October 2011 - Posts
The sun was shining this morning, but it was still cold outside. There was frost on the ground, again, today. Yesterday, it began raining late in the afternoon, then turned into hail. So glad for my hot tub this time of year. It also keeps me inside stitching.
Yesterday, I put together several of the MQ V mystery quilt blocks. I have half of them complete and they are looking fine. I really like how the pattern turned out and Sandy's quilt is lovely. I may have to make a second quilt using different fabrics. This first quilt has a lot of 30's strips that I had from a guild exchange. I had thought about using it for a baby quilt, but now I'm not sure now, with black as the background.
Here are my first six blocks completed.
I was talking about the mystery quilt with an MQN guild friend. She indicated that our group should do a mystery quilt for next year and asked me to come up with an idea. So, I've been browsing through my quilt pattern books and may have come up with a pattern to use. It lends itself to the same type of piecing that this mystery quilt did and I have determined a way to make the blocks that will not likely give away the design. That's the secret to a successful mystery quilt, I believe. When you figure out the pattern ahead of time, it's no longer fun piecing the mystery steps. Wish me luck as I venture into putting together my own mystery quilt for my MQN region group.
I have been behind with the MQ V because of my guild retreat. I had to catch up this week, since the final block layout should be revealed this week. So, Wednesday, I completed Step 4, and tonight I completed Step 5. I was able to layout the Step 6 sections to try and decide what the block would look like before we all find out tomorrow. The MQ V Forum had some photos by other mystery quilters that show the same types of blocks that I was able to make. Tomorrow will be the tell-all. It is exciting!
Aside from catching up on the mystery quilt blocks, I wanted to complete a blog post. I haven't been blogging as much. Before blogging, I wrote in a journal. Just like journaling, I seem to start with the same gusto, then taper off in my entries. There are years when I didn't write anything in my journal, or had huge gaps in my entries. Other years, I had entries almost daily for several months. My blogging has replaced my journal and seems to suffer from the same ailment. It takes effort to maintain a blog. But, I enjoy the process, so I will continue to come back to my writing.
I find it interesting that many people don't know what a blog is. Whenever I mention my blog, invariably, there is someone in the group that asks, "what's a blog?" My response is to compare it to a journal, only open for the world to read. I always felt that my journal was very private. There were journal entries that I hoped no one would ever read or, at least not until after I passed away. Blogging is immediately available for others to read, and even comment on. It makes the writer vulnerable. Bloggers have to have a thick skin.
Another issue that often arises for me is writer's block. In order to keep a blog going, there has to be something to write about. And, that something has to be interesting to the reader, in order for them to continue reading the blog. I hope that you are enjoying reading this post.
Until next time...Enjoy!
Our Michigan Quilt Network retreat culminated yesterday. The setting was beautiful. The weather was cool and crisp; perfect for staying inside and sewing. The fundraising with the Silent Auction Baskets was successful. Our efforts raised $1257 from the baskets, garage sale items, logo merchandise, and the Civil War blotto challenge. The baskets made $439 with the highest bid at $41 for the Trick or Treat basket. Check them out and see what you think of them.
By far, my favorite part of the retreat was the Zentangle class. What is Zentangle, you say? If you like to doodle, then you will like to Zentangle. Using a 3-1/2" square of heavy cardstock, a pencil and a black micron pigma pen, you can create a decorative work of art. We learned the technique for making a Zentangle, then applied it from paper to fabric. They can be used for making a card, framed as art, or used in a sewing project. One class used three blocks to decorate the side of a purse in a previous class. What a great project for young children to teach dexterity and creativitiy.
These are all the class projects. We all followed the instructions that the teacher gave us, yet they are each unique. Mine is pictured second from the right in the bottom row.
Here's a close-up with mine pictured on the bottom right. Check out www.dobriendesign.com for more about Zentangle. I'll definitely be doing more of this.
I have been so busy, I haven't blogged in a week. This week-end is my Michigan Quilt Network retreat. All the Silent Auction Baskets are completed to take along and look great. Hopefully, the fund-raising effots will "pay off" in a big way. They are all themed and I came up with some catchy names on the bid sheets - Primitive & Plaid - Winter Wonderland - Pressing Matters - Rainbow of Batiks - Hand Quilter's Delight - you guess what may be in the baskets. I should have taken pics to show all of you, but the cello wrap wouldn't have photographed well. There was so much "stuff" donated, I was able to make 21 baskets and still have 16 boxes of "stuff" for the Garage Sale. I really hope that everyone shows up with plenty of cash. Otherwise, the leftovers will be donated - fabric, kits, UFO's, notions, patterns, and books.
