Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Day to Play

I spent Friday at Linda Kay's, learning how to make one of these wonderful duffle bags from the book Easy to Make Totes with Zippers by Cindy T. Oates. LK has held a number of these popular 2- day classes and you may have seen some of the students' results here and in recent newsletters. In fact, here are two from her latest class last week!
Aren't they cute! These are the large ones. The booklet has patterns for 11 separate tote designs and I made one under supervision, the small duffle.

Playing in LK's spacious sewing room makes me both jealous and inspired. She has room to move around easily and is very organized. I would win every bet that she could put her hands on something within 3 minutes of wanting to, unlike me who has to excavate to dredge up some piece of fabric or a pattern I know I have but no clue where I put it. Oh, I always know approximately where but I am never consistent. 

Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.
(Yeah right) 

Speaking of organized, I was shown this inspiring photo of one hutch with organized fabric from Myrlene P. Take a look at how nice it looks and stylish as well!

So anyway, here is my version of the small duffle and I really love how fast they are to make and how pretty they always turn out.

 Let's face it: some days I just want to have fun! I just want to spend a few hours playing and have a little fun, instead of laboring over accurate points and large borders. Just a little fun. That is why I enjoy making things like the BOM, Seasoned Quilter. She was a hoot to make and now I get to play at making the "mini-quilts' she holds for special holidays. The last one the Welcome Quilt and next month is the Celebrate! Quilt and I can't wait to carve out another play day to make that one.

Well, yesterday got me so relaxed, I decided to make it a two-fer. Today I whipped out this!

This is "Open House", only one of Pearl's 'Snap Sack' series of little quilts-in-a-bag that we offer at Bright Hopes Quilting. "Open House" comes in three motifs, the Chicken Coop, The Dog House and a third that slips my mind at the moment......(ah me...... does this happen to you?) Naturally, I went for the chicken coop. There was just enough of the border fabric in my kit to squeeze out a little applique embellishment.

We have several different designs and every kit comes with all the fabric you need to make the whole quilt, except the batting. Yes, backing fabric is included. It is the perfect "Take to Retreat Treat" or gift bag for swaps. Or, if you are like me, for a personal Play Day!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

May-June 2012 Calendar of Classes

Hot off the presses and thank you Linda Kay! Here is the latest schedule of classes we are offering May-June. We think we have a great selection coming up and hope you like what you find. If there is a class you are interested in, give us a call to reserve your place. And if you must cancel, please let us know as quickly as possible to allow someone on the stand-by list to get in. Here is a quick refresher course on the image below:

 To view it in a more close-up view, use the scroll bar on the top of that image. Just grab in with your mouse and drag it to the right.

 To make it fill the entire screen, click once on the small icon to the right of the scroll bar that (sort of) looks like a TV. WHEN YOU HAVE FINISHED LOOKING AT THE LARGER SCREEN, CLICK THE SAME ONE YOU WILL SEE ON THAT BIG SCREEN, UPPER LEFT.

That will make reduce it back to the original size.

 If you wish to print the whole PDF file, you can click once on the icon that looks like a printer (sort of) to the left of the scroll bar.

Now is all this is confusing and you ever want me to demonstrate these techniques in the shop, I am at the shop every Thursday, all day and occasionally teaching classes during the month. But really, everyone who works there can show you if you are having trouble understanding this new system.

Let us know what you think!


Monday, April 23, 2012


OH wow! Was this the best GSQA show ever? So many fantastic and beautiful works of art on display under one massive and local roof. I was in heaven!

The weather may not have been the best on Saturday to venture forth but those who traveled to the Northshore Harbor Oaks Center were witness to some amazing works of art. All of us who pour ourselves into the making of a quilt know first-hand the dedication and time it takes to create just one and here were well over 360 hanging in a splendid venue for us to wander through and gawp. Well, I was the one gawping, okay, but there were plenty of "how did she do that?" whispered and I have to agree.

