Sunday, January 25, 2015

Showcase

Friday and Saturday was Quilting Guild of The Villages' (QGOTV) bi-annual Showcase of quilts. It's a members-only show with a limit of two quilts, and optional participation in the challenge.

I entered two quilts made in 2012 that I've blogged about before: Bloom, a design by Emma Jean Jansen of Australia; and Dandelion Clock, my original design for the MQG's Riley Blake Challenge. I was tickled to learn in a Thursday evening phone call, that both of them earned ribbons: a first, and a third!

It's apparent in these pictures that I store and fold my quilts on the diagonal! I do so because many years ago I read a Quilter's Newsletter Magazine article about the best way to fold a quilt. It mades complete sense. When you fold a quilt on the diagonal, you're folding on the bias. That's the fabric weave with the most play - the most stretch - meaning that it's the fold of least resistance, and therefore lessens damage to a folded and stored quilt. The lighting made shadows that seem to emphasize my fold marks! I can't help but notice the big X in this one. Ergh.

But gosh, I'm honored to receive these wins! Ribbons were handmade by one of the chapters. Aren't they well done?!

Sitting outside the show was this golf cart. Of course, I had to look for one of my donated blocks, and found it.

This is the third golf cart cover that's been made from guild members' orphan blocks. The covers will be used whenever the guild wants to promote something in one of the various parades during the year. I sure hope that front windshield cover is flipped back! 

Quilting Guild of The Villages has recently topped 1,000 members in 18 chapters. Guess there are a few 50 and older people who are interest in quiltmaking. Linda

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Adorable

Our youngest, one year-old grandson, LJ.


Linda

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

On the Fly

Another week has flown by, full of happy activities. Three beginning quiltmaking lessons are past; two more to go. We have a nice big rec center room for the 20 of us, though I often wish we had more than two hours to use it.

Dan is completely engaged in Tai Chi these days, teaching two full classes every Wednesday morning. Last week his Tai Chi instructor invited him to share in giving a demonstration to more than 60 people at Freedom Point Assisted Living. This is what he wore. Blue is his color, I think!

With all the weekday busyness, weekends are becoming our down time with only the weekly Saturday morning golf cart trip to Farmer's Market for fresh produce - we're each still drinking 16 ounces of fresh veggie juice every morning - and Sunday worship. A new church, Village Park, has seen us at worship for the past two Sundays. We're finding the service very meaningful, and the people are more than friendly! No less than three different people phoned us the week after we'd worshipped for the first time, asking if we wanted to join a small group, or if we had any questions. Since this is the 12th church we've attended in the past 2-1/2 years, we're hoping this could "the one."

pattern photo
So some weekend time for sewing had me crossing a to-do off my list for QuiltCon. I needed a bag big enough for the things I anticipate toting around all day while I'm at the Convention Center. After seeing Di's lovely Chelsea Tote (Lazy Girl) made with selvages, the pattern seemed perfect for my purposes.

I don't care for the tote on the pattern photo, but it's a clever design - a shoulder bag with a separating zipper strap that makes it into a backpack too!





I opted to make my Chelsea Tote with Michael Miller's "Lush" by Patty Young. Because I didn't like the pattern's outside patch pocket, I followed a very good tutorial for installing an inset zipper pocket.

I put an inset zipper pocket on the inside too, right on top of the open pockets. Don'tcha love that "blah" fabric? It always seems just right for the inside of a bag.

At Di's suggestion, I installed a zipper at the top of the tote, instead of leaving the bag open per pattern instructions. I remembered to add one of my labels.



All I have to do is unzip the long white zipper, in the middle of the orange strip, and I've got shoulder strips for a backpack. It will be fun to fill with QuiltCon stuff! Fabric, perhaps. I'm excited to see that Ella Blue Fabrics, of Australia, will be one of the vendors.

Recently I emailed the two pictures below to my students. After suggesting they try straight-line quilting their quilts, and that it's helpful to have support for the quilt while it's in your machine - even the fat end of an ironing board, or a TV tray can do the job - share pictures of my room set-up with the sewing machine bed level with table tops (hollow core doors) on two sides. This is where I quilt on my Pfaff.

My Bernina is set up in the middle of the room (bottom left in the photo below), and is the machine I used for all other sewing. 

Another thing for which I am thankful - a nice-sized room, all to myself, for quilting.

