Friday, April 18, 2014

APRIL 2014

NEVER say no when receiving someone’s sewing stash – take what your want and pass it on!
Scrap quilts only breed more scraps.

Cactus Kilter Quilter got tipsy at the Pueblo West Quilters’ April meeting. CKQ still hasn’t recovered and doesn’t plan to. She loves being tipsy. Read further to see why…

The perfect companion beside your sewing machine is a pair of tweezers.
Change your needle OFTEN.

April Block of the Month is the Star of Stripes block. Sandy Strickland decided we need to remember the past by sewing Y-seams and this block is full of them! Also, she requested using the 1930’s prints. You know, small printed fabrics, generally with white in them.
On a solid white background, the chevron star will be made of red, yellow, and blue strips.
Finding a tutorial was a challenge. Cactus Kilter Quilter had to go back to the 1930’s to … well, no. but it felt like it until CKQ reminded me to break down the pattern. It’s an 8-pointed star block, with stripes. Here’s a picture of the block but the blue and red stripes are reversed. The picture shows the spinning going counter-clockwise and Sandy’s pattern has it going clockwise.
Hold on. I’ll see if I can track down the directions… talk amongst yourselves until I get back …
It’s taking longer than I imagined so here’s a link to making an 8-pointed star with Y-seams. Did I mention this tutorial is for hand-piecing left-handers?

4: 4.75” x 4.75” solid white fabric
2: 5.25” x 5.25” solid white fabric, then cut on the diagonal to make triangles for a total of 4 triangles from the 2 squares.
From the Blue, Yellow, and Red 1930’s fabrics, cut one 1.5” x 42” (WOF) strip for each color. Sew the strips together => 3.5” x 42”.
Cut into eight pieces using a 45 degree angle, 4.75” long. Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds. A CKQ’s best friend!
Use the links above to assemble the star.
This makes a 15” x 15” finished block so the quilt assembly will be fast! Not the block. Pesty Y-seams. But the block will have large seamless, negative spaces for quilting.

Rulers with thin lines have better accurate measurements than rulers with thick lines. Just saying
For a quick baby quilt, use the pages of a baby’s cloth book for the squares. Use a contrasting fabric sashing to unify the blocks.

Mystery Quilt Challenge, Part 3

Back by demanding CKQs, Becky gave us the next set of instructions. (See the attachment from the President’s newsletter for continuing instructions.)

Version 1:
Note that this is for a regular flying geese block. Becky had us using the half-triangle squares for the purple squares (dark triangle pointing inward.) to create two triangles in the corners.

Version 2:
Half-square Triangle Picture (Just in case you forgot last month’s instructions.)
Flying Geese Assembly Pictures
Caveat: Instead of using the gold batik fabric, replace with your half-square triangles, with the dark triangle pointing toward the center.
Trim to 3.25” x 6” rectangles.

Becky explained an easy way to trim the sides. Align the ruler at the 3” line with the center of the rectangle (This line bisects the large flying goose tip.)  
To trim the top by aligning the 3” center line and pulling the ruler down until the .25” line intersects at the goose’s tip.

Now for the very, very important tip of the month….
Don’t get confused with aligning the ruler at the 3” mark for the tip with it being the same measurement as the width.
The final split-flying geese rectangle size is 3.25” x 6”.

After you’ve align your ruler’s .25” with the large goose point and cut the first (top) edge; for the last step, be sure to measure 3.25” from the top edge and NOT 3”, when cutting the parallel bottom edge.
3.25” x 6” is your dimensions, not 3”x6”. Ask me how I know this. Just ask me.
And yes, it was in the morning, before work, so I was awake. The Cactus Kilter Quilter kept whispering Cut it, cut it, cut it. So I did, even after double-checking my lines.
CKQ is still laughing.
CKQ has some possible ideas about what the quilt block’s going to look like. Have you? Can’t wait until next month for the conclusion of the Mystery Quilt’s Instructions.

Love broccoli? Use the blue rubber band as a gripper. Wrap it around your sewing machine wheel, wrap it around your finger as a needle grabber, or – CKQ shook her head – use it as a tourniquet when the blood gushes…
Speaking of gushing blood, when you get your blood drawn, ask for the band they use to wrap around your arm. That’s a gripper too.

