ATCs – December 2017

October 2017 ATCs for CQFA
October 2017 ATCs for CQFA

The CQFA meeting was yesterday. It was a great meeting and we met in a new space, which is hopeful for the future of the group.

I used the ATCs that I made for the October meeting. As you might recall, nobody else made them so I had nobody with whom to trade. ๐Ÿ™

It ended up being ok, because I probably wouldn’t have made them for this time since time has been short and I have been crazily piecing on En Provence.

CQFA December 2017 Meeting ATCs
CQFA December 2017 Meeting ATCs

I was really pleased that only four people were trading. I wanted one of my own and wouldn’t have felt right about taking one if more people had been trading. I could have made another, and that was my plan, but I didn’t get around to it.

My December ATCs
My December ATCs

From Left to Right (see second photo, above), Bron, Jaye, Diane and Maureen all made cards to trade. Since there were only four of us, we all got one of each.

Now, on to making cards for the next meeting.

October CQFA Meeting

CQFA is currently homeless, so we met outside at the Campbell Community Center. The plan was to listen to the lecture at Penwag after our meeting and they meet at the Campbell Community Center. Maureen brought quilts for some of us to sit on. Others sat on benches. We were a small group, but the weather was good so it all worked out.

Being a small group, there wasn’t much show and tell. I showed my in process Cosmic Wonder Dust scarf. Rhonda showed some pieces she is appliqueing for the Social Justice Sewing Academyย and Marie S. showed some of her indigo work. Maureen brought a new magazine called Curated Quilts. It has no ads. That means it is a bit pricier, but has very nice photos.

October 2017 ATCs for CQFA
October 2017 ATCs for CQFA

I was pretty pleased with my ATCs, then disappointed to find that nobody else had made any. ๐Ÿ™ No exchange this time, though I am ready for next time.

I am now trying to start on them early so I am not working on them at the last minute. I did start these right after the August meeting, however I only cut the background pieces and the interfacing. I still had all the sewing to do. I did get to work on them during the week before the meeting here and there, but I finished them the night before the meeting. Yes, I left the finishing until the last minute. Again.

This time my goal was to try out using the tulle over other motifs like I plan to do for the CQFA show piece that is in my head, but not yet made. It worked pretty well. I used schnibbles under the tulle and was pleased with the effect.

I thought I would just toss some schnibbles in there, but ended up trying to focus on the turquoise and pink schnibbles. I did add in one piece of leftover Lichen yarn from the Lichen scarf.

We went to the John Marshall lecture at Penwag after our meeting and I thought it was enjoyable. He is a white guy who grew up in a Japanese community near Sacramento and apprenticed to a dollmaker, I think, in Japan. His background is really different and his About page reflects his interesting bacground. He is also a good speaker and very personable.

It was fun to do something different during the CQFA meeting.

CQFA August Meeting

Saturday was the CQFA meeting and I actually made it! It was held in Maureen’s backyard. We sat around on outdoor chairs wearing hats and sunscreen had had our meeting. The meeting was followed by a workshop with Zoe Umholtz.

There is no news on the show, but I haven’t made my piece or my book yet, so I still have time.

August 2017 ATCs - CQFA
August 2017 ATCs – CQFA

My favorite part was the ATC exchange. I had mine made from early in the year when only Bron brought ATCs. We exchanged, I made another and didn’t have to scramble to make some before the meeting. Like Amy’s Color My Quilt piece, I need to get busy making ATCs for the October meeting. I have some schnibbles that I was eyeing the other day that might make great pieces.

In order from left to right, top row: Bron, Maureen and Diane.

Bottom row: Julie, Jaye, Angela, Nancy

My August 2017 ATCs
My August 2017 ATCs

I received some very nice pieces. There were two that I really wanted. I got one of them and am happy about that. Maureen (left, top) used some indigo pieces she made in a Zoe Umholtz workshop she took earlier. I think it was in honor of the workshop.

Nancy did some nice threadwork (right, top).

