Archive for the ‘Quilting Community’ Category

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43.4 Sukey’s Reverse Quilt Top Completed!

November 9, 2018

After coming back from a much needed vacation, I set up to finish the quilt top for the Sukey’s Reverse quilt for the guild. Last post, I was waiting for some blocks, and with special guidance, was able to ask for last minute help getting the blocks done and to me in the deadline I set for myself.

So, just before leaving on vacation, I was secure in knowing I had the blocks in my possession, and the weekend I got back, was able to “vacation de-stress” and make my “at home” quilting retreat to work on the final borders and layout and quilt top for the Sukey’s Reverse quilt.

First, I made some of what I called, “magic sashing”. 

The very edges of the quilt, I made a 1.5″ strip with mostly white, but with “cornerstones” on each side of 1.5 by 1.5 so that the sashing is the same size as the final unfinished quilt block: 12.5″ Pieces added were 10.5 X 1.5

This finished out the larger block design on the outside edge.

Another guild member made several of these “inset border” blocks, just the same small block pieces that were in the rest of the quilt. I tested out the “seminole piecing” technique of surrounding these blocks by triangles cut by a quarter square triangle method.

These borders were fun and it’s always fun to “fudge” the numbers of each color needed for the side of the quilt. The quilt is based in blues, so the swirly blue is the main color in the border. But the quilt is also based in some other cool colors, and it was fun to put them into the quilt in addition.

By surrounding the block by the same color as the white (one of the colors of the four patch) the two colored pieces appear to “float” in the quilt. Since I was doing the seminole piecing, I decided one side of the triangles would be the same background, and the other side would be colored. This also makes the pieces appear to float in the middle of the border without being too wild or hard to do.

By the end of the weekend I came back, I had the whole top together and pinned to my design wall, and all the pieced borders of the quilt done. Notice how the center fabric was one fabric I had in my stash that leans purple, and somewhere in the middle on each side, is one or two fabrics that lean blue green, but the rest are blue.

The following weekend, or maybe it was the one after, I was able to attend a sewing day and get a “stay solid border” in between on the edge of the quilt.

I had electric quilt calculated the number of blocks needed for the quilt as I had made, and then got a rough idea of the full size of the inner border of the quilt.

I was originally going to make the dark border a little narrower, but tried to “size up” a little bit to try to match the pieces on the outside.

I was close. So very close. Different adjustments might have had to be made as necessary.

Turns out each pieced border was 0.25″ too long. Trimming it up, I now have added my quilt borders shown above to the edge of the quilt.

The edge of each of the side borders is also the same background color as the rest of the background. This made it really easy to be able to trim up my slightly too long pieced borders without sacrificing the design. Also lucky me that after sewing was only 0.25″ off!

I was going to add one more dark border (hard to see in the picture above, but dark blue/blue-purple is the inside border).

This quilt is measuring 103.25 by 90.25. and this part is done up to here. I am hoping to turn it over to the quilter to have it done in the late winter/early spring for the 2019 fundraising.

Lots of work, a few “rouge blocks”, lots of cajoling or reminders of getting the blocks back, and lots more organization than I really wanted to do.

At the end, I did push my guild members to get the blocks done. But contrastingly, I did push myself to get the rest of the quilt done also. Most large chunks of spare time on the weekends so far in the last month and a half have been doing something more on my part of this quilt.

I was pretty exhausted this year doing all this guild work for 2018. Doing a large part of putting together the guild show and putting this together also, not a great idea to do both around the same time frame. Maybe if there was only one or the other, it would have been a little more manageable.

A few personal items in my life early in the year, and extra hobbies this year have pushed everything so squished for 2018.

But even with all the issues, prodding, pattern writing stress, I am happy with the quilt as it is. I find it funny that my extremely scrappy blocks made first almost look out of place. But not. Not really. So many “quilt philosophies” here. I love group quilts and seeing everyone’s creativity!!!!

I haven’t quite finished the updated instructions on the borders. It’s been a mish-mash of pictures and ideas so far which I haven’t edited down to a complete item. And it turns out that the borders fit better than I originally planned as they were actually cut.

