Monday, February 18, 2013

Applique Academy 2013

I just returned from a wonderful few days at the Applique Academy where I took a class from Jeanne Sullivan.  She is an awesome instructor!  She teaches a prepared applique technique that might have actually changed my opinion of sizing and freezer paper.  I need to get a little farther on the block to make up my mind for sure, but I have to admit that even as a diehard needle-turner I wasn't minding the prep at all and was actually really liking the end result.

I was able to break away from the computer for a while on Thursday to visit an exhibit of Baltimore Album quilts at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum in Colonial Williamsburg.  It's an interesting museum - it's actually a collection of museums in a building that used to be the public hospital in Colonial Williamsburg.  The quilts were wonderful, but it was the overall display that really caught my eye.  The area was fairly dim with special lighting on the quilts and quilt block designs projected on the floor.

The museum had a nice variety of quilts.  While all Baltimore-style, they were quite different from one another. (Note that the lines in the photos are seams in the glass - between the dim lighting and  glass display cases it was tough to get a good photo!)

I was fortunate to have a beautiful sunny day to explore the museum and a little bit of Colonial Williamsburg. I didn't have time to visit any of the houses, but did stop in a couple of shops in the merchant's area and enjoyed a delicious lunch from The Cheese Shop.

I will post more pictures from the Academy and pictures of my latest work (my January Sue Spargo BOM blocks are nearly complete!) later this week.  I'm off to the sewing room to unpack my class supplies...which seem to somehow have doubled in volume over the past few days!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sad, Sad Story & February Goals

I fell a bit short on my January goals - I finished my hand-piecing homework and one of my Prairie Peony blocks, but that's all.  I contacted a quilter for my Lisa's Garden quilt and learned she had a bit of a in she just might be able to do it in time for our 2015 it's back to the drawing board on that one.  I haven't been home much so I didn't get a chance to finish up my January work on my Wool Club rug.

At my hand piecing class this weekend we had a chance to put all of the blocks we've completed so far on the wall to look at the colors. I usually dread that type of thing because I almost always end up liking other people's color choices better than my own.  I was thrilled and amazed to find that I really, truly like my own best!  I'm very happy with the mix so far and love the Japanese taupe fabrics.

I'm short one 12" and one 6" block - both from the first month, I believe. I've been on time with all the rest.  I hurried home from class and immediately started prepping my blocks for March.  My goal was to get everything ready including an extra 6" block and finish all while on the road this week (yeah, I know that isn't at all realistic, but you can't blame a girl for dreaming!).  I was very happy with my collection of pieces and parts.

Each diamond in the new block is made up of 9 diamonds, so there's a lot of piecing to do. 80 pieces per block.  I busily set to work piecing the first 12" block on this morning's flight. I knew early on that it just didn't right, but kept thinking that maybe the pieces just LOOKED big.  That had to be it, right?  All the seam allowance creating an illusion of largeness?  Not so much.

See the diamond on the right?  That's the one I pieced.  The one on the left?  It's the template showing the size the finished diamond is supposed to be. So I have 144 diamonds that are the wrong size.  Sad, isn't it?  I figure I can re-purpose some of them to make the missing 12" block from the first month and to make some of my other 6" blocks, but the rest will have to be re-traced and cut down.  Heavy sigh...

So on to my goals for February:

1.  Find a quilter for Lisa's Garden
2.  Finish second Prairie Peony block
3.  Finish January Sue Spargo blocks
4.  Complete January & February Wool Club hooking
5.  Finish stitching first Birds of a Feather block
6.  Piece and prep next two Prairie Peony blocks
7.  Finish hand-piecing homework

The list is long and my time at home is minimal, but I'm feeling optimistic.  After all, I have a little vacation time coming up!