Sunday, April 20, 2014

Shadow and the Hidden Spools - One Reason to Have a Design Wall.

I've only been back from the Sewing Expo for a few days. I have been sewing strips and making spool blocks. I decided this quilt will be 7 blocks wide and 8 blocks long. I have the blocks finished and placed on the basement floor. I think errors show up better in a picture, so I ran to get the camera.

First problem.
Something is amiss, and I don't think it's the ceiling fan.

I rearranged my blocks. I pulled out Bonnie Hunter's Hidden Spools instructions and realized I didn't have all my blocks alternating light/dark, or in my case white and orange. A few minutes is all it took to set things right.

Hidden Spools-Creamsicles

The culprit returns.
Just inspecting it, then time for a nap

One of these days I am going to make a design wall.  I finally got him shooed away, I stacked, pinned and numbered my rows so I am ready to sew tomorrow. Bonnie had suggested that I use a thin blue border between the blocks and my outer border. These are my border fabrics. The orange looks a little washed out here. I have used it in a few hidden spools blocks. You can see it to the right of the cats paw. I can't wait to see it all come together.

Thin blue (1.5 inches) and wide (3 inches) orange

I had hoped to finish this so I could take it to my long-arm quilter later this week. This funny thing called work will probably get in the way. Plus, I really don't want to rush this. It's a birthday present for a family member, so I want it to be just right.

These blocks are easy and fun to make. It's amazing how quick this has come together. I have decided to use the same pattern for a baby quilt. I think I have enough scraps from my stash to make most of the baby quilt. I still have not decided if I will use a neutral as my light fabric. They are not going to find out if they are having a boy or girl so this quilt will be bright and colorful, except for pink. Mom's not a fan of pink.

Contenders for a Hidden Spool baby quilt. 

So lots of fun ahead. For now first things first. Finish the orange and white, find a backing fabric and send it all to my long arm quilter...Are we have fun! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sewing Explos 2014-Carrollton, KY

Every gal needs to experience a sewing getaway. If you have not been, you just have to give it a try. It does not matter if you don't know anyone or travel with a group of friends. It will be lots of fun.  I've just return from my delightful stay at General Butler State Resort Park, where they just presented the 2014 It's Sew Fine: For Gome and Family Sewing Expo. This is a educational program of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.
General Butler
The lodge is perched high on a hill overlooking the Ohio River.
Initially it was the fact that Bonnie Hunter was to present that attracted me to the Sewing Expo. Carrollton, Ky is only a little over a hour from my home. So it is an easy trip down I-71. Our first night was a sew-in. It's just what it sounds like (for you newbies like me). We get together and sew. You can hand sew, or machine sew. It's all social and a great ice-breaker. You meet new quilters and talk about which classes you are attending. Bonnie came around to see what we where working on and offer encouragement. I spent this time sewing up some spools from one of her older leader/ender projects.

Tuesday I took the Scrappy Hidden Spools class taught by Bonnie Hunter. I was in heaven. Just getting to meet her was fantastic. We ended the day with a dinner and Bonnie presented on her famous scrap saving system and shared oodles of fabulous quilts. I admit I had not bought into sorting my scraps like she does, but I am now sold on the process after seeing how efficiently she can put quilts together using her scrap system. I plan to spent the weekend sorting and cutting scraps.

Bonnie's quilts for the classes. (Scrappy houses is for Wednesday class)
Bonnie shared the project she has been working on on quilt-cam. It is even more beautiful in person, really the books and computers don't do them justice. Her quilts are stunning!
Isn't this gorgeous. Bonnie has been doing the strip piecing for the sashes on Quilt-Cam.