Diane (left, bottom) hasn’t been at a meeting in a long time, so it was great to see her. I saw her ATC and it made me want to pull out the others I have traded with her. She works in a similar style, so I think there would be some continuity.

I like the details on Julie’s piece (bottom, right) as well. The button and the little xes are wonderful and I like the texture.

indigo dyeing at CQFA
indigo dyeing at CQFA

I acted as workshop assistant for a few tasks, but mostly sat and knitted. I didn’t do any dyeing. Been there, done that and am happy to buy from people who enjoy it. I listened to Zoe’s introduction and watched as others folded and banded and dyed. I am also excited to see what comes out of the workshop. Julie got a lot of great photos and posted them.

CQFA February ATCs

February CQFA ATCs
February CQFA ATCs

I made a second CQFA meeting in a row. It was exciting to have two weekends in row to devote to doing what I wanted.

As per usual, I made ATCs for the meeting. I never quite know what design I am going to use until I do it. Often, I look in my scrap drawer to see what is available. On this day, I had straightened up the scraps from some tunics I had made. There were some large pieces of Philip Jacobs fabric available without much rummaging and I used that to make the flowers.

In this case, I also wanted to use some of my new Sue Spargo Perl-type cottons and came up with this design to do so. I had some trouble getting the stitch to be smooth, but as I worked through the cards, I got the optimal length worked out.

I noticed from looking at the last group of ATCs that I tend to embellish them.

As in October, few people made ATCs. Bron and I were the only ones who had any to share, so we exchanged one each with each other. I made an extra one when I got home and will use these for the April meeting, assuming I can attend.

Retreat Work

Final City Sampler blocks
Final City Sampler blocks

As mentioned briefly yesterday I was on Retreat over the weekend. CQFA had their annual retreat in Half Moon Bay. My big huge accomplishment was that I finished the last 41 blocks for the City Sampler.


I started in on them on Friday right after I arrived. I worked until about 9pm with breaks for food and water. Then I worked on them all day until 10pm Saturday with breaks for food and water, but no breaks for other projects. I finished the last block after 10. Angela stayed and kept me company for the last few minutes so I wouldn’t be alone, which was really sweet of her.

City Sampler block n.59
City Sampler block n.59

I had the idea that I would photograph each block as I finished, but the quantity was too great and after the first few, I gave up and focused on my work. I have cleared off my small design wall and will put the blocks up there and take a photo. The one shown (left) is number 59 and one of the few I think have potential in a larger quilt.

I feel like this is a real achievement and coupled with the finished Peacock top is good work towards getting me over the slog through the quilt mire I have been in. After thinking about this project for awhile, I have decided that I wouldn’t do it again if I had a do-over. I was coming off of the excitement of the A-B-C Challenge when I started this one. I thought this one would be a similar experience, but it didn’t turn out to be as collaborative. Also, the blocks are fiddly and, in most cases, not terribly interesting. As a group, I think they will be interesting, but singly, with very few exceptions, they are uninteresting and, as I said, fiddly. If I do such a project again, I will look more carefully at the blocks before I start.

It wasn’t all peaches and roses, though, I as I am really having trouble with the seam allowance on both machines. ERRGH!!! I can deal with putting different sized blocks together. I don’t want to be seen as an amateur or a poor quiltmaker when I work on collaborative projects (like the donation blocks). The DC5100 is going to the shop. I have to figure this out so I don’t worry about it.

ATCs Again! Finally!

December 2016 ATCs
December 2016 ATCs

I finally made some ATCs! After missing several meetings, then not having time to make any before the October meeting I feel like I have reached the summit of a high mountain. Additionally, I used the charms that have been sitting on my cutting table (or falling off repeatedly) for months!

I wanted a fall theme to go with the leaves and it is still Fall, though it feels like winter some days.

Today is the CQFA meeting, so we will see how they are received.

CQFA Show and Tell

Rhonda and I ducked out of the BAM Retreat to attend the CQFA meeting. They are often conflicting at the moment, which is a challenge. I didn’t want to leave the retreat, however I have missed so many CQFA meetings that I felt bad about missing another. Since Rhonda was going, I decided to go for the meeting, but not stay for the workshop.

