Guild Merit Hexies

Gerre is the president of the guild. Late last year she started talking about merit hexies. In her idea, they were kind of like merit badges in Scouts.

At the meeting on Saturday, I received my first group of hexies and a lovely bag, made by the fabulous Gerre, to keep them in.

Merit Hexies - March
Merit Hexies – March

The most meaningful hexies to me are the special ones that indicate I have participated in some event or activity the guild is sponsoring. Those are on the left of the photo above, except for the Text Challenge hexie, which is on the far right.

The regular fabric hexies are for other volunteering such as making charity quilts.

Gerre wants people to make something out of their hexies that aren’t necessarily sewn together in a Grandmother’s Flower Garden kind of way. She made a pillow where the hexies are spaces apart in diagonal rows and appliqued on during the quilting process (appli-quilted). This is appealing to me. Depending on how many I receive, I could recover one of the couch cushions with a hexie pillow cover. The Zen of Making has a tutorial for an EPP Travel Kit that takes either 14 or 21 hexies.

After the meeting, during the small groups time, I learned a new way of basting fabric over hexie papers. Gerre did a demo and I helped her to restock her supply. It was fun.

Color My World – Cheryl

Cheryl was fortunate enough to grab the February spot and her piece was the second on which I worked. As I said Saturday, I had two pieces on which to work right off the bat. I missed the February meeting, but got my hands on the color sheet and made a piece.

Cheryl's Color My World
Cheryl’s Color My World

For some reason I wanted to do something a bit more straight-laced and block-like. It couldn’t be too straight-laced, so decided on a checkerboard.

Kelly is next and I am curious to see what she comes up with as her colors.

I have making my own color sheet on my list. I have an idea in mind, but need to find a photo. I’ll wait a few months so I can see what other people bring to the meeting. I doubt my slot will come up before next year.

Kindness

Gift Bag
Gift Bag

Today I received a very kind gift.

It started with the idea to give the guild officers a gift at the end of their terms. Guild officers have a tough job. It is all volunteer organization and there are few perks if a person doesn’t get satisfaction from leading.

Gift Bag
Gift Bag

For the past few years, I have gotten people to volunteer to make bags and then encouraged the guild to bring one small gift for each of the officers. I like this idea better than making officers quilts. While quilts or blocks can be a great memory, they are a lot of work and we all have our own quilts. We all make our own quilts. I think providing a bag with a variety of gifts is a great thank you.

Annotated Bag Contents
Annotated Bag Contents

Today I received the same kind of gift. It was a bag made by Cheryl full of lovely treats, including some chocolate. ๐Ÿ˜‰ There are a number of things that will stock my new Sew Together Bag (I haven’t made it yet) with an embroidery kit.

There was also Thread Magic, some fabric, tea, band-aids, which I hope I don’t need. ๐Ÿ˜‰ there was a spot remover and an inside joke for the arch supports.

I am so grateful to the guild for this gift. I don’t do volunteer work for accolades or event thanks. I don’t do volunteer tasks that I don’t want to do. This gift was such a wonderful and unexpected surprise. Thank you.

Color My World – Karen

Karen, last year’s guild challenge coordinator is leading a new challenge. This challenge is in addition to whatever challenges the new challenge coordinator comes up with. I have decided to join the Color My World challenge.

As is her right, Karen was the first person to provide a color sheet for the challenge. As I join somewhat behind the rest of the group I had two to complete at once. I did Karen’s first and will talk about the other one tomorrow.

Karen's Color My World
Karen’s Color My World

Karen used a landscape photo as the inspiration. I followed that idea and used curve strip piecing techniques to mimic the landscape idea. I am pleased with the way my piece came out.

New Donation Blocks

Mid-Feb 2017 Donation Blocks
Mid-Feb 2017 Donation Blocks

I am doing other things with leaders and enders so my crop of donation blocks and tops has slowed. Not stopped but slowed. Here are new blocks that will be donated at the March BAMQG meeting. I made the first four during the week of 2/5, approximately. I have put a few more together and just finished those last Thursday.

More pink + 1 purple block
More pink + 1 purple block

I am really channeling my childhood bedroom, which was pink and purple. I paid a lot of attention to the fabrics I chose for the second batch as I wanted to play with color and pattern.

