Monday, February 27, 2012

Reveal Day!!!

Well it's finally here!  YIPPY!!  I'm one of those people that have a hard time keeping a secret.  So the wait has just been making me CRAZY!!! 
Here's the orginal pattern.

Now, here is my version of Chain Reaction, which I have named mine Tequila Sunrise.  (While cutting my strips, I was listening to the Eagles, not drinking Tequila Sunrises!)
Now anyone that knows me well, knows that I'm not a pastel kinda gal.  So when I saw the pattern in my email, I wasn't really wild about it because of the colors.  But after looking at it couple of minutes, I knew what I wanted to do to make it more me.  I knew I wanted to do some kind of a sunrise/sunset color scheme and gradiate the colors.  If you are ever at a loss on what colors go together, hop on the internet and look up color wheel.  You will find it a very valuable tool when planning color schemes.  So after looking at the color wheel, I decided that my colors would be light yellow, dark yellow, gold, light orange, medium orange, dark orange, red/orange, red, redviolet.  Here's my first strip..

 Originally, I thought that my next strip, I would move all my squares up one and move my light yellow to the bottom.  I really wish that I would have had the forthought to take a picture of it.  I HATED it!!  The light yellow just looked bad next to the red and red violet.  As I sat on the living room floor looking at it and feeling somewhat defeated that the idea in my head just wasn't going to work, it dawned on me that I should start back the other direction.  In other words, go back to the orange family and work my way back.  So when I get to my last row, it would be the complete opposite of the first!

That was the winner!!  See how on the second row on the left the red moved up followed by the orange?  

This was a really easy pattern, but looks like it would be very complicated.  Don't be fooled.  There are a couple of things that will make your life easier if you try this pattern.  First and foremost, be accurated with your cutting and your 1/4 inch seams.  There's no room for fudging here.  I'm the queen of fudging when it comes to cutting and sewing.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  This one would be a doesn't!  I have a hard time cutting angles with my ruler.  I prefer saying that I'm ruler impaired.  Now all these blocks arecut and recut on a 30 degree angle.  For my birthday a couple of years ago, I bought myself a rotating mat.  I found that I had huge success using the 30 degree line on my mat and line my ruler up with that 30 degree line.
Just remember that you have to cut 1/2 inch from the top edge.  So line your corner 1/2 inch from the 30 degree line.
It'll be perfect everytime!

If you read my blog on on my New Year's Resolution, you know that one of mine was to do feathers on a quilt.  Well I'm happy to say, I DID IT!!  This quilt was just screaming to have feathers.

I echo quilted my chains and echoed the chains on the outside, but used feathers on all the inner white zig zags.  Not too shabby for my first attempt at feathers on a real quilt, even if I do say so myself.  :0)
Sally Terry's book, Hooked on Feathers, is the best thing since sliced bread as far as I'm concerned.  My friend Andrea Clapp, bless her heart, tried to teach me feathers a couple of years ago.  Andrea, I think you just laid the foundation for me to learn.  Thanks girl!  And yes these feathers were done on my Bernina, not a long arm.  

Well, my first Scrap Squad quilt is now in the books, so to speak.  And rumor has it that it will be included in the upcoming addition on Quiltmaker's 100 Block magazine that will be out in a couple of weeks.  This is just a very fun and easy quilt that will amaze your non quilting friends.  You really have to try this one!  I promise that you will not be disappointed!  Now off to my sewing room to continue working on the next Scrap Squad quilt. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Quilts As Art

Have you ever made a mini quilt or small wall hanging and put the usual sleeve on it and hung it on the wall?  We've all done that and it looks great hanging there for you and everyone to admire.  But have you ever thought of having it matted and framed?  Our Humane Society has an auction every year to raise money.  I found a pattern for a paper pieced kitten and thought that would make a great donation.  When it was finished it was only 13x13 and might look a little lonely hanging on the wall.  So I thought, why not have it matted and framed! 
Needless to say, I couldn't believe how great my kitty looked!  And I couldn't believe that my little kitty made $250 for the Humane Society.  I'm really sure that if I had not had it matted and framed, it would have never made near that amount.  And best of all, many stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels have coupons every week that can be used towards framing.  Or if you plan it right, there are precut matts and off the shelf frames that you can do it yourself for a fraction of the price.  I liked this kitty so well, that I HAD to make one for myself too! 

One of our neighbor girls got married last November.  I thought that making a framed quilt for her and her new hubby would be a nice gift, something "young and hip".
Well, I liked this so well, it never left my wall.  Sorry Alli and Bryan!  It makes an amazing difference in the way a small quilt looks.  Next time you make a small project, try matting and framing and make your quilt a true work of art!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Quilts and Friendships

Four years ago this past December, Connecting Threads began a web page called Quilt With Us.  I happened to get an email announcing the launch of it and decided that I should check it out.  Looked like a fun place where I could get chance to maybe learn a few things.  So I began searching for quilters in the tri-state area thinking that I may even make some new friends that share my passion for quilting.  I have my non quilter friends, but they just are lost on my addiction.   I was in need of some quilt peeps. 

Now I had tried the quilt guild thing here in town, but found that they seemed to not have room for a novice quilter in their guild.  Surprised me greatly.  I'd always thought that quilters were such friendly people.  So in search of my place in the quilt world, Quilt With Us seemed to be the answer.  After meeting and chatting on line with new buddy in particular (Jackie) we tossed around the idea of starting a group called the Iowa Quilters and started inviting others to join us.  We are now well over 100 members.  Now not all our members are from Iowa.  We have adopted several from other states.  You can't blame them for wanting to be Iowans, right?

This is quite the diverse group and I can honestly say that it seems like we have been good friends for a lot more than 4 years.  It's amazing how a group that spent their first year only chatting over a computer could become such great friends.  We have little get togethers now through out the year and our big outing in the fall at the show in Des Moines.  Here's a picture of a group of us from AQS in Des Moines.

Good friends and quilts.  What a combo!
 We have shared so much together over the last 4 years.  Births of babies and grandkids, kids leaving for college or moving overseas, deaths of our loved ones, moving away to a different state, retirements and everything in between have been shared.  We have celebrated birthdays and anniversaries.  We have our own resident therapist, a cheerleader, a batik queen and a feather queen.  We have an adopted Oklaiowan (that's a combo of Oklahoma and Iowa, it's a new state now in case you hadn't heard!) that can always make you laugh.  So many personalities all with something wonderful to give each other.  Oh, did I mention that once in a while we even talk about quilting???  I'm fortunate to have an adopted member from Ohio who was a 2011 Scrap Squad member, so I can get advice when ever I need it!  Lucky me.

Yes I am lucky to have these quilters, all of them in my life.  We share our love of quilting as well as our love for each other.  How lucky it was that I opened that email over 4 years ago and decided to check it out.