Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bits and Pieces...

I have been helping my mom out with some of her blocks for a quilt she started a few years ago. I had given her the fabric for Christmas, and my sister gave her a new book, Jelly Roll Quilts. So she combined the two to make this project. 

She had gotten sort of bogged down with it, as she would only work on it when I was there....not sure why? Anyway, we got it out a few months ago when she couldn't sew because of her broken arm  and I worked on it for awhile. I brought it home with plans to work on it a bit, so that it would be easier for her to finish. I didn't get too far until this week. I worked on the upper blocks on my Tuesday sew day and got them all finished, though not sure why there is an odd number? There are pieces left, almost enough to make another block, so I have a feeling there were supposed to be 18. I will figure out that mystery later.
Last night I put the pieces of the stars together. I got this far. There are 20 of these, so go figure. The pattern calls for an even number of each, and I can't remember the original plan. I will just make the blocks, and then let her figure out what she wants to do.

My sister is arriving tonight to stay  for a month.  She will be staying with my parents. I hope to get in lots of visiting and sewing time with her since I am out of school now.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's a keeper!

How do you take a giant four patch of fabric and turn it into a cute bag? You start with M'liss Rae Hawley's free pattern at Martingale. The pattern calls for 6 fat quarters, but I decided to make it a little smaller, so used 4 fats instead. I also had to size down the elastic used in the front and back.
 All in all, it turned out pretty cute!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A puzzle...

 Pretty pair...
 Another pretty pair...
 Even prettier four patch! I started a new project today. A friend made one from a pattern she found online and I loved it. I changed the pattern a bit, so I hope it turns out cute.  It would be finished, except I didn't have any 1" elastic.
This is the back. The four patch is about 34" x 38".

I am sewing with some very nice ladies today, so hopefully I will get it finished later after a trip to get elastic.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Four Patch Petunia Mini-Courses

 I have been wanting to teach beginning quilting skills in a different way, more as a series of mini-courses, so I thought it would be fun to try it this summer.
Students will make two identical blocks during each mini-course, and can make more on their own if they wish. 

I have always taught beginning quilting as a complete project, from learning rotary cutting to finishing the quilt by attaching the binding, so this is going to be different for me. I hope that I can get all those important beginning steps included with teaching it this way.

 All the blocks lined up in rows. They are in the order I will teach them, so if students take each course, they can build on their skills each week.
I decided to put a small border around the Four Patch Petunia Mini-Courses model for a more finished look. If there is interest, I will offer finishing classes. It would easily make a nice throw if made like this, with the addition of another border.
I haven't done any sewing so far this weekend. I held a UFO Saturday on Saturday at the store. I have some pictures I will share tomorrow. I spent yesterday working on the patterns for the new classes and planting flowers. Hopefully I will get some sewing done today. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Last day of school...

Yes, I always wear my fluffy skirt and can-can to school on the last day.....I have lots to do when I get there, but am ready for the summer break. Of course I have a long list of things I want to do this summer too, so it will go fast!

My mom is recovering well from her surgery. My sister that lives in Canada is coming next week for an extended vacation to help, visit, sew....yes, she is going to bring her quilt, since Iowa seems to be the only place she sews. Hopefully once she gets started again, she will find time to sew while here. We usually have many family gatherings while she is here, and I plan to go up for a couple of sew days, so she should get a lot finished!

Off to the last day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Last night I worked on the last block for the beginning piecing classes I am going to teach next month.  I like the Bow Tie block, simple but you can do a lot with it. 
 Lined up in a nice row....or turned back and forth, I like it both ways.
Inspector Smokey is looking at my seams.....guess Conrad was napping or he would've been all over them too. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mexican Star quilt class

A few years ago, I taught a quilt class in my hometown of Earling, IA. There were some ladies from a neighboring town who wanted to take the class, but couldn't. So I scheduled a class for them in Dunlap. These ladies belong to a quilt guild that encompasses people within a 50 mile radius of Dunlap, so I met many nice quilters. I returned to do another class the next year. I do a trunk show while they are sewing, and they saw the Mexican Star Quilt. So they asked me to return and teach that class on Saturday. The class was being held in Denison, which is not far from Earling, so I went up Friday night to stay at my folk's house, then drove up in the morning.
It gave me a chance to check up on how mom is doing after her surgery as well as visit with them! She is doing really well, though still tired and somewhat sore.
As you can see, they were all on their way to some beautiful quilts!
I love seeing the different fabrics that everyone uses and how they come together.
That sashing is only 1" finished, so you get the idea of the size. It finishes at about 40" sq. with an added border.
The pattern is from Southwind Designs. I ordered them from Quilting Horizons for this class....good prices, and service. 
They promised me that they would send me pix when they get them finished. The way these ladies were sewing, it won't be long!

