Sunday, July 31, 2016

Let's Book It! July 2016
As the month closes out, I can't say that I got much done this month (as my Get It Done! report will show tomorrow).  However, I did do some work on one project that, as it turns out, is totally appropriate for this venue!

I was supposed to start work on Quilt of Valor projects this month.  When I went to the bag with the stash of projects that I've already coordinated fabric for, at the top of it was the fabrics for this quilt:

This is "Across the County Line" from Judy Laquidara's book "60 Pieced Quilt Borders" published by AQS (2012).

Reading Sharon's comment on her Book It! post that she hated doing borders was what prompted me share this project and book today.  Judy has always been a big fan and proponent of doing multiple pieced borders on her projects which you can see is true if you check out her free patterns page.  Her book provides 60 (!) pieced border designs and fifteen projects that can be mixed and matched with the different borders.  She also gives tips on measuring your borders, determining how to make them fit and using coping strips to help with that. 

However, for me this didn't originally start out as a Book It! project.  I originally found out about Judy's design from her blog, Patchwork Times.

Back in May of 2010, Judy announced a Memorial Day Quilt Along.  She was taking one of her previous designs called "Tiger Trails" and doing it up in patriotic colors with the intention of using it for a QOV donation.  At the time, she also made the generous offer to quilt any tops made in the design by her readers if they sent them to her with binding fabric.  After quilting them, she would send them to Alycia at Alycia Quilts who would distribute them through her QOV donation network.  At the time I was always excited about making Red, White and Blue quilts and was just starting to consider doing a QOV so figured the QAL would be perfect for me.  I did get fabric for the project in the weeks following......

....but unfortunately didn't get started on the project right away although I did print out the first two steps.  By the time I was ready to work on it in late 2011, I went searching on her blog and couldn't find the posts for it!  I emailed Judy and she told me that with her blog recently updated, the posts might have been lost but if she found them she would either re-post them or would include the design as one of the projects in her (then) next book.  Needless to say that's what happened.  I eventually got the book but STILL managed to not start the project until now.   This is as far as I got this month:

I've got two more blocks waiting to be pieced on the mini design boards but I need to cut more of the dark blue and red into strips to make four more four patch units.  My hope is to get this to a top before the summer ends.   At this point, it won't be a QOV donation since I don't expect to get it finished any time soon and foresee it taking me a while to get to quilting it.  I've got easier projects planned that will make for speedier donations so need to wrap this up so I can get to those!

Got a project and a book to highlight?  Then add to Sharon's linky over at her blog Vrooman's Quilts so we can see what books and projects we're missing out on!
P.S.  In addition to the recent announcement of the demise of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, it has also been announced that AQS will also cease publishing books.  Judy mentions it here and there is a great blog article on the Generation Q magazine site about how the quilt industry is contracting in general.  Expect a lot of conversation on this topic in the coming months. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The End of An Era.....

 Just saw this a little while ago on Bill Volckening's "Wonky World" blog:

(Click the photo or the link to his blog to read it clearly)
I can't believe it!  Quilter's Newsletter has been a part of my quilting life since the very beginning.  I remember Alex Anderson (back when she was host of Simply Quilts on HGTV) saying it was the best quilting magazine to read and I immediately subscribed to it.  It's the only magazine that I've kept a continuous subscription to and have a complete collection of issues going back to 1984 (eBay has been very good to me over the years for that). 

I've always liked that QNM chronicled the quilt world in general in addition to providing quilt patterns.  While all the magazines do that now, back when I started reading QNM it offered the most comprehensive survey of quilt events and competitions (both announcements of them and
showcasing the winning quilts), profiles of famous and locally proficient quilters, historical moments in quilting history (posted on the "Bulletin Board" and "Design Wall" pages), lessons on techniques and new products and a place in their "Quilting Bee" section for quilters to share their projects or in the "Quilt Lovers Forum" and "300 Words About Quilting" to share their feelings about quilts and the quilt making process. 

Over the years they've offered insights into the business side of quilting with columns by Jeff Gutcheon in the early 1980's ("Not For Shopkeepers Only") and regular columns by quilt legends Jean Ray Laury and Helen Kelly that sparked your creativity and productivity.

