Sunday, October 31, 2010

November and December Classes Scheduled

Just got the schedule for the classes that I will be teaching at JoAnn's in November and December!  Remember, if you sign up for a class at an Open House, Nov 6th or Dec 4th, 1-3pm at JoAnn's in Murfreesboro, and you can take that class for half-price.  What a deal!!!

Quilting 101:  Basics
Wednesday - November 3rd - 9:30am-12:00pm
Friday - November 19th - 6:00pm-8:30pm

Quilting 202: Serene Shores Quilt   (4 classes)
Tuesdays - November 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th - 9:00am-12:00pm
Sundays - November 28th, December 5th, 12th, 19th - 1:30pm-4:30pm

Quilting 201:  Applique Giftables
Wednesday - December 8th - 4:00pm-6:00pm
Tuesday - December 14th - 9:30am-11:30am

Look what Betty FINISHED!

Even though a project has been in your hands for years, it is always time to celebrate when it is DONE!  And look what busy little Betty has been doing BESIDES keeping secrets!

Betty has had this little Halloween triptic partially made for a while. When we were together in October, she finished the applique, sewed on the buttons and binding and of course I made her add glitter!! The tree branches are couched metallic thread. These are so darling! And done in time for Halloween, too!

Also, in October, we both made this cute Haunted House.  Mine is at work so I'll post the pic Monday night.  We bought this Cyndi Edgerton pattern years ago at a show.  I love her site but LOVE, LOVE, LOVE shopping in her booth at a show.  I just want one of everything and Betty and I are working on making that happen!  lol  It went up so quick and I love the way Cyndi does her patterns - she prints them on tissue paper and gives you enough to make several projects.  I have always done paper piecing on regular printer paper and this was the first time I have used a tissue paper foundation.  I am a convert!  It was a lot stronger than I thought and did not tear easily while working with it and it was soft enough on the back that we just left it in the piece!

The next two cross stitch projects were bought MANY years ago!!!!  We found these cute EXPENSIVE kits at a little store in Helen, Georgia.  Betty fell in love with the clay buttons and bought several.  Well, she is finally done with two of them!  Bought some frames at Hobby Lobby and wha laa - she is ready to go!  I just love the black frame with the crystals.  It is perfect for this piece!!!

 And what do you know, she is actually a head of time with this little snowman!!  It did get cold in Michigan this weekend, but snow is not in the forecast!!  The frame just makes the piece with it's swirly, windy design.  Very well done, Betty, and you are done with this one way BEFORE time.  What's the deal with that?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I don't like surprises. . .

. . . and I don't like people doing things behind my back.  But this time is the exception!!!  Look what Holly, Jan, Cody Anne and Betty did to celebrate my new job!  They just had to brighten up the cubicle walls and, boy, did they!!!

Cody Anne found this great collection of Maxine fabrics at Keepsake Quilting.  She gave it to Holly as a thank you for a recent girl's weekend at Holly's beach house.  (I just usually kiss Holly's feet. . .)  Well, I thought it was just the cutest fabric and vowed to get some of it myself when I got my first paycheck.  The girls beat me to the punch!!!!

Cody Anne made the perfect block to hang for New Year's.  Overachiever that she is - she made her block reversible, so when the tee-totaler boss passes by, I can switch it up to show my name.  Very cleaver, Cody Anne.  I can tell what kind of office you work in!  It should also be noted that in true quilter tradition - she did not sew the buttons - but glued them!!!  Nicely done!  xoxox

Holly knows my inner soul a little bit too well - enough of the chicken soup already! And she has my office pegged - all we do is eat!  I feel right at home.  The green border is out of fabric she used on her Japanese Sunflower Quilt.  Can anyone say 'AAAAAHHHH'.  I love it!  The back is done in 'blah, blah, blah' fabric and has a little note saying "No fabrics were harmed nor new strips cut during the creation of this project . . . blah, blah, blah."  What a hoot!!  oxoxox

Jan, of course, added ant fabric and even has an ant eater in her block!  How cute!!!  And I'm not sure what strings she had to pull, but she got the word bubble fabric - rock, sissors, paper just had to be involved.  You rock, Jan.  lol  xoxox

