Sunday, November 22, 2015

2015 "Beyond the Panel" Challenge Reveal

What can you do with a pre-printed fabric panel? The Choo Choo Quilters pushed the envelope this year in the 2015 "Beyond the Panel" Guild Challenge. Earlier in the year, the requirements were issued for what to do to a 24" or 36" fabric panel [of their choice] and 11 creative responses to the Challenge were ushered in at the November guild meeting. In addition to designing a new, interesting composition with a fabric panel, the enterprising Challenge participants experimented with various techniques, products and construction methods to make their quilts. Take a look at these creatively executed and beautifully finished 2015 Challenge entries.

Kim used a stack-and-shuffle technique with a panel that had a Fall theme of pumpkins, gourds and Indian corn. Elements of the original panel can still be seen in this abstract composition.
By Kim Huston
Kim's original panel.
Using metallic thread, Sherry quilted her entry quilt with a spiderweb design in the borders to coincide with a Halloween themed panel. She experimented with fusible batting and discussed her experience working with this product.
By Sherry Baldwin
Sherry also embellished her piece with be-jeweled spiders.
Spiderweb quilting and spider embellishment (left) and
Sherry's original panel (right).
Betty sliced a "Love" panel into strips and re-assembled the pieces into this original layout. The quilt is called "Broken Hearted."
"Broken Hearted" by Betty Galbreth
Betty's original panel.
This folk art style panel was cleverly cut and re-pieced into this quilt by Dawn. Dawn explained how she strategically inserted the wave fabric that she had in her stash. It was a perfect complement to the color palette and playful design of her entry.
By Dawn Johnson
Dawn's original panel
Joanna created the illusion of a view through a garden gate. The original panel was cut both vertically and diagonally and a darker fabric was inserted between the cut pieces.
By Joanna Lienti
Joanna's original panel.
Theresa cut a large scale panel print of two flowers to create this modern style quilt. The blue accent fabric used in the inner border provides contrast to the warm red/yellow/orange color scheme.
By Theresa Kitchell
Theresa's original panel.
A steampunk, sewing themed panel was Pam's Challenge inspiration. Pam incorporated the spool quilt block in the border to frame the piece. The colorful spools of thread complement the sewing theme while the appliquéd paper dolls dance across the center.
By Pam Graham
Pam's original panel.
The row of paper dolls can be seen at the bottom of the panel.
Veronica created "The Juggler" from a Halloween themed panel. Upon close inspection, the panel's images can be seen in the reverse appliqué circles, the paper pieced spikes and triangles. Free-motion machine quilting in jeweled toned threads contrast with the black background. Felted wool circles were hand stitched to the surface after the quilting was completed.
"The Juggler" by Veronica Hofman-Ortega
Veronica's original panel.
A disappearing 9-patch technique worked well to showcase Martha's sailboat panel. The additional red, white and blue fabrics that she chose support the quilt's nautical theme.
By Martha Griffin
Martha's original panel.
A whimsical panel of hand drawn flowers and birds was the inspiration for Dawn's entry. The challenge in this piece was calculating and piecing different widths of sashing to preserve the visual continuity of the panel print across the rows of blocks. The baptist fan quilting design provides a lovely, graceful texture over the entire composition.
By Dawn Palmer
Dawn embellished this piece with hand embroidery and included a piped binding for extra detail.
Dawn's original panel. The piped binding can be seen here.
Becky had fun with an "Elf Story" book panel. The red/white candy stripe fabric and green borders set the tone for this holiday themed quilt.
By Becky Troxler
Becky's original panel.
Thank you to the Challenge Team members for coordinating this year's Guild Challenge, and to our local sponsors for their generous contributions to the participant awards: Chattanooga Quilts, Bernina Sew 'n Quilt Studio, Lana's Quilts and Sew Much More, Pins and Needles Quilt Shop, and fiber artist, Alexa Lett. Please support our local quilt shops and fiber artists.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Eleanor Burns templates and Log Cabin quilts

The program for the October Choo Choo Quilters guild meeting will be presented by Team Blue and Ginny Csiszko. It will feature an Eleanor Burns template that makes a modified version of a Log Cabin block. Ginny requests that we bring any log cabin quilts we have made, either traditional or more funkified, including any with the "wonky" log cabin technique.

For anyone who wants to try out the Eleanor Burn template technique, you will need to make a basic log cabin block to bring to the meeting.

Log Cabin block using 2.5" strips.
6.5" (unfinished size) 
To make the block (see photo), in traditional log cabin quilt fashion:
  • Start with a 2-1/2" square of your accent color [the pink square in the sample].
  • Add a 2-1/2" square of your light color.
  • Add a 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" strip of your darker color
  • Add a 2 1/2" x 4-1/2" strip of your darker color
  • Add a final strip of 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" of your lighter color.  Your unfinished block (the size before it is sewn into a quilt top) should be 6 1/2" square.
As always, bring your projects for Show and Tell, bring any completed Cuddle Quilts, and come spend some time with your friends and quilts—it really doesn't get much better than that!

Our meeting will be on Monday, October 19 starting at 6:30 pm.  

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Prairie Points program and AQS QuiltWeek experiences

Dawn showed quilts incorporating Prairie Points.
At the September guild meeting, the Choo Choo Quilters enjoyed a program on Easy Prairie Points. Dawn provided step-by-step directions so guild members could follow along with a make-and-take example.

