Saturday, December 13, 2014

I know I'm not the smartest person but....

I'm not the dumbest person either.  These curve it up blocks are really challenging.  I think the blocks would be ok ,and I definitely love the sewing challenge, if the instructions were more user friendly.  Tuesday and Wednesday of this coming week we meet again and boy I hope Michelle is ready to clarify instructions.  A while back I decided to down size my quilts; I just have too many quilts that are 104" square or in that large range.  This quilt will definitely smaller than the designer planned.

How is it that I made this table runner last year with a different curve ruler, no class on curves and no Michelle to instruct?

This runner is really fun to use and I get compliments from friends and in particular a very choosey daughter!  These blocks of the month are driving me nuts.  Thank you Michelle for the video and all the effort it took.   My issues are with the graphics and some verbiage in the instructions.  The pattern for just this quilt is $18, well worth it if the instructions were more conducive to user friendly criteria.  I'm not a novice quilter and can generally ready instructions very well, BUT, what does center the QCR over the ...whatever mean?  The graphics are too small to really decipher.  When talking about "center"  is that a calculated number/place or is it a guess that the best of the curve is centered over the points mentioned.  The designer did a good job with coordinates (even though I did something wrong) but "center'?

Here are my sad.....

How are you all doing?  Anyone else frustrated?  Rather than redo everything I just downsized the blocks.....might have 12 hot pads when I'm done.  The challenge is wonderful, but the pictures showing the placements could be larger, much larger for me....

Here's a fun blog that has some modern sure to scroll down.

See you either Tuesday night or Wednesday should be better this month!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Fujino, Japan: our next stop

From Grand Rapids, MI it's a long way by any means of travel to Japan, let alone Fujino!  Our journey begins all because I tag along with my friends who have one weekend of shopping in Chicago every year.  They've been doing this trip for YEARS!  Last year was my first tag along.  My oldest daughter lives in Chicago, so I just thumb a ride to visit her for the weekend.  I get to shop on the way there and on the way home.  We leave early on a Friday morning and arrive at the predetermined location established by Viola and Jenny.  Emily and I are the backseat followers and sometimes to Jenny's frustration - drivers.  This year we visited Long Grove in Lake County and Skokie.  By 9 pm CT I arrived in Irving Park - a fun long day.  Viola, Emily and Jenny stay with Jenny's friend Candice who lives on Lakeshore Drive off N. Michigan.  Nice digs for sure!  Well, the long and short of it is I had to meet up with them Sunday for the drive home and outlet mall shopping in Michigan City.  Of course, we all shopped at the 10,000 Village bazaar held at the beautiful 4th Presbyterian Church, across from the Hancock Building before heading home.  It was here than Candice learned I quilted, since I was holding  8 gorgeous yards of fabric.

Fabric to help African children stay in school.  I'm a sucker for fabric especially when it helps children in school.  The teal is damask - I should have saved my mother's old tablecloths......
Emily and Jenny looking a bit tired as they wait for Jenny's auto to arrive in the garage.

Viola in the forefront wondering what I'm doing....she really likes her picture taken....

Candice apparently attended a Japanese Indigo Textile workshop in Fujino and had fabric she was making into a quilt.  She sought suggestions on how to lay out the fabric.  However, she has it all under control, just a matter of finding the additional support fabrics to make her California King quilt.
Candice, my new quilting friend who gets to sew overlooking Lake Michigan!

Fabric from Japan for her quilt.  Below is a another fabric that will also be in the long, horizontal stripes of the quilt.

I believe this piece is from an old kimono.

This piece Candice dyed using the shibori resist dyeing method.  The rows of lines are created by sewing across the fabric and gathering it.

Candice cut this stencil with a ordinary stencil cutting knife.  Before flying to Japan each participant had homework.  They traced designs and cut them out.  I believe these stencils were done in the US.

