Chimney Bluffs – A Quilter’s Perspective

 

Chimney Bluffs on Lake Ontario

Chimney Bluffs on Lake Ontario

For those of you curious about where to find a location in New York State that has been compared to the Badlands of South Dakata, I suggest a trip to Chimney Bluffs State Park in the town of Huron.  These bluffs are a result of the last ice age found along the southern shores of Lake Ontario just east of Sodus Bay.  They are truly an awesome sight to see.  I like to hike the trail along the top first then walk along the beach at the bottom to return to the car.  It’s not a very long trail, but I would not recommend taking young children because there are no railings.  You can see areas where a trail seems to go over the cliff showing that with each passing year, the bluffs erode away a little more. 

 The Museum Quilt Guild which I belong to is a member guild of the Quilter’s Consortium of New York State.  The consortium has a challenge called Stitching New York – A Quilter’s Perspective.   Although pictures can not do the bluffs justice, I have decided to showcase this lesser known gem of New York State for the QCNYS challenge. 

Chimney Bluffs State Park

QCNYS Stitching New York Challenge – Chimney Bluffs

I printed the photos onto fabric then appliqued them onto a black background.  I framed them with various batik fabrics and added a little bit of thread painting as accents.  I decided to quilt the background with varigated blue thread in a sort of ripple design to resemble water.

chimney bluffs 7When I showed the quilt at our guild meeting last Saturday, several people said they saw Jesus with outstreached arms in this photo.  I had been working so close to the photo that I didn’t see it  until someone held it up so I could view it from a distance.  It just goes to show that he’s always close by, even though I can’t always see him. 

 

 

 

 

 Any guild that has a quilt show this year or next year can display some or all of the entries in the challenge at their show if they would like to.  A couple other members of our guild have entries also.  Cynda Watroba did a beautiful depiction of Niagara Falls in stunning rainbow colors on a black background.  Elaine Ross used a photo of the train trestle bridge in Letchworth State Park to create her entry.  She had the image printed on fabric by Julie Brandon at Red Dog Enterprises.  You check out both of these entries at the Museum Quilt Guild blog at  http://museumquiltguild.blogspot.com

Mary Tyler Moore opening croppedLast post, I mentioned another challenge that I was working on.  The challenge was titled “That was then…” and the theme was the year you were born. After months of trying to find something I loved enough to inspire a quilt from 1970, I found out that the Mary Tyler Moore Show started in 1970.   My working title was “You’re Gonna’ Make It After All.”  True to form, I didn’t get started until last minute, and well, apparently, l’m not  “gonna’ make it after all”, at least not yet.  Unfortunately, the clock was against me.  I haven’t given up on the project, though. The image that Julie Brandon printed for me on fabric came out so good that I really want to do it justice. I’ll keep you updated on my progress as I work on it.

Thanks for stopping by.  Drop me a line in the comment section.  I’d love to hear from you.  Let’s go spread some sunshine!

-Melanie

Museum Quilt Guild Raffle Quilt

It has been a great week for quilting here in western New York.  It’s been unusually cold and the wind chill put the temps to -30.  It was the first time in 20 years that the National Weather Service used the word “blizzard” to describe the weather in buffalo. 

I belong to the Museum Quilt Guild in Batavia, NY.  Every two years we make a raffle quilt to raise money.  Last year the top for the raffle quilt was pieced by members and machine quilted professionally.  This year, the quilt has been pieced and appliqued by members and is being hand quilted by members also.  With the weather being so cold it’s a great time to curl up in my favorite chair to work on the hand quilting.  I’ve had the quilt for just over a week and will be passing in on to the next quilter on this coming Saturday. 

 

Museum Quilt Guild 2014 Raffle Quilt

Museum Quilt Guild 2014 Raffle Quilt

The quilt was designed by Martha Lorshbaugh.  The flower pot and flowers in the center are hand appliqued.  Martha put kits together for our members to take and make blocks.  I believe she had a team work on the assembly of the top once the blocks were turned in.  Now it is circulating through a several guild members to hand quilt it.  Many hands make light work!

The quilt will be raffled off at our guild’s quilt show in October.  I’ll put the details on this blog as soon as I know them, as well as the link for the show (as soon as I figure out how to put a link in here.)

As for the progress on the challenges that I’m working on this week….  The theme for the guild’s challenge is “That Was Then…”  You have to pick something from the year you were born and depict it in quilted form.  The clue for the mine is that it’s from 1970 and has a working title “You’re gonna make it after all!”

The Quilter’s Consortium of Western New York challenge is about a quilter’s perspective on New York.  The clue for that one is that the place I have chosen is often compared to the Badlands of South Dakota.

Let me know in the comments section what your guesses are on my projects.  Check back next week for pictures of the finished projects.  

Until next week, stay warm and keep quilting!  

-Melanie

A Quilt Gallery

2014-01-01_16_24_34It’s the first Sunday of the new year and I am determined to keep my resolution!  Aside from posting to the blog on New Year’s Day, I spent a considerable amount of time putting things away in the sewing room and even hanging some wall quilts.  Our sewing room is upstairs and there’s a hallway at the top of the stairs that has been yearning to have something other than wallpaper or paint on its walls.  When my parents bought this house over 20 years ago it had 7 different co-ordinating floral wallpapers and borders in the upstairs.  About 3 years ago we finally got rid of all the wallpaper upstairs and painted the whole upstairs a nice soft yellow.  I remember going to my friend Martha’s house a few years ago and seeing her gallery of quilted art.  We had been hanging small and medium quilts in the living room and dining room just one at a time.  I loved the idea of a gallery where you could see several at once but I didn’t think of using the hallway upstairs when there were 3 floral prints on the wallpaper there.   It was just too dizzying.  Once we got the yellow paint on the walls I started brainstorming.