Despite my perpetual To Do List item to make ATCs, I didn’t make any. I wasn’t the only one. Poor Virginia had nobody with whom to exchange.

Tea in a Cafe
Tea in a Cafe

One of the most exciting things to happen to other guild is that there will be a show either in July 2017 or in 2018. The theme will be “In Conversation.” I immediately got a flash of an idea in my mind and drew it out in my journal. It is loosely based on a picture I took in Austria.

The picture is just the start. I want to add in some hands. I don’t know the angle yet, though straight on sideways or straight from the top would be easier to draw. I do like the angle shown in the picture, but I don’t know if I can do it credible justice. My UFO list is creeping up, but I am excited about this project and wonder if I can get started on it and get it to a good point before I lose interest?

Maureen's Book
Maureen’s Book

Anyway. Show and Tell was awesome. I was especially inspired by Maureen’s book. She is in a collage group that meets once a week. She has been doing some great stuff in that group. In a recent meeting, she learned about a simple Japanese binding and made a book.

The content/pages are always a problem for me. How many journals does a person need? Maureen had a genius idea to use black and white drawings from a previous class.

I love this book! The overall content and structure are great, but the best part is the little surprises inside. She added a window on to the next page. One of the pages has a rounded edge, again providing a glimpse farther in the book. Another page is cut at an angle and the following page is so carefully placed that the reader cannot tell they are two separate pages right away.

Julie brought her Tumbler quilt.

Dolores' Cube
Dolores’ Cube

Dolores showed an almost finished fabric sculpture. She has been working on studies to get the process down for awhile. I have seen the smaller ones, but was thrilled to see the large version.

Each side has a different texture. Some of them are achieved through quilting, but others are kind of sewing techniques such as smocking.

I love the textures she achieved, especially from some serious quilting on the sides.

Carol is still working in solids and brought two of her quilts. These are a follow up to the quilt she worked on at the Retreat. I really like the subtle shifts in color in the Tulip quilt. I know that there are depths that tone-on-tones achieve that solids can’t, however I can’t help but love what people can achieve with solids as well.

Jennifer brought more of her felted wool pieces. Nancy brought a journal cover she made using my tutorial. I was pretty excited about that, because someone actually used one of my tutorials! Virginia brought some placemats. Reva made a 3D owl. The list goes on and one. I am always so inspired by the ladies who create and share at CQFA.

April ATCs

April 2016 CQFA ATCs
April 2016 CQFA ATCs

We had the CQFA meeting on Saturday. Of course there was an ATC swap. Not participated in the swap this time, but I received two lovely cards and got to keep one of my own.

As usual I intended to make them well in advance. Friday morning (day before the meeting!!) became unusually busy and I still hadn’t made any. Eventually I tore myself away from all the other things demanding my attention. I went for a walk determined to decide on a design. As I walked it occurred to me that I wanted to do something very simple and I came up with a design comprising an orange circle on a blue background. I was imagining the colors I used in the Wonky 9 Patch quilt. That particular blue and orange glow when put together.

I also remembered Ms. Lottie’s directions for finishing the edges and decided I would try the technique. I would have done a better job if I had actually read the directions again, but I did what I thought I remembered the directions saying. I had some trouble with the corners. They don’t look very tidy and I realized why after I read the directions when I finished. Such a great plan (<–irony). I’ll give it another try next time.

I like to put stiffener in my ATCs so they are more like cards. This meant that the fusible on the inside of the backing was adhering to loose Pellon interfacing. It didn’t secure the three layers together at all. I liked the technique and the little frame it makes. I’ll just have to make the technique my own for next time.Reading the directions might help. ๐Ÿ˜‰

April 2016 ATCs in progress
April 2016 ATCs in progress

By the time I arrived home I had an idea. It didn’t quite work out the way I imagined, but turned out satisfactorily. I didn’t have the exact colors I saw in my minds eye, but I did have colors that worked well together.

