Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday

Here is a quick photo recap of my favorite way to make HST (half-square triangles).  Somehow, early on in my quilting life, I ended up with the nifty little tool seen below:

I bought mine ages ago, but I found it online here recently.

So you position your two squares right sides together and make three lines down one diagonal as seen above.

Next, aligning the left side of your foot with the dotted (or center line), sew two seams on the two solid lines. In this way, you could chain piece a bunch and then come back down the other side.

Finally, slice with your rotary cutter through the center line and, voila! Two HSTs!!

Good luck! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Spring Equinox (Timeless Traditions)

Just be aware, that the light in these photos is so beautiful because it is reflecting off of the snow on the deck. (Note the date.) Things must be improving from here on out in the weather department.

What traditions does your family have at this time of year?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Farm Friendliness or Color Revealed

One of my favorite categories in the juried exhibition at QuiltCon was the "Modern Traditionalism" catagory.  So many of us quilt precisely because it links us back to the history of women making beautiful objects, by hand, for family and friends.  And, yet, we are looking for a way to put our own stamp on this tradition.

One of the bees I am participating in this quarter is a "sampler" bee, so I went to my bookshelf and pulled out my favorite go-to block book:

The block I chose was the "Farm Friendliness" block, pictured here:

I made a couple of test blocks...only to realize I flipped the corner triangles---oops.

Ah, well, I decided I liked it that way anyhow.  Then I started playing with the way this layout could look depending on your value choices:

Version 3
Version 1
Version 2

Next, on to color choices. The drawings above provide layout for a twin sized quilt, consequently I needed to raid the stash for a color I had a LOT of...and here you have it.

While I chose fabrics, the monkeys played "bedtime":

Here you have the results of the cutting process.  That is 24 blocks, each comprised of 9 squares, 8 of which are that is a grand total of....drumroll please...408 pieces!!!!!

The pile of chain-pieced rectangles...

With all this seaming and triangles, there are A LOT of places to screw up (if you are ME).  Needless to say, I was spouting a few expletives at one point last week.  After one row, I decided to take a break.  Here, is the beginnings anyway:

Forgive the light---there are not a lot of places in this 100-year old house to photograph something this big and I am just not trekking out in March snow (!!!) to pin it to the fence!  

Now...just 20 more to go!! What do you think?

Part of:

  Plum and June

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Spring Sewing Register Now!

We had a lot of fun in this winter's sewing class!

I am happy to report that we finished our snowflake pillows ahead of the last real snowflakes (as today's little flurry proved!)

My older girls made some fun messenger pouches.  Zippers and all!

For those interested in joining, sign-ups are going on now at Philipstown Recreation Department.

Beginner: a combo of hand and introductory machine sewing with assistance
Tuesdays, 3:45-5 p.m. beginning April 2

Advanced: Students with a familiarity with sewing basics.  Working primarily with machines. 
Tuesdays, 5-6:15 p.m. beginning April 2

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Quilt Con 2013 Wrap-up

Hello Readers!! 

As those of you who follow me on FB know, I spent the last week in February in Austin, TX for the Modern Quilt Guild's QuiltCon where it was a balmy 75 degrees almost the whole time! It was an awesome time and I have already posted a bunch of pics here on the HVMQG site, so check 'em out. 

Just so's ya know, this is not your grandma's Quilt Show. There is a whole group on instagram #tattoosofquiltcon.  You can see one here. And I have recently discovered a new FB group: the Bad Ass Quilters Society. In my house, where we listen to Quiet Riot at breakfast, there is only one word for this: Awesome. 

For my personal experience of QuiltCon, here are a few more snapshots:

A very fun printing class with textile designer Lotta Jansdotter

The stencil I made for Miss Honeybee, who turned two (no, not ONE---you are TWO!) the day after I returned.  I think these will become pockets on a dress.  What do you think?

I saw a bunch of people with these excellent sewing kits.  Must make!
This is how much SWAG I came home with! Dear god.

All in all, it was a fantastic time.  We saw amazing quilts, met other quilters from all over the country, heard inspiring lectures from designers and quilters, took very helpful classes and just basked in the glow of a totally kick-ass community.  

And just a vignette, for which there are no photos:

Rounding a corner in the exhibition hall during set-up clad in my blue Volunteer shirt, I found a woman struggling to put up her booth display.  As I offered help, she (like many of us small business owners) tried to put me off---insisting she could do it on her own and anyway her assistant would be here soon.  Needless to say, I insisted and we ended up getting the panels put up together.  At one point as my new friend struggled to bend over, she admitted to me that she had a medical device due to a certain kind of cancer---in fact the very same cancer my mother is struggling with right now.  She stood up, raised her arms and said, "You were meant to help me---because I am here to tell you---it can all be OK!" As the tears streamed down my face, she gathered me up in a big hug and said, "It's going to be ok. I am living proof."  

It is often hard for me to put into words why I feel so drawn to quilting and the modern quilting movement.  But in that moment, supported and connected to someone I had just met, being seen and being real, it was all clear.  This kind of connection is what it is ALL about. Quilting just happens to be the one little corner of the world where I am finding that right now.  It could be anything though, right? As long as we are REAL and CLEAR.   That is the ultimate challenge.  

Anyway, my favorite take-away from the show:

 Made by the Austin MQG for one of its members. It was designed by Bobbi Brekke and Heather Scrimsher. This my bad iPhone photo.  Better photo here.

Great discussions of pushing the boundaries of what quilting is here and here. More on this later, but for now, suffice it to say, I am excited to see where the tide takes us. BAD ASS QUILTERS UNITE. 

A few inspiring favorites:

Don't Blink by Caro Sheridan

Bang! You're Dead by Jacquie Gehring

Just One More Slice by Patty Simmons

You Rule by Brigitte Heitland

Untitled by Lindsey Stead

Both Ways by Lauren Hawley

Rhythm and Blues by Anne Deister

I cannot wait to process all that I saw, heard and felt while at QuiltCon and work on adding my own unique voice to the mix.