Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Elm Creek - Sylvia's Bridal Sampler The REVEAL

So much happening!!!!

If you have been following this blog - you know that one of the ongoing projects we worked on was Sylvia's Bridal Sampler from the book series - Elm Creek Quilts by Jennifer Chiaverini. 

Here is a picture of the book that we used in this project........

Elm Creek Quilt book

The class was held at Ruti's Needlebed. We started in January of 2011. Each month, TEN blocks were assigned. Each of the blocks are 6 1/2" unfinished. All the block instructions were written by a number of different people and well some of them didn't make sense. I tried to make them a bit more consistent and provide  "clues" to make the construction of these blocks easier.

There were a lot of moments in the class - struggles, ripping, frustration, but overall I think they had fun and they certainly rose to the occasion of completing this quilt.

It was made VERY CLEAR at the beginning that they did NOT have to complete all 140 blocks!!!   I know 140 blocks! That is a LOT. So as the meetings progressed, some chose to eliminate some of the more complex blocks or those with Y seams or whatever. It appeared that each of them had their own method of elimination.

After giving the class several months to complete the blocks and assemble the quilt, I hosted them at my house yesterday for a show n tell.

All I can say - they BLEW me away. Wow - the quilts are so different - it is hard to believe that we used the same blocks.

Without further ado - here are the quilts......................

Pat - used a lot of bright colours in her quilt. Because she had a few wonky sized blocks - she added a frame around each block (the pink), then trimmed to the same size and sewed them together. She is going to hand quilt it. GREAT JOB PAT!!!!!!    She made 72 blocks (well there are 72 in the quilt - I think she had more at home that didn't make it in the quilt) and this is a still a pretty big quilt. 

Carol wanted a nice wall hanging for above her staircase.  She has 40 blocks in  this quilt and a few extra at home. One day she was at my house and we spent some time figuring out what to use for sashing. Then she went home and didn't like it and bought another one. I think she made a GREAT decision and this quilt looks AMAZING!!!!!   WAY TO GO CAROL!!!!!!!   Oh yes - she used oriental style fabrics - fabrics with a tinge of gold in them.   I should mention that this quilt is quilted, bound and the sleeve in on!!!!

Janice used civil war style fabric (I am not sure they are specifically civil war, but they are muted) . She made MOST of the blocks and is starting to put it together. It is going to be a FABULOUS quilt when it is done. Can't wait to see it - I bet it will be hanging in the Brampton Quilt Show in May, 2013. Janice - how is that for incentive to get it complete!!!!   I LOVE IT - SUPER job so far!!!!   Keep it up. 

Ruth - now what can I say about Ruth. I am SO PROUD OF HER!!!!!    She started this project with GREAT trepidation. There is a LOT of piecing in here, lots of new stuff in here. Ruth tackled it with gusto and although I am sure there were MANY moments when she wanted to throw in the towel, she persevered. She has 106 of the blocks completed and needs at least TWO more to make complete rows. I remember a couple of days when Ruth would attend my sit and sew days and she worked on these blocks. RUTH - YOU TOTALLY BLEW me away yesterday. You DESERVE A HUGE pat on the back for all your hard work!!!!!!    They are pinned to a sheet and I am liking that like colour for the background!!!!

Jeanette made not one

But TWO quilts

Here they both are. Now Jeanette is a speedy gonzalez - she couldn't wait for us and worked ahead and was finished all 140 blocks months before the last of them were assigned. Hey - where is the fun in that????   She has a nice soft colour palette. There were a few blocks that she did NOT like, so she made duplicates of a couple of others. I believe she split the blocks in half alphabetically A - J in one quilt, (or whatever the letter is) and the rest in the other quilt. These are quilted and bound!!!    FABULOUS job Jeanette

Mary joined us from another group that was working on the Elm Creek blocks. She has a lot more blocks completed - we just put up this many to get an idea of her colouring. I LOVE the purple/green combination. It is going to be a gorgeous quilt when it is done. Mary - set up a schedule - get one or two done every day or every week. You CAN DO IT. And will I see that quilt in the Halton Hills Quilt show in October??????   