These stencils are treated with a substance to give them endurance.  A material similar to nylon netting is on the reverse side to also stabilize the coated paper.  This stencil is on top of the fabric made with it; same with the stencil shown below.

Over the 10 days they learned the history as well as the how-to with dyeing and even raising silk worms!  Shibori, Japanese tie-dye, has been part of this culture for over 1300 years!  Ironically, the workshop is run by a Canadian √©migr√©!  The field trips and food adventures explained on the website sound so alluring. They even had a lesson in making Udon noodles!  Can you  imagine if we all visited the Japanese Folkcraft Museum in Tokyo, along with the phenomenal Japanese Quilt Show!  Good luck to Candice as she plays and rearranges her fabric for this great quilt to remember this awesome trip.  Check out the website for more information.
 You just never know where you'll meet a new quilt friend - they are so wonderful!

Until next time keep stitching.....smaltzy or what!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Amazing Talent - not really a headline for those of us who know.....

The weather was great and the meeting was even better last Tuesday, December 2nd at our regular guild meeting.  The officers introduced themselves and presented some issues that needed discussing as they develop draft by-laws so GRMQG can become official in January, 2015.  What a great year number to legalize ourselves! Years ending in zero are easier, but fives are great for easy subtraction when calculating anniversaries, birthdays, etc!  I wonder where this group will be in 2020?  2025?  2050!  We all can celebrate Adrienne's and my 100th birthday in 2050! I can see Ade still talking about the soprano and the stage to a new audience of quilters!

For any of the officers who might by chance read this blog please forward your email to me with a short bio and picture - nothing fancy.  Our members, this one in particular, needs a face to match a please don't be camera shy.  When you post a comment I will receive an email then I can respond confidentially to receive the scoop.  Once we do this intro, we can also focus on our members and guests!

Here's the Sew and Share from our meeting.
Roleen is relatively new to quilting.  Look at her progress and success.  The table runners are so fun and easy to use for decoration.

Kelly, our secretary (I think), made this memorable T-Shirt quilt from running events!

Claire, sorry for not being able to turn the picture, took a class on quilt/fiber art.  I believe she said it reminded her of the sand dunes along Lake Michigan - it sure does.  If it looks like torn fabric or paper to you, it is fabric!  Such a tedious art form, but the effort offers amazing results.

Caroll likes to make fabric from her scraps.  Her latest project is a dish drying mat.  It's too pretty for wet dishes - how about a hot pad for casserole dishes where more people can admire it, Caroll?

 Kathy N, a board member too, shows us her modern block piecing progress.  I believe she is using the same book I made my Wonky Flower quilt from.  Great selection of colors, Kathy!

Kathy also shows us her modern work.  Lime green and black go so well together.  This quilt is great for the lap while watching TV or reading when just a little bit of warmth is needed.
Mary beamed with pride as she show us the baby quilt she had just finished. 

I love the colors in this quilt top. Becky used Ann Marie Horner fabrics here, which also give us hints on how to incorporate fairies into our work.

I love this modern quilt which I believe she designed herself!  Such creative simpleness!  Mary(?) did the applique and quilting by hand as well.  I do believe hand quilting is coming back in vogue.  When I took my class 11 years ago experienced quilters looked askance at such a though.  This hand quilting is patterned so well and so tedious.  No hoop was used!

Another quilt by Mary (I hope). 

 Is it a fried egg?  A green mushroom in the upper left and a drop of pink lemonade on the right?  So much fun! 
Dorothy has been at it again!  The quilt above and the quilt below is Dorothy's work for November!  The use of her scraps and pattern selection is scrumptious. 

Would you believe the above picture is the back top the tea leaf quilt above it!  Members had fun trying to figure out what comprised a block!

Another Dorothy product - so uninhibited!

This back belongs to the "daisy eye" quilt above it.  The placement of the black print does not get overwhelming at all!

Our president, Ginger, made this quilt from a modern book...her  quilt  brings us back to order and it's beautiful!  Do you think our quilts reveal our personalities at all?  Even when we step away from our comfort zones?

