Thursday, July 27, 2006

Home Again…Best class, Ever

The signs ups were mandatory, the hours were dependant on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, the concentration was sporadic, but intense, and the pay was not in dollars, but more in personal gratification. Yes, it was my pleasure to spend about a week with three granddaughters for a stitch and quilt class.

Last fall, Anna, 10 years old, attended the Asheville Quilt Show,
and was impressed with the youth category. By the time we got to the car, she had her design in mind and once we got to the “Quiltbuilt: studio she was asking for pattern material and fabric. She was on a roll with her violin cut out and was working on the strings when she left for New Jersey. Her project remained on hold until gram gram put the pressure on with the due date for this years show. Once I arrived she had even cut out notches on the convex curves of the violin in preparation for basting and hand appliqué. She was intrigued with the inverting method of sewing the batting, backing and front together.

She left about a 7” opening to turn inside out. The batting was pretty dense but she was able to hand set the edges. It was her idea to make musical notes to use as a quilting motif, which she cut out of felt. A zig-zag stitch secured these in place. Without a walking foot, I suggested random 3” to 4” straight lines of quilting following the stanzas. She is very proud to finish and so excited to enter her first quilt show.

Now her sisters, Claire, age 9, and Jane, age 5, were not to be outdone! Claire liked the old fashioned Grandmother’s Fan pattern and decided to hand piece the wedges together after selecting her own fabrics. One block was not enough, she wanted two on her small quilt. This time, after eyeing her sister on the Bernina, she wanted to machine stitch.
With a pencil line drawn for the ¼” seam allowance and her foot control raised on a box she was off and running. I guided her to the presser foot lever and how to cut off her threads at the end. She will never hand piece again!

Last, but not least, Jane, favored house designs. I told her a triangle for a roof and a rectangle for a door could make small houses in a hurry. She hand pieced many sections together, but became jealous of the swiftness of the sewing machine. So, she had a turn and mastered it very well. Their two quilts are destined for baby quilts for new family members. They learned the important thing about quiltmaking—it takes time and patience. I trust their achievements will go down as the first thing they did on their summer vacation.

England or Bust!

This was the slogan for my Kyak/Rambler journey with three friends. We savored the green countryside from Norwich to South Devon near Exeter. My quilt brain travels everywhere even though I did not visit one quilt shop, but I cound not pass up Liberty of London. It has changed since the last visit. Not so much fabric, except Kaffe Fassett’s line of woven stripes and the V & A collection, but more fashion, home decorating and even stationary. My one meter of sale table fabric (13 pounds or $26.00) will be a measly division between two quilt groupies. One day we rambled 10 miles through the Exeter National Park along the Bristol Channel, through sheep fields next to the Lyn River. “I’m so glad I’m Back, I’m happy I went”!