Thursday, June 30, 2011

Quilt Camp day 4

One more day to go and I think that everyone will finish or come close. there are 2 that have finished and one that is quilting her quilt some that are at the tying stage and a few that are still attaching borders. some of our adult helpers had to miss a day or two and it slowed us down a little. We thought we had it all covered ahead of time with an extra person but life happens; overall things have gone well.
I took a couple of  pics before anyone else got there this morning but once everyone came in we all go busy and I only had time to take a few pics and they are NOT GOOD. Unfortunately I am not much of a photographer (that is putting it mildly). 
One of the girls is having a look at the presser foot. It looks like she is working on her piano key borders that are there on the table. the  photo on the right is her quilt with one of the  borders next to it pinned up on the design wall. 
Here we have someone sewing her borders on her quilt. I think this was before lunch and I am pretty sure she got to the layering stage today. The quilt below belong to 1 of the two boys in the group. He had to miss 2 days but he worked diligently today and caught up. He decided on the border tht the pattern called for instead of piano keys. It is a much faster one to make and I am sure he will get his done tomorrow. The other boy in the group was the first one to finished his quilt. He used plain outer borders. I didn't get a photo today of his quilt as it was neatly folded when I was ready to take  pictures. 
All  but one of the adults put piano key borders on their sample quilts (me included). They look nice and everyone wanted to make their border like that. They took a big chunk of time and made it necessary to piece the backs and batting on some of the quilts which also took some time. I think the piano keys slowed us down more than missing some of our adults part of the time.

Two of the kids just wanted the narrow border that was the same fabric as the horizontal strips in the blocks, no outer borders at all. that was OK with us. It is their quilt and if that is what the  want it's good with us. ....... We told  the same thing to the piano key group. We learn a  little every year; the lesson for us this year: If you don't want them to do something; DON'T USE IT ON YOUR SAMPLES. But you know what? It all works out and I think everyone is happy. It is nice for them to make some decisions about the design of their quilts as long as it is doable.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Quilt Camp Day 3

I had my camera today but no new pics; I was busy and forgot to get any. I know that there were other people taking pictures though.  All of the quilts are coming together and looking good.

We went out to dinner today ( I was pretending to be too tired to cook) and afterward we went to the arboretum. This is a picture of the Feather Reed Grass that lines an area of the pond. It is so pretty and the seed heads have a lavender cast that really shows up from a little distance.
..........There is that same gnome (blue shirt) who is always a little bit ahead of me.
I took a lot of pics here today but didn't get any more of the gnomes.  This red and yellow flower caught my attention it was only one plant and I didn't see it anywhere else and it didn't have and sign to identify it so maybe it is a volunteer. I love the yellow center with the red petals around it. The individual flowers are small, about the size of Forget-me-nots.
I will have more quilt camp pics tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Quilt Camp Day 2

Monday was our first day of Quilt Camp but I left my camera at home. I got there early today before anyone else was there yet and I took some pics while everything was quiet. This year our participants are from 6th grade through 12th  grade.  Sixth grade is the earliest they can attend and we have had some college age participants; it is a wide age range but it works!

On the left is our main cutting station which we set up in the center of the room. The photo shows one of the sewing set ups. There are two narrow  tables pushed together with a sewing machine on opposite sides of the table and on opposite ends, and an ironing board at the end of the table. In the background you can see the design walls. we used flannel back table cloths fastened to strips of wood that are held up on the wall with Command Hooks. There are 10 kids and five sewing stations like this one.around the perimeter of the room.  We often have one or two boys; this year we have two.

Everyone has their own design wall so we don't have to walk around the quilt blocks on the floor this year. This is our 5th year and we have been able to improve our room set up a little every year. The room is nice and bright with good lighting, spacious enough for 10 -12 kids and we have another room available for when we start to layer up and tie the quilts. We are very fortunate to have such a nice space to use.

Everyone got there on time and started working and they accomplished a lot today. Yesterday most of the strip sets were finished but not all cut into blocks yet. One of the mom's who came to pick up her daughter studied the design wall a while and asked if there as any rhyme or reason to the layout. I understood her questioning. Today with the horizontal strips added to the blocks it started to come together and make sense. Most of the quilt tops are ready now for the borders. I  think they look good.

We hope that by tomorrow we will be ready to layer up and tie. We have opted to tie instead of quilt for several reasons; the time  restraints, the lack of space to give everyone an optimal setup for machine quilting, lack of experience sewing let alone quilting.  Some of our quilt kids have attended other years but I am not sure if any of them have done any sewing in the time between Quilt Camps. I think  they do very well and for the ones that return we can see a definite improvement in their skills . It is a fun time getting to hang out with them for a whole  week. More pics tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Another day early to bed

Yesterday was another day with the great grand kids and another day I went to bed early; so here I am up at 5 AM. That will probably mean I go to bed early tonight... up early tomorrow....  early to bed... up early.... this could get to be a trend.  It is good training for Quilt Camp next week. 

