Doing Good

February Donation Blocks
February Donation Blocks

I am really enjoying making these 16 patch/postage stamp blocks for the BAMQG Charity Quilt project.The beneficiary of our quilts is the Lucille Packard NICU. Apparently, they use the quilts (and other kinds of blankets) to cover the incubators and keep out the light. Each baby who leaves receives a quilt or afghan or other kind of blanket to take home.

I take as many kits, which consist of 16 2.5″ squares, as I want and sew them together into 16 patch blocks. Last time I only took one, but this time I took 4, which was all the red kits available.

They made great leaders and enders and I really was able to put the blocks together very quickly.

January BAMQG Meeting

The BAMQG meeting was yesterday. I was lazy and didn’t blog as much for them over the holidays as I should have. I blame the cold I had. I am having a hard time getting back into the swing.

Thanks for your Service

2011 Officers with Gift Bags
2011 Officers with Gift Bags

The 2011 Officers did a great job. I kind of nudged people to get some gifts together. People really ran with the idea, which was great.

Kathleen's Gift Bag
Kathleen's Gift Bag
Sara's Gift Bag
Sara's Gift Bag

A few people made bags and everyone else added little bibs and bobs to create nice gift bags. It was nice not to make all the bags and I enjoyed seeing the different patterns and fabrics that the bag makers used.

I made the purple bag which ended up with Kathleen. The bits and pieces were nice to look at. Rhonda had put together the parts that we solicited from other members.

Some of the things in the bags were pins, fat quarters, needle cases, the Joen Wolfrom Design ratio tool, disappearing pen, grip dots, scarves, machine sewing needles, Invisigrip and many other fun things.

Ruth and Adrianne were really busy and I wasn’t able to get photos of their gift bags. Check the BAMQG blog and perhaps I will be able to post some photos there.

A-B-C Challenge

We have five participants who brought blocks for the A-B-C Challenge this time. Angela was too busy to make her Hawaiian versions, but I am sure she will bring some next time.ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰

Some people brought both G and H, others brought G, some of us brought all of our blocks. Kathleen and I have done a number of the same blocks and it is fun to see how different they look in the different sizes and fabrics.

January A-B-C Challenge Blocks
January A-B-C Challenge Blocks

 

Glacier Bay
Glacier Bay

This is my G block for the A-B-C Challenge. It is called Glacier Bay and is from Around the Block Again by Judy Hopkins (pg.68). It is also a 6″ block and I cut nearly every piece a little bigger and then trimmed. It still came out a bit wonky, but I like the general effect. I think it would make a really cool secondary pattern if I put many of them together.

I don’t remember ever seeing this block before. Lynette has the 501 Rotary Cutting Blocks version of Around the Block, which I thought had ALL the blocks from the three books, but Glacier Bay was not in it.

Hovering Hawks
Hovering Hawks

I am really like this challenge as it allows me to make one block rather than a whole something every month. Kathleen wants to speed the challenge up a bit, so we will be doing two letters each month for the rest of the year. Next month are I and J.

I am resolved to make the blocks sharpish rather than waiting. I have even thought of making the rest of the alphabet all at once and being done with it. I have a sashing idea that I got from Pam. I am thinking about starting adding the sashing as I go along so that I won’t have to do all the cutting at once. We’ll see.

Question of the Month

Rhonda creates the QotM and this month it was: “What are your quilt resolutions?” Most were normal resolutions about finishing and curbing buying, but some were really interesting. I wrote them out as people said. These aren’t my resolutions, necessarily.

  • use more than I buy
  • finish one project before starting another
  • buy less fabric
  • use scraps to make scrap quilts
  • finish virtual swaps and bees projects
  • teach
  • quilt one per month on the longarm
  • take sewing machine to be serviced
  • end year with 5 fewer UFOs than the year started with
  • improvise
  • organize so sewing does not take over house
  • make something from solids
  • stop fearing binding
  • make one charity quilt
  • bring something to show and tell
  • spend more time with real people than with sewing machine
  • trust the experience I am feeling
  • don’t buy fabric I don’t like
  • make husband a quilt
  • documenting quilts (labels and such)
  • be liberated and wonky
  • use orange and yellow
  • start a quilt/craft blog
  • make mom a quilt
  • try curved piecing
  • re-sort/organize fabric
  • finish husband’s quilt
  • plan less and do more

Charity Quilts

Art Gallery Fabrics offers a bag of scraps free for people who will be using the scraps to make charity/donation quilts. Contact Pat Bravo for details. I don’t have her email address, but Art Gallery has a page on FB so, perhaps, you can inquire there.

Deborah made a version of Elizabeth Hartman’s Mod Mosaic quilt with scraps (quite large scraps, actually) from Pat Bravo. What a nice idea.

Postage stamp-type block
Postage stamp-type block

Two quilts were finished. A very large number of the postage stamp kits from the December meeting were turned into blocks and returned. I only took one kit last time, but took several during this meeting.

