Watching quilts come to life is tons of fun – especially when each one has a personality of it’s own. That’s what happens when everyone chooses a focus fabric for class.
The Heartland Quilters’ Guild has a “Quilt Away” where they retreat for days of classes, stitching, and fun. It’s a beautiful setting for a quilt retreat. I was excited to kick off their weekend with the Grace Quilt Class.
Take a look at how these “Grace” quilts each take on a unique look – it’s all about the fabric and the “floral” designer (quilter)!
Hope to see these quilters again soon and hear more about how they #usebothsides!
My fun, sweet, adventuresome neighbor travels from time to time. When she’s away, I walk over to her house and water her flowers using her vintage watering can.
When the editor at AQ Magazine asked me for a new quilt design using BOTH sides of a floral fabric, I went straight to Merle’s house to sketch out her watering can!
So here she is…Merle’s Bouquet!
Do to the long time between designing a quilt pattern and the publication date, it seemed the day would never arrive. When I got a call from friend Nancy to look in my mailbox, I knew it was time! It was fun for Merle and I to open the issue together.
Here is the original quilt as it appears in the magazine.
This is a version using another focus fabric, making it look completely different! It’s pictured here with Merle’s can.
The RJR fabric has a vivid, painted look with a variety of flowers and birds to add to your quilt. The focus fabric and magazine are available HERE.
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Their name is intriguing and their guild is a lot of fun! The Twilight Stitchers Quilt Guild of Blue Springs, Missouri hosted me as their program speaker and class teacher last month. One of my many new friends from Blue Springs, Vickie, made the trip extra special for me with her care for details and accommodations – thanks, Vickie!
It’s alway fun to see how other guilds operate – from how they run their meetings to how they interact with one another and their communities. I try to note those things I think would be fun to introduce to my local guild – especially the ideas that don’t cost a dime – like “Quilt Angels” (pssst – someone from my guild ask me about this)! A special thank you to my Quilt Angels for the night!
First, here are some pics from our opening selfies – they appear to be a rowdy group!
The “Grace” quilt class the following day was fabulous – I tend to give LOTS of pre-class guidance for choosing fabrics to bring and I was so delighted to see that they were all well prepared! AND sew creative! 😉
As you can see from the pics, they choose varied fabrics and their bouquets were unique, even presenting the quilters’ personalities, I think! One gal used ties and other out-of-the-box fabrics and was going to design her own vase to fit her bouquet!
I wish I’d gotten a pic of my first husband/wife duo – but she slipped off before I could snag her pic – busy lady. Their quilts have “related” but different focus fabrics and will hang together in their home! Hope they’ll share them with us using…wait for it…#usebothsides !!!! Yes, they all learned about hashtags during the program!
I hope to get to see the Twilight Stitchers again soon! You just never know where quilters will cross paths! See Quilts at the Beach to see how I bumped into a quilter, from Warrensburg, Missouri (a hop, skip, and a jump from Blue Springs) at Pensacola Beach!
Location means everything! As you can see in these pics, Sally, Sandy, Fiona, and Bubbles were right at home on the beach!
We’ve lived in Pensacola, Florida – twice! The first time (as newlyweds), my husband was a student pilot and the second time, with two little ones, he was a flight instructor. When he left the full-time USMC life, we moved to Missouri – but we spent many vacations going back “home” to Pensacola (also home of the Blue Angels).
We had a wedding to attend in Baton Rouge, so we decided to grab a couple of beach days on the tail end of that trip. I debated whether I should even bother to take quilts along to photograph…I’m SO glad I DID!
It’s hard to spot another quilter at the beach, so when I met a gal on the walkway with a MSQS shirt, I had to speak to her – turns out she’s from Missouri, too and had just bought fabric from the pharmacy (now A & E Fabrics) to make some #usebothsides quilts! See my blog about her guild HERE: Inspired Quilters Inspire
You might wonder how those quilts just seemed to hover in the air above the beach…You can see in this blooper: thanks to his quick reaction, my hubby saved Bubbles from a big one! I thought he hid quite well on that little beach chair behind the one-yard square quilts!
