Friday, November 17, 2017

Pretty Pillows ~~ finishes

I spent most of this afternoon quilting up a couple of pillows for a customer who plans to give them as Christmas gifts. 

Fun quilting! I mean really fun! My customer requested that I quilt the two new pillows like I quilted the cream part of this tricolor one.

I put the original pillow near the long-arm so I could easily refer to it when I needed inspiration. Of course, I added some new motifs. One of them was a mistake. lol So I made the mistake a couple more times. Plus, I had a few ideas that I decided to try out. 

They worked out quite well, so I've taken lots of close-up photographs. It's an easy way to remember what I did this time. Since the pillows will be gone in a two or three days, I won't have them as reference points.

The overall idea was simple: fill up the space with small, repetitive motifs. I used leaves, circles, flowers, tear-drops, feathers, scrolls, tiny stippling, and some things that I don't even have a name for.

If I had any sense, I'd try to draw them out in a notebook, but I haven't exhibited any attempts or sense. Maybe after I get the last of my Christmas sewing done. 

I plan to write a tutorial on how I sewed the pillows together. I especially want to explain how to get square, decorator corners, instead of pokey, pointy ones. Come back tomorrow or Sunday for that tutorial.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Pin It Weekly #222

Dry-brining is a foolproof method that gives you tender, flavorful turkey every time. This recipe, infused with the flavors of garlic, lemon and thyme, is guaranteed to get raves as the centerpiece on your holiday table.Happy Pin It Weekly. Have you begun your countdown to Thanksgiving? What about your countdown to Christmas? I've started preparing for Thanksgiving because the entire Marcotte clan will be here for lunch. Our boys and their wives and children. The in-laws and their other son. Perhaps even a nephew and his family.

In other words I'll be prepping and cooking for a couple of days. Oh, did I mention that my oven doesn't work? It doesn't. It doesn't turn on. Or heat up. Or cook. Or anything else, except store things. It might work as a place to hide Christmas gifts. Just kidding. We don't need the fire hazard.

Roasting your thanksgiving turkey in a countertop roaster oven can simplify preparation by freeing up the oven for side dishes. Cook times and instructions for roasting meats and...
So I will cook creatively. Using two electric ovens that sit on the countertop. They are very much like the one in this photo. Mine can easily hold a turkey. I have no idea what the borrowed oven can do. I'll figure that out when it arrives. 

A former student MacKenzie has a sweet little board with ideas for a gallery wall. I really need to think about putting something on our walls. We painted two years ago and I have not hung even one item yet. My husband has a phobia of nail holes, I guess. He absolutely insists on these bare gray walls. It's time for an intervention. 

Hi friends... Just added a few fresh touches to our master bedroom gallery wall; loving the newest one from Patti @thesimplyinspiredshop. I love to find pieces that flow well together; have good textures, shapes and colors, but most importantly, reflect my life, style and personality! My favorite story is, of course my family and how I met my husband... A blind date; it's such a unique and fun story to tell. Sharing your story though pictures and gallery walls is a creative way to pers...

This super cool wall art is actually painted ceiling medallions #hgtvmagazine - Laura Cross - OutlookBrilliant 25 Creative Gallery Wall Ideas and Photos for 2017 Perhaps it was the simple fact which I moved nearly annually. It's much less hokey as it sounds. It is possible to observe the way that it turned out here. It is possible to go crazy if you wish to! You might already have everything.

So proud of my gallery wall! Found all of the decor at Hobby Lobby! Bench was my great grandmothers that chalk painted and distressed. Pillows under $3 on eBay. Blanket from my local dollar general.Paul Smith Store Wall design that I've been wanting to do at home for ages.

That nursery gallery wall is so gorgeous!

A gathering of white frames in different sizes and shapes.Using all the same frames on your gallery wall can give it a neat and organized look. LOVE that rustic / pallet bench too! Gallery wall ideas for your foyer.

So this is what a few of us have been pinning. I love the idea of incorporating different elements into a wall of portraits, but I am also insistent that those elements have meaning. Sure the items in places like Hobby Lobby or Kirklands are interesting and beautiful, but they are not a part of my family's story. And so rather than put something--anything--on the wall, I've put nothing.

Adding shelves to the mix when creating gallery walls creates a more exciting and diversified look!

Marvelous 25 Creative Gallery Wall Ideas and Photos for 2017 Perhaps it was the simple fact which I moved nearly annually. It's much less hokey as it sounds. It is possible to observe the way that it turned out here. It is possible to go crazy if you wish to! You might already have everything.It's beginning to bug me that I'm giving a different impression: that my family doesn't have a story. Wow! The idea is so far from real life that I've decided it's going to be our intervention theme. It might scare Richard enough to drive the nails (stick the Command hooks)  himself. 

Find these pins and other on my "gallery, wall" Pinterest board. Do you have a gallery wall? What are some of the items you've incorporated?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Of guilds and churches and crazy

I've been quite busy since our return from Houston. It seems that I can't catch up enough to remember what I want to write about. I am, after all, attempting to document some of my quilting life and a little of my life outside of quilting. In other words, quilting is not my only thing! It will, however, be more of my thing. 

Let me explain. The day after we returned from Houston (and one of the reasons we drove home on Sunday) the Cotton Quilters' Guild held its November meeting. It was rather important, since the agenda included finding out how much revenue the quilt show earned, how we'd spend that money, and voting for new officers. 

