Sunset Lane

Looking South from Sunset Lane
Looking South from Sunset Lane

Hello everyone. For today’s assignment, “Landscape”, I headed out around our great town with my camera in hand. I thought about a shot of Stalker Lake. Umm, not today. I saw the bluffs behind the school, and actually settled on a spot just down the road. I expected to focus more on the cliffs, but the sunshine was bound and determined to take center stage.
I was glad there were a few clouds to add more interest to the gorgeous blue sky.
The dirt road does pull you into the scene, and I love the way the sun rays explode in the sky.
I’d say it’s another beautiful day here on the eastern plains of Colorado.
Have a great day, and be inspired.
Fellow Quilter,
Brian

Flower

tomatoes and dish towel

Hello everyone.  Today’s Photo Blogging Challenge was “Pop of Color”.  I had originally planned to photograph three hedge apples in the kitchen.  This dish towel was on the towel bar, and these tomatoes were on the counter, so I created a small still life to showcase the wonderful color.  The lighting was great, streaming in from a couple of windows and reflecting on the luscious skin of the fruit.  I hope you enjoy!

This photo might make you hungry, so I’ve linked to a recipe for Tomato Bisque Soup.

Have a creative day.  Use some color!

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

Warmth

Hello everyone.  Today’s photo blogging assignment was warmth.  Yeah, right!!!  We have been breaking record low temperatures here in Colorado from over 100 years ago.  But… I could have done the obvious, shown you some quilts.  However, the assignment parameters were to use the sun as a light source.

cutty sark warmth

I love the way the sun comes in through the shutters in our library.  I decided to warm up with some scotch whiskey.  Well, I will later, after work…  A nearby Scotland travel book and a large volume of “Thoughts” was a great pedestal, to get my glass positioned in the sunlight just how I envisioned.  You can’t really move the sun, you know.  I just love the way the glass of scotch is the shining focal point of this image.  Everything else is a supporting player.

The lamp and the small orchid plant filled the corners of the shot, and I think it came out pretty nice.  Let me know what you think.  Or what you drink, if you’re so inclined.  I’m actually more of a Gin connoisseur myself.  The old bottle of scotch was a gift from a recently departed friend.  I don’t think she was a scotch drinker either, because the bottle is super old.

Well, enough for now.  I hope you can enjoy some warmth for yourself.

From Freezing Colorado,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

Look what I found

Hello everyone.  One of the great things about blogging is to engage with other bloggers.  I’ve been checking out some great photos and also some cool writers blogs.  One such blogger posted a really neat close up photo of a piano.  More specifically the insides of a piano.  You can find the photos at https://wordpress.com/read/post/id/36807166/103/

What caught my attention was the way the light played across the different parts.  The strings, the pins, and the felt all had different reaction to the light.

We should translate these ideas into our quilt projects.  How is the light going to bounce across the patches?  How does it look up close?  Is it dynamic when viewed from a distance?  Don’t be afraid to think about these types of questions.  There isn’t usually a right/wrong idea.  Develop your own eye for what looks good to you.  Your admirers will take notice.

I decided to add a little poll for my readers.  I’ll keep track, and I’ll update the results in a future post.  Click here to take my 30-second poll.

I hope this journey is inspiring to you.  Thanks again to GrayDaysAndCoffee for inspiring me.

Have a great day!

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

This my dear reader — Is BLISS!

Hello everyone.

Today I’m blogging about “Bliss”.  As you know, my primary creative outlet is quiltmaking.  I love sharing my inspiration, and progress with you.  By posting these entries, I hope that you find ideas that move you to be more creative.

Although, I post a lot about quilts and quilting, I also dabble in many other arts.  Of course photography is a great hobby, and I think I’m getting better and better.  The daily photo blog group this month is pushing me to new ideas.  I also play around with scrapbooking supplies once in a while, and have a neat stash of paper, stamps, punches and embellishments tucked away in my studio drawers.

But… quilting is my passion.  I love looking at new books and magazines, and I have had many terrific shopping excursions.  Oh boy, have I shopped.  My fabric drawers have been so full, that they could no longer contain my fabric stash.

I decided earlier this fall to create some wonderful scrap quilts to utilize some of my stash.  I’m making four bed-size quilts to be gifted to some wonderful people in my life.  I don’t want to name names, since it will be a surprise.

I cut up about 80 yards of fabric into 2.5″ strips, of all colors and patterns.  This will yield 400 blocks, or enough for 4 king-size quilt tops.  Now, all of my fabric stash in nicely contained in my drawers.  I can walk around the studio, and I’ve got space on my cutting table to spread out and work.

I’ve sewn and sewn… and I now have 80 blocks completed.  That’s 20% of the total.  The process to me is full of bliss.  I listen to music or watch shows on my DVR.  Well, actually, I’m “listening” to shows.  My TV is behind me, so I don’t really see the screen.

So, I bet you’re wondering what these quilts will look like.  Of course they are scrappy, so no two are alike, but here is a link to the free pattern from Bonnie K. Hunter.  There you will also find a treasure trove of quilting inspiration.  Go have a look for yourself.

The music I tend to listen to is all different types.  We have a wonderful concert series in Wray, at a place called the Listening Room at 4th & Main.  Just last night was a superb concert by Rita Hosking.  Here is a sample of her music. 

A quick snapshot of my first 80 blocks.  There are 320 more to come.  It's a wonderful project to just get your hands on the fabric.
A quick snapshot of my first 80 blocks. There are 320 more to come. It’s a wonderful project to just get your hands on the fabric.

My photo today is a quick shot of the 80 blocks completed so far.  I figure it will take me at least 40 more blissful hours to complete the rest…  Oh happy me!

