Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Old Bags' Day Pictures

This past Saturday, October 25th, I hosted an Old Bags' Day sew-in and as usual, it was wonderful! I loved hearing the humming of 28 sewing machines, the laughter of such a fun group of ladies and hearing the "oohs and ahhs" when completed projects were shown. I love to see the camaraderie of quilters sharing a meal, helping each other and giving their opinions on how to layout all those wonderfully pieced blocks. Although most of the group have been coming for a while, we had some new attendees this time, and it didn't take long before they were "just one of the gang."

I didn't get pictures of every project that was being worked on or every project that was completed and I feel bad about that and apologize to those who aren't pictured here. Kare was not able to join us this time so I was spread a bit thin. (Oh, I don't often get to use the word thin in the same sentence when I'm talking about myself so I'm thrilled to do it here. If only this would help me lose weight, I'd host these events every day of the week.)  :-)

Here are the pictures I did get.

Chris finished the inside of her adorable log cabin quilt. She started another one that I didn't get a picture of, but can't wait to see. It's grey, pink and white. ADORABLE!    


Connie learned to miter corners and did an awesome job!


I love the border she added. It makes this quilt even better! When she finished these borders, Connie began work on another quilt, one that uses 2 1/2" strips. I can't wait to see it, as it is going to be gorgeous!


Debbie was busy with other projects, but here's the pinwheel quilt she worked on. Not bad for someone who was in pain with gout!


Fran made this tumbler mini and it is just plain adorable! Sis was also making tumbler pot holders and I didn't get a picture of them, darn it! She also worked on binding them. They were beautiful and were made using awesome Christmas fabrics. 


Fran worked on her Charming Star blocks too. I love these fabrics!


Here's Janet's version of the Charming Stars. It is wonderful and ready for quilting! I love how different these all look.


I didn't get pictures of it, but Pam was working on her Charming Star quilt too. Mabel has finished hers and it is beautiful! Of course, no pictures! I'm not positive what Mabel was working on, but we did look at a couple of projects that she needed help figuring out. Thanks for you help with that Ann!

Besides helping me get things organized and stay organized, Ann worked on a number of fabric books. She does awesome work and I wish I had taken pictures for you to see.

Of course I didn't get pictures of April either, but she spent a bunch of time helping get things ready for lunch and then again for dinner. Thanks April! 

Even though she had her appendix out on Tuesday, Judy was busy and made this gorgeous Lovers' Knot quilt top. I love these colors and fabrics!


Karen was a busy quilter making this beauty! I love this and think I may have to make one for myself.


Karen also worked on this stunning quilt but now she has some decisions to make. I don't think she has enough fabric to add more rows so I can't wait to see how she finishes this.


Speaking of busy. After an early "my machine won't turn on" scare (it worked but the front screen wouldn't light up), Kathy got right to work piecing some beautiful table runners. These were all made using a 60 degree triangle ruler and some awesome striped fabrics. I'm pretty sure she made at least one other, but I didn't get a picture of it.




Maura worked on her small, but adorable snowman wall hangings. Thanks to help from Michele and Kathy, she was able to pull her backing fabric around to the front for binding and miter the corners. I'll tell you what, Maura is getting pretty darn good at her machine applique stitching.  :-)


Maura also finished up the hand stitching on this Block of the Month wool project. 


Speaking of Michele, Saturday was her first Old Bags' Day and I think she fit right in. She worked on some umbrellas and of course I didn't get any pictures. ARRGGHHH!! She is  making at least some of the umbrellas for gifts and doing the same thing that I am.We're making coordinating Tahoe Tote bags. What is it that they say about great minds?  hehehe

As usual, Rhonda created some awesome pieces. This table runner is just plain fun. I wish you could see the fabric she used for the binding. It is perfect!
  

I love the prairie points along the edges of this alphabet quilt. 


And these trees are so beautiful. The white background makes me think of walking in the woods on a cold winter day right after a snowfall. 


Sheryll and Linda were both sewing with us and were working on a cool quilt for their mom. I'm honored that they chose one of my patterns to use and that I could help them. I didn't get any pictures of the project, but I did get a picture of the manual for Sheryll's new sewing machine. I am so happy for her and thrilled that I got to be with her when she used it for the first time.  


Pam (not "Charming Stars" Pam), was working on her Bargello quilt and even though I didn't get pictures Saturday, I'll see it in class Thursday and will try to remember to take pictures then. She is making hers larger than the sample, so she has more strip tubes to sew.

Pat was working on an adorable minkee quilt that I can't wait to see finished. Pat had to leave while I was helping someone so I didn't get to see how far she had gotten, darn it!

Carolyn was working on lots of binding, but had to leave early as well. She has a bum leg that was giving her fits.

Deb was working on some hand quilting that is just beautiful and Doris worked her machine so much that she needed to give it a break. She usually brings her featherweight but opted for another one this time. 

We had two Marys with us and I didn't get a picture of either one! Mary #1 worked on a binding and was busy piecing away lots of blocks. Mary #2 continued work on her adorable pumpkin rag quilt. I think next time she'll be attaching the pumpkins and then she'll be combining blocks. Yippee!

Diane worked on more log cabins for her Maple Leaf Log Cabin quilt. Thanks Chris for helping her when I was busy! Diane's got her leaf fabrics organized and she'll begin working on those when we meet next month.

Donna worked on an OSU bag that she's making as well as her notions bag. I can't wait to see  how those turn out.

Whew! That's a lot of sewing and creating! 
I'm sure you can see what I mean about how this group inspires me. 
Thanks Ladies! 

   


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tip Tuesday! Sharing the Love!

"Tip Tuesday!" - Sewing with Children

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 



We all have a love of sewing and quilting. If we didn't, we probably wouldn't spend nearly as much time (and money) doing it. Chances are that if we didn't love it, we also wouldn't spend nearly as much time reading blogs (thanks for reading mine, by the way), checking out websites and wishing we could spend more time with our sewing machines. Somehow, reading about quilting helps when we can't actually do it. I am very appreciative of those people who spend so much of their time and energies sharing their talents with us. 

I too enjoy sharing my love of quilting with others. I teach a fair number of quilting classes at area quilt shops, I give private lessons, I co-host a number of quilting sew-ins (Old Bags' Days), and I am a member to a couple of quilting groups. I enjoy all of it and feel blessed and honored to be able to do those things.

One of the things I enjoy most about teaching is when I introduce a new quilter into "our world" and I watch as they start the process of creating. I love it when that proverbial light bulb goes off and they "get it." And then there is nothing quite like seeing the pride in their faces when they are showing off their first completed project. Oh my, how I love that moment! If you have never spent time with a new quilter, you might want to consider doing so. It is really an awesome thing to do.    

I often work with children and find that very satisfying. All of my grandchildren spend time in my sewing room and I love that. (I do put up scissors, pins, cutters, and anything I don't want messed with.) They all play with my fabric and thread and I'm ok with that.



 

I even like to have them stop in and spend time with the Old Bags' Day quilting people. 


Quinn and Sadie love to "help" me sew by sitting across from me while I chain piece and keeping the sewn units in order and untwisted. They also love to help me organize blocks on the design wall and say "Ta Da!" when it's done.


A couple of years ago, Quinn wanted to start sewing and I bought a simple little chain-stitch sewing machine. It's basically a toy and somewhat of a pain to use, but she loves using it. A couple of weeks ago I showed her some pictures of two young ladies who made quilts for 4-H projects. 


The back of Kelsey's quilt is adorable cow fabric!





Here's a close up of Brileigh's quilt back. Can you see the ants that are heading to the watermelon?



Quinn loved what she saw and wanted to start some "real" sewing. I said ok, but that she needed to practice on her machine before using mine. (I was in the middle of a project with a deadline and couldn't give it up right then) She was fine with that and started working with some basic strips. 


Do you see the Clover Wonder Clips? I often use those instead of pins when I'm working with young kids. 


I wanted to make sure she remembered how to backstitch and I had her do that a few times. 


This machine has a finger guard by the needle but she doesn't need that anymore. If the young person you are helping needs a guard like this, I suggest taping a piece of yarn or cardboard on the front of the machine so that it hangs down in front of the needle. 


When their finger hits that, it's time to stop and re-position their hands. It's kind of like the tennis ball hanging in the garage so you know when to stop. (Oops, no picture of that. I'll have to take one the next time I do that.)  



Quinn sure is concentrating here. I often have to remind new quilters, young and old, to breath. I'm not joking here. They will be so busy concentrating that they hold their breath.


And they need practice pinning, or clipping in Quinn's case.


I don't know yet what she'll be doing with her pieced strips, but I'm sure she figure out something.

Who knows, maybe she'll make something like the two 4-H girls.

If you have the opportunity to help a new quilter, especially a young one, I suggest you give it a try. Just look at how happy and proud can you make someone. I think the grandmas were pretty happy and proud too!



I've linked this post up with Sew Cal Gal's - It's All About the Kids blogging event. (Thanks for the info Sharon!) 


Click HERE to see Sew Cal Gal's page and HERE to see the link-ups that have been posted so far.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tip Tuesday! - Inspiration

"Tip Tuesday!" - Inspiration

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 


What inspires you to create quilts?

Sometimes I quilt because I have to.
 
          **I have to make a class sample.
          **I have to make a gift or custom quilt for someone.
       
Usually, when I have to quilt for the reasons above, I have specific patterns or fabrics that I need to use. Although that's ok, there are other times that I am the one who has to make all the decisions. What pattern? What fabric? How big? That can be a real challenge!