Riding bikes and playing outside all day long, rolling down the terrace wrapped in a quilt (what?), playing “Penelope Pitstop” (only Peppermint Patti would understand), putting on plays and magic shows in our yards…those are some of the memories of my childhood.
I rarely go back “home” without taking a drive down Church Street, around Chloe, and down (which is actually up) Edgemont. Guess I’m a softy for nostalgia. I had a great childhood. Not perfect, but mostly really good.
So when I was invited by the Memory Maker Quilt Guild of Perryville, Missouri, to teach a class last July, I was thrilled. We had a great turn-out of quilters and creativity. I couldn’t have been more happy with their responses.
Imagine my delight to learn they were having a Use BOTH Sides category of their class quilts in their next quilt show!
Setting up a booth as a vendor, I was even more surprised to see them hang their class quilts right across from my booth!
Maybe to someone who is perpetually confident, these events wouldn’t be so unusual. But if you are at all like me, you’ll understand the constant tug-of-war between confidence and doubt. Constant self-evaluation is not only exhausting at times, but it makes you quite surprised when other people like what you are doing. Seeing my own category was such on honor to me and to have it be in my home town, whether it means anything to anyone else in the world, meant the world to me.
My thanks to the members of Memory Makers Quilt Guild. Hope you enjoy seeing their very creative quilts from class.
Unfortunately I was not able to get all of the quilters together for a picture, so only some of them are shown here.
If you live anywhere nearby or are traveling through, put it on your calendar to attend this show on May 1 & 2.
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Use BOTH Sides patterns by Creative Bee Studios have been featured in Hancock’s of Paducah, Nancy’s Notions, and Connecting Threads.
Its amazing how difficult it can be to choose fabrics for a quilt, especially for a new quilter. I distinctly remember the kind teacher helping me choose fabrics for my first quilt class at The Sewing Basket.
It was for a patriotic quilt, so even though that palette was obvious, I had a lot of fear of choosing the wrong colors!
I’ve written before about letting nature provide your palette (see One Easy Way to Conquer Color) So when I found these seashells last night on the beach, I realized that even nature can be monochromatic.
Enjoy these monochromatic quilts:
Do you make monochromatic quilts?
How do you choose your quilt palettes? Let us know in the comments below!
I’m happy to announce another trip is on the horizon! This year our daughter will be in Sherwood, – the Adventures of Robin Hood, she will play Annelle in Steel Magnolias, and one of her bucket list roles…Sophie in Mamma Mia.
Needless to say, she’s quite excited to be able to work again in such a beautiful place–but, even more, she’s happy to be able to work at what she loves to do. What might seem a glamorous occupation to some or even a frivolous choice to others, professional performance is not an easy road to take.
Between roles there’s the down time, the work of researching roles, the honing of singing, dancing, acting and auditioning skills, the doubts, the endless auditions…and along with auditions come many rejections. Landing a job is a big deal. When it’s over, you start all over again… but this time with another line on your resume. You don’t land a job to keep for the next 10 years…and future roles DEPEND on each role you land NOW and the contacts you make.
I watch both of our girls struggle to work at what is their passion – and I wonder at times where they get the courage. Yes, I make jokes that we let them play too much dress up and not do enough science fair projects, but truly I am glad they can give it a whirl…and, in this case, go where the buffalo roam.
Buffalo Moon is made using BOTH sides of a fabulous focus fabric (say that three times fast!) on a scrappy, nighttime background. Spotting the bison roaming the Black Hills was an incredible experience. Having also learned about the Legend of the White Buffalo, saying YES to this focus fabric was easy! Unlike most of my other patterns, the difference in value between the front and reverse of the focus fabric are subtle, but still noticeable. Choosing dark background fabrics was a change of pace and a lot of fun!
