Guild Quilt

I’m so excited! I’m coordinating the volunteer quilt for my guild this year and collecting plus blocks from everyone. There might be a few more coming in, but I have most of them now and it’s so much fun.

A decent size quilt is just exactly the size of my design wall, so I cleared it all off and started putting blocks up at random. I am thrilled with the results!

I really love the way this looks, but I need to try some other configurations before I make a final decision and start assembling. Probably at the very least I will arrange once by color and once by size.

LOOK at these teeny, tiny blocks! Smaller than I expected to get, but perfect for filling in odd spaces!

I may make some of these if I need to fill in any gaps, instead of the plain fabric pieces I was planning on using!

This has been so much fun, every step of the way. Love this so much that I think my stash will be used to make one for ME!

Feeling organized

Next week I’ll be going to Kokomo, Indiana–is there another Kokomo anywhere? [I had to look this up–9 places in the US and 3 places elsewhere!] Anyway, this¬† weekend needed to be an organization weekend. I’m looking forward to a chunk of time after Memorial Day when I have nothing to do–except for dye day and stamp making day and stamp and dye printing day…and…

Lots of fun coming up AND I took a workshop that was lots of fun, too!

Learned a ton about working with sheers from Meena Schaldenbrand’s workshop. Her teaching style is very unstructured, which takes a while to get used to, but which really allows for great exploration! I had a ton of fun and my head was practically exploding with new ideas!! I got a start on a project, but had to stop working on it so I could learn more techniques!

Used heat tools for the first time and die cutting for the first time. Woooo…when I got home I just dumped my bag out on the table for sorting later.

Often I just move piles like this off to the side and start in on the next thing, but since I have to organize for a class and lecture, I thought I’d better actually clean up! Here is the rare sight of my worktable ready for action. Had to share that since it happens so seldom.

UNpacking from a trip gets the same treatment–stuff pushed aside for the next project, totally ignored until it’s time to go again. I pack the suitcase in a certain order so that I can set up for my lecture quickly. It comes home like this!

While it takes a bit of time to sort and re-pack, I don’t mind. It gives me time to review my lecture, make sure that all my examples are packed and lets me change out things as needed.

Thankfully, that part of my organization weekend is also finished! Hooray! Now all I have left is to make sure I have all my paperwork and addresses and contacts in order. I know that there is a parking permit involved with this one, too!

I really am looking forward to some quiet, relaxing riding time in the car!

All about bead options

Thinking about the next steps on current projects and looking at my bead options…it’s hard to decide!

This turquoise and gray piece is high on my list of “want-to-get-finished” pieces, but I can’t seem to narrow down my options. Maybe that just means I haven’t found the right one yet!

Big circles–fit the theme, but that’s about it.

Two colors, arc and straight line–still lacking.

Big circles and piles of turquoise above the horizontal bar….

Turquoise below the bar…

None of the combinations I’ve tried–and there are combos that I haven’t shown you–strike that ‘just right’ feeling with me. I have to find more or different or a better combination before I start the beading on this one.

So I moved on to the next one. I’ve started beading this one, with tiny beads meant to solidify the design a bit.

You can’t even tell there are beads on it, they are so small!

I think some wilder additions are called for, rather than tiny/same to tame the design!

Can’t say I don’t have plenty from which to choose. It’s the choice making that I need help with. Usually lots of time and concentrating on what I am doing will solve my issues, so I need to listen to my own advice and get concentrating!

Hope some inspiration flies in the window for me, too!

Quick Start Quilting–Quick Learners!

The Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild invited me to teach Quick Start Quilting. I love to teach this class because the confidence levels of free-motion quilters just soars!

Here is a quick look at the first batch of practice sandwiches–and I think they are pretty impressive for beginners!

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After learning some basic shapes, the students took an odd-shaped printed fabric and used it as the basis for extending a design. They did an amazing job of totally imagining and then producing a design for their little quilt.

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My goal in offering this class is to enable students to gain enough free-motion quilting experience to be confident in attempting to quilt ANYTHING they desire.

These ladies did such a wonderful job that I am confident in their abilities!

Thanks for a great class.

Friday roundup

Fridays are not usually too productive for me. I’m often prepping for something going on during the weekend. And we pick up the grandson at 3:30, so if I’m going to do anything I’ve got to get right at it. Today I kind of reviewed what this week brought and by the time this is posted, I should be looking forward to a nap!

I’m working on that embroidery piece, adding stitching to make it acceptable looking to me.