Bonnie Hunter sharing about her quilt.
My favorite Bonnie scrappy house. This quilt has all red background.
Finally my project. Rather than do a scrappy quilt, I selected orange and white as my fabrics. I am making this quilt for a relative whose favorite color is orange. I think this is the perfect project for his quilt. I had lots of oranges left over from Celtic Solstice. We needed light and dark strips for these blocks. For this quilt  I choose various orange fabrics with  light tone on tone fabrics. I sewed up all the fabric I had pre cut for the class.  I need to do at least as many blocks as I currently have. I have a nice orange border, with some blue, yellow and green swirls. I think it will look nice. Bonnie suggested I use a thin blue border between the squares and the outer border. I agree that will really set things off. Here is my progress to date. This weekend I hope to finish the blocks.

My Hidden Spools Project-more to come.

One of the nicest surprises of the Sewing Expo was the A Full Deck of Cards class, taught by Sheila Reinke. I picked this class because it said it was intermediate, so I thought it would be a challenge. I've never done this block before: it was a great opportunity to learn something entirely new. Another nice thing about this class is the class fee included the fabric. It was nice to  just show up with your tools.

What a joy this class was. The ladies in the class where wonderful. Sheila is a gem. She is so patient
and never seemed to mind explaining things over and over. We learned some tricks with the quilt in a day ruler. That was wonderful and I can see how I will use that tool over and over. If you get the opportunity take a class from this lovely lady, don't pass it up.

Sheila Reinke.
Sheila Reinke and samples of our project.

I really had fun with the project. I finished everything but the last border in class. I realized I had made a mistake. One block was turned the wrong way. Sheila was go gracious is saying we could place our blocks anyway we wanted, but honestly I think they where supposed to be mirror images of each other. I am half way there. I was going to take it apart, but as my table mate Sharon said, if you don't tell anyone they won't know. I realized she is right. Since this is a small quilt I plan to quilt it myself. I will put it on the wall in my sewing area. It should be interesting. If it was a gift for someone I would have taken it apart to make it as perfect as possible. I am just going to enjoy this one flaws and all.

busy ladies working on projects

My "A Deck of Cards" project.

So what an experience. Three days off work to sew. It was heaven. Tomorrow it's back to work, for at least a few days. I do get to travel north next week and will be going to my Ohio Stars meeting in Port Clinton. Oh boy, I have really been Quilting Together. Come on and join us!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

I'm so excited-taking a class from Bonnie Hunter

Oh what a day. Spent the day working in the garden and gathering items for my trip down the road to Carrollton, KY for the  "It's Sew Fine" 2014 Sewing expo. It's taking place at General Butler State park and  tomorrow we begin with a sew-in with none other than Bonnie Hunter. Hurray! Check out the park's site. It looks like a beautiful place.

Bonnie is teaching two classes. Scrappy Hidden Spools and Happy Scrappy Houses. She is so popular that they asked participates to pick which class we preferred so as many as possible have the opportunity to take one of her classes. I have picked Tuesday class which is Scrappy Hidden Spools. I had been considering this quilt even before I knew about the Sew-In.

The quilt is made of 2 inch strips. I have my 2 inch strips cut and even did a few test blocks. I am not going too scrappy because this quilt is for my nephew whose favorite color is orange. So I have all my orange fabrics from Celtic Solitics, plus a few other odd pieces of orange fabric. I am keeping it simple, with orange and white tone on tone fabrics. I am really excited to see this come together and get expert tips from Bonnie. I am so excited I probably won't sleep tonight.

No pictures today, but I should have lots to share when I return.

Okay, one picture.....Monday night is a sew-in...I am new to these things, but my understanding is you just bring something to sew....simple enough?  I have kits made up for spool blocks. This is from one of Bonnie's older leader/ender projects. I just keep making the little spools and someday I will have enough to make the size quilt I want. Actually this quilt is growing and growing. Maybe I really need a spool 12-step group.   I have had to do some trimming as some are over sized. I think I was not as accurate one my first several dozen, which as resulted in more trimming on the current blocks to keep things consistent.  So I am off for my little adventure. DH and the cat are staying home. I hope to have lots of pictures and stories to tell on my next post.

making more spools at the sew-in