Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Latest Quiltmaker Issue...

The July/August issue of Quiltmaker is hitting new stands!

My "Addicted To Scraps" Column features the block "Twin Sisters" and I know you will want to play with this one! it uses BRICKS! And you end up with two different blocks for your efforts.

Bobbi just sent an email saying:
I'm really enjoying your series of scrap blocks in the Quiltmaker Mag. I know you are heading out today but would love to see the block (twin sisters?) from the latest issue in a layout like you had posted previously.

Gosh you are such an inspiration to all of us!


So I went and typed "Twin Sister" into the search box at the top of my blog and it brought up the whole post!! And yes, to my chagrin, tho I have made more blocks, it's still not a finished top yet! *LOL* You can find the way I was setting them
...along with pics of an antique quilt that inspired me to try this block pattern.

What's so fun for me is to send Quiltmaker the block, and see how THEY want to set them! Look at this diagram here! It looks so different set on point!

The Iron Quilter!

Do you watch Iron Chef??

If you do, you would have died laughing (as we all did) when we closed symposium on Saturday night, packed into the auditorium, and watched 2 quilters QUILT OFF!!

They even dressed us in chef hats, since Johnson & Wales University is a culinary school! *LOL!!!!* (What was even more funny was afterwards, everyone walking back to the dorm was still wearing their hats...hehe) Doesn't Pat just look FETCHING in hers?? ;c)

The beginning video presentation was a HOOT....with music, graphics...and our Contenders! KAREN STONE as "Chef Daisy Blade"!!!!

(I am her biggest fan, and she really put me over the moon when she told me not once, but TWICE, (on two separate occassions no less *blushing*) that she is MY BIGGEST FAN too! :cD Giddy is a good word for how I felt!)

Robbi Joy Ecklow as "Chef Goddess Of The Last Minute!!" (this title cracked me up, it sounds like my life..heheh)

And let's not forget our Judges! David Taylor! Elin Waterston! And the Fabulous Laura Wasilowski! They had a tough job to do, (and big hats to fill! *LOL*)

Karen and her chef helper plotting how to win!

Robby Joy and her helper, Leah Day were working with all things "fishy!" (you just had to be there!)

It was the perfect entertainment for a lovely June night in Downtown Charlotte, NC!

I spent yesterday doing household errands stuff. You know? Car tags about to expire? Ran about to get my car inspection, went to pick up Jeff's prescription from the doc and drop it at the pharmacy, went back to take the inspection to the licensing office, saw the line was OUT THE DOOR (looks like I wasn't the only one putting it off! *LOL*) and decided to mail mine in and risk driving without stickers for a few more days, snuck in a massage (oh I needed it!!)did the banking and other assorted errands...I walked back in the door here at home around 7pm. Where did the day go? I had plans for at least binding something, but nope. Didn't happen.

My flight for Minnesota leaves this morning around 11:45am so that gives me a couple hours to get some more ducks in a row. I'm working on pattern writing for the next book, one down, eleven to go? But I'm eating it like an elephant, one bite at a time!

And I'm looking forward to sitting on that plane and putting some more hand quilting stitches in to Dreamsicles! I haven't touched it since I got home from Decatur Illinois! (I wonder why!)

But OH...least you think I'm slacking....I bound ONE bedsized quilt at symposium, and got all the way down one side on another WHILE watching "Iron Quilter" (I had to avoid the streams of silly string flying and green hair dye spraying, and the whipped cream pie in the face hilarity that was going on too!)

I've got some pics from the spider web class coming up too...they are on the laptop (duh) and I'm typing on the desktop this morning...so those will come next blog post.

Happy Tuesday Everyone! If you can't sew today, at least go fondle yourself some fabric and DREAM!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Home Home Home!

I arrived home from Charlotte, NC and the NC Quilt Symposium this morning!

I dropped Pat Sloan off at the airport, and made it home before 10:30am!! Now did THAT feel weird, or what? Taking someone ELSE to the airport...and then being home 80 minutes later? PIECE. OF. CAKE. Very nice indeed!

