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.

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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A Week of Progress

Hello Everyone,

Some of the 512 half-square triangle units

I’ve been keeping up with my new commitment to sewing/quilting every day.  I have been diligently working on my blocks for the Blue Ridge Beauty that I started at a class in mid-June.  I’ve decided to make the central portion of the quilt about one-third larger to accommodate the king-size beds we have in our home.  Soooo…. I need to make 256 of these pieced blocks.  That meant I needed to make 512 half-square triangle units, and 512 4-patch units.  I did the half-square triangles first, and I’ve had them ready for a couple of weeks.

In the process of pressing the 512 4-patch blocks

I started making the four-patches by sewing two strips together.  I cut all of this quilt out of some fat quarter collections that have been gracing my stash for several years.  They are awesome… part of the Daiwabo taupe collections that are so popular right now.  Since they began as fat quarters, the strips were only 20ish inches long.  This allowed me to create a very scrappy combination of 4-patches.  Then I cut the sewn strips into sections equal to the original strip width.  Once this was done, I paired up random units, to create the four-patches.  It seems like I’ve been making them for quite a while.  Alas, they are finished.

Now, I take two half-square units and two four-patches to make a block.  Then another, and another….   Right now, I’ve got 103 blocks done, of the 256…  Oh boy!  I must say, I love the way this is turning out.  I did have one scare along the way… I think I was going to run out of fabric….   Hard to believe, looking at my stash.  I almost called the store where I purchased this fabric, hoping they might still have some more.  Then I told myself to go look again in the stash.  I found two fat-quarters that blend in perfectly with the collection.  See, it does pay to buy fabric ahead!

Annie B Oxygen S&W in machine

I’m also working on my customer quilts this week.  It’s really fun to be challenged to work on a variety of projects.  I’ve quilted two stack-and-whack quilts for my good friend, Annie B.  The first one, made of a poppy print was set off nicely with a brilliant green stripe fabric that she used for her sashings.  I forgot to photograph it, so you’ll have to go to her blog on www.highplainsquilting.com and perhaps she’ll upload something.

Her second quilt used the “oxygen” fabric line.  It really has such great movement to the blocks, and Anne Bright recently released a terrific edge to edge design called Alexis that seems to have been made for this one particular quilt.  Thanks Anne Bright!!!  If you look closely, you’ll see that Annie B. ingeniously pieced her backing, using her leftovers from the project, and making the quilt a i beauty.

Next, I quilted a quilt top for Mark, who lives near to the Aurora theater where 12 people lost their lives last Friday.  Needless to say, I called him right away.  After a few hours, I hadn’t heard back from him, so I texted him.   Fortunately, he texted right back to say he was okay.  Thank goodness for that.’

What is interesting about Mark’s quilt, is that the quilt top is made entirely of seersucker fabrics in white, blue, grey and black stripes.  I pride myself i

n choosing designs to complement the quilt, and this quilt kept saying “nautical” to me.  I found a really cool sailboat with a star on the sail in a pattern by Ellen Munnich.  I called Mark, and he thought that sounded good…. plus he said I always choose well.  Thanks for the compliment!!!

Joan Schmidt’s One Block Wonder

Look How Well

Well, that’s what I’m up to.  What are you working on?  Leave a comment and let me and my readers know….

Happy Quilting,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian Clements

Perseverance

Hello Everyone…

Recently I’ve been thinking about perseverance.  It all started when I turned in a listing of my works in process to my guild friend, Penny Heldermann.  We have a little contest every year, and the purpose is to keep up working on the projects that we have going.  I hate to admit this, but, my list was over 50 items long.  It sounds pretty daunting when I think about it.  This list includes all the projects that are in varying states in and around my studio.  Several of them are quilt tops, completely pieced, and ready for quilting.  If only I had a longarm… oh wait… I do.  I should work one of my own into the mix once in a while.

Some of the other projects are awaiting borders, and some are just barely started.  I love to start new projects…  I think it’s about the most exciting part.  You get to choose fabrics, maybe even some shopping is in order.  Then you take the first cut.  It’s really fun.  The momentum carries you for a while, and then something else crops up.  Maybe it’s something else in life that is very important, or maybe it’s a matter of losing interest in the project, but for whatever reason, the project becomes dormant.

There are many quilts that I’ve started, and been so into the project that I couldn’t stay away, and the project went from zero to hero in a quick time.  I love those projects!  My award winning embroidery quilt was one of those projects.  From the time I discovered the pattern and bought the fabric and threads in Ohio, I couldn’t wait to get home to my machine and get started.  I worked on that quilt every day for many months.  It was soooooo worth it!

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3rd Place in the Machine Embroidery category at MQS2010!

Since Quilts of the Plains last month, I’ve made a change in my style.  I have worked on my projects every day.  I’m spending my time working some of my UFO’s into a more finished state, and it’s making me very happy.  The urge to find something new is pretty strong, so I find my mind wanders once in a while to…. “maybe I should try that…” or “it would be fun to go to the quilt shop”… but I’m holding that urge at bay.

I’ve had some great successes.  I have been working on a gorgeous new quilt that will be for our bedroom.  It has 768 flying geese blocks that are 1″ x 2”.  My new attitude allowed me to persevere, and the quilt top center is now complete, including the alternating squares and triangles.  I need to measure for and cut the border strips, and that is high on the list of my sewing goals.

Also, I have been piecing half-square triangles for another quilt.  It needed 512 of them.  Oh boy!  Check.  Done.  Now I’m working on the 512 4-patch blocks that go with.  Maybe I’ve got 100 or so done… but it’s getting there.  I’ve had to be out of town 10 days since Quilts of the Plains, and I made a point to make a to-go box of my project.  I’ve drawn the diagonal lines on the squares to get ready to sew the triangles.  I squared up the triangles another day at a hotel.  I cut and pressed fabrics one time.  The maid probably wonders whats up with the trash can sometimes.

