Sunday, February 23, 2020

A Little of This...

A Little of That...

I've been working on several projects. Here is my Afternoon Delight "Demo Quilt"--the blocks I have made to write blog posts to use this year:

There are two more borders to go, a narrow blue, then a wider red. Next week.

I was able to finish this top because I got the last applique block done, #27 that will appear in September. The method is needleturn by hand for the red shape and I used Karen Buckley's Perfect Circles method for the 5 blue circles;

My hand applique needle turn is a little rusty but finished is better than perfect and I am satisfied with this overall.

Patriotic Pineapple is half done--here are 40 8" blocks:

The Creative Grids Pineapple Trim Tool works very well. The directions are pretty clear and there is a video on their website if you need more help.

I make one change to the pattern. After adding the 6th round, a dark, I use Half Square Triangles for the four corners. The squares are cut 3", then cut in half on the diagonal.

This works well because:

1. It saves time--only one seam on each corner instead of two

2. It eliminates a tiny little itty bitty triangle in the outer corners.

3. It puts straight of grain on the four corners--a real help with a block that has lots of bias edges.

I've been accused of being very organized and I admit to that. My motto is "I want the fastest method that gives me the result I want". Over the years I've been working on this quilt, I cut strips the sizes needed and put them in baggies. Now that I am hard at work getting it done, it is great to have all those fabrics ready to go.

I use 1.5" wide strips for the 8" finished Pineapple block. My sizes:

Light  Round 1   2.5"                   Dark Round 2   3.5"
Light  Round 3    4"                     Dark Round 4   5"
Light  Round 5    5"                      Dark Round 6   6"

The center squares are cut 2.5" and those outer triangles come from 3" squares, cut in half.

I make two or four at a time, laying out each with a variety of strips from the baggies, trying not to have repeats usually. You could plan it with less variety.

Here are the two final rounds ready to add to two blocks--this is Light Round 5 and Dark Round 6:

While working on these quilt tops I have been designing a couple new samples, using many four-patches I've made over the years as "leader/enders". Read my Time Management Tips for more about that process.

The second of these is almost done:

I showed the first one last week, made with mostly reproduction fabrics:

There are a few more layouts I want to play with using the endless bin of 2" four-patches. Stay tuned...

And I finally drafted a new pattern I am eager to make. Here is the teaser:

Last reminder--there is ONE SPOT LEFT FOR RETREAT--due to an unexpected cancellation. If you want to join us, please contact me right away. Final payment will be made soon and we won't add anyone after that. The Goody Bag is packed and ready for YOU.  See This Post for more info and a link to even more info.

Let's quilt.


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Teaching Locally

Since I am home for a while, before a busy travel schedule begins, I have several local classes.

The other day I taught Smitten to 4 quilters:

My Sample

Blocks on the wall at the end of the day





They enjoyed learning that Y seams aren't HARD, they are just not FAST.

On President's Day, I taught Patriotic Pineapples to 8 students:

Blocks on the wall at the end of the day
They used either the Pineapple Trim Tool ruler from Creative Grids OR the Trash to Treasure Ruler from Gyleen Fitzgerald--both make 8" Pineapple blocks, with 1" finished logs. Each person learned how to use the ruler she brought to class.  

In the afternoon, I showed them how to paper piece the block, if they wanted to. Some had never tried paper piecing before so it was something new to learn. Most kept going with regular piecing and their ruler--the second block comes together much faster than the first.

It was interesting to me that several students had wanted to make a Pineapple quilt for years and either had not started yet or could not understand the instructions with their ruler or pattern. Having a class available made it the right time for these quilters to start this project. Great quilts in the making.

The REAL reason I offered this class is to force me to get back to my Patriotic Pineapple quilt, that WILL be finished this year:

Only 46 blocks to go...
Coming up soon locally is my favorite class to teach: Antique Rose Star by Machine. I teach this all over the country to large classes and we have such a great time:

March 7 and 21, 2020, Huntsville Sew Creative. If you are local, please don't miss this opportunity--this is the only time I will offer this class this year locally. You will be amazed at what you learn and how easy these blocks, with 72 pieces in each, can be to make.

Let's quilt!