I was with Pearl in the booth for most of the day Saturday and only took a few shots of the quilts that really went 'pow' to me and then some of our co-workers quilts so here goes a quick review of just a smattering of gorgeousness for your pleasure:

In No Particular Order
 Hawaii Sunset 1845 by Mary Kate Platts

 Eclipse by Dot Collins

Out Of Darkness by Susan Muller

Checkerboard Flow by Dorinda Evans

 Empty Boxes by Janet Bailey

X Marks the Spot by Janet Bailey

(Those two grabbed me immediately because of their scrappy look. I love it that the same quilter made both!)

 Leaves by Kathleen Chauvin
(She writes the leaves are "thread painted' not appliqued but I don't know what this means. 
Either way, stunning visual effect!

 La Rana by Mary Gerardi
(beautiful lizard!)

 Amish Sampler by Mary Gerardi

 Rose of Sharon by Mona Lowe and Georgia Farnet
(THIS is what it looks like to win a Blue Ribbon!) 
Congratulations on a beautiful quilt!

Serenity Walk by Pearl Squires
(Honorable Mention)

There were so many lovely quilts, many which passed through our doors in one form or another, many that were made by ladies who work here at Bright Hopes (but I did not get a shot of them with their quilts.  Boo me!       I regret that I cannot show them all to you. 

I want to close this post with one last quilt for a couple of reasons. The first is we have recently held a class in the radiant star pattern at the shop. Anyone who has made one knows how exacting the diamond points can be. 

Well, these are splendid and to top it off, the applique (my second {new} love) is delightful, the color positively glows and arrests the viewer immediately and lastly, 
as if all this is simply not enough!, it is hand quilted.    

Blue China Star of Bethlehem by Rebecca Creel
BTW: it won Viewer's Choice.

Good Choice!

To all the ladies and gentlemen at Gulf States Quilting Association who worked so hard to bring this "Charmingly Southern" exhibit to life, thank you for such an outstanding job. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Been A While.....

,.. but I am back and it has been a hectic start to Spring but nothing new there.

We are gearing up to the GSQA Quilt Show next weekend and today, Pearl, Mary and I are hauling a car filled with quilts to enter. We have been seeing some amazing and beautiful work and I am so excited to be able to actually attend this year.

We will have our shop booth again set up during the entire show which is open from 10 am to 5 pm Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21, at the Northshore Harbor Center. If you click below, you'll get a map to the location

We sent out a newletter yesterday afternoon outlining a few items of what we will have in the booth this year and some of the samples of our quilts on display. If you have never attended one of GSQA's past shows, let me encourage you to get out your comfiest walking shoes, call a good friend to join you (even one that doesn't quilt!) and give yourself at least 4 hours to browse the quilts that hang for your pleasure. There is a tremendous amount of talent in these 4 states that support the GSQA.

Those of us lucky enough to work at a shop get to see quilts in every stage of construction but to see 360+ in one location at the same time is simply breath-taking! And time-stealing so be sure to give yourself plenty of that!

We held our staff-meeting to discuss our up-coming classes for May and June. We will revisit old favorites and of course, new projects as well. We will be posting the completed calendar within 10 days here on the blog.

A few years ago, Linda Kay came up with the idea of an adult "Quilt Camp" aimed primarily for teachers just getting out of class for the summer who wanted to play and learn and we all had a blast. (hey, why should kids get all the fun?)

It's a one week all day session that teaches the basics of quilt making, binding, machine quilting, applique and totes. The participants went home with 5 completed projects and a couple of them have gone on to become fellow quilters.

So that is going to be offered in mid-June. (heads up) If you know someone who has a hankering to learn what "we" love, tell them about this!

Are you struggling with storage issues for your growing or out-of-control stash? Pearl has these colorful drawer carts in stock that might be just the thing for you

She has several configurations as well. I like that they are on rollers for easy movement.

Celeste held another Chenille Rug class yesterday and although one student slipped out before I got to shoot the whole class, here are 5 with their nearly finished pieces. The real fun is taking it out of the dryer and seeing the final fluff!

To end this post and underscore the beauty of quilt shows, I'll add this link to a cute song and video of quilts from last week's email.

Enjoy the show and music