Final Prep for the Quilt Show Second Time Around booth

I have a relaxing morning (for an hour at least) before the buzz starts.  This weekend is the quilt show with Ocean Waves Quilt Guild.  (See previous post – Ocean Waves Quilt Guild presents Birds Blooms and Butterflies Quilt Show  )

Today I have to make a run to the church where our guild meets and “double check” the storage closet for items I might want to take to the show to sell.   We store things at the church for Second Time Around in between meetings, and I honestly don’t remember what I left in the closet since our March meeting.  After this leisurely morning things are going to “get hectic” !

This afternoon I have 3 people coming with their SUV’s to “load up” boxes.  We have over 40 boxes of fabric prepped for the show; so that takes a lot of space. ( My big lesson is to use the “SAME BOXES” so they stack and store easily.  I purchased bankers boxes last show and “between” shows they fold up and go into a couple of plastic totes.) My “drivers” will transport the boxes tomorrow morning to the school and  I will be there with a cart and a dolly to unload and roll into the small gym where my booth is located.  Three of us will do a lot of “staging” and preliminary set up of the booth before lunchtime.

I have 6 volunteers coming in the afternoon to help set the booth for the show. It is a VERY large booth so there is a lot to do.  When the show opens on Friday morning my volunteers will work in 2 hour shifts (5 or 6 at a time) in the booth helping shoppers; checking out customers; bagging purchases etc.    I’ve spent the last 2 months “organizing” all those schedules; booth plans etc in between getting the fabric ready.  Thank goodness for the people who have come once or twice a week in the last year to iron; trim; measure fold and price fabric donations.

I’m an “organizer” and I make lists and spreadsheets to keep it all straight; use a 3 ring binder and hope for the best results. The best part of our guild is that people volunteer readily. We have about 275 members and I am guessing I have had 30 different people helping me throughout the year. During the show I have close to 40 volunteers helping just with my booth. Amazing people, so willing to sign up and SHOW up.

My co-chair and I worked several days last week getting the final bits ready for our Second Time Around Booth.  Yesterday we got together and made up some “starter kits” to build your own wreath.  Back in February some of us got together and had fun with wire wreath frames; odds & ends from the sewing room and the hot glue gun. (See the photos and story at – Fun with buttons and more   )

We made 8 starter kits with instructions and the wire wreath.  In the kit we included some ribbon or lace to wrap the wreath; some old spools of thread, lots of buttons and other notions like bobbins and embroidery floss.  Our “marketing plan” is to display 3 or 4 of the wreaths we made in February near the kits!

I needed some signs for the quilt show to “promote” some of the unusual things we have to sell –

Scrap sign

We have a PLAYPEN full of BIG scraps and wanted to give people ideas on how to use them!

SCRAPS sign

We have a PLAYPEN full of neckties too —

Signs for ties

Nancy made the zipper pouches, small purse and glasses case all from ties.  She is so creative.  Yesterday she sent me a picture of a wreath she made with ties. We will hang it at the show to inspire others!

You might remember that I have been sorting buttons for a while. I mentioned it in March on this  button post  . (It is like a “zen” time for me sorting buttons; by color and type etc….) I have had trays of buttons and cupcake tins and small containers on my dining room table for over a month. I bagged up all the “same” buttons in groups of 10 and 6 and the “unmatched buttons” all ended back into a shoebox sized plastic container.  At the show we will have about 15 baskets of buttons for sale that are bagged or carded along with the “loose” buttons.  I struggle with how to sell them and settled on a “fill the bag” method.

IMG_20190423_144438912

We all have those buttons at home; and wonder how to “use” them.  A few months ago I made a little “button art” project on a 4″x6″ canvas – and I thought I would set it on a tiny easel at the show to inspire.

Button art

After dinner I “played” with buttons for a bit.  I had a  styrofoam Christmas tree and got the glue and straight pins; a paintbrush and tweezers out.  I used the paintbrush to apply the white glue on the back of the button and the tweezers to hold it to keep my fingers from getting glue all over them.  This little button tree took me about an hour and I was just playing. In hindsight I think I should have painted it with green “before” I started.  I really enjoy playing with buttons with interesting shapes.  

