Fun with Other Quilters at Valley Modern Quilt Guild

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Last week I had the chance to head over to Los Angeles, and speak at the Valley Modern Quilt Guild, held at HighTech LA, a very cool building (with great gates).

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They had these signs all over the school, which I think is a good motto for retreats and workshops, right?

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The place we met was one of those classrooms that can be changed around to suit the needs of those using it, and it was a good space for giving a talk: well lit, comfortable with a good microphone.  I stayed until the end of their Guild, as I was curious to see what they were working on.  I especially liked their Challenge for that month: Curves.

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Saturday, I headed back to teach a workshop for them at a local high school; the workshop was held in the costume department of the high school, and the teacher worked on costumes for an upcoming production while we used her room.

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First up, a little show and tell.  The woman holding the quilt is the principal of the school, and I’m happy to be in her company, along with the other fine members of this guild.

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It’s always fun to see what gadgets people bring, and I loved this one: a veritable traveling trunk of supplies, that you just unzip and Voila! it is available.  No more packing up and forgetting something.  (I don’t have anymore information on it, but I know she purchased it online.)

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As soon as we finished the center block, it was photo time.  I love how some centers come forward and some recede.  Such a creative group!  I didn’t do a very good job on taking a picture of the group, but there might be more on their Guild Website.  They decided on the Two-For-One class: a quilt in the morning, and free-motion quilting in the afternoon.

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Thank you, Valley Modern Quilt Guild–I had a great time!

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And in other news…  It is the ONLY reason I did an update on my iPhone this early.  Usually I wait a while until they get the bugs out, but I couldn’t resist.  They also have a ball of yarn, if you are interested in that.

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And I finished my November Gridsters Bee blocks early this month and am sending them off to Allison of Quilt Studio 62, who is our Queen Bee this month.

In addition, I’ve had a question or two about what paper I use in the foundation paper piecing I did for the recent Crazy Cushion Class. I recently purchased a ream of paper from them (after 10 years of using the first one), so I took some photos in the store.

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It’s a vellum from Neenah.  I updated this post, where you can find more information.

Don’t know what to do with all those real “decorator” pumpkins you buy for fall? A recipe for Stuffed Pumpkin is a good way to enjoy them one more time.

Fall Leaves

The year we lived in Alexandria, Virginia I brought home handfuls of leaves from my walks and scanned them for the future.  I love looking at them at this time of year, as we here in Southern California don’t have fall color like this.

Happy November!

Frivols 11

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only two more!

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It’s Frivols time, since it is the first of the month, so here we go with Frivols Tin #11: a line from Chloe’s Closet, filled with tape measures and cute floral fabrics.  You can find out more about this on the Moda blog, where they introduce this.

To explain for new readers, about two years ago, Moda put out a line of small tins, filled with 7″ squares of one fabric line, directions for a quilt, and a small giveaway treat.  I purchased all the tins, but they sat in my closet for a year.  This January, I vowed to make all the quilts, one-by-one, and here we are on the eleventh of twelve quilts.  You can find them by searching one of the tags on this post, or by entering “Frivols” into the search box on this blog.

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On the back of the tins, more info–and no, I didn’t buy more of that fabric and the Way Back Machine isn’t working today, so I added Grunge Dots in white to fill out the requirements.

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That little tin is the Frivols treat from this group.

Why yes, I do spend a lot of time working at night so that’s why all the photos are slightly pink.  I thought I’d bought better bulbs for the lamp, but it’s an old one, so there you go.

Inside the box, I was instructed to divide some squares into piles of four, then save the rest of the squares for an inner border.  In the above lower left, everything including the Grunge dots are cut up: triangles, strips and borders.  And in the above lower right, you can see how this one won’t fit back into the tin.  No matter.  I got right on it, and started sewing it up.

After sewing up the first one (L), I vowed to do a better job balancing things, but haha, joke’s on me.  When you are working with a defined set of fabrics, in a defined range of colors, and you have to only use a certain amount, that limits how fine you can tune the block/quilt.  I just did the best I could, yielding this:

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I seamed the cut strips together and put on the inner border, then finished it up.

Can I just say I really don’t like gray in quilts?  Unless it’s meant to be the design choice?  But all these designers including gray as one of their “colors” (for we all know that gray is the “no-color”) always strikes me as odd. Bleh on gray, she rants. (That shows you her age.  All the 40-somethings love gray in their flowered quilts.)

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So I used the kitchen-counter method of pin-basting the quilt, getting it all together, all before the first of November!!

Crazy Cushion Class

If you could scroll down for just a second and locate on the right blog sidebar where there is a link to a video titled Create. This was taken from a talk from one of the leaders of my church, and if you are not a religious type, then substitute in your version of God for what Elder Uchtdorf says.  I watch it everyone once in a while to remind me that what I do is more than stitching, or cutting up pretty cloth.  Being creative is my connection to — and a conduit for — the divine.

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I had an inkling of the power of a lot of creative women, when I attended Becky McDaniel’s class for her Crazy Cushion pattern.  Yes, there was fatigue and frustration, but there was also a spirit of wanting to create (above, watching a demo).

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My workspace.  I had a nice visit with the two quilters at my table, Sandie and Marie (absent), and was totally impressed with the women in the Nite Owl Guild.

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Becky was energetic, funny and taught some new skills: like working with a light table while paper piecing, and we all promptly handed over our cash to buy her cool flat light table, while stories swirled around about the light tables we had at home.

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Yeah, we weren’t in this room, but the ping-pong table was.  The class was held in the Senior Center for a nearby town and was a great place to have a workshop.  Below, Becky’s table of supplies.

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Even though I had all my sections pre-pieced, at this point I felt like I’d run a marathon, just getting that welting stitched in between the flying geese band and the cushion top/back.  The band includes a handle for carrying (seen serpentining in the photo above).

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More than one use for those binding clips.

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Because of all my sewing beforehand, I was able to finish my cushion.  Above, the photo with Becky McDaniels.

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I posed my cushion with hers (the larger of each).  Mine measures 14″ x 2″ and hers is 16″ x 3.”  If you decided to take this class, do your homework beforehand, if you have done paper-piecing before, so you can have a finish, too.

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And then outside in their gardens, before leaving.

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Now I’ll have something to sit on when I go to workshops!

  • The pattern can be found on her website, along with more information.
  • Kaffe Fasset fabrics recently purchased at Blue Bird Quilt Shop, near me, including that cool stripe.
  • I use transluscent vellum paper by Neenan for my paper piecing because I can see through it and it rips off easily.  I purchased a ream about 10 years ago from Kelly Paper, and it cost way more than I wanted, but hey–10 years use?  Not bad.

Guild Visit, and a little stitching for NASA’s JPL Mars

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Just to show you that every stitch counts, NASA has been testing a parachute to help with their Mars missions.

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I love that the announcer mentions “miles and miles of thread” and “over three million stitches” in the video; he’s speaking my language.

Valley Modern Quilt Guild

I’ll be speaking more of that language when I visit the Valley Modern Quilt Guild on Monday, October 29th, with a workshop to follow on Saturday, November 3rd. The Guild talk begins at 7:00 p.m. at High Tech High School (Van Nuys) and the Workshop (see photos below) is held from 10-4 at Calabasas High School (Calabasas). Looking forward to meeting new quilty folks and enjoying the creative mojo of their guild!

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Prepping my Crazy Cushion Class

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When I was visiting the South Bay Quilters, they had one class in their line-up which intrigued me: Becky McDaniels’ Crazy Cushions class.

Covet.

I found a guild closer to me offering it, and the class is this coming Saturday.

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But since I am not a quick foundation paper piecer, I knew I should get some done before the class.

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This is what I use–it’s made by Neenah Paper.

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I use a vellum paper, purchased at Kelly Paper, for my paper-piecing.  I can see through it, and it’s crisp, so it tears off easily. I know the price looks high, but there are 500 sheets in there, and the last ream I purchased lasted me almost 10 years.  If you go to order it online, use the number by the manager’s finger.

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Once side of the cushion is Pineapple, and the other is called Star Jasmine.  And then there are a lot of flying geese for the cushion sides.

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We’ve also been movingmovingmoving stuff around upstairs and my quilting machine has a new place to live for a while, until I can figure out how I want to configure my sewing room.

I remember corresponding with another quilter and when I told her my sewing room was about 9 feet by 10 feet, she wondered how I could ever sew in such a tiny space.  Well…it’s what I have.  I will confess to having spilled over into the guest room, where that Sweet Sixteen is currently residing.

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My daughter just built an RV garage onto their existing three-car garage, and I wouldn’t mind taking over that space, but she lives several hours from me, so (sadly) not feasible.  Besides I’d have to share it with their vehicles.  I guess I’m thrilled to have a room dedicated to my own messes, my own stuff, so it never occurred to me that my room was too small.

Works for me.  Now I’m off to sew about a bazillion tiny flying geese and sew them into strips.

It’s Fall–Time for a Christmas Frivols (#10 is finished!)

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What does fall mean?

It’s fall, when — if you live in the Northern States — leaves turn colors and fall off the trees.  Here in Southern California we know it’s fall because all the pumpkin spice food shows up in grocery stores, even though the temps are still in the 80s.

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We pretend it’s fall, and serve fall-colored food, like this Carrot Cauliflower Soup, and we’ve gotten out the fall-colored placemat and napkins, and you can bet there are pumpkins on my table.

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And if you answered “Christmas!!” in response to the prompt, you — unfortunately — are also correct.  So to take photographs of Frivols #10 finish, done up in a Sweetwater Christmasy line of fabrics, I headed to Costco for the photo shoot.  I’m calling it Christmas Corner, because all those quarter log-cabin shapes remind me of street corners.

Here are the finishing up photos for this little quilt, finishing at 32″ by 36″: arranging the quarter-log cabin square, pinning, then quilting it.  I didn’t have any red fabric for the binding, but in my Christmas bin, found a piece of an earlier Sweetwater Christmas line, and yes–it works quite well.

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So I’m tucking and arranging, and a woman comes by and says “They sell quilts at Costco?”  Turns out she’s a quilter (takes one to find one in Costco) and she agreed to hold up the quilt for me next to the ribbons and bows.  I never did find out her name, but we had a great chat about quilting groups, how beginners would be more successful choosing simple quilt designs, the advantages of working with a complete line of fabric in quilts.  It was one of the best conversations I’ve ever had in that giant warehouse store.

Here are couple other photos:
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Almost looks as if the snowmen are helping me.  Interestingly enough, aside from the quilter, nobody else thought it was weird that I was taking photos of a quilt…or at least they didn’t say anything. Here are some photos of the quilt in my garden:

I especially like the look of the stack on that last one.

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Ten done — two to go — so onto Frivols #11!

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