When I put the initial pieces together, they looked unfinished. I always like to do handwork and haven’t had many bindings to hand sew recently, so I sat on Friday night and stitched some Perl cotton on to these ATC pieces to add interest and finish them. I seem to often do embroidery or beading on these pieces. I wonder if it is a signature?

Bron & Jaye's ATCs
Bron & Jaye’s ATCs
Virginia's ATCs
Virginia’s ATCs

Bron and Virginia also participated. We each got one of our own and gave Rhonda the extras to bring to Angela.

CQFA Meeting

Yes, right after the Retreat, we were back at it with a meeting. We didn’t have regular show and tell at the December meeting, so we had to catch up and have a big show and tell in February.

The business meeting portion wasn’t that big of a deal or very long. The topics discussed were important, but we dealt with them quickly – dues, meetings for the rest of the year, etc. We are discussing the possibility of having a show. It is a lot of work for a small group, above and beyond the making of the pieces, so there is discussion.

We traded ATCs and they were great this time. Valentine’s Day is coming, so you can see the red theme was prevalent. I was somewhat embarrassed with mine (upper left hand corner), because they were quick and dirty and I forgot to sew the charms on. I’ll call them minimalist.

Show and Tell is always the best part. There wasn’t a lot. I showed Tuffet #2 and FOTY 2014, both of which were finished since the last regular show and tell.

Rhonda's Blue Shirts
Rhonda’s Blue Shirts

Rhonda showed the quilt she made for her dad, which she made as almost her first quilt. The design is her own and I think it is one of the best shirt patterns I have seen.

Gerre's Vintage Spin
Gerre’s Vintage Spin

Gerre showed her Vintage Spin again. I love this quilt so much that I had to show it to you again.

Bron's Fibershot #1
Bron’s Fibershot #1
Bron's Fibershot #2
Bron’s Fibershot #2

Bron made two quilt-lets for Fibershots based on her paintings. She spent the work time after the meeting, while I quilted my quilt-lets, fashioning some hangers using some pretty chopsticks.

After the meeting, the plan was to work on Fibershots pieces in a group setting and possibly collaborate. Maureen, Bron and I were the only ones who stayed and I was determined to make some progress on my two. I had hauled my machine and gear down to the meeting, so I felt like I had to. I was pleased that they stayed.

Before we started sewing and working, Bron and I went to Asian Box (no affiliation!) and grabbed lunch. I also got some Pho for dinner and I had two of the best meals ever. I can still taste them in my mouth and I am drooling just thinking about them. Bron and I decided that we could share a box (rice, vegees, meat) as it was enough for two. I can’t wait! Yum!

CQFA Retreat

The CQFA Retreat was back to its normal last weekend of January timeframe. I was so pleased to be able to attend again. I know I went in May, but the last couple of January retreats, I wasn’t able to attend. I love January and quiltmaking in January is the best.

Short description of the weekend: it was fabulous.

I drove down with Kathleen, after convincing her that joining CQFA and going on Retreat would be a good idea. She drove over the mountain in her giant truck, so we drove down to the retreat in style!

Hard at work
Hard at work

People trickled in throughout the day and by evening the room was full.

When we arrived, we were disappointed to find Rhonda unable to attend! She was suddenly taken ill. Since she organized everything, it was a big disappointment for her as well. She felt much better on Saturday so her husband drove her up and we were all thrilled to see her.

The Giant Pizzas
The Giant Pizzas

There isn’t a restaurant in the hotel, though they do have a continental-plus breakfast, so we had to go out for meals, though there were plenty of snacks available. Julie and I went to our traditional Mexican place on Friday night. Kathleen joined us. Some of the ladies decided to get pizza delivered and were shocked when two GIANT pizzas arrived.

These pizzas engendered much hilarity because of their 24″ size. The order taker was surprised, justifiably when we saw them, that the ladies were ordering two. Those pizzas fed people on and off throughout the weekend.

Much Work was Accomplished

My retreat workspace
My retreat workspace

I did not bring my design wall this time. The new one purports to be portable, but it is heavy and I didn’t feel like dragging it along. I wanted to quilt various projects that are piling up anyway.

