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38.2 Winslow Corners quilt idea

August 9, 2015

I have had the privilege of sewing many days after work this week. Mindless sewing mainly from leaders & enders I was putting into place from a while ago.

After my “turn-it-around” sewing room organization from a week ago, I have been motivated by the fact that I can actually watch my computer screen for entertainment instead of constantly being turned around to see what’s been on the screen.

I have been motivated by taking an old reality series that I have watched most seasons of, rewatching them years later. I forget easily, so this time it’s like watching ‘new-old’ television.

So I have some distraction that is not too distracting and that, in turn, is motivating me to keep working and working. Almost as if it was March-A-Long again.

Anyway, my leaders & enders are resulting in 16 patches of the cool color family.

16 patch blocks

So far, I have mindlessly sewn 30 of them.

I had made a “pattern” for this quilt a while ago and have had this idea for a scrap quilt for a while. I don’t need 30 of the 16 patches for the finished quilt. Here’s the quilt.

arkansas crossing x and o quilt

I have a light grey and want to use some of the extra neutrals from the quilt I made for Laura for the alternate blocks.

I don’t have the pattern centered or bordered or anything, but yes, I have printed out the paper pieced X blocks, aka album blocks.

I have heard several names for this quilt:

  • X’s and O’s
  • 16 patch and album blocks
  • Arkansas Crossroads

I do have a small history with quilting in Arkansas now. I travel there every fall (so far) for a quilting retreat. Northeast Arkansas, not incredibly far away from the KC area.

A tiny town called Winslow, there is a couple who run a B & B cabins (Sky-Vue) that host 16 quilters who come & sew for an extended weekend. If you have followed me any time in the fall, you have heard me talking about it.

Anyway, I want to make a quilt with a name something like Winslow Corners or possibly Sky-Vue crossing.

Using these no-thinking blocks out of my ever growing scrap pile.

That’s been a vague direction I have been quilting in this week.

I haven’t started on the paper piecing portion, but now have 30 of the 16 patch blocks. It’s so easy to make these 16 patch blocks.

Surely more of these blocks will go somewhere else if I run out of  paper piecing blocks (x blocks).

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I have also made some random half square triangles in sets of 4 that I want to match with my pinwheel blocks someday.

wpid-20150809_175528.jpg

I also have a small sewing mat for my sewing foot pedal.

I have a wandering foot, but I like to elevate the back of my foot and sew more evenly. I frequently have a phone book by and/or under my sewing machine foot pedal.

I just made this late this afternoon, so I haven’t yet tried it out. I have the non stick gripper on the front and back, and to give the pad some “oomph” to simulate raising the foot pedal some, I have a piece of folded over fabric that is folded over two small batting scraps inside.

It’s really batting, fabric, then a binding stitched around that whole block. Then I have a ‘stopper’ of rolled up batting sewn down in a pocket on the top.

I was inspired by this tutorial, but did not follow it directly. I read it a few weeks ago and then when I gotten the “gist of it” I created from vague memory today.

Anyway, it’s been a week of happy sewing, I hope this post finds you well. No matter if you meet in the crossroads of arkansas or elsewhere.

Still marinating about my “next biggest bestest quilt” for the quilt show in 2 years. Glad to not really think about it too hard yet.

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38.1 New Beginnings And Cycles

August 2, 2015

Hey! Last time I wrote I was a month ago about my diary of the KCRQF. A month and a half ago. The end of my day 2 was looking at the quilts of the Beatles, and my quick lecture class. Day 3 was my volunteering day where I gave out wristbands to fathers for Father’s Day, and then helping in the booth with 3 other people, which really meant talking to guild members, going to get food, a conversation with my Dad (for who knows how long) and then getting straight on shots of guild quilts.

Later, I may share my pictures & description of the Beatles quilts. Today, as I write, I want to start new, fresh.

Quilt Cycle Cathedral Teal with labels

I am really enjoying this stage of my quilting cycle. At the beginning.

I have noticed that yes, deadlines get quilts done, gets quilts finished, provides me with a much needed focus. I do so much better with a focus. Even if it is a temporary focus. If I want to get things complete, I have a deadline, made up or real, and stick to it. Yes, I like the focus of finishing!

But at the beginning of a quilt cycle, there are so many possibilities. So much potential.

  • What fabrics do I use?
  • What pattern do I use?
  • How will I offset the blocks from each other?
  • Do I want to design something new? Traditional?
  • Who is it for?
  • What size quilt do I want to make?

My questioning mind loves to go back to the beginning sometimes, but I am not alone.

Quilters have many UFO’s, we like to restart, to re-cycle to the beginning of the process.

I have been considering going back to the beginning again with several quilts, or starting new.

Why? Well for one, I completed my deadline. The huge quilt show we had a month and a half ago was a great deadline. Great AND stressful both!

For two, I am wondering, what quilt will be the next best quilt to create for the next huge quilt show?

For three, I reorganized my sewing room. And it’s like halfway done.

For four, I have LOTS of scraps that I would like to use up, cut down, make clean.

For right now, that’s the main motivation for new beginnings.

My wall of fabric (one large ‘bookcase’) I changed from my left to my right.

fabric wall

 

This frees up my cutting area so much. I have had a limited amount of cutting space that I could use. Actually, I am using the same space as before, but now don’t have a large area nearby to butt up against.

new cutting area

I also have a large enough desk I can watch streaming video and press or cut on the table if I desire!

computer desk and small ironing pad

Which will be something nice. I may even bring my sewing machine back into my sewing room, as currently it’s at the kitchen table. Will be hard to do computer & sewing both, but may be possible.

