Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Is It Really March Already?

There's been a lot going on at the home front lately. Nothing new and earth shattering, just the normal things that burn up the time. I put the last of the hand quilting stitching in Spring Flowers and found a little moment to machine sew the binding on. Maybe I can hand stitch the binding down later this week when my company gets here.

Spring Flowers moving along
One of my sister-in-laws will be here for a long weekend and other family will be in town too. Second weekend in a row for out of town company. Always nice to have a bit of hand work ready to go for these times. When my hands are busy maybe my mouth will be less so? lol

Big Kiss getting ready for the hoop!
I also managed to get the Big Kiss quilt sandwiched and pinned. Went ahead and kept the Batik backing, though I did soak it in boiling water for several hours, refreshing when the water cooled. So far it's behaving nicely, though not quite as easy to quilt through as a normal 100% cotton fabric. Or a woven fabric backing. Thank goodness it's not a large quilt!

Always enjoy seeing the applique bits
Lovely to work on a colorful quilt after the softer colors of the previous one. It's good to mix things up and keep things interesting. Still working on the Improv. quilt for the quilt meetings. It's driving me crazy to keep to the slower pace, but I am super glad that I went ahead and decided to make a new quilt alongside of everyone else. Much, much easier when it comes to the demonstrations.

Improv. Quilt strip sets getting cut
And.... somehow I found myself jumping into a brand new quilt project. It's improv. strips too, but these are 17'18" long instead of 10". This is something that I've been thinking about for most of a year. Probably be for my youngest sons, thus the color choices. He always somehow ends up with blues and golds and browns. Good thing he likes them!

The new Improv. quilt
At this moment in time I've got all the slabs sewn. I'm doing repeats of fabric instead of mixing them all up and I think that's going to work very well with what I have planned, but we'll see. For now, it's a little bit boring!

Probably have too many slabs!
As you can see, I snuck a plaid shirt in with the fabrics. I love the look considering it's intended for a mans quilt. Am currently trying to decide if I want to have straight cuts on the ends of my cross-cut strips or if I want to go with the more organic look. Does it even matter? Questions, questions.

Testing out the strip sets
Here's the videos my daughter helped me put together for the last quilt meeting. She was very insistent that this would be a good thing. Hmm... Prior to the meeting we knew there would be two to three people absent and I'm not thrilled with the calls for 'catching up'. Also, I wanted everyone to have the option of refreshing their memory in case they got stuck. This phase of cross-cutting the rows seemed important for everyone to get right.

1st part of Cross-Cutting the strip sets
I typed out a sheet and drew some diagrams as well, but some people are more visual. As you can see, I was TERRIBLY nervous to be doing a video {and this was our 2nd take!} So crazy. Can't think of the proper words for what I'm doing and my mind is just doing a constant stutter. Like I'm looking down at myself thinking, what is she doing????  I think I've relaxed a little bit in class by now and it always helps to go around and personally help people after demonstrations. Then I can make sure they are 'getting' it, they can ask questions while they are attempting to do what I just showed them, and no-one feels ridiculous. One on one just feels more natural all the way around.

2nd part of Cross-Cutting the strip sets
Please don't be too critical of our video. Oh my goodness, I can't even believe I'm showing you this! My daughter is not a pro. I am not a pro. No money is exchanging hands! We are just doing the best that we can and hopefully helping a few people learn how to quilt. Also, in class, I always try to go through things a couple of times and of course, tell them, {over and over} there are many ways to do things. I am showing you this way for the purposes of this quilt

While walking around and helping after, some people were eventually {instinctively} using the right sides of their mats to line up the slabs and/or whatever else made the most sense to them personally. Which I love and encourage. I tried to show how to straighten the ends of the cross-cut rows using 'just the ruler' and some people liked that better. I know I do. The beginning quilters however, liked having the crutch of lining up the whole row along a horizontal line and cutting along a bold vertical line. Whatever it takes! 

So far there is a very good feeling at classes, lots of smiles and camaraderie. Most are moving along with the project without feeling pushed or pressured so I've had to back off of trying to hurry it along at a faster pace. I come home after the classes all wired up and can't turn off my brain for a couple of hours. Did I do that right? Am I really encouraging them to enjoy quilting? Ahhhhh.....

I am really enjoying the colors of my project, but I've already made one almost exactly like this design-wise. I'm finding myself wondering what I can do in order to spice things up. Of course I am.... Hmm... maybe I can make an applique centerpiece and leave the middle out? If it was oval that would be even more interesting, just have to cut the center out instead! Lots to think about for sure. Hopefully we'll all have a brand new quilt top by the end of March. When/if that happens I'll try to post a pic of all our finishes!


  1. I think your videos were great, Audrey! Very clear and understandable. I'm sure your students love you.

    Big Kiss is beautiful and looks whimsical to me. I hope you enjoy the weekend with your sister-in-law and other family members.

  2. You are being far to critical of your video skills Audrey - they are great! You students will be happy to have them for a reference. Kudos to you and your daughter for doing this.

  3. Just a quick hint on using batiks: Use a really sharp needle. I used Richard Hemming Betweens size 10 and used batiks for everything. I personally liked the results. I know many do not like using batiks; I love them. Good luck. Your quilts are amazing. You also might consider batiks for your appliques; they rarely ravel. Just a thought.

  4. I think you did fine. SO great you are sharing with those who need that little extra to get them going in the right direction. I was told to try spray on fabric softener for the batik backs. Not sure how that would be. I haven't tried it. I kept thinking It would come off on my hands or lap and everything would smell like fabric softener

  5. Your videos were great. And it was nice to see your face. I am kind of a self taught quilter (although I already knew how to sew). I have just recently started using the lines on the cutting mat and it can make such a difference. Why I didn't try lining up my fabric before I don't know. I've just used the lines on the ruler. I love the little quilt you've got in the hoop. The applique has a Scandinavian/ Northern German vibe that makes me remember things from my childhood. Love the color combinations.

  6. I think you are doing a great job. I'm sure your students are as excited and thinking about their quilts as much as you. Your creativity and enthusiasm are infectious (bad word during Covid!)
    I don't remember your Big Kiss quilt and I agree with Robin it has a Scandinavian vibe.

  7. Love you "big kiss' quilt, the colours are delightful together! And a great idea to have the videos for your students to refer back too.

  8. Yes, it's March and this is a big birthday month for my family!
    Big Kiss quilt is exciting and you and your students are learning so much!

  9. The Big Kiss quilt is so bold! I really like it. I love the plaid for the man's quilt! You, wanting to add applique or spice things up...... I'm shocked, truly shocked ;-) lol. I can't wait to see the finished projects!!!

  10. I've been teaching adults for many years, and I am still nervous before every class! Sounds to me like you're a natural born teacher.

  11. yay! Loved the video! The more you do it the better it will be, although it was great!

  12. Spring flowers and Big Kiss are so beautiful. I enjoyed your videos too and I agree it no doubt takes time to feel completely natural on camera. You did a good job of explaining and that is the main thing. I for one would love to see you do more...a Youtube channel I would def. love to follow.
    Meanwhile, I remember well that feeling you are describing of being almost high after a lesson has gone well. That was one of the best things about teaching and made me love my career so much. Those students were so lucky to have you.


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