Monday, September 15, 2014

Peeking through the lovely windows...

I spent a very enjoyable Saturday with some ladies that wanted to make a traditional block the modern way. We started out with puzzled looks and lots of squares.
By the time they had one block finished, it was starting to make sense. You can see that they got lots accomplished.
Many of them started working on the frames without putting in the windows, so had more almost finished than what it shows in the picture.
I did a demonstration during class on the traditional method of making this block. They were all fascinated. In fact I have 2 quilters who would like to learn how to do it this way as well. So I am  currently considering teaching this method if I have enough interested people. Here is a pic of my traditional method, unfinished so that people can look at the different aspects of finishing it.

One of the first times I taught this method, one of the quilters brought several sections of finished Cathedral Window blocks that she found at a thrift store. She gave one to me so I always take it to class with me and show it off. Thanks Karen! Everyone loves looking at it.
You can see it was made with muslin and held together with many hand stitches on the back. The windows are about 1 1/2".  It's gorgeous!
We had a great assortment of colors and styles of fabrics.
I did a lot of odds and ends yesterday. Some laundry, cleaning, mowing....I worked on writing a pattern for awhile, then quilted some more of Miss Tess. I'm excited because I'm almost finished with it. Tonight I'm meeting with a new quilter to get her started so that she can join the Cobblestone Path class on Saturday.
Happy Monday!

One of my Modern Cathedral Window Pillows

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Sampler is like a box of chocolates....each block is a new adventure.

The Ribbon Quartz Sampler group met Monday night to work on their 4th set of blocks. We enjoyed looking at their six finished ones before class. They worked on a block during class and will make another one before next time. This is a small group of three, with one missing that night. They are doing a great job!

The Sunbonnet Sue Sampler group met Tuesday night. They are just finished with beginning quilting and really enjoying the design aspects of  half square triangles. They cut worked on the Churn Dash and Grecian Square blocks that night and will have them finished before next month.

These groups meet every month and make one or two blocks. I teach these classes so that people can learn new skills, but they are also fun because of the group dynamics. It's fun for me to watch them develop into more confident quilters.

I basically got nothing quilty done this week except printing some patterns. (If that leads you to believe I might've cleaned or done dishes...sorry, that didn't happen either!) 

I'm teaching the Modern Cathedral Windows Pillow class tomorrow at Cut Up and Quilt. I love this technique and do a demo on the traditional hand pieced version during the class as well. I might not want to make the traditional version but I like knowing how it was done. What a lot of work! Those quilters had so much patience.

Do you enjoy taking classes? What was the last class you took?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Pretty quilty Miss Tess

I made a new version of Miss Tess recently and I  have been anxious to get it quilted. With going back to work at school and my teaching schedule, quilting has to take a back seat. So I was excited to get it loaded Sunday and begin the quilting.

I'm using the Mini Chaos panto which has an up and down jig-jaggedy (technical term) pattern. I think I am close to half way finished so I'm excited to get back to it later this week. Class went well last night and I'm excited to see the finished blocks in tonight's class.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Fade to Pink class

I had a great time teaching the Fade to Pink class on Saturday. The ladies had their pieces all cut so we got right to sewing! There are 6 versions of the same block to make, so they made one of each. Now they can go back and make the required number of blocks and will be ready to arrange the blocks. I love the colors they chose and think they will be gorgeous!

This is the quilt that was in the August/September McCalls Quick Quilts magazine. I wonder how many people have started/made this quilt? I would love to see each and every one of them so if you are making this quilt, please share pictures!
Another student brought in her version of Circle and Spin to show me before class. I love it when people show and tell the projects from classes I've taught. I love what she did with the Stonehenge fabrics and the piano key border.

I have the Sampler 19  class tonight, so look forward to seeing them and their finished blocks from last class. Happy Monday!

Friday, September 5, 2014

The finishing touch...making labels

I spent some time recently making quilt labels. I know I should do this as soon as I finish the quilt, but I don't always take the time. So I did some catching up. I like to print the label on June Taylor Colorfast Fabric Sheets. I have had good luck with printing pictures onto these sheets and they work well for labels too. You can add who it's for, your name and date, whatever you want, and print from your ink jet printer.  I like to make several at a time so that I don't waste the fabric sheets. There are easy to follow directions as to what you do after printing to make it colorfast. Then you are ready to cut them apart and attach them.
You can add fusible web to the backs and iron them on if you want to. I worry that they won't last through many washings, so if I do this, I still sew around them.
Normally I sew a narrow border around the edges of the trimmed labels...I try to use fabric that matches the backing, so that they blend in. I then cut out a piece of fabric or interfacing that is the same size as the bordered label.
I put them right sides together and sew all around the outside edges. I then cut a small X on the back fabric/interfacing so that I can turn it right side out. I press around the outside edges and it's ready to sew on to the quilt backing. No need to sew that X closed as it will never be seen.
Now you have a great "watching TV" hand sewing project. As you can see, I have enough labels to keep me busy for a few nights anyway!

