Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday Finish: Lego Sewing Machines

This weekend is our annual Gruber's retreat in Minnesota, and I made lego sewing machines for my retreat friends.

I have made these little machines before, but at my last Lego store visit I discovered the option of engraving bricks so these machines are personalized.  

Each time I make a batch, I have to change up the "recipe" just a bit because of the brick availability at the time.  These machines are so much fun to make; I should just start ordering the actual parts I want from now on!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts.  Enjoy your weekend and thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Facebook Communities Summit

I recently had the privilege of attending (with two other guildies) the first ever Facebook Communities Summit, representing Orlando Modern Quilt Guild.  What an amazing opportunity for our guild to be invited to attend along with admins of 100 other groups!

I won't go in to all that was discussed (click on the link above if you want to read the press article), but the focus was on "meaningful groups" and building a sense of community.  I will say the three day summit was an experience I will never forget.

As you can tell by the graphics, the groups were an eclectic mix.

We were in workshops all day, and treated like VIPs during the evening events!  The workshops covered topics including Engaging Your Community, Creating Shared Purpose, and Fostering Safe Community.  Mary, Michele, and I had the opportunity to share our guild story, meet other group leaders and hear their stories (including Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg), and learn from an amazing array of speakers.

The venue designers Must Be quilters.  Our workshops were held in rooms such as the Hex Room, the Triangle Room, the Circle Room, and the Heart Room!  I kept seeing quilt designs everywhere I looked!
We were the only quilt group represented at the Summit, but that didn't stop us from finding other quilters!  We met Shelly on the plane who had joined our Facebook group days before the event.  Ann was at the Summit with a pilgrimage group; we discovered she had made a Quilts for Pulse with her LAMQG!

Dawn had put the word out that she wanted to meet us and could be found carrying a hot pink backpack!  We found her the last day and had a great time discussing quilts and seeing her recent finishes on Instagram.

Lighthearted workshop in the vein of late night comedy.  See the HSTs in the background?!
This got me thinking about community and quilters and how the two just go hand in hand.  Am I right?!  Quilters tend to seek each other out and instantly connect like no other group of people I have known.  It's a beautiful thing!

Look at these bar tiles!

So it seemed appropriate to start a Facebook Group where ALL quilters could connect in one place; a place to discuss anything quilty, regardless of style, skill level, or location.  If you are on Facebook, please consider joining Quilty Friends Rock and/or inviting quilt friends to join.

Thanks so much for stopping by,

Friday, July 7, 2017

Friday Finish: Featherweight Bag

Hey and Happy Friday! 
I finished Jeni Baker's Sew Portable Travel Bag, and let me say it travels well on the airplane!  

Not being a bag maker, I was happy the sewing machine bag, as well as the drawstring pouch and tray cover, was not complicated to make.  I cut into my precious Carolyn Friedlander fabrics for this project.  The bag could have been quilted more, but I was in a hurry to finish before my trip.  The picture above shows the featherweight that traveled in the bag, but I should note that I used my Juki to make the bag.

I have wanted a way to carry my featherweight on the plane without having to lift it into the overhead bin (forget checking it in a suitcase), and I seemed to remember this pattern being described as such.  When I went to find the pattern, I did not see it described as being able to fit under an airplane seat, but it does which is awesome.

This was on a Southwest flight; I had more room on the United flight.

I brought my featherweight with me to Montana (via a quick trip to Chicago), and I had no issues going through security (no more than usual...I always give TSA a heads up), carrying the bag through the airport, or fitting the bag and machine under the seat in front of me on the plane.

I can't tell you how happy this makes me.  Soon I will travel to Minnesota for my eighth Gruber's retreat, and I am excited to have a better plan for traveling with my machine.  In the past, I would pack my sewing machine in my carryon bag and carry an oversize tote bag filled with fabric as my personal item to fit under the seat.  Well, you know how much fabric weighs!  Over the years, I have developed a pain in my left shoulder from carrying heavy tote bags and lifting suitcases (usually holding fabric and a sewing machine) in overhead bins.

Recently, I have switched to traveling with a backpack that slides on the handle of my roller carryon bag...nothing on my shoulder and seeking assistance with lifting my bag in the overhead bin.  For this trip with my sewing machine, I replaced the backpack with my Featherweight bag which had room to hold my wallet, iPad, and sweater.  My rolling bag was lighter without a sewing machine so lifted easily in the overhead bin.

On the return trip, my rolling bag had acquired some weight so I checked it in which meant carrying the Featherweight bag on my shoulder through the airport.  The structure of the bag was durable enough for this purpose, and I had no concern carrying the sewing machine around.  It was quite the conversation starter as well while waiting to board ;-)))  The funniest comment I heard was from a quilter's husband who referred to quilt guilds as "covens"!

So those are my tips and experiences when flying with a sewing machine.  What are yours?

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts.  Thanks for stopping by.  Have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Love for Linette

I am currently in the middle of two high school graduation quilts.  When I saw the #LoveforLinette call for blocks on Instagram, it was a simple matter of cutting extra squares in the colorful fabrics I am working with.

 Simple nine patch blocks made with 3.5" squares were requested in bright colors and one low volume square.   Making three blocks is the least I can do for a quilty friend, and I hope these contributions combine nicely with the other blocks for a comforting quilt.

Detailed information can be found on Sarah's blog post if you are interested in making blocks for Linette as well.  May 27th is the requested date for mailing block(s).

Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday Finish: One Little and One Big

Happy Friday!!  Today I have a small, quick finish to share and a not so small and quick quilt finish.

First up is this cute pincushion made with trimmings from my Chawne Kimber small piecing class at QuiltCon. You know the trimmings are small when the actual block is less than one inch!

I included the pin cushion in our guild raffle basket along with lego sewing machine and other goodies from my sewing room.

Next up is a quilt finish that I have been working on in between other projects and finally completed when I had a specific recipient in mind.

Here are some progress shots.

Using my favorite Aurifil thread (2600 in 50wt) and my longarm, I quilted organic horizontal lines across the quilt.  Every so often, I changed the thread to red, yellow, blue, green, and purple (didn't write down the thread numbers) and quilted a color line.

The backing is a Carrie Bloodstone wide back; the binding is a black graphic from my stash.

This quilt was shipped to its new owner last week...hoping she likes it!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts.
Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great stichy weekend!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Mad for Solids: A Giveaway

Have you been following along with Paintbrush Studios (Instagram and blog) and their Mad For Solids March Madness bracket?  Today my bundle is "in the game"!  Scroll to the bottom of the post to learn about the giveaway.  In the meantime, here's the inspiration for my "FLORIDA" solids bundle.

Colors:  121-099 Rice Paper, 121-094 Agave, 121-039 Jade, 121-100 Aruba,
121-138 Gulfstream, 121-137 Poseidon, 121-054 Tangerine, 121-124 Carrot.
  “The solids I chose are shades of my favorite blue, with a neutral and two oranges thrown in, all representing sunny days in Florida.  I think these colors are perfect for the graduation quilt I plan to make for my youngest who will soon attend college far from Florida and its warm climate.  These bright colors remind me of vacations spent on Siesta Key with its cool sand, clear blue waters, and glorious sunsets, as well as lazy days spent lounging by the pool on orange chaise lounges.” 

I challenged myself to use all 8 colors (no less) in a single quilt block.  I found this block in the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.  It's referred to as a Double Irish Chain, but to me it also has a courthouse steps thing going on ;-))  The squares finish at 1".

Playing around with the image, I came up with this layout of four squares.  Kind of cool, right?!

I really like what happens when more blocks are added.  Check out the secondary patterns created!

I don't know whether this is the pattern I will use for my daughter's graduation quilt, but I sure do love the idea.  Did I mention how much I love these colors?  The fabrics are nice to work with as well.

Now for the giveaway part:

You have two opportunities to vote in today's bracket.  Leave a comment on Inspired by Fabric's blog post naming your bundle of choice and/or leave a comment on @PBStudioFabrics Instagram post naming your bundle of choice.  I would love for you to vote for Florida if you like it.  Winning bundles move on to the next round, and everyone who comments has a chance to win.

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday Finish: Quilts for Pulse

I haven't found the words to describe the Quilts for Pulse project, the impact it has had on our community, our guild, myself, and I am not sure I ever will.  The QFP top that was started at our annual Gruber's retreat has now been quilted and photographed, so it's about time I at least blogged about that.

Nine of us made the retreat this year; each of us made an oversized heart block from Happy Zombie's Love Quilt pattern.  

We each selected a color; you know I don't even remember for sure which color I chose ;-)

Lovely Mary!
 Mary, of course, selected turquoise blue!

Coming up with the block layout was a group effort and was not taken lightly...sure wish I had input from eight others all the time!

Love these girls!!!
The quilt top was finished in July at our retreat.   It sat patiently waiting to be quilted while I helped with other aspects of the QFP project.  Due to the overwhelming generosity of the worldwide community, our Orlando Modern Quilt Guild set about making quilt tops from the incredible number of heart blocks sent in, quilting and binding those tops, photographing each completed quilt, distributing quilts to those affected by the Pulse tragedy,  and writing thank you notes.

As for the quilting, I quilted various patterns in the heart blocks and the phrase "love is love is love" in the negative space.  I didn't mark the letters or lines, preferring to quilt organically as if I were writing those words.  I have messy handwriting ;-)))

Serendipity has been a common theme when discussing QFP with my guild friends.  (One day I hope someone writes all about that.)  When it came to the binding, I was in a hurry and grabbed from my leftover binding collection.  While stitching the binding to the front, I realized the fabric was all from Amy Butler's LOVE fabric collection!  During our Gruber retreat photo with the quilt, Stephanie and I realized we were both wearing our Glamp Stitchalot t-shirts designed by Monica aka Happy Zombie (not planned).  The backing is Amanda Jean's Good Neighbor's fabric line.  Serendipitous, indeed!

photo by Paula Kennedy Photography
Our heart quilt was finished (just) in time to be professionally photographed (thank you Paula Kennedy!) for QuiltCon's Quilt For Pulse exhibit.  After the photo shoot the quilt was gifted to a 911 operator who had to listen to and transcribe all the horrific emergency phone calls from that terrible night.

Our quit label

Quilty friends definitely do rock!  I am so grateful to my retreat friends for helping make this quilt for someone in need and so appreciative of the generosity of the worldwide quilting community that made it possible for the OrlandoMQG to deliver almost 1,800 quilts.

If you will be in Savannah next week for QuiltCon, please stop by the QuiltsforPulse exhibit and see photos of all the quilts made and donated.  There is an official meet up at the exhibit Saturday at 12:30, but at least one member from our guild will be there during all hours of the show.  
Hope I get the chance to say Hi! and Thank You!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts.