Sunday, February 21, 2016

Applique - Show & Tell

More applique blocks by Becky.

Last month I shared a block and the history of the Civil War Bride (A.K.A. Bird of Paradise) quilt I am currently working on (see the January 28 post).

Since then I have more blocks to share with you.

I never follow the pattern exactly, since I like to make it my own. Red-winged blackbirds do NOT have red on their tails, but the pattern did so I did it that way. I inked in some spots on their eggs after researching and learning their eggs have spots on the larger end.

The next two blocks are completely my own designs, and I'm very pleased with how they turned out. The original quilt has an elephant on it and I am not doing that block. Cardinals are our state bird, dogwood blossoms for our state tree and the owl is sitting on a beechnut branch on one of the trees on either side of our driveway entrance. Of course, the deer are in the woods behind our house.
The fabrics I'm using are mostly civil war era reproductions; however I have relied on Vicki Welsh's hand-dyed fabrics to add interest and a little spark to all the blocks. In the owl block, I used Vicki's fabric to make the owl's eyes, the gray beechnut tree branches, the red clay dirt the deer are standing on and the white tail on the doe. Her fabrics are wonderful for applique; not only for the color, but for the way they needle. You can find her fabric here.
I only have 2 more blocks and then on to the borders!  I have no idea what I'll do .  .  .but I'm thinking LOTS and LOTS of leaves - huge amounts of leaves, so next week at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival I'll be on the lookout for 'good' greens to add to my collection. Variety is the spice of life and quilts!

One more thing: I use freezer paper, starch and all my pieces are glued in place with Elmer's washable school glue, so the final step for each block is a nice long soak in the sink.

If anyone would like a demo or a hands-on class just leave a comment and we can do it on a Friday/Saturday sewing day.



Tuesday, February 9, 2016

February Block of the Month

Our block this month is called SQUARE DANCE. The pattern is from "Block - Idea Book" (vol. 2 issue 6) a publication by Missouri Star Quilt Co. 

Missouri Star Quilt Co. is known for easy to follow directions and their on-line tutorials.

SQUARE DANCE - 10 1/2" finished

I have cut fabric for 20 blocks - you can get a kit at the February meeting. Sew pieces together in alphabetical order with a 1/4" seam (or slightly less). Refer to above diagram as you sew. Remember Carol's great program on pressing as you sew and what a difference it makes. For this block press each seam AWAY from the center block.

Here are the cut sizes (from the book) in case you want to make your own quilt.

A = 1-1/2" x 5"
B = 1-1/2" x 7"
C = 2-1/2" x 7"
D = 2-1/2" x 11"

This simple block would make a really great scrap quilt - and depending on the fabrics it could have a traditional or a very contemporary look.

I'm always on the look-out for blocks that do NOT have points around the outer edges, as they are best for blocks that have been made by a group and therefore may have some size variance. I welcome your block suggestions.

Hope you enjoy this block, knowing the quilt will be made for a veteran!

Friday, February 5, 2016

VQM Volnteering at Mid-Atlantic

The Virginia Quilt Museum has their raffle quilt at Mid-Atlantic each year. Elsa is coordinating volunteers to work the raffle table for the entire show and white glove on Friday. If you are willing to fill a slot please let her know at ebquilts at aol dot com or at the meeting Tuesday night.

Virginia Quilt Museum
Mid-Atlantic Volunteer List
Raffle Table – Wednesday, February 24, 2016 – Elsa Brooks _____________
            Registrants Preview – 7:30 PM – 9 PM                       
                                           Start #    Last # Sold
                                           _______    _______
Raffle Table – Thursday, February 25, 2016
10  AM – Noon   _Elsa Brooks_  _Josephine Millett  _______    _______   
Noon – 2 PM     Carolyn Mills  Annette Young___  _______    _______
2 PM – 4 PM    __Liz Adams  Kimberly McCray__  _______    _______
4PM – 6 PM     Michelle Perkins  Elsa Brooks     _______    _______