Friday, May 18, 2012

A few more blocks.

Since I have my working models finished for my class Saturday, I worked on another set of blocks for a class model. I am making 4 of each block.
This class is aimed at people who have done little or no piecing, but would like to try it. I am going to offer these as mini-courses. You can take one class, two classes or all of them.
This is the set I worked on last night. I love these colors! I have one more set I want to make.
Here they are all together!

Only 4 days of school left after today. I am so ready!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Playing catch up!

I have been trying to get caught up the past few days after being gone a week. My house is a I have been cleaning a little every night after work. Plus I am teaching a class on the Mexican Star quilt on Saturday to a group of quilters in Denison, so I have been making a few working models together to use during class. I have taught classes to this group in the past, though we usually meet in Dunlap, so I know it will be fun!

I am also still working on the models for a beginning piecing class. I was going to have it begin in mid June, but not sure now. I will keep you posted. I forgot to take pictures last night while I worked, but will catch up with that tonight!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Saturday's class and other stuff...

I taught the second half of the Tumbling Blocks class on Saturday....I think all the color combos are turning out really well. 
Did you miss me? I have been out of town for a week. My mom had surgery last week, so I have been staying with Dad while she was in the hospital. She is doing well now, and is back home recuperating.
 My folk's don't have a computer. I took my Kindle Fire but spent a lot of time at the hospital, so didn't have much to write about. Hopefully, things will be back to normal soon.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What a surprise!

 My daughters took me out to eat the other night and gave me an early Mother's Day present...a Kindle Fire. I was so surprised and excited! I have been busy figuring it out and how to add apps to it. I even checked out some ebooks from the library for it. It will be fun to figure out all I can do with it.
 I have played with it a little and ordered a cover for it, but until it comes I made a small bag for it. I had a leftover piece of quilted fabric, so it went pretty quickly. It's not too fancy, but it will work for now.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Tumbling blocks class & other sewing....

Saturday's class for the Tumbling Blocks quilt went very well. Lots of pretty fabrics. I am excited to see what kind of layouts they come up with.
This one is going to have lots of flowers, which should add some interest. That is part of the fun of class, seeing the colors everyone picks out. They are going to try to get their strips all sewn and cut before next week's class. I can't wait to see them!
I spent a good share of yesterday working on some blocks for some mini courses I want to do in June. I am using some browns, teals, orange and yellow. I will take some pix later.

I"m having dinner with a friend tonigiht that I haven't seen in a long time, so we have lots of catching up to do.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

All Iowa Shop Hop

I recently heard about the first ever All Iowa Shop Hop, which will take place in June. What a great idea! There are prizes, there are free blocks at every shop. It's exciting! If you go the website, there is a list of all the shops. I'm sure I won't make it to all of them, but I hope to visit a few that I haven't been to before. If you live in the surrounding states, you could also visit the shops in your area.

I am teaching another class of the Tumbling Blocks Quilt again today. Should be great fun! Hopefully I will have pictures to share tomorrow!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Friday Eve...

I went to a meeting last night about an upcoming quilt event and show in Council Bluffs. I met with some very creative ladies and am excited about being a part of this. This event will showcase some of the talented quilters in our city, as well as antique quilts. If you live here and would like to submit a quilt to show, please contact me.

I didn't get any sewing done when I got home, just watched two of my favorite shows, Criminal Minds and Revenge. I'm not sure I like the turn Revenge took last night, but we'll see.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

More blocks and a model kitty

I made a couple more funky star blocks last night. They are fun, easy sewing. I used the same center strips as the others with white background, just didn't tilt them. I like this off-set four patch center too. I have used all of my white background squares, so what color next?
  I think maybe Conrad would make a great model....he just appears out of nowhere when I lay blocks down for picture taking!
Maybe I need to start my own network....Quilting with Conrad!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Wonky, crooked? funky?

 I had fun going to the auction Sunday. Truth is, I was a little afraid to bid on anything because they go so fast and are hard to understand. You can tell I am a newbie at auctions! It was fun going, and I really didn't need anything there!

 I came home and worked on some more wonky stars, using white for the background.
 These are fun and easy to make. I haven't decided where this is going, but I want to teach a workshop or two on free-piecing, so will use these for a model. I made the crooked centers all the same on these four.
 I have lots of strips cut for other projects, and just scraps of fun prints, so it isn't hard to find fabrics to use. I like how the stripes turned out. They were actually diagonal on the fabric.

Guess who wouldn't let me take a picture of them on the floor.....are you tired of pictures of Conrad yet? 
 He finally lost interest and wandered off.
 Here they are with the ones I made last week. It's always interesting how they look on point, isn't it?

What color background next? I have some baby blue left from the baby quilt...