More blocks for June! I really scraped the bottom of the donation patch bin at the beginning of the month, so some blocks look a little strange. It was good to clear out that bin and start afresh.
As mentioned yesterday, I went to CQFA on Saturday as well. It was held at a different location, Needles Studio in Palo Alto, because A Work of Heart was not available. One of the reasons I went was the location. I am pretty much done with driving to San Jose on a Saturday morning after getting lost one time too many with an added dose of a Google Maps failure (Google Maps is not infallible, so have a backup plan).
Another reason I went was a number of people at the retreat asked me to go. That was odd and I hoped they weren’t going to give me a gift or something for organizing the retreat. They didn’t and I was relieved. I think, now, that they just wanted to see me.
Finally, Julie said she would come and we were able to go to lunch and catch up afterwards.
The space is great. It is partly a workspace and partly a retail space. The items available for purchase are tightly ‘curated’. There aren’t many, but they are nice.
Show and tell was great. I brought the bags I have been working on lately, the Running with Scissors Tote, the 4 Zip Organizer, and the All Rolled Up Tote. I think they were wowed by my explanations of what I did differently on the two Crafty Gemini projects. That made me feel good until someone said “oh, I could never do that”. That phrase makes me so angry. I wasn’t born knowing how to make bags. I learned. Ergh!!! I didn’t have any quilts or tops to show.
Sonja brought a suitcase full of fabric she has been working on for the Nancy Crow class she is taking next week. She explained a lot about how she dyed the different tones and hues. There were a number of colors I would have cheerfully taken from her.
I missed taking photos of Friend Julie‘s finishes. She is working with a Finish-a-Long group and finished 6 of her 10 projects!!! I was so happy for her. Some will be in upcoming shows.
Maureen has been working on her fabric postcards for some upcoming boutiques. She thinks that she won’t do this next year, but her stuff is great. She didn’t bring any work to show, but she passed out postcards of the upcoming boutiques.
Dolores talked about some sales she has had recently. That is pretty exciting. One piece was sold to a man from Qatar who showed up at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, UK!
There was a discussion of precious textiles. Bron brought a mola she found in a box of FabMo donations (she sells precious things from FabMo donations on eBay for the the group). Maureen showed Katangas from when she lived in Kenya. They were really interesting to look at and I loved hearing how they are used. Reva brought a Marsailles weave tablecloth her grandmother or great-grandmother was given upon the occasion of her wedding. It was in good shape, if a little stained. There was a note attached telling the provenance. I thought the overall design would have made a great wholecloth quilt.
I enjoyed myself, though I was getting a little antsy as the clocked ticked away as I wanted to get to Sew Day.
Sew Day for September was Saturday. I know I always say this, but I really enjoy seeing what other people make. I was focused on a couple of projects of my own, so I didn’t even really get a chance to see everything that people were working on.
Patti’s Project caught my attention right away. She had the pieces from the guild’s recent Latifah Safir class on her table and I loved the look of the block! I loved what she had done, because of the HRTs I have been playing with on and off over the past several months. I know the design is not original and came from a Latifah Safir pattern. It is cool and makes me wonder if I could do something like it with the Split Recs ruler by Studio 180 Designs.
The class must have been great, because a number of people had brought their pieces to work on. I haven’t seen that before at a Sew Day – or I hadn’t noticed.
I worked on cutting out pieces for the Running with Scissors tote. I had pulled all of the fabric on Friday after work, so I got the whole thing cut out except for one piece, which I will cut next weekend. I hope to work on this at the mini-retreat I am attending next weekend. I am thinking of making a couple of them as gifts depending on how the project goes.
So far, the directions are very clear. I have some experience with bag directions so I was pleased. I don’t think I have made a ByAnnie’s pattern before and perhaps the good directions are a sign of quality. There are a lot of aspects to this bag, so I was a little worried. I was surprised that there was less to cut out than I though.
Lee Anne is a major donation quilt maker and she was working on a really cool quilt at the retreat.
As you can see this is a lozenge quilt. I am not sure if she had the fabric or used fabric from the Community Quilts stash. It is a great looking design and wonderful quilt.
Another member, who we call Baguette, and I are planning a Bag-a-Long for the guild. We had a meeting during Sew Day to organize ourselves for the next meeting. We will all make the same bag using the same pattern. Baguette and I will stay ahead of the others (or try to!) and offer clarifications and modifications to the pattern. The pattern is the Ultimate Carry All by Quiltessa Natalie. I wrote about it a little bit in my Quiltmaking Go Bag post a few weeks ago. I will definitely talk about this bag in future posts as we make it. The creator, however, has video tutorials, so I probably won’t do a Bag-a-Long on the blog.
I also had a meeting with Mary about the retreat this weekend. It will be held at the church so we had to coordinate.
