Tuesday, December 31, 2019

A group affair

It's the last day of 2019. Can you believe that? I sure don't. And while I should be reflecting on the year and what I'm going to do next year - I don't have time this morning. I'll do that tomorrow once I'm finished reflecting! While there were things that happened in 2019, that I didn't like, overall, it was a good year. At least that's my shortsighted view this morning! Perhaps if I think about it some more, I might feel differently.

Anyway - I taught two private classes yesterday. So I don't really have anything to show you that I did because I didn't do a lot and my FitBit almost went into convulsions from underuse!

However, I realized that I have NOT shown you the pictures from our group exchange that we exchanged weeks ago!!!!  I managed to edit three of the eight groups of blocks. The rest will come later this week.

What was the exchange? There were eight of us in the group. We each choose a theme. The more specific that theme is, the better the end result. Everyone did a great job of being specific as the blocks that came back are pretty cool. Each month we exchanged the project boxes (we had a specific rotation order) and then made a themed block for that person. In total, we each made eight blocks - one for each person in the group.

And as you're admiring these projects, keep in mind that I'm looking for a couple of participants to start up another group (using a panel as the starting point). I need people that are local to me so we can exchange the blocks in person. E-mail me if you want more details. I'm just getting that one organized, but it won't start for a wee bit.

OK - so here are three of the exchanges.

Each person should have eight blocks. The first one is Sacha's. You can see that she only has seven. I think it was her own block that was missing. Can you guess the theme?? Yep - it was unicorns. Some very colorful unicorns!

Sacha's unicorn blocks

I'll show you the one that I made for each person. I had several pieces of unicorn fabric that I wanted to use but the scale was large and I didn't want to cut it up or cut the fabric as least as possible. I found this adorable machine embroidered unicorn, so I made that and then to make the block the required size, I added the unicorn fabric on two sides.

The block that I made for Sacha

When I was at some quilt show, they were selling these little tags. It has sticky tape on the top and the idea is that you attach it to your name badge of whatever show I was at. I didn't want it for my name badge, I bought it specifically for Sacha!!

A unicorn tag 

Next up was Ronda and I think it's easy to see that her theme was The Wizard of Oz. Yep - she does like other things than sports! Hmmm - she's also missing a block - I'm not sure who didn't complete their block.

Ronda's The Wizard of Oz blocks

You got to love friends that ask things of you that you have no idea how to do! But it pushes you to learn new things. Ronda wanted the name of the movie on her block and could I do that on the embroidery machine? Hmm - maybe. So we searched the internet for the font and can you believe we found one, but I don't think the guy ever got back to us. I found a similar font in my embroidery software and used that to somewhat get the same effect as the movie title. It's not perfect, but it works. To really get the effect of the swirling letters, I should have brought each letter into the edit screen individually. I brought in each word so I was limited in how I could manipulate things.

The Wizard of Oz machine embroidered title

The fill pattern on the lettering is lightning bolts to help reflect the storm! And the pinwheels on that block represent the tornado.

Lightning bolt fill pattern

However, that was NOT the block that I did for her. That was a bonus. I did the tin man's hat - it was paper pieced.

My paper pieced block for The Wizard of Oz

The next one is Susan's. Her theme was winter. AHA -  she has eight blocks! I think her block was the center one.

Susan's winter-themed blocks

Ronda really wanted to make a machine embroidered block so I helped her with this block. She did all the thread changes and now she does her own machine embroidery!!  On her own - at her house!!!

Ronda's machine embroidered block

I made an appliqued snowflake. While the block looks simple, I finished all the edges with a satin stitch and there was a LOT of curves to go around.

My appliqued snowflake block

Then I put crystals on the block - just because. Doing that satin stitch is a breeze on my sewing machine with the sensor foot that raises ever so slightly to do the pivoting around the corners.

Satin stitch and crystals

One of the things we chatted about yesterday was that is anything easy? And should you tell your students that things are easy? I say it all the time and this fellow (yes - one of the classes was a husband and wife team), says when he taught that he never said things were easy. I'm going to qualify my statement - if you have the right tools and you know how, EVERYTHING IS EASY.

That's it for today. There are FIVE more groups of blocks to show you. But I have paperwork, sample making, and another private class to teach today. I'd better get the day started. It's supposed to be a UFO day today but I'll see how that goes once I'm back from walking the girls. I might switch direction for a wee bit.

On that note, have an awesome day!!!!


Monday, December 30, 2019

Making a backpack

Oh my - what happens when you get two friends together to make a backpack. Actually, we were each making our own backpack. That was good because we couldn't have made the same one!