Possibilities are opening!

Speaking of possibilities and scraps and new/old things, I have gotten out a few fabric pieces the last month.

First was my “watermelon dresden”, inspired by Jenny Doan’s visit to our guild several years ago, when we were all doing the jelly roll race quilts, I did jelly roll dresden pieces.

watermelon dresden

And I even came up with a pattern for it, that I don’t believe I have shared with you all.

water melon dresden version 2

How pretty.

And then for a few things more scrappy, I had a couple very small paper pieced blocks we did with the guild that I thought would be perfect for small strings.

string quilt small

I worked on this last weekend at my friend’s house at our last sunday sewing day for a while – her schedule is changing.

The finished piece is pretty small. about a 12″ block or so. May need to make more of these.

And I have been wanting to do an Arkansas Crossing quilt with scrappy cool tones for quite a while now.

16 patches for scrap quilt arkansas crossroads

So I finally have some mindless sewing to work on. Which for me, right now, is fantastic!

And oh yeah, I have some pinwheels against white that I don’t know what to do with. So I am making more and going to eventually donate for a kids quilt for the memorial hospital in Lawrence.

extra squares for pinwheels

For these I have been putting 2 charms (5 inch squares) right sides together & sewing around the edges to cut in quarters and press open later.

I also have been using my new phone for pictures exclusively and haven’t gotten my normal camera out for the last month. So new beginnings there. I wish I was better able to focus that more quickly. The better thing is that this phone with camera has the same megapixels as my point & shoot camera did, AND this one doesn’t take 30 seconds to reset after one picture, it is able to move much more quickly between pictures!

Anyway, thanks for joining me on the beginning of a cycle again! What a great feeling to find lost projects and to work on new things!

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38.0 Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival – Diary – Day 2 – Part 2 – Judged quilts and Categories

July 6, 2015

The weekend of June 19th – 21 was the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival otherwise known as #KCRQF.

I have decided I had so much to say about the quilt show that I would write down in diary format what I went through on different days of the festival, share possibly a few stories, and pretend to take you along with me to the festival.

I am in the middle of covering Saturday, my main day of seeing the festival. My last post was about the guild quilts, and my post about that was the friday twilter meetup day.

So after taking the pictures of all the guild quilts I was ready to go do something else, look at vendors maybe. But when I got back up to the front, two ladies with sheets and golf pencils were there, ready to ask if I would help in determining viewers choice for all the guild quilts.

How could I decline?

So I went back through trying to decipher all what quilt fits into what category. Because the quilts on this side were organized by guild, this made it much harder to pick a favorite. What if my actual favorite was in the back and I failed to go back and see the quilt again?

Organization of Guild Quilts & Quilt Show Categories

Also some categories had only a few entrants, and some categories had many many entrants.

The categories for this show were:

  • Pieced Hand Quilted
  • Pieced Machine Quilted
  • Applique Hand Quilted
  • Applique Machine Quilted
  • Mixed Techniques Hand Quilted
  • Mixed Techniques Machine Quilted
  • Innovative

There were only a few hand quilted items. VERY impressive, but most of the hand quilted quilts were only competing against a few other quilts. These were hard to find in the show.

They were exquisitely done, don’t get me wrong, but perhaps all the handquilting needs to be in a category by itself so there are more quilts to be judged against?

Just a thought.

The Mixed Techniques Machine quilted category has about 100 quilts, the Pieced Machine Quilted category has about 200 quilts, and Innovative has about 30 quilts.

It’d be interesting to see a different way for the show to be broken up.

Perhaps the unevenness of the quilts is due to the fact that we were not limited by how many quilts in each category we could put into the show for the guild side of the show. I know my two quilts went in as the same category, so they competed against each other.

Anyway, the quilt I put down for viewers best of show I somehow failed to get the name of the quilter, so I cannot attribute this quilt to anyone correctly right now.

applique quilt best of show for me

applique quilt best of show for me

I think I was mesmerized by the crystals on the borders. Blurry picture below. Oops.

blurry picture of borders

blurry picture of borders

There were many quilts, and it was fun to run back and forth down the isles, making quick marks on the side of the paper to see which quilts would win in each category. Unfortunately I didn’t take track of my voting sheet for posterity.

After voting for the quilts, it was already lunch time, and the remaining twilters were meeting for lunch.

We had decided this time not to go “off campus” for lunch because parking the day before was hard. So we went back to the connecting Sheraton hotel and had a fancy lunch with hardly any other guests.

No pictures of this event, what were we thinking??

Anyway, it was nice to sit and learn about the private lives of the twilters who came by and to share some thoughts about etsy, quilting, traveling, home life, past lives. I think this was the lunch where I was more quiet & listened a lot. It was so neet just being with friends we haven’t really seen, but have had a chance connecting with online in many different ways.

I still had vendors to see & shop, the judged quilts to photograph, and the Beatles quilts to go view before we left. AND I wanted a picture of the 3 of us who worked on the round robin quilt. We were mostly separate for the afternoon, I went off on my own again, met up with Jackie & her friend Jackie occasionally on the vendor floor, Tami & Valerie went off to rest … it was a big trip and there is a lot of walking involved here.

three of seven twilters entwined

I didn’t take too many pictures of vendors because that was the only possible restriction for pictures for the show. Some vendors rightfully so don’t want people to take pictures of their quilts and patterns. Not all of them, but some, and that’s understandable.

