Saturday, April 18, 2015

Talkin' Turkey Class with Bonnie Hunter

I've been sharing my adventures during my time at Faithful Circle Quilters in Columbia, Maryland.  I always have a great time when I make it to their meetings and events.  I maintain my membership there even though I live 3 hours away.  Last week I was attending the Bonnie Hunter classes and lecture.  You can see the first two posts by clicking here and here

I was surprised when Sharon and I got  to the classroom on Friday morning because other folks had taken the places we had sat at the day before.  It's one of the few times I've seen folks change where they were seated in a situation like this. Oh well.  We set up and were ready when Bonnie started. 
I've been using my lightweight Elna Carina machine recently -- mainly because the featherweight is soooooo slow.  Although I had it cleaned and repaired the light still doesn't work but using my Ott light works pretty well.  Notice my big bag of red scraps under the table.  No, I hardly made a dent in it. 

We started with learning how to use the Easy Angle ruler and the Companion ruler for making flying geese.  Very efficient method but I was having a bit of trouble with the Easy Angle.  I think I stacked too many strips up when cutting and some weren't the right size.  I didn't try again after I got enough for one block as I wanted to try to keep up.  (Yea, I'm a fairly slow sewer.)  We made nine patches.  After lunch we made string pieced triangles to add to the block. 

I must say I was very skeptical about using phone book pages for the string quilting.  I've worked with newsprint (which is what the phone book pages are...) and gotten ink all over myself.  But, honestly, the pages didn't smear and get my hands dirty.  It also didn't get all over the fabric.  I forgot my phone book so I had to use Sharon's but the good things about phone books are they are free and have lots of pages. 
Sharon is doing her quilt in blue and boy does it look sharp there.  My block is the bottom right.  I can't decide if I want to keep the background really white like Sharon did or mix in different neutral backgrounds like I did on this block.  The two blocks on the left belong to the ladies sitting next to us.    I'm pretty sure I need to get more contrast in my reds.  The gal sitting on my other side had reds that were pretty much the same color.  I decided I didn't like that when I saw her finished block. 

I spent a bit of time getting pictures of a couple of Talkin' Turkey blocks other folks had made.  Here are two I really like.

Caren's really sings.  She loves lime green and it looks fabulous with purple. I may have to make a quilt in those colors someday.  (Wait, I do have a quilt in progress with those colors and black and white ... it's Easy Street by Bonnie Hunter.  Maybe I need to pull that out again and work on it!) 
Nancy turned the color values around.  Hers will be black and beige rather than the white and red most of us chose.  I'm sorry she didn't get a whole block done because I love it so far! 
So, that's all I have on the Talkin' Turkey blocks.  I'll be going to a retreat with my buddies in Maryland at the beginning of June.  I haven't decided what to work on yet.  It might be time to pull out my Easy Street.  I've been taking it when I help at my kids' houses so I'm pretty sure all the units are made and it is time to make the blocks.  Over the next month or so I'll be out of town a couple of times with sewing machine no doubt.  I also have several quilts to throw on Ruthie and quilt.  Pretty soon I'll try to post the pictures I have of the show and tell portions of the Bonnie Hunter lecture and classes.  It was fun to see how others interpreted her designs. 

I'm linking to Let's Bee Social. Take a peak at what folks have shared.  

Happy quilting all! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

15 Minute Studio Spiff Up #15

I've made a dent in some of my scraps.  I gave away 4 big bags of scraps last week when I was in Maryland for the classes with Bonnie Hunter.  It felt good.  I've been working on Love Shack which is all about using scraps so I'm making progress on using scraps.  Unfortunately, I'm not looking forward to when I need to put away all the scraps I pulled out for the two classes.  

This week's assignment is rulers. 

Here's why.  Several weeks before my trip to Maryland I was getting things prepared to go.  I started early.  I made the blocks we were told we could make in advance.  I gathered my strips and strings for both classes.  I gathered the required rulers.  I told Sharon I had an extra ruler she could use because she didn't have one of them.  

Fast forward to packing for the trip.  I stashed the rulers in various pockets of my machine rolly-tote. I couldn't find an extra ruler for Sharon.  Thursday's class did not take the Easy Angle ruler but I noticed I couldn't seem to find it.  Friday's class did take it.  And I was repacking everything and still couldn't find it.  Go figure!  Friday I was unpacking and put my hand into a side zippered compartment and nearly scraped my fingers on the missing ruler.  Except, it is an older version of the ruler although it has most everything I needed to cut the pieces.  I just had to verify the correct lines to use.  See the little blue one?  That's what I used. But the middle black one would have been easier to see the correct cutting lines except I had remembered I owned it nor could I find it.  
Yesterday when sewing I found the middle Easy Angle ruler.  Newer and a little bigger.  Plus I have an Easy Angle II that is an even bigger version and doesn't even have the sizes needed for the class.  Luckily I found one that Sharon could use by chatting with FCQ members on Facebook. 

There's the back story. I have no idea what rulers I have and where they are!   I'm going to list all my rulers on my computer.  I was all set to buy a new Companion Ruler for the class because I couldn't find mine.  But, JoAnns was out of them.  The very next day I found mine.   It would serve me well to actually keep an inventory of my rulers, preferably on my phone so it is always with me!  

