Sunday, November 28, 2010

Conversation with Hollis Chatelaine

I am still so excited about the fact that I was able to sit and talk with one of my "quilt heroes," Hollis Chatelaine, when in Houston. I have long admired her work and was especially pleased to be able to talk with her one-on-one about her initiative, "Imagine Hope," raising awareness of global issues through art. Check out the conversation in Episode 31, "In Which We Talk with Hollis Chatelaine." Quilting…for the Rest of Us » Episode 031 In Which We Talk with Hollis Chatelaine Nov 28 2010 -

Friday, November 26, 2010

Another sneak peek...the next UFO in progress

This will go to one of my nieces. Actually, it already went to her about three years ago. She got the pieced top wrapped up for Christmas but after she gave the appropriate happy comments I snatched it back. I'm hoping to give her the finished product this year for Christmas. The gift that keeps on giving. Surely I'm not the only quilter who's done that.

Pic 1 is the backing. Yep, it's batiks. And it's stack n' slash. I used a layer cake of batiks and loved the way it turned out. Just wait 'till you see the finished product!

I got it basted today and let me just say for the record, in answer to the perennial question, "What's your least favorite part of the quiltmaking process?", that would be basting. Hate it. In my opinion, it's a necessary evil. Necessary, but evil.

In any case, got it basted, did some practice free-motioning again to warm up, then decided to just start having at it. (Pic 2) My comforting theory is that my niece won't know the difference between good free-motion skills and almost-but-not-quite-functional ones. Thank God for small favors.

I did some stabilizing "stitch in the ditch" lengthwise, and now I'm meandering. But after a day on my feet cooking yesterday, I only got about a fifth of the way done before hitting a wall. It's going relatively well, all things considered. Now I'm going to crash and read or watch TV for awhile or something equally couch-potato-ish. I'll hit it fresh again tomorrow--if I pace myself, I have hopes of getting the top quilted by tomorrow night. Yippee! Wouldn't it be just wonderful if I could manage to get another UFO done before the weekend is out?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

UFO Finish--yay!

UFO Finish--yay!
Originally uploaded by sandyquiltz
No more peeks....It's DONE! I had an unexpected marathon session last night: got the border quilted and the binding finished. I sat up past midnight hand-stitching the binding to the back--I was on a roll and didn't want to quit.

I'm so glad to have this wallhanging done. I was really looking forward to having it hang on my wall and then it just sat for a couple of years while I attended to other quilty matters, like my Mom's UFOs. But it's finally done and tomorrow will get hung on my living room where I've been picturing it ever since I first decided I was going to make it. I'm a happy camper tonight!

And on such a roll that after I stopped tonight to pick up the last few groceries I needed for tomorrow's feast, I made sure I picked up other supplies to get me ready for some serious quilty time on Friday and Saturday. I don't do the retail thing--I do the "hole up and regroup" thing. No better way to hole up and regroup than at my sewing machine. I already have the next UFO pulled off the shelf and sitting next to my machine ready to rock n' roll.

BTW, appropriate citations: Pattern is "Triple Rail on Point" from M'Liss Rae Hawley's "More Fat Quarter Quilts" (Martingale 2001). I love it and highly recommend it!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mental Barriers

I put the "border on a roll" on my wallhanging tonight--all pinned, connecting lines sketched out (where I had to stretch a corner to get it to fit correctly). I've even done a little practice machine quilting since it's been awhile since I did free-hand.

Now I just need to get over myself and start quilting. Maybe tomorrow night.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Look, Ma--I'm Sewing!

I finally got some quality time with my machine tonight. Yay! I listened to a couple episodes of "This American Life" and a little bit of my son's radio show (college DJ donchaknow), and made significant progress on the quilting of my triple-rail-on-point. I'm not showing you the top just yet--you'll have to wait until it's done. The backing doesn't quite match the front color-wise--which you can't see in this photo since the lighting is hinky anyway--but it was inherited fabric and I had four yards of it so this was a good way to use half of it up. And it's a wallhanging, so no one will ever see the back anyway.

I'm stitching in the ditch but since it's a triple rail and I'm stitching every dang brick (or fence post?) it's a little bit on the pokey side. Mostly, after spending the day on the computer and then heading almost immediately to my sewing machine my hands and shoulders were getting a little achy so I'm calling it quits for the night.

Now I'm moving my center of operations to the family room couch where I'll watch TV, work on my newsletter, and sort through some more Houston photos. Good stuff is on its way, folks, but I decided to prioritize sewing tonight. I always figure it's good for a podcaster who talks about quilting to actually have some quilting to talk about.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

"Quilt Song" by Connie Deming

The lighting isn't great but otherwise this is nice to watch.

Episode 29--In Which We Meet BabaBlankets posted

It's not too often that you can shop fabricy-goodness to your heart's content without feeling terribly guilty at the end of it. In the case of BabaBlankets, your spending supports an excellent cause! BabaBlankets is a social enterprise that sells hand-dyed, hand-crafted goods made in Ghana to help empower women and girls. The women learn marketable skills and are able to support themselves through their craft, and they develop a business acumen which serves them the rest of their lives. Additionally, BabaBlankets has the "Sistah Scholars" program to provide educational opportunity to girls in Ghana--when a girl is educated, she will then tend emphasize the need for education for her children in the future, thus raising up an entire community.

And no--BabaBlankets hasn't paid me to say any of this!

My work life is heavily invested in global issues facing women and girls, so meeting up with a social entrepreneur like Aminata Brown, founder of BabaBlankets, brings the many threads of my world together. Supporting opportunity for women and girls, addressing issues of poverty and access to education...and pretty pretty fabric...all in one place. Can't get much better than that.

Episode 29 of my podcast series is my interview with Aminata Brown in her vendor booth at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. We didn't have long, but we made great use of the time we had right as the exhibition hall opened and before she was flooded with customers. I hope you'll enjoy the interview and then hurry scurry to their website and support a great cause while feeding your fabric needs! (They've got lots of other great stuff, too.)


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Show n' Tell of my Houston Haul

OK, so when it's all laid out on my cutting table, it looks like a lot. But I'm very, very excited about what I bought in Houston. Some fabric, some patterns, a kit or two, some sewing machine feet, a couple of books.... Mmmm. Presents for me.

I only looked for things I couldn't easily get at home or hadn't seen on the Internet before--anything very different, or new. I didn't buy a single swatch of Moda. Instead, I sought out new designers, ethnic fabrics, and simply stuff I hadn't seen before.

I've posted pictures and given websites and such in my flickr album--the photo here is just a taste!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sorting through photos...

I have over 200 pics of quilts that impressed me in some way or 'tother in Houston. Since it would be overwhelming and take days to post them all, I'm now facing the onerous task of choosing just those that particularly speak to me. Too hard! Too hard! I'll get something posted by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to formulate my thoughts into something that make sense for podcast episodes--I'll probably be posting a couple this week while everything's fresh in my mind, then go back to my weekly schedule.

Anyone else go to Houston? Tell us about it!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Heading to Houston

I'm almost done packing and tieing up loose ends so I can be footloose and fancy free at the International Quilt Festival in Houston the rest of the week. Woohoo! Me and my BFF/BQF Kate board a plane at an almost ungodly hour tomorrow morning--at least, early enough that I won't sleep a wink all night for fear I'll sleep through my alarm.

I'm packing as light as possible so I have room for goodies! I'm also packing a totebag to use during the event and to bring any overflow home as a carry-on. I'm ready.

Not doing any classes this year but am doing a lot of the lectures and a couple of the banquets. I can get emails on my cell phone so send me an email if you want to try to connect while we're there. I'd love to meet you!

I'm also going to pin my logo to my nametag (somehow) so be on the lookout. It'll be sort of like Where's Waldo, without the funny red and white striped shirt. I'm not going quite that far, although it would be a fashion statement...of a sort.

For anyone not there, I'm going to try to remember to do a lot of tweeting, so get yourself a Twitter account and follow me: sandyquiltz. I'm going to try to do my quilty journalist best to report on my experience.

OK--time to go haul my jeans out of the dryer so I can pack them too. What--you don't leave your laundry until the last minute? Where's your sense of fun and adventure, timing the last ding of the dryer cycle to make sure you hit your plane on time....