Maureen helped me with my Peacock quilt and that is ready for me to piece and put together.

Maureen also finished her CQFA improv round robin piece that was made at a meeting last year.

Nancy came and went, working on her handwork and chatting with us all.

Angela worked on Reversible Box Totes and they were really great. She used some quilting cottons and some fabrics from FabMo as ’embellishments’.

Julie cut out a new king sized project using Kaffe Fassett fabrics that will be fantastic. You know I love the Philip Jacobs prints in the Kaffe Collective and many of her fabrics were designed by my man, Phil.

Rhonda's Zipper Pouch
Rhonda’s Zipper Pouch

Rhonda worked on nesting zipper bags that will be gifts. She used some Alison Glass fabrics, similar to the ones I used in Field Day Zipper.

Jennifer put the beginnings of a piece together for a show where the theme is ‘Turmoil’. It is made from purples and violets and I look forward to seeing it when it is finished.

Sue also made zipper pouches similar to those from the one of the first BAMQG retreats. She was also making gifts and brought her serger along to do the finishing.

Carol's quilt
Carol’s quilt

I was very pleased to get to know Carol, a new-ish member, better. We sat across from each other at dinner on Saturday and I found that we have similar ideas about quiltmaking classes. She brought the quilt (left) to finish the binding and the sleeve and was beavering away at it when I arrived. The front of the quilt was a big mystery as we could only see the back as she sewed on the binding. We were all stunned and thrilled when she showed us the front. It is gorgeous. Simple in a complex kind of way. It fits in very well with the group as well as ‘modern’ quiltmaking sensibilities. Kathleen, Gerre and I started talking to her about also attending BAMQG.

Gerre sat in the corner and worked on her gorgeous handwork.

Dolores, who normally sits in the corner, came out from her lair, sat across from Maureen and worked on a couple of pieces that are intended for upcoming shows. One included an amazing amount of turning under raw edges and was done in purples and violets.

Bron sat in Dolores’ corner and worked on a gift quilt made from squares and pinwheels. We had a group discussion about borders, pieced and plain as well as the size of the borders.

Jan came and she was working on some pieces for her job at Curiodyssey. I didn’t get a good look at them, I am ashamed to say.

Kathleen's City Sampler Blocks
Kathleen’s City Sampler Blocks

Kathleen worked on her City Sampler blocks and made some good progress, especially after Gerre helped her with the quarter inch foot.

All in all it was a very collegial and productive weekend. Kathleen pointed out that the group is very supportive, which I knew in my heart, but had never articulated. It is true!


CQFA December 2015 Meeting-Art Walk

Maureen had a great idea, which was to bring all of our challenge and swap pieces, regardless of level of finishing. The idea was show the pieces off in groups. I wasn’t sure how it would all work out, but it turned out to be fantastic.

Lobster Placemat in progress
Lobster Placemat in progress

First, this idea inspired me to work on the Lobster Placemat (for the placemat challenge), which, as I said, had been on my mind for awhile. I really felt some freedom in making this piece. It was fun to work on layering and also to work on a more casual applique piece. I am looking forward to getting back to it and adding some embroidery and other embellishments to it.

I am thinking of using small black fused fabric for the eyes, but may do some fancy embroidery. In order make a good eye with embroidery, I would need to use a satin stitch or something similar and I don’t have much experience with those types of stitches. We’ll see.

Amy's Response to the Pink Flower challenge
Amy’s Response to the Pink Flower challenge

Next, the idea worked out really well. We had some time while we enjoyed the snacks everyone brought and took the time to look at the pieces.ย  We were able to take our own time as well as informally chatting with others about the pieces.

Amy’s response to my Pink Flower Challenge is fantastic. Her piece looks like a Ruth McDowell piece and I couldn’t get over how great the piece looked. Her work is so amazing. I have seen such growth in her work since the first Primal Green exhibit.

