Friday, December 31, 2010

UFO Challenge

If starting a new business isn't overwhelming already, I am going to add a couple of things to my already long list of "to do". In 2011 I am going to do an online UFO Challenge. I hoping that this will give me a reason to work on some of my things that I kind of keep putting off. Like when you say that "I'll do that project later" and the later never comes. In starting my business for teaching computer programs and quilting, I will most likely be working on class projects and my long list of UFOs will be forgotten to a later time. So in the spirit of doing things in a group. I have decided to join in Judy L. online UFO challenge to try to complete 1 projects a month for 12 months. I added a 13th project just to make things interesting to me. If I finish a project early then I will work on the 13th project a little at a time, so that this time next year I will have an added bonus of 13 UFO project done.
Here are the project list. Some of these project are close to 15 years old, like #9. I started this quilt when my son was in 7th grade I think. He is now 28 years old. Most of them are only a couple of years old.
  1. Mysteries quilt #1 (blue and gold) - March
  2. flamingo doll quilt - July
  3. star quilt
  4. red and white doll quilt - April
  5. firework quilt
  6. interlocking chain / bird quilt - January
  7. Hope crumb small quilt
  8. stack and whack star doll quilt - June
  9. Angel’s graduation quilt - May
  10. jungle fever quilt - February
  11. pink and brown butterfly quilt
  12. Asian circle quilt
  13. puppy trip around the world quilt
Cheryl M.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Whirlwind and changes

Well the last two months have been a whirlwind. From working a large quilt show here in Jacksonville FL for 3 days, to a 7 day cruise to the Eastern Caribbean, to coming back to work and couple of weeks later finding out that my hours at work will be cut to 24 from 40 hours. The plus side of fewer hours, maybe I can get reorganized to start putting some more quilting and piecing classes together in the local area. I also want to put into place a business plan to start my own business. Just not sure if I want to go into the direction of teaching quilting on a large scale or do my second love of computers. Starting a computer consulting business is very risky in that the field is flooded with everyone thinking they can give help about computers. I would love to combine the two fields together, teaching quilting and how to use the computer to the best advantage. So many things can make quilting easier if you can use the computer, from software programs, such as EQ, to drawing quilting designs on the computer first. Just the use of taking a picture and looking at the fabric in a different media will give you a different perceptive to fabric choices.
The one thing that I do know is that I will have to work on my computer certifications, bring them up to date. I finished school 4 years ago, and have not done anything with getting a job in the field or keeping my certifications up to date. So some of my extra time will be hitting the books again. The cut in hours will only be a short lived thing, the next step will be finding a new job in March when this job, ( with the cut hours) will lose the contract money completely.
On the teaching front I started teaching a beginners class from the Quilters' Academy book again. This time I have 4 students. The first night is a really fast and whirlwind of a time. Trying to get the terminology covered and try to start cutting on fabric, within a two hour time frame, is almost impossible. Last night was the second class and things went good, a couple of things about sewing the strip sets together and learning to rip is always the at the top of the things happening in the beginners class. With the extra time I will be able to post more about the classes and things from the Quilters' Academy book that I discover as I do the project myself.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Where does time fly off to!!

I can not believe that it's been two months since I blogged. I really need to do it more often. I think the last thing that I left off with was having a FMQ (free motion quilting) class to teach. Both of the classes that I taught went very well. They all said that they enjoyed it and learned a couple of things. In teaching any class the one thing that I want a student to leave with is the satisfaction that at least they got what they paid for and to learn at least one new thing. I have another FMQ class scheduled in November.
The other class that I taught was the beginners quilting class that I used Quilters' Academy book by Harriet and Carrie Hargrave. With 5 students it went very well, resulting in another class in October that will continue with parts from the first book. It is almost impossible to cover a large percentage of the ideas and instructions from this book in only 8 hours of class. To do it right it has to be done in about 16 to 20 hours. It is better to learn the basics and in short increments than having student that are overwhelmed by massive piecing instructions. I believe that some quilters have not learned to think more than what a quilt pattern says to do. The ability to understand and create a pattern is far more rewarding than to just copy something that someone else has done before.
I hope to make time to show tutorials on my blog with step by step instructions on doing basic concepts. Like how to get perfect points and having a nine patch be the right size when you get finished. One of the things that I showed my students in the Quilters' Academy class that when they finished the center block in the sampler, to know how to fix the seams so that is comes out the correct size. Just because the nine parts are the same at the beginning does not always come out the correct size at the end. Knowing the size of the blocks and using the ruler you can figure out what seam is off and correct it from that point. Without ripping the entire block apart.

