowball

I made two big, one medium and two small “dogwoods.” I machine appliqued the centers using decorative stitches:

dogwood eyes

I played with the arrangement until it pleased me:

pleasing dogwoods

I initially did not have the “half” dogwood on the right side, but when I squared up the block it just seemed like that part needed a flower. I used the part cut from the top dogwood. Thank goodness for seam rippers.

I used the leftover fabric to make the back:

dogwood stripes

I added an invisible zipper, and it was done.

This pillow is feminine, and I’m going to use it in my small home office/corner.

 

 

This shop was worth the drive: 880 University City Blvd, Blacksburg, VA 24060.

Row by Row Experience: Blue Crab Quilt Co.

Blue Crab up close

As the summer winds down I am reflecting on my Row by Row Experience, a shop hop with over 1200 quilt shops from the US and Canada participating. The theme was “Sew a Season.” I traveled to eight shops in Virginia.

I was at one of my local quilt shops, Blue Crab Quilt Company, a few days after the shop hop began on July 1 and was purchasing fabric for the pattern, White Labyrinth by Zen Chic. I noticed the shop’s block for the Row by Row Experience:

BlueCrabRow

I bought the kit (the pattern was free), but soon decided I wanted the blue crabs to pop against the background. And, I wasn’t going to make a quilt with this block. I used a solid navy for the crab and a white background to make a block for a tote bag:

BlueCrab block

The photo above shows where I “big stitch” quilted the block. I used fusible fleece on the back of the block. I marked it using Sewline’s fabric pencil. This is the best marking pen I have found. 

I adapted the pattern, Mini Bow Tucks by Quilts Illustrated. I made it longer. It’s more of a tote bag than a purse. I also didn’t add a pocket on the outside or inside the bag. I used cording to make the bow tucks on the side:

Bow Tucks

Nautical is very fashionable right now, and I’m loving this finished project:

Blue Crab finished

The shop hop ends September 2, so I still have time to visit at least another shop. I enjoyed all the shops I visited, and I have more projects in the works from each shop.

“Aerial” is done.

Aerial

I finished “Aerial,” a pattern by Carolyn Friedlander.

This was the first time I used the method, low-fat quilting. I had purchased the book, Machine Quilting in Sections. Don’t Finish Another Quilt Until You Read This Book, to learn how to reduce the bulk of the quilt. And I’m happy to report it worked. I was able to quilt the quilt in sections on my sewing machine. The only problem I had was re-assembling the batting. I had to be very careful to get the pieces to join without overlapping. Using the 2-inch strips of fusible tape from Marti Michell, I was able to attach the two pieces without any trouble. You can’t tell the batting is pieced.

As I quilted, my free motion skills improved and my circles started looking much better:

Aerial close-up

I also like the back of the quilt:

Aerial Back

I had added an airplane to the back to go with the aerial theme:

Aerial airplane

My daughter loves the quilt and will be taking it back to college with her. I’m very happy she loves something I have made and wants to use it.