The PWQ Board presented the program – have you guessed it? Tips. What tips do you use and love? The Board entertained us with their fast-paced, assembly-lined tips and provided paper to capture them. Fortunately, they gave us take-home pizza boxes filled with the tips. And M & Ms.

Set up a towel bar next to your sewing machine. Hang your cut strips over it to prevent wrinkles and it’s handy to pull off one strip at a time.

Guess what? PWQ will be hosting CSC, Colorado Quilting Council, in October 2015. All hands on the quilting frame and a few others. The more the merrier. We’ll entertain quilters from all over the state as well as neighboring quilters so finish up those UFQs for the greatest Sew N Share ever. You have 17 months. CKQ thinks a few of you can start from scratch and create and finish 5 quilts in this time. If we can’t share our masterpieces at S-N-S, maybe a display of them can fill the halls and room…. Up for the challenge?

Not into make-up? Use make-up brushes to remove lint from the bobbin case in your machine.
After blow drying your hair, use the blow dryer to remove heat-removing marks from your quilt.

A nod to the Mystery Quilt Retreaters … A Cactus Kilter Quilter or two popped up at the event to encourage the two dozen quilters. CKQ spoke about waxing their cheese, sneaking men into the dorm rooms, and used Tired Old Ass Soak to ease her tense back muscles.

CKQ spoke on the phone, I do my best work at night.
Overhearing, CKQ’s date said, I can hardly wait.

Oh yes. The following indulgence is for adults only.
Rum Chatas Shots
4 oz. Instant Cheesecake Pudding
¾ c. milk
¾ c. Rum Chatas
Mix together. Fold in
8 oz. Cool Whip
Fill shot containers (1 oz. plastic containers with lids).
Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on top. Optional.
Freeze the shots.

Stop quilting for the day? Create a place marker with a contrasting fabric scrap attached to a safety pin and pin where you’ve stopped. Next quilting session, find the marker, remove it, and begin quilting.

Did you enjoy Pride City Quilt Guild’s Quilt show? Jean McDonald’s quilts were like having her life’s passion on display. CKQ took the time to read her plaques, learned about her life and what was happening in the world as Jean created these quilts. September 2001 is very poignant. History in the making on a personal level.
What about you? Have you taken the time to stroll through your quilts? I know – you haven’t had the opportunity to display all your quilts at one location. Or, you gave your quilts away as soon as the last stitch was knotted. Or, I don’t make showcase quilts. Or, --
CKQ is speaking about something more personal. Have you documented your work? Taken photographs? Chronicled about what’s happening in the world during the quilt’s creation? Saved scraps, patterns, and notes in a shoebox? Anything to bring back memories?
This is important! Do it now. Do it as you live. People want to know. Can you imagine having bits and pieces of your life in a museum? CKQ bets neither did the belongings of others who had their lives exposed at the museums. So make your life count. Record it the best way you know how.

Place LED flashlights around your studio. Focused lighting brings forth illumination.