You can see some of my favorite Kaffe Collective fabrics as well as a piece of a couch.

These blocks are definitely girly and I will need to get back to some more boy blocks. I couldn’t resist indulging in a little pink.

Favorite donation block
Favorite donation block

This is my favorite block. I love the fabric combination. I have a lot of pink squares so will probably come up with more pink blocks.

Doing Good

As mentioned briefly, the BAM Charity Sew Day was Saturday. I was busy with CQFA in the morning, but went on my way home. I made myself available as a general dogsbody since I didn’t bring any tools or supplies and was set on the task of basting quilts. My job was easy since there was a high table and the quilts were small. People kept coming up and helping me so it was pleasant as well.

We made about 32 quilt tops.

We totally finished about 6 of them – binding included.

February Donation Blocks
February Donation Blocks

A few people stopped by and brought additional donation pieces, like me. I brought some blocks.

As usual, I have been using these as leaders and enders. I have another 3 on the design wall, but am working on the 4 patches for the Carpenter’s Wheel so there will be a break in donation blocks.

I think these are cheerful and fun. When I get to making more blocks, I have some pink squares that will end up as blocks. I also have some boy colors, which I will need to make up.

People also brought tops and backs they had done at home. I think there were about four of these. I brought the Bits and Bobs top.

Yellow Donation Quilt #2 - Feb 2017
Yellow Donation Quilt #2 – Feb 2017

I also brought Yellow Donation Top #2, which I should be calling lemonade. Twilter Diane (DDRQuilter) said it looked like that I was disappointed not to have thought of it myself. I really like the little bit of pink I added to the blocks. I think it makes it not as ….yellow. Not sweet exactly, but tones down the yellow and also doesn’t make it scream pink.

Pincushion Gifts

Pincushion Clip gifts
Pincushion Clip gifts

I wasn’t be at the guild meeting yesterday, which made me sad. Kelly, of the Kelly bag fame, pinch hit for me with the officer gift bags. Thanks, Kelly.

Many guilds give their officers quilts as thank you gifts. I am of the mind that we all have enough quilts, but a tote bag (simple or complicated) full of lovely small gifts is great for everyone. Since I organize it, that is what we do. When someone else takes over they can do something else.

Pincushion Wonderclip Holder
Pincushion Wonderclip Holder

I cut the pieces on that last Sew Day then worked on my gifts the day after. The cutting is always the worst for me. There wasn’t much so I can’t complain. The sewing went remarkably quickly – so quickly in fact that I felt like making half a dozen more.

As I mentioned the fabrics were all scraps except for the back (5″ square). I made fabric by sewing selvedges together. I am tempted to do that again, but will try to resist saving another thing. The other fabrics are heavily from the Kaffe Collective, especially my man Phil (Philip Jacobs) and Martha Negley. I know these fabrics aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I hope the officers like them.

Pincushion gift pre-stuffing
Pincushion gift pre-stuffing

The pattern says to line up the clip holders evenly, but I only did that for one. I thought the uneven rows would add interest, but I am not sure now.

I used some of my Beanie Baby beans and some stuffing leftover from Red and Coral. I hope it is good enough for its purpose.

The flaps you see are to hold Wonderclips (see photos above). My Wonderclips are holding the hole closed until I could sew it together. I plan to put a couple of clips and some pins in each one to show their purpose.

Finally, I sent them to Kelly so she could put them into the bags for me. I found the pattern in Love of Patchwork and Quilting magazine, It was a quick and satisfying project. I was able to make four of them in about an hour minus sewing the stuffing hole closed.

I think this will be on my list of small gifts to give to people for whom I want to make a quilty gift.

Sew Day

I am going to miss a lot of BAMQG in the next couple of months, which makes me sad. Perhaps I’ll have something to show by the time I make it to the March meeting?

Mary, once again, did a great job setting up and organizing the room for us. Thanks, Mary!

We all dodged the rain and there was a good turnout.

Haley's t-shirt quilt
Haley’s t-shirt quilt

Tim was there with his niece Haley and they put a t-shirt quilt together for her. She just graduated from college and the quilt is made from all of her college t-shirts. It looks great!

I worked on cutting. I started cutting for the second step of the En Provence mystery quilt. People have started posting the blocks and I am glad I am making it. I can choose some colors better now that I know what the piece will look like.

