Monday, March 29, 2010

Speaker at a local quilt guild

Last Wednesday, I attended the regular monthly meeting (or at least part of it) of Piecemakers, the Middletown, PA quilt guild. They were hosting a speaker, that I'd heard was a published author, and had some beautiful quilts. I'd heard right.

The quilts Gyleen Fitzgerald brought with her for her trunk show were almost entirely from one of her latest books, Quilts: Unfinished Stories with New Endings. In essence, she discussed how many quilts go unfinished for one reason or another, and she chose to focus on quilts from the 30s for this book. She talked about being given or purchasing finished quilt tops, unfinished quilt tops, quilt blocks, etc and making the decision to finish them. She emphasized the importance of not getting bogged down with issues that might keep you from finishing--a fabric that you may be anguishing over that you don't feel is quite perfect; imperfectly stitched seams; the possibility of cutting off the tips of points to make the quilt fit; and so on. She pointed out that an imperfectly finished quilt is better than an unfinished one. But, to look at her quilts, you would not suspect that she had done any compromising when finishing them; they are beautiful. I bought the book; let me tell you, it is worth it. Great, full color pictures of the quilts; patterns; stories.

She briefly discussed a couple of other books/quilts. She wrote a book (and displayed her beautiful quilt) about house quilts--In This House: If Walls Could Talk. She also published a house quilt pattern. I bought three of these little books; one for me, and one for each of my daughters. She signed these, as well as my Quilts: Unfinished Stories with New Endings book.

She also discussed her latest project, pineapple quilts. She has written (or is in the process of writing it) a book about it, and she also created a tool/ruler for making them. She said that she could not find the right tool for making the quilt, so she simply designed it herself. She has an engineering background, so this was a no-brainer for her.

I enjoyed her presentation. You can contact her, to see if she is available for coming to your quilt guild meeting. It will be well worth it!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fresh Vanilla in green

I finished another quick quilt last night. It is the Fresh Vanilla quilt in the Quilts and More magazine. The original colorway was beige and white. I did it in green and white.

I have a young friend who decided to get married--fast. So, I needed a quilt that would go together quickly. When I viewed her registries, she had only chosen one item for her bedroom, and that one item had one fabric and one color--green. So, I figured it made sense to find one fabric for her quilt. I found this really nice green fabric, and began cutting. Last week.

The picture above doesn't really do it justice. Here is a close up, which may give you a better idea of what it looks like.

For the sake of time, I chose a very simple, very large meandering pattern. For this quilt, which is somewhere between a twin and a full size quilt, it took between 3 and 4 hours to quilt on my regular home (domestic) sewing machine.

Oh--and I put the rest of this green fabric in my Etsy shop today.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Over the Top blog award

Many thanks to fullfreezer for this award!

As is the case with awards like this quite often, there is a list of questions that you are asked to answer. I will only answer a few; I mean, really, do you care what my favorite color is?!!

3.) Your mother? Overworked
4.) Your father? Deceased
8.) Your dream goal? I'm living part of it; I work at home w/my husband, and we homeschool!
9.) What room are you in? Study
10) Your hobby? One is quilting
11) Your fear? Reaching the end of my life and looking back with regrets
12) Where do you want to be in 6 years? In a larger home, one able to house 1 or 2 grand pianos for our daughters, a sewing studio for me, an office space for hubby, and rooms for guests
13) Where were you last night? Here at home, lecturing online
14) Something you aren't? Skinny!
16) Wish list item? See #12 above
17) Where did you grow up? Chicago
20) Your TV? Do I even have's off, obviously!
35) Favorite place to eat? Home

I am supposed to name six others to award. I'd rather award all of you who read my blog; I think you are all worthy. (To see the full list of questions, click here.) I couldn't even begin to narrow it down to six!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A QUICK baby quilt

One Sunday not long ago, I was informed that we (the ladies of our church) would be giving an expectant mom in our congregation a baby shower.

In a week.

For a quilter, unless you just happen to have gift quilts in reserve, this is cause for panic. And panic is what I did. I don't exactly have the kind of schedule where I can drop everything and focus on a quilt. My children still need to be reared, discipled, homeschooled, etc. Folks around here still expect to eat from time to time. We still have weekly obligations.

But I was determined to give a gift of a quilt. So, on Friday, two days before it needed to be completed, I started cutting it out. I finished it Saturday. It obviously needed to be a simple design. But I got it done. And I think it's cute. :)


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tie One (apron) On Tuesday - Apron Quilt

It's been awhile since I had any new aprons. And, actually, today's entry is not about something that I have personally sewn. It is about a combination of two of my passions--quilts AND aprons! Woo hoo!

At one time, this quilt was created by a group of quilters through a Block of the Month (BOM) club. It apparently happened last year, and thus is now closed, but Cozy Cottage Fabrics has the pattern over here.

You may even remember this quilt I showed you in an earlier post (well, I think I did!).

I just love these apron quilts.

Friday, March 5, 2010

What a Thursday!

There's just so much to report for yesterday; where do I begin?