 Betty got the perfect Maxine saying for our office - "Talk is cheap".  Yeah, love the pink feather-y flamingo fabric and the black and white binding you stole from Holly's stash, and the fabric we bought together in Holland, Michigan, but you have been holding out on us with your newly learned satin stitching technique!  I thought when I first looked at the block you had done a teeny-tiny inner border!  Oh, and I do love the variegated thread!!! What else you holdin' out on us, Betty??? The whole block is great and I really like the way you machine quilted it.  You are in the over achiever club, too. xoxox

Well, girls, you did not make me cry but you have made me feel very loved and cared for and I will think of you every day as you brighten up my gray cubicle and my heart!  xoxox

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quilting 202 - Graduation Day!

I am so proud of the first graduating class in Quilting 202.  I'm gonna miss these girls on Tuesday morning!  I think we made a really good team and WOW! are the quilts wonderful!  Ok, not completely finished, but we have lives!!  We have all promised to meet again to show our finished projects or at least send me pictures to post on this blog.  Cross your fingers!  Time for SHOW AND TELL!!

Millie has just about all her blocks made and just needs to sew them together - and they are all just about perfect!!!  She is making the biggest project of any of the students and will end up with a queen size quilt.  She plans on sending it out to be longarmed and I just can't wait to see the finished product.  She is thinking of putting the blue sand fabric on the back.  That will look just fabulous!!! We've decided that Millie's quilt is the summer coast and Mare's is the spring coast!  It is amazing how fabric selection changes everything!!!  Beautiful Millie, just beautiful!!!

Look at the glowing Donna!  She got the inner border done, the batting applied and the 'quilt sandwich' pinned together.  She is going to bring the back fabric around to the front and finish the piece with the Beatles fabric as a border.  She is making up her mind about how to quilt it, but may use purple thread and a big decorative stitch - or maybe a machine stitch inside each block - or maybe just machine quilted.  She jumped right into free motion quilting and wasn't afraid a bit!  With a little practice, I think she just may be pretty good at it!! Choices, choices, choices.  Regardless of the final decision, this piece is a beauty and she is so proud!  I love it!!!
Diane is making a throw size quilt.  Because she had such a trial getting the fabric that she wanted, she has ended up with LOTS of fabric cut out to make this project.  So, she will probably make a sister throw to this one and maybe a tablerunner, too.  Her work is wonderful and I am so pleased to have had her in class.  She has inspired me to keep learning and growing.  She is including her whole family in her quilting journey and that just touches my heart!  Thank you, Diane!!!!  She is going to add a small inner border and a larger outer border.  I can't wait to see how she finish quilts it.  She may do this on her sewing machine and after seeing her practice today in class - this is gonna be exciting!!!! 
And this week's teacher's pet is Mare!  She pleased us all this morning by showing up with her top finished!!  She is going to end up with 2 throw/twin size quilts.  She has the cool, spring coast because of her use of the blue instead of the rust fabric.  I am so proud of her to have this top completely pieced.  She is thinking about machine quilting one of the tops and maybe tying the other one.  AND, she practiced free motion machine quilting in class today.  In spite of the machine not being set up to free motion, the tension being wonky and the foot being the wrong one - she turned out a pretty nice practice piece.  She may just jump right in a do some free motion on one of these tops.  I just can't wait!!!  And look at the smile on her face!  I thinking quilting makes us beautiful!  Sure has for these girls!!!
So, even though class is over, you girls have homework!
Finish up your projects - just keep working a little at a time.
If you have questions - call me!  I am lonely and need to talk to my peeps as much as possible!!

Thank you ladies.  You have given me much more than I have given you!   xoxox

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quilting 202 - The Long and Winding Road

Ok, sometimes when you make something, the learning curve is just a bit steeper than other times.  And some times the project seems terribly daunting.  So, you just have to make up your mind and sew!  No more choices, no more cutting and organizing, just pushing fabric thru the machine - one piece after another til you think you and gonna scream.  But then, the quilt begins to come to life - you can see what it's personality will be and the quilt starts to 'become'.  Enough of the heavy stuff.  Let's get to pictures!  Well, I was so happy with everyone today, I ended up taking only one lonely little picture - but it is a winner!  Look what Donna did!!!!! I love the smile on her face!  This is what quilting is all about - it is not about cutting the fabric right or sewing the perfect 1/4" seam or making all your points match - it is the pure delight of putting the pieces together and feeling the joy!  Donna is working on this piece as a gift for a dear friend.

