Saturday, March 31, 2007

First off, I just wanted to say, I just learned that Lazy Gal has dropped the Quilt Mavericks ring, and I am a little sad by this. She represented what a quilt maverick should be. She was one of the first blogs I always returned to and gained inspiration by. (listen to me, it sounds like I am eulogizing her! Don't worry, she is not dead! and I wish her all the best in her quest for finding her place!) I just wanted to say I will always think of her as a quilt maverick! And her blog will always be on my blogroll. Good Luck Tonya!

Meanwhile, what have I been quilting lately? More of the same...have started machine quilting Split Personality, but will not post photo until it's bound...every other day or so, I hand quilt a bit of the other Suske quilt:

It hasn't been going as well as I had hoped...I've learned a few lessons with this one. All the fused applique receives quite a bit of stress when held in your hands while handquilting and it also makes it hard to put in a frame, so I didn't. And it is getting a little worn, I think.

I've also started machine quilting a small kids quilt for the guild's outreach program.

I took out Jinny Beyer's Quiltmaking by Hand book, from the Library. I am really enjoying this one; it is very helpful and has great instructions on hand quilting and piecing. I think it is important to learn the old methods, so that they are not lost, and if there is another power outage like we had a few years ago, I can still keep on quilting ;)

Here, I experimented with hand piecing with some scraps:

I've tried handpiecing twice before. I first learned about it while being instructed in the making our guild's logo for our chatelaines. The guild logo was a little difficult to learn and there was much griping in the guild about it, but I was determined to learn it. I tried to do it by machine but the little 1 inch squares were just as fussy to do by machine. So I thought I should practice my hand piecing with other little scraps. Don't you hate to throw out those nice little triangles you chop off the flying geese? Well I had lots of those, so I would practice hand piecing those little buggers together. I even came up with a method of string piecing them together; I would string 6 or 7 of them on a thread:

Then, I got out Jinny's book from the library and read about her techniques and I brought out the little triangles again. The good news is there is improvement! I've gone from 6 to 10 stitches per triangle.

OK so you are thinking I am a little nuts, making 1 inch squares, what can you do with 1 inch squares? I could make a quilt for my dollhouse! 1 inch = 1 foot in my dollhouse. So it would be perfect.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Kids' Quilts-Bee

Today, I spent some time with some wonderful ladies from our guild. It was a rainy, muddy day, so it was good to be indoors making quilts for charity! There were many quilts in many stages to work on. Here is Elaine tying one on! Actually, she and I worked together on this quilt.

It was a very thick quilt that someone had pieced with corduroy, and would have been a challenge to quilt with batting, so we tied this one with a flannel backing. I think it would be a great quilt for a boy. The triangles were like little pockets, great place to park little toy cars, I'd imagine!

Others machine quilted:

and others pieced new tops:

After lunch, Linda gave us a demo of Kaye Wood's "6 Hour quilt". This is a quick method to make children's quilts for charity and a great way to use up scraps from other quilts.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sugar Bush

Not much quilty things to report, just working on some hand quilting and UFO's. In the mean time, I took a trip to the sugar bush and a hayride with my parents on a beautiful, sunny, spring is around the corner, day!

Please note, I've added a few new blog links to my favourites: fellow guild members, Barb's Journal and Sewnut, as well as my friend's vegetarian cooking blog,Lisa's Kitchen, where you can find her favourite recipes.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Robyn Pandolph: Trunk Show and Workshop

Robyn Pandolph did her trunk show for our guild. She was a lovely lady and her quilts were beautiful! I really do love this industry for all the inspirational women you meet! I love to see women succeed in business and in life. We always need more role models. In this industry, it is especially good to see how women can make it on their own terms. In this case, Robyn was a stay at home mother, who home-schooled her children and managed to own her own pattern company and eventually moved into fabric design for major fabric manufacturers. She jokingly referred to her own children as child labourers. But it is true that she paid her children to help her make up kits to go out for sale; she felt the entrepreneurial spirit is one that is valuable for children to learn. And as a small business owner, I have to agree!

Her main inspiration for quilting is her Grandmother. So she tends to over-dye and bleach her fabrics to get that 'vintage' look. She feels quilting and applique should be peaceful. She also says we should get our inspiration from the world around us. The quilt below was inspired by the events of the Columbine shootings.

The next day, I participated in her 'Creating Your Own Folk Art Applique' workshop. She gave us a brief history of American Folk Art and how it was representative of the spirit of the country at the time, of pioneering, democracy, individualism and freedom.

She gave us a pattern to work with, but encouraged us to add our own unique element to the wallhanging to make it our own. This is her sample:

Here I try to take her advice and substitute my house for her house. Of course, I don't follow her other advice and keep it simple.... I have to add gables, stained glass windows, and trim!

Ta da! My House! Just in case you were wondering, the little blue bits are supposed to represent the stained glass.

She also taught us her method of needle-turn applique. I think I could use a little more instruction on how to do those pointy corners! But all in all I think I learned a lot. I only got a start on the needle work by the end of her workshop, I finished the house this morning. I will save the flower work for another day. I am not going to rush on this project, I will take my time. Quilting and applique should be a peaceful hobby, says Robyn, and I think the results will be better for it.

If you would like to read more about her visit, you can see what I posted at our guild's blog, the March 11 post.