Schnibbles for Cat Beds

Sadly, Amanda has too many scraps and will hold off taking any more until she has made more cat beds. She said that her garage is being overrun. She really needs help making the actual cat beds.

Angela and I were able to spend a few minutes chatting. I spent a lot of the sewing time chatting and looking at what other people were doing. I couldn’t be bothered putting up a table to work on my own projects, an action I will regret later.

BAMQG Meeting

Flock of Geese
Flock of Geese

This is my ‘F’ block for the A-B-C challenge. There were a number of blocks with names beginning with F that were appealing, so it was hard to choose. I might do another one.

I really like that blue. It comes out a little darker on my screen than in real life, but is a very calming color.

Kathleen did the same block, but in black and white. It it always fun for me to see the same blocks done in different colors and sizes. As I have said many, many times, that is one of my joys in making blocks.

Electric Fan
Electric Fan

I saw Kathleen’s Electric Fan at the last meeting. Even though ‘E’ blocks were due last month, I really liked this block, so I decided to make one. It gave me the opportunity to try and figure out how to use the triangle technique for a block from Around the Block.ย  I didn’t make the Flower Pot that I posted, but am seriously tempted. You can just have one basket block in a sampler quilt!

I like to use fabrics at least three times in a quilt and preferably in odd numbers, if I use them more than three times. I looked at the total fabrics I had used in the previous blocks and used some I hadn’t yet used as much. I used the Empire Gold in another project so it was out, so I used that. I also had only used the yellow-green in the Basement Window block.

Heirloom Challenge

4 Log Cabin  Blocks
4 Log Cabin Block

These are the log cabin blocks I made for the Heirloom challenge. I added the Empire yellow solid from the Pat Bravo Art Gallery line. I think it goes well with these fabrics. I think the one flower fabric with the pink and burgundy reminds me of the Flea Market Fancy line.

I meant not to do this challenge as I don’t like making log cabin blocks. They are a bit too…fiddly for me. I am not sure if fiddly is the right term, but not a lot of bang for my buck, I guess. Still, I signed up so I stepped up. I tried using the technique that TFQ uses, which is to cut the strips the width they need to be rather than cutting a longer strip and trimming later. That worked ok.

Heirloom Challenge Blocks
Heirloom Challenge Blocks

Zoom in to see the variety of log cabin blocks that people came up with within the log cabin format. Amazing!

Heirloom block detail
Heirloom block detail
Heirloom Doorway
Heirloom Doorway

There were a few blocks that I particularly liked. The wave one (far left) would look great in a quilt with a variety of its fellows. I wouldn’t make it, but I would admire a quilt made with such blocks quite a lot.

The block on the bottom left has lovely graphic quality. The block ont he right looks like a doorway and I really like the fussy cutting.

December Secret Swap

Ribbon detail
Ribbon detail

This is a small detail of one of the ribbons on one of the gifts. I love the idea, but would never make it-at least to put on a package. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Secret Swappers
Secret Swappers

Above are the members who participated in the Secret Swap. I just couldn’t commit to the time to make a gift and boy am I glad I didn’t participate, because these ladies are a hard act to follow! Everyone really did their best work. I was impressed and pleased to see such care.

Kathleen's Secret Swap Pillow 2011
Kathleen’s Secret Swap Pillow 2011

Kathleen received this gorgeous pillow. The thing I like about it was how full it is. No matter how many pillows I make, I feel like they aren’t very full.

Show and Tell

Show & Tell
Show & Tell

There was a lot to tell and many quilts and projects to show. Sewing Time, despite all the other business was quite productive as well.

Elections
The “new” officers are:
President: Adrianne
VP: Kathleen
Secretary: Amanda
Treasurer: Sara

Thank you very much to Ruth, founder and 2011 Secretary, who will be leaving the board and taking over the challenge coordinator position.

November BAMQG

Yesterday was a big quilt day for me. CQFA and BAMQG were both on the same day. All quilts all the time. I didn’t feel like I had much to show, but it turned out that I didn’t have enough time to show everything I brought. I had a good time.

We had a lot of business to do – officers for next year, events for next year, challenges for next year, the Habitat challenge, show and tell, etc.

Eva's Delight
Eva's Delight

For the A-B-C (A-Z) Challenge, this month’s letter was ‘E’. I think I have said that I am really enjoying this challenge and chose a block I found in Around the Block Again. It was also in EQ7, which I used to resize it.

I don’t remember ever seeing this block before, but I liked the vertical lines created by the squares. This block has 37 pieces. I know it is lunacy to make such a small block with so many pieces, but with 26 blocks the size of the quilt will be much more manageable than a quilt with 26 12″ blocks.

Kathleen's A-B-C Challenge Blocks
Kathleen's A-B-C Challenge Blocks

Kathleen brought all of her A-B-C Challenge blocks. As you can see, she is using blacks and whites with a bit of red. I think she has done a lovely job of choosing blocks. The black and white really work well together with the variety of blocks.

Not many people brought their A-B-C blocks this time. I think there were a number of people working on the challenge who couldn’t make the meeting. I am really liking this challenge and the way my blocks are looking together.

