Thursday, December 27, 2012

On-Line Quilting Communties

    It's Christmas Day. The kids are visiting their other sets of parents. Hubby is napping in his chair. My son's dog Daisy is here visiting while he is at his Dad's - she is asleep at my feet and the cats are up in the bedroom hiding from Daisy. It's soooo quiet.
    So my mind turns to my endless To-Do list. One of the items on my list is to renew my subscription to Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson's The Quilt Show. My membership expires on December 31st.  I also want to consider which, if any other, groups to join and what magazines I might want to get this year. I was sort of hoping for a subscription to Quilting Life for Christmas, but alas . . .
    Even though I belong to a quilt guild and I work in a sewing store, there is so much else out there to learn about and keep up on - new techniques, new designers, quilt shows, nifty new tools, and new ideas to add to my quilting life. That's where the magazines and on-line quilt groups come in. 
    I have really enjoyed the videos and classes offered by TQS (The Quilt Show).  I started the 2012 BOM with Sarah Vedeler.  I didn't get very far - but that's another story. I don't always read the daily blog, but I really look forward to the videos and have re-watched most of them.  I've never been one to participate in forums or chat rooms, but I like knowing they are there in case I want to ask a question. 
    Lately I've been checking out - a Fons and Porter sponsored site. They also have videos that look interesting.
    As far as the magazines go, I am leaning toward Ricky and Alex's Quilt Life, the AQS magazine American Quilter, Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting, and Art Quilts.  I think there is a mag for Modern Quilting  - I need to check into it.
    Yesterday I signed up for Quilting Daily sponsored by Interweave Press. They send out a daily email about various quilting topics.
    So here is my final list of online communities, email newsletters, and quilting magazines:

  • The Quilt Show 
  • Quilters Club of America (including QNNtv)
  • Quilt Life Magazine
  • AQS American Quilter
  • Love of Quilting
  • Art Quilts
  • Quilting Daily
    If anyone has any other recommendations, I would love to hear about them.  Thanks!
Curious about magazines and online communities.

Monday, December 17, 2012


BFF Bobbie and I went on a Quilt Shop bus trip last April and I found this beautiful Poinsettia wall hanging pattern by Edyta Sitar at Oklahoma Quiltworks.  Then the next day I gathered the batiks at Charlotte's Sew Natural in Newton (Mom's name is also Charlotte, so it was meant to be!). I started cutting out the applique pieces at Bobbies last month and finished quilting it last week.
My Mom called today to tell me that she received it and absolutely loved it! I do think it turned out pretty nice. This was only the forth quilt that I quilted myself - I'm getting better at it.

Edyta has some gorgeous applique wall hanging patterns. Check out her website!
On to the next project! So many quilts, so little time.
Curious at Christmastime,

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fabric Post Card Exchange - Sew Much Fun!

    Today - my first fabric postcard:

    How this all started - Some of my quilting friends had shown me postcards they received from other quilters as part of a post card exchange. I was really envious - of all the wonderful cards they received as well as the fun and challenge of making postcards to send. So when the opportunity came up at our guild mini retreat in September I signed up. There were 3 possible groups based on themes - flowers, Kansas, and holidays. I joined the Kansas group. There are 6 of us in total and the guidelines are to send 2 postcards - 1 before Christmas and 1 in March to each of the other 5 people in the group. This seemed do-able to me.
    I received my first postcard from Carol just before Thanksgiving. Love it! 

   Receiving that first card from Carol spurred me on to start working on my first postcard. After watching a show featuring Karen Eckmeier on The Quilt Show, I decided to do a layered landscape and what says landscape more than the flint hills of Kansas! 
Since it is Fall now I wanted to do it in browns and tans and of course batiks would make the perfect landscape. After I cut and layered the fabric, I used a manila folder with a 4x6 inch window to do a preview of my landscape.

   Next it was time for appliqueing and thread painting. I put some round squiggles on the nearest mountain, some vertical but messy lines for tall grass in the foreground and some wisps in the blue for clouds. 
   Then the card was ready to assemble. I used computer transfer fabric for the back of my postcard and included a clue that this was the Flint Hills. I then used steam-a-seam to fuse the back and front to super stiff interfacing.
 And finally a decorative stitch around the edge to finish it off. I am really pleased with my first postcard.
    I put them out for the mail yesterday and I can't wait to see new postcards from my quilting friends in my mailbox.
   Come see the Flint Hills - any time of year they are beautiful!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Stretching Myself, Not Just My Fabric

Sometimes being able to stretch your fabric is a good thing. Sometimes when fabric stretches in the wrong place it's not so good. But when I stretch myself to learn and try new things it's always a good thing even when the outcome may not look so good.  
    I've been stretching myself in several ways lately and this stretching will continue on through the new year. 
1.  I've joined a postcard exchange with the guild. I've never made fabric postcards before and really wanted to try this. Today, my first postcard gets sent out to 5 other guild members and my BFF in Seattle.
2. I am designing a Kansas-Named Block sampler quilt (I have to come up with a sexier name for it) and hope to offer it to the guild for the BOM for next year.

3.  I've signed up for a year-long color and design class taught by Kathy Pflaum at Stitching Traditions in Topeka. This class is challenging me to stretch my thinking in so many ways - not just about color and design, but about being good enough and not letting perfectionism stall a great idea.
4.  I started working at Mea Bernina last May. I am loving it! I have learned so much about sewing machines and have started saving for a new machine. Staring in January I am teaching a BOM class focusing on learning new techniques and using various feet and accessories for the Bernina machines. I am so excited about it - both the learning and the teaching.
5. I've tried a new finishing technique called facing . . . .the jury is still out on this one, I like the look but the process was painful. Maybe I need to find a different way of doing it.
6.  I signed up (last January) for a monthly source called Superior University to learn about the different threads that Superior has to offer. So this challenge has stalled a bit - I have all the threads in a box and the instructions in a notebook but not a stitch sewn yet. But the intention and will is there. I will stretch myself in terms of the thread I try.
7. I am learning and practicing free motion quilting whenever I can. I used free motion on the first C & D class project, the postcards, and a poinsettia wall hanging I am just now binding to send to Mom for Christmas. I want to learn how to do more than just stippling. I think I've got that down.
8. Jerrye V. and I are doing a program for the guild in January 2013 about the studio spaces where women create. I am enjoying this, but am a little nervous - but again, stretching me out of my comfort zone!

    When I look at this list I feel proud of myself for trying new things.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Color and Design Class Project #2 - Update - Fabric Cut!

As I posted earlier about this project, I obsessed quite a bit on the color, the design, and my fabric choices. It feels so good to have decisions made and the first fabric cut. So I thought I would post an update.
    Reminder - I decided to use fabrics in the red-violet hue. After making 1 square, this is what my tub of fabric looks like.  I'm starting the quilt from the center out in case I want to make it a wall hanging instead of a quilt.

I'm using the Jewel Squares pattern by Kaffe Fassett.  There are 6 sizes of squares ranging from 1.5 to 9 inches (finished size). The squares are constructed using the foundation paper piecing method. I decided to use Ricky Tims' Stable Stuff Poly as my foundation material as it is meant to be left in the quilt and turns to a soft batting type material when wet. I've not used it before, so this is a chance to try a new product.
    Today I finished my first block - a 9 inch block that will live near the center of the wall hanging/quilt. I love how the dark and light, pure hue as well as tone, tint  and shade work well together.  The block went together quickly - even though I'm coughing and sniffling with a cold! I should be able to finish at least the wall hanging size before class on 15 December!
So much fun!