Friday, April 23, 2010

Quilting Explained

I thought I would share this glossary of quilting terms that my friend Pattie sent me to help you quilt novices and experts alike out there. I especially liked the rotary cutting one, as I've done that and am still mocked for it.

Quilting Glossary

Appliqué – A method of covering up mistakes. Not foolproof, however, as there is no method for covering up the mistakes made while appliquéing. Beer helps, though.
Backing – The material used for the back of a quilt. If a friend is doing longarm quilting for you, it must be 2 inches bigger than quilt and batting on all sides. If done at a quilt shop, 8 inches.
Batting – What you do with your eyelashes when someone starts complaining about all the fabric you’ve been buying. Warning: may lead to unintended sexual obligations.
Bias – The irrational inclination to believe that holding down a job or cooking some food for once is a more productive use of time than quilting.
Design Wall – What Sheila has. You know—Sheila. Don’s wife. He made it for her. He, apparently, knows how to use the tools in his garage. I get to use an old flannel sheet that looks like the cat yakked on it.
Electric Quilt – What you see after you eat the funny sugar cubes someone gave you at that last Grateful Dead show. Not that I would know.
Fat Quarter – The section of New Orleans where the happy quilters live. Nobody tells them to lay off the potato salad. Also, the name of my future fabric shop/Cajun restaurant.
Flying Geese – Quilt pattern comprised of repeating blocks made from three triangles. Also known as Completely Impossible and Are You Freaking Kidding Me?
Fussy Cut – What results when you whine like a big baby because the fat quarter you got at the guild swap isn’t “quilt shop quality” and Tille Henderson pulls a switchblade.
Grain Line – No, not what you stand in to get free Jack Daniels. You’re not funny, you know.
Half Square Triangles – Triangles cut from a square of fabric which, when they are sewn together, miraculously form a trapezoid.
Miter – The cool hat you get to wear when you are elected Bishop of Quilters. No, really. There’s a ceremony every year in the Fat Quarter during Mardi Gras.
Quarter Inch Seam, Accurate – What quilt books and patterns are always harping on, like the world’s gonna end if your seam is a little off.
Quilt Sandwich – Yeah, lettuce and tomato. That’s hilarious. Would you please go somewhere else? Go ask Don to show you how to use a nailgun or something.
Rotary Cutter – An instrument with an extremely sharp, round blade used for dyeing fabric with blood spots. Be sure to have plenty of extra blades on hand as they tend to chip if they hit bone.
Self -Healing Mat – What you sit on while you dial 9-1-1 after hacking off the end of your finger with the rotary cutter.
Selvedge – The part of the fabric that they always say you can’t use, but which just gets hidden in the seam allowance so what’s the big deal?
Squaring Up – The process of making sure that a quilt block, or a quilt, has straight edges and right angles at every corner. Failure to do so will result in a hefty fine and/or jail time, as determined by the longarmer who is holding your quilt hostage.

Yes, that's right, I have wacked part of my finger off, almost to the bone, with a rotary cutter.  I did it a mere 2 weeks after starting in the Environment, Health and Safety dept at my day job!
But I'll have you know, I did NOT bleed on the fabric! And Jan, the prez of my quilt guild at the time, made me stand up and tell everyone at the meeting about rotary cutter safety. She's funny, isn't she?

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Why no updates in such a long time?
This is why:
See those calendar entries? That's my April. Crazy, huh? Add to that my full time day job and my Sat quilt shop job, and I'm buzzzzyyy.
I finished the Lady Bug Hug quilt top a couple of weeks ago and can't wait to see it quilted. It's a shop sample for Tammy Tadd Designs. I'll see it all done for the first time tonight at the Rosemont quilt show. The most talented Nan at TTD quilted it. Can't wait!
The pattern and fabric are designed by Quilt Soup. Both are ridiculously cute and happy.
Look at those ladybugs!!! Could they be any cuter?
And that darling ladybug face. Too freaking cute! The only problem is that it's black thread on black fabric, so you can't see if very well. I think I'd do grey or something that shows up better the next time around.
Last weekend I had my quilt retreat at the Evergreen Retreat in Janesville. Remember my post about my first visit back in January in order to see if it would be a good fit for us? Well, it certainly was!!!
I think I would not be remiss in saying that we all had a fantastic time!
We ate, we drank, we sewed and we ate some more until the wee hours of the morning (Jennie and I went to bed at 5am Sat night/ Sun morning). The beds were comfy as all get out, and Kathy, the owner, literally thought of everything to make a quilter's stay fantastic!
Here's a few photos from our weekend, check out Jennie's blog for more about the fun.
What do you get when you cross the gorgeous Lantern Bloom fabric line by Laura Gunn for Michael Miller fabrics:
with some fabulous solidy types of batiks and what nots:
Then add the Slide Show Pattern by extremely talented Terry Atkinson:
Aren't they amazing? I'm in love. The photos don't even do it justice! Now I just have to figure out how to quilt it.
Pattie made these fabulous baskets:
Carol finished up the last 4 or 5 borders on this beauty. I totally give her credit. I would have lost interest a loooonnnngg time ago on this quilt. But that Carol, she's a perseverer.
DiscoJen finished 2 quilt tops, 500 bags and God only knows what else. I can't keep track. I feel like I get nothing done campared to her and Jennie. Jennie actually said "I'm so glad I brought this extra quilt with to make, I wasn't going to, but I finished everything else, so it's good I did!" Me, I  brought 4 projects and only finished one, and that was by the hair of my teeth!
Here's what you can do with your scraps from your fabric and bag handles that you shorten, as modeled by DiscoJen:
Well, it's off to Rosemont for the last quilt show in Chicago. I'm so bummed. It's a yearly tradition for DiscoJen and I to go every year and have lunch at the Sofitel. We are so upset that it's moving to Cincinnati next year thanks to the ridiculous fees for the venue and the obscene sales tax in Rosemont. 

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring at last!

Oh no, wait, we skipped Spring and went right on to Summer here in Chicago this year. It was in the 70's and yes, oh yes, the 80's!!!! It was almost too hot yesterday. The Huskies and I were on the cusp of our heat tolerance level.
It will really hurt when our regularly scheduled Spring weather returns. It's really a cruel joke by Mother Nature if you ask me.
I took the opportunity to plant some of these babies:
My friend Dee is a Mastergardner, so I asked her last weekend at my lockin if I could plant them yet since I always plant them too late and they don't produce hardly any peas. She said to wait a couple of weeks, but I couldn't help myself, it was 70 degrees! I had to plant something! I figure, if it's too early and they don't make it, I'll just plant more. They always give you a ton of pea seeds in the envelopes, so nothing ventured, no peas gained!

Today, in preparation for Easter, I'm molding butter! It's the thing my family and friends mock me the most about, but deep down they really love the molded butter. I mean really, who isn't impressed by bunny shaped butter? I even splurged and got the good Irish butter.                                                The offset spatula is the key to butter molding. That and the freezer. They don't unmold unless frozen. Now you know my butter shaping secrets. Martha-by-Mail sugar molds, an offset spatula and the freezer. See, nothing to it. It would be crazy not to shape the butter, it's that easy! (Donna loves it when I say it'd be crazy to not mold the butter, I threw that in for her).

The linens are all lined up and ready to be deployed to their appropriate table and counters.

Unfortunately I bought the daffodils too early and they are all ready past their prime, so I'll need some new flowers.
And the other thing on the agenda is to find some batiks that coordinate with these beauties:
Lantern Bloom by Laura Gunn.
Aren't they gorgeous? They will be for a gift, but I can't say for who just now. I was able to find a couple of different shades of turquoise and greens in my stash, but nothing else. Hard to believe, isn't it?
Apparently Robbie's boney hind legs form the perfect chin rest for Magic.

I'm off to do the thousands of things that need to be done by Sunday.
Have a Happy Easter everyone!