Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sewing with Friends! It doesn't get any better than this!

I spent last week with my Brown Bagger friends quilting away in the Berkshires. Karen, our fearless Berkshire's leader figured out that it was our 13th year out in Western Mass and made a list of all the places we've stayed over the years. Cheryl was our social director and put together a comprehensive list of restaurants for our culinary pleasure.

Marion and I started our trip on Tuesday morning. Our friend Debbie had recommended the $1.99 store in Auburn, so we made a quick stop there at Exit 10 off the Mass Pike.
Marion and I found some very nice batiks, and a piece of pink of pink oriental that we both liked. I also found some nice music fabric to make some more pillowcases for my nephews. At the last moment, we went back inside and I bought a backing fabric for a baby quilt. Then we hit the road again. When we got to the Berkshires we naturally stopped at the Pumpkin Patch (one FQ bundle, some dog fabric and two spools of thread for me/nothing for Marion), then we stopped at our favorite Berkshire's Chinese restaurant, the Panda, for a quick lunch. Next, on to the quilting room!

This year the Girls went a little nutty and extended the week so it started on Sunday. Marion and I didn't think we could quilt for 7 days straight, so we came down on Tuesday. The Girls were in full swing! Joanne S. had this beautiful batik panel quilt in progress (in the photo background). She finished the whole top (in fact all of her projects!) by the end of the week. In the foreground of this photo you can see some of the goodies that Karen had for sale...lots of beautiful bali pops and jelly rolls! The kind without calories!
Marion quickly got to work on some tops that she was planning to put together. I'm not sure why I don't have a photo of her beautiful black, white and red quilt, but here are some photos of her Nest Quilt, started in a class that we took at the Button Box last year.

Now, I may have to go back and finish mine! Marion and I like to take classes together and we often pick out the same project to work on. Except that Marion usually finishes hers and I get distracted and start something else!

This is getting to be a long post, so good night for now...to be continued...

Photos, the next frontier!

I've been dieing to try adding photos to my blog. Looks like I figured out how to do it, but not sure if I have control over where to put them. Last week I went to my annual quilting retreat (lucky #13) with my Brown Bagger buddies. I actually started my vacation the prior Friday, by going to an Embroidery Weekend in CT with my good buddie Joannie. Joannie is always game for anything! Here we are with Eileen Roche from Designs in Machine Embroidery and her sister, Marie Zinno, aka the Sewing Sisters. The weekend turned out to be more of a sales pitch than an embroidery seminar, but we had a lot of fun despite the fact that we had to share the machine with two other people (a total of 4), but we got some good tips and found a great diner (and a dog store) across the street.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Quilting Identity Crisis

I tell people that I am a quilter, and I think of myself that way, but some days I wonder if I really am a quilter

First of all, I make lots of quilt tops, but I very rarely quilt them myself, except for the small ones, and even then it's only with straight lines and a walking foot. I've never mastered free motion quilting although I've taken many classes over the years. In my humble opinion, free motion quilting is a different skill set from piecing. Piecing is methodical and simple. You feed the fabric through the machine. I find machine piecing very soothing. In free motion quilting, you need to move the fabric in different directions to create the design. It's like doodling, which I'm not good at, at all. In high school, I occasionally felt the urge to draw a flower in the margins of my notebook, but that was about it. I can't draw at all. Which is ironic, since my Mother is a painter.

Second, I've been looking at my list. My quilting list is a little infamous among my friends. Right now it is about 6 pages long. It contains my finished projects for the year, and what I'm currently working on as well as all the "UFOs". I have lots of categories on it to break things up, such as "projects with deadlines," "gifts to make," and one of my favorites, "projects I've lost interest in".

So far in 2012, I've completed 27 projects, and I've given everything away as gifts except for a set of placemats and a small lap quilt. Out of these 27 projects, 16 were pillowcases and only two items were actual quilts. Although, I do have 11 quilts all quilted (in 2011, not by me, of course) just waiting to have bindings sewn on.

So, from now on, I'm going to identify myself as a "sewist with quilting tendencies" (sounds kind of fancy, doesn't it?). 

Pugs and kisses,