The Artistry of Sheena Norquay, Part 1

I know,…I know…it’s been a L-O-N-G time since I blogged! I promise we are alive and well here in Naples, Florida! Our move from Kauai in May has kept us busy with finding a home, getting our things shipped from Hawaii, buying new furniture and beach combing. We’ve been in our new home just over a month now and things are starting to gel. We have even had a weekend visit from the grandsons with their mom and dad! Yes, Stella the Statler made the trip just fine. She is getting a spa treatment (reassembled) this weekend! In light of that fact, I’m sew ready!! I have things to share but this article seemed to be the push I needed to get on with it!
This Scottish lady hits all my favs right now…the beach and the soon-to-be-aired Season 3 of Outlander! Enjoy!

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I first met Sheena Norquay shortly after I started working with Aurifil, a mere 4 years into my time in this industry. Up until that time, I’d never seen anything quite like her work and was immediately taken with her artistry, her vision, and her undeniable quilting genius. She is adventurous in her work, always up for trying something new, while remaining meticulous and measured in her experimentation. Every time she creates a new piece, she sends along thoughts on that piece… what she tried and why, which threads were used, and what she thought about the process. It is both fascinating and breath-taking and I’m excited to share some of that with you over the next few days.

In the last year, Sheena has released 3 new collections… 2 last Fall and one just this past Spring. Each collection has its own voice, its own purpose, and its own…

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Change at the Speed of Life

March is here and with it comes change. For most people, it just means a change in the season…are you slowly thawing out where you live? Are your favorite things starting to bud and bloom? For us, it means another adventure!

Recently, Bonnie Hunter posted this photo on her Quiltville Facebook page…

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Thanks, Bonnie! What a timely phrase! Change is scary but it’s also sometimes just the thing you need to do.

If you have followed this blog for a bit (or know us as friends and family do), you know we have moved a few times in our 36 years of marriage. For the most part, the reasons have been (mostly) economic conditions and/or chasing a dream. Our move to Hawaii in 2015 was a big dream…and guess what!? we sat in the front row and did it!!

But, things in life have a way of changing…not that we WANT them to change, sometimes they just do all by themselves. As much as we would like, we can’t control everything life throws at us.

Yet the things we CAN control do take action. So, most of our friends and family know that we are action-taking types and know when to make things happen.

Moving to Hawaii was a big risk…it would be a 50/50 chance. Should we take it on? We weighed all the pros and cons and took a deep breath, and did it. We knew there would be things we couldn’t control but it was worth a shot…this one chance to live our longtime dream. Reality can be harsh, however and we found we were on the second part of that 50/50 chance…the part that usually stops most folks in their tracks.

So, now what do we do? Where do we go? When do we leave? What’s the plan?

Well, then it’s time to start a new dream!

When we first considered moving to Hawaii back in 2014, Florida was our backup plan. Now its THE plan! And we’ve taken action! Watch out Florida…here we come!

Our beautiful Kauai home is already under contract and we are set to close on April 4! Most of February was spent making it ready to sell and fortunately for us, our buyer was renting across the street! They love our neighborhood and all the upgrades we have done to the house was greatly appreciated. Just this week, Mr. G sold his 1-year old Tacoma pickup in less than 24 hours!

After we close on the house in April and yet another tax season is out of the way, we will take some time to visit Maui and the Big Island…we might not be this close to them ever again…so we are taking advantage of that! Then, we’ll take some time in May to visit our parents as we make our way to Florida.

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We hope to be in the Ft. Myers/Bonita Springs area by June 1st.

Yes, Stella (the longarm quilting machine) will cross the Pacific, again, and I will continue the blog and quilting. I’ve read there are 120 quilt shops in Florida! And, of course, I can still quilt barefoot and get my toes sandy!! Woohoo!!

As Bilbo Baggins said, “I think I’m ready for another adventure!” Let’s go!!

Stay tuned!

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Barefoot Beach!

Kauai Quilt Show Winners

Here are photos of the top three favorites as voted on by visitors to our show!

First Place Viewers Choice by Toni W. – gorgeous batiks in tropical colors

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Second Place Viewers Choice by Carole W. – gorgeous bird of paradise

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Third Place Viewers Choice by Cheryl B. – stunning indigo and sashiko

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We had a great show! We sold several quilts! We received such nice compliments from our visitors!

I personally sold SIX items!!!

