Thursday, February 17, 2011

Quilt Block Choreography and Wonky Log Cabins

So I am combining two separate topics today - but they are both quilt-related. First, if you have not seen this video you MUST watch it! I don't understand how they do it at all, but I sure have enjoyed watching it. Thanks to Nann for posting it on her Facebook page; I reposted it on mine, and sent the link to my former guild in VA.  It is 6 1/2 minutes long and such fun to watch. And the music is not bad either!

Next, I have finished my 3 Wonky Log Cabin blocks for the ALA Biblioquilters project. We are a group of library-related quilters who make quilts that are auctioned or raffled at the American Library Association conferences each summer. I have been donating blocks to this project since I heard about it 3 years or so ago. This year one of the quilts is a T-shirt quilt with library/book themed t-shirts. I donated 3 of ours that we got when we participated in Fun Runs in New Orleans and New York City and in a day of service in New Orleans the summer after Katrina. Another of our quilts this year is another Wonky Log Cabin. We made one last year that I showed in my previous blog entry. This year we are using the colors of pink, brown, teal and green. Here are my 3 blocks for that. wonky log cabin blocks I had to go shopping to make these blocks - very few of these fabrics were from my stash. They were fun to do, and I can picture my making more of them. I can see especially putting some randomly on the back of a quilt using some of the scraps from the blocks on the front. These are 4.5", 6.5" and 8.5" blocks. Some are also making 12.5" ones. We are kind of following the directions from Quilt Dad - check it out if you want to make some too.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Bonnie Hunter Workshop Report

I'm now back home from the fun of a Bonnie Hunter workshop. Bonnie was at my old guild in Lexington, VA - the Rockbridge Pieceworkers Quilt Guild. I drove from south of Atlanta to my mom's house in east TN Thursday, then on into Lexington Friday morning. Met with our realtor, since we still own a house there, then met Bonnie and some of the officers of our guild, and Erin, for dinner. Great conversation flowed and it was soon time to leave to get to the Virginia Horse Center where we were meeting for the evening. After a brief business meeting we had Show and Tell. Erin and I both brought a quilt we'd made using one of Bonnie's patterns. Erin brought her Scrappy Mountain Majesties that she made for her mom. Erin and Bonnie with her Scrappy Mountain Majesties This was the quilt that introduced her to Bonnie a few years back.  (I felt honored to get to sleep under this quilt at Erin's house later that evening!) I brought my Orange Crush top - finished as of the day before I left for the trip. Bonnie Hunter with me and my Orange Crush Bonnie presented a great trunk show, showing many of the quilts from her books. It was so cool to be able to see them up close and actually touch them. When Bonnie asked for volunteers to fold the quilts after she showed each one Erin and I jumped up - we're too short to hold up big quilts, but we can certainly fold!!

Erin was gracious enough to let me spend the night at her house, and I felt honored to be sleeping in her younger son's bed with her mom's quilt covering me. Thanks Donald for the loan of your bed!

Bonnie's workshop - Scrappy Mountain Majesties - was such fun. Everyone brought different fabrics and it looked like everyone made real progress. Bonnie posted on her blog about our workshop - and here Here are Erin and I in front of Bonnie's large Scrappy Mountain Majesties Erin and me with Bonnie's Scrappy Mountain Majesties

I think the one thing that stuck with me the most was Bonnie's idea of what constitutes "neutral."  She goes by the background of the fabric, so even if there is a lot of colors on the fabric, if the background is white or pale then she counts it as a neutral. Others may have this idea as well, but I will remember it as hers.

As a result of her idea, I have decided to add more of her version of neutrals to my fabrics for my Christmas version. Here is what I have done so far. Scrappy Mtn Majesties first layout  and a closer up look at it Scrappy Mtn Majesties first layout closeup I'm not sure that I will stick with this design, and I'm sure I will spread out the darks more as I get more done. This is one of the fabrics that I think I should have made be with the print as the light and a dark as the dark. Scrappy Mtn Majesties first layout closeup 2 It is a fabric I got from Erin so I'm not sure if I can get more or not.  Here are some others that I have pulled from my stash that are Christmas-y but that I had previously thought would be too light to use. It's hard to tell how they are going to look until you sew. slice and sew again. I may have several to go on the back of this quilt!! Here's some of the "new" neutrals I'm thinking of adding, along with some of the darks that I haven't used already. Scrappy Mtn Majesties fabrics 2 These will certainly give it a different look. I'll have to use a good many of them interspersed with the lighter lights. More to come on this project I'm sure.