I know I am not quite finished with step one, but cutting is a good thing to do at Sew Day and it doesn’t go bad. I didn’t feel like bringing my machine to the event.

Rhonda's Handwork Project
Rhonda’s Handwork Project

Rhonda worked on her Carolyn Friedlander handwork quilt. She started to put the segments together. Another great project!

Cutting Corners Donation Quilt Progress

Cutting Corners Donation Quilt
Cutting Corners Donation Quilt

I got a glimpse of my Cutting Corners donation quilt again. Pam is working on finishing it. She quilted it and is now binding it. I know I have said this a thousand times. I love it that I can make something and someone else in the guild will also work on it. It feels like my efforts are not completely mine and somehow more worthy.

Cutting Corners Donation Quilt back
Cutting Corners Donation Quilt back

I made this top and back in March. I knew then it wasn’t the most beautiful top, so I am not surprised it took so long for someone to pick it up and finish it. I think I need to try the technique again with more cohesive fabrics.

BAM Swap Bag

Flip Flap Bag
Flip Flap Bag

The Winter Extravaganza Palooza swap was yesterday at the BAM meeting. Being the blog editor, I had compiled a giant list of tutorials and patterns a few months ago for inspiration. It is an impressive list, so take a look. ๐Ÿ˜‰

My swap partner wanted a bag, so I pulled out one of the bag patterns I have had sitting around and tried it out. I know I could have used one of the tutorials I just crowed about, but I didn’t. I wanted to plow through some of the bag patterns I have purchased and this was the perfect opportunity.

I wasn’t hopeful that this bag would be successful (unlike me, I know!), so I was pleasantly surprised to find that this bag came out pretty well. The flap is a great opportunity to do some machine embroidery or applique’ or other type of embellishment. I chose some interesting, if black, modern fabrics for the outside, so it wouldn’t show the dirt.

The pattern is Flip Flap bagย  from Totes by Sandy. The pattern is not 100% clearly written, though the interpretation could have been my problem. I had some trouble with some of the steps, but it all came out in the end. I would have made the lining section much smaller. I did make it a little smaller, knowing from past experience that it didn’t need to be the same size as the outside. I didn’t make it small enough and the inside sags a little. ๐Ÿ™ I don’t know what the normal reduction is for linings – half inch? a whole inch? I could experiment, but probably won’t.

Flip Flap Bag inside view
Flip Flap Bag inside view

I made the inside light so my partner could see her stuff.

I am thinking about making this again, as I think it is a good size. I wonder about adding more pockets. The handbag I use now has a section at the front for cards, lipstick, etc and I wonder if that could be incorporated into this design. Perhaps not with the asymmetrical flap.

BAM Retreat: Charity Projects

As I have mentioned many times, BAM does a lot of charity work. Peggy and Michelle work hard to make it fun. Right before the retreat, the guild was the fortunate recipient of a bonanza of fabric. It wasn’t ugly, crappy fabric that people often try to offload. It was relatively new yardage as well as pre-cuts. There were charm packs, large and small jelly rolls and layer cakes.

As a result a lot of new charity quilts were put together at the retreat. The above is a small sampling. They are generally smaller, but so bright and cheerful! Peggy was pushing the Disappearing 9 Patch pattern, so a few of those showed up using the charm squares.

Retreat Charity Block
Retreat Charity Block

My pathetic effort to the charity endeavor was one block. the Charity Girls had the regular postage stamp kits available, so I took one when I needed some leaders and enders for my City Sampler blocks and made the block.

BAM Retreat Projects

As discussed a couple of days ago, I went on the BAM Retreat. I didn’t just have boatloads of fun and eat until I was sick, I also made some valuable progress.

The Thanksgiving tablerunners have been hanging over my head. Thanksgiving is now 1.5 months away and the hanging became more like the Sword of Damocles than an item on my to do list. I am pleased to say that the two remaining have been quilted. I still need to make and apply the binding, but the quilting part is done. I didn’t get to the tablemat, but I am pleased with my progress.

One thing I did on the pumpkin tablerunner was use Aurifloss (12 wt thread). I used it in the machine with 50 wt Aurifil in the bobbin. There was more breakage than I normally experience with Aurifil. I really like the effect and was pleased that the 50 wt did not show through to the top. I didn’t have to adjust the tension.

