April Sewing Saturday for Charity

Each month, the guild hosts a Sewing Saturday where we come together to work on projects.  Once a year, the projects are all to make charity quilts.  This year, we teamed up in pairs to complete a Scrabble Patch pattern with the help of designer Karla Alexander.  She gave each of us help with our Scrabble Patch and also a copy of any pattern we wanted for later.  I picked the tumbling blocks (seen below).

My teammate, Ruth, met up with me at Sharon’s Attic Quilt Shop to cut up our pieces (mostly from Ruth’s stash) ahead of time, so when we arrived that morning, we started right away designing our quilt.

Other people used sports fabric, Hawaiian, floral, and many other color palettes. I took some pictures in black and white to see the contrast and how it helped with designing.

At the end of the day, we had finished our top except for adding the borders, which Ruth did at home and then together we sandwiched the quilt (using spray adhesive) while enjoying the company of others in my Piece and Quiet group.  I used a straight line quilting pattern on it and Ruth completed the binding.  It looks great and is ready to donate to a community organization!

charity final

 

 

Wedding Quilt

I’m working on a quilt to celebrate our marriage this spring.  Usually when I work on quilts, I pretty much document them when they’re finished, but this time, I decided to write along the way about the process and progress.  Just like a relationship, there’s lots of learning done along the way, and it comes together slowly piece by piece until you see the big picture.

I found the pattern in a magazine awhile ago and picked out fabric in blues/greens/purples.  I was thinking it would be a quilt for us, but now that we’re engaged (and the colors of the wedding will be white/cobalt blue/silver-gray) then it fits perfectly.  I like how the block is seven strips together, like counting the days of a week.

(end of Jan 2015) One night was spent cutting apart all the colorful strips.  The next night I worked on it, the white squares and the first block came together.

blue pieces

(1/26/15) Tonight I put together a second blue themed block and created one using the green and purple fabrics.  To keep track of things, I decided to take a picture and refer to it when piecing everything together.  Can you tell that it didn’t get sewn together quite like the picture?  At least it still follows the pattern of long/short pieces and looks just great.  I guess it adds to the randomness of the design process.

I’m sure that at some point in this project, I’m going to sew something off from the pattern and also stitch in a white block upside down.  Both are relatively minor in the big scheme, but it’ll be noticeable to me.  Part of what makes quilts personal are the mistakes though, the human touch.

(April 2015)

The wedding took place with the finished quilt top on the unity table, and it was beautiful!  Aaron was surprised that was what I had in mind, and it added again to the personal touch of our wedding.  Here’s some more in process pictures and how it looked on the remembrance table at the wedding.

Jami and Mary from my quilt guild serged the edges of pieces of white/gray/silver fabric that I used for centerpieces and will end up being the back of the quilt.

centerpieces

Christmas Gift Projects

This Christmas season, I had a fun time creating a few gifts and special orders.

Lana requested a few infinity scarves, and I made an extra one to give as a gift at the quilt guild meeting.  At the guild meeting, I received a handmade gift of a zipper pouch filled with notions and a few fat quarters!

Ellen requested that I copy a pattern for a kids apron she made for her son years ago, using fabric especially for her grandson and granddaughter.  They turned out cute and I practiced using bias tape.

I made a tree skirt (free pattern here) for Asami and Matt.  This turned out to be an easy and fun project, and using the big space for ironing and laying out pattern pieces at Sewing Saturday was helpful.

I also made a table runner for my friend Jill at work.  She just bought a new house and I wanted to give her something sunny and positive for her new space!

Jill table runner

At school, we came up with the idea of a “Season of Caring” where each advisory class came up with a project.  Ms. Lowe’s group decided to make no-sew fleece blankets for charity.  Great job, kids!

school caring

I’ve been working on this baby blanket since after Ryan was born this fall.  It’s finally done as his belated Christmas gift!

 

 

UFO’s: unfinished projects

In the quilting community, UFO’s are “unfinished objects” or projects that are in varying degrees of needing to be completed.  The guild issues a challenge each fall to members to complete their UFO’s.  At the November 2014 meeting, we can pay $3 into the challenge to submit our list of projects, and at the August 2015 meeting, we’ll reveal the results.

