Welcome to my blog. I was inspired by the book, "Blogging for Bliss" by Tara Frey.

Welcome to my blog. I was inspired by the book, "Blogging for Bliss" by Tara Frey. My goal is to share a little about my life, and a lot about my longarm quilting business, Lone Tree Designs.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mountains of Quilts

  Lately, I have been noticing that the quilts are starting to pile up...my grandson called this to my attention last week when he and his sister were staying for a few days.  I had a bunch of quilts, most of which I have finished in the past year or two, piled up in a chair because I had been making sure they all had labels.
  My friend Margaret and I started a running joke a few years ago that we were making all these quilts for our "trunk show."  At the time, I had no intentions of doing any trunk shows.  Well, evidently I can predict the future because I have been asked to do two trunk shows in February of this next year! I am both excited and nervous to do an official trunk show.  Now, don't get me wrong...I am not afraid to talk!  Anyone that knows me, knows that :)  I have taught lots of classes and have shared in quilt guild lots of times.  However a "trunk show" would indicate that I have a "trunk" full of quilts.
  Hence, the mountain.  I have been much more prolific in the past year.  Knowing that I have a deadline and lots of ladies waiting to see my work, has really inspired me to get crackin' on projects that have been sitting around in a state of progress for quite awhile.  I have also continued to take classes and finish projects from those classes.
  My husband recently said, "What are you going to do with all of these quilts?"  and I said, "I will continue making them until I can't make them anymore!  After I am gone, the kids can take whatever they want, and you can donate the rest to charity."  I just love making them.  I do give them away for baby gifts, graduations, etc. but for the most part, for now, I will continue to compile my "mountain" and my grandkids will continue to climb when they come to visit their "Grammy."
Just a sneak peak at my next project...in progress!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Stack it and Whack it!

  About 5 years ago, I started my first stack and whack quilt.  I decided to do a four patch stack.  I was scared to do a six patch because of the triangle shapes and the bias edges.  I chose a beautiful oriental print from Blank and took a class at the Quilters Cottage in Kearney, NE to learn the technique.  It was so much fun!
  In order to do the four patch stack, you need 4 repeats of your fabric. The size of your repeat determines the ultimate size of your quilt.  My fabric had a small repeat of around 12 inches, so I ended up with fairly small blocks.  I think they finished somewhere around 5 inches.  I added a little black frame and sashing to extend the size to a nice lap quilt.  Each block had four options as I turned the pieces round and round to decide on the look that I liked the best.  Again...FUN!  I sewed all my blocks together pretty quickly because that was the fun part.  Slowly, I added my frames, sashes, and borders.  Once the top was done, it sat in the closet unfinished for a couple of years.  This year, I am on a mission to finish, quilt, and bind a bunch of my quilts before I give a couple of talks/trunk shows next February.  This stack and whack was on my "to finish" list.  I am binding it by hand so that I can take it to the state fair next year.  It will probably take me that long to get the binding done!!!
  On my recent trip to Paducah, I purchased fabric to do a six patch stack--it is crazy fabric with all kinds of brightly colored lizards and tree frogs!  I can't wait to start sewing those awesome blocks together.  It's not on my "to finish" list before February but it will definitely be on my list for 2015!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My First Block Exchange Inspired by Liz Porter

Neapolitan by Liz Porter 
   On July 14th, I saw an episode of Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting that inspired me to try something I had never tried before...a block exchange. Yikes!  Liz Porter's directions from the website made it much simpler than if I would have had to figure out all the details by myself.  I absolutely loved the pink and brown quilts from the program that were made from the 100 little
4 1/2 inch churn dash blocks.  Liz had a group of 10 people who each made 10 sets of 10 blocks.  I decided to shoot for that number.
  To start, I issued an invitation to over 200 people in one simple post on a facebook group that includes quilters from all over, but mostly from Nebraska and Iowa.  From that invitation, I got an "I'm in" from 8 ladies.  I then asked a couple of my good friends from my guild, and got two more.  That made a happy little group of 11 ladies.  I decided that 100 was still a good number of blocks, so we will each make 11 sets of 9 plus one extra little block for ourselves.
  The final question was...what is a reasonable amount of time for people to make 100 little churn dash blocks?  We decided on 4 months, which makes it 25 per month.  So, our blocks are due on December 1.  So far, I have made 43 of my blocks.  They are soooo cute!  I am trying very hard to make sure that my blocks are consistent in size and have 1/4 inch allowance for the points on the corners.  They aren't perfect, but so far (thanks mostly to Triangles on a Roll!) they are all 5 inches, and, with a little encouragement, should be pretty easy to work with on the points.  At this point, I am still excited about the project and am trying to finish all of my block by the end of October, as I know from past experience that my longarm business really picks up in October and November for people who need Christmas gifts finished.  Hopefully, no later than this time next year, I will have a finished quilt to show you all.  I plan to set mine just like Liz Porter did hers because I absolutely love it!
  If you think this sounds like fun, just go to fonsandporter.com and search for the 2400 series and the show called Neapolitan.  All the information is there for you.  Find some willing friends, and create your own fun little exchange!