Monday, July 6, 2009

Quilters' Circle - 6th July, 2009

Today was the first meeting for July of the Quilters' Circle at Sussex Neighbourhood House.

Marie worked on a project for her quilting class, and brought along these crazy-quilt blocks to show us. They are foundation-pieced on calico, and are a great way to use up left-over strips of fabric. The blocks start with an irregular pentagon, then strips of random widths are added to each side, building out until the block is large enough to trim to the desired final size. They look great all sitting beside each other:

Joy worked on her appliqué cranes from last week. She brought along the second quilt she made, which normally lives on her bed:

It is a large quilt, so was difficult to get all in one photo. You can't see the corners in the above shot, so there's a closer view of a corner below. The quilt was inspired by a book, but Joy designed the blocks, their placement, and the quilting pattern. She added tiny fans in the cornerstones of the sashing.

The quilting design is so intricate that the back of the quilt is beautiful, too. And did I mention that this quilt is all pieced and quilted by hand?

Joy also showed us a brilliant idea for marking the quilting design on the quilt. She drew the design with a marker on a piece of mosquito netting. She placed this pattern over the quilt, then used a regular pencil to draw over the pattern. The result is that the design shows as a row of dots on the quilt, and the dots were easily removed with a white plastic pencil eraser when required. It is not easy to photograph mosquito netting, but here it is:

Vireya quilted some of the quilt with the kangaroo block already seen twice on this blog. No hand quilting here! You can only see a little of the quilt top in this shot, as the quilt is rolled up to fit through this little sewing machine. You can see the basting stitches on both the front and backs of the quilt. There is a walking foot on the machine, and the stitching is along the seams; a technique called "stitch-in-the-ditch". Once this stitching is complete, the individual blocks will be free-motion quilted. And it all has to be completed by Sunday.

While working we chatted, although because of the noise of the sewing machine I can't really report on many details of the conversations! And I should have written down that word Joy taught us for the little tail ends of a fraying thread, because when I tried to look it up to put it here I couldn't remember the spelling. In between our quilting, we looked at some magazines and a book catalogue Joy brought along, and wondered if certain retailers and magazine publishers are having cash-flow difficulties, given the frequency of sales and the phone calls offering giveaways with subscriptions.

That's it for this week. Our next meeting is in two weeks. Hope to see you there!

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