I found two welcome surprises when out walking yesterday:
- The neighborhood sharing bin has ebbed and flowed with assorted items but has never contained many books. But things are changing! A good selection of literature, and non fiction. interestingly the mysteries I had left are gone after sitting there for a while. Definitely a step in the right direction and more genre fiction will be added as I read through my shelf.
- Dollarama finally has sketchbooks in again. These were in stock in the summer and then when I went back for more they were out of stock. But right now there is a good supply in. When I can pay $3 for a sketchbook with 80 sheets of 60-pound paper in the preferred 9 by 12 size, I’m SOOOO there.
I figure this means I can spend more money on other supplies from specialty stores.
What’s YOUR take on this debate about shopping from local stores versus discount places? Are you firmly in one camp or the other, or like me split between the two? I’d love to hear!
Michael James could be described as the first extreme quilter. This book, which was published in 1998, is in many quilters’ libraries.
It just so happened that when I bought it at a Guild retreat, I also bought a basket of goodies which I discovered included a magnifier. Anxious to see how well it worked I held it over the book cover (not something I would usually do) and was gobsmacked to see that Michael James did not use only solids in his work. In the older pieces especially there are some pretty tame calicoes that today would likely be relegated to baby quilts or quilt backs, as they’re just not that dynamic. For example follow the fourth orange stripe from the bottom left and see what it’s joined to when the colour change happens!
CHALLENGE – what do you think? Is it harder to use colours you don’t like or prints you don’t like?
Some people would have sat down and done their banner block for the Victoria Modern Quilt Guild in under an hour, using the beautiful Kona Cottons Robert Kaufman so generously provided for our fledgling guild. Hmm, yeah, not me …
But at least I’m working on it and keeping all the other balls in the air in my life …
Cardinal, cactus and celestial
Here’s one of the fish blocks for Pirate Girl’s quilt
which I’ll post more about as time goes by.
While making fish blocks, I didn’t actually sew one this way (although I well could have, LOL!)
but it did get me thinking …
except why stop with a plain “background” in the large area?
and for that matter, wouldn’t a little more cardinal be a Good Thing?
What do YOU think? Does this say “modern”?
To mark the inauguration of the Victoria Modern Quilt Guild, Robert Kaufman fabrics has generously donated Kona Cottons to Guild members. We’re getting a total of 3/4 of yard in the colours of our Guild logo designed by Berene Campbell of Happy Sew Lucky.
We are working on our banner and the challenge is for each member to create a six-inch block using the fabrics we’ve been given.
These are arranged from light to dark. I thought had them organized correctly but decided to take a black and white photocopy to double-check. I was close but had the cactus as the third lightest but in fact it’s really the second lightest. At first I had the cardinal as darker than the glacier and then changed my mind.
As all we have to produce is one block each, there will be lots of left over fabric. Hmmm, we may have to have another challenge to do something with those.
So the colours going left to right are:
aqua, cactus, blueberry, cedar, cardinal, glacier, celestial, nightfall
The block I’m thinking about making is a riff on the fish block I’m using for Pirate Girl’s quilt, which is itself a riff on an Ohio Star block. But this block is twisted and will be made in three colours rather than just two.
Of course as I sit here writing this several other twists and possibilities spring to mind. I have worked out to make the edges first and audition the centre once the edges are done. Production would have started this morning but rotary cutters and small kids are not a good combination …
Does this ever happen to you?
It never fails! My major projects, such as the dino quilt, always seem to generate test and practice pieces. And they in turn take on a life of their own.
Yes, I could grab some
ugly hard to use fabrics, make a quick quilt sandwich and grab assorted precut 3-1/2 inch squares (precut by me using Joan Ford’s Scrap Therapy system) and make sure I can apply Prairie Points. But I can’t bring myself to do that.
Out comes a novelty fabric and some pretty chintzes and I’m making a table topper for Young Sprout & Co. They were recently blessed with a child size table and chairs and as soon as it was in their room, they found a receiving blanket to serve as a tablecloth.
Since this is to be an Eid gift, for now I’m just showing the back. Ignore the birds nest of threads. This is still a work in progress as I have to deal with that and sew down the prairie points by hand. Then it will be on to the dino quilt, a much larger project, LOL!
Many other Guild members made haste to make slab blocks to Recover Southern Alberta. These blocks are 15-1/2 inches. Arlene, Margaret and I put our efforts together and the package I express mailed on Sunday was delivered on Tuesday, which is really pretty awesome considering.
We made blocks in various colours, but all of us had made blue blocks. This photo shows why this design of Cheryl Arkison’s is such a brilliant choice for group projects, because each block was made by a different person.
Top left is Margaret’s, mine is on the right and Arlene’s is below.
I’ve been well and truly bitten by the slab bug and am working on what may hopefully become a group project, using 9 1/2 inch slabs to make baby quilts. The photo below shows a few of the blocks I’ve made so far. I’m figuring 20 blocks to a quilt in four rows of five and hope to have a top assembled for show and share in early August.
It’s such fun to see the projects people come up with to bust stash, so what are YOU doing? I’d love to know!
This is going to be fun!
Please scroll down below Paddington. It’s a scan and I should’ve cropped it. Lesson learned!
Our Guild’s Baby Quilts Committee have come up with a brilliant challenge for the quilt show next year.
Everyone who accepts the challenge receives – free – a packet. All the packets are different but they all contain nine 6-inch squares (Paddington is one of them) plus a fat quarter in solid or tone-on-tone green or yellow.
Fabric from the nine squares and the fat quarter have to be included in the quilt top.
Additionally each packet contains some extra scraps that could be used along with whatever we have in our stash.
What I appreciate about this challenge:
- Not too many sadistic rules so hopefully lots of members will feel moved to participate
- Free is always good — they are even providing the batting once the top is completed. Free is good because no one has to think about the money before joining in AND once people have signed up almost everyone will actually finish and turn in a baby quilt for the local neonatal intensive care unit.
- The fabrics in the packet are pretty eclectic so even more scraps from the stash can come in
- Having all different fat quarters is great
- The use of yellow or green for the fat quarter is gender neutral
Of course it’s a challenge so the design has to be kept secret until next March.
But I’ll write process notes as I go along and then publish them after the deadline.
Put a marmalade sandwich in your hat (like Paddington) and Stay Tuned!
Did you know that fibre can be kept out of the landfill?
Sure you probably send your gently used clothing to the thrift store where someone else can enjoy it affordably.
But what about the other stuff? The baby bibs with ground in mashed carrots, the dress shirt with the leaky ballpoint on the pocket, the ragged bath towels, the teeny-tiny scraps of quilting fabric, the little bits of batting we all have?
These can all be recycled and come back to life in various forms, such as industrial wiping rags and mixed fibre filling for pillows.
These two bags represent a few weeks of sewing snippets. With my determination to get my scraps under control, I gathered these up along with some gently used wearables and knick knacks and we headed to WIN, Women In Need, a local Victoria organization that operates a thrift store, recycling clothes, housewares and furniture. They are able to accept CLEAN mixed fibres such as these offcuts and sell them to companies that recycle them.
Here’s a shot of their parking lot.
This is worth checking out — please make sure that the charity you plan to help can in fact accept textiles for recycling. One of Oxfam’s biggest expenses is paying to get rid of the stuff people donate that the charity can’t use, and I believe Goodwill has a similar issue. Also, if it’s old clothing you would wash it first of course!
What’s your best tip for keeping stuff out of the landfill? Please share!
well, this is embarrassing! I knew I had a lot of scraps — defined below — because I had a large tote bag stuffed full, plus some that overflowed onto the floor, plus an open medium size moving box that the tote bag sat in also containing scraps.
Making slabs to recover southern Alberta inspired me to tidy and organize them. I emptied the bin in the photo above by consolidating some dyeing fabric and blank white garments which easily fit into a single bin, then started folding and laying scraps in. Now the tote bag is empty and the box is nearly but not quite empty.
What an eyeopener! This is the wake up call. I could make a slab a day for the rest of my life just out of this bin.
and the slabs would be colour coordinated too!
NOT in the bin:
- batiks for the prairie points on the dino quilt that coordinates with this pillowcase.
- solid fabrics except for very small scraps
- green and pink prints for baby quilts
The bin is on a shelf at waist height where I will see it and be able to reach it easily.
Of course, tidying one thing led to another and I have plenty of batting too, now consolidated into a Rubbermaid roughneck tote bin and a moving box. And there is a little more floor space free than before.
Does anyone else have this problem? What are you doing about it?
The bin there bin really is just that. It seems that there are very few fabrics which I’ve completely used up.
This represents 15 years of quilting but I can see the next 15 years are already right here! And in the very first class the teachers warned us about this, but who listened, LOL?
DEFINITION OF A SCRAP
- at least two inches square OR
- one and half inches by six inches long
- fat quarter with a chunk cut out of it, because of the number of times when I’ve been preparing for a workshop that calls for fat quarters only to discover the dreaded missing corners!
- quarter yard or just over and NOT width of fabric
About to leave for the quilt guild annual retreat, and will post the wild, wild, west challenge piece I made upon my return.
Yesterday I was blessed by a friend whose art quilts have gone in a particular direction, leaving her with a cluttered stash pile. She did warn me to bring a suitcase and was not kidding! It took two of us to carry it all downstairs and out to my van.
The smaller photo on the left shows some fabrics which I’ve pulled aside to audition for a summer picnic theme quilt.
The larger photo proves that my benefactress has good taste, ’cause these are fabrics I already have!
And the other small photo shows SOME of the fabric sorted into colours. The other bag will have to wait until I get back. This is awesome!