Judy made 99 blocks and then FOUR card trick blocks for the corners. She used a dark sashing between her blocks and it makes each block really stand out. Lots of pinks and blues.  This quilt looks YUMMY. It is quilted and just needs the binding (dark blue) stitched on. WAY TO GO Judy - Hey - are you ready to take on Dear Jane????   Just call and sign up - I'll be waiting for you..............

Lois - what can I say - this quilt just blew us away yesterday. Shoot - I should have taken some close ups of the fabrics. Her background is light beige with gold on it. Then she used browns and golds for the blocks. Up close - some of them looked like they might not work, but in the quilt - WOW WOW WOW. That is all I can say. This is gorgeous. The quilt is for her daughter who was an integral part of the construction (from a supervising stand point).   Lois' hand work (on the applique was IMPECCABLE) and I believe she is going to hand quilt it. She made all 140 blocks - used 136 in this quilt which is HUGE. We told her to use the four remaining blocks in the corners, but she wasn't sure she wanted to make it any bigger!!!!

Tish - a classic blue and white quilt. Oh - I should mention - I put the quilts on the wall and I think I got everyone of them UPSIDE DOWN or sideways so if you see some blocks that you think are wrong - it is likely ME - not the maker that got it wrong. Anyway - this blue/white combo is to die for!!!!!    So crisp and clean. I know Tish struggled with some of the blocks and was ready to throw in the towel. Then she decided to reduce the number of blocks to make and then she pushed forward and got them done in a hurry. There are about 76 blocks in this quilt. The sashing between the blocks is wider than the others and makes the blocks really float so you can appreciate each and every one. Then she used extra blocks in the border (in a square in a square setting). It is quilted and BOUND!!!!!!   AWESOME Tish - I love it!!!!!!!!!

Susan - She also started this quilt with another group and then came to our group.  The colours in this quilt are very soft and so NOT ME, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE this one too. She framed each block in a pale yellow and then trimmed all the blocks to an equal size. The yellow frame is very tiny (shoot - I wish I had of taken closeups). Anyway the end result is a gorgeous quilt and it goes beautifully in her bedroom. She made almost 100 blocks. The borders are on and I think she said she is going to hand quilt it. Brilliant job Susan!!!!!!   Stunning quilt. 
Joanne couldn't be with us yesterday, but she sent a picture of her quilt. She made 81 blocks and added 81 plain squares. It is approximately 101 by 101 inches. She was thrilled with the end result and I think she should be - this looks amazing!!!   Just wish we could have seen it in real life - we know that pictures do NOT do justice to the quilts. It needs to be quilted.  WAY TO GO JOANNE!!!!!!!   She also said that the deadlines helped to keep her on track - hey - I am good at that with other people - glad I could help. 

Elaine - yes this is mine. Speaking of deadlines - I am good at handing them out, but not so good at respecting them myself. Seriously I have deadlineitis. I don't remember EVER meeting a deadline in quilting. Part of that is just too much going on. Anyway - I have about 100 blocks done and intentions to do the rest - the remaining 40 are in various stages of completion. And after I get some URGENT stuff out the door - this is going to become my morning project. 

Let's see - we did not get show n tell from a couple of people - I shall NOT name any names - right Vicki????  And Celia was here, but her top isn't completely together yet, so she did not bring it. Hmmmmm - a big secret????   Can't wait to see it.

Well there you have. I would like to thank you all for being wonderful students. The classes were FUN and certainly entertaining. I never knew what "complaints" and "excuses" would arise every month!!!  You certainly kept me on my toes and I am glad that I was part of this group.

Thanks to Jennifer also, for providing us with the idea and the book so we had a wonderful project to work on. If you ever need quilt testers - I have just the group for you!!!!

If you want to see the quilts in progress - click on Elm Creek Quilt (tags on the right hand side) or do a search for Elm Creek and you will see the previous posts related to this project.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

One More Thing................

OK - there are FOUR posts this morning. I know - days there are NOTHING and then four in one day.

