• Category Archives Classes
  • Holy Molas!!!

    Yesterday I gave a private class to my small quilt group on making Molas. I love making them by hand applique but also have a fast machine made version and for this class. I allowed the group members to choose which method they wished to learn – I usually restrict a class to one method or the other because they really are quite different techniques but my group members were willing to sit through the instruction for each method with courtesy and patience. I had eight students, two made their Molas by machine, the others all worked with hand applique. Five created their own unique designs while three used patterns from the collection I have designed.
    Our hostess, Jane, was the Superstar completing her machine made Mola from start to finish using a new pattern I had created by her request of a Native American pot; it turned out gorgeous but I – Miss Swiss Cheese For Brains – was so busy helping all the students that I neglected to take a photo of her Mola. I will do so at a future date but for now, I am posting a few photos of my own Molas.
    We worked and ate homemade coffee cake made by me, chewy gooey oh so delicious brownies made by Jane’s grandson, luscious bundt cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes and heavenly Moonstruck Chocolate graciously provided by a group member who is one of Moonstruck’s leading Chocolatiers. We got to taste a preview of an upcoming flavor being developed for next Mother’s Day along with the last batch of a flavor – ‘Cherry Blossom’ – that was specially developed for the Portland Japanese Garden’s grand re-opening earlier this year. The Cherry Blossom chocolate is being retired and will be seen no more to my dismay, it was delicious.
    Speaking of things retiring, we capped off the meeting/class with a trip to member Steve’s home for a last shopping trip at what was left of his fabric inventory; he closed his online store One World Fabrics for good last week and gave us all unbelievable deals on the fabric he had left, I wish my budget had allowed me to buy more and I focused on the fabrics I knew were not likely to cross my path again.
    Now that One World is gone, your next best bet to pick up those lovely Taupe Fabrics is at Pioneer Quilts, they still have a fairly nice selection of these hard to find fabrics. I am now working there part time and just posted a piece about Taupe fabric and quilts on Pioneer’s Facebook Page.

  • Upcoming Classes

    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.