I learned about some cool tools at quilt retreat – thanks to friends who like to share!
For the first year EVER, I had my retreat projects planned, cut, packed, and ready-to-go to retreat one whole month before we left. What I didn’t plan for were some unexpected opportunities to pop up which took priority over all of my great planning – I didn’t even get my projects out of there neat cases.
I hope to share those #usebothsides opportunities in the near future with you, but let me just say, I wasn’t prepared! I hadn’t brought the right rulers to do the tasks at hand, so that led me to ask, “Does anybody have a squaring ruler?”
You’ll see here the Tucker Trimmer III which I bought asap and equally love – the size of this one is perfect for my new projects.
The second tool I find indispensable I borrowed from friend and retreat roomie, Peggy: the LEDGLE Rechargeable LED Book Light.
What makes it so great for me are the re-positionable arms which let you guide the light to any angle. It rests around your neck so it is hands-free and perfect for hand-stitching in a dimly lit room. It also works great for reading in bed or even walking back from the neighbors or feeding the dogs in the dark! You set the light to shine where you want it and it stays until you move it. And best of all, I’ve used mine every day for more than a week and I still haven’t charged it once! Click HERE for link to book light.
So there you have it for month three of great quilting tools: the Tucker Trimmer and LEDGLE Book Light!
What are your favorite quilting tools and how do you use them? Do you recommend any you want highlighted here in future months?
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to share my quilting journey with a group of women whose enthusiasm for quilting was truly inspiring to me.
The Inspired Quilters of Warrensburg, Missouri invited me to speak during their guild meeting. It was a cold, wet, and somewhat icy night. I expected a lower turnout of members due to the weather. That was my first surprise.
One of the interesting things I see when speaking to quilt guilds is the uniqueness of each group.
As quilters notably are, everyone was welcoming and helpful – helping my friend and me carry in 50 quilts, bins of patterns and fabric, and set up the power point.
After the presentation, Nancy and were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic quilters who lined up, waiting to purchase patterns and kits. It’s so fun to see people excited about something you’ve designed – and it is quite humbling.
What I noticed next, while Nancy and I spent the next hour repacking quilts and patterns, was how excited and involved the quilters were in their guild meeting. I was wishing I could sit and watch, especially when it came time for Show and Tell. It seemed like each quilter did more than showed her quilt, she told the story behind her project – who or what it was for, how it came about…the details that make a quilt more than just a quilt.
These quilters truly inspire me – to tell the details, to let people know the stories behind the quilts.
Isn’t that what it’s all about? Whether the quilts we make are for special people in our lives, for hurting people we don’t even know, for veterans and service members to be honored, or even for learning something new alongside friends – it’s the people in the story that make quilting worthwhile.
A heartfelt thanks to the quilters in Warrensburg for sharing their quilting journey with me!
Two simple tools make a big difference in my quilting experience.
First, and newer (but by no means new on the market) is The Cutting Gizmo (click here) from The Gypsy Quilter. It is a weighted cutter with a rubber, non-slip bottom. It is especially wonderful to use when you are making lots and lots of chain-pieced segments (like in a Bonnie Hunter mystery or scrap quilt). Just grab the two fabric pieces and draw them down either side of the gizmo to cut the connecting thread. It saves the time of grabbing scissors, re-positioning your hands, snipping the thread, putting down the scissors… you get the idea. I keep this on the end of my ironing board.
Next, but not least, is one of the first quilting tools I purchased (so you KNOW it’s not new on the market: That Purple Thang (click here). from the Little Foot Quilt Shoppe. Its just a pointy, plastic tool with one pointed end and one squared end. It works to guide fabric under you needle, hold things in place when your fingers are two big, and turn out neat edges. I’m not sure why, but unlike other similar tools I’ve owned, I don’t misplace this one! I think it’s the cute name…
As you can see, I’ve been working on another Phoebee 2.0 made from both sides of Hoffman California Fabrics Electric Garden line!