Thursday, June 30, 2011

Slow, But Steady

I can be so slow sometimes. I guess I am doing a lot of other things, though. We've had a couple of really good dinners this week, I've read a book, walked 3 days in a row, so I suppose it it takes me awhile to get a couple of quilts cut out, it's really no big deal, right?

This is what I am really excited about: 2 blue Kaffe Fassett quilts cut out and ready for the sewing machine. Cool!

This is Blue Portugal.

This is Economy Blue.

Hope to get my machine in for repair today; will soon be starting on these beauties!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I Played with Kaffe Today

Oh yeah, and it was all the fun that you would imagine it to be!

Up in my sewing room sitting in a rather in-the-way spot between my "thoughtful spot" chair and the ironing board, you'll trip over my very large, too-heavy-to-move stash of Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

Behind this large tub sits 2 smaller, more manageable tubs of Kaffe fat quarters and pieces that I've cut.

I have dreamed for years of making the blue quilts - Kaffe Fassett has 2 different blue quilts in 2 different books, and I love them both. Over there on my sidebar I have listed as a 2011 goal to make a Blue Kaffe. Here, see for yourself how irresistable they are:

Blue Portugal is featured in this book:

The other one is Economy Blue:

And it is featured in this book:

I have sighed and dreamed over these 2 quilts ever since I bought these books, however long ago that was. I have definitely outdone myself in the prepping department: I have uber-yards of blue Westminster Fiber fabrics in those tubs I showed you. *grin*

So I pulled it all out today and spread it out on the kitchen table. Feast your eyes on this! Careful, you may swoon, so perhaps you'd better sit down!

A gorgeous sight, isn't it?

So I got right to work and have all the cutting done for Portugal Blue. I plan to get Economy Blue cut out before I call it a day and head to bed. The Tribe is playing out in Arizona, so we'll be up late watching the game. I will cut and listen . . .

Monday, June 27, 2011

Long Road Home Top Finished!

It was a quilt that bogged me down for awhile, but I finally put the finishing touches on Long Road Home.

This quilt pattern is by Paula Barnes for Bonnie Blue Quilts. My friend Terry suggested we girls in the Frankfort group make it together. Sheryll got right to work and had hers finished in record time - like maybe a month!

I was a bit more deliberate in my efforts. I had a healthy start, but got seriously sidetracked with proms and parties and porches. This past week at quilt camp, I determined to get as much of it done as possible. And I did take a real big bite out of it, too. It was very encouraging to get so much of it put together.

This pic shows the progress from the week at quilt camp. I actually did attach one more row, but didn't have the sense to take a pic of it. No biggie.

So today, Sharon came over for our regular weekly sewing session. It was my goal to get the top completely assembled, and I did!!

Notice that my setting blocks have more color than what the pattern calls for. I didn't intentionally do this, but I kinda like the look. The whole idea of this quilt is to be scrappy. I think I definitely achieved that look. I would have been more true to the pattern except that I didn't have enough variety in the neutrals I had  pulled, so I opted to go this more colorful route. I am pleased with it, so that's what matters.

I do consider it lucky that I was able to finish the top, as my dear old Bernina is probably going to have to visit the repair shop. She just doesn't keep proper upper tension for me! I was thinking the problem was too-heavy spools of thread, but I wound thread onto a bobbin to use, and still the tension is so tight that threads break. It really slowed me down!

As I said, Sharon was over today for sewing. What a treat! She brought a quilt from the long-arm quilter, and it was one she'd worked on early in our quilting get-togethers! Click here to see it.

Sharon had the quilter do a generic loose stippling on this quilt. It is from the book Jelly Roll, Layer Cake and Charm Quilts, and is made from Aviary fabrics. It is so beautiful, so very "cottage-y" looking. By now, Sharon has several quilts that fit the cottage look. Mostly Aviary. Totally gorgeous. When we can, I ought to have her take all of them out and we'll "stage" them for a show and tell here on the blog. I think a lot of readers would be interested in seeing them all together.

The project Sharon worked on today is more of a country-looking quilt. She had these 9-patches made from last November at Linda's house.

See what I mean about not being cottage-y? It's country scrap, let's say.

She made all of these today. Her plan is to make a snowball quilt from an old book from 1990!!

The book is called Country Weekend Patchwork Quilts by Linsley/Sedgewood Press.

The beauty of this quilt is that the pieces are big, and consequently the construction is really fast. Great quilt to make when you want instant gratification. After Long Road Home and other of my recent finishes (Broken Dishes, Dressmaker's QuiltHourglass Quilt, Americana Rose, to name a few) I believe I am ready for big pieces and instant gratification.

Makes you wonder what I'm going to work on next??  Stay tuned!

Quilt Camp ~ Day 5

I'm a bit late in getting this last quilt camp post up. Sorry for the delay.

By all accounts from the  participants, the 2011 quilt camp was a smashing success. We got so much accomplished, and had such great fellowship with one another.

I'll proceed participant by participant, letting you see the projects, finishes and process of each one.

