Sunday, May 29, 2011

Electric Quilt!

I've had Electric Quilt 7 for some time now, but have not been able to use it. I tried running Bootcamp on my Mac, but EQ7 kept crashing. It was so frustrating that I finally gave up. Recently my son found a good laptop on Woot and suggested I might buy it and I did! My first pc ever. The laptop is a refurbished HP with Windows 7, works like a charm. I did go buy a mouse yesterday and that makes everything much easier.

EQ7 comes with a series of 10 short videos to get you started. Also, you can print out lessons to learn all that the program has to offer. I enjoyed watching the videos again to refresh my memory. I haven't gone through the lessons yet. One tip I read in a quilt magazine is very helpful. The tip is to find a quilt in a magazine or book and try to recreate it in EQ. This is what I did with the Double Nine Patch here. My inspiration came from Diane McClun's classic Quilts! Quilts! Quilts!

The quilt in the book is made with lovely brown and cinnamon fabrics with a very dark blue accent color throughout. I changed the alternate blocks from brown to blue. The blocks measure 9 inches and the finished quilt is 40x40 inches including the 1 inch border. Enjoy!

P.S. Looking at the McClun book later, I realized her quilt does not have the alternate solid block, so I haven't really duplicated her design, just made my own variation. I do like the on-point setting she used, don't you?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mystery Trip!

The long awaited Back Road mystery bus ride has come and gone for another year. It was really fun. I haven't ever been with the group before, but this year may well mark the beginning of an annual event for me.

We met at a Park and Ride in Gardiner at 7a.m. I got up at

4:50 am and was not tired all day. In fact, when I went to bed at 10pm I couldn't go to sleep. Our super leaders planned a wonderful day for us. They met us at the bus with a goodie bag Ann made which was filled with a bottle of water, granola bar

, and an apple. Of course chocolates were passed out at intervals throughout the day.

See the blue woolen flower pin? Each one of us got one! Cut with the "go-cutter" which our chapter owns. In fact, the pin was a clue to our first stop, but I don't think anybody guessed where it was......

We sped out of Maine, over the Piscataqua River to New Hampshire. Our first stop was the Dorr Mill store in Newport, which is near the Vermont border. Some people like to make table mats and little things with wool and embroidery. I haven't tried it, but there were lots of beautiful things to see in this shop. Rug hooking and rug braiding supplies and patterns galore. Lots of wool fabric, large and small pieces and by the yard. Several dolls and patterns by Gail Wilson, who is the doll designer of my doll that I just made. Very tempting, but I didn't buy anything. Also half of this shop was lovely women's clothing, all stuff that we would wear. And jewelry. Again, I didn't buy ANYTHING! Amazing.

Nena did a great job with the itinerary. We had plenty of time at each stop to browse and shop. Next stop: Henniker, New Hampsire...

Next stop was Henniker, NH to Quilted Threads, a beautiful big quilt shop in a house that was featured in Quilt Sampler magazine recently. The shop looked very spiffy because it takes a lot of work to get it ready for a magazine photo shoot. I shopped til I dropped here! I had to remind myself that we had other quilt shops on the itinerary, pacing is crucial, right? This shop has beautiful batiks, fabrics for children and babies, modern prints, reproduction prints, Asian fabrics, a wall of fat quarters, lots of supplies, and most interesting of all Japanese fabrics. The Japanese fabrics are those taupe and brown and gray fabrics they are known for using in their quilts. Most of these fabrics are linen like, they have a texture unlike our cotton quilting fabrics. I have not been a fan of these taupe quilts, but when I saw them in person I really appreciated them much more. Very soft and calming. One quilt was simply horizontal strips of these fabrics. Another was made of blocks done in a gradation of color from brown to light taupe again in strips, one block vertical, the next block the same but turned horizontally. Beautiful.

From Henniker it was a short trip to our final shopping destination: Concord. We stopped at the Golden Gese and then walked a couple of blocks through a lovely residential area with trees in full bloom and tulips and daffodils looking bright and cheerful to the Main Street and Peggy Anne's Quilt Shop.

We had time to browse in a few shops and stop for a much needed coffee in a little courtyard cafe. Then it was back on the bus for dinner at the Common Man Restaurant in Portsmouth. Our homeward journey included watching "The King's Speech." I had watched it before, but it was every bit as good the second time.

Lovely day with lovely friends!

Some of my purchases....
potholder pattern ....Christmas sewing!

Sort of boring choice of fabrics, but I was looking for tone on tone fabrics for applique.

Some lusciousness from Quilted Threads....Japanese fabric with strawberries, sale batik and sale red dot, shimmery blue delicious fabric!

Whew, that was fun, glad it's only once a year!

p.s. sorry about the way this post looks, but for some reason blogger isn't playing nicely tonight.