Her friend went to see PAUL and still had the ticket stub on her frig.  Donna took a picture of that very ticket to include in this wall hanging.  She even used her embroidery machine to embroider "All my loving".  Can you just imagine her friend's heart when she receives this?  It will overflow for sure!!! You go Donna!  And the smile on your face today was priceless!  xoxox

Class update:
*Donna will be adding a small purple inner border and then a wider outer border to this top.  She is going to do decorative 'big stitch" in purple to quilt it.  She got a gold star today for being the over achiever and having some of her blocks sewn together.  That's the little star on her left shoulder.
*Diane never did get her one fabric in, so she broke down and chose another one and it is a beauty!!!  She is making a square wallhanging/small throw.  She got a gold star for not waiting any more for her original fabric and just jumping in and gettin' it done!!!!
*Mare got a gold star today for not using the rust fabric for her Serene Shores and going with the blue.  Wait till you see it!  Her quilt is gonna be like a nice cool day at the beach with a gentle breeze blowing thru the trees. . .  I really should say two quilts though.  Mare is making 2 twin size tops out of this class.
*And class pet Millie gets a gold star because she had to put her sewing machine in the shop.  Now would a little thing like that stop her from her mission?  Not Millie!!!  She bought a new machine.  I love that in a woman!!  Millie is making a king size quilt (It really measures out as a generous queen.)
So next week we will hopefully see completed tops or at least a portion there of.  It will be our last class of this series and I am gonna miss these girls!  They are just too sweet!

Sew together all your components and if the stars are aligned correctly (the ones in the heavens, not your quilt), have the entire top sewn together.  We will talk about adding the borders, quilting your project, binding your quilt and labels.  Plan on getting as much sewing done at home as you can girls, because we have lots to go over and lots to practice in class!  And then there is that big presentation ceremony with the mimosas when you all present me the tickets to that cruise you are sending me on. . .

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quilting 202 - Down and Dirty!

My little students are doing so well!  We started sewing this week and boy are these girls good!  Diane is marking a diagonal line on her 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" squares that she will sew onto 4 1/2" x 8 1/2" rectangles to make flying geese.

Donna is checking out the measurement of her middle block.  She is doing so well.  Check out the 'spider' under the presser foot of her sewing machine.  What a good listener!
Millie is clearly the teacher's pet - this week at any rate.  She cut out all her fabric pieces, put each shape in a ziplock bag and labeled them with the block size and fabric type.  All of this project is contained in a wicker basket and she has even laid the big ruler on top of the basket to make a shelf to lay components on as she sews.  I love it!!! Organization rules!
Mille may lose her teacher's pet status because I just noticed that she DOES NOT have her spider under the presser foot of her machine.  But then she does win extra points because she has her fingers well away from the rotary cutter blade as she trims her flying geese blocks.
I swear I took a picture of Mare, but it is not on the camera.  What's the deal with that?  Sorry Mare.  I'll take 2 pictures of you next week!!!

If possible, have all of the flying geese and square in a square blocks sewn, pressed and trimmed.  If you do, you will get a gold star.  If life gets in your way - don't worry about it. It's all good.  Do make the decision of what your finished project will look like and draw up a diagram.  Then we will know how many of each components you need to finish your project!  Extras are practice ones that can be made into pillows, wall hangings, valances and used in other projects.  Girls, call me if you have questions!  See ya next Wednesday!  xoxox

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Quilting 202 - Serene Shores

I have just had one of the best mornings I have had in a long while!  Started teaching a quilt class at JoAnn and have the greatest ladies in the class.  I am so excited about their projects!  This class will meet each Wednesday for four total times.  I think it is inhumane to make these poor girls put up with me for 12 hours but they signed up for the class and bought the fabric so here we go!!!

