Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

We hope you are enjoying Christmas Day with family and friends. 





Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Charlie Pirtle Memorial Scholarship Quilt 2013--Honoring a Man of the Outdoors

Elusive Elk

I just finished this quilt.  I made it in honor of our friend Charlie Pirtle, who passed away in 2008. 

Charlie was a great man who was great fun.  He loved the outdoors and he loved to teach others about it.  He taught for many years at the Becoming an Outdoors Woman in New Mexico workshop.  Charlie's students loved him.  His fellow instructors loved him and sought him out during "down" time to visit with him.  Charlie was an appreciative audience and a wonderful story teller.  Charlie always told me--with that glimmer in his eye--that he would  buy a nice rifle from me (a gift from my dad) with his "pocket change." 

This memorial captures the essence of Charlie Pirtle. 


About this quilt:  Charlie was an avid supporter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.  He contributed  recipes to The New Elk Hunter's Cookbook.  (Even if you don't use elk meat, Charlie's Chili recipe on page 248 is one of our favorites with beef stew meat.  I think of Charlie every time I make it and I thank him for this recipe every time we eat it!)  Charlie loved elk.  He loved to hear them, look for them, see them, watch them, track them, and hunt them.  He supported the preservation of elk and their habitat.  Elk are plentiful at the NRA Whittington Center where BOW in NM is usually held.  Therefore, it was an easy decision for me to choose this elk quilt pattern, Elusive, by Montana artist Toni Whitney.  I enlarged the pattern by 50% to add drama to this already intense design. 

The quilt that I made will be raffled next weekend at the Becoming an Outdoors Woman in New Mexico workshop in Raton, New Mexico.  Funds raised in the raffle go to pay for a scholarship for a student to attend the BOW workshop.  BOW is a program where women can go to learn basic outdoors skills in a non-competitive environment.  Raffle tickets are only $5.  If you would like to support this program and the raffle, please contact Leilani right away at nmoea@comcast.net.  If you are interested in the BOW program, visit the New Mexico website here.

 In keeping with Charlie's old fashioned-ness, in order to win the Charlie Pirtle scholarship, applicants must write an essay about the outdoors.  It must be hand written (not typed or printed from a computer).

Just to give a tiny bit of insight to the quilt making process--a labor of love:

Eye, ears, and a nose


Head and chest (you need food cans to keep things from slipping!)



On the quilting machine


Quilting is done!
I think Charlie might be willing to pay pocket change for it . . . 




Sunday, April 7, 2013

New (to us) Fabrics, Quilts of Valor, and Quilt Patterns



As usual, things have been really busy around here.  Above is a fabric that we have for sale in our Etsy shop. Don't you just love fire trucks with eyes and teeth?!

Below is a cute pattern that we're selling, too.  I made a small sample using this pattern and it went together FAST!   Maybe you could use this pattern with the fabric above to make a fire engine quilt?


We received two Quilt of Valor quilt tops from the Boulder, Colorado group.  I think we saw this top on this blog post.  This is what we saw when we pulled it out of the box from Boulder.  Wow! 


I quilted this quilt as part of the Tucson Quilters Guild "Quilting for Others" program.   I used the Merrily quilting pattern by Anne Bright in the center.  I did free motion designs in the border. 

Here is another Quilt of Valor from the Boulder group!  I quilted it using the Flamingo Sunset pantograph, also by Anne Bright.  

Remember the eagle quilt top above?  Here is it after it was quilted with the Random Stars pantograph pattern by Dave Hudson.  

These two quilt tops are on their way back to Boulder now and should get there in time for the group's next meeting.  I hope we get to see photos of the finished quilts being presented! Thanks to that group (and all the other Quilt of Valor groups) for doing this.  

Here is an antique Eldredge sewing machine.  It is for sale on Craigslist.  Check it out!

And . . . I managed to collect quite a few vintage thimbles over the last few weeks.  Then I realized that I should probably share.  These will be in our Etsy shop in a bit.  Here's one!

What have you been up to lately?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Quilts and Machines and Fabric!!

