Friday, May 29, 2015

Sometimes it's a party....

It was so much fun Tuesday night when the Highlights sampler group met. It's a big class so the fun never ends with these guys! Cindy was proud to announce that she was all caught up with her alternate blocks as well as her other blocks. Her quilt is above.
Of course, some of them thought she was trying to be teacher's pet...lots of giggles over that one!

I had fun putting what they had finished up on the design walls so we could all admire them. After this month's block and their bonus block, they only have one more to do next month so they are really starting to look like quilts.
This mom and daughter team love to quilt together and were even using the same cutting mat the other night!
Mom and Daughter, Lora and Kelli
Studious Rose making sure she was cutting everything correctly.
Rose....thinking hard

Rose and Pat...cutting

Diana....figuring out what fabrics to use
They had to make eight of the Eccentric Star alternate block, so I gave them the pattern a few months ago to give them time to get them finished before the end of the sessions. Many of them have them finished.
One of the reasons I like to put them all up for us to look at and enjoy is to check out use of colorings and patterns in fabrics. The students many times exclaim that they never would've chosen a certain colors together, but love it when they see it done on other's quilts. So I think it helps us all grow as quilters.
We talked about Pat's usage of several shades of gray in some of her blocks and several shades of teal in others, but never mixing them.
We all love Pat's background...I need to go and see if they still have it at Cut Up and Quilt!
Pat closeup of background
They made the Simile block this month. Several got them finshed...others were almost finished.
May's block: Simile
Lora started her sampler using a different background, but didn't think she would have enough, so she bought a new background and remade all of the blocks. Someone asked her what she would do with the others and she said, "Put them in another quilt!"
Dianne got her bonus block finished too. Most months they had an extra  block to do as homework in order to complete all 8 different blocks, plus the alternate blocks in 6 months. Another group decided they didn't like the word "homework" so now I call them bonus blocks. It's all in a name, right?
Dianne finished her bonus block too. No homework for her!
Cindy's blocks started this post and she is ending it with her finished Simile block. It's gorgeous!
Cindy and Simile

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Love a long weekend

I had a great weekend. It started off with hanging a display at the shore on Saturday and then sewing with friends for awhile. I'm working on my new sampler I need all of the sewing time I can get! I love the colors and it's been fun to work on. It is a bit different than the usual sampler, not as many different blocks but a row robin effect of repeated blocks.

I did a lot more sewing on Sunday and got very close to finishing it, which is a good feeling. While I was sewing I caught up on some tv watching!

I spent most of Monday working on the yard. It was a mess. It's so hard to keep up with the mowing with all of the rain we have had. I did do a little sewing and paperwork for classes as well.
Not a very exciting weekend, but I feel like I accomplished a lot, so that is good.

At work, we are getting near the end of the school that means getting all of the books back, putting them away and doing inventory. My last day of work is June 8. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Where has this week gone?

It's been a busy week spent doing lots of different things. I worked on the new Sampler 21 quilt over the weekend. It really is fun to get out that new stack of fabrics and dig in. This sampler isn't as sampler-y (yes, that's an official quilting term!) looking as some, so it will be interesting to see how people like it. I love it so far. But then I would, right?
 Tuesday night I did a trunk show for a ladies group that is interested in quilting. It was fun to meet some new people and share my love of fabric and quilting.
 Wednesday night I met with the Sunbonnet Sue Sampler Club and I was very impressed with what they had accomplished since last time. We had talked about the sashings and what they could do to start adding them to their quilts. You can see that some got farther than others, but they are all progressing nicely. This was the month to make Sue, but only one quilter wanted to make her, so I had an alternative block for the others to make, the Sawtooth Star. You can see it in Laural's quilt above (center, bottom row). For three of the four quilters, this is their second quilt. I'm so proud of them!
Last night I worked on some necessary paperwork for a class I'll be teaching soon. Not very interesting, but time consuming anyway. I hope to spend some time over the weekend working on the new sampler and gardening, if the weather cooperates! 

Sunday, May 17, 2015


 I usually go straight to the store after work when I have a night class as there isn't much point to going home first. So I take along something to work on until the class begins. Tuesday night I worked on the Circle and Spin to the Moon blocks that I had cut and partially sewn as a demo during my class last weekend. I used chose some very vibrant batiks, my favorites! I have more squares cut, but will use them as demo blocks for a future class, so this quilt won't be finished for awhile....sort of an ongoing project.
Deb McQ
 I taught two Sampler Clubs last week and these are a few of the pictures I took during the classes. The students don't always bring their finished blocks from the previous classes to show and tell...but it's always fun to see them when they do. Both of these groups are getting closer to the end...
Deb M
 These are from the To The Point Sampler 11 Club. This sampler is a study in color usage as they try to decide on different fabrics to use as the backgrounds...go light? go dark? ...while making sure that their pattern shows up as well. This is a very creative group and most haven't been quilting very long, but are doing very well.