The point is, I’m making time and setting myself a goal.  Work on something every day.  It might be 15 or 30 minutes, or like today, many hours….  But I’m shooting for EVERY DAY.

I did take a nice break this afternoon to go to the lake with a couple of my friends who embody this type of discipline.  First, my friend Paula, who doesn’t have a stash…. I KNOW!  IMAGINE THAT….  It’s because she finishes what she starts, and then moves on.  Her husband Dave was the reason for the lake outing today.  He built a remote control replica model of a PT boat.  We had yet to see it float, so today seemed like a good time to go.  I couldn’t believe how much detail, and workmanship was in this boat.  I asked Dave if he had any idea how many hours it took.  His response “I worked on it every day for about 6 hours a day, and it took two months”.   How’s that for PERSEVERANCE?

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This boat can really move through the water. It was so fun to watch it go. Thanks again Dave Wingfield!

I hope my blog is inspiring you to work on your projects, too!

Sincerely,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian Clements

Annie B blogging about QOTP

Hello everyone.  I had coffee with my good friend, Annie B on Tuesday.  She mentioned that she completed a blog entry about the Quilts of the Plains show.  I had a few minutes today, so I checked it out.  She always has such descriptive blog posts, and includes wonderful pictures, too!

Here blog is located at http://www.highplainsquilting.com/high_plains_quilting_blog.php

It was nice to read about the show from her perspective… and She and husband, Steve and always willing to lend a helping hand.  I know how busy they both were, as they hosted a party for Steve’s classmates the very next morning.

If you’ve never seen one of Ann’s quilted creations, boy have you missed out…  She finds the coolest fabrics, and makes so many cute things for her family and friends.  We at Foltmer Drug are lucky to offer a few of her things for sale… so if you need a little something special for a dear friend… or yourself, you should give a thought to Annie B!

Lastly, I just want to thank Ann for her support, and thank you for reading my blog.  Feel free to leave me a comment!

Sincerely,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian Clements

QOTP2012 Photos Posted

I took a photo of each quilt in the show, and I’ve uploaded them to an album on my webshots site.  Please click on the link to be taken to my album.  You may post comments to the photos.  I tried to list the quiltmaker and many times the quilt name in the caption under the photo.  You will also find a button on the right hand side to show you a slideshow of all of the images.  There are over 170 images, and you can order prints and other related items on the website.http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/album/583013853CnwwuF?vhost=home-and-garden

Please post your comments regarding the show here on my blog, so that I can hear about your experiences!

We had an awesome grouping of quilts…  129 of them to be exact.  The overall winner was Devonna Haines of Benkelman, Nebraska with her Sun Bonnet Sue Calendar quilt.  Other winners were Keeley Confer, also of Benkelman, Laura Nicks of Loveland, Colorado, Nicole Howard of Saint Francis, Kansas, Sheena Burr of Seibert, Colorado, Millie Bracelin of Wray, Colorado and Anita Hoyer of Elizabeth, Colorado.  Congratulations to all of the viewer’s choice favorites listed… however, each and every one of you who entered quilts was someone’s favorite quilter, so I think you are all winners!

The raffle quilt was won by Gene Bainbridge of Wray, Colorado.  Gene is the Mother of winner Anita Hoyer, a long-time participant in the show, and multiple viewer’s choice winner, as well.

If you have yet to pick up your quilt… they are being saved for you at Rainbow Fabrics in Wray.

Again, enjoy the photos… whether you were able to attend or not.  I think it gives a pretty good representation of the show.

The next years show is scheduled for June 22, 2013 and upcoming details will be posted at www.wraychamber.net/quiltsoftheplains.php so check back periodically for updates.

Sincerely,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

Quilts of the Plains 2012

Well everyone… It’s right around the corner. Quilts of the Plains 2012, that is! There is a great webpage devoted to the upcoming outdoor quilt show in Wray. Please check it out at www.wraychamber.net/quiltsoftheplains.php and see for yourself. If you’ve entered quilts before, the procedure is the same as last year. There are seven different categories… so you’ll certainly have many things to enter. If you haven’t yet displayed your quilted items in this show… I challenge you to do it this year. Who knows… YOU might be the winner of the viewers’ choice top prize, and brand-spankin’ new Janome sewing machine.
There are some cool vendor booths, and YOU could be the winner of our great raffle quilt, which was donated by Quilters’ Anonymous. All you need to do, is buy that ONE lucky raffle ticket!

Here is an example of how the quilts are displayed along the Main Street.

Please help us to spread the word. Quilts of the Plains is awesome… and it’s less than four weeks away!

I just finished my last quilt before the move.

Well, I’ve finally completed the last quilt in my queue.  As you may or may not know, I’m preparing to move my studio across town.  With this accomplishment, now I can move forward with the dismantling, moving and resetting my Gammill with Statler Stitcher.

His name is Artie, by the way.  His robotics and system really allow me to have fun putting my spin on many, many customer quilts.  Every once in a while, I even get to work on one of my own quilts, too!

I guess that’s all I’ve got to report tonight.

Have fun… Do something creative!!!

Fellow Quilter,

Brian

Hello world!

Fellow Quilter has arrived!

I am pleased to present this new blog space for promoting my machine quilting business.

I’ll be posting some inspirational photos of some of my customers and my own quilts.

I’m participating in a round robin quilt project with several quilting men that I have met through the years.  Below is a rendering of my central block.  I can’t wait to see what each guy adds to it as it travels around.

Please check back later!

Happy Quilting,

Fellow Quilter,

Brian