Posts Tagged With: guild ideas

do SOMETHING: YES! Quilts

A few months ago I realized again that I can’t fix the world. I know, it shocked me too.

And at the same time I realized again that I can influence my corner of the world. And after a conversation with a quilting teacher/lecturer/designer who held a common secret dream for influencing a specific part of our culture, we plotted and schemed about how to do SOMETHING, even though it would not be everything that needs to be done.

I had held an idea in my heart to make small cuddle sized quilts to encourage women who were experiencing the stress of unplanned pregnancy. Just something soft and beautiful to remind them that they aren’t alone – that there are resources and people to help them. My friend’s face lit up when I mentioned my secret dream and she told me she had thought the same thing — and even had a name for such quilts – YES! Quilts. You’re Each Special.

I’m SO thankful for my graphic artist friend, Gail Wilty, who worked on this logo for us to use on this first batch of quilts!

So, we sought advice and counsel from some folks who work everyday in that area of our culture – and also from Him who knows all things. And we made some preliminary plans. Then I announced this opportunity to the quilters in my guild. I was delighted at the gracious, generous response! The result (so far) is that I delivered ten small quilts this week to Safe Harbor Pregnancy Medical Center to be gifted to a select number of their clients – women who need an extra reminder that there are resources available to them and their babies. 

Let me introduce you to Dion who is the director at Safe Harbor Pregnancy Medical Center.  I also met one of the client advocates who will be distributing these quilts.

The quilts are each uniquely beautiful…

one holds words of grace – literally,

another the calm of deep blue,

the beauty of a whole cloth design with the soft touch of a wool blossom,

the sweetness of hearts and accented quilting designs,

the soft touch of pastels,

 

the happy delight of daisies,

the sparkling whimsy of flower fairies,

the fun of two quilts which started with the same happy floral and ended up very distinctly different

– this one features vintage buttons!

It may be that you, too, want to change the world and realize that you cannot. But, maybe there is SOMETHING you can do to make this world more beautiful, more caring, more safe … Take fabric in hand and make it happen. We are cheering for you!

Learn more about Safe Harbor HERE.

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Stitching with Marci Baker

FL Sister id tag

It all started at the Colorado Quilt Council’s show two years ago when Marci Baker’s booth was across from us. We were both entertained – in fact, the Colorado sister was mesmerized – by the way that Marci manipulated strips into triangles and triangles into dimensional blocks and cubes. We quickly became fans – and that was before we learned about the “unsewing” technique she has!

Because she had way more hot tips than we could gather while we were working at that show, Cindy arranged to have Marci come to lead a workshop at the Calico Quilters in Brush, CO. And, due to her organizational skills, I was there for a visit at just the right time. So, we got to do that class together.

When I got home with the news of the fun we had and the great stuff we learned, the Pensacola Quilters guild invited Marci to visit Florida and I got my guest room ready to host her. (It also motivated me to clean my studio!) That is the story that leads up to my week Stitching with Marci Baker!

marci-cutting-table

Here’s the proof: Marci at my cutting table!

Some of the guild officers and workshop leaders came for lunch to start the week off right and then Marci gave a presentation on foundation paper piecing for the evening guild meeting.

foundation-paper-piecing

Her techniques are available in print as well.

Then she taught an all day class from her book ABC 3-D Tumbling blocks.

class

Looks difficult – but’s it’s done in strips so it’s not hard!

The next day I offered her several field trip options but her response was, “If you wouldn’t mind, could we just spend the day in your studio sewing?” Are you kidding me!?!?! Don’t you just dream of company that will make that request? And that’s what we did.

sewing-two-strips

It really works! More on this later!

In the process of working on a project for her next book, I gleaned some great tips on sewing strips together, using that wonderful little purple strip (Sewing Edge) to sew a consistent 1/4″ seam, and … you can get some good stuff HERE.

purple-strip

Sewing on her top secret project! My lips are sealed!

Then she gave a color workshop which was wonderfully interactive and informative.

color-class

Her color exercises were fun and nurtured friendship as well as knowledge.

As we sorted the fabric samples we each brought, we learned that a black and white photo can help you determine which fabrics fit into different categories. It is so much easier when you aren’t distracted by the colors!

color-class-fabric

Here’s the full colored version. Can you pick out the pieces that are out of order?

 

color-class-fabric-bw

See how much easier it is in the black & white version?

Her last presentation, at the Thursday morning guild meeting, included some of her quilts.

class-2

This Honeycomb Waffle is sewn together in strips! No set-in seams!

We celebrated the completion of a full week with dinner at the beach – including a view of the sunset. (Thank you, Dietz, for being such a good sport during a week so saturated with all things fabric!)

beach

A new friend – the best find of the week!

Marci is such an easy guest to have and such an easy teacher to learn from. We recommend her and appreciate her personally and professionally. You can contact her for workshops and presentations HERE.

PS -The greatest achievement of the week was that I was finally convinced of the benefits of “starties and stoppies” (you may call them spiders or tags or …). She had 25 reasons to use those little fabric pieces but the reason that finally got through to me was the fewer times I will replace the bobbin!

Thanks for coming, Marci! Come again!

 

 

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Design Challenge: Someone else’s Favorite Things

FL Sister id tag

Sometimes I think I’m forgetting more than I ever knew in the first place. So this week’s foundation paper piecing project made me feel really good about myself. Not because it is prize-winning work (although the points do match pretty well) but because I realized how long ago I first learned to foundation paper piece – and I still remember how to do it!

forgetful

Back in the days we lived in Utah I went to a foundation paper piecing class in Logan Canyon – one of Utah’s many beautiful spots. The teacher had great handouts, a logical and methodical approach to her explanations, and it worked! Wonder of wonders, I finished the project!

apple paper piecing

I hand quilted this one. With four kids at home at that time, I’m not sure how that happened!