I walked by several vendors I knew from other shows, some I had spoken to before, some I had not. One was Caitlyn who used to be in our guild who opened up her own modern fabric store that she even rented space from a local downtown area for about a year and a half. It was nice to see her again!

Also I met with Nikki who helps with the Quilts of Valor and is a member of like 2-3 guilds (not mine though) and we have become facebook friends and have similar tastes in quilts. She keeps telling me I should join the Modern guild. If they met in the afternoon, I’d consider it.

I zeroed in on a few vendor items I wanted to come back to later. Then onto the judged quilts.

How the Judged Quilts worked in KCRQF

The judged quilts were open to anyone who wanted to enter their quilts into the show who got in their entry in time with enough space.

I do not know if they cut off certain categories early, but entrants had the entire month of March to enter their quilts for the show. I was seeing they were still requesting submissions at the end of March.

There were no jury on the quilts, it seemed to be “first come, first served”. Each entrant could only enter one quilt per category. And you didn’t have to be a member of any of the guilds to be entered into the show. Or even local. Most were though.

The same 7 categories were in the judged quilts as were for the guild quilts above. Again, it seemed like there were not as many hand quilted items as machine quilted items. A few categories had less than 10 entrants.

This side was also less entered than the guild side. I was glad to see the guild quilts strong, but surprised how few people entered their quilts for judging. Perhaps we all want to get the quilts at the show, but don’t want to know what the judges have to say about the quilts.

My quilt was WAY down at the back of the show, at the end, right near the food. So people would have to see it if they were heading towards the food at the back of the show from the judged quilt section.

DSC00582

I love it, but was surprised how dark the quilt seemed compared to the other quilts around it.

My guild members were great at telling me they thought it could have won something. It is definitely dramatic looking. I tried not to spend too much time hovering around my quilt. Unfortunately, it was hanging next to a truly innovative quilt. One I kept seeing people go up to and exclaiming how good it was! And I liked it too.

I had put my quilt in innovative and should have put it into another category, pieced machine quilted. I really thought it would have more chance in this category. I decided early & quickly to put it into the show, and then thought later about the category a little more.

Anyway, here are some of the judged quilts I saw & took pictures of. Again in gallery form. I was way less diligent at getting names on all the quilts here, so instead I am just going to label all the quilts the same. More about the show in the next post.

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37.9 Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival – Diary – Day 2 Part 1 Guild Quilts

June 28, 2015

The weekend of June 19th – 21 was the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival otherwise known as #KCRQF.

I have decided I had so much to say about the quilt show that I would write down in diary format what I went through on different days of the festival, share possibly a few stories, and pretend to take you along with me to the festival.

After much uncertainty (of my schedule … see a story about Saturday schedule in previous post), I had Saturday to visit the show mostly free. The only thing for certain on my agenda was a Lecture done by Trisch Price about designing quilts in a series, and that wasn’t until the end of the show day.

I was planning to treat myself to breakfast at a fancy breakfast place, but decided instead to go to Panera and of course a bird came begging along for some food (cheese bagel).

begging bird

After it was clear I wasn’t going to be needed, I sat down with fellow guild member Lois and we talked a little bit about family and living away from a place we grew up. Lois is our current guild secretary and does a fantastic job remembering / recording all the details during our meetings that I usually miss some.

Both of us were worried the guild booth would not be staffed on Saturday, and both of us came early to make sure we weren’t needed to help setup/run the booth Saturday. Neither of us were needed, so we were free to enjoy the show.

I stood in line for the show behind the lady with this T-shirt, which was ironic because I had a similar T-shirt on – same saying, different artwork/fonts.

20150620_100134

The T-shirt reads: “Never underestimate the power of a woman with a sewing machine”. I ordered mine online two weeks prior, and it showed up in the mail on the Friday of the show. Quilt magic was surrounding this whole entire show, I tell you.

Viewing The Show & Taking Picture Strategy

Anyway, I went right into the show and I decided I wanted to get pictures of all the quilts. All 700 quilts. As good as I can. And yes, I am going to try to do it on my new phone. The camera on this new phone has the same megapixels as my older camera in my “pockets of awesome”, but it seemed to work faster & easier than the regular point & shoot camera.

I noticed all the other people starting at the front, heading slowly down the rows to the back. I had already been to the show the day before, so why not start at the back and head towards the front?

I tried to do a systematic way for getting pictures of the quilts. I started back to front, each side of the show at a time. Then in the next side repeat the process of back to front.

quilt traffic at 3pm sunday

Also each section of the walls was like a “C” shape, so I tried NOT to move away from each C until I got at least some picture of each quilt in each section before moving to the next section. If people were standing in front of one quilt, I tried to get a picture of a different quilt. There were 3-10 quilts in each “C shaped” section.

Arbitrary rules for my arbitrary completionist attitude. I do have to say I do a similar thing when I photograph quilts for our local quilt show. Very methodical and it gets at least one good picture of each quilt in the show for our posterity for the guild.

Of course for our own guild, I bring a tripod to make sure the camera is steady and centered at the center of the quilt. But this is just for ME, not for everyone at the guild to enjoy.

 

But this time, I was trying to SPEED through. Almost as fast as possible. AS I was going, I was trying not to blur everything, not necessarily document EVERY quilt maker too, but one shot, one idea of each quilt at a time.

The back to front technique was a great idea. I had also read taking pictures in the morning was the best time. And I had witnessed that to be true during our local guild-only show.

But for this show, probably the best time would have been like 3 in the afternoon. It was way less crowded than right away in the morning. The picture above shows traffic at 3PM on Sunday, almost dead compared to early Saturday morning.

