Monday, August 24, 2015

Why Am I Not Quilting?

August’s Pueblo West Quilters program was 145 Days Till Christmas. Now it's 122 days and counting…..

That countdown has begun … do I panic now?
And here’s why …

Live your life just the way you are.

For instance, a Cactus Kilter Quilter I know doesn’t function well in heat.
Cactus doesn’t like the hot weather?
I know!!! Weird! But that’s the life for CKQ.
So she doesn’t quilt during this time. That’s okay.
But her ideas are flowing so she carries a graph paper notebook and sketch out her ideas.

The 145 Ideas Till Christmas got me started on 

What other Quick Projects can I do in a Pinch 

It’s not so much as I gotta start quilting now as much as it’s time to gather things together and make kits so I can make the gifts later. 

This concept ties in with the Fall Cleaning, Back-To-School prepping, and organizing transitions. You know you do it even though you &/or your kids haven’t been in school for years!!! The seasonal rhythm is ingrained. That habit you thought you’ve conquered? Hah! Acknowledge it, use it or say I’m sooo over this habit and move on.

Oh! Here’s a BRILLIANT idea!
The kits could be the gift!

This is brilliant because another CKQ tends to lose things, only to rediscover them long after the intended occasion has past. So, having a complete kit: fabric, notions, directions & pictures/sketches when CKQ finds it is great because it’s all there ready to go! If you want to, take it a step further by cutting the fabric and labelling the pieces.  (A gift for oneself works for me!)

Ideas: Let’s begin with PW Quilters August’s ideas…

Portable Ironing Pad
Can you imagine buying an iron for someone and making a portable ironing pad and an iron carrier for her? Or, same concept but a curling iron and case for a teenager?

Padded square box
Coffee mug cozy
Mason jar with Pin cushion top

Snap-closure pouches
The snap closure pouch uses a steel tape measure so be careful when cutting and rounding the ends. Also, lock the tape in place before cutting and easy access for the next cut.
Otherwise, you’ll need a screwdriver and a 4 year-old … just saying ….

Quilt kits: This year the guild’s unofficial theme is Scrappy so let’s go wild with Scrappy Happy.
Do you have fabric leftovers – big and small? Why not repurpose them and create quilt kits? Find a pattern or better yet, design your own pattern. Can you imagine your surprise when you rediscover this quilt kit on December 24th when you need that special gift?

Did you see Helen Cherry’s President’s Quilt? She took different blocks of multiple sized and somehow created a quilt that looks as though it came from a kit! How’d she do that? (I called her after writing this and found out. I digress... will report later so stay tuned.)

Other ideas:
Remember, gifts can be for daily use, Special Occasions, Holidays or Seasonal.

Wall hangings
Pillow Shams
Quilter’s Traveler’s Kit

Have a shape-cutting system? Make blocks kits (Sets of 12/24) or, instead of a Cookie Exchange, have a Fabrics Shapes Exchange. You do realize you can spin these ideas to create your own, don’t you? You already thought about having a Fabric Exchange just by reading Fabrics Shapes Exchange, didn’t you?
One CKQ wants a stripping party … fabric strips exchange …

Sewing kit for each machine. (Idea from a CKQ from earlier this year)
Create a set of cards for all occasions. Hint: get quality envelopes and request hand-cancelling at the post office. Ohhhhh, what about Flower Cards &/or holders for bouquets?

And don’t forget to keep your eyes open for ideas outside the fabric shop. Organizing containers are at fishing, hardware, and lumber stores; and even the grocery store. Check their prices. Wait for sales and clearance sales.
After all, you have time to track the best deals.

More Ideas:

Countdown (Advent) calendar
Circular purses
Table runners
Pin cushions

Does this get your juices flowing?

Ideas are great but acting on them is another BRILLIANT idea!

That’s an issue for some CKQs so this is one time I recommend to adjust my earlier phrase

Live your life just the way you are…  
with action toward completion.

