Monday, June 21, 2010

Back in New York

I didn't have a chance to post after my second day of class with Elly.  After the class (which was wonderful!) we went back to the park for one last hike and then went to dinner in town, picking up a couple of last-minute souvenirs along the way.  I did pick up a few patterns from Hummingbird Quilt Studio, a Colorado designer, during my lunch hour on Friday.  Her patterns were wonderful and a bit unique - she has big quilt patterns that are pieced and appliqued, and then smaller (large wall size) patterns that are subsets of the original designs.  She also has block patterns that are usually two elements (one pieced and one applique design) from the larger quilts.  Her website is  It looks like only the big patterns are posted - supposedly she'll be updating the site soon.  I almost fell for the king-sized "Autumn Memories" pattern but talked myself into going with a smaller version instead.  I love the colors!

Our trip home took 14 hours with only minimal stops for gas and fast food.  We were home around 10:30 PM.  After unpacking and getting a few hours sleep, I made cookies and mowed the lawn (both for Father's Day), did laundry and repacked.  I was headed to the airport by 1 PM on Sunday.  My hotel has the tiniest rooms I have ever seen!  Check this out:
I had to stand in the bathroom doorway to take the photo.  Look at the chair at the desk - it's such a small space that even my skinny little daughter would have trouble sitting in it!  And the corner of the room that isn't in the photo is filled with a small table that contains the coffee maker and ice bucket sitting behind an upholstered chair and in front of the closet.  I have to climb over or move the chair to access the closet.  It's hysterical! 

I had a wonderful dinner - delicious Chinese food from "Six Happiness".  Excellent recommendation from the front desk...

I'm planning to start week one of the Primitive Gatherings BOW tonight.  Weeks one and two came while I was in Colorado.  I have decided that using fusible is a must.  I prepped one of the blocks from last year's project to work on in the car on the way home.  I did it without fusible and am not really happy with the final results.  As much as I hate sewing through the sticky junk, I do like the look.  I'll  be looking for wool to redo the block when I get home.  So much for trying to get something accomplished during the drive!  Oh well - live & learn!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

First Class With Elly

Today was my first day of workshops with Elly Sienkiewicz.  Today's workshop was the ruched rose she demonstrates in her first video.  Despite a rocky start (we were supposed to have been given a pattern and have done our prep work prior to class, but that didn't happen), the class was wonderful!  Elly did a fantastic job of improvising and we were back on track in no time.  I ended up doing an 8" block instead of 12" as planned, but I can always start over if I really want to include it with my barely-started Baltimore.  Here's a shot of Elly demonstrating how to handle the cut-away stem:

At the end of the day, Ricky Tims stopped by with his video crew and filmed a quick talk with Elly and our group.  He's apparently working on a piece about Quilt Colorado for an upcoming episode of The Quilt Show. 

I am looking forward to my second workshop with Elly, although I hate for the week to come to an end.  I still have several things that I want to do - I'm not sure that I can accomplish them all before we wrap things up tomorrow night.  I am not looking forward to the long day of driving on Saturday, but I sure can't wait to se my puppy!

Colorado Day Five

We hit the road yesterday, heading down to Idaho Springs by way of Golden.  Our final destination was the Argo Mine, where we learned about the Colorado Gold Rush and tried our hand at panning for gold.  I realized very quickly that I would need more incentive than a few tiny gold flakes to do that for any length of time - it's hard on the wrist!

I visited the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum and Golden Quilt Company while in Golden.  The museum was really a disappointment.  It is very small, with only a dozen or so quilts and a tiny little gift shop.  I did get a great deal on a book about the Marie Webster museum and saw a couple of antique applique quilts that were really interesting, but the entire visit took about ten minutes - and that included lingering in the gift shop.  I am surprised they can keep it going.  By contrast, the Golden Quilt Company was outstanding!  They had a wonderful selection of batiks, including some that have graduated color across the width of the fabric.  The person working at the shop said that the graduated fabric was fantastic for ruched roses - I can't wait to give it a try!

My next stop was the Hen House in Idaho Springs.  It's also a very nice little shop, with a fantastic selection of neutrals.  I picked up quite a few fat quarters to add to my stash.

Last, but not least, Quilt Colorado opened last night.  It's a nice show although smaller than I expected - I think our guild show is larger.  They have a nice selection of vendors.  I found some very interesting Japanese cotton fabric (from a shop in Wyoming, believe it or not!) and a Colorado designer that has created beautiful applique patterns of local birds and wildflowers.  I didn't do a lot of shopping last night but may head back to the show after class this evening.

