Sometimes I take a quilt class to learn a new technique.
Sometimes I take a quilt class for something to do.
Sometimes I take a quilt class, because I like the quilt, and I wanna make it.
And sometimes, I take a quilt class purely to socialze.
Sometimes I don't want to take a quilt class, because I don't want to start a new project with so many UFOs to finish up. And sometimes I just feel like I've finished a few, so who cares?!
And sometimes when I take a quilt class, it's for a little of all the above, as was the case this past weekend.
And in this case, it unexpectedly filled my soul.
Buffie was teaching a class for a quilt called Tea Leaves up in Grand Rapids at The Attic Window (well, technically, the shop's in Alpine). Caroll had written a post about it on her blog. I liked the quilt, but I really missed Caroll. I haven't seen her for a while, and I just wanted to get together with her. And I really like Buffie, too. So I went. Pretty much for the social aspect. I already knew the applique technique Buffie was teaching. But, Buffie is an amazing scrap quilter with an amazing eye for color and design. (She is the one who ran the bee that Sweet Pea and I went to, where Sweet Pea created this amazing block.) So, I was confident that I'd have a good time and that Buffie would teach me something new. In the photo above, Buffie is teaching us about gradating our colors for the background (top row of her design board), the importance of value contrast for this quilt (middle row), and other design options (the rest of it). I definitely learned something. As always. Buffie is a delightful teacher.
Here is Buffie's completed quilt. It's quite delightful, if you ask me. I like the muted tones and low contrast quite a bit. She took inspiration from the book More Quilts from the Quiltmaker's Gift (it's out of print now, but I looked on Amazon and could find used copies).
We are using the freezer paper and starch method to prepare our applique pieces. I like this method. I tried to find a tutorial for you on this online. I didn't see one immediately. Maybe I should write one.... I've been meaning to for Terri anyway.
Buffie uses a blind hem stitch to sew the shapes onto her background fabrics. She used this tan Aurifil thread to sew them all down. I took this close up photo so you could see it. I had to really hunt for one leaf where you could see her stitching. The thread blended in so well with every color in this quilt! It was pretty amazing. You can also use monofiliment thread to do this. And you could use a number of other stitches (zig zag, blanket stitch) as well.
I could have stared at the fabrics in her quilt all day long. That's the thing about scrap quilts. It's so interesting to see how all the different fabrics work together, even fabrics you'd never think to put together (did you see some Kaffe fabric in the photo above this one?...and here there is a mixture of florals, civil wars, batiques....).
In addition to the wonderful instruction and tips we received, I just had a wonderful time talking with Caroll (in the jeans and pink sweater), Buffie, Adrienne, Leanne, Rosa, and all the other wonderful women who were there. We had such a hoot of a time! Lots of gabbing and solving all the world's problems that day. And lots of sarcasm, good wit, and just plain fun. I tell you, I still feel happy thinking about the day. It was one of the best sewing days I've had in a while. Seeing and talking to Caroll again just made my day. I needed it!
Caroll was going to do all 1930's prints. But, she decided to dig through her scraps and find scraps that would go with the 1930's prints to give it even more punch. Here's her yellow pile. She also did a blue pile while we were there. I think it's going to be great.
Adrienne is using all these oriental fabrics for her leaves and using the same background throughout. She's going to make another one, too....a subtle one like Buffie's. (Incidentally, I really enjoyed Adrienne's company. She also wants to start a Modern Quilt Guild in the area. I think Adreienne and I worked out some details to actually get things moving on that front. More information coming!)
And I can't leave you without showing you some odds and ends from the day. Buffie has this amazing box she carries around with her all the time. It's her scrap sewing basket. Isn't it amazing? It is so well stocked and easily portable!
And this little pillow that Caroll had made as a store sample was so adorable. There was a cute wall hanging she had made, too. However, the shop owner had taken it to a quilt show somewhere for her booth, so I didn't get to see it in person. But it is from the same book as this pillow (Applique with Attitude). I liked the wall hanging so much, I had planned to buy this book while I was there. Well, the shop owner had also taken all the books to the show. DRAT! So, I got online, ordered it from Amazon via my phone. AND IT SHOWED UP ON MY DOORSTEP TODAY (Monday)! Amazon is so amazing.
And Buffie never fails to bring an amazing Show and Tell. Look at this one she just finished piecing! It is made all from her scraps. It is gorgeous! It is called Eldon and the pattern is from Edyta Sitar.
True confession time....I bought this pattern last year when I was at my quilt retreat, along with a fabric kit for it. I got the kit, because it gave me lots of variety of fabrics in small amounts (so it will look scrappy). I am going to make it for Papa Pea's and my bed. (He's been nagging me that our bed is the only one without a quilt on it in the entire house. For shame.) I started cutting it out. The shop where I got it cut the cream background fabrics so close to the required amount that by the time I squared up the edges, there was not enough. Sigh. So, I added some more of my own fabrics.
But I'm quite intimidated to start sewing it up. It says it is for the "Advanced" quilter. Um. Hello. I don't count myself in that camp. I didn't realize that when I bought the pattern (but I should have known). So, I'm scared to start sewing.
Our guild retreat is in a couple of weeks. I'm trying to decide if I'll take this with me and start sewing on it. If I do, I better take a back-up project. This one might require too much concentration for a retreat....
Anyway, thanks to Caroll, Buffie, and all the gals in the class for helping to fill my soul this past weekend. I'm still running on that steam today! It was great, and I appreciate it!
Well, better get back to work. Hope you're having a good Monday!
Until next time,