So, I look around for inspiration. I look EVERYWHERE. 

 

I often look for inspiration on the internet.I love to check out the various blogs I follow. These people are some of the most creative, talented, and interesting people and I'm happy that they allow me to stalk follow them. 

Sometimes, life itself is all the inspiration I need. In my various volunteer opportunities (Stein Hospice, Bras for a Cause, 3-Day - 60 mile Walk, Domestic Violence Shelter advocate, etc.), I've met people who face dire situations every day. Every single day! That sure puts thing in perspective for me. 

Many of my donation quilts are made as a result of hearing about someone in need, or simply that someone needs a "fiber hug." It humbles me to think that my simple little quilt might give them some comfort or make them laugh.

 
I love it when an idea hits and I can follow through on it quickly.

  
The pillowcases I started making almost ten years ago fall into this category. I was thrilled when the pillowcase challenge went national! We can touch a lot of lives simply my making one small pillowcase. It's not much time or fabric; but it's satisfying to do it and it makes someone smile. 


Whether you are inspired by something you see in nature...



or something you read in a book...


Just relax and create something. 

Remember, you don't have to be perfect.




You just have to enjoy the process. The rest will follow.


And remember...


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tip Tuesday! Stash Fabric

Welcome to

"Tip Tuesday!" - Stash Fabric

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 


Does your fabric stash look like this?

http://playasugo.blogspot.com/

Or does it look like this?

Teresa of Fabric Therapy

Or is it somewhere in between these two pictures?

Are you the type of quilter who only buys fabric for particular projects? I know some people who do that. They do NOT have a fabric stash. As a matter of fact, one of my friends will not buy fabric for a new project until the one on which she is working is completely done. That means that even if the fabric is on sale, she doesn't buy it until she's ready to begin working on it. She has NO stash at all. She buys what the pattern calls for and if there is left overs, she'll give it away or sell it if there is a bunch of it.

I'm not sure I would like to go to that extreme, but for the past couple of years I've been pretty darn good at buying mostly for particular projects. At least I buy with a particular project in mind, and even try to put all of the fabrics for that project together, along with the pattern, in tote or other container. 

marianne-storage

I have also been attempting to use at least something from my stash for most of my projects. Because I am often using a bit of my stash, I rarely get bothered if I have to buy coordinating fabrics. I'm still using stash and that's my goal. Now don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with buying fabric simply because you love it. Most of us have done that and and will do it again in the near future.   

When you are going to buy "for the stash" how much do you buy? I can't tell you how many times I've been asked that question. I still find it challenging to answer with any really good response. Why is it so difficult to answer that question? Because how much I buy depends on a number of things.

For instance, is the fabric one that I would consider using for a border? If so I buy more so I can cut it on length-wise and not have to piece it. Since I tend to make larger quilts, 3 yards (108") will usually take care of a border and if I want to ad some of the fabric in the body of the quilt, I generally get a yard for that. 

Michael Miller Mid-Century Modern Atomic Turquoise
Michael Miller - Mid-Century Modern Atomic

Because I've been trying to be a better "scrappy quilter" lately, I've found that if I really love a particular fabric, I am usually happy with a half yard cut. Now I know many of you will say that you only need a fat quarter or less if you are trying to be scrappy and that may be true for you, but I often find that I like to be a little more controlled with my scrappy. Although it is becoming easier for me, I find it much easier to work with 25 different half yard cuts rather than 50 fat quarters.


If I do decide that I want to shop for fabric just because I can and I don't have any project in mind, I know that I am ALWAYS low on neutrals and light backgrounds. I don't really know why that is the case, but it always is. If I see a good deal on these fabrics, I will often buy a handful just so I don't find myself wanting to start a project only to find that I have to wait because I don't have the fabric I need. Much of what is in my stash right now includes fabrics that I don't love but know will make beautiful projects.

For example, for a number of years I bought Thimbleberries, Kansas Troubles, etc. fabrics because I liked them and I could easily find fabrics to match them. I didn't really have to think. Just about everything worked well together.


Lately, I find myself attracted to a more modern fabric choose. I love working with Kona Solids and just about any kind of batik.

       Kona┬« Cotton Designer Palette Series, Emily Cier of Carolina Patchworks     Tonga Batik Treats Rainbow 2.5" Strips  

I can never have enough solid white, black or grey because they will coordinate with just about anything. If that is the case, how much do I buy when I am buying for stash? Again, it's hard to say, but I usually buy at least three yards. 


I have learned from experience that I do need to look at my stash pretty regularly. If I don't, I've been known to buy the same fabric that I already have. I know it's just because I love it, but I really don't need or want to have multiple yardage cuts of fabric. If I want a total of ten or more yards, I'll buy a bolt!


I know I didn't really answer the BIG question about stash, but it really is a personal issue. Buy what you love and what you can afford.