Guild show and tell

December 27, 2013

Our guild will be discussing several easy scrap designs in January. Alice and I were pondering what would make a good scrappy community quilt with a new spin. We both think that the “SLAB” quilts made by the zillions for the Calgary and High River Flood victims would make a good project.

I certainly have enough scraps , but lacked the largest size of plexi ruler for squaring up 15 1/2 inch blocks. So treated myself to a online order that should be here any day. In the meantime I can continue building slabs.

I started on the aqua scraps, proceeded to the yellow bin and then the peach bin. I have enough for the aqua and yellow blocks to make the lap top size pictured below.
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The originator of this idea is Cheryl Arkison, who wrote recently published Sunday Morning Quilts. She is a Calgary quilter who thought she would ask Alberta quilters to make these slabs from their scrap bins. She hoped that she might get enough blocks to put together a few dozen quilts and ask her local friends to quilt them and give them to flooded families. Well, she got a whole lot more than anyone could ever expect!! There’s an explanation and lots of quilts to view in a couple of photo galleries and blog posts HERE and HERE.
I seem to be having trouble with these links- so until I fix the glitch – please do a search for Slab quilts or Calgary flood quilts and you should find lots on Google.

I have just one bit of advice and that is the smaller your scrap, the more seams and more thread, more squaring up and more fussing to end up with 15 inch block. I should have larger pieces of scrap for the next colors.

Where did the year go?

December 12, 2013

It is hard to believe that this month is almost half over and we will be struggling to remember how to write 2014. I will now be able to get back to updating this blog. We had a very successful 100th Birthday bash for the Patricia Theatre, and were so pleased with some rather nice publicity worldwide from Andy Clark’s photo coverage of the week-end with his blog and photos for Reuters that have been sent around the world to many newspapers and websites.
I can also brag and say that I was really pleased with the 100 posts that I was able to do for the 100th birthday history. It took me many hours of research , but I learned so much about local history as well as so much about the film industry in general. One fellow I met while giving tours , is interested in doing a video of Ann and the theatre with perhaps some expanded history, so there may be more fun in the coming year.

Now I can get back to showing you all my secrets that I have been sewing.
First, I had the pleasure of collecting some movie themed fabrics, and making a cuddle quilt for Ann and Brian and the cats. I presented it the week-end of the birthday and we had it on display in the lobby for the tours. I found the pattern thanks to Sherry, a fellow guild member, and I can find the website if anyone needs to adapt the idea for a family quilt.
This is the front with the film strip theme.
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This is the pieced back with silent film themed fabric, paired with a fabric that really cracks me up. It depicts cats sitting in red plush movie seats, some eating popcorn , but all with horrified faces , obviously watching sci-fi, horror or a mystery.
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What day is it again??

October 21, 2013

I have been taking a break from quilting since my last post for a couple of reasons.
one- the garden needed so much attention that I have been out there almost every day.

And two….. I have been doing a lot of research for a second blog that I have been working on. I decided that on July26th, I would start a list of historical facts relating the movie industry and the Patricia Theatre for the 100th birthday of the Patricia. I have been doing a fact per day and will end the 100 bits of trivia on November 1st right on the birthday week-end when we celebrate with cake, concerts, special performances and several classic movies. One will be Casablanca and the other is my all time favorite “Singing In The Rain”
If you want to read what I’ve been up to check here. I am on Day 88 now.

But also there is a third reason to neglect the quilting and that is that I’ve been struggling along making a 50’s bobby soxer outfit as well as a 20’s flapper evening dress. Now that the Art Crawl is over, I can devote the next 2 weeks to getting these done for the birthday week-end.
I’ll be back soon to update the blog as I have my special November birthday gift to reveal and I have photos of the Fiberspeak group and their display at Henderson House for the Art Crawl week-end.

mid year resolutions

June 19, 2013

I don’t think of new year’s as a good time to make resolutions, but I do find the end of the quilt guild year is a good time to look ahead and make a list of what is ahead for the rest of the year.

I had decided quite a while ago to complete 2 quilt tops from Bonnie Hunter’s Quiltville website. She has great tutorials and lots of free patterns for scraps.

I have just completed  a 36 block quilt top in the Scrappy Trips Around The World pattern and of course have barely touched the 2.5 inch strip bin

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And in the last post , you can see a photo  of  Delectable Mountains in oranges and mint greens. I liked that pattern so much that I have a stack of fabrics ready to do it again with the featured fabrics in fruits and vegies.

