Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving Day

I am blessed with truly
wonderful friends and family.
Thank you all!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tip Tuesday! Sewing with Friends

"Tip Tuesday!" - Sewing with Friends

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 

If you ever find yourself in a sewing rut, consider spending a few hours or even an entire day sewing with friends. Saturday, I had the pleasure to host another Old Bags' Day for 32 people; and as usual, I had a wonderful time. The group consisted of novice and experienced quilters alike; but EVERYONE was a quilter, so how could it have been anything but wonderful? 

Even if I'm not feeling particularly productive, spending the day with a group of fun and talented quilters is always inspiring. There's such a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by people who share my passion for quilting and I NEVER leave one of these events without feeling refreshed and excited about sitting at my sewing machine again.

Here is your warning. 

The rest of this post is loaded with pictures. 

I love Chris' fabric choices for this log cabin quilt!

Debbie was productive and this quilt is proof of that.

This pinwheel quilt is simply adorable!

Doris was working on embellishing her FABULOUS quilt. There is a story behind every piece of embellishing she was doing.

The snowwoman has a little secret under her apron. Cute panties!

Doris' daughter Lana has gotten the quilting bug and here's her version of the winter quilt.

I can already see the wonderful applique and embellishing that will soon make its way onto this pieced background.

Fran D. made a cute self-binding blanket for some lucky little girl.

I love the back side of this quilt. Cute fabric!

I really like the decorative stitches!

Sis made the same quilt, just in different fabrics. Adorable!

Jerry needs a quick gift and pieced a dessert roll into this.


After taking out a few rows, rearranging some rows and adding borders, this top is ready for quilting.

And that's exactly what he did before heading home on Sunday.

It's done and simply wonderful. I'm really liking the over-sized binding!

I love the backing too!

Janet was a busy lady. This is just one quarter of her quilt.

She's was definitely in a sewing mood.

Isn't it wonderful? She did a nice job and this quilt was done very quickly.

Jeanette is busy laying out her quilt. I love these fabrics!

Karen's block is ADORABLE!

Of course when I first saw it, it looked like this and I wondered why she was sewing an oddly-shaped faucet.  DUHHHHH

This is such a cute block. And it definitely is NOT a faucet!  :-)

Kathy was busy on her snowman rag quilt.

Mary C.'s pumpkin rag quilt is going to be so darn cute. I can't wait to see it done.

Mary T. is always so busy and working with such beautiful fabrics!

Pat R.'s minkee quilt is just so darn cute, and heavy. I love these fabrics together and they will surely make one little girl happy this Christmas!

Pat S. was busy working on her big block quilt with these gorgeous fabrics.

And she was helping her daughter Jill too.

Pat sure was a multi-tasker! She was cutting, pressing and sewing her blocks and helping Jill press and trim hers too. I love it when multi-generations of quilters work together. (Karen is Janet's daughter and Mary T.'s niece.)

Jill's blocks are just beautiful and fun. This wonky log cabin quilt is going to be fabulous and I can't wait to see it. I may have to settle for a picture though, as Pat and Jill are from Michigan.

Roberta made this monkey quilt a little while ago and needs to make a companion quilt.

I think she's done a great job! 

Aren't the bananas and monkey just perfect?

Roberta was busy and made this snuggler also.

Sheryll was busy cutting large nine patch block so she could begin piecing her version of a disappearing nine patch.

This is going to be one big quilt, and it's going to be BEAUTIFUL!

This view from the kitchen is proof that there was a little bit more than just sewing going on here. Yummy cookies, snacks and a taco bar kept our tummies full so we had plenty of energy to sew well into the night.

Fran had some beautiful fruit and veggie fabric that she was cutting up for her pot holders.

She said she was a little tired of all the paparazzi following her around clicking photos.  :-)  She is so funny!!

I think Jerry learned this trick from Connie a while back. His rotary cutter is always within reach.

Personally, I would have it handle up, but this seems to work for him.

And then Fran's mishap while borrowing Ann's quick change rotary cutter was caught on camera. Instead of pushing the lever to open the blade, she pushed the lever to change the blade. She thought she broke it! I guess that her hope to push the paparazzi away didn't work too well. 

I know I didn't get pictures of everyone's projects and I apologize to those who aren't pictured here. There was a bunch of hand work going on (binding by Carolyn, hand quilting by Deb and Eileen, and tacking down ends on fabric boxes by Ann). I know Pam was working on a flannel quilt and Terrie, Martha, Fran H., Judy, Joan, and April were working hard on their projects too. 

There was a quick trip made to get some fabric and Joan ran home after lunch to bring her mom over for a little while. I enjoyed watching her check out the projects and I think she enjoyed seeing them all. Perhaps we can get her back into quilting soon.  :-)

At the end of the day, the quilters have all gone home and the tables are returned to their proper places. Even though I'm always tired after hosting one of these events, it's always kind of bittersweet when they are over. 

I am very fortunate to have such a wonderful group of friends with whom I can sew. Do you? I sure hope so!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Design Wall Monday

Last week was very busy! 