Till later

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Progress (little by little)

OK I know its been a long time since I blogged. Its not the easiest to do with a list to do a mile long. I been working on a couple of projects. One finishing up the charity quilt that I posted about earlier this year. I will get a picture of the quilt and post it soon. The other thing is that I was working on a small doll quilt for a pin less circle class that I taught, at one of my guild workshop last month.
Also been working on the sampler from Quilter's Academy projects. Since I received volume 2 in the mail a couple of weeks ago, I put the setting triangles on the rail fence and nine patch squares. I did correct the problem with the wrong size pieces that I talked about last post. In fact I ended up starting over because as I started putting the pieces together I did not like the look of the design. I still may finish it and give it away to charity or donation to the Quiltfest Jax fund raisers at the annual quilt show.
I have a free motion quilting class tomorrow that will be exciting, there will be about 8-10 students. I can't wait to see the joy in there faces when they discover that FMQ is not that hard. My goal is to have everyone believing in the possibilities that they can create something special. Till next time (hopefully not as long as before between post.)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Late night problems

In all the years that I have sewn, you would think that I would have learned to not sew precision piecing late at night. Last night I thought I would relax a little by sewing, so I sewed a few strips together to make the nine patches for the quilter's academy sampler. Things seem to be going OK, got the first set done and then sewed the second set. Pressed all the seams OK (hind sight is that I did not check the seams and sets for accuracy, before I cut the segments). The pieces did not come together at the seams. Now the nine patch is not a hard block to do, but it does require the piecing to be precise so ALL the seams intersect properly. At first glance I thought that the set with the blue, pink, blue set was the wrong size. But in examining the sets the culprit was the pink, blue, pink set. In the pictures you can see that the 'pbp' set in an 1/8" short and the center strip in not an inch like it is suppose to be. So I had to re cut the strips and resew the pbp set again. A good example that veteran quilters make mistakes.

At first glance it look like the bottom set is the wrong size. But the top set is the pbp set and it is the one that is 1/8" short. The little loop or bump on the bottom is the result of the set being longer that the top set. there is no way that these two sets are going to lay flat and match the seams.

This picture shows the seams when I lay the sets flat the right seam is an 1/8" off. I have the left set of seams butted up exactly the way it would be sewn.

Here is the pink, blue, pink set under the ruler. It only measures 3 3/8" it should be exactly 3 1/2".

This is the blue, pink, blue set. If you look at the 3 1/2" mark you can just see the color difference between the background and the blue piece of fabric. The important thing is that it is exactly 3 1/2" long and the center strip is exactly 1".

Till later

Friday, April 30, 2010

Quilters Academy sampler

Just want to show that I started working on class samples for my class that I'll be teaching in July. The color is a little off. I really have to learn how to edit photo with adobe photoshop element. There are two more parts that I want to work on this weekend. The sampler is from the book Quilter's Academy by Harriet and Carrie Hargrave. It really is a great book for beginners and quilt veterans alike. It teaches the basics and tells you the reasoning behind why you use a specific thread and needle. And why thing come out one way and they are suppose to come out a different way in the piecing process. In doing the series, a quilter can learn and also enjoy the process of piecing with very little frustrations.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Classes at LQS

Just want to pop in and say that I made arrangements with one of the LQS to teach two classes this summer. One is the Quilters Academy series book #1 by Harriet Hargrave. It will consist of four classes that hopefully will be just enough to make things clear but not to fast for a beginner quilter to understand the basic concepts. I plan on teaching from the book doing a couple of projects. Mostly giving the students the guidelines and hold anybodies hands that are not sure of things. I 'm really looking forward to teaching this class. I have always felt that something in the quilting community has been missing. After scanning the book I realized what they were.
The basics, in making quilts to clothing or even craft items, you can not make a good fit with poor or wrong size pieces. Understanding the reason why fabrics lay a certain way and the proper size thread and needle mix together is what results in a good to excellent items. The type of items that everyone wants to win a blue ribbon with. I see several quilts shops that I have visited through out the United States give a quilting class on one project. Telling the quilter to cut this many pieces and seam together this piece to that piece to make one quilt. This logic is OK if the quilter knows the correct way to lay the fabric and cut to achieving the correct seam. Or better yet how to change something to get the correct answer to have the perfect block. I hope to write in the blog the process of me sewing the samples for the classes to some pics and ideas that results in the classes.
The other class is Free motion quilting that will hopefully result in making quilters to believe that doing free motion quilting on a home sewing machine is not any harder than drawing on paper, but you need PRATICE to achieve the results that are so worth the effort.
With luck this weekend I will be cutting and sewing the first project together. Maybe I can have something to show on the blog soon.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Eye opening experience

