Monthly Archives: March 2010

Getting ready for a show

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I leave tomorrow for the quilt show in Lancaster, PA. I like to call this Quiltopia! Classes, lectures, vendors, beautiful quilts, a hotel room to myself … what more could a quilt lover want?

However, I must admit that I find getting ready for these shows very stressful. I’m taking four classes, and they all involve different supplies — fabrics, threads, embellishments, freezer paper, markers, rulers, tapes, and other weird and wonderful supplies. It’s hard enough choosing fabric for a yet-unseen project, and I never seem to bring the right fabric. But it’s the other stuff that’s really hard.

I think I’m the queen of forgetting things to classes. Let’s see … I’ve forgotten batting, a design board, and the proper feet for my sewing machine, among other things. (Although I must admit I’ve never forgotten the power cord to my sewing machine, like the poor soul sitting behind me in the last class.) As I glance at my desk I see I’ve neglected to add my tackle box with my thread and scissors to my tote bag … oops. That could have been a disaster.

This show is particularly annoying because there is very little parking by the convention center. So they are shuttling us from the parking lot to the venue. This means that there’s no opportunity to use my car as a staging area … switching fabric between classes, or stashing a snack in my car to avoid carrying it around. Fortunately they are providing sewing machines, so I’m not lugging my Janome along with my rulers, fabrics and BSS (basic sewing supplies). Or at least I HOPE I read the instructions properly and they are supplying machines.

Notice I haven’t mentioned packing clothes. That’s the easy part!

Class with Christine Fries, part 2

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These cute little guys are still unfinished, but this was my first attempt at using a hoop with my machine. You trace a design onto heavy duty Sulky water soluble stabilizer, place it over 2 pieces of tulle, and then place another sheet of stabilizer underneath. Place the “sandwich” in a hoop and start stitching. It’s all done with a straight stitch, layering colors. Aren’t they adorable?

Class with Christine Fries

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This picture is the result of an amazing class I took from Christine Fries, whose work can be found at loveabideth.com. She hand-painted the tree and sky using dyes, to keep the canvas soft (fabric paints make the canvas hard). I outlined the sky in thread, and then heavily thread painted the tree and branches to add texture. We glued fibers on to the tree and ground for added texture. Leaves (seen on the ground) were made using cotton fabric and Sulky water soluble stabilizer. The butterflies were also made with cotton fabric, stabilizer, and lots of metallic thread.

Today’s project: cutting fabric

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It’s an absolutely beautiful day here … sunny, warm, and one of our first few tastes of spring. Fortunately I have a nice view from my window as I cut strips and strips of 2″ fabric for my class next week. Here’s my color palate. The off-white didn’t show well in the photo, and it was difficult to match the other colors, which were bought as a set. The final project will involve strips, in 10 colors, that will be pieced as mountains. Stay tuned for how it turns out.

My First “Block of the Month” Adventure

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I’d never participated in a BOTM group before, so I didn’t know what to expect. Whatever the outcome, I knew it would be a good skill builder, as I am pretty much an art quilter and don’t have a lot of experience making complicated pieced blocks.

Well … let’s just say the instructions left a lot to be desired. Maybe that’s part of the “fun” … but they’d mixed up triangles “B” and “C” on the instructions. And then one of the photos was incorrect. And, after I got home, I realized the neglected to mention that we had to trim the interior block. Add to that the fact that I’d cut one of my triangles too small, so had to piece it together … and I ended up ripping the block out about three times.

So my first BOTM took me about three hours to complete. Eleven more to go.

Paper piecing, take 3

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So I must explain my sudden obsession with paper piecing. For some unknown reason (I blame everything these days on my menopausal brain), I signed up for 2 classes next week in intermediate and advanced paper piecing.  Unfortunately, I didn’t notice they required paper piecing skills — I just liked the project. So …. the last couple of days have been a crash course in paper piecing.

The only real tough part are the first couple pieces. Today, thanks to a chat with my mom (a long time quilter), I realized that I was trying to sew piece #1 without attaching it to piece #2. So I think I’ve finally realized the error in my ways and am on the road to happy piecing. Or at least not humiliating myself next week with classmates who are first-class piecers.

Paper piecing, take 2

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Much better! I’m starting to get the hang of it now. Who knew that the finished block shows on the BOTTOM of the vellum, and that you’re actually flipping the fabric around before you sew it. The whole thing is very confusing to a person who hates puzzles and thankfully lives with people who can follow assembly directions. I have to admit … I’m kinda proud of this.