Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Where Does The Time Go?

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity, and I'm not the only one who has expressed frustration over the fact that "everything seems to happen at the same time." Though we're retired, and enjoying living in a retirement community, and we have hundreds of opportunities for fun, there's always the chance that several things are scheduled back-to-back, or even at the same time! It's enough to make your head swim.

This has been my lament as I've been having a blast... an exhausting blast. Last week, Sherri Lynn Wood of California, visited The Villages for a long-planned all-day improvisational piecing workshop followed by a program. From joining a group that went out to dinner with her on Monday, to one of our many country clubs...
Sherri's in the center back. I'm left of her.
...through her workshop and program on Tuesday, I relished every moment. It isn't often that a quilter gives a workshop or program that's "new" to me. But Sherri did it with her delightful approach to a very unnerving/uncomfortable-to-me technique... rotary cutting fabric without a ruler! Yikes!

My block efforts were loosely based on Flying Geese. Remember... I cut these entirely without benefit of a ruler!

Sherri helped me see how to arrange them, using "bleed" to keep the design flow. I will definitely be referring to her wonderful book Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters as I continue to work on my design.

Here you can see some of the different approaches to Sherri's lessons on improv. You can see more pictures here, on our Central Florida MQG blog. Sherri's sitting in the middle front with the piece she created during her demonstrations.

Sherri certainly got me thinking more about my own design process, and gave me some new vocabulary words to define what we do as quilters... follow "fixed patterning" or "flexible patterning." This information is in her book.

All in all, it was an extremely worthwhile workshop, and I highly recommend taking a class from her if you ever have the opportunity.

Last Saturday was our Central Florida MQG Sew-In, an activity we enjoy monthly at the Belleview (Florida) Public Library. Two quilters from the Gainesville MQG joined us too. Lora (front, middle, in the aqua top) is my dear friend (we met through our blogs!) with whom I collaborated on our quilt, "Ad Libbing." The quilt is in Houston, Texas now; it was juried into the International Quilt Festival, October 29-November 1.

Of course, I started a new project at the Sew-In. Ha! Looking for something portable (I just can't free motion quilt away from my great home set-up), I cut a big stack of four-inch squares to sew 100 half-square triangles.

I'm glad to have a Bloc-Loc ruler to easily and evenly trim the finished squares.

The design I'm making is called "Rainbow Swirl" by DownGrapevineLane. I first saw it on Instagram, and then drew in EQ7. I sewed the top in a web (see my tutorial on this blog), and then took a picture of it clipped to my sewing room blinds. I'm in the process of quilting it now, since my new Pfaff Grand Quilter feed dog cover plate arrived. That new cover makes all the difference in the world - no burrs, so no more thread-shredding!

I've been doing some foundation piecing as I've starting working on a tuffet. Do you know what that is? A small footstool. Myra Mitchell has a pattern to make a round one out of fabric strips, and of course, I have to have one! 

Here's the first of eight sections I need to make an 18" diameter orange tuffet. What other color would I make?! Well maybe aqua.

I know you've already seen my "Tiny Quilt Challenge" entry, but you haven't seen the one made by my modern quilter-friend, Beth. Ironically, out of all the 228 entries, Beth and I both won third place! Mine for appliqué and hers for piecing! Isn't that bizarre?

And we won the same prizes too!

Speaking of prizes, the winner of a Fall issue of Modern Patchwork magazine was Béa of France. Though I sent her the magazine, I'm sorry to say that I won't be offering a magazine as an international giveaway again. The postage was more than the price of the magazine!

And now I'm off to get back to pedaling as fast as I can... I finished teaching the five-week beginner quiltmaking class last Monday, and the three-week beyond beginner class starts next Monday. We'll be making the hexagon pillow seen in Modern Patchwork magazine. Linda


  1. I have that "Improv" book on my wish list! What a special treat to have the author give you all her pearls of wisdom in person!!!

  2. I know what you mean, nothing happens and then everything happens at once all the time to me, too. Looks like you're enjoying yourself, though.

  3. Exactly my feeling Linda! I feel like I have been racing in circles lately and no sewing but I am home now for 6 days and eager to get into my sewing room. What shall it be? UFO, Scrap Club piecing or a new start? To say nothing of the banner project I promised my daughter I would bring up next week when we go to bay area for a long weekend and the 49ers game.
    I tried a little of that improv technique with Freddie MOran...she cuts a lot without a ruler. It is unnerving. LOL

  4. I'm with you in the "too much fun stuff" happening department. Aren't we so blessed to have such a "problem"? Ha. Fun class, and sew in, and love those tuffets. Look forward to seeing it finished.

  5. Congrats on your winning with your mini. Great prizes for you and your friend. It looks as if you are living life to the fullest and having a blast. I'm still trying to get computer issues fixed, so I'm spending too much time at the library using their computers every day. Have fun with your new skills from the workshop.

  6. Hooray for a start of a new project! Eek! Love it, though. And good for you, pedaling!

  7. Always love seeing all the things you're doing. Even though improv isn't exactly me, I love the concepts in Sherri Lynn's book and have tried one of them so far. Hope to explore more of her ideas next year. I'd also love to make a Kaffe tuffet for my new guest room.

  8. Linda, Congrats on your recent win! Love the "Rainbow Swirl." Did you make 4" squares for it? Looks like something I could achieve! Thanks!

    1. Hi Nancy. I couldn't reply by email to your comment because you're a "no-reply" commenter. Thanks for your congratulations! I cut 4" squares, then sewed them into HSTs, so each one finishes in the quilt as 3" squares. I hope that helps. Yes, it's very doable.

  9. Things are busting loose for sure! And all quilty activities are happy ones. So happy your family visit had such great weather to enjoy so many outings in the golf carts, pool, and area. And now you're off to teach. February 16 is not that far off either. That's an event to anticipate. The blessing of good health let's it all be a joy!


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