Button tree

I hope we inspire the quilters to venture beyond the fabric and do something with buttons and ties and scraps at the show. I have been having fun with these little projects.  I know the blog has been pretty quiet these last few months too.  I am still recovering from hand surgery and hope to be “back to myself” soon.  (Typing with that one finger in a splint has ruined my  60 words a minute skill!)  My quilting efforts have been on the back burner for months too.  After the quilt show I am taking some time for “me to sew” again.   Thanks for following and your comments too!  Feel free to share the info on our quilt show with your friends.

Advertisements

Busy Queen Bees

I belong to a quilt bee called the “Queen Bees”. It is a group of Ocean Waves Quilt Guild (Lewes Delaware)  members who get together once a month and work on projects. Sometimes we work on a group project, and other times we work on our own projects.

We met this month in a new location and were happy with the lighting, tables etc. We will need to remember to bring our extension cords if we are bring machines. Imagine the “buzz” as 8 to 12 women gather with projects and machines. Good thing there is a door we can close!

One of my favorite parts of our bee is the show & tell time. I often forget to grab my phone to snap a few pictures. This month at our bee I remembered in time to catch these two pictures.

The first is a wonderful applique project done by Sharon J.  She told us the name of the pattern is Jungle Walk for a Cause, by Harebrained Happenings.

This quilt will go to a new niece or nephew.  It is stunning up close and in person.

Sharon's whimsical quilt

I just love the SHOES each animal is wearing.

The other stunning quilt that I took a picture of was by Joyce D.

Joyce redwork quilt

I love all the redwork hand embroidery.  Beautiful job Joyce!

Lastly – I want to share with you the quilt that was made by the members of the Queen Bees.  We made blocks at our October bee for the Carolina Hurricane Quilt project. The block finishes at 12″ and is called the Perkiomen Valley block. This same block was used last year for the California wildfire quilts and is a great “fast sewing” block. I assembled the blocks and our member Sharon J. offered to long arm quilt the top. Marta B. is working on the label for the back, using her embroidery machine.  I will be binding it using my favorite method, “Susie’s Magic Binding”.

Queen Bees Carolina Hurricane Quilt

We had a lot of other show & tell items, as this is a very busy group!  I just failed to get more pictures!

Do you belong to a small group that quilts or sews together?   What do you like best about being in a small group?

From my standpoint, I enjoy the helpful sharing that takes place with this group. There were 8 of us at the bee this week, sometimes we really fill a room with all 12. We are starting our 4th year together and it is so fun to see the friendships grow along with the skills of the former “newbie quilters”.  They are NOT newbies anymore!

Happy stitching!

ps . for information on the Carolina Hurricane Quilt project, visit From My Carolina Home

 

 

Cat bites the hand that fed it… and Secret projects

I have been very quiet on my blog lately, because it is time for SECRET PROJECTS!!   I am writing this on Thanksgiving morning (Nov 22, 2018) in the USA, but will schedule it to post for “after dinner”.  Thanksgiving Day feasting will take place at my daughter’s home and we have a bit of a drive to get there today.  My SECRET PROJECTS are being delivered there today, which is why the delay in the post going live.  I like to gift before I show them on the blog!

I’ve been playing with my embroidery machine a lot lately.  It seems that I can manage the embroidery machine and changing threads pretty well, 6 weeks post-op. My fingers are still pretty stiff, but moveable, and the surgery site is now healed nicely.

I have done some sewing, webbing together the quilt top for the My Carolina Home Hurricane Quilt Drive. Now I need to clean up the embroidery supplies, pack away the box of stabilizers and make room at my sewing machine to get the rows on that webbed top stitched.  My motivation will be delivering it with the backing fabric and the batting at my Queen Bees gathering on Tuesday!

Before I show you my SECRET PROJECTS, I want to share another story.

 We have 3 cats, one outside and 2 inside.  If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know about my cat Mittens….of the pet mosaic quilt.

20160820_224628

                           Sweet face Mittens

That sweet innocent face inspired the quilt below –

 (If you do a search on my blog you will find many posts about that project.  Here is just one –  Pet Mosaic piecing complete  )  

Mittens wins Viewer's Choice at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show

Mittens has chosen my husband to be “his person”, while Smokey has chosen me to be “his person”.  Our outdoor cat is their mother, and she has chosen us both.  She really like my husband “better” than me.  

 Anyway, here is the story.  Hubby does floor exercises daily for his back, and Mittens likes to help him.  While he is on the floor stretching, Mittens loves to chase his shadow, get petted etc.  

Well, one day a little over 2 weeks ago, hubby stopped petting Mittens while he stretched, and had his head turned away. Mittens decided he wanted more attention and pounced, as cats will do.  Along with the pounce came a “love bite”…only this time, it was a BITE that broke the skin and punctured into his hand,  4 canines! Got the hubby’s attention, got Mittens some negative attention as a result! Hubby washed it off, and didn’t think much about it until 72 hours later when his hand got swollen, and red marks appeared.

 A trip to the doctor was already on the calendar, so he showed it to the doc at the appointment and was immediately put on antibiotics, and scheduled to return the following day.  By the next day, the swelling was worse, a red streak up the arm and the doctor took one look at it and sent him to the Emergency room for IV antibiotics.  Long story short, he spent 3 nights in the hospital, with IV antibiotics, the surgeon checking periodically to see if he might have to do his bit to clean out the hand etc. The hospital stay was followed by another 15 days of antibiotics.  Fortunately, he did not need the surgeon, and is on the mend!

 Moral of the story according to our family doctor – a cat bite is the WORST bite you can get.  He told us that we must come in to see him if it ever happens again, and get on antibiotics immediately!  Turns out, cats have bacteria on their teeth that gets “sealed in under the skin” when the teeth retract from the bite. The wound is considered a puncture wound, and no amount of washing & application of antibacterial cream will reach the bacteria.  Web MD has some really good information.  I read that before the visit to the doctor the first time, so I knew what was coming. 

So between recovery from my own surgery and dealing with hospitals for hubby, I have been able to spend time in my sewing room.  I do feel like I have given the embroidery machine a good workout.  Some secret projects will wait for after Christmas for the reveal, but others, you can see now.

I am enjoying what they call “in the hoop” projects.  With my little Brother PE500 and it’s maximum 4″x 4″ design space, I have found countless designs to stitch!  I love these little Gingerbread boys and girls –

Ginger boy and girl

I stitched them out on vinyl that I picked up on Sunday.  I also stitched out some on craft felt and I like them too! They were so much fun to stitch, and I thought they would be fun Christmas ornaments for this year for each of the grandkids.

A collection

I also had some fun stitching out other ornaments on white vinyl –

Ornaments on White

This is a first working with vinyl on the embroidery machine, and each time I played a bit with the stabilizers, toppers etc.  Overall, I had fun and I am pleased with the outcome.

I also thought I would take the Thanksgiving host a few dishtowels.

Enjoy life one slice at a time

Save room for Dessert

Bake the world a better place

These terry towels I picked up last winter, and have been “waiting” for the right time.  I have now run through about half of my supply, but have a few left waiting to be used for other projects.

Thanks for taking the time to read my posts and for taking the time to comment.

I hope you have a lovely holiday weekend!

Quilting in the 21st Century

I went to a “newcomers” orientation with Ocean Waves Quilt Guild on Monday. I’m a “member of the board” and was asked to come and talk about 3 or 4 different activities within the guild, including “Second Time Around”.  If you are a new follower, let me explain — My committee receives fabric and quilting notions from donors and we “make it pretty again” by pressing, trimming, folding and “selling” back to the members of the guild the day of our monthly meeting.  Funds we raise support our guild and enable us to have speakers from around the country.

