Guild

Super Show and Tell

In the spring, I hosted a quilt along for my pattern Stepping Stones. I had a lot of participants, some of whom were also members of my local quilt guild. After we finished the quilt along, several guild members had the wonderful idea of having a super show and tell at a guild meeting once the quilts were all finished. Our guild is large, and we have three meetings a month—two during the day and one at night—so the plan is to have a Super Show and Tell at all of them.

I must confess. My last Stepping Stones quilt, which is actually a Charming Stepping Stones made with charm squares, is not yet complete. Sadly, it sits in my studio waiting for me to get the gumption to quilt it. It’s larger than I normally do so I’m a bit intimidated. And I’m not yet sure exactly how I want to quilt it. So I’ve come a complete stop on that one. Has that ever happened to you?

For the Super Show and Tell, I swallowed my pride and brought it along anyway, pin basted and all, and showed it along with my other Stepping Stones quilts. These photos were taken at the first meeting of the month, which was a day meeting. Sorry about the fuzziness--sometimes in their efforts to make sure that everyone gets to see the quilts they move back and forth pointing the quilt in various directions.

We had the night meeting a few days ago and we did a Super Show and Tell again. I didn’t get photos of me showing off my quilts at that meeting, but I did get photos of the other quilts that were presented. I’m also including here a photo of Susie W's quilt, which I brought to the night meeting for her. The photo though, was taken at the day meeting earlier in the month.

We’ve got one more meeting this month and I hope to do a Super Show and Tell there too. Not everyone can get to all three meetings, so we’ll see. I have to admit though, this has been so much fun! It’s not every day that you get to see the same quilt done in so many different colorways! As a pattern designer, it’s terribly exciting and I’m very grateful that we had the chance to do it. A special thank you to all my quilt along participants, especially those that also participated in the Super Show and Tell: Susie W, Dawn, Suzy W, Alice, Leanne, and Mary (who, like several participants, did two quilts!)

I’m already working on another quilt along, so stay tuned for news on that! In the meantime, the steps for the Stepping Stones Quilt Along are still here on my blog…click the tab above to learn more. If you want to do Stepping Stones or Charming Stepping Stones in something other than lap size, or if you prefer printed directions, I offer both of these patterns in my shop.

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B-I-N-G-O!

This week for me has been all about quilt blogging and belonging to hives and bees and other quilting social groups! So let me tell you about another project I'm involved in.

A member of my Tangled Threads bee is President of our Guild this year, so my bee is trying to support her where we can. Earlier this year, we made fabric flowers and table runners for the Guild’s birthday party in February. Our latest project is Quilt Bingo, a game that appeared in Fons & Porter magazine. The plan is to play Quilt Bingo at our Guild Christmas party.

For Quilt Bingo, you need fabric playing cards like this.

After making the cards, we’ll play Bingo the way you might think—by calling out squares such as Green Holiday or Orange Batik. Members that have that square will cover it with a button (of course). The first one to cover five squares in a row wins that Bingo round. Don't know what they'll win...we're leaving that part up to our President!

Back to the fabric cards. Yep, we’re making them, and that involves cutting at least 2,500 2-1/2” squares and sewing them together. So recently I spent an afternoon pressing scraps and cutting squares.

Sounds like a job and it is. I don't mind though because it's forcing me to get my scraps better organized. And hey, I’m using a lot of them up! Woot!

Also on the plus side, after we're done playing Quilt Bingo, we'll sew the bingo squares into a bunch of quilt tops for charity. That makes us feel good!

The center square in all the cards will be black and that’s a free square. The rest will be squares are different colors (yellow, blue, red, orange, pink, purple, and green) that also fit different categories (batik, flower, novelty, leaf, stripe, dots, and so on).

We're only at the cutting and sorting stage, but we're way ahead of the game because we don't need to have the bingo squares sewn up until the December holiday party. Looks like fun, doesn't it?