This one will be quick!  Thanks for the suggestions about the orange wrap thing - a mug warmer??  Maybe, but seems to be the wrong shape - most of those would be tapered. We contemplated it at dinner one night and we came up with nothing. The mug warmer idea is the ONLY suggestion we have heard. And why did DH bring it home????  I have no idea!   I mean really -

Oh yes - thanks to Helen Anne who had a picture of Dede's quilt.

Here are the pics of Helen Annes and mine - same quilts

Helen Anne


So cool and hey - if you want to read about some of these quilts from the OTHER side - check out these blogs............................

A Dear Jane student - Anita

Helen Anne

OK - that is IT for me today - I have quilts to quilt - a show to go to and lots and lots more.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!


Reveal for DEAR JANE - October

I am PROUD of my students. Not just the Dear Jane students, but ALL of them. Many take on a class as a personal challenge and VERY FEW admit defeat. Some get caught up in life and get behind, some get a bit overwhelmed and downsize the project, but most of them forge ahead and PLUNGE in with BOTH feet.

When I think back to the students in Elm Creek or Dragon Star or - well there are so many - so many were taking a leap of faith and they have done amazingly well.

Dear Jane is NO EXCEPTION. This is a daunting quilt - the blocks are small, the pieces are fiddly and as we progress - I see so many of the students looking at the blocks and saying "that is EASY". Something they probably would NOT have said a couple of months ago. AWESOME JOB ladies - you ALL DESERVE a HUGE PAT on the back!!!!!!!!!!!!!    I am VERY PROUD of all of you. You are doing a magnificent job!!!!!

Let's have a look at the homework and you will see what I mean...............

Kathy (this is her FIRST quilting project!!!)





Anne SP

Elaine K

Sharon B













Yes there were a number of people who could not attend yesterday - family events, illness, etc. I am certain they are all hard at work in getting their blocks done.

Is this NOT the most impressive display of work. I mean each one of those blocks represents a HUGE amount of work. And they are getting them done!!!!!!!!!!!!!    And if you are a bit behind - well - try not to get too far behind!!!   Come to a sit n sew day to get some help on the problem ones!!!!


On that note - I had better get going. I LOST the afternoon yesterday and we went to a dinner party last night so I LOST an entire day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!



OH MY GOD - I have been teaching for over 12 years. And for the most part -

 I have NEVER screwed up.
 I may have been a few minutes late (those darn lines at Tim Horton's),
 I may have driven myself crazy with teaching at TWO different stores on the same day
 I may not always have had the samples as ready as I would like

But yesterday - well yesterday was a FIRST for me.

I COMPLETELY FORGOT about a class. YEP - it was in the hand written calendar (but not in the electronic calendar which sends me reminders), but it just didn't compute! Not even on the radar screen. Matter of fact, it was just a fluke that I was still at the store when the students started to arrive. My FIRST major senior moment.

And it was machine quilting - I usually bring LOTS of stuff - samples of quilts, tools or whatever.

OH MY GOD - the two girls working at the store (nor the customers) could not see the panic that I felt. ACK - 20 minutes to class time and there is NO WAY I can go home and get back in time. What to do - what to do - what to do???????????

Well - let's think clearly here - HEY - I am IN A QUILTING STORE. I pulled some threads, needles and other supplies from the notions rack. Grabbed a couple of quilts and I was the MASTER of that class.

Granted, I have taught machine quilting MANY MANY MANY times, but I didn't have my PROPS to help me.

I have had visions in the past of showing up to a class with the WRONG stuff - this was just as bad!!!!!!

OH MY - I had a "little" chuckle over that. Thank god that I think FAST on my feet.

