Friday afternoon I had a message on voice mail saying that there was a cancellation at the local high school craft fair and my name was next on the wait list. Luckily I have all my little items, such as tote bags, organizers, purses, baby quilts, and bookmarks all marked with prices. So, I have one week to figure out how to display everything and price the bigger quilts. Tonight is quilt guild and I’ll take a few and ask the other ladies for their ideas.
This quilt, from Strip Smart Quilts, was fun to put together and even more fun to quilt. I loved making the flowers with variegated thread, figuring out which color would be coming up next added a little amusement to the process. I really like this book and plan to make another soon, once I get my list of ongoing projects pared down a bit.
Our guild has been issuing challenges for the past year or so, an attempt to get members to finish projects, rather than just begin new ones. We were asked in June to find two projects, one with a Christmas theme, to complete by our party on December 15th. My first was a 9 patch red and white top that wasn’t the best constructed quilt I’ve ever done, but I decided to practice some of my free motion skills with my first feathered wreath. I wish that I had gone over the back with a pair of scissors and clipped threads and used two layers of batting to make the feathers more puffy , but it still managed to collect a blue ribbon at the Blue Hill Fair.
My second challenge quilt was a pile of fabrics in July, featuring the only Christmas fabric I had in my stash. I said that I would make Union Stars and the size would be determined by how far the fabric went. As you can see, I managed to make a throw size quilt and had just enough blue grey flowered fabrics to finish the border.
My current quilting project is this red/brown/tan throw quilt that I’m having so much fun with making little variegated flowers and leaves. I was going to crosshatch the center squares, but I ripped it out after realizing how much thread it would use because I can’t sew it in a continuous line. The stippling looks better than the straight lines, emphasizing the more elaborate free motion work.
I’ve been sewing up a storm this past week: in charge of a mini-mystery for our guild even though I’ve never participated in a mystery quilt before, sewing stuff for and working at the craft co-op, starting work on two challenges my guild has begun for the fall, finishing the top of my row-by-row quilt, and quilting lots of feathers for a modern wall hanging. I’m also in charge of publicity for the guild’s quilt show next month so I’ve been hanging posters all over town and writing lots of press releases.
I quilted a top for one of my husband’s co-workers with an overall leaf and loop pattern.
Last year at the state show in Augusta, I took a modern quilt class and finally finished quilting it. I wish I had made the rows straight across rather than emerging from the larger cube, like a starburst, but I wasn’t about to pick out the 1/4 I had already done, so I just finished it.
I’m taking a class by Sue Nickels at the state show this year on feathers and stippling. In anticipation I bought her book and started my practice a little early. I’m hoping she can look at my work and give me some pointers.
Over the past year our guild has been working on different techniques for blocks, such as 4 different ways to make 1/2 square triangles and 3 different methods of flying geese. I learned a lot of things, including a more efficient method of paper piecing and that I hate to piece curves (no drunkard’s path quilts in my future!). I set off the rows with wide chunks of solid fabrics to hopefully show off some free-motion quilting. In writing this, I realized that I “forgot” to finish the row of applique blocks, maybe I’ll use that one block I did make as the label on the back.
These tote bags made from my chicken’s feed sacks are flying off the shelves at the local craft co-op.
This 4 patch posy is made of soccer and flag fabric, so appropriate for the recent World Cup games. Our guild makes lots of children’s quilts for Bags of Love and that is where this one is headed after I put on a border and quilt it.
I made these little bags out of upholstery samples from the local furniture store. I’m using one made with a black and white Greek Key fabric as my new summer purse. They took about 20 minutes to make and are so cute!
This past March, a bunch of us went to a 3 day retreat in Bar Harbor. I finished all 25 blocks by the end of the weekend and finished the top a few weeks ago. I want to really do some fancy quilting to finish it right, but figuring out exactly what to do takes some time. At least, that’s my excuse for not getting started.
Bookmarks are a great way to use up scraps of “too pretty to use in a string quilt” fabrics. At our guild’s spring picnic, held at my house, I won a game of Left, Right, Center. Many of my stack of fat quarters were nothing to write home about, but one piece of oriental fabric was so pretty I cut it all up into 2.5 inch strips, rather than stick it in a bin with the other reds. Cut the strips about 8 inches long and do the same for a piece of interfacing and a coordinated backing fabric. Cut all 4 sides with pinking shears or a pinking rotary cutter, add a bit of ribbon with a V cut out of the ends and sew around the edges about a 1/4 inch inside. Pretty and practical.
I also made some pillows (haven’t gotten the forms yet) from lobster placemats I picked up at Mardens. I zigzag stitched around the outside edge after I trimmed them so the looser weave fabric didn’t unravel and added thin inner borders. A wide red border and a dress shirt back finished it up. Pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself.
Last night was the Catholic school auction, where we came home with season tickets to athletic events at John Bapst Memorial High School, roller skating/movie/Discovery Museum tickets, and a month worth of tumbling classes. The live auction items were for the high dollar items and my Patriotic Log Cabin quilt was the very last item up for bid. Two couples really wanted the quilt and I could hear amazement in the auctioneer’s voice as the bids went up and up. The final winning bid was $925. I am so glad that the school will get such a sum for my contribution and am grateful that there were people there who appreciate the amount of time and effort I put into it. I’m still going to pick a more simple pattern for next year’s quilt and having been given a grant for $100 by the state guild for supplies, I think I’ll enjoy making it all the more.
After visiting a quilting friend’s house over spring break, I was inspired to do something about my sewing space. I have 2/3 of a finished basement room that runs the length of the house. One day after some of the kids grow up and move out I will take over the schoolroom that connects to my sewing space and has full southern exposure. It wouldn’t be so great for fabric storage, but the lighting would be much better. I started by organizing all my fabrics, separating them into strings (in 2 drawers), fat quarter size pieces (folded and put in clear shoe boxes by color), and larger pieces (folded and stacked by color).
All the decorator fabric samples I was given by my friend went in their own bins so I can be inspired to make more notebook covers and little zippered bags to sell at the Waldo County Craft Co-op in Searsport.
I’ve also been madly making nautical themed pillows to sell there starting on Memorial Day.
I also swapped out a bigger and more sturdy table for an old metal-topped kitchen table from the 1950’s so I have one station set up for piecing and one for free-motion quilting. Then I went through all my old projects and washed and folded a dozen baby quilts to put up for sale and put aside in a basket a heap of books, fabric, and tops that will never be finished to sell at the trash or treasure table at our guild’s quilt show this summer. So, while waiting patiently for the garden to dry out and warm up enough to till and plant, I’ve been busy as a bee cleaning, organizing, and sewing.