I joked around with people that back to front was awesome because I could go picture/picture/picture for a long time, and then “thump” hit the wave of people coming towards the back. Today they all had pieces of paper with them and a pencil too. So they were slower, and more methodically going through the quilts. I liked dashing to the back quickly as if I had someplace to be.

Guild Quilts

20150620_100542

The two halves of the show were organized completely differently. It was almost as if there were 2 shows together in one – three if you count the Beatles exhibit.

The guild quilts were organized by guild. We had no restrictions on how many of each category of quilt would be entered with the guild, as they were not necessarily going for judging. Which means we had hand quilted quilts next to machine quilted quilts next to innovative quilts, and applique quilts.

The different colors of hanging papers signified the different categories of the quilts. As you may be able to see in the picture above, one of the local guild names on the top right, a quilt with a blue tag, and then on the far left a yellow tag which would be next to the quilt next to it. These two quilts were in the same guild, Kaw Valley Quilters Guild, but not the same type of quilts.

I liked how this showed & felt like community. The book lists all the names of all the quilts by Guild for the guild side of the show. Guilds first, then quilters.

A few of the guild quilts

My speed method of taking pictures did have its downside. I have plenty of pictures that are blurry. Which is too bad I couldn’t settle myself down enough to take a good picture. I think it was how I was going close to some quilts, and then far for the next quilts. The camera probably couldn’t figure out what focus to use and I am sure if I wasn’t “fighting against time” I could have slowed down a little bit more.

There were 700 quilts to photograph if I wanted them all. And we had planned to do lunch with the twilters, and I wanted my picture with twilters in front of Twilters Entwined quilt, and I hadn’t seen the vendors, and I hadn’t seen the Beatles quilts, and I had the lecture, and Sunday I was going to be volunteering.

So I SPED through the quilts. Too bad. I missed out on some great pictures.

I did get some pictures of hanging cards next to the quilts. Looking over them in detail this weekend I figured out something. If I really liked a quilt at the “gut level”, I took a second picture of the tag. Sometimes the tags were blurry. Sometimes they were fine.

Good thing I had the guild book to help me decipher names here.

I am going to post these as a gallery, something I don’t often do. It seems if you click on one, it takes you through the gallery at more full size. Let me know if this feature has issues. It seems to work on my computer when I test it. About 30 pictures of quilts with names of artists attached.

NOW THE GUILD QUILTS

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37.8 Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival diary – Day 1

June 28, 2015

Whew! It’s been a busy week following a very busy and very happy weekend last weekend.

For those who didn’t know, hadn’t heard, last weekend was our big biannual (maybe that’s semiannual) quilt show with participation from a WHOLE lot of quilt guilds. I think I read 15 guilds.

Anyway, it was tireless work and planning and thinking ahead to make the quilt show a success!

We had several nationally known speakers come to the show to teach (and to take) classes, a lot of them are in the local KC area. I forget sometimes what an essential asset we have in our wonderful teachers and vendors to our larger community.

Arriving on the main show floor at the top of the long escalators, we see a quilt completed by one of the major quilt planners.

entrance quilt under glass

This quilt was done by Lynn Droege was beautiful under glass and a great way to entice people to go into the hall.

I have so many memories of my experiences of the show, I am going to try to write them down for posterity. This post will have LOTS of writing, the next post may have LOTS of pictures in addition to LOTS of writing.

Indulge me as I go on in “diary format” and pretend I am reading this account to you in podcast form. Or that I am Frances, sharing a few delicious “quilt diaries”. Quilt Diary – Day 1

The Too Long;Didn’t Read version is: I had a lot of fun, met people I knew, people I didn’t know, felt happy, show went well.

How the show was organized

The first hallway before the main quilting area was the individual guild booths. This was our main moneymaker for the year, and all the last year we have been making items to sell at the boutique. My guild had lots of different types of items for sale, kinda like a craft show. Several guilds had opportunity quilts.

I somehow failed to get pictures of our guild booth, or the general front hall with all the guilds, even though each day I was blessed to see people from my guild and others.

Then a right hand turn and either with a ticket or a bracelet we could get into the show itself!

Immediately when we come into the hall, there is a door prize ticket booth on the left. The far left-handed side were all the guild quilts that were not judged. There were 2 full rows (each side) of quilts here. About 500 quilts on this side.

Directly in the middle were the vendors. Several rows of vendors.

And to the right-handed side coming into the show room were the judged quilts. About 150 quilts or so here if my math is right.

map of show floor

I was able to be at the show the 3 days of the festival itself. There was one other day of classes I did not attend.

AND there was a special room of 3 special exhibits that weren’t part of the main hall, down on the first floor, there were Beatles quilts by a group of quilters in Virginia, and Kansas City Star quilts (a main reason this is a great quilting hotspot), and some of the best quilts from QuiltCon.

So much to tell! I may break it up by days instead of break it up by types of things seen like Kathy did.

Personal Experiences of the KCRQF Day 1

Friday was unfortunate in that I had to work, but as soon as I got done at noon, I drove past the scary construction on the scary interstate to the show.

I had the “pockets of awesome” or on Friday, the “pockets of no charge”. I had my old phone which had all the phone numbers and access to data and was going to be my main connectivity with the twilters I was set to meetup with.

I also had my normal camera, the one that has been taking all these pictures for this blog since like 2012.

And I had my brand new phone, not really setup yet.

And a cable to charge all the things. At one time I had both phones outta charge. Silly technology.

Ok. First thing I did after entering the show was to find Carole’s quilt – I See Bridges. And I took a picture of me in front of it.

i see caroles quilt i see bridges
I tried to make a joke about how I saw bridges and I saw Carole’s quilt, but I didn’t see any twilters.