I am going to miss having Sukey’s Reverse quilt in the house! I will need to do a major amount of donations to be able to get the quilt back! Or I could make a second one. A year from now the quilt will be drawn for. A large year and fun year of this quilt in the making.

I am also going to be happy moving on to something else for a while!!!

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43.2 Waiting game for last of the opportunity quilt blocks

October 12, 2018

Racing back to the opportunity quilt my guild is putting on, I put down in a post a lot of feelings I have had about working on the quilt. Currently (at the moment of writing, not the moment of posting) waiting on 7 blocks to show up in my hands to finish the center of the quilt top we are working on. I have decided (at the moment of writing) to have faith that the blocks others have signed up to do are done. I designed the quilt, ended up making the deadline for the blocks middle of September, and now am in a waiting game for the last blocks to show up in my hands to be able to put the top together with the extended deadline of next weekend.

I am re-releasing my thoughts here about working on the quilt top. A lot of it I feel are current blocks I am trying to work through on my own about my own failings, and what types of things I am personally working through that have come up with the working on this quilt. Most are how I feel about myself. Of note: I got into a huge fight with one of my friends while working on this quilt and with the guild this year. Because of my feelings towards myself, and my attitudes and my expectations. I know I do show some judgement of others below. Hopefully it doesn’t come off as too strong to anyone but myself. Comments shared word for word elsewhere are in italics.

Feel free to skip this post if you aren’t interested in quilting with self reflection.

The quilt is called Sukey’s Reverse, and it is re-designed from a generic block called Sukey’s choice from a block I got somewhere in some calendar or post. To my knowledge, this block doesn’t exist out there yet to any kind of popularity.

Thoughts on my adventures of “ being in charge of the group opportunity quilt”. Have been spending the extra time this weekend on getting parts made for the borders of the group quilt to be ready for when all the blocks magically show up in the next week. Also prepared to angel yet another two blocks in case I don’t get them by Friday. As in, one extra block is done and will go in my own quilt if they all come back, completed as promised, and the other block all the dark rectangular and square pieces are together. I have already signed up and made 4 blocks for this quilt already, and started looking at options for the “too small” blocks, of which I think I have found 2. No one seemed interested in helping with the pieced borders, which is fine, not everyone’s taste, but it is good to get started on some of the pieces already. I also have some “magic sashing” and cornerstones to do to finish out the design just before the rest of the pieced borders. I have yet to sit down and actually measure any one of these blocks to the “correct size”, but along the wall the other day, no one block stood out as being extra big either.

I think some of my stress is not physically being able to be present at the October meeting, and wanting the top done by the last meeting of this year. (In November) I have had fun with it, in the design, but not necessarily in the constant going back and picking up blocks part of this quilt. I think a lot of it is because if I don’t work “really hard” at being organized, I am forgetful enough that I do get off track more than I should. It has been a testament of faith trying to wait for people to make them. Here is hoping that the faith is not misplaced. I am happy enough with the blocks I have that I can shorten up the quilt now if I would absolutely need to in a pinch. Nonetheless, I still have angel blocks in the wings. I am extremely grateful for the ladies who not only promised to fill the last remaining spots that no one else seemed anxious to fill, but for getting them done and to me as well already. Now is a sitting and waiting game for the rest of the blocks by the deadline of next Friday.

This year, I have completely overextended myself with my activities with the guild, taking on this, taking on the organization and entry of the quilts for the local show. It has felt like this year, my extra time has not been mine. With a very small exception of a month or two at most. I realize a lot of this is my own fault, my own complications, my own overexplanations that no one will listen to, my own constant need to ‘oversacrifice’ to prove to others that I am worthy or worth any attention. I have been known for getting attention for my quilts and my quilting, and my designs, and so I have leaned on that hard to “validate my self worth”.

(Some of this over-sacrifice has even lead to my insistence that I was eventually going to “figure out the borders” later. Even though I had a design that had good borders that I liked. But no time did I really ever give everyone the “here’s how to make the borders” part of the quilt, and no time except for the first pass around of the sign up list in March did I ever again ask for people’s help doing the borders) Which means I do have another thing to do now. I am currently ‘reworking’ part of the  borders of this quilt.