So nice, that after unpacking the car, tackling mail and a few other things, we decided to play hookie and go see "Robin Hood" as a matinee in Greensboro. Lots of action for hubbies who like that kind of thing, and I love "period" type movies where I can study costumes and sets and things like that. I think this is going to be the beginning of a series of "Robin Hood" movies...just by the way it ended. Pretty gory in parts, but it was interesting. I wonder what life was really like in England in the year 1199?? The whole "Kingdom, Queendom" thing fascinates me and how politics and religion were so intertwined in those days.

Note to self...remember to bring a sweater to the theater even if it is 90+ degrees outside! I find myself always freezing inside buildings in the summer, and it takes me a few times of being COLD to remember to always have a sweater or other cover up with sleeves in the car!

I came home....and took a much needed N A P ! To be honest, I have to tell you that it is noticeably quieter around here without Buddy's tail thump thump thumping to beat the band when you walk in the front door. No sound of his panting. No sound of his munching his food. And poor Sadie still doesn't quite know what to do. I got her a new, smaller bed that she can really cozy up in. Buddy's bed was bigger, and more empty...and she was always snuggling up against HIM. She seems to like the new one, it has walls on it...it looks like a little padded swimming pool :c)

I've got more catching up to do, and more blog to write, but it's 11:35pm and I'm needing some more beauty sleep, so I'm going to send you over to Pat's Blog where you can see pics of our fun adventures! START HERE....but then click the header after reading the "daily post" this will take you to, so you can get to the full feed and then scroll down and read about the last few days and the fun we had together!

My fabric from Mary Jos is still in the bag, I'll get a pic of what goodies came home with me tomorrow....Night night all!

Friday, June 04, 2010

In Charlotte!

Here I am from Johnson & Wales University, in beautiful downtown Charlotte, NC!

I've had the best time! Yesterday I left the house and went to the airport in Charlotte to pick up Pat Sloan. I was one nervous nelly, as I was afraid I'd be late for her arrival, not know where to find her, not find a parking spot, you know all those things one worries about when playing driver to a REAL Quilt Celeb! ;c)

I texted her when I got in, her flight had just landed, and we met at the baggage claim....and off we went!

We headed toward Mary Jos, but decided to get some lunch first. Now if you've been to Mary Jos..you may remember what it looked like a few years back. If you haven't been lately, you would be amazed at how the whole shebang is taking on a NEW look thanks to a new facade and facelift...I had to explain how the mall was taken down around Mary Jos..just leaving her and the Harris Teeter grocery store standing. THey have added strip mall parts all around with brand new shops and restaurants. It looks REALLY updated and nice, where it used to be so dumpy before!

We stopped at a new McAllister's deli they built across the parking lot and enjoyed our lunch out on the patio.

From there we headed to Mary Jos.......what fun to watch! Here is a pic of the new facade on the south side of the building, and showing the old facade on the west side....see the new NAME PLATE in stone on the new side? So much better than those old green letters!

And who is THIS..taking a pic of me while I take a pic of her taking a pic of the building showing the old vs new?! LOL!!! I am in AWE of this big green traveling purse, let me tell you....NEED one..if you travel alot, you know what I mean! This purse is the bomb!

I did a bit of damage at Mary Jos...most of all, I bought 6 yards of solid "schoolbus"..otherwise known as my favorite cheddar. It's a staple. What can I say? Just have to have it! I also bought a few remnants and some FQs...and got out of there for under $25.00. Not bad. Not bad at all!

Knowing that Pat had just recently acquired a vintage type writer at an antique place in MN....I thought about taking her to "Sleepy Poet Antique Mall" here in Charlotte. I've found good deals there in the past.

This time nothing came home with either of us, but it was fun looking!

Just look at the colors in this Pennsylvania Dutch style "Sugar Loaf" Quilt! Isn't it amazing? It was pretty spendy, but definitely worth a photo op.

And here is Miss Pat, checking out those fabrics and the wonderful stitching!

Goose In The Pond is another favorite pattern....here it is in traditional blue and white, hold it up, Vanna!! :cD

Broken Dishes in red and white! Lovely stitching...still a bit pricey, but I love being able to see the quilts up close, and even touching them. Can't do THAT at a quilt show!