There was no sewing here yesterday. We went park hopping. We went back  to Holden Arboretum to take some pictures. I  thought it might be more interesting if I let them take the pictures.

 Ethan took this one of the #1 gnome. You can see Grace's leg and part of her arm and hair  behind him. There were a few frogs here and there.

They each had their favorite gnome.
Ethan knew right away which one he wanted to see again and photograph. He is a policeman and has a gun in a holster, handcuffs on his belt and a flashlight in his hands behind his back.

Gracie's favorite was the Candy Gnome. He was decorated by the Kirtland High School Art Club. I like him too .

His  clothes are candy wrappers and I love his beard and mustache
His hat is decorated with what looks like some kind of colorful  little gravel like candy that I can't identify as I am not up on all the newest kids candy. His eyes and his fingernails have M's That look like they were cut from M and M wrappers.
We saw several  more but not all of them, they were not close together and I  was running out of steam.  Another time I will get a photo of my favorite (so far), "Down the Rabbit Hole" which is decorated with an Alice in Wonderland theme. I think they are all very clever.
We stopped at 2 more parks before heading home. We had to check out the places we used to go when we baby sat every Tuesday. After we got home Ethan and Jack  had to go back to the playground and look for my camera. It fell out of my pocket when I was sitting on the bench. I knew from the big smile on Ethan's face when they came back that they found it. 
After their Dad picked them up, Jack fixed dinner while I rested and then I took a long nap before I uploaded the photos, read my email, and went to bed early.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Quilt Camp Flimsey

I put the last 2 piano keys borders on the quilt camp sample today.  I was thinking of putting 4 patch blocks in the corners. I tried them and they didn't do anything for the quilt so I opted for more strips as I had  more cut and sewed together anyway. My blocks are 6 x 9 instead of 6 x 11 and I have fewer blocks that the quilt the kids are going to make but my objective as to make the quilt using fabrics from our donated fabric so I could see how it  worked out. I am  not wild  about the darker blue  vertical strips in the blocks and I think that more medium values would work better but all in all I like it. It will make a nice quilt for our "caring quilts" closet. I like the term "caring quilts" better than charity quilts.

I really should finish my block of the month for June.  I chose this Lemoyne Star block because of the set-in piecing and I wish I hadn't. This is as far as I got. Used templates for the first one of the diamonds and then I lost the template. It was right on my table  but it became invisible. I put sticky dots and the other two templates so I wouldn't lose them and I figured out how to cut the diamonds with my ruler. I thought I needed the templates to make the  dots but I found a tool among my gadgets to mark the dots (it is called Quilters Quarter Marker by SewUnique) It's one of those things I bought for some reason and never used. I  also found Judy Martins Ultimate Point Trimmer and trimmed the points and it made things easier. With taking all my stuff to the church and back home Saturday I have misplaced the pieces for the other quarter section. I might just throw the whole thing away. Hmm... or maybe I will just put this together and add a background piece with a stem and call it a  peony. That's what I made for my first  quilt (a sampler) 30 years ago. Sounds like a good plan to me.  I think everyone else is going with one of the alternte versions that don't require set-in piecing.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A busy day

Yesterday 2 of my great grand kids came for the day; they are 7 1/2  and  8 1/2.  They arrived at 7 AM and after Grace and I had our coffee she wanted to make a quilt. I had 2 charm  packs and she arranged the squares for a while but what she really wanted to do was SEW. I have a box of 3 and 3 1/2 inch squares and I had her practice sewing a straight seam on those. She ended up finishing a 12 inch block/quilt with those and sewed 4 of the charm square together but at that point she wanted to sew with pretty thread and different stitches. We layered up the 12 inch block and turned it pillow case style and I put variegated thread in the machine and let her quilt it with whatever stitch she wanted. We decided that we will  get back  to the charm square quilt when she comes again and finish it over the summer. She is full of energy and just goes at things full speed but she took her time sewing the seams and I think for a 7 year old she did an amazing job of getting her intersections to  line up. Maybe I can finally get one of the girls in the family to have an interest  in sewing/quilting.
Her  brother was  more interested in playing a game on the computer but he did have a look at  some of my fabric and picked out a few things that he liked. He is more of a "builder" but has  kind of outgrown all the building blocks I have. I should probably invest in some Lego's or Kinex;  there are 3  younger great grandsons so they will get some use.

