Musings from the mind of a modern day Sue.

Archive for the ‘Quilt Guilds’ Category

Blotto Block

Thursday was guild night for the Capital City Quilt Guild.  I took the opportunity to sign up for the guild sponsored National Quilt Day event on Saturday, March 18th. Received a square of fabric for the blotto block with a theme of Out of This World and decided to work on a block today.

I found a pattern called  sky rocket in my Carrie Hall Blocks book by Bettina Havig – page 129.  Selected some coordinating fabrics and planned out the block.  The pattern uses templates and the sizes are not conventional block dimensions.  I managed to finish the central nine patch, but my corner sections do not fit correctly. I am not a math whiz – that’s my older sister.  So, I still have to figure out how to make the pattern work to finish my block.  I think the idea is that the yellow sections look like rockets.

out-of-this-world-blotto-block

I also took hand applique along to the guild meeting and completed some applique on one of the heart blocks, but that’s all the stitching I accomplished this week. How about you?  Accomplish anything more than I did; or struggling to find time to quilt?  Hopefully next week I can show some real progress on my WIPs.

Until then…Happy Stitching!

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And the Hearts Have It

Here we are in week four of the new year and I continue to document my quilting activities.  Over the last week, I basted several hearts for my Craftsy Hand Applique class.  And, that wraps up another blog post.  Wait, here’s a view of all the hearts that I have basted.

hearts

Actually, I could say a bit more.  I basted most of these while listening to the business part of the guild meeting last Thursday night.  Although it doesn’t look like much, I did accomplish what I set out to do for the week.  I applaud anyone that keeps moving forward with a project.  Each stitch leads to the final stitch.

As for the guild meeting, I am a member of the Capitol City Quilt Guild in Lansing, Michigan.  This month’s program featured quilter Debbie Grifka, of Esch House Quilts, who spoke about her modern quilt style.  She had lots of great quilts to show.  Debbie designs her own quilts, making many into published patterns.

As I was thinking about what project I would work on this week, I recalled a WIP from just over a year ago.  It’s a block of the month that I finished putting together with the exception of the borders.  My plan is to cut and stitch the borders and get the quilt top ready for machine quilting.  Check out the border fabrics.

border-fabrics

I love the dot fabric, and the whimsical bird fabric is a South Seas Imports designed by Debbie Mumm.  It’s been in my stash since the late 90’s, picked up off the clearance rack on a guild bus trip.  I finally found a quilt to use the colors and design in.  The cream muslin is for an inside border to offset the blocks, while the gold will be used for the binding.

Hope all of you are finding something fun to stitch on this week.  Next time I will reveal the quilt these fabrics will border.  See you all then.

Happy Stitching!

Civil War Quilt Study and The UGRR

The American Quilt Study Group has self-published a book on their 2014 Civil War quilt study. Titled, In War Time: A Study of Civil War Era Quilts 1850 – 1865, the book features all 50 of the study quilts that were displayed at the 2014 AQSG Seminar along with photos of the inspiration quilts and the written statements. I am excited to get my copy of the book, since I participated in the quilt study and had my Rose of Sharon quilt on display at the 2014 Seminar.

In War Time

AQSG 2014 Quilt Study book

On display at Bay Heritage Quilter's Guild April 2015 quilt show.

Rose of Sharon quilt on display at Bay Heritage Quilter’s Guild April 2015 quilt show.

Studying quilts and quilt history brings to light our past, uniquely telling the stories of women. Facts and myths about American quilt history proliferate in the quilting world, and studying quilts aids historians in recognizing those stories that are merely fiction. The DAR Museum in Washington DC has an exhibit on display until September 5th, Eye on Elegance: Early Quilts of Maryland and Virginia that debunks some of those myths. Mary Fons put out a Fireside Chat on a recent Quilty episode busting five common myths related to American quilting. Check it out here.

