After Thanksgiving, I was all set to work on the School House quilt for my mother. As you see one of the blocks is on my design wall. I have to admit, I am not enjoying sewing this one so it will be a slow process. When you aren't in love with your project it just seems to go very slow. So with that said, I stopped working on that quilt to start sewing on some quilts for next years clubs and classes. Will be back to the school house quilt soon because I want to give it to Mom for Christmas.
My challenge to myself for 2011 is to try and use at least one or two fabrics from my stash for each project. Below are pictures of my stash. The Singer machine on the top of the cabinet is one of the machines I used to sew on with my Mom when I was growing up. Flamingos you ask, my small sewing bee is "The Friday Night Flamingos". We wanted a fun, catchy name because quilters are fun people.
So my challenge begins. You will see inside cabinets, I keep a lot of what I call "stash" or "staple" fabric. When I go on a road trip to quilt shops (which I love to do), I usually stock up on fabric that can be blended into my projects. I don't keep a lot of focus fabric in my stash. The reason, focus fabrics can come and go in style, but staple fabric can be used and saved for along time. I love to get new focus fabric when it comes out and pick fabrics from my stash to blend into the project.
What will I do with the butterflies and egg fabric below??? I have just the project in mind. I will be leading a "Mystery Sew In" at Patchwork Cottage starting in February. I see this being used in one of my projects. It is a mystery so I have to keep this one a secret for a while. Check back for the outcome.
My new club at Dragonfly Quilt Shop will see the next two groups of fabric in their samples next year.
I will be starting the new club in February called "The Sassy Quilters".
Check back for the quilts made from these beautiful fabrics.
I like "Happy Fabrics" as I call them.
Batiks.... Don't you love the colors...
Cream fabric will be added to this project to make a beautiful quilt...
After a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, what comes next but a great day of sewing. I used to get up at 4 or 5 am and hit the sales on the day after Thanksgiving, but I no longer want to fight the crowds so the next best thing is a day of sewing. My Mother is getting ready to start Kidney dialysis and she has always wanted a school house quilt so I wanted to make her the quilt to keep warm during her dialysis. Like me she loves red. So I have chosen to make the quilt in red and white swirls... Don't you love Moda swirls. It think I have the swirls in all colors.
Alot of strips......
Isn't chain piecing great....
Love those strip units.....
And now the sub cutting... Shape Cut works great for cutting strips...
Alot more sewing this weekend.... More pictures to follow.....
Working on the January project for "The Sassy Stitchers Club" at Patchwork Cottage. Pieced and on the design board, just have to sew it together.. What a bright quilt to start off the new year...Have to get ahead with the holidays fast approaching.
Decided to take Friday off work to quilt. Had all intentions of quilting all day. I needed 9 more inches of a red batik so I thought I'd take a quick road trip to Sew Memorable in Dawsonville with my friend Pam thinking that is where the fabric came from, no such luck. I was close to Dahlonega so I thought lets check out "The Common Thread". No luck again. Came home and my friend Lisa needed fabric so we went in the opposite direction to Dragonfly in Watkinsville. Needless to say, I got no quilting done, but I had two great road trips with two friends. Moral of the story - don't buy just a 1/2 yard if you are buying stash fabric. If you really like a fabric that you are putting in your stash such as neutrals, whites, etc. buy 1 or 2 yards.
We had a fun day at Dragonfly Quilt Shop making pine cone ornaments and round Christmas balls. I was glad to meet some new people and see some familiar faces.
These ornaments make a quick gift or look great hanging on your tree. They are easy to make and a good project to work on while you are watching TV (no sewing required). Great project to work on with your kids or grand kids to make lasting memories.
Aurifil Thread - Love their thread. I quilt a lot. I use their large spool of thread for piecing. I just seems like it lasts forever and I have very little problems with the thread breaking. They have a large variety of thread colors and weights for all your quilting and sewing projects.
Clover - I use all the following products.
Chaco Liners and refills - I like the way the powder rolls out from the tiny rotary wheel and allows you to draw a thin line.
Seam ripper - I like the tip on their seam ripper. It is thinner then a lot of others. The thinner tip allows you to rip out stitches easier and not put a hole in your fabric.
Patchwork pins - I like the sharp points. They go into your fabric smoothly without leaving a hole. They work great when you are nesting seams.
Protect and grip thimble - Stays on your finger and doesn't fly off your finger when you move your hand. I like the flat metal tip on the thimble. I allows you to push the pin through the fabric without poking your finger.