Do you put labels on your quilts? Do you have another method of leaving your mark on them? I think it's important to have your name and date on quilts, so if I don't have time to make and attach a label, I sign and date it in an inconspicuous spot on the back of the quilt.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Red and White Make It Challenge

Ruby Shadow, Make It Challenge
 At the beginning of the year, I noticed that SewCalGal was hosting a Year of Red and White Quilt Challenges. This intrigued me, as I like red but feel like I don't use it as much as other colors when making quilts. She has several parts to this challenge and I accepted the challenge to Design It! You were to design a quilt using reds and whites. You had to add the fabric requirements as there was a fabric prize from Island Batik. I played around with one basic design with a few variations for Ruby Red 1, Ruby Red 2 and Ruby Shadow.

The next phase of the challenge was to Make It! 

Click on this link to go to the linky party for the Make It Challenge

The Make It! Challenge is all about making your own red and white quilt!  You can use your own design, a purchased design, or a free pattern of your choice.  And, of course, make your quilt in any size, using fabrics from any fabric manufacturer. You may even have enough red/white fabrics (includes reds of any shades and whites/tans/creams commonly thought of as neutrals).  And you have until September 30th to enter.

 You are also entered in a drawing for great prizes every time you participate in the challenge. You have until Sept. 30, 2014 to enter the Make It Challenge. You still have time to make your own gorgeous red and white quilt.

I decided to make Ruby Shadow, though I really like the others and might make them at some point as well. I went to my favorite quilt shop, Cut Up and Quilt in Council Bluffs, IA to find just the right selection of reds. I needed four different shades/prints that would look good together, but still be red and not orange. I think that is harder to do with red than other colors. You can always find lighter and darker shades of blues, greens, purples...but what is a light shade of red? orange? pink? Is there a lighter shade of red? This might be partly why I don't find myself using red as much!
 There is a lot of white background, so I decided on a white solid instead of a tone on tone...I wanted it to be really white! So I started making it back in April on a retreat sewing day with friends. Then life caught up with me and I didn't work on it again until almost summer. I had to figure out what I had done and what still needed to be done. When I begin making a new design, I figure out what pieces I need to cut,  write down everything as I make a quilt, then write the pattern from those notes. So they are important. Skipping a few months in the process means going back and figuring out what I had already cut, get the idea. I don't like to make new designs like this, but I guess I was so excited to see it coming to life, that I started it even though I knew I wouldn't be able to work on it much because of my work and teaching schedule.
I quilted it in June on my APQS's an industrial machine with a smaller throat (no stitch regulator either) than many of the newest models but it gets the job done.  I like to take lots of pictures as it comes off of the quilting machine. Since many of mine get hung on display for the classes I teach, it's easy to forget to take pictures of the finished quilt. I used the Drift panto by Keryn Emmerson. Here's the red print I used on the back.

The next phase of the challenge is Show It! in October. There will be a week to show off red and white quilts you designed and made this year and a week to show off the red and white quilts you made from a free or purchased pattern this year.

I will be teaching Ruby Shadow on Sat. Oct. 4 at Cut Up and Quilt. I'm glad I took this challenge as it's been fun and hopefully I will be encouraged to use red more often in future quilts. Thanks SewCalGal for the inspiration!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

More goodies!

Life back to work and quilting got hectic this week, but it all went fine. I taught a sampler club Wednesday night...they are doing a great job. It's a small class and there are two quilts being made. I love the fabrics they chose...these will be some beauties for sure!
I spent most of Saturday at Cut Up and was their 2nd Anniversary celebration and great fun! I saw lots of happy faces as they listened to our demos, shopped the sales and helped Becky and Kim celebrate. It's hard to believe it's been 2 years already.
I'm heading back up to Earling this morning to work on more woodwork...doors this time. Should be interesting!

I hope to get a new quilt on the frame tomorrow and maybe start quilting it. We'll see! Happy Sunday!