Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stashbuster Club Report, and Two Aprons

I didn't go to the Stashbuster Club today expecting to make any purchases, but by the time I left the shop I had 5 new tools: a Wing Clipper, a 12" Quick Quarter II, a Sixth Finger Stiletto, a package of Clover's forked pins, and a 12 1/2" square Creative Grid ruler. new tools You're wondering if I did anything besides buy toys - well, yes I did. I was only one of two students in the class, and the other one works in the shop so was only in the class about 1/2 the time because the employees were busy getting ready for Shop Hop which starts tomorrow morning. But she still got as many blocks done as I did  - I know, it's not a race, but still .......... 

Here are the 4 blocks I made today. Simple Simon - first 4 blocks The last 2 are sewn together but not the others. Next time I'll try taking a picture in the daylight, but you can get the idea. I think I will make the rest of the blocks first before deciding which ones to put where. The pattern we used is "Simple Simon" from Stash Pot Pie, which sounded like a computer program that the shop purchased. I've laid the blocks on top of the fabrics I plan to use for the two borders, so you can see that I am alternating the centers that are from those two fabrics. The Y-seam does not seem daunting at all now, so that is good. The blocks finish at 9" - I'm leaning towards making it the larger size - 6 X 7 - instead of 4 X 5, but we'll see.

Now I can show the two aprons that I made recently. 2 tea towel aprons One I kept, which I posted a picture of a few days ago, and one I sent to Erin. After last week I thought she could use a little cheering up!

We are probably going to leave tomorrow going back to VA for DH to run in a race on Saturday morning in Charlottesville, with a stop each way in east TN to stay with my mom, unless he decides his cough is too bad for running 10 miles. So, handwork for a few days in the car but no sewing machine.

The Process Pledge ... and the Stashbuster Club

I've seen The Process Pledge on one of my daughter's blog about her knitting projects and when I ran across it this morning I decided to do it for myself with my quilting. I got the button, which you can now see on the right margin, from Rossie Blog. I like the general idea of blogging about the process, and try to do that some because I think of my blog as a digital diary for myself about my quilting adventures.  Here are her thoughts about it and the pledge itself (highlighting is mine):

I have made a process pledge. The goal of the process pledge is to create a new sensibility in quilting blogs where we don’t just show finishes or occasionally confess about our moments of indecision, but chat openly and often about our works in progress, our inspirations, and our moments of decision. I know that many of us are already posting about our thinking on quilts and the processes involved from start to finish, let's do more! And let's post about quilts as we work on them. I want to see more half-done quilts, not just the finished thing with a journal entry about the process.

I think part of the reason I really like the blogs from quilting bees is because a lot of the process gets documented...from original concept, to raw materials, to each block in turn, and often a few drafts of the final layout. It's awesome!

So, without further ado. Here's the process pledge. Take it, shake it, make it yours.  

I, ________________, pledge to talk more about my processes, even when I can’t quite put them in the in words or be sure I’m being totally clear. I’m going to put my thinking and my gut feelings out there.

So, the first thing I'm going to blog about the process of is the Stashbuster Club. I have been going to most of the Busy Needles guild meetings in my new town since August but I've not gotten to know anyone very well. With encouragement from DH, I visited my LQS, A Scarlet Thread, to check out the classes they offer there. The one that appealed the most to me is their Stashbuster Club. It is taught by one of their employees, who is also in the guild, so I signed up for the class. It meets the 4th Wed of each month, so tomorrow is the first meeting for me. Here is the quilt we will be making. simple simon sample. Since it is a "stashbuster" I didn't want to have to buy any fabrics - just wanted to shop my stash. So then you have the question of what fabrics to use. The possibiities included:
1. Christmas - I still have lots of Christmas fabrics, but I am already making the Scrappy Mtn Majesties quilt with some of them
2. Butterflies - I have lots of butterfly fabrics but they all seem to be to big a print to be seen in the fairly small pieces of this quilt
3. Veggies and fruits - turns out I don't have as many as I thought. The small size of this quilt requires 20 7+" squares and I think I want them all to be different
4. Florals - I have a gagillion because I bought a lot to use in my Grandmother's Flower Garden, but I want to have a border that colors inside the quilt can coordinate with and I couldn't find something that I thought worked for that
5. Blues and yellows - my old stand-by colors, but I wanted to try something a bit different
6. Green, blue and purple - I have enough for a border of this fabric from the Eric Carle Very Hungry Caterpillar collection, and I found a bunch of greens and blues and green/blues that I thought would go with it. Also decided on a purple from the same collection as the inner border. fabrics for simple simon  As you can see from the sample, these fabrics will look a lot different when all the white gets in there. I still have a difficult time visualizing it, but by this time tomorrow I should be pretty far along with it!

OK, so green/blue/purple - white with little white flowers for background - need 80 3 7/8" blocks for that - cut them last night. Then I looked over the 30+ fabrics that I'd pulled out to go with the border and eliminated all but 20+ - 10 mostly blues and 10-12 green, blue/green or green/purple. Not so sure about what to use for the centers. In the sample the centers of the blocks are the same as the outer border. That might work for some of the blocks in mine, but I don't think there would be enough contrast for some of the others. What about the outer border fabric for some of the centers and the purple inner border fabric for some of the others. I've cut more than 10 of each to take to class, along with some extra fabric of each. Just spent the last 2 hours cutting the 20 big blocks so I think I'm ready to pack up my stuff in the morning. The class is from 10-3, and I may be the only student, or maybe one of two. It is a busy week quilt-wise in ATL - Shop Hop is Thursday - Sunday. I came down from VA for this 2 or 3 years ago and took a bus that one of the shops arranged to do all 11 shops in 2 days. Sadly, this year we are planning to be back in VA for DH to run in a race and we'll be leaving Thursday afternoon, not back home until Sunday or Monday. So no Shop Hop for me this year. One of the reasons I decided to participate in the Stashbuster Club was to meet other quilters - that goal won't be met tomorrow, but I expect I'll get to know Mary, the teacher, a lot better! We will be using a new ruler I've not heard of before - the Flying Geese X4 No Math ruler - sounds good doesn't it? And she will be showing how to make Y seams - something I've done very little of.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Quilts for Japan, an Apron, and Allie's Apple Quilt