So sorry that I've been absent.  It's been crazy busy around here, but it's time to get back into the swing of blogging.

Here are some photos of some things that make me smile . . .

A small sample quilt that I pieced and quilted.  The fabric is mostly Westminster's Girls at Play.   The pattern is Angel Face by Villa Rosa Designs.  Both the fabric and patternss will be available later in our Etsy shop



A Singer Featherweight Model 221 sewing machine that is currently for sale in our Etsy shop!

A Quilt of Valor in the process of being quilted on our longarm quilting machine.  The pattern is Petaluma by  Meredith England. 


A family tree quilt made for my mother by our friend Kim.  Kim added some "family" members to the tree before she gave it to Mom.  


The "Lone Wolf" quilt that my husband made from leftovers from a custom quilt.  He designed it (a modified Courthouse Steps), pieced it, and quilted it.  He entered it in the Hummingbird Stitchers quilt show in Sierra Vista, Arizona and it won an Honorable Mention ribbon! 


Whoo hoo!  I'm back in the swing.  Does one post count as "in the swing?"

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Bear in Charlie's Cabin--A Quilt to Honor a Special Man

A Bear in Charlie's Cabin

My husband and I made this quilt in memory of our friend Charlie Pirtle, who passed away in 2008. 

Charlie was a gentle man and a gentleman.  He loved the outdoors.  He loved sharing it with others.  For many years, he taught outdoors skills at the Becoming an Outdoors Woman in New Mexico workshop. 

He was a popular instructor.  He touched many people and many of us are compelled to create tributes to Charlie.  Someone created a geocache near one of Charlie's favorite fishing holes.  Bart Skelton wrote his story about Charlie.  Charlie's obituary tells of the nature of the man. 

The quilt that my husband and I made will be raffled next weekend at the Becoming an Outdoors Woman in New Mexico workshop in Raton, New Mexico.  Funds raised in the raffle go to pay for a scholarship for a student to attend the BOW workshop.  BOW is a program where women can go to learn basic outdoors skills in a non-competitive environment.  Raffle tickets are only $5.  If you would like to support this program and the raffle, please contact Leilani right away at nmoea@comcast.net.  If you are interested in the BOW program, visit the New Mexico website here.

The quilt has a story, too.  Charlie had a cabin in the New Mexico mountains (the log cabin blocks in the quilt).  He also loved to tell stories.  We loved to sit and listen and share some of our own stories.  Charlie told bear (and elk and dog and other) stories (bear paw blocks).  When we taught together at BOW, Charlie always asked the locals about the wildlife at the NRA Whittington Center where BOW in NM is usually held.  Invariably, the news included information about bears at the center and whether they had been trying to get into the cabins there.  Sometimes Charlie told the same story more than once.  Charlie would say something like, "I probably told this story before, but I like to hear it again, so I'll tell you anyway."  We liked hearing it again, too. 

So, when I was reminded of Ricky Tims' quilt called Bear Paws in Bertie Marie's Cabin and Ricky's treadle sewing machine, my husband and I agreed that this would be the right idea for this year's Charlie Pirtle quilt.  Our version cannot hold a candle to Ricky Tims' quilt in terms of design and construction, but our version is meaningful to us as we do our part to honor Charlie. 

Charlie was an old fashioned man.  He did not use a computer and he did not really like cell phones.  He and my husband formed the Rotary Dial Telephone Club.  They were the only members.  At my husband's suggestion, I made the red and black bear paw blocks for this quilt on my grandmother's treadle sewing machine.  My husband and I made the log cabin blocks on our 1950's era Singer Featherweight machines.  I assembled the blocks on the Featherweight.  We both quilted it on our (definitely modern) longarm quilting machine.  In keeping with Charlie's old fashioned-ness, in order to win the Charlie Pirtle scholarship, applicants must write an essay about the outdoors.  It must be hand written (not typed or printed from a computer). 