White Glove –  Friday, February 26, 2016
10 AM – Noon   Paula Tehlewitz, Jen Nelson
    Nancy Cornwell, Jenny Miller
Noon – 2 PM    Liz Adams___, ___________
2 PM – 4 PM   Josephine Millett, Lori Abbott-Herrick                                           
4PM – 6 PM    Kathy McLaren, Wilma Gerald

Raffle Table – Friday, February 26, 2016         Start #    Last # Sold
10  AM – Noon   Nancy Bassett, Josephine Millett _______    _______
Noon – 2 PM     Becky Brown, Nancy Phillips    _______    _______
2 PM – 4 PM Cerise Haas, Vicki & Mike Graham  _______    ______
4PM – 6 PM     Lori Abbott-Herrick Elsa Brooks   _______    _______

Raffle Table – Saturday, February 27, 2016
10  AM – Noon  Elsa Brooks, Betsy Scott        _______    _______
Noon – 2 PM    _Jane Crockett ____________    _______    _______
2 PM – 4 PM   ____________  ____________    _______    _______
4PM – 6 PM    Elsa Brooks   ____________    _______    _______

Raffle Table – Sunday, February 28, 2016
10  AM – Noon  Elsa Brooks Sherry Whitford  _______    _______
Noon – 2 PM    ____________  ____________   _______    _______
2 PM – 4 PM   ____________  ____________   _______    _______

Thursday, February 4, 2016

10 Questions - Ellen Kuzemchak

We are kicking off 2016 by reinitiating the 10 Questions series. We have a lot of new members and we don't get to talk to everyone each month. This series of posts will help us get to know each other better. You can read the previous interviews here.

Today we are getting to know Ellen Kuzemchak. I met Ellen a few years ago and honestly don't know how I met her. What I quickly learned, though, is that she is really talented, prolific and I think almost every quilter in the area knows her. She's taught at Bernina and worked at Sew Refreshing for a time. She belongs to several guilds/clubs and her Stitchers For A Cause group makes hundreds of quilts for charities every year.

1. If you live in Hanover (or the area), how many generations of your family have lived here and how did they come to settle here? If you moved here, where are you from and what brought you here?

I was born in Charleston, WV and moved to Henrico County in 1985 and have lived here since that time except for a 2 year move to PA. 

2. When you were young what did you plan to be when you grew up and what happened with those plans?

The only thing I remember were the teenage perform (sing) and to be famous!  Well, that all kind of fell to the wayside when I had to pay the rent.  Most of my work experience has either been office work or working/teaching in sewing machine dealerships.

 3. What are your favorite things to do in the area?

Visit with friends and family.  Sew with friends.

4. What’s your favorite meal?

 I enjoy a variety of foods and feel the company you are with makes a meal more special than the food. But steak, salad, and baked potato is my favorite.

5. What hobbies or activities do you do other than quilting? Where do you do them? How did you get involved with.

My hobbies seem to revolve around quilting and sewing.  I co-facilitate a charity quilt group (Stitchers for a Cause) every Thursday and 3rd Sunday of each month at the Glen Allen Church of Christ at Staples Mill Road and Springfield/Mountain Roads.  A dedicated group of quilters meets to make quilts and other items for donation to various groups.  Please come stitch with us!   

6. What’s your favorite vacation spot? Where do you want to go next?

 "Staycations" with daytrips seem to be the most recent trips.  Colonial Williamsburg, Charlottesville, and always Mid-Atlantic Quilt show.

7. What saying best describes how you like to live your life?

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Romans 12:18

8. Show us a photo (or photos) of where you create.


 Everything is crammed into the master bedroom of a townhome.  The goal is to sew up the stash to make more room in the closet.



9. Show us a photo of the quilt that’s on your bed right now.


10. What is your all time favorite quilt and why?


My favorite quilt is "GO! Be Dazzled" by machine embroidery designer, Sarah Vedeler.  I made this quilt when I purchased a new embroidery machine and taught the class (BOM for a year) two times.  I love the colors, loved the process of each block, using a die cutter for the appliqué shapes in the embroidered blocks.   It was a labor of love and even though it doesn't fit anywhere in my home, it is still my favorite quilt.