The diamond quilt here took my breath away. Early to mid 1800's fabrics. Many of them shredding..but what was in it was AMAZING. Just studying the fabrics was a joy! I think Pat got better pics of the fabrics in this one....so if I can get them from her I'll post. I just LOVED this one, but it was too damaged to really want to bring home for the price it was selling for. Still...great to touch that piece of history.

The pieced poppy pattern next to it was also really cool. We could see the pencil marks for the quilting designs on it. Probably it's never been washed....what a great day for quilt eye candy!

Since we arrived, it's been a whirlwind of activity. We are sharing our fun dorm room style accommodations together, two bed rooms connected by a bathroom....we both taught classes today, Pat a design class, while I taught a string spiderweb class. I had 16 students, and it was a flurry of flying scraps and stories of how old the fabrics were and where they came from and what was going on in their lives when that fabric first entered their stash. Just really a great group of ladies.

We are about to take off for supper...and unwind tonight! Tomorrow we do it all again, and home on Sunday...

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Thank You....

My heart is very full at the love and support you've shown over our ordeal with Buddy, and at the same time, I keep reminding myself that there are even more things going on in the world that need our prayers and concern. Like this mess in the GULF for instance.

I listened at the gym today as some news report asked where the support from hollywood was as far as this disaster is concerned. And I thought to myself...wait a minute....Katrina was a natural disaster, mother nature at her worst. Same thing with the Tsunami that followed not long after, and the earthquake in Haiti. Lots of help from Hollywood's actors in those messes....and I applaud the many that went out of their way to help both with hands-on and monetary donations.

The gulf mess? Why should hollywood's wealthy famous have to foot the bill for THAT?! Isn't that BP's problem? I just don't see that natural disasters, and this one are one in the same. I know it's bad.....but you just can't ask and demand that those in the eye of the camera stand up and clean up.

And this is about as political as I get. If there was something I could do, I'd do it...after all that BP can do first. (Please don't make me don my flame proof pants, I'm already down about a run away cat, a grandfather's passing, and having to put my dog down..you don't want to mess with me!)

It was really hard to be home alone yesterday. Jeff had gone to school and DH was at work, so I got in the car and off I went for a pedicure. Anyone else cry during a pedi? The little Asian lady working on me just kept patting me, there was a language barrier, but I think her heart could feel mine. It helped. Any kind of human touch helps.

From there, I decided that since my eyes were already red and puffy..I'd head off and have my brows waxed. At this point, Michele asks me....."Hey, want me to do your upper lip too?" What do you MEAN my upper lip? Does it need it? and then I got the dreaded words..

"Well you know....when we women reach a certain age, certain things start to appear..." (*&@#$(*&(*&(*&!!! I've grown peach fuzz! And I asked her...if she removed it...is it going to grow back in darker?! Ratz.

We did kind of laugh about it. I mean, who else can you laugh about it with other than another woman of the same age? Which reminds me...I better go pluck the long hair that keeps returning from that mole underneath my chin :c/

This morning I was up to hit the gym early. I really missed the sound of Buddy's tail thump thump thumping to greet me good morning as I descended the stairs. I hit the elliptical trainer with a vengeance, and my floor workout was brutal. I figure since I was sweating so much, and breathing hard, and that my face was red with exertion, that no one would notice the tracks of my tears as well. I came home, took a long hot shower, and got to work.

I've done most of my packing for tomorrow. I'm ready for my jaunt to the airport to pick up Pat Sloan! Several girlfriends are also going to be at Symposium this week, so I think this is just what the doc ordered. I'm SO happy this trip is close to home for me, (About 80 miles) and at the same time, I'm a relative newbie to North Carolina. Having only lived here 2 years, I am looking forward to getting to know the Charlotte guild ladies who are in charge of the whole shebang. They've done a ton of work behind the scenes...It's gonna be GOOD!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Rest In Peace, Buddy

Feb 14, 2000 - June 1, 2010

Blood work came back that Buddy was also battling cancer. It's just too much. He's lived a good life. I will miss him every day.

Antiquing in Decatur...

