Sunday, March 30, 2008

Orange Crush Mystery Quilt and Spring Batik Block Swap

Orange Crush cans

I am getting ready to participate in the Orange Crush Mystery that Bonnie Hunter has on her Quiltville website. Opening day is April 1 - don't know how much I will be able to do that day since that is DH's birthday, but I'll get started soon after that. After a shopping trip yesterday in Charlottesville, VA after DH ran in a 10-mile race there I now have my fabrics - My main fabrics for Quiltville's Orange Crush Mystery Quilt I was unsure about the green fabric because it might not read as a single color, but I really like the design and with there being a bit of yellow that connects it to the orange/yellow batik, and bit of black that connects it to the black fabric I'm hoping it will work. Not sure which of the blues I will use for the accent - I guess I'll decide that as we go along. I have never done a mystery before, though I did follow along with Bonnie's last one. Along with these fabrics we will be using a lot of light and dark scraps. I have some small pieces of lights and darks selected but haven't cut them yet. Bonnie has said we can cut them into 2" strips, as well as some 3.5" strips of the darks. Since she hasn't said yet what length to cut the pieces from these strips I am waiting on that. If need be I can use various light and dark fat quarters rather than these smaller pieces that I have selected. I doubt that I will be able to keep up with the others doing this mystery since I have several other quilts and quilt projedts underway, but I'll work along on it as I can. Part of the fun of doing this will be all the back-and-forth between the participants on Bonnie's chat group. This will be a new experience for me because I've not really made a scrap quilt before. I did make the BargelloBowl quilt with Bonnie's group, but I don't think it would be considered a "scrap" quilt. I'm making several quilts with lots of different fabrics, but I'm not sure that they would be considered scrap quilts.

I also am working on 5 blocks for the Spring Batik Block Swap on Carol Doak's Yahoo group. Here are the first two that I have finished. This one is #102 from her 300 Paper-Pieced Quilt Blocks - Spring Batik Block Swap - block 1 This one is #162 from the same book - Spring Batik Block Swap - #2 Each of these blocks is supposed to have some green in it and the block is supposed to represent spring - and of course be a Carol Doak design.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Senior Center Quilting - pt 2

After we finished the placemats for the Meals on Wheels participants some of the Seniors in our quilt group wanted to do something for ourselves. One of the Senior Center Board members had given me a couple of pictures of a jar, or pantry, quilt that he and his wife saw on display in the Midwest during a cross-country trip. I had seen the blocks on Janet Wickell's Quilting About site for a ginger jar and also the more traditional mason jars. I printed these out for the ladies and we decided to each get some fabrics and share them with the rest of us. So far one lady has made 4 wall hangings or small quilts using these patterns, two are quilting or ready to quilt wall hangings, and I am ready for the borders of mine. Here are pictures of the top 5 rows of mine, The top five rows of my Pantry Quilt and the bottom two rows, The two bottom rows of my Pantry Quilt and the strips of braided border that I have done so far. Pantry Quilt - 2 braided borders I will be putting the woodgrain fabric on the sides, then a narrow border of the background fabric before I attempt to sew on the braided borders. They are pretty stretchy so I am concerned about how to do that neatly, but I have gotten some advice from folks on the Quiltville Chat group so hopefully it will turn out OK. I got the directions for doing this border from Bonnie Hunter at

A couple of weeks ago I was telling the Sr Center ladies about my Atlanta Shop Hop fun and how some of the ladies on the bus tour wanted to see how I made the Grandmother's Flower Garden pieces with
Quilt Patis. Two of them got interested in making some of their own so I shared some of my florals with them and they are off and running with it. They will probably be finished before me! Here is a photo I took yesterday of my GFG - with some of the top row partially finished and auditioning for a position! Grandmother's Flower Garden - 13 plus parts of 3

I think that those who are going to do the Pantry Quilt are far enough along on them that we can begin thinking about what to do next. Last summer and fall we made 20 blocks for a sampler quilt to donate to the Senior Center and some of us are in the process of quilting those blocks, then we will assemble them as a quilt-as-you-go. I am thinking ahead to our next project. I'd like to do one of Bonnie's scrap quilts for the Center to raffle or to have on display. If we give it to the Center we can use some of the fabric that has been donated to us and each of us could make some blocks then we could sew them together. I'm going to show them pictures of some of those quilts in the next week or so and see what they think of that.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Senior Center Quilting