 These are from the Highlights Sampler 20 class. You can see the pattern evolving now with Marilyn's alternate blocks in place.

 This is the block they worked on...notice how Jane changed hers from the original pattern. It's always fun to see what they do and how they use their fabrics.
I started working on a new sampler design's coming along nicely and I hope to get more finished later. There's something about starting a new project, cutting into new fabric that is exhilarating! I guess that's why we love to make quilts!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Sisterly Surprises

My sister, Sharon, has been teasing me for several weeks about a gift she made me. I tried to guess what it was, but she didn't want to give me very many hints. Since she has many talents, among them woodworking and sewing, I was clueless about what it was until I went to my hometown for Mother's Day last Sunday. 

Using repurposed wood, she and her friend Kelly made me this beautiful table and set of boxes. If you look closely, you can see that the design on the table is a log cabin pattern!  

She used wood from several remodeling projects to make this table.
They also made this cute box by clueing  wood together and cutting it the shape they wanted.
When you open the drawer....there is another little box.
When you take it out and open it...
Another drawer. Is this adorable or what?

The biggest surprise of all came when you looked at the sides of the boxes...another log cabin block. The block shows up on both sides of the boxes. I couldn't believe how cute this was and we spent some time looking it over and figuring out how she had done it. I love figuring out how things are put together!
I am really excited over this gift from my talented family!
I love when quilty things come in the mail! I received some gift cards for Mother's Day and ordered some new fabrics and a panto, Cool Beans. They came yesterday! You know I can never have too many batiks, and I decided I needed to collect a few "wordy" fabrics for a future project.
I don't have any classes tomorrow, so I plan on working on a new Sampler. I've been playing catch up for awhile now, very little actual quilting being done, so I'm ready for a sewing session!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Just a little challenge among friends....

 I've been meeting with a group of sewing friends for many years. We met last week for our bi-monthly meeting and I challenged them to a new project. I cut up an old calendar and laid out the pictures upside down. Then each of us picked one without looking at it. We had the chance to re-pick if we really didn't like the picture we got. The challenge is to make something using the picture as inspiration. We can use the colors, something in the picture, or recreate the picture if we want. The quilt can be any size.  (I like to keep the guidelines loose so that individual creativity can blossom.) We then talked about ideas that came to mind as we looked at our pictures and each others.  Here they are with their pictures! Mine is the bird below.
 Our friend, Jo, moved to Florida last year, but she was game to play too, so I skyped her over the weekend and blindly chose this one for her. She liked her bird, so we are ready to go. We set a date in July to meet again and have to have at least a start or a plan or something to share by then, with the finished projects to be shown in Sept.  I'm excited about this challenge and think it will be fun to explore some possibilities. What would you do if you got my picture?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Circle and Spin to the Moon

Saturday's Circle and Spin Plus class went very well. Every one had gorgeous fabrics and jumped right in to cut and sew their curvy blocks. I think that they found it wasn't as difficult as they thought it would be. The one thing that always seems to be hardest is to keep the seam allowances at 1/4". I think as they are concentrating so hard on sewing the curve, that the seam allowance is a second thought. They all got better after a couple of tries.
When you are finished sewing them together, they need to be squared up...the bottom two haven't been squared yet.
I'm excited to see these quilts finished!
I meet with the first group that is making the Highlights Sampler tonight. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Beads, Buttons and Baubles remix

I was very excited to receive these pictures of Kerstin's version of the Beads, Buttons and Baubles quilt the other day. She agreed to test the pattern for might remember that she tested the Against the Tide Mystery pattern last year as well. She has a great eye for color and I love her beautiful quilt. Her fabrics capture the playful aspect of this design perfectly. 

Jane tested the pattern as well and made a smaller version last month for a baby gift. She chose soft colors to match the cute animal print she had found. The two quilts look so totally different, yet both are so pretty in their own way.  That's what I love about seeing different versions of the same pattern.

If you want to try this design, the pattern is available now through my Craftsy shop. I would love to see pictures if you do!
Beads, Buttons and Baubles