Cheri Chatter

Cheri Chatter

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Serenity Slide Show

After piecing a complicated quilt top, I'm ready for something that goes together quickly. I just completed a lap quilt that fits the bill.

It's the second quilt I've made using Japanese-style taupe fabrics from the Serenity line by Cara Collections. I love these fabrics. Thay are soft and elegant in tones of teal, rose, charcoal and cocoa. A great match for the simplicity of the pattern - Slide Show by Terry Atkinson.

Terry's patterns are becoming my "go to" choice for when I need something fun and fast. Her instructions are well written, fat quarter friendly and forgiving. No cut off points! The final results look more time-intensive than they actually are, so the non-quilters in your life won't know the difference.

Serenity Slide Show is now hanging at Glad Creations as a shop sample. It looks even better in person, so go check it out.

I'm now ready for a new and challenging project. Let's see. How about a miniature quilt with 3/4" finished squares?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Life is Good

Four years ago I retired from a 35-year career in local government, It was hard work that was always challenging and often rewarding. Three months later, I landed my dream job - working at Glad Creations Quilt Block.

At Glad's I'm continually surrounded by color and inspiration while getting paid to fondle fabric. In four years of "quilt college" I've learned enough for a bachelor's degree in quiltmaking. As an added bonus, I've gained muscle (aka buns of steel) from schlepping bolts of cotton up and down stairs.

How does it get better than this? I'll tell you. This past spring I started volunteering with a sewing group at Little Earth of United Tribes. Little Earth is a Native American housing development in south Minneapolis that offers a number of on-site services to its community. One of those is the Domestic Abuse Project whose leader, Cindy, started the sewing circle.

We have girls and women of all ages working on various sewing projects from curtains and quilts to beadwork and dance regalia. I couldn't ask for a more interesting and fun group of fellow stitchers.

One of my all-time favorite quilt designs is the Lone Star. Since it is also a favorite (and sacred) design for Native people, we spend a good amount of time perfecting our skill in making Star quilts. As you may know, it isn't the most forgiving pattern what with all the bias edges and inset seams. But practice makes perfect.

Here's the Star quilt Cindy made for her son, Jedidiah, a returning Iraq ogichida (warrior). One of the fabrics includes a Marine Corps insignia. Cindy incorporated small flags and lettering between the star points. Isn't it beautiful?

I've found my element. For three hours each week we share food and laugh hard, learn from and encourage each other, and sew up a storm.

It truly doesn't get any better than that!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Taking Stock

A year ago I decided to get a grip on my burgeoning quilt projects. I organized, categorized, and counted them. I made lists. (I love making lists. Once, I even made a list of lists I'd like to make.)

Most importantly, I listed the quilts I wanted to complete for the year starting 9/1/08. (It kind of coincides with the school year and assumes I'll be in summer school, too.) My To Do list was ambitious: 24 quilts in 12 months. It included a few new, yet-to-be-identified projects I knew would creep into my sewing room. Two quilts a month is not realistic, but I figure if I shoot for the moon, I might hit Omaha.

Instead, I think I hit Dallas. From September '08 to September '09 I completed 13 quilts and made serious progress on half a dozen more. On the flip side, I replaced them with new projects now clamoring for my attention. (I hear them hollering at me from behind the closed - and latched - closet door.)

After taking stock of my accomplishments, I made a new list of the quilts I want to finish by next September. So far there are twenty. Once again, I'm aiming for the moon. This time I hope to hit Mexico City!