Thursday, February 28, 2008

Concert News and Happy Birthday

Today is Jake's 19th birthday. Happy birthday Jake! (Doesn't he look better with shorter hair?!) And Elisia called me to tell me how her concert went tonight. Her band was one of 16 selected in the country to perform at the National Honor Band Festival in Indianapolis this week. Despite the fact that her tuba was damaged en route (argh!) she performed beautifully. She had several short solos in one piece and she tells me she played "pretty good". If you know teenagers that means great!

After the concert they went back for a review/critique (sorry I wasn't there so I don't know the actual terms). The man asked which tuba had performed the solos and she raised her hand. He told her she did a great job! I'm so proud of her and I could tell she was walking on air! She's having a terrific time and the rest will be just fun stuff: clinics, listening to other bands, a trip to the mall, social gatherings, etc.

Corrections to 6 Inch Wild Goose Chase Directions

Okay I have one correction from this week's handout. On the 6" wild goose chase block every time it says 5-1/4" it should say 5". There are three times. See how quickly you can find all three (hint: one is in the cutting directions and the other two are in the piecing directions.) No idea what I was thinking when I typed that...

Speaking of no idea, there's a confusing direction in the cutting directions also. It made sense to me at the time (actually it still makes sense to me), but it is confusing if you're not inside my head...

In the cutting directions it tells you to cut 46 strips at 1-1/4" x width of the fabric. Then it tells you to cut 4 of those into 2" x 1-1/4" rectangles. It should say cut 4 of those strips into as many 2" x 1-1/4" rectangles as you can get. The same goes for the rest of them. Cut as many 3-1/2" x 1-1/4" rectangles as you can get from 12 strips. Cut as many 5" x 1-1/4" rectangles as you can get from 14 strips. Cut as many 6-1/2" x 1-1/4" rectangles as you can get from 16 strips. Clear now?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Week of February 26-28

This week we will be finishing the Wild Goose Chase quilt. I will show you how to create the 6 inch blocks, but there's no need to bring a sewing machine this week.

Don't forget that you have homework! You are supposed to bring in a photo or something else with colors that inspire you. Also don't forget to bring focus fabric for the jacket if you want ideas or suggestions on that project. If you've forgotten what the jacket looks like, the picture is in the blog under the January archives.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

All Alone

This weekend I will get a taste of the dreaded empty nest. Elisia left this morning for Fresno and the All-State Honor Band practice and performance. I was very fortunate that another parent was willing to take her and couple of the others who made it from our school. She was the only girl from our school so will be rooming with the only girl going from a neighboring school. What is it with girls not being willing to try more difficult things? We had many more boys than girls audition. Elisia will be the only girl tuba player at the "blind auditions" so I told her to "try to walk like a guy", LOL.

I feel so lonely already and she's only been gone a few hours. All this time, no one to bother me... I should be in heaven, right? But I'm feeling blue. So here are a few of pictures of her.
Now, should I watch Project Runway or work on my Bernina ensemble?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Jacket Patterns part 2

I understand that the McCall's pattern that I recommended is already out of print. Isn't that always the way? I spent an hour or so at JoAnn's searching the pattern books for an alternative. While none were perfect here are a few that could be made to work:

McCalls 5143 view B has button loop closures in the front and a stand up collar (my favorite)
Simplicity 4109 has cuffs and a collar. You would need to get rid of the cuffs, modifying the sleeves. The collar could stay, if you wish.
Butterick 4056 Just Jennifer has a very loose fit and looks large in the collar area, but would work for our design
Butterick 3573 view D has small darts in the sleeve and back shoulder area of the jacket. You could probably keep these darts, but would have to be careful in the placement of your strips of 3-D designs on the back.

Other than these commercially available patterns I'm sure there are plenty of quilterly jacket patterns out there by independent companies. Just remember to look for a very simple pattern with no darts and only 3 pieces: back (cut on fold, no seam), front (cut 2) and sleeve (cut 2). I'll look in the local shops this week to see if I can find any that I could specifically recommend.

