Monday, November 23, 2009

The Bitty Baby Patterns are done!

The baby doll patterns are finally finished, printed, packed and ready for shipment! Whew! What a busy month it has been. As most who read my blog are aware, I have an etsy shop where I sell my patterns. Through this blog and the etsy shop I have recieved numerous requests to create pattens that match my toddler pattern series for the Bitty Baby and 15 inch baby dolls. It's been quite a journey because the proportions of these dolls are very different from that of a real child (to say the least!). My goodess, what a journey it has been! At any rate we have completed the patterns and they are ready to go.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My First Brown Bag Challenge - DONE!

My quilt guild, The Procrastinating Quilters of Clearwater, has a yearly challenge called the "Brown Bag Challenge." This is my first full year in the guild so it is the first time I was able to participate. What fun it is. What you see above is what I created.
SIDE NOTE: The wall hanging really isn't wonky. It just looks it because it was blowing in the wind.

Here is how the guild describes the challenge to us:

"What is a Brown Bag Challenge?" It is a time for you step out of your comfort zone to do something fun and receive something wonderful in return. The following outlines what you need to know in order to participate:
2. Place the 3 COORDINATING FAT QUARTERS in a brown lunch bag with no markings (I will have extra bags if you don't have one); please no notes requesting a particular item to be made - that takes away from the challenge.
3. Bring your bag to the guild Summer Party
4. Hand it in
5. Near the end of the Summer Party, you will select a brown bag that is not yours for the challenge. From these three fat quarters we are instructed to do the following:

Use the 3 COORDINATING FAT QUARTERS on the front/outside of your project.
Please use at least 75% of the fabric provided on the project.
You made add as many other fabrics your heart desires - quilt store quality please.
The project MUST be QUILTED - machine or hand.
The project MUST be FINISHED.
The project should be no larger than a lap size.
Please put a label on your project.

We call the party that we have in November, "The Big Reveal" because that is where we reveal and give what we have made to the person who owns those three fat quarters. I didn't set this blog to post until after "The Big Reveal" because the surprise is such a big part of the fun.
There is my label and the three scraps that were left over from making the project - it's nice to include a piece of each color (if you can) because many of us forget what we put in the bags seven months ago! It's OK if we forget, thank goodness, because the person in charge of the challenge records each bag handed in.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Cautionary Tale...

This is my newest completed quilt. I'm going to call it "A Cautionary Tale." Really, I am.

The definition of a Cautionary Tale is as follows: A traditional narrative (e.g., a fable, proverb, urban legend, or quilt) with a moral message warning of the consequences of certain actions or character flaws.
Character flaw: Self confidence and arrogance so high as to encourage my NOT following the pattern designer’s directions
Consequence: Bias issues
The quilt you see here is made from the Jelly Patch pattern. It's one of the patterns from the "Straight to the Point" series, published by Make It Easy which is a Company. When I saw this quilt hanging in my local quilt shop, Country Quilts and Bears, I knew instantly I had to make it. A dear friend, Carol McPherson Hemmingsen was going to be teaching it. She did a marvelous job teaching and the class was one of the most enjoyable I have ever attended. Sadly, I was only able to attend day one of the two day class. That left me to finish the quilt myself. No problem, right?

I must state, before I go any further with this tale, that I have made many, many quilts through the years and I have never had any bias issues with a finished quilt. Honestly, not even one wonky quilt. Oh, the arrogance this omission of tragedy can breed.... The creation of this wonderful on-point quilt is amazingly simple. The blocks are constructed using Jelly Roll strips and then the completed blocks are sewn into rows. Once this is completed, the quilt top is cut into three sections and re-sewn, resulting in an on-point setting. The directions in the pattern offer two VERY SIMPLE options for stabilizing the bias edges before cutting. I opted for neither. "Why would you do that," you ask? In short, I trace the roots of that decision to an over inflated sense of confidence and arrogance. Me? Bias issues? Never happen. HA! When I received "The Call" from my quilter, I was instantly humbled. I could feel my face flush, and knew instantly what had happened.

Because I have a fabulous quilter, Marlene Hooten of Lucky Sew and Sew, my Cautionary Tale looks (nearly) perfect! Marlene worked the wonkiness smooth by steaming and stretching until it is nearly invisible. Needless to say I am eternally grateful to her and I will be turning this into a teaching moment when I teach the Jelly Patch class next weekend in Key West at the Seam Shoppe....

And here is a shot of Carol holding up one of her finished Jelly Patch quilts. They really are gorgeous quilts!

Quilt Ingredients: I used the Berry Bliss Hoffman Bali Pops to make mine and Carol used an assortment of 2.5 inch batik strips to make hers. Both are the "throw" size. The only thing we changed was the outer border. The pattern called for a 4" border and Carol made hers 6". I then copied hers.