Sharon J and I spent last Wednesday after the guild meeting taking my quilt bags to Fex Ex to be shipped home...and, out antiquing!

The antique mall was a large refurbished train station, and at first glance, we weren't sure we were going to find ANYTHING..it was quite "prissy" for lack of a better word. Lots of depression glass and fancy dust catchers, not much of the stuff I love such as old tins with cool labels, beat up housewares, crocks, chamber pots, baskets...the stuff that "daily life" was made of.

I did fall in love with this Brunswick Treadle machine....at a really reasonable price! But alas, it would not fit in my carry on and my other baggage was already over weight limits..lol!

But upstairs in one corner of the antique mall...we found:

It's made with 30's 40's prints and solids...and what I love about it is the purple background! I also love how not all the kite shapes are string pieced in the same way and direction, but several are more crumby!

It's a youth size...for a whopping...$40. :cD And the hand quilting stitches in the purple areas are minuscule!! Who ever made this was not a haphazard quilter by any means.

And because I'm a contrasting binding girl (rarely do I ever do a binding the same fabric as the border, it just disappears) i love that she bound this with that pea green. It's seen a lot of use. I wonder who used to drag this around, make forts with it, play superman with it...or cops and robbers, cowboys or indians...

I'm packing up for the NC Symposium, and gathering samples for my two classes. I'm teaching string spiderweb, and crumbs, so all the samples I can grab of how different quilters did different things, then and now..are being packed in the car.

I almost feel like I'm getting off easy because I don't have to do a trunk show at this venue..just relax with a couple classes, and enjoy the symposium with everyone else!

Sharon also found a goodie! on this trip! (Look close, you can see my purple string quilt hanging on the cabinet door behind her!)

This churndash variation (I think they call this Grecian Cross?) is all shirtings and indigoes and in GREAT shape! Not only that...HERS was 50% off, and my purple string star wasn't! And, I probably would have snatched this one up too if she hadn't been quicker than I was! *LOL*

Here is a detail shot of the fabrics:

Of course, we had to follow up our antiquing adventures with the ultimate refreshement...Culvers ice cream! I have to hit Culvers every time I visit the midwest. And this time did not disappoint...the flavor of the day? JUST DRUMMY! It was like those drum stick frozen ice cream cones (waffle cone, chocolate, nuts) all crunched up into vanilla custard...unbelievable!

I also took some pics of quilts that did NOT come home with us, but that will have to wait for another post.

The studio awaits. It's time to clean it again, some how over the past few days my muse has been quite reckless! Time to clean it up again....it never ends!

PS..Dropped Buddy back off at the vet this morning. He had a really rough whimpery night. He's not eating, he's hardly drinking (this worries me the most, dehydration)and so we wait while they do more tests. Fingers are crossed..he still thumps his tail. I've read all I can on the internet about dogs surviving snake bites.. :c/

Monday, May 31, 2010

Wishing for a Dog...

....to get WELL. But things do not look good. Even with the antibiotics and the pain meds, Buddy is struggling. The inflammation has gone up into his shoulder now and he is having the hardest time getting around. He still thumps his tail. He still eats (and drinks, which is good) and does his business...but other than that, he lies there, just so uncomfortable, just so NOT BUDDY. The struggle he has to go through just to get down the easy few front steps out into the yard is excruciating.

I hate this "Basically there is nothing we can do but just watch" thing. He has been a member of our family for nearly 11 years. I have never had a dog as wonderful as Buddy, never a problem, always a joy...and this is just breaking my heart to watch him fail like this.

And then I am reminded of the fact that he "CAN" pull through, that he still has fight left in him...and I try to rally around that.

And I dreamed last night that Emmy the cat is also gone, maybe she got bit by a nasty snake too? This living in the country thing has gone down a few notches for me :c( I'm afraid to go walk my yard. I'm afraid to go down by the creek.

So...last night I finished kitting up what I needed to take today to my bee sew-a-thon at Leanns!

I dug through 1.5" strips, pressed them, cut them to size, they are stacked and ready. I did the same with 2.5" squares..and it STILL didn't make a big enough dent. Some of these strips are REALLY OLD! I'm having to eat my own words of "fabric has no expiration date" because some of this stuff really should be gone by now..lol!