Unfortunately, Carole & Gretchen had plans to come to the show and neither one was able to make it. Carole’s quilt was about the only judged quilt I saw from anywhere not in the KC region, which I found very fantastic for her to enter the show that way. It was really unfortunate that she wasn’t able to see it in person.

I was starting to get nervous because the phone with the texts was notorious for dropping almost half available battery in half an hour, and I knew I would have to periodically check twitter and email on this very unreliable phone.

I think I was walking around for almost an hour back and forth before I saw anyone. Luckily Jackie and I were able to text. I stayed in the back of the show before I met up with anyone just to “stay in a central place”. I forgot how much I don’t have to wait for people on a regular day.

Jackie & I met up, walked the vendors really quickly, and then got in touch with Joyce, who follows Sandy at Quilting for the Rest of Us who also wasn’t able to attend the show. Joyce was with her friend Linda who was in the area, and Joyce and Linda were delightful to meet, even though she was not on twitter, and didn’t really know us, didn’t officially consider herself a twilter.

Just after we met Joyce, another friendly face, Valerie, showed up and introduced herself to our group, recognizing one of us, probably Jackie.

three twilters and Joyce

This was when Linda took a picture of us twilters and Joyce Friday afternoon.

At this point, we walked around and talked a little bit. I met one of our local guild members (also named Sandy – I think I know like 5 quilting Sandys), the one who quilted my red & black King’s Puzzle Quilt, and we had another long conversation, while Valerie & Jackie had things to do.

I got a cool idea of a suggestion of a collaboration with Tami since her round with all the folds was really fantastic on my quilt and her & I may be a good compliment.

And just as the local Sandy left, I was able to locate Tami! At this point, my phone situation was really getting desperate, my charge was like zero on both phones. I was seeing the people who were important for me to see, in addition of stopping by local people who I also kept seeing and they kept saying nice things about my quilt on the judged side of the show. It was also nice to sit and talk with people I know that did a lot of work for the show and just enjoying the show in general!

Tami & I had a small intimate discussion right there near the front door of the hall, probably in everyone’s way, but you know what, I didn’t care. I never exactly told Tami that I officially put my quilt Twilter’s Entwined in the show. I was so worried that I had jinxed it out of the show.

twilters entwined

Long Side Story Here

Here’s the short story of that. The round robins were due back in Feb, and Feb our guild voted on quilts to put into the show. The day our guild was voting, I had no energy, I had had a crappy day, I was burnt out doing all the work on Diane’s round robin, and so I brought nothing to add to quilts for my guild for the show. I didn’t have my round robin quilt anyway, and I know how long it takes for ME to go from top to quilt — LONG time usually.

Anyway, it was at our Feb guild retreat (after the voting) that we heard of several twilters going to try to come down for the Kansas City Show, thanks in particular to Sandy from QFTRUS really encouraging people to consider a meetup.

At the retreat, I finished the red & black quilt, and guild members said I should try to get it into the show, so Royal Red King’s Puzzle, I arranged to have it quilted in time to enter for the judged section (guild section was closed already, or so I thought). That was my very first long-arm purchasing interaction I have ever had.

Anyway, all the deadlines for the show had come & gone March 31st. I received my round robin quilt early April. A week later, there was a frantic email from our president saying ‘oops, we have more space than we thought’. Later the email said, ‘we can add more quilts, but the catch is that I have to know by 6PM on Friday (the day I am reading this is the same Friday)’. So I thought I could include Dancing Ribbons, sent off an email and then driving to work started thinking.

What if … I could get the pink quilt, the round robin quilt, twilter’s entwined completely finished in time? Would it be crazy, would it be do-able? If I could just get a quilter to agree to it……

So I put a post on twitter, tagged Jackie and a few other people maybe, and waited to see the response. I had massive emails/texts/twitter messages back & forth. I tell you it was nuts. I first thought for certain I could get both quilts in, emailing back the guild president, I met up with Jackie after work, showed her the pictures, we had already setup a sew-in date for early May, so would she be available to quilt it? YES?! PERFECT!

I was bouncing up & down the walls, not believing my good fortune. Tami did the round on the quilt and she was going to be here to see it and be a part of it hanging in the show. And another twilter was quilting it. Amazing! Things fell into place. I was joyous, I was obnoxious with happy, I was just so incredibly amazed and just feeling absolutely great!

Then later that night, they said there wasn’t enough space for the “medium-large sized” Twilters Entwined quilt.

Embarrassed at my overreaction about how things just seemed to work for the quilt. I was pretty much in tears that night. Mostly from embarrassment at myself and how I wasn’t keeping everything into perspective.

Fortunately, the next morning the guild president called me and told me that they were looking/talking with one of the coordinators, and somehow there was actually more space. I am not sure how that happened or if it was a result of me going overboard, or just miscalculation, or something else occurring somewhere.

But after that, I put in my paperwork, but wasn’t fully convinced it was going into the show until I turned my quilts in with the rest of our guild the meeting Tuesday before the show.

 The rest of Friday continues

So Tami said she had seen my little Dancing Ribbons quilt in the show, was looking at it with I think Kathy earlier that day before I got here, turned her head to the side, and then saw the pink and purple quilt of my last story, Twilter’s Entwined. And she said she was floored. I really was excited for the fact that she may not know the quilt was there, I thought it was a nice surprise for her.

tami and twilters entwined

This picture is Tami in front of Twilter’s Entwined. I think taken by Kathy. Before I got there.