I love fabric! It's been amazingly relaxing to press my scraps and cut them out for this project. And to touch all those fabrics along the way--do you think I have a sickness? If so, I'm not looking for a cure!

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Tell me...what games do you play at your quilt guild parties?

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!

Thank You Blocks

Every year the members of my quilt guild thank our President for his/her service by making a thank you block. The President gets to choose the block and the colors he/she wants and we present the blocks as a gift at the last meeting of the year. It’s kinda funny because the thank you blocks are never a surprise although we all (including the President) like to pretend they are.

I was President myself back in 2011, and slacker that I am, I haven’t sewn my thank you blocks into a quilt yet. I’m ashamed to say that my thank you blocks didn’t even make it onto my WIP gotta finish list for 2016, so I don’t think I’ll be sewing them together soon although I really want to. (To see what did make my WIP list check out my earlier post).

Our outgoing President requested star blocks, any size, in red, blue, gold, and/or white. This is what I made for her—a 12” finished block called Union Square Variation. If you like it, you can find the pattern on the Quilters Cache. If you don’t know about the Quilters Cache you oughta get to know it because it’s a great source for free block patterns. Just be sure to respect her copyright just as you respect mine.

Quilters Cache patterns are great, but the instructions for this block didn’t match the way I wanted to make it--for example, I wanted to make all eight HSTs at a time following my tutorial, rather than cutting bias triangles and sewing them together as per the block instructions. I have also acquired a new ruler just for square in a square blocks and I wanted to use it to make Union Square Variation. I'll blog about the ruler as soon as I've checked it out--I think I'm going to really love it!

Because I wanted to construct the block differently, I had to figure out my own instructions for making it. Normally, that is no biggie because I design patterns after all! But man, I must have been real tired the day I sewed the block or in a big hurry because I swear I made every mistake in the book and resewed it a bunch of times! I didn’t cut anything the wrong size thank goodness because I didn’t have a lot of extra fabric, but I kept sewing the HSTs together the wrong way! Then I sewed together what I thought were the corner units only to realize that wasn’t the way the block went together. Again, what was I thinking?

I thought the "corner units" were made up of two HSTs, a beige square and a navy square. But if you go back and look at the block, You make the square in a square unit and then border it, like this:

Ha! Even now I'm smiling at how silly I was. The block turned out well, despite my efforts to never complete it. Chris, the outgoing President, decided she wanted her blocks signed so I did that with a Pigma pen. You'll notice that I got my blocks signed as well. They will make an awesome keepsake once I ever get them together.

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Continuing My Exploration of Color and Quilt Design

A daytime guild meeting that I attend regularly has declared this the Year of Color, dedicating each of the 12 meetings this year to the exploration of a single color. January was blue, and February is red.

Prompted by my guild's exploration of color, I recently added this to my quilter’s book library:

I’ve studied color theory and even included a chapter on it in my book, Idiot’s Guides: Quilting.

Idiot's Guide: Quilting

Still, there's always something more to learn when it comes to color and design in quilts, and I thought Color & Design was a good addition to my bookshelf and a nice jumping-off point for further exploration.

The book is divided into three sections: The Language of Color, The Language of Design, and Workshops.

The Language of Color section explores basic color theory and harmonious color combinations. The first color harmony explored in the book is called Neutral or Achromatic, and includes true neutral colors such as black, gray, white, tan, cream, taupe, and pale brown-based colors. This is the palette I explored in my quilt, Stepping Stones.

In the alternate version of Stepping Stones, I used the Direct Compliment color harmony of yellow-green and red-violet (pink).

The Language of Design explores the elements of design (line, shape, form, texture, and so on) and design principles (contrast, balance, unity, etc.).

The Workshops section at the end of the book is probably what I'm most excited about! Each workshop explores a different aspect of color and design, and I'm thinking I might use them to challenge myself. I don't have a formal plan as yet, but I know I want to complete as many workshops as I can this year.

What about you? Would any of you out there in cyberland like to join me in a few color theory workshops? Comment here and if there's enough interest, I'll put together a challenge for us!