Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Aloha III

This third and last of the Aloha "Series" features appliquéd whales and turtles from Hawai'i.

The hand-dyed batiks for both the whale and turtle mini-quilts originated from my favorite quilt shop, Kapaia Stitchery on Kauai.  Browse the shop yourself at
The whales swim in an ocean made from 1 inch strips of batiks, with the hues darkening as the whales swim deeper. The turtles meander in a very calm strip of blue tonal batik. 

The quilting is free-motion curls to represent swirling water on both of these mini-quilts.
My husband and I love to snorkel, especially on Maui.  Not only have we swam with whales and turtles, but a school of dolphin as well on the Big Island.  Once while snorkeling close to shore on Maui we caught a strange deep-ocean current which brought millions of shrimp and a large manta ray. 

Last but not least is a quilt whose pattern is aptly entitled Ocean Waves, quilted in varying shades to emulate ... well ... ocean waves.  I've entitled it Sand and Surf.  It just makes you want to take off your shoes and dip your toes into the water.

I free-motion quilted curls again on this quilt, the same as the mini-quilts.  It just seemed the right application.  I also changed the thread color to suit the fabric.  Which thread?  What else but King Tut, a luxurious variegated cotton.

What do you do with a few leftover triangle square units when a project is done?  You make a matching pillow!

I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to Hawaii with me!  Certainly, it's something we all can do when we quilt with batiks.

And for those of you interested in my Grand Re-Opening in my new studio, keep frequenting my blog for information on the date, hopefully this August or September.

Until then, Aloha!

Ponderosa Patchworks no ka oi!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

When life hands you lemons... have no choice but to make do.  Gratefully, our distance from the fire break out gave us more time to pack up our things before the mandatory fire evacuation was announced for the Black Forest fire. Working solo for 90 minutes, and then later with a few family members and friends, I struggled with the decision of what to pack another 90 minutes after this announcement.

Of course, customer quilts were the first things in the car.  I had a responsibility to see to that. Personal quilts were piled on the dining room table and used as packaging material with which to wrap pictures off the walls.  Photo albums were thrown into large empty tubs stored in a hall closet just for that purpose.

Important documents, a few changes of clothing, extra shoes, and some heirlooms were salvaged along with other personal items that couldn't be replaced.  Beyond that, that's all the time I had before fleeing the ash and belching black fire plumes that were quickly descending upon our property and home. The sky was an alarming shade of crimson which poured through the windows those last few moments - a frightening farewell. 

One of the quilts we managed to save is pictured at right, and continues my Aloha theme from June - or Aloha II.

It showcases 49 Hawaiian flowers that have been raw-edge appliquéd.  The quilting was entirely free-motion; fern wreaths in each four-square block as well as around the edge of the quilt.  I chose an earthy theme for the fabrics to complement the Colorado locale.

One question that I am frequently asked is "Did I get all my quilts out?"  The answer is no.  There were some that were too difficult to reach that went down with the home.  

I made conscious decisions to leave most of the homes' other decorations because of their 1) low priority, and 2) I felt those adornments went with that house.  The next home will be blessed with its own character and love, with all family members safely intact who will gratefully supply that love in abundance.

Which brings me to my closing comment for this post four weeks to the day after our home was totally destroyed. What do you do when life hands you lemons?  As cliche as it sounds, you just have to make the best-tasting lemonade this side of Heaven. You re-create, rebuild and refashion another life similar if not better than the one before.  
Another question I've been asked is "Are you going to reopen your business?"  You re-create, rebuild and refashion another business similar if not better than the one before! Watch for an announcement of lemonade being served at my Grand Opening hopefully this fall in our cute little bungalow near Colorado Springs' Old North End.  
Life is truly sweet.