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Paradise Time

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Wall Hanging – Calm Waters-Dusk

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Wall Hanging – Calm Waters-Blue

And THREE wall hangings similar to this little turtle!!  🙂

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I’ll take a bit of a break this afternoon, but tomorrow I gotta get busy…!!

Aloha!

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A Lovely Quilt

My friend Deb made a lovely quilt for a friend and asked me to quilt it. It turned out so well! The pattern is “Quattro Lune” and can be found here.

I was able to quilt this right after our friends left for China and before our next guests arrive late Monday! (I am writing this ahead of time in case the power goes out!)

It is B-I-G! The largest quilt I have quilted on my new Statler! It measures 88 x 106 inches – queen size! The photo below shows it on our king size bed.

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I designed the concentric circles on the Statler. I was pretty proud of doing that!

The biggest circle was larger than the frame space on the Gammill. Fortunately, it didn’t need to be quilted to the top of the circle!

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She selected “Prisms” from Urban Elementz for the background design. The triangles worked really nicely with the other geometric shapes in the quilt.

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Deb also made a mini version measuring 18 x 25 inches, which was very nice to try out the circles before moving on to the large quilt!

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Next, I started quilting this on Saturday. It is a small baby quilt.  I picked out the backing fabric at Vicky’s Fabrics and it is SO soft! It reminds me of a comfy, well-worn chambray Aloha shirt. I think it will turn out lovely, too! It will be headed to the online store as soon as I sew on the binding! You can read this post to see how this one started!

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Thanks for stopping by and I’ll keep you posted on our summer hurricane season as well as the flooring project starting soon!

Aloha!

 

 

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Recovering from a Retreat

Aloha to everyone! Thanks for stopping by! I hope your July 4th was spectacular!

I am recovering from a quilting retreat…wait…a FABULOUS quilting retreat! Three full days of sewing, laughter and memories, brunches and dinners of good food (anytime someone else cooks, it’s good, right?!), entertainment and best of all…a gracious teacher giving us her tips and tricks and personal stories. We were definitely indulged!

We started last Wednesday with a Meet ‘n Greet with Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Quilt Co. Our hostesses were Susan and Rita of Indulge Retreats and the retreat was held at Kauai Beach Resort. Our goody bag was filled with wonderfully indulgent things like Godiva chocolate, sunscreen, sunglasses, a water bottle and beach towel!

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Day One – a mini tutorial for the Disappearing Hourglass pattern. Depending on the way the block is turned, you can choose from a couple of options.

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I chose the second option and with these fabrics…a productive first day! The “hourglass” blocks on the right are ready to be cut and sewn into stars!

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Here are a few photos of our space and attendees!

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Maile from Vicky’s Fabrics had a corner space for her pop up shop! She also gave quick tutorials for Sashiko and Furoshiki tying. So convenient for those who “needed” something for their project(s)! 😉

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Day Two – Jenny’s mini tutorial for today is “Jump Rings”.

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And here is my production for this pattern! In a day, several of these can be made!

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Treats were left on our sewing machines every day! Chocolate is always good at retreats!

Jenny is always gracious for a photo op…I brought in a top I had recently made using her pattern “Falling Charms” and snapped a picture with her!

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She was always available for questions and even whistled and sang on occasion during her own sewing time!

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We also had a bit of entertainment…a blast from the past…our hostesses bringing back Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon performing as Carmac the Magnificent!

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Day Three – our tutorial for today is “Chopped Block”. I was not too fond of this particular pattern based on the photo in the book. Jenny assured me it was the fabric choice in the sample. She showed us the class sample and it was a definite improvement. Remember, fabrics can make or break a pattern.

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Here is a sampling of what I accomplished for that day…I had made more but I guess I forgot to take the picture to prove it! :/

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Here is what some of the other ladies accomplished. I wish I had taken more photos…some of the designs are going to end in fabulous finishes!

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We ended the day with a working trunk show by Jenny…as well as more photo ops and book signings. Jenny’s “entourage” is her husband…yep, that’s it. He held up the quilts, helped her recall how fabrics were supposed to be laid out when she got ahead of herself and took lots of photos for us! A big hug to him!

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Sadly, Day Four – a fast tutorial on “Tag Team”…and my pictures didn’t come out well. None the less, I managed to get a few blocks made before we had to pack up our things. You can see Maile’s quilt in her “shop” photo above.

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Our final brunch and lots of thank you’s for a great time! We ended in a large circle singing (or attempting!) to sing a Hawaiian song of blessing.

