What's Up

Stomp the Seal!

My daughter graduated from college this past weekend, and that made it an extra special Mother’s Day.

Katerina graduated from a small private liberal arts college in Ohio that’s full of lovely traditions—one of which is to “stomp the seal.” The seal of the school is set at the crossroads of two major sidewalks that cross the main lawn of the campus and the legend is that if you step on the seal while an undergraduate, you won’t graduate. So as freshman, they are led through the campus on a long tour that culminates at the seal where they are told of it’s history and given the warning not to step on it until they graduate. My daughter took this seriously as did her other classmates and reverently stepped around the seal anytime her path took her that way across campus.

At graduation, the newly christened alums take a shorter tour around Myers Hall (the original administration building) to the seal where they proudly stomp on it. Before graduation day, I got a photo Katerina pretending to avoid the seal. To avoid any accidents, the seal was covered at the beginning of commencement, then revealed just as the graduates rounded the corner to stomp on it and declare their intention to seize this bright new world that was opening before them.

Katerina is a quilter, but she hasn’t sewn much since she entered college. Now that she’s graduated I don’t know if she’ll suddenly take up quilting again since she’ll probably be busy looking for that perfect job while working towards her Masters, but I hope she comes back to it someday.

As beginning quilters, we often choose to avoid the “seals” others have laid before us such as these

  • Always press to the dark

  • Never attempt curved piecing/paper piecing/applique because it’s too hard

  • Don’t quilt your own quilts until you can do it perfectly and without any puckers

  • Always use fabrics like those shown on the pattern cover because if you choose what you like, you may mess up your quilt

I’m tired of seals, aren’t you? I say we should take a cue from the graduates of Katerina’s college and every once in a while, get brave and stomp that seal!

I can’t resist sharing how Katerina decorated her cap. It’s so her!

PS—-I leave soon for Kansas City and Quilt Market. Be sure to follow my blog as I share the latest and greatest in quilt fabrics, tools, and techniques straight from the Market floor!

Tell me…what “sealS” are you avoiding?

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I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

What's Up - March Progress on My Island Batik Challenges

Unfortunately, I fell behind on my January Island Batik challenge after my sister fell ill and never finished it in time for the blog hop. The last time you saw that project, it looked like this.

I’d sewn together the background, created all the parrots, and made templates for the leaves I was using to create a jungle effect.

The quilt uses fabrics from the Fortune Teller collection by Island Batik and I was inspired by them to create a nighttime jungle scene with brightly colored parrots.

Since you last saw the quilt, I have started fusing and edge-stitching all the shapes. First, I fused down the branches and edge-stitched them. Then I fused each parrot down onto the background and edge-stitched it. This takes a long time because there are so many colors and I have to keep changing threads.

I haven’t finished with all the parrots yet, but I have stitched down some of the leaves. It’s a jungle out there! <grin>

I’ve also made progress on my March Island Batik challenge. I’ve finalized the design and chosen the fabrics. Today I’ll start cutting and sewing the blocks together.

This collection is called Twilight Chic. Twilight Chic is in stores now. I really love these colors!

I’ll leave you now with these tantalizing works in progress. <grin> Be sure to follow me if you’d like to see the end results! You’ll find ways to follow at the top of my sidebar.

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Tell me…do you use batiks in your quilts? what do you make with them?

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

What's Up - Designing a Quilt for Katerina

My daughter Katerina ia graduating from college in May, and I decided to make her a quilt. We have a challenge at the shop where I work, to finish or make progress on WIPs each month. Rather than pick 12 different projects, I decided to choose Katerina’s quilt and break it up into 12 parts.

I know. This means she won’t get the quilt until the end of the year. <sob> But it also means she’ll actually get the quilt at the end of the year! <grin>

My daughter, like me, is a nerd and a big Star Trek fan. Ages ago on a trip out West, I found a quilt store that had a lot of Star Trek fabric so I bought some of each one with the intention of making a quilt for Katie. Well,Now’s the time!

My first step was to design the thing. So Month 1, I created two plans, shown here on the left. Month 2, I met with Katerina and she told me what changes she wanted to see. and I came up with a final plan, shown here on the right.

The plan calls for me to create a gigantic Enterprise across the middle of the quilt. I’m using scraps of red, blue and gold, the colors of the various commands on ship. For Month 3, I made half of the Enterprise. For Month’s 4 challenge, I’ll finish it.

I have lots of stars and galaxy fabrics (yeah, no surprise!) and I really love the one we chose for the background of the Enterprise.

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The large blocks in the quilt will be filled with these fabrics, plus my scrappy blues, reds, and golds.

So I can knock off a March goal (to piece half the Enterprise section) and it’s just barely March. Yeah for me!

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Tell me…are you a Star Trek fan? Are you a fan of another classic?

What's Up - Progress on My Island Batik Challenges

As you know, I fell behind on my January Island Batik challenge after my sister fell ill. The last time you saw that project, it looked like this.

The quilt uses fabrics from the Fortune Teller collection by Island Batik. As you can see, I was inspired by those fabrics to create some brightly colored parrots in a nighttime jungle. Included in the collection was a dark blue batik that I chose for the background. I didn’t have much of that blue however, so I needed to do some careful cutting to create a background large enough for my design (larger than shown here in the first photo).

Since you last saw the quilt, I have cut and pieced the background to make it narrower and longer. I have also made some smaller parrots and fused some branches to the background for the parrots to sit on. I’ve also designed some patterns for the tropical leaves that I want to add to complete the scene.

Progress! <grin>

Meanwhile, I’ve also been making progress on my February Island Batik challenge, which is to make a Magnificent Mini quilt. Here is my fabric pull, a very Valentine-inspired fabric grouping. This is not an actual collection, but simply a grouping of random reds and pinks from my Island Batik scrap pile.

I think I may have already told you that I have created a design for this project that I’m happy with.

Since then, I have cut out all the pieces. I’ve even started piecing some of the blocks! Here’s a sneak peak of my progress. Hmmmmm. I wonder what it’s going to be? <grin>

I’ll leave you now with these tantalizing works in progress. <grin> Be sure to follow me if you’d like to see the end results! You’ll find ways to follow at the top of my sidebar.

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Tell me…which set of fabrics shown here do you like best and why?

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!