Saturday, June 26, 2010

Noah's first quilt

Noah and Hayden hung out with us today and Noah decided he wanted to take a stab at making a quilt. We pulled out a box of fabric and he selected several pieces that he liked. I cut the fabric into 6.5" squares. I was going to have him cut the squares with scissors but in the interest of time I rotary cut the squares for him.

He arranged the blocks on my design wall and once he was happy with the layout he stitched them together.

My sewing machine has a speed control that we set at about half speed which turned out to be a good speed for him. It also has a 1/4" piecing foot with a flange. The fabric edge is butted up against the flange which helps keep a consistent seam allowance. I don't like using that foot but it worked out well for Noah. Once he got the top sewn together he thought he was done but I explained to him that he still needed to do the actual quilting. That's a project we're going to save for another day. We discussed whether he wanted to add a border but he has elected not to do so.

When we came downstairs from the studio to show Grandpa and Hayden the quilt top Hayden looked at it, ran to Noah and gave him a big hug and said thank-you. She thinks it's for her!

It has been so hot here that inside activities like quilting are preferable to being outdoors. With only a couple of exceptions we've been in the 90's with high humidity every day this month. I think it's going to be a long summer.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Yikes Stripes!

When I was a kid I used to like Fruit Stripe Gum and enjoyed their "Yikes Stripes" commercials. I thought of the commercials when I was taking photos of some projects with striped fabrics.

The latest AQS magazine had an article by Eileen Sullivan on an easy method of making mitered blocks with striped fabrics. I got the magazine in the mail a day before a trip to Mary Jo's the perfect place to find a great selection of striped fabrics. I purchased two identically striped fabrics in different colorways.

Here's the first fabric stitched up and set a couple of different ways. I haven't cut into the 2nd fabric yet - but it's a more pastel palette. (click photos for larger view)

I put these blocks on the wall without any prior planning and upon looking at the photo it's interesting to see how the blocks with the teal really standing out are concentrated in one area.

I like the last setting a lot but I used it already. Before cutting into my new fabrics I remembered that I had an orange striped fabric sitting here which had originally come from Karen's stash. She decided she probably wouldn't make anything from it and gave it to me to maybe figure out a use for it with the intent of donating the resulting quilt to our guild charity.

I really like this orange one and may have to keep this and make a replacement donation quilt. I still have to figure out borders for it.

It has been fun working in stripes.

Monday, June 07, 2010

North Carolina Quilt Symposium

Got back yesterday after spending a great weekend in Charlotte at the North Carolina Quilt Symposium. This was a first time event for me although the symposium has been going on for a number of years. It's an interesting concept in that the event moves round the state of North Carolina yearly with a different guild hosting each year. I understand that usually the venue is a college campus. This year we were on the campus of Johnson & Wales university which is a culinary college.

The class offerings from a variety of nationally known teachers were excellent. The enrollment fee included 2 days of classes and a lecture (as well as food and lodging) It was difficult to decide which classes to take! On Friday Janice, Cindy and I took Happy Villages with Karen Eckmeimer. It was lots of fun constructing our villages.

Here's Janice's village. She plans to add more doors and windows. I like her larger buildings. (click photos for larger view)

Cindy wasn't enjoying her work in the morning but after lunch when her piece started looking like a real village she started to like it. I love her trees.

I don't think my water/sky fabric works in my piece. It's just too dark for my bright buildings although I do like the illusion of a beach at the bottom.

Once the villages are complete we are supposed to top the work with a layer of tulle and perhaps I can use the tulle to tone down the brightness of the buildings.

On Saturday morning all 4 of us (Joanne was with us too) attended a lecture with Carol Taylor whose work has always impressed me.

On Saturday afternoon & Sunday morning I took a class with Robbi Joy Eklow, whom I've "known" online for years. Robbi is part of the Chicago School of Fusing. She shared her technique of fusing (yes there can be more than one way to fuse a quilt top.) I only made a small element in class as I didn't have the right fabrics with me at symposium.

There were a number of vendors at the show and I picked up a cool new (to me)set of rulers. They're called Double Diamond rulers and come in 3.5" and 1.5" widths. Here's their website. Last night I made a sample with each size of ruler. I like the smaller version best but both are kind of neat.

The ribbons at the show were very interesting. Each ribbon had an extra small yo-yo flower mounted to a hair clip. These were meant to be removed by the winner and worn on her name tag so everyone would know she won a ribbon and what color it was. The information cards were clipped onto each quilt with clothespins. Attached to each clothespin was a tiny yo-yo topped with a button. As I walked around the show I noticed that the clothespin yo-yo coordinated with the quilt. Turns out the woman who made them just had a big box of them and once the show was hung she walked around and tried to match the yo-yo to the quilt. She did a great job. Some of them looked like they were made specifically for the quilt.

It was a great weekend and I'm already planning to attend next year - especially since I WON A SCHOLARSHIP for next year's symposium. How cool was that??