Olfa Rotary Cutters, Cutting Mats and Rulers- Olfa's rotary cutters cut through fabric very smoothly. Very easy to close as you make each cut. They also have an ergonomic rotary cuttery that closes automatically. I like to use this one when I teach my kids classes. It is safer because they don't have to remember to close the blade when they finish cutting.
They also have really nice cutting mats and variety of different rulers.
SCHMETZ Needles - I use their needles in my machine. They have a large variety of needles for all your quilting and sewing needs.
I always get a lot of questions from my students on how to read a pattern. Sometimes one page patterns are just as hard to follow then multi page patterns.
Suggestions: Always read the entire pattern before cutting any fabric. All the cutting instructions may not be right up front.
I use my highlighter alot to highlight key facts such as your block should finish off at "---"or press seams in a certain direction or you should have 10 "X" blocks and 12 "Y" blocks. Sometimes we get busy sewing and so excited about what all the fabric looks like together that we skip over some tiny details in the pattern.
The other suggestion is if you making a block for the first, get out your scrap fabric and make a sample block. This way you won't waste your fabric esp if you have just enough to do the project.
Then when you are finished put that scrap block into a box. Once you have a build up of test blocks, make a scrappy quilt. What a great way to have a charity quilt ready to donate when someone calls on you to make a quilt.
Pattern designing isn't as easy as alot may think. The pattern designers put alot of time into their patterns. Some put alot of information to be helpful and sometimes they cannot put everything into a pattern because the pattern would go on for days. We just have to read them thoroughly before starting a project. I don't know where we would be without all the great designers we have out there. Remember quilting is for fun.
Just finished teaching another beginners class at Patchwork Cottage. Again another great class and a great group of ladies. I am always so excited to meet new quilters and teach beginners. They are always so excited about learning to quilt.
The first class seems a little intimidating when you learn to measure and cut fabric, how to read a ruler and most scary is how to use the rotary cutter. Then you start to sew and learn about the 1/4 inch seam. Now you are sewing and your machine messes up and you feel like you want to give up, then comes squaring off those blocks, learning about the sashing and borders. Don't give up because at the end you will have a beautiful quilt. It won't be perfect (because after all it is your first quilt) but it is your quilt that you make. Just remember how far you came in just a few weeks, look at what you have learned. When you stop and think that when you walked into the class, you didn't know how to properly read a ruler and were scared to make that first cut. OK, maybe some of your points are off, but in the class you learned why they were off so next time you know what to do different. Pat yourself on the back, you stuck with it and you have your first quilt.
Remember advanced quilters, we were all there and we all make it through that first quilt. We kept practing and we got better. One day it clicks and you say I remember that from class. Then we are out shoping for new patterns and new fabric and the quilting bug has you.
I do believe as a beginner you have to relax, have fun and laugh. When Mita asked me to teach the beginners class at her shop, we wanted to come up with a catchy name. We
came up with "Love, Laugh and Learn". We wanted everyone to "love" what they were making "laugh" along the way and "learn" to quilt. Don't give up, take another class, meet other ladies that quilt and your quilting journey begins. You will meet so many wonderful people in quilting and will make some everlasting friendship.
Below are some of the blocks we put on the design board. Each one is different. It is fun to see how a block can look so different by your color choices. They really did a great job. Once they sew the sashing, corners stones and borders their blocks will pop and they will see all their hard work paid off.
Had a great class at Patchwork Cottage tonight. The class is called "The Next Step". In this class, they learned to square up their quilt, measure, cut and sewing on the binding. They also learned some basic information on labeling your quilt. I enjoyed meeting some new quilters. Another fun class tonight.
We have had a blast in "The Sassy Stitchers" with this Christmas Tree pattern. This pattern is called "Trees For Sale" from "Pieces from my Heart". Below are just a few of the pictures. They have been creative and made so many different projects with this pattern (pillows, place mats, wall hangings, table runners and lap quilts). It is so much fun in each class seeing every one's different fabrics and what they are going to make out of the trees.
Happy Monday to everyone. I know I haven't posted lately, but I have been busy making sample quilts for classes and working on the upcoming quilt retreat being held in Blue Ridge, GA in January 2011. I am so excited about the response and look forward to a great retreat.
Just wanted to tell everyone about something new I have added to my blog and website.
It is called "Websites I Follow". I have been talking to some quilting resources and have received permission to add their website to my blog and website. I want to share with everyone the products I use and have liked. I also wanted to add other resources that may be helpful and list quilt shop for you to visit. Keep checking back. I have alot more to add in the coming days.
