Friday, November 27, 2015

Stars in a Time Warp---Ta Da!

Here they are, all the blocks from Barbara Brackman's Stars in a Time Warp QuiltAlong.

I have about 95--each time I count them I get a different number so I say "about 95".

Barbara Brackman is a quilt historian who has written many books about the subject of quilts and history.  She writes several blogs that are  incredibly full of great information.  During the course of this year, she has used Stars in a Time Warp to educate us about fabrics, quilt patterns, and the history of the times various designs and fabrics were popular.  She has a wealth of information that she shares so freely.  I'm eager to see what she comes up with next.

In many of this year's weekly posts on Stars in a Time Warp, Barbara has included ideas for setting these blocks.  As I made at least two of each block, I've been looking for a set that uses many blocks.  While I'm not sure which set I'll ultimately use, this one feels promising:

I have a John Hewson reproduction panel that might be perfect for the center:

Over the next few weeks, the Stars in a Time Warp blog will feature more setting ideas so I'm keeping my options open.  I also like these:

Hertiage Stars by Lori DeJarnette

An Antique from New Jersey--has been patterned by Sandy Klop

The bottom one uses the Sawtooth Stars as sashing--around larger Star of Bethelem blocks--that might be a challenge.  Time will tell what I decide to do--right now, I have several projects in front of this one so I'm not in a rush.

Next up is a quick baby quilt for a  new great-nephew who is due soon.  I'll be back when that top is done.

Let's Quilt!


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Fall Beach Vacation

I love the beach.  My husband does not.  So, when an opportunity came my way to spend a week at Virginia Beach with 8 other professional quilt teachers, I took it.

Here is the house--what's not to love?

The kitchen has two full-size refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, and all the things you could want in a great kitchen.  We ate two meals out and the rest of the lunches and dinners we prepared for each other--a great way to share the week and the kitchen duties.

There are two complete laundry rooms, lots of living space on each floor, each of the 8 bedrooms has an on-suite full bath, and there is an elevator--great for bringing the groceries to the 3rd floor.  I spent a little time in the indoor heated pool, walked on the beach a few mornings, and generally loved the sight of the ocean from our various sewing stations.  The lighting was excellent and I got a lot done.

The Blue Collection by  Maggie Walker

English Paper Pieced Diamonds
3" paper pieced blocks

12" String Pieced Lemoyne Star blocks

The Blue Collection applique' project is a Block of the Month I bought in 1998 and the last time I worked on it was 2005.  I am re-energized now to keep going.  My applique' skills are somewhat better now and I am really enjoying this project.  A few other small things got done and I learned a few computer skills I hoped to learn.

My outdoor shots are not so great but here you can see we were across a street from the beach:

East View

South View

 The house shots I opened with come from the Realty website--here is what it looks like when Quilters arrive.

My Last Morning shot

One of our group got up very early each morning and this is what she saw the last day of our vacation, a spectacular sunrise.  Sorry I missed it:

All in all, I had a wonderful week, met new friends and learned more about old friends.  I highly recommend a week at the beach to warm your soul!  Even in November...

Let's Quilt!


Friday, November 13, 2015

Opposites Attract

I have a new finish for a class I am teaching this winter:

It's called "Opposites Attract" and features two colors opposite each other on the color wheel.  It's part of my "Color College" series of classes, using Becky Goldsmith's great book:  The Quilter's Practical Guide to Color.  This is my first complete machine quilting finish on the Bernina Q20--it's not the best quilting ever done but sometimes "finished is better than perfect".

In Houston I took two excellent classes on free-motion quilting.  One with Sue Nickels using a Bernina 770--great practice for using the BSR system.  The other was with Helen Godden using the Handi-Quilter Sweet 16--great practice with the sit-down longarm machine.  When I get back from the retreat I am headed to tomorrow, my plan is to find 3-5 border designs I love and master those.  Then 3-5 block motifs I love and master those.  It will be good to have a "toolbox" with my "go-to" designs at the ready.

In the meantime, I'm working away on the Stars in a Time Warp blocks--there are only 3 weeks left with new blocks coming.  Then it will be time to decide on a layout.  Each week I've made 2 blocks so the stack has grown to about 90.  I am enjoying this project quite a bit.  Here are the latest, as close as I can find in my stash:

These are Provincial prints and Sprigged Muslins, with Indiennes.

These are early Roller prints and cloud prints, more or less, probably less.

I've packed way more projects to work on at the week-long retreat than I will probably complete but it just wouldn't do to run out of projects.  Someone is bringing a Featherweight so I can do some machine work, here is string piecing:

And there must be handwork:

I started this years ago and need some help with it.  One of the Hexie Queens will be at retreat so I'm going to "Ask the Expert".

And hand applique':

The Blue Collection, by Maggie Walker.  I started this so many years ago and haven't touched it in years.  One of my applique' heroines will be at retreat and I am incredibly eager to sit by her side and learn from her.  I've packed up the 7 blocks that are done and taken the next four--way more than I can get done this week but it pays to be prepared, right?  This was one of those Block of the Month kit deals, with all the fabrics and the patterns.

I hope to be able to share some photos of the week ahead with you.  Stay tuned.

Let's quilt!


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Post-Houston Busy-Ness and Semper Fi!

First, today is the 240th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps.  I am a proud USMC veteran and send out a loud Semper Fi! to all my fellow Marines, past and present.  Those were the best four years of my life.  Not that the other years haven't been great but there is nothing better than serving my country in uniform.

Being gone for 2 weeks to Houston means life is very busy when I return.  Bills, mail, newspapers, laundry, and lots of class samples to prepare.  Here are my Winter 2016 classes at Patches & Stitches, my local quilt shop:

Leaders/Enders--make Free Quilts!  I'll teach at least 5 easy units that become great quilts as you are making other projects.  Save time, thread, and use those scraps!

The Feathered Star block--a process class, not paper-pieced, using Marsha McCloskey's book.  A beautiful center for a wonderful quilt.

Color College:  Winter Semester Opposites Attract--using the terrific book on Color by Becky Goldsmith:  The Quilter's Practical Guide to Color. I've written about it here and here.  This is the second of four classes using this book.  My design varies a bit from Becky's--come to class to find out why...

Kisses and Hugs, the Japanese X and + quilt.  This is a great project with scraps.  I've taught it several times and everyone does very well with those tricky intersections. 

I also have 3 sessions of Quiltmaking 101 from January through April. I really love teaching beginners, and trying to get them enthused about the Quiltmaking process.  My goal is to addict one of them, each class, totally and completely to Quilting--that is how my passion and the industry can continue to grow.  And I'm always successful at that goal.

Next week I have the pleasure of going to a private retreat for a small group of quilt teachers.  I have lots of projects to take, several things I want to learn on the business side of the industry and plan to relax a bit too.  Did I mention it's at a beach?  Too cold to swim in the Atlantic Ocean this time of year so the indoor pool will have to do.  More on all that when I get back.

While I was in Houston, my grand-girl, Stella LeAnne Wilkins was baptized in Huntsville.  Here are a few photos from the event.  Can't wait to see her here at Christmas!

Stella with her Mama.  

My happy husband with his grand-girl!

Let's Quilt!