On Wednesday the YM and I went to Stockton to spend the day making pillowcases with the Tuleberg Quilt Guild. My mom is a member. She told me about it and since we haven’t had a chance to get together alone this month, I decided to go. When I found out the YM would be home, I convinced him to tag along. He wants to learn to sew, so this was a good opportunity to start.
It is a far drive for us, so we go there a little late and, after setting up, he went off with my mom to get something to eat. Is tarted cutting up fabric to make the first pillowcase and quickly realized that he wouldn’t be able to make a whole pillowcase on his own. I decided to do the cutting and have him sew.
It has been a long time since he sat in front of a machine, so this was a good decision. He carefully guided the fabric through the machine, encountering the stop and start problems of the feed dogs not grabbing the fabric, thread bunnies and backstitching. We used the pillowcase tutorial I have cobbled together from experience and a variety of sources. He chain pieced the cuff/body burrito together. I also had him turn the burritos inside out and do a little pressing when I got behind. By the end, the three of us were all working together to finish the pillowcases.
I brought some yard sized pieces of fabric I didn’t think I would use, but cutting bits out for other projects does help with this. Fortunately, I have realized this and started cutting up the side of yardage, so I have a chance of having enough for a body (yard sized length) and cuff (half yard sized length). Newer fabric is easier to use, but so far I still like it enough to not want to use it for community quilts/projects. I suppose that is something I have to work on.
As a team, we made 5 pillowcases in about 3 hours. This is probably a bit slow, but I do French seams so everything is enclosed and that takes longer. I don’t have a serger, so this is the best way for me to achieve my goal.
They also had an ice cream social, which was make it yourself sundaes and banana splits. I love banana splits and made myself a small one. They brought real glass sundae holders, which was really classy.
The guild ended up with 121 pillowcases for the day, which I thought was a good effort.
The meeting was Saturday and it was a raucous and fun meeting. Kelly was visiting and she came to the meeting to hangout. SIL #2 and I went to lunch with Kelly and Angela, so we had a bit of extra time to catch up. At the meeting, Kelly gave a slideshow about her life in Scotland. I forgot what a fantastic quilter she is. She showed some of her recent quilting and it is amazing.
I loved the Tri-Valley Modern Quilt Guild’s QuiltCon Charity quilt. Alison brought it for us to see and the colors really spoke to me.
Sheila is a new member and she is showing some amazing work. She showed this vase of flowers. The flowers are made with Peltex so the petals are 3D. they look really great. Her woven background reminded me of my 3 woven quilts. Her woven background is much more controlled than the weaving in my pieces.
Finally, I brought this cake. It is a recipe from Allrecipes.com that I saw on Friend Julie’s website. I am always saving my rhubarb for pies, so I used cranberries and blueberries. It took a long time to bake – maybe 3x as long as the directions say, but when it finally finished it looked delicious. It wasn’t as sweet as some cakes I have made. I brought it to the guild meeting and only brought home one piece. Sue wasn’t there so my cake didn’t have to compete with her delicious brownies. I am pleased it was mostly eaten.
I feel so lucky lately. I won at the Fair and yesterday I won a prize at the guild meeting.
Every month there is a very generous raffle prize given out. I haven’t ever won, that I can remember. I never expected to win.
I am pretty pleased with the items, especially the book, because it has some patterns I have gotten out of magazines. Now they are all in one book. It’s great! The colors aren’t really mine, but they aren’t horrible either. And I like the little pouches and portfolios.
Lynette is the genius who puts together the prizes. She is retiring at the end of the year and I have agreed to head up a committee to create the raffle prizes. I have some ideas. With a team I think I can do it.
I am writing these posts out of order, but I just realized I didn’t post about the most recent BAM meeting, which was before the most recent Sew Day. Lots happened, but some of the happenings stood out to me.
At show and tell, Sue S (we now have 3-4 Sues!!!) showed a quilt I really liked. It wasn’t difficult, but it was wonderful and used lots of fabrics. The design would also be a great leaders and enders project.
This could be made using the 16 patches the Community Quilts team collects. It could also be started using 4 patches.
I also REALLY like the border. It is very effective. I think Sue S (she made the Casserole Carrier) is working through her UFOs and this was one she worked on while her mom was sick. It is a great example of a good way to relieve stress without eating or watching TV.
The results of the Word swap was also amazing. The variety of techniques was awe inspiring. I thought about participating in the swap for about 5 minutes, then didn’t think about it anymore. People really went out of their way to find great techniques beyond applique or paper piecing. Definitely click on the photo to see it larger. In one of the pieces, the negative space was quilted and the letters left unquilted. Genius!
Tim texted me the other day and sent photos of the Green Strips Donation Quilt, which he had finished quilting.
