Sunday, July 20, 2014

July 2014 - End of Odd Shapes

Well, we made it through odd shapes this year, and we hope you're feeling a bit more comfortable using unusual shapes in your quilts. July is one of my favorite months for meetings, because we get to meet outside in such a gorgeous setting, and we end a session with new friends. Welcome to those just joining us, and thanks to everyone for wonderful Show and Tell. 

Remember, next session's WIP it Up begins in August, also outside. Registration begins at 9am Monday, July 28th either in the store or over the phone. The signing bonus is a truly fantastic "utensil kit" full of fun sewing notions to help re-energize you into getting at least one WIP (work in progress) done in the next six months. And as a special this next session, if a friend joins with you, you will receive 2 free fat quarters on the first meeting!

And we can't forget about all of the fun plans for QuiltBliss 2015 that are getting under way. July 24, 25 & 26 are the days UCMQG members get exclusive preregistration. Some of you have let us know you want to come with a friend, but as you can see by our monthly meetings, anyone is welcome and no one is ever alone!

So rounding out Session 6 was trapezoids. I really think this is such a fun, unlimited shape. (Did I say that about the other ones, too?) I shared my RWB stripe exchange quilt, Red Pepper Quilts' Butterfly Spools method, and some dresden plates that I'm having a lot of fun with right now.

My butterfly wings are 2/3 bigger than my background squares, and the backgrounds are tilted 1" on the top, and even on the bottom.

My dresdens were cut 9.5".

Anna showed us how you can use your ruler to make a template, if you didn't choose the ruler as your signing bonus this session (see above quilt), using tumblers to make a low volume quilt, hexagon log cabins - using a Hex n' More ruler, and a great paper-piecing pineapple pattern of Gigi's Thimble she's knocking out of the park with pastels.

And finally, JoyLyn went over the magical trapezoid-to-braid that's always so fun to make. She found a couple of great tutorials for you to watch as well here and here.

Don't you love how the summertime weather and fun influenced all of our colors in the demos today? Truly we are what we see all around us.  We sincerely hope to see you all back next session for more fun, sharing and creativity. Thanks for being along on the ride. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Hexies, Hexies, and More Hexies! June Meeting in Review

Hello friends!  The June meeting for UCMQG was so lovely underneath the big shade trees behind Broadbent's.  It's the perfect backdrop for the amazing show & tell! I'm always so inspired by the projects that are matter what stage of completion.  It is beautiful to see everyone's individuality and creativity and I appreciate that each of you share a piece of you with us each month.

Here is just a peak at what we were treated to...I wish we could post everyone's right here, but that would make for a really long post so be sure to visit the Flickr group to see all the rest.


Clockwise from top left:

  • Susan S.'s family heirloom cathedral window quilt.  I loved the story behind this quilt - the quilter had made kitchen curtains and used the scraps to start the quilt.  Years later, she ran out of fabric so she took down the curtains and used the fabric to finish the quilt.  Makes me look all around my house with new eyes!  
  • Susan G.'s Flame-in-go quilt she made as a gift.  She used all the t-shirts from one fire season.  What a great gift!
  • Kris's beautiful sampler that incorporates many techniques - embroidery, patchwork, etc.  I love how she made this quilt her own by changing out one of the blocks from the pattern that she didn't like with a different block that she did like.  
  • Jennifer F.'s gorgeous red & white medallion - even prettier in person!

We also talked a lot about incorporating hexagons into your quilts.  JoyLyn shared her beautiful machine-pieced (yep, you read that right!) hexagon quilt using Chicopee by Denyse Schmidt.  She explained how easy it is to machine-piece your hexagons (not to mention a lot faster!).  The big thing JoyLyn said to remember is to make sure you don't sew into that 1/4" seam allowance.  If you picked one of the rulers for your freebie this session, they have great marks on them to make it easier to know where to start and stop for that 1/4" seam allowance.  If you're looking for online tutorials on how to machine-piece hexagons, click here and here.

Anna talked about some other ways to incorporate hexagons into your quilts - paper piecing; English paper piecing (EPP) - with either thread or glue; quilt-as-you-go hexagons; and log cabin style hexagons.

Clockwise from left above:

  • Log-cabin style hexagons - you can piece them in a round (like this tutorial), or piece them in half-rounds (like this tutorial).  Lots of choices for variety - all in one color and/or fabric or scrappy.  This would be fun to make into really large blocks with the rainbow strip swap.  
  • Quilt-as-you-go hexagons - using the Hickory Nut templates (the large template was used in the demo).  Here is a step-by-step tutorial that demonstrates just how easy this method is.  I machine-stitched very close to the edge of the binding on each hexagon, but you could also attach them the way you'd hand-bind a quilt.  If you choose to machine-stitch, I would suggest that you use matching thread, unless you like the look of contrasting thread, since the end result is a finished additional quilting needed.  
  • EPP using thread and glue basting. A great hand project if you have road trips planned this summer, or days on the lake or at the game. Glue basting is much faster than using thread.  Here is a tutorial for glue and  here is a tutorial for thread.  Both are very easy to do - sometimes it's soothing just to sit and stitch by hand.  
  • Hexadaisy pattern by Piece by Number - the 'look' of hexagons created by foundation paper piecing.  Pattern is available on Craftsy and comes with a handy coloring page so you can figure out exactly what fabrics you need where. Once color placement is planned, the block goes together quickly and finishes rather large.  

July is right on the horizon and brings with it a lot of exciting things...the 4th of July, hot summer days, road trips, and...