Anyway, while talking to Tami, Kathy came along and we talked about her love of Angela Walters, her love of blogging and how I love her quilt memes and blog posts are always so funny! And we kept standing right there at the beginning of the show.

Kathy did get a picture of her by my Royal Red King’s Puzzle quilt. Taken by Tami maybe. Before I got there.

kathy in front of royal red kings puzzle quilt

Kathy looks great in front of my quilt, right?

We broke up as a small group in the late afternoon, with our prearranged meetup place & time – Joe’s Kansas City barbeque, which was like one “block” over from the convention center. During the time in between out-of-town twilters, I went back to the bag check area, found a plug in for my navigation phone so at least I could figure out what side of the road Joes was on exactly. I chatted and laughed and laughed with our bag check ladies from our guild, another from another guild, and I sat in the spot of the 3rd.

We constantly talked about how well the show seemed to be doing, how the people at bag check in the morning saw packed lines going up & down the escalator, how parking was a nightmare, and another lady from our guild saw me and asked if I knew I was working Saturday for the boutique.

What’s with this Saturday thing?

This had started to become a running joke with me, in addition to another embarrassing situation I put myself in due to a horrible typo. And finally by now, I had seen my twilters, so if nothing else, working Saturday wouldn’t be an issue for me since we were now able to meet on Friday night instead of Saturday morning.

I was originally signed up to do two volunteer sessions for the show. One for the ‘show itself’, and one for the ‘guild’. One of these I actually DID sign up for Saturday morning, before the Twilter’s had looked at schedules and decided that maybe Saturday breakfast was going to be our only shot at everyone getting together at once. The only time we were originally were going to meet was Saturday. This was the “Original Plan”.

A few days later, I asked both groups to make sure I wasn’t volunteering Saturday morning, I would just switch and then it would be easier and I wouldn’t miss the meetup.

Well, you know how many different versions of schedules get floated around, and how we all think we’re making a change, and somehow it doesn’t stick? Well, somehow both groups put me on Saturday morning, there was more going on, but the 2nd time it happened, (planning stages here), I was starting to get worried that things wouldn’t work out. I asked a 2nd time to make sure I wasn’t volunteering on Saturday … there were emails, and a very large typo. And it was embarrassing. And teeny tiny bit funny, once the hurt feelings from the typo were straightened out.

Once I knew we were meeting Friday night instead, that eased my worries a little, because no one had accidentally put me down for volunteering on Friday. Thank goodness for Jackie pulling together the spreadsheet with our times on it and noticing the date /time was available.

But that hadn’t been planned until a week/few days before the show. Good thing too, because we were getting the idea no one in particular was looking forward to a really early morning meetup for breakfast (except for maybe me).

I was just “so sure” that I would get volunteered Saturday by one or both groups I signed up to help, and that I would completely “miss out” on the meetup with everyone all in one place. I did get myself worked up for a while, imagining being “this close” to something I really wanted, and not being able to have it….

So on Friday of the show when I was told I was working Saturday, I burst out laughing. Mainly because of our other arrangements, also how silly it was to think how hard I was fighting not working Saturday. But now Saturday morning was MINE – FREE.

I decided to come early Saturday & make sure the one group didn’t actually NEED me to be here – a little family issues & trying to interpret someone else’s chart made it possible that I would need to help out on Saturday.

20150620_092737

Me waiting for the show on Saturday, reading this diagram of classes (below).

kcrqf classes

Anyway….

At 6PM I pulled up to Joe’s, met with Valerie and Steve, then Jackie & Greg showed up, then Kathy & Cliff drove up with Tami.

I had heard great things about Joe’s, but mostly I heard about the fact it used to be called Oklahoma Joe’s and they changed the name to Joe’s Kansas City instead. And I heard the food was really good. I think the last time I had eaten it was like 10 years ago when I first moved to the area at a work function.

It was a “go up and order” your food and then sit down with a table once you got it kind of place. And I put myself in the front of the line.

I was tired, excited, elated, happy…. exhausted, talking a lot … on my feet for hours and hours and hours Friday. Luck was on my side when we got through the line, it was busy, and I wasn’t sure we were going to get to sit together, and oh boy, now I would somehow have to figure out how to arrange a seat. And then, a seat magically appeared. Large table with space for everyone! YAY. More quilt magic occurring.

Yes, the things I worry about.

So we got to sit together at Joe’s KC after the #KCRQF.

twilters and spouses at barbecue Joes

I didn’t realize that it was guys on one side + Kathy, and girls on the other. But there was a Royals game on that the guys could watch.

You can just barely make out our heads on the left. ;)

It was nice sitting across from Kathy & Cliff, we talked of them driving to Missouri Star Quilt Company on their way back in the morning, and it turns out that Cliff is a Husker fan (go Huskers), and now I will know someone in Illinois that is watching the Illinois/Nebraska game this fall when they play! :)

Kathy had saw the Beatles quilts down on the main floor. She seemed to really enjoy them! Kathy mentioned that she attended Quilt Con and she thought that this show, put together by GUILDS (not a quilt company) was super well run, seemed to work really smoothly, things seemed mostly on the top of their game. It was impressive about what we did. Luckily, there are enough guilds in the area that can help out with a show like this one to have the manpower to have the crowds we were talking here.

I may have lost some other parts of conversations, but soon, we were getting our “twilter meetup” picture and I was driving myself home.

twilter meetup five twilters at barbecue

Twilters agreed to try to meetup for Lunch the next day who all was here.

