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Thursday, February 23, 2017

New Project - New York Beauty - Block #1 finished!


     In late September, I visited the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado, which had a stunning exhibit of New York Beauty Quilts.  My post about that visit, with pictures of the quilts, old and new, can be found here.
     Just before the trip, I had received a wonderful gift of an abundance of  Kaffe Fassett fabrics from my sisters.  So gorgeous!  I adore these fabrics!  My guild has a quilt show in September, and I decided to try a bright New York Beauty quilt with these great fabrics!
     Since I have not done too much curved piecing, I decided to try out the blocks using scraps from a quilt I had made a few years back.   I had used a variety of purple fabrics, mostly Kaffe Fassett, for a friend's quilt.  
Clare's purple quilt
I had a small bin jammed with some of the remnants of that project.  

     I found a website with a number of free New York Beauty Patterns to download.  Some of the quilts I have seen use just one pattern, and others mix it up.  The link to that site is  here.  I decided I would start with the pattern number 0 (which I think of as block #1) and see how that worked.  



      I was using up lots of fabric, and so decided to print off some more copies, glue them to a folder, and cut out templates to help me conserve my scraps a little better.

     I made four squares which will finish at 8 inches.  I tried some different layouts.
With a center circle

With a border

Rotating the blocks.
      I ended up liking the center circle the best.  My work is not great, and all the seams don't align properly, but the rich fabrics hide lots of errors!  I absolutely adore this little piece!
     I was going to finish this as just a small piece to display or make into a pillow cover, but then I took out all the scraps from my bin and ironed them, and it turns out I have more of the fabric than I imagined, so I am going to continue to make test squares from some of the other New York Beauty Patterns.  My hope is that I will be much better for the practice before I cut into the new fabrics!  
The scraps (along with a few bigger pieces I found tucked away in other bins).

Some of the solids I will use

Chester the cat likes the center circle, too!   He looks so young here - but he is nearly 17 years old! 
     I have been working on a number of projects lately - a baby quilt which will be shared after next week, some bibs for my soon- to- be- created Etsy site, and a baby quilt version of my rainbow quilt as sample for a class I hope to be teaching.  This project, however, has my creative juices flowing.  I am loving it!   It feels good to be in love with a project!

Take care, and find a project you love!
Gretchen

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Quilt Guild

     I am happy that I recently rejoined the Southtown Piecemakers Quilt Guild. I had first joined in 2001, but with working a demanding job and raising two kids, the 40 minute ride after work became a bit too much, and I ended up dropping my membership.   I missed quilting, though, and found the on-line world of quilt blogs!
     Since I retired in June 2016 (and with both kids grown), I rejoined the guild, and was asked to speak to the guild at the January meeting about getting my "Rainbow in a Box" quilt published by McCall's.  I was also asked to give a trunk show.  I was nervous - the ladies in this guild are quite accomplished quilters, but they were so gracious and kind during my talk!
Sea Glass and Sand (borrowed back from my friend, Pam)   This photo sent me running back to Weight Watchers!!!

One of the three Nancy Drew quilts, borrowed back from my friend, Cy.  On my list of "to-do" quilts is to make one of these for me! 

My mother's birthday quilt, borrowed from my mom
     I wasn't quilt sure how to transport these quilts for the "trunk" show.  I needed a trunk!   Years ago I had purchased, on sale, an extra large LL Bean rolling duffel, that ended up being way too big for any of my normal travels, but I found it worked perfectly to hold 10 quilts, and several smaller pieces!

The Rainbow quilt, and the giant duffle bag!   

My Quilt the Blues Contest Quilt (sideways!)
My turquoise triangle quilt.  This quilt seemed to be the one folks liked the best!

My personal favorite - my string quilt! 
My more recent Zing quilt
      I am excited about being a more active member in the guild.  What great work the guild does -it provides quilts and other items to a number of charities, and is holding a quilt show in September.
     I am also looking forward to participating in the block of the month activity.  What a great way to learn new techniques!  At each meeting, someone wins all the completed blocks, and at the January meeting, quilters shared the quilted items they had made with the blocks created during the year.
     Since I am not sure if I'll ever win the drawing for the blocks,  I decided to do a little challenge of my own, and picked and put aside some solid fabrics to make each block so I would have a sampler quilt at the end of the year, with twelve blocks in the same colors!  I have the January and February blocks done, and am very excited about this.  I'll post more about this project later!
      Thank you to the SPQG for readmitting me as a member, and for being so nice to me as a speaker!   I look forward to many years of quilting pleasures!

Take care,
Gretchen

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Quilt the Blues Challenge Update



     In December I wrote about creating this quilt  (Blue Ribbon Dreams) for the Quilt the Blues Challenge, which required a specific size quilt of an original design, using 16 pre-selected blue fat quarters, along with up to three additional fabrics.  I loved how my graphic quilt turned out, so was a little disappointed that it didn't make it as a finalist.  However Quilters' Newsletter has published photos of the finalists, and winners, here.  What glorious and imaginative quilts!   I especially love the "fragments" and fingerprint quilts!   Congrats to those quilters!  Wonderful job!