Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Stay tuned...more to come

Under construction at the moment...my camera battery is dead.  Be back shortly...thanks for your patience.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's a Pineapple Express!

Pineapple anyone?  Isn't this delicious?  My first in a long time hand-guided quilt.  The borders are a custom pineapple computer aided design though.  Lady wanted SID in the pineapples and around the applique and just a meander in the background.  Count them...48 pineapples SID!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Introducing Morning Glory Medallion

I have arrived...the debut of Morning Glory Medallion, by My Lady.  I will let the pictures speak.  If this slide show doesn't work, go to my Picasa album to see the rest.  Thank you for looking.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Making of a Beautiful Quilt

I began this quilt yesterday and as it usually goes, the beginning is kind of slow.  There's lots to deal with such as stabilizing the whole thing, deciding what color thread to use where, the best designs to fit in the right spot, time to ponder the sewing order to minimize changing thread constantly and much more work than you ever would think about.  The story of the ugly duckling comes to mind when I look at all the ruffles and excess fabric in places, and what to do with warped borders...  It may not be a very good looking job at this point, but I never lose heart...from past experience, it usually comes out in the end.  I thought I'd give you a glimpse into my life and the point of "agony of defeat" in this process.  I will wait for the "thrill of victory" in a few days.  Meantime, I plod away, chomping at it bit by bit.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ray White machine repair classes

We just completed our third annual machine maintenance and repair workshop with Ray White, White Sewing Center, Belleview, Missouri.  Ray has been traveling to the West coast to teach groups of individuals who are interested in knowing how sewing machines work and how to save a bunch of money doing maintenance and repair at home.  If you are interested, go to Ray's website and read and learn.  We tentatively plan to repeat the classes next year, Lord willing, and if Ray is able to make the trip.  It's small and lots of individual attention is possible. Ray White has been teaching these classes for at least 10 years.If you Google his name you'll find it connected with machine repair classes, Elna sewing machines, and anything to do with parts for outdated machines.  Here are pictures of a couple of my projects.  I highly recommend his classes if you love to tinker with sewing machines and have a sincere desire to learn how they work. Ray can sit down at any machine and get into it and diagnose sometimes just by listening to it.  You might call him the "machine whisperer". 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Let Me Introduce Elsie's Double Wedding Ring

This is truly a fine piece of art.  Elsie used Judy Niemeyer's foundation piecing technique and did an outstanding job of making things square and flat.  Pressing was of utmost importance to eliminate bulky seam intersections.  Thank you Elsie!  I used Anita Shakelford's Amish Feather border for the outer border.  I drew a little embellishment for the flying geese border.  The setting triangles were fun to draw and aim for a twisting feather motif.  The ring center and melon center were designed by Judy Allen in her book The Art of Feather Quilting.  The arcs were done with a continuous curve pattern, grouped and repeated in Creative Studio4.  Enjoy looking at the pictures, and be inspired!  More pictures in my Picasa album. Elsie's DWR

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Double Wedding Ring in progress

I'm going to put up only one picture for now.  This is a very traditional Double Wedding Ring and I find it a joy to quilt.  Elsie outdid herself in piecing, and pressing the seams--everything is flat, square, and precise.  It is truly a dream quilt. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Surprise Dotty---Finished Finally!

Finish by trimming borders and hand finishing the binding.  What a lovely heirloom for her children.  Many hours...too many to count...but it was worth every second.  It really came alive with all the quilting. Thanks for looking.

Almost Finished

This quilt measures 104x104, Quilters Dream cotton and a thin layer of QD Poly on top, Signature 100% cotton thread, and it's almost finished.  It is on the rollers upside down to facilitate clipping loose threads on the back.  Soon I'll have pictures of the whole thing, but for today here are some teasers...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It's the real thing...

I had to take a break and post some pictures.  This is a big project and I've managed to grab minutes and hours here and there to get to this point.  You could call it the home stretch, but it's a big track...or a long row to hoe so-to-speak.  Here are some photos to satisfy your curiosity.  More to come...

Friday, June 29, 2012

Coming along nicely...

I love it when a project comes together nicely.  Here are some elements in the making...not finished by any means, and some changes being made as we speak.  Just enjoy the eye candy and imagine what it will look like finished.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

New Projects

I'm in the process of some new projects and this is where you will see them.  It's been a while since I posted here and everything has changed.  Have patience with me while I learn the new ropes.  The following is a method of raw edge applique built on the longarm table, layering fabrics, stitching, and cutting away to expose the desired fabric.  Now I'm experimenting with quilting techniques.  Beadboard in the outer border, crosshatching background, feather motif in the swag, and various motifs in the applique.  Using black thread is not helpful because it's invisible so probably I'll switch to another color soon.  I am uploading pictures in progress to my Picasa album.  Enjoy the pictures and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Butterflies for Spring--done and edited

How appropriate! It's a beautiful project and she is going to love it! Here are the finished pictures. Thanks for looking.