If you remember, I had quilted my fabric the day before and all went well with that. Ronda arrived and I threw her fabric on the long arm (again with the foam inside) and it quilted up beautifully.

This is the lining side of her yardage. She used a solid white. I quilted it with a dark blue thread. I LOVE, LOVE that texture and I love that you can see the stitching. I was tempted to make one side of my backpack plain just to get this effect, but I didn't. Something to think about for the future!! High contrast thread, small pattern.

The lining of Ronda's backpack

And we are so predictable. This was the outside. Mine was orange, hers was Maple Leafs. That's just way too damn predictable! Next time, we have to think outside the box.

The outside of Ronda's backpack

Here's the thing - this backpack has a lot of components to it. And if you add up the fabric, the foam, and all the hardware - it's not cheap either. So you better make sure that you're making it from stuff you LOVE.

The pattern we're using is from byAnnie.com.  It's called Back at Ya. Thanks to Christine, we got the pattern without having to order it. There are two different backpack patterns and several versions of each. I think this is the original pattern for the smaller backpack. A good way to start!

Back at Ya pattern by byAnnie.com

After the quilting was done, it was time to cut. Ronda had hers cut out and she cut the interfacing for me and we were ready to sew.

Everything is cut and ready to sew

Let's just say that there are a LOT of pieces in this pattern. There's a page that you can photocopy so you can attach to each of the pieces to make it easier to find what you're looking for. That would have been too easy! Instead, we pinned the first page of the pattern with the cutting instructions so we could reference the cutting instructions as we worked at the ironing board.

The instructions pinned to a quilt
All I can say is that thank goodness those quilts were there so we could pin the cutting instructions and the pattern cover to them for easy reference. OK -- that's being silly, but who cares!

Now we're ready to sew. The first step was to make the outer front pocket flap. That sounds easy enough. There's a magnetic snap in this flap. It's got bias binding which I had to rip out the first time because I took too wide of a seam and it wouldn't fold to the front properly.

Then I laid both our flaps out to admire them. Actually, I was going to send a picture to Shelly (the professional bag maker) to show her we weren't slacking. OH MY GOD!!!!!

The bag flaps

Well, it turns out that I put the facing for the pocket on the WRONG side and so my lining was showing on the front, not the right side of the fabric. GRRRRR. So that bias binding that I already had to rip out? I had to rip it out yet again!!!!  OK - so technically Ronda, ripped this out for me. I can't remember what I was doing - OH working on the interior pockets I think. She wasn't going to add interior pockets to her bag - she's going to be sorry!!! So while she ripped, I prepped pockets. Now that's a sign of a true friend.

And here are the front pocket flaps. All done and done correctly!!!

Front pocket flaps

Things went more or less smoothly for a while. Then it came time to put in the zipper on the back outer pocket. We're using zipper tape and normally, it's easy as pie to insert the zipper tab. OK - not as easy as pie, but it's not complicated. Just tricky. Ronda, who had never done it before, pipes up within seconds. GOT IT!!!  Well, I struggled and struggled and finally had to ask for help!! It just wasn't my day!!!!

So then we got the zippers in. That was easy, but these zippers don't really have a line of them for sewing and I wasn't happy with the "straight" lines that I had sewn. Ronda made an oopsy when she topstitched the zipper in place and that had to come out. And then she made a big OOPSY when this happened.

Oh dear - a huge rip in the zipper

We had high hopes of completing the backpack yesterday. Then we revised our plan to getting ALL the components made. I must say that it took the two of us conferring over the instructions to figure out how some of the stuff went. Not the best-written pattern. I'd do more work on the formatting and a few words were mixed around. Perhaps that's why there's a THIRD version of this pattern on the market. However, we persevered.

At last, all the components were made except for some extra stuff that I was making. Ronda went for the minimal of everything. Me? I went for all the extra stuff. Hey, should we want to modify the pattern, we already took copious notes about how we would change the color choices for certain parts. Did you think that wasn't going to happen???

We had to make a trip to Fabricland so I could get some extra hardware bits. Ronda went home and I continued to work.

I got the zipper pulls made but not before I had to rip three of them out because I made them with too large of a seam and had trouble turning them.

Four zipper pulls

Then it was onto making the straps. That part was easy and I had no issues. Surprise - surprise!!!

The straps

I had to make some strap tabs. Those were also a piece of cake. I do have to admit that those high-end sewing machines (I was using the PFAFF creative Icon) went through all those layers like butter. There are two layers of webbing in those tabs and no skipped stitches.