As for my retreat project plans, I decided not to pack my sewing machine and work on several hand projects that need finished. I still have a binding to finish attaching, a hand quilting project, applique projects, and an ongoing redwork project that I could also take along. I have patterns that I need to cut out and will take along my cutting mat and supplies. This will give me plenty of choices. Of course, I will never complete all of these projects, but it will be fun to pull them out to work on and show everyone else. What quilter doesn't like to see what others are working on.
As I prepare to leave tomorrow, I also hope to find time to stitch my MQ V steps 4 & 5. Have a great week-end, everyone, and maybe I'll be back on Sunday to show off what I completed at retreat.
I just wanted to share with everyone, if you liked the pics from the Michigan in Stitches quilt show, click on the guild link, Mid-Michigan Quilters' Guild, then, "Like" us on Facebook. You can look at all the quilts from the 2011 Michigan in Stitches show.
Here's a couple more quilts for you to enjoy.
I haven't tried making this quilt pattern. Only one fabric is cut up to make all these different blocks; and it's just beautiful. There was a lot of discussion around this quilt. I've made three Stack 'n Whacks and had a lot of fun. Maybe, I'll have to try my hand at this one, too.
A guild member asked for fabric scraps to make this charm quilt. And, it's hand quilted. Simply gorgeous.
My good friend, DN, made this quilt. I understand it takes a little planning & organizing to keep the pattern straight. Each puzzle notch has to be planned into the block it borders.
As I mentioned previously, Saturday was spent making quilts for Veterans. For the last three years, our Michigan Quilt Network region has made Veteran's quilts for a charity project in October. Squares are pre-cut and everyone just stitches them together. I chose to make 4-patch blocks from many of the novelty prints. Here is a picture of the work in progress, followed by the completed top.
I plan to make another quilt similar to this one, with patches that I brought home. The member that organizes the sew-in, quilts the tops on her long-arm, then binds them. All are given to Veterans. Some gentleman will enjoy this outdoorsman quilt top, that also has red, white & blue mixed in.
Sue met the week-end challenges by working on several quilt projects. However, the best part of the week-end was seeing all the fabulous quilts at our local guild, Mid-Michigan Quilters' Guild Michigan in Stitches show. Quilts shows are such an inspiration, so Sue thought she would share pictures of her fav quilts from the show.
Dear Jane was a several year project for one guild member.
The colors in this quilt are so soothing and harmonious.
The leaves in the log cabin quilt are wool felt attached with buttonhole stitches. My Twisted Sister quilt is on the left.
Such cute lamps & shades, embellished with buttons for the pull.
LC is a member that uses such beautiful fabrics and so many quilts. Love all three of these.
Some of the card quilts from the guild challenge. We played with a full deck.
Some of the education project quilts for the new Discovery Museum. Mine is peeking out from the back.
There was so much more to see, that this blog just cannot contain them all. Enjoy!
October is going to be a busy quilting month. It's only the beginning of week two and Sue has had two week-ends filled with quilting events. Last week-end, Sue attended the first meeting for the Groovy Girls at the local quilt shop, Common Threads, and spent time on Sunday putting together a couple of projects.
Yesterday, week-end number two for Sue, was spent at the Michigan Quilt Network region meeting. Our October meeting has been at Sugar Springs for the last three years, where we make quilts for Veterans. One of the ladies in the group makes Veterans quilts all year long. She provides cut fabric squares and we just have to sew them together. I was able to finish one quilt top during the afternoon, with three other ladies completing their quilt tops, as well. Sue sewed together four patch blocks from 6-1/2" squares; set them four by five to make a 48" X 60" quilt top. Several other quilt tops were taken home to complete. The member, that heads this up, also quilts them on her long-arm. Then, she donates them to the local Veteran's hospital, or other groups that request them. I didn't have my camera, so I'll have to show you a pic of the quilt after a friend e-mails it to me.
This week-end is also Mid-Michigan Quilters' Guild quilt show, Michigan in Stitches, being held in Mt. Pleasant. If you're from the area, it runs from 9-4:00 today at the Commission on Aging building. With two events to pick from, I had to leave the quilt show until today. I placed four quilts in the show, two of which were also in the St. John's Mint Festival quilt show. One other quilt is the SewBatik challenge I made for the National Quilting Association show in June. Lastly, I placed my block of the month Michigan quilt in the show, that I made back in 2000 with a group of ladies I worked with at Sheridan hospital.
Here it is from another quilt show.
Next week-end, my Sisters in Stitches will be getting together for a day of sewing. We plan to work on a Stand & Stow bag and our Groovy Girls project. As well, I am hoping to make a few pairs of flannel PJ's for Christmas presents. The week-end following is The Gathering quilt retreat for Michigan Quilt Network at the RAM Center at Higgins Lake. The following week-end is the only one that has nothing quilting planned, but it is Halloween on Monday.
