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.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Variety is the Spice of Life

Bonnie Hunter's Pineapple Blossom Pattern from Quiltville.com

Pattern comes from Civil War Legacies III
     Have you ever known a quilter who said, "I only work with reproductions."  or "I only sew with Kansas Troubles."  or even, "Bright, happy fabrics are the only ones I like to use in my quilts!"  Are you one of those quilters?
   Believe it or not, when I first started quilting, I was one of those quilters.  I thought that the only quilts I should make were quilts using fabrics that matched the decor in my home!  Guess what that led to?  Several mauve and country blue quilts that I didn't really enjoy making, and that I certainly do not like now!  Those were the predominant home decorating colors when I first started quilting.  They were also not colors that I particularly enjoyed.
     A true "light bulb moment" occurred for me about 8 years ago when I made my first quilt out of colors that I loved, simply because I loved them!  It was a single Irish Chain made with turquoise and silver fabrics.  It opened up a whole new world for me!
     Anyone who knows me knows that I love brights!  I do use bright fabrics, especially batiks in many of my quilts. However, I also like 30's prints when used in a sampler-type project.  I love Kim Diehl.  I have a growing obsession with reproduction prints and the cute small quilts from books like Remembering Adelia and Civil War Legacies I, II, and III. 
  Think of the world of creativity that I would be missing if I were still stuck only making bed-sized quilts out of my current home decor colors (transitioning to mostly neutrals with gray and taupe...now that would be a pretty boring quilt!).  
     My novice quilting self hated yellow.  I now have a black and yellow quilt that I love.  I have a 30's sampler set together with yellow.  My younger self didn't like applique, didn't care for 30's prints, and would never have used orange for fear that it might "take over" my quilt.
     While there is comfort in using tried and true color choices, there is a lot more excitement in stepping outside of that comfort zone, thinking outside the box, and throwing a little orange into your quilt!   The more experienced version of me has learned over the years that variety is truly the spice of life!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Merrily I Row Along (Year Three)

Quilt-n-Bee in Traverse City, MI
  Last week, the hubby and I went on a lovely trip to Michigan.  Whenever we travel, I want to see as much of our wonderful country as possible, and learn new some new things.  This trip was an opportunity to go to Michigan for the first time.  I learned and saw a lot of new things!  For example:
1.  Wisconsin loves the color Barn Red, and it's named that for a reason!  Lots of red barns in Wisconsin!
2.  Mackinaw City ends in "aw" while Mackinac Bridge and Mackinac Island end in "ac"---however, they are all pronounced as if they end in "aw"!  Who knew?
3.  The Caribbean is not the only place in the world to find beautiful Caribbean blue water.  Lake Michigan has it's share of gorgeous water in the shallow areas around Traverse Bay.
4.  Independent quilt shop owners and employees are the friendliest people in the country!
5.  The diversity of people and landscapes in this land of ours never ceases to amaze me.  We are truly blessed!

  I timed the trip to coincide with the end of the annual Row by Row Experience.  We drove through Iowa, dropped down into Illinois to pick up a really cute license plate, drove through Wisconsin via Beaver Dam to Nancy's Notions, of course, and finally, headed into Michigan.
  Now, the hubs is a patient man.  He lets me plan the trips, and he doesn't mind stopping at quilt shops along the way, so for the weeks leading up to the trip, I did my research using the Row by Row website to find cute plates and rows, and to coordinate my travel plans to pick up as many as I felt would be reasonable.  My final number of shops? TWELVE!  I found the website for the Row by Row to be easy to navigate and invaluable in my trip planning.  Be sure to check it out next year before you travel anywhere!

 One of the highlights of the trip was a stop at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  The visitors center in Empire, MI is privileged to have the award winning art quilt from the ArtPrize contest by Ann Loveless in 2013.  She was the first ever quilt artist to win the top honor. She has since won a second time, and is the only person to ever win the contest more than once! Her work has opened up the world of quilting as a true art form and has really been instrumental in opening the general public's eyes to the fact that quilts are, in fact, an art.
Needless to say, I collected lots of rows to add to my previous two years' of collections.  At this point, I have way more rows than I could ever put in one quilt.  Some of the rows will make really cute "stand alone" wall quilts, and some of them probably won't make the cut at all.  One of these days, I will have to sort through them all and make a plan, but for now, I am just enjoying the hunt!