Wednesday, April 24, 2013

To Boston With Love

We all know how terrible last week was for many.

As quilters, as creative people, as nurturers, as humans, we feel when others are hurt or hurting.  

We want to find a way to comfort, to say "we are thinking about you" "we are praying for you" or "we care".  We want to find a way to bring peace.

The Vancouver MQG initiated a project to do just that - To Boston With Love

"To Boston With Love is a collaborative effort of makers to bring peace and love from far and wide.  What we're planning is a public exhibition of flags strung onto banners that will be displayed in Boston - hopefully by early June 2013.  Details are still being ironed out... In the meantime, we need to get going on flag making!" 

Kelly Spear is coordinating this for us.  We will collect flags during our May 11th Meeting and Sew Day.  Please leave a comment here, or respond to the EMail, if you'd like to participate.  Additionally, please let us know how many flag(s) you'll be contributing.  

Need inspiration?  Take a peek a these tutorials from other generous quilters and creators.  Thank you to all who share so the rest of us can play.

Tutorials for the first two flags can be found here.  They are from Happy Sew Lucky Patterns & Kits.
Strippy Heart from Happy SEW Lucky Patterns & Kits

LOVE Flag Quilt from Happy SEW Lucky Patterns & Kits

Sarah, from house of krom, has a tutorial for this improv pieced heart here.

No tutorial for this appliqued beauty, but it was too pretty to pass up as inspiration.  It's from the blog

Jodi, of Pleasant Home, created this improve pieced heart.  Her tutorial can be found here.

Here is another version of an improv pieced heart which CrochetnQuilt posted via 15 Minutes of Play.

And of course, there is the wonky LOVe tutorial from KelbySews via Sew, Mama, Sew!

Plus there's the flickr group that already has tons of BEAUTIFUL flags.

Won't you join us?

ECMQG Secretary

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

April Road Trip

Remember, we do not have a regular meeting and SEW-day planned this month.

Instead, we have this:

This is A&E Pharmacy, home to more than 12,000 bolts of cotton quilting fabric and more.  Glenna, one of those helpful folks behind the cutting counter, says "And that doesn't count what's in the back room."

Besides fabric, they have notions, patterns, pre-cuts, books, crafting supplies, mardi gras beads, templates, cutting tools, etc.

In fact, this little blurb "When I was at the Drug Store the other day, I found these three fabrics...", from this blog, piqued my curiosity.  Although Wendi didn't mention it by name, it could only be A&E!  Hello?  Drug Store?  Fabric?  By any chance do you live in Pensacola?  Yep.  

Small world that it is, Wendi is now an integral member of the ECMQG community of modern quilters.  Thanks to A&E.

These folks are the knowledgeable ones.  I call them the Cutting Counter Goodies.  The advice, encouragement, expertise, laughs, and friendly customer service keep people coming back.  

A&E Cutting Counter Goodies - Martha (front center); Glenna, Tovah, & Veronica (2nd row); Ollie (center back)

Another local quilter, blogger, and author - Kim Brackett - described A&E like this in her 2009 post:  

"There is a wonderful fabric store in Pensacola that you would probably miss if you were to drive right by it. The name of this enchanted place had been A&E Pharmacy. When I looked up the telephone number recently, I noticed several divisions listed: A&E Fabric, Variety & Craft Store; A&E Pharmacy; and A&E Appliance Center. All are located in a small, old-fashioned strip shopping center. (You could save a lot of time if you ever need to pick up some thread, your Zoloft prescription, and a new washing machine!) The fabric department has grown over the years, but has not pushed out the crafts section where, in addition to crafty items, they sell Mardi Gras and other seasonal decorations."

Not much has changed.  Except for the fabric selections.  And maybe a couple of newer faces behind the cutting counter.  And the quilts hanging throughout the store.  Currently, most of them are the quilts featured in Kim's latest book, Scrap-Basket Beauties.

Saturday is going to be fun.  I hope you plan on joining us.  Please wear your  name tag and remember to bring your 2013 ECMQG Membership Card.  Your dues must be up-to-date to receive the special shopping day discount.  If you need to pay dues, we can take care of that Saturday too.

The convoy/carpool from Crestview is meeting at Hardee's at 8:00 a.m.  The plan is to leave Crestview no later than 8:15 a.m.

While we wait patiently for A&E to open their doors, how about visiting another westside gem?  Daylight Donuts, just up the road, makes all of their donuts by hand each and every morning.  I'll be there.

See you Saturday!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Reveal Squeal! Part 2

This is the second post about our Madrona Road Challenge projects.  The first post with pictures and stories can be found here.

Debra's creativity and practicality were expressed by making these strip pieced placemats.  The week following our meeting, Debra and her husband, began what is supposed to be a year's long journey through the US in their RV.  

Obviously, Debra was drawn to the Memoir print too, as she chose it as her focus fabric.  Have Sewing Machine; Will Travel!  I'm looking forward to Debra's updates from the road.  Now to convince her to blog about her adventures.  The pictures of her condensed (and organized!) RV sewing space prove that it is possible for quilting to be portable.

Kristy and Kathleen decided to "pay it forward".  Free fabric.  A family at their church expecting a new baby.  Well, how about a quilt and a matching tote bag?  Kristy and Kathleen, once again, as in they've done six or seven times previously, collaborated and shared their love and talents.

It is so nice to have a bestie, a side kick, a partner in crime, to share creativity with, and then, enrich someone's life.  Well done ladies!  

Although a high school reunion kept her away from our meeting, Kelly shared her finish, and her inspiration, with us via Facebook...

and via Marcy at the meeting. 

In Kelly's words "My husband and I would like to have our own farm someday, so I was really drawn to this Farmstead print (with the truck).  I wasn't sure what to do, but I knew I wanted to feature that print, and turn the other prints into hexagons."

"But I got a little crazy with the hexagons, and just couldn't finish what I originally planned.  So yesterday, I came up with this's supposed to be a kitchen window looking out over our farm.  I've always wanted a kitchen window, but I've never had one, and I can't think of a more perfect view from the kitchen than our very own farm!"

"I used some of the hexagons I had already pieced, and made them into a curtain/shade.  Because, what quilter wouldn't want to have a hexagon shade?  And the text print is the window sill.  If that wasn't already cheesy enough, to add in a little more cheesiness, I'm calling this "A Window into the Future."

For those of you that know Kelly, this comes from the heart.  Her dream of having a farm "one day" really is "just a dream" at this time because as a military family, until retirement, dreams are put on hold.

Faye gave us an original design with her Bubbles Baby Quilt.  Her inspiration came from this quilt that she's been constructing off and on for several months, which includes appliqued circles as a final design element.
This was not a quilt that came together easily, even though she started  immediately after receiving her fat 8th bundle.  She played,  mulled over her design, asked for input, and played some more.  These colors were "just not me" she said on more than one occasion.

Faye's use of negative space highlights the print "bubbles" which are fused and appliqued circles.  Her templates were traced from everyday household objects - paper plates, cans, glasses, etc.  The binding is scrappy and pieced.  It was quilted with a random meandering stipple.

Marcy was another one who began her project almost as soon as she received that little fabric bundle.  Using white as her background and neutral fabric, she constructed Bow Tie blocks to make this table topper.

As always, Marcy's quilting is exquisite.  This time, she quilted her favorite swirly spiral around the perimeter, while the white centers where the four blocks meet is reminiscent of the petals of a zinnia or a chrysanthemum. 

Marcy chose to back her table topper with additional yardage of the blue Sprout print, and her binding is Sprout in graphite.

Madrona Road has now taken us on ten quilt journeys.  We have four more to go.