And if you judge a teacher by how long the information sticks in the student’s head – she was a success.  Because here it is 25 years later and I’m still remembering the process! I wouldn’t say that it is my favorite method, but sometimes it is the only way to get where I need to go!

 

This month I needed this knowledge in a real way in order to “kill two birds with one stone” on my To Do list.

First goal was to prepare for a quilt show entry. The Pensacola Quilters Guild will host a show in the spring of 2018 and they have chosen Feathered Star as their theme block. You can be sure that the only way this stitching sister is going to do a Feathered Star is via foundation paper piecing! Before I commit to a whole quilt featuring a Feathered Star I needed to do a practice block. So some friends from guild met for a sew day to help each other get started.

paper piecing

It’s kind of like paint-by-numbers, only you use fabric. And PS – this is not a feathered star, it’s a tree.

At the same time,  my Red Hens sewing bee friends had started a design a mini-quilt challenge. This challenge is meant to stretch our quilting resume to include a project based, not on our preferences, but the preferences of another person – kind of a widening of our quilting perspective. We drew a name out of the hat to determine who we were designing the quilt for. In order to design the quilt we were to interview that person to find out their quilting history, their preferences, how they made quilting choices.

diane and vernell Christmas Party sm

Diane Carson and Vernell Savage, our Red Hen sewing bee leaders, at our Christmas party.

So, I interviewed Diane Carson, one of the fearless leaders of our Red Hens quilting bee. This is what I found out:

What color scheme to you like? Not pastel, no brights or primary colors; Blues; Batiks

What style of quilting do you like? Not modern – more traditional with a twist; Applique is good; Dimensional is good

What scale of prints are you drawn to? Medium prints rather than large;

What was your first quilt choice? Log cabin

I learned a lot by asking what had influenced her as a quilter. She said: Dixie Hayward influenced her and changed her tastes

 

As I plotted and schemed I realized that I could achieve these two objectives in one project – a 24″ mini quilt for Diane with a Feathered Star center made from (not bright) blue batiks with a simple border that would accentuate the points of the Feathered Star.

I used my trusty EQ7 to print out the 12″ block that I wanted. There are plenty of choices since the middle of the star leaves space for lots of different options.

foundation pattern sm

Marking the squares with D for dark, L for light, etc. helps me remember what fabric goes where.

Using batiks added to the challenge because my batik stash is not huge. So the design of the sashing and border was determined by the amount of fabric left after the center was stitched.

f star ready for border sm

Now it’s ready for the border – simple so it doesn’t distract but still needs to echo of the center block.

And here are some of the other design challenge entries….

embellishments sm

for the embellishment lover

Herbie owl sm

for Herbie who loves owls

sunshine and flowers sm

for the quilter who loves sunshine and gardening

 

yellow and blue sm

She requested blue and yellow

linen lover

For the one who loves old linens. 🙂

final star sm

And now I know I can do a feathered star!

 

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Snip, Rip and Share

We love sharing – that’s what sisters do, you know. Over the years, we have borrowed ideas as much as we have borrowed fabric, notions – or clothes. Many an idea has started in the west and produced fun in a variety of locations and vice versa. This time it’s a challenge idea that is stretching across the miles between us.

Snip, Rip and Share Challenge

Do this slowly. Trust me, the snip and rip pace will vary and someone will get behind or someone will be confused about what “pass to the right” means.

Everyone stands in a circle with the yard of fabric they brought and an empty gallon plastic bag.

Snip the yard of fabric and rip it into 2 equal pieces. (Not necessary to be exact on this, girls.) Place one half in your bag and pass the other half to the right.

Now you have a 1/2 yard piece of fabric in your hand. Snip it and rip it in half. Place one half in your bag and pass the other half to the right.

Now you have 1/4 yard piece of fabric in your hand.Snip it and rip it in half. Place one half in your bag and pass the other half to the right. Some people will snip and rip it to make rectangular pieces and some with do it so that you have square-ish pieces. Either is fine.

Now you have 1/8 yard piece of fabric in your hand. Snip it and rip it in half. Place one half in your bag and pass the other half to the right.

Now you have 5 different pieces of fabric in your bag – sizes from 1/16 yd to 1/2 yard.

fabric pile

Don’t be too nervous – this is what my bag had in it.

And here are the challenge rules: Make something.

Anything. Any size. Any technique. Use all of the fabric you possibly can. Add other fabrics if you wish. Bring your finished project in a pillowcase or bag on the appointed day. A viewers choice vote will be taken and a prize given. Bring your left over scraps because the entry with the littlest amount of leftover scraps will receive a special prize.

The Florida stitchers exhibited their results recently …

yo-yo tree

A yo-yo tree on a snowy background

 

wavey quilt

a curved version of stack, cut and shuffle the pieces

 

sunbonnet sue and butterflies

Sunbonnet Sue with butterflies

 

story quilt

Fireworks on a small quilt this time.

 

pillow wrap

An Anthropology-esque (ie: early hippy) pillow wrap. The fabric that didn’t really fit made a great lining!

 

flying geese bag

Flying geese cover this bag. There were little mini bags inside from other fabrics

 

checkerboard quilt

Cats stitched with variegated threads play among checker boards.

 

bird's eye view umbrellas quilt

Umbrellas – from a bird’s eye view.

 

bag with pockets

A bag – the least favorite fabrics were used for the inside pockets.

 

basket

Cut into strips, all the fabrics blend together. And it won a prize at the county fair!

 

helens apron etc

When she couldn’t make the fabrics work together, she made placemats, a pin cushion, a glasses case and an apron. Is that even legal!?!?! The rules might need to address this ahead of time.

 

 

 

 

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