Tuesday, August 25, 2015

What's New Pussycat?

Back from Portland and there is a new project:  rearrange the studio to accommodate the Bernina Q20 sit-down longarm that will be arriving soon.  Mostly, I just look around the room and say "oh, my, where do I put this stuff?"  It's time for a major purge again...

Instead I worked on this:

This is a replica of an antique top I bought at Spring Market in Minneapolis, read about it here. I think I will make twenty more blocks and add a border.  Time will tell.  It's going on the back burner for now.  Patches gave it her seal of approval.

And I worked on Smitten:

This is not the final layout, just a grouping of the blocks I have done.  Some are hand-pieced, some machine-pieced. The pattern is by Lucy Carson Kingwell--I first saw it on Instagram.  Most are doing this by English Paper Piecing.  I am using Marti Michell's Perfect Patchwork Template Set H--cutting out for regular piecing, either by hand or machine.  This, too, is now going on the back burner...

What I have to do right now: 
       1.  prepare a Power Point Presentation I am giving in early September--I'll be much more relaxed when that is in the can

      2.  Figure out the 3 garments I have to make for Houston now that the fabrics and patterns have arrived
Great manufacturers donate fabrics each year for the Education Team to make garments--we wear specific garments on specific days.  This helps make us visible as Staff, people able to help and answer questions from the many hundreds of folks we see each day, and makes it easier for us to plan our wardrobes for 1-2 weeks living out of a suitcase.  This year we have Vintage Made Modern by Amy Barickman for RJR, Zen Chic from Moda, and Shimmer by Jennifer Sampou for Robert Kaufman Fabrics.  In addition, Indygo Junction has graciously allowed us to select patterns to make our garments.  Part challenge, part wardrobe manufacture, it's fun but time-consuming.

      3. As co-chair for our guild quilt show October 9-11. 2015, there is much work to do in the next 6 weeks.  Five of us met for 6.5 hours yesterday planning the quilt layout for 201 quilts, an exhibit of Inspired By Gee's Bend quilts that are for sale, and a big Silent Auction.  I've been heavily involved in most of our 14 shows, in charge of 3 of them.  This will be the last I plan to be in charge of.  If you're involved in a volunteer organization, you cannot thank the people who make things happen enough--most members simply have no idea what it takes to pull off an event like this.  By the way, our show will be FABULOUS--it's a not to be missed event in the Southeastern US. Information on our website:   Heritage Quilters of Huntsville.  Here is the raffle quilt--you are not too  late to get tickets:

Celtic Solstice Fanfare  94" x 94" pattern by Bonnie K Hunter, used with permisson

Time to get to that Power Point--let's quilt!


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Off to Portland

I'm headed to Portland, OR this week to work at the Quilt!Knit!Stitch! show--the summer International Quilt Festival event.  As usual, the days before one of these trips is filled with laundry, lists and making sure I have everything ready to pack.  And checking the weather:  Portland, 80's and dry, home 90's and humid.  Nice time to go to the Pacific Northwest.  If you are in the area, don't miss this show!

Here are the Smitten blocks I have done--I've prepped/packed several of these to hand piece on the plane, if I have enough room to do that.  This pattern is by Lucy Carson Kingwell and I found out about it on an Instagram post of someone doing the Smitten Quilt-Along, #smittenqal

Many people are doing these blocks by English paper piecing: wrapping the fabric around paper pieces and whip-stitching them.  These I've hand and machine pieced, much faster and more accurate for me.

A friend whose blog I follow, Lori of Humble Quilts, is going on a mission trip to Bolivia this fall.  She recently asked her blog followers if they might be willing to make little sundresses/pillowcase dresses she can take with her.  The response was overwhelming:  read her post here.  She gives links to several patterns.  I made these two this week, very fast and easy.  I will be MEETING HER for the first time in Portland--I'm very excited about that, we've been following each other for quite some time now.  She lives in that area so I can put the dresses directly into her hands:

While I was making these dresses, from yardage, not pillowcases, I learned we are doing a similar service project in Houston this Fall.  So I'll make several more when I get home.  It's a great way to use up yardage I am ready to part with. 

I also got my Stars in a Time Warp blocks done for this past week.  We are working with Floral Trails-type prints.  As I was making the small dress above I realized that fabric was a floral trails reproduction so it became the background of one of my blocks:

In Portland I'll be working at our Open Studio demo area on the show floor, demonstrating String/Crumb piecing.  Here are a few samples:

I wrote about the String Swap Block Challenge in this post.  The 8 pointed star is 12" finished and I really like it so I'll be making several of those during the demos.  I also suggest lots of other ways you can use leftover pieces to make great string blocks.  This is a free event, four different sessions are going at the same time, for two hour sessions and people come and go as they please.

In addition, I'll be teaching two sessions at Make It University, again on the show floor.  This is a one hour class that costs $10--for that, the student gets a kit with everything they need to make the project being taught.  Here are my offerings:

Hand Piece the 8 Pointed Star, this is 6" square

Hexie Stars:  English Paper Piece OR Hand Piece, students choose which they want to do
 These events are in addition to my other duties in the Education Office--it's a fun and busy time.  It's also great to reconnect with my Education Team friends who come to help run the show.  Good times!

I may not have time to post this week but I'll take lots of photos for the next time.

Let's Quilt!


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Baby Love + Smitten

We made a quick trip to St. Louis to visit our grandgirl, Stella, and her folks, our #2 son, Andrew, and his wife Lauren.  The trip there took 9 hours as we used the "streetlight way", less than half the trip was Interstate.  A little less stressful than high speed traffic, lots of trucks, etc., but that's a long time to sit.  The trip home was Interstate all the way so we could visit our #1 son, Joshua, in Nashville.  It took 8 hours to get home, there was some stopped traffic in the Nashville area.  We loved seeing Stella and her parents, but it was a long trip for 2 days with them.

BTW, if you are in St. Louis and want a fine dining Italian meal, you can't miss with Charlie Gittos on the Hill --oh my, what a delicious meal!  Save your pennies and splurge for a special occasion there. 

Every grandparent thinks theirs is the BEST, and we're no exception.  She sure is cute.  She was 2  months old on August 2.  Here are more photos of my scrumptious Princess:

Grampa is SO happy

My Favorite shot

We are so proud of the job our kids are doing as parents and feel confident the next generation is in good hands.  It's amazing to see my "baby" as a daddy--he's a natural.  When Lauren returns to work later this month, Andy will be the full-time caregiver of his precious little girl.  What a special time for them to share. 

Just so this has some quilt connection, I took 3 Smitten blocks with me to hand piece and finished them all, some sewing in the car, most while we babysat Stella so her Mommy and Daddy could go to a movie.  Here they are along with the two blocks I machine pieced last week:

Now it's on to the next block design.  These finish almost 12" across so they go together pretty quickly.  I'll prep several blocks for my trip to Portland, OR next week for Quilt!Knit!Stitch!  Lots of airplane time on that trip. 

Let's quilt!

Barbara AKA BB