I know that I don’t do a lot of things for other people, and see these acts of service as “helping the greater good”. A lot of quilters that I know make quilts for others as a regular part of their quilting lives, and I can’t get a chance to finish anything I have started. But some of that is because of this. I do tend to keep the smaller quilts I make. There is also lingering guilt that I never got a quilt made for her before she passed on, and that my indecision in things never gets anything completely made unless I have a deadline, or unless other people are counting on me.

(I wrote once fully, and then rewrote smaller two separate versions of the pattern for this quilt).

(I was very excited to get the instructions down to one page, but yes, I did just say we’re going to do the borders later in the instructions, and then put a picture of the original block there). Being asked now by one of the people who have been done and wanting to help as of now).

Then I start thinking about how the whole opportunity quilt thing works.

I wonder how easy it will be to be sitting selling tickets for this quilt next year at the large quilt show, and how I will handle any off-hand remark from others about not liking the quilt after putting this much work and effort towards it. And I wonder how I will feel when it leaves the guild’s hands completely at the end of the year next November. Oh, am I supposed to be the one who organizes people to sit with this at other guild’s shows to show it off to sell tickets to it? I hardly want to think about adding that type of task to my list as well next year. I hate that type of task, and am slightly hoping that once this quilt top is made and at the quilter’s it becomes someone else’s issue to deal with. I suppose I can ask, but there is a nagging feeling that no one else will want to do that part either, and it will also fall to me, but we will see.

(picture below me sitting at the last opportunity quilt at the event described above)

Something about quilting that is somewhat unique is the sheer amount of planning, preparation, doing of tasks to get a piece like this done. As with any art, it has gone through many hopes and dreams, many aspirations, many variations and explanations. A lot of thought goes into this. Including the “oh, I haven’t finished my part in this”, and the “why hasn’t everyone even signed up to do this” and now the ecstatic joy to see the matching fabrics contrasting the ‘very, very scrappy’ fabrics, the possibilities, and even the condescending comments about how I am over explaining too much again in effort to be helpful, but also sting slightly. Which is nothing new to hear, but still hard to hear as well. In addition to the blow up over a promise that didn’t get fulfilled in the time frame as well. In these hopes and dreams and feelings, are each stitch, all these promises of getting things done, of helping others, of the greater good, and of “getting this thing off my plate already so I can get going working on something else for once” too.

Just a quilt, huh? Just a blanket? Something pretty on the wall. Or on the bed, or on the couch, or hopefully not, in the dog bed. I just hope the person who draws the # for it has an appreciation of it. I was glad to be a part of this quilt, and hope someone else can carry the “weight” of it next year!

(Not so sure I will abstain from doing designing and collecting of blocks the following year. I have been overwhelmed for the timing of both the quilt show and the opportunity quilt being the same, similar time frame, in 2018. I am sincere in hoping others will be able to manage the distribution and sale of this quilt I am working on now for the time of 2019. Timing of the next opportunity quilt will also fall on the same year as the local show, 2020, of which, I still hope to be a major part of that project.) Not sure now how I feel about that right now.

As someone said, I shouldn’t have to do it alone. I don’t know why I always struggle to ask for specific help. Somehow, it’s a part of who I am – or so I think. If I work on the skill of figuring out what specific help to ask for, and being specific on what is needed, then maybe I will be able to ask and receive the help. But, sometimes, the anxious part of my brain is worried that things will fall through and will be on my shoulders again at the end anyway. In all honesty. If I can figure out how to quiet that part, or work with it, instead of against it, things might feel more peaceful.

I have been surprised at my feelings of waiting for blocks the last week and a half. I have said to myself and at least one other, “I have to have faith they will arrive.”

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43.1 “Handwork” to avoid carrying around my machine

October 5, 2018

A small sewing group meets about once a month and I have been able to be a part of it. I took my pinwheel blocks, which are leftover from as swap from 2010 or 2011 and decided to ask if I could learn how to “spin the centers” of the back of the pinwheels

Somehow I had a little bit of a struggle. One, I misheard and started pulling apart the backs of the last seam instead of the next to last seam. Things went crazy. The block was re-sewn.

