Friday, April 30, 2010

appraisals and other quilty adventures...

I am moving along on my journey to get certified as an AQS quilt appraiser. This week I saw two quilts for a client (only appraised one) and made appointments with with two more clients for when I come back from seeing my Mom up in Boston. So far all the quilts are antique but I am sure I will have a chance to work on new quilts soon. All good!Yesterday was my guild's weekly morning bee. I brought a couple of boxes of fabric from the second hand stash pile. It was divided up among the charity projects. There is still a few boxes in the library...I think like tribbles the fabric is multiplying...

Then last night I went to the library and took down our displays. Isn't it amazing how long it takes to put these up and how quickly they come down. In less than 30 minutes the quilts, hanging implements, and decorations were packed into three carryalls. While taking down the display we got lots of nice comments from the folks working at the library. They have asked us to do it again next year! (Next time we should have a lot more advance notice and be able to plan better!)
I can't believe I haven't posted my little quilt find from Paducah...I bought this from a man who sells quilts from the back of a van near the Quilt Museum. I have drafted out the pattern, made a top, and hope to quilt it while I am up in Massachusetts next week. The alphabet embroidery is also part of the quilting so I have been debating the best way to mark the letters...
Well off to do one of my least favorite things...look at new cars for my DH. No offense but spending a sunny day with car salesmen is like poking a stick in my eye....I would so be so much happier sitting on the porch with Tom the cat....

Monday, April 26, 2010

Almost recovered from Paducah...

This year I finally made it up to the AQS show in Paducah. It was great. The quilts were inspirational...the class on quit appraisals was educational...and the folks in that town were so gracious and welcoming. All and all just a really good week. Photos of the winning quilts are on the AQS website...
I got a chuckle at the sign outside of's restrooms were in the parking lot!

Can't see the sign too well in this reads "Welcome Quilters Karaoke"...humm what would quilter sing after all those margaritas?

On the down side I got to see parts of town that thankfully few quilters the emergency room! Nothing like a kidney stone to put a quick-stop on a good time! All I can say is the notes I took on my last day of class are well, just a bit strange! A little bit of pain-killer goes a long way.
I took both the Insurance Appraisal and the Fair Market Appraisal Classes with Bobbie Aug and Gerald Roy. Learned a lot...including what I don't know which is very important! So on the long drive home (with a worried and unhappy DH at the wheel) a made a plan of what I need to do in the next year to get ready to test next April. (yes, I know I have heard all the type A jokes...)
Can you believe I came back from Paducah with only a couple yards of fabric, some books and one little quilt! You know I wasn't feeling well if that is all I got...not even like I had the "it has to fit in the suitcase" constraint! I'll do better next show (Knoxville in July!)
On another topic...humblequilts.blogspot is doing another doll quilt quilt-along. This time is uses a block like this vintage one I had in my collection! She is making hers in browns, indigo and shirting but I think I may go with the pink and black like my blocks!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Second Hand Stash....

Just when it was almost safe to walk in the sewing room the phone rang. One of my neighbors is moving to a smaller house and she needed to find a home for some boxes of fabric. Oh dear...I've always had a soft spot for homeless stash....So a few minutes later in marches her husband and a neighborhood boy with about 8 boxes and a couple of bags. So much for a neat and clean room (that is so overrated anyways!) Most if not all of the fabric is circa 1985-1990. There are bits and pieces that made its way through my own stash (like those Beyer border stripes! How many of us have done the stack and whack thing-y with one of those stripes!)
Now 95% of this is being washed, quick pressed and divided up between the various charity groups my guild works with. A bit going to a young woman, Sally Ann, who works with recycled and re-purposed fabrics. The remainder is either going into a box marked 80's fabric that I keep on hand for repairing quilts (I have one marked for each decade) and then a small amount went into the bin for stuffing pillows at the animal shelter. Needless to say the "piles" or work-in-process have taken over the just recently organized space and even crept into the corner of the dining room...oh, well. My rational is if the fabric gets into "my stash" in my sewing room then it gets more difficult to get is out the door stash fraternization!
Here is a photo of the business or credit card holder that Sally makes...this just cracked me up! I knew there would be a purpose for those old cassette tapes some day! (don't yo just love the "Police" and "Don't Stand So Close to Me" ...doesn't that date me?! yikes) Anyway, her web site is

In addition to washing, pressing, folding and sorting fabric today I need to pack for my trip to Paducah...let's hope all my clothes are already clean!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Fun magazines...

I know I have posted about how disappointed I have been in so many of the quilt magazines being published these days. This month however there are two exceptions: "American Patchwork and Quilting" June magazine and the new "The Quilt Life" April edition. (Both on newsstands now...go figure!?)

AP&Q/June is one of those magazines that I will most likely put whole into the inspiration file. Lots of quilts I'd like to try, an interesting interview with Minick and Simpson, and an article on thread-making that the nerd in me loves. (I admit to loving the shows "Mythbusters" and "How do they make that")
I have already played with the quilt blocks on the cover. If you decide to make this quilt a few things I've learned...make all the centers first then make the outside star pieces. The cutting is a bit finicky (2-1/4, 2-1/8, 2-1/2...all a bit too close to have on the cutting board at the same time!) Also, when you make the outer star part there are bonus blocks to be those little hst and you can make up these little 3-1/2 inch finished blocks. (heck I almost like the way these are coming out as much as the "real" quilt blocks!)