Once every quarter, there is a store in my area that practically wholesales fabric, so that quilt shop owners, home sewists/designers, and the hobby online fabric seller (like me) can acquire fabric bolts to then sell retail. Their sale began yesterday, and I picked up just a few fabrics this time.

That is a black and gold print on the left, followed by an Anna Maria Horner! Next to it is a green print, then white Kona, then an Alice Kennedy line! The Anna Maria Horner and Alice Kennedy fabrics will go in my Etsy shop, hopefully sometime this weekend (along with some other fabrics). While there, I met a young woman. We began talking, and I found out she designs beautiful little girls' clothing, as you can see in her Etsy shop, Momi Boutique. Her blog is here.

On our way out, a couple of ladies with whom we sew and quilt walked in. Since they were on their way to the Mennonite Relief Sale preview (as were we), we waited around a bit, then we all left together. Once a year, Mennonites hold a Relief Sale in April here in PA (I'm told there are others in other states, as well). Amongst an assortment of things, they auction a huge number of quilts. (I have always been so impressed with how Mennonites work quietly behind the scenes, much like Salvation Army, to do what is necessary in times of crisis. I don't know if I've ever met two organizations of believers so entirely devoted to being His hands and feet for His people). In March, they preview some of those quilts, and they also sell a number of things, including donated quilt related items and even some quilts. Apparently, those who donate quilts will either designate them for the auction, or for regular sale. So, at the preview, we saw some wonderful quilt tops, quilt blogs, fabric, and even old quilts.

I purchased three quilts. This one was only $4!
Granted, the quilt is a bit stained. But it is hand quilted, and huge! It is in the washer even now as I type this; let's see if any of those stains come out. If they don't, so what? We will use it for picnics, around the house--that is, if my younger daughter, who is already attempting to claim it, allows anyone else to use it. :)

I purchased this one, also $4!
We figure this quilt was so inexpensive because of the yellow "pack" in the middle of the quilt. Perhaps this is missing a stork, who is supposed to be holding the pack on its bill? The pack is unattached to the quilt on the sides, so the fact that it is empty is easily remedied; simply insert a small toy or stuffed animal, to complete the gift for a baby to come. (We know a number of pregnant ladies.) It has a few stains on the back; I will wash this one soon, and see if any of the stains come out.

I then hit the mother lode. I found this antique--antique--quilt! It was made in c.1910.
It is not in pristine condition, but it is still in very good condition, I think, considering its age. This is HEAVY. The top is pieced wool, and it is hand tied (it is much too thick and heavy to quilt).
And it was only...$25!!! I almost felt guilty!

I have my friend E to thank for this. When I walked in the doors to preview the quilts, I discovered signs that informed me that they did not accept credit/debit cards. Since I do not like to carry cash around, and I didn't have any checks (where, praytell, is my box of new checks?), I knew my ability to shop was limited. Yet E saw my dilemma and unhesitatingly opened her purse and handed me a $50 bill. I was stunned; I don't know her that well yet, but she didn't even give it a second thought to front me some cash--unasked--until I could repay her today. But she is that kind of friend, already. She takes time to patiently talk to me, my children, really anyone interested in quilting, about the art. She absolutely loves it, and wants to make sure that she passes on all of her knowledge to the next generation of quilters.

After we left the preview, we then went to get some lunch.(If you're ever in Ephrata, PA, you must go to the NY Pizzeria. We didn't even get pizza. But it was GOOD.) E (and A) allowed us to tag along with them on their usual quilt shop run in this particular region. So, we literally shopped 'til we dropped!

We started at Ten Thousand Villages. We then proceeded to Weaver's, where I purchased some great pink fabric. I have been wanting some yardage like this for a quilt or two for the girls.

We then went to Brubacker's before heading home. Know that it was late afternoon when we got back, and we'd left the house before 6 AM. It was a day of a lot of driving, and we were tired. I didn't purchase at every shop where we went (but E and A did). But I now know where their haunts are in that neck of the woods. Thanks, ladies.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A few February finishes

I actually completed some of the things on the February to-do-list!

I finished my blocks for the Modern Siggy Swap--all 101 of them.

I finished an apron for the black and white apron challenge (less fancy than I'd hoped, but form needed to follow function this time).

I finished the sets of reusable grocery tote bags for the local food bank--I think there were nine in all.

My daughters' skirts have been started, at least.

There were a couple of unexpected finishes, as well.

Like these personal care bags (our sewing circle creates these great little drawstring bags for a couple of local ministries who serve those that are homeless, in crisis, or in transition; they contain hotel toiletries.) I probably sewed a few dozen, and helped stuff most of them. We completed 367 (I think) in the past week and a half.

A great new recipe for doughnut muffins. Kevin and Amanda blogged about them, and they got the recipe from Fine Cooking. Thanks, guys, for alerting me to the existence of a fabulous fat-and-calorie laden muffin, which tastes like a doughnut. SO good. DD2 asks to make them almost daily. Hate you two.

And a couple of puzzles, just for fun.

Now, don't ask me what I must get done THIS week.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...