I also have THIS baggie of UFO parts that should be turned into a quilt top in short order if I can just make myself work on it. It's been languishing since our Bee Retreat in January. I just find it very hard to work on red and green in MAY!

SO...which to work on first?

I'm getting personalized service this morning...Jeff is washing my car inside and out because I have a VERY FUN date planned with a VERY FAMOUS quilter on Thursday! Pat Sloan and I are both teaching at the NC Quilt Symposium, and I get to be the lucky girl to pick her up at the airport....take her to lunch AND...to the infamous Mary Jos! She has never been! Oh, this is going to be fun fun fun, and I can't wait.

So when Jeff asked "Mom, is there anything I can do for some cash?" (You know how it is with 20 yr old starving students)I handed him my car keys and told him "Inside and out...VIP style!" Of course, it will probably rain now that my car has been washed, but....the inside will be clean!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dash for the Churn Dashes!

I'm kitting up!

Yep...I've got some fun sew times coming up in the future, and I really do better when I have to travel with my sewing stuff if I just take time to do the pre-cutting as much as I can before I go!

In celebration of my being home for (almost) a week...I made a complete mess digging through 2.5" strips, light and dark...1.5" strips, light and dark (Trying to purpose the short ones that were extras from a log cabin quilt I cut out for long ago...)and 1.5" squares!

I matched the light and dark 2.5" strips with right sides together and cut 4 half square triangle pairs from each strip set...these will go with the 1.5" strips which will be sewn into connectors and cut to size, and the 1.5" square is the center.

How fun is it to match a civil war repro kind of thing to a debbie mumm to a 1970's calico (I had a dress out of this in highschool!!)and a scrap of shirting fabric, and a random 1.5" square? The crazier the combinations the more I like them.

I pinned each block set together, but we'll see if that helps me keep pieces in order or not. I'm thinking, knowing me...NOT!

I tell you what...kitting up 42 little churn dashes does NOT make a dent in anyone's scrap bins, and certainly not mine. If anything, the drawers are harder to close now that I've stirred them all up!

However, it was great to just play with color and pattern and texture and just make these little mixed and mis-matched guys ready to sew up at my bee's Memorial Day Sew-a-thon on Monday! Actually, these blocks are going to be so cute, they finish at 5". I love little blocks!! I might have to make more, but I think 42 will give me what I want for this thing I have floating around in my head.

I spent yesterday upgrading my windows vista to windows 7. I was afraid to do it, but....tada! IT SOLVED MY PROBLEM! I was able to load EQ 5 with my EQ 6 upgrade (not sure about going to 7..)and my block base and other software with NO ERRORS. Hallelujah!

Not sure what Sunday will bring for me, but I really REALLY should spend some time reorganizing my cave down here... :c/

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Things Work Out...

Grandpa's memorial service is Weds, June 9th. I'm flying to MN on Tues the 8th to spend that time with family. My aunt and uncle are coming from Germany. My mom is coming from Idaho. I am coming from North Carolina, and I am sure there will be more.

Thank you so much for the comments of sympathy. He was my last living grandparent, and it is kind of shocking when we all move up a notch on the generational scale. In my life it's always been 4 generations....My grandparents, my parents, myself and my siblings, and my children.

My children don't have children of their own yet...and we've all moved up a notch now that my grandparents have all passed. My parents become the eldest living generation, and I am moved UP one rung on the ladder! My children are now on rung 3 instead of rung 4. I don't want to go there yet! LOL

(There are way too many quilts to be done yet....story of my life)

I spent the morning upgrading my computer to Windows 7. It was easy...but now I need to see if I still can't install block base and EQ because of those stupid errors I was getting previously. I've got them on my laptop, also vista...but this desktop wouldn't let me load them and I've got some design work that needs to be finished and instructions written for future things and..I NEED IT ON A BIG SCREEN! My lap top is 13" and its just too small to be pinpointing bits of color into a quilt layout :c/

That said..I did get an email for EQ7...and I've not mastered EQ6...this is the story of my LIFE!! I was the same way with getting a CD player..I've got cassette tapes, why do I need that? And then when it came to MP3...I've got a CD player, why do I need THAT?! I just can't keep up. I guess that's further proof that I've moved up one more rung on the ladder...into obscurity!

