Monday, February 28, 2011

JAM Meeting Today....

Last Monday of the month, so it was time for JAM (Just Another Monday). It was at my house this afternoon so I was in charge of snacks.

Took the easy way out via Marie Callenders....and a "serve yourself" can of yummy whipped cream -- not my most elegant presentation ever, but still good. Along with half of the people I know, I've been on Weight Watchers for the past few weeks, so I had to decide if the pie was worth the points.....but there are no calories in Show & Share, so here goes:

Dawna took a class from Sylvia Einstein at the Ridgecrest guild last year. Since this is one of the quilts she entered in this coming weekend's show (YIKES!) she needs to get it done!

If you look closely in the corner, Dawna hooped all three layers and quilted a lighthouse and surroundings into the corner of the quilt. Look for light thread against the black....

What has been taking up my time for the past week (and why I have not been at the computer blogging) is that I have been quilting Dawna's Floral Visions quilt, which she also entered in the show this coming weekend. She showed it at JAM, but I have two blocks left to go; I can drop it off to her tomorrow for binding and so that she can get it washed, blocked and ready to hang at the show. I have closeups to post when I get it done.

This is the quilt that Tiffany made from the appliqued snowman blocks that she had brought last month. All Tiffany's applique is by hand and her work is awesome!

Here's a closeup of one of the snowflakes Tiffany quilted into the chain blocks. She has quilted several different snowflake designs into the quilt.

Today Tiffany brought these black & white appliqued blocks and the fabric that she wants to use with them. This will be her March project.

At right is one completed block -- a little easier for you to see when they aren't all in a pile! When I took these pictures Tiffany said, "When you put it up on the blog, that means I have to finish it!" Wish that worked for me!!!

Vicki's March project is a Tennessee Waltz quilt in black/white/red; she already has most of the elements made and so it should go together quickly.

Janis and I didn't finish our February projects
, so have decided to carry them over into March. That means I hope to finish the pink roses quilt that I put the borders on early in the month, before I got distracted by work, and also the appliqued hearts quilt that I started.

Our next JAM meeting will be March 28, during our JAM beach retreat! We are going to take a three night/three sewing day retreat at Channel Islands Harbor and work on getting those March items finished or maybe even get a head start on April! With fewer distractions and plenty of encouragement from quilting friends, we should have much fun and get a project or two done.....

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I'm on Pat Sloan's Creative Talk Radio Tomorrow!

This will be so fun!

Pat Sloan airs her podcasts every Monday afternoon on her Creative Talk Network. She chats with two guests -- tomorrow, Presidents' Day, she is talking with Jim & Linda Fielding of the Quilt Album at 4 pm EST and then with me at 4:30 pm EST.

To see more about Pat and Creative Talk Network,
you can click here.

To tune into tomorrow's shows, you can click here. After you listen, give us both some feedback and let us know how it went!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Last Week's JAM Meeting

Last Monday afternoon, five JAM members (we were missing Karin) met at Dawna's house to report our progress on our January goals of working on kits we owned and finishing up quilts in progress.

Tiffany finished a quilt, but gave it away, so didn't have it to show. She did bring all of her appliqued snowmen for her February JAM project.

Loved the background fabric for all these cute little guys!

This is the pattern; I don't know who the designer is....Tiffany designs a lot of her own patterns under the Needle in a Hayes Stack brand, but I don't think this is hers.....

This is Vicki's finished top....

I really liked the pieced diamonds interspersed among the larger fabric diamonds...

This is the first of two quilts that Janice brought; when we noticed light coming through the blinds striping the quilts, we moved the "show & share" to the stair railing...

Here's a better look at that quilt!

And here's another quilt of Janice's -- I don't think she knows how to make a small quilt!

This is the block of the month quilt that Dawna pieced to teach at the shop. With borders and everything! The baskets in each of the blocks are a little bit different so that the block of the month participants learn a variety of techniques. There are also many little appliqued basket handles on this quilt that Dawna did by hand.

I showed the two quilts I finished last week, Poetic Blossoms and the Italy Mystery Quilt of the Month that I made for Zoe. It is SO fun to do this -- to see what everybody else is working on and to actually get a couple of things finished! I only finished one quilt of my own last year and two so far in 2011 -- hooray!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

One of My JAM Goal Quilts Ready to Pin!

I pieced the main part of this quilt several months ago, decided on the border fabrics and what width to cut each of them, and wrote those numbers down in my project book so that I wouldn't forget.

I arranged the fabrics on my stair rail in placement order and left them there for a couple of weeks? months? to make sure that is really what I wanted to do. Then I folded it all up and put it away for a few months.

I decided to make it my "get it out and finish it up" JAM project for February and put the borders on last week. The pink polka dot border was cut 2-3/4", the narrow striped crumb catcher was cut 1" and the outer floral border was cut 7".

The final border was cut so wide because I haven't chosen the quilting design yet. It will most likely be in the 5" to 5-1/2" range. I plan to scallop it and then use bias binding to finish it off.

A couple of questions have come up while working on this: 1) The outer border fabric is much lighter and "creamier" than the fabrics in the center, which have more of a green cast; will the narrower finished width and scalloped border make this less noticeable? 2) When making scalloped binding, how much binding fabric do you need to cut? Does anyone know if there is some sort of a ratio to help you decide how many more binding inches are needed? A quarter more than if the binding were straight? A third more? Any ideas?

