Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Class Schedule for March and April 2016

We are publishing our calendar of classes early this month so everyone can get a head-start on planning their weeks ahead.

Check out some of our great new classes and old favorites.

Build-A-Block is being added to another day, due to the rising popularity of these 12" blocks.

Pearl is teaching the beautiful Feathered Star pattern and has all the tips and tricks on making this delicate pattern sparkle.

If you are taking part in the new Splendid Sampler twice-a-week Mystery on the internet and want to stitch with friends, join us on March 28 and bring your machine.....

And make plans to be here on Saturday, March 19 as we celebrate Worldwide Quilting Day with Kathy Brown.... she is one of the fabulous block designer with the Splendid Sampler team and a Louisiana hometown fabric and pattern designer. It's always a fun morning when Kathy is here.

Drop by, sign up and get your class supply lists, before they fill up!

Sometimes It's Best Just To Sleep On It - Up-Dated!

There comes an occasion in a quilter's life when she begins a project with fabric on hand and let's Time take her where it wants her to go. But when she nears the end of the project and finds herself needing more fabric than she started with, she sits on the horns of a dilemma.

And this is where I found myself this weekend.

But let me back up the truck and start at the beginning.

Last year, Bright Hopes Quilting embarked on a monthly sit n' sew to make Lori Holt's Farm Girl Vintage quilt, a terrific book of patterns that has instructions for both 6" and 12" (finished) blocks in a wide selection of designs. At the end of the book, she has many layouts to choose from as well so the quilter can mix n'  match and make pretty much anything she would want.

I decided I would try to make a dent in my Kaffe Fassett stash and use a piece of fabric I had on hand for a consistent background. It was a large hank of fabric so I figured I'd be safe. (That was my first mistake.)

Merrily, I sewed and sewed the many blocks, all 12" and I eventually found I had 18 of them and I really wanted to add the Tractor block which is quite large. Now, her book does have a layout for using this large block but not with the 12" blocks so I knew going into this that I would have to 'wing it' and come up with my own layout. Fair enough...... 

Up on the design board I threw the pieces and figured out how I could fit in the tractor block in a cohesive manner and I could see I still had a lot of the background fabric to work with. Or so I thought...(Mistake No. 2 )

So, I continued adding sashing to all the blocks as I grew the quilt in preparation for fitting in the Tractor.  Here is how it looked at that point in time.

Which is where I took a MUCH harder look at the background fabric I had left to work with. Uh-oh...... Houston, we have a problem.

Where I was going was to make flying geese to enlarge the two 'buildings' on either side of the Tractor block. But I also need to have enough fabric to, at the very least, sash a thin outer border to make the quilt look "complete". 

I needed 24 3.18" squares to make the needed Flying Geese.
I needed 16 - 12.5" strips and 2 - 22.5" strips to make the thin outer border.

I had enough to do one and ALMOST enough to do the other but not both completely. Off to the Internet I flew in desperate search of said fabric.

Oh NO!!! This particular piece was released 10 years ago. And not rereleased by Timeless.... (Mistake No. 3...)

So, here I am.... sitting on the horns of a dilemma and wondering what I need to do to make this work.

 photo Tim-Gunn-MAKE-IT-WORK.gif

I remeasured the fabric, I reconfigured the design, I did whatever I could to squeeze out the needed amount of fabric to do this and I missed it by this much, I was so close.....

I was this close photo Iwasthisclose_zps93b2d945.gif

So, I did the only thing I could think of.  
Depressed, I went to bed, to sleep on it.

And in the morning, in a better frame of mind, I pawed through my stash and found another pale cream, white-on-white background that melded nicely with the original. Now, I have decided to use it in the Flying Geese which will free up all the other to use around the outside of the quilt top.

So, if you find yourself in a similar situation, I recommend the same thing; which is basically to give yourself a little distance. Take a walk, make a meal, read a book... anything to rid your mind of all the stuff that has just been clogging up the works. It's amazing how other ideas can enter the scene when you're distracted by other activities.

I'll up-date this post when the geese are flying! 


So, here it is all together. I don't think anyone could even tel that the geese had a different background fabric because the pieces are SO small and the whites were so close in tone.

I think I will add one more outer border of the green in the tractor; it's such a happy fabric.

Up-date:  Well, You're just never gonna believe!

I found more of that fabric!!!!! So, if you look carefully at the outer border in the last photo, you will see it's missing that last light strip of fabric but in order to make it look right, I had to...... wait for it....... REMOVE IT ALL!!!!      yep! and I did.

I unstitched the outer border (above) and unstitched the 'cornerstones' and added the third strip so they would look like the rest of my sashing in the body of the quilt. Then, I cut new 3.5" cornerstones and sewed them back on the sashing.

Once all the inner border was back on the quilt, I added a 4.5" outer border of the gorgeous Philip Jacob fabric and I am so pleased with the final result.

Moral of the Story: Well, there is no moral.....but suffice it to say, Never give up and throw in the towel because you hit a brick wall. Go around the wall and take an alternate route because you just never know where that road will lead you. 

And if you get lucky and find yourself back on the path you started, don't be complacent; You just got a Mulligan! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Splendid Sampler - Starting Feb. 14, 2016

Oh Boy! do I have some fun news for you!

If you are a frequent peruser on Facebook, or perhaps belong to one of Pat Sloan's groups, you may have been hearing about a new project which is about to begin, The Splendid Sampler.

This is going to be a FREE Block of the Every Couple of Days quilt project, open to everyone. Free.

Every Sunday and Thursday, a new block will be released for you to copy, download or print. Every form of quilt making will be featured as well; piecing, applique, embroidered, English Paper-piecing, Foundation Paper-piecing. It's all in here.

"So, what do I need to have to make these blocks?"

I can't tell you! It's a Mystery! But Pat said they will be featuring fabric used by the designers of these blocks in up-coming articles.

"Hang on... how can possibly start a quilt that's going to look good when I don't what I need to make it!?"

There is a page for that, here, which will give you SOME guidance but not tell you exactly what to do, which is GREAT! This is a sampler quilt and nobody outside of the team knows where we're going. We're all just 'along for the ride!"

"BUT I CAN'T JUST......."

Yes, yes you CAN....... here is one more page to give you a littttttllleeee more help.

The only thing I can tell you, (which I learned from reading all the pages), is Pat recommends gathering 30-35 fat quarters. How you choose to arrive at the selection really depends on your stash or desire! And IF you choose to unify those FQs with one single background choice, she says to get at least 2 yards of background to be safe (if it's not a constant bolt, like a Kona solid, you might want to bump that up to 2.5 yards)

SO......... ARE YOU IN?!!!!! 

Great!     First thing to do is go HERE and sign up. There is no fee... just submit your email address and confirm when you receive a follow-up email.

 If you wish to join the Facebook page set up just for this 'event', you may go HERE and hit the JOIN button.

All set? GOOD! Now, once you have collected what you THINK is going to be your selection, head over here for a fun! fast! free! pattern, the  Folding Block Station, which is a cute, easy-to-carry pressing mat, design board and pocket to carry you 6.5" x 6.5" ruler.

And that is your final 'clue'.... these blocks are all going to measure an easy 6.5" square.

Check back with Bright Hopes Quilting to see future happenings with the Splendid Sampler.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Learn Paper Piecing with Bright Hopes Quilting

We're going to set this video on a stand-alone post here on the blog so if anyone needs to find it for future reference, they can more easily do so.