Friday and Saturday is The Quilting Guild of The Villages Showcase at the Savannah Center, held every two years. This is my first time entering this show and I have two judged quilts that will be displayed. I'm also putting 20 of my quilts up for sale in the Boutique. Fingers crossed for many reasons! Linda

Monday, January 12, 2015

Little Progress


My sewing room hasn't seen much of me this week as I've been out-and-about attending various quilting activities. 

Last Tuesday, our Central Florida MQG presented a quilt to North Lake Presbyterian Church, to thank them for letting us use a room at the church, at no charge, for our monthly meetings. That was a neat presentation, as we were touched to learn how much the quilt means to them. It will be used as a raffle item at an upcoming Art Festival, to raise funds for the church's various charities. Yep, that's me on the far right.
Chevron-style string-pieced quilt: 87" X 97"
On Friday, this lovely young lady, Kelly came to my house. We "met" through Instagram - she's @sewkellysews - and was my consultant for my Jamberry Nails party. It was fun to show my friends what Jams are all about. Everyone left with at least one Jamberry fingernail, and a few even used nail polish! For me, it was fun to meet a quilter friend (she could also be my daughter) who is also the amazing mom of four little ones. Her youngest daughter is the same age, by two days, as our little Luke in Austin. 

It will be great to meet-up with Kelly again at QuiltCon. 

While I'm away from home I want hand work to take along, so I pulled out my travel roll-up. I found this inside. It's a Joseph's Coat block I started hand-appliquéing in January 2010! Obviously, I'd forgotten there was a block inside because I gave away this UFO before we left Iowa. The travel roll-up hasn't been touched for 2-1/2 years!

Well, it's being used now for a new EPP project.

On the at-home sewing front, I finished a Modern Hexagons pillow using a great tutorial by Nicole at Modern Handcrafts. This was easy, and fun!

In fact, it was so fun that I'll be sharing how to make it on Wednesday, July 1, at an all-day workshop with Quilting Guild of The Villages. The pillow finishes at 13-1/2" X 13-1/2" with a 14" X 14" pillow form inside.

Last week I also pulled fabrics to start a Metro Waves quilt

Thinking to make every wave a different print, I cut lots and lots of curves with my Quick Curve Ruler.

When I put the prints on my design wall, I quickly realized this wasn't working. Yuck. You can see the color pattern diagram in my left hand. Every arch is meant to be repeated horizontally across the quilt, but these prints weren't working together.

So, I've played, cut more prints and Kona white, and rearranged. 
I'm pretty sure this is what I'll sew together. However, let me offer some advice if you make this pattern. 

  • The supply list calls for 2/3 yard of eight different solids. Solids are a couple inches wider than prints!
  • From each fabric width, six 7" cuts are needed.
  • That equals 42", and most prints don't have that much usable fabric.
  • So, if you plan to use prints as I did, you'll need to either: 1) include some of the selvage in your cuts, or 2) buy extra fabric.
Isn't there's always something new to figure out? In my case, I learned a little more about color and how it applies to making quilts. How timely that the MQG will have a January 27 webinar by Elizabeth Hartman on "Choosing Fabrics for a Quilt."

This Monday is full day! Line dancing this morning, followed by five hours spent in the classroom teaching quiltmaking, followed by this evening's Central Florida MQG meeting. At least I have pretty nails! Linda

Monday, January 5, 2015

Chockablock

My first 2015 post has me looking weeks ahead, anticipating many activities, mostly quilting-related. I named this post "Chockablock" after reading a devotional, by Dr. David Jeremiah, about the original meaning of chockablock, and that many of us now use the term to describe the way we live.
"Block" refers to block and tackle equipment - a set of pulleys with a rope threaded between them. In earlier days, chockablock described what happened when the rope was over extended, causing the blocks to jam together. In time, chockablock came to mean "crammed full" or "jammed tight." 
In this piece, Dr. Jeremiah offers suggestions about how to use all our busy moments and days to serve the Master because our time belongs to Him. We need to make sure we take time "for the most important things." I'm thankful for this reminder. 

While I can't completely put my head around the value of spending time preparing quilts for a show, that's exactly what I did on New Years Day. Two quilts - Bloom and Dandelion Clock will be judged and shown at the Quilting Guild of The Villages (QGOTV) show on Friday and Saturday, January 23-24. And later today, I'll ship two quilts - Ad Libbing and Shapes - to Austin for judging and showing at QuiltCon, Thursday through Sunday, February 19-22. 

