Saturday, February 26, 2011

Military Quilt

Jill has just mailed off the latest beauty from the Murfreesboro Sewing Ladies group to a soldier in Afghanistan.  His wife is a student at MTSU that crossed my path.  Tyler is stationed at Camp Leatherneck.

The ladies made string blocks, sewed them together, Jill put on borders and passed it on to a longarm quilter.  Last Tuesday, I saw ladies sewing on the binding.  And by Friday it was on it way to Tyler.  Jill also filled the box with other items he and his buddies could use over there - snacks, chap stick and other items the group made - pillowcases and cooling ties.  Hopefully Tyler and his buddies will know we are thinking good thoughts for them and feel how much we appreciate their efforts to keep us safe.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jessica attacks The Bear Paw block!

Half square triangles make most new quilters cry.  Not Jessica!!  I had all the sizes of squares cut out, drew a really bright white line down the middle of the squares and off she went.
 We found that it worked out pretty good if we moved the needle all the way to the right and she lined up the line with the indention in the front of the presser foot.   Worked like a charm!
 Look at the 1/4 inch seam!  Jessica chained pieced these guys together, flipped over the chain and stitched down the other side.  I think maybe she has done this a lot and just messing with me!!

 I pinned pieces together and laid them next to the machine, she picked them up, sewed on the side of the pin and we had an assembly line goin'.  We even got Dan in on the act - he was truing up the half square triangles for us so we could zoom thru this project.
Our next time together we will start sewing this tip together and I think will have it done.  I am going to make the eight remaining Bear Paw Blocks so that we can just put borders together.  Basically just Bear Paws as corner stones and borders.  Quilt ends up having three of them.  Yeehaw!!!

Look what Jessica did!!!

Nancy's Notions has done it again - suckered another person into the wonderful world of quilting!  Jessica saw this totally cute quilt on their site and thought she was buying a quilt top!  When the package arrived with lots of pieces of fabric and Nancy's 'broad' assembly instructions, she almost sent it back, but the fabrics were just too cute!!!!  Now, what to do. . .   Jessica found me on the internet and we were off on a quilting adventure!!
I was honored last night by getting to help Jessica learn to quilt!  This was the first sewing she had done since sewing a body pillow in Home Ec in High School!

This is her first 1/4 inch seam!!!!  Yea!!!!  She has a better 1/4 inch seam that most of my other students!  She is consistant and has a beautiful seam from start to finish!!!  The coolest thing is she is not afraid of the machine.  She even cut out fabric pieces with the rotary cutter!!!!

We cut out pieces - and boy does this quilt have pieces - and got the center focus panel sewed together.  We fussy cut out the blocks with the cute animals and then sewed the green sashing between them.

This is just too cute!!!  The words around the animals read "What do you see"?  This quilt is for a baby that will be born at the end of March.  We also talked about in a couple years, going back and adding fur to the bear and maybe feathers to the bird and scales to the fish;  there is a chance that the baby will have vision issues, but that won't be know for awhile.
Oh, yeah, I didn't mention that Jessica has vision issues.  She brought along this cool machine that can enlarge the area that she is working on.  We still have to tweek the use of this machine to get the best picture of what she is doing but we are gonna work on that.  Mostly, Jessica made her beautiful 1/4 inch seam by 'feeling' her way along the pressure foot.  We added and big piece of masking tape to the machine bed so it would be easier to line up the fabric with the presser foot.  Jessica thinks she needs to try to teach Pippin, her guide dog, to help facilitate in her sewing ventures.  Maybe he could 'hand' her the squares and then the rectangles.  Would be really nice if we could teach him to iron!  I'm thinkin' picking up the threads may be his lit in life. . .  The possiblities are endless though!!

We will be meeting again tonight, so stayed tuned for her progress!!!!  Tonight - half square triangles and the bear paw block!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Have patience, people!

Lots of people are so excited about this quilt for Ryan and Micheal.  I have been getting emails asking what is going on, what am I doing, have I got fabric in the mail, what fabric am I using for the background?????  I love it!  But you people have to give me a little lee way here.  I have a schedule and the quilt will start AS SOON AS I GET THE BHQG Quilt Show program done!   That should be this weekend so then the attention turns to the quilt.  You guys are just gonna have to be a bit patient!  Of course, I LOVE people with no patience - they are my kind of people!  lol

Small hint of an update -  I have been getting packages of fabric in the mail, boxes left on the door step and folks handing me bags of scraps.  It is like Christmas!!!  I am sooooo happy!!!!  Janet wins for being the first person to drop their fabric in the mail!!!  One of Ryan's friends is buying the backing fabric!  I have decided to make the background all the same fabric (gonna use a JoAnn coupon for that) and I think the intersections will be teal and brown or at least the two same colors to give it a bit of a design.  But, I'm still thinkin'.  Any suggestions would be very appreciated.