There was a big presentation surrounding the Jay McCarroll Habitat Challenge. I did not participate in this challenge. I was, once again, impressed by the talent in this group. There was a lot of frustration surrounding the type and variety of prints, but people came up with wonderful ways to use it. My thought during the entire discussion was that this fabric was a really challenge.

Habitat Challenge Group
Habitat Challenge Group

All of the quilts are so creative. I was pleased to see how much collaboration there was during the meeting on the quilts that weren’t quite finished.

Lynnette’s quilt, ‘Love Beads'(far left, bottom), is one of my favorites.ย  I thought it was the Chinese Lanterns patterns. It certainly looks like Chinese Lanterns, but the pieces are a slightly different shape – a nice, elongated shape. I also think that the connector between the two is a little different.

Rhonda's Habitat
Rhonda's Habitat

Rhonda’s top from the Habitat Challenge has wonderful vertical lines.

One of the things I noticed was that people said as they cut the pieces of Habitat fabric up, the fabric became easier to work with. I think that some fabric works better in smaller pieces. This thought seems to be adverse to the idea of a Modern Quilt. At least I didn’t think that Modern Quilts used lots of small pieces. I suppose it depends, just like every other type of quilt.

I spent some of the sewing time cutting up another Jane Market tote. Perhaps I’ll make it tomorrow. I had a talk with a longarm quilter who is willing to try and work with me. she seems like she might be a good person to work with and I got the impression that she would try hard. I’ll think about it. I don’t want quilt tops to stack up, but I don’t know how I feel about working with a new quilter.

 

 

A-B-C Challenge Blocks

A-B-C Challenge Blocks
A-B-C Challenge Blocks

These are the blocks I have made so far for the BAMQG A-B-C (A-Z??) Challenge. I remade the Air Castle block (star, upper left) and am much happier with it. I didn’t think this project would be a learning experience, but it is. I think the Zoe Pearns dots need to be surrounded with a color, e.g. not white. I think they blend with the white white too much, especially since they are such small pieces.

I have to do the ‘E’. I thought I had decided on a block, but now I can’t remember what it was and quick look through my Around the Block books didn’t help. Stay tuned!

BAMQG

BAMQG October Block Exchange #1
BAMQG October Block Exchange #1

I have mixed feelings about 12″ blocks. They are big. I don’t like making them, because they take up so much fabric. I can’t use scraps, in general for them. However, I seem to be making a lot of them lately. I can use up a lot of fabric making 12″ blocks. I can also use these large expanses of patchwork to showcase the luscious large prints that I adore.

The latest batch of 12″ squares are 9 patch blocks for BAMQG. Not only are the 12″ finished, but they are also Halloween colors. Not my favorite, but not brown and beige either. I was kind of hoping I didn’t win the blocks (I didn’t), but then I remembered the Disappearing 9 Patch. I thought that this group wouldn’t be as controlled as the Food Quilt, but using the Disappearing 9 Patch pattern would also alleviate the large expanse of fabric problem.

Any size 9 Patches are so easy to make that they are like candy. I don’t seem to be able to make just one.

2 9 Patches
2 9 Patches
Adrianne's Lozenge 9 Patch
Adrianne's Lozenge 9 Patch

It turned out that we were able to use any 9 patch grid pattern not just the regular simple 9 patch. I am not sure why I didn’t know that.

I had a problem with my camera and didn’t take many photos, but people did some really great blocks and wonderful color combinations. I have that lozenge shape on my mind, so Adrianne’s block (left) really appealed to me. I think that it is more Fall than Halloweenish, but still a very nice block, and one I might want to try sometime. My blocks looked a little sad in comparison.

Angela's Rose
Angela's Rose

Local quilt work is really good and the BAMQGers work is no exception. Angela, in particular, is really taking off in terms of work. Kathleen asked me to write down the names and descriptions of the quilts as she took photos, so I didn’t hear all the details about this quilt. I do know that she took a class in reverse applique and that this technique was different from traditional reverse applique’. I really am excited that Angela is trying new things and really pushing herself in her quilt work.

Her Kona Challenge quilt was accepted into the New Quilts for Northern California along with the Zig Zaggy quilt.

The next challenge will be with a line called Heirloom. I am not familiar with it, but what I saw of it I liked. This is a guild sponsored challenge. Adrianne was going to hand out fabric, but the block the group voted on required some solids, which people wanted to coordinate, so there was a little back and forth about that. The Board decided to decide what to do about the solid and hand out fabric next month. I am not going to do that challenge, because I don’t want to do a challenge where the fabric and block are dictated to me. I like the Roman strip block, but not enough to take time away from my own projects.

C&T Goodies
C&T Goodies

The awesome, Lisa, at C&T sent us a prize pack. We did a giveaway and I handed out all the postcards. I asked her for the Studio Color Wheel postcards to hand out and she sent me a giant box of goodies, including a copy of the Studio Color Wheel, which Deborah won, and an Ultimate Color Tool.

