Monday, May 22, 2017

Another Festival Come and Gone

Another festival in the books and man, oh, man am I exhausted.  My little legs did more running this weekend, sadly than they have done all year.  This is a view of our guild's quilt show from the floor of the craft show.  Each year the local college allows craft vendors to set up in the floor of the gym and the guild to host a quilt show in the area above.  I don't have an official count of how many quilts where entered, but I'm guessing it was in the 75-80 range.

This is the view of the show as you come through the front doors.  I only got to pop into the show twice this weekend, but both times I'm happy to report there was a flow of people walking around checking out all the beautiful quilts.  All the way in the very back, tables are set up with items for sale donated by guild members.

David bought himself a little red hen pincushion and a "fill a bag" of fabric and we each took chances on a pretty cool quilter's basket of goodies being raffled off.  

The charity raffle quilt, Irish Pinwheels, was on display for the first time.  The guild will sell chances on this quilt at various events until December, at which time the winner will be drawn. 

So how did I do in the show?  I always stress about figuring out what to enter.  The maximum number of items a person can enter is five, so I entered five things. David entered three as well, but I will let him tell you about his experience.  

First was Star Thistle, a block I pattern tested for Jayne at Twiggy and Opal, landed in the house hold items category as a table topper.  I had hoped to enter it in the miniature category, but technically, it did not fit in the definition of miniature, as a scaled down version of a larger quilt.  In the hustle and bustle of talking to people, I completely missed getting a picture of this one hanging with all of it's friends.

Next is My Pet Hamster, pattern by Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts, in the Medium Wall-hanging Category.

These adorable little balls of fluff earned an honorable mention ribbon.  Don't you just want to reach out and pinch their cheeks??

Autumn Blooms (an adaptation of the Watermelon Taffy Block) a quilt I created for the Autumn Abundance blog hop competed in the Large Wall-hanging Category.  It received a 2nd place ribbon.

Next is a quilt we haven't talked about on the blog yet, but I promise we will be soon.  I entered it into the baby quilts category and it also took a 2nd place ribbon.

And last but not least, is Zentangle, my free motion whole cloth entered into the Amateur/Non Longarm Category.  I was very happy to discover it too had placed 2nd in it's category.

So three 2nd place finishes and an honorable mention, not to shabby if I say so myself.  I've said it before and I'll say it again...I feel weird entering my work into judged shows.  There is a vulnerability in sharing something so personal and opening it up to criticism.  Kinda like wearing a bathing suit in public.  But the more you share your work the easier it gets, I guess.  And it is always great to read the judges comments to try to learn things that you can improve on. 

So after three days, the show had to come down and life return back to normal.

Thankfully, our guild is made up of many hard working people that make the show run very smoothly.  From getting quilts registered, ready for judging, watching over the show and take down/clean up, they make it look easy.  Without the volunteers, the show wouldn't be possible.

I think we were able to get everything down and ready to be returned to their owners within about an hour.  I think that's pretty impressive.

After the show was over, in talking with David, I made a few observations about the quilts we entered.  Of the eight total quilts (between the two of us) four of them where original designs by both David and I.  The other four quilts, the patterns were designed by talented quilters, we get to call friends and communicate with on a semi regular basis (Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts, Sandra at mmm!quilts, Jayne at Twiggy and Opal and Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs) how cool is that???  I think that is pretty darn cool.  Also all of the quilts where pieced and quilted with Aurifil thread, but if you have been to my blog before, that's probably not a big surprise.

I think I will pose a challenge to my fellow guild members, that everyone enter at least one item in the show next year.  A quilt show can't be a show if it doesn't have quilts.  As quilters and artists we should be proud of the work we do and build each other up.  There is much beauty, even in imperfection.  My quilts are far from perfect, but that doesn't mean I love them less or that they do not bring me happiness.  Love those stitches, even the wonky ones and the piecing lines, even if they are only straight-ish.  Be proud of the work you do, because you did it.

That's my weekend wrap up.  Hopefully, I will be able to pop back in on Wednesday and talk about the QAL's.  It seems like I just started some of them and they are already wrapping up.

Today I'm linking up with Main Crush Monday.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Counting Down to Summer Solstice

After another weekend of sleeping, I finally am feeling like myself again and that means, prepping for the Strawberry Festival and tackling the Summer Solstice quilt again.  When I picked this project back up, I was behind quite a few blocks so I needed to regroup.  I had sections B and C completed and decided to tackle section A.  I still needed to make three blocks, so I picked my fabrics, cut all the block pieces and the black and gray/white fabrics I'm using for the checker board fillers.

For me this is the quickest way to work on the blocks.  Chain piecing  everything as I go and using the checker board pieces as leader/enders...score!  The On The Go and Precious Fabric blocks went together super quick.  The Board Game block took a bit more's not pictured below.

It was after completing these blocks, my body decided to crash again and I went into hibernation, but I woke up a new woman, ready to go again.  It was at this point I realized that I had made enough checker board pieces to complete section E and only needed to complete three more blocks to complete section's almost like I have a whole quilt!

So on to piecing Hugs & Kisses, Honey Bee and Tile Time blocks.

I ended up completing two out of the three blocks as of tonight.  Unfortunately it is time for it to got back to sleep for a few days.  The rest of my week will be consumed by all of the small town festival events.

But I couldn't really stop just there...I HAD to see what this quilt is looking like.  So out came the portable design wall and up went the blocks.

This thing is HUGE!  I kind of wonder if I should have planned my fabric choices a little better, but you know, all those prints make me smile.  One of the points of this quilt is to finally give a home to all of the fabrics in my stash that I have dearly loved, but been to afraid to chop up.  All fabrics deserve a good home.

So the fabrics for the next two Solstice blocks are waiting for me, along with the fabrics for Mister Domestic, Mathew Boudreaux's, block Faux Weave.  Until I can get these pretties all cut up, I will leave you with festival pictures.

I snapped this picture on Tuesday before we began prepping the quilts for judging....the quilt show before the quilts.

I also volunteered to create three different boards with pictures taken through out last year, that will hopefully explain to those that attend the show what a quilt guild is and some of the things that we do.

The first board shows three different charity projects that the guild has taken on.

The second board shows group projects that we have participated in; including two classes and Cheryl Brickey's, Meadow Mist Designs, Meadow Mystery Quilt.

The last board talks about what a guild is, what we do, and how to join.  Our hope is that by seeing what we are about, maybe we can see an increase in our membership.  I've ran into several people that have expressed and interest in joining but where afraid they didn't have enough experience or didn't exactly know what the guild does.  Hopefully, by seeing all the fun we have together others will find encouragement to join us in all our fun.

Does your guild have any special things that they do in order to try to encourage membership growth?  I would love to hear about it if they do.  Until next time, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  May good weather find you and lots of free sewing time.  I will be getting fat on funnel cake and of course strawberry short cake.

Today I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social, Wednesday Weight Loss, and Midweek Makers.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Identity Crisis

It's almost that time of year again in my tiny neck of the woods.  Festivities will start kicking off this weekend for our annual Strawberry Festival; a week long love fest of fun, all about those bright red juicy berries.  So, things might be a bit quiet over here while I'm helping with the festival quilt show (as much as I can) and playing band mom to my teenager since the festival hosts three parades.

I try to keep things real over here, because life is real and it definitely isn't perfect.  It's been a crazy kind of week with not a lot of quilting going on.  Thanks to a much needed FaceTime gab session with Sandra (mmm!quilts) last night, this is really the first time I've felt like talking/typing in a few days.  My energy was completely zapped this weekend by a sneak attack kidney infection.  Once I figured out what was wrong and was able to get medication, I'm finally becoming myself again.  I was probably quite the b witch this weekend.  I know, hard to image right?  Just ask poor Dave.

But I am emerging from the fog and with the quilt show excepting entries starting on Monday, I am having a bit of an identity crisis and trying to figure out where I fit in.  What type of quilter am I?  Unfortunately, the categories do not include things like witty, funny, and best butt.   For the past year I have been quilting on a HQ Sweet Sixteen instead of my domestic sewing machine.  However it is still the same style of quilting, move the quilt not the machine.  Longarmer or not...that is the question.

As a whole it is a smaller quilt show with 17 categorizes; two different applique, hand pieced and quilted, machine pieced hand quilted, amateur machine quilted (not longarm), large longarm, medium longarm, mixed techniqes, embroidered, baby/child quilts, large wall hanging, medium wall hanging, miniature quilt, wearables, home decor, antique and comforters.  I would say that 70-80% of the quilts fall into the large/medium longarm categories and are not quilted by the piecer.

So, am I a longarm quilter?  My first response answer is "no."  Why?  Well in my area (and I am generalizing here) most (not all) quilters that offer quilting services quilt on Statler Stitcher Gammills and offer edge to edge designs.  Some however, do offer custom quilting options, still computerized not free hand.  At the end of the day, I cannot compete with these quilts (not that I'm trying to).  I'm just being the best Tish I can be.  But to just a general public person who knows nothing about quilting these quilts, there is no explanation as to why my stitches are even-ish and lines straight-ish as compared to the computers perfect stitches and precise lines.

But is it fair for me to enter quilts quilted on my Sweet Sixteen into the "not longarm" category?  Technically, I am playing with a 16" throat space...seems long to me.  So what to do? I think I have found a few quilts that can fit in categories and still remain in the boundaries of the category.

1) Machine Quilted-not longarm

Zentangle is one of the last quilts I quilted on my domestic sewing machine, so it only seems right to enter it into the category.  I'm proud of all the work I poured into this one and hope show viewers will enjoy all the fun textures living in the stitches.

2) Medium/Large wall hangings

What I can enter into these categories will be determined when I measure the perimeter of the quilts.

3)Miniature Quilts--defined as scaled down version of larger quilt.  

Mini Flag Quilt

I even think My Pet Hamster could go in this category.  They have been lenient in the past in what they have allowed in this category, so I think any of these quilts could fit in.

4) Baby/Childs Quilt

Bottom line--a quilt show isn't a show if it doesn't have quilts.  Period.  End of story.  I think having any of these pieces in the show will represent "Tish" as a quilter.  I hope that people can get to know me as an artist by seeing my different types of work.  Tish loves prints, and color and most of all texture.  She is not perfect and honestly doesn't want to be.  I hope at least 3 people secretly reach out and touch my quilting without the white gloves because they just want to know what it feels like.  That thought makes me smile more than anything.

Also, I'm excited because Dave the Quilt Engineer will be entering a few pieces for the first time!!!  I'm so PROUD of him!

So maybe next year, I will lobby for the addition of a midarm category?  Or maybe they can add witty, funny and greatest butt?  Probably not the last three, but I do think the midarmers deserve a place to play together and have fun.  I do know of a few others in the area with this type of machine.

Okay, this was a strange post for me.  Maybe it's the meds?  I'm pretty sure I'm not drunk.  I'd love to hear your thoughts if you are still with me on quilt categories.  Now it's time to nap again, so that I can quilt something later or I'm going to burst!

Today I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social and Midweek Makers.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

QAL's-Haulk Mode

I'm still plugging away over here, working on QAL's and getting that pattern ready to release.  After my crazy productive week the week before, last week I kind of hit a brick wall.  I didn't really do anything-at-all.  It happens.

David has been gone since last Friday for work again, and I knew I needed to buckle down and be productive over my quiet weekend (well as quiet as it gets with a teenage daughter in the house).  On Friday it was like my batteries recharged.  I hit the coin box and found that flashy star on Super Mario Brothers that warped me into moving at super quick speeds.  I turned on quilting Haulk Mode (no I didn't turn green).

Saturday, I popped into a local quilt store, Helen's Hen House, to pick up a few FQ's to add to my Solstice challenge quilt.  That's where I picked up those yummy pieces above...I think I'm going to need more.  What was suppose to be a quick trip ended up being a 1 1/2 hour event.  The place was hopping and I ran into quilting friends and made a new quilting friend.  But the quilt store magic had to end...I had things to do!  So back home I went.

I was able to quickly finish the straight line quilting on my pattern quilt, which leaves me with one more to quilt.

I was able to get that quilt basted and cut binding strips for four quilts.

Next up, was the Freefall 1/2 blocks.  Sandra at mmm!quilts had emailed me the instructions for the next set of blocks so that I could test them before she released them on Monday.  Making that a major priority, I knocked those out pretty quickly.

Here are all the blocks playing on my design wall.

I needed a carrot chocolate bar on a stick, dangling in front of me as a reward.  I decided to do a fabric pull for the three blocks I need to make to finish section A of Pat Sloan's 182 Solstice Challenge.  I will only allow myself to work on this project once everything is completed.

Now on to the blocks I completed.  I had three blocks to catch up on;  Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts had released the Santa block for the Jolly Christmas Quilt and he had yet to visit my design wall, April's Aurifil block needed to be completed, and Pat Sloan released The Children's Library May block two days early.  I cut the pieces for all three blocks and slowly (and carefully) worked on them all together.

Santa finished up first.  Isn't he just the jolliest? 

I even pieced one of the five rows together.

The Children's Library Block for May was Green Eggs and Ham.  I dug into my stash of green and went to work.  This block goes together log cabin style and for some reason, I always end up with a wonky block.  My 1.5" piece blocks got a little bit off, but I didn't sweat it and improvised.  As long as I ended up with a 12.5" block that looked dag gone close, I was happy.  I think Dr. Seuss would agree, whimsical is better than perfect?

And here they are all together.

Last but definitely not least, was the Aurifil BOM by Sue Marsh New Direction.  I put this block off for half of a month because the templates and triangles scared the crap out of me.  Something I've never really worked with.  I cut very carefully and took my time sewing.

I have to say the block turned out much better than I expected.  Once put together, I did lose a few points on the arrow, but hey some times in life, the arrows that point us aren't quite as sharp as they should be.  This is just one of those times. (It's not done losing points either...shhhh)

And here are the start of my rainbow blocks, ranging from blue to red purple.

So this is what my list looked like at the end of Sunday.

Not bad if I do say so myself.  I also finished making a pressing board to use for bigger pieces of fabric, but I think I'll save that for another post.  This one is about eye candy.  

So for now, my Haulk muscles have retracted and I've returned to little ol' Tish N Wonderland.  I still need to keep the forward momentum going, but for now I think I deserve a nap.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Freefall 2

So let's get right to the point here (see what I did there??)  I am having a blast making all these little Freefall leaves.  The next six blocks went together easy peasy lemon squeezy over here.  Since I was a pro at making them from making the first eight, I was able to chain piece the crap out of these little buggers.

I separated everything into neat little piles and in no time at all have my completed blocks.  I LOVE a project like that.  I chose to paper piece the large shadow leaf points as well.  Sandra has the paper piecing units also available in her Craftsy Shop.

So now I will leave you with all my blocks to date floating around on my mobile design wall.

Only six more blocks to go!  So now there is nothing to do but set around and wait for the next set of instructions, or maybe I could quilt something :)

Today I'm linking up with Freefall Linky and Main Crush Monday.

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