27 March 2008

Mini-demos for the preparation-time starved

I started a quilt group on the college campus where I work and a small band of us have kept it alive for our one hour meetings every 2nd Tuesday of the month. Generally, I come up with a small demo and the rest is talking or show-and-tell.

If you've ever tried monthly demos, you know that the idea factory can run dry of easily transportable things so I thought I'd share a list:
  • Molas. I gave a background on this reverse applique style complete with a "kit": 10x10" stack of Kona solid cottons in characteristic mola colors so everyone could have a try.
  • Yo-Yos. After showing a yo-yo garment in progress and talking about other uses, we all made a few. As it turned out, the whole group let me take theirs home to use in my, uh, our project!
  • Ruching. People seem to get a kick out of ruched flowers on Baltimore album quilts and wonder how they are made. I cut bias strips in a small buttercup-and-white lightweight gingham. The little squares made it easy to sew the sawtooth pattern without marking.
  • To create a nice handout, I searched the internet for free download sites for graph paper of all kinds and provided URLs and images so everyone could see the range available out there (even honeycomb ones which could come in handy for planning grandmother's flower garden quilts or whatnot).
  • I let everyone have a look at my samples from a wonderful course on bindings I took a couple years ago from Narelle Grieve. The samples we came out with are great reminders. Our group used them for inspiration and discussion (because I don't believe in wholesale using the courses of others without permission!). By the way, you have permission to use any ideas in this post.
  • I showed a quilt that makes use of the fantasy fabric I learned to make from Chrissy Sheed. I also showed a piece of fantasy fabric at a much earlier stage of preparation and we had a good talk about all the things one might use in quilts. It made a good jumping off point. We did a lot of "I saw a quilt once that had..."
  • I have a faux chenille vest made from a commercial pattern which I broght in for everyone to see. I also brought in a stack of charm squares with the chenille in various stages --partially stitched, some channels still closed and a couple already clipped. This made it very easy to explain the process.
  • We've talked about fusing and stablizing a fair bit so one day I hope to bring in samples of several types and weights so people can feel them. I'd like to make a big labeled sample cloth with several different fusing agents on it and run it through the wash as a test.

11 March 2008

Aussie Opal Comes Home

This is a shot of the center of a 50 x 70cm challenge quilt that has made it home from a couple years of wandering in Australia. The Fantasy Fabric in the colorful parts are thanks to a class I took from the wonderful Chrissy Sheed and I learned the elongated Mariner's Compass drafting methods from Stephanie Knudsen. Steph doesn't have a blog yet, but will be absolutely dangerous once she does.

Erica wants me to be a more consistent blogger as a trade off for listing me in her Blogs I Read list. She's using logic on me. Now I'm in trouble.
The above bowl is meant to be festive and hold the office candy up through St Patrick's Day. I do know that shamrocks are three lobed (to symbolize the trinity) and that this is based on the four-leaf clover, but there are some three-leafers in the quilting so I'm covered. Not what we'd call my best work, but fun anyway, I think.

07 March 2008


Well, after knowing what a "tag" is since about Wednesday (when I saw it on Brenda's blog), I discovered today that I've been tagged by Erica. Do you also get the impression that the earth spins faster than it once did?

Okay. If I've got it right, I need to tell you this (thanks for the cut and paste, Erica):
These are the rules...1. When tagged, place the name of the person and URL on your blog. [check!]2. Post the rules on your blog. [check!] 3. Write 7 things about yourself. [see below]4. Name 7 of your favorite bloggers. [hard to do because I read about 3 religiously]5. Send e-mail letting those bloggers know they have been tagged [I suspect my bloggers have already been tagged--is it okay to tag a Facebooker in a pinch?].

My seven things:
1. I've been to ten countries (I don't count a couple which were airports or passing through on a train only)--used to be 12 but China, Macau and Hong Kong all count as one these days. The others are in rough order: USA, Mexico, Australia, England, France, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Belgium and New Zealand. I've also been to Detroit which is pretty close to Canada and to a stone's throw from the Cambodian border as well as rather near Burma and Laos.
2. I'm a dual US/Australian citizen as is my son (who'll be ten on Monday). Husband also has two passports (Aussie/Irish).
3. I have a B.A., MA. and PhD from Berkeley in Rhetoric.
4. The two strangest things that have been on my resume are costuming a drag show (two actually) and an article in the magazine Inside Karate.
5. I've had dinner with a Nobel laureate and a guy who was Cosmo's bachelor of the year once.
6. I voted for Hillary and sent her $50. I'm so in her demographic! Like many of my buddies, it's been a case of "I want to see a woman president in my lifetime". I even had a dream that Bill Clinton got into our family car to talk to us about the campaign.
7. I'm struggling a bit with the age thing this year (I'm 48-1/2) because I had a tooth pulled and my well controlled diabetes got a bit less well controlled and the change seems to haveme in its sights. This just has to be a design flaw. I mean, who would plan this?

Okay, there you are. Now I have to figure out somebody to tag. I'll think on it. And in the mean time, shouldn't Erica add me to her list of Blogs She Reads if she tagged me? Seems like natural justice...