Gridsters · Guild Visits · Mini-quilt · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt · Quilt Patterns · Quilts · This-and-That

Happy August 2019 • This and That

When I looked outside in my garden today, the zucchini plant had wilted from the heat, mirroring how I felt inside.  However, unlike my spectacularly unproductive zucchini plant [we’ve only had ONE], I’ve been pretty productive.  Just not on quilts.

I’ve been working on prepping my upcoming Guild Workshops, getting the kits together (in wax paper bags instead of plastic, given my attempt to cut down on plastic where I can), and cute touches like place cards, so I know whose spot is whose once the class gets going.

Spectrum Pattern Revise
The pattern cover with thumbnails showing the pattern pages and revisions. Now it’s a pretty good guide to EPP.

I also revised a couple of patterns, the first one being Spectrum.  Inland Empire Quilters Guild contacted me for a program for their evening meeting, then they got together a group of women for a workshop who wanted to learn English Paper Piecing.  So I changed some things up in the pattern, added more content, and put it back up for sale up on PayHip.

EPP Spectrum Bag

One thing I made for a sample was this tote bag, splitting the main pattern in half and placing it on either side of the bag.  I wanted to show that a person can do more with a pattern than simply make a quilt.  That version of Spectrum is one of the variations in the pattern (bag pattern not included; I used the one in the October 2019 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting by Kristyne Czepuryk).

Kansas Sunflower Minimini

I also made a mini-mini to show them how to do the basics.  I’ll be passing out this pattern for a Kansas Sunflower block in class, show how to “batch-cut” pieces, glue and prep them.  They can then move on to Spectrum, or stay sewing up their mini-mini.  We’ll also do one hexie flower, because what’s a class in EPP without a hexie flower?

Hexie Flowers July 2018
(We’ll only do one; these are from my Field Flowers quilt.)

Merrion Square Pattern Revise

Another class I have coming up is Merrion Square and Far Away Doors, teaching it for the Pass Patchers Quilt Guild nearby.  For ages, I’d hand out the instruction sheet to Far Away Doors when the class was taught, but adding it to the original Merrion Square pattern was one of the revisions I wanted to make, in order to get all the variations in one place.  I took it offline, revised it, and now it’s back up for sale on PayHip, if you want all three versions in one pattern. [Note:  If you’ve purchased Merrion Square and haven’t received Far Away Doors from me in a workshop, please contact me and I’ll get it out to you.  Proof of purchase is required.]

Of course, all this is made easier by the fact that I’m getting the hang of the three pieces of Affinity Serif software that I purchased last fall: Affinity Photo (replacing Adobe’s Photoshop), Affinity Designer (replacing Illustrator) and Affinity Publisher (instead of InDesign).  I’m getting quicker at each one, knowing where the tools are and how to use them.

Low Sugar Strawberry Jam

I also made three batches of low-sugar strawberry jam, after I tasted Laurel’s.  Laurel and her husband grow their own strawberries, but the ones from the market in our neighboring town worked well for us.  To go with it, I made a batch of zucchini bread with cranberries and left out half the flour (!).

My saintly husband declared it just fine, and takes chunks of this incredibly dense bread in his lunch every day.  He makes me look good, even on my very bad days (of fighting asthma), wilting in the heat (like the zucchini plants outside), and trying to get all the guild workshop stuff lined up from here to eternity.  I have to remind myself to take it one Guild and a time, and enjoy the process, which I genuinely do.

I finished The Night Tiger (I can recommend highly) and have started Little Fires Everywhere (so far enjoying it, but don’t give a recommendation until I finish).

I decided I was done waiting to start on this Halloween Banner project.  I layered the panel (if your store doesn’t carry it, it’s available here), quilted it, and cut out the flags.  I cut 1-1/4″ strips of stripey fabric from this line (called Costumer’s Ball by J. Wecker Frisch) cutting it across the stripe and bound the edges of the flags, sewing the strips first to one side of the flag, then the other.  After trimming the bottom edge, I folded it up and glued it all down with my trusty friend, a regular old gluestick.  Then I pressed and folded in the binding on the sides, again using my gluestick to keep it in place.  (Be sure to press after gluing in order to distribute the glue).

Hit those back-to-school sales, people!

I top-stitched down the striped binding, and am now waiting for the fabric to arrive to make the top part so I can get the banners all ready for October 1st.

August Gridsters_2019 trees

Lastly, I finished up August’s bee blocks for the Gridster Bee, using an original pattern designed by my talented beemate Kelley.  She’s getting ready for Christmas early!

I think my holidays are all mixed up, because I’m working on Christmas blocks, Halloween Banners, and my Fourth of July quilt just came back from the longarmer, needing binding.  I hope you are able to keep your days and events and sewing projects straight.  Happy Quilting!

9 thoughts on “Happy August 2019 • This and That

  1. Despite your protestations of wilting Elizabeth, your productivity is impressive! Your attention to detail in preparing for your workshops show the true teacher you are! I love the bag you’ve made from Spectrum block is lovely and such a way to showcase the beautiful block!

  2. Than goodness you can stay so busy inside with all of your projects. I love that all seasons are popping up in your creative space.

    Your Halloween banners are so cute and I love Kelley’s trees. They are going to make a beautiful quilt.

    You have some great samples to share with your students. I love those heroes and Faraway Doors is so pretty too. I’m sure your students will do well with such an encouraging teacher. Enjoy them.

  3. I enjoyed seeing all that you have accomplished. I like the idea of quilting the Halloween banner. I have seen many different ways of making the banners and I like the idea of quilting them. Those Christmas trees are great too. Would make beautiful Christmas fabric postcards. I’m trying to decide what design to make this year so I’m not scrambling at the last minute.

  4. Wow, your patterns are looking so good. With your outgoing personality and teaching background I can imagine you are a good quilt teacher. Hope you enjoy each class as it comes. You always seem to stay quite busy even in the extreme heat. I’ve been in a quilty slump lately but am finding my way back. I think.

  5. Love the blog post and updates. It’s inspiring me to want to check out the IE Quilters just so I can attend your workshop!

    Love both the books – recently read them both and loved them. We must have similar taste in books. Also read Celeste Ng’s other book ‘Everythig I Never Told You’ which was also excellent! Enjoy the rest of your summer, Elizabeth and stay cool!

  6. I like the tote bag and that great banner fabric. Strawberry jam is something I make with my younger daughter; but this year she’ll be doing it at her own house with her husband!

  7. My goodness! You are quite the busy bee! I think your workshop/class students have no clue how good they’re getting it. You’ve thought of everything to make the class professional and smooth. I’m really curious as to how you make and prep place cards. Do you get the students’ names beforehand? That would be SO helpful, as I’ve found that in many classes I teach, no one is asked or remembers to wear name tags. I’m impressed that you make jam too. Thank you for the audiobook recommendation. I’m happy to say I have a very long list of possible to-reads. The only thing that stops me from reading every single one of them is that my library doesn’t offer them at all, or as audiobooks. Yes, I’d say you’re a bit holiday-confused. But they’ll all work out in the end, won’t they? 🙂

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