Monday, December 19, 2011

Sewing Outside the Line

Several months ago, a new group called the "Out-of-Line Quilters" came into being. We're just seven stitchers who wanted to get together as a group to help each other stretch our artistic quilting skills. As our first project, we decided to challenge each other to create something beautiful out of what some of us might consider to be "ugly" fabric. Of course, "ugly" is in the eye of the beholder.

We drew names and then gave the other quilter four fabrics that were out of her usual comfort zone. A recognizable amount of at least two of the fabrics had to be used in the final project. We were free to add other fabrics and embellishments as we saw fit. The only other limitation was that the quilt could be no longer than 16 inches on any one side.

What you see in the above photo are six of the seven finished pieces. The seventh piece didn't make it to the photo shoot because the creator was kind enough to stay home and not share her cold germs with the rest of us. But you can see and read about the seventh piece on Susan's blog here. And be sure to read about Madalene's on her blog here. Anya shares the story of her quilt on her blog here. Perhaps non-bloggers Peggi, Dori, Nancy, and Louise can be talked into writing about their process here on this blog.

We all agreed that this was a great way to start off with our group and our creative minds are already working on our next project.  What will that be?...We'll let you see the results in a couple of months.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"The Perfect Iron" saga continues...

Seems like everyone has been blogging about their search for the "perfect iron". Most, like me, have a graveyard of old castoff irons. We've tried every brand available, including the expensive so-called "best" ones on the market (we won't mention any names). Still, they spit water all over our fabric, leak from places they shouldn't, and fail to heat up like they should. And so, the search goes on...

I'm here today to tell you about my latest purchase (and this is just my own individual opinion - no one has encouraged me to post this, so please take it as such and make up your own mind.)
I just bought (or rather, my dear hubby bought it for me as an early Christmas gift) a Reliable V50. I first read about this iron on the IHAN blog and it sounded too good to be true. An iron that pumps out lots of steam, but doesn't leak??? Yeah, right - I've heard that before! I was hesitant to try yet another iron, but Kelly assured me that they really are as "Reliable" as their name says, so I decided to give it a try. I have to tell you that so far, I'm really amazed! Because this iron has an internal steam generator, you can get steam at any temperature - and without spitting! You can also operate it dry, but just have to push one button to start the steam flow, then push it again when you're done and the steam stops. So simple! And talk about steam!!! Besides quilting, I also make bags and purses and need lots of steam to shape these bags. This iron sure does the job! (Just make sure that you only turn on the steam when you need it, because if you leave it sitting and steaming, you'll go through lots and lots of water - might even steam up the windows in your sewing room!)

And like most quilters, you probably hate the auto-off feature on your irons. Every time you get up to press a seam, the iron has turned itself off (again!) and you have to wait for it to re-heat. Well, Reliable has taken care of that problem too! You can override the auto-off function by holding the steam button down for 8 seconds. Now the auto-off function is disabled until you unplug the iron. It's the best of both worlds!

If you'd like to read Kelly's review on the IHAN blog, you can find it here.
Happy Ironing!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Eye of the Quilter- Houston

One of the features of the Houston International Quilt Festival is a photographic exhibit called "The Eye of the Quilter" which shows how quilters look at the world. Many of us use our photos in our quilts or make quilts inspired by our photos. Last year the exhibit theme was 'Reflections' and I submitted a photo of a zebra in a water hole which was accepted into the exhibit. This year the theme was 'Friendship' and I sent a photo I took in Tanzania last year when a Maasai herdsman took my husband by the hand to inspect his herd of animals. I just got word that it will be in this year's exhibit in Houston. Neither of these images has led to quilts yet, but I might need to consider the possibility!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Come One, Come All

Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild member Gretchen F. plays one of the lead roles in this wonderful play...
Check Hamilton-Gibson Productions' website for details on tickets.

I hear there are quilts on stage....

Grace and Glorie from Hamilton Gibson on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Scrappy Linus Quilts

I used green and yellow scraps to make two quilts for the guild's Linus Quilt Outreach.
The top quilt was made with leftover blocks from the lower quilt. I found that pattern in an April 2008 McCall's Quilting magazine, designed by Holly Holderman.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Another UFO Takes Off!