I downloaded the next step in the [MQ V] mystery quilt project, so Sue will be challenged today to stitch up the Step 3 block pieces. It certainly is a mystery, since it doesn't appear to be flying geese sections or stars, as I predicted. That's why they call it a mystery.
Sue has been busy stitching. Sometimes I wonder how she keeps all her projects organized. She worked on four different projects over the week-end and continues to have many others on tap.
1. Picked up the Honeybee Blocks again for my daughter's wedding quilt. Since I started working on the guild applique club project, I haven't been doing these blocks. I have nearly completed the honeybee applique on two more blocks. These are my carry-along project, so that I work on them whenever I have a free minute.
2. Cash & Carry bag - picked up this pattern at the Groovy Girls Club meeting on Saturday. Had to make one of them using selvedges. This was a club pattern extra provided to Groovy Girls club members last year. The bag went together so well, that I made a second bag with a clear vinyl window pocket. I have decided that this will be my Christmas project for gift-giving at work. They are a snap to make and who wouldn't love getting one of these.
3. Selected and cut out my Mystery Quilt V fabrics.
4. Cut out & put together another Stained Glass Heart block. This time, I made a Folk-art style heart block using blue homespuns, blue felted wool and a cotton fabric that has a Pennsylvania Dutch look with doves and hearts. Since the background is a black flannel and the stained glass sections are dark, I used an off-white solid to make the bias strips. I also made them very narrow; only 3/8" wide. No pic of this block yet, but will keep posting Heart Sampler blocks as they are completed.
5. Still have a quilt lying over the back of my living room sofa with the binding partially attached. I pick it up when I'm watching T.V. It should have been done by now, but I keep doing my applique.
Hopefully, if you check back in a month, my projects will have changed and I can say that some of these are done. Until then...
I've decided to complete the mystery quilt with the QCA. Not that I need another quilt project. I really need to be finishing projects, not starting new ones. But, I wanted to get involved with the QCA group. Mystery quilts are not my "thing", either. I enjoy the planning process. I like to doodle, plan out designs on graph paper and peruse my library of quilt books for just the right block pattern for the idea I have in my head. Then, I Iike to pull out my stash and audition fabrics until I find just the right combinations. If I cannot find the right fabric, I go shopping for it.
As of late, I have been using only fabrics in my stash. I do not need to purchase fabric any more than I need to start a new project. When I first read about this project, I thought about using up the 2-1/2" strips that I have been collecting from leftover projects. However, it became apparent that I did not have enough of similar fabrics to meet the requirement needs. When Steps 1&2 came out on Friday, I read the instructions and thought that maybe the pattern would be one that I liked. We certainly aren't strip piecing or we wouldn't be cutting everything up into squares and rectangles. The pieces will likely be sewn into flying geese units and made into some type of star. And, I love star patterns.
So, now, I am in the Mystery Quilt V Group. I finished selecting my fabrics last night and put them into the six groups to make the smaller size quilt. I had a collection of thirties strips from a guild exchange. I used these for the base of my fabric selections, along with several other strips that fit. I did have to go through my stash to find additional fabrics suitable for the strip sets. This morning, I finished cutting a couple of strips and completed the Step 1 & 2 cutting instructions. Here are my fabrics grouped together.
Since my quilt will obviously be scrappy, I needed to use a background fabric that would be less busy. Most of my larger fabrics had patterned designs or were in a color that did not go well with all the fabrics. I decided that a muslin would work well. My stash has white, cream, tan and black muslin. I decided on the black muslin, which the cut fabrics are lying on. Below, the fabrics have been placed into labeled bags, to keep myself organized. I'm sure that most quilters use some form of organization, so that their projects come out as planned. Labeled baggies worked well for this one. Plus, I have plenty of them from previous projects and block of the month purchases.
Now that I am ready to stitch, I'll have to wait for the next set of instructions. You can see all the QCA member fabric choices at the MQ V Group Media located in the MQ V Group.
Our local quilt shop is hosting the Groovy Girls Club again this year. What fun it was last year socializing with other quilters, receiving the pattern extras and making such neat projects. Terry Atkinson, of Atkinson Designs, has a talent for making projects so simple, yet professional looking. I expect this year's club to be no different from last year, and am amazed how she is able to continue coming up with such groovy ideas for projects. This month features an e-Reader cover and the extras offer so many more options. Can't tell you about those, because they are exclusive to Groovy Girls Club members.
If you don't know about Groovy Girls, check with your local quilt shop. See if they carry Atkinson Designs patterns. Then, ask if they'll consider having a Groovy Girls Club. My two sisters and I are attending at Common Threads quilt shop. Then, we take turns purchasing the patterns and share them amongst ourselves when we have my Sisters in Stitches sewing days. We know what projects we'll be working on next time - Groovy Girls projects to bring back to show & tell.