Sunday, February 16, 2020

Getting Ready

The first Joyful Journey Retreat will be March 11-15, 2020. We are excited about it and it was so much fun to stuff the Gift Bags:

There is a grand prize one lucky person will win, not seen in these photos.

There are 20 of us and we look forward to a great time at Red Rooster Retreat center, Crane Hill, AL. I thought of each of them as we packed these bags. I look forward to making new friends of the few I don't yet know.

My latest leader/ender project is now done, a Double Four Patch from Civil War reproduction fabrics:

I am working on another one of these from bright, modern fabrics and using a different alternate block.  It will be interesting to see how different the quilts look with only minor changes in layout and color.

Let's quilt.


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Scrappy Plus Quilt All Done

Ta-da! All done:

Scrappy Plus Quilt designed by Jenn Nevitt

Twenty blocks, each 15" square, so this quilt is 60" x 75" as is. It would be simple to add colorful borders to enlarge it. A fun collection of colorful fabrics and many neutral grays, light, medium and dark of each:

Fifty-two pieces per block = 1040 pieces total.

I will be teaching this quilt on a "Scrappy Happy" Quilt Cruise, through Stitchin Heaven quilt shop. The cruise is April 18-25, 2021, Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas ship, round trip Ft. Lauderdale. Ports include St. Maarten, San Juan, and Labadee--sure to be a great time.

Sign-ups will begin very soon--I will  have a BIG anouncement when that happens. Only 90 students can go and these cruises sell out quickly. I hope you will join us.

Let's quilt!


Sunday, February 9, 2020

Keeping Busy

I have a lot to do in this six week period without travel so I am keeping hard at it to get things done.

First, is the quilt I will be teaching on a cruise April 18-25, 2021 through Stitchin Heaven. The theme of the cruise is "Scrap Happy" and two of us will be teaching scrappy projects to 90 students. Much more information and registration information is coming in the next couple weeks--stay tuned.

SCRAPPY PLUS is the quilt I have been asked to teach so first I am making the sample from fabrics the shop sent to me:

As I always do when testing a pattern, I take lots of notes and think how I can improve the instructions and what tools students may find helpful with the projects.

For this one, the first thing I needed was ziploc bags and sticky notes--to keep everything organized.

The block is 15" square and you can't make a block until you have made some of all the parts so that meant there was much cutting of fabric before I could begin sewing. The "Sail and Sew" kit students can choose to buy if they want to will have all the pieces pre-cut for them, so they will be able to sew blocks from the start. Students who prefer to use their own fabric are told to come with everything cut to maximize their class time.

The Scrappy Plus block:

There were no pressing directions--I love good pressing directions so I am preparing those instructions for students. How seams "nest" with one another is important to me so it makes sense to provide my suggestions for that step.

Once all the parts were cut and half square triangles made of the four colors, I found it took me an hour to assemble a block. Twenty blocks so twenty hours.

Since I like to use leader/enders when piecing blocks, I started a new one from the big bucket of four-patches I have on hand. That adds just a bit to the time making the Scrappy Plus block but it creates a  "free" quilt.

See the Double Four-Patch from Civil War reproductions growing in the lower right:
I still have 5 blocks to go to complete the top then I can move on to a few other "must dos", like tax returns, and handouts for an upcoming big project.

This weekend we have our adorable and energetic grandkids spending the night so no more sewing for me. We love seeing them come and we love seeing them leave... Not really, but there's a reason to have little kids when you're young.

Stella is 4.5 and very smart, always eager to get into everything I'm doing or play with my IPad. Sam is not quite 18 months and so cute, funny, and happy. Both kids are terrific, a tribute to the excellent job our son and daughter-in-law are doing with their "raisin''. Isn't it a joy to see your kids as parents? The future is in good hands.

Let's quilt!


Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Design Wall Explosion

While I am usually working on at least two projects at a time, it is not often I have so many on my design wall at the same time:

Sylvia's Bridal Sampler
Patriotic Pineapples
Afternoon Delight in Red, White and Blue
Scrappy Plus--the cruise quilt I have to get done this week
$795--started many years ago and on the "plan to finish this year" list.

My extra Lifetime block is even up there--so I can find it when needed for lecture. It only got made when I mis-counted how many I had done and made one extra. Makes a good visual at lectures.

