Monday, February 29, 2016

A super QUILTY week!!

Last week was superweek for me as far as quilting goes...every day was filled with quilting adventures galore.  I was exhausted by the end of the week...but it was definitely worth it!!

First up, I finished the binding on my Bitty Blocks row quilt.  This was a year long block of the month project hosted by Quiltmaker magazine in 2015.  Each month on their blog was a different 3" or 4" "bitty" block to make.  This quilt was incredibly fun to make and I just love it.  I love the row by row design...and all the tiny blocks.  So fun!  The checkerboard border is made from 4 patches I had made for another sew along that I didn't get very far along with...and when I realized they would work for this project, I decided to scrap the other "unfinished" project and use them up!!  Perfect!!


On Sunday...I traveled to Dover, Delaware.  I stayed with my friend, Lisa, and we attended a TWO day workshop with Pat Speth, the "Nickel Quilts" author and designer.  She also presented a lecture and trunk show Monday evening.

Pat has come up with so many incredible ideas for using 5" squares...it's amazing.  I'm only sorry that I only got this one sad picture of her design wall.  LOL  She had some amazing blocks up there.  It was a great two day workshop and I left feeling very inspired to cut some of my stash in to 5" squares and get to making some amazing quilts!  I did work on a project over the two days, but didn't get any pictures of it...I'll share that soon in another post.

I returned home late Tuesday night, because the next day was the day my new "sewing bee" was meeting....they've been meeting for a while, but I'd recently been invited to join and it was the first time I was free to attend.  We met at a local library and it was fun stitching and chatting, until our phones started alerting a tornado warning!  Really?!  The library staff ushered us into an interior room while we waited out the storm...it was still fun...we just continued the chatter there.  :)

Thankfully the storm cleared, because Wednesday night was preview night for the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival!  After a quick dinner, I headed over (only about 6 miles from my house!!) and met up with a couple of friends....



I have "known" Debbie (left) and Fran (right) for about about 10 years through an online quilting group...we've swapped fabric, quilt blocks, secret sister exchanges, etc, over the years.  In that time, we've also watched kids grow up and marry, grandbabies come along and shared many other milestones of our lives.  Debbie lives here locally, so I have met up with her a couple of times since moving to the area.  Fran lives in North Carolina and comes to the show every year, so it was the first opportunity to meet her face to face.  So awesome to finally meet...they are both really sweet and just like I knew they'd be after sharing so much of our lives over the years.

When the doors to the quilt show finally opened, I almost made a beeline to the Primitive Gatherings booth!  And look who was there!!  I was so excited to meet Lisa Bongean...she was so nice and within minutes of talking, I felt like we'd been friends forever.  She is so down to earth.  I loved that she talked to everyone coming through the booth all the while, stitching on a wool project.  LOL

We spent the rest of Wednesday evening browsing all the vendor booths...and came back Thursday morning before the doors opened!!  LOL  We browsed more of the vendor booths and also looked at the quilts hanging for the quilt show.

I took Friday "off" and stayed home trying to catch up on real life, but this is where I was all day Saturday...back at the festival in a wool class with Lisa!  Yay!!

I just can't say enough what a great teacher she is...I've taken a lot of classes throughout my quilty life and she is at the top of the list of favorites.  If you ever get a chance...I highly recommend taking a class with her.

Here is the project we made in class...I've continued to work on it this weekend and have just a bit more stitching left to do.  It was a quick and easy one!  I can't wait to finish it up and share the whole project with you.

Whew...it was a great week!!  Now to buckle down at home and get back to the real world.  LOL

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle









Wednesday, February 03, 2016

WIP Wednesday...and a couple finishes...

 I think I've shared my Buttermilk Basin Block of the Month from 2015.  Each month, Stacy shared a free pattern for a cute wool applique block.  Then, in January 2016, she revealed the final layout of the blocks...here is a picture of Stacy's quilt.  



I really like the setting, so I decided to forge ahead and make the 239 1.5" half square triangles...I used the Easy Angle ruler.  I love it because there is no trimming and it makes perfectly sized triangles.