Tipping is optional.
Cactus Kilter Quilter

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

MARCH 2014

It’s mad, I tell you, mad!
March Madness got the Cactus Kilter Quilter antsy. Snow and cold one day, sniffles and sneezing the pollen the next day.  Allergy season is poking its head up through the ground and CKQ wondered how can she contain all this snot?
Got scraps?
Turn them into fancy hankies. Or handkerchiefs if you have big scraps. Oh man, the CKQ is turning green! Eco-green! Sheesh! What were you thinking?
Snow day equates to Quilt Day.
Sniffles and Sneezing Day equates to Quilt Day with the new fancy hankies.
After all that snow, wind, and sneezing, the Cactus Kilter Quilter needs down time. What better time than to be one with her quilts? Whether you’re making them or snuggling under them, quilts provide wrap-around hugs whenever you need a hug.
March’s BOM is the Windmill Block.
 Imagine that! A windmill pattern for a windy month. It took CKQ a couple weeks to figure out that pun by Alta Swaine. She’s so clever. Here’s the website Alta discovered for us but notice she altered the dimensions for easier cutting and alignments:
Change the dimensions:
Color 1 (small flower print):  4”x16” strip => into four 4”x4” squares.
Color 2 (pastel solid/tone-on-tone):  4”x16” strip => into four 4”x4” squares.
Trim to 12.5” x 12.5” unfinished blocks.
It’s mad, I tell you, mad!
Speaking about mad, how’s your Mystery Challenge Quilt coming? Have you selected your fabric palette and cut out your pieces? Are you vomiting over your selections yet? The Cactus Kilter Quilter shook her head at my selections but I’m sticking to my palette. I know it’ll work. Trust me. (CKQ is breathing into a brown paper bag. I wonder if she’s ok…)
Becky Panariso stopped by to calm the March Madness. Several quilters brought their fabric selections for advice and the rest of us got Ah-Ha moments.
Mystery Challenge Quilt’s Second Step:
Take the 6”x6” small contrast squares and stitch the perimeter with a quarter inch seam allowance. Cut both diagonals (Do not move the square when cutting.) and press the seam allowance toward the darker fabric. Be careful when pressing since the edges are biased. No, they don’t express their opinions or are they prejudice. They just like to stretch, wiggle and warp so if you have spray starch available, it’ll keep those edges aligned and in formation. (It is March after all.)
Ah Ha! Detective Cactus Kilter Quilter figured out the Mystery Quilt Challenge is using triangles. Now if she can only figure out how the seven inch squares will fit with the three and six inch pieces…
Reversed Stitching comes to those whose mistakes will show …
Patty Dunnington ripped up a storm at the meeting with her quilting tip. She must be a quilting/sewing gadget collector because she had a lot of seam rippers. Cactus Kilter Quilter tried to sneak into her tin of rippers to obtain the favorite one, a battery-operated ….
Dirty minds, go get another cup of coffee.
Anywhoooo, Patty demonstrated using a mustache trimmer to reverse stitch. Several CKQs salivated over that device.

BIG, big news…
Jean McDonald is the featured quilter at the Pride City Quilt Show held in conjunction with Quilt & Stitch Expo of Pueblo on April 4th and 5th. Pop over to the Pueblo Heritage Museum to see her quilts as well as quilts from southern Colorado. It’s always inspiring and motivating. But leave your hands in your pockets. The urge to touch is great. Resist. And if you see a Cactus Kilter Quilter touching any of the quilts, contact a docent because if fifty people scold CKQ, she might get angry and pull a quilt off the wall to seek comfort. And if CKQ doesn’t have one of those new-fangled items – the scrappy hanky – she might get snot all over the quilt and well, let’s just avoid all that emotion by keeping our hands in our pockets. Okay?
Fusion Quilt Blocks Program
Cyndi McChesney gave a program on Fusion Quilt Blocks. Cactus Kilter Quilter thought she was going to demo using fusible webbing to create the blocks. All right! No sewing!!! It pays to read and listen because fusion is different than fusible.
Will the real fusion quilt block please stand up?
Fusion is when two quilt blocks collide at a very high speed and join to form a new block. It’s a block within a block, beside a block, or overlapping a block. The samples Cyndi showed are awe-inspiring. She broke down the quilts into bite-size pieces and explained it’s all about the blank space and balancing it with another pattern or partial pattern.
Community Sharing
A couple community gifting projects to showcase your talents are coming up. The annual Community Baby Shower hosted by the CSU-Pueblo Nursing Program will be held in May. Quilts, baby items, and pamper-the-Mom items will be collected at the May meeting to help Moms-to-be bring comfort for their little ones.
  The Alzheimer’s Association Art Auction will be held the end of May. This year, if you want, an offer to display the quilt that depicts the painting an Alzheimer Artist painted at the Quilt & Stitch Expo of Pueblo. This would give the Memories in the Making event more public exposure. Alzheimer’s is more than memory-forgetting, it’s a debilitating disease that destroys a person from the inside out.
Both of these community projects as well as PWQ’s on-going LUV quilts and pillowcase projects are a small way PWQ wraps the community in their quilts of love. If you have time, please contribute, this year and in future years.

The winds have kept the quilters cabin-bound by having the tumbleweeds blockade us in our homes. Only the brave ventures out in desperation for more fabric and threads. Let’s face it, our stashes are rapidly decreasing because of the snows, winds, and tumbleweeds.
Alert! Alert! Breaking News just in…
CKQ received information that the tumbleweeds are heading your way. Again! So stock up on your essentials and don’t forget to batten down the hatches. What do you mean, prepare for trouble?!!
Sorry, typo. CKQ meant get stock up on batting so you can finish your quilts.
It’s mad, I tell you, mad!

Quilting under the Attacking Tumbleweeds,
The Scratched Cactus Kilter Quilter