Tabs for the straps

Then all the components were made for each of us!!! Phew!!! What a challenging day.

I looked at the first instruction for construction and that was to sew in a pocket, so I did that since Ronda wasn't adding pockets.

The first set of pockets sewn in

We've booked a day next weekend to FINISH the backpacks. I hope we can get it done in one day.

Here are all my bits! Ready for assembly.

Ready for the assembly process

Ronda left her stuff here as well and they are both waiting until next weekend!!! I'm not even tempted to go further by myself.

Our bits - waiting for the next sewing day

I have several gadgets that I don't normally use and there'll come a time when I need to decide whether to keep them or get rid of them. This was one of the gadgets. It's a series of circles in ¼" increments. It was going to go in the give away pile, but I've used the darn thing twice in the last couple of weeks. Guess what? It stays!!! And I might use it more now that I see how handy the darn thing is.

Circle templates

 I also managed to squeeze in some time to work on Stitcher's Garden. I got the applique stitches done on the green parts of this block. I have some work to do in the flower section. That's for later today.

Working on block 5 of my homework
Yep - that one is Block five of the seven blocks I said I would have done for our UFO club, which is weeks away!

That's because FOUR blocks are now finished. Here's one that was totally machine embroidery. DONE. 

Machine Embroidery block - DONE
 Here's the second block that was totally machine embroidery - it's also DONE.

Machine embroidery block - DONE

I think I showed you this one already, but it's one of the machine embroidery applique blocks - DONE.

Machine embroidery applique block - DONE

And here's the other machine embroidery applique block  - also DONE.

Machine embroidery applique block - DONE

Those four blocks are now trimmed and on the wall with the rest of the quilt. It still looks like big gaps to fill, but there's only three more blocks to add. Then a small section of half square triangles for each side and filler strips. Oh yes - the end is coming quickly!!

STitchers' Garden

I'm off to teach a private class today. And then I have to buckle down and get to work. I realized that I've got a LOT of work to do before next Sunday. There'll be no more fooling around with stuff - I have work to do!!! 

ACK -- do not panic!!! But amazing how things catch up to you quickly when you're having fun!!!

On that note, I'm out of here!!!

Have a super day!!!!


Sunday, December 29, 2019

I can't believe........................

I did work in the office yesterday. I didn't want to, but I had to. I had to at least make a start on this mess. I know from working on the basement that the more I tidy up and the more I throw away, the better I'm going to feel about the entire mess. I also know that the office is going to be hard - this is the dumping ground. That means that ANYTHING that didn't have a home, got dumped here. 

There are two desks, a table, and a buffet. Oh - there's a filing cabinet, two bookcases, and a storage unit. I don't mention those as they don't encompass a flat surface that I love to use for filing! There are five chairs in here as well and only one is useable unless you move stuff off. And yes, there's some stuff on the floor. I knew that cleaning the room wasn't going to happen in one day. Far from it.

I decided to start with the desk. Yep - this is what the desk looked like in the morning. Seriously?? How did the desk ever become this bad?

The desk in the morning

Now don't get me wrong - I know how it happened. You stand there with something in your hand that you're not sure what to do with - it might be useful. It might be a lost part of something and you don't have a home for it. Guess what? It goes into the office (at my house). And it goes on any surface where it won't fall off. No planning, no sorting, no organizing.

The bottom line is that I recognize this mess and I'm doing something about it. I started by putting most of the stuff into two boxes. I know - not a good thing, but I need some room to work.

Stuff from the desk

The two cardboard boxes are loaded with stuff from the desk and the other two boxes were sitting on the chair in front of the desk. Once the remainder of the stuff is off the desk, then I'll bring back one box at a time and sort through it. It's going to be long and ugly. BUT I'm doing it and the fact that I'm finding homes for things is critical. A home could be garbage or recycling!

A few items got put on the floor as well.

More stuff on the floor

 Now here's the thing. I have M's swim bag when she was swimming with the local city swim team. It's a perfectly good bag. It has her name embroidered on it. What should I do with it? That's why personalized things are good and BAD. This bag wasn't cheap. I might try and take the stitching out???  Contact the swim team????  OR just donate it like it is???  ACK - that's why it's sat here for years.

Once I got the desk more or less cleaned off,  I had a little bit of room to work. As I look at this picture, I'm realizing that everything BLENDS in. The colors of the floor, the walls, and the furniture. It's a dark room, although when they were putting in the new thermostat, I realized that I also have pot lights in the room. Don't go there! That helps, but seriously - the room needs to be repainted in a LIGHT color. Whose idea was it to paint the room orange?