When I get donations, sometimes I have to ask others “what” an item is or how it is used.  This is because I didn’t have an association with the hobby in the “previous” century, and I am aware that the hobby has changed dramatically since the 1970’s, the 1930’s and centuries prior.   My quilting “journey” began in 2008, and I learned to cut with a rotary cutter, learned how to cut strips with the June Tailor slotted ruler.  Some tools I see, I honestly haven’t experienced, yet my long departed grandmother would know exactly how to use them.  There is a resurgence in the quilting world to use vintage sewing machines, and to do hand work.  I learned at my grandmother’s knee how to thread her black Singer sewing machine, and she taught me the basics of sewing buttons on etc.  I learned this year how to sew a button on using my Janome.  Guess which way I like to attach buttons??

What was neat at the newcomers orientation is the WIDE variety of methods members are using in quiltmaking.  Some are employing centuries old methods, like “needle turn applique”  and “English Paper Piecing” while others are happy to work on t-shirt quilts and use those modern quilt kits that come with jelly rolls, and fat quarters and pre-cut 5 and 10 inch squares.  It was wonderful to see an entirely hand pieced project, and beautifully long armed projects too.  It was also wonderful to see a “first quilt”, recently made.  We all encouraged that new quilter to enter her project in our April 2019 quilt show.

My blog post yesterday about “machine binding” may have made a long time quilter gasp in horror that I would dare to enter a quilt in a show with a machine binding.  I’m sure much the same way as the quilter who had always made her own templates out of paper or cardstock when they stores started to carry that plastic template material, or when “gasp” rotary cutters and rulers came into being, or when the Accu Quilt Die cutting machines hit the markets.  Today, you can buy kits with everything pre-cut, with applique pieces digitally cut with “fusible” (gasp) on the back.  

Yes, quilting is here, in the second decade of the 21st century, with more technology that some might want, and technology that some of us crave.  I am the first to try a new gadget or tool.  I am also the one who says “my brain is not ready for another computer program to learn”.

My husband and I have two very different hobbies, yet they both are growing in leaps and bounds in the 21st century. He was dismayed yesterday when he read a comment on a group he belongs to about model railroading. The comment was very negative to the person who posted about finding a way to “cut out his building parts” using a Brother Scan N Cut machine.  The person writing the comment berated the man for not being a “real modeler” and that he “should be cutting those window out with an exacto blade etc…   My reaction was something akin to “B.S.”…..”that’s like telling a quilter that she didn’t make a “real” quilt, because she sent it out to be long armed, or because she didn’t “hand quilt” the quilt. Maybe others think the same of me because I use machine binding.

Personally, I think there is enough “room” in the hobby for all methods, and all tools and all INTERESTS.  My interests lie more in getting “finished” than languishing over a project for years and years.  I like “machine binding” and “machine embroidery” and “rotary cutting” and “fusible, machine applique”.  No, I don’t “quilt by check” but I do machine quilt.  And I learned to quilt free hand on a long arm…1 quilt down, but not award winning quilting like some who quilt professionally. But, it’s done!  And I did it, and I take pride it what I have learned along the way.

I think there is room for all levels of interest in this diverse hobby.   I’m sure you have heard some speak negatively about a quilter who doesn’t do a particular task “the right way” etc .  Is your “right way” the “only way”?

Is there room in the hobby for that attitude?  I don’t think so.  I think we need to be kind, to be helpful when someone asks a questions and wants to learn and also that we learn to not be our own worst critics.

Try to remember, a hobby, defined by Merriam-Webster  is “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation”. Other definitions include – A hobby is an activity that you do in your spare time for fun . Retirement brings lots of spare time, and this grandma is having fun!

I’d love to know if you have been active in the hobby for a long time about the changes that have been made that you embrace, and those changes that you chose not to embrace and why not?  No judgements from me.   Just tell me how the hobby has changed during the time you have been part of it, and what you like or dislike.

Thanks for reading along!

On the design wall

After I came home from church on Sunday, I spent about 3 hours in my sewing room. I cleared off “most” of the stuff that was on my design wall, and started playing with the Carolina Hurricane blocks. Some of these blocks were made on Tuesday by my friends in the Queen Bees.  One of our members sent her blocks in by mail, since she could not attend the bee, and others have promised additional blocks. Queen Bees is associated with Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in Lewes DE.

The blocks are all 12.5″x12.5″.

I set them on a 6 x 8 grid, and played around until I had a pleasing arrangement.  I currently have 41 of the 48 needed blocks.  I have 7 more sets ready to sew.  Those promised blocks are coming in this week and will add additional variety to this scrappy project.    This layout will produce a 72×96 quilt.  Getting “close” to that queen size.

Carolina Hurricane Quilts

Carole – From My Carolina Home commented on my post on Sunday, she indicated 42 (6×7 grid) blocks would make a full size, and 56 (7×8 grid) would be enough for a queen.

Making a 7×8 grid, I think a new “pattern” for the layout will be needed.  I will leave it “as is” for now and work on the rest of the blocks that I have “ready to sew” this week.

On Friday, 3 Queen Bee members will be at my house and maybe they can help “re-arrange” to make that 7×8 grid.  Maybe we will have enough blocks in by then to go for the BIGGER quilt.

I looked back at the previous quilts that Carole had assembled last fall in response to the California Fires to see those various layouts.  It turns out, she didn’t use this one at all.  So, I kind of like that it is different and unique.

Are you working on blocks in support of the Carolina Hurricane quilt project?  I know some of my readers are, and have them ready to mail in November when Carole posts the address.  Fingers crossed, maybe this quilt top will be sewn together!

Go check out Carole’s blog, link above, and enjoy the other things she has going on during her “Autumn Jubilee”.  Be sure to “tune in” on Monday on Pat Sloan’s afternoon http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/magazines-more/quilting-podcast at 4 pm (ET) and listen for Carole’s interview!  SO cool that Carole has gained recognition from such a famous quilter!

Let me know if you tuned in!

Carolina Hurricane Quilts and Scraps

I mentioned in a post in late September ( Carolina Hurricane Quilts )  about the Carolina Hurricane Quilts project being spearheaded by Carole  Carter on her blog – From My Carolina Home  

I made a few blocks right after that post, and gathered up supplies and made up “kits” to make more blocks.  I have a few scraps and squares and leftover half-square triangles, so it was quick to assemble those kits.  I usually don’t “save’ 4.5″ blocks, but I had LOTS of 5” squares in my Scrap storage system.  More about that in a minute…..

My wonderful bee – the Queen Bee’s took on the challenge of making blocks during our bee gathering last Tuesday.  They came armed with scraps and sewed for about 3 hours.

Queen Bees Carolina Hurricane Blocks

During the bee gathering I snapped some photos and sent them off to Carole!  It was fun to get a group photo.  Here are a couple of pictures of the members, hard at work.

Sharon Oct 2018

Marta and Nancy Oct 2018

(Sorry for the blur ladies….)

Tracy and Mary Oct 2018

(Imagine…I am actually there in a photo….that usually never happens.  Thanks Marta!)

I came home from the bee with a stack of blocks, and still a handful of the kits I made for myself.  I didn’t seem to get as much sewing done there as I had planned, so I spent the week working on more blocks.  My method for working on these has been to make “2 at a time”.  I use those  great little foam core design boards to lay out 2 blocks and move them to the iron and back to the machine, and I can “keep the angles” right fairly easily.  Look back at my blog here – Foam Core Design Boards to get info on the boards and how to construct them.

I keep making blocks, as my hand is continuing to improve following surgery.  Carole asked me if I wanted to put the blocks together into a top, and at the time, I wasn’t sure if I could manage. I think I have about 20  blocks done, and the bee had about 15 done, with more promised.  I planned to “send” them to Carole the 2nd week of November. My Queen Bees who are still making blocks are planning to bring them to me the first Monday of November.  We have such a great variety of fabrics in these blocks.  This afternoon, when the light is better I will put them all up on the design wall for a photo.  Now I am wondering if I am “able” to assemble them.  I will have to get specifics from Carole on size if I decide to do the assembly. (She reads my blog, so I am sure she will write! )

During this bee, it was fun to chat with my “bee mates”, and to learn which ones are following along with Carole on her “Autumn Jubilee 2018”, and who have enjoyed making her mystery quilts. I love that they found her through my blog posts.  I also love that Carole linked to my blog post last week.  The day she did that, I had 82 new visitors.  So, if you are a new reader, and came to find my blog because of Carole, I thank you for reading and coming back for another visit. Be sure to “follow” in your favorite method.  I love reading everyone’s comments too.

At my “next Queen Bee” gathering, I plan to work with one member  and help her come up with a plan for controlling & managing her scraps.  Bonnie Hunter   is one of my FAVORITE well known quilters and in her blog post today she talks about having “variety” in your scrappy quilts and about how to achieve that variety.  (Every January I tend to “clean up” my sewing room and cut my scraps into predetermined sizes. )  Thanks to the lessons I have learned from other bloggers, like Bonnie, and others, such as Joan Ford who has written books about working with scraps too.  I attribute my “scrap storage system” to the inspiration I have found on Bonnie’s blog.  My sizes I save, and my method for storage are unique to me, as it must be for everyone.  I will, no doubt, write about my methods in a future post.  If your curious, you can check out this post- Scrap Storage Containment System

My sister-in-law, Carolyn, wrote about her method on her blog here  One Block Wonder Woman and Scrap Overload .  If you are a “scrappy quilter” how do you “contain” the chaos of scraps?

Are you having fun yet?

Fall is a time to get “ready” for winter, and those cold cozy nights ahead.  Of course, that means QUILTS. Or table runners or placemats or Christmas projects.

I love the colors of fall fabrics.  When the fabric colors are inspired by nature, how can you go wrong putting them together in a project.

Fall color perfection

  My maple tree in the fall of 2016 was glorious! 

 

My husband and I were in the local quilt shop earlier in the month and I had to stop and touch every bolt of those beautiful fall fabrics.  I used great restraint not to bring home more fabric than what I went into the shop for specifically!

If you have been following me for any amount of time, you know that I enjoy sewing along with Carole and her blog – From My Carolina Home .    Carole is in full AUTUMN JUBILEE mode!  The link above is to the B Block of the current sew along.  Last week was pumpkins, but I am not telling you what this weeks are…you have to go look for yourself. 

Regular readers KNOW that I keep a “container” of fall fabrics to make projects for the Autumn Jubilee (AJ) sew along. I like making half square triangles and sewing with these fabrics all year long.  I take my container of AJ with me to many quilt bees, and keep working with the patterns and projects.  (I think I bore my bee mates working on the same thing every month, but I LOVE having a container, ready to go, that I don’t have to think about!  I just pack it in the car and keep working. )

HST for Autumn Jubilee Quiltalong

This is the 3rd season I have followed along with Carole, and I enjoy seeing the new patterns and projects she comes up with. Truth be told, I did not make the 2017 projects.  I am still sewing blocks from 2016.

I will leave you with a look back at my previous Autumn Jubilee projects and projects inspired by Carole’s patterns –

Autumn Jubilee Table Runner

Table runner from Autumn Jubilee 2016

4 finished Autumn Jubilee 2016 placemats

Placemats from Autumn Jubilee 2016

Then there was this great quilt inspired by Carole, made by my bee friend Joyce —

20161122_140504

And my Pumpkins from 2016 getting prepped!

Pumpkin prep

And a table runner or 2 or 3 – from the 2016 Autumn Jubilee

20161116_221659

Autumn Jubilee Table Runner Number 3

First Autumn Jubilee runner

So, since the first AJ that I followed in 2016, I have had fun with the pattern. I finished the 8th placemat this year, and will work on 9-12 next year!

All 8 placemats are finished Autumn Jubilee

Hoping for a bigger dining table some day!

Just think, it all started with Carole’s great patterns and this little bundle I picked up at Quilters By The Sea Quilt Show in the fall of 2016 –

Bundles of fabric

The blocks that are showing up inspired by 2018 Autumn Jubilee month look interesting….and I wish I was able to sew along.  I’m saving the patterns for now, along with the 2017 “Stars on Autumn Lane”.  I have a few of those  hanging on my design wall…..

Are you following along with Autumn Jubilee and From My Carolina Home  ?  Did you know you can share your projects inspired by Carole’s pattern on a special Facebook group?  It is From My Carolina Home Project Sharing Group

I had fun looking back at my projects and sewing along.  I hope you did too!