Friday, April 18, 2014

Pat Sloan is always tempting me

A few years ago I found Pat Sloan's quilt forum. Even though I wasn't sure how  it  all worked, I jumped in. There are so many wonderful quilters on that forum and we talk about most everything. When I went to Market I was lucky enough to meet Pat (and Gregg) and get to chat with them a bit. Last fall Pat  came to the guild I belong to and I took both of her workshops. (Great time BTW) She has so much energy and is always coming up with projects and sew- alongs for us to do. There are also  free patterns  available.  This year she designed a Mystery block of the month, that she calls Globetrotting.
How could I not join in?
The first block: Washington D.C.

Second block: Venice

Followed by:  Chicago

Last year we started working on a pattern as a block of the month project. It is from the book "New Ideas for Applique. I need just a bit more fabric to do the borders. The applique for the borders is traced and ready to fuse to fabric.

Pat is also hosting the free Aurifil Block of the month this year. Come back and I will show you those blocks.

Happy stitching

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tula is a top

Last year Tula Pink's "City Sampler's 100 Modern Quilt  Blocks" book came into the shop. I resisted. I have so many books and so many projects waiting to be made that I just could not get started on anything else. Some time went by and I saw a sew along was starting using the book. I held firm, for about a day. I thought I would get a pile of solids and sew along. I bought solids and the book. Then I pulled out my Kaffe stash and I liked it all together.
Three blocks a week were posted and I started out a few weeks behind. I made a plan to do 6 blocks a week  until I got caught up. I did the current weeks blocks and then the first weeks blocks. Eventually I caught up and stayed caught up. Once the blocks were done I had to find sashing and borders. I didn't want to use white. I looked and looked and nothing spoke to me. I finally decided that I was just going to pick something that worked, even if I had to do white.  (There is nothing wrong with white, it is just always my go to and I am trying to breakout and be more daring. Sometimes I like it sometimes I am not sure.) The fabric I picked is a white background with black and gray tiny circles on it.

I put the top together and I like it.  I hope I do not dither as much about a backing.

I am also at the end of the Beginners BOM that I have been running at the shop. You remember this picture. We had to delay the start of the program because there were so few sign ups. :( I made the first row and more people signed up when they saw the colors. They have been a fun group to work with. I will never have an award winning quilt, but it is really so much fun to share what I do know.  I must say that the applique was not well received by all. I did have several design ideas to replace the applique for those that chose not to try it. . It is fused and either hand stitched or machine stitched.

I over heard one of them tell  the boss that she would never try a pattern that had HSTs in it and then she said " And now I know how to do them. I can do all those patterns  now". I was stupid happy.

I did finish the dresses for Haiti. When my friend posted a picture with her daughter and one of the little girls I was happy to see one of the dresses being worn.
Sorry about the pictures, there isn't really good light anywhere in the apartment. Maybe when it warns up I can get the hubby to go outside and hold quilts for me.

Happy Stitching everyone.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April catch up

I feel like I spend most of my time playing catch up. And I never seem to actually catch up. Do you? As usual with the beginning of a new year, I made plans to work on that UFO list that never ends. Following the tips from Pat Sloan I actually donated fabric, broke up fabric I put together to make specific quilts, and (gasp) tossed a couple of tops that I just did not want to spend anymore time on. I also attempted to be more realistic with my planning. Projects never go as fast as I think they will. (shocking right?) Of course getting a pile of quilts back from the shop (unquilted) did not help.

Last year I taught a class on string quilts. I showed them the basics and my sample was just the strings put together (cause I was making lots of samples). I got my strings back and I bought some border fabrics to get it finished. I finally pulled it out of the closet and got the top finished. I thought I liked the colors I picked for the borders, but I am not really sure. BUT it stays and I will it finished.
Here is the strings quilt top:

My youngest daughter, saw a quilt she loved in the book "City Quilts". I picked out the fabric a while ago and put them neatly in a bin. :)  Once they were suitable aged I pulled them out to start that quilt.
the first little pieces ready to start putting together looked like this

Some of the little pieces became bigger units

and then even bigger units. I had the last 12 rows together and was clipping threads when I clipped a hole in the sashing. So I had to unpick and unpick some more. I cut out the hole and pieced it back together.

The quilt still needs a small gray border but I need to get more gray from the shop.
Poor quilts look so lumpy on the bed, guess I shouldn't pile them on top of each other to get pictures.

I feel like I am getting some things done, but the pace is way slower than I would like.
Happy stitching.