Lots of travel jobs on tap this year so these next two months when I am mostly home will be a time of high production. 

Stay tuned.

Let's quilt,


Sunday, February 2, 2020

Road 2 CA 2020--A Great Trip

I recently had the pleasure of teaching four classes again at Road 2 CA, a large quilt show in Ontario, CA, which celebrated their 25th anniversary this show.

The distinctive atrium of the Ontario Convention Center makes a great place for a display of a CA guild's quilts--a new guild is featured each year:

 The convention center is one mile from the Ontario airport and my hotel was directly across the street from the Convention Center so it was an easy walk each morning to class:

Palm trees--I don't see those where I live
Winter where I live is not harsh but we often get below freezing at night. So it is a treat for me to see roses and tropicals in bloom in January:

After arriving very late Monday night, I had Tuesday to recover, unpack, prepare my clothes for the week and find my classroom.

A special treat was meeting up with an old Marine Corps buddy I had not seen since the early 80's--we sat in the hotel lobby, sharing photos, and catching up. After a nice dinner he had a two hour drive home and I needed to turn in early as the two hour time change was apparent. I wish I had thought to get a photo of us.

Wednesday my first class was "The Village"--with paper-pieced houses and easy stars. The class was full with about 25 students and we had fun:

My Sample Quilt

Student Work

That evening there was a lovely Faculty reception where we got to chat with some of the other teachers, then I attended Preview--the quilts were on display, no vendors, and only students were able to attend.

The big winners had not yet heard of their good fortune so I took photos of several, posted on Facebook, and got hearty "thanks!" from several--with the time difference, several had delayed going to bed, hoping to hear Show results:

Best of Show:

Best Hand Quilting:

Best Domestic Machine Quilting:

Outstanding Wall Quilt:

One other big award was the Marie White Masterpiece Award. It went to Janet Stone for her quilt "Crazy Four Ewe". I did not photograph or post this one because I saw that Janet had already received the happy news. But I thought you would like to see it:

See all the winners with good photos and excellent descriptions: Road2CA 2020 WINNERS LIST

It was cool in the morning,  about 50, no where near the 20's at home. I enjoyed seeing sunrise on the mountains as I crossed the street:

Thursday was another class, Antique Rose Stars by Machine:

Once again, the students were great and did very well:

Discussing my sample
Friday, it was on to Southern Super Star:

My sample quilt

Students morning work

A Disney quilt--great use of Disney fabrics

Student's work in the afternoon

I had such a special treat at lunch! Catherine Butterworth of Australia was in the building--I learned that on Instagram. I asked her to come by the classroom  if she got a moment and was thrilled when she came at lunch--we spent an hour talking, sharing photos, and catching up. I had emailed her 9 years ago about one of her quilts I was inspired by. She continues to win big awards and make great quilts. Once I was a "fan girl"--now we are "soul sisters":

Here she is standing in front of her 1st Place quilt in this show, with another woman also named C Butterworth:

Follow her on Instagram:  ccbutterworth--you will see why she inspires me.

Saturday brought the last of my four classes, "Smitten".  I will be teaching it here at home February 15, 2020--don't miss it if you're local:

My Sample Quilt

 Despite the accumulated fatigue many students were feeling by the end of the week, they did great:
Student work

Student work

I went on the show floor only once more, to quickly visit my favorite antique quilt dealer, Cindy Rennels and her wonderful husband, Ronnie. I also went to see the booth "Brie Kriebel", run by Paulina. All the customers in her booth were wearing her garments, including me, and we were all buying more--I bought two. Check her out: Brie Kriebel Clothing  NOTE: sizes run small.

We snapped a photo when we realized we had a friend in common, Shelly Heesacker, the TV producer who works wonders for "The Quilt Show". We posted it on Facebook to surprise Shelly:

By Saturday night it was time to pack my bags and prepare for the cross-country trip home on Sunday. Goodbye, Palm Trees, for a while:

I had a super time and my classes were well received by the more than 100 students I had the pleasure of instructing. I plan to apply for 2022--this show has their teachers skip a year in between teaching assignments.

Lastly, this student, Missey, I believe. wore a great T-shirt I just had to share. My blog is called "My Joyful Journey" and this pretty much sums up what I get from my quilting journey:

Hope to see  you in class, let's quilt!