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Saturday, June 16, 2007

quilt design

Mom and I played with drunkard's path blocks and came up with this pattern. It's too easy to get to be "new," but I've never seen it before. Does anyone know of a name for this pattern?
Laura in Alabama


anna's back--I think!!

Hello from Spain!! Well it's been a long time, hasn't it. A dear friend from church finally came over and helped me out. Thank you to all the patient people, Eric among them. But I think it will work now, and I hope to go and read all the posts (well some of them) and get caught up.

What happened? Well, first, the blog gave me a lot of trouble. I got on the first time and then it wouldn't let me do it again. And then, the bottom dropped out of things here and I simply couldn't deal with it. DH disability was denied twice, he has appealed but there's a lot of political stuff involved in our health care system locally and he's just a casualty. So he is now on unemployment for 2 yrs till he can retire without losing too awfully much of his pension. Which means we are poorer than we were. But I don't want to take up space here with that. However it's been a v. stressful few months and handling the blog went farther and farther down my list of "wannas".

But, all things being equal, this should work now. The ladies on the Yahoo! BBChat list said people enquired after me and I want to say thanks to all who have been thinking and praying for me.

If I can get on this board again tomorrow, I will tell y'all a little more about my life. I'm still here, just wearier and greyer and, unfortunately, heavier.

anna in spain

Friday, June 15, 2007

Jewel Box Quilters

If you are in central Iowa and looking for something to do this weekend the Jewel Box Quilters of Grinnell, Iowa are having a show this Friday from 10AM-7PM and Saturday from 9AM-4PM at the Grinnell Middle School. I will have several quilts on display and the raffle quilt is spectacular. We have a wonderful cafe, vendors and quilt inspiration galore. Please come and join the fun.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

square in a square

Jane, have you tried paper-piecing a square in a square? The paper will keep the fabric from becoming distorted. It also helps if the outer squares end up on grain. To do that, cut oversize squares then slice them on the diagonal (similar to preparing corner setting triangles.) There's even printable paper-piecing patterns (try saying that real fast) for square-in-a-square here on the WWQP.

SeamSTRESS Sally


Sorry, I posted something intended for the chat board and then finally managed to delete it but the mysterious attribution remains. Oh well.

Time walk the beasts and then hit the quilt room. I'm almost caught up with the mystery quilt. I've never done any square in a square blocks before and found them to be a pain and skewered when done. Barely got them squared up to go on with the project. I hate those bias edges. Next time I'll waste a bit of fabric and do squares and then cut off the un-needed portion. I also realize too late that a bit of starch would have helped a great deal.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Aches in the Fingers

I suspect that most of us ladies and gentlemen for that matter, of a certain age, have achy hands. Most of my joints all over ache at one time or another and sometimes acutely. Whoever posted about taking aspirin but preferring prednisone, please see a rheumatologist. Family docs are inclined to full around with arthritis and they are not qualified to do so. There are numerous things you can do for arthritis pain between aspirin and prednisone. The latter, over a prolonged period, thins bones big time. A lot of aspirin can do a number on your stomach. On the occasions I've had to take prednisone for pneumonia that persisted my joints felt great but it just about made me crazy with mood swings. I am currently taking Celebrex and am fortunate that I suffer no side effects. Not everyone is so lucky. I still ache but I can manage to live my life as long as I keep up the exercise. When I had my knee replaced 2.5 years ago I had to go off the Celebrex for two weeks beforehand and I found out to my very great discomfort just how effective it is. I experienced way more that mere aches. Ouch!

Jane in NC

Curved & circle shaped foundation piecing

This week I've read a couple of pieces that referred to full circle and free-form curved designs pieced on a foundation. Is the foundation paper or fabric? Is it necessary to use less than 1/4" seams? Do you need to make little snips to get the fabric to lay straight (or sort of a flattened curve)? I may not even have a clue what I'm talking about; could anyone enlighten me? Am I on the right track? Sounds like a good skill to have. Thank you. Harriet

A Waning Competitor

This gardening season has really made my hands very, very achey. Aspirin helps some but prednisone helps more. And then I look at the quilts from the National Quilting Association's 2007 show held recently in Columbus, Ohio, and I consider the hours and hours and days and days and weeks and weeks of work the quilters put into their entries and I am disheartened.