This is the whole thing...

This is the back...

This is the side border...

This is a close up...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Busier than a Bee

I've been drawing again...and you won't believe the new toys I have acquired. I have four very special quilts coming up that will knock your socks off! Here are a few pictures of elements that I will be using. Stay tuned for more pictures in the next month.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort

For the past twelve years, DH and I have been spending our winters on Mt. Hood as ski instructors. Each of the twelve years has been unique and I am never disappointed by what each day brings. Sure I have days when I just want to turn around and go home...and when I'm home there are days I look out my window longingly at the mountain and wonder why I'm not there. As each birthday passes, I wonder how much longer my muscles and bones will hold up. In these twelve years I've been subjected to bodily assaults by borders and skiers three times that I can remember, the worst yielded two staples in my scalp. I've vented on more than two riders for coming too close.

I'm posting some pictures of our "office" for your enjoyment. Come on up some day and see it in person.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Can you say, "Last Quilt"?

Last week, I met with the lady who hand pieced this Grandmother's Flower Garden. She had it machine quilted by a long arm quilter in Nebraska and wanted to finish the edges in a traditional manner. Her quilter turned down the job. My daughter was offered the job and she passed it on to me. Now, let me tell you right now that I do not do binding! Actually I would if someone was willing to pay me enough, but my price is so high...no one has bought it. When I met Helen, she won my heart immediately. I sat for an hour looking over her quilt, listening to her stories of quilting and how she so wanted this quilt to be hand finished since it was her last. She has had a gradual decline in her eyesight and can no longer do the hand work she so loved to do. I understood what she wanted, but I could not bring myself to tell her how long it would take me to do this job. When I saw how the LA quilter had sewn right to the edge, nailing down every lineal inch of the octagons around the outer edge, and then running a continuous curve all round, and sometimes stitching the batting to the backing...I took a deep breath and said, "Oh, it will take a while to undo all those stitches, but it is not impossible." Oh how I wished the LAQ had just basted instead of stitching those edges! No one puts a traditional binding on a Grandmother's Flower Garden! Helen wanted the edging finished in what is called a "knife-edge" finish. That's tucking the edges inside the sandwich a quarter inch and blind stitching it closed. I have one side done, and am taking a break before I hunker down and finish the rest. No need to ask how long it is taking, and no need to ask how much it will cost. This is what I call a labor of love and it is priceless! Next time someone calls on me to do a hand finished binding, no matter how big or small, I will reply, "I don't do hand finished bindings unless you are over 90 years old and it is your last quilt! and you are willing to give up your children's inheritance." Sincerely, I do have a soft heart for situations like this and it is a rare opportunity to give back to our community. I think of my mother and my grandmother who stitched many hours unselfishly to provide for children, neighbors, and strangers...it's the least I can do.

Thank you for looking

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cozy nightgowns for a chilly winter night...

This is an example of how diverse we are at NABQC. I dug out my old Stretch and Sew patterns and whipped out these nightgowns for the grandchildren. They've had a bout with chicken pox and needed some soft nightwear. I called mom for their measurements and adjusted the pattern in length only, sleeve and skirt. No need to hem them; they'll outgrow them by spring. If you are making these, please pay attention to the stretch in the ribbing you buy. It needs to be at least 50%-100% stretch. I accidentally bought 25% stretch and had to ditch it. It just doesn't stretch enough in those tiny little cuff applications.

I taught SS by the Ann Person method about 30 years ago and still have the books and quite a lot of patterns. It really is a brilliant method of sewing knits. I have more projects planned and will post them here as I finish.

Thanks for looking.
I am Bonnie Russell, owner and quilter, and my business is making beautiful quilts and making quilts beautiful. NABQC came about as a partnership between the love of sewing and hazelnut farming. That's how the name was chosen. My husband, Fred, is the nut farmer, and I do the sewing using many bolts of fabulous fabric. My studio is located in Dundee, Oregon, the beautiful Willamette Valley, in the center of a hazelnut orchard. Experience came with 42 years of dress making, 40 years of marriage to my wonderful, loving, supportive husband (34 years of nut farming), 25 years of raising three daughters, and now we have seven grandchildren to mentor in Future Quilters of America!

With a Statler Stitcher and Gammill Optimum Plus longarm quilting machine, a 14 foot table, and the drawing program AutoSketch, no project is too big or too small. Anything from hand guided meandering to custom digitized designs can be applied to a project to complete that labor of love.

This blog is to temporarily serve as a source of information until a website is produced. It contains pricing, products, helpful hints, pictures, inspirations, and who knows what else will show up. Thank you for reading and I hope you will find it helpful.

Tale of a Dog