Another quilt by Ginger.  The bright colors framed with a touch of black does so much to draw our eyes to one of the many prints.  At one time in my life all these prints would have never looked good - too busy -  but nowadays, it's so freeing!  

 Please forward any suggestions you have to get better pictures with the names and stories of your quilts.  I've been trying to not be intrusive, but we really do need to show off our work.  Until next time.....keep yourself in stitches....Cathy M

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

What Did It for You?

The pictures below show my favorite skirt purchased 30 years ago in Palm Springs, CA.  My husband was on a week long business retreat and I tagged along. I golfed (cough, cough) one of the courses the Bob Hope tournament was held. While shopping, however, looking for the best deal on California dates I came across a store selling all appliqued clothing.  The applique is simple, has not frayed one bit and has endured many family holiday gatherings.  Last year it even attended my friend Robin family's ugly sweater party.  Yes, we're still friends.  Looking ahead to my family genes, I purchased an XL so it would always fit.  It's a wrap skirt, so when I was smaller it wrapped well, and still kind of does....what the heck - it's just  one or two days a year!  Can you hear my daughters groaning just thinking about wearing it this year?

                                                      The star is a small pocket
A rag  doll starts off the toys, leads to the tree, train and toys.....
The following Christmas all the family members received my first of many to come appliqued aprons.  The tradition lapsed as I thought I had conquered applique and we all know what can happen...

Holiday sewing has always been a hobby I enjoy.  My mother and I made ornaments - oh my gosh!  Fabric stores would sell really nice panels that when completed the ornaments looked really nice.  Now my children get inundated with place mats and aprons.

 The Scotties were my first fusible applique project once  sucked into this quilting thing.  Lesson learned:  read package and cogitate on how large or small project is.  The ornaments have pictures of my family and our first dog, Freckles.  My list of things to do has add an ornament for son-in-law Justin and these two dogs:
Each mornign after scouting the squirrels in my yard they cuddle in Meg's kennel, the red one on left.  Bernie, on the right, is my dog.  While Jeny has her own apartment Meg has to stay with me....someday........

This small applique is my get back into fusible applique and machine quilting.  I can truthfully say I prefer hand sewn applique and hand quilting.  I believe that this project is one of Edyta Sitar's Laundry Basket creations collection with fusing and cut pieces ready to go!  While I didn't see this pattern  on her website, I'm quite sure this pattern is hers.  While visiting the website for this blog I grew attached to several more.....don't want to do fusible, repeat 100 times......

Ellison Lane Modern Quilting and Design is participating is a holiday mug rug quilt along.....they are really cute and simple.  Each day a designer displays and explains how to make their mug rug.  Might challenge my prejudices and make a couple.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

It's that Time for Us to Meet Again! Wow!

Modern Quilt Guild Meeting!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Stitched Studio
1144 East Paris SE
Grand Rapids

Social time:  6:30 pm

Meeting begins:  7:00 pm

 One of my hostess gifts for my daughter's in-laws.  Since this fabric is "modern" the young hostess will probably choose this table runner.  This pattern is from Quilted Memories in Montague.  Jill makes the  best patterns.  The red batik on the back is so that it can be flipped for Valentine's Day and President's Day (cherry pie etc etc etc)
 The apron below is more tradtional but the style is considered modern since it's Retro - go figure!
 This table runner is for another season.  This fabric is part of Jill's kit.  Both of these table runners I did in a day (yep, it's been dreary and sleepy dogs).  While we may be a modern guild, we sew for many audiences and have a variety of taste ourselves.  The backside of the sunflowers is candy corn for Halloween.
 The second apron is from a kit from a winter bus tour a few years ago.  I never made it until today.  More my style apron....but another great hostess gift!  (Yes, it's a tea towel.  I have several I have purchased as souvenirs....guess what friends!)


See you at the meeting!