I remember an interview I had way back when. It was for a sales job in the computer industry (yes - I had a previous life before quilting). The man who interviewed me (I knew him because this was an internal move for me). I will NEVER forget one question that he asked me. He asked "give me an example of your creativity". And he wasn't referring to how pretty or nice I made a quilt (I wasn't a quilter at that time). I really had a hard time answering the question because creativity to me was doing something with your hands. But in actual fact - creativity comes into play EVERY time you are stumped or get into a situation. What is your solution - how well did it work - was the customer happy - was it mutually beneficial to the parties involved - blah blah blah. Well after teaching for 12 years - I have had to improvise on NUMEROUS occasions  but NEVER this much!!!!!   If someone asked me that question today - I would say - how much time do I have!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I probably shouldn't tell you this story, but I had to share it with you. Those of you who think I am so organized!!!!   Sometimes - things slip through the cracks!!!!!!!!!!   Now I know why I had on my "TO DO" list - "fix up the October calendar". Well here it is the end of October and I still haven't done that. I guess I will pay attention to this a bit more in the future.

On that note - I am going to FIX the November and December calendars IMMEDIATELY so I don't miss any events!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Spring has sprung - October Reveal

The year is almost OVER!  Well according to our plans for Spring has Sprung. I assigned the LAST homework yesterday, although a good many of the students have been working ahead and have completed tops or pretty close to it. I CANNOT wait to see the tops/quilts next month.

Have a look at the homework here and you will see what I mean................

Kay T

Kay N (love those bright colours)

Mary M

Mary M

Linda M (Look at her CUTE bunnies and baby bunnies)

Linda M



Cathy (who made her bunny - same design  as the pattern but CUTER and not scary!!!)

There are MORE people in the class, but a couple other people are completely done and we have already seen the tops (I will post ALL the pictures next month), one person wasn't there and two are not continuing the project at this time. But I have something for them................

Now here is an incentive to EVERYONE who has taken a class with me - in particular a $10 quilt which started in 2003. I am going to host a TENTH ANNIVERSARY PARTY for the $10 quilt which were held at The Hobby Horse. Oh my - there are going to be a LOT of people and a LOT of quilts. I am not sure if I still have class lists from those early days - I wasn't as organized then as I am now (LOL). Just wait - there is BIG story about that.

The date for this HUGE event is going to be early December 2013. I have to look at my calendar to schedule something in. There isn't room at the Hobby Horse and I was going to offer my studio, but after thinking about it - I don't think that is going to be big enough either. So.................   I am wondering - does anyone know of a space that we could rent for reasonable??????      I have a couple of ideas in mind, but looking for more. We could have tea/coffee and goodies and for a small donation from people to offset the costs - I think we could make it work. It would be SO MUCH FUN.

OH MY GOD - do you see what just happened???????   Think about it?????   Oh YEAH - I just got "elected" to organize another EVENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!    OH MY!!!!!!!!!!!!!    I can't help myself - that just slipped out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   (And I said this to M the other day WITH GLEE - she is a MINI-ME!!!!!!!   Yup - she is on the semi-formal committee, the formal committee, working on the yearbook and would be involved in a LOT more clubs - IF there were clubs at school this year)

I really really want the projects we are going to work on in 2013 to be part of this show so that has to go into the mix as well.

The reason I am telling you about this is that you (OK - ME) are going to need time to get those quilts done!!!!!  And so you can book your vacations AROUND this AMAZING event.  I don't care if it is a flimsy, but would be nice to have some REAL quilts and I know many of you have them done already. So dig out those bits and pieces or tops and get them DONE. You will all be receiving an invitation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    I need to send out some e-mails to check on a location.

And if you missed the blog post on what those quilts were - here is the link where you can review them...........   (and get LABELS on the quilts with the right dates, etc.)

$10 quilts   from the past..................................

On that note - I have a couple more blogs to write this morning.   And I have OLD paperwork to dig out!!!

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cleaning up the bits!!!!!

Had a bit of fun with my computer yesterday. I managed to get rid of ALL unwanted tool bars and I managed to reconfigure it so when I open Chrome - I get the PAGE that I want - plain OLD Google. Nothing more - nothing less. I should take note of the day and see how long it stays that way. Then I get popup messages from Internet Explorer saying that IE is NOT my current internet software - would I like to change? NO NO NO and STOP STOP STOP sending me these popups.

I will say that it took me only a few minutes to make all that happen. So the good news and one of my gratitudes for the day - I am TAKING CONTROL of the computer. Hmmmmm - don't seem to have luck with the spell check - is that how one spells gratitudes??????