Everything blends

I hate painting, but I don't want to put out the money to have someone else do it. I'm far from needing it painted anyway. Hmmm - do I know a quilter who likes to paint rooms who would swap quilting services for painting?

Anyway, there was a ton of stupid stuff that I unearthed. Oh - if you notice that container of loose papers on the left at the top of the photo? That's my "filing" pile. It needs to go into the filing cabinet. At least, it's all in ONE spot and not loose everywhere. But why don't I just open the filing cabinet and file the papers instead of putting them in this container???  I've got a few habits to sort out.

Lots of silly little things to deal with

I found a BRAND NEW set of glass nail files. I bought them in Paducah several years ago. Recommended by a friend who swears by them. So why aren't I using them? I totally forgot about them. I'll be trying them out later today.

Glass nail files

A Connecting Threads catalog from March 2014. Oh boy - I don't think I need that any longer. It got recycled. There's going to be a lot more of that happening in the next while.

Old Connecting Threads catalog

I found medication for Little Sammy from 2016. She's been gone for years and why do I still have this old medication? It's now in one container and will be disposed of next time I do a recycling depot run. I also have a new bag of electronic waste and it's almost full. I'm going to go through the medicine cabinets and see if there's anything else that can go at the same time. I don't think so since neither of us uses any medications or very rarely.

Old medication
 I found odds and ends of things. What are these things for? The middle one is the cover of a remote??? No idea. I put those in a small container if I find their use. Otherwise, they go in the hard plastics for recycling.

What are these???

I found two smooth sticks. Really???  Why??? I'm certain that M and I or just M found these on a walking trip and thought they would make a great craft. Well, they are gone! I asked her first!

Two sticks

And that was it - I couldn't take any more. It's probably going to take me one more attempt to get that desk surface totally clear and then I'll bring out those boxes (one by one) and start to go through them. Some of the stuff on the desk is sitting there so I could blog about it. Well, pretty hard to blog about it, when I can't even see it!!! 

Oh boy - it's going to be tough going to get this room done, but I must. And I know that I'm going to feel like a million bucks when I'm done. My goal is to have it completed by the end of 2020. Yes - an entire year! I'm OK with that. It's a HUGE job.

I know that I'm not the only one who is going through this disaster. Here's a blog post that might interest you. Janice had decided to not buy anything quilt related in 2019. As the year comes to a close, I wonder how she made out? Anyway, this post in particular echoes how I feel about my stash (her collection) and shopping. Check it out.

Then I was downstairs doing what I really love to do. Quilt! Have I mentioned that I love my American Professional Quilting Systems long arm? I've got the 14-foot Millennium with the QuiltPath robot. I just love it. I've had my issues with it - some related to the machine and some related to the operator. As for the robot, I've only scratched the surface of what it can do. I'll be like my Dad who at 87 is still learning and very proud of the fact that he's still learning. My paternal grandfather vowed to live to 100 and he did, although at the end, he wasn't really doing much of anything. My Dad vows to do the same thing. I can see him - at 100 still checking out Youtube! It sure helps to get up in the morning when you have a goal or a purpose in mind!

No danger of running out of things to do at our house!!!

Anyway, this was one of the quilts that I dug out when I was rifling through the "to be quilted" tubs the other day. This is mine and it's very bright and cheery. It's an unusual size for me - it's 64 by 82 or something like that. It would fit a twin bed. So this is the quilt I want when I'm in the nursing home! You can't miss it! It'll get trimmed and binding on another day. The pile of quilts to be trimmed and bound is growing by leaps and bounds. I don't have time right now!

My quilt - DONE

By the way, I went through another stack of tubs in the "to be quilted" area. Four more tubs - FIFTY quilts. That's obscene! So far, the count is ninety quilt tops (or table runners) and I'm 2/5 of the way through the pile. At least, it's all sorted and mostly organized. I haven't found that missing binding yet.

I was in search of a backpack pattern from byAnnie.com. Thanks to Christine, I now have the pattern. It's not the large one, but that's OK. We might be able to adapt it to the large one. Anyway, today, I'm scheduled to make a backpack. In preparation for that, I quilted my fabric yesterday. I couldn't for the life of me decide which fabrics to use. I first had oranges out, then blue and when it came time to load the fabric on the long arm, I went back to orange!