Next, also, we sat down together and, with Amy’s guidance, we went through each piece andย  discussed our thoughts on the pieces. We were able to ask questions of the artists as well as explain our thoughts on our own pieces.

Finally, seeing all these pieces together and talking about them with the other members really inspired me to get back to some art quiltmaking. I’ll work on the Lobster Placemat and, perhaps, get back to the Serendipity Lady.

CQFA December 2015 Meeting-ATCs

The meeting on Saturday was long and fabulous. I can’t write one post on all that happened. It is too much to include.

We had a short business meeting, then everyone put their challenge and workshop pieces up and we all walked around and looked at them.

Nancy, Virginia, Angela, Jaye (Top left to bottom right)
Nancy, Virginia, Angela, Jaye (Top left to bottom right)

While this was happening, some of us exchanged ATCs. Virginia, Angela, Nancy and I were the only ones who made ATCs. This was a GREAT batch, though, and I love the ones I received, including one of my own.

I almost never get one of my own, mostly because I don’t make an extra to keep. My own fault, but it is nice to get one once in a while.

I spent part of the day, and most of the evening, Friday making my ATCs. The big piece of ATC backing that I made at the beginning of the year to help make the ATC process progress more quickly has disappeared (sigh), so I had to start at the beginning. Part of this process was clearing off my cutting/worktable. I had things in progress there, which took up space, so I cleared them off, made the backs of the ATCs and then started in on the fronts.

I used scraps, mostly. I also decided to try using some of the sheer ribbon I save from gifts for gift bags as a starting point. I enjoyed using it as it gave the piece a bit of a sparkle, but I think I should have used a darker fabric if I wanted the ribbon to show up more.

Jaye's ATCs in progress
Jaye’s ATCs in progress

I usually make the 4 ATCs as one big piece and then cut them up. It makes for less fiddliness. This time I was smart and left a little bit between each ATC so I had room to cut them apart. You can see the stitching lines around each 2.5″x3.5″ rectangle. This rectangle is my canvas and helps me remember that whatever is between those two lines will not be seen.

That blue thread is very thin and almost looks like a length of single crochets. I carefully placed it next to the stitching where I stitched down the ribbon and sewed it on with a straight stitch. I bought it and a few other colors on a card that had 5 different types of embellishing thread in about 2-3 yard lengths. I use them periodically for ATCs.

In the evening, I added french knots using several blues, greens and purples from the Anna Maria Horner set of Perl Cotton I bought some time ago. I also put beads on each card, using a Bead Soup selection. I love doing the handwork, especially as it gives me something to do when I watch TV that makes me feel like I am making progress. The handwork was a little hard on my hand. I need to think about that next time.

Angela's ATCs
Angela’s ATCs

Angela told me that she took a class from Valerie Goodwin and used the techniques of blending and adding sheers for her ATCs. The sheers are a similarity between Angela’s and my ATCs.

Virginia's ATCs
Virginia’s ATCs

Virginia’s ATCs felt like they were painted on paper, though mine has part of a leaf under, what looks like, a piece of decoupaged tissue paper. There is some stitching as well. Virginia is immensely talented and I am continually in awe of what she makes.

Nancy's ATCs
Nancy’s ATCs

Nancy used a printing press at work for a project and was inspired to come home and do some printing with glass sheets. I really like her designs and kind of wish she would upload them to Spoonflower and make the designs available as fabric.

One of the things I like about ATC swaps is the opportunity to play a little bit. Of course, I could do that all the time, but I don’t. This is a deadline I can use to make a little piece of art.

Lobster Placemat

There was, at some point, a placemat challenge issued at CQFA. I don’t normally do challenges, but an idea popped into my head. It stayed in my head until the May 2014 meeting where Jen did a workshop on “from drawing to art quilt” That workshop was also about line. I took a minute to get my idea down on paper.

Sketchbook book lobster placemat
Sketchbook book lobster placemat

This past week, since we were having a CQFA art show, I started in on the piece. It is mostly applique’ — well, it is all fusible applique’ at the moment, but I am not finished and I may add some piecing around the edges.

