Sunday, April 28, 2019

Wedge Rulers in a Workshop

On Saturday, I taught 19 members of the Jacksonville Modern Quilt Guild @jaxmqg (Jacksonville, Florida) how to make a modern wedge quilt following my Carousel Quilt pattern.

This is the second version of Carousel that I've made. It's pieced with Emma Jean Jansen's "60s Scrapbag" as the focus print, and Painter's Palette Solids: pencil yellow, and white. With 40-weight YLI variegated thread I quilted a spiral in the center (see my spiral quilting tutorial here), quilted concentric circles in the wedges (traveling between seams to get to each circle), and used a Westalee ruler, and a Sariditty ruler to quilt the background.

I always learn something when I teach. This time I learned that my Marilyn Doheny 9-degree circle wedge ruler - with a copyright date of 1989! - is no longer the only Doheny ruler being made!

Thinking that the 25"-long one, like mine, was the only one available, I was surprised when students came to class with several other lengths of 9-degree rulers. 

(I'm not being compensated for sharing the following information. I just want to provide info to those of you who might ever be interested in making a wedge quilt.)

Here's the link to the 9-degree wedge products on the Doheny website. Besides the 25" length, the 9-degree wedge ruler comes in an 18" length, a 14" length, and a 9" length.

To make my Carousel quilt, the 25", 18", and 14" lengths work. But, by my way of thinking, if you're at all interested in wedge quilts, and hundreds of possible designs, why wouldn't you choose the 25" length to have all quiltmaking options open to you?

Students were attentive when needed, and managed to sew and chat too. Big surprise? No?

The quilter on the far right used Alison Glass prints for her Carousel quilt.

Most of the JAX quilters used a 9 degree ruler, but a few used a 10 degree ruler. Both certainly work beautifully. For me, the fun was seeing each quilters' fabric combinations.
This quilter took time to cut gradating color wedges from Ombré Confetti Metallic, appliquéing the wedge circle onto an ombré background. She completed her quilt top during the workshop!
Robin fussy cut her focus print to capture movement from the sections of orange print.
Candi has an interesting color combo. She pieced on a Featherweight
Katealicia used a Jennifer Paginelli print as her focus fabric.
Katealicia is friends with Jennifer, who named the print after her! It's "Katealicia" fabric!
This quilter's subdued brownish batik and green combo really pops with the addition of orange.
This quilter opted to make extra wedges and plans to turn hers into a "snake"-type layout.
Laura decided to piece some wedges...
...and then make only a half-circle that she plans to turn into a pillow.
This quilter's print has a watery pattern that appears to flow around the circle.
She's thinking of quilting the same movement around the quilt. 
My set of 1" to 12" Quilter's Rule nested circles came in handy for marking to make sure the quilt center is round.
On Wednesday, June 19, I'm teaching this workshop again to members of Quilting Guild of The Villages. Members can get more information here

Thanks to this really positive experience with the Jacksonville gals, I'm looking forward to future wedge-making workshops! Linda

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Ruler Quilting

This week has aligned for all things ruler work.

I'm honored that Sarah Thompson (@sariditty) invited me to participate in introducing her line of quilting rulers.

She sent me these items several weeks ago, and invited me to have a play. That's certainly what I've been doing!

The first ruler I played with was the Sariditty Rolling and Wiggly Wave ruler.

It made a fun quilting design on the first Carousel Quilt I made (for teaching how to make a modern wedge quilt). I really like the designs that are possible with this ruler!

With the Sariditty Paradigm 60° triangle-shaped ruler I quilt points on another Carousel Quilt, sort of making it look like a Dresden Plate design.

Here's a video of the quilting.

All rulers are available in low shank, high shank, and 1/4-inch thickness. Happily for me, I can use the 1/4-inch thickness with my Bernina 770QE.

If you're interested in any of the Sariditty rulers, you can view a catalog of them here. (Rulers can be seen inside the Hoffman fabric Lookbook.) Ask for them at your local quilt shop (available through Checkers), or order them directly from Sariditty

On Thursday, I'll be giving a three-hour ruler quilting demonstration at Sharky's Sew 'n Vac, in Wildwood, Florida.

In case you haven't noticed, I'm lining up lecture and teaching gigs in the months ahead. I've updated my "Programs and Workshops" page (click the tab at the top of this home page) to reflect where, when, and what I'll be teaching, including a complete list of my offerings. Let me know if your chapter is interested in anything! Linda

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Sewing Room Hop

I'm pretty sure a few of you quilters out there are like me - we do the sewing room hop. We enjoy hopping from one project to another, having multiple projects going simultaneously. Either we get bored from continuously working on the same thing, or we need different projects at different stages for portability I've had my hands on five different projects in the past five days.

Project 1: I made and pressed these 2-1/2" X 2-1/2" (unfinished) half-square triangles. They need to be trimmed!

I'm making a whole bunch of them - 80 or more here - to have at the ready to continue piecing "Sunny Lanes," a quilt top that's an ongoing project made with 1-1/2" X 1-1/2" leaders and enders. My tutorial for it is here. 

