Saturday, December 31, 2011

Dougan Falls Raffle Quilt

All three of my children have attended Washougal High School, and with Kimberly a senior this year, we are approaching the end of our involvement with the school.  My eldest son, Reid, started attending WHS in 1999.  His entry into the school couldn't have been at a worse time because that was the year a community school bond passed and a major remodel and upgrade started at WHS.  Reid still tells stories of leaking roofs, no heat, temporary classrooms crowded in the gym with plastic sheeting for "walls," dust everywhere, and continuously changing construction zones. 

After almost two years of construction though, it is a beautiful school that the community is very proud of.  In addition to adding and updating classrooms, they also added a state-of-the-art auditorium.  Named after the tireless and much loved WHS educator and administrator Gordon Washburn, the Washburn Performing Arts Auditorium is a true acoustic theatre that draws rave reviews from attendees.  Many a time I have sat in that auditorium and watched Reid, then Brice (my second son), and now Kimberly playing percussion instruments as a part of an ensemble or with one of the WHS bands (yes, that's right....all three of my children are's what I blame my deafness on!).

One of the traditions at the school is an all-night party for the graduating seniors.  After their graduation on June 9, 2012, the seniors will be put on a bus and taken to a secret location for an all-night drug-free party.  This party is not funded by the school or taxpayers, but rather by dedicated parents who tirelessly hold fundraising events.

In thinking about how much of my family life has been tied to the high school, I wanted to help raise money for the senior class party.  So, I decided to make a quilt.  I really wanted to make this quilt something specific to the Washougal area, so one day I drove up along the Washougal River and stopped at interesting sites and took pictures.  I ended up at Dougan Falls, which is a magnificent waterfall that you can usually hear before you get there.  I took lots of pictures and headed home.

"Dougan Falls" is the resulting quilt.  Measuring 45" long x 28" wide, I painted each element individually, then appliqued it onto the hand painted water fabric.  It was then heavily machine quilted with thread and cheese cloth couched on for added dimension. 

This quilt will be on display at various locations in the Washougal and Camas areas for the next several months.  You will be able to buy a raffle ticket for $5 each with all the proceeds going to the WHS Senior Class.  The drama department at WHS is putting on the play "The Quilters" in April and May, and during intermission on May 5th, a ticket will be drawn and a lucky winner will be announced.  So, I hope you'll participate and potentially win this quilt!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Olivia's Baby Quilt

Olivia is my second grandchild and first granddaughter.  She joined Max, her two-year-old brother, on December 18, 2010.  Because it has been a year since she was born, I thought it was high time I got busy and made her a quilt!

The very first quilting class I ever taught was a six-week beginning quilting class that featured two pieced blocks and one appliqued block.  The appliqued block was a dragonfly that I demonstrated in each class that I taught.  When I was looking around in my studio closet for ideas for Olivia's quilt, I found eleven of these blocks and decided a dragonfly quilt would be perfect for Olly!

I made one more block, chose some fun clear, bright fabrics to border each block, and chose a white and black print for the outside borders.  The result is a very colorful quilt that I hope Olivia likes and will drag around with her for many years!

The dragonfly side of the quilt........

and the moon side of the quilt!

A picture of Olivia dressed as a ladybug for Halloween.  She's the cutest bug this grandma has ever seen!

River Quilts in Camas, Washington

December 10, 2011

This Saturday finds me teaching a Thread Painting class at River Quilts, a quilt shop located in downtown Camas, Washington.  Nancy Sullivan opened this areas' newest quilt shop this past spring and a welcome addition to this area it is!  If you haven't been to downtown Camas lately, now is a great time to visit.  In addition to great restaurants and cafe's, there are some antique shops, women's clothing stores, a yoga studio, cool bead shop, wine shop, the historic Liberty Theatre, the beautiful Camas Library, and of course, River Quilts. 

This past August, Nancy organized the very first Outdoor Quilt Show in downtown Camas.  The show was very well attended with over 125 quilts on exhibit, so she is already planning for an even bigger show next year.   If you live in the Southwest Washington area, I hope to see one of your quilts hanging in the 2012 show. 

It was during the Outdoor Quilt Show that I first met Nancy and we scheduled the class that brings me back today.  Nancy rearranged the store so 18 of us could take over the back half of the store.  Most students worked on Great Blue Herons, but there was a purple heron that also appeared in class!  All the students were very enthusiastic and it was a pleasure meeting all of them. 

I'm scheduled to teach a beginning Art of Machine Quilting class at River Quilts on March 10, 2012.  So, if you're interested in taking an introductory machine quilting workshop at a classy quilt shop, here's your chance!