Lobster Placemat in progress
Lobster Placemat in progress

I showed it off at CQFA yesterday during the art walk and people seemed to like it. There was some discussion about next steps. Caroline suggested googly eyes for the eyes, but I am not sure that is the direction I want to go with this piece.

CQFA Meeting

Due to circumstances beyond my control, this was the first meeting I attended since April. The meetings are only every other month, so if I miss one, time passes quickly. I like these meetings, because I always go home wanting to sew. I also feel like people genuinely like me and that is always good for my ego.

There were no new members this time, but lots of new faces that were new since I last attended. I also re-met Lynette who I know from back in the dark ages when I first got on the Internet. She hosted a local Bay Area quilt listserve and we met up a few times to put names and projects to faces. Back then we could only describe our work. There wasn’t really any economical way to post photos.

Maureen's Strata Quilt
Maureen’s Strata Quilt

A number of the members have quilts in shows: Maureen has a quilt in Strata, which I think is an SAQA related show. Maureen started her piece at the most recent retreat, so I was glad to see what happened with the work. Ann M. will be at PIQF. She has a one woman show there. Dolores has a quilt coming back from a show in Brazil and also sold a piece!

A number of the members are selling their pieces at various local events, too. One is the Book Arts Jam. Because of the bookmaking I have done (and want to do more of), I would like to attend this event. We’ll see if I can fit it in.

As usual, Show and Tell was awesome. This part of the meeting is what makes excited to go home and sew. People in this group are so unbelievably creative! I also sort of feel, sometimes, that I couldn’t do what they are doing. Don’t worry, I don’t let that stop me!

Gerre & Dolores with Peace Monument Quilt
Gerre & Dolores with Peace Monument Quilt

Dolores brought a quilt that was inspired by the Peace Monument in Paris. Some of the fabric for the steps is hand-dyed fabric. She told us that she made a conscious decision to use commercial fabric for the other parts of the quilt. I was really impressed with her people. They are simple, but clearly people, too. The whole piece is simple, in a way, but encouraged me to look and look. She did a great job.

Jen made a piece that made me think of my Change of Seasons piece. I have wanted to do more pieces like this where there are 4 parts of one image. It is on the list. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Jen's piece
Jen’s piece

Jen’s piece was inspired by a call for quilts for a show. I am not sure what show.

Jen does spinning so there is often yarn type fiber attached to her quilts. She also does a lot of fabric manipulation: painting, stamping, couching, etc. This quilt is no exception. She painted part behind the tree and the pipes on the left are twisted newspaper, a fair trade product from India. The aerial views behind the tree and the building relate each other IMO, but are not traditional backgrounds. I think the whole piece works really well and it makes me think of my own piece again.

Amy brought one of her nature pieces, this time an abstract artichoke. She had an interesting idea for machine quilting practice: copy part of your piece on to fabric and machine quilt that as practice. Later you can use it as a small wall hanging, cubicle art or cut it up and make ATCs. I never thought of that and thought it was a great idea.

I accidentally agreed to run the ATCs swap. Oops! It went fine and Maureen, who is a real pro, had to do some treasurer stuff, so I was happy to do it.

I was sad not to get one of Nancy’s flowers, but we can’t have all of them when there are more than 4 swappers. People did nice work.

The December meeting will, again, be at FabMo. Guests can attend for $5. We will bring all of our challenge pieces to show. I really need to get on the placemat challenge and do it. While Maureen was talking about this part, I had a flash of what to use for the actual placemat part of the piece. I hope that means I am closer to making the piece.



Retreat Review

Happy Sewing Bees
Happy Sewing Bees

It has been awhile since I was able to attend a CQFA Retreat – 2 years, I think. I was so thrilled to be able to attend the current retreat, which was held over Mother’s Day weekend. Isn’t that a great Mother’s Day gift?? As a bonus, I sewed so much!

I feel like I really made some good progress on projects that were languishing:

It was fantastic!

First of all, I, pretty much, threw projects and parts into project bags starting about a week before the retreat. This helped me not forget critical fabric and supplies. The only thing I forgot was a lamp and my sewing machine’s light kept me from going blind.