Quilted yardage for the backpack

So the lining and the top are quilted together. Not sure how the seams are finished. Of course, I didn't read through the entire pattern. There is foam in the middle and the texture of the entire piece is very nice and it's very light. I can't wait to get started today. I wasn't sure how the foam would quilt on the long arm, but it was a breeze and no skipped stitches.

And I quilted it with my favorite overall pattern. That's the beauty of the robot - I can make this pattern HUGE or I can make it small. Whatever size I want to make - I'm in charge!  So if ever you're making a bag or a backpack or whatever and you wanted quilted yardage - I can do that for you! It'll cost you of course, but it's easy as pie. E-mail me if you want more details.

Detail of the quilting design
Ronda is coming over this morning so we can make our backpacks together. The first line of business will be to throw her fabric on the long arm and get it quilted! Then we cut, then we sew. Not sure how much we'll get done in one day. There's a lot of pieces and loads of fiddly stuff.

In keeping with my determination, I also did some embroidering yesterday. The darn pieces of backing that were prepped aren't large enough to fit the hoop, so extra strips had to be sewn onto the blocks to make them manageable in the hoop.

Added strips so I could hoop the backing for the block
 One more block has been added to the quilt on the design wall. This is Stitcher's Garden. That means there are FIVE blocks to finish. I'm NOT giving up my $10 in January.

Stitchers' Garden 

 There are two machine embroidery blocks to work on. One of them is almost finished and I'll finish it later today. I ran out of time to complete it this morning.

And Shelly - this one is for you! I found the block of the month quilt. It's on the design wall and guess what? I found the patterns in the box. This is on my 2019 UFO list. I won't be able to complete it this year as there's a lot of work left to do. I'll share more on that another day!

My block of the month

It was an action-packed day as the girls and I took a walk to the library, made turkey soup, and watched a movie with DH.

On that note, I'm out of here! It's almost the end of the year and time to regroup - think of goals and actions for 2020. BUT not before, you pat yourself on the back for what you've accomplished in 2019. I wish I had kept better notes of what I did, but I know deep in my heart that I accomplished a lot and that's good enough for me!!!  I also checked the list of books that I read in 2019. These are novels - I don't keep track of the non-fiction books. Over SIXTY!!!!  That's more than one book a week. Yeah!!!!  So do not EVER think that I don't take time for myself - I do. Lots of time!

Be sure to check out the classes and in particular the Sew Alongs which start next Friday!!!!! Everything is listed in the blog post right after this one, but here's the link to help you out.

Have a super day!!!!


Saturday, December 28, 2019

Classes for 2020

Here's a list of the classes and sew along projects that I'll be teaching in the first six months of 2020. Check each one for the details on dates, where and how to sign up. The Sew Along projects are the first to start - the first e-mails will be going out on January 3rd - I'd sign up NOW if I were you! Don't wait.

ONLINE - Sew Along Quilts

Sew Along Number One

Vintage Christmas by Lori Holt

There are 42 blocks in the book with instructions for both 6" and 12" blocks. While all the blocks are amazing, you'll get to choose which ones you want to make and what size you'll make depending on how you decide to use the blocks.

Vintage Christmas book

In the class, you're going to learn a lot about color and NO - you do NOT need to use the same fabrics that Lori used in the cover quilt. Get creative, think outside the box. Use up your stash. Make it in non-traditional fabrics. Be bold - be different.

Here's how it's going to work. There is a cost to sign up for the class. $25 for the entire year. The tips, hints, and suggestions will be sent out to the registered participants by e-mail once a week or we may double that up and do one e-mail with the tips for two blocks every two weeks. NOTE - you WILL NEED THE BOOK. You will NOT get the cutting and piecing instructions in the e-mail. There might be some videos involved as well. And I'll set up a Facebook page so we can post the homework and see what each of us is doing. You'll be able to get in touch with me via e-mail or the Facebook page so if you have questions, I'll get you answers.

There will be a lot to learn in this class.

  • A lot about color - not the theory stuff, but the real stuff that quilters use every day!
  • Great tips for improving accuracy - pressing, cutting and sewing 
  • How to change up a pattern for greater efficiency - be that the cutting instructions or the sewing instructions
  • How to deal with different methods for creating certain units
  • Tips on choosing fabrics that are NOT like the pattern
  • Tips on sashing and borders

Start date: Friday, January 3rd. That day, you'll get your first e-mail and a whole lot more information. 

How to sign up:  Send me an e-mail with your intention to sign up. I'll send you an e-mail with the details for transferring the money via e-transfer. If you're close by, you can let me know in person and give me cash or e-transfer works as well. Then you'll get put on the distribution list and be invited to the Facebook page. 

