Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Home again

Home again and I've very busy with all sorts of domestic things, catching up with post, washing my fabrics etc etc. I have sewn in the evenings, the binding on one quilt and quilting the border on another. More anon. Meanwhile here are pictures of "our" house in Portland and the view across the street through our lovely flowers to the beautiful garden of my fellow quilter opposite. I've also included the quintessential Douglas firs against an Oregonian bluest of skies taken in Hoyt arboretum.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Farewell Portland!

Well it's goodbye to th lovely house we've been living in while here, the cases are packed (what a relief it all went in) and now I can't wait to be home but we shall have some lovely memories. And in the basement bedroom were a couple of quilts!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Sewing all done

Today (still Friday here, just)I packed up my sewing things ready to go home. I've handquilted all six of the setting blocks for the Patchwork Party quilt and I've done 16 Katharine Guerrier blocks which with the six at home makes 22, more than halfway as I plan to do 6 by 7 which will be 72" X 84" plus an HST border to finish at 78" x 90", a good size. Despite my initial concerns I shall miss my borrowed Singer 600E - the sewusa site and most of all the vintage Singer yahoo list were very helpful in this respect. The latter had the whole manual in their files. I shall also miss our feline companions here, especially Max who would keep me company in the sewing room.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Northwest Quilt Expo

I had a very pleasant day at the Northwest Quilt Expo yesterday. I went by public transport where I met a fellow Brit quilter now settled in the US. It took up one large airy exhibition hall and wasn't too crowded. There were various special exhibits from Lynette Jensen and local Guilds as well as the main show - think Sandown but a bit bigger and of course lower prices. There were some interesting stands selling African fabrics, Burmese silks, Australian fabrics and wools too as well as the usual stunning batiks, country fabrics and stunning collections. In the entrance lobby local groups manned their raffle quilt stands. When I first started going to US shows I was impressed by the sheer amount of hand quilting that went onto quilts. I saw no examples of that here but there was some stunning machine quilting.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Browsing on Mississippi

Today we're off to the city Art Gallery downtown. Yesterday was hot so we sat on the stoop after a trip to Fabric Depot in the morning where it was 30% off till next Monday. I was glad I'd waited till the last week befor buying wadding. Who spotted this offer in the paper - my husband! What a star. Monday we visited local park; yet more roses which are everywherehere and took a stroll down Misissippi where were a few bric and brac shops - pictures of a couple of quilts and $10 feedsacks still in sack form. The red and white quilt was priced at over $400. A lot. It's the Expo tomorrow so I must have a weigh in day today - may need that fourth bag.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Northwest Quilters Guild

My blog is still on Uk time with 8 hours difference so I'm never quite sure what day I'm posting on. Anyway here it's Monday. Last Monday I went to the morning meeting of the Northwest quilters Guild. The heads of various sections queued up to speak but first off the raffle quilt was revealed, purple with a super appliqued bouquet in the middle. They are providing volunteers to work at Northwest Quilt Expo this week so will get to display it there. I shall buy some tickets. After all I'm on a winning streak! Their show is next May I think and already kits are being given out for the raffle quilt for the show after that; they have a very interesting idea for that one but I won't say anything about it as it's early days. The talk was supposed to be by Lois Hallock about organising your quilting space a subject which interests me as I hope to get round to organising mine and I had bought her book in Powells. Anyway she wasn't able to come because of a family bereavement so the speaker was Becky Goldsworthy an expert on all things batting or wadding (yet one more example of US vs UK speak). I found her talk very informative but I didn't catch it all so you've guessed it I bought the (small) book. I also took advantage of the members' table to acquire old quilt mags for 25 cents each. I love them. Anyway here's the raffle quilt, various quilts pinned on the wall- I think they were charity quilts - and some Show & Tell items.

Monday, 21 September 2009

My door prize

I won the door prize for Thursday at the Columbia River Gorge Quilters Guild show and it was delivered today - I am so pleased. The fabrics are by Windham who do a lot of reproductions and a favourite manufacturer of mine - just look: a book, patterns, green wadding, a Rebecca Barker jigsaw, lots of charm pieces, Gutermann threads. Oh boy! Does this photo look like me - not in my head anyway!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

And yet more

And here is a further selection.

More of Mary's Quilts

When I arrived I was invited over to Mary's opposite and was privileged to view and photograph her many quilts. I've already posted twice about them and here are some more.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Still sewing

I brought my Katharine Guerrier blocks to work on - I had nine completed star centres and masses of HST's and I've now completed all nine blocks. I felt my sewing on the old machine wasn't too good and I was dreading the bobbin running out but refilling with the aid of some free pages from the sewusa site was a doddle - on the Singer 600e the bobbin is left in place and you thread from the needle as if continuing to stitch. How cool is that! I was impressed. I've also been handquilting my Patchwork Party setting blocks In retrospect quilting with coral thread on a coral marked design was not a good idea as I couldn't see the stitch size as I was working.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Columbia River Gorge Quilt Show

Another day another quilty event. Today we drove along the historic highway towards Stevenson on the Washington side of the Columbia River. It was a good day out as we stopped at Vista House to admire the view, the Multinomah falls and took a tour round Bonneville Dam and Power Station!! Lunch at the popular Big River Grill in Stevenson then the Quilt Show mounted by the local 100 strong Guild. Just look at the setting by a creek, a mountain backdrop and trees just starting to turn. All were very welcoming and there was another UK couple there. The building in the background of the photo was where the show was held and here is a picture of my visitor's choice- no hesitation at all though it hadn't been judged Best in Show. The BIS was an excellent riverside scene wallhanging which I think I have seen in a magazine somewhere. One point about many quilts - I used to think US quilts outdid the UK ones in intensity and quality of quilting. Here I felt some lovely piecing was spoilt by careless quilting whether intense stippling or ill thought out longarming though to be fair lots were enhanced by the choice of quilting.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Out and about in Oregon 02

Thanks to Barbara of the Quilted Hill's directions we drove to 3rd Street, McMinneville, a street of lots of individual shops and eateries. We lunched on soup and sandwiches at Sage then Alan took off for an appointment with the Spruce Goose in the local air museum while I tracked down the quilt shop Barbara had mentioned, Boersma's. This took my breath away; it was huge and so much stuff! Lots of high quality fabric: Modas, Amy Butler and Westminster and many more. In fact it made me realise the value of the smaller specialised shops where it can be easier to choose. However I took advantage of the sale fabric downstairs; anything unsold after three years is moved on down and there's a lot of lovely things down there. I bought some soft orange needlecord to make my dear granddaughter a pinafore and lots more splashy fabrics for my strip pieced hexagons. I'm definitely breaking away from my usual grunge.

Out and about in Oregon 01

Today we had a day out in wine country Oregon; the chief object was the air musem at McMinneville. First however we diverted to The Quilted Hill shop in wine country, well signed and up its own unmade road with stunning views across vine covered slopes and low lying hills. Alan took to the man seat outside while I bought fabric, patterns (got a free FQ with each of these!). Barbara, the owner, was at her Gammill machine and she and her husband gave some useful information about where to go and what to see - more in next post.