Next, I made sure I had plenty of blocks and parts that would make good leaders and enders. Using the leaders and enders technique, I made 20+ Nine Patches for the octagon 9 Patch on which I have been working and 27 (!!!) Box Full of Letters blocks. In addition to significant progress on two projects, I am pleased with the progress I made on the leaders on the leaders and enders projects.

Oliso ironing surface
Oliso ironing surface

The other thing I did was try out the Oliso iron I bought. I finally dragged out the June Tailor ironing surface I bought for the Dale Fleming Circle class as well. It was a little different because you don’t set it up on its end, it just pops up away from the ironing surface. Also, the steam and basic functionality are a little different. Friend Julie tried it also (we shared a table and a mini ironing surface) and gave me her feedback as well.

Sue's Baby Quilt
Sue’s Baby Quilt

People made great projects. Bron and Sue were working on baby quilts for friends. I liked the ideas they had and may use the ideas for donation quilts.

Sue’s (left photo) quilt is made from strips and a background. She said she cut strips and then sewed them together in rows. She said she used different widths of strips and I think that gives the piece a lot of movement. Lucky kid, I say.

In thinking of different ways to make this quilt, I could use strips, cutting them as I cut into new yardage. I would save up strips until I had enough and then get Gerre to quilt it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The other thing I could do it rummage through my scraps and get pieces large enough to do something similar. My mind is reeling.

I didn’t get a photo of Bron’s quilt, sadly, but what she did is wacky sew pieces together, then she cut the pieces into squares and sewed them together with sashing into a baby quilt. She used a white dot on yellow for the binding, which I loved! It would be a good scrap project.

Gerre's art quilt
Gerre’s art quilt
Gerre burning her quilt
Gerre burning her quilt

Gerre was working on an amazing art quilt. She put layers of fabric together with tulle on top, then quilted it then BURNED it! It was awesome.

Reva worked on a flower quilt.

Angela was doing some improv piecing based on a piece she started in a class.

Julie's Tumbler
Julie’s Tumbler

Julie worked on 3 or 4 pieces, including a self portrait and a couple of pieces she started in China. She also sewed rows to her tumbler quilt top, which is nearing completion. It was so great to see her so productive as well.

Rhonda worked on handwork all weekend, including an applique’ project inspired by Kevin Kosbab. She showed me the Valdani Pearl Cotton collection she bought from MassDrop, the temptress! I love Valdani Pearl cotton. I may have to start another quilt like Beach Town. Or just pick a project on which I can embroider. Hhmm.

Maureen's Mid-Century Modern
Maureen’s Mid-Century Modern

Maureen worked on a piece that I thought was made from a pre-cut, but she picked all the fabrics herself. I really think that she should put pre-cuts together for Moda. Her piece looked like a mid-Century modern quilt or painting.

Maureen worked on a plaid piece as well. She found the fabrics at FabMo and turned them into improv blocks which she was playing with when we all had to leave.

Dolores was working on dolls from a class she took with Susan Else as well as the piece from the online class she is taking.

Caroline made pillowcases and worked on a crazy paper piecing project. I think the one section she worked on had 58 pieces!!!

Amy's Landscape
Amy’s Landscape

Amy was working on a kind of landscape with flowers. I loved it!

There was also a “free stuff table” and I picked up a couple of pieces of fabric. There was something about the colors and imagery that attracted me. There were a couple of pieces of Kaffe Fassett and some others. I tried to exercise restraint. It was difficult, but I seem to have succeeded. The purple dandelions were kind of a surprise, but they will come in handy somewhere.

CQFA Retreat Free Fabric
CQFA Retreat Free Fabric

In addition to the sewing, it was great to see other people’s projects and chat with my friends. There was never enough time to find out everything I want to know about other people’s process or what is going on in their lives. I didn’t take nearly enough photos and wanted more time to sew.

Still I am glad I got the time I did, especially at this time of year. I felt like I was really productive and that feels good. I need to sew more.