Kick'n it up a notch …
Many of us enjoy trying new ideas and techniques, and then incorporating any favorites into our next quilting project. In fact, the use of new techniques can often put the 'spark' back into a stagnant quilting project.
It could be as simple as trying new thread combinations, or incorporating some embroidery work on your next quilt label. Or, you might want to try your hand at some embellishment design work, or try making some fun yo-yos, or how about tucking a charming appliquéd flower or bird into the corner of your next quilt.
The sky really is the limit, just remember to always keep it fun, keep it fresh and keep it you.
Yo, check out what Moni is doing!…
Click for a larger image.
Moni Purdue of Swea City, Iowa, has been quilting for 40 years, patiently devoting much of that time to perfecting her yo-yo making skills. "My yo-yo passion actually started years ago when I was young, my aunt had a cigar box full of them. I wasn't allowed to play with them though, which just made me want to make my own even more."
In fact, over the years, Moni has made so many yo-yo's that she has become the self-proclaimed 'Yo-Yo Queen' and even rides in parades wearing her yo-yo adorned sash. And of course, she waves to the crowd from the backseat perch of her own Corvette, complete with license plates that read 'YoYoQen'.
In the past, she has made quite a few miniature yoyo quilts. She always starts each one with the intention of selling them, but almost always ends up giving them away to friends and family. "I even made my friend a yo-yo jacket - those yo-yo's were a little larger, I used a yogurt lid for my template."
But, without a doubt, her most impressive project to date would be a stunning 'scrappy yo-yo' quilt that boasts an incredible 6,900 individual yo-yo's, each one as skillfully made as the next, and each one with a finished size measuring precisely the size of a dime. Each yo-yo is secured to the next with doubled quilting thread. "This makes a very secure bridge," she explained. "Some of my finished yo-yo quilts have been washed in the past and they've always washed beautifully." Each 3" x 3" quilt block is made up of 16 individual yo-yos. Each of the finished blocks are then framed in a beautiful green sashing of yo-yos. According to Moni, the finished quilt will be 15 blocks wide and 18 blocks long, "I only have two more rows to go," she said smiling. "I've worked on it now, on and off, for six and a half years, and each time I pick it up to work on it, I fall in love with the yo-yo making process all over again."
Click for a larger image.
Sew & Tells
A special re'treat' …
submitted by Martha W. Lee, Owensboro, KY.
When you don't have the dollars to spend on a quilting cruise or excursion, it's possible to get similar 'euphoric' sewing experiences within just a few miles of your own home. That's what the Pennyrile Piecers group did when they initiated their biannual retreats to Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park in western Kentucky.
Just close your eyes and dream of a picturesque lake setting with a comfortable lodge tucked in 15,000 acres of wooded nature. Now, add a spacious meeting room with good lighting that accommodates 18 or more talented quilting friends. That's what Karen Long Ball of Henderson, Kentucky did in 2003 when she and her quilting friends organized the first Pennyrile Piecers retreat.
Today, organization is the key to the success of the Pennyrile retreat as Karen continues to schedule the quilt retreat reserving the prime weeks in March and October each year. Thanks to her planning, the group experiences both spring's flowering buds and fall's foliage at its peak. Pennyrile quilters receive timely emailings, maximum quilting time, delicious food served nearby at the park's Clifty Creek Restaurant, and a chance to relax.
What are the key things the group cites as the reasons they return (now 13 times) for the retreat?
- The compatible, talented group of quilters that attend from 4 states.
- The excellent service, food and accommodations at the Pennyrile State Resort Park provided by managers and staff.
- Time to work on each quilter's own projects at each one's personal prime time
- The diversity of talents, skills, and experiences of the participants readily shared with others.
- Short games that break sewing time, including 'pass the stash', fat quarter exchanges, meet your parents photo guessing, quilt walks to view member quilts in their lodge rooms, and quilting narratives.
- Show and tell of members' projects the last evening of each retreat
- Encouragement and support for quilters as they improve skills
- The variety of beautiful projects that progress during the retreat
- Laughter and good friends that inspire us
- Affordable prices for participants
In 2009, the Pennyrile Piecers created a sampler presentation quilt for the state park to express appreciation for the fine service through the years. Their work can be viewed hanging in the lobby of the state park to welcome visitors to this quilting haven. Park personnel reciprocated with a reception that year and excellent service at each and every retreat.
So, what's stopping you from initiating your own quilting retreat this year? Plan now to create your own 'quilting Shangri-La', beginning with your favorite state or regional park near you. You'll love the inspiration you'll find in nature, being with your friends, and the quilting peace as you complete your creations.
A Quilter's Lament …
submitted by Crystal Rathbun, Sundance, WY.
I love beautiful fabrics, I hoard them
I spend hours and hours oohing & aahing over them
They look so lovely in my stash on the shelf
I consider them my treasures, my pleasures, my wealth.
There are patterns and designs to play games with my mind
Weaving their mystery time after time
With loving stitches for loved ones and friends
A never end to the expression it lends.
There are Batiks and Modas, a challenge that's true
Those of the 30s and Depression, too
Like an artists' palette, imagination takes shape
And, I've decided once more, a new quilt I'll make.
So, out comes the library of books full of patterns
I've hoarded and saved all those that matter.
Decisions, decisions, what one shall I make?
One of beauty, make no mistake.
But, then there's that box sitting high on the shelf
Labeled 'Possible Quilt' and I say to myself –
What must I have been thinking – Did my mind go astray?
Oh – I'll make something lovely with it one day.
There is no such thing as a Butt-Ugly quilt
It's only because I am laden with guilt
That I find myself in this state of mind
What do I see when I look one last time?
A missing link that's been there all the time.
I'll add an embellishment and my thoughts will unwind.
It's beautiful now, I'm sure you'll agree
I can show it with pleasure now, for all to see.
What a great legacy I'll leave behind
To leave to my children, a small piece of me.
And, go on to grace heaven with pieces so fine
To God give the glory – A talent gave He
Check this one out!
You can now turn simple clip-art into fantastic features on your next quilt. Amazing Designs has done it again with great new collections added to their line up of embroidery designs. The newest in the collections are Carousel Animals, Jacobean Appliqué, Favorite Phrases and All About Mom. You’ll find these releases and images by going to: www.AmazingDesigns.com.
Are you looking for fun new ways to personalize your embroidery design work?
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