Also on my list are 2 quilt tops in 1900’s repro fabrics , and appropriate historical block designs to be placed on the beds at Henderson House. These 2 are ones that I would like to hand quilt. The fabrics are picked out of the stash and I’m pretty sure of the designs I’ll try, but they will be on the end of the list. I just ordered 2 books on dateing vintage fabrics, so we’ll see how close to authentic my fabrics are and see if i have to order some repro fabrics to supplement.

The list priorities changed when I was asked to help a beginner sewer and guide her to do a quilt for her mom for christmas.I’ve got 2 easy patterns picked out and a selection of fabrics that may work well.

There is also a fundraiser for a friend so she may head to Mexico for some MS therapy. I plan to complete some table toppers for the silent auction. The tops are mostly complete, and just need sandwiching.

Then I have a birthday quilt to complete by November. But I found the “perfect” fabrics and the “perfect” pattern so I am eager to get this started right away. This is a special birthday,and we might be short of time so my friend Shawn will be quilting it. I’ve already reserved some time in late Oct for her to work her magic.

There’s a presentation to the guild on October. They’ve been successful with the short demos about 20 minutes long , with the members rotating from table to table. I am talking on WHY you need a perfect 1/4 inch seam, HOW to press successfully and HOW to square up a block. That will require preparation of a handout and some demo blocks which can be fit in between all the other stuff as a leaders and enders project.

Summer plans- subject to change

June 2, 2013

Two trips out of town in May really made a hash of the plans to be more deligent about posting to the blog. And already, there are new plans for new arts council events that require some change of plans.

I very much enjoyed the CQA conference in Penticton. My class with Margie Davidson was exactly what I had expected and just the right class for me . Now I have to start taking apart some clothing, repurposing, block printing and experimenting with some more hand work. I had enjoyed working on 3 pieces a few years ago which included Kantha Stitch, and now it’s time to get back to that series.

I continue to plug away at the pre-cut strips and decided to tackle one of Bonnie Hunter’s patterns again . I’ve admired her student’s samples of the Scrappy Trip Around The World.

I’ve noticed a lot of different quilt magazines on the newstand have published a rendition of this in the last few months and there have been a lot of blogs by the “Modern Quilt Guild” movement posting their versions and some tutorials. BUT Bonnie’s version has been online at her website for years and years, so she is the originator of this scrappy look as far as I can see.

This is not making much of a dent in my bin of 2.5 inch strips.You only need 6  16 inch strips for each 12 inch block Each block goes together very nicely, but there is going to be some pressing(or rather re-pressing) to be done when the blocks are placed side by side.

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I also like Bonnie’s method of constructing the traditional Delectable Mountains with speedy strip piecing, and here I had absolutely no problem with construction.

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Making Lists and chargeing camera batteries

May 13, 2013

Having  just been to Vernon for the provincial Arts Council conference where I ran out of battery juice at a bad moment…….I am making sure that I have top battery power for the trip to Penticton.

Barb and I head out on our road trip on Wednesday, hoping to be able to attend the awards ceremonies for the National Juried Show on Wed eve. We’re curious to find which award has included the guild’s donation. We hope to see the winner of the award and perhaps take her picture, and find out more about her for the guild’s blog and website.

I hear that a number of guild members are taking the road trip as well, so there will be lots of comparing notes on the fav quilt, newest technique or the best bargain at the vendors.

I too will hit the vendors as I’d like one of those new bendable lamps for the sewing machine.

I am in a 2 day class with Margie Davidson. There will be block printing and hand embroidery in the Indian style which has interested Margie and prompted a trip to the East. This has become my favorite type of class-relaxed-short supply list-historical-cultural and slides and videos to illustrate design ideas. Everything I need will fit in a ziplock baggie. This is so much better than a ton of stuff hauled along and never used in other typical classes that I’ve taken over the years.

Denise has been kind enough to send me links that I plan to share later on indian designs, particularly the henna designs that are gorgeous and swirly.

 

How many days until the quilt show??

March 7, 2013

Note to self……. remember cash for guild boutique, vendors and lunch. Find the most comfortable shoes. Opps, forgot that I promised to make a poster for the guild challenge. Guess I better rearrange plans for tomorrow.

I am happy with the latest scrap project. I had started these 4.5 inch building units from my scraps, but had stopped until I was able to find the small prints on white. It is very hard to find white vs offwhite/cream backgrounds, and it’s hard to find the small prints. I did not want endless polkadots, and I used every scrap in my bins down to the last 3 inch square. if you are looking for similar prints, try to search for 30’s reproductions, civil war repros and victorian shirtings.