I had a show and share (the tee shirt quilt I wrote about here), but so did the other Mary in our club. Look how pretty her quilt top is. 

I don't remember exactly how much the show earned but probably shouldn't give that info anyway. We did vote to use some of the money to attend the Gulf States Guild Show in Slidell on April 14. I'm considering perhaps submitting a quilt or two for that show.

Then, of course, it was time to choose new officers. I think know I was railroaded. Nominated, seconded, voted, unanimous! And in the snap of the fingers, I was to become the new president. My reign presidency begins in January. Now, I will admit, I expected to be nominated. After all, the current president had warned me mentioned it in passing. 

What I did not expect was that no one else nominated anyone else. I was poorly prepared. I am ill prepared and likely will not get better. If the Cotton Quilters' Guild goes to heck in a handbasket, it certainly is no fault of Mary Marcotte. That's my excuse story and I'm sticking to it. It occurred to me that I don't even know the names of all the members. That thought came along well after I'd left the meeting, mind you. I have this uncanny penchant for sicking thoughts while I can fix do something any time it's too late. So I take use Scarlett O'Hara's plan, "I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow." (from Gone with the Wind) I suppose I'll think about the guild tomorrow.

Different Story (to avoid thinking)
Something of interest occurred in Houston. My friends and sisters and nieces and I were planning to meet up at the quilt show. We didn't. But we had to meet up because we were sharing the same hotel. This church steeple is so tall it can be seen from several areas around the convention center. We decided (while talking on the phone) to meet in front of the church since we could all see it. I pause here to say that my family is Catholic, but I had no idea what my friend's religion is. 

While parked in front of the church, I read a sign aloud because I do that some oftentimes. Angie (my sister) actually listened to me and heard 1) wwere sitting in front of Catholic church and 2) mass would begin in five minutes. "Wait! We need to attend mass! We can do that now." 


In three minutes we were parked, paid the meter, and were walking inside while calling Lee (the other sister) and her girls to tell them to come to mass to find us. Yes, Pam (oh, my poor friend) got caught in the fray and attended mass with five members of my crazy family. 

Pam was a trooper. It turns out she grew up in the Catholic church, so she was able to follow along and didn't mind being imposed upon. At least she said she didn't mind. Everyone even waited patiently after mass while I took pictures because I love churches. Patient but hungry so I got only a few pictures but some pretty good ones.

I suppose the moral of this post is that you never know what might happen when you're a Bourque girl. (Bourque is my maiden name.) And when you're with any of the Bourque family members, you are just along for the ride.

The church is absolutely beautiful, so thankfully, this particular ride ended a bit closer to heaven! 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Houston IQA {5} More ribbons!

If you've been following along for the last week, you know that I've been posting some of the photos I took while at the Houston Quilt Festival. The quilts below are more of the winners, but honestly, every quilt was amazing. 

I spent most of my time looking at the "big" winners, MQG quilts, Tactile Architecture, In Full Bloom and Celebration of Color, but there were other exhibits, many of which I passed through, others I simply missed for lack of time.

I hope you spend a bit of time looking at these and enjoying them as much as I did and still am. Looking through the photos and enhancing them has been almost as much fun since I get to see them all over again.

Once they are on published here, I plan to pin them to my Pinterest board, "heart, quilts" so you'll be able to find them there as well. I encourage you to repin them as you like. 

Which of these is your favorite? I still can't choose!
Lastly, you can find all the other posts on my visit to Houston here {1}here {2}(purchases), here {3}, and here {4}

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday Quilt Inspiration: IQA Houston {4}

Last weekend's trip to Houston and the International Quilt Association Show was wonderful and thrilling (I had two days!) and inspiring. I thought that, since the works were so inspiring for me, you might find something to inspire you. To that end, I have these to share.

You may have seen them on other blogs or Pinterest. If so, more likely the photos were a bit better than mine, but I've grown accustomed to my own and I take pictures of the quilts I like. Some are not within my personal tastes, but I take a photo anyway--for reasons I cannot explain. But there you go--I just do.

Sometimes  it's the concept of the thing. The quilt above is one of those "concepts." If you look closely, what appears to be small dots are actually the leaf on the Canadian flag. The bars are bars. Put them together and you've got Morse code. Arrange them in this order precisely, and you've got the Canadian Anthem. Now there's a concept I can get on board with. Really! Isn't it a novel idea and one to show pride of country?

Many of the quilts spoke to me through their use of line. The quilts above and below do that. Look closely and notice the quilting. Amazing!

This one is filed under "I don't know." I just liked it, I guess.

This one above I do know. I love it! It gave me an idea for an art quilt of my own. We'll see how that goes. :)

This one got me for it perspective: it's a view from and opening inside a castle.  The quilt below is actually two quilts, but what I like is the perspective of a bird's eye view.

 Again, the lines, the perspective, the colors. I could not resist this one or the one below. Look carefully at the story it tells.

This quilt is a political one: the squares represent tents for refugees from wars around the globe. It seems simple, until one reads the blurb, and suddenly it says so much.

I am curious about what you think of this last one. I have some ideas and opinions (of course) but I'm guessing that I'm overthinking the fun. Tell me what you see in the comments. It's perfect for an interesting discussion of form, color, meaning, expression, and yes, inspiration...just about anything to do with art. Let's chat.

And I hope you are inspired by one or more of these quilts. I can't express how much they move me. You can more of the IQS quilt photos on my Pinterest board, "heart, quilts" which has almost 7,500 different quilts. Now there's some inspiration for you!