Eventually I did get it figured out, with the help of my friends. I didn’t cut off my dog ears before sewing these down, which actually made it decently easy to pop the opposite seam (both sides) and flatten it out. I sat the afternoon and got most, if not all, the pinwheels popped. I had 88 pinwheels to do.

Then, sometime the last few months in between projects, I got some sashing, cornerstones figured out and cut to size.

Which meant I had to trim up my pinwheels to the same size.

I was able to use some offline time away from my machine, away from internet to work on these. It was sorta tiresome, but the perfect opportunity to do a little bit of offline sewing.

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42.6 Whirlwind spring before whirlwind local quilt show

July 10, 2018

I have been more on a board game and video game kick as of late, so my sewing has been limited in scope this year. Not to mention time spent in my garden which is finally now paying off pretty well with pretty flowers, landscaped border and a few herbs, tall tomato plants, tall pepper plants, and a cucumber plant.

I decided to put myself in charge of quilt drop off and pick up, creating, distributing, collecting new quilt forms for all the quilts hanging in the show, organizing the quilt rack layout, and hanging the quilts for the local quilt show.

This responsibility has caused much panic on my end, I have had to get up and speak in front of the guild every single guild meeting. Sometimes, the panic has been because I have been less prepared beforehand. In addition to panicking about panicking about the whole thing. Don’t ask. I am not sure exactly myself.

The show was just over a week ago, and I feel like I have prepared for, and just ran, a marathon. Or half. At least half, right?

Luckily, the show is every other year. Next year, we only need to work for the much larger regional festival. Which is its own time commitment.

The local show, quilt wise, is set up like this. We only have 3 categories, a small, medium, and large quilt category. No juries, no voting, everyone usually gets their quilts into the show without issue. Sometimes we are bargaining with people to please put in quilts into the show at the last minute because we don’t have as many entries as we would want.

We also have a featured quilter, someone who has a large body of work who will display many of their quilts from years past. Usually they get their own section, and tell their quilt story.

The last two shows we have added a challenge quilt section, where we make something with specific parameters. This current challenge was the theme “summertime” and the dominant and secondary colors are blue and red (can you tell?) with one side of 16″.

For the show itself, we have no judges, but the most liked three in our three categories get a viewer’s choice award.

As for the quilts of my own, I always intend to take pictures of all the quilts, but less confident that I did this year with everything going on. I can’t find pictures of two of my quilts.

Which is sad because it means I may have forgotten to get pictures of an entire row of quilts. Which is my original job, to be the unofficial guild historian.

 

 

My challenge quilt was this one. Based from a 2017 BOM called Caught Ya from Craftsy. It’s called Red Rattle Traps and it for certain means summer to me. I poked myself hard one one of those fishing hooks, so before the show I hot glued the ends. Rather than fish, they are supposed to be lures to catch fish.

We also had a charity portion of the show. We set up a boutique and proceeds go to two local sources.

There was talk of manning the booth for a local festival for the leftover pieces from the boutique to further help the charities involved.

I did not get a picture of the guild garage sale during the show. Our guild typically does not swap fabric pieces throughout the year, so it falls on the local garage sale for our quilters to purge their currently unused stash.

Well, after a full strange week at work after the show, I was glad to finally have a weekend of low responsibility for once. Finally, finally, finally. Hopefully I remembered to get all my stuff done for the show, i took copious notes before-hand and more afterwards about what worked and what didn’t.

It’s hard to work so hard in the middle (early) July when it’s brutally hot.

Next time (2020) I don’t know if I will be blessed to be able to take the whole week off because of the weekend of the show might more readily align with the 4th of July weekend. For my role, it was essential that I do so to be able to get everything done and to try to mitigate stress as much as possible.

Once I knew the quilts were hung, my stress level went way way down because then, I just had to show up and help during other portions of the show, and not make too many decisions.

There was a funny time where for 2-3 hours we didn’t know where one light switch was. Which caused a whole row of quilts to be hung in the dark (mostly) during that time. Which was too bad because that was where our mini quilts were hanging. Later, the light was not an issue and now I have notes on how to do it for next time too!

