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Thursday, March 26, 2015

I Don't Know Where to Start! Quilt Show Goodies...

OK, I will start somewhere near the beginning, if that is all right with you. A quilt show is a work of art, a labor of love, a test of wills. When the theme for this years show was announced we were all thrilled. Who does not love the current trend of Hexagons? This is our Show quilt, the Raffle quilt. It is a queen sized beauty. Entirely hand pieced with the English Paper Piecing method by the guild members then assembled by more diligent members it is a showcase for the method. The elongated shapes showcase the fabrics beautifully. After that step it was long-arm quilted by a member who does many quilts privately as well as in the show. Her work is flawless. I want this one. I bought lots of tickets. I will not be running the raffle this year because I am heading to my embroidery work shop in the morning so no one can accuse me off rigging the drawing, know what I mean? Like I said, this baby has my name all over it!

So what do you do when you are so excited with the process and you have the entire guild making EPP hexi's like mad women? have left overs. And what happens to the left overs you ask.........another quilt! Yeah! A different design but just as sweet this one is smaller, about lap quilt size. This lay out reminds me of some plastic connector sticks my children played with in the 1980's. Love it.

so here is a lousy pic of my Ikea cart packed with fabrics and notions, patterns and lots of doo-dads. In real life it was much better looking and quite frankly a big hit. We call these things "Dream Baskets" but I decided not to use baskets this year.  

another (not professional) shot of the second "basket." It is a stylized rolling luggage cart suitable for a sewing machine or traipsing anything under the sun to a sewing retreat. Also very popular, I am hoping that these items will do well for the show. When I left today ticket sales were strong.
In addition, three of our vendors donated sewing machines for the raffle. It is going to be a good show for ticket winners this year, no doubt about it!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Quilts, Quilts, Quilts

Hello, Hello. Quilters, I just have to remind anyone who hasn't seen our spot on local TV, you have to visit the Three Rivers Quilt Show at the Circuit Center, South Side Pittsburgh, right next to the Hot Metal Bridge. Listen to me, this show gets better every year. Really. Our theme this year is Hexagons and there are some amazing quilts using that theme. But a look around will just thrill you. The quality of the work, the color and composition is outstanding. We have some outstanding prize winners, as usual, but there are some fresh, new ideas around every turn. I think our total this year is 140 quilts. We have several raffle items including two quilts with hexagon themes as well as sewing machines donated by local vendors, my 'dream baskets' which are not baskets at all. (I forgot to take pics, if I get there early enough I will.) The best show in town I tell you, you will not be disappointed.     Three Rivers Quilters

This back issue is available here.
I would love to tell you that I stopped buying quilting magazines. That would be a lie. I stopped all my subscriptions, except one, but still pick up the odd one now and then when the cover calls me. A quick glimpse between the covers on this one revealed four projects that I could see in the queue.

I wanted to share this one specifically since we have been talking about Fat Quarters recently.
Published as Best Fat Quarter Quilts, Winter 2012. I suspect I bought this because I have such a collection of Fat Quarters and wanted some ideas and inspiration to use them. Well, the magazine was tucked away in a bedside table drawer. I moved the table to two different rooms before I decided to clean out the drawers and see what was lurking in the bottom. Bingo, now I have a great idea.
Designed by Jocelyn Ueng of Its Sew Emma, of Austin Texas, it is one of many shared by this designer here. There are u tube videos and free patterns on her site.

  • Quilt shows are so much work but worth it once the show is hung and you have a minute to look.
  • I saw two of the most outstanding quilts on my way out the door today, can't wait to get back there to study them. 
  • It's been a difficult year for us in so many ways, seeing this show lifted my spirits. I was starting to get worried.
  • Spring is here, well essentially. When the Forsythia blooms I know we are good to go! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Very Busy Week, A Big Block Quilt

I captured this pic some time ago as an inspiration idea. Using pre-cuts this one would come together quickly. I think it was a Moda sample for market last year. Unfortunately, I did not make note of that. The center block is 16 charm squares (5 inch squares) and the larger star points are 10 inch squares commonly referred to as layer cakes.  I have searched the The Moda Bakeshop Site, here with no luck but there are so many great quilt projects there you might want to take a look.

Since I have no time this week for anything close to quilting I wanted to stop in, say hello and see you some time in the future. This is Quilt Show Week, this is Anitagood Design Workshop week, and multiple other family obligations. So, toodles for now, Spring is here, how great is that?

  • Since I still dislike cutting fabric, the pre-cuts call out to me. They are versatile and fun to work with.
  • I have no affiliation with Moda but if you can't find a nice little project on the site you maybe should be learning another craft :)
  • I will be so glad when this week is over. I dislike when my time so crowded that I hardly have time to enjoy any of it. 
  • I do have a version of the Big Block Quilt in progress and have shared a few pics, after the show I plan to join some of those rows to illustrate how quickly these quilts go together.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

March 21 is National Quiling Day! March 22 is the Day After National Quilting Day, Better Late than Never, Right?