You can view some photos of quilts at that show taken by Sophie, a quilter on the About.com quilting forum by going to her online album at


My achey hands do not want to do all of the work needed to maintain a lovely perennial garden plus create a competitive wall hanging. I am going to choose the garden and say "Fiddle-dee-dee" to the idea of entering any more quilt contests.

Too many birthdays are playing a number on my fingers but I will still make Linus quilts and other easy projects. I will still wade through my stash creating havoc in this sewing room but no project will require the intense amounts of time that are needed to dazzle today's judges .... I will leave the thrill of dazzling to others.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

waxing & waning

JudyPete's people must have all moved to Florida. We have seven quilt guilds in the tri county area. Ours has about 75 people total and at least 40 who show up at every meeting. The quit show that is put on in the fall in the largest one in the state. Not that that's a good thing, because several of us are like JudyPete who quilt for the love of it and the "love" we put into it. It is wonderful that the 1/4" seam or the binding is perfect, but that isn't my main goal. I help with the show, as we are all needed to pitch in, but don't enter anything.
Just sat down to read the Keepsake quilting booklet that came last week. We have one semi-professional quilter in our group who does share her talents and ideas with all, and is a gracious person. She wins awards, but like the other people has a maid, and cook, and husband who travels a lot. The rest of us like her and are happy for her, but it's not the reality of Annie average.
A lot has to do with the age group also. My friends and I didn't take up quilting until at least the age 40, and Florida has lots of 65 and older people.
My Shiva paint sticks came yesterday, so I'm going to try to play with them tonight.
Sara in Fla.
Interesting thoughts on quilting and quilt shows and where they are headed.....I tend to agree that crafts come and go but there are ones that are always rediscovered....

I too am at the stage where I am working through my stash as much as possible...there is no way possible that I will ever be able to keep buying all the new and enticing fabrics that come out....

Marion....I too made a "flower" quilt this past winter to help me through the winter blues....it is now finished and will be living in our 'summer' residence for me to enjoy....

Monday, June 11, 2007

Interesting post...

Thank you JudyPete, for sharing your thoughts here. I must say I agree with what you say. I'm a quilter who enjoys making and giving useful (and I hope attractive !) bed quilts to friends and family.

I came to quilting after years of working with wool. Spinning, knitting, felt making weaving etc etc. Just loved the fabrics and the colours available in fabric after working with shades of white wool through to black , for all those years. The wool scene changed too. Originally the groups were formed to encourage and inspire. After a period of time they became more competitive and "arty". The majority of us didn't want or enjoy that scene. Consequently , that spelt the end of Wool Festivals, Symposiums etc. I hope the same thing doesn't happen to the quilting scene.

I don't belong to a group, but have two very special friends who share the same enthusiasm . We try to meet once a fortnight for a days sewing ... We pay over $20 a metre for quilting fabrics here, consequently , not many of us have huge stashes, we tend to buy for whatever we are making.
Even so, I have enough fabric to make several scrap quilts, when the time comes !!!

I've just finished a wall hanging and am now working on a "Garden" quilt. Lots of different sized blocks of flowers and floral materials.. that will keep me happy through the flower-less winter months !


waxing and waning

Hmm, reminds me that I need to do something with my legs.

Dear JudyPete,
I loved your post and felt a kinship. My mind sometimes goes off on thoughts like that. Regarding quilting, I agree in that I feel the younger craft people are drifting towards things other than quilting. But I also feel the quilting interest will go through another increase in the future. I think most hobbies or interests come and go a bit.

For myself, I sometimes feel strongly drawn towards quilting, sewing, etc. This time of year, though, there are so many other things that I want to see and do that quilting goes on the back burner. I still try to plan my summer around the Sisters Quilt Show and maybe go to one or two other shows a year. I've never been one to do a lot of shows. I loved my two times in Houston but haven't managed going to Paducah yet.

I don't belong to at guild either. That does limit my knowledge in a lot of ways. I chose not to join one when I retired for many reasons. But I always enjoy meeting with other quilters. I think being around the energy of others can help a person keep focused.

I am presently thinning out my stash as all at once it felt like a huge weight on me. The type of quilts I presently make doesn't seem to fit with the stash. For now, I'll buy for specific projects rather than pick up random bits and pieces. (Well, that is my goal. We'll see how it goes when I get into a store full of lovelies!!! LOL!) It feels good to be able to find new homes for some of the fabric and know things will finally be used.