The next step was to sew them into strips of 9 like this.  I sewed all the strips and started to stitch them to the blocks.  I REALLY thought I was sewing them in the right direction....but then I took a closer look. 
If you look at the original above, you'll see the triangles are turned a different way.  It's the HSTs that are sewn wrong, not the strips.  Ugh...oh well, I was not going to unsew all those triangle strips!!  I actually like them this way and it really didn't make a lot of difference!

Here is mine all sewn together.  I love it so much!!  I'm a little intimidated to quilt it as it will need some "custom" work...but I'll do the best I can.  I'm just not super confident in that area.


The block of the month was such a success...Stacy is offering another one for this year!!  You can head over to Buttermilk Basin and download your free pattern.  I think it'll spell "Let it Snow!"  :)  
(I promise I'll find some mini buttons for my snowman's eyes!!)


I joined a sew along with A Needle Pulling Thread Quilt Shop...@anptquiltshop and/or #52weekstarchallenge, if you're on Instagram.  I thinks she's also on Facebook.  The challenge is to make one sawtooth star each week for 52 weeks. Sounds easy enough, right?  ::wink::  Can you believe we are five weeks into the year already??!!

Just today, I finished this Mondo Bag...the fabric is from an old jelly roll I've had hanging around.  These bags are made from a printed/grid fusible interfacing, so the assembly is pretty easy.

I forgot to show this little table topper I whipped up a couple weeks ago.  Remember the Bitty Blocks quilt I showed before?  I had a few extra basket blocks...then added a few HSTs from another project...a couple 9 patches from something else...and voila!!  

Perfect little table topper for a square breakfast table.  (can you see Chloe watching the birds from her perch?)

Well, that catches you up with what's going on in my sewing room!  What are you up to?

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle

Monday, February 01, 2016

Quilt Retreat!

Last Monday through Friday, I was lucky enough to be at a quilt retreat!  This is my second time at this location, called Cocalico Quilter's Inn.  Click the link for info and lots of pictures of the inside. The Inn is owned and operated by Burkholders Fabrics in Denver, PA.    Burkholders Quilt Shop is only about a mile away...which meant almost daily trips to shop!!
  I took this picture on Wednesday, I think...it had really warmed up and the snow was melting pretty quickly.  It was snowy last year, too!

The building is a refurbished farmhouse.  The builder used a lot of reclaimed wood from the original house and barn....it's really beautiful inside.  There are about 10 bedrooms inside with 1-3 beds in each room.  Plenty of bathrooms too.

This is the sewing room...there were 9 of us and we had plenty of room to spread out.  


Another shot from my spot...

I was playing with the panoramic option on my camera...

I made this little table mat for under my machine...I had a few blocks from a quilt along I started last year.  I didn't stick with the quilt along, but the blocks I had worked great for this.  Not every quilt has to be HUGE, right??  :)


The theme of this retreat was "Crumbs and Strings."  Sheila taught us her technique for making strip sets without the need for a foundation.  Then those strips sets were cut to make these blocks...each strip set made a full block and then units to make the pinwheel type block in the picture above.  It was really fun to see these blocks come together!

Here are a few of everyone's blocks...there was everything from batiks, to civil war-ish, selveges, and mine, which are the darker blues.  Lynn also chose blues...Hi Lynn!!  :)

Next step after making the blocks....are the sashing and stars...


This picture doesn't show how pretty these batik strips really are...

Here is my top...those units around the outside border are "leftovers" from the original strip set.  There was almost no waste!!  It only measures about 38" x 46" at this point, so I need to decide on more borders to make it bigger.

Sheila also taught us "crumb" piecing and we made these cute little drawstring bags...

Here are everyone's all lined up...they are sooo cute!! 

 I also had time to whip up this Quickie Strippie for a friend that will have a baby soon.  Another nighttime picture, so the colors aren't quite right.

 Here are all the ladies (minus one, who had to leave early)!  We had so much fun!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle