Monday, January 25, 2010

A new year, a new quilt beginning!

I know I am known as an art quilter, but I have learned sooooo much by tackling traditional quilt projects in my friendship groups. The 20 year together Wanabe Quilters meet this Friday and begin a 2010' monthly rotation of each others projects through the group. Each month we each do part of a project of another members chosen project. It is most often a standalone block or more, but often is bordering, sashing, etc etc. I can't emphasize enough how much this exchange idea has helped me grow as a quilter. I work hard at finishing my art quilts with the same care as do refined traditional quilters. It's essential if one wants to fair well in stiff competition. So this may crack you up, but this is my project this year.... having the border blocks made for this "Winter Wonderland" redwork pattern to be done in blue and white instead of red and white. I have always loved 2 color quilts. They are soooo fresh. It's why I have a Hawaiian quilt on my bed. Click on any photo for enlargement.
So I will present my project in an "Art Bin" plastic carrier complete with carrying handle. This is a tidy, compact way of transporting month to month.
The first thing I do each year is try out the pattern and make a few samples. As we all know, all patterns are not well organized /easy to follow, so making a few samples not only tests out the pattern but also creates a visual for introducing the project at our first meeting. I did find this particular pattern was dead on correct.
Now the important thing is organizing the materials to make it as easy as possible for the person picking up a project..... so fabrics are kitted in a way that follows the pattern. The different types of block instructions are separated into zip lock bags where finished blocks may be stored and 'checked off' as done. With so many different blocks as this and different sizes, who wants to waste time figuring out what needs to be done? I love this group. They are all such pros. I can't wait to see their projects too. Excitement builds as Friday approaches.

Now as to the center bluework embroidery... it's not in this project box this year. I thought I might try machine stitching a sample using a 12 wt. thread. Has anyone tried this??????? If I like it, I'll do all the center blocks. If not, it will likely be 'next years project' for rotation. By the way, our group rule is that if we have a busy month and can't get to the rotation project, there is NO guilt allowed. Just pass it on at the next meeting. That might not work for all groups, but does for this one as it is seldom exercised as a option. For those with hectic years ahead of them, they can bow out of that years rotation too. Real friends!!! It's great to be part of such a group.

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