Saturday, May 31, 2014

It's the little things....and goats and work

 I had a few spare moments last weekend, so decided to cut up some strips I had precut for models for the Scrappy Braid Workshop last month. I needed lots of different half hexies for the models because I couldn't find my original ones...hmmm I demonstrated sewing them together as well. So I wanted a nice mix.
I only cut a few of each fabric for the models, so I had lots left to cut. These were scraps from other projects, so there are more of some than others. They are fun and easy to sew together so now they are ready for a day I feel like doing some easy sewing.

 While I was in Earling last weekend, I visited my brother's farm. He raises goats, among other things. Many are kidding right now, so there were lots of babies, from newborn to a few weeks old. This one is about 8 months old and the only one that I got a picture of, even though I carried the camera around the whole time. I guess I got so busy looking I forgot to take pictures! They really are cute and made lots of noise while we were by their pens but as soon as we walked away, they were quiet again.

I am off this weekend with not much planned except a little cleaning. I finally got the tomatoes and peppers planted last night, so hopefully they will be happy. They were starting to look a little sad even though I was keeping them wet.

We have three days left of school, so the library is closed now and I spent the past week checking in, and shelving books. I have been rearranging some books on the shelves as I go as they were too crowded. I had moved some of the books to different locations earlier in the year, but I usually have 900 - 1000 books checked out at any given time, so moving them when they aren't all there isn't the best plan. But I had a good reason...

You might remember that we moved into our remodeled building midway through last school year.  The bookcase that is deeper so better for picture books was the farthest away from my desk, but I thought I should use it for them since that was its purpose.  It didn't take long to realize I needed to switch things around.  Mainly I wanted to get the picture books closer to my desk. It was too hard to monitor the kids where they were, so I moved the picture and easy chapter books over to the other end of the rows of bookcases, right in front of my desk. Much better, but to move one area meant I had to move another to make them fit. So I swapped them.  If the rows were A -G, G went to A and A went to G. It worked, but it scrambled the order up a bit. I haven't had time to move the rest, and decided it was better to do it at the end of the year anyway, after most of the books were returned. So that's the plan for Monday and Tuesday.
Happy Saturday!

Friday, May 30, 2014

On to the finish line!

Last night the beginners started the process of finishing their More Peas in a Pod quilts. They learned to piece the back to fit and layer it with the batting and their quilt tops.We talked about the fact that whether you are hand quilting, quilting on your home machine or tying your quilt, the layering process is the same. They pinned it securely to keep all of the layers in place. Nancy is all smiles as she starts to tie her quilt.
Debbie's quilt, Kathy helping

Debbie gets some help from Kathy as she bastes the outer edge of her quilt. Kathy is having her quilt machine quilted, but wanted to join us to learn the layering and tying process. She will bind her quilt next week along with the others. (yes, we know a very nice quilter who agreed to get it finished quickly!)
Deb had a directional print for her backing fabric, so they all learned another way to piece the back so that the fabric is going the direction you want it too. 

Martha and Nancy
I usually have some of the quilters come early to this class so that I can help one or two at a time, instead of all 6. There aren't enough tables to have them all laid out at the same time, either. Martha came early and just layered and basted her quilt. She is going to try to quilt it herself with her home machine. She will be out of town next week, so we made plans to meet on another date so she can learn to make and attach her binding.
Martha's quilt
Since she was finished early, she and Kathy helped the others with the pinning and basting of their quilts. It was like an old fashioned quilting bee! Shirley went on vacation so she and I will get together at a later date so she can finish hers.

I'm excited to see finished quilts next week!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

More eye candy!

Cindy finished her quilt from our small group challenge recently. I love how it turned out!  The story of mine, plus Cindy's is here.
Pat is finished with her last Sampler quilt and brought it last night for Cindy to quilt. It's gorgeous and definitely out of her color box....she usually used more muted colors.
We had a few people missing last night at Sampler Club, but several put their blocks on the wall for a photo op (or maybe I just took it as one!). Cindy made all of her center blocks a different set of colors for an interesting look. They worked on a paper pieced block last night. It always takes them a bit to get back in the groove of pp when I throw one in the mix, but I like to incorporate them in the samplers for the there are some awesome blocks you just can't make any other way!