SO...I had plans to spend the day sewing on the UFO that is going in the next book...and I've been side tracked by little churndashes! I want to play with bright color and scrappy happiness, and here I am back into the bin of plaids and just not sure what I want to sew on.

A bit ago I ran upstairs to get a bowl of cereal, poured it into the bowl, only to discover there is no milk in the house. :c| SO..I've been munching it dry, and washing it down with a can of diet cherry coke zero. I think grocery shopping ought to be on my list of things to do today too...but I just want to SEW!

Oh..and while I was away...Buddy got bit by a snake :c( His leg swelled up like a tree trunk, the vet found the bite marks after shaving part of his leg. We don't know what kind of snake, but he's been not able to really walk around the past week. He's been on antibiotics and pain killers, and he'll just have to ride it out. He's lasted THIS long, he should be okay, but it's a painful process for him. That's the dangers of living in the woods with a creek at hand. Even though it probably wasn't of the poison variety, his leg got infected due to the saliva, etc. it's just...EWWW! Living in the country just creeps me out sometimes.

And...I'm sorry to report that Emmy Lou has been gone since I left for Texas. That's the thing with In/Out cats...she was 10, so still middle aged by cat standards. She wanted out.....just never came back. I don't have much hope for her coming back, but I keep watching. Maybe she was adopted by someone. She HATED Oscar and Chloe....so maybe she found greener pastures in a one cat household? Who knows. I just keep hoping I won't find her carcass anywhere :c(

And if you made it to the end of this..I apologize for the wordiness with no pictures to hold your attention! I'll do better next time...promise!

Friday, May 28, 2010

My Grandpa

Paying tribute to my wonderful Grandpa, Alvin K Mach who passed away yesterday at age 94. We called him "Superman." He was a dentist, and the one who fixed my front tooth when I chipped it in 6th grade. He was a gentle soul with sparkling eyes. He will be missed by all who knew him. My brother's wedding is next weekend, so the funeral is being post-poned a week. (I think Grandpa would have gotten a kick to know that we were talking of "putting him on ice" for a while so we could get our ducks in a row!)

Speaking of ducks...Grandpa loved ducks. And when we used to go fishing, or out and about wherever we were..he'd shushshshhhh us and tell us "shhhhh! you'll scare the birds!" or "Shhhhh! you'll scare the fish!" All of these memories are just flooding back, and I'm sitting here with a lump in my throat the size of Australia.

I'm not scheduled to be anywhere else between the 8th and the 17th of June....so I'm hoping they will plan the funeral in that window so that I can head to Minnesota to be with family. Those family heartstrings are so strong, aren't they?

When my mom told me this morning...and said that she wants me to be there, needs me to be there, I tell you, there is no where else on earth I want to be.

He's been in the nursing home for quite some time. It's not a shock that he has passed, it's an acknowledgment of the life he has lead, and how he filled it all the way to the end, until his body was just so worn out it just needed to rest.

I'll miss you Grandpa!


Questions on fans...

There have been questions on how I go about doing this, and I thought I'd take some time this morning (At HOME...sitting with a cup of tea...in my JAMMIES!) to show you how I work things. The pic you see above was a photo I sent to the Quiltville page on facebook, sitting there on the plane, quilting away, waiting to take off from St Louis to Atlanta, and then from Atlanta home. I quilted the whole way, and am making huge progress on Dreamsicles!

I started hand quilting fans when I lived in Idaho, oh....many moons ago! The first one I did was a block swap through interquilt, and the blocks I got were called "wind blown square." It was the perfect quilting pattern to add motion to this quilt. I still have it somewhere, and i know I quilted this at least 12 years ago? I know because it traveled with me on the plane (yes I've been doing it this long!) to Connecticut from Idaho to visit my brother....and he hasn't lived in Connecticut for over 10 years or so. Where does the time go?