Project 2: I'm making a second "Carousel" quilt to use as a teaching aid on Saturday, April 27, when I present a modern wedge workshop to members of Jacksonville MQG. 

This slightly different version is pin-basted and ready for domestic machine quilting. The focus fabric is from the 60s Scrapbag collection by Emma Jean Jansen @emmajeanjansen of Australia, and solids are Painter's Palette white and pencil yellow.

Project 3: Using an improv block technique learned from Melanie Tuazon @melintheattic during a QuiltCon workshop, another improv technique from Carole Lyles Shaw @carole_lylesshaw, and a strip insertion concept from Debbie Jeske's @quilterstable Cross-Cut Quilt Along, I continued working on my Central Florida MQG challenge - "It's All About Color." 

For the challenge, we're to choose a different (to us) color combo to make a quilt larger than 20" X 20". My quilt top is 32" X 32", and this is the first time I've ever made a completely improv quilt that I enjoyed making! Though I'm not fond of the color combination - it's called "Spring Color Collect" on I really don't care for navy blue, especially with coral/salmon, but was happy to play with adding recently-purchased gradated/ombré fabrics. 

Now I'm trying to decide which thread to use for quilting, and am considering this Aurifil variegated. The finished piece is due by our May 13 Central Florida MQG meeting.

These solid and print scraps remain. I emptied another cone of Aurifil! This is at least the fourth cone of Aurifil I've emptied in the past ten years, and I've used-up more than a dozen medium-sized spools of Aurifil. Empty spools are in the toy bin, for grandies to play with when they visit.

Project 4: I thought I was nearing a finish on my English paper-pieced "TulaNova" quilt top - I call it LindaNova - but then discovered some tiny triangles were missing. See the V-shaped gaps between the star medallions? 

I need 20 filler triangles, so I fussy-cut this Riley Blake print to make them.

Project 5: My Cascade quilt continues to progress. Needing 57 curve braid shapes in each of the nine columns, I laid a sheet on the floor, at the bottom of my design wall, and have kept arranging curve braid pieces. I can kneel on the floor for only so long, and then have to get up, stretch, and stand back for a look.

Better and better. Even Dan likes is!

Now, if only I can stop tweaking the arrangement every time I'm in the sewing room! Below is the latest iteration. 

By the end of the week I plan to carefully remove it from the design wall in layout order, and stack each column in preparation for piecing.

I finished listening to "The Borrower," by Rebecca Makkai. The story centers on Lucy Hull, a children's librarian, who befriends ten year-old Ian Drake. Her special relationship with him leads her two places - on a cross-country adventure, and on a road to self-discovery. I didn't enjoy the author's strong moral opinion on social issues, nor the inconclusive ending.

Linda's score 2.5/5

I'm curious... do you like to sewing room hop? Linda

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Just a Little Bit

I haven't had much sewing room time since coming home from Texas. For whatever reason, everything seems to be "landing" at once. I've been obligated to do other things.

On Monday, Central Florida MQG welcomed a guest speaker, so much of the day was spent helping make sure the workshop and lecture happened as planned. Carole Lyles Shaw is a good instructor and presenter. You can read more about her improv quilts on the two Central Florida MQG blog posts I wrote this week: workshop and lecture.

Another activity has been to prepare for an upcoming workshop with the Jacksonville Modern Quilt Guild (Jacksonville, Florida). I've designed a small modern wedge quilt - I just finished quilting it -and will teach a six-hour workshop. I'm really excited to visit their chapter as I've exchanged emails with several members who I have yet to meet IRL. 

Also, I'm spending time editing a book. My 89 year-old dad is writing his autobiography, for family only. Having a journalism degree as I do (earned in 2000 as a non-traditional student), and having written for quite a few quilting-related publications, including writing a quilting book, it makes sense that I would edit his book for him. As dad completes each chapter, he emails it to me for me to adjust and return to him. We're up to chapter ten now. At this point in his storytelling, I'm 10 to 11 years old, so I remember some of what he's been writing about. Perhaps not surprisingly, we're remembering a few things differently, so there's been some give-and-take as we're going along. Anyway, I've been at the computer.

With a little help from Central Florida MQGers who attended retreat and gathered their trimmings, this week my old quilt was filled with enough bits of fabric, batting and thread to be sewn closed and donated as a pet bed for an area animal shelter. I have at least a half-dozen more wall quilts that will receive the same treatment.

Needing a bit of a break, last evening I spent a couple hours putting already-cut-out Curve Braid Strips on my design wall. For the full-sized quilt I want to make (from Victoria Findley Wolfe's book Modern Quilt Magic), I will need all nine columns shown here, and 57 pieces (!) in each column. Right now, about 35 pieces are in each column. Obviously, my design wall isn't large enough (it's 72" X 72") to hold all the pieces!

I'm not quite sure how this is going to work out, as I really don't want to begin sewing columns together - they are sewn from the bottom to the top! - until the whole thing is laid out and I'm completely satisfied with the arrangement. I'll probably have to move out the table top and sawhorses in front of the design wall so as to spread a sheet on the floor to keep laying out pieces. 