The Quilt Life is just an interesting mix of articles and techniques. Maybe a bit more "modern" or artsy than AP&Q but not so far outside my comfort range. I like the article "Quilt, teach, travel" that shows how Pam Holland uses photos for inspiration to make her quilts. There is a similar/companian article by Ricky Tims that takes photo quilts to a "new level." (I am working out a design for a quilt in memory of my Dad who flew PBY's during WW2 so anything on photos is of interest right now.....)

Off to watch more golf...I would love to see Mickelson win it after his tough year taking care of him wife and Mom who are battling breast cancer...then again who can root against Freddy Couples (he is in there for the 50 yo crowd!)...Westwood has worked hard to climb back up the international rankings so he will have earned it if he wins (I like hard workers...)...and then of course there is Kim who is both an amazing player and a train-wreak in the same round of golf - he could use a win to boost his confidence and it would be a big plus for all the younger players. What a great couldn't make this stuff up!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Library Exhibit...

Just when you think it is safe to kick you feet up...whammm.

Late Tuesday night I found out my guild was supposed to have filled two very large (10-12 foot tall by 12-14 feet wide) cabinets at our new county library for this month's art display. This is even more important since there is a art in the park show next weekend just across the parking lot so there will be a lot of foot-traffic. Did I mention the display was supposed to have gone up on Monday? Duhhhh....
Anyway, we "made it so..." Wired up the Quilting emergency hot lines on Wednesday morning and collected quilts on Thursday (picture platic bags hand-offed off between cars in the Home Depot Parking lot...wonder what the security guys thought about that on the video?)
Today with the help of some quilt guild members plus their helpers (Mercedes and Margaret) we got the quilts up into the cases and even one on the wall in between. (Thank you guys!)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Quilt Guild

Made it to my quilt guild's evening meeting last night. Don't you find show and tell the best part of any quilt meeting?
Several of the gals brought along their pieces from our last workshop with Laura Wasolowki. Of course mine isn't finished yet but I brought it along anyways...
Is the one block wonder popular where you are?
Several of the folks in our guild have been bitten by the bug. They are pretty but I wonder if I could work with just one shape for an entire quilt...they say the variety in the fabric and the puzzling out the placement makes them interesting to work, no, no - I do not need to start another project!The quilt above was made using the one fabric in the borders with the flamingos on it! (makes me think of Christmas candy....)

Between the Master's traffic and the swirling pollen I haven't been going out much. Poor Macbeth got his stitches out this morning and just from his trip from the front door to the car covered his black hair with yellow streaks....looked a high school girl's home-done highlighting job....poor boy.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Quilt block drama....

Each year my guild makes a donation quilt to raise money for a local camp for children with cancer. Usually the quilt involves a lot of applique and usually there is a bit of quilt block drama involved...

Last year it was a missing block - which only reappeared after it had been remade! Most often it is a block that gets stained, fabric bleeds, or the stitch-er uses a new pen, pencil, or other marker that ends up showing on the quilt block.
Most of us have been there. We get a new "toy" and want to try it out right away so we skip over the "try this on a scrap of fabric before using on your project" step. This year it was a green sureline marking pen (or is it a pencil?) On the backside of the block she traced the entire pattern then used the basting from the back applique method. All good until....When she was done the green marker was still visible in several spots from the front. She tried dabbing a bit of gentle detergent on the luck.

Now I have used the same sureline markers and not had any problems so we tried to brainstorm what had happened. It may have been the heat-setting before wiping any marking off. She had left the block in the Augusta heat (we have already been in the high 80's!) and had ironed the block several times while appliqueing. The good news is a paste made from a little Borax mixed with Woolite was applied to the spots with the marks (front and back of the fabric) and left to set for about 10 minutes then rinsed in warm water took the marks out. Looks good now, no?!
What she didn't do that made possible to save the block:
- Do not use harsh abrasive materials (like a toothbrush!) on the fabric. Even if the mark comes out the fabric gets a worn out look and the area jumps out at you.
- Do not use bleach unless you are willing to bleach the entire block...what a risky business since this block had some rich colored fabrics.
- Do not repeatedly wash and allow the fabric to dry...keeping the spots damp while you work on them seems to work best.
- Do not iron blocks with stains on only makes the process more difficult.
Speaking of stains...everything around my house is covered in a fine yellow haze. The pine pollen this year is unbelievable! My poor car is a mess...not that I can see it very well as my eyes fill up with tears...where is the rain when we need it!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Wasilowski Workshop

 The past two days my local guild had workshops led by Laura Wasilowski of Artfabrik.  Now I am generally a pretty traditional quilter but even I had a great time fusing and finished a small "art-quilt!"

In addition she is a really fun instructor.  We had sold out workshops both days! The first day they worked on the Tiny houses which involved lots of collage making.  Today's class worked on Garden of Eden which involved lots of bias strips and composing of flowers.   Amazing how different all the pieces came out!

I think I next show will need a corner with a big "Chicago School of Fusing" sign over it.