Monday, October 27, 2014

Recent projects

I am going to try to be more regular with my blogging.  I have worked on lots of different projects over the past few months, and I hope to share in the future the ones that haven't been given away.

Last week our local guild hosted Millie Sorrells.  Millie is an award winning quilter, with several quilts in the National Quilt Museum.  She is the sweetest person you could ever meet.  She reminds me of my Aunt Zola.  I got to be a quilt holder for her trunk show...I can't believe I didn't get drool over them!  The quilting on them is drop dead gorgeous! I didn't get any pictures from the trunk show, unfortunately, but check out her website to see her talent.
The next day she taught two half day classes.  The morning hand quilting class was full, and I didn't take it.  In the afternoon, she taught Machine Trapunto.  This I took, and thoroughly enjoyed the class.

Here is Millie and I with my class project.  I did get the center trapunto piece done in class.  Most of the class did.  For my family, you can see why she reminds of Aunt Zola (my Featherweight is named after her).

This is my completed project.  I used wool batting, so the hearts in the border almost have a trapunto look to them!  I used Superior Kimono 100wt silk thread in the borders, and used the BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator) for the quilting.  I reduced my stitch length to 1.5 and it gave me a great result.

I also finished up this little gem yesterday.  I had pieced it at a recent Sewing Saturday with the Material Girls.  The pattern called for hand embroidery.  I chose to do machine embroidery instead. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

2015 guild raffle quilt!

I blogged in March that my word for this year was "transition".  At the time, I thought my only transition was going to be going from working to retirement.  My transition included becoming a widow, and learning to live alone.  Well, almost 7 months are behind me.  I have redecorated my home.  Cleaned out a lot of closets.  Bought a new car (and didn't pay sticker price, are you listening Mr. Szafranski?!)  There were times when I thought I wouldn't get back into that wonderful feeling of sewing the day away.  I kept a smile on my face, persevered.  Maggie's got her groove back!

Last year I volunteered to be the chair of our quilt guild's raffle quilt committee for 2015.  We are given three years to get the job done.  No, it doesn't take that long, but they budget out expenses over three years.

The first task (after the committee is formed) is to decide on a pattern for the quilt.  Things to take into consideration are 1) is the quilt one that will get people interested in buying a raffle ticket, 2)  is the design amenable to be broken up into blocks that the members can complete and return?

There are so many beautiful quilts to choose from.  My personal favorite in the Lone Star.  This is not amenable to having multiple people work on.  But what if the Lone Star is the central medallion, and you have simpler stars in the borders that could be done by multiple members?  And what if you decided to take inspiration from Jan Krentz and make the colors of your lone star swirl?  And what if you used University of Illinois (or Chicago Bears) colors?
This was the design I worked up in EQ7.  I personally prefer a rectangular quilt.  Finished size, 100"x119".  It should easily fit a king bed.

I pieced the central Lone Star Medallion.  I did strip piecing, which is truly the only way to do a Lone Star.  The complicating factor is that each strip for each arm of the star is slightly different.  This necessitated checking the pattern constantly to make sure a mistake wasn't made.

 My committee and I got to spend a couple hours at our local quilt store Sew Sassy to pick out the fabrics.  That is a lot of fun, especially when you are not the one going to have to pay for it!  After the fabrics were prewashed (didn't want to risk any fabric bleeding, and don't want to trigger any asthma attacks in members that may react to the off gassing of chemicals used in processing) the committee spent an evening cutting up kits for the two different blocks.  24 blocks each.  We used the Easy Angle and Companion Angle rulers.  The meeting when they were passed out, I had a tutorial PowerPoint presentation on how to sew the blocks!

I don't have a picture of the completed top, because it is too gigantic for my 6' square design wall.  This is a major downside of living alone.

One of the traditions that our guild has is that for almost every raffle quilt that we have done, we have made a smaller version that we have kept as an archive.  It is very nice to have a tangible piece of history, and to see how quilting has evolved over the 30 years that our guild has been in existence.
This is the 2015 Raffle "mini" quilt!  It measures 46"x46".  The big quilt will be going to a long arm quilter, but I think I will quilt the "mini".