Yesterday, Dan and I went to The Sharon, a performing arts center here in The Villages, where we saw "Artrageous." Ten young people kept us entertained - singing, dancing, painting, puppeteering, and doing comedy. We were in the second row, so it wasn't too surprising that one performer stepped down from the stage to take Dan's hand and lead him onstage as a backup dancer. Dan good-naturedly participated, even playing air guitar!

I've been listening to an audiobook, mostly while in the car and walking Hogan, and this week finished Nine Perfect Strangers. 

This is the sixth Liane Moriarty book (Big Little Lies) I've read, and it was as engaging as the others. Basically, it's about nine people who go on a ten day transformational - mind, body, and health - retreat. Each person has a unique back story, as does the retreat director, "Mah-sha" (Marcia). Of course, there's an unexpected twist. At least, I didn't see it coming!

I adore listening to narrator Caroline Lee, who like the author, is Australian. All the Moriarty books I've heard have been read by her. As most of you know, I've been to Australia four times, so I have a special place in my heart for all things Australian. I thoroughly enjoy Liane Moriarty books!

Linda's score: 4/5  


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Retreat and Back, Texas and Back

It's been so long since I've posted that I had to go back and read my last post to figure out what to share!

Since March 21 I spent four days on a quilt retreat in Luther Springs, Florida, returned home for one day, and the next day (March 27) flew to Austin, Texas, where I visited family until this morning (April 3). My Southwest flight from Austin didn't arrive in Orlando until 11 pm. I was on a flight with the Texas A&M dance squad who were heading to Daytona Beach for the National Cheer and Dance competition. I then road the airport shuttle with dance squads from Purdue and Northwestern!

Anyway, it was 12:45 am this morning until I was back home. But, it was worth the loss of sleep for having two direct flights that cost only $145.

Retreat was fantastic, as always. Twenty quilters working mostly on modern projects, and enjoying one another's company. How much better could it be? (See retreat pictures here.) Personally, I would have liked to accomplish more, but my preparations for making didn't work out quite as I planned.

I thought I was going to lay out and piece my Cascade quilt, the one for which I'd cut out more than 500 curve braid pieces. I quickly learned that it wouldn't happen on retreat. For this quilt I'll need a really big design wall, and lots of time to lay out pieces that will need arranging and re-arranging. This is as far as I got before taking the pieces off the design wall.

The whole quilt will need to be laid out and then each column of pieces is assembled from the bottom up! I couldn't even sew to join the pieces I'd laid out at retreat. Not being able to work on it was a big disappointment.

So, I moved on make the wristlet I'd cut out before leaving home. This is my favorite Dog Under My Desk pattern (The Essential Wristlet) made with a Tula Pink jellyfish print and lime-colored vinyl, and lined with another Tula seashell print. I love how it turned out.

Next I worked on a wedge quilt that I will teach in a few weeks at a workshop with the Jacksonville (Florida) MQG. This is the 34" X 34" quilt top called "Carousel." Two more wedge quilts are in the works so I'll have samples to share. The first quilting stitches are by hand, with pearl cotton. Next I plan to FMQ the wedges.

Luckily, I also took a couple "just in case" WIPs on retreat that are long-term, ongoing projects. I pieced more leaders/enders 16-patch blocks, and made half-square triangle squares for the Sunny Path quilt. Free tutorial and download here.

Following retreat, I spent one day at home, did a quick repacking job, and flew to Austin, Texas for seven days. Three-and-a-half days of those days were spent taking care of eight year-old Austin, and five year-old Luke.

In between school, swim lessons, soccer, a sleepover, and getting haircuts followed by ice cream treats,

we baked fluffy banana cookies,

(Luke was excited about these cookies because they weren't Christmas cookies!)

made a road with tape,

made slime (recipe uses liquid hand soap, cornstarch, and oil), 

and played with Legos. I also read to them every evening. We read three Roald Dahl books: The Enormous Crocodile; The Twits; and The Magic Finger. The first two titles stayed behind for re-reading.

DIL Lyn wanted to make a Bowl Buddy, also known as Soup Bowl Cozy, so after a trip to JoAnn Fabrics for Wrap 'n Zap, we followed this tutorial to make two of them for her parents. I'm glad to see her using the Bernina I gave her a few years ago.

Back at home, I found an Instagram giveaway win had arrived, a print copy of the UK magazine Love Patchwork and Quilting. I also learned I'd won another giveaway, and have already received a digital copy of Sylvia Schaefer's new book The Quilter's Negative Space Handbook. I'm collecting quite a few e-books, and love that they don't take any shelf space in my already too-full closet of sewing-related supplies! If there's anything I want to reference or make, I can simply print out only what I need.

I also learned that my "Quilt" entry in Curated Quilts "Well Said" challenge was not accepted for publication. Guess I didn't say it "well" enough. :-) 

Today has been catching-up - unpacking, putting away, vacuuming (Hogan seems to be shedding more than ever), taking a much-needed hour-long power walk, and anticipating an evening in the sewing room. Linda


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