Bonnie Hunter posted yesterday about a way to get some quilts to Japan. One of the comments on that posting was from Beth, who says she is collecting blocks to make a quilt, thinking that blocks might be easier for folks to contribute than whole quilts. Check out Beth's blog to see what she has in mind. I woke up early this morning because DH is volunteering for a race in Atlanta and had to leave home at 5:45 to get there on time. I thought I'd go back to sleep for awhile, but had several quilt projects rolling around in my head so I got up. On the way to the quilting room I checked my email and read Bonnie's blog and saw Beth's comment. So this morning I made these 5 blocks to send to Beth. beths blocks for japanHopefully they will blend in with the other blocks she has been promised. She's had about 40 replies so far, and everyone is saying they'll make one or two at least.

Next, I made this tea towel apron. tea towel apron I wear an apron everytime I cook, and though I have several, this one looked fun and quick to do when I saw it at Little Quilts in Marietta a few weeks ago.

A few days ago our daughter who lives in Seattle told us she is moving into an apartment of her own. She's been in Seattle almost 1 1/2 years and has lived in several places but not had an apt of her own. In the spring of '06 she decided to move from the Bay area of SF, where she was a Montessori pre-school teacher, to an organic farm in KY. For the next few years she worked there, and then on 2 different organic farms in the Hudson Valley of NY before moving to Seattle in Nov '09. When she left the Bay area I had been working on a quilt for her - piecing finished It was the first quilt I started after I retired in June '05, and is hand-pieced, but she told me to put in on the back burner until she had a place she could hang it since it is to be a large wall hanging - or a good-sized throw. Well, now I've decided maybe she is ready for it so I have gotten it off the back burner and have started hand quilting it again. She will be here for a visit in mid-April. Don't think I can have it finished by then, but I'll be working on it. Here is part of the border where I am outlining the individual apples apple quilt border and this is one of the corners where I have a basket to quilt in some way. apple quilt basket I have quilted part of the basketweave border, but now can't find the template I used for that, so will have to draw one to finish up that part. In the 6 squares where the appliqued apples are I have done echo quilting - still have 2 of those blocks to do.  There is a reason why I made her a quilt with apples on it - read here to see our family connection to apples. I made that webpage after our visit to San Francisco in May '05, where I was able to view Allie making her "real apple" quilt in a window at her art school.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Babysitting, Baseball, Not Much Quilting

Hard to believe that it has been a month since I wrote a blog entry - falling back into my old ways! Last month I babysat for 3 grands while their mom and dad took a well-deserved trip to NYC. After they went to bed I was able to do some sewing on my Christmas version of Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Mountain Majesties that I started at her workshop in VA earlier in the month. I've sewn two rows of blocks together, but not the rows to each other. Here are those two rows at the top and some other blocks that I have tentatively put together.scrappy mountain majesties  I think I will make it at least 2 more blocks wider than I had originally planned to make it a full size. I've added in some lights that are more patterned than what I started out with, and have to look at it awhile to see if I really like it. I think when I get more blocks sewn together I'll like it better because the two blocks that are mirror images of each other can be more separated.

When I got home from the babysitting I had a packet from Erin that had 4 light background Christmas blocks in it, so I will definitely be adding them to my design. Thanks again Erin!

The day after I got home from the babysitting DH and I drove to FL for a week of Braves spring training games. We saw games in Kissimmee, Ft Myers, 2 at the Braves home ball park at Disney World, and Viera near Cocoa Beach. Braves fans Also spent time with DH's sister and BIL, one of his cousins and her DH that he hadn't seen in years, one of my cousins and her DH, and my DH's brother and his family who live in the ATL area but just happened to be in FL the same week that we were. Besides 5 games and visiting relatives we had time to spend one day at Universal seeing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, rode the River Adventure at Jurassic Park, ate dinner at Mel's Drive-in, saw a Mardi Gras parade and a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert. You can see more pictures from that week on my Flickr page.  Since that time I feel like I've just been catching up on non-quilty things here at home.

I did finally put a hanging sleeve on Celtic Sunrise,  a wall hanging I made as a challenge quilt while in the guild in Lexington, so it is now hanging in my quilting room.  celtic sunrise  This pattern  is from Quilter's Cache, and is a tribute to my DH's Irish roots.  While we were traveling to, from and around FL I worked some more on my Grandmother's Flower Garden hexagons. 4 more GFG flowers I still need to make 13 more whole flowers and 10 halves to fill in at the top and bottom of the 5 shorter rows, but after almost 4 years of working on it now and then I can see the end of the piecing. When I finish I will have 95 whole flowers and 10 halves. The centers are the same but the outer rings are different in each one, and all are florals.

I've signed up for the Stashbusters Club at A Scarlet Thread, my LQS, next Wednesday. The quilt for this month is called "Simple Simon" simple simon The idea of course is to use some of our stash to make the quilt, so I've got to decide which of my fabrics I want to use for this one - I'll be trying hard to not buy more fabric to make it. And you all know I need another project started!