Lyn was most happy Friday afternoon when she announced that she finished every project that she intended to this week.

These are some baby burp cloths. Lyn's just recently had a new granddaughter, and within a few days will have another grandchild, so these will be highly sought after by the new parents.

Of course, this is what Lyn started her week with, and she has it completed, quilted, bound and ready to hang in her bedroom. (Update: not so sure it's quilted an bound; maybe ready to do those steps at home.)
She had some extra blocks, so she enhanced the European shams currently on her bed with them, and just look how great this one looks!

 Lyn also wanted to add some art to her walls with this remnant of  upholstery fabric. She bought three blank canvases and stretched the fabric over them.

Don't they look great? She is very pleased with the results.

This is Lyn's final project - a "tabby cloth" - the silky tabs sticking out of the sides of this "blanky" are supposed to be the "rubby edge" that so many children find comfort in caressing against their faces or between their fingers. This one happens to be embellished with Ohio State tabs. We must remember our roots, you know!

Sherrie worked all week on baby-ralated items. Her daughter and son-in-law are expecting #2 baby in a week or so. They live in Honolulu, so all this stuff will likely be shipped to the kids. Sherrie is planning a month-long visit very soon, but she won't want to take all this on the flight with her.

In addition to what I've shown in the posts from earlier this week, this little elephant is now finished.

These are the parts for the stacking toy she's making. I remember when she made this pattern for her grandson. She did a good bit of growling, what with all the small parts, tricky construction, and so on. So I am really surprised she was willing to make a second one for the new baby. But here she is, hard at work on them!

Here is a close-up shot of the construction process. I love the fabrics! It really is going to be a sweet little toy. We referred to this table as the crazy table. All the tiny piecing, all the handwork, all the time and effort! Today, Sherrie's cousin Lori came to help out in the craziness.

Sherrie's final project was the creation of one of 3 flower panels. She embroidered this one and plans 2 more, all for framing; they'll be hung in the baby's room. Sweet. And it matches all the lovely florals she's using in the other accessories.

Sherrie's mom, Pat, worked on the brown and blue quilt earlier in the week, and finished up the week doing a wall-hanging of Ohio Stars.

Her work is so neat and perfect! I just love this wall-hanging! Ohio stars are quite popular here, you know.

Kay's efforts included this changing pad. Can you tell that this is fabric with plastic coating on it? I don't know if she made it for Lyn's new granddaughter, or for Sherrie's. (Another update: this is going to Lyn's daughter, the mother of the new granddaughter.)

Kay also added the borders to this quilt for her cousin's son. The time-consuming part of this project was the application of the letters to spell out the words. Lots of fussy work on those. But each word is significant to the quilt recipient, so well worth it.

Betty and Linda worked in tandem on their Trade Winds projects. I should have paid better attention. I'm afraid I don't know if they are planning full-sized quilts or whether they are doing wall hangings. They shared the design wall (bulletin board). Betty's is on the left; Linda's is on the right. (Update #3: Betty and Linda are making bedsize quilts.)

Anita's work all week was done for others. She made this quilt for a young boy whose family lost their home in a fire. He specifically said he wanted an Ohio State quilt, so here's what Anita made for him! It's great! I can only imagine the joy on his face when he receives this.

This is Susie's quilt. It's called a Comfy Care Quilt. Susie's husband recently had a heart attack, and this gift for him features all the hand prints of his children and grandchildren. It's made of fleece, and it's sure to provide him lots of comfort!

Sharon gets the most inspirational award. Honestly, this tumbling blocks quilt was just a bunch of unlabeled strips stuffed into a shopping bag when she started this week. We were all skeptical about her making any headway on this. Well, she definitely proved us wrong! Look at this fabulous thing!

See those ornery eyes peeking out at you? That's Reilly, who was present for a couple of days after he finished his tennis lessons.

Back to the Tumbling Blocks, Sharon says this is half of the top. She showed it to her daughter who is thrilled to see the progress. Since it is Amanda's quilt, she now is inspired to finish it! I can just imagine how overwhelmed she was at the thought of all those strips tumbled in that bag.

The only thing I have left to show you is my efforts on the Long Road Home.

I have plans to get this top finished this week. On Monday, Sharon will be here at my house to quilt. I should get a lot done then.

So there you have it, the wrap-up for 2011 Quilt Camp!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Quilt Camp ~ Day 4

Since I did not go to quilt camp today, I thought I would offer up a brief history of our annual event.

Back in the mid-to-late 80s, Kay, a home-ec teacher and one of the Frienzies, announced that when she was finished with her extended time (home-ec teachers used to have to work an extra 10 days in Ohio) she would be coming back to the home-ec room to quilt all week. She invited anyone who also wanted to sew or quilt to come in with their projects and join her.

I know I went to a few of the days. With my kids being rather young, (like under 5!) I am sure I would not have been able to stay all day for 5 straight days. Sharon said she remembers going when her older child was in 3rd grade (he's now 31).