Sew Along Number Two

This sew along will use a book called Christmas Figs by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Co. 

Christmas Figs by Joanna Figueroa

There are twenty blocks measuring 16 (finished) inches in the book. A lot of the blocks have lots of little pieces so there are great learning moments in this quilt.

You'll receive an e-mail every two-three weeks. I'll set up a schedule so you know when to expect the e-mail. You don't have to keep up, although that's kind of the point of a sew-along. There'll be a Facebook page so we can see what each other is doing. Although this quilt is made with Christmas fabric, it doesn't have to be Christmas. And you might choose one or two blocks and make a quilt out of just those two blocks. There's going to be loads of ideas for sharing in this one.

  • A lot about color - not the theory stuff, but the real stuff that quilters use every day!
  • Great tips for improving accuracy - pressing, cutting and sewing 
  • How to change up a pattern for greater efficiency - be that the cutting instructions or the sewing instructions
  • How to deal with different methods for creating certain units
  • Tips on choosing fabrics that are NOT like the pattern
  • Tips on sashing and borders
  • Tips on working with LOTS of small pieces. 


These are ON-GOING classes that will last the entire year of 2020. All three of these are lecture-style - that means you come to the store for a one-hour lecture for tips on how to sew the next homework assignment. We OOH and AAH over the show n tell from the previous month. There are loads of other tips and topics that get thrown in based on the questions from the group. I've been doing these classes for many, many years and we've always had loads of fun with them. The things we learn (yep - even me - I'm learning from the students) is amazing. Choices of colors and fabrics, different colors for the background, modifying some of the blocks to suit skill levels and even modifying the entire quilt. Oh yes - it's great fun and I look forward to another amazing year.

In-Person Sew Along Number One

Oh, Look Fabric (Milton)  - Aviatrix Medallion
Time: Friday evening   7:00 PM - 8:00 PM.
Dates: January 17, February 21, March 27, April 24, May 15, June 26, September 25, October 23, November 27

Aviatrix Medallion by Elizabeth Hartman

This is a medallion style quilt. You start with the block in the center and build around that block. The finished quilt is 80" by 80". The quilt in the picture was made with solids, but you could make it with anything. If you want to use up your stash, this would look amazing as a scrap quilt. Make it totally scrappy, make it monochromatic. Check out this link for more color options.

What you'll learn:
  • A lot about color - not the theory stuff, but the real stuff that quilters use every day!
  • Great tips for improving accuracy - pressing, cutting and sewing. 
  • How to change up a pattern for greater efficiency - be that the cutting instructions or the sewing instructions.
  • Working with templates (WAIT - there's only a few and I'll have alternative directions if you can't stand templates).
  • Tips for making an 8-pointed star (that's the center block)
  • Tips on choosing fabrics that are NOT like the pattern
  • Tips on coping strips

If weekend classes don't work for you, here's a fun class on a Friday night.

Be sure to call Oh Look Fabric to get yourself signed up. The start date is January 17.

 In-Person Sew Along Number Two

The Hobby Horse Quilt Shop (Georgetown)  - Celebration
Time: Saturday Morning (11:30 AM - 12:30 PM)
Dates: March 28, April 25, May 23, June 27, August 29, September 26, October 24, November 28

Celebration by Quilt Moments

The Celebration quilt is a Block of the Month. A very cost-effective block of the month - the pattern is less than $20. HEY - this is also a medallion quilt, but with a much different style. The quilt is 73" by 73" (as shown in the photos) or you can add a border to make it larger.  The blocks are simple and if you check the website (scroll through those photos), there are many more colorings for this quilt. I see lots of different color combinations with this one and yes - there'll be lots of ideas for making changes to the quilt.

What you'll learn:
  •  A lot about color - not the theory stuff, but the real stuff that quilters use every day!
  • Great tips for improving accuracy - pressing, cutting and sewing. 
  • How to change up a pattern for greater efficiency - be that the cutting instructions or the sewing instructions.
  • Tips on choosing fabrics that are NOT like the pattern
  • Tips for squaring up blocks and resizing blocks
  • Tips for joining rows/columns

Be sure to contact The Hobby Horse to get signed up!  The start date is March 28. 