  • Our last month to 'Shape Up' this session.  We'll be talking about parallelograms and trapezoids - they are used in quilting a lot more than you think!  So, be on the lookout for those shapes in quilts you might be working on.  
  • Sign-ups for the next UCMQG session start at the end of July (see previous blog post for more details).
  • If you signed up for the rainbow fabric strip swap, you'll receive your strips in all the colors of the rainbow during our July UCMQG meeting.  So, be thinking of how you want to use all those fun fabric strips.  
  • Sign-ups open for Quilt Bliss!!!!  So excited!  Be sure to follow the blog so you'll be ready to register when we have the green light.  

If you weren't able to make it in June, please know that we missed you.  Hope to see you all out under the trees next month!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

May Curves

Well I hope after today, there is some sort of curve that interests you to try someday at home. I felt inspired by the techniques shown that I haven't tried, and I loved hearing more tips and tricks from all of you! 

JoyLyn shared a few examples of using QuiltSmart's printed interfacing. Maybe that will cure my terrible rounded edges! QuiltSmart has so many different pattern options, and the store carries a lot of them.

JoyLyn and Anna both shared their favorite new ruler, the Quick Curve Ruler, by Sew Kind of Wonderful. There are several free patterns on her site and Craftsy, as well as some for purchase to download. And I highly suggest following Jenny on Instagram. She is a world class machine quilter as well. 

These rulers are on order for those who asked for them specifically, plus some extras for the store, in case you were quietly eyeing one for yourself. I know I was!

Anna showed a Cathedral Window that is outta sight, from Moda Bake Shop. How does she make it all look so easy?

Anna and I gave some of our thoughts on the beautiful Steampunk quilt by Jenn Kingwell. There are 2 kits left (including the pattern/template/fabric for 42 blocks) and one pattern, should you want to make it your own stash buster. 

I walked through Log Cabin curves inspired by Badskirt's flickr feed on her take, and her blog post . Anna also found a great explanation from Moda, and Mary Fons also has a useful video, too. The official Log Cabin ruler will be in the shop soon.

I gave Rita's at Red Pepper Quilts free-hand curves tutorial a shot. I plan to keep making sections and design some kind of quilt top, who knows. I would also add to her great tips, to make sure when cutting that your fabric doesn't travel, and that your curve is not too wavy as you enter and exit the fabric. Save the drama for the center of the strip.

As always Show and Tell was mind-blowing, and it can be viewed on flickr. 

There are only 3 spots left in Anna's June 21 paper-piecing class, so sign up if you want to learn from the best. We try to have at least one of her classes per session, so if this one doesn't work for you, look for another one this fall. There will also be kits for purchase to class members, or anyone else who is already a paper piecing pro and just wants to make these darling tulips.

Open Sew will be June 28, 11am until 3pm. There were 6 spots left when I saw the sign-ups last. (And I will be there. Just sayin'.)

Pamela announced the beautiful new look for QuiltBliss online, and will be releasing fun information all summer long. The official guest speakers and teachers will be announced at the beginning of July, with registration opening a few weeks after that for UCMQG members exclusively, and the general public at the end of the month. Please try to join us!

Next month is the final month to bring your 2.5" fabric strips if you signed up for the exchange. I loved Andy's nine-patch she showed today (and the quilting was awesome too!). It would be a fun way to use the rainbow strips. Your traded strips will be returned to you at July's meeting.  

July is also the time to bring a friend to our meeting for free. We love meeting new people, whatever their experience in quilting has been. And August will be the start of Session 7, if you can believe it. We are busy making fun plans and quilts, and gathering really wonderful things to give away. 

Which reminds me: June, July and August's meetings will be on the lawn behind the store, and both classes will be combined to meet at 930am. This is my favorite time of UCMQG, because it's so picturesque under that huge shade tree and we can all be together. There is so much warmth in fifty women sharing their creations in nature.

Until next month!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Anna's Paper Piecing

Anna will be teaching another great paper piecing class next month. Sign ups will start on Saturday, space is limited to 10 quilters. She will be teaching these beautiful Spring Tulips, from Craftsy, on June 21st from 11am until 1pm. This is an outdoor UCMQG meeting day, so her class will begin inside immediately following. Admission is $10 for group members, and $15 for your friends. Kits will most likely be available for purchase, if you would like one.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Flying Geese Rulers

I didn't realize, but the Flying Geese ruler I showed in class on Saturday was ordered for us, and I just didn't know where to look. Hooray! So if you were interested in picking one up, they are available in the store now.

Happy flying!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

April's Uneven Triangles

Life can be fairly uneven, but quilting can make up for it. On one of my favorite shows, Blue Bloods, Tom Selleck often says, "Life isn't fair, but you can be." So let's focus on the unexpected. The uneven triangles that can add a new dimension to our quilting.

Anna showed us half-rectangle triangles, a slightly more complicated but doable way to create uneven triangles, using a similar method to HST's. 

She also discussed these scrappy triangles that make individual rectangular blocks. 

I showed a different method using a similarly shaped triangle, only in rows like bunting.

Uneven triangles can also be roofs of houses.

Or finally, flying geese. I showed the 4-in-1 method using Lazy Girl Designs' ruler, but look around for other ways you feel comfortable with. 

I trolled around for some other triangle quilts that I'm loving online. You can find some of them here, here, here, here, here, here and here. I also collect quilts on Pinterest, American Flag quilts, and house quilts.

Also, Anna shared the pattern she will be using to teach her paper-piecing class in June.  It's a free pattern on craftsy, called Spring Tulips.

And here's a preview of the beautiful 2.5" strip fabric exchange that started this month. May and June will be the other months, and then in July we will pass them all out in class. You can bring all three months at once, or one set each month. Please remember to follow through, so that everyone who signed up gets a big packet of lovelies at the end.