Have a great day,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

Some Sunday Inspiration & The Yuma County Fair

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Recently, Joe and I took a road trip in the Pacific Northwest.  I thought I’d share a couple pictures from the Old Morris Tobacco Shop in Victoria, British Columbia.  I really loved the old tile floors, so I had to snap a couple of shots, so that I’d remember them.

Also… the marble light pole in the middle of the room is an antique Italian marble floor lighter.  Yes, it still works.  They told us it is one of only two in the world.

A great shop… lots of manly inspiration here.  Maybe someday, these inspirations will wind up in a project.  Who knows?

Their website is Old Morris Tobacconist Ltd

Also, today is the day that I’ll be entering my newest quilt into the Yuma County Fair.  It’s a strippy quilt that features a vintage French fabric that Joe purchased for me at a show many years ago.  I knew it was destined to become something very special.  I followed the quilt project, as it spoke to me and told me what to design next.  It really was a labor of love.

I digitized some special quilting motifs for the borders.  I think it turned out really well.  The quilt just returned from Seattle, where it was displayed at our wedding two weeks ago.  I hope you enjoy the pictures,2013-03-21 10.46.45 2013-03-21 10.47.03 2014-01-13 10.40.28 2014-01-13 10.41.06

Happy Quilting,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

Quilts of the Plains 2014 – Another Year of BEAUTIFUL Quilts!

QOTP_2014_Image_001Hello everyone.  It’s been a busy summer here in Wray, Colorado.  We did host the annual Quilts of the Plains show on Main Street on June 21, 2014.  Once again, the antique quilts and the smaller items were showcased at our gorgeous Wray Museum.

Thanks to all the sponsors, volunteers, and especially the quilters!  The winning quilt was by Hazel Chapman and her Grand-daughter.  It was a beautiful appliqued quilt.

I won’t say a lot, but just invite you to peruse the show, by way of the photos I captured that day.  I really appreciate if you could leave a comment about the show – perhaps your favorite quilt, or something relevant to the show.

The photos can be viewed at my Quilts of the Plains 2014 Photo Album

I hope you are enjoying this blog.

Miniatures Wins!

Hello everyone,
Just an update to let you followers know that the Miniatures quilt won Professional Best of Show at the Yuma County Fair in Colorado.
In addition, the award I sponsor, for best use of color in a quilt, was awarded to my good friend and customer, Chris Wade of Wray!!!
Good job, Chris. I saw you (your quilt anyway) at the fair!!! LOL

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Yuma County Fair begins Saturday

Hello friends and followers,

I thought I’d make a quick blog entry to remind you about the Yuma County Fair. I am a big supporter of the fair, especially the open class quilt exhibits. I make a point to enter at least one quilt each year. The main reason I do, is to get feedback from the trained quilt judges as to my work. Over the years, I’ve learned many things, and my quilt-making is improved as a result.

So… you’re wondering why I’m writing this. There cannot be a quilt exhibition, without the quilts! Entering is easy… just drop your quilt or quilts off at the Yuma County Fairgrounds in Yuma, Colorado on Sunday, August 4th from 1:00-4:00 p.m. or on Monday morning from 7:30-9:00 a.m. Don’t worry too much about the competition, as there are many age groups and levels to accommodate everyone. Think how proud you’ll be to see your quilt on display at the fair.

If you do drop off your entry on Monday… you might consider staying to watch the judging. It’s fascinating to hear the judge comment on what makes one quilt stand out, or what might have made the quilt more stunning. I’ve learned a lot by listening… just wish I could attend the judging every year, but Monday mornings are very busy at the stores.

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I’ll be entering this quilt, entitled “Miniatures”. You may have seen it at the Quilts of the Plains show in June. It has some great quilting, and the flying geese blocks are super small. It was fun to make, and I hope you’ll come and check it out, as well as the many other quilts that will be on display.

I hope I’ve inspired you to share your work with others through my blog posts. I welcome your comments, and I hope to see you at the fair! Bye for now, and happy quilting, gardening, BBQ’ing, or whatever summer activities that you enjoy!

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

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Road Trip Finale

Hello everyone. Well, the Nebraska road trip is over. We had a great time visiting some of our favorite quilt shops again. We enjoyed Cottage Inspirations in Cambridge. Then we were off to Arapahoe, which was the topic of my blog post on Wednesday. After a long lunch break, we headed to Grand Island where two quilt shops were in our sights. An explosion of color, pattern and design are always how I perceive the Material Girl quilt shop. 20120817-125717.jpgOwner, Debbie, was not there on this day… Her hubby said she was already on the way to Colorado for the big quilt event in Loveland… I guess I’ll see her there, because I plan to go on Saturday with friends, Mark, Benita and Renata.
After spending quite some time choosing at Material Girl… We had just a few minutes to hit Nana’s Quilt Shop in downtown Grand Island. 20120817-125920.jpgThis shop specializes in the more primitive, and country style. Annie B was in heaven, for sure. After our quick tour of Nana’s… We discovered an awesome quilt shop, Heartland Antique Mall was just down the street. Fun, fun, fun!
Sadly, after the overnight stay, we headed west.
We only had time for one stop, so we made it count… The Quilt Rack in North Platte! 20120817-125939.jpgLisa DeBord is a good friend of ours, and her shop sells just about anything quilting related. She has lots of panels, in case you need a jumping off point. Also ther are batiks, novelty prints, all the latest from top designers, etc. We stayed until the very last minute we could, because I had to be home by 3pm to leave for a convention in Denver. We sure made every second count!
Hopefully, you and some good friends will plan a similar trip, and tell us about it!

 

 

Happy Quilting,
Fellow Quilter,
Brian Clements