I've been a bad blogger non-blogger! Lots has been happening, but for now just a quick post on a modern table runner I designed for an upcoming class. The snow looks so pretty, almost like clouds, but it was a chilly -28 C when I took the photos!
What class you say? I proposed a plan to set up and teach a free quilting program to newcomers to Canada at the Immigrant Center Manitoba and the idea was well received. The class goal is to provide a warm, quilter's welcome to the participants, help with their language skills and start new friendships all while teaching them how to make a quilt. I have a strong feeling that I will be learning as much as they will! I've already started to make sample boards illustrating the proper techniques for constructing the quilt. This should help those who have limited English language skills understand. I want to make sure everyone gets a solid start in quilting.
I'm keeping the first project cute and simple - a 36 square flannel backed baby quilt, simply tied. The first session is 5 weeks in duration and is limited to 6 (that's how many old Singer classroom machines I was able to purchase). There will be language hurdles and a mix of experienced sewers and those who have never used a machine before!
I feel very blessed to be able to start up this program. Hopefully I will be able to share some photos with you once the first session has ended!
Wish me Luck!
UPDATE: Since starting the draft of this post, the first class was held and it was a success! Will post about it soon.
It has been an amazing weekend! My "Colors for Craig Street Cats" won a 1st place ribbon in its category. I was truly surprised. Even though I thought the quilt turned out lovely, there were sooo many beautiful quilts in the show with impeccable workmanship. I want to thank everyone for their lovely comments on the quilt from previous posts. A couple of times I felt a little discouraged and the comments pulled me through! Lynne from Craig Street Cats came by to see their quilt and she was very pleased. She's very anxious to get the raffle fundraiser going. This winter has been absolutely brutal on the animals outside. I believe it's the coldest winter in almost 100 years. Her vet bills from the frostbite cases alone have been overwhelming.
Now that my frantic rush to meet the deadline for the show is over, I think I have quilt withdrawal! Once I get the house back in order I think I will work on the projects I started in the Elaine Quehl workshops. The first is a raw edge applique poppy, and the second class was on Liberated Radial Piecing. My radial burst is 1/3 done:
I never usually finish my projects from workshops. I bring fabrics that are not my favorites because I find that once I understand the direction the techniques can take you my choices are all wrong anyway. This time I am pleasantly surprised and may actually finish my sample.
I did do some shopping at the show too :)
I haven't been big into threads, but this year I want to do a lot more free motion quilting so I bought some Bottom Line, Masterpiece and a beautiful grey/taupe 40wt variegated King Tut. Hamels is my favorite online store, and they didn't disappoint with their booth at the show. Each of those little packages contain 10 fat 1/8ths of batiks and were less than $10. I also bought a fat quarter bundle of Little Black Dress 2, a grey bundle and a brown bundle from various vendors.
All in all it was a fun weekend. Now I think I need to do some serious cleaning, before the dust bunnies attack me!!!
The top is done!! Tomorrow sandwich and quilt, Monday binding, Tuesday label and clean up any threads and Wednesday drop it off for the upcoming show.
To get the whole quilt in the picture I have to take it at an angle so it looks a little skewed. Now I need a little coffee break, them am going to work on my birch trees for our quilt show charity auction.
I'm working on the gradation of colors. With over 230 fabrics cut up I thought it would go up on the design wall fairly quickly. Not! Transitioning from the aqua to the yellow/oranges is proving to be quite a challenge. Even though it is taking much longer than I expected, I love doing it. It's like doing a giant jigsaw puzzle without the picture on the box for reference!
I think it will all come together quite nicely when the black pinwheels are added. I have to start sewing it today. Did I mention it is entered in our quilt show and has to be finished by next Wednesday!!?!!
I just finished cutting strips off 206 batiks. Each strip was cut into rectangles. Here they are all arranged according to color.
Why so many rectangles? I am making a queen sized version of the lap quilt below for a very special group as a thank you.
Craig Street Cats, in Winnipeg, Manitoba is a cat rescue and feral colony management program. When a feral cat showed up on my doorstep one -30 degree winter morning I was at a loss what to do. They helped immensely and now my feral, though still wild and unapproachable, has a much better life with lots of food, water and a heated shelter. The quilt will be raffled off to raise funds for the group.
Since I had ironed and straightened all the fabrics I figured I would make it worth my while, and cut an additional 2 1/2" strip and a 3" strip. The 3" size comes in handy when you need to make 1/2 square triangles. I'm going to try and remember to do this every time I cut up a fabric. It's so handy to have the strips on hand when you want to make a scrappy quilt. I only need 600 rectangles for the quilt, but cut out at least double that amount as I don't know how many of each fabric I will need to transition from one color to the next. I'm guessing there will be enough left over to make yet another one! For now though, I should get sewing. I've got to get this quilt done in the next two weeks because I've entered it into Quilt Reflections 2014 (March 28-30 in Winnipeg). Seems I like to work under pressure!!!