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.
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.
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).
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?
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.
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).
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.
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!