Friday, July 31, 2009

Summertime Fun

As you all know, everyone seems to travel during the summer months. We are no exception. Once again we have a road trip scheduled. We will seen college friends, celebrate a 50th anniversary, and with any luck and planning see the kids and all the grandbabies. Lots of car time will give me a chance to do some hand sewing on a comfort quilt. When we travel, I find that it is easiest to do blind stitching/binding, and because the pieces are small, it will not be a warm job.

Believe it or not, I am not even looking to see where we might stop for a little quilt shop R and R. I love seeing all of the fabrics and ideas, but my head is swimming with my current projects and have no need for additional stimulation in the next couple of weeks. My husband has always been remarkably accommodating with my "need" to stop, so I am certain it will surprise him. Got to hold on to the mysteries in life!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Quilt Camp: The Rest of the Week

Mornings were spent working on individual projects brought from Texas or Tennessee or bought in Minnesota. The more experienced quilters pitching to help the newbies. Machines were threaded, unthreaded, unjammed, cleaned, and then the process started over. Everyone had something interesting to do, so the machines were humming right up until the lunch bell sounded.

Thursday was a day to sight see or was that tour a few quilt shops. Obviously it was also the day to go crazy with shopping for wonderful fabrics and tools. In the evening, we went to Quilt Cove for 1/4" Club. Everyone was entertained and motivated by watching Sue share with the group. Lots of money changed hands that day and night!
Afternoons were set aside for doing group projects. We made a patriotic table runner, learned to do in the ditch machine quilting, bias binding, and a little needle-turn applique. On Friday, we were treated to a class taught by my daughter, Jamie. The ladies made fun purses.

Although I had envisioned the evenings being time to just visit and maybe do some needle turn applique, it turned out these were driven quilters. At any given point in the day, some ladies were sewing, while others were cutting, but we also found time to share some wonderful meals, sit around the fire, and even make a memory stone for the garden designed with the help of every lady. Obviously, since we are true quilters, we ate well, enjoyed lots of laughs, ripped seams, and tried to learn everything possible in a very short time. Several ladies even finished whole quilt tops while they were here. The pictures represent just a SMALL portion of the fun had by all.

Quilt Camp: Machine Applique, Food, Pontoon, ETC

Monday brought about our first real adventures. First of all, five woman decided to all get ready to leave the housed by 9:00, using the same bathroom. I am still amazed that they accomplished it. We headed for White Bear Lake and Bear Patch Quilting for a morning class of machine applique. The group's experience level was quite varied, but everyone managed to have their applique done by the end of the day.

We followed the class with lunch at the Decoy in White Bear Lake. Everyone enjoyed it so much that we lingered for about 2 hours. Then we headed for the lake and a very enjoyable pontoon ride captained by the Captain.

Once we returned home time was provided for everyone to work on their individual projects. Each person also cut the bias binding for the table runner project scheduled for Tuesday. We finished the evening with a fire and s'mores. (Yes, it was a cool evening for summer, but the fire and some fireside quilts kept all the Southern belles warm.)

Quilt Camp: Night One

On Sunday, July 12th we started camp with a mystery challenge. Earlier in the year everyone attending sent me two fat quarters. One represent them and the other was supposed to represent me.

The campers did not know what I was going to do with the fabrics, but since most of them were part of the Quilting Frogs this quilt seemed to be a natural. (Bullfrogs by Marjorie Rhine at

Each person also received a trash/scrap bag made with the two fabrics as a memory of the event.

We spent the evening talking and organizing sleeping spaces. However, knowing that for some it would be a challenge to get up and be ready to head out on time for our machine applique class in the morning bedtime came early.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Quilt Camp Details to Follow

We had a great week. Much of what happened will be discussed in the next few weeks. Alas, you will have to wait while I take a little break to go and play with all of my grandchildren.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

July 2nd (Already have one block for August)

WARNING!! This is only my second video.

My sister told me the last video made her a little seasick, and she had also worried that my husband had no head. Therefore, I tried to slow my movements, but there are still some jumpy parts. In the video I think I said I had 25 of the 36 block types finished, but I have 22(and I am a math teacher). I hope that you will get a sense of the quilt at this point. I have added a few stills just so you can have a better look at the horses and the little bear, who was apparently trying to turn away so he looks like he is not square.You can always go back to other posts to see stills of previous months. I am not an expert applique quilter, yet, but I figure out new things with each block.
Hopefully, my movie taking ability will improve with practice, as well. =0)

New Technique for Me (Quilt As You Go)

This is something new for me. I have quilted as I go before, but this one is a little different. The most time consuming (so far) is the cutting. Once I figured out what to do, I was surprised at how quickly I could make a block. I did sew these two together just to see how it went, but I am going to make all the rest of the blocks before putting any more together. I am going to get some green thread for all the top stitching since the backing is a green batik. Therefore, I just pinned down the edges of it. I really like a blind stitch hemming, but I want this one done quickly for a comfort quilt and should really follow the pattern JUST ONCE. The second picture shows the fabrics. Each block gets a quarter turn so the 4 patch in the middle will go back and forth but remain the same colors. The outer block is the part that will vary. I am looking forward to seeing how this all comes together.

I bought two different patterns that were displayed with the the Batting Buddy template , so I will have more experiments to come. I purchased Chit Chat Quilt and Speedy Stars patterns.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Time to Play

In May, I bought a rather expensive set of templates to make my Canyon Waves quilt, but since Jamie was making one, too, it was well worth the price. Of course, I knew that the templates would be used again, but I would not have guessed it would have been this soon. The time was right to cut it and sew the blocks, since I was waiting for some other fabric to finish washing and drying. I cut out the pieces and made the blocks this afternoon. Curves are so much easier than I ever expected! I will let it sit overnight and see if I still like the arrangement in the morning. Then I will seam it together and maybe add a border. Right now it is 33" square and will make a great stroller blanket for my soon-to-be-born grandson, affectionately referred to as "Hisnibs". Tonight I will try an new block and quilting technique, but I am going to be earlier than last night even if my quilting juices are flowing right now!

Well, I did work on the the new type of block for about ten minutes, but then I thought about a possible border for the quilt. Not sure about it, but it is different. Offer an opinion if you have one.