WWQP Bulletin Board

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Hi everyone! We will have a family reunion in Denver (Lakewood) this June (20-22) so if anyone has suggestions for quilt stores and quilty things to do post them here.

If you would, please put them in a post because the comments are as difficult to open as the posting page on my computer at home.

I have kept busy piecing tops during this long, snowy, cold winter. I last counted six, but there are so many more to do.

I read daily if I can and think of you all whether you post or not. Thanks to those who manage to post regularly. Maybe if I update my computer at home I too could post more often and with pictures. Just maybe.
Laura in IA

Friday, April 25, 2008

Off on another tangent

I recently sold my Featherweight free-arm machine for a lot of $, so spent some of it joining Sharon Schamber's web site as a Premium member. She has a lot of excellent teaching videos there. I've set myself the goal of becoming a decent machine quilter. I am practicing on charity quilts for my guild. The other ladies are horrified at the amount of quilting on the one I did last week, LOL. The one this week is just as bad. Sharon recommends practicing 4 basic shapes until they become ingrained in the brain. I just started the third charity quilt, and am branching out to combined shapes on this one. She said it takes 200 to 300 hours to get pretty good, so I have a very long way to go, and my goal is more like "adequate". I'm doing it on my dearly loved treadle machines. They make lovely stitches. I am working on making the stitches more even. I also used some of the money to purchase a Janome DC3050 electric machine, so I can do a double blanket stitch for applique. It was less than $600 and does what I need. Seems odd to buy a machine to do that one stitch, so I tried out some of the others. There's a stretch stitch that looks something like a stem stitch, that I stitched out in dark green, then stitched over the top of it with the feather stitch in light green, which made an interesting stem. I'll use that with some appliqued flowers on the Drunkard's Path quilt that I'm working on. It's going to take a long time to finish this one, since most of my quilting time will be used practicing the machine quilting for a while. I tried to put a pic of some of the blocks here, but it didn't work for me today. Maybe I'll try again later.
I've also lost a total of 51 pounds since October of 2006, and continue to lose very slowly.
Pat in Rockport, TX, who has missed the show in Paducah two years in a row, sadly.

2008 Best of Show at Paducah .... "Spring of Desire"

Here's a copy of something I've posted on the About.com quilting forum this evening:

It so happens that the quilt that has just won the biggie Best of Show prize at the American Quilter's Society Show in Paducah, "Spring of Desire" by Ted Storm, was also a winner in Houston last October. As a result of winning an Award for Traditional Artistry in October, 2007 this quilt has been featured in an article in the June, 2008 issue of Quilters Newsletter which arrived in my mailbox today.

If you get this magazine you can read a thorough interview with Ted starting on page 56 where she reveals the intricate and exhausting work that went into her winner of a quilt and then there's a full page photo of the quilt on page 90 with more statistics (which made me swoon). No way will I ever do that kind of work but it is interesting to read about the kind of person who does that kind of work. (One of Ted's mentors, Lois K. Ide, used to live up the road from me here in central Ohio so that's why I am interested in her career.)

To top this off, The Quilt Show folks have some video featuring this quilt on their Daily Blogs and you don't have to be a member to view those. Just go to www.thequiltshow.com and click on the Daily Blog link on the home page .... scroll down the list of various blog offerings and you'll see the ones covering the Paducah show and the blog where Ricky Tims interviews Ted (which is called "The Big Winner"). Seeing her quilt "in person" with the shisha mirrors reflecting the light is kind of interesting.

Thanks JudyPete, Your quilts are terrific! I'm not sure I am ready to take on such a big commitment right now! Although using those shirt fabrics with some of the fabrics in my stash might just help bring that stash down to a more reasonable quantity.

This must be my week for questions. I took my sewing machine in for cleaning and some minor work, so I am using my grandma's featherweight for the first time. While at the repair shop, I was looking at an Elna Quilters Dream Pro. I liked the larger opening for cramming those rolled up quilts to MQ and some of the other features. Does anyone have this machine? What are the pros and cons? It would be a considerable investment compared to my midlevel Janome, and I want to make sure I've got some unbiased opinions before I even think about it.

Thanks again for the advice about the shirt fabric, and thanks in advance for any info on the Elna,

Laurel in Iowa

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Shirt Quilts

Hi, Laura, Welcome to the "Shirt Quilts" section of the quilting community. LOL. You asked about mixing shirt fabrics with fabrics from your stash. Here are my thoughts...

1) In my own experience, when considering shirts, I select only those made of 100 percent cotton and preferably from a nice grade of cotton, fabrics with a good (high) thread count. Some cotton shirts are made with rather flimsy thread count and the fabric is thin, especially those of lighter colors.

2) I never use poly/cotton blends. I find that poly/cottons get flimsier with each washing. They get limp with time. If you love a good quality cotton fabric, you will not like the poly/cottons. Unless, of course, the shirts hold sentimental value for you. In that case, disregard this statement. LOL.

3) Yes, by all means, feel free to mix your shirt cottons with fabrics from your quilt store. In the two photos above, one quilt is made entirely with shirt fabs. The quilt in the first photo is a mixture. Both have held up well to repeated washes and slight drying in the dryer.

I'm getting so bad about my addiction to shirt fabrics that I browse the men's shirt section in better department stores, pre-viewing next year's yard sale shirts. LOL.

Make up a few blocks and send us a pic here on the BB!


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I have been cutting up some men's shirts that my husband and son didn't wear (they were probably laundered several times though). I'm amazed at how much useable fabric there is in a single shirt! Before I do anything with it, I am wondering if the shirt fabric can be used with other new fabric. I remember hearing that with vintage quilts, the reason that some pieces show wear or disintegrate is because they were probably cut from used clothing. Is that still a problem? If it isn't safe to mix them with new fabric, I would probably have to get rid of them, because I really don't want to start a whole new section in my stash. My goal has been to use up some of my fabric and finish some UFOs!

What is everyone working on? I have been a bit discouraged by what seems to be an endless cold damp spring following a long cold winter. I should have snuggled up and worked on all those UFOs all winter, and I did get 5 of them off my list. I'm not terribly motivated to pull out another old project and I'm toying with the idea of using fat quarters from my stash and starting something bright and cheery!

Thanks for any advice!

Laurel in Iowa


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

quilt design program for a Mac

A friend of mine is looking for a quilt design program that would run on a Mac computer. Do you know if there is such a thing?

Brenda in Nn Ontario

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A shop closing for us too

Seems like quilt shops are coming & going for us too.

Sometimes I wonder if it's just because there are so many

more than there used to be?

Our most recent loss is very tragic. A shopper took her car

through the front window of a shopping center type shop &

did a great deal of damage. Two people were hurt including the

owner of the shop. The structural damage was significant & the

shop has been closed for some time. I got an email yesterday saying

they were closing.

Here's a new addition to my quilt family. Our guild has an annual

bazaar & I bought this from quilting friend. It's a little tattered but as

you can see it's very appealing. I can't tell you how lovely

the quilting is on this & how soft & supple it is , I just love it.

I would just love to hand quilt a tenth as nice as this.