Yesterday, my friend Jane, and I went to Inspirations (quilt shop) in Hills, IA, for the monthly Breakfast Club, which is the 3rd Saturday each month at 9 Am. Quilters bring their own breakfast and drink, see new items demonstrated, hear shop news, and have a show and tell time. It's always a fun time getting together with other quilters and sharing what we're working on. It's a lively group and while some were missing, new ones took their place. It's a good cover story to give your husband too..."Honey, I'm going to the Breakfast Club on Saturday." It sounds so innocent instead of saying "honey, I'm going to the quilt shop Saturday", when he knows full well if you go you will shop! He may not be fooled for long, but if it works the first few times, then, hey, it's worth it. Of course, it helps if you don't go home and carry your purchases in immediately....that's what the car trunk was invented for! Wait till hubby is gone or not paying attention, then bring in your goodies. Once those fabrics are refolded and nestled amongst their "sisters" in your sewing room, he'll never even notice!
Following the Breakfast Club I taught a class on my newest pattern, Fields of Blue and Gray. It's a 2 block quilt, one having some paper-pieced sections and one is easy assembly of squares and rectangles. A funeral kept 3 ladies away, but it was still a good-sized group of 8 enthusiastic quilters. Only 2 had prior paper-piecing experience, but the others caught on quickly. Despite the pattern's name there was a variety of fabric choices in the group. One chose to do hers using all scraps. It's her quilt, her choice. There's never a wrong way to make a quilt, just your way, whatever works for you. We talked about quarter inch seam allowances and I said everyone's 1/4" varies. It's more important to be consistent in your seam allowance throughout the entire quilt than to stress over whether it's a true 1/4". I told my students that I didn't use a rotary cutter till they had been on the market for 5 years because I had always used templates. The use of templates isn't "wrong", just a different method for achieving the same results. I happily use my rotary cutter now and haven't used a template in 15 years. I don't get hung up on how someone makes a quilt as long as they are making quilts! It was a fun-filled day of teaching and sharing and making new quilt friends. Any day quilting is a good day to me. I hope you had a "good" day today!
PS....Here are some pictures from my class:
Paper-pieced block done, now hard at work on second block.
One sister says to the other, "This is what your block should look like!"
This is the look of a happy quilter when her block comes out exactly 10 1/2" square!
I've been an avid quilter since 1971. I love history, especially the Civil War Era. I've collected antique quilts, tops, and "orphan" blocks since 1975. Beginning in 2005 I started giving presentations on the Civil War and its affects on quilters and the textile industry. I received many requests for patterns of the reproduction quilts I've made for my display. In August, 2009, I started my business, Orphans of War. Inspired by my collection, I produce Civil War reproduction quilt patterns along with a story attached based on historical facts and sentimental legend passed down through the generations following the war. I try to imagine the original quilt maker's intentions; then interpret it in a Civil War style. My hope is to inspire others to sew reproduction quilts and learn more about the Civil War Era at the same time.