I agree with the costs of fabric and supplies. That inhibits me a bit. But when I see the work of Australian quilters where I know fabric costs are even higher, I'm impressed with what the Aussie quilters do. It's inspiring to know there are people all over the world who still quilt even when the monetary costs might be rather high. That helps me keep going as I know others seem to manage so I can as well. :-)

I think quilting is like any other part of life. We have times when something might consume us, times when we feel something might overly consume others and then balance returns which brings one's normal lack of judgement of ourselves and others.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Hope everyone has a great week!

Hugs to those who need them,
Mary in Oregon
I'm wondering what quilters in other parts of the country sense about the level of interest in quilting. This is JMHO but in watching my local quilt guild and seeing where the big Q shows are heading, I sense a waning of quilt fever.

My local guild of 20-25 members, all strong quilters, has declined to about 15 members. The older, more "expert" quilters are dying off. They were the ones with patience and ability to be precise in cutting, stitching, etc. They enjoyed the long-term projects and loved trying new skills. They were the ones who were the first to embrace rotary cutters and cutting mats and were exhuberant enough about the "new" methods that they donated a mat and cutter to the local library. It was there donation that provided me the first opportunity to try out the new equipment and I was hooked.

The remaining members of this guild consist largely of younger women who want a quickie quilt and are not willing to produce their grandmother's quilts...not that they need to. They buy the more inexpensive fabrics, stretching their quilting dollars by avoiding the high-end fabs at Q stores.

I would venture that most quilters of my era (I'm in my sixties) have been collecting fabric long enough that they realize they will never use up what they have. They have shelves and shelves of fabric and tubs and tubs stashed here and there. Every color, every pattern, every style. Their buying frenzy is coming to an end.

In the 1970s when the fabrics began evolving from the single line of red, blue, green tiny calicoes of that time, we were so fascinated with the new fabs that many of us bought some of everything. Now the companies are coming out with so many new lines that we realize we will NEVER be able to buy everything NEW out there. At least that is how it is for me. Now I buy for a project...and seldom even for that, as my stash covers most of my needs...especially since my quilting libido is low. LOL.

On top of all that, the price of fabrics has stretched to the limit. Many younger women who might be looking for a handiwork hobby are gravitating towards beading, crochet, knitwork. Not that yarns are cheap by any means nor beads, either. Still, they can buy the necessary materials for a complete project cheaper than they can build a quilt. AND they can carry it with them in a bag or pouch or store it in a small corner in their small apartments and condos. The luxury of a dedicated sewing room seems most often to be the perogative of women whose chicks have flown the coop, leaving a vacant bedroom turned sewing room.

Frankly going to a big Q show once or twice is enough for me. Seeing those stupendous prize-winning quilts makes me realize that my quilts are simple indeed and I will never attain to their status (nor do I wish to). It is MHO that there is something obsessively compulsive about spending 24/7 on a single quilt in order to gain national status and a $10,000 prize while your hubby does the cooking and the housework. That type of quilt fever is much, much more obsessive/compulsive than I (who am mildly obsessive/compulsive by genes) could ever be.

Now there's a title for some winning quilt at Houston or Paducah...."Obsessively Compulsive". ROFLOL

OKay, so I woke up judgmental but these are simply my thoughts and I hope the reader will forgive me thinking online. LOL. I'll go on making my simple quilts and enjoy the act of creativity and enjoy their light cover during a nap, enjoy the light bedspread made of shirt fabrics, etc. And while I don't begrudge the quilt fever of the prize winners at Houston or Paducah, I do figure I will decline to ever go to one of those shows again. I much prefer to go to a local guild show where I can view and enjoy the handiwork/creativity of hometown people who want to display their lovely-homey (not homely) quilt and where I can vicariously enjoy their pleasure at having completed a new "real" quilt.
Submitted very humbly, even if opinionated. LOL.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Thanks for the pics!

What lovely quilts! Thanks for sharing.

Mary in Oregon

Butterfly Quilt

Donna, your quilt is lovely! I very much like the use of the applique butterflies interspersed with the pieced ones. A very nice quilt!