Monday, January 31, 2011

Playing with Jacks!


It’s my LAST night on this long trip. I’ve been in Louisiana since LAST Monday…..and tomorrow I fly home! It was two weeks ago yesterday ((Sunday)) That I left North Carolina for San Diego and the Road to California Quilt Show in Ontario!

Here is a pic of me that Liz took in California while holding a border section of my hexie project…

I feel like it has been SIX weeks, but at the same time it has flown so fast…each day just cram packed with things to do, places to be, quilts to teach! It’s been a whirl wind of fun, but I am ready, really ready, to go HOME.

scotchguardWith all the storms pending, and due to the fact ((and the remembrance)) of what fun wet luggage is ((NOT!)) We stopped tonight at the Walmart to pick up a can of Scotchguard. You wouldn’t think it would be so hard to find, but we were directed from the hardware section to the craft section and finally found it in the laundry aisle. I suppose that makes sense, but never having looked for it before---and considering the fact that this Walmart is Huge---it would have been nice if the FIRST person we asked knew where it was!

The hotel I’m staying in has a patio area, and I’m on the ground floor, so in between bouts of editing photos and writing this post, I’ve been going out there to spray the bags and let them dry in between rounds of spraying.

**Note To Self** Remember to close the sliding glass door while spraying!! This stuff is potent! Sick smile

I intend to KEEP spraying until the whole can is used up….on not only the quilt bags, but my clothing suitcase as well!

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My thoughts and prayers are with those in the path of this winter blizzard---though I have to admit to wonder why the weather channel always shows this as if it starts BELOW the Canadian border, when I know our Canadian friends are being pounded too. It takes me back to Elementary School where we would study the country, the states, and it never appeared as if there WAS anything at all above the USA! Why is this storm a big deal here, when they have bigger ones there? Not to minimize it for anyone that is in the path, it’s just that I am aware of the fact that there is more in the continent of North America than just the USA! Take this picture for instance...see how the storm makes such a CLEAN LINE at the border? LOL! I wish the weather channel would show the whole picture, that’s all.

Be safe everyone, no matter what side of the border you are on! My flight takes me from New Orleans to Houston to Greensboro, so I should be south of the mess.

Packing Packing Packing…and a long travel day home. I’ll be home for 10 days before I have to do a quicky trip fairly locally! I’m headed up to Lexington, VA for a meeting with the Rockbridge Pieceworkers Quilt Guild! That is still not-quite-mid-February, and roads up through Virginia and the south east can get kind of icy so I’m hoping all this nasty stuff is gone before I have to drive it.

So on to today’s workshop! Playing with Jacks is a fun and EASY quilt to get familiar with the Easy Angle Ruler and slow down long enough to solve ANY problems that may have plagued you with your personal seam allowance. We work on that and work on that until we find out WHERE it is with your machine. It can be a boring process, but if you want success in your patchwork, you need to know where it is and how to find it. And consistency is important! Let’s face it….most traditional quilts call for scads and loads of half square triangles, and we want them easy and consistent.

And this brings another question.....why is it that some quilters refuse to clip their dog ears? They obscure my view, and add bulk to corners and junctions. Why is it so hard for people to even want to clip those off? Believe me, your patchwork will lay nicer and be so much easier in the piecing/quilting department if you just trim them off!

From there on we play! The blocks are 6” finished, so you get plenty of repeat across the quilt surface to twist and turn the blocks and form really fun designs. You can choose to add sashings or not, totally changing the look even further. It’s a great study in a 3 fabric (or more) color palette, pushing the boundaries a bit on the color wheel and just experimenting. We had a great time!

There might be several pictures from the same projects, I just kept clicking as the projects grew! Look for the Green/Blue/white one where she decided to reverse the triangles and have the anvil block be dominant with the WHITE triangles as the design, instead of the blue ones…making the blue ones be the background. It totally changed the quilt, and we both liked it so much better!

Remember to play and experiment with your blocks. We would cut as many half square triangles as we could from each strip set, and often there are a few left that won’t make a full block, so students were encouraged to make some RENEGADE blocks using the spare parts. This really added interest to the quilt, throwing in a bit of free whimsy and surprise.

Time go to spray another round of Scotchguard ---remembering to close the sliding glass door and not letting all the fumes in the room in the process!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Blue Bayou!


Or that would be My Blue Heaven if you were taking the workshop any where outside of Louisiana!

But it wasn’t just Louisiana, we had a trio from Mississippi join us. They drove 2.5 hours in rain and drizzle to come play! And it was so terrific to see them here. What a fun group!

Quilters by nature are such givers, and I was gifted with some yummies in the form of a delightful bag made by “another” Bonnie ((We honestly could have been sisters, but I of course would have to be the older one!)) I love the selvages used in this bag and I’m using it right away!

I also received some delicious chocolates and some extra blue fabric strips to include in another down-the-road quilt. from the Mississippi gals. I’m SURE the chocolates will be long gone before it is time to pack my bags!

Our class went from noon to 5:30 which was perfect for a Sunday. It made it easy for the out of town gals to get here to enjoy the day, without having to leave the house at the crack of dawn to get here for a morning class.

This is the perfect class for learning to use the easy angle and companion angle rulers for 3 units we use all the time in traditional quilt making: The half square triangle, the quarter square triangle in the form of hour glass units, and the flying geese unit.

We had a LOT of ladies doing blues/neutrals so I was afraid the slide show would look all the same..but you know what? Even though the colors were similar, there were huge differences in the fabric choices, and it was so fun to see the variety!

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I had to giggle when one of the gals took one of my suggestions from my lecture to heart! Take it from me--- if you still have MILLENIUM fabric in your stash, cut it up and CUT IT SMALL! It is not going to get any better if you keep it in the stash---it needs to GO! LOL!

We were pedal to the metal all afternoon, as you can tell by the copious amounts of dog ears falling like snow on the floor:

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So here you go with today’s slide show!

If you have a mac, you might be asked to download a program called silverlight. It will allow you to see the slide show. It is available through apple, and you can find out more information on it HERE. It is a very small plug in….other than that, that’s all I know to help you.

A bit of Mexican for dinner, an evening typing this post and watching “The Nanny Diaries” on Lifetime while sewing some more hexagons --- A good night’s sleep --- That’s what is on the horizon for the immediate future!

We have ONE more class tomorrow: Playing With Jacks! It should be a fun one, and I’m looking forward to exploring block possibilities with more Easy Angle fun! It’s another great one for swapping strips with each other….building variety and playing with layouts!

PS…Hey!! It’s a post WITHOUT food pics!! ((Well except for the chocolates, that is!)) Rolling on the floor laughing