Monday, February 29, 2016

February Wrap-up

February was a busy travel month for me!  Applique Academy in Dallas at the beginning, New York for work in the middle, and a quick trip to Kansas City at the end. My daughter and I attended the Lenexa hook-in this past Saturday. I hadn't hooked a single loop since the beginning of December so it felt good to get back to it.

This was the 20th year for the hook-in and the group that works with Marilyn Schmidt to organize it every year had a few surprises in store for her. They set up a surprise display of some of her rugs including the family history one pictured below. I should have grabbed a better picture of the detail - this was just something I snapped when everyone was taking pictures of her posed by it.  It is amazing!

Amazingly enough, I didn't buy a single thing. I was very, very tempted by Anita's braid rug.  She had a couple copies of the pattern with her. She's making quick progress on the one she is hooking and it looks very cool!  We were sitting close to her booth so the pattern was calling my name all day. I was just about to give in to temptation and purchase it when someone else bought the last one. Such a relief! Anita offered to order another one for me but I regained my self control and decided to pass...for now.

All of my travel has been good for my orange peel project!  I managed to finish 22 this month.  Not quite one per day but a strong showing for the month.  

I decided to count my progress so far....I have 57 finished peels. I thought I had a few more than that, but it is definitely progress! I figured out that I need 900 peels to make a queen-sized quilt (97.5" square).  So at a pace of 20 per month we're talking 3.5 more years just to get to the point of assembling the top. Sigh!

Monday, February 8, 2016

TKDAA 2016

This year's TKDAA conference has sadly come to an end and unfortunately it is now time to get back to the real world and work, but I can't resist taking a few minutes to capture some of the incredible inspiration of the past few days.

The weather in Dallas was chilly but sunny most of the time and the view from the Rockwall Hilton was spectacular! The hotel is located on a large lake and there were actually people out boating most days even though temps were in the 40s and low 50s. Crazy!  I much preferred admiring the pretty view while stitching indoors.

I took a Broderie Perse class taught by Cynthia Williford.  Cynthia is an outstanding teacher and shared a lot of great historical information on the fabrics and the technique. I have to admit that I still struggle a bit with the technique myself - it is hard for my OCD brain to cut into some images on the fabric when cutting out others and I absolutely have to follow along the line of the image to turn under the background. No smoothing edges or leaving the original background for me! It can make the process very tedious. Nonetheless, I played along and got this far with mine:

It's tough to tell from this photo, but the left side is mostly stitched (down to the pink bud and blue/pink flower near the center). Several of the little leaves added into the sewn part were not part of the original design. There was a lot of adjustments and patching as seam allowances were turned and little "uh oh" spaces appeared.

We had several beautiful quilts shared in a classroom show & tell session.  This one was particularly awesome - a Baltimore in my color palette! Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the person who made it but she is my hero.  It was gorgeous!

I borrowed this and the following couple of photos from Cynthia's Facebook posts.  Here is our class photo (I'm hiding in the back row as usual). All of the blocks turned out slightly different - it was interesting to see how people changed things up.

We had a lot of time to visit with and learn from the masters during the event. Marylou McDonald presented a lecture on Friday and shared some Baltmore Album history with us. Her quilts were beautiful and very inspiring.

Elly Sienkiewicz joined us for dinner a couple of nights and chatted with us about the book she is trying to work on and other things she would love to accomplish. She is always entertaining!

Above is another picture borrowed from Cynthia - taken after Marylou's program Friday. From left to right: Elly Sienkiewicz, Cynthia Williford and Marylou McDonald. Three icons in the industry!

It was a great week and has inspired a new project...  More to come on that later!

Monday, February 1, 2016

January Progress Report

I've been plugging away at the many quilt-related commitments I made at the beginning of the year and am happy to say that I have made some progress! First up is the APQ UFO Challenge. The UFO chosen for January was #2, which happened to be my Somewhere in Time BOW. I managed to complete the stitching for blocks 1 & 2 and get a little start on block 3. I decided to do mine on a dark background instead of the light one provided and am loving the way the blocks are turning out.  

Next is the Quilty 365 challenge.  I got a bit of a late start on this one as I didn't run across the post until Jan 4. When I saw that some others had adapted the project to orange peels I had to jump in!  I started an orange peel quilt last year and hadn't made a lot of progress. I didn't originally include this one on my UFO list but love the idea of trying to do one a day so I decided to bump another project in favor of playing along. So 31 days in (we'll just say I started at the beginning of the year to keep the math simple) I haven't quite met the goal but I have made more progress in one month than I did all of last year! I hope to be able to meet and maybe surpass my goal in February with all of my travel. See how other challenge participants are progressing on their projects on today's Quilty 365 blog linkup.

I'm still trying to decide what method I prefer for making these.  I prepped the first bunch using the starch method because I was concerned about precise placement. I found I still needed to create a window template to ensure they were in exactly the right place, though.I hate dealing with the points when they are starched - I just don't like the feel of the bulk when you fold that starched flag under. I did the last five or so by needle-turn using my template for placement. It seemed a lot easier - faster prep and no annoying crunch flags to deal with!

Last but not least is the 365 Challenge.  My picture didn't turn out great but I did manage to complete all of the January blocks. I am hoping that all of these different blues play together nicely in the end - a few look a little out of place in the photo. These blocks are a lot of fun though I must say they are getting a little tedious...1.25" half square triangle are pretty darn small to work with!

The APQ UFO Challenge for February is #5 which happens to be my Disappearing Nine Patch. I am excited about that one since I got a bit of a head start on that one in January. I am optimistic I can move it along even though I will be short on machine time this month due to travel  

The sewing room saga continues. I spent all day Saturday trying to unpack and sort things for our guild's yard sale. It is going to take a LONG time before I have everything put away. There is so much stuff! I don't think I ever need to shop again!