Because I have such a large cutting table I have two ruler racks on it.  One looks like this: 
Yep, it's pretty much empty.  I need to restock it with my rulers so they are easy to reach.  (I broke one of my rulers in transit to the class so I will be buying myself a new 6" x 12" ruler one of these days. )

I have two additional wall mounted ruler holders. They too need to be refilled. (Where do you suppose I've put all the rulers that used to be in these?)  I know I've got some of Deb Tucker's rulers out because I'm taking a class in May so the rulers are not in their normal spots. (by the way, the circles are nested and are great for drawing circles but I can't really cut against them and they are too thin to use with the long arm.  But I love having them!)

So, this week clean up your ruler collection.  I'll be listing mine in a spread sheet just so I can keep track of them.  How do you transport your rulers when you take classes or go to retreats?  I've broken rulers several times while I've tried to transport them.  The 24" rulers are always needed and my big square up rulers are good to have but they are so vulnerable to damage.  How do you protect yours?  

Happy Quilting All!  

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Love Shack Class

Love Shack is a Bonnie Hunter class that is not in any of her books.  It is liberated quilt making.  Sometimes I can go liberated and sometimes not.  Last Thursday I was all about liberated once I learned a few things from Bonnie.
I feel sorry for her when every snap I have of her I've caught her with her mouth open.  That is actually good as a student because she was explaining how to do something.  And she does an excellent job explaining.  We had big numbers for each day we were together.  But Bonnie handled it easily.  She circulated on a regular basis.  We enjoyed listening to her and talking to her.  She is a down-to-earth gal.  And she definitely knows her stuff.  Now I know a little of her stuff too!
This quilt hung in our classroom all day.  I owned the book the free form letters came from but I've never really tried to do any.  Bonnie taught us the L and the V.  I was able to figure out the E and the O based on her written instructions and her comments.  The V is definitely the most difficult.  I'm happy to say mine turned out great!  And I'll probably take that book out to see how I can use those letters on something else.
Maria is a dynamo and after a very full day she went home and finished up her top.  Her houses were done differently than the pattern, but this whole class was all about liberated quilt making.  Look at the dog hanging out of the window!  Check out the home construction fabrics.  Fun quilt. 

This class started after the lecture in the morning.  We got going at noon and finished at 7 pm.  I was EXHAUSTED.  Heck, I was still tired from my Tuesday adventure. (I''ll share that with you eventually!) 
Here's a row of quilters working away.  Barbara is the first in the row, Stephanie is the third.  I'm not sure of the names of the other two gals.  New gals have joined Faithful Circle Quilters since I was an active member and the class was opened to non-members too.  The tables were set in "circles" around  the center posts that had the power outlets.  Luckily we didn't blow any circuits with over 25 sewing machines and 4 irons. 
My Love Shack isn't very far along.  I do have 5+ string blocks that go on the outside done but at the time I took the picture I didn't have them trimmed up. Being the dog lover I am I had a dog in every window. Sharon and I worked on them Saturday morning.  When I was grabbing my strings and scraps and precutting the houses I was thinking "Beach House."  So I've tried to use beachy colors as much as possible.  We'll see if that is the feel you get once I get this finished.  
Here's Sharon's. Lucky girl!  She got her top done while I drove home!

I'll post the pics from Talkin' Turkey soon.  Tomorrow will be a 15 Minute Studio Spiff Up post. Yikes, my studio looks almost as bad as when I started this spiff up.  I've got several quilts I'm trying to get done in the next 4 weeks.  Sadly, none are for me.  Hopefully, Love Shack will become a top during that time. And, maybe I can actually quilt it too!

I'm linking up with Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday.  

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Design Wall Monday 4-13-2015

What a fabulous week!  And, believe me when I tell you I am exhausted.  Ok, so I'm already beginning to recuperate.  I have lots of stories to tell and pictures to share but today I'm sharing Bonnie Hunter's talk at Faithful Circle Quilters in Columbia, Maryland.  For those new to the blog I was a member at FCQ for 15 years before I moved.  I like the guild so much and enjoy coming back as much as I can so I've maintained my membership.  
At the beginning Bonnie talks about the Fabric Food Chain which is what the quilt behind her is about. Clever Bonnie uses a quilt to show her scrap saver system. I use it too but this really made an impression on me. 

Grand Illusion 2014 Mystery Quilt

I look for ah-ha moments in quilt classes or lectures.  I've often said one good suggestion can be worth the whole cost of the class.  There were several ah-ha moments listening to Bonnie Hunter.  Several were repeated in her classes and put to use.

It was fun to see the actual quilts from her books although, I must commend the photographers as the quilts look very much like they did in her books.

This was a fairly small quilt (compared to most of her quilts.)  It was wonderful but look what she did on the back of the quilt! 

WOWZER!  This pineapple quilt is an eye-opener.  I couldn't imagine doing a big quilt with so many pieces.  But, it was fabulous.  

I know many of you could tell me the name of each of these quilts but I can't.  Most are in her books.  

I don't want to make this a really long post so I'll save the show and tell pictures and class pictures for another post.  

I succeeded 100% on my goals for the past week!  Of course I knew my schedule and planned accordingly!  Wait til I tell you about our adventures at the DAR Museum and Washington, DC! 

Week of April 6, 2015
Trip to Maryland
Sew with Jenny on Wednesday 
Bonnie Hunter lecture and classes Thursday and Friday

Recuperate from my sewing week √ It may take a few more days to be totally unpacked and recuperated but I’m making progress.

And for this week: 
Week of April 13, 2015
Load and quilt comfort quilt
Load and quilt QOV quilt
Work on Love Shack
Sew rows of baby quilt together

I'm linking with Patchwork Times and Monday Makes at Love, Laugh and Quilt although it's not posted yet. 

That's it for today.  I'll be back soon with show and tell pictures along with class pictures.