Monday, January 24, 2011

Designing a Quilt

I took a quilt drafting class last weekend and I really enjoyed it.  I learned how to look at a picture and draw the pattern so that I could then make it using fabric.  I learned how to tell if a pattern or block is a 3 by 3 or 5 by 5 type of block, simply by looking at the picture. It was so simple once the teacher put it into words and pointed things out on the page, or the block.
The teacher, Diana Bradley, is a local quilt shop owner. Her shop, The Quilt Zone, is new but I love the industrial loft layout of the shop and the individual tables she has for classes.  But I digress. She made it sound so easy to take a picture of a quilt and transfer it to fabric.  
We covered how to determine if what the leg and hypotenuse of a triangle or square is simply by knowing the layout of the block. If the block is a 12-inch block and is a 3 by 3, then the leg of the corner square is 4 inches. She gave us the magic numbers for finding the hypotenuse or diagonal of a square to figure out flying geese and half square triangles, as well as some tips on cutting and sewing with bias edges.  We drew some blocks and looked at others dividing them and determining the legs and hypotenuse of squares, half square triangles, and triangles, and flying geese for different size blocks.
We also discussed adding seam allowances and the different secrets to triangles when cutting them. One very important thing to remember is to add your seam allowances after you draw your pattern, before you cut it from fabric.   
At first my head was spinning trying to follow her, but as we went along the picture cleared and it all made sense. At the end of class I told her to let me know if she did an advanced class, because I was hooked and ready to learn more.
I also learned that large sheets of graph paper are very expensive.
I am planning a new quilt as I type looking at the lines in my head and seeing how two different blocks might form an additional pattern.  I will let you know what I come up with and how it translates to fabric.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Quilting Friends, Classes, and Shopping

I had a wonderful weekend with my quilting friends. Friday night we meet at the quilt store for our monthly quilting group.  There are four of us who go together, Sally, Jan, Lisa, and I, but the class is actually about 16 ladies who all get together. We pay a small fee to meet there and bring what ever we are working on to sew. There is a teacher who is there to answer questions or help when needed.
This month I brought a Yellow Brick Road I am working on for advice on an inner border.  The quilt is a gift, but I cannot say whom it is for, as I do not want to spoil the surprise. I love all the suggestions and help that everyone gives. I had a fun time.

The four of us had already signed up for another session of this class which started Friday night, and three of us have also signed up for the Piecework by Hand class, which meets once a month and is hopefully going to get me moving on my applique projects. I have several in various stages and need to get them done.  Sally, Jan, and I are also doing a marathon in February to get more things done and Sally and I are doing another in March. Sally and I are taking a tote bag class in February, so now I need to find a jelly roll or Bali pop, or go through my stash and cut strips to prep for it.

On Saturday one of my friends picked me up and we made the rounds of the three quilt stores here in town.  We went to Quilt Tree where we each purchased quilt kits that we wanted as it was class sale day and they were discounted 20%. We had already signed up for classes the day sign ups opened, which was a good thing because the classes we wanted were all full by the class sale day. I also bought some new quilting gloves.  Sally bought her two kits and a machine needles.
From there we headed over to the newest store in town for class sign ups, The Quilt Zone. We signed up for the February mystery, which is called Black Tie, along with another friend, Lisa. Sally and I also signed up for what is called Get'er Done. It is a work session where you bring in those projects you need to get done, or want ideas on so you can get them done. I also signed up to take Basic Drafting for Quilters.  I want to try my hand at drafting a quilt.  I have several designed on paper, but I have to translate them to fabric and to do that I need to learn how to draft a pattern.  I am looking forward to this class.  While we were there I bought the backing for the Yellow Brick Road, and some Aurifil thread, an awl, a book on drafting quilts, and one of the Buggy Barn quilt books.  I love the buggy barn quilt patterns, but I give them my look with bright colors and wild prints. This book has the tractors on the cover.

Once we were done there, we said goodbye to Lisa and headed over to Seams Like Home. None of the classes interested us, but with fabric on sale we had to look around and I found a wonderful fabric to use for applique backgrounds, so bought the 2 7/8 yards that was left on the bolt at 20% off.  I also bought some of the stuff you can use in potholders to keep from burning your hands, Insulbrite. (Thank you hm for giving me the name.) I cannot think of the name of the stuff at the moment, and a couple yards of cute Christmas fabric at 40% off. Sally also bought some Christmas fabric.

From there we stopped to grab a bite to eat before heading home.  It was a fun day with one of my favorite people.

When I got home I started reorganizing my sewing room, but that is another story, for another day.