It will be sad to say good-bye to this iconic publication and interesting to see what, if anything will fill the void it will leave.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Get It Done! June Recap, July Goals

Once again, I'm a day late getting this done!  It was also another busy month so not as much accomplished on my part as hoped.  My MIL returned to NC on Monday after staying with us for a week to attend my youngest son's high school graduation.  We did get some quilting done --- but all of it was on her projects!  With my help, we worked on the designs for two lap quilt tops which she completed and we started work on a third.  I also invited one of her friends to come stitch with us last Saturday.  I had taught both of them to quilt and we used to sew together at my MIL's house when she still lived here in New York.  Their friendship started when they were co-workers, then they scrapbooked together and now both are obsessed fully committed to quilting!  We helped her friend design a pieced back for a baby quilt and she brought her new sewing machine and we helped her learn about some of its features.  Between coaching and hosting, I forgot to take pictures!

I truly appreciate the value of a quilt retreat now --- had I not been preparing for guests and hosting, I might have gotten more done myself.  Note to self:  in the future, I have to set up some "mindless sewing" tasks if I'm hosting --- something that only needs to just be run through the machine.  I need a "no thinking involved" project if I want to be able to be productive while hosting and teaching.

With regards to the June list, here's what happened:

1. Quilt CW Chronicles:  NOT DONE
The plan was to quilt this project from the March GID list to use on our new high riser beds.  I had planned to set them up pushed together to offer the equivalent of a King size bed.  However, the guest plans changed from my MIL coming with her husband to my MIL coming with her sister.  That meant needing the two twin beds to stay separate and since I already had quilts for them and with so much else to do in preparation, I decided to put this one on the back burner again

2. The T-shirt Quilt :  STARTED

I did get this one from April's GID list at least started.  The above picture was of the shirts I had picked out for this project back in April.   Using a pack of t-shirt quilt interfacing I had bought sometime last year, I only managed to get it attached to the shirts, cut out the elements I wanted to use and start working on the layout. 

I've decided I want to add sashing also cut from the shirt backs so have more fusing and cutting to do and found that hard to focus on with company around.  So this one, which is the first time I've attempted to make this type of quilt, will also be an ongoing project.     

3. Pastel baby quilt: NOT DONE
This is a commission project that I still need to work out the color placement for.  Again not something I could do while paying attention to company so it too moves forward. 

4. Graduation quilt:  NOT DONE

This is a gift project for a family friend who is finishing up a degree.  It also needs some thought given to fabric placement as well as some more stash enhancement!  Like the previous project, that was not something I could do with company around so work on it will have to move forward too. 

5. Quilts Of Valor:   NOT DONE
A shot of the stash storage!
The plan to start on these had already made an appearance on the May list and I had really expected to get a chance to pick a project and start work on these with my guests.  But again, I should have done all that before they got here so I was ready to just sew.  I'm hoping to use the July 4 holiday weekend to finally get started on this. 

6.  (Not a quilt but quilt related)  Terrace Barn Sign  Quilt:  DONE!

Well at least I did get something done even if it wasn't with fabric!  I think it looks pretty good and two of my neighbors complemented it as well.  Last month I called it a "barn sign" but after doing some research on the topic, I stand corrected:  it is actually a "barn quilt".  I will do a separate post on the details soon.

Oh, and not "officially" on the list but mentioned:   I also did get to augment, with batting, the pillow form for the CW repro pillow I had made.  My not-so-filled pillow went from this: this.... now resides on the chair with the Kaye England "CW Legacy" quilt.

This was made from my repro leftovers using the "Fussy-Cut Flowers" Pillow  pattern on the American Patchwork & Quilting website.  It also gave me a chance to use my Accuquilt Go! cutter to cut out the applique circles with fusible attached.

For July, the list consists of all the carryovers:

1. Quilts Of Valor.  Moving this to the top of the list since I hope to work on it some this weekend.
2. The T-shirt Quilt.  Next priority since I need it for the house.
3. Pastel baby quilt. Like to get this commission job done.
4. Graduation quilt:  Much like the QOVs, if not done, at least started.
5. Quilt CW Chronicles:  This one is long overdue and I'm actually looking forward to doing some custom quilting on it so fingers crossed I finally get to it.

With all the major family commitments now done, I'm looking forward to being able to actually focus on all the things I personally want to do for the rest of the summer.  Let's see if I can make that dream happen!