Saturday, October 13, 2018

Happy 50th Birthday! ~~a finish

And another one down, dusted and done. This one is going to a friend to be gift-wrapped and wait for a birthday gathering. How about that? Wait! Did you read that? The quilt is going to WAIT for the party. 
I can't believe I've finished this early. I actually finished last week which means that I'm a month ahead of deadline. Go us! Us because I didn't work alone. This was definitely a team effort. 

Let's see if I can remember all the players (using first names only to protect the innocent). Deanna gets credit for the idea. And for roping me into the job. Plus, she worked extra hard getting signatures. Really, she deserves a reward.

Monica took pictures, printed them on fabric and embroidered the center block. She went above and beyond in the fabric printing. Goodness knows how much she spent on fabric and ink. But the end result shows her dedication to getting it just right.

Since Father loves red and white, it was easy to choose a color scheme and, knowing we wanted signatures, choosing a block was pretty easy also. I'd used this easy pattern before and knew that it would be fast going. After I sewed the blocks, I handed them off to Deanna who went all over the state (almost) getting signatures. 

Eventually the blocks came back to me for sewing into a top and quilting. All of which is done! I took the easy route for the quilting also, quilting in the ditch around each block and straight lines in the white area. 
The backing is a combination of these gorgeous scripture panels that I bought when we were in Paducah for Quilt Week. I also bought a couple yards of footprints fabric to make up the difference, but that didn't quite make it, so I added a solid beige to make up the difference. 

In the end I used up 6½ yards of red and white and about two yards of the neutral. The only cost I had was for the panels and the footprints in the sand fabric.  

Quilt Stats
Name:  Fr. Ibe's 50th Birthday Quilt
Size: 84 x 92
Fabrics: fabrics from stash
Backing: scripture panels, footprints, neutral
Binding: red fabric from stash
Pattern: signature design
Quilting: straight-line quilting, SITD
Completed: October 5, 2018

Link Ups

Quilting teaches me.... Patience

I've been quilting for a lifetime, literally, and have come to the conclusion that we do what we love in part because it challenges us to learn. Anyone who quilts can attest to the idea of learning about fabric and supplies, blocks and backings, sewing and making.  I'm exploring the other things that quilting teaches.

I'm not a patient girl. I have never been. Irritable, easily annoyed, short-tempered...all of those describe me. How is it then that I can say I've learned patience through quilting?

The short answer is that I'm a work in progress. I know the theory of patience and I try to practice it. I just am not a patient person by nature. So I fall off the wagon, if you will. Very often. 

I wonder if I've really learned patience. As a teacher I know that to learn something means to understand it fully and to be able to recall that understanding both in the short term and in the long term. 

If, for example, I were to say I learned the definition of a word, then I would mean that I have grasped full understanding of the meanings of that word, could use or identify it correctly in a sentence and be able to recognize and recall that information months, even years from now.

By that definition, I suppose that I practice patience, not that I've learned it. My patience comes and goes. My understanding of its virtue and how to employ it in my daily life are certainly learned. But goodness knows, I lose it fairly often. It being both patience and understanding. 

Where does quilting come to play in this learning? Well, with the seam ripper, of course. I have learned that sometimes we're human. We make mistakes. A cliche', of course, but I find that I'm more patient with myself and more willing to correct it when I do make a mistake. I also have discovered which battles to pick, if you will. 

I know that if the blocks don't quite match up, it's not the end of the world. I also know myself well enough that I've established a preset guide to ripping. ha! So when I want the blocks to line up exactly as they should, I'm less likely to have a fit when the seam ripper does more work than the needle. See, patience.

The quilt I'm working on now is important to me. Sewing the top was a bear... lots of math, not enough fabric and a ban on purchases. I suppose you could say I won that hard-fought battle. Thanks to employing a ton of patience.

As a Catholic I confess my lack of patience every time I enter the confessional. It's a given that I was rude or disrespectful or short-tempered with someone. Listing them all, thankfully, is not necessarily a part of the deal. At least no priest has ever asked me to name names. Which is a good thing, because I'd probably need to bring a list.

I guess I've learned how to be patient but just as importantly I am more aware of the times when I am not patient enough, and I'm working on that, too. Perhaps the seam ripper has a bigger job than most people think.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Quilting teaches me.... Simplicity

I've been quilting for a lifetime, literally, and have come to the conclusion that we do what we love in part because it challenges us to learn. Anyone who quilts can attest to the idea of learning about fabric and supplies, blocks and backings, sewing and making. 
I'm exploring the other things that quilting teaches.