In-Person Sew Along Number Three

The Hobby Horse Quilt Shop (Georgetown)  - Summer Moon
Time: Saturday Morning (10 AM - 11:00 AM)
Dates: March 28, April 25, May 23, June 27, August 29, September 26, October 24, November 28

Summer Moon by Carrie Nelson

This is also a Block of the Month but in a book format. There are 24 different blocks and they come in three sizes. It'll all be explained in class! This is also going to be a design class - don't like a particular block? Then make one up. Don't like the layout? Make one up! The quilt on the book cover is 70" by 78".  Use a specific fabric collection or break out of the box - make it monochromatic - make it scrappy.

What you'll learn:
  •  A lot about color - not the theory stuff, but the real stuff that quilters use every day!
  • Great tips for improving accuracy - pressing, cutting and sewing. 
  • How to change up a pattern for greater efficiency - be that the cutting instructions or the sewing instructions.
  • Tips on choosing fabrics that are NOT like the pattern
  • Tips for squaring up blocks and resizing blocks
  • Tips for designing your own quilt

Be sure to contact The Hobby Horse to get your name on the list. The start date is MARCH 28.



Where: My house
Time: 11:00 AM
When: Sunday, January 19, February 16, March 22, April 26, May 31, June 28, September 27, October 25, November 29, December 13

There are two different ways to participate in the UFO Club. One is in person, however, the current class is FULL. If there are enough people interested in meeting once a month to create a second group, I'll set that up - the time will be 9:30 AM or 10:00 AM on the dates listed above. Otherwise, you can participate via the internet.

Last year, the group of 12 participants, finished an astonishing number of UFOs. Most of them completed at least two, or three or more UFOs that had been languishing around forever.

Here's how it works and it works the same for the In-person UFO Club or the Virtual UFO club.

There is a $25 sign-up fee. In addition, each member will pay $100 when they sign up. There are ten meetings in the year and each month, you'll assign yourself some UFO homework that has to be completed for the following month. If you're going to be on vacation, then assign yourself a small assignment. If you're going to be home with nothing to do - assign more. Every month that you complete your assigned homework, you'll receive $10 back, so there's an incentive to get your work completed. The group helps with the assigning if they think you're biting off more than you can handle that month or too little.

We'll ooh and aah over the finished homework and finished projects. You'll get plenty of help to get over those stumbling blocks that caused the UFO to become a UFO. This incentive and motivation are just what we need to get moving on those UFOs.

If you're in the virtual group, it'll be your responsibility to get me a picture of your homework and the new assignment by the end of the day on the dates of the club. I'll post the pictures on the blog so we can see what each other is working on.  I'll e-transfer your money back to you if you meet your deadline.

Last year, the money forfeited because the homework wasn't completed, was put into a kitty. We had a wonderful pizza lunch on the last day!

To sign up, send me an e-mail.


Studio B

The following classes will be held in Studio B which is located at my house. Once you sign up, I'll provide the address if you don't know where I live.

Decorative Stitches
Sunday, January 12
Time: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Cost $25.00

So you have a sewing machine with decorative stitches, but you don't use any of them. We're going to talk about stabilizers (when and which ones to use), effects created by different threads, where to use those decorative stitches and how to modify the stitches on your machine. You'll have a much better appreciation for your sewing machine after you take this class.

Machine Embroidery
Sunday, January 19
Time: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Cost $25.00

This is a class for everyone whether you have an embroidery machine or not. You'll learn what's involved in machine embroidery, things to look for if you're going to buy an embroidery machine, what are the different styles and techniques of machine embroidery, how to acquire and manage designs. Stabilizers and hoops and a whole lot more.

Saturday, February 15
Time: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Cost: $40.00  PLUS kit

There are a very limited number of kits left for this class. The kits have been prepped to make assembly extremely easy. If you have a tuffet kit of your own, you're welcome to come to the class, but I can't guarantee that we'll finish it. There is prework involved in this class - you'll come with your tuffet cover assembled so the focus of the day will be the finishing. You'll get all the information on the pre-work once you sign up.

Learn to serge with Confidence
Sunday, February 16
Time: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Cost: $25.00

If you've got a serger that you don't use and you want to learn - this is the class for you. We'll cover threading which is probably the foremost reason people don't use their sergers. Once you're threaded, we'll do some basic seams so you can see how you can serge your quilts and make garments using your serger.


The Hobby Horse

Machine Quilting 101
Saturday, April 25
Time: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
There’s a lot more to machine quilting than sitting at the sewing machine. Needles, threads, basting and a whole lot more will be covered. This class is a MUST for those serious about learning machine quilting. 

Bargello Class
Saturday, May 2nd
Time: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Use a total of 10 different fabrics from two different color families to create a stunning table runner and learn about the fascinating technique of bargello. How to properly apply borders will also be covered. The project is easy enough, you should be finished in one day!  

