Sunday, November 30, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Quite a few of you asked how you could get the pattern for this quilt. Unfortunately it isn't available - at least at this time. We are just so incredibly lucky to have Eileen living here in Vancouver so we can take advantage of her classes. Each class is either 11 or 12 sessions long, and are taught on a monthly basis throughout the year. As part of our class fee, we receive a packet each month, wrapped in brown paper and string, that contains both the monthly historical information about the time period as well as the patterns for each month. It also contains a letter from an "ancestor", a post card depicting something from the time period, and a selection of reproduction fabrics appropriate to the era we are studying. One of the goals of each class is that we learn to identify fabrics from the period. With this in mind, we can each bring a stack of fabrics to each class, and then watch and listen to Eileen as she identifies the appropriate era for each fabric in the class. The patterns we receive are drawn and/or drafted from antiques in Eileen's collections, which we get to examine during the class. By the end of each class we have one or two huge notebooks of information and patterns. I've already filled one 4" ring binder with the first six lessons, so I need to get another before the next class.
Eileen hopes to have the classes available by mail order eventually, but must wait on her husband who does their still-under-construction website. You might be interested in her book on dating fabrics, which continues to be one of the best selling books AQS has ever published. (No, I'm not her publicity person - just a very happy student of hers LOL!) Here is a link: Dating Fabrics.
No matter what your beliefs or your nationality, I hope you regularly take the time to remember all you have to be thankful for, and find it in your heart to share with others who are less fortunate.
Monday, November 24, 2008
So - I should do the smart thing and have only 3 BOM's going at once. But in for a penny, in for a pound - I'll just start working on the Civil War sampler from my current Eileen Trestain class. I've really been wanting to start this quilt, and the applique will be easy and quick.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
To the left you see the next 16" block for the mid-century album quilt. As there are two sizes of blocks in this quilt I'm going to shoot for one of each size each month. Tomorrow I'll prep an 8" block to go along with this one. This one isn't finished being prepped - there are still a few leaves and 17 grapes to go - however stitching of fruits below those need to be completed before they can be added. If you'd like to see the other blocks in this quilt, click here.
I've already prepped two identical blocks for the 2003-2004 Girl Gang quilt - they can be seen here. The next block for Times Remembered is in the previous post. I've decided that I will also prep a block for Celebration of American Life. The backgrounds for those blocks have been prepared for several years, so I decided it's time to really get started on that project.
I've listed these four Block of the Month Projects - Patti Style on my blog sidebar. I'm hoping I'm not taking on too much - I figure that's one BOM to focus on each week of the month. I'm calling the blocks I'm prepping now "December blocks", so I'm getting a head start. Hopefully that will leave me time for other quilty things - playing with scraps, quilting at least one of my own tops per month, and progressing forward on my other long term projects. I guess time will tell. I've decided the only yearly goal I'm going to set is the stashbusting goal - the rest will be monthly goals. Lots more to cross off that way - resulting in lots of satisfaction - and a clean slate at the beginning of each new month.
How does that sound? Anybody else like this idea? Do you think it will work? I sure hope so!
Now I need to head to bed. Another Joseph day tomorrow - a nasty bug sure has bitten his other grandparents, aunt and cousin so he's staying away until they are all well. That's OK - I have so much fun watching him!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Did I say UFO in my last post? Oh dear - I did, didn't I. And here I had just pledged to change my thinking. I didn't mean UFO's! In spite of what my labels say, I don't have any UFO's! I meant to say my remaining older ongoing projects.
(OK Patti - let's get with the program here!)
I also finished a couple of the little projects from my quilt history classes with Eileen Trestain. The first is a "make-do" done in the Turn of the Century Random Sampler class. At some point I may get a new base for this one - the candle holder Eileen furnished in class really isn't big enough for this one. The second picture shows two "pocket pincushions" that I made in the Civil War class. Love these, as the pins can't poke clear through and catch on something. These were so easy to make - just two circles of thin cardboard, two of batting, and two of silk taffeta. Gather the edges of the circles, then insert the batting and cardboard, then pull the gathering stitches and tie off. Tack in your ribbon hanging loop, then whip stitch or ladder stitch the two circles together. Easy, quick, and very useful!
Last night I moved on to my next UFO - "Times Remembered" by Pat Sloan. I made the first two blocks in 2003, as well as the pieced backgrounds for the rest of the blocks. Then I must have started something new as this project was put aside. I figure the best way to handle these remaining UFOs - three appliqué quilts - is to treat them like block of the month programs. If I finish one block each month in each quilt then they should be finished tops by the end of next year. I'll start by prepping all of them, so I can pick up a new one as soon as the old one is finished. Works for me I think! I'd hoped to have the first blocks prepped by now, but instead I watched Joseph all week. A joy to be sure - I'm a lucky grandma! And today I have two small customer tops that must be quilted. So these blocks must wait for another day at least.
1. Beautiful fresh fall vegetables for roasting
2. Fragrant fresh herbs from a friend
3. Good times with great friends
Thursday, November 20, 2008
One of her "stop us in our tracks" statements at the beginning of her talk is this - "I have NO ufo's!" After all the gasps of disbelief fade away, she adds "but I have many ongoing projects". She further explains that some of them have been ongoing for years. She doesn't believe one can rush creativity, and that eventually every project will talk to you and tell you what it wants to become (my words there at the end of this sentence). One quilt she showed us - and it was stunning! - was made from a set of very large sampler blocks pieced in the 1970's! Her solution was so creative, and the blocks were hardly recognizable.
