Saturday, March 26, 2016

My Portable Ironing Board

This is a project that I've been wanting to make for a while now.  We had a small tv tray (is that what other people call them?!?) whose top had seen better days.   MisterStitches wanted to get rid of it, but I knew that I wanted to re-purpose it.

First of all, for my fabric I chose Whispering Grass by HarmonyArt.  Choosing the fabric did take a little thought.  I knew that I wanted a print, but nothing too bright.  Certainly not a red fabric which might bleed onto whatever I was ironing!  Whispering Grass, as are all of Harmony's fabrics, is organic, and it's such a pleasant print.

I used one layer of batting and one layer of Insulbrite to cushion the fabric.  I simply cut the fabric and both battings a few inches bigger than the tray.  Then it was time to call in the staple gun!  I started by stapling in the middle of one side, then stretching the fabric tight and stapling in the middle of the opposite side.  Repeated for the other two sides, then I stapled all around the edges.  It was important to keep the fabric stretched while I was doing this.

I just did a sloppy sort of miter at the corners.  It did the trick!

The bottom of the tray is not going to win any beauty prizes.  No finished edges.  Uneven edges.  Questionable corner treatment.  But, ask me if I care!!

I love my new little ironing table.  I took it to our guild retreat with me in February and got lots of compliments on it.  In the past I've always taken my small ironing surface with me to classes, etc.  It works fine, but this way I can free up a little bit more of my table space.  Besides, it's very pretty!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Quilt of Valor

Last summer/fall I sewed this quilt top for a Quilt of Valor.  It was inspired by a picture I saw in a quilt magazine.  Someone's new fabric line, I think.  I started with 10" squares, laid one on top of another and free-hand rotary cut a gentle curve through the middle.

Then I switched around the two halves and sewed them back together.  It was a fun method for making blocks.

Here it is with two borders.

When I was ready to sandwich it, KittyStitches was right there to help me!

Now it's all sandwiched and KittyStitches is very happy with her work!

Friday, March 4, 2016

PPQG Retreat 2016

Our annual guild retreat was held during the second week of February.  We had a truly wonderful time.  There were 25 of us.  A good number. 

I wish I had taken more photos of our work room (aka sweat shop!).  We stay at the Dry Creek Inn Best Western in Healdsburg.  It is a very nice hotel with great amenities and employees.  This is the 5th or 6th year we have been here and we love it.  Our workroom is a large conference room (above).  Each person has a long table to work on.  They provide irons and ironing boards, and there is always coffee, tea, and water available.

A lot of great work gets done here, like this beautiful quilt above with purples and blues.  Lots of Harmony Art fabrics!

Here's a great triangle quilt top.

We even had live entertainment!  One of our quilters brought her guitar and played/sang wonderful music for us during our nightly happy hour.  Another quilter brought her ukulele and she provided us with lovely music, too.

I like this deceptively simple quilt with square patches, offset by uneven rail fence blocks.

Here's a real stunner.  Three-dimensional flours cascading down this beautiful quilt.

Here is some of what I worked on.  These are patches made with my father's shirts.  I was playing around with placing them on point on my design wall, just to see how it would work.

And I think this is the best idea I have ever had!  I asked every participant to bring two four-patch blocks with them, made with red, white, and/or blue fabric.  Each of the four squares measured 6" square to start with.  After we got to the retreat I gave them directions of make a disappearing four-patch.  Now they will all be put together to make a Quilt of Valor.  The above photo shows just some of the blocks made, but we have 49 altogether.  That will make a quilt top 6 blocks by 8 blocks, plus one on the back for the label.