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Lastly, our group photos with the lovely back drop that is Kauai!

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The Hawaii Representatives!

 

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The Kauai representatives!

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Jenny’s dazzling smile is contagious!

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I like to think Jenny and Ron might frame this one!

Thank you Jenny, Ron and to the Indulge Retreat ladies, Susan and Rita, for a wonderful few days! I know I speak for the entire group…we hope you come back again some day!

Aloha and happy sewing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get some cool A/C going!

Last summer was brutal! Yep, more than tropical hot in paradise…even the locals and long-time islanders confirmed it. We in Hawaii rely on the trade winds to keep us cool and they were no-shows last year. I griped about mentioned it here.

So, thankfully the guys from Kauai Air Conditioning showed up today to help us out before this summer gets going in high gear!

We had “heat events” last summer that shut down our computers. You know it’s bad when the room the computer is in is too hot for the delicate mystery circuits, wires and such inside those black boxes with green lights and they just shut down.

Now that I have the Statler, it is even more important that the heat not turn The Lady into an angry “I’m not going to work in these conditions” diva! 😉

These will help remove some of the humidity as well…another good idea around electronics, right?!

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The other living area is getting some relief as well…

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Hopefully, they will be running tomorrow!

I finished another charity quilt top and STILL can’t get those pesky borders right! 😦

This corner came out nearly spot on but the sides…we won’t talk about those, ok? I will quietly watch that tutorial one more time (or two or three!) I am close but not for my picky standards!

Perhaps I should pick an easier pattern? Well, I don’t KNOW it’s a hard one until I jump in with both clumsy feet! I am not giving up that easily! Stay tuned!

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I enjoyed selecting the pinwheels and the inner border designs – I really like how they turned out! What do you think? I like the way the Omni thread in Purple Hyacinth blended nicely but gave it some pop on the orange fabric!

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After struggling with this top, I needed a bit of a break so I did an edge to edge design on the scrap quilt shown above draped on the long-arm table. It is ready to be trimmed.

I plan on watching more tutorials today and working on some technical issues on the blog. Then I am going to have to tackle some bookkeeping…yea, I know…such a glamorous life.

Thank goodness for the upcoming cool air to keep me focused…but I want to get back to quilting something – soon!!

Have a great day!

Aloha!

 

 

Hello, May!

Good morning and thanks for stopping by! How does a week go by so fast?!

We had a busy weekend with guests over for dinner, including the new neighbor across the street. He has been super busy working on the inside and outside of his house to make it ready for tenants. The picket fence looks amazing, right?!

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Mr. G removed the last bits of the African Tulip tree stump, too! Doesn’t this look so fresh and clean!?! The new next door neighbors have started moving in as well so hopefully the orange property marker will go away soon. We’ve had good rains the last few days and the grass should recover nicely!

I have been busy on the Statler as well. Three more donation quilt tops are now quilted and ready for binding!

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I won’t lie…fleece and flannel WITH batting (as requested by the group’s coordinator of charity quilts) was a challenge to both me and the needles! Lesson learned? Use a #4 needle and go with a more open design. Meander works well with flannel. It’s not glamorous but it gets the job done nicely!

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The flannel back on this one dictated the original plan for this leaf pattern must go a bit bigger. Yep, the seam ripper got a work out!

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This one looked really nice in spite of the odd choice of baseball gloves fabric. BUT, borders kicked my b&## on it I will go back to the online tutorials for that this weekend.

None the less, they turned out fine. This makes 11 donation quilt tops quilted! Not bad for only having the Statler just under a month! Here is a bit of the backs.

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I was feeling pretty confident as well since I also quilted a large quilt for my first paying customer! She took it so quickly I didn’t get a photo of it completed and she packed it in her suitcase for a trip to Florida! I am so glad she was thrilled with it!

I put this quilt top on the frame and struggled a bit with it, but it is done! I won’t tell you where the mistake is but I PROMISE it is in there! You can read this post to see how this top started. Remember all the stash busting I was doing before we moved to Kauai? This one I finished back in 2013! UFO-DONE!

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I really like this pattern. It’s called “Split Personality” and reminds me of “Falling Charms” but on a bigger scale. I thought about putting feathers in the white rows but that was just a bit too much for me to jump off and try just yet! Patience, patience…slow down there, sista!

That’s it for now. I’m off to learn some more tips and tricks on this Lady! Have a wonderful rest of your week!

Aloha!

 

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