I really like this positive way of looking at things. It's definitely a "glass half full" outlook. And recently I've experienced the truth of this - look how long it took those 1992 Halloween blocks to speak to me! So, I've changed the labeling on my sidebar. I, too, have no more UFO's. Not a single one! I do have quite a few ongoing projects, and some are quite a few years old. That's OK - each will be finished in it's turn. This doesn't mean I'm going to stop my focus on finishing them - it just means I'm thinking of each one as an opportunity instead of a liability!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
I'm also addicted to buying fabric. I love nothing better than going into a quilt shop and choosing new pieces for my stash, or getting online and ordering complete fat quarter or half yard collections of new lines as they are available. I get such a rush from getting boxes of fabric in the mail - it's like Christmas every time a new one arrives.
Since I've been quilting 30 years - give or take a year - this has become a real problem. I have a small but well organized sewing room with lots of stash storage. It is full. I've gone through the stash several times in the last ten to twelve years, culling completely outdated fabric (tiny multicolored calicoes - ugh!) and giving it all to charity. In no time the shelves are full again. Last month I made backings for a couple dozen quilts. I immediately filled up the space with newly washed and ironed fabric that had been laying under my big board waiting it's turn to join the rest on the shelves. I didn't show you a picture of the fabrics stacked up on my cutting table because I was just too horrified at the quantity - probably an additional 30 to 40 yards! And I can't even say that is the end of it, as I brought a bunch more home last Monday when I went to Momma Made It in Longview. Sharon has started her moving sale. I ask you - how can I resist backgrounds, plaids and remnants marked down 50 to 75%? They are now sitting on the closet floor waiting to be washed, ironed and added to the stash.
Ever since I started setting quilting goals I've promised I'll control my shopping and start depleting my stash. It doesn't happen. I've once again grown the stash this year. When one starts buying fabric by the bolt one goes backwards very quickly. Three 15 yard bolts of Kona Cotton later - a parchment, turkey red and a cheddar - and a 50 yard bolt of applique background for my historical quilts - so much for busting stash.
However, I'm still pledging to try. Judy has already started talking about busting stash in 2009 - she didn't do any better than I did this year. I've printed her pledge and signed it - I've pinned it to my design wall right over my big board where I'll have to see it every day. And I'm going to start keeping track of my efforts again. I stopped fairly early this year because as a scrap quilter it seemed too difficult to keep track of yardage used. Yesterday I read this post by Judy. My report doesn't have to be in yards! I can report emptied drawers, totes, baskets, plastic shoe boxes, etc. I can report a fabric stash decreasing in height by an inch or two. I can report any way that makes sense for the way I use my fabric. Hooray! That will work for me!
So - I'm committing right now - for the rest of 2008 and all of 2009. My goal by the end of 2009 is to have less fabric than I have right now.(Where have I heard that before!) This doesn't mean I'll stop buying - I think that's impossible - but I will - I WILL!!!! - use more fabric than I buy. And I'll do a weekly report along with the rest of Judy's stashbusters.
So with those things in mind I'll show you what the majority of the stash looks like right now (I just did a clean-up a couple weeks ago so I could put those 30-40 yards on the shelves). From top to bottom the pictures show:
Shelves on the south side of the room
Shelves on the west side of the room
Bolts of fabric on top of the shelves (there is also one in the closet)
One partial shelf holding the latest two kits I've purchased - they don't fit into the kit bins
Two kit bins under the longarm - you can tell by the list of "HSY's" (Haven't Started Yets) on my sidebar that I'm also addicted to kits.
Two more kit bins plus a cardboard box of kits under the other end of the longarmI've not shown you any of my scrap storage - if you are interested in seeing that you can click on the "Organization" subject in the sidebar that will take you to pictures on past posts. Wish me luck with this - maybe the fifth or sixth try will be the charm!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
This year's theme was Mardi Gras, and the committee went all out. Decorations were marvelous, goodie bags were full of delightful things, door prizes were great, and the company was fabulous. Time went all too quickly, in spite of the fact that I got WAY less sleep than usual because I stayed up so late each night sewing. We drew another string of Mardi Gras beads out of a jester's hat before every meal, which told us which table to sit at for that meal. I love the fact that they always do something similar at every retreat - that way we get to eat at least once with every other attendee. They also had a "fortune teller" - Madame Pascal (one of the guild member's daughters) tell our fortunes with Tarot cards, as well as a massage therapist giving chair massages for $1 a minute. That $20 was the best money I've spent in some time LOL!
My goal was to combine the two sets of PINS exchange blocks into a finished quilt top. It took until Friday midnight to accomplish that goal. I had cut WAY too many 1 1/2" strips but that was OK - I didn't want to run short. I just put the rest into the 1 1/2" strip drawer. Saturday I worked with a whole stack of 4 1/2" squares of reproductions that I found in a drawer when I was cleaning my island. I have no idea where they came from - they weren't pinked so it wasn't a fabric club. I can't remember anyone sending me a bunch of squares. I knew I'd not cut them because there were many I'd never seen before. I added the small number of 4 1/2" squares in my scrap box, and brought along all the shirtings left over from cutting the setting triangles for my president's quilt. I turned them into double four patches, which resulted in 108 seven inch blocks - enough for a twin size charity quilt. This used a bunch of scraps and stash as well as cleared out a plastic shoe box and island drawer. I couldn't be happier! I'll post a picture once the top is finished. That took most of Saturday. Saturday evening and Sunday morning I sat by the fire hand quilting - a perfect way to finish the weekend. I didn't win any door prizes - but a quilty weekend spent with great friends is priceless and makes everything worthwhile!
I'm constantly amazed at the creativity of each year's Quilt Camp committee. They work hard all year to make sure we have a wonderful time and received lots of neat little gifts - many handmade. This year a big thank you goes to Connie, Mary, Alana, and Gail. Well done ladies!