Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How Does This Happen?

That I have so many projects to work on at once?  Today I was sewing on 3 different projects, one that just has to get done as a class sample, one I need ready in a month, and one was just a Log Cabin leader/ender project.  Three at once, all on or very near my sewing machine--that's crazy!  And I have a bunch of string blocks to make for a swap, deadline is the end of March.  That's next week's project.

The Simple Whatnots Club #2 met last Friday night and 25 of the 30 folks were there to get their patterns and fabric packets.  Boy, did they shop!  We hold the entire Kim Diehl collection back from the shop floor until March 1 so only club members can buy it right now.  They know much of it will be gone by then so they added to their stash now.  We emptied 4 bolts that night.  Today I finished the top for February's class and later this week I'll start on the March project. 

Hen Pecked, 10.5" x 12.5"--those are 1" half square triangles
Last week I showed the Barn Stars blocks, with a few size alternative options.  Rather than make all these little quilts this time, my plan is to make several of the  various blocks in the quilts, in various sizes and then create a sampler with them.  Of course, I made the entire Hen Pecked but it is pretty little. 
Barn Stars 4" and 6" sizes
I'm having fun with Stars in a Time Warp:
6" stars--Turkey Red and Prussin Blue

I got back to my sample for our guild Quilt-In.  Even though it's in July, the sample has to get done now.   From the first time I saw these blocks on the Internet, in 2011, I've loved them.  The quilt that started this was entered in the 2011 Tokyo Quilt Festival by Setsuko Inawaga.  I have been unable to find a photo of her quilt but the Internet went wild and lots of swap groups popped up.  The block is actually an old Spool Block, Brackman #1970, attributed to Nancy Cabot, 1938.  But done in bright colors, it sure looks Modern!
Brights--very fun!

Darks, still fun!

The other day I picked up my quilt, Color in Black and White, from the quilter, Melissa Labella.  She did a great job on it, a real custom job, each color has a different quilting pattern:

Now I have to trim it and add the binding and sleeve.  BUT FIRST, I  have to clean off the cutting table and around my sewing machine--this is a big quilt and it's heavy, there are two layers of batting in it.  And it gets the "Patches" seal of approval, she loves to be in the picture.
Time to head out to teach my beginner's class, the second of 3 sessions this winter.  I love teaching beginners and doing my best to get them hooked.  Here is the project they make:
Mix N Match Stars, Glad Creations pattern, 48" x 60"

 It is challenging enough that they really learn something and I am usually successful at my goal of addicting at least one of them totally to quiltmaking.  About half of them do the pieced border and half choose simpler borders.  Whatever they want to do, is fine with me. 
Let's quilt!


Monday, January 19, 2015

New Week, Feeling Good!

Finally over the head crud and feeling so much better!  I taught a great class on Saturday and have 3 classes to teach this week so it's wonderful to be recovered.

Once again I am leading the Simple WhatNots Club, collection 2, from Henry Glass Fabrics.  This uses Kim Diehl's latest collection, Heritage Hollow, and features 8 small quilts.  We meet at my local quilt shop, Patches & Stitches, one Friday night a month for 6 months and there are 30 students for my lecture/demo type class.   Here is the flyer:  Simple WhatNots Club, Collection 2.

Last year I faithfully reproduced the quilts, usually exactly as shown in the patterns.  Some of the students made changes and I liked what they did.  So this time, I will show the techniques for each pattern but offer some optional changes for the students to consider.  Not only will they have permission to change the patterns, they will be encouraged to do so.  I find when quilters start making changes to patterns, they gain a sense of freedom and confidence that they can make a quilt their own and this is enlightening to them.

The first pattern I'll be teaching, Barn Stars, uses a 4" finished star.  I will also provide the measurements for a 6" star, and teach the class how to calculate the units for an 8" star--teach them to fish, in other words.  Here are my 2 samples, the 6" and 4" stars:

Now that my  Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt is done, I moved on to a terrific new year-long educational opportunity from Barbara Brackman, the queen of quilt history.  It's called Stars in a Time Warp and here is the plan from Barbara's Civil War blog:

Every Wednesday for much of 2015 I'll be posting Stars in a Time Warp QuiltAlong here at   Civil War Quilts..  The block stays the same each week.  What changes is the type of reproduction fabric we'll use. 

Barbara will use several of her books on dating fabrics and quilt time periods.  I own her books, this will be a good time to read them as she teaches about various fabrics and styles.

The block is a simple 6" Evening Star and I've started off making 2 of the first colors, Turkey Red, a real favorite of mine.  These are 2 different reds and backgrounds:

I will enjoy making these quick blocks each week, and learning more about the fabrics.  And digging in my substantial stash of reproduction fabrics.  Thank you, Barbara Brackman!

I'm linking up to Patchwork Times --go see what others have been working on.

Let's quilt!


Friday, January 16, 2015

It's a Mystery...

How it got to be January 16 already.  And how it's been a month since I posted.  And how I get myself wrapped up doing mystery quilts before I know what it's going to look like.

I've been under the weather for 10 days with the head crud my husband caught at work.  I'm still coughing and feeling less than 100%.  This week I had to postpone 2 quilt classes and did not go to my monthly guild meeting--only the second time in 26 years I've missed a meeting.  The good news is I'm feeling better and plan to teach a great class tomorrow.

The next great news is I just finished my  Grand Illusion Mystery quilt, from Bonnie Hunter's blog.  Mine is half size and has some variations.  I have more than enough projects going that I had no business starting this one BUT:  it's so easy to get excited by the fabrics and the units as they are released.  So, here is MY version:

Bonnie Hunter selected the colors based on colors used at the Grand Hotel in Michigan and I liked these bright, vibrant colors, especially for winter sewing.  When the reveal came, I decided to change the layout somewhat--here is what Bonnie's quilt looks like:

It took much longer to complete than I anticipated.  I'm glad it's done and know what I'll be doing with this one.  And I really mean it:  no more mysteries until I know what it looks like--OR I finish 20 of my PHDs:  projects half done.

The NEXT great news is:  we found out the sex of our grandchild.  Take a look at my son's
Announcement! video.  We are thrilled!  It's 20 weeks and all is well!  Their due date is June 4, 2015.

It's a new year and I trust I am getting all my sickness out of the way for the whole year.  The coughing has been tough and I've mostly read and slept for the last 10 days.  I'm ready to get more sewing done--that grandbaby will be here before we know it.

Let's quilt!


UPDATE:  Go to Bonnie's Link Up party to see what others did with their Grand Illusion.