Of course this week is going to be more of the same. Teaching, Bras for a Cause set up and event, Thanksgiving, my family's Thanksmas (Thanksgiving and Christmas celebration rolled into one big event), etc. are all on the schedule. I know it will all get done and quite honestly, I've decided that what doesn't get done, wasn't supposed to get done. :-)

This past week, I sub taught every day (honors science classes - Chemistry, Physics, Physical Science of all things!) and I hosted an all-day sewing event on Saturday. Despite Mother Nature's attempt to throw a wrench into our fun, Old Bags' Day went off without a hitch and we had a blast. We missed those who couldn't make it because of the weather, but we tried our best to sew, laugh and eat enough for all of you. That is just one of the many reasons I am NOT getting on the scale this week, or anytime soon for that fact.   

Of course we are all busy and when you throw in preparing for the upcoming holidays, things can get a little rushed and "hairy." I am no different than any one of you out there in that respect, but I really want to know how some of you do it so well and without losing sleep or your mind.  :-)

Despite being busy, I did spent some time in the sewing room and I do have something new on the design wall. That feels good, and I really like this quilt!

The pattern is Sonoma by Camilla Quilts for Cut Loose Press.

Here's the original quilt.

Although I like the white background, I LOVE the orange!

I made this quilt as a class sample and can't wait to finish it, teach the class and have it return home to me. I'm thinking of making another one but with adjustments. If following the pattern (which I will do for the class sample), the quilt measures 52" x 72". I want to add an extra row across so the layout is 4 x 5 instead of 3 x 5 and perhaps add borders. 

This was made with a partial layer cake (30 - 10" squares) and my adjustment could be made using all 40 - 10" squares. Thanks to my brother Jerry's suggestion, I am planning on using the 10 extra squares I have now on the back. I will piece those blocks and have them run down the center of the backing. YIPPEE! I love fun and interestingly pieced back.   

This is another busy week and I have lots to do, but I sure hope I get some time to finish this top. I know it'll be relaxing to spend even 15 minutes sitting at the machine so I plan to sew blocks together during breaks. Before long, that top will be sewn together and ready for quilting.

Stop by tomorrow for some really great eye candy in my Tip Tuesday! post. 

Plus, I hope to have some pictures of the Bras for a Cause available Wednesday. 

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.
Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tip Tuesday! Right or Wrong?

"Tip Tuesday!" - Right or Wrong?

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 

This post may sound like a rant, but it really isn't. 

I try really hard at not being part of the "Quilt Police" and I also try really hard to not get upset when I am visited by a member or two of that squad. 

I think we've all been there. We have a well-meaning "friend" tell us that we did something wrong; and that even though it looks ok, we didn't do it the right way. Whether it be the way we press a block, sew a seam, or bind a quilt, many quilters think that there is only one way to do it and all other methods are wrong. They also feel like it's their job to tell us what we did wrong.

Well, I hate to break the news, but there are very few, if any, rules in quilting. It doesn't matter to me if you back stitch every seam and I don't care what color thread you use. If you are happy with it and it works for you, go for it! (I often have students ask what color thread they should use and my stock answer is that it doesn't really matter. I feel that if you can't see the thread through the fabric, it's ok. And, I feel that if you see the threads after pressing, it isn't the thread that's the problem, it's the pressing. (See my Tip Tuesday! post HERE about thread color choices.)

So, what happened to provoke this post? 

Well, I simply made a decision that worked for me on two recent projects that I showed a friend. Let me explain...

I know there is a right and wrong side of fabric. Really, I do. But, I've been known to use the "wrong" side simply because it works for me. The other day, I needed a piece of yellow fabric and the only thing that I had in my stash was too bright. But, the backside was a bit more subdued and it worked perfectly. I used it and was quite happy. (I'd love to show you a picture here, but because the fabric is yellow and I'm not a great photographer, it is all washed out and looks awful.) 

When my friend saw the quilt, she gasped (Yes, she actually gasped!) and asked if I realized that I had used the wrong side of the yellow fabric. (She had seen the fabric on my sewing table when I was auditioning my choices.) I told her yes and explained why. She just shook her head and said that I would be sorry because it will not wear the same as the other fabrics and that one day I would look at this quilt and say something like, "Oh that yellow fabric is backwards." 

Of course that won't happen because I already donated the quilt and won't ever see it again. :-)  Problem solved!

So what happened next?

I made this wall hanging and I love it! Do you remember THIS QUILT? This is an enlarged single-blocked, on-point version of that quilt.

My friend liked it too and that made me feel good. I then said that I had a surprise to show her.

I decided that I like the back just as much as the front and that sleeve showing on the back didn't bother me. I've decided that this wall hanging is reversible and I plan to show both sides over the next few weeks before it's replaced with a holiday wall hanging.

The look of horror in her face is almost comical to me now but it wasn't then. She freaked out that I planned to allow the sleeve to be shown. Really!?! How is the sleeve showing any different than have tabs she has showing across the top of all of her wall hangings? 

Besides, I make reversible quilts all the time. I figure that if I have to piece the backing (a job I don't like doing), I might as well try to enjoy the process and make it look fun and interesting? 

Do you remember my Zen Garden quilt?

I love the look of these blocks, but I also love the simple look of the back.

It's a reversible quilt and I like both sides. I actually sold this quilt and the person who bought it said she liked it because it was like having two separate quilts for the price of one.

Ok, so I'll get off my high horse now and make one last comment about this.

Do what you like and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
 Use whatever side of the fabric suits your fancy (I often can't tell the right and wrong side of batiks anyway!)
and make beautiful quilts that will be used and loved for years.