Sunday, November 29, 2009

Shop Girl Bag Challenge

I teach classes at Quilting Bits and Pieces quilt shop in Eudora, KS.  The gals in the shop came up with a fun holiday project.  All the "shop girls" who work or teach there are invited to make a bag using a shop pattern and fabric.  I chose the Harmony Handag by Studio Kat designs.  I thought it looked fast and easy.   YEA RIGHT! 

Ok, back to the story. . . On December 5 the shop is having their annual Christmas sale and everyone who comes in and brings a canned good or food item (for the Eudora food pantry) gets to vote on their favorite bag.  The shop girl with the bag with the most votes gets a shop gift certificate!

Being competitive, I was all over the Shop Girl Bag Challenge, and picked out a great bag (or so I thought) and some wonderful new batik fab with ducks and cat tails.  Then I opened the pattern envelope.  GULP!  Thankfully there were illustrations in the pattern because it was so hard to follow that I had to read each step about 6 times.  Then all the pieces have patterns and notches and interfacing, and fusible fleece, and peltex and zippers and ties, and flaps, and. . . .more like a prom dress than a quilt bag.  I can usually whip up a bag in a few hours, but it took me a day to cut everything out and 2 days to stitch this baby up.  It came out just as pictured, but not without a good bit of "unsewing" on my part and a few choice words directed at no one in particular.

So. . ta da. . here is my version of the Harmony Handbag!  Instead of a button in the front I found this cool old buckle from the 40's.  I made two lined rectangles and threaded them thru the buckle to create a bow ornament.  I thought it contrasted well with the fabric, and made the lining color sparkle a bit.  I stitched it on invisibly from the inside and liked the way it looks with the pink inset in the front.

The pink lining shows in the front inset and in both sides where the ties are located.

So now I need all my friends to go to the shop on December 5 and vote for my bag.  It may not be the best looking but it sure was the most difficult!  LOL  Thanks for checking out my baggy saga!

Midnight Posies Block 11 – Pinwheel Posies

I can hardly believe the year is almost gone and the Midnight Posies quilt is nearly complete.  Yes there is still one more block to go after this as well as the sashing and borders.  pinwheel posey The Pinwheel Posies block is a bit more challenging, and brings into play the skills you have learned in the preceding 10 blocks.  It is made up of combinations of simple units: half square triangles, quarter square triangles, and flying geese.  The center section of the block is made like a 4-patch, and the rest of the block is assembled like a 9-patch
The challenges with this block is to get all 8 seams coming together in the center to lay nice and flat (pressing seams open will help) and getting the point of the flying geese block to match the points of the pinwheel.  Making each unit slightly larger than needed and cutting them down to size really helps increase your accuracy when matching seams and aligning points.
Now, what have I been working on in the meantime??  Yipes, I have completed 2 t-shirt quilts, and did five more blocks in my Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler quilt.  I just completed the first three rows and joined them with sashing.  Here is what part of them look like.IMGP3180
I am also working on a bag, which has to be the most difficult bag I have ever sewn.  When I get it to a point that it looks like a bag I will take a picture and post it.  For now, it looks like “parts”.  I like to think of myself as an accomplished sewer, but this one is really kicking my butt!!  hehe
So, what are you working on?

Monday, November 16, 2009

You Said WHAT!?!?!?! or How Quilters Communicate

Quilters I need your help!!

I am working on a new guild lecture that combines my experience as a teacher, lecturer and guild member with my 30+ years as a professor of communication studies.  I wanted to find out what kind of experiences quilters have with each other, so I developed a survey to gather some data about what good and bad experiences quilters have in their relationships with each other.

I would love to know what you think.  Would you please take my simple online survey?  It is only 10 questions and all results are completely anonymous and confidential.  If you are interested in the results, I will post a brief summary of the results after the first of the year.  That will allow plenty of time to gather a variety of responses. 
Take our Online Survey

Thanks so much for helping out.  Quilters are the best!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Holiday Quilts

