Friday, February 23, 2018

A flurry of activity at week's end

Thursday started the frenzy here at Wazoo, and I am glad its Friday and I don't have to get up so early tomorrow! During the day, I worked on getting the vintage tops taken in on Wednesday pressed with sizing and trimmed for quilting. You could say it was a pressing situation, since I also had to press the wide backing for the two quilts. A little quilting joke... Then, I quilted the first one while making and applying the binding to a baby quilt repair.

Trip around the world in 30's solids, all hand pieced!

The customer chose Baptist fan quilting to keep with the 'hand made' look.

Kona muslin on the back. It is really soft fabric, and I love how it looks after quilting.
I finished work early because it was guild night in Blue Ridge, and my friend Pam was doing the demonstration there. The meeting was well attended, with Pam and Mary Jane giving three demos for the members. Buggy Barn hearts, door knob pockets, and scrappy heart blocks. The talk was fun and interesting, and the snacks were yummy! The three of us went to Wendys afterward and chatted and laughed until 9:00! Quilting friends are the best!

Pam showed us how to prep and cut the multiple block pieces for the crazy heart blocks.

Pam also showed us a clever doorknob pocket that can hold keys or your cell phone while its charging!

Mary Jane had several scrappy heart blocks to show us, and brought the directions for anyone who wanted to try them.
Like an idiot, I stayed up until midnight watching the ladies figure skating free programs and sewing the binding down on the baby quilt. That made getting up at 6 AM  an unhappy event! Along with four other ladies from the guild, I helped with Quilt Camp again at the local middle school. The kids are great, and the class went quickly because there was so much to do in so little time. They are learning to sew by making drawstring backpacks. Today, they finally got to fire up the sewing machines and sew!! There was some picking out as well as bird's nests of  thread on a few of the projects, but they were all excited and happy to see progress.
Back in the studio, I had a big project, taking off all four borders on a big customer quilt, pressing the entire thing, measuring correctly and re-sewing them on before beginning quilting. I had discussed the really wavy borders with the customer and told her they needed to be fixed before quilting. She opted to have me do it instead of taking it home and doing the repair, so I did! When I measured the backing, it was a mere 5 inches longer than the finished top. Silly me, I figured if I sewed a piece of muslin to the end, I could squeak by with it. Wrong!! I got to the last rows and the back is 2 inches too short. Rats! The quilt is off the machine, I carefully cut a strip from the top of the backing and will sew it to the bottom, followed by the muslin again. I pray this does the trick. We'l see tomorrow.

The stitch in the ditch done on this runner made from a man's clothing

The cut and pinned backing. sigh...

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Yup! Quilting always makes things look better!

After quilting the ho-hum project, my mind has changed. I like it! I hope someone will get years of warmth and enjoyment out of it.

All finished, with batik binding

Panto: African samba

A peek at the back and the binding
I took in two vintage quilt tops yesterday from a lady who is a Blairsville native! Her family has been here for generations, and we had a nice chat about her family's history here. One of the great things about my job is meeting people and hearing the stories of the quilts they bring to the studio. Whether its an unfinished top, or a quilt repair, every quilt has a story. I urge all of you to put a label on your quilt! Even a utility quilt may be an heirloom some day. The ho-hum quilt has a label...
I washed the Kaffe Fassett 'what was I thinking' quilt, and it came out soft and gently wrinkled. I like it much better now.

Before washing (with it's binding)
The soft, wrinkly look
The bearding problem on the back solved by washing and drying

Here is what my 'generic' labels look like. I used a solid batik for this one
Now, I'm off to the local quilt shop to get backing for the quilts I took in yesterday. See you later!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Ho hum quilt

After the board meeting and running some errands, I had limited time for sewing yesterday. The block parts were still on the sewing table, so I decided to sew them up and get them out of the way. This is a ho hum quilt. The selection of the cheddar color was so obviously wrong, but I had cut all the pieces and didn't want to start over. I pushed on and finished the blocks, sewed the rows together, and put them up on the design wall. Sigh...Maybe it will improve with quilting. We'll know later today.

BQ2 with too much cheddar!!

The focus fabric has the turquoise and cheddar, but I should have gone with a more subtle light brown color.

I found this fabric in the sale room of a shop in Dahlonega for the back. At least the quilt won't have cost me a fortune!
I will be going to a 'fabric frenzy' today where our outreach groups will go through the stash of a wonderful quilter from the guild who passed last year. Her husband has donated her fabric to the guild for use in charity projects. I'm going to represent the Quilt Camp group in the chairperson's absence. This group teaches sewing to students in local schools. In fact, tomorrow we are off to the Middle School for another fun hour of sewing drawstring backpacks with the sewing club there. I am optimistic that there will be quilters in the future, as long as there are people to teach them.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

President's Day road trip

Yesterday, I finished the tee shirt quilt and it has now gone home with another happy customer.

This is how I left things on Saturday evening. The bobbin ran out while sewing on the final border, and I was just too pooped to deal with it.

I quilted the finished top on Sunday, using the panto: Diamonds

The view from my easy chair.

The finished quilt. I added Black binding instead of stripes. They looked too busy for the quilt.

Polka dot Grunge fabric on the back.
I also started piecing a simple BQ2 project, and will get back to it later this week.
Today I went to Dahlonega and Cumming with a friend to get some backing for the quilt being pieced, as well as correct colored solid fabric to match the muslin on the two repairs I have going. My friend called and said she was looking for certain fabrics and would I like to go, too. Duh...wheels are turning and fabric shops are involved, so of course I'm going!
We hit Dahlonega first, the first customers of the day at The Common Thread. Gail found some black and whites she was looking for, as well as a few tone on tones for a new quilt she's making. I bought a yard of Kona Snow for one of the repair projects. In the sale room, I scored three nice prints I have been looking at to try some Chuck Nohara applique blocks. They all have funky backgrounds like the fabrics I found.

I can't wait to try something like this! I found the block pictures on Pinterest, and will try my own with patterns I already have.

Aren't they crazy-wonderful!?
The second shop in Dahlonega was Magical Threads, a big house made into a yarn and fabric shop. The owner is a bit quirky (braless, barefoot, and sometimes in her pajamas) but very sweet and helpful. There was a sale going on that we weren't aware of for the shop's 17th anniversary. Gail found some bargains, and I got a couple of pieces for $5 a yard! Not bad.
The shop in Cumming didn't open until 2:00, so we had a leisurely lunch at Ruby Tuesday, then a go round at Hobby Lobby. All the fabric was 30% off, so I got some more colors of muslin for repairs, and some inexpensive backing fabric for charity quilts. Gail found a mermaid wall decoration for her sun porch, and more black and white fabric. The last stop is my favorite shop, Thread Bear. It is two shops next to each other in a strip mall. The husband runs the sale, pre-cuts, wide backing, and Christmas side; and his wife runs the side with all the latest fabrics, patterns, books, threads and notions as well as the cash register! These two sides are packed with fabric of all styles. You name it...they've got it. You would be so proud of me! I only bought the backing I needed for the new quilt, and two yards of a beautiful fabric I just had to have. The backing came from the sale side and was $6 a yard. Not bad at all. 
We had a fun day, and drove back over Blood Mountain in the thick fog that had been draped over the top of the mountain all day. It was a gray, rainy day, but we saw nothing but happy faces everywhere we went. Gotta love quilt shop owners!
Back to work tomorrow after a board meeting in the morning.
Happy President's Day!