I'm off to my first class with Elly this morning.  I'm anxious to see how it goes!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Another Block and More Quilt Shops

Although lighting has been an issue - I've spent the better part of the last couple of evenings huddled next to a lamp - I did manage to finish block 11 of My Garden Album:

I also managed to make it to the other two quilt shops in town in between visits to the park.  We made it almost to the top of Trail Ridge Road this morning - we decided to turn around at 12,000 ft (just short of the highest point) because my daughter's fear of heights was starting to get to her.  We returned to the park for an awesome hike to a waterfall this afternoon.  Once again, all the photos are on the camera I can't download until we're home. 

The first shop I made it to was Cottage Bliss.  What an adorable shop!  She had all kinds of cute gift items and wonderful displays for everything!  Here are a couple of pics:

The other shop, Maggie Mae's Quilts 'N (that's really the name - it looks like something is missing, doesn't it?) was small and didn't have a lot of fabric, but they did have a really nice selection of 30s fabrics.  They also had several small and very beautiful designs by Columbine Quilts (or something along that line - I can't find the patterns on the internet) but did not have the patterns available.  There is a chance they will have them back in stock before the end of the week - I really hope so, although I am not sure when I will have time to get back there.  Quilt Colorado check-in is tomorrow, and the quilt show preview is tomorrow night.  My classes with Elly begin on Thursday.  I'm very excited, but a little bummed that I will have to miss out on the gorgeous weather to sit in a classroom.  I'll have to try and get my fill tomorrow!

Monday, June 14, 2010


Today was a huge improvement over yesterday!  It was very chilly this morning - 36 F - but we had sun most of the day and it warmed to a balmy 60 F by afternoon.  It was actually quite nice for exploring the Rocky Mountain National Park.  We did a couple of short trails around Bear Lake today and at one point it was actually snowing!  There was quite a bit of snow on the ground around the lake, too.  The view up there was unbelievable!  Of course, I didn't take any pictures with the cell phone so I don't have any to post until I get home.

I made it to one of the local quilt shops this afternoon - Mountain Lady Quilts.  It was such a cute little shop!  She's done a very nice job of assembling all types of forest-themed patterns.  Lots of bears, elk, moose, etc. and some Colorado-themed fabric to go along with it all.  Here's a glimpse at some of the shop samples:

I did take a couple of pictures from the cabin today - here's the view from my Colorado sewing corner:

I'm hoping to be able to finish the My Garden Album block this evening and then it will be back to wool applique for a while.  Off to stitch some berries - ugh!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cold & Rainy Colorado

Vacation is off to a rather damp and chilly start.  According to the local media, it should be dry and around 80 F today.  Instead it is pouring, the local rivers are dangerously high, and it was 41 F when I woke up.  The rain is supposed to end today and we're supposed to see a high in the upper 50s, but there's no hope of warmth today.  I'm happy to say that they are predicting much nicer weather for the remainder of the week...

Most of Friday and Saturday were spent in the car, so I didn't get much done in the way of sewing.  I did manage to finish one of my BOW blocks from last summer - I started it last year and had picked it up recently as a quick take-along project, and have been chipping away at it ever since.  I brought the next block along to prep - I love wool applique!  I had really hoped to have the new BOW in hand before we left, but it must have been sent on the slow horse - I received the thread, but not the project.  Looks like I will be at least two weeks behind on that one! 

I'm back to working on My Garden Album block 11 now.  The lighting in our cabin isn't the greatest, particularly with the lack of sunshine, so applique is a bit of a struggle.  We're planning to brave the rain today and visit the shops in town.  The area is beautiful, and the cabin is really wonderful.  We've got a nice fire burning in the fireplace as I write.  I'll have to post a few pics later.  Back to sewing!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The results are in...

And May was a fairly productive month!  Here's the final tally:

1.  Applique Affair block 5 - not finished (not started, actually)
2.  My Garden Album block 10 - Done!
3.  Bird Party progress - doing well, could finish in June
4.  Hook May flowers - Done!
5.  Applique Affair block 19 - Done!
6.  Runaway Mystery - finished cutting, started sewing Feb blocks
7.  Sue Spargo BOM block 1 - still not done

Not perfect, but not bad! June will be a crazy month - a couple of new projects to start, a lot of traveling (some vacation, some work), so planning is tough.  Here's what I am hoping to accomplish:

1.  Applique Affair block 7
2.  My Garden Album block 11
3.  Hook June flowers (this rug needs a name!)
4.  Finish Bird Party
5.  Runaway Mystery (finish Feb clue)
6.  Primitive Gatherings BOW (weeks 1 and 2)
7.  Sue Spargo BOM block 1
8.  Sew Ewe-nique Baltimore block 1

Probably a little too ambitious, but I've got big plans for vacation!