My friend came over to work on some of the details for quilt camp and she brought lunch which we all enjoyed very much. Grace had 2 servings of broccoli cheese soup and later chastised me for telling Kim we would probably not eat it eat it if she left the rest of it at our house.  I had dinner already planned and figured it wouldn't get eaten in the next day or 2. Grace said she would  have eaten it. How many kids like broccoli?

Later in the afternoon we went out to the arboretum to work off a little energy (theirs not mine or Jack's). There where gnomes here and there along the paths and we had fun looking at all of them. They were about as tall as the kids  and all painted with different themes by local artists. I wish I had taken my camera with me.
My grandson (the dad) came for dinner and they left about 8 o'clock and I went to bed at 10:30.  Jack said he came to bed about 11 and we both slept like logs. Our usual  bedtime is more like 1 AM.
 I can't wait till they come again.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Long time no post

I just realized how long it has been since I had anything to say. Not having anything worthwhile to say doesn't usually stop me so I guess it must be that I had no photos to post.
Our little group at church has been getting ready for quilt camp. We cut up a lot of donated fabric into 2 1/2 inch strips and let the kids pick there own fabric strips. A lot of our donated fabric just appears in our closet and we now not from where it came. Much of it is older fabric and not current colors or designs but still good fabric. Of course it is not color/value coordinated and there are more small prints than anything else. The good thing is it is FREE. This is the quilt the kids will be making. This one was made from a Jelly Roll. After the kids were all finished picking their fabric I picked out a bunch of strips using the pattern suggestions as a guide. I decided  I better make this one myself if I am  going to help someone else make it.  I picked out red/pink, blue, and white/light. The dark blue horizontal strips in each block, that are supposed to coordinate everything, are from my stash. We are having the teens buy that coordinating fabric themselves.
This is what I have so far; it is still  in thee parts. No matter how much I work with scrappy blocks and move things around I always end up with some things that are closer together than what I  intended. I guess when I concentrate on one fabric something else I am not paying attention to gets moved also.  I am  going to use the blue fabric for the inner border as well and then a piano keys 4 inch outer border.
I cut my strips sets into 7 1/2 inch segments instead of 91/2 as the pattern calls for. Some of the strips were not long enough to get 2 - 9 1/2 inch sections. I think I like the shorter sections better and I can get 4 1/2 inch sections for the border from some of the strips sets. I  think the hard part for the kids will be deciding on which strips to sew together and then arranging the sections will probably take a long time. It should be an interesting week and there are always surprizes.

The other thing I have been doing is doodling. I want to make one or two more small pieces before our play day in July. This particular shape/doodle has caught my interest. I  think the "pods" are called mooka? of course they look different when drawn in order to interpret in them fabric. Some of the background stuff is not what I intend to put in my piece but just there to practice drawing a small shape. I think the main shape looks like an iris.  I decided  to add some color to this  other drawing. I  am lazy and don't really like coloring inside the lines with colored pencils and my markers are drying up. I guess it is time for new markers. I'm sure the great grand kids will agree; they seem to think the markers are for them. Well........ I guess I really did buy them for the GGK's  to use

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Doodle done

I finished my practice piece today. It measures 14 inches across at the widest part and 11 inches up and down at the center. The colors here are not quite right on but it is pretty true except for the blue which is  more blue green and it shows here. Everything is fused except for the flowers. I found these felt buttons at Joann's. I went looking for something to  use instead of cutting them from fabric.  Circles and petals were not easy in this small  size. I  had intended to use a lot more small circles/dots all over as fill ins but after cutting a few I changed my mind.
After I stitched some of the  elements  down I covered the whole thing with tulle and quilted it.  This is the first time I have covered a piece  with tulle and because it was inexpensive I found 5 different  colors to experiment. I ended up using  navy tulle. I  used the tulle because of the small fused pieces that were too small  to stitch around. The tulle doesn't change the color but it did darken everything a little. I think maybe I won't use it when I make the bigger piece.
I used a facing instead of a binding and finished it on the back  by hand. After everything else was finished I added the felt  buttons/flowers. I suppose they are buttons because there are button holes in them but I don't know that they would make very practical buttons.
The flowers were probably the hardest to sew. I sewed them on by hand with lime green perle cotton. I sewed through the button holes and then one stitch at the end  of each petal. I did it so the perle cotton did not show on the back and it was difficult to pull the needle through.
All in all it was a good learning experience. I think it looks a lot like the same technique as my blog banner quilt. It some ways doing the drawing was similar. It was easier doing the doodling as the zen tangle shapes are repetitive. For me this was different than using printed fabric because that is where my inspiration has always originated.
In July a  group of us a going to get together and just have a play day with this. It will be fun to see what everyone does.