Erica's Hot Pink Girl
Simplicity is not something that may quickly come to mind when we think about quilting. After all, there are those fancy quilting motifs and, yikes!, those itty-bitty block pieces. What about this EPP business? Is there anything simple about quilting? I didn't think so.

Jack jumped over the candlestick
Well, I didn't. You know, way back when I started quilting. That first quilt was actually very simple, but I certainly didn't think so at the time. Let's fast-forward a couple of ten years. By that time I'd made many quilts, some for no reason except that I wanted to. I'd get an idea for a quilt and that quilt just had to be made. It didn't matter how difficult--I just convinced myself to study and figure it out. 

Always though, I'd come back to an easy quilt. It's a great way to quilt while my brain rests and thinks up new quilts. Funny how that works. 

The simplicity part. There are times when a simple quilt is the only way to go. Four-patches and nine-patches--straightforward, easy, controlled or scrappy...none it matters except the quilt. 

Sophie's Quilt (with 5 Babuska babies)
Simple quilts have their own kind of beauty. Those matching corners, which are okay even if they don't quite match. The straight lines and open areas. Perfect for a simple girl--one who lives in tee-shirts and flip-flops. Perfect for a new baby who just wants to be snuggled and warm. Perfect for almost anyone, almost anytime.

Don't get me wrong, I love dreaming up new ideas and creating quilts with hidden meanings. Art quilts are my current rave. But I always come back to simple. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Quilting teaches me.... Charity

I've been quilting for a lifetime, literally, and have come to the conclusion that we do what we love in part because it challenges us to learn. Anyone who quilts can attest to the idea of learning about fabric and supplies, blocks and backings, sewing and making. 
I'm exploring the other things that quilting teaches.

I should not brag about charitable donations, I know, but I've been writing about what I've learned through quilting and helping others has been a big lesson for me. 

One of the ways that I've learned about charity is in supporting our church is through the items I make and donate to raffles and bingo. Most of those items are quilted but not all. I like that I can make anything I want, big or small, and they can all go to a booth as a prize.

Other ways I've been quilty-charitable is by giving quilts directly to someone in need. Several years ago to a student with cancer. Once a young mother trying to make it on her own. A veteran. Those people who truly appreciate that someone cares. 

A HST quilt in blue and white signed by classmates was a symbol of how much they loved and missed a classmate fighting cancer. Unable to attend school during his chemo treatments, he had a tangible item to remind him of his school family's support and concern. He graduated on time to walk across the stage with his childhood friends.

And so it goes with every item that I make and give to others. It's nice to sell on occasion, certainly the money helps. But knowing that I join a multitude of other quilters and sewists who donate their time and talent to help those less fortunate is what makes the true difference. Their lives may be difficult due to illness, disaster, finances, loneliness or a host of other problems, but I've learned that small gestures can make big changes. For them and for me.

10.6.18 Perseverance  

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Quilting teaches me.... Perseverance

I've been quilting for a lifetime, literally, and have come to the conclusion that we do what we love in part because it challenges us to learn. Anyone who quilts can attest to the idea of learning about fabric and supplies, blocks and backings, sewing and making. 
I'm exploring the other things that quilting teaches.

Old Ohio Rose
Quilting teaches me that every little step, every little advance, adds up and moves you forward. When I was young, I wiggled out of things using the excuse that if you didn't have time to finish, you may as well wait to begin.

It's an immature concept, but children hear it and believe it and begin to live it. I was one of those children. I rarely started a sewing project unless I had time to finish it that day. Anything requiring more time was just too overwhelming. 

Until I needed to make a quilt. I really needed a quilt as we were living in a frame house with lots of airspace. It was cold in the winter and we had a baby but not enough quilts. I could have asked my mom or grandmother to make one, and it's possible that I did. I don't remember quite how I got started. I like to think that one of them nudged me a little. 
Double Disappearing Nine Patch

Regardless, I did get started on what was, to me, a huge project: a twin bed quilt. I had to tell myself often that I would finish eventually--I just needed to keep working. Surely when I saw either of my quilt mentors, mom and ma-ma would ask or offer advice. I know they encouraged me with fabric and supplies.

It may have taken me the entire summer. I don't remember any of the details. I just remember that I finished eventually. I needed a few more large projects for the concept of perseverance to replace my excuses for not starting. Necessity was probably the reason for those projects, too. Eventually I grew up and with growth became a "self-starter."

But that first quilt made of necessity was the project that most taught me to persevere. 