National Quilting Day is here! I really didn't know there was a national day set aside to honor quilting, I have lived a sheltered life. Because I spend time quilting, or thinking about quilting,  (truth be told much more thinking than doing the last two weeks) and all that. So, here are some links to
some very talented and organized and awesome people who did plan ahead...because they knew...remember I really didn't or I would have come up with something significant. Well, at least I would have tried:)  
I found this photo in the files and I am not sure if I posted it. It was likely made by one of the Ladies of the Cloth and I failed to note just who the talented person was. If you see this, and it is you, please let me know. I'm slipping people, slipping. It must be all that fish to bread. Good grief, my mind has turned to breadcrumbs!!!

Ok, so here are some ideas to honor this auspicious day. Really. If I can warm up my sewing room I may lay down a stitch or two to mark the moment. Or I may take a nap. We will see. Have a lovely day. 

Purple Daisies Quilting on Craftsy.

Kathy Tracy is having a Quilt along project on A Sentimental Quilter! (A mug rug I think)

History of National Quilting Day

*no compensation received or implied by these links to other people's work. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The American Beech Tree

After the snow melt our woods are dotted with the most charming trees, the American Beech. As I drove along today I lamented that I did not have my camera with me so I came home and looked up some google pic images. Have you met Fagus Grandifolia?
Dotted throughout the landscape the American Beech trees hold onto their leaves through the Winter. With snow on the ground and after the melt the contrast in the majesty of beautiful trees and the Winter exposed terrain.
Image result for american beech tree winter
But in an otherwise stark view the lacy dried leaves of the American Beech tree foretell the seasons as they change. I'm in love, with a tree.

  • The random composition of these photo's present a natural color palette for study. Using the dried leaves of the American Beech tree as a highlight color, the composition is open for interpretation for painting, quilting, needle punch patterns.  
  • I once took an elective course to learn how to sketch trees. It is much more difficult than I thought. I still have the sketch book. Looks almost cartoony, now you know why I don't sketch for a living!
  • Right after that course I took a wood carving course. I chose a piece of dark walnut, what was I thinking? Harder than granite. Picture this, hard wood, sharp blades, me. Carving. That had disaster written all over it!
  • Nature lifts my soul. 
  • Have a lovely week end. Look about, find inspiration in the little things that surround you. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Welcome The First Day of Spring! Fabric, Wonderful Fabric

A lovely little collection of Fall themed Fat Quarters. At this time of year many shops are discounting prior Seasonal theme fabric.
Source, Fiber Art by Kate Themel, isn't this piece adorable? So accurate in its execution. I wonder if it is a stylized photo?

A recent query on a Facebook Quilting Group page involved the passion of quilters and their fabric.With vacation season approaching many quilters and stitcher's of every genre are mapping out their scheduled stops along the way. There are actually maps in some quilting shops that provide information for shops and stops in the area you are visiting. How great is that? I suppose they got tired of shoppers asking directions!

I do not claim to be a fabric artist in any way, shape or form but beautiful fabric can make any sewist proud of her work.

  Favorite fabric meme

Jinny Beyer discusses grainline and tearing versus cutting fabric. 
  • The quality of quilting cottons has improved since I started in the 1970's. While clearing out old fabric I could not help but notice the difference.
  • It was good enough then, the quilts were nice, a little 'cute' but nice. 
  • The quality of batting has improved as well. While I tend to prefer 100% cotton Warm and Natural but I have been happy with some of the interesting blends such as silk and bamboo and also the 100% wool.
  •  Still more fat quarters to sort, it is fun though, not like work!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Lets Talk About Our Fat, Quarters That Is :)

Fabric, fabric, fabric! Each season I am thrilled to see the new offerings. I can't imagine being a fabric designer, how do they all come up with the great colors, patterns and designs? Fortunately in this modern world of quilting we can sit back, wait for the designers to design then choose our favorites!

I like fat quarters particularly because I can have a little bit of this and that from each line. Recently, I have been using up fat quarters but trying to be careful not to waste fabric.
Do you find your drawers and cubbies littered with fat quarters? Really, who can resist a sale of fat quarters? My most recent foray into that realm was actually January 13, I know, it's been a while. Aren't I proud of myself!!! I am trying to control the future stash. It is hard when all the new lines hit the shops.

That said, I saw the little cutting diagram on Facebook, I think. What do you think? A nice way to use and not waste any fabric from those purdie Fats! Now, you need to come up with a pattern to best utilize your cuts! Have fun.....

  • Fat quarters are a stash builders dream. And their lies the contradiction, are we building the stash or not?
  • If you can answer that, please let me know, I am conflicted.
  • I found a nice Fat Quarter Friendly pattern in an older magazine, I'll share that next post. 
  • While I want to limit 'said stash,' I want to use it and not add to it too.
  • It has been one of those weeks, I broke the chain on my favorite necklace, I accidentally set my Ninja Cooker on fire and may have damaged my sewing machine stitching through a piece of rice. Yes rice. 
  • I am a modest person. Ladies locker rooms can be shocking. I am going to sew up one of those wrap-yourself-up-when-you-get-out-of-the-shower-things and maybe it will rub off. My eyes may be permanently damaged, just saying. 
  •  You know, a large towel with an elastic casing around the top or the same towel with a Velcro tab closure to preserve the dignity. Again, just saying.
  • I know where there will be a fat quarter sale in two weeks, lets see how long I can resist, OK?