Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to...

the North Seas we go! Brandon's quilt is on its way to T and F Quilting Studios, and I've got a shower present to start if there is any spare time today. We leave tonight for Copenhagen and will get on an NCL ship that goes up the coast of Norway, across to the Faroe and Shetland Islands, over to Reykjavik and then back to Denmark via Dublin. I may be leaving out a port of call. We are thrilled and happy. No sewing, no quilting, just lots of sight-seeing, reading, and perhaps a meal or two. Our stateroom is on the same level at the Fitness Center, so really - no excuses, right? Piece peace and maintain a sewing tension! 

(I can't stand to do a pictureless post, so here are two projects from my fellow CMQG's retreat work.  The top is Debbie P's - love the color and the design.  The bottom is Beth's batik quilt in process.  I hope they both know that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

CMQG Fall Retreat

The Chicago Modern Quilt Guild's Fall Retreat at the Siena Center in Racine, WI was just perfect - a lovely and small group and ideal weather.  Our work room overlooking Lake Michigan saw so much production.  The first half of the retreat I worked on Morsbags for the September charity Sew-In my guild is hosting - I won't be there and wanted to get my bags done.  Organizers Erika and Holly announced a competition to see who makes the most bags.  I don't even know what the prize is, but that old competitive nature just kicks in...
The other project I worked on is a quilt for 8th grade grandson Brandon, who has moved from a twin to a full bed. He originally asked if I could enlarge the quilt he made a couple of years ago. When I suggested a new quilt, he asked if he would have to make it. When I assured him I would indeed make it, he of course agreed. These colors are bright and manly - I think he'll be happy to use this through his high school years! Want to know more about the retreat? Hop on over to the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild blog - pictures should be up in a day or two!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Spontaneous Overflow of Powerful Feelings

Do those words look familiar? It's Wordsworth's definition of poetry. But it's my definition of why I sew. Yesterday - instead of bursting into song as most of my family is apt to do - I burst into "bag." I had to use this fabric, and within three hours it had become a tote that turns into a duffel. I sew my best when I'm sewing for someone, as is the case here. This fabric was one I had designed from Spoonflower and had just never gotten around to using. It was too unique to cut up and is really perfect in this application.

And of course there's the ever-changing pile of quilts for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. Each one of them comes with an artistic statement. It's a daily reminder of how pervasive Alzheimer's is. And I'm beginning to realize that each quilt artist has a purpose for her artistic expression and an outlet for her powerful feelings.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Planning for September

We're leaving town for the last two weeks of September, and there are many things to make sure are in place. I'm missing the September meeting of the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild, and I'm sad because we're doing bags for the Chicago Food Depository - read about it here. Organizers Erika and Holly are suggesting there will be a competition to see who can make the most bags. So for the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild's Fall Retreat 2012 I am taking 11 Mors bags kits. These fabrics all come from a pile in my stash: the too-ugly-too-old-to-live pile. Seriously, one of these fabrics I know for sure is from the 1980's. What a great way to use up these odd bits. So, CMQG peeps, the challenge is on!

In preparation for the retreat I decided I needed a more efficient ditty bag for all my various sewing bits. This pattern wasn't easy, and now I will have to make another one, just to make sure I know the steps and to also do a neater job. Check out the cool suction handle on my ruler. CMQG VP Jen gave that to me when I commented on how much I love hers. What a great gift! Love it!
My other task at the retreat, besides Mors bags, will be a new quilt for grandon Brandon. Today he saw these colors and gave me the thumbs up. I have the rest of the week to plot the pattern and do the cutting. Then, at the retreat, I'll be able to make some terrific piecing progress! Lots of things to look forward to - the CMQG retreat, our trip to Norway, Scotland, Iceland, and Ireland this month, the CMQG's first exhibition of our Modern Art Challenges, and lots of quilts to be scanned. Goodby, Hot Summer 2012. Welcome, Fall 2012!