I spent yesterday afternoon at the guild meeting. I went to drop off the Ends n.14 (Typewriter) top and back and the American Jane Plus donation top and back. I also needed to hand over the door prize.
The skills of the whole team are shown off here. Sue’s drawstring bag and Carrie’s little wallet are in evidence. So many people from the door prize team contributed to this bag that it warms my heart.
Lee Ann was the lucky winner this time and she was at the meeting, so no mailing required.
I am leading the door prize team again this year for the guild. I finally got around to organizing all of the things I have. What I do is lay them all out, sort them by month and then put them in ziploc bags with with the month written on the outside. I try to create themes, like red or hearts for February, but I don’t mandate what my team members make, so sometimes I have to make due. Nobody has ever complained.
When the month comes along, I can grab a ziploc, stuff it in a bag and go to the meeting. Usually, I have to do this in advance so I can take a picture and send it to Maria. She needs info in advance for the hybrid part of the meeting. Theoretically, I can put the bag together at the last minute and just go, but I almost never do that.
I used the fabulous Poolside Tote that Angela made for me as a thank you for organizing the officer gifts for a few years. I love that bag. It is great for this purpose. Sometime I’ll use it for something else, but for now, it works really well for this purpose
Carrie is a fantastic team member. She recently put together zipper pouches for the monthly prizes that are super useful.
These items arrived in a zipper pouch, so all I had to do was toss the zipper pouch in my plastic bag. I did take one out so I could take a photo. I think having an extra pair of scissors is always useful.
Drawstring bags are popular this year as I received a large one from Cyndi for March, then I received another one from Sue G. It is really pretty. I love the piecing. The ties are also perfect. I believe both Sue G and Cyndi used the In Color Order Drawstring bag pattern.
Cheri never comes to meetings, but she always contributes to the door prize bags as well. This year she made some gift bags like I make for holidays.
Sue S donated some canvas bags I can use to carry all the gifts and the recent French canvas bags I made are for door prizes.
For the first time in over a year, we had an in person Sew Day! It was GREAT. We took special precautions to keep everyone safe and followed the guidelines laid out by the church where we meet.
SIL#2 and I drove down together. We drove my little car and it was filled pretty well. We had a lot of stuff to bring for projects as well as items to hand in or exchange.
I mostly cut out projects. I cut out napkins for the YM, a pillowcase for the YMG (YM’s girlfriend), starting cutting out 3 more Sew Together Bags, which will be gifts, the Westchester Dolman shirt and a few other projects.
There was a lot of standing around and chatting. Even though most of us have been in touch over the course of the pandemic, most of us have not seen each other in person for months. Also, there are things people don’t really want to talk about in email. There was a lot of catching up to do.
Amy commandeered a table and everyone at the table worked on a quilt with Amy. She has been making slow progress on the piece for months (or maybe years), which is a gift for another guild member.
The design walls were put to good use. These large office dividers make great designs walls because of their size even if one does need some pins.
I believe this was Christine’s first Sew Day. She worked on a quilt using the Quilt-As-You-Go method. The large design walls enabled people to work together to lay out blocks or see problems through fresh eyes.
Technically, it was a Community Sew Day. I didn’t work on donation quilts as I have Tim’s Improv piece and the Yellow Strip donation top in progress. SIL #2 finished a charity quilt from the last Community Sew Day. I really like the way it came out.
Sue S created a new pattern for the Sew Day and Peggy made one quilt top using the pattern. This is a variation on one design that I have made with the 16 patches before. Just goes to show that nothing is new in quiltmaking. This design is made with all half square triangles rather than including Flying Geese, like mine does.
I might have made a couple of the 16 Patches in Peggy’s quilt. I love the joint effort!
During the pandemic, people have still been working on donation quilts. 12 were handed in at Sew Day, including several of my tops that had been quilted.
I saw a pinwheel quilt. Since I am trying to teach my students about block structure, I showed them this quilt. I was trying to make the point that they had the skills to make it.
I was amazed when one of them came up with a method of making the quilt that was completely different than what I was thinking. She was thinking QSTs and I was thinking Flying Geese. I was so impressed that she was really thinking about how to make it. It validated that I was getting through.
I decided to make the quilt her way – using QSTs – to see what I thought. I ended up thinking there too many seams and think I will try the pattern using Flying Geese. Still! I am just excited that a skill I think is really valuable is getting through.
I made the back also, but don’t think I took a picture and the whole package is off to the Community Quilt chair for quilting, etc.
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.
We also had a great show and tell. Maria brought a two sided quilt, which had really effective quilting.
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!
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.