Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Something New to Show

I have joined the BOM at my LQS that just opened in February. Two of the women from my quilt club opened the store. Jo, my Promise Stitching teacher, developed this BOM based on the life of her grandmother who taught her to quilt.

This BOM is different, because we picked out our fabrics from the shop according to the fabric recipe they gave us. My focus print is an orange floral from Red Rooster that I love. (Jo said she immediately thought of me when the fabric came in, because I like orange so much.) I picked out fabrics to go with the floral and they are all kept at the store. Each month, we go in to pick up our pattern and fabrics from our collection are given back to us in the kit for that month's block.

Each month we also get a story about Jo's grandmother. The first month, she talked about how her grandmother introduced her to quilting. Her grandmother was a kind, positive influence on Jo's life. The first block is the Shoofly block.

The second month, Jo told a story of some difficult times that her grandmother had as a child. The block for that month is Broken Dishes, because although the events the occurred should have "broken" her grandmother, she came through it with a strong positive spirit.

I loved the fabrics Jo and Kathy chose from my collection this month.

This month, Jo told the story of her grandmother's wedding, so the block is Steps to the Altar, of course. That's my focus fabric in the smaller squares. (Please ignore any cut off points you may notice.)
Jo has a fabulous way of telling stories, so I look forward to hearing the next installment about
her grandmother. I also can't wait to see what fabrics might have been chosen for that month. I haven't told you all the details of the stories because Jo wants it kept between the BOM participants for now. I think the story is bookworthy, myself.
I know I picked the fabrics, but don't you just love these colors?
So that's part of what I've been working on lately and I'm so glad I get to show it to you.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Promise Stitching 3

Well, don't fall over in a faint! I have PICTURES! I finally got the camera (with batteries and SD card), my projects and me in the same room together. For a while there, I thought it would never happen. So, now I'm back with progress to report.

First of all, this is my first Promise Stiching (PS) project completed. It is the pillow I started a couple of months ago. I got stalled in the process because the PS teacher was busy opening her quilt shop here in town. But I kept plugging away at the parts I knew how to do, until she had time to tell me how to finish.

You must remember that, in PS, everything is done by hand. Which makes me even more proud of my pillow. This project is supposed to teach some of the basic techniques in PS. Remember that each seam is reinforced by the promise stitching, the topstitching on the side of the seam allowance. Then, when the quilting is done, it is stitched along the other side of the seam. The front of the pillow is pieced, starting with the block with the turquoise button. "You don't know where you are going unless you know where you started." Then the borders were added. Flannel and muslin are the batting and back.

The lace is hand crocheted (by me, of course). I also made some of the same lace for a friend of mine (that doesn't do the small crochet) for her pillow. Sometimes the lace is crocheted directly on the pillow, using the railroad stitch, used for closing, as the base of the crochet. I'll do that next time.

The back of the pillow demonstrates the "on piece" method of sewing strips to a flannel foundation. Each seam is again secured with the promise stitching.
The applique I used was inspired by a quilt from the 50's that I saw in a book. The bird is similar to the one in the quilt, but the rest was just made up as I went along. The fabrics I used in the strips were special--some were from several quilting friends and the butterfly fabric is to remind me of my mother. I randomly arranged the strips, but when I see that red slash across the middle, I think of the sunrise and the birds singing.

I used muslin behind the flannel and then quilting along the lines I had not promise stitched. The applique is added last.

My last picture for today shows a detail of the quilting and the lace on the pillow. The back and forth meander in the border is done by making big loops around your thumb as you go along and is called "mashed potatoes quilting" (maybe it resembles the shape of a potato masher?) or "chicken tracks".

Items made in PS are meant to be used, not just for show. Besides being a sample to learn on, the pillow is then a place to support your arms when you are sitting down sewing on other projects.

I'm so proud of my pillow because every stitch was done by me and the colors and design represent me and the things I like.

It really didn't take me long to do the actual sewing. It was waiting to be told the next step that kept me from getting it done. Oh, yes, and the troubles with getting the camera. Sigh... But it's good for us to learn patience.

I am working on my next PS project, a Snowball and 9 Patch quilt, that is a lesson in volume. It is the second of the 3 projects that have to be done first when learning Promise Stitching. I am so glad my quilting friend and teacher Jo Crace is patiently teaching us. And Jo learned all she knows from Linda Lee Peterson, the original Promise Stitcher.
So I'm glad to be back in the blogging saddle again. I have several posts planned, so stay tuned for the next installment!