This building unit goes by many names. I’ve found it as Birds in Air , and Mary’s Triangles as well as 2-3 other names. What ever it’s called, it certainly can be set in a large number of arrangements.

 

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After a few evenings of rearranging my collection of units, I’ve decided on the last setting  of zigzags and find that I’ve got about 2/3’s of the number for a decent lap quilt size.

I love pre-cuts

February 28, 2013

Well I love my own precuts that I’ve created myself. I’ve got shoe boxes of all shapes and width of strips, so when a block was demo’ed at the guild last month, I had all the parts and pieces to try a few blocks. The few blocks grew to 36 scrappy blocks and I have a community quilt top ready for our 2 day workbee in May.

You just need: a 6.5 inch square, 4 rectangles or bricks cut at 3.5X6.5, and 4 squares cut at 3.5 inches. As usual I have lots of strong medium to dark values, but had to look around and find small pieces in the drawers to cut up into the lights required.

The block was here at quilter’s cache:

http://www.quilterscache.com/S/SquareswithinSquares2Block.html

and here is my version:

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I will be adding a red border of calico that was gifted to me from a estate clear-out. I do love to use these orphan fabrics that need a good home.

One month into the new year.

February 4, 2013

On the first day of the year, I always take down the christmas tree, put away all the decorations, and tidy up the christmas gifts.

This year I washed all the christmas quilts, freshened them up, checked for sticky candy on the lap quilts, folded them neatly and put them back on the shelf for another year.

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I decided to take all the other quilts off the shelf and check them over. I like to keep all the challenges and the series together, and I wanted to make sure that the gift quilts were near the top of the stacks.

Turns out that I discovered 3 different categories. There was one stack that just needed freshening or refolding, a second stack that lacked proper labeling.I may have sewn a label that gave the name of the quilt, my name and date , but other facts like purpose of the quilt and the design were lacking, so I have a lot of secondary labels to make.

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The 3rd stack was of quite early quilts that I may give away , but I am displeased with the quality of the quilting or the amount of  stitching.I’ve decided to add more machine quilting, and use them for practice to try out some new patterns. If I’m not happy with the stitching when I’m done – then they can be camping blankets or dog beds. In my early quilts, I find that there are lots of fairly wide borders that have only stitch in the ditch and could use some stitches.

The fiberspeak theme for December was “about face”. I have wanted to do some experimenting with windows in a piece and this was a perfect time for the first idea.

This piece is about 10X10 inches. It was 2 sides sewn together and the swivel in the middle is simply held by some beading thread and some beads to act like washers at the pivot points. I think this will be a series of a few pieces as I work out the bugs.

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The theme for January was to pick your favorite flavor, and I picked citrus. Here’s what I made one evening.

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Our theme for February is “out on a limb” and I am stumped for an original idea.

Archival Diving-Found the Brown Bag Challenge

November 20, 2012
I am doing an early purge way before New year’s and I am going thru some papers. Decide to try and cram some of these into the file drawer instead of the cardboard box under the sewing table , but first need to glean the file drawer.
 
What do I find ??…. not only an article by Sharyn Craig on Triangulation , but a Triangulation Revisted article- unfortunately both are undated, just issues #17 &  30 of Traditional Quiltworks.AND there attached as well are my class handouts – also not dated!
 
A lesson to be learned is never throw anything out AND always document the class, where it was taught and the date.
But now do not have to reinvent the wheel if we ever want to do this class again.
 
Shirley and I were reminiscing, and brainstorming over the “rules” of this Brown Bag Challenge. Everyone brought a pile of squares, sliced them diagonally in half and share 1/2 in a community brown bag of lights and darks. Then you picked an equal number out of the light bag and the dark bag, intermingled them with the 1/2 square triangles that you kept and proceeded to make one large 1/2 Square (bias ) block and 5 smaller ones. Then you designed your own blocks and constructed some rather nice scrap quilts.
 
Neither of us could remember the size of the squares to bring or the exact formula of making the smaller units out of the left over strip. Now we’ve got the info!!
By golly, and I think I still have at least 3 of the class samples that I made for that class. Should get those out again and take some photos.
Date wise I know it was while we were still over at the Fine Arts building – so that is at least 15 years ago- way before computer notes and saved files.

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