Thursday, June 25, 2015

Butterfly Migration

I finished the quilt top that I started in a workshop with Gyleen Fitzgerald earlier this month. I am very pleased with the way it turned out. The "butterfly" seams, Gyleen's way of conquering the dreaded Y seam, worked out well, though at times, I will admit, I got lost in the jungle of seams where six come together. In the end I sorted it out and got everything to match up for the most part.

In a crazed period of cleaning, I found the cut off pieces from my Cultural Fusion quilt. I sewed them up into wonky four patches and then set them into this little strippy  quilt.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


In the past week I have come into quite a bit of quilty largesse. First off, my name was pulled at our guild meeting on Friday and I won a stack of 12" churn dash blocks. They had been made by members as part of a display at our quilt show in March.

On Tuesday evening another guild held a social evening at one of the member's homes. The purpose was to distribute the stash of a much loved member, Darlene,  who died last year. The ladies who "curated" the stash did a wonderful job of sorting and bagging everything up. There was a lifetime of wonderful goodies from a talented quilter. No junk at all. Whether the ladies disposed of the junk ahead of time, or whether there just wasn't any, it was a marvelous thing to behold. The large dining room table, side boards, chairs, floor, and deep window sills were piled high with magazines, books, fabric, blocks, rulers, rotary cutters, and partially completed projects.

As we came in the door, we received numbers. I was lucky enough to get into group #1. There were five groups and we rotated through, picking out something each time. We went around four times or so until there were only a handful of small pamphlets left. What did I walk away with?

Bernina piping foot, 6" x 2" Creative Grids ruler, a bias tape making tool, two large packages of fabric in neutral colors, a decorative Singer sewing machine tin, and (my favorite), a baggie of 40 hand pieced 5" nine-patch blocks in red and white. Our guild's AQS appraiser was standing next to me and she pronounced them vintage, circa 1920. SCORE! I am formulating a plan for using them, incorporating some of the ideas and suggestions made by Gyleen Fitzgerald at our meeting last Friday.

I purposely chose the fabric packages of neutral colors because my stash is lacking in those. For inspiration, I have been poring over books that use only neutral colors.  The idea is to make a quilt with only the fabrics from Darlene's stash. There is a nice range from dark to light, so it will work. I counted up the yardage and it comes to 12.8 yards. Wow. Thanks, Darlene.

I have been working on making blocks from last Saturday's workshop with Gyleen Fitzgerald. I wish now that I had chosen background fabrics with more contrast. However other people have told me they like the subtlety. Don't know if they are just being polite or actually mean it. It would look better in my opinion if you could actually tell that these are tumbling blocks. Live and learn.

This photo is "just because." The peonies were extra pretty this year. These pale pink ones remind me of the tissue paper flowers we used to make in grade school.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Awesome Workshop

Yesterday our guild hosted Gyleen Fitzgerald of Colourful Stitches to teach her Play Modern workshop. Wow! what a great teacher and lecturer. If you ever get the chance to hear her speak, or better yet, take a workshop with her, do not hesitate for an instant. The workshop was a design class according to Gyleen. I would also consider it to be a technique class because you learn the "butterfly seam," her trademarked method of constructing with the Y seam. She calls it the butterfly seam because it's so gentle to do. There was an absolute newbie quilter in the room. So new, she really hadn't learned all the ins and outs of her brand new machine. She breezed right through the process with Gyleen's excellent hands on tutelage. This is a technique that can be challenging for even an advanced piecer, so it's no less than miraculous and a testament to Gyleen's method and instruction that such an inexperienced person was able to accomplish it with perfect results.

Here is what I completed yesterday. Others finished more, but I had other duties as the guild organizer that took away from my productive sewing time.

My blocks are on the left; my friend's are on the right. It looks as though we are making the same design, but mine ultimately won't be arranged in a circular star pattern. I had only made three of the blocks with the colored pieces in them and this is the only way that three can be arranged to complete a cube. As I make more, the design will change.