 

 

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42.4 Pi Day in March A Long 2018

March 14, 2018

I finally have time to sit and write a blog post. The sun is finally shining for the second day in a row, the weather is nice, and it is 3-14 otherwise known as 3.14 or pi day as of late (American date style, I guess).

For March A Long, (or is it March-A-Long or is it March Along?) we are encouraging each other to sew for 15 minutes every day!

Anyway, I am so excited for the many people who are joining in sewing for 15 minutes every day, or at least trying to! When I first put up the post, I got a quick comment about how someone couldn’t make themselves ONLY do 15 minutes a day!

That’s super inspiring!!! Super unrealistic for me personally, but I am so stoked that I have at least one person I know that sews for more than that every day!! Probably more than that one person, in actuality.

I have heard more than one person who started setting up their 15 minutes and then kept going a little bit for several days in a row!

You are all inspiring! Check out by doing a quick search of the word #marchalong or #sqmarchalong on your favorite social media sites, and see what everyone else is up to!

For my part of doing March A Long, I have gave myself a rather boring and uninspiring task.

Trimming.

The little grey pieces in the picture on the design wall. Yeah, I’ve been trimming those up to something resembling square.

I decided to go with 2.25 each half square triangle. The most interesting I first thought to do was to put them on my wall like the picture above.

But then because I started working more on trimming the dark parts, I started putting them up in the design and I like this idea better than just plain diamonds.

So now I am going to try to make this work for a round on my medallion quilt.

Earlier last month I was attending a quilting retreat and all these yellow and orange squares I was making for a mystery quilt (Charlotte Hawkes Quilts) I am working on and I had to show off my matchy-matchy colored snacky.

This was the set of blocks I made too big because I didn’t follow the directions. But No Pie here.

Last fall I attended a retreat and put together a pie quilt of watermelon pie. Well Not exactly, but if you squint or don’t think about it too much, this Dresden quilt can be considered to be made of pie with the coloration of watermelon (my inspiration)

Which is actually the only pi I got right now.

Last night I gave a “short presentation aka update” on the guild opportunity quilt which I have designed, and I showed them that I wrote the pattern a second time for these blocks I made last fall.

It was the first time that several of the guild members received the instructions. I don’t know what about it made me so nervous about it.

Did I share that I had so many water melon pie pieces left that I have enough pie for a whole other quilt?

I hope this update is much more exciting than just a small bunch of triangle blocks, which has been the true and real update of what’s been happening in my sewing room since the last time I posted at the beginning of March!

Anyway, I am inspired to keep on sewing! Here’s looking forward to another half of the month that we can get our 15 minutes in every day! #marchalong

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42.3 Are you ready for March-A-Long?

February 28, 2018

Are you ready for March-A-Long?

Wait! I am not! Not really. We will make do this first few days this month.

Every year I like to “host” a month (March) where we encourage each other to sew for 15 minutes a day! This includes the weekdays, which I am terrible at sewing.

Somehow every year February gets shorter.

This year something grinded into the normally “well oiled gears” (aka something dramatic happened in personal life) and made this year even less prepared than ever to host March A Long.

No Pictures. Well maybe this one.

Something happened to the font size when I went to save it and I can’t understand what or why to fix it. New to me “graphics program”. (art originally done by my friend LynAnne in the background)

Anyway, if we want to encourage each other to sew for 15 minutes a day each day in march we can do so by using the hashtag: #marchalong in posts.

If people get creative and share, I can share back what others are doing.

I am not picky on what we call sewing for 15 minutes a day. While actual sewing is nice, sewing in the mind (planning/designing/looking on pintrest etc) will all count as well as the essential tasks of fabric shopping, cutting, tracing patterns.

I am not yet sure what I am going to do for March 1st (tomorrow as I type this), but I will come up with something. I may get my blocks out on my design wall and start planning out the wedges I have to make for my tilted blocks.

Or I could spend 15 minutes towards cutting down my dog-ears on my latest project.

I do have lots to share, and I may have to jump ahead a few months just to be more current and then double-back to catch up on sewing projects. I don’t understand why I make this blog posting thing so hard sometimes.