The back of the quilt shows horses running free.  I think they are some of Charlies' fans, too.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wrangell, Alaska Photo Essay

Flowers in front of the fabulous Wrangell Museum
These photos are from our June trip to Alaska.  What an amazing place!  It's so very different from the Arizona desert.  First of all, there's WATER!!  Second, there's RAIN!!  Oh, wait, that is water.  Third, there are pine-type trees.  Next, it's cold (to us) in June. 

This page shows Wrangell, Alaska.  Wrangell is a small town that is missed by most cruise ships.  Too bad for them. 
View from the picnic table in front of the Wrangell Museum


A boat in the repair facility in Wrangell
Wrangell is small enough that we could often see who was driving where and what boats were heading out and coming in.  After walking past the fishing tender Frigidland (above) in the repair facility a few times, we later saw it motoring away. 
Tribal House of the Bear on Shakes Island
Shakes Island is a small island in the Wrangell Harbor.  You walk to the island across a pedestrian bridge. 
One of the totems on Shakes Island

View from Petroglyph Beach
About two miles from the center of Wrangell, is Petroglyph Beach.  The ancient peoples carved or pecked images into rocks on the beach.  You can wander around and try to spot as many as you can. 


View of Wrangell from observation post on Mt. Dewey Trail
 The Mt. Dewey trail will definitely get your heart pumping!  It's mostly on wood planks and takes you into thick rainforest.  It goes up and up.  Then it pops out with an observation post that overlooks town. 

Cruise ship arriving!
 When we saw the cruise ship pulling up to the City Dock, we picked up our pace a bit on the trail.  We were planning to lunch at the Stikine Inn & Restaurant with the gray roof.  We moved a bit faster to beat the crowds.  We needn't have worried. 

The people at the Stikine Restaurant were very friendly and accomodated my husband's special diet needs as best they could. 

The Charles T in a Wrangell repair facility
We walked past this repair dock several times in our days in town.  The Charles T caught my eye.  It's a fishing boat that was built in 1919.  Crab fishing season opened while we were there.  That meant a lot of activity in town and in the harbors. 

We spent almost four days in Wrangell.  Town is pretty compact so we walked almost all the time.  When we went to and from the airport and the ferry terminal, we got a ride from Bruce, owner and operator of the Sourdough Lodge where we stayed. 

While we walked about town, we started recognizing some of the locals and they waved and greeted us as we passed. 

Crows are all around town.  There was at least one that hung out in the downtown area that cawed and then beeped like a Toyota (or was it a Nissan?) when you use your key to unlock it.  Made me look a few times.  When I figured it out, we laughed and then enjoyed the mimicry each time we heard it.  It was funny to hear that sound when it came from high in the trees. 

Go to Wrangell to enjoy the relatively unhurried pace of life here.  It's not a ritzy place, but it's real.  It has its own kind of charm.  Watching the tides is amazing! 

What is your next adventure?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Blogger's Block of the Month

My block for the month of October


One of my favorite things to do is read blogs.  One of my favorites is Amy's Creative Side.  She's all about quilting and sewing and keeping it fun.  And sharing. 

Then I read her blog post about the Blogger's Block of the Month (here it is). 

It looked like fun and I need to use up some of my REDs in my fabric cabinet (can't fit any more reds in there!).  I love looking at Amy's quilts and thought that I'd love to make at least one block designed by her. 

I hopped on over to another favorite blog (Canton Village Quilt Works) and learned about the Blogger's Block of the Month here.    It is FREE.  The list of designers includes some familiar names and some that are new to me.

It's intended for all levels of quilters and is all pieced.

I picked out several reds to use along with some mostly white background fabrics.  I have no idea what to expect.  But that's OK.  There is no rule that says you have to know exactly how your quilt is going to look when it's finished.  Serendipity can be a whole lot of fun.  Just pick out some fabrics and colors that you like. 

If you're interested, join in!  Please click on the button on the left of my blog with the Mariner's Compass Block.  I can't wait to see what you come up with.  I'll be watching.

I'm already a bit behind because I haven't started the block for November even though it's been out for several days.  Best get with it.  

We'll have fun together!!