Friday, October 5, 2018

Buttons and Thread and Scissors! A finish!

You might think that decorating for a high school prom would require pretty useless skills. After all, there are very tight budget restraints, few knowledgeable workers and, least of, ridiculously cheap props. This post reminds me of those days of building props. Some for Beta convention and other events, but the heyday of the prop-making scene is Prom. Days of cutting and gluing and painting and hanging and, whew! I don't want to think of any more to-dos from those days.

Instead, let me tell you a story:
Last month a lady called asking for help to decorate a storefront for our guild. Cottonport wants to decorate all of the storefronts on Main Street to show-off its non-profits. The hope is that it will generate a buzz about some of the good aspects of the town and encourage people to join in civic pride.

The Cotton Quilters' Quilt Guild is a non-profit that really doesn't belong to Cottonport, but we use its facilities and there's that name connection. Anyway, at the last guild meeting we brainstormed ideas for complying with the request. 

Enter prom skills. After mentioning how I cut styro-foam sheets to create prom props, one member volunteered a few pieces of sheets she was planning to throw away. Someone else offered craft paint. I offered to cut some shapes. Someone else painted. And so it goes. Much easier than I remembered.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Pin It Weekly #256

Happy Weekly! Here are a few quilts that I recently pinned.
CROSSROADS - Diane Melms

First up, everything by Diane Melms--she may be my favorite new quilter. Here are five of her fantastic pieces.
Diane Melms CROSSROADS Click on any image to view as a slide show.

Chroma Stacks - Diane Melms
Diane Melms quilt. The opposite of minimal, but I love this one too!

Structures - Diane Melms

Next, I've been watching Perspective in Landscape Drawing by Patrick Conners, one of the lessons on Craftsy's Bluprint platform. (No affiliation.) And the result is that I really want to begin a landscape quilt. 

Art Landscape Quilt Patterns | 206 on the lake

"Birches" - sewn fabric collage by Merle Axelerad;  "Each of these textile art pieces are created by sewing thousands of fabric pieces together collage style to create the final fabric collage. Unlike traditional collage, Merle Axelrad uses no adhesives in creating her landscapes."Art Quilt by Kathy Schattleitner (Grand Junction, CO) Incredible!!!

Passages quilt, 37.5” x 32”,  ©2016 by Ruth B. McDowell. Machine Pieced, Machine Quilted, Cotton Fabrics, Cotton Batting

 Of course, I can't start yet another project! I have too many irons in the fire now, but I can enjoy the landscape works that I do run across with new knowledge of why some things work and others don't. 

It's the kind of knowledge that I love: something to ponder and think about and apply a little at a time. Then one day, I'll see a painting or quilt and wow! I get it! Those fabulous moments. 

For more of those kind of moments, plus these kinds of quilts and goodness knows how many more kinds, check out 
my "heart, quilts" board on Pinterest.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Two Guilds, One Day

Want to know who attended two, yes two, guild meetings on Monday? This girl. This one right here. Umm. Me. The girl on the right is Mrs. Josie and she's showing off her very pretty set of pillows that match the fundraiser quilt our guild is raffling. 

I attended the usual, first Monday of the month, Cotton Quilters' Guild Meeting in Cottonport. It was informative, stressing, and fun. Then I attended the new-to-me first Monday of the month Baton Rouge Modern Quilt Guild. It was informative, stressing, and fun. 

Today's post covers the first one. Remember that I'm president? There were a few problems but we started out great. After helping to set up our treasurer, Debbie, asked about her tee-shirt quilt to discover that she needed to remove the paper backing on each panel. She decided to do that while waiting for the meeting to start. Ha! Don't you just know that we had an impromptu bee? 

Things kinda went downhill from there. Only about half of our people showed up. (There's a cough going around, but I did forget to send out a reminder.) Then the presenter let us know that she was sick and couldn't come. That's 30+ minutes of the meeting. Aww, and on a day when I didn't have a Plan B. 

It turned out okay when Mrs. Mary Coco got up to show off her latest handiwork. A neighbor asked her to make a "Cotton Pick Sack" so he could pick cotton by hand in the fields surrounding his home. Apparently he's an ambitious 80 years young.

Mrs. Mary did a bit of research and shared some of the information she learned about how to make the cotton sack. She special-ordered the fabric and made a 12 foot sack, which would have been for a man, according to directions in the Smithsonian Museum information. 

From there we had other members with items to share with the group. Including one member who shared the items our guild will use to create a window display. More on that on Thursday's post.