There was a lot of business and I felt the generational gap hit me. I like to have some privacy online (I know I am walking the line having aย  blog and a big online presence) and that view isn’t shared by some of the younger crowd at the meeting. I felt old.

BAMQG September Meeting

I like having the meetings at the beginning of the month. It always feels like the month starts out on a positive note when I go to the Bay Area Modern Meetings. I stopped in at Starbuck’s to get a drink before going to a meeting and met a college friend. We only see each other on FB, so it was fun to have a minute to catch up. Both of our sons have started high school so we were comparing notes. I enjoyed the interlude, but the BAMQG meeting had started by the time I got there.

Adrianne Quilt for Japan
Adrianne Quilt for Japan

Show and Tell is my favorite part. I love seeing what other people are doing. I love the variety of levels of work and the variety of fabrics. Most of the work is very bright and cheerful, which is great.

Adrianne has been working on this quilt for awhile and is done with the top. It is gorgeous! I really like the way it came out. I have those fabrics and was having some buyers remorse, but this gives me some ideas. I love the way the dots turned out. There is a lot of movement in the various blocks.

We also displayed blocks from the A-B-C Challenge and various other works. There were a lot of new people at the meeting, so there was a wide variety of blocks to show — not just the challenge blocks.

BAMQG Blocks
BAMQG Blocks

As you know, my block is the Cake Stand block. Angela is also working on the A-B-C Challenge and she did a Courthouse Step block (middle top). Adrianne is working on a different project and she did a Ribbon Star (might also be called Odd Fellow’s Cross, Jinny Beyer, The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns, pg.64 #4). A new member (or, perhaps, visitor did the X block and the raw edge applique French Roses).

Joy-Lily work
Joy-Lily work

Joy-Lily has a lot of irons in the fire. She is now teaching at a new place on Bayshore called the Sewing and Quilting Collaborative. Apparently, they have longarms they will let people use and the owner buys up stock from quilt stores going out of business and has the stock for discount prices in one part of the place.

Joy-Lily’s blocks are really interesting. The top one, as you can see, is knitting needles and yarn. The yarn looked like it was made from bias tubes. I didn’t get to look at it closely, but the fabric had a slight shimmery look to it. The bottom block/mini quilt was made from fabric printed on fabric sheets, cut up and then sewed together again.

A number of members who usually participate in the block challenge were absent (long weekend and all) so they weren’t as many this time as last. I was helping Adrianne with notetaking, so I didn’t have to hold the quilts, but I also didn’t get photos of any.

Intrepid Thread Fabrics
Intrepid Thread Fabrics

Julie brought my order of a couple of dots, some aqua and the Terrain charm squares. I really like the Terrain. Something about it is very appealing. The colors together aren’t as bright as I normally like, but they aren’t really muted either except for a bit of the green, I think. This pack makes me think of Chinese Coins. I may cut the charms in half and make a Chinese Coins quilt. I need to look through some ideas for quilts using charms. Again, I ask you how many Chubby Charmers does a girl need? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Christmas Bags
Christmas Bags
Christmas Bags #2
Christmas Bags #2

I had no quilts to show this time, so I showed the bags I have been working on. They are all bags for Christmas, except one. Nobody thought I was a lunatic for making the same bag over and over. I passed them all around and was pleased that people commented on the decorative stitches I used around the top of the bag. One of the new women asked about the pattern. It felt good to have people ask for my advice.

I was also thrilled to find out that Angela is saving selvedges for a selvedge quilt. YAY! I have that bag of selvedges I have been saving for something. I am really pleased I can give them to her.

During sewing time, I cut out two more bags – the outside pieces only and cut apart some more t-shirts for The Young Man’s t-shirt quilt. That chore is done except for one sweatshirt and I am not sure how I am going to work that.

ABC Challenge

Two ABC Challenge Blocks
Two ABC Challenge Blocks

I really did want to do the Farmer’s Wife Quilt-a-Long, the Summer Sampler Series and the ABC Challenge at BAMQG, but decided that I can’t do everything. I have other projects to get busy on, too. As much as I would like to just make blocks forever, I have to do other things. The most important group block project right now to me is the guild’s ABC Challenge. The group is doing two 12″ blocks every month. I am doing one 6″ block.I want to support the BAMQG, so, finally, after getting behind by 2 letters, I sewed two blocks on Sunday.

I might do two if I have time and find two block patterns I like, then I will do two. For now my parameters are:

  • 6″x6″ blocks
  • One per month
  • Pat Bravo Pure Elements solids
  • Riley Blake Sweet Nothings by Zoe Pearn dot

I didn’t find any blocks I felt like making in my favorite block book, Around the Block, so I pulled out Around the Block Again and Once More Around the Block and found the two blocks I made in the former. I was shocked to find that some of the directions included ‘T5’ and ‘T42’ rather than a number of how to cut the patch. It turns out that there are templates in the back. I assume the author intends me to cut them out and use them that way. Instead I measured them and realized that she used templates, because the sizes are weird: 1 5/8, 2 7/8, somewhere in between 3 5/8 and 3 3/4, etc. I just cut to the nearest larger size and trimmed as I was making the blocks. Perhaps that is why I haven’t used this book much until now?

