Monday, July 25, 2016

Oklahoma Row by Row - Day Three

Steelman's - Chickasha, OK

This day was not a full day. We needed cattle and horse feed, so we may as well do the grocery shopping and if there was time, stop in at our local quilt stores about 10 miles from the house. Nothing like a full afternoon together with my sweetheart.

In Chickasha, OK there are 2 lovely quilt shops, almost across the street from one another. Both are great shops with friendly people. I stopped in at Steelman's first. I took a needle turn applique class with Darcy Ashton here a million years ago when I could still hand sew for more than 15 minutes, LOL. Now my hand goes numb, so I gave up all but the necessary hand stitching. I do miss my cross stitching.

Steelman's block is classic home - apple pie. The pie is sitting in front of an open window cooling. You know the children smelled it and ran into the house begging for a slice. I love the vertical aspect which is perfect for their window setting.

Bush Family Affair - Quilts by Gail is upstairs in a series of rooms. I could spend the day in Gail's shop watching the long arm machines doing their quilty dance. She has 3 and they only stop at closing time. It amazes me that a small town could keep 3 machines in one shop busy all the time. They could run 24/7 and it would still take weeks to get a few days turnaround. Right now quilts brought in won't be done until close to Christmas. I took her one back in March? Or was it April? Anyway it is just now hitting the frame. I expected it 3 weeks ago. Gail and her ladies work really hard and do great work. I'm excited.

Bush Family Affair-Quilts by Gail - Chickasha, OK 

The Bush Family affair block is from a beloved nursery rhyme - there was an old woman who lived in a shoe ... No old woman pictured but we have 3 shoes set up for housekeeping. Isn't it adorable?!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Oklahoma Row by Row Experience - Day Two

We had to sit out the weekend of July 4th due to all the family and fun. And my husband was called in to work a 10 hour overtime shift. They are short handed and he is a good worker. Tuesday we headed to Oklahoma City to try to loop some quilt shops and gather more Row by Row patterns. I was quite surprised to find the 3 participating stores were literally within 5 miles of one another. How is that possible? And all on the north side of town where I never go due to the traffic. Ugh!! I stay southside. And these were truly gorgeous shops.

Oklahoma Quiltworks - OKC

Our first stop was at Oklahoma Quiltworks in OKC. This was another shop where I walked in and was immediately lost in color, texture and patterns. Blissful! I spent almost an hour just ogling their quilt samples. If I could choose, I would have this store across from my driveway. It seemed to have everything.

Quiltworks created a delightful, scrappy block with a home, tree, windmills and a clothesline with a quilt. My house resembles this block so much. The wind turbines are up the highway but I can see them from my clothesline in the yard. And they made the quilt 3D so you can flip it with your finger.

The Savage Quilter - OKC
Our next stop was at The Savage Quilter. They have a high ceiling, bright, open shop. It is huge! Lots of amazing cottons. So many pretty quilt samples. I could burn hours and a truck load of money in this lovely store.

Their block reminds me of my youngest son's lady - a baker. A stand mixer, ingredients, a cake on a stand, cupcakes and our happy baker. Definitely sweet and totally calorie free! I may have to change the bakers hair color to make it dark :)

Sew and Sews - OKC

The last Oklahoma City store was Sew and Sews. The sign on the door warned of a Princess inside. I went in looking for a dog or shop cat. Instead I heard a bird call out! I tried to find it but kept getting distracted by the beautiful quilt samples. Eventually I found her in a cage but I coveted several quilts first.

This block is one of my favorites for its true depiction of Oklahoma and our red dirt roads. It looks complicated but worth the effort. I bought the kit so I could have the dog and geese available.

This is another block that makes me feel homey. A house in the country. A pumpjack down the road. Hunters seeking geese. The dog running wild. Did they spy on me to create this special block?

We had some free time before dinner so we headed west to Yukon, OK and Threads of Tradition. This shop was cozy and small and still colorful with lots of quilts hanging. I was surprised that I did not see quilts repeated from one shop to another. Most had their 2016 Shop Hop (June 2016) quilt displayed - all different and all beautiful.

Threads of Tradition - Yukon, OK

The Threads of Tradition block is set on Route 66 map fabric which has been discontinued. They had enough to make several kits but mentioned they may run out. I'm lucky I snatched one before it was gone. Pinwheels and a sweet home. Their kit even included the papers to paper piece the pinwheels. I admit I have never paper pieced so this will add another new technique to my repertoire.

I have enough block patterns to create a quilt for the competition - first to bring a completed quilt, bound and labeled into a store wins 25 fat quarters! One winner per store. Several shops have already had winners since the Row by Row started on June 21st. I may ask around when I finish but my goal for this year being my first time, is simply to finish. Learn new techniques and create a fun, unique quilt. And I want more patterns :)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Oklahoma Row by Row Experience - Day One

I decided to pick up some of the patterns from this year's Row by Row Experience. All of the United States plus Canada has quilt shops participating. The patterns are free and the shops sell kits if you want to make their block in the same fabric. This year's theme is "Home Sweet Home" which resonates with me. I love the comfort of home. You can find all the Oklahoma shops, blocks and license plates on Facebook at Oklahoma Row by Row.