How could I hang several wall quilts of various sizes and be able to change them whenever I felt like it.  If I put holes in the wall for each of the quilts in the first setting would that be a problem when I swapped them out for smaller art quilts?  There are so may options on the market for quilt hangers but many of them are permanently attached to the wall in one place.  Just like in a real art gallery, each piece of artwork needs to be hung at eye level.  I know there are professional ways to accomplish this, but I was thinking inexpensive and simple.  So here’s what I came up with.

2014-01-01_16_25_14  Inspired by the decorative molding that goes throughout the living room and dining room I went to the hardware store last summer.  For years, I’ve hung some lightweight Christmas decorations from the molding in the dining room by putting a small nail in the top of the molding and using transparent thread to hang the decorations from it. When I got to the store I was very disappointed in the quality of the decorative molding and decided that it was all too flimsy to support any weight.  They just don’t make things like they used to.  I think my house was built in the 1940’s. 

So I decided on 1×4’s for this project and painted them the same color as the trim in the upstairs.  Last summer, my boyfriend hung them on the wall in the hallway about 4 inches from the celing.  About a month after he hung them, I finally hung a quilt.  On New Year’s Day I finally added 3 more.  Each quilt either has a sleeve for hanging on the back or

quilt galleryit has tabs along the top to put a rod through.  I went to the craft store and bought simple wooden dowels.  I picked up several different diameters so I would have sturdier ones for larger quilts and thinner (cheaper) ones for the smaller, lightweight projects. 

I used grosgrain ribbon to hang the dowels from the nails.  I will leave the nails in and just add more where I need them when I swap things out.   

I will eventually paint the dowels and nails to match the walls.  Somewhere in my stash of craft supplies I believe I even have some decorative ends to put on the dowels if I’m so inclined.  But doing all of that will take precious time away from quilting.  So for now, I am happy just to have quilts on the wall! 

I hope this post inspires you to hang some of your quilts so you and your guests can enjoy all the work that went into them on a regular basis!

This coming week I’ll be working on a couple of challenges.  One is for the quilt guild that I belong to, The Museum Quilt Guild in Batavia, NY and one is for the Quilter’s Consortium of New York State.  Check back next week for clues on those projects!  (I’d say I’ll show you the finished projects but I don’t want to give anything away before the reveal at the guild meeting.  Besides, if you know me, then you know I’ll be working on them right until the last minute!)  

-Melanie

Happy New Year!

The end of one year and the beginning of another year always brings a mix of emotions.  We look back at what we did and did not do in the past year and we look forward to what we hope to do in the coming year.

Where did 2013 go?  It went by so fast!  You’ve probably wondered where I’ve been since September.  In October my mom and I went to Des Moines, Iowa for the American Quilter’s Society show.  It was awesome, but more on that in a future post.  At the end of November I started work on 3 quilts for my boyfriend’s family.  I then spent most of December finishing the 3 quilts and doing the free-motion quilting on a quilt top that my mom made for a friend of ours as well.  Three and a half quilts completed in less than 5 weeks!  Whew! 

When we were in Des Moines, I picked up a kit to make a quilt for my boyfriend Jim’s, mom.  The pattern is Topsy Turvey Quilt from Fabric Cafe.  At their booth you get to choose a bundle of fabric with three oneChristmas quilt 2013 yard cuts of fabric.  For each bundle that you buy, you receive a free pattern.  They have a great selection of patterns that work with three one yard pieces of fabric.  It’s a really great concept.  You can find them at www.fabriccafe.com.  If you’re traveling to a large quilt show be sure to look for their booth.

This quilt finished at 46″ x 53-1/2″ which is a nice size for a couch throw.  If you want to make a full bed-sized quilt then you would purchase a second bundle of fabric in the same colors.

 This quilt top went together so quick and looks so beautiful that I decided to make Jim’s daughters’ quilts using the same pattern.

Hayley's Christmas quilt 2013

So off to one of my favorite quit shops I went, Patchwork Garden on Transit Rd. in East Amherst, NY.  Jim’s youngest daughter loves purple but finding something Christmas to go with it was the tough part.  Another customer came across a beautiful print with presents in lots of vibrant colors, including purple.  It was perfect.  I picked out a pretty beige fabric with snowflakes on it to be the third fabric, but when I got home the beige fabric made the quilt look too bland.  It needed something.  As I went through my stash, the red jumped out at me and begged to be in this quilt.  It was just the pop of color that was needed!

Lesson learned:  Never be afraid to change a plan! 

Miranda's Christmas quilt 2013

 For Jim’s older daughter I found a great snowman print with a turquoise background that I knew she would love.  The red and green fabrics have white snowflakes on them. 

I put “snuggle” fabric on the back of the quilts for his daughters.  It’s a silky, soft, fur-like material that is just dreamy (also found at Patchwork Garden)!  

 

 

Every year people talk about their New Year’s Resolutions.  Usually I make the same resolution to eat better and exercise more.  The difference this year is that I am adding a resolution.  I am going to make a post on this blog every week.  I have so many ideas share.  Some posts will be longer than others, but I will post something every Sunday.  So make it a habit to start your week off here to get quilting tips, find some new favorite tools, and inspirations.  You may even find a good book or a new recipe to try out.

What was the best part of 2013 for you?  What are your goals for 2014?  Drop me a line in the comments section.  I’d love to hear what’s important to you. 

-Melanie