Friday, February 15, 2008

February 19-21

Next week's lesson will be on paper piecing the 3" blocks for the Wild Goose Chase quilt. If you have never paper pieced before I suggest that you bring your sewing machine, an extension cord, thread and scrap fabric to class. I will demo paper piecing, but it is best learned by doing. And I'd love to see some sharing, too!

I am hard at work on my 2008 Bernina ensemble (finally). Unfortunately I can't show it so my apologies for the lack of pictures in my blog.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Corrections for Wild Goose Chase 12 Inch Block Handout

My apologies, but there are 2 errors in this week's handout.

1. You do need to draw the light diagonals on the yellow squares, as stated, but only 96 need the diagonals, the other 12 do not as they will be the center squares for the blocks

2. There is an entire step missing (horrors!). I'm calling it step 2-1/2 since it belongs between step 2 and step 3. It should read. Add two blue strips 6-1/2" x 2" to opposing sides. Press. Add two blue strips 9-1/2" x 2" to remaining sides. Press.

Please make a note of these changes on your handout.


Friday, February 08, 2008

Wild Goose Chase

Here is a picture of the quilt we will be making in class for the next 3 weeks. We will leanring a different technique for each size block. The first week will be traditional piecing for the 12" block. Also please remember that it is a UFO week so if you volunteered to bring a UFO to class please remember to bring it this week. Thanks!

Here is a picture of my daughter, Elisia, when she went to Winter Formal this past weekend. Too bad her shoes don't show since we worked so hard to find the perfect pair!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Jacket Pattern

For those who asked, my jacket pattern is something I've created over the years, modifying and changing it as my body changed. If it fits you I don't mind if you trace off a copy. If not here is a commercial pattern that should work with a few minor changes: McCall's 4309 view C. You will not be adding the patch pockets on the front and I wouldn't suggest trying the collar unless you are an experienced seamstress. Also the side seams end in a scalloped vent. Remove that by cutting it at a 90 degree angle. You may leave the scalloped front edge of the jacket, but the side seam scallop will make it very difficult to bind. If you still want a side vent leave it open a few inches when you sew up the side seam, as I do on my jacket. Alternatively you may sew it all the way down.

If you have another jacket pattern that you prefer that's fine. Just make sure it has only 3 pattern pieces (front, back and sleeve) and no darts or princess seams.

Whatever you choose, if it is a pattern you've never made before I highly recommend making it up quickly using cheap fabric just to make sure it fits. Who wants to put a lot of time and effort into making something that fits badly? If you think you may need to alter the pattern just baste the seams to make changes easier.


Saturday, February 02, 2008


At Road to California I purchased a program called Kaleidoscop Kreator and I've been having more fun kaleidoscoping things! Here are 2 pictures of family dogs: my sister's new black pug puppy, Kenya and my parents' Westie puppy, Montie.

The best thing about the program to me is how intuitive it is (no long lessons to learn how to use it; I didn't even read the directions) and how fast! It takes me 2 or 3 minutes, tops, and most of that is choosing the "right" background color.

Of course these can be printed onto paper OR FABRIC! I can't wait to make a quilt with this idea, but for now I have "other fish to fry".

If you're interested in seeing more about this program (I have no affiliation, etc) their website is
Check it out!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Shadow Applique

Here is a picture of next week's project, a tablerunner/wall hanging. You will be creating your own designs in class so please remember to bring typing paper and paper scissors.

For my tablerunner I chose a hand-dyed coral fabric for the design, a textured cream fabric for the background and a cream sheer that matched the background. Remember that the color of the sheer overlay will affect the colors underneath!

Notebook Cover

Here's a picture of the notebook cover that I taught this week in class. I hope that it inspires you to make your own. The flowers are done in the style of Rosemary Eichorn: raw edges, no fusing. Please remember to bring a notebook to class next week whether it is covered :-) or not :-(