Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Stitchin' Mission #20 - Lessons Learned!

A hallway display case for Stitchin' Mission, at First Federated Church, Des Moines.
Stitchin' Mission #20 is rolling along... swimmingly! Or perhaps I should say snowingly! Our lessons have squeezed between an ice storm, and snow with white-out conditions. We're grateful to be able to continue to meet weekly.

This week's class found several quilters whirring away at sewing machines, while others spent time sandwiching and tying quilts.

If you continue through to the end of this post, you'll see a short video clip of a tying lesson everyone learned, including the instructor! You can teach an old dog new tricks!

Jeanette, tying her quilt sandwich.
Everyone loves Rachel's striking soccer print fabric.
We're glad to see Suyau at her second Stitchin' Mission!
What a skilled team Ashley has to help her sew! At left is Lois, our coordinator, and Linda, an able Rebekah.
Rebekah Deb helps Laura.
We didn't make Rachel sandwich her quilt on the floor, but she doesn't look too unhappy about it.
This mom Colette (L) and daughter Missy seem to be having a lot of fun together.
Mary worked away diligently, and was still at it at 9:45 p.m!

A highlight of the evening was watching De Ette's method - learned from ladies in her own church - of tying a quilt. Thank you for sharing this clever technique, De Ette!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Stitchin' Mission Lesson Questions Answered

Sue emailed these comments and questions. In case anyone else has similar questions, here are my responses.

Thanks again for another great class! I’ve laid out my blocks and I think the quilt is going to be really neat, so thanks to you and the Rebekahs for their help.

OK, I’ve come up with some questions:

1) How many safety pins do we need? I think I can scare up a few 1” ones but I have at least 16 bigger ones (1¾” total length) if those aren’t too big. The short answer is lots! I have several hundred that I use for pinning a large quilt. But if I were to guess for this baby quilt, I'd say 80-100 pins. They need to be pinned into the quilt sandwich approximately 4" apart to security hold the layers together. All that said though, you can thread baste your quilt. OR if you're planning to tie it, no basting is needed because we'll sandwich and tie the layers all at one time.

2) What width of masking tape do we need? The best roll I have is wider than the standard roll, but I can purchase a regular width roll if that will work. The regular width roll I have is old and likes to shred as you remove it from the spool, plus the back is rather sticky and I’m afraid it will leave a residue on the quilt. Any width tape works. We'll use it to tape the backing fabric to a table top.

3) Will you cover how to make the binding in the 4th class so we can finish the quilt before the 5th class? Yes, the fourth lesson is about binding.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

SM20 - Second Lesson, Rotary Cutting

For the second lesson of Stitchin' Mission #20 at First Federated Church in Des Moines, we moved to the church's Fellowship Hall. Since this church is the site of the former Franklin Junior High School, that meant we had a large room - the school's former cafeteria! The room offers plenty of space for simultaneously being able to have our circle gathering and lesson, and spaciously distanced tables for rotary cutting. Perfect!

Lois Grove (L) is the dedicated coordinator for this Stitchin' Mission.
She's ably assisted by Nancy Jones.
As always, and as I love to see, we have a few mother/daughter combos.
Here's 13 year-old Elizabeth with her mother, Cheryl.
Deb Jacobs (L), has been a faithful Rebekah at several SMs. Here Deb is assisting Sue.
Another mother/daughter combo is Krystal (L), and 11 year-old Kinsey.
Rebekah Connie (L), assists De Ette.
Carla (L) is assisted by Barb Hyler who has attended many SMs
with this being her first session as a Rebekah.
Rachel (L) gets extra help from two Rebekahs!
Michelle Tepley (middle) has attended nearly all 20 SMs,
and Susan Murdock (R), has assisted with at least a half dozen SMs.
Rachel, you received very experienced help!
Spring looks as though she's enjoying herself.
Liz (L), Diane (middle) and Carol shared conversation as they worked.
The photos don't capture everyone in attendance, but more photo ops will be available next Tuesday when we begin making quilt sandwiches.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Stitchin' Mission #20 began Tuesday evening at First Federated Church in Des Moines, Iowa. Thirteen Rebekahs (helpers who "go the extra mile") and 35 newbies turned out on a mild (only 20F) winter night to learn about quiltmaking.

Among many topics covered during the first lesson is a segment about styles and types of fabrics, and characteristics of design: scale, contrast, and value.

Value is often an elusive concept to grasp. Even when showing the quilt top (below) that was specifically made to explain the attributes of various prints, value can be difficult to see. To show it more clearly, it's helpful to photograph your fabrics or quilt top. Then compare the color version to a black and white version. Value becomes very apparent!

The fourth row of tone-on-tone print loaves (3-1/2" X 6-1/2" unfinished rectangles) clearly shows that these loaves are not in value order! They're not lined up from lightest to darkest. Interesting, isn't it?
Hopefully this demonstration will help you understand value, and how it makes your quilt more interesting when you select fabrics with a variety of light, medium and dark values.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Clean Your Sewing Machine!

This is surely the best reason I've ever seen to clean your sewing machine! If you haven't done that for a while, or ever, take a moment to review what Bernina recommends.