That first batch of quilts with fans, either in the border, or over the whole surface of the quilt, I used stencils. I tried lots of ways to mark them, from blue marker, to purple marker, to schoolhouse chalk....it was a pain to mark them, really! I also once went so far as to take a strip cut from a sheet of plastic canvas grid...Mark the holes that I wanted to use to measure my arcs with a sharpie marker...and used that strip of canvas like a compass. It worked really well, but again I was still marking.

And let's face it. If you have to lay something out to mark it...it's not going to be that user friendly in a small space like an airplane seat. Being able to quilt without marking is my method of choice!

It wasn't until I got Gwen Marston's book "Quilting With Style" that I even thought about free-handing them, and my first few attempts were...ehhhhh??? And I gave up. I just wasn't that ready to go wonkily liberated yet....until I met Tonya!

I think the thing about free handing fans is that we forget to think about the whole surface of the quilt...we are just sitting there looking at one crooked one, next to another not so crooked one, and comparing them to each other, and we think it won't work. But you have to keep going! It's the texture and motion of the WHOLE SURFACE that matters, not how perfect each individual fan is.

One of the first things I figured out was that I was trying to make my fans too big with too many arcs to them. I limit mine at 5. In fact, 5 arcs gives me the perfect number to keep them moving continuously.

I start my quilting in the bottom right corner, working right to left because I am right handed. Lefties would probably do better working left to right from the bottom left corner.

I *DO* use a hoop. But my quilt is very loose in the hoop. When I quilt, I am not holding the hoop in any way...I have one hand on the underside of the quilt, feeling for the needle, and my right hand on the top doing the stitching. The hoop just rests in my lap and keeps me from having to grab and hold the quilt flat so I can stitch. Some prefer to go completely hoopless, so try it both ways. I'm a hoop girl.

Also...quilting from the OUTSIDE IN toward the center means you have to be basted VERY VERY VERY well. I baste my quilts by longarm with a huge stitch in a meander pattern. I remove the basting threads in each area as I quilt.

If you look at the corner of the pic above...you can see the first fan that started the whole process. I also thought it might help if I drew this with pencil on paper. You can draw it on paper too so you can get the feel of how things work, and how the fans just run off the edge in the direction you are going...and THEN you turn the corner. Like this:

The arrows show you the direction I am stitching. I go DOWN the first inner 1/4 circle, up the second, down the third, up the fourth, and down the 5th.

At this point...I travel my needle up through the layers so I can start the next fan in the same way...down the inner 1/4 circle, and repeat! Don't you love my Casper Wyoming twig pencil!! LOL Fun picking up souvenirs from where I've traveled! I think this one can only be sharpened by whittling...hehehe.

Here we are working toward that next corner..just keep repeating fans until you run off the end.

After I have gone off the side I've been working on....it's time to turn the corner and just start again where the last row ended!

Here I've reached another corner...straight off the edge. Sometimes I need to add another little line as if it were the "top arc" of the one that ran off the edge, just to fill in the space. Then head down the third side...are you getting it now?

At this point, I'm just going to keep going until this whole first round is completed. Once I've gone all the way around once, I start the second round, then the third, and on....until I've filled in the whole surface of the quilt. When I reach the middle, the fans are going to end where they end...just quilt to fill!

This is the BACK of the Dreamsicles quilt...it's a yellow toile! Can you see the pattern with the red thread? Quilting with contrasting thread is so fun. I mean, who wants to put in all this work if the quilting is not going to show? I'm in love with color, and quilting this orange quilt with red thread just makes me happy!

So...are you ready to try? Get out a piece of paper and just start drawing. I'm sure mine are different than some, but that's okay. Oh...and my stitching lines are about 3/4" apart. I just measured. You can make them as close together or as far apart as you like, again there are no rules....just texture texture texture! I like to think of fans as one of the "earliest" pantographs out there......seconded only by clam shells, and cross hatching that went over the entire surface. Quilts that were quilted this way tended to last a bit longer I think...because the stitches CROSSED the seam lines and that anchored them, adding strength. Well, that's my theory anyway. I've also seen applique quilts that SHOULD have fallen apart..but they didn't because the fans marched right across the applique holding it down. Yay fans!