In the afterglow of AQS QuiltWeek Chattanooga, the meeting also included Show and Tell about new techniques learned in classes, class projects, can't-live-without purchases found at the vendor mall, and the beautiful quilts that were on display.

Step-by-step display for making a continuous strip of Prairie Points.
The guild's collection of Cuddle Quilts is also growing. JoAnn, the Cuddle Quilt Coordinator, said 16 were turned it at the meeting with several more to come. The total completed so far is 33. Way to go, Choo Choo Quilters!
Ginny made this quilt inspired by a previous guild program.
Disappearing 9-patch Cuddle Quilts.
More Cuddle Quilts.
Dawn made a dog bed filled with fabric and batting scraps. It was suggested to incorporate batting scraps into these beds so when they are washed, they will dry.
Dog bed stuffed with fabric and batting scraps.
A few guild members finished quilt tops from the guild program on Sudoku quilts.
Sudoku quilts.
Tales from QuiltWeek
From classes with Dianne Hire.
Techniques from classes with Dianne Hire.
Veronica's quilt was pictured on banners hanging in the show exhibit hall as well as on AQS attendee name badges.
Veronica's quilt featured on the show floor banner.
Lots of really cool fabrics found several new homes with our guild members. Imagine that!?!
"Take me home! Take me home, pleeeease!"
Sherry adds these beauties to her stash.

Show and Tell

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Easy prairie points and an envelope label

In the residual glow of Chattanooga QuiltWeek (and it is fabulous, isn't it?), the September Choo Choo Quilters guild meeting will feature a program on Prairie Points and making an Envelope Label. 
Prairie Points and the Envelope Label program in September.
The meeting is Monday, September 21. Bring your QuiltWeek Show and Tell—class projects, purchases, whatever—and we'll share QuiltWeek stories and experiences, too.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Sudoku puzzles are 9-patch compatible

Need a quick layout for a scrappy 9 patch quilt? Look no further than the Sunday paper's puzzle page, your browser window, or an app on your smart phone. The Choo Choo Quilters enjoyed a program featuring Sudoku quilts at the August guild meeting.
Sudoku  Quilt
Sudoku, a numbers-based puzzle, uses a 9x9 grid—not unlike the 9-patch blocks we use in patchwork. If you like puzzles, you can work the Sudoko puzzle and use the resulting solution as a layout for a 9-patch quilt.
Solving the Suduko puzzle.
Becky, the program presenter, explained the concept of Sudoku puzzle and then shared her tips for organizing fabrics for the patchwork process.
Becky explains the Suduko block.
Organizing your fabrics is the key to making these quilts. All you fans of sticky notes™will feel right at home with this tip.
Organizing the fabrics.
You'll need 9 different fabrics to achieve a true Sudoku block. The fabric squares used to assemble the blocks can be most any size.
Small patches.
Larger patches.
The puzzle's solution is the roadmap for block assembly and quilt layout. The blocks can be sashed, set side by side, or on point.
Sudoko patchwork.
There are many varieties of Sudoku puzzles and degrees of difficulty—from easy to fiendish. You can challenge yourself to solve the puzzle… or go directly to the Answers page and make a quilt.

Show and Tell
Here's a great idea for those fabric scraps and batting trimmings. Fill-as-you-go dog beds. This one uses a novelty fabric with cute "wiener dogs" on it. Ginny recommends NOT to put threads in the scraps for stuffing in case the animal chews or pokes a hole in the fabric cover and the stuffing comes out.
Dog bed stuffed with fabric scraps and batting trimmings.
Dogs beds will be given to a local animal shelter if anyone would like to make one or contribute scraps. The dogs will love them!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Ready… set… go make Cuddle Quilts

The Choo Choo Quilters had another successful and productive Cuddle Quilt workshop yesterday. Patchwork units were pre-cut and ready...
Pre-cut fabric squares for the Disappearing 9-patch technique.
instructions for a quick 9-patch technique were on display...
Disappearing 9-patch (left) and fabric panel kits (right).
nourishment, caffeinated and sweetened motivation were laid out...
Plenty of yummy goodies.
so when the quilters arrived with sewing machines in tow, they hit the ground running—or make that "quilting."

Here is a recap of the day's activities. Trimming and squaring up...
Dawn and Sherry at the cutting table. Joanna at her featherweight.
piecing and chatting...
Multi-tasking: sewing and talking at the same time.
laughing and layering...
Fluff that batting!
and spray basting (oh, so fast!).
Smooth out all the wrinkles.
"You get a ticket for another basted quilt."
Cuddle Quilts are great reason to go through the stash and purge those fabrics that you've forgotten why you purchased in the first place.

So, how deep is your fabric stash?
Sherry B. had a piece of fabric from 1996.
1996 fabric print.
Ms. Deep Stash, Ginny, uncovered a Daisy Kingdom print from 1992!
1992 Daisy Kingdom fabric panel.
The end-of-day tally showed we surpassed our previous 2011 record of 27 with 28 basted Cuddle Quilts! The basted quilt sandwiches and binding strips went home with workshop attendees for quilting and binding.
Take home
Thank you to Sherry (left) and JoAnn (right), our CQ Coordinators extraordinaire!
Sherry and JoAnn, 2015 Cuddle Quilt Coordinators.
JoAnn announces the name on
the winning ticket.
To make the day more fun, tickets were given out to attendees for various tasks: piecing a top, basting a quilt sandwich, bringing in a dish to share, staying for the clean-up. etc. There was a drawing for a $25 gift certificate at the end of the day.

And the winner is…

(You gotta come to the August guild meeting to find out.)