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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Finishing 4th

Aloha and Happy Wednesday! Have you all recovered from the time change? Thankfully, here in Hawaii, we don’t have to do that! I’ve appreciated that for the two years we’ve been here. Moving back to the mainland will bring change enough but then we’ll “enjoy” that stupid time change again! 😦

Anyway, things are progressing towards our April 4 house closing. We still haven’t worked out all the logistics with shipping but we are getting closer. One thing we have learned is that crossing the ocean creates an “international” event. Moving over sea and land enters a whole new realm of logistics! More on that as it happens.

As I have done in the past, when a move is about to happen, I start sewing like crazy! Somehow packing finished items feels less weighty than moving boxes of stash fabric. Yesterday, I finished the fourth project from last summer’s retreat.

Jump Rings by MSQC which is in this edition of BLOCK magazine. The Hawaiian fabrics were selected and kitted for the retreat by Vicky’s Fabrics here in Kauai. This was my first time to work with poly-cotton fabric, which is commonly used in Aloha shirts and clothing. It was easy to work with and quilted beautifully as you’ll see.

Making snowballs to form the inner ring…

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Then I attached the matching sides all around to form the ring…forgot to take a photo of that part but you can see the result below. Next, the outer corners are nipped to make the final ring appear.

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Fast forward and the top is made and the quilting is in full swing…

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A close-up of the quilting design…

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And the end result…ready to trim and bind! I am going to call it “Haku Leis” for the head-pieces commonly worn by the bride and her attendants during weddings. Here is a link that explains that a bit more as well as the photo below shows. Aren’t they beautiful?!

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Here’s how it looks from the back! I think it is a great way to start Spring! (Apologies to those suffering from the winter storm Stella! My Stella sends her best wishes for a quick thaw!)  😉

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I have a customer’s top in-house to quilt next. If I work really fast, I can get the last two tops I have made quilted before Stella has to be disassembled to move.

Next week, we have these two coming to visit! I can hardly wait to see them again! This Gigi needs to make a baby doll quilt, quick!! 🙂

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Aloha!

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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Good-bye 2016!

It’s been a wild year, right?! As 2016 winds its way down, I want to thank each and every one of you who have taken some precious time from your own busyness to stop in for a while!

Here’s what I’ve been up to since my last post…ahem…in November!! smh

I made this Fidget Quilt for my mother-in-law…she isn’t quite ready for it, but sadly it won’t be long before she will be. She fell, hit her head and suffered a brain bleed in late October. She is recovering, physically, but at 81 years, will have round-the-clock care for the rest of her life.

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On a happier note, I have been quilting and finishing up some UFO’s. Here is the final production for 2016!

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This is the 2nd custom order of this pattern!

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A UFO from 2015 – my own design!

These are wall hangings that I plan to make in any size, and other colors are in the works, as custom orders. I made a similar one last summer that became a king size quilt with matching shams. Stay tuned!

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Kid quilts…custom orders as well as some coming soon to my online stores.

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As always, keep up with me here on the blog and on Facebook here! My goal was to have 500 followers by year end. I have 590!!! Whoohoo!!! My blog has now been visited over 13,000 times by folks in 30 countries! Wow! So amazing! 😎

We have a BIG trip planned for January to meet this grandie in person!!! This Gigi can hardly wait!! 🙂

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Here’s looking forward to a great 2017!

Let’s go!!!

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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The Lull Before the Storm

I sit here watching a steady rain falling on the bright green foliage in our front yard. We are awaiting land fall of Tropical Storm Darby. We are hoping it does nothing more than drop a lot of rain with not-so-strong winds. We are very thankful it didn’t remain at hurricane status!!

We have plenty of provisions and fingers crossed we don’t lose power.

The prediction of its path has changed a bit and now Kauai is set for a direct mark. We are the little round island shown as green just above the 8 AM Mon.

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Now we just wait.

Not only for a storm, but the arrival of our guests from Norman. Imant, Becca and their two small children are set to fly out Monday morning and, we hope, the storm will be well ahead of them so that they don’t have any delays.

Our other friends, Steven and Gwen, left mid-week and are now safely in China visiting their son. What a wonderful time we had with them during their stay! We celebrated 30+ years of friendship with good food and drinks, lots of laughs, and mostly sunshine during their stay.

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They were enchanted with the island and we showed them the highlights…Kalalou Lookout, the Waimea Canyon, Anini Beach, Poipu Beach…and we enjoyed eating out several times. Here was our sunset during dinner at the St. Regis in Princeville.

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Muddy hikes and a kayak tour up the Wailua River to Secret Falls. It was so much fun having them here to see just a tiny part of what Kauai has to offer!

With the arrival of our other friends, we will begin a major project to the house…new hardwood flooring!

All the carpet will be ripped out and this will go in its place. One bathroom will be getting a makeover as well. Won’t this be fun!? :/

I hope to get at least one more top quilted before the storm hits and/or the Gammill longarm gets moved. Wish me luck! 😉

Have a great Sunday!

 

 

 

 

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