Dianne chose some pinks for her block last night. She has her setting triangles cut too.

Pat's all caught up on her blocks, with her block from last night almost finished. I forgot to snap a pic, though.

Rose was busy catching up on her multiple blocks last night, and I didn't get a picture of what she does have finished.

I haven't had time to do much sewing lately. I spent Saturday in the garden and cleaning, and then went to my hometown on Sunday and spent Sunday and Monday visiting there. School will be out next Wednesday, so I will catch up then!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Lots of busy quilters and eye candy...

 I had a busy week at work and lots of classes. This was my last week open in the library at school, so everyone needed a new book to read! We still have 7 days of school, but as of Tuesday the library will be closed for the summer and I begin the task of getting books back, shelving them and doing some rearranging. We have been back in our newly remodeled building for over a year, and I have some changes I want to make in the location of the books. I already moved several sections around midway through the year, but need to finish now so it all makes sense.
 As you can see, the beginners' quilts are coming along nicely and it was fun to see them put the finishing touches on the quilt tops. Next week, they layer, pin and start tying.
 Her borders really aren't ruffly, it's just hanging on the wall funny.
 Several of them spent some time looking for backing fabric and batting after class.

Wednesday night, the Sampler Pick group met. They are each working on a different quilt, so that's always interesting. There were also three of the beginners there making up last week's class, so we had lots going on and lots of eye candy.
We are all learning a lot about fabric choices from Lora...most of us have commented that we probably wouldn't have picked the background she is using (including her!) but she is making it for a young couple and they wanted something modern. Click on the photo above to see her geometric background better.
This is Lisa's second quilt and she is doing a great job with this sampler. She has six alternate blocks to make and  is going to work on them this month as homework.
Her dad,  George, is also making his second quilt. He started working on the large center Carpenter's Wheel block Wed. night. No pics yet, but hopefully by next time!

Dorothy and Kelli had all the sections made for their  blocks, but they weren't completely sewn together yet so we'll have to wait til next time to see the finished blocks. 

I don't think people always realize just how much time and energy goes in to making a quilt. As these quilters choose more difficult samplers to make, they are making more complicated blocks, learning new skills and perfecting those basic cutting and precise sewing skills as well (not to mention "how to fix it" skills!). They challenge me in lots of ways. I guess that is one of the things I really like about teaching...I have to come up with new ideas, and continue to learn new methods to encourage and inspire them. 

I haven't gotten much done in the way of cleaning the past few weeks, so hope to work on that today. I also need to get my tomatoes in the garden, too!  I'd much rather be quilting. 

I am heading up to my hometown to spend some time with my dad tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to that. What are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A little of Sue and a little of that...

Last night's Sunbonnet Sue Sampler Club learned how to do fusible applique by making Sunbonnet Sue. I think they had been looking forward to making her as they had asked different times when we would do it. There is something whimsical and traditional about Sue, and there are lots of patterns to make her. We lined them up together to get their picture taken. They are all unique and pretty, but Judy took care to line her hat up on one of the birds on her border fabric. Next month they make their last block! They have been sewing their sashings on to each block as they go, so it won't take much to sew it together.

Last Saturday some friends and I took a road trip to MO. to visit the Missouri Star Quilt Co. We had a blast there, saw and bought lots of fabrics from their three retail outlets. On the way back we stopped at Crossroads Quilting in Cameron Mo. It is a beautiful shop as well, with lots of reproduction fabrics as well as batiks. I managed to find some luscious batiks in both places.
Yes, it was a happy group! We
I worked on getting this quilt quilted on Sunday....I love how the quilting is turning out and will have a special post about this quilt soon.
Pretty fabrics from the Flower Girl line by Margo  Languedoc.
I used the Leafage panto on this is one of my favorites because of the way it overlaps and covers well all over the quilt. Plus it's just pretty.
I'm meeting with the Sampler Pick group tonight, plus some of the quilters from the Beginning Quilting class are coming to make up the class they missed last week. Should be fun and busy!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Topsy Turvy