Thus, Quilt Camp was born. The 3rd week of June since around 1988 quilters have been gathering at CHS for intense sewing, quilting and fellowship. Using a high school home-ec room is ideal--there are large tables, lots of counter space, areas for sewing and pressing, refrigerators and microwaves for preparing lunch and keeping drinks chilled. We bring our projects, make our mess, leave it overnight and return the next day to get back to work. Some show up as early as 7 or 8am and stay as late as 5 or 6pm. 

Eventually, word got out that a handful of us were doing this, friends from outside the few teachers who attended expressed interest in coming to work. Friends from other buildings in the district, friends from church or civic organizations, all are welcome!! We have helped a lot of novice quilters and non-quilters to get a project started or finished. It is a great place to learn and accomplish and visit.

In the early days we had no air conditioning. It could get quite warm, let me tell you! There were 2 years that required we move to other locations at school; one year we had quilt camp in the art room; another year we had it in the library. I suppose there were conflicts in the cleaning schedule or something. In about 2005, the building was closed due to construction, so we went to the fellowship hall of a church in town. We may have had to do that for 2 years, now that I think of it...

As the years wore on, Kay retired, but many of us remained on the staff at CHS, and we continued the camp. Now ALL of us have retired! Not one of us remains on staff to gain legitimate access to the building. We called the principal and just as easy as pie, he said of course we could use the room for the week. (The current principal went to kindergarten with my son; am I really that old???)

So we sew. We quilt. We make baby accessories. We create gifts. We donate to charity. We catch up with old friends. Everything about the week is fun.

At around 3 or 4pm on Friday of quilt camp we get started with clean up. We put all of our stuff away, sweep floors, wash tables and counters; return all the stuff to the proper places. It is our hope that we leave the room cleaner than we found it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Quilt Camp ~ Day 3

I've been trying to get this post up for a bit . . . seems blogger is having issues with loading pics. So here we go . . .

Yes, dear quilters, we are going strong at quilt camp and getting some finishes under our belts! In yesterday's post, I completely forgot to mention Pat's progress. She is so quiet and works so steadily. And she has really created a beauty! When we got in this morning, I took this picture of where she started today.

These are piano key borders for the blue and brown quilt she was finishing up on Monday. She spent some time figuring out how she wanted her corners to look (mitred or corner blocks?), and with the help of her daughter Sherrie, she ended the day with this lovely quilt.

I like how she did her corners, too. I think the piano key border is just perfect. The pattern is called Disappearing 9-Patch.

In other quilting action, Sherrie, daughter of Pat, continues to work on the nursery items for the anxiously anticipated new baby. Today, finishing the changing pad cover, making a play pen pad cover, and making toys.

Pink flowers, above, play pen sheet; white daisies on blue, changing pad cover.

This is to become an ear for a plush toy elephant; tiny pattern!

Here is said elephant, under construction. See the ears??

Sherrie's making these two patterns; sorry they are sideways. I don't think I know how to turn them.

Okay, moving on . . .

Sharon is steadily making progress on the tumbling blocks puzzle. She's actually excited to see it coming together. I imagine there is much satisfaction in making an awesome quilt out of a shopping bag of jumbled, unmarked strips. Trust me when I say that this bag full of strips was as overwhelming as anything I've ever seen in the quilting area.

Susie was back today, spreading her joy as always. She is working on a striking but simple black and white quilt. There will be a large applique for impact on top of these black and white blocks. The pattern shows the applique in green, but I think Susie plans to use a different color - pink, maybe?

Kay continues to get a  lot done. She is helping Mary with the t-shirt quilt of her dad's Relay for Life t-shirts. Here is her progress on it. Mary stopped in with another friend Susan, and gave it a thumbs up!

Also, Kay is putting the final touches on the Scrabble quilt for her cousin's son.

Betty quilted and bound her table topper, and it is ready to be sent off to her DD Becky. Just a darling project and Betty put a lot of TLC into it.

Betty then began working on a batik Trade Winds project. This is the project of choice this week, I do believe, as already we have Lyn and Linda doing their very different-looking versions of this pattern.

Here's Lyn's:

Here's Linda's:

And here is Betty's:

Anita has been busy all week working on quilts for others. This quilt is for hospitalized children. I know she said the organization/charity that she said she was working through, but anyway, she is really making an impact this week. Here is the front:

And here is the back:

And, finally, the update on my efforts on Long Road Home . . . It is finally looking like a quilt, and one that I am liking very much, as I knew I would.

It took me a day and a half to finish these pieced units.

And when I started Day 3 of Quilt Camp, I had this:

And at the end of Day 3, here is where I stand:

It doesn't seem like a lot of progress, at least to me, anyway. I will make an excuse: my dear Bernina doesn't seem to be a happy girl. I think she needs to have a servicing. I've tried to clean and oil her in all her achy spots, but I must be missing something. The top tension just won't sew right, and I'm having some trouble with a clackety noise again. I hope I can get this top put together before I have to head out for the Bernina shop.

I will be missing Day 4 of Quilt Camp. I have a previously arranged commitment in town, and later I'm getting my hair done. Tonight is book club, then I will be back at Quilt Camp for Day 5!