It’s getting there.

Yesterday was KEQ and we were doing a ‘fusey thing.’ Trying to explore the idea of working in a series, we made small fused pieces. Since we’re planning on putting these in an exhibit this fall, we decided on a mutual theme, rather than color or shape or common fabric. We aren’t very good at following rules, so we selected a loose theme of Buildings.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Here is my 4 piece series, so far.

I have an idea to put another layer of design over the top of this, with thread sketching. We’ll have to see how that goes.

USArtquest was having a big warehouse sale and even though I need NOTHING, I had to go check it out. I scored, but not in the typical way! Found these vintage linens and fell in love with them.

 

Don’t know how they’ll be used, but when has that ever stopped any of us from building our supply palette!!!

Grandson soccer in the morning then charity sewing in the afternoon. Right now I’m glad that my Sunday class had to be cancelled. I’ll be ready for a rest!

 

Where’s the work?

Since I changed the look of my blog, I took a little stroll through my pictures. Thought I’d update the galleries a bit, too. Well, I was quite surprised to find very little in the way of finished work to add!

Lots and lots of things got started.

Still ‘lots and lots’ of work to be done on these!

But all of these are ALMOST done, and just need a little bit of work to get to a final finish!

I’ll give myself a break and admit that I’ve had a few things going on this year that might have made it more difficult to get things completed. However, this is getting into the level of ridiculous. And I have finished a couple of things…like those quilts I finished at retreat last week. I have the real work done on this rust project, too, but no label or hanging sleeve so that I can call it ‘finished’ finished!

I’ve been working with¬† scraps and I’m tired of working with scraps. I think I’m actually at the point where I can bundle a lot of them up and get rid of them! I’m easily distracted when I start sorting them, though and start working on something new instead of concentrating on eliminating clutter! The hard part of getting rid of the excess is actually sorting through it.

What do I WANT to do? Right now I want to make stamps, print and dye fabric with my own tools and design, then stitch and bead them. I don’t want to make more real, useful, bed-type quilts. I want to make art with fiber!

All right! Now that I have my current goal defined, I need to make it happen. No ‘distractifying’ and the only procrastination allowed is for how long it takes me to pile things that are in my way a little deeper. Not going to worry about cleaning and organizing as long as I can function amid the mess!

Wow! I feel like I have a plan of action, nebulous as it is. Can’t wait to get into the studio now this week!

 

Scrap strip QAYG

After talking to my friend Sue about her plans to sew up her late sister’s stash, I was inspired to put my money where my mouth is and sew up some of my own scraps! (FYI, local people–we will be working on making charity quilts from Sue and her sister Kathy’s fabric on Saturday, April 22. Email me if you would like more info!)

I thought making things Quilt As You Go would be a super fast way to use a lot of fabric and have things quilted and pieced at the same time.

My plan was to make a baby quilt out of the pile of bright scraps that I had culled from my stash. Do I need to tell you that I have more fabric than I thought I did? More about that dilemna later…So, you start with a chunk of backing fabric, which for me was a yard of a stripe. I cut it into three strips, width of fabric, each about 12″ wide. On top of each strip I placed a corresponding strip of batting and then proceeded to sew and flip scrap strips at an angle across the strip. As you can see, the strips don’t have to be the same width at all, either.

 

I started in the middle of each strip and kept adding out from each side until the backing was covered. Here’s what my first two strips looked like.

And you can see that they are quilted when you look at the back.

They don’t always have to be placed on an angle, of course. They can be straight across, which means the strips can be a few inches shorter.

Before and after trimming…just trim along the edge if you started with a nice, straight piece, or trim to a size you want.

I’m not going to give you the QAYG instructions here, but I’ll give you the link to the master of the easy QAYG!

http://www.thequiltingedge.com/p/tutorials.html

Now I have a small quilt, about 34 x 40. I could simply bind it and pass it along to the next person who needs a baby quilt. OR I could continue to use up the pile of bright scraps that never seems to get any smaller! This method allows me to add more sections, or borders, or even insert a section down the middle, as long as I want to continue. You may be able to see that I added some additional quilting down the length of each strip and I may add even a bit more, because I like a lot of quilting. However, it has sufficient stitching in the construction that it really doesn’t need any more.

This took me one afternoon to make, so that you have an idea of how quickly this goes. I hope we can make a huge dent in the fabric that Sue has…I’m sure Kathy would approve of using her stash this way!