Remember, making a list doesn’t mean  the job is done. It’s only the beginning of a great relationship …

Cactus Kilter Quilter

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Breast Cancer Awareness Quilt

Remember back in May when we decided to create Evie's Block to make a Breast Cancer Awareness quilt?
Well, the due date is fast approaching! Bring your pink and white Evie’s Blocks, I mean, units to the August 3rd meeting.

Stack a white-on-white (W) fabric on a pink (P) fabric for a quick cutting technique. If the fabric widths are 42”+, you can use one 2 ½” strip of each fabric. Or 8” x 16” of each fabric. (A fat quarter will produce two Evie’s Block or 4 units!)

Cut from each fabric:
2: 6 ½” x 2 ½” strips
3: 2 ½” x 2 ½” squares
3: 7” x 2 ½” strips
2 ½” squares: PWP & WPW  into 2 ½” x 6 ½” sections
7”strips: WPW & PWP into 7” x 6 ½” sections

Sew into Units:
Unit 1: 6 ½” P strip + 2 ½” PWP section + 7” WPW section + 6 ½” W strip.  
Unit 1 Negative: 6 ½” W strip + 2 ½” WPW section + 7” PWP section + 6 ½” P strip.

Unfinished size: 6 ½” x 13” using ¼” seam allowances.
Keep the units separate and bring to the August PWQuilters’ meeting. The quilt will be a mix & match assembly quilt.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

July 2015

123 Days

if anyone's counting...

until the Big Reveal!!!

That's how many days until November 2, 2015 when the 2015 Quilt Challenge is showcased. How's your challenge coming? What do you mean it's not done? Oh wait! The final piece of the puzzle will be revealed on July 6th at the monthly PWQ meeting. My bad....

To keep you on your toes, before the July meeting begins, a sharp dresser, I mean, a dress sharpener, ... 
No, no, no... I know a guy ... he's coming to sharpen scissors and knives ... if they're dull or someone used them for non-fabric cutting activities ...I'm not mentioning names Cactus Kilter Quilter's kin... 
Cost: $4/scissor, long blades cost extra; and knives are $.35/inch.

Half the year's gone!

How's your Quilts To-Do List? 

On track, behind, or ahead? 
Grab a glass of iced tea and look at your Quilts To-Do List. Make the necessary adjustments. It's okay to revise, rethink things. Do you need to add a birthday gift, holiday quilt, or surprise wedding/baby quilt to the list? Do you need to subtract a project because you're just not into it? Pack it up, and store it - if you're planning to finish it within X years or put it on the Give&Take table at your next meeting. Someone else might want to finish your UFQs.

LUV Quilts

Have you made your mandatory 16 LUV/Wounded Warrior quilts for the year? 

What do you mean, mandatory?
 Oh, you caught that, did you? CKQ is still keeping you on your toes... 
CKQ's such a liar! 
LUV quilts and Wounded Warrior quilts are made because the quilter wants  to make them. Period. When a quilt is done, bring it to the next PWQ meeting you attend, share it with the quilters and the quilt will travel into the arms of one who needs continuous hugs. 
Pueblo West Quilters held a couple Sew Days to create LUV/WW quilts using donated fabric and the Scrappity-do-dah pattern. Remember, you can have personal Sew Days to make LUV/WW quilts.

Look into your past to see what you've accomplished or need to complete. 
Look toward your future to see what you need to create. 
Be in the moment to do what needs to be done.

Cactus Kilter Quilter

PS. Don't forget about the LUV pillowcases! I mean, where's one to put their head when they're snuggling under a LUV quilt?!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Go with the Flow
Go Confidently in the Direction of your Dreams

Quilters are in the dream-making business. They inspire themselves to create quilts for beds, walls, art, furniture, window-treatments, and clothing. Quilters set trends, follow trends, and skip trends with their quilts. They invent tools for creating quilts to relieve stress, streamline techniques, and heighten their passion. Meetings and workshops, retreats and solidary events have quilters creating and making quilts in all shapes and sizes.
President Lisa Mollenhauer mentioned her goal is to go with the flow. Go with the Flow is an excellent anthem to remind ourselves to not take things seriously because one quilter’s way of doing something may spring an idea for you to enhance your own quilting experiences. And vice versa. Don’t be shy to share your knowledge and struggles. Because you know CKQ will do something to take the spotlight off of you and onto that huge quilting stitch on her quilt. So what if it’s on the back? Some tiny finger will wiggle under it and grin with drool gushing from his mouth as if he’s discovered that greatest find of all times.
Oh yeah, there are times to be serious; but most times, it’s time to giggle and share.
Quilters are the Dream Team.
Quilters also makes - no, forces - others to dream too. Quilters make quilts for people so they can drift off and dream their own dreams. People stroke quilts and memories erupt from their brains like dream-lifeboats of past events bringing a glow of happiness from their thoughts.
When people see quilted art hanging on the walls or in a 3D form, their creative juices are triggered and solutions to a nagging problem come to surface. Ideas form, expanding their passions and turn their dreams into concrete goals.
2015 LUV Quilt: Scrappity-Do-Dah
2015 will have a scrappy thread weaving through the Pueblo West Quilters meetings and events. Lisa loves scrappy quilts and has a flare for color combos in her quilts. She isn’t the only scrappy quilter on the Board. The PWQ Board selected the Scrappity-Do-Dah quilt as 2015’s LUV quilt pattern. Can you imagine what great dreams these LUV quilts will produce? Why, the future president of USA might be snuggling under one of these quilts.
Check out these websites for inspiration:

Basically, take a square fabric and cut on one diagonal. Insert a strip of fabric, trim the edges true and that’s the Lattice Block. Tips: Whatever the width of the strip, add that amount to the diagonal measurement to get the length measurement of the strip. For assembly of the block, finger-press each triangle in half along the diagonal to find the midpoint. Fold the strip lengthwise to find the midpoint and match press marks for stitching. This way you’ll have enough of the strip hanging out at each end to square up your block. Oh and put the triangle piece on the bottom when stitching so the feed-dogs can ease in the “bias stretching” without too much distortion.
Bias siding…
Speaking of distortion, remember those 2015 Resolutions (Challenges in CKQ’s case) you made about having a healthier lifestyle? Have you considered rearranging your studio so you can take a few extra steps to your iron? What about using your iron to pump up your arms? Overhead? Off to your side? In front? Back? I recommend using a cold iron just in case your muscles haven’t warmed up and your iron slides through your fingers and presses into the floor. Or worse … creases your big toe!
Have a pin spillage? Grab a magnet between your toes and pick up the pins while standing still. Raise the magnet with your foot and grab it with your opposite hand. Empty the magnet and repeat with your other foot. Great for your balance and toning your core. And yes, holding onto to the furniture is a must. Can you imagine the pain you’d experience if you lost your balance in mid-progress and you dropped the magnet, your bare foot goes to the nearest rebalance point - the floor – and you step on pins!!! Oy!
Exercise is a must to keep us limber so use what you have as equipment. Don’t forget to bend your knees and life with your legs when it comes to the heavy stuff like your sewing machine. Two reasons: one, you don’t want to throw your back out because you have a lot of quilting fun lined up to do. Two, your equipment is expensive so maintain it. Speaking of which, when was the last time your equipment had its tune-up?
January’s Block of the Month: Friendship Star Block
January’s Block of the Month is the Friendship Star Block and you have to autograph your block!!! I mean, what’s a Friendship quilt empty of the well-wishes from your friends?
Here’s a website for construction:
Colors are green and white with a twist: the center square is white, the star tips are green, and the background is a different green. It’s your choice whether the background is darker than the star tips or lighter than the star tips. A modern twist to this traditional block. Unfinished block size is 12.5” x 12.5”.
The Wounded Warrior Blocks are red and white, or blue and white; and if you want, add an uplifting message to the center block square. (Ironing a piece of freezer paper to the back will give the square stability when you use a fine point, permanent marker.)
Quilters are in the dream-making business.
Dream Big.
Go with the Flow and Make Quilts.

Cactus Kilter Quilter