Tuesday, September 25, 2012

TST #31 - A first challenge

How many of you have attempted a quilting challenge?  Did you take a leap and attempt one?    If you have been following my Trunk Show Tuesdays, you will remember that I initially joined an online group on Compuserve; it was my quilting guild.  We called ourselves CISters, after Compuserve Information Service.  But that's a story for another day.
There came an chance to meet some of the CISters in person during the Pacific Northwest Quilt Show when it was held at the Seattle Centre.  With my mother I travelled to Seattle and met with four CISters I had previously exchanged quilt blocks with.  Okay you're probably wondering how we recognized each other.  We had made pins that had "CISters" in big letters on them and had agreed to meet at a particular time at the entrance.
After a tour of the show and a fun lunch one of the ladies suggested that we do a challenge. She pulled out a large piece of fabric and cut it into fat quarters.  She suggested that we use the fabric to create five 6-inch blocks that we could exchange, put into a wall hanging, and then share the results online with the rest of the CISters.
This is the block that I did and the pansy fabric in the block was the challenge fabric.  I had no idea about setting blocks into a cohesive wall hanging.  At that time I had only been quilting for approximately 3 years.  This is what I came up with. 

The other blocks were from the others. I also did the block that is in the left one in the center four.  It was also one of the few first attempts I made at hand quilting.  Here is a closer look.
This hung on the wall in my mother's bedroom for some time.  She loved pansies (violets actually) and the colours went with a crocheted afghan I had made for her.  Since then my mother has passed on and it is stored in a trunk.  I periodically take it out to hang on the wall to remind me of her and how she supported my interest in quilting.
So how about you?  What was your first quilting challenge?  I'd love to hear about it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

TST #30 - Remembering Mary Ellen

Our Guild, like so many others has a Block of the Month feature.  In 2005 our Guild BOM incorporated simple blocks into a complex sampler arrangement.  Some of the blocks included a bordered 9-patch, rolling 9-patch, log cabin, curved log cabin, Geese in the Courthouse, Interlocking Squares and Amish pinwheel. 

I didn't usually participate in the BOMs but this one intrigued me.  I chose my fabric; Remember When by Kaye England for Benartex and Monticello by Jinny Beyer for RJR.  I made four of each block, pieced them together into one larger square and then set them in a nine patch setting and adding sashing.  It took several years to complete the hand quilting.  Here is what resulted.

Oh!  Those blue and purple things on the left side?  Yup those are ribbons, and so is the white and red one.  The blue and purple ribbons were presented by my Guild for Best of Show and Viewer's Choice at our show in 2008.  The red and white ribbon is the Canadian Quilter Association Rosette, given in recognition of the Best of Show win. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

TST#29 - Merlin's Dogwood Round Robin

Here is another Round Robin.  This round robin group was called the Dogwoods. What to do for my center block this time?  The longer I thought, the less time I had.  Then I had an “ah-ha” moment.  I had tested a star pattern for Anne Brown of Hard Star Designs, called Merlin.  It had been challenging to piece; a lot of inset pieces and some with bias edges.  I still had the block.  I could use that as my starting block.  Here it is.

So I pack a box with extra fabric, a journal, a disposable camera, other goodies and the block and shipped it off to Carole Ann Wool in Illinois. Look at the border that she added.  It complemented the block nicely.
Sorry for the poor photos.  They were taken some time ago with that disposable camera and no amount of editing has made them any clearer. 

From Carole Ann it was passed on to Janet Kennedy in Maryland.  Janet wrote that she wanted to do a border with a Seminole technique.  Looks like she accomplished what she set out to do.
Next came the work of Trish Price in Virginia, who added a Delectable Mountains border.  Interesting that she chose this border considering I live in mountainous British Columbia.  I think the booklet about BC in my box might have influenced her decision.

From Virginia, the top went to Jane Richter in Iowa, who put on the finishing touches, placing appliqué on two sides.  I was impressed with the ruched roses in the appliqué.

After the top returned to me it sat nice and cozy in its box for quite a number of years.  When I finally decided to finish it, it was completed in time to hang in the Blue Mountain Quilters’ Guild show in October 2008.  It hangs in my dining room intermittently with other quilted wall hangings as the seasons change.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

TST #28 - A Carolina Lily Trip

One woman's trash is another woman's treasure.  This quilt was initially a UFO that was donated to our Guild.  It came in a ziploc bag that contained individual blocks (some finished, some still in pieces), background fabric and sashing.  I thought I'd take up the challenge of finishing it.  Our Guild was attempting to reach a specific number of donation quilts for the year and this would be a welcome addition.
There were sufficient patches and partial blocks to complete a lap quilt and a table topper.  Perfect for a senior's room at the local care home.  The setting for the lap quilt was determined by the partially completed quadrant that came in the original ziploc bag.   It is difficult to see in the photo, but the flowers of the lilies are pastels; blue, pink; violet; and yellow.

Here is another quilt made from fabric donated to our Guild.  This time the package contained strips and squares.

As you can see there were enough squares to create a Trip Around the World, but it was too small as a lap quilt.   Solution?  Use the remaining squares for 6 nine-patch blocks for the top and bottom.  There still remained some areas that needed filling so it would all fit together.  I used up the last of the squares by cutting them into strips to create piano key spacers.  Ta Da!! one lap quilt.