Today we talked about the whole project and everyone decided how their individual project would deviate from the sample.  Every one of us is a practiced deviater so it was easy.  We did some planning, drew some pictures and cut some fabric.  We will attack the machines next week with some heavy duty chain piecing!! 

The class project is a KING SIZE quilt made from the fabrics above.  Of course we are not going to follow the rules!  I made the class sample as a wall hanging or throw.  Everyone is doing something different but we will all be making the the same block and learn to use the same techinques.  That should work out ok, don't ya think??

From left to right:
Diane is making a quilt using this pattern, but with different fabrics.  She selected a beautiful oriental fabric and then took her color cues from there.  She is not sure how big it will be but that is not a real issue for now!  We will just make a bunch of blocks and see how they demand to be stitched together.  If we have some left over - PILLOWS!!!

Mare is working with the Serene Shores fabric but is using a really pretty blue speckle print instead of the rust.  It is going to be so lovely!!!  I think the blue will really pull out the blue of the scenic fabric.  She is probably going to get two throw size quilts out of this class!  How cool is that???

Donna has just thrown a monkey wrench in everything.  (I think she is the class trouble maker but will wait til next week to decide - the other three have great potential!!)  She is making a wall hanging with black and white Beatles novelty fabric and using photos printed on transfer paper for the scenic fabric.  She is going to throw in a sassy purple blender to equalize her photos and then maybe an inner border with the same fabric.  We will have to wait and see what the quilt tells us to do!!!

Mille is using the Serene Shores fabric but choose a sailboat print instead of the scenic fabric.  I think it will be lovely.  Again, the blue is gonna pull from the sides!  I like the sailboats and the lighthouses together.

I feel so blessed.  Each one of the ladies is really so sweet and I will so enjoy hanging with them.  Hope they feel the same about me - or lie very believably. . .

Stay tuned - progress photos next week!

Cut all your fabric, label it for size and/or placement, draw the lines from corner to corner on the 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" squares for the flying geese and the square in a square.  YOU DON'T HAVE TO DRAW ANY LINES ON THE DUNE GRASS SQUARES!!!  But if you do, it will be good practice, so don't sweat it.  Have fun, be safe and slow with the rotary cutter and don't cry!!!  If you have any questions CALL ME!   See ya next Wednesday!!!!  xoxox

Saturday, October 2, 2010

More Brand New Quilters

I taught Quilting 101 at JoAnn today and met a great group of girls!!!  There were five in the class this afternoon.  Quilting 101 introduces you to the rotary cutter and the sewing machine.  These ladies were all in the mood and created really cute blocks.  Can't wait to see where they go from their humble beginnings.

Carol selected batiks to work with.  She did a fabulous job.  Her work is very precise.  I kept waiting for her to mess up in the usual new student manner so I could show the others what not to do.  She would not cooperate with my evil plan and methodically listened and performed!  I hate that when that happens!  lol  Great colors and nice workmanship, Carol!!

Leah worked with a tiny beige floral, brown and a beautiful print.  She was very new to sewing and did a splendid job.  Even came to class while Tennessee was playing LSU!  Now that is dedication!! Way to go, Leah!

Lori choose green and a really nice crisp paisley print to create her block.  She is thinking of making a whole quilt with sashing between the blocks.  It would be so pretty. The paisley gives the block a nice movement.  Well done, Lori!!  I would love to see the quilt as it progresses!!!

Carrie took this class as a birthday present to herself.  She used these great polka dots that were part of a bundle.  She still has some great colors left to play with.  She originally planned to have the blue where the green is now.  Before the blocks were sewn together, we played a little with placement and decided the blue belonged on the outside!  What a brave girl - not afraid to make changes from what she first planned!  She has big plans for some great projects.  I can't wait to see them!  You go, Carrie and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Teaching this class is so much fun!  Some folks come in and have never used a sewing machine or a rotary cutter.  And achieving the perfect 1/4" seam is not as easy as it sounds.  This is hard work - fun, fun, fun, but hard work!  Congratulations, ladies, you did good!!!