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I've been practicing my ladder stitch. It's a sewing method used to repair seams invisibly. I have used this stitch many times on qu...

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Two weeks ago I presented at 3 open studio sessions at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago. An Open Studio is an opportunity for me to work on my own projects while talking to other quilters. The format is informal, with audience members staying for an hour or so before they move on to another presenter. Each Open Studio session is two hours long.

I presented twice in two days on working with orphan blocks, block sets and unfinished or unquilted tops. It was a great opportunity to show my ideas and get feedback from others about what I make from my finds. I showed pillows, quilts, runners, wall quilts and framed pieces. I received some really good ideas from the great people I met.

The second presentation was about repairing and renewing damaged and worn quilts. I chose 5 quilts from my collection specifically so I could show how to applique a piece over a worn one, how to insert a piece when one is missing, how to replace missing batting, and how to add new binding over a worn one. During the conversation many issues about cleaning and storing quilts came up. The most interesting and extensive comments and questions were about evaluating damage and the decision process about how much repair is needed to actually renew a quilt.

The disappointing factor for me personally about the quilt festival this year was that virtually every class centered on some aspect of long arm quilting. I don't think I'm alone when I say that I can't afford a long arm machine and if I could, I don't have the room for it in my home. I like to quilt even queen size quilts on my home machine since I find the cost of having someone else quilt it on a long arm machine to be expensive. Maybe there is a huge interest in this kind of work that I am missing but many people I talk to share my views. I really missed opportunities to learn about things like surface design, embellishments, piecing techniques, color theory and dating quilts and fabric. This is the second year at this quilt festival that I have not been able to find a class to take that fit into my schedule. Last year there were only 3 hour, full day or multiple day classes. The trend continued this year so even if there had been more than just topics about long arm machine quilting, I wouldn't have been able to take any. I much prefer one and two hour class options. The planners of this festival has gone away from those options. Disappointing.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Busyness is good but the other day I actually stayed home all day. I drank lots of coffee ( a real favorite), puttered, did a little cleaning, worked on a presentation handout and SEWED!

I have finished the charity quilt I've been working on for a fundraising event for the Tubular Sclerosis Society. Our friends' son was tragically affected by this disease from birth and succumbed to it after only 2 years. They just let me know that it earned $450 for them in the raffle. So happy to make something that yields that kind of value.

The pictures could be better but you get the idea.  I tried to emphasize wintery rather than holiday so it could be used throughout January and February also.

Friday, April 21, 2017

I'm always happy when I find new orphan blocks to rescue. I got three in the mail from ebay that were intriguing. Here is one but the three are the same design with some variation in the fabrics.



I had a couple of ideas for making them into decorative items. The first is
framing them in a three part frame. Not sure I could find one though.

So I decided to make one into a pillow. I appliqued the block onto bleached muslin. Then I added centered a small lace round into the center and added buttons from my ridiculous collection. Here is how it turned out.


I left the center scallops unattached and nestled some buttons under the edges so the entire space would be filled. After that, I opted to tack the scallops at the corners. I used pre-made piping that I was able to find in yellow.  The round pillow form is from Joann's. I like the effect.