Thursday, 29 October 2009

I Jumped Right In!

Last week I went to the monthly quilt guild meeting for the second time and this time I joined. They had a really neat new thing: visitors got a white-star felt name tag and new members got a tag in a heart shape. Old members were asked to make everyone with a star or heart especially welcome and it totally worked. People could easily see that I was new and they had my name so starting a conversation was easy!

Best of all, the programs coordinator mentioned to me that the guild executive goes on a weekend retreat every fall, and there were three spaces still open and wouldn't I want to go along? Yay! Great for me as newbie to see a) what it's like to quilt alongside other quilters on my own projects and b) get to know some of the other members of the guild, c) learn lots of tips from all the experienced quilters that will be there, and d) to get to see a beautiful B&B in PEI for a really good price (2 nights plus meals for 100$, holy cow!!!) .

I ended up taking advantage of the guild's quilting library and borrowed one of the Elm Creek Quilts books that I hadn't read yet (probably because my town library doesn't have it - I wonder how many more are out there... chould look it up online I suppose).

At next month's meeting, members are encouraged to bring a little crafty something in a paper bag, anonymous, and we'll have a sort of secret santa for christmas. I look forward to making a little something of my "non-quilty how to" side bar :)

I also committed to making a block for the raffle quilt for next year's quilt show. I would have done more than one block, but the 6 blocks that make up the stunning quilt are mostly paper-pieced and I don't know how to do that. I had a hard enough time with all the tiny pieces in this block, phew. Not even that tiny, but it's a different story when my seam allowances are mixed with that of other quilters. At least when I make the whole quilt, I know it'll work out because all the block will be a bit smaller than intended :)

I received a ziploc bag that contained the instructions and precut pieces of fabric:

Once I figured out which fabric is which, I started on the small half-square triangles.

They were supposed to be 2" squares in the end, and I managed to trim them all to about that size. I couldn't imagine making a whole quilt in this pattern, so much cropping just for one block!!! I guess I am not a very patient person ;)

In the end, the layout worked out pretty well:

The guild meeting was on Wednesday and this block was finished by Saturday - I guess I was very excited :)

Because all this wasn't enough, I also signed up for the Mystery Quilt. I've heard about them, but had never done one before.

Again, we got instructions (they're on step 3, but I didn't miss much because step 1 was picking fabric and step 2 was cutting).

We had to pick a bold medium print, a dark and a light fabric. I tried to match a light and dark to a batik out of my stash first, but gosh, it's hard to match anything other than batik or solid, prints just didn't work with the batik, at least within the realm of my stash. Here are my choices:

I cut enough fabric for the smaller of the two size choices - what they call a wall hanging (38"x38"). It was that or a queen size quilt, and not knowing what it'll look like in the end, I didn't want to take the risk. Plus, the bigger quilt just uses blocks twice as big - and 9" half-square triangle blocks are not really my thing I'd say.

Then I went on to step three and matched up all the slightly larger squares destined to become half-square triangles and sewed them together. Also a lot of sewing!

Now, I don't really like cutting the little corners off after I iron the blocks, so I did it before I cut the squares in half, by snipping a wedge out of each corner between the seams, just a tad pointier than a 90 degree angle.

(I already cut and ironed all my blocks, so I just held two together, you get the idea :)

Not sure if it saved any time, I guess I didn't have to pick up as many pieces, as I cut the eqivalent of 2 HST blocks with every piece I snipped.

I'm very excited to see where this is going. Right now I'm expecting a star, probably because I just made one for the raffle quilt :)

So, I'd call that a case of me jumping in with both feet! Oh, and I'm the youngest member by three years. The next one up turned around in her seat, grinned and said "Yes! I'm not the youngest any more!!!" She was busy during the meeting making a Grandmother's Flower Garden out of less-than-penny-sized hexagons. I mentioned that the pattern is aptly named, because she'll likely be a granny by the time it's done. The patience some people have!!!

I'm so excited about the next meeting!

And tomorrow I'll show you how the story of my Imagination 1/Soft quilt continues :)


Evelyn said...

Thanks for the snipping tip - I'm sure going to try that! I love little time-savers like that. :-)

karenfae said...

sounds like you have had a wonderful experience with your guild -that is good -- they aren't all like that in my experience.

Crispy said...

Oh Christine, what a lovely time you had!! Your raffle block came out just lovely. I imagine that in a year or two you will be volunteering to be a committee head or even president ROFL.


Anne at said...

What a great idea those name tags were to help welcome new members/visitors to the guild! Maybe I'll try going to our local guild and see what it's like. You came home with lots of good projects!