Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring Break 2015

Clint and I went to Portland a couple of years ago for Quilt Market.  We decided then that we really needed to bring the kids back to the NorthWest.  It really is so beautiful there.  So, we took an early flight to Portland, our first with all four kids for Spring Break two weeks ago. After landing and renting a minivan (totally awesome and funny that Clint drove a minivan all week, he's been dead set against them for some time) we headed immediately to Multnomah Falls. It was a cold, but gorgeous day. Here's a shot from the top of the Falls.  If you are in the Portland area, you should go.  It is so beautiful. 

After the falls we drove through Tillamook and went to the cheese factory with the kids.  We then headed to Depoe Bay, Oregon.  This was the first morning we were here.  We were right on the ocean.  I have a new found reverence for the awesomeness of the power of water.  Seriously.  The calm on this beautiful pink morning sunrise was nothing compared to the waves that crashed against the cliff walls and reached to our patio.  

Everytime Clint and I would comment on the waves, Lili our oldest would cry out, Tsunami? She is slightly paranoid and a nervous wreck.  I wonder where she got that from? We would always reassure her though that we were fine. ;-)

It was really fun taking the kids tide pooling to see the star fish and anenomes in the ocean.  We want them to be able to experience different places and really appreciate the beautiful earth we are blessed to live on.  

We went to the Yaquina Light House and going in was Noah's dream come true.  We were able to climb to the top and I have never seen my little guy so giddy and happy.  It was also hilarious when Jonah counted each and every 101 steps to the top.  The other people on the tour thought it was pretty cute too. 

We spent a couple of days with rain and gray skies.  We swam in the outdoor heated pool with the ocean right there.  We had the pool all to ourselves because we were the only ones crazy enough to brave the temperatures.  

But, the day we left Depoe Bay to head to Seaside was a gorgeous day.  The sun came out just in time for me to get some awesome pictures of our view.  It was incredible. 


This was along the drive to Seaside.  Close to Cannon Beach. There is nothing more spectacular than a view of the ocean on a cliff. Seriously.  

Candid picture of my family on Cannon Beach.  It was a beautiful day and a moment like this is one I don't want to forget.  A perfect moment where everyone is happy and not fighting and witnessing the beauty of the sand and ocean.  Seriously good times. 

Clint captured this picture of me and Lili in Seaside.  In this moment I was thinking about all of the obligations I have coming up.  I was enjoying Lili in this moment, but in the back of my mind I was trying to make peace with the fact that I will be traveling again this spring.  When I started quilting I never thought that I would be given opportunities to teach. I never planned on being away from my family.  But, I am grateful for those opportunities.  I really am.  I love being able to share my love of quilting with so many of you. I just pray that my children know that I am doing my best.  I am trying to prioritize so that I have time to serve God, my family and then have time to teach and quilt.  I feel completely overwhelmed at times, but I am making the most of it. 
Our flight was delayed because of weather, but when we finally made our flight we were blessed with this incredible view! It was a wonderful week.  

Monday, March 16, 2015

Tula Pink Butterfly Quilt.

So, you better buckle up because I have quite the story to tell with this quilt.  Let's just say I will never have, in fact I do not have anymore deadline quilts! Just too stressful! Seriously.

So, this pattern is The Butterfly Quilt by Tula Pink.  I am a huge fan of Tula Pink, she is super talented and I was really excited to get a chance to quilt this particular quilt made by Linda from Canada.  Linda contacted me over a year ago and asked me to quilt this and of course I said yes!  She did a beautiful job with the piecing and I really loved that she had the top and bottom border the same color as the background fabric.  Tons of white space to play with.
Okay, so first things first.  This border - yes, I am insane because it took me forever and I didn't have all that time to quilt the entire quilt.  I love the design though - look for this design to be a class in the upcoming year or so.  I can't wait to share how I did this with my students.

I used two layers of batting, my favorite purple marking pen and my straight ruler to free motion quilt this design.  No computers here. ;-)

I thought about quilting a less dense filler to save time, but in the end my Fantabulous Filler made the cut.  I love how it turned out.  I used Fil-Tec Glide Pearl thread for the top thread and Magna Glide for the bobbin.  The thread works beautifully together.
I was going along great for the first part of the quilt.  Mind you I had 5 days to finish this quilt and get it shipped off in time for my client in time for a quilt show.  So, when my machine started to make a rather loud and obnoxious sound - I started to panic.  It was Tuesday when the sound started and throughout Wednesday and Thursday it worked, but I kept calling my dealer and friend Jen Alexander for help.  I am sure she started to get annoyed by my calls, but she was great. 

I went to bed Wednesday night praying that my machine would make it through this quilt, but on Thursday my machine completely stopped.  A last minute decision of desperation took me and the unfinished quilt with my machine head to Salt Lake, 4 hours north of Saint George.  I needed to finish the quilt by Saturday and luckily my mom's A1 longarm (the one I learned on) didn't have a quilt loaded and she let me use her machine.  Jen came and picked up my machine head and is currently working on it.  It needed the bearings replaced in the front of the machine.

Another reason for the desperation in finishing the quilt was that Clint and I had a Spring Break trip planned with the kids and we flew out the following Monday morning, so I had to have the quilt finished and packed, ready to ship before then.  Anyway - it was stressful.

I shared my progress on Instagram (@judiakagreenfairy) and I always laugh when my mom comments on my feed.  She is so funny!  Mom, you taught me everything I know - don't forget that!  Thanks for letting me use your machine. ;-)

Since the borders of the quilt do not go all the way around the quilt, I decided to change up the design on the sides and bottom.  The space was a little smaller - so this worked out fabulously.  I really love how it turned out.

The bottom border. Love.
I finished at 5:00 pm Saturday night.  It was just in time to get pictures, but I was running out of daylight and a place to take pictures.  My dad and brother helped me by placing quilts beneath and I got the best pictures I could for the circumstances.  This is my only regret about this quilt - the pictures, but I hope you know I did my best. 

My focus was on the backgound quilting and the quilting designs within the pieced butterfly were more simplistic.  I think it is a good balance and showcases the piecing, which is always important.

The butterfly needed antennas, badly.  I really love the straight line antenna that I came up with.  It goes with the straight lines throughout the quilting design.

I bordered the butterfly with a half inch border line around the entire butterfly.  The effect is beautiful.  This border is also beautiful.  ;-)

The texture is always my favorite part.



Since this is a butterfly quilt, I wanted to use my butterfly template from my book.  It works nicely as part of the filler design.


Corner design.  I really love it. 

So, I have learned a few things from the process of the quilt.  No deadlines for me, it puts too much stress on me and my family.  I also learned that God answers my prayers in ways that are better for me.  I prayed that my quilt machine would finish the quilt out, but the reality is it wasn't going to.  I was able to visit my mom and dad to finish this quilt and it was a good thing that the machine stopped working on Thursday, not Saturday when I had a little to finish and no way to finish it in time. For that I am so grateful.

Anyway, I hope you like the quilt.  I am really proud of it, even though it was quite an event to finish.  Clint and I had a great time with our kids for spring break and now I am back to work.  I have shows to prepare for and the teaching circuit is right around the corner.  I am looking forward to meeting all of you who are attending my classes.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Quilts heading to Paducah.

I have never entered any of my own quilts into an AQS Quiltweek competition before now.  I decided that since I will be in Paducah already that I might as well try it out, what would it hurt?  I wanted to go with my Just Call Me Modern quilt.  It's one of my favorite quilts that I have designed.  So I was really happy when I received an email saying that my quilt was accepted to be judged for the competition.  

The quilting was really fun on this quilt, it took a long time - but in the end it was worth it. 

I also received an email from Thelma telling me that Coastal Lily made it in too. 

Here's hoping that one or both get a ribbon!  If they don't, then I will just consider it an honor to have them hanging in Paducah.