 Before I continue on this project, or any other, I need to make 3 blocks for the ALA Biblioquilters group. One of the quilts we are making to donate to the American Library Associations silent auction at their annual conference this summer is a wonky log cabin done in pinks, browns, teals and greens. I had to buy some fat quarters for that - couldn't go shopping in my stash for any of it. We made one of the quilts using this tutorial last year, except each of the blocks was monochromatic, so some were blues, some were greens, some were yellows, etc. And the blocks are different sizes - 4.5", 6.5", 8.5" and 12.5". ALA wonky quilt 2010 I have volunteered to make one each of the three smaller sizes. More later on the Wonky Log Cabin.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Orange Crush Top Finished -- now on to Scrappy Mountain Majesties

I finally finished the Orange Crush top late last night so it is ready to take to the Bonnie Hunter workshop this weekend in Lexington. VA. Orange Crush top finished I always seem to delay putting on borders because I think they will cause me problems but I was working under a deadline so I just kept going. The corners are extra units that I had made for the center of the quilt, and the pieces in the middle of each green border were for the corners as Bonnie had originally designed the quilt, but I didn't need them for that with the arrangement of the blocks that I used. 

The next question of course is how to quilt it. If I were to do it on my Brother I would just outline the orange and green blocks, and maybe a line thru the light diagonal lines, but I could also get someone to do it on a longarm.  It sounds like DH likes it, so it may be one that we actually use.  I had no plans for it when I started making it, and of course since it was a mystery quilt I didn't know what it would look like in the end.  I was drawn to it in the beginning because of the name - orange crush used to be my favorite soft drink when I was growing up. I bought some of them when I started making this quilt, but it didn't taste as good as I remembered.

After I finished the borders on the Orange Crush last night I started cutting out more 8 1/2" blocks for the Scrappy Mountain Majesties that Bonnie is teaching at the workshop this weekend.  She is doing this workshop for the Rockbridge Pieceworkers Quilt Guild, the guild that I belonged to when I lived in Lexington. I was the program co-chair, and arranged for this workshop about 1 1/2 years ago. Even that far out, Bonnie's schedule was pretty well booked, but we were able to get a date in between some of her other trips since we are pretty close to her. So far I have 56 different "darks" that are mostly Christmas fabrics. fabrics for Scrappy Mountain Majesties When I started cutting the "lights" it looked like some of them had slipped into my quilting room without stopping in the laundry room first so I am washing and drying them now.  I may be sharing some of what I have with Erin, so I will take all that I have of these fabrics to see what she wants to use.  We need 32 of each for a lap size and 66 of each for a full size - guess I'm aiming for something in between. I may decide when I start assembling the blocks that some don't work - but if they don't work on the front they could work on the back - right Bonnie?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Our Frayed Edge Quilt Finished - Now It's "Bonnie Week"

I managed to get our frayed edge quilt finished - and washed, dried and vacuumed - in time for the guild meeting on Thursday. Here is the front  Front of our frayed edge quilt and the back. Back of our frayed edge quilt And as soon as I got home from the meeting we covered up with it on the couch to read a bit - it was a chilly and rainy day here on Thursday.  That night we went to see a local production of To Kill a Mockingbird. Friday I tried to catch up on some email and chores, then DD#2, SIL and Reilly came over for dinner - cornbread and minestrone soup made in the crockpot. Don't you love crockpot cooking!

Yesterday we were up early to go to nephew's wrestling regionals - over an hour north of here, but well worth the trip because he won both matches yesterday and is now the heavyweight champion of his AAAA region - way to go Eric! Unfortunately we did not get to see his championship match as we had reservations for the Braves 400 Fan Club Gameboree at the Georgia World Congress Center. It was a fun evening celebrating Bobby Cox, the recently retired Braves' manager.

I say this is "Bonnie Week" because my former guild in Lexington, VA is having Bonnie Hunter give a lecture and workshop this coming Friday and Saturday. She is doing a workshop on the Scrappy Mountain Majesties pattern. I am planning to make mine a Christmas theme, using these and few more fat quarters I picked up at A Scarlet Thread this week.  scrappy mountains majesty fabrics  We are to have our fabrics cut into 8 1/2" squares - 32 lights and 32 darks for the lap size, 66 of each for the full size. I'm aiming for at least the lap size, or maybe a bit bigger. I also still need to finish the borders on my Orange Crush top - one of her mystery quilts that I want to show her. And I will be bringing my BargelloBowl quilt - a Bonnie project from 3 Super Bowls ago. Blue BargelloBowl I'll be leaving here Thursday to go to my mom's in east TN before going on up to Lexington on Friday. I'm spending Friday night with Erin - will we get any sleep??  The workshop is Saturday, then I'll go back to my mom's that night, and back home on Sunday.  Hoping for good weather all the way up and back, but the forecast for Thursday is a little dicey right now.

Here is what I am thinking for the borders of the Orange Crush quilt - Orange Crush border possibility I've got the black border on one side, and the others are cut out ready to sew on. For the corners I am planning on using some of the extra little blocks you see there, and maybe some of them in the middle of the green floral border as well. Not sure about that, I'll have to see what it looks like when i get the black border on. Also not sure about the binding, but that doesn't have to be decided yet since I don't know what I will back it with, or how I will quilt it!