Basement Window
Basement Window
Air Castle
Air Castle

 

 

 

Yes, the blocks are bright. I want bright and I want to use some of the new fabric I have purchased recently. I may add other prints. I will use more of the Riley Blake/Zoe Pearn dots. For now, I am still experimenting with how much white works and how the solids I have look with each other. The next block may be different.

Some of the blocks that other members made are below.

BAMQG ABC Challenge Blocks
BAMQG ABC Challenge Blocks
BAMQG ABC Challenge Blocks
BAMQG ABC Challenge Blocks
BAMQG ABC Challenge Blocks
BAMQG ABC Challenge Blocks

I have always enjoyed making blocks. I don’t do it enough. As I have been walking past these blocks all week (they are displayed on my design wall) they are making me feel happy. Perhaps they don’t have as much interest as some blocks with other fabrics would, but they are really cheerful and are making me itch to get back to the sewing machine. I wonder what block is next?

BAMQG Saturday

I went to the Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild Meeting on Saturday. I really like that group. Do I say that every time I go? Everyone is really, genuinely nice and I don’t feel like people are judgmental. Also, everyone seems to have a good time. I don’t feel like I make particularly modern quilts, but everyone seems to like the quilts I bring to show and tell.

I brought the Stars for San Bruno #1 quilt, which is almost finished (stay tuned for the unveiling). I have about a foot of binding left to sew before it is finished. I usually like to only show finished quilts, though I do show finished tops sometimes, but this quilt might be off to Tim and Rose before the next meeting. I hope so anyway.

The Board is doing such a great job with the meetings. We talked about the retreat. People showed their Farmer’s Wife and Alphabet Guild Challenge blocks. I made neither, but would like to catch up and try to do the Alphabet Guild Challenge blocks.

Queen Street
Queen Street

It occurred to me on Sunday morning while I was doing my morning exercises (great time to think) that I could use the Queen Street fabrics for that project. I was looking for a project for that fabric. Not sure as the prints are quite large. I could also use Sugar and Spice. That would be cheerful where Queen Street would be elegant.

I want to get through some of the sewing I have on my immediate to do list before I start more Sampler blocks.

There was some frustration with the Farmer’s Wife Sampler blocks. There seem to be a couple of problems: 1) color selection and 2) lack of rotary cutting directions. I also see a related problem to #2, which is that the author seems to have renamed the blocks, which makes them difficult to find in a standard block dictionary or program. I did see an EQ companion software product with all of the blocks drawn out, but it seems like not many of the members have or know how to use EQ7. Adrianne was particularly discouraged, so I offered to draw the next blocks for her. It will give me the incentive to draw them for myself and help a peep!

There was a lot of discussion of fabrics and I felt a bit out of my element. TFQ has really helped me wrap my head around lines of fabric and I can hold my own, but a lot of the fabrics discussed I had never seen. I only had a vague notion of some of the designers as well. Some more study is required, I guess.

I brought a bunch of my block dictionaries for people to look at. A number of people had bought the 501 Rotary Cut Blocks by Judy Hopkins, which I was pleased to see. A number of people are struggling with the Farmer’s Wife because of the math and I think this book will help. I can see that I had a very good quilt education. I admire the Modern Quiltmakers for learning on their own, but also think that learning in a group has value.

Mug Rug Challenge
Mug Rug Challenge

There was also a mug rug challenge. I did not participate…mostly, because I didn’t have a spare second this past month to sew.

Fave Mug Rugs
Fave Mug Rugs

Love the aqua!

I spent some time on Sunday drawing or finding the blocks for the Farmer’s Wife in EQ. I was able to put a project together of about 20 blocks. I sent them on to Adrianne so she could focus on the fun rather than struggling with templates. Don’t get me wrong. Templates have their uses, but most of these blocks are easy to rotary cut. I haven’t done all of them, but will get to it later this week.

The question of the month was: what part of the quiltmaking process do you struggle with?

BAMQG Meeting

I went to the Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild meeting yesterday. As usual, it was a great meeting. I forgot to take photos, so this is a wordy post not a photo post. (Foreshadowing of posts to come).

The business meeting part of the meeting was pretty long, but it included show and tell. I forgot to bring my show and tell (Frosted Stars), so I played the role of quilt holder.

People brought their Robert Kaufman Kona challenge quilts and they are awesome! Not everyone was done, but pieces that people showed were wonderful. Angela showed an awesome colorwash type of piece that I really want to get a photo of her piece so you can see it. Patti didn’t want to do a quilt, so she painted a canvas black, made yo-yos and glued them in color order to the canvas. It is really a fabulous piece.

