Thursday, January 29, 2015

Love a good finish and a new start!

Cindy's Fly Away Home Sampler
 Cindy finished her Fly Away Home Sampler and brought it to the first class of the Highlights sampler to show it off. This sampler has a labor intensive border that is really pretty when finished, but lots of half square triangles in the process.

We had fun checking out everyone's fabric selections for Highlights and they all got their Dutchman's Puzzle block finished. They used the no waste method for some great results! 

They also started work on the Odd Man Out block, and we had one finish...the rest got a good start on it. Many of the quilters like this format for making a quilt as they can try some different blocks and techniques and work on it over the 6 month period, but have time to work on other projects as well. Plus the group sewing together feels like an old fashioned sewing bee at times.


 I realized the other day that my bi-annual retreat is next week! You know how you plan and look forward to something for a long time and then realize it's almost here! I had that kind of moment. Now I have to figure out what I will be working on. I have a few new ideas for quilts but haven't had time to work on them much lately, so guess I'd better find time or I will just be sitting there watching everyone else sew!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Getting close to the finish line

 I met last night with the Sampler Pick group...there are five quilters doing three different sampler quilts. Marilyn is working on Gathering Around, and had multiples of five different blocks. She did her last block last month, so started putting her borders on. She finished them last night so we got a picture of this gorgeous quilt. I don't always get to see the tops finished. She also showed me a picture of her last sampler quilted and on her bed. I need to get that picture too!
Judy A
 Three of the ladies are working on the Garden Window sampler and worked on their last block last night. This birdhouse is a paper piecing block meant as an introduction to that technique. They all did very well and had fun adding some birds to make it look inviting.
Judy A
I was excited to see that they had all been working on the attic window sashings for this quilt and some had the rows partially sewn together. I'm not sure if you can see the 3-D effect very well in these photos, but it definitely shows up in person.

 They had to make multiples of several of the blocks to make it twin size, so Christine decided to make a few different blocks instead. Now she has one too many, so will have to decide which one to leave out! She said she would make a pillow out of it. She has also stitched antennae on her butterflies, which looks really cute. She does have a little "unpicking" (as she calls it) to do as she set her half square triangle in at the wrong angle on her sashings. Luckily, she hadn't started sewing the squares together, so will just have to undo the one corner on the blocks. You can tell her 3-D window panes are going to pop when she gets that finished.
 Dorothy is working on the StarLuna sampler and worked on the Astra block last night. She has to make four of these, so didn't get them finished, but you can see how pretty it will be. The four blocks will be set into the center of the quilt.
We put it on the design wall placing the other 3 of 4  blocks in this quilt to the center for the picture. They will be on the outside edges in the final layout. She has one more block, Pentas, to make and took the pattern home so that she can make it this month and work on the setting triangles and start sewing it together next time.
 It's exciting to see these quilts coming together and I look forward to next month as I think the Garden Window people might have finishes too. It's getting harder to keep up with these quilters!

I meet with a group starting the new sampler, Hightlights, tonight. I can't wait to see their color choices and get them started on a new quilt.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Lone Star diamonds

Lots of hard work went into getting these pieced diamonds to this point Saturday, but most of it was basic cutting strips and sewing them together. I had given the students the cutting directions for the Lone Star itself so they could have a head start on Sat. Most of them had wasn't sure which order she wanted her fabrics in, so she cut as she went. It was so much fun when they started cutting their strips and putting together their first pieced diamonds.
You can see the progression of color in this set. She wasn't sure about the stripes, but I think they will look great.
Pressed strip sets on the design wall. You can see that you stagger the strips to get the most out of them since you cut them at a 45 degree angle to make the diamonds.

I am offering an extra 3 hour class next Sat. so that they can get more help on the set-in corners and triangles if they want, or just use it as a work day to get more finished. I hope this motivates them to work on getting the diamonds finished before next Sat. I explained how to sew the diamonds together as well as the set-in corners, but it's impossible to get that far in one class. Hence, the extra work day.
I really want to finish my working model, but I've scheduled another class for March, so I can't finish it until after that. I still haven't picked out a background fabric either so that needs to be done too.