Why is it that when things spin out of control for a day or two, it takes two weeks to recover. The out of control started in thinking that I could clean my sewing room up in a couple of hours and after 2 weeks it is more of a disaster than when I started. With things all over the place I seem to not be able to sew. Then I came down with a sinus infection and strep throat, that laid me out for about 4 days. One thing after another seems to be getting in my way with finishing my charity quilt. I have 4 braids done and the dark purple bought. So if I have a couple of hours to sew I might be able to sew the top together before Thursday, which is when it needs to be done.
The one thing that I have been looking forward to for a long time is taking a classes at the guild retreat from Harriet Hargrave this last weekend. Oh my gosh it was a eye opening experience that will stay with me for a long time. In the quilting area of sewing I have felt that people where missing something in the quality or lack of knowing the correct things when it came to small things in the quilting area overall. Like the proper thread, and needles, how to lay out the fabric to get a straight grain cut. Since my background comes from the garment construction and heirloom sewing, quilting people always did it differently just because someone that quilted said so. That the two worlds of garment and quilting where not to be intermixed. Ms Hargrave has the idea that you have to have a good understanding of the correct basic, not the idea of what is new and neat gizmo that will do the magic trick and everyone is quilting. She was saying things that I learned from my mother and aunt 40 years ago, I just take it for granted that others learned it also, but the case is not so. Several people that I have meet have only quilted and pieced for only about 5 or 10 years, when it started to become popular to quilt.
The things that you need to do is get back to basics, have a good sewing machine, turn off the automatic buttons, and practice. Find the speed and hand rhythm that is comfortable for you, may it be slow or medium, not fast and quilt away.
She has a new book series out that is called quilters academy, you work through the book step by step and understand the ideas and basic to know the correct way to do things. I am hopeing that my daughter Angel will work through it with my help. That maybe I can start teaching classed on this series in the local area. My hopes are looking up in that there is a place in the quilting area that will satisfy my need for my last career.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Design Wall 1-18-2010

Well here we are again. Another week gone in the year of 2010, and before we know it it will be Christmas again. Isn't that a scary thought in the middle of January. I did a fair share of sewing this weekend. Dh wasn't feeling very well so I stayed in my sewing room while he rested. By Sunday he was feeling better. I got two braid strips done on my charity braid quilt. Its a fun technique, not much to think about, just the color placements of the braids. I turned under the edges to get a better idea what the braids will look like after I trim the sides.

Since I don't have enough pieces to sew the braids next to each other to make a twin size quilt. I'm going to sew a long strips in between the braids. I found a couple of fabrics that I thought might go with them, but I'm not sure if I like either one of them after I put them next to the braids. Thinking maybe a solid tan or dark purple color between the braids and borders. If you have any ideas or if you can tell me which fabric or neither you think goes with them, I would love to hear it.
Till next week, and hoping I will have all five braids on the design wall and have a better idea. Jump over to Judy's blog to see every one's design walls.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Design wall 1-11-2010

Well here is the first design wall post of the year for me. Last month I said that I was going to do the Monday design wall from Judy L. blog. Last week I did not have my stuff, (mind) together to post a picture. I did read and look at the other post on the link from Judy's blog post. Everyone blogs and designs walls are looking great. So keeping this short so I can get it posted and linked.

The design wall is the start of a quilt that I am trying to start, and finish before February 11th. This quilt will be a charity quilt for one of the guilds that I belong to. As a group we are donating about 15 quilts to a local children's home. I wanted to play with all the 2.5" strips that I have been exchanging with a guild group. Most of the strips I pulled from my stash, I only had to buy about a half dozen other fabrics. I was short on the green and lighter color purples. So shopping I went for more fabric. On the wall is only two strips of a braid quilt that I found on the web. I will look to see where I got the pattern from so that credit to the pattern is to whom it is properly credited to. Hopefully next week I will have all 7 strips up on the wall and starting the borders.

So if you have a few extra minutes jump over to Judy's blog and look at all the wonderful blogs and links. Have a great Monday.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year and New Ideas

Well the holidays are past and only 11 months till the Christmas 2010 is here before we know it. The Christmas wrapping and everything else was done by 9:00 PM Christmas Eve, with 10 minutes to spare. Overall the holiday was pretty good, no surprises and very, very little arguing from my children. All the Christmas decorations are put away, just have to wait or DH and DS to put them back up in the attic.

I am looking forward to getting several things done and a few things started in 2010. Especially getting the new career going with designing and teaching in the local area. I keep a list of several projects that I am doing (UFOs) and projects that I want to do. This list keeps me grounded as to not adding new projects, and keeps the list in perspective to what I want to finish. In the beginning of 2009 I had 114 items on the list and I might add that this was not a complete list of everything. Not all of these items are quilting, some are sewing garments, to painting, hand needlework, etc. This is the reason why I keep a list to ground me in the right direction, otherwise the list would be in the 2 to 3 hundred range and very little would get finished. As the end of 2009 I completed 25 items. Now you would think that the list would be 89 items on it, well I see things I want to do and buy the fabric or thread or whatever is needed, then a new item is added to the list. As a result the list as of the start of 2010 has 116 items.