And that is another day, and another story, and hopefully more pictures, in another blog post. And I don’t know exactly when it will be written/posted. This story so far has taken me a lot of the afternoon. Probably why I was putting it off. So much to tell. And tell and tell. I don’t want to forget my fun & fantastic weekend, so I will be back hopefully soon with more details for you to share in my experience!

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37.7 Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival is Almost Here!

June 15, 2015

An event our guild has known about and helped to plan for the last 2 years is coming up this weekend.

Our small guild of 40-50 strong has done great work in the last two years in preparing for the event, several of our meetings were dedicated to organizing, deciding quilts to go in the show, realizing and planning our roles in the show, what to expect at the show.

Ours is not the only guild, we are one of I think 15 guilds putting on the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival.

I have one quilt in the judged portion show, if you haven’t heard, it’s my Royal Red King’s Puzzle quilt:

Royal Red styled on porch swing

I turned it in on Saturday. It’s really pretty and I like how it turned out in the end. This picture is from when I was at Sew Excited Quilts – Jackie’s place and we were working on my binding there.

I turned in two more quilts to stand with my guild’s quilts. This was a last minute addition to the show due to more guild allotted space.

I thought I had blogged about this, but it turns out I was just saturating my other social media with this quilt & the upcoming quilt show.

Anyway, I had put together a google map for people traveling in the KC area that has a few restaurants and a couple other places of interest.

A few Kansas City Quilt shops & restaurants for the Regional Show

I have been in contact by email with the people I know of that are coming out of town, if you have been missed and would like to meet up please email ASAP at scientificquilter@gmail.com I should be able to find time available on a personal level.

The “big twilter” meetup was going to be Saturday morning, but Jackie has noticed Friday evening is a dinner meetup opportunity, which is yet to be determined. Getting discussions about specifics on the Friday if that works better for people started. The people I knew were coming I have been talking to already.

The group is sorta small and already lost about half the original members due to circumstances, but we are a lot of us introverts and that may eventually end up working to our advantage. I may introduce people from my guild as I see them at the show as well, but there is also ducking into and out of classes for many.

Anyway I am very excited, we are within a week. The last few weeks I have been doing bindings, sleeves, and labels. All hand sewing.

If you’re at the show, I will probably see you there! Be still my heart!  So Excited for Friday!

Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival

 

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37.6 How Round Robins Work

May 23, 2015

This is a post describing how round robins work, or rather, how our round robin worked, complete with pictures.

If you missed a while on the blog or were redirected here from elsewhere, I was included in a multi-group internet friends (twilter-twitter quilter friend) round robin quilt exchange.

One fantastic lady, Daisy of Lazy Daisy Quilts decided to put together a round robin quilt exchange and asked for signups from interested people back at the beginning of 2014.

There were enough ladies who wanted to participate that we had 3 groups: Twilter Round Robin Group A, Twilter Round Robin Group B, Twilter Round Robin Group C. Our group was Group A

Basic Definition of a Round Robin quilt exchange:

Round Robin quilts are long-term projects in which each person works on other peoples’ projects during the time of the round robin, passing along a quilt idea, fabric, and a rapidly growing partial quilt top to each participant until the quilt ends back in the original quilter’s possession.

For me, it all started off with a pattern from electric quilt, a fabric choice & then a block.

center for round robin quilt darla

Here’s the first question I am asked when talking about the round robin: How does it work?

Generally, a round robin quilt (as our group did it) is an agreement between friends or strangers and friends to work on a quilt of someone else’s with the understanding that they will work on yours in return.

My role in the round robin:

  1. I made the center of the quilt. I decided what colors to be used & original quilt direction.
  2. I selected fabrics for the quilt to use in the quilt.
  3. I provide some kind of guidelines or suggestions to the others in the group for working on the quilt.
  4. I send the quilt onto the next person in the list (in the mail or in person). I am always sending to the same next person.
  5. I receive someone else’s quilt in the mail, with their center (or more), their fabrics, their instructions. I am always receiving a quilt from the same previous person.
  6. I work through an appropriate design to add a border to the outside of the quilt. Using math, graph paper, books or websites for inspiration, sometimes electronic quilt blocks or suggestion from Electric Quilt 7 (EQ7).
  7. I follow general guidelines by the round robin coordinator for each round to help spur imagination or direct the appropriate design. Not to be used religiously with all quilts in all situations, but to help stretch each quilter, and attempt to provide harmony with the finished project.
  8. I finish my section of the new border, sometimes making changes due to size restrictions, or fabric shortages which happens because we’re not always great at figuring out in advance what fabrics others would be appealing to the general design or just underestimation. Sometimes this step also requires purchasing fabric of our own.
  9. I write down something interesting in the process in the quilt journal. (optional) I write my name on a label provided by the original quilter (optional, but fantastically helpful in the end).
  10. I send the quilt top with my new border to the same next person in line.
  11. Receive the new quilt, repeat steps 5-10 until the original quilt comes back. I have a full quilt top and a full label and journal.

Twilter Round Robin Group A final collage

 

The coordinator has a lot of decisions to make before getting the round robin started.

The round robin coordinator’s role:

  1. They decide the groups (if more than 6 want to be part of the round robin) 5-6 people seem to be a good match for this round robin.
  2. They create a deadline for each border swap.
  3. The estimate the approximate amount of each type of fabric needed to make the quilt work, suggest the amount of background fabric, focus fabric, and other fabric to be used in making of a quilt top.
  4. The estimate the sizes of each of the borders to be proportional to the space on the quilt.
  5. They create general guidelines to help direct the future quiltmakers down a path to help create a good quilt and/or to ask people to work out of their own comfort zones.
  6. They coordinate the addresses and order of each person to do the round robin.
  7. They answer general questions, help figure out if deadlines need adjusted.
  8. They type up all the info and get it to the participants. Follow up if needed in some areas. Perhaps some handholding or drama-gathering if needed in some groups.
  9. Remind us it’s all fun.

