Sunday, May 24, 2009

Chinese Coins at a Mile-A-Minute!

I first heard of Mile a Minute quilting from the American Quilter Magazine, Winter 2000, in an article by Carol A. Coski (page 49). Basically you take your scraps and just sew the pieces together rather randomly until you finally have some pieces large enough to cut some blocks. I had so many scraps left from the Challenge Quilt I showed recently because I was playing the whole quilt by ear or improvisationally, not really knowing what would work and having to slice off large bits of fabrics that I did not need. So above, you can see all my scraps left - plenty for another quilt.
I began sewing pieces together, even as small as 1 1/2". Leftover triangles turned into squares and there were many strips left to add to the odd shaped pieces I was coming up with. I finally decided I would make a quilt called Chinese Coins. Roberta Horton has one in her book, Scrap Quilts, the Art of Making Do. By the way, she has inspired me greatly through the years with her work and from taking her classes several times at the Houston Quilt Festival. She likes plaids to be 'casually off-grain'. I really like that as opposed to having to have them all match up perfectly. She helps free you from those rules instilled in us in HomeEc in high school.

Here are some of the pieces sewn together ready to be cut into rectangles. I came up with the measurements for my blocks to be 5" x 7", so my scraps had to be a minimum of that size.
I then laid the ruler on the piece to be sure it was large enough then cut my rectangle. I took the leftover pieces and began adding them to other scraps. Now towards the end I had some pieces that were almost all seams because there were just little strips left but I ended up with 40+ blocks. I found some beautiful magenta fabrics in my stash that I will use for the vertical sashing, which is what makes the chinese coins pattern. Just several vertical rows of blocks. It will be a while before I get the sashing added as I have some longarm quilting that must get done. So, until next time - Happy Quilting and Stitch when you Can!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cotton Boll Quilt Challenge 2009

And the winner is . . . . . Nancy Ratliff . . . First Place and Viewer's Choice also!!! Go, Nancy!!! Your quilt was done with excellence and beautifully made!

Our guild had a quilt challenge this year and at our May dinner, the quilts were displayed and outside judges were brought in and winners were announced. I could not believe that out of about 75 members, only 7 people participated in the challenge, I, being one of them.

We were given a paint chip with 3 shades of a color, mine being a light yellow to a bright gold. You had to use this color, or any shades of it, in 50% of your quilt top. You were given a block which had to be identifiable on the front of the quilt and two quilting techniques which had to be used in at least 25% of the quilt. Other than that, it was a piece of cake to make!! BG

This is my quilt, which I named, Sunshine, Almost Always Makes Me High, from a John Denver song of long ago. Sunshine just brightens any day! As I mentioned my color was yellow and my techniques were paper piecing and hand quilting.. .......and here I am a longarm quilter using my machine almost every day of the week. I paper-pieced the sun, the three large blocks, and hand quilted the sun area. My block was cake stand, which is one of the three small blocks at an angle under the sun area. My quilt was inspired by a pattern in the book, Beyond the Block by Linda Johnson and Jane Wells.

Oh, and did I mention, I won second place, which was pretty exciting! The ribbons were beautifully done by Pam Stapley, ....very nice!
Her is a close-up of the sun with the hand-quilting and you can see one of my little cake stand blocks! I must say, this really was a challenge just sewing all these odd pieces together, but I often like to be stretched beyond my norm in quilting!

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

I participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure this past Saturday, May 9. I ran with my sister, Sylvia Brush, and other members of her family were participating. Her husband, Edgar, son Trey and his wife, Nikki and daughter, Bonnie. It was the first race I had participated in and got up at 4:30 a.m. to get downtown Atlanta and be assured of a parking place in the garage at Atlantic Station. I got there around 6:40 a.m. so that was no problem, thankfully. I did not want to be driving around looking for a place to park in unfamiliar territory.

In fact, we arrived so early that we did the one mile walk at 7:45 which was not planned and then at 8:30 took on the 5K run. Sylvia and I jogged most of the time, coming in at 42.5 minutes. I was happy with my time since I normally just walk and had not been able to train as much as I'd like due to some health issues this was quite exhilarating seeing the thousands (15,000) running up and down the hills of Atlanta.

When you start realizing how many people you know that have or have had breast cancer, or even died from it, it is amazing. People posted names on pink sheets of paper to remember those. I have 15 ladies on my list and I'm sure I did not remember all of them.

Thanks again to all those that supported my efforts and run!