One myth is the idea that quilts were used to direct slaves North on the Underground Railroad (UGRR). In fact, many of you reading this sentence may get angry, scoff at the comment, or even stop reading this post altogether just for me stating that line. But, anyone interested in finding the truth will seek out reliable sources of information. I wondered about the idea when I first read Jennifer Chiaverini‘s fictional story, The Runaway Quilt, published in April 2003. In 2005, I was in Atlanta, Georgia walking through Underground Atlanta in the Five Points district when a sign caught my attention that directed passer-bys to an UGRR quilt show. The steps lead into an antique shop that featured an historical display of quilts, pictures, and stories advocating a quilt code used on the Underground Railroad. None of what I read convinced me that the stories verified a quilt code. After returning home, I researched the topic and found much more information on both sides of the aisle. Hidden in Plain View, authored by historians Jacqueline Tobin and Raymond Dobard, brought to light the idea of an UGRR quilt code. However, as any historian will tell you, history is constantly being retold as information is studied that brings new facts to bear on topics.

I’m not trying to convince any of my readers to change their minds, but hope that anyone truly interested in quilt history would search out the facts by studying the topic. I see so much of the quilt code myth being used to market quilting, whether through a book, fabric sales, or a quilt shop club. Some good resources to encourage study include noted quilt historian Barbara Brackman’s many published books, and her historical blogs here and hereHart Cottage Quilts also has a reliable website with an extensive look at the topic of quilts and the UGRR.

Book by Barbara Brackman

I hope that some of you ameteur historians, like me, will check out the AQSG website and the book on the recent quilt study. And delve into the topic of quilts and the UGRR for yourself.

Enjoy…

Challenge Quilt

I started a new quilt project. Unfortunately, I cannot show you any pics of the progress. As a member of the American Quilt Study Group, I am participating in the Past & Present Circa 1825 Challenge.

I purchased fabrics for this project in the fall. They are from the Circa 1825 fabric collection by Sharon Yenter and Jason Yenter for In the Beginning fabrics. Below are pics of fabrics from the collection. They are lovely prints. I have chosen the large floral fabric as a central block and designed a medallion style quilt around it.

Here are more of the lovely fabrics.

Designing a quilt can be challenging. I tend to have several ideas jumbled together in my brain. When I finally take the time to sketch out a design, I use traditional graph paper and pencil. As the pattern takes shape, I am able to determine the dimensions of the quilt and quilt blocks. Sometimes, I plan in advance and purchase the fabric needed. In this case, I planned the design after purchasing the fabric. Now the trick is to make the quilt with yardage from at least eight of the fabrics that I purchased.

If you haven’t participated in a challenge, you should give it a try. Guilds, fabric companies, and bloggers offer opportunities to get involved.

Happy Stitching!

NQA April BOM

In my last post, I mentioned that I had completed my April BOM (block of the month). Today, I finally snapped a pic to post. The pattern is Home in Ohio designed by Cyndi McChesney. Cyndi is a certified teacher through the National Quilting Association and this BOM is offered to members through the guild’s website. All the patterns are stars that will form a quilt called Galaxy.

I am using reds from my stash to make the blocks, replacing the blues in the patterns. This particular star pattern is created from three different units and the instructions are written separately for each unit – log cabin variation for center block, four patches in corners, and quarter square triangle patches to make the star points. I made the mistake of stitching each unit together without looking ahead at what fabric would be needed in the next unit. Unfortunately, the last unit needed a 5-1/2″ square of white fabric. Using many different white fat quarters and scraps and cutting each width as a strip, I did not leave a insufficient width of fabric left to cut the square. I could have cut the larger square first and would have had enough fabric to cut out the smaller pieces.

NQA April BOM

Home in Ohio Star

Anymore, I tend to skim the reading material and look at the illustrations, sometimes missing important information in the pattern. I also work sequentially, so I proceeded through the pattern in the order given. The adage to read a pattern through first really is important. I can say that I did read it when I initially printed the pattern, but should have also read it through a second time before I began. You probably can see, I also should have chosen a few more reds for the pattern to provide more contrast in the design. One of the fabrics in the center log cabin touches itself in the surrounding star units, giving a different look than intended for the block. But I’m not planning on doing an “unsewing” with this quilt.

I still like how the block looks. I continue to mix into the blocks from the six reds I pulled from my stash. This particular block allows you to see the value of each fabric as they are positioned next to the others, so I can see that my dark, medium and light selections show up as designed. I may need to pull a few more pieces from my stash to ensure future blocks maintain the integrity of the design.

In just over a week I will be able to download the next star pattern in this BOM series. Maybe you’re enjoying stitching up a BOM. I’d love to hear about your experience with your project.

Happy Stitching!

 

Spring in Michigan Guild Quilt Show

My local guild, Mid-Michigan Quilters’ Guild, had it’s biennial quilt show this weekend. Titled Spring in Michigan, everyone welcomed the opportunity to look at colorful quilts rather than the stark white of the long, cold winter we have experienced. Our raffle quilt brought in $1500 plus in ticket sales, which will help to support community education activities sponsored by our guild. Some of you may remember the raffle quilt that I helped design.

Raffle Quilt with Quilt Show Committee

Raffle Quilt with Quilt Show Committee

I’m on the far right, next to Roberta, who calculated the raffle quilt dimensions and fabric requirements, while I planned the applique border, prepared templates, and determined color placement. Check out some of my favorite quilts from the show.

Hexagon Rainbow-hand quilted

Hexagon Rainbow-hand quilted

Hexagon Rainbow Closeup

Hexagon Rainbow Closeup

 

Hexagons & Diamonds

Hexagons & Diamonds

 

Edyta Sitar Applique

Edyta Sitar Applique

 

 

Baltimore Album

Baltimore Album

 

Baltimore Album closeup

Baltimore Album closeup

Linda's Quilt

Linda’s Quilt

Wool Applique

Wool Applique

Center of Wool Applique

Center of Wool Applique

Upper Corner of Wool Applique

Upper Corner of Wool Applique

Applique Birds by Bea Oglesby

Applique Birds by Bea Oglesby

 

Applique Club project Heart Sampler by Laurene Sinema

Applique Club project Heart Sampler by Laurene Sinema

You’ve probably noticed that I enjoy applique. A couple years ago, I organized an Applique Club within our guild. The above Heart Sampler quilts is the first project the club completed. Applique birds is our second project. One member made every bird in the book and her quilt was juried into the AQS show in Grand Rapids last August. Here are a few more pieced quilts from the guild quilt show.

100_4291

I didn’t write down the pattern name

abby cadabby

abby cadabby

Feathered Star center

Feathered Star center

Hexagons

Hexagons

Rainbow Log Cabin

Rainbow Log Cabin

These next quilts are three that I entered. I just finished each of these in the last month, in time to enter them in the show. The first is a baby quilt that I made for my great-niece Charity, to commemorate her birth. Many will recognize my Riley Blake challenge quilt. The last is a block exchange quilt from several years ago. I exchanged blocks with four other ladies in the guild and had enough blocks for two twin size quilts. This is the first of the two that was finally quilted last year.

Farm Animal baby quilt

Farm Animal baby quilt

Modern Bargello

Modern Bargello

Orange Dotty Quilt

  Orange Dotty Quilt

Hopefully, you enjoyed the virtual quilt show.

Happy Quilting!

Guild Raffle Quilt

Another member and I are in charge of making a raffle quilt for our guild quilt show. We decided on a simple pattern – nine patch – and had guild members provide the blocks. The fabric colors are brights that read like a solid. Members also provided a scrap of fabric from their blocks to use in the applique borders. I created the border design of bluebirds, flowers, and hearts that was discussed in my other blog postings. Several members of our Applique Club volunteered to create the quilt borders. Last Tuesday, we got together to put the borders onto the quilt. My guild friend had arranged all the blocks and stitched them together. The Applique Club members brought the finished borders. Here is how it turned out at the end of the day.

Raffle Quilt on floor

I’m excited to see the finished quilt. Another member of the guild will quilt the finished top. There will be lots of room for quilting designs in the alternating blocks and the border. The quilt will be raffled off at our Spring quilt show in March 2014.

Enjoy!

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