My husband decided to drive me on my adventure on his days off. Wahoo!! I love a good drive in the country and since we are rural - there was plenty of country to cover before we got to towns or cities to collect patterns. The first day we covered 215 miles, visiting 4 lovely quilt shops.

Bernina Center - Lawton, OK

Our first stop was at the Bernina Center in Lawton, OK. It's a small shop in a strip of stores. They seem to be geared for embroidery. I walked in and immediately was in thread Heaven. As a garment or quilt stitcher, I tend to be boring with my threads. I piece in dark or light. Done. The Bernina Center has more red thread hues than I ever knew was possible. The blues? I swooned!

Quilt N Bee - Cache, OK
And their block is one of my favorites showing local highlights. It has Mt Scott - the highest point in Oklahoma. A soldier saluting - a nod to Ft. Sill Army base. A teepee. Plus 2 Bison from the Wichita Wildlife Preserve. Love it! I decided to buy the kit to be able to have the proper camo and such for the block.

Our next stop was the Quilt N Bee in Cache, OK. I admit I had never been to this tiny town, much less knew it was there. The highway skirts it. I am so glad the Row by Row sent me here. Quilt N Bee is a bright, colorful shop with more lovely quilts than I could count. I was so lost in color and pattern that when the friendly clerk greeted me I was confused - I was in colorful, quilty world.

Quilt N Bee's block is vertical with a quaint house, flowers and a picket fence with a quilt flapping in the breeze. I didn't buy the kit as it was almost $20 but they had went so far as to cut out the flower shapes - I should have bought it to save myself time. Sighssss ...

We headed south and back east to the sister Bernina Center in Duncan, OK. More fabulous threads. I really love the plethora of thread colors. I may have to expand my horizons. This block is also tied to their small city. A pair of oil field pump jacks, a couple of longhorn cows from being on the main cattle drive route and a prairie schooner for the settlers from the Land Run. I'm loving the Bernina Center's creativity and local ties.

Bernina Center - Duncan, OK

Our loop took us back north on rural highways to Beth's Quilting Quarters and Fabric Shoppe in Blanchard, OK. Beth's quilted my younger daughters quilt, so I know their shop. They have excellent cottons, so many great quilt samples plus a large classroom. They have multiple quilt guilds that hold meetings at their store which seems so right to me. I love the hometown feeling in Beth's.

Beth's Quilting Quarters - Blanchard, OK
Their patriotic block is right up my alley. A background of patriotic words under a red and white bunting swag with a perfect half circle of blue fabric with white stars. I have close to a dozen t shirts that feature flags and eagles - I am a serious Patriot. I bought this kit too for the special fabrics.

We could have stopped in at the closest 2 quilt shops to our place but time was against us. We weren't able to start out until after chores and lunch, so closing time forced us to stop. I will visit them when I next grocery shop.

I haven't started any of the blocks yet, however I do NOT want this to be a bag of UFO's. Though technically they aren't just unfinished, they are un-started. I ordered some double sided fusible webbing online to make the applique easier. In the past I have basted or glued applique and I really want to try the fancy way I see used by so many quilters.

Have you explored the Row by Row in your state?

Friday, July 8, 2016

Testing Peek A Boo Pachyderm by Quilt Doodles Doodles

This is our newest barn cat, rather than the quilt.

Happy day!!

I'm testing a new pattern for Cindy over at Quilt Doodle Doodles. She does adorable designs. Fun piecing paired with sweet applique. I subscribe to her block of the month making a holiday quilt and was delighted to test a couple of her previous patterns. She is all about the joy of creating.

Peek A Boo Pachyderm is intentionally scrappy using 4 different fabrics from 3 color groups plus a neutral. I shopped my stash - part of my personal challenge. I found several candidates and took pictures. Looking at my fabrics thru photos shows me a different perspective. This time I did change my fabric choices and I'm so glad I did. My original choice of tan for neutral was blah. Substitute a sunshine yellow and my choices were singling loud! I'm that kind of quilter, LOL.

Cindy used light, medium and dark in her fabric choices so I echoed this. It looks incredible when you step back. Plus it gives you liberty to choose your favorite fabrics. No quilt police here.

As I stitched half square triangle units and strip sets, I started loving the play of fabric patterns, colors and how they all were uniting. I don't always see the potential when I start with a group of fabrics. This group had me feeling cautious. I worried they were too different. I was wrong. They look great.

Stitch. Press. Pin baste. Quilt.

Check this beauty out!

I'm loving it!
I did simple echo quilting and I love it!

Thank you Cindy for allowing me to test Peek A Boo Pachyderm!