Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Too many snow days

It's not a 'normal' winter.  Some have said we've forgotten what winter is like, but the numbers clearly show that this winter in Michigan is anything but average.  We're heading up the list of 'top snowy winters'.  This gives more sewing time if we succumb to the weather & decide to stay in, which normally feels good (if  we have that luxury) but at this point I would gladly trade some of that stay-in time for some 'normal' running around and errands.  Can you say 'cabin fever'?  Why yes, I can!!

First off, after a lovely week in warm Key West, which at this point, 2 1/2 weeks later, I can ALMOST remember, I finished up this little quilt for my niece Abby, late January birthday.  She & her husband have a little trailer like this, and she LOVED it.  It's just a little quilt.  As soon as I saw the pattern on social media somewhere, I knew I had to make one for her.  I just drew it out, no pattern necessary, but thanks to whoever had the idea.
Then, my modern guild, Detroit Area Modern Quilt Guild (DAMQG), or, as we fondly like to say, the DAM Quilt Guild, had a fabric swap in January of a red/pink fabric, followed up by using some of that fabric to make a 10" finished block for a swap in February.  It was a lot fun to find something different and make this block.  This is mine, and below that, a picture of the collected blocks for the block 'lottery' drawing--winner took all.  I found a block by Weeks & Kerr (Modern Quilt Studio) in a book collection, but had to re-size it to fit our requirements.
The collected blocks were very cool, showing each person's unqiue talents and eye.  I particularly admire the paper-piecing, as I am paper-piecing challenged, or at least don't have enough skill to make it easier.  There are several in DAMQG that are very, very good at it.  Hopefully I will learn some tips from them.

Modern Quilt Guild's Riley Blake Fabric Challenge was due in mid February, so we had asked all in our guild who had done one to bring so we could see & get a group photo.  I have to say I wasn't really wild about the fabrics, but perhaps if I had actually given far more time, consideration, and added some other Riley Blake fabrics I really liked, I would have been more pleased with the results.  As it was, I decided to add a solid grey and play with a pattern that's been on my list to try, tumblers of two different sizes within the same piece.  I did really enjoy doing the quilting.  Nothing like a small piece that you can really move around easily.
The DAMQG quilters with their Riley Blake challenge items:
They did a great job, and this photo does not do justice to the work.  We were in a crowded room, with tables in the way, jockeying for position against a very busy backdrop of many many quilts (we meet at a quiltshop).

Then, also for a January birthdate  I just finished this quilt for my SIL, my husband's only sister.  I realized when I saw her last June that I had never made her a quilt.  Her style is very contemporary, her home interior very white, crisp & clean.  Her favorite colors black, white and turquoise.  Last summer I posted a photo of the fabrics I picked, and made the top, which was waiting to be completed.  Oh!  And she's a vet tech at a cats-only clinic and has 5 black & white (tuxedo) cats.  She calls her home the Tuxedo Ranch.  She's had a lot (LOT) of difficult things to contend with in her life the last few year years which continue & I thought she needed love the way us quilters express our love and wish for comfort.  It should be delivered Thursday (out of state, as is most of our family).
And because you can never have too many projects...... the DAM Quilt Guild decided to do "That DAM Quiltalong", a year long project.  Each month we will be given instructions for two blocks, varying sizes, which we make in our choice of fabrics and colors.  Eventually we will also get instructions for connecting blocks, and we will each put together our samplers in the style of the Gypsy Wife Quilt by Jen Kingswell of Amitie Textiles (Australia).  Here's my first two blocks.
I got really excited about this project when I went home & looked up The Gypsy Wife pattern.  How cute is this!!  Got one of my friends not in that guild excited enough that SHE went home, ordered it, and is going to put aside other projects to make one herself!  How's THAT for getting others to 'chase squirrels'!!!  Photo from Pinterest Westwood Acres, A Crafty Fox.net  I love the soft coloring in this particular version and am aiming for similar results.