Here’s my list with pictures:

Holiday Bazaar on November 8th, 2014 (updated)

Mountain View Middle School in Beaverton is hosting a Holiday Bazaar again this fall.  I’ll have a booth there for both my So Sew Gifts and Demarle at Home products.  Hope to see you there!

fall 14 bazaarI’m getting ready to make more taggies and potholders to sell at the bazaar:

Update: It turned out that I didn’t attend the bazaar this year.  Instead, I spent the day with Aaron and his family.  His lovely older sister Kira passed away Saturday night from the effects of cancer.  On Friday night, I made this blanket to take to her…it was much more meaningful than anything I made to sell at the bazaar.  Her sister Ambika had suggested making a blanket for her or others who were staying at the hospital, and I had fabric that was intended to make her headscarves plus matching blue fleece.  So I thoughtfully created a simple blanket and took it to her that morning, covering her up with love in my own way.

blanket for Kira

Mystery Quilt

I’ve never done a mystery quilt before, so I’m excited to try this one designed by Joyce Geiszler from our quilt guild http://www.quilterchickdesigns.com/.  I found these fabrics at Joann’s that are different colors than the pattern but match the light/medium/dark requirements:

mystery fabricThe first “clue” is to make about 40 triangles using a new ruler (thanks to coupons and teacher discount).  The birds are a directional fabric, but since I don’t know what the final project will look like, I’m not too concerned…in fact I think it will look great, like they’re flying all over the place!

IMG_1612.JPG

Speaking of birds flying around, the second “clue” is to make flying geese blocks.  A whole flock of geese actually.  Thanks to Marta, I borrowed her BlocLoc ruler to square up the final blocks, which made it much easier.

At the November Sewing Saturday, Joyce gave us the next two clues (four square patches and square in a square blocks).  She helped me with some color choice ideas and techniques for making accurate blocks with cutting/ironing techniques.

Here’s what Marta’s looks like as she finishes sewing the pieces together!

Marta's version

Special Orders

I really enjoy it when people find out I sew and ask “I’ve seen ____ on pinterest/etsy/boutique/store, and I wonder if you could make me one like that.”  It stretches me to learn new patterns, work with new fabrics, and personalize something for them.

This summer, my aunt Mary asked me if I could duplicate some owl ipad covers that she saw on Etsy.  They were listed for $38 but looked pretty simple in design, and using felt which is an affordable and easy to sew fabric.  She already uses a protective cover for her ipad, so this just a cover for her kindergarten students to enjoy.  I used an online tutorial and help from my mom to adapt the design.

owl ipad coverCute, right!  And the owl body and accent color could be different.  I could add other detail or try other animals/designs for embellishment.  The loop at the top connects with velcro around the back so that kids can secure the ipad in the case easily.

My aunt also had purchased (from a local bazaar) some potato bags for making baked potatoes in the microwave, but the fabric eventually burned.  I followed the pattern on the “Tator Batting” and hopefully my version will be safer!  🙂

potato bagLet me know if you’d like me to make a special order for you.  Maybe you see another product I made that you’d like in a particular color/fabric scheme, or you see something online that you’d like me to try to make for you….sometimes I procrastinate on finishing such challenges though, I want them to be right, but it takes me awhile to get started.  I’ll work on that though since the end results have so far been successful (i.e. doorknob latch, duvet cover, yoga bag, and these two things).

Here’s a quilt that a parent at ISB made for a teacher.  Good idea to use this block for signatures and messages woven into the quilt!

choir quilt

 

 

Quilt Shows

I realized tonight (8/22/14) that I haven’t yet written a post for quilt shows.  It’s fun to attend quilt shows to get inspiration and see products/fabrics/displays from a wider variety of shops.  quilt knit stitch

This fall, mom and I attended the Quilt Knit Stitch Expo here in Portland, OR. Thanks to Deb at Quilter’s Corner Store for the free tickets!

At this particular fair, many vendors had signs about not taking pictures of their displays.  They must have had difficulty of people stealing their designs.  So instead, I tried to pick up flyers and information so I can go back later and look at or purchase patterns.  Here’s some of the interesting sites to check out:

Kay Mackenzie = a friendly lady who helped me with ideas about how to applique.  I told her about my recent attempt (Initially Yours Quilt) and she gave some good advice about going slow and stitching at 90′ around the appliqued design.

Thanks to the reps of Moda for the free mini pack of fabrics and a reminder to visit their bakeshop site for free patterns.

Some great little ideas and colorful projects covered the booth for Pieceful Designs. I especially want to make something like this:

The pattern designers, like Nancy Lorene, are so creative and shops like The Stitchin’ Post are full of ideas.

Initially Yours

One of the guild activities each year is a Challenge Quilt.  This year, it was the theme “Initially Yours”.  We were to use either fabrics or styles or images reminiscent of our initials.  For me, this was a chance to make a quilt I’ve been thinking about for awhile, a landscape beach scene.

I used the “A”pplique technique of using “F”usible “F”abric and decorative “S”titches.  Included are fabrics that imitate “A”qua water, trees in a “F”orest, and “S”andy beaches.  There’s even a tidepool and kites flying since those are two of my favorite parts of visiting the ocean.

It was fun to see what other people came up with, and many of us used this opportunity to try a new technique.  Here are a few that I liked, which turned out to be the three most popular as voted on by the guild members.

(2015) This year’s challenge quilt was to use “neutral + 1 color family + zinger”.  It was again interesting to see how people interpreted those “directions”.  This was one of my favorites.

art quilt umbrella

Guild Visits

(January 2015)  This month, Portland quilt maker and artist Sam Hunter brought a trunk show and words of wisdom to inspire our guild members.  I bought one of her patterns and enjoyed the variety of her quilts (colors, types of quilting, “crap backs”)

(Fall 2014) This month, Karla Alexander visited the Westside Quilt Guild.  Her studio is in Salem, so I’ve seen her work over the years.  She is known to be a good teacher, so I’m really excited to sign up for her class in September.  At the meeting, she showed many quilts from her new book Stack, Shuffle, and Slide as well as some other quilts from previous patterns/books.  I choose two that I like most to buy a pattern for the upcoming class (and borrow the rulers needed).  I hope to choose some charity fabrics and donate the quilt when it’s completed.

I really liked a few other of her quilts, and appreciated hearing how she decided colors/rulers to use plus pointing out the shape of the “block”.

She included a bunch of wise quilting advice in her presentation:

“I am the boss of my quilts.” meaning that you get to decide the colors, shapes, techniques to include. If you don’t like something, it’s okay to change from the pattern to make it yours.

WRAP “wonder, reflect, appreciate what you’ve done, pause/plan/ponder your next project”

Modern quilts include techniques like “upsetting the grid” meaning that things could be set on their side or at angles that are unexpected.  Floating blocks and using the background as a design element also create a more modern look.

Also at this guild meeting during show and tell, I showed my ladybug quilt!  There was also a presentation to the previous board president of a collaborative quilt (my block is one of the yellow ones).  Also, I made two of the star blocks for the free BOM this time in hopes of winning the stack (someone else won this time though).

I also visited the Portland Modern Quilt Guild. A woman I met at a garage sale encouraged me to attend and a friend who quilts came with me.  Turned out there are quite a few women from the Westside guild who go there too, so many of the show and tell quilts were familiar.  Here’s a few others that I liked (sorry for poor photo quality):

I was impressed by the projects by this group, but the organization of the meeting wasn’t comfortable for me.  I didn’t feel welcomed as a guest and the updates about things focused on website updates and/or key things that only members would know.  There were some quilts donated to an organization but no description given so I had to google them to figure it out (Camp Erin serves kids/teens who are grieving).  I was surprised that some of the donated quilts were dreary colors and/or patterns that didn’t look like teenagers to me.  Again, maybe working in middle school I’m more tapped into their style.  Overall, I think I’ll look online at the PMQG blog for pictures of projects but not make the long drive over to their meetings.