Whoever referred to the “winter blahs” simply didn't see the “flurry”--sorry, I couldn't resist—of finishing activity at both the January and February Sew-ins! With the holidays in the rear-view mirror, these ladies put pedal to the metal to finish and share some beautiful work. In January we were treated to Rene’s Show and Tell with more amazing quilts made by the children in the Young Piecemakers Guild--please look at the slide show! Emboldened by success, Norma--a fairly new quilter, shared a slew of finished pieces. We enjoyed the look of joy as Caryn did her very first machine quilting, and then did it again on a second matching quilt. Karen pulled out her heirloom-quilt in-the-making –bent on getting closer to the finish line. We did hand work, and childrens’ garmets, learned a new binding technique, and continued work on an historical-based art quilt, and so much more. We shared homemade chili and bread and tried to guess the “secret” ingredient. We enjoyed each other and the time to just play. With spring peaking it head just around the next corner, it’s time for something new—a new skill, meeting some new friends, a new direction??? Join us for some fun in April, July, or October and banish the “blahs”!
Full or Empty?
Sometimes Empty is good!
Do you make time for empty—some “down time” or “just for me” time—waiting to be filled with the joy of new experiences and new friends! Leaving some empty time in your routine is just an opportunity to put something good into your life!
Sharon is feeling good because her project box is empty! She and her sister Mary always come to our retreats with multiple boxes of projects and manage to go home with stacks of finished tote bags, cloth books, and small quilts to share with friends and family. Their friends must each have a custom tote bag for every outfit--I want to be on their friend list! Busy lady Valerie made time in her schedule for her first retreat and brought several projects—she happily contemplates their completion. Mom and daughter, Anne and Theresa, share some bonding time--creating together and celebrating with us a major health milestone.
Emptying out some of the UFO’s in our closets is a good thing—and no, you don’t even have to finish them! Laura brought a project that had stopped her and is now confidently on her way to the finish line, but not all projects have to be completed! Consider what you have learned from the experience. If you have lost interest, feel free to donate an unfinished project to your local quilt guild for completion. Guilds are eager to have quilts to complete for their charity projects, and there is always a need at the women’s shelters for these loving gifts. Emptying your closet is a great way to fill another person’s life!
Let’s hear it for EMPTY!
It only took about ten years! In about 2003 as a beginner, Bonnie took my Harvest Song Class, a ten month heirloom quilt class, and she completed the center of the quilt with first 4 months. Then she got to this 3 dimensional block with all set-in corners---and put the quilt away. There it sat until 2013. With a little encouragement she brought the dreaded block to to the Sew-in and in just a short while had completed two perfect 6 1/2" blocks!! Only 10 more to go, and then on to the easier blocks to complete this magnificent over-sized queen quilt. Bonnie has now signed up for more Sew-ins to complete her masterpiece with a little encouragement from her friends!
I'll bet you also have some ten year quilts--the ones that left you stumped with one wicked block, or a wrong turn that left you with a bunch of ripping out to be done. I don't mind ripping! Drag them out let us cheer you on to the finish line.
This lovely stack of uneven sized blocks were causing headaches for one newer quilter until I showed her several squaring tricks, and she got them all to the same size. She is now happily on her way to The Finish Line! Treat yourself to some Finishing Time!
Give a challenge to a creative lady and stand back! Meet Devora—the one in the September 2012 Retreat photos who made the impossible tailored wool jacket from the large uneven plaid—well she has done it again. Her friend’s mother had passed away leaving a beautiful black knitted and sequined sweater with lemon and lime motifs which she wanted to re-purpose into a usable memory of her mom. At our February retreat Devora imagined a structured shoulder bag by first spray basting the front and back pieces of the sweater onto Timtex to stabilize them.
After drawing a trial pattern on paper, she cut the front and back pieces, allowing the single lime motif on black background to create the focus on a flap over the front piece. She made sure that all the lemons and limes on the front would be “right-side up”. Side seams were sewn and the bottom was boxed. The strap was created from the leftover pieces of sweater which were stabilized just with ribbon to keep the strap soft. A beautiful lime green lining with pocket was then put in place. She used the original beaded neckline edging from the sweater to finish the detail of the rounded front flap on the purse. She left that weekend with the purse 95% complete so I expect to see the finished masterpiece at the July Sew-in when she and friend Stephanie join us again. Do YOU want to be inspired to create “on the fly”? Bring on a challenge and let’s design together. Devora showed us that “when life gives you lemons” and limes—you make a PURSE!
Ricki Bremer's love affair with teaching starting while teaching high school and junior high. Next came 29 years as a craft and quilt shop owner, and the publication of her first book, Simple and Sensational Purses from Placemats, now in its third printing. The second book, Dual Pursenalities followed. Later additions were the Private Eyes Nursing Apron, and her latest--a microwave hot bag pattern, The AAAhhsum Bag--which has been used exclusively at the massage booth at the Road to California Show. Ricki has continued to use her easy methods to bring the joy of sewing and quilting to beginners and others. She also loves to simplify things for those ready for more challenging techniques. The Fiber Arts Retreats, which she started in 2007 formerly through the Tall Mouse, are growing and expanding to new venues, and a new name--Fiber Qwest Retreats. Ricki aims to broaden the interest and opportunities to learn and play in all areas of fiber and the creative arts.