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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Brown Bag Bargain Bonanza Extravaganza

Monday is our Brown Bag Sale, and we hope you are planning to come. As always, we have a huge stash of needlework related items from new to vintage, large to small, from which to choose. It all starts at 6:30pm. Come prepared to shop till you drop. There are amazing bargains and treasures to be had, something for everyone, from appliques to zippers. Don't forget your ca$h!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Highlights of the March Meeting

At the March meeting, we were treated to a slide show from John and Nancy Watts who have been involved with the Mongolian Quilting Project. (You can see more about the project by clicking on that link.) The Mongolian Quilting Project was started when a woman by the name of Maggie Ball received an impassioned e-mail from a Mongolian woman, Selenge Tserendash, who wanted to help needy women in her country where unemployment is high and alcoholism is rampant. Selenge was opening the New Way Life NGO Mongolian Quilting Center and asked for volunteers to go and teach quilting in Mongolia.

John and Nancy responded to the call and they have traveled extensively in Mongolia. Their presentation was via a slide show, and the stories of their travels were nothing short of fascinating. They've dealt with impassable roads, lack of indoor plumbing, less-than-suitable outdoor "facilities", and food that you and I would consider questionable at best. John and Nancy are adventurous travelers, indeed. Still, their respect for the Mongolian people, their culture, the landscape, and the lifestyle was evident, and their presentation was very interesting.

Although this wasn't a "trunk show" in the way quilters think of it, they did have a table of items for sale that were made by the women in Mongolia and they were stunningly beautiful. Here is a sampling.

The fabrics were almost entirely of silk.

There was an assortment of cozies and little zipper handbags,

and beautiful table runners.

John told us that these silk fabrics were from scraps that had previously been burned for heating fuel. Now they are provided as scraps for the women to use in their sewing. Look at how beautiful they are:

Here's another sampling of quilt blocks:

The slippers are hand-embroidered.

It was a very interesting presentation, and a good glimpse into life in a far-away part of the world.

April's meeting will be the annual Brown Bag Bargain Bonanza. Contact Sandi Carner for more information.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Look who has a new magnet!

Our quilt show magnets are here featuring our new raffle quilt Orange You Beautiful!. Look for them in the parking lots of your local quilt shops and quilt shows. Try out the QR code, and we'll see you on October 3rd and 4th at our Color POWer! quilt show.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Highlights of the February Meeting

During the February meeting, and we were treated to a trunk show by Dawn White, a Portland quilter who blogs at First Light Designs.

Dawn was an easy-going speaker who makes beautiful quilts. She told us that her mother taught her to sew in 1963 when their family was given a treadle sewing machine. She has been quilting since 1983, but only started teaching in 2010 when she designed her first pattern. She started her blog in 2012.

Her quilts are characterized by symmetry, strong diagonal lines, controlled use of colors and fabrics (most often in the form of kaleidoscope blocks), precise stitching and piecing, pieced backs, and quilts with meaningful names. In fact, she states that her quilting was transformed with the discovery of techniques for the 4-patch kaleidoscope block, inset circles, and the kaleidoscope block. 

She brought a number of her beautiful quilts, made from beautiful fabrics. Here are some of the standouts:

Most of the quilts we saw last night featured kaleidoscope blocks made from one focus fabric. It's always delightful to see how one fabric can create so many different looks. Then, she uses the focus fabric to create a pieced back.

Dawn told us this focus fabric was one of her favorites of all time.

She likes bright colors, but usually avoids solid fabrics, preferring tone-on-tones instead. The one exception is her love of black. She says that is one of the few fabrics she purchases by the bolt.

Look at how pretty the quilting is on the back of this one.

She brought a large selection of table runners. Yardage requirements and some instructions for some of these patterns can be found on her website.

She uses a compact disk as a template for her circle labels.

This is her four-patch wonder with a twist. The yardage requirements and instructions are available on her website.

She often replaces the center of a traditional block with a kaleidoscope, bringing new imagination to old favorites.

This next quilt is a bed runner. When it turned out to be too short for her bed, she added the end panels to make it longer. Dawn feels the bed runner is destined to take the quilting world by storm once quilters discover the usefulness of this size quilt.

Dawn has created this next quilt in several different color ways designed to match the seasons of the year.

She has also created another version called Full Moon Rising II. Her website does not feature full patterns, but they are available from our local quilt shop, The Pine Needle, as well as other quilt shops across the country. 

Here are some placemats using the same inset circle technique, although these have a fussy cut bird in the center.

She also showed us a collection of table runners and quilts that were created using the Quick Curves Ruler from Sew Kind of Wonderful.

Another of Dawn's favorite fabrics are gradient fabrics and she has used them very effectively in her quilts.

Look at how pretty this one is. Be sure to notice the mitered border AND the reverse mitered binding!

This is the back of the quilt above. She originally purchased the dress form back to be used in kaleidoscope blocks, but then thought better of it when she feared the blocks would end up looking like spider webs. And lucky us, because it meant that she used it in this pretty back.

Here's another happy little quilt. I believe this one also used the Quick Curves Ruler.

She will be teaching a class for our guild on her technique for inset circles adapted from Dale Fleming in Dale's book, Pieced Curves So Simple. The class will be on June 20th and run for six hours. The morning will be devoted to learning the technique, and then the afternoon will be a time for creating a project from one of her patterns, or of our own design.