Exploring Thread
Sunday, May 3rd
Time: 1:00 PM- 4:00 PM
Using several different weights and types of threads, we'll explore various options to using thread on your sewing machine. We'll be exploring the threads in various modes - decorative stitches and quilting.

Machine Quilting 201
Saturday, May 23
Time: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
There’s much more to free motion quilting than meandering or stippling. Learn how to create consistent stitches without a stitch regulator. You’ll also learn how to create your own free-motion designs. (pre-requisite: Machine Quilting 101)

Machine Quilting 101
Sunday, May 31st
Time: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
There’s a lot more to machine quilting than sitting at the sewing machine. Needles, threads, basting and a whole lot more will be covered. This class is a MUST for those serious about learning machine quilting. 

Machine Quilting 301

Saturday, June 27
Time: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Take your knowledge of machine quilting to the next level. Learn how to incorporate a variety of free-motion quilting designs into specific quilt patterns. Creative patterns using the walking foot are also going to be explored. (Prerequisite: Machine Quilting 101 and Machine Quilting 201)

To sign up for any of these classes, please contact The Hobby Horse.

Oh Look Fabric

Learn to sew - Beginner pillowcase
Date: Tuesday, January 14
Time: 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
A great class to learn the basics of sewing. Rotary cutting, sewing, and pressing will be covered. Each student will walk out with a completed pillowcase.

Know Your Sewing Machine
Date: Friday, January 24th
Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Learn how your sewing machine works! What do all those dials and buttons mean? When should I change the needle and clean the sewing machine? A basic course if you've never touched a sewing machine or haven't touched one in a while.

Learn to sew - Beginner pillowcase
Date: Tuesday, February 4
Time: 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM
A great class to learn the basics of sewing. Rotary cutting, sewing, pressing will be covered. Each student will walk out with a completed pillowcase.

Free Motion Quilting
Date: Tuesday, February 25
Time: 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Free motion quilting is more than stippling and meandering. You'll learn some great tips on getting over the fear of free motion and how to think outside the box.

Intro to Paper Piecing
Date: Friday, February 28
Time: 6:30 PM -  9:30 PM
Paper piecing is an addicting technique and it's so simple. It's a great way to get precision piecing. The project is easy and fun!

Learn to sew - Beginner pillowcase
Date: Tuesday, March 17
Time: 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM
A great class to learn the basics of sewing. Rotary cutting, sewing, pressing will be taught. Each student will walk out with a completed pillowcase.

Learn to Quilt
Date: Wednesday, March 25, April 29, May 20, June 24
Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
This is a four-part class in which you'll learn how to make a quilt from beginning to end. Choosing fabrics, rotary cutting, pressing, accuracy in sewing will all be covered. Then we'll move onto to assembling the quilt top, quilting it and in the last class, we'll work on the binding. If you want to learn how to make a quilt, this is the class for you!!!

Rope Bowl
Date: Tuesday, March 31
Time: 7:00 - 9:00
Rope bowls are loads of fun to make. Even better - they're super easy. Come out and learn some great tips for making successful rope bowls.

Kids Journal Cover
Date: April 7
Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00
If you have a budding young sewist in your house, get them signed up for the journal cover class. This is a super project that's very easy to make. They make great gifts for Mother's Day or Father's Day. 

Flying Geese Envelope Pillow
Date: Tuesday, April 14
Time: 6:30 - 9:30 PM
There are several methods to making flying geese - we're going to pick the easy one! Then learn some great tips on making successful pillow covers!

Tote Bag
Date: Friday, May 1
Time: 6:30 - 9:30 PM
This is a super tote bag pattern. It's easy to make and once you make one, you'll realize how easy it is to change the size, add pockets or other embellishments. Personalize the tote bag with your favorite fabrics or make one for a gift.

Contact Oh Look Fabric to sign up for any of those classes.


Private Classes

Last, but not least are private classes. If you didn't see what you're looking for in the classes above, I'm open to teaching just about anything you want. If you have a new sewing or embroidery machine that you've no idea how to operate, or you want to learn a specific technique, get started on a new project or figure out where you are with a UFO, let me know and I'd be happy to help out.

I charge by the hour and we can discuss the details when we set up a time.

E-mail me if you want to discuss a class. 


There you have it - the list of classes that I'm teaching or heading up for the next six months. If you want to get in on the action in any of them, call or e-mail the appropriate location so you don't miss out.

Have a great day!!!!