I gave it to him as a top and back and he sent photos of the top quilted.
I really like what he did and am planning another one in purples as soon as I finish a couple of the regular postage stamp donation blocks I have started.
Tim was nice enough to send me some details of the quilting, which looks great! He was excited about quilting this piece because I didn’t use white. I’ll think about grey or yellow when I make the purple one.
He changed the back, because he didn’t like it, to an ombre fabric (see that blue at the bottom?). It’s fine with me as long as he doesn’t give me the back back. I already counted it in my fabric used tally and it is hard enough to get those yards used as it is. He is also thinking of a scrappy binding. Photo is of his thoughts on binding.
A couple of things came up at the guild meeting which I wanted to share.
First, Another of the tops I made and donated was finished and shown. Cheryl finished the Stripes donation top that I made at QuiltCon last year. She gave me some nice compliments on it, which made me feel better about it. I may try that stripes technique without actually making the stripes. I know I can’t vary the stripes when I do’t make them myself, but making the stripes is super tedious.
Peggy, as usual, was prolific in her quiltmaking. She made the above donation quilt from scraps she had saved generated by a previous pattern. Each of the non-white triangles consist of made fabric. I think the randomness of the layout could be done with HSTs and would make a fun donation quilt. Once I am done with the Bias Rectangles, perhaps I will play around with this concept.
Finally, we have a guild baby. His name is Sam and he is about a month old now. His mom, Velvet Pincushion, brought him and his grandma with her to the guild. The new little family will be moving soon, so we were thrilled to get a chance to meet him. I am excited to see that VP is still stitching even with a new baby.
She brought the Color My Quilt quilt she worked on before Sam was born. Progress has halted, but she made good progress before Sam was born. I don’t know if we’ll see the quilt before they move. It is more block based than some of the others. My shard is on the bottom left in between the Friendship Star and the very bottom left hand star.
As you know, members of my guild make bags and then the rest of the members bring small gifts/goodies with which to fill them. This time we had a new position for which to make a bag. The Member-At-Large position was somewhat undefined, so there was some discussion about whether the job that had been done was bag worthy. I felt bad not giving a bag to a board member when, despite her work, everyone else on the board was getting a bag.
As a result, I pulled fabrics and made a Jane Market Tote. The hardest part of these bags is the cutting. I always forget how many pieces I need to cut. I take responsibility, because I have such trouble understanding patterns. I’d love a system where cutting was uniformly described across all patterns. If wishes were horses…. Still, once cut, this bag goes together easily.
I add interfacing to the outside pieces, which makes the bag pretty crisp, though still foldable. I also set the straps in the top seam rather than sewing them to the outside. This means that three seams cover the straps and provide security.
I did my piece at almost the last minute, but not quite.
Nicole asked for a dark, kind of Moon and Stars theme. I used scraps and this was what i came up with. I didn’t have the dark batiks in the example. Others might and mine will provide a bit of night-shiny brightness to the quilt. I hope…
Mary put out her Color My Quilt directions at the last meeting and I was able to get it done while I was working on Who Am I? a couple of weekends ago.
I am still going with long thin pieces as I think they help people put the quilts together, though most don’t know it yet since only two finished pieces have been sewn.
I totally forgot to post the finished version of my merit hexie pillow. The last time I posted about this was on April 4!
I don’t know exactly when I finished it, but it was not long after April 4.
I had to take all the papers out before appli-quilting them on to the background.
I also forgot to show it at the guild meeting. I’ll bring it with the Walking Foot WOW pillow (another thing I forgot to bring to show and tell) to the next meeting.
Ruth gave out her sheet of instructions for her Color My Quilt at the last meeting and I got right down to business. I was going for sparks of color on a dark-ish background.
I may not be quite done with the piece. I wanted all the color contained so I am contemplating that plum/burgundy strip. I have a few weeks to decide.
Again, all of these were from my scrap pile or bins.
As I have probably mentioned 300 times, I was super behind on the Color My Quilt project. I worked through the 5 I had to do methodically. I didn’t do anything crazy and was able to make some progress.
Leeann had a landscape theme and I just copied the colors into a big chunk.
I am not sure if this is what she wanted, but it will work in some capacity. She can cut it up to fill in spaces, though I wonder if people actually feel ok about cutting up the shards?
I should have mentioned earlier in the week a reminder about the parameters of Color My Quilt. This project started last year with Karen’s idea. It is a guild challenge where one person per month volunteers to receive shards. The selected person provides a sheet with an idea, colors, poetry, a quote – basically some kind of inspiration to willing participants. The participants make a shard. It can be a block or a chunk of scraps in the right colors or almost anything. I think it is interesting to see what the chunks look like together. So far only one quilt has been made. I am curious to see if others get made.