As I was preparing my QGOTV quilts, I also began going through the more than 100 quilts I have here in the house. (Yes, I've accumulated many more than 100 quilts in 39 years of quiltmaking!) Since QGOTV has a "Boutique," where guild members are permitted to sell their creations, it's a good opportunity to pass along my older quilts, particularly the ones that no longer suit my tastes. I began by photographing (using the new tripod my hubby gave me for Christmas) and measuring the dimensions of 33 quilts - mostly wall hangings - and then weeded out the faded-looking ones. I have 26 quilts to price. It will be difficult because I know that I often underestimate the value of my work, and I must take into account that 20 percent of the price must be returned: 10 percent to the guild; 7 percent to the state of Florida; and 3 percent if the buyer uses a charge card.

Here are those 26 quilts in one collage. They're a reflection of thousands of hours invested in quiltmaking, including making several that were hand quilted. It will be difficult to part with many of them, but when I stop to think about what I would do with each one, if kept, I imagine them stuffed into pillow cases and stacked in the closet... as they've been since moving here more than two years ago. I can't take them with me! 

Today I begin teaching First Time Quiltmaking again, through the Lifelong Learning College. When the noon to 2 p.m. class filled by early December, another class was added from 2:30 to 4:30... and it also filled. So a total of 42 women will enter the world of quilting! As always, I'm excited to teach. New Year's Eve found me at the College copying hand-outs. Now those are collated, and name tags are ready to go.

Hexies have been in the forefront of my sewing lately as I anticipate teaching two different hexie classes later this year: one on machine-appliquéd hexagons, and the other on English paper-pieced hexagons. Of course, samples need to be made.

On Friday this week, I'm anticipating a visit by Kelly (Instagram @sewkellysews) who lives in the Pensacola area. She's a young mom of four, founder of the Emerald Coast MQG, and a Jamberry Nails consultant.

I'm hosting a Jamberry party - mostly so I can learn first-hand the proper way to apply and remove these peel-and-stick nails, but also to introduce my friends to this neat way to get beautiful nails at home. Those are my nails in the photo. I did them myself, and think they look pretty. If you're not familiar with Jamberry Nails, go here where you can also place an order if you wish. Just use the pull-down menu to indicate my party.

Kelly's also bringing some of her modern quilts for a show and tell, so this should be a good time! The best part is getting together with friends. I wish all of you could come.

Though I'm already feeling a little bit "whoa," I'm also very thankful that I'm excited about and able to participate in these activities. Looks like I'll be "motorin'" through January, doesn't it? Just like our cute little grandson, Luke, who will be one year old tomorrow! Happy birthday cutie-pie!

And talk about anticipation for what 2015 has in store!



I'm making a few things to take to QuiltCon, including a backpack for myself. Yep, my life is chockablock... and I couldn't be happier about it. Linda

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 is a Wrap

Instead of showing (again) everything I made, I decided to write a 2014 wrap-up, mostly for the blog book I have printed each year from these posts.

2014 saw me making, and blogging about:
  • 12 quilts (Click on "2014 Quilts" tab to see them all.)
  • 12 bee/gift blocks
  • 7 skirts
  • 6 placemats
  • 4 shorts for little boys
  • 4 tote/bags
  • 3 pillows
  • 3 thread catchers
  • 3 pin cushions
  • 3 tops for myself
  • 2 sewing machine covers
  • 1 re-covered office chair
  • 1 shorts for myself
  • 1 little boy's pj's
  • 1 toy dog
Given that I also taught quilting classes, attend frequent quilting meet-ups, line dance at least three times a week, and attend Bible study and a stitchery group, I'm satisfied with what I accomplished.

Throughout 2014, I remembered my word-of-the-year, "perspective" that I managed to sew into a quilt back.

did keep a good perspective on life as I spent time with family, remained active, and continued quilting. I didn't allow continuing health concerns to drag me down. In the past 12 months I had five catheterization procedures on the femoral arteries in both legs - three on the left leg alone. An anticipated sixth procedure, a re-catheterization of my 60 percent blocked right femoral artery, hasn't yet happened and will be checked again in March, 2015. In any case, the future looks bright related to breast cancer and PAD. I do continue to feel blessed.

Reflecting on 2014 has made me consider what 2015 has in store, and what word I'll choose to take into it. I'm most aware that I am simply grateful for the life I've been given, and the blessings I receive. How can I not be?! So my 2015 word is "thankful" and stems from this Bible verse:

...give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. - Thessalonians 5:18

So whatever 2015 brings, I will strive to be thankful. Whether it's an outpouring of blessings, or an unexpected event, I will be thankful. Linda

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” ~ Tecumseh

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