I did dig through my fabrics and found a couple more black/gray fabrics, and purchased a few to go with for the Honeycomb Waffle, Too working model. I can't stop making blocks for that. It will probably be bigger than the class model at the rate I'm going. I hoped to get them cut and sewn yesterday, but I worked on writing patterns all day, with a swim break in the middle. Sunday swimming is addictive.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Quilting starts with friendship....

Or maybe it should say New Friendships start with Quilting. You might remember some talented ladies that finished their first quilt right after Thanksgiving. I met with them again last night to begin their next quilting adventure, the Sunbonnet Sue Sampler. It's sort of funny to finish Sue with one group and start another group on it a week later, but that is how it goes sometimes. It's a great quilt for quilters wanting to learn more than just the basics.
Last night they learned about making HST a little bigger than you want them so that you can square them up after they are sewn. I made many HST before I started doing this and even though it takes a little more time to do the squaring up, the blocks go together much smoother when you do. Plus they are more square!


As you can see, they all have very different fabrics, and had fun looking over one anothers' choices.

 The Friendship Star was last night's mission, and when they got it finished, we started work on the Shoo Fly block. Marta got hers finished, the others will show us their finishes next time.
 They are definitely off to a great start!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Last block for Sue!

I met with the Sunbonnet Sue Sampler group for their last class last week...they made the Odds and Ends block. Many of them had their quilt tops partially put together in preparation to finishing it.I didn't get pictures of all of them on the wall, but here are some!

I've always wanted to make this block using scraps, wouldn't that be pretty?

They are going to begin the Point the Way Sampler next month.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Retreat planning day

 My retreat friends and I got together on Sat. to plan the food and games for our upcoming Feb. retreat. It's three weeks away and we're counting the days! Then we spent some time sewing. I worked on sewing the first large diamond together for my Lone Star class model and cutting another set. I love how this looks! That's all I will cut until demonstrating for the class on Saturday.
 Then I worked on making a few more black/gray Honeycomb blocks for that class. I am becoming obsessed with this mostly black/gray quilt. I partially sewed some of the seams together, but can still add more blocks if I want. I got opinions on using the zebra sets, and they all loved them so I worked them in.
Pat brought two show and tells ....her zigzag quilt, which is beautiful with 2 color zigzags.
 And this gorgeous 30's prints rail fence. She gave both of these quilts to Cindy to quilt for her (she has a long arm quilting business).
 Cindy brought her Chevy truck  quilt...she worked on getting this finished at our last retreat and it is now finished, quilted and bound.
 She put a road on the back of it! She delivered it to her brother on Sunday.
 Then she worked on her Sampler Club quilt. It's coming together nicely!
 Dianne worked on her Scattered Thoughts quilt...she has some gorgeous fabrics set on a gray background, so I can't wait to see some blocks finished.
 Rose worked on her last Sampler Club quilt....we all love her fabrics and think she should share.
 Pat was also working on her Sampler Club quilt...she had a problem with the sashings and had to get out her ripper...hate when that happens.
 Diana couldn't come as she had some family obligations. We missed her!

I worked on some class paperwork all morning yesterday...then went swimming with a friend at the senior center. It was my first time in that pool...the water there is so was wonderful. We did water aerobics. I'm not much of a swimmer, but I love water aerobics. I used to go to a class in the summers, but haven't gone for quite a few years. Maybe time to get back into it.

I worked on more paperwork when I got home and will probably do some pattern writing today as I'm home because of the holiday. Are you sewing?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New beginnings for a new Sampler Club

The Highlights Sampler Club Group One met for the first time last night. We spent some time oohing and aaaahing over the new fabrics they were going to cut up for this quilt. That's part of the fun, isn't it? enjoying the fabrics?
They learned a new way to make no waste flying geese, and were amazed at how quickly they came together. This technique works well if you are very careful about your seam allowances and need four that are just alike.
As you can see, there are lots of fun colorways...
I have a second group making this quilt beginning later in the month, so you will see a lot of blocks from this sampler design.