I just love making and seeing holiday quilts. I thought I would share a Holiday Traditions Quilt Contestfew of mine. I just entered two of them in Quilting Gallery’s Holiday Traditions quilt Contest.  I hope you will vote for my quilts. . .or at least go look and enjoy all the wonderful Holiday Quilts!
Here are a few of my quilts for Falls.
This is a table runner called Autumn Spice I found in a magazine a few years ago.  I just loved it and have made several of these.Autumn Spice
I love Halloween and this table runner was a kit I purchased from a shop in Council Grove, KS.  I think the shop was sold and moved to Emporia, KS but Tony, the lady who designed this pattern, does wonderfully creative holiday designs.
Spooky Runner This big Halloween sampler quilt was the result of a block swap I did a few years ago on my Yahoo Group – Sew Many Swaps. We swapped Halloween blocks and then they sat in a bag in my sewing room for a while until the next BOB swap came around.  If you read my blog you know what a BOB is. (Note:  BOB stands for Bag O Blocks, and a BOB swap is when someone else puts together a top using your BOB, and of course you do the same for them).Jeannies Spooktacular
Jeannie Welch pieced this incredible top for me and even made up the multli-color binding from all the sashing fabrics!  I just love this quilt and this year we took it camping with us over Halloween!  It sure kept us warm in the trailer!
Thanksgiving SamplerEarly in my quilting career I made this great Turkey quilt!  I fell in love with this pattern and made two of them at the same time!  I kept one for my door and gave the other one to our guild for our annual mini quilt auction.  A friend bought it and now we both hang up our matching quilts on our front doors at Thanksgiving time.  I just put mine up today!
These are a few of the Christmas quilts I have made over the years.  This is the first one.  I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought this pattern at a quilt shop in Branson, MO, but the quilt was hanging up and I just thought it was gorgeous.  Little did I know that when I opened the package there would be –100 PAGES – of printed foundation patterns!!!Poinsettia BasketI worked for weeks paper piecing this thing and finally when the sections started going together and I got a glimpse of how the finished quilt would look I was just thrilled.  My friend Brenda Weien, an incredible long arm machine quilter, did the quilting for me.  The radiating lines of quilting really make the composition stand out.  And that whole white background is crazy pieced!!  I had 8 or 10 white on white fabrics for that background alone.  Sheesh.  I loved making the quilt but I don’t think I will tackle something that big again.  The finished quilt is 40 x 72”!!!!!
I learned how to use the Christmas Treesquare-in-a-square ruler a few years ago and went wild making storm at sea quilts and Christmas tree quilts.  Here is one that I kept. Brenda quilted this one for me too, and the background has pine branches and there are gifts quilted in under the tree.  She did the whole thing in gold metallic thread on her long arm.  Wow, she deserved a medal for that alone!
This Santa quilt was another BOB.  Becky in North Dakota pieced the top for me from these Santa blocks that were part of a SMS block swap.  I just love the setting she chose for these blocks.  Kathi in Lawrence quilted it for me.You Better Watch Out
Nina in Wisconsin gave me this pattern and I have made several of these Santa quilts called “Midnight Trip”.  It is a trip around the world pattern with a Santa worked into the piecing.  I just that that was such a clever Holiday themed pattern!Santas Midnight Trip
I changed the stars in this quilt from 8-pointed stars to friendship stars just to make it easier to piece.  You know me, if I can change a pattern to make it easier, I’ll do it!  hehehe
This last quilt is my Charming Botanicals December Poinsettia and Holly quilt.  The pattern for this quilt is available on my website and on ETSY.  It has probably been my best selling pattern so far and when my local quilt shop kitted it, they sold out of the kits very quickly!December quiltHope you have enjoyed my Holiday Quilt Tour!!  Well, yes, there are more, but I will save those for the next post.  In the mean time, be sure and go vote for your favorite holiday quilts. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

As If Quilting isn’t Enough – Another Collection

Yes, I started collecting when I was very young.  I am sure it started with pretty rocks.  Then I started amassing tea pots, and then anything that looked like corn.  I love those old Mc Coy corn dishes.  Jewelry, especially old costume jewelry, has always been a passion and I collected that for a long time – um, well I guess I still do.  Then I collected china that looked like cottages.  That was quite a long phase and still have many lovely old pieces.  Perhaps my biggest collecting passion was beaded purses. . . those lovely old Victorian, art nuveau and art deco bags with exquisite floral motifs, pictures, or designs in beads that shimmer.  Others are made of metal mesh.  I have most of them packed away but the other day I dug out a few of my old favorites.  I really must do something with this collection.  Here are a few of the ones I unearthed.  There are about 200 more still packed away. 
PB090251PB090252 PB090253 PB090254 PB090255 PB090257
Quilters never tire of beautiful things.  These lovely old pieces of the past have always been an inspiration to me to continue creating beautiful things. What do you collect?  How do they inspire you?