Tuesday, January 20, 2009

FREE Workshop announcement

All those in the Southern New Hampshire/Northern Massachusetts area who might want a fabulous day of quilting in a gorgeous classroom space in the most amazing quilt shop ever....READ ON!

To go along with my group quilting trunk show, I am currently also developing a workshop to focus on group quilting. Wanda Makela, owner of Bunkhouse Quilt Shop in Lyndeboro NH, has graciously allowed me to hold an experimental class in her classroom space as I hone this workshop on March 7, 2009, beginning at 10am. This is type of workshop is something new for me, so I am offering the chance to several quilters (first come, first served, reservations required) to come join us and basically take a workshop for free in Wanda’s fabulous classroom space while we work out the kinks. I of course hope the kinks will be few, but a trial class should bring most of the biggies to light. If it is a total bust, at least Bunkhouse is an awesome place to sew and shop, and you really can never go wrong with a day of sewing and shopping! Or so I am hoping.

The workshop will be a Round Robin in a Day, wherein quilters will work together to create a 22” wall hanging for each workshop participant. Each person participating will start with their own block (why not use a UFO block of appropriate size?), but will surrender that block to the whims of three other participants in the workshop, who will each add borders to the center block. The spin I am putting on the round robin idea is that the techniques and/or elements of each border round will be determined just prior to each round by that age old decision-making method, drawing from a hat. At the end of the workshop, each participant should have a completed 22” square quilt that reflects not only themselves but the unique ideas and approaches to quilt-making of his/her fellow workshop participants. A willingness to allow others to dictate the direction of a piece you started and the abilities to work well in a time-sensitive environment and to move from one task to another easily are requisite to this class, as well as the completion of the center block prior to class.

If you think you might like to participate, please let me know as soon as possible at evapaigequilts@charter.net, and I will send you a list of supplies so you can start gathering things together.

Friday, January 16, 2009

It's done! Sort of!

The piecing part, anyway...

Presenting the "Syncopated Ribbons Group Quilt", by Julie Davis, Laura Davis, Barbara Fischer, Sue Fors!, Jennifer Gierke, Beth Helfter, Deb Koczela, Martha Lorshbaugh, Emily Peach, Nancy Peach, Terri Sontra, Mary Beth Stevenson, Eddie Tarabey, Steven Tarabey and Vanessa Tarabey.

I am so thrilled with how it turned out. Fifteen quilters took me up on the idea of making 8 “half-blocks” plus a border portion each, so we ended up with a gorgeous lime, purple, and aqua quilt that is somewhere between a full and queen size. It is amazing to me when I look at it that no two quilters seem to have used the same fabrics; I could never count the actual number of fabrics contained in it, but there have to be over 150 at least. The project is both multi-generational with the ages of the participants ranging from 10-68 and multi-genderational with two young boy quilters participating. Once quilted, the quilt will become part of my new trunk show, “Plays Well With Others”, which I plan to have ready for debut by the 2009-10 guild season.

Two year old waking up from her nap, so I'll be back tomorrow to post details of a free workshop I hope some of you might be interested in!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Grownup Snow Day

Remember how, as a child, you used to wish for a snow day? I still do. I'm one of those crazies who actually LIKE shoveling snow (although cleaning off the car is another story altogether), and since I don't have human children, a snow day off from work is a Very Good Thing. Especially when I have a quilt project in progress.

Yesterday was a snow day for me, and I put it to good use machine quilting a two-color version of Grandma's Scrap Bag. I want to show quilters that my patterns do not have to look just like the cover picture (made from late 19th century reproduction fabrics). I had long wanted to do this in two ocean color batiks. I quilted it in the allover pattern known as (depending on which machine quilting book you read- I've got a bunch of them) teardrops, paisleys, petals, or clamshells. I prefer to think of it as oyster shells, as I'm considering eventually embellishing it with some pearls!

How do you spend your snow days?

Barbara Chojnacki
Six Gables Designs

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A New Year's Resolution

I would like to encourage everyone to make a resolution to share the passion and excitement you feel about quilting with a youngster or a beginning quilter. Those of us who want the quilting industry to flourish can make a difference by taking a "newbie" under our wing and teach them how to make a quilt!

You can start with a very simple design, and just use scraps from your stash. It might be fun for your student to go with you to your LQS to pick out the background and border colors.

Here is a simple lap size quilt (40" x 48") that I made recently, entirely out of scraps. It is fun, colorful, and quick to make.

Simply cut forty, 4 1/2" squares and one hundred sixty, 2 1/2" squares. The smaller squares are pieced into four-patch blocks, and alternated with the larger squares. I bordered the quilt with strips that finished to 1" and 3" wide, respectively.

If you are working with a child, it might be easier to tie the quilt rather than quilt it. Kids like to see fast results!

If you have any specific questions or would like to see other ideas for simple quilts that kids (or beginning beginners) can make, feel free to e-mail me at chickensoupdesigns@yahoo.com.

Please share photos of the quilts (and their proud makers) with me, and I'll post them here, if you wish.

Happy New Year!

~Kristi Parker

Chicken Soup Designs

Friday, January 2, 2009

Goodbye 2008…Hello 2009!

This is the time of year when most people look back over the past year’s accomplishments and forward to the New Year, with new goals and new hope and, hopefully, with renewed enthusiasm.

I have to say I am pretty happy that 2008 is finally over. What a challenging year! But I am happy with what I have accomplished in the past year and I am optimistic about the future.

Looking forward to next year, I will be going to Pittsburgh in May at invitation of Nancy Dill, QuiltWoman.com, to introduce my new quilt book, "Moon Dance" at the annual International Spring Quilt Market. I am thrilled to be able to go! This will be a real first for me!

I want to go to both the International Quilt Market and Quilt Festival in Houston next October. My quilting friend Cathy (from Florida) has suggested we meet there. That is an important goal for me and I will find a way to make it happen.

I am looking forward to more teaching opportunities; I have two trunk shows scheduled and would love to do more; I am currently working on a commission to be completed in January and hope for several more; and finally – I am contemplating writing another book in the next year or two. No rush deadlines this time, especially not right before Christmas like I had this year! And, of course. I want to get some new individual quilt patterns finished and on the market.

I want to continue growing my design business while also still enjoying my life. I want to continue to expand my skills and try branching out in new directions in my designs, my writing and my quilt making.

So what are your goals and aspirations for the coming year? Are you optimistic about the future or do you have your doubts?

I am a true believer that if you really want something and focus completely on that goal, visualizing it as if it has already been achieved, you can have anything you want or reach any goal. It is called the Law of Attraction and much has been written about it in recent years. Trust me, it works!

I wish you all the very best in the coming year! Keep those creative juices flowing!

Cary Flanagan

Something Sew Fine Quilt Design