We had a GREAT sit n sew day. The girls were busy - they kept me busy but I didn't seem to be doing a lot of ripping and pressing, but I was BUSY printing stuff for them off the computer. Dede got some of her Dear Jane blocks printed right on newsprint. Sorry to the others in the class - she came, she helped my cause and I owed her something in return since there wasn't much to press and rip for her. Mary also got some blocks (OK - just one) printed for her Elm Creek blocks and Helen Anne got her blocks for O Tannebaum. Yes - I was busy printing!!!!!    Gayle didn't need anything printed and I was helping her press.

I was so busy - I didn't get a chance to take pictures, but I did get this one. This was a quilt that Helen Anne was working on.................

Does this look familiar?????   Yep - this is the same as ................

my quilt!!!  (Patchwork Sampler by Lori Smith)

This was a $10 quilt in 2007!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Oh NO - FIVE years ago. Well Helen Anne and I have both arrived at the same point. Actually Helen Anne was at one of my Sit n Sew days in September and she got me motivated to dig mine out and work on it. The funny thing was that when we were looking at them yesterday, we all realized that Dede had also been in the class. She did black and white.  Hmmm - I wasn't blogging at that time. I will see if I can find the picture.

Anyway we had a great day - thanks ladies for getting me motivated and for helping me raise money for The Ride to Conquer Cancer.

M got into the day as well and was working on a project for school, even though according to the Ministry of Education, they CANNOT work on projects at home (that is SO SAD that parents felt they were doing their kids a service by doing the work for them that they had to ban doing projects at home). Anyway - they are doing an upcycling project at school. We had bought a couple of items at the thrift store - I didn't check them when she bought them, but oh boy - I should have. She wanted a pair of denim pants which we got, but then she purchased a dress to get the lining for her little case. Apparently the dress had LOTS of seams in it, so there wasn't much that was usable and I paid $12 for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

What is left of the dress

At least I salvaged the buttons
 So we had a little lesson in HOW to buy garments for upcycling. I can't blame her - when you are NOT the one paying, you don't really care and never having done it - you don't really think about those things. But now she knows and I know to double check.

Then DH comes home from a conference with all kinds of little marketing marvels. I remember getting tons of this stuff and what do you do with it?????   He complains about the house being messy (well there is a lot less to complain about so he doesn't any more). Anyway - then he brings this kind of stuff home and expects ME to deal with it.

There were a couple of small flashlights and those are good for walking the dogs in the morning because some mornings it is PITCH black. It would be like taking a walk in the woods 100% BLIND. I do manage because I have walked those woods THOUSANDS of times so I sort of know the path, but in complete darkness, it can be a challenge.

Anyway - here are the other items and what I did with them.....................

A lanyard - it went in the purse making box for the hardware

This - what the heck is this???????

It can be flat or it snaps into a roll. I mean - come on marketing people - what is this????????????

However, I rescued the two snap things out of it - would be perfect for making that SNAP PURSE - the rest went in the garbage. 

And what is this???????

A light on a flexible wire. I am going to see if I can rig it up to the sewing machine. I find the area around the needle is a bit dark sometimes. I'll show you when I get it ripped up. 

After the girls left, I got busy and did stuff. E-mails that needed to be sent, paperwork that needed to be shredded or filed or sorted. Dug out patterns and made patterns for an exchange and made great headway on that. Sent some pictures - oh yes - it was a whirlwind of activity here. Prepared lesson plans for today's classes.

Thanks again for motivating me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm - I have to think about my class - this is the SECOND month in a row where HALF of the class has already notified me that they will NOT be attending. This is a bad thing - now I know that some are sick or have good reason to not be there, but HALF???? - two months running. And there are probably others that have not let me know they are not coming. Does that mean I am too nice and provide too much information via the blog and e-mail??????   I currently run TWO Dear Jane classes back to back, but I am thinking I will condense them into one. If I don't have to repeat the same info twice - why should I???????    Well - I will be evaluating the situation for next year as Dear Jane continues on into the new year.

Well on that note - I still have a bit of homework to get ready for class this morning.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!