What a day. This morning we had our Saturday, "Sassy Stichers" at Patchwork Cottage. Carol is a member of the Kiwanis so she started our morning off with a Pancake Breakfast. She was kind enough to bring us pancakes, sausage and coffee. Elaine brought the Halloween dipped pretzels. After our club it was off to the Georgia Quilt Show. What a fun time. You really need a full day. As Lisa, Elaine and I were talking on our way back, I realized I missed a lot of booths. I thought for sure we could see it all in 4 hours. There were so many great things to see. All the vendors were great. It was fun just talking to them and seeing all their fun stuff. The quilts were all beautiful. I would hate to have to be the judge. Where do you begin? They were all so unique in their own way. I just admire any quilt because as a quilter I know how much love and time goes into each quilt. Elaine was missing in action for the photo. Too busy shopping and finding all the deals I missed... Tomorrow it is Gold Rush Day in Dahlonega, GA. Another fun day ahead.
Even though it is fall and I love the fall colors, I still like to work with bright and happy fabric. In July, I taught a Girls Sew In at Dragonfly Quilt Shop for girls ages 10 and up. They had a blast and wanted to make another quilt. We will have another class in December. This time they are going to learn 1/2 square triangles and make the Friendship Star Quilt. It makes me so happy to see young girls wanting to learn to sew. Sewing was lost for awhile, but I think it is making a big come back. In 2011 we will be starting a club at Dragonfly for the young girls. We will be doing a make in take project every quarter. Come join us if you have a daughter, granddaugher, niece or friend that you would like them to learn the wonderful world of quilting and sewing.
I am excited to announce, The Sassy Stitchers First Annual Quilt Retreat will be taking place in Blue Ridge, GA on January 27th -30th, 2011. Pam and I took the beautiful drive to Blue Ridge this past Saturday to check out the facility and it is perfect. Details will follow in the coming weeks.
In April of this year, I lost one of my best friends to lung cancer. She was way too young, but she was a trooper and fault the battle for almost 2 years. I have remained very close to her family. She had 3 children and 5 grandchildren. This past week seemed to be hard for all of us, so on Friday evening I went to her husband's house with her children and grandchildren. One thing we found sad was how lonely and empty her quilting room has become. (We used to sew on Friday evenings together). So Friday night after a delicious dinner we brought her sewing room back to life. I showed the two daughters (Laura and Shauna) and her daughter-in-law (Tiffany) along with the 5 grandchildren how to make pine cone ornaments from fabric. We let the kids pick their fabric from her stash to make their ornaments. We had a blast. They enjoyed it so much that everyone went home with fabric to make more ornaments. We made new memories that night and preserved her memory with her love of quilting. Her daughter, Shauna, has two daughters and I will be teaching them how to sew. We are going to work on a table runner. My dear friend would be so happy. She always hoped one of the girls would have her passion for quilting. We are on our way. I know she was looking down on us that night with a big smile on her face. Below are a couple of pictures of our fun evening.
In September we completed another beginners class at Patchwork Cottage. I am so glad to see so many new people getting interested in quilting. We call the beginners class "Love, Laugh and Learn". Below is a picture of the quilt top completed by Sharon. She did a fantastic job as you can see. Also, a great choice of fabric. Great job Sharon. Keep up the good work.
This morning Mita and I visited the Hall County Quilt Guild. They invited Mita from Patchwork Cottage to visit and talk about her shop. Everyone was so nice. I had a great time and enjoyed meeting so many new people and it was also nice seeing some familiar faces that I hadn't seen in quite some time. Below is Mita giving her talk.
Another fun day at Dragonfly Quilt Shop today. The class made the "Star Burst" Quilt from the "Charmed and Dangerous" book by Heather Mulder Peterson. This is the 2nd quilt they made out of this book. The first was the quilt on the cover "4-Patch Fusion". I think working with charm squares really makes some people step out of their comfort zone because quilts are scrapper when using charm squares. I think it is good to challenge ourselves to step out of comfort zone sometimes. At the end the quilts really are beautiful.
Several of us attended the 7th Annual Fund Raiser Luncheon for Breast Cancer Research in Dawsonville, GA on September 26th. We had a great time. Everything was so nicely set up, lunch was great. There was a lady that sang a beautiful song without any music. She had an incredible voice. The auction was so much fun. I hope they raised alot of money for this great cause. As you see Paula was alittle cold so she wrapped up in the quilt she won at the auction.