Talk to you more the next few weeks for sure!

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42.0 Designing a quilt for the guild

November 10, 2017

Every other year our guild is making an opportunity quilt – sorta like a raffle quilt – for the guild. Our current one will be drawn for in a few more weeks.

Here is our current guild opportunity quilt that is just about out the door!

We used Tula Pink’s Modern quilt blocks in greys and blues. Bordered in green to help get the blocks to the correct size, and then grey sashing with subtly darker cornerstones. We were making these blocks from our own guild’s stash, and it turned out great because there is such variety in the colors used.

We did this with expressed permission from Tula Pink, and specific instructions for guild members with the patterns involved. Which makes sense for the designer to protect their own copyright.

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Somehow for the next opportunity quilt, we were having a guild discussion and, sorta because I through out a question or two, I sorta attached my name out there for designing/picking the next one we do as a guild.

We won’t have to have the quilt fully made until like January or February of 2019, but I am trying to think early, think ahead on this.

Something about this project was nagging me. I spent a good chunk of time looking through quilt block books, scrap quilt books, this year.

I have been spending time flipping through my quilt-block calendar.

I usually flip through this and leave it up on a block that I would like to make, like the one in the picture above.

I went through lots of designs on electric quilt 7 and just spent time thinking and thinking and planning and planning.

I printed out several different types of quilts that would be fun to do.

I had some time away from my computer and away from Electric quilt. During the times I was away, I used my book of 1000 quilt blocks, and my calendar and started sketching by hand on my moleskin, and used my good coloring pencils for some design inspirations.

A few days I couldn’t find my moleskin and I used this sketchbook to get a generic idea for other blocks.

As you can see, I like the grid work already done, everything is much better attended to.

Something about this block drawing and coloring is very soothing.

I think some of these would be nice to add into Electric Quilt and then explore some other color ranges.

I also think I zeroed in on some designs that won’t work well with a mixed group, but will work better as a non-scrappy quilt, that I am saving for myself. Tell me a better way to start and desire to make many many more quilt starts?!

I was attempting to figure out what blocks would be interesting enough that one would want to purchase a chance at, but also easy enough to have people work towards the quilt together, that will work as things with their stash.

I kept coming back to a quilt design that I had done a while ago. That I had altered a while ago. A quilt block called Aunt Sukey’s Choice.

Over and over, I saw this design and kept thinking it would work!

I was able to make one block for the quilt, and I even showed it off to the guild. A guild member had a good suggestion about the middle portion being one piece instead of four smaller pieces and reworking the white sections nearby. I like this idea and it will help simplify the quilt a bit.

I tend to work in “cool color pallets” or “warm color pallets” when doing scrappy quilts.

I ended up reworking this quilt a little bit after showing it off to the guild. The one I had shown to the guild was just blue and green alternating. I was leaning towards cool colors anyway.

But If I think of this quilt block as a sort of “nine patch”, the half square triangle sections could look just as good in reverse as they do pointed out. And alternating reverse blocks with non reverse blocks would be good design in and out and have a good direction to the the quilt.

So this is my rework of this design, which, for the moment, I am calling Sukey’s Reverse.

I am going to write up directions to the quilt, This is the same block but with different colors and a reverse section next to a non-reverse section. Nothing harder than what was already done.

I am giving myself the option to use a small amount of sashing that could fit in between blocks with dark blue cornerstones if the quilt blocks are not squared up correctly.

A suggestion has been to get members to upsize the blocks and then cut down to the correct size before putting together. Also we could assign the half square triangle blocks to someone, and the four patch blocks to someone, and we could cover the various amounts of skill needed for the quilt.

If we’re smart, we can do this out of our stash.

I kept getting told to use a block or pattern that was either free or get permission to buy the book. And depending on my pattern writing skills, my guild members may ALL agree in the end. But this is what I wanted to do from the outset, take something familiar and then make something new with it.

If this pattern is already out there and possibly popular, please let me know, but this was something I truly created from a block pattern and a good design program. I am liking the blues on all the outside blocks, and the other colors on all the inside blocks I think this will ground the quilt but also have a nice variety of colors and interest and fabrics!