Friday, January 28, 2011

Philanthropic Quilts

I didn't get much done this week. Had some personal issues at home over the weekend, along with school work. But I did work on a philanthropic quilt during the week, as well as an applique block for AVQA.

I belong to another group of quilters, the I&M Quilters. I&M stands for Irell & Manella, which is a law firm I used to work at. My current job is in the building next door, and I still have a lot of friends there, a couple of which are part of the quilt group. We are a philanthropic group, making quilts mainly for donations to patients at City of Hope and the Los Angeles Children's Hospital. Throughout the year, several of us also work on quilts for family and friends. The firm provides us with an office that we've turned into a sewing room, with our fabric stash along one wall, ironing board and cutting table under the windows, a comfortable couch against another wall, and four sewing machines set up on tables in the center of the room.

Some of the people in the group are new quilters, so we also do some classes and easy quilt patterns. These have two benefits. First, the easy patterns help teach the new quilters all the ins and outs of quilting, starting from choosing fabric, all the way through to quilting, binding and labeling. The second benefit is that these simple quilts then become our donations. Because the patterns are simple, we're able to complete and donate more quilts. Last year, we donated 32 quilts to City of Hope. The quilts are given to cancer patients. We try to do a variety of colors and fabrics, so that we have quilts for all ages, and that would please both male and female recipients.

The title of the first quilt we're doing this year is "Line Art," and the designer is Holly Hickman. Perla, our "leader" in the group, got the pattern from the Winter 2010 edition of Quilts and More magazine (from Better Homes & Garden). Here's my top:

I love patterns like this. They're simple, yet can be so fun and interesting. Each one the group is making is very different. The back will be the light pink, and I've got some strips left over, which I'll sew together to make up the binding.

When a group of quilts are done, we have a pinning party. Perla reserves a conference room, and we can pin a lot of quilts in an hour.

I also started working on an applique block for AVQA's 2012 Opportunity Quilt. I haven't seen the entire design yet, but there's the applique block and a paper-pieced block. Once I've got more than just the one piece of vine done, I'll show you what it looks like. I love doing applique, and really want to do more. I have a few ideas of quilts I want to do, well, okay, more than a few! LOL!

That's it for this week. Not a whole lot, but I did get something done!

Until next week, take care.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Looking Forward

One of my goals this year is to update my blogs and social networks regularly. I haven't done so well yet! My plan includes updating this blog weekly, whether I have anything to show or not. So, although the third week of the year is now behind me, here's the first of my weekly updates for 2011.

I've actually gotten a few things completed in the past couple of weeks. I've finished my February and June pieces for the 2010 Bead Journal Project (BJP), have started July, and pulled the beads for August; fixed a couple of tote bags whose straps were tearing; added a ribbon casing and drawstrings to a bag a friend made for me for Xmas; inserted a lining into a new tote bag purchased from my favorite local quilt shop; finished a vinyl tote I started a year ago for rainy commutes; cut all the fabric and interfacings for a new purse design; and started work on a quilt for an exhibition I want to enter in April. Whew, I've been busier than I thought! LOL!

First, here are the completed February and June BJP pieces. I can't decide which I like more, March (the orange one in my last post) or June..........

Here's the beginning of July's piece, as well as the beads I've pulled for August.

These are the two totes whose straps I fixed. I'm not happy with the end result, so I may need to do something a bit more with these. At a minimum, I may need to put a fabric piece at the ends of each of the straps............

This is the bag my friend Kellie made for me, with the new ribbon casing and drawstrings. Unfortunately, I didn't take a "before" photo. The bag held embroidery supplies, which I can always use, and always appreciate! Thank you, Kellie!

Here's the quilt shop tote I added the lining to. Again, I didn't take a "before" photo, but it was basically just a canvas tote with the blue straps and this really cute logo on the front. The name of the shop is Bolts in the Bathtub, and the story is that the owner used to keep her fabric stash at home in the tub in the extra bathroom. When you walk into the store, they have an old claw-footed bathtub filled with bolts of fabric! It's really cute. Anyway, I'm thinking of pulling the lining back out of this tote so I can add some pockets.

One of my many UFOs is finished! (Only 117 to go.) Here's the vinyl tote I started last year for rainy-day commutes. My commute to work is about 1-1/2 to 3 hours, one way, depending on traffic. I take a very comfortable commuter bus, and I'd been wanting to do a vinyl tote to keep my craft projects dry (of which I always have at least two or three with me). I started it last year, but didn't finish it because we had very little rain; it didn't seem too important at the time. This year, however, we've gotten quite a bit so far, and winter's not over yet. Though there's no rain in the immediate forecast, I can't believe that we're done for the season I'll need to use this again soon, I'm sure!

The last two projects I mentioned above are not showable at this time. The purse is a design I'm working on for a possible business startup; it will be on another site at some point. The exhibition quilt can't be shown before the exhibition; there's really nothing to show anyway, just some fabric basted together.

In other news, last Thursday was the Antelope Valley Quilt Association meeting. Our speaker was one of our members, Kay Hague. She showed us some of her early quilts, and some of what she's doing now. Her new quilts are too cool, and sound like way too much fun. She was going to do a workshop as well on Saturday, but the classroom that had been booked was cancelled due to the Martin Luther King Holiday. She's going to reschedule for later in the year. At the end of her talk, however, she passed out baggies of scraps. She calls her piecing technique "Baggie Solutions." It looks like so much fun, and I can't wait to put together the scraps I got. I have a bag of scraps at home that I may just have to do this with as well. Hopefully, I can work on these this weekend. I'll show you what I've done next time.

That's it for this week, or rather, these past three weeks!

Until next week, take care.