In May of last year I asked the folks at the Senior Center where I volunteer as a computer teacher and Medicare Part D advisor if there was any interest in my starting a quilting group there. My idea was just to get together with others who like to quilt, NOT to teach a class. Well, yes, there seemed to be some interest, but of course more interest in my teaching than in everyone just "doing." So, I needed to plan something for each week's meeting. A few had done some quilting before, but several had never quilted, and some did not have sewing machines. The first few weeks we spent going thru the fabric contributions on hand at the Center, then we decided to do a sampler quilt. Each of us - at that time about 8-10 - were to do 1 or 2 blocks. I brought in lots of patterns for them to choose from and some more fabrics. We eventually got 20 blocks made, then I showed them how we could assemble it as a quilt-as-you-go quilt with several different ones maybe helping with the quilting of the blocks. Some of the blocks had to have a bit added to the edges to make them be the right size, but I have done that to most of the ones that needed it. I'll post pictures of mine when I finish quilting them.

Before we finished this project I had the idea to make placemats to give to the Meals on Wheels participants that are fed out of the Senior Center. Turns out there are at least 60 people in that program so we had lots of placemats to make, but a few of us got really busy and by mid-December we had about 70 placemats which were distributed to the Meals on Wheels clients before Christmas. Here is one of the placemats that I made. Six Halves Make a Whole Placemat It is from Six Halves Make a Whole - 6 fabrics -1/2 yard each - of coordinating fabrics make 6 different placemats with each fabric in a different position in each placemat. I wish I had taken a picture of all of them before they were distributed, but the day I brought my camera they had already been rolled up and tied and ready to give out.

In the meantime we had found 20 blocks in a box that was donated to us by the family of a recently deceased quilter that were clearly intended to go together - and with them was enough fabric to use as sashing around these blocks. One of the ladies volunteered to piece them together. I put on two borders, using fabric that we had decided on as a group when we took a field trip to the VA Quilt Museum (about an hour north of here) and to a quilt shop. Then the lady who assembled the quilt took it to do the long-arm quilting on it. I got it back from her about 3 weeks ago and finished it today. At her suggestion I did the binding differently - cutting the backing a bit wider that the top and folding the backing around to the front and blind-stitching it to the front. I thought it was really hard to do the corners neatly that way, but I got it finished and this afternoon I finished the label and gave it to the director at the Senior Center. It will be raffled with the proceeds going to the Senior Center. They had a recent quilt raffle that brought in enough money for them to spend some of it one a Brother sewing machine for the quilters and others who meet there to use. Here is a picture of the quilt on our bed. Bertie's Purple Lady We are calling it Bertie's Purple Lady because it was Bertie Golden who pieced the blocks. I will take a picture of the label when I am there next week. I wasn't sure it I would be able to finish it this afternoon as I don't often have time to do things I want to do when I meet with them!

More in the next post about what we are working on now.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Greater Atlanta Quilt Shop Hop was such fun!

I am now back to DD and DSIL's house in Marietta after completing the Greater Atlanta Quilt Shop Hop - 13 shops in 2 days! What fun to take the tour with a bunch of like-minded shoppers!! I am SO glad I took the bus tour that was organized by Sarah at Intown Quilters. It was well worth the $100 to have John do the driving; I definitely want to do it again next year and I expect to see some of the same ladies on the tour next year. I met Shirley, Martha, 2 Mary K's, Diane, Anne, Deborah, Lucretia, Bonnie, Bess, Thea and Thea's mom, and others. We shared our purchases, our projects, and our lives during the long drives from Decatur to Covington, Conyers, Jonesboro, Newnan, Hiram, Lawrenceville, Duluth, Sandy Springs, Marietta (3 shops) and Holly Springs. Each shop had made a quilt using the same blocks, and each shop gave us a pattern for their block. It was so interesting to see all the different quilts made with the same blocks. At Red Hen Fabrics I saw Sandie, the woman who quilted my Van Gogh's View and shared my happiness about her quilting with my friends on the bus - and gave out some of her business cards. I even met a lady at one of the shops who had read my blog entry yesterday or this morning about going on the bus. An unexpected treat was meeting Aunt Philly at Stitchin' Time - the creator of Aunt Philly's Toothbrush Rugs. She was demonstrating her method of making these quick, completely washable rugs and some of us bought her pattern or her CD, or a starter kit -- and I practicing making it on the bus back to Intown - sure made the trip back go fast! Now I've got quite a few fabrics that will be "seasoning" as Lucretia says while I plan for their use. Maybe at least one of us will even be one of the prize winners.

Add to all the fun of the Shop Hop the fact that I have seen, or will see, my mom, 3 of our kids and their spouses, all 3 grands, and a friend of a friend back in Lexington - it will have been a great extended weekend. Only one thing could have made it better - if DH had been along for the trip so he could have seen the family too.