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    Spring is here and it’s time to do a little spring cleaning – don’t forget to include your fabric scrap bag in this task. Most spring cleaning is not so fun (unless you are a clean freak who takes pleasure in scrubbing and dusting) but this project IS fun.

    Some of us (ahem) just can’t seem to part with scraps easily and there are a number of ways I’ve seen small scraps dealt with. Some quilters shred them and use them in confetti quilts, others pack the shreds into glass jars and call them ‘Quilters’ Jam’ giving them away to friends as whimsical gifts, a friend of mine saves the tiniest of bits and pieces that a friend of hers uses as stuffing in dog beds she makes and yet most quilters (God forbid!) throw them away into the trash! Ladies and Gentlemen – your grandmothers and great grandmothers would turn in their graves if they knew you were throwing these away! I have gone ‘dumpster diving’ into the waste baskets at some of my quilting classes and found what I would consider YARDAGE!. I have made quilts almost entirely from what I glean off of my guild’s free table -as if I did not generate enough scraps of my own.

    One friend of mine showed a lovely twin sized quilt at Show and Tell at the guild several years ago, it was a lovely combination of scrappy stars and when the gasps of appreciation had died down she said “I just wanted you ladies who were at the retreat to see what you threw away”. Lets face it – quilting was born of a frugality by our fore-mothers to make use of every last piece of precious fabrics.

    Some quilters don’t have the patience to work with scraps. Ascertaining that the scrap is large enough to get the necessary pieces from, re-cutting and trimming them to the appropriate shape and size can be labor intensive, especially for a generation who prefer slicing off large chunks of fabric from yardage with a rotary cutter and then fast piecing them for instant gratification.

    This quilt for my Spring Cleaning Stash Buster class is not so fussy. The scraps are string pieced randomly and quickly using chain piecing then reassembled with larger chunks (yes you can scratch your itch to get out your rotary cutters and fat quarters for this part) into carefree blocks that go together FAST to make quilt tops in any size you wish.

    Please consider joining me at this class coming up at Pioneer Quilts in about a week and a half – May 23rd, with your scrap bag and sewing machine in hand. We will make mincemeat of those scraps and you will have not only a beautiful quilt but also the knowledge that those scraps did not suffer the indignity of quietly moldering in a landfill.

    Rustic Windows - Fast, Fun & a Scrap Eater
    Rustic Windows – Fast, Fun & a Scrap Eater

     

    Another class coming even sooner is my Machine Quilting 101 class at A Common Thread next weekend. The first session is on Sunday May 21st followed by part 2 on Sunday May 28th. This is an excellent introduction to Machine Quilting to gain the skills to quilt your own tops with confidence. If that schedule or location doesn’t work for you, I have the same class coming up at Sharon’s Attic on two Saturdays – June 3 & 17 and for you Eastsiders at Pioneer Quilts on June 13 & 20 (Tuesdays).

    Machine Quilting 101 sampler
    Machine Quilting 101 sampler

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  • Upcoming Machine Quilting 101 Booster Class

    Machine Quilting 101 Booster class. This class is in response to the requests I sometimes get for a class where previous Machine Quilting students can come and get some more focused practice on the techniques they wished we could spend more time on than was done in the original class. It is also an opportunity for those attending to bring un-quilted tops for advice and mentoring on how they might quilt their projects . If the quilt is layered and ready to stitch, they can begin working on it in the class, otherwise they will work on the designs and/or templates in the appropriate methods to apply to their quilt later. Regardless of your quilting skills, this class would be a great opportunity to get a little more focused and guided time behind the wheel of your sewing machine.

    If you don’t have a quilt top ready do design stitching on, you may bring layered squares (or the sampler from the original class) to practice various techniques on, I will have a variety of different design opportunities for you to explore. I am posting a few photos of some of my more creative quilting approaches to show you the possibilities and whet your appetite.

    The class costs $30 and will run from 11:30 am to 4 pm on Sunday May 7th, contact A Common Thread at 503 624-7440 to enroll.


  • Show & Crow April 20, 2017

    Good readers, it’s time for a Show and Crow. Not of my work but that of a couple of my students. I just wrapped up a landscape quilt design class today at Pioneer Quilts; this was a two part class I called ‘From Photo to Fabric’. Students brought a landscape photo and from it created a pattern for a quilt. The class was small – three students – but that did give them room to spread out plus more one-on-one time with me.

    Two of the students got about halfway done with their quilts and kudos to them, the quilts are looking FANTASTIC!. I just had to share these with you. I took photos of their quilts in progress with their original source photos included so you can see what they have achieved so far and also the final goal.

    Jill’s quilt features a lake (or river?) in New Zealand in a technique I call ‘Striplique’, a blending of strip piecing and applique. The strip piecing is ideal for water features and meadows. She still has to add the tree silhouetted on the right and plans to use a confetti technique to render the lacy details on the tree. She may add some stones fussy cut from a landscape fabric on the shoreline.

    Jill's New Zealand lake.
    Jill’s New Zealand lake.

    Charlotte chose a rural landscape with a rusty farm gate on a gravel road with a meadow and trees against a backdrop of hills. She also plans to render the tree that will be positioned on the right hand side of her picture in fabric confetti and used the strip piecing to create the layers of meadow grasses in the middle ground; she also was intrigued by a technique I showed of insetting strips of fringed raw edged fabric between the strip pieced seams to make three dimensional rafts of grasses for an ethereal, airy look and texture. She plans to add the rustic gate with stuffed bias bars applied after the rest of the landscape is completed. I have included a closer view highlighting the frayed fabric grasses on her quilt.

    Charlotte's rural meadow scene.
    Charlotte’s rural meadow scene.
    Charlotte's landscape close-up to show the frayed three dimensional grasses.
    Charlotte’s landscape close-up to show the frayed three dimensional grasses.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The third student is making a view of the Columbia River gorge with the Vista House on a nearby hill and Beacon Rock off in the distance; the foreground will be a riot of foliage and flowers. She was newer to quilt making and got most of her background pieces prepared with adhesive and ready to fuse but did not get far enough along for a meaningful photograph.

    All three have promised me photos of their finished projects and I hope to show those in a future post.