Monday, April 26, 2010

I was going to call this post, "The world's slowest quilter"

...but I realized I can't. I'm slowest when it involved cutting. I've been working on my Carolina Fall quilt. I finished Step 4 earlier this week.

I got to the end of sewing pairs of blocks and realized I was 3 triangles short (sigh), but I cut them out anyway to finish this step. Even though it was around midnight.

Then I moved on to Step 5. I had no reason to believe that it would go any quicker than the previous steps, but it didn't involve cutting soo....

Bam! After sewing just on Friday and Saturday, I flew through Step 5 and am now halfway through Step 6. If I get some good sewing time in today, I should have all the blocks done and the top pieced minus borders.

I realized this quilt is a little like making a suit jacket. When you make a jacket, you do a lot of structural sewing, top stitching, seam finishing etc. You spend a lot of time sewing, but it doesn't look like you're getting anywhere; there's nothing that actually resembles a jacket. Then all of a sudden you finish three seams and everything comes together and you have a jacket. That's how this feels to me.

The best part of this quilt is that it's made entirely out of stash. The bad news it that the pile of oranges doesn't seem any smaller. Hmmm....I wonder if it's breeding in there.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Chicago quilt festival Day 3

Hi Everyone!

My third class at the Chicago quilt festival was by Charlotte Angotti. This year's mystery quilt was called Bliss and it's in dreamy shades of sea and sand. It finishes around 70" square. I didn't purchase her border print. It just didn't do anything for me, so I'll need to find something else. Sewing went quite well til the end of the afternoon. There are two blocks and I switched pieces between them. Ugh. Got them ripped apart, but not sewn back together.

If you ever have a chance to take a mystery class from Charlotte, I really recommend it. Yes, they're expensive because you buy the kit. The class fee for this was $165, but if I were to buy the fabrics for the class I would spend that anyway. She uses blocks and colors in ways that really stretch my skills. I can't wait to get this one done.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chicago quilt festival Day 2

Day two dawned bright and early. I was way tired from covering the entire show on Thursday night, and, of course, having to carry all my purchases. :) The class on Friday was Floral Snowball taught by Kaffe Fassett and Liza Prior Lucy. I have a ton of pictures, so be warned. Here's the project we were working on:

First off, we cut squares. Almost everybody had different color schemes. It was fascinating to see what everyone brought. We did that til noon, then we chose the color that would make the snowball block. Just look what everyone came up with.

This lovely specimen below is mine. I probably won't make it bed-sized, but it is fun fabric. I'm planning to use the fabric on the top right as the border. To make it queen size you need 600 some small squares. That's more cutting than i want to do.

A good portion of my fabrics came from Glorious Color which is run by Liza. I ordered on a Wednesday and received my fabric on Saturday. Fabulous service. There's also a neat feature on their website, "created by a math geek out of Berkeley" according to Liza. It's color ribbons. Click on a ribbon and it shows you what fabrics are in that range. Really fantastic for matching fabrics. Go check it out.
I'll update as I work on the quilt, but it's not the top of the list right now. Fun fabrics though. Anyway it was a great class. More later


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Chicago quilt festival Day 1

Hey All,

Sorry it's been so long since the last post. I'm still on my quest to clean closets and making good progress. I also finished my taxes! Hooray! Since I just finished 2008's in October, getting 2009's in without filing an extension feels really great.

I've been attending the International Quilt Festival in Chicago the last three days. I had some fabulous classes, bought too much fabric, and chatted with many wonderful people. The sad part is that the Festival won't be back next year. After 8 years in Chicago, they're moving to Cincinnati. :( Have to save up to go to Long Beach instead. :)

This year the show felt a lot like their heart just wasn't in it. There were half the quilt show entries there were last year, and about a quarter of the display was antique quilts from their collections which I do love looking at. None of the new quilts really grabbed me. So no pictures there. The vendor area seemed about the same size, but everyone was more spread out. That meant there were fewer vendors, but it was easier to browse.

My first class was Wednesday and it was Glorified Nine Patch taught by John Flynn. This is a 9 patch with curved piecing.

One of the best things about John's classes is that the kits are pre-cut by laser. They are accurate to 1/100th of an inch. Therefore if the pieces don't match up it's your own dang fault. The picture is the sample he brought. My kit is batiks with a light background. There were also kits with a black background.

It was a surprisingly easy block to do, but I'm not overly intimidated by curves. My first block was kind of a mess so I'll take it apart. All the rest I finished laid perfectly flat. /smug

Here's a photo of John ironing. He says he doesn't do shirts, only flat things.

John and his daughter Kate also provide a laser cutting service. You send them your fabric and a pattern and they'll cut it for you. I've had two cut and it's so nice. It's also very reasonable. Cutting isn't my favorite part and quite frankly, I'm not very good at it. It's so nice to open a box and just start sewing. My two kits were $50-60 each. They have a month lead time, so plan ahead. They also cut all the kits for Charlotte Angotti's classes. I took that on Saturday, so you'll have to wait to hear about that. Go check out their website at They also have pre-made kits for many of their patterns.

Stay tuned for day 2.