Just finished this little quilt to give to friends moving away from Wellsboro. We'll miss them and a quilt might remind them of us. It's a good example of why quilters need a stash! I bought this nice floral stripe several years ago, thinking of some sort of simple and traditional layout. Then I took Dianne Kuhns' class at the lake house on the machine made Cathedral Window blocks. In my stash I found a background that's more golden than it looks here, and two each of green, blue, yellow and rose, taking the colors in the stripe's flowers. The center of the four patch is made using the Cathedral Window technique, so it 3D. I found enough beige for the background and inserted two floral strip pieces to make it wide enough. Nice to have another project out of the closet and on its way.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Great Opportunity

Well-known art quilter Laura Wasilowski will be presenting a program at the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild's meeting on Friday June 3rd at 7PM in the fellowship hall of the First Presbyterian Church on Main Street in Wellsboro, PA. The meeting and Laura's program are free to the public. Come for what is sure to be a very enjoyable evening! Visitors are always welcome! There may even be a spot or two available for her workshop on Saturday.

You can learn more about Laura on her website or blog.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Many Hands Make A Cool Quilt!

Edited: The squares in the individual bingo blocks were made and arranged as shown in this link.

This WIP is a joint effort by members of the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild here in north-central Pennsylvania. These 20 (or maybe 24 -- I can't remember) blocks were made by guild members for a quilt bingo game at a guild meeting a couple of years ago. After the meeting, all the blocks were collected and put away for a future charity project. Some were made into placemats and table toppers, but these remained.

A couple of weeks ago, at a guild charity sewing day, Barb and Lynn sewed the blocks together into rows, Peggi then added the black sashing and border and now Angie is working on the quilting.

Once the binding is on, the quilt will go to someone in the community in need of comfort. And all those involved in making it can feel good about what they've accomplished. Nice job, ladies!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lynn's New Barn Quilt

After many many months I have successfully completed my first barn quilt, which my husband promised me it would be on my garden barn by May 1st. Due to the weather this spring the quilt was completed on my dining room table! Enjoy

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Eye Candy -- Jane Stickle Style

Want to see these and more in person? Here's your chance if you're anywhere in the Wellsboro, PA area on Monday April 18th.

This month's program, "An Evening with the Laurel Janes", at the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild meeting will be presented by the "founding mothers" of the MLQG Laurel Janes, Nancy S. and Dori S.

The Laurel Janes group was inspired by a quilt (based on a Civil-War era quilt by Jane Stickle) seen by guild members at the March 2008 Quilters Heritage Celebration show in Lancaster. Nancy and Dori will take you on a journey through the history of the original quilt and the Laurel Janes group, sharing many photos of the group's gatherings and work. Many of the completed quilts or works in progress by the group's members will be there for all to "ooh" and "ahh" over in person. It promises to be a very inspiring evening, even if you have no interest in ever making a Jane Stickle quilt of your own. But who knows, by the time the evening is over, perhaps you'll find yourself wanting to join the group as well!

The meeting starts at 7PM on April 18th at the Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center located at 134 Main Street in Wellsboro.

The guild meeting is free and all visitors are welcome.

If you would like to know a bit more about the Laurel Janes ahead of time, check out the "Mini-groups" link on the MLQG website (

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Easter Welcome Banner

I made this Easter Rabbit on a speckled egg background to use on my Changing Seasons banner. This is a pattern/kit from Cotton Ginnys that comes with changeable designs for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I want to create designs for other seasons of the year and am drawing on 35 years of making bulletin boards for my elementary classroom to give me some simple designs to use.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Baby Quilt

This quilt is for my first grandson who is expected to arrive in March. The pattern is from Debbie Mumm's Project Kids book and features ears and bowties that stand out from the background. All the fabrics except the bear border print came from my stash.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Quilt Scraps

You may remember the "Black & Tan" quilt I blogged about last month. The colors and design of this quilt really appealed to me so I decided to take it a step further. First, I jumped on the "Mug Rug" bandwagen and made one as a little gift for my hubby. At least he can't say I've made a quilt for everyone but him now! It looks so much better next to his computer than the old paper napkin he was using...
I had so much fun with that little quilt that I just kept right on going, cutting more scraps, and made an 8"x10" mini-quilt. I've decided to donate this to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative for their quilt auctions. Susan has been blogging about this for a while now, and I finally decided to give it a try.

If you haven't made a little AAQI quilt before, I highly recommend it. It's so much fun working on such a tiny scale, and it's a great way to use up those scraps. This quilt cost me nothing except an afternoon of my time, and it was so cold yesterday (14 below zero here) that you can bet I wasn't about to go outdoors! Much nicer in my warm cozy sewing room!
I hope it does well in the auction...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Guest Speaker

The Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild of Wellsboro, PA welcomes Kelly Jackson of the online store I Have a Notion as our guest speaker on Monday, January 17th at 7PM at the Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center on Main Street. Kelly will be showing us some of the newest quilting gadgets on the market and will also have some items for sale after her presentation. Visitors are welcome.