I brought my friend, Carol. It was fun to have someone to chat with on the long drive to and fro. She started a quilt a long time ago. When I saw the pieces at her house, I encouraged her to come. I am pretty sure she had fun, since she picked out another quilt she wants to start on. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Chris made more door prizes. She made a piece that was comprised of some blocks stretched over canvas. The person who won them was over the moon. I didn’t win anything, but she has figured out the dimensions for a composition book journal cover. To save me some time, I asked her to send me the dimensions. I’d like to make some journal covers for composition books to give as gifts as composition books are easier to find than the Miquelrius journals.

I have been wanting to recycle old fabric or clothes that are too worn to donate and Amanda came to the rescue. She is making cat beds and wants to use the trimmings from quiltmaking to stuff them. I couldn’t stop thinking about that the whole time I was trimming blocks today. I have to figure out a temporary storage solution to hold the stuff until the next BAMQG.

Julie told us about Market. It was her first time. She talked about how big Market was, meeting with fabric reps, seeing the famous quilters. She brought back leaflets of new fabrics as well as some actual unreleased fabrics. She brought Ruby! I was so glad to see it in person, because I found that I will not be buying the whole line as planned. The greys are really not my style. I might buy the swirly grey, will probably buy some of the aquas and the reds. We’ll have to see about the others. Julie called them warm greys, but, to me, they have too much beige. There are some true calicoes in the line as well, which makes me wonder if calicoes are coming back?

After the meeting is sewing time. I unsewed some blocks that I had sewed together by accident, but mostly chatted with people. Everyone else did, too. I think many of us were tired. It is a tired time of year with graduations and all.

 

CQFA and BAMQG

Saturday a week ago was the CQFA and BAMQG Saturday extravaganza.

Every other month, the meetings fall on the same day, which can be awesome and can be exhausting. I love being immersed in the quilting. I adore both groups, too.

CQFA was really small this time. It is a small group to start with and May always begins the end of school/graduation/nice weather demands on people’s time. Still, it was a great meeting with awesome show and tell. We rehashed the Primal Green outing and panel discussion. I got a lot of kudos for my contribution, which was really nice and made me feel good. Nancy had set up demo, which Sue gave after a brief break.

Sue's Piece
Sue's Piece

Sue makes fabric paper. She found the recipe in the book Stitch Alchemy and has been making gorgeous cards and gifts ever since. Sue’s piece for Primal Green was made from the fabric paper (above). She also sent me some gifts made from her paper. I especially liked the cards.

My Cards
My Cards
Sue's Card - detail
Sue's Card - detail

Don’t you love the stitching and how it highlights and adds interest to the flower?

If I ever send you one of these cards, you had better not throw it out! I’ll have to think who will really appreciate one of them. I may frame one as well.

The thing about Sue is that she is fearless and will try anything. She really does great work and I always look forward to her show and tell.

Sue applying paper to fabric
Sue applying paper to fabric

In the photo above Sue is applying tissue paper to the fabric she has cut. I don’t remember what kind of fabric it is, but something fairly benign and not very expensive, I think.She used a water and glue mixture to apply the paper to the fabric.

Sue is a really good teacher. She was well prepared and as she talked us through the different steps, she also talked about supplies she liked (Starbuck’s tissue and colored tissue paper are the best).

Painting Fabric Paper
Painting Fabric Paper

After the paper is dry (this was a second piece, because we didn’t have time to let the one she worked on dry), then you paint and embellish it. That stamp in the front is made from bunion foam. Great idea, huh? Again, Sue talked about things she liked and things that didn’t work out as planned for embellishing.

Painting Fabric Paper
Painting Fabric Paper

We talked about doing this all together in August and then following up with a workshop to embellish it at A Work of Heart. We’ll see how it goes.

BAMQG is always a fun time, too. This time I brought my camera. I still didn’t take any photos except of the blocks I was cutting. DUH! I took the fabric for the Teacher Pillows and used the time I wasn’t chatting to cut pieces. I was able to cut two blocks out during the sewing time, which was great.

The meeting was good, too. It is fun to see what people are making. I had a lot to show – the FOTY 2010 (sans sleeve, so you’ll get to see when it is completely finished), the Frosted Stars Leftovers and the Purple Quilt. People really liked them and it is gratifying to get positive feedback. I was able to show the quilts at both groups and get double the amount of strokes. Thanks, everyone.

A few people finished their Robert Kaufman challenges. I brought mine, which does not have a border. Look out for a post on that coming soon to a blog near you. It was interesting to hear what challenged people about the project.

Front
Front

Chris won the blocks from the February block strip challenge. She made a table runner and she also made some gifts to give away. I won a folder that she made using a manila folder as a pattern and Timtex as the base. Very clever.

Back
Back
Inside
Inside

The outside of the folder is made from blocks. Can you see parts of one of my blocks? The inside has two pockets. Where the green meets the multi-colored print is where the pocket is.

 

BAMQG Exchange Blocks

BAMQG Courthouse Square Blocks
BAMQG Courthouse Square Blocks

A few weeks ago I talked about the blocks I was planning on making for the BAMQG challenge. Here are the first two. I had an idea for these blocks, but I also had a couple of obstacles to the finished pieces.