Round Robin Twilter Group A

As you can see above, we had 6 different quilts with 6 different personalities and styles.

How does the passing of the quilts work?

Because we had a round that we passed quilts on to each other, and each person was in a different order, we were able to affect each quilt at a different stage of its development.

  • The first two quilts each of us received, we were only beginning to shape the look and feel of the quilt to follow.
  • The next round brought the middle into focus, the meat of the quilt,
  • The last two rounds were on the finishing side of the round, these were larger & took up more time & fabric.

Our round went like this:

Daisy passes to me, I pass to Diane, Diane pass to Laura, Laura pass to Tami, Tami pass to Tina, Tina pass to Daisy.

twilter round robin how the quilts got passed in a round

And each of us had our own version of that. The drawing above shows how the quilts were passed around.

My role in the round robin Group A, and the quilts as I saw them in the order I worked on them

Round 1 – Daisy

Since Daisy’s was the first round robin quilt I saw, it was the first one I worked on, and thus the smallest round to do.

This is a collage of the completed quilt of Daisy’s (on the left), the block as I received it, and the block as I finished it.

daisys finished quilt center and my portion

Once completed, I wrote in the journal, and on the label, then sent it in the mail to Diane.

Once Daisy was finished with the next quilt – Tina’s quilt, she sent it in the mail to me. As you will see I was always receiving from Daisy and sending to Diane. So I really only had to have 1 address.

Round 2 – Tina

Tina’s quilt only had her center and Daisy’s first border. The sky was the limit here.

tinas finished quilt center and my portion

The picture above is Tina’s finished quilt on the left. Top right is the original block, middle right is the quilt top as I received it, bottom right is the quilt top I sent out.

Round 3 – Tami

At the “halfway point” everyone was working on the opposite person’s quilt. I was working on Tami’s quilt when she was working on mine.

tamis finished quilt center and my portion

 

The picture above is Tami’s finished quilt on the left. Top right is the original block, middle right is the quilt top as I received it, bottom right is the quilt top I sent out.

Round 4 – Laura

Laura’s quilt was based on neutral fabrics. Greys and browns dominated the landscape of this quilt top with dramatic golds and blue hues thrown in for a smidge of color

lauras finished quilt center and my portion

 

The picture above is Laura’s finished quilt on the left. Top right is the original block, middle right is the quilt top as I received it, bottom right is the quilt top I sent out.

Round 5 – Diane

Diane’s quilt was mostly done. I was trying to figure out an appropriate finish for her quilt.

dianes finished quilt center and my portion

 

The picture above is Diane’s finished quilt on the left. Which is also the portion that I worked on and sent out to her. Top right is the original block, bottom right is the quilt top as I received it.

More notes about Round Robin Quilts & observations

Since it was a center-focused round robin where we added further borders to the outside of an already ‘finished’ project, so the projects usually take on a medallion feeling.

Each quilter has to essentially be a “border designer”, and has to be willing to either ‘do the math’ or make a program (like EQ7) do the math for them.

I used inspiration from either drawing graph paper, or Electric Quilt 7, or a book on borders, or pinterest pictures, or various books on techniques. Sometimes I tried several different versions of the quilt, but once I kept seeing one version in my mind more than 1 day, that is the variation I went with.

There is an option to do rows instead of medallion rounds, which would be the same amount of work on the last one as on the first one. This would work in a similar way, but are usually called “Row Robin” quilts instead.

The first round we received, we had a shortened timeframe, but we had less size to finish before sending it off. This was stressful for me, but I did get the quilt done by or close to the deadline most of the time.

Each swap we had different goals, different color pallets, different visions to try to work into the quilts. It is truly a good way to sew out of the comfort zone.

And since the twilters who were interested in this swap were all over the US, the boxes got some post office traveling time around the country.

Some of the early quilts I worked on, I was completely surprised with at the end.

We got to learn about each person as reading through the journal entries of the original quiltmaker, in addition to things other people said in the journal. I was inspired by things in the journal in addition to other blocks and items I saw elsewhere. Many times the journal dictated the “tone” of the quilt more than anything!

Math was very helpful in the round robin. Having the original dimensions of each quilt, then trying to figure out how to put blocks together with appropriate spacers was challenging, but a heck of a lot of fun.

It helped me to use a program like EQ7 to help with the math and to visually see if the blocks I were doing were too big or not big enough or if I needed to add spacers.

Often times, I used my moleskin graph paper the most as it was the perfect thing to visually count other parts of the quilt.

Another note was to not try to overshadow the other people’s work. Since I try to do “big bold complicated” this was a constant worry for me, and something that at times reigned me in, and other times I probably ignored. Looking back, I ended up adding a darker border many times to the quilts I received. I don’t know if/what that says about me.

The most important part is to leave a part of yourself in the quilt that you’re working on. Being true to who I am is very important to me, even if I don’t always know what that looks like. So even during the “potential overshadows” I may/maynot have done, I still made quilts that were pleasing to me, that were something that I could do as well as I could.

That’s what matters & that is what’s special about these quilts.

In summary (visual)

The quilts as I worked on them, the center block, what I did to them, and their final product.

Round Robin Progress

Yay for round robins with friends!

 

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