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Reunion of Quilting Friends!

When I was still in the "Gee, I might like to do that someday" stage of quilting, my best friend Mary Ponce and I joined the Santa Clarita Valley Quilt Guild at its inaugural meeting in March 1990. It's hard to believe it was that long ago!

A couple of years later, a few of the guild members -- I think there were five of us -- formed an informal mini-group devoted to art quilting and met once a month, usually at Paula Fleischer's house. We probably did that for at least a year or two and then we all got busy with our lives and I've pretty much lost touch with two of the women altogether.

So when I was invited to come to Paula's house for a potluck dinner to get together with her and Vicki Tymczyszyn, another of the "five", as well as a couple of friends we haven't known quite as long -- I was there! With a pan of brownies!

One of the reasons that we all wanted to do this was that Sam Hunter, a dear friend who I have known for several years now, had been living in Virginia for the past three years earning her Masters in Fine Arts degree from James Madison University. I was lucky enough to teach a couple of times at the quilt shop nearest to her, Patchwork Plus, and be able to get together with her for dinner or coffee each time, but it's not the same as having her back in California full time. Now she's back and Sunday was the first time I got to see her.

The fifth member of our group at dinner was Jake Finch, who is one of the most fun people in the world. She has a great sense of humor -- and she probably has to as she is one of the two co-editors of Quilter's Home magazine. Don't know that one could cope with deadlines and everything else that comes up without having a very ticklish funny bone!

Not everybody brought quilts to show, but I got a few pictures; unfortunately, not one of the group at dinner....

Vicki's been busy -- she loves piecing and has done some fun quick and easy's....

The hardest part of getting these pictures was getting Vicki to lower the quilts so they didn't cover her face!

My favorite: Pink and Purple!

Paula showed us some of her hand embroidery -- she does such amazing things with little scraps of fabric and we tease her about it a lot...

Her handwork is beautiful, but Paula has also taken up machine quilting and done some very cool things. I took some great pictures of some of her quilts when we were at lunch one day and I have to do a post very soon to share those with you.

Dinner was fun -- lots of laughs, stories and catching up to do. I had 5-8pm on my calendar, but was the first to leave at 10:30! I'm very excited that we're going to do it again in March -- there are some people that I don't ever ever want to lose touch with and these four quilter friends are definitely on that list!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February Work Plan -- Trying to Decide

I was plowing through all of my kits and trying to decide which one I wanted to start and complete in February, keeping Valentine's Day in mind and my love of all things pink! I pulled three out....

This has been in my kit bin for a couple of years; my friend Dawna Harrison made it, I loved it and asked her to kit it for me in the same fabrics....

The second one was purchased just a few weeks ago, again at Bolts in the Bathtub, the shop Dawna and her sister own. My friends Liz and Lori were working on this quilt and had it up on the wall, so I had to make it, too.....

The pattern is Winter Pinwheels from Tiffany Hayes of Needle in a Hayes Stack and these are the fabrics I'm going to use to make it....

The third thing I dragged out of the very deep bin where I keep all my kits was another one that Dawna made and I had to have -- I think we're developing a theme here!

I loved the cover quilt of this Leisure Arts publication, Quilted Hearts & Flowers by Cotton Pickin' Designs, Debbie Foley & Valerie Boman. Dawna made hers in colors similar to the cover quilt; I wanted a little less green and maybe some yellow, since there was this fabulous yellow border print in the shop. I had Dawna make the kit up for me in early 2006.

So here are my fabrics; I got all the parts rotary cut...

...and then made a block to see if the fabrics were playing well together.

The blocks that will have the heart appliques on them have a floral print in the center that is surrounded by triangles to make a square-in-a-square design. My original fabrics would have placed the yellow busy floral in those triangles -- I definitely didn't like that, so I went to the quilt shop, still didn't find anything I wanted to use there, so went home, dove into the stash and came up with the deep rose in the upper left hand corner. Much better!

My trip to the quilt store reminded me of something that I really should be keeping in mind when I shop: Colors, like fashion trends, go "in" and "out" -- that's why I had a problem trying to find a particular color to go with purchases made in years past. If you are very lucky, it will come around again in a reasonable amount of time, but you just can't count on it.

That's why we have to shop all the time -- so that we have an extensive palette of colors we need!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Work Plan for the Month.....January Revisited

My JAM (Just Another Monday) meeting was to be held on Monday, January 31. At our first meeting, the first Monday of January, I had decided that my goals were to 1) Finish my Italy quilt from the International Mystery Quilt of the Month and 2) Start and complete the Poetic Blossoms quilt kit that I had purchased in fall of 2009.

I am going to try to finish one project and take another from beginning to end each month. In my heavy travel months, that's a fail, but should be able to do it some months at least....

In January, I did start and complete the Poetic Blossoms kit; if you didn't see this on the blog last week, you can click here.

By the end of last week, I had done about half of the freehand flowers on the Italy quilt (above), but had a whole lot more to go. Worked on it most of Thursday and Friday and then I was ready to start the border marking and stitching on Saturday morning.

The stencil is #271 from JD Stencils and measures 4-14" wide.

The thread is Sulky variegated rayon, color #2202, Mint Greens/Pinks.

And here it is, hanging over the balcony at Dawna's house at the Monday JAM far, so good -- let's see if I can accomplish my February work plan!
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