First, I had to find the rotary cutting directions. I tried to draw the blocks on EQ7 and wasn’t, initially successful. Through a series of weird coincidences, I found a block in the big Jinny Beyer block book and had a pad of graph paper near handy, which allowed me to visualize the grid. Once I had that, I was able to draw the block in EQ7 (I was surprised not to find it there already there) and EQ7 generated the rotary cutting directions for this Courthouse Square block. Update 10/9/2011: I found that this block is Brackman Number: 2815A. You can see an antique example of this block in a quilt at the Quilt Index.

Acorn chain in lake
Acorn chain in lake
Dandelion by Michael Miller
Dandelion by Michael Miller

I used the fabrics I showed in the last post and am pleased with how they came out. I was a little nervous about using the Michael Miller fabric, because I have it slated for another project. I slapped myself and used the fabric since I hadn’t used it in that other project yet and it isn’t as though I have a shortage of fabric. I think the block looks great.

Multiple Square Quilt
Multiple Square Quilt

Two blocks wasn’t enough and I still had some fabric, so I looked at the gallery (I apologize if you can’t open the link) that Adrianne made.I found this one in Jinny Beyer’s book also. It is called Multiple Square Quilt and is from a 1953 issue of the Kansas City Star. That book is a useful resource if you love blocks at all.

I am thinking I will make one or two more, but I made a list of all I have to sew this weekend, so we will see how much I get done.

It is kind of fun thinking about blocks in a different way and trying to make them modern. I still have more fabric, so I may make a few more blocks.

BAMQG Meeting Report

BAMQG Logo
BAMQG Logo

This past weekend, I spent all weekend doing fun quilt stuff,. None of it, really was sewing, but all of it was inspirational.

The Bay Area Modern Guild met on Saturday for a meeting and sew day. Don’t you love the new logo? I do!

The Manteca Quilt Show was all weekend, but I went with Mom on Sunday. Look for a post about the show soon. My camera acted up, so I need to get some of the photos from mom. I’ll also put a Flickr stream.

I really like the Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild people. I really didn’t know what to expect or what I was expecting, but everyone is great: cheerful, fun, easy to talk to and doing fun projects. Even though I missed sewing on my own projects at home, it was worth the effort to go. Although I feel like I have a lot of deadlines (self imposed, of course) and I am not going to meet them, I need some sewing companionship and I am not going to get it at home alone.

The meeting was really fun. We had a bit of a business meeting and then show and tell. Show and tell was great: my favorite part. I love seeing what everyone is doing. I feel like I am getting some fresh ideas. I have been sewing, but I really had nothing to show. I haven’t finished much and need to get to work.

Amanda's Placemats
Amanda's Placemats

Amanda got some fabric from Urban Burp and combine the vintage fabric with some modern fabric to create some placemats. Everyone was very enthusiastic.

Kathleen's Square in a Square
Kathleen's Square in a Square

Kathleen brought this square in a square piece. She used a pattern. Someone said that there is also a Kaffe Fassett pattern in one of his early books that looks similar. If I have time, I’ll look for it and let you know. I like the color and the different sized blocks used in one quilt. I also enjoy Kathleen’s work, because she uses similar colors to the colors I use.

I brought the Black Jane Market Tote and everyone admired it, but I was busy doing something else while Kathleen was taking photos, so no photo. You have seen it anyway!

Adrianne's Hexagons
Adrianne's Hexagons

Adrianne’s hexagons are quite large. She used a special cutting technique by Kay Wood, which is described on her (Adrianne’s) blog. I tried this and had some problems. Adrianne and I worked together at the meeting to figure out the problem. What we surmise is that you must have a 60 degree triangle with the tip. I was using my new favorite ruler, the Fons and Porter Pyramid ruler. I love that ruler, but the top is blunted and, while,ย  it works great for the Twirling Triangles, but creates oblongs instead of hexagons when using Adrianne’s/Kay’s technique.

Adrianne used Innocent Crush in her piece and machine pieced the hexagons in rows. I am not sure if the Innocent Crush is in a particular colorway. I saw a number of different colors of the various designs.

Julie‘s show and tell was her cool beginner sampler. It is so fresh and fun! I haven’t counted up my requirements for techniques to learn when doing a beginning class, but Julie’s piece hits most of the high points. Her really good news was that she is opening an LQS!!! I was so excited until I heard it will be in San Jose. ๐Ÿ™ She will have an online store as well, though, so I can buy from there. She is planning to open after Spring Market.

I am really hoping that an LQS will open in my neighborhood. I am in an LQS wasteland! I’ll keep you posted on Julie’s store developments.

Kathleen's String Blocks
Kathleen's String Blocks

Kathleen has been busy. She is making string blocks as well as well as the Square in a Square and the Mod Mosaics. They remind me, a bit, of Pineapples. I believe this is also a swap on Flickr. Again, I love her colors. I am so glad someone else is working in brights and dots. Kathleen said that she is working on so many swaps that she hasn’t had a chance to work on her own projects!