I had a very quilty weekend! I spent Saturday on a shop hop with a group of friends. We went to the Missouri Star Quilt Co. as well as several other shops in the area. It was great fun. If you haven't been to MSQC, it is a massive amount of fabric in one place. They have 3 store fronts now, and are working on a fourth. Their main store is packed to the brim so they are specializing in these other stores. One has only solids and blenders, one has seasonal. The new one will feature all of their reproduction prints. Everyone in all the shops was friendly and helpful. Since I recently used a lot of my batik stash....I replenished with a few new ones.

Yesterday,  I worked on getting the Topsy Turvy Pillow made and all the paperwork for class ready. I will be teaching this in June as a Kid's Camp, but adults may take it as well if they wish. I used the two fabrics from the Carry-All Bag on it...they will look nice hanging on display together. I love those marching elephants.
I had loaded a quilt on the frame last week, but didn't find time to work on it, so after I got everything organized for the kids class, I started quilting it. I'm happy to report that I got it finished. No pics yet, but soon!
Happy Monday!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Those first quilts are coming along....

 Last night the new quilters' blocks became a quilt center during the  More Peas in a Pod Beginning Quilting class. It was pretty exciting to see them come to life! We had time to start the first border, so learned how to measure through the center and near the sides and it was encouraging to see those measurements come out the same. As each quilter got to that point, we measured, cut borders the right size, marked each and pinned them on to sew. I think they are finding out that pinning is one of the most important aspects of precision piecing.
They did a great job and will finish putting this first border on before the next class. Three of the students couldn't come last night, so will come another night next week to make up their class before next Thursday.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Marching Elephants...

I saw this fabric and knew it would be perfect for an easy bag I wanted to make...who could resist colorful, marching elephants? I found yellow dotted fabric for the lining.
It's fun to make smaller projects once in awhile, since most of the time I'm working on quilts. I am teaching a Beginning Sewing class for Kid's Camp this summer, so thought this would be perfect. And when it's all over, I'll have a cute bag too!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

StarLuna Sampler Club finale

 I met Monday night with one of the groups that is working on the StarLuna Sampler quilt. It was their last class, so they learned how to set their blocks on point, cut setting triangles and corner triangles, and sew it together in diagonal rows. Marilyn used fabrics from her stash for this beauty.
Lora V. loves prints and lots of color.  Most of them got several rows sewn together for a good start to their finished sampler quilt.
 Laura W. wasn't sure she liked her Friendship Ribbon blocks after she made them, but likes them better now that they are in their setting.
 Kelli said "I'm keeping this's mine!" It will definitely be a happy one to snuggle under!

This club will move on to the newest sampler, Ribbon Quartz, in June.  There are openings in this club if you are interested!

Christine couldn't come to her Sunbonnet Sue Sampler Club last week, so she came Monday night and worked on her blocks. She has 2 more classes to go for a finshed quilt, but has started to add the sashings so it will go together quickly.
It's fun to see these quilters grow and get a little closer to finishing their quilts!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Beginning Piecing, More Peas in a Pod

Last Thursday I started a new Beginning Piecing class, teaching More Peas in a Pod. We went over quilting basics, and I showed them how to cut using a rotary cutter. I gave them some fabric to practice on to get the feel of cutting with the blade and using their rulers.  They cut some of their new fabrics and sewed the center strips together.

Last night they cut them up into sections of  "peas" and practiced more cutting as they cut their coordinating fabrics for the pods. I think they are feeling more comfortable with the cutting aspect this's pretty scary to cut into that new fabric the first time.

 It is fun to see the fabrics you chose start to come together as blocks in a quilt. I think they were surprised at their own talent! We had a few discussions about color and placement of fabrics.

It's really fun for me to work with beginners and see their excitement as they begin to build that first quilt. Next week they will start putting their blocks together.