SOON I will get pics of the fabric and hopefully the 'family member' who shared their stash posted!  Ryan and Micheal are going to be so surprised to see all their new family!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

And the story begins. . .

My daughter knows the coolest people!!  One of her friends is getting married in May and because his partner, Michael, is also male, Michael family has just not jumped on the "We are so excited!!" train.  But Danielle has and I have and now Ryan is finding that family can be very loosely defined.  Micheal loves quilts.  And in his family, it is a tradition for the family to make a quilt for the happy couple.  This is not gonna happen for Ryan and Michael and when Danielle heard about this, of course, her first response was "Well, my mom will make you a quilt then!"  Ah, the naivite of the non-quilter.  It is a thing of beauty.  But, of course, she was so right!

Ryan wants a double wedding ring quilt by May - May 2nd to be exact.  Well, I may be crazy but I am not totally nuts.  He will be married in Canada on May 7th and then have a big party in Nashville in August.  Our agreement was that by THE FIRST WEEK IN MAY he could have a lot of progress but no finished quilt!!!  He is gonna make a scrapbook of this wonderful process and will give that to Micheal for their wedding.  Then, in August, they both will get to see the whole thing - done!!  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am going to have the quilt DONE in time for the party.

But, as is always the case, I can not do this alone.  I put out the call to my girlfriends, told them the plan and that I needed fabric to flesh out Ryan's wish list and the response broke my heart!!!  All you great girls stepped up to say "I'm in!  What can I do??".  I have a beautiful watercolor calligraphy a friend made me of this quote:  "The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life.  Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof."  Richard Back, Illusions  Ain't it the truth!!!

I have just ordered a Cyndi Edgerton Paper piecing pattern and that will be arriving soon.  I love, love, love paper piecing and I thought this would keep me organized.  We'll see. . .   I do love her tissue paper foundations.  I had always thought not, but I make a Halloween panel she designed and the tissue was TREMENDOUS!!  I am a convert!!!!

I asked everyone to send in fabric (like a piece at least 5" x 5") and that would make up the scrappy rings.  Ryan's list includes these topics:  bears, love, UK (University of Kentucky), UK-Wildcats, carpet, painting (like house not artwork), country music, music, Patsy Cline, Garth Brook, Dolly Parton, Grand Ole Opry, Kentucky, Wisconsin, children, cars, cars, cars and MORE cars, cabin, country, vintage, classic, flannel, denim, water, parks, flowers, trees, Jack Russell Terrier, reading glasses, Canada, August, May, March, June, COOKING, food, green, teal, brown, family and boats.

Now this is gonna be one cool quilt!  I love everything about the whole idea.

Yeah, that is what family is about and Ryan and Micheal have no idea just what crazy women are now in their family.  They are about to find out.  I'll keep a running log of what is happening here, you all can join in the fun and Ryan will at least have some colorful pictures to show MIchael on their wedding day!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Bargello Workshop

Well, I don't know that we got a lot accomplished but we sure did enjoy ourselves.  Mostly we spent time drooling over everyone's strip sets!  The fabrics are just delicious.  And you will notice that I didn't follow the class syllabus - everyone is making this beautiful piece cut from 1 inch strips. Mine is cut from 2 inch strips and is gonna be just a tad bigger.  What else is new?

Jan, our brave instructor, has started another bargello just for our class!  She wanted to sew, too!
Carol's selections and first strip:
Elissa's selections:
Darlene's selections and first strip:
Lisa T's selections and first strip:
Zoe's selections and first two strips (over achiever!):
Marie's selections and first strip:
Diane's selections, color chart and first strip:
Sandy's selections:
And this is my set up at home in my studio.  I can get better organized with everything pinned to the design wall.  I have 4 whole strips sewn together!!  You can see the design started to form.  This is gonna be one beautiful piece when I get it finished - in 2037!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Maybe I'm not crazy. Maybe I'm just stupid!!!

Ok, it's midnight here.  Got all 8 strips sets sewn and four of them starched and ironed.  Four more to starch and iron and I am in the bed.  Think 6am is gonna come awfully quickly.