It is interesting to see these swaps going on. I remember back in the quiltmaking dark ages when people did swaps and they went awry or people received blocks that were less than stellar in workmanship. I am glad there are people who aren’t as jaded as I am.

 February Block Challenge
February Block Challenge

Everyone brought their blocks from the 2.5″ strip swap. I was amazed at the variety of blocks. I think they will go nicely together. Adrianne and Kathleen put names into a bag to draw for all of the blocks. Chris of Quilt Bits won! I can’t wait to see what she makes.

Block Swap
Block Swap

For this month’s challenge, Adrianne and Kathleen brought Joel Dewberry’s Modern Meadow fat quarters. The idea is thatย  people took the FQs and will bring back blocks to the next meeting. The theme is to make blocks with squares: log cabin, 9patch, 4patch, etc. Like last month, we will either make a quilt and someone who worked on it will win or we will draw for the blocks. Almost everyone wanted to participate, which I thought was great! I guess this is me sticking my toe back into the swap waters.

My fabric: Acorn Chain in a Lake
My fabric: Acorn Chain in a Lake

The photo to the left shows the fabric I chose. The colorway is Pond. It is called Acorn Chain in a Lake, which I find very entertaining. I have been trying to think of what block to make and, especially, how far I can stretch the definition of ‘square.’ ๐Ÿ˜‰ At the moment the top contender is Block # 9 from the Layer Cake Quilt Challenge. I am pretty in love with 4 patches right now, though and am trying to think of something interesting to do with a 4patch (e.g. 9patch with 4patch corners??) . Adrianne posted some fun options from Flickr. I am reserving judgment as I have not yet looked through any of my block dictionaries. I am sure I can make more than one block from the fabric I have. I just hope I find some time to sew!

I chose this fabric because it looks like dots. Also, that lighter blue looks like aqua and I think I might use some of the aqua dandelion fabric I got from FabricWorm/Birch Fabrics. It is called Dandelion by Michael Miller.

Dandelion by Michael Miller
Dandelion by Michael Miller

It looks like they would go together. We are also supposed to use Kona white if we plan to use a white in the block. I have Kona Snow, but not Kona White, so I will have to get some or not use white. I keep thinking that a bit of orange would be nice, but I’ll have to see when I lay out the block.

What is your favorite square block?

I only brought projects to cut out: Jane Market Totes from Martha Negley fabric, Multi-tasker Tote from Michael Miller’s Ironwork fabric, another quilt like Michaela’s quilt, but using fabrics from one of the Birch Bundles I got last summer. I thought I would get a lot of cutting done. It turns out that I was Miss Social Butterfly, As I mentioned, I really enjoy the women there and took advantage of the opportunity to talk quilts, guild activities and life. Who knew I wouldn’t just stand in the corner by myself?

Jane Market Totes to be
Jane Market Totes to be

The left photo shows all I got done; cut out 2 Jane Market totes. That’s it. C’est tout. I am happy I got these pieces cut as the table was nice and big, but I really wish I had gotten more done. I blame Adrianne and Kathleen for doing such a great job organizing the meeting and being such nice people. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Kathleen prepared the demo. The demo was the Mod Mosaic technique by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson fame. She has a pattern for a floor pillow using the technique. She talks about the blocks here and shows different ideas for settings.

Kathleen is in a swap group and they are swapping these types of blocks so a tutorial/demo on how to make the blocks seemed a good idea. It was a huge success!

Mod Mosaic Tutorial
Mod Mosaic Tutorial

Kathleen’s blocks are gorgeous! I watched and listened as I did my own stuff. I looked at the pattern later and I get it. I think this would make good use of scraps. Just what I need: another project in process!

Peggy's Mod Mosaic
Peggy's Mod Mosaic

Peggy got on board right away. She came with fabrics for a bargello quilt and, instead, used them to make Mod Mosaic blocks!

Lisa's Mod Mosaic
Lisa's Mod Mosaic

Lisa’s blocks (right) looked like circus blocks. I loved their bright cheerfulness. Kathleen also showed some of her blocks in detail.

Kathleen's Mod Mosaic
Kathleen's Mod Mosaic

Looking at the black and red blocks makes me think of my new scrap organization system and how that system would lend itself to be picking scraps out of the drawer and sewing them into these types of blocks.

On my way home from the meeting, I wondered about my interest in the Modern Quilt Movement and it occurred to me that I have been, at least mentally or intellectually, struggling with categorizing my own style of quiltmaking.

What style of quilts do I make?

They aren’t really traditional, though have classic elements and are often block based. I don’t really dye or paint or engage much in surface design, soย  they aren’t art quilts, really, either. Perhaps I am exploring modern quilts to determine whether these types of designs are that fine line between the art and classic quilts?

I really enjoyed the meeting and can’t wait to go again….even if I don’t get anything done. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Want to come to a meeting or join? Take a look at the:

Thanks to Kathleen for allowing me to use her photos!

____________________________________

3/10/2011 Update: Kathleen said that Square in a Square pattern to which I referred above is called Outside the Box by Rose Mason of Wilsonville, Oregon.