I also made a few blocks for the Tula Pink City Sampler/ Tale of Two Cities project. The blocks were a good break from quilting, which I needed after I completed the quilting on the first tablerunner. Julie joined the #100blocks100days challenge on Instagram and, while I have not joined, it is inspiring me to work on them. Also, she is now ahead of me on making blocks! I need to get myself in gear. Michelle S was a good support for this project at the retreat.

I also FINALLY started the Valori Wells Little Cell Phone Wallet pattern. I really, REALLY need something to carry my phone and hotel key when I am wearing dresses with no pockets. REALLY. Since the project was small, it seemed like a good time to work on it. I had some trouble with the directions, which should be no surprise. I did get a good working sample by the time I left the retreat. It isn’t one that I will use for various reasons. I’ll write more about this pattern in another post.

While my descriptions might not seem like a lot, I was busy and working hard the whole time. I am pleased with my progress and will be really pleased when I can finish these various projects and cross them off my list.

BAM Retreat

We are going to take a break from the quilt class and talk about quilt retreats. I may slow down the quilt class just a little to catch you up on some progress I have been making.

I just got back from a quilt retreat. BAM went to Sunnyvale together, had a lot of fun, ate some food, got to know each other better and worked on our projects for 2.5 days. We did a lot and a lot happened, so I might write multiple posts.

It was a great retreat and I had a great time. I felt like I got back in the swing of sewing, at least a little. The Peacock Quilt is still on the design wall taunting me.

Mad for Mod 2016 Sponsors
Mad for Mod 2016 Sponsors

First, the sponsors were fantastic. You wouldn’t believe the gift bags that we got. I finally took everything out and looked at it when I got home and felt like the bag was magic. More and more kept coming out. I was very pleased with what I got, though I didn’t expect such a gift bag.

BAM Retreat Goodies
BAM Retreat Goodies

Not only were there actual things in the gift bags, but also a lot of codes for discounts and free quilt trials. I received two FQ packs of fabric as well as a pack of Aurifloss, a number of patterns, some other threadย  and many new things to try out. Amy, the vendor chair, worked hard and did a fantastic job.

BAM Retreat Sewing Space
BAM Retreat Sewing Space

My sewing space was small, but adequate. We knew in advance that we would only have a small amount of space so I planned accordingly.

The rest of the room was a regular conference room, but there were French doors that led out to a small grassy area, so we had plenty of natural light as well as fresh air and a nice spot to have cocktail hour. ๐Ÿ˜‰

BAM Retreat Cocktail Hour
BAM Retreat Cocktail Hour

Meals were included, which didn’t work out super well for me, though I think everyone else enjoyed them. My stomach was still a bit off from my trip and from being sick, so I am blaming those things rather than the caterer. We also had cocktail hour on Friday and Saturday. I didn’t drink, but the snacks were well labeled GF and tasty.

Although I came home on Wednesday and left again right away on Friday, I was glad I attended the retreat. I think it was hard on my poor DH, but perhaps coming home and leaving again two days later gave him a taste of what he had been missing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Cargo Duffle Finished

Cargo Duffle - Finished
Cargo Duffle – Finished

FINISHED!

I spent the Sunday after the workshop finishing the Cargo Duffle.

I really, sincerely disliked all the prep work, but was thrilled to see how this bag turned out. it has substance. I was going to give it away, but I am keeping it. I really like the fabrics I chose, even though I chose the green because I thought I would give it away. I love that text fabric.

Cargo Duffle - Finished (interior zipper pocket)
Cargo Duffle – Finished (interior zipper pocket)

I am also thinking of making another one. I know. I know. I am crazy, but I keep thinking about how I would make a second one differently. I want to see if I can do it again better. ALSO, I do have to make a bag for one of the guild officers.

For example, after cutting out the straps, I would just sew them. After cutting out the pockets, I would sew them to the lining. I think it would be less confusing. Yes, I would still have to quilt a bunch of pieces and panels,, but I think it would be easier. It might not have worked when I didn’t know how to make the bag, but now that I have an idea, I think it would work better for me.

Helpful Tutorials

  • How to shorten a zipper – IndieSew
  • How to put the Cargo Duffle lining and exterior together – video by Emily Dennis