Sunday, November 23, 2014

Handwork featured in 2014 Paint Chip Challenge

Handwork is a featured element in the
2014 Paint Chip Guild Challenge.
Although many of the participants in this year's Choo Choo Quilters Guild Challenge admitted to starting their quilt within the last month (or week!), the long-awaited Challenge quilts were finished (well, most of them, anyway), turned in, and revealed at the November guild meeting.

The requirements for this year's Paint Chip Challenge included a color and size requirement as well as the inclusion of one technique done by hand—reflecting on the year's theme of handwork. The response to the Challenge was extraordinary as well as the diversity of hand techniques that were featured: hand stitching, hand quilting, hand appliqué, embroidery, needle tatting, crochet, and beading. The names of the paint chip colors used for each entry's color scheme (and corresponding to the initials of the quiltmaker) were just as clever and captivating. Who makes up those paint color names, anyway??

Congratulations to all the Challenge participants and winners! Everyone enjoyed seeing the quilts and hearing about your inspiration, choice of colors and your processes. Additional kudos go to those first-time Challenge participants. We are proud of you for embracing a new experience and venturing down uncharted paths.

Enjoy these 2014 Choo Choo Challenge entries. The work this year is stunning!
By Dawn Palmer
Paint Chip Colors: Desert Fortress, Meadow Mist, Promise
Handwork technique: hand embroidery 
By Cristy Clark
Paint Chip Colors: Concert Hall, Spring Moss, Courtyard
First Place Winner (tie)
Handwork techniques: hand stitching, hand quilting,
hand embroidery on binding
By Veronica Hofman-Ortega
Paint Chip Colors: Volcanic Ash, Hang Ten, Oh So Red
First Place Winner (tie)
Handwork techniques: hand applique, needle tatting, crochet 
By Sherry Baldwin
Paint Chip Colors: Saffron Strands, Deep Black, Butter Rum
Second Place Winner
Handwork technique: hand embroidery 
By Martha Griffin
Paint Chip Colors: Montpelier Wedgwood, Delightful Moon, Guacamole
Handwork technique: hand beading 
By Delores Dady
Paint Chip Colors: Day at Jewelers, Regal Purple, Daisy
Handwork technique: hand beading 
By Ginny Minninger
Paint Chip Colors: Vanilla Custard, Juicy Cantaloupe,  Mysterious Ocean Fog
Handwork technique: hand embroidery 
By Vista Mahan
Paint Chip Colors: Violet, Sea breeze, Mexican Chili
Handwork technique: hand embroidery 
Thank you to the Chattanooga quilt shops for their support with our Guild Challenge: Pins and Needles Quilt Shop, Ready Set Sew, Spool. Please support your local quilt shops!

November Show and Tell
Becky introduced a new sewer, Audra Belle, who showed off an apron she made.
Audra Belle (left) shows her apron during Show and Tell.
Becky's disappearing 9-patch.
Joanna's rag quilt.
Plaids make a great rag quilt.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Make a fashion statement
with up-cycled patchwork sweatshirts

Cristy Clark (left) and Nancy Allen
wearing their up-cycled sweatshirt jackets.
Wearable Quilt Art can put a smile on your face! As living proof, here are Cristy and Nancy who presented a program on embellishing sweatshirts at the October Choo Choo Quilters guild meeting.

At the meeting, guild members were treated to tips and examples for up-cycling a "ho-hum" sweatshirt into a fashionable and snuggly patchwork jacket—just in time for the cooler fall weather.

Looking to put a dent in you scrap basket?
Have some orphan quilt blocks?
Want a solution for showing off a collection of pre-cut fabric strips, charm squares or batik panels?

Think about embellishing a sweatshirt!

Strips and strings used to embellish a sweatshirt.
Here is an example of using fabric strips and strings in neutrals, greys and small prints to cover the outside of this charcoal grey sweatshirt.
Nancy discusses using quilt blocks and patchwork on a sweatshirt.
Sweatshirts can be new or well-worn because they serve as the foundation of the jacket and will be covered with other fabrics. Watch for off-season sales on sweatshirts, dig through your closet, or enjoy the thrill of the hunt at thrift shops or the Good Will store for good buys. Nancy said she scored 2 or 3 gently used sweatshirts and paid only a few dollars each at a thrift store.
Example of how to lengthen the jacket.
Sweatshirt jackets.
October Show and Tell
The Choo Choo Quilters always have great quilts to show and share. Here are some of their latest projects and fabulous finds.
Dawn's quilt with a prairie point edge.

Sherry's quilt in rich fall colors.

Beverly shared this wonderful antique find.

Dating the fabrics in this antique quilt top.

Veronica's quilt top with appliqué flowers
made with a collection of pre-cut strips.
We added a few more Cuddle Quilts to our community service project.
Nancy has been busy making Cuddle Quilts.
Cuddle Quilts

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Molasses Cookies Recipes

(shamelessly stolen from The Silver Palate Cookbook from long ago)
By popular request, here's my recipe for the Molasses Cookies that I have brought to thousands of quilt guild functions over the years.  They are easy, very tasty, and once you buy a jar of molasses, you will always have the ingredients on hand.

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Melt butter, add sugar and molasses and mix thoroughly.  Lightly beat egg and add to butter mixture, blend well.

3.  Sift flour with spices, salt and baking soda, and add to first mixture, mix.  Batter will be wet.

4.  Lay a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Drop teaspoonfuls of cookie batter on foil, leaving 2 inches between cookies.  They will spread during baking.

5.  Bake until cookies start to darken, 10-12 minutes.  Remove from oven while still soft.  Let cool on parchment paper.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Embellished Sweatshirts - Just in time for Fall!

Our next Choo Choo meeting will be this coming Monday, October 20, and the program will be on Embellished Sweatshirts. Nancy Allen and Cristy Clark of Team Beverly will be presenting several different techniques to make colorful, cozy sweatshirt jackets. It's fun, and you are guaranteed to get compliments every time you wear your jacket!
Left: The sweatshirt jacket that Cristy has now worn 5000 times!
Right: Quilted sweatshirt with a woven cotton lining.
Raw Edged strips quilted to sweatshirt

This program will be mostly demonstration and examples, so no supplies are necessary. If you have a sweatshirt already and you want to know how to get started - bring it along! We'll offer tips for all aspects of this project.

Also - just a reminder: Our Challenge Quilts are due at our November meeting. You still have plenty of time to join in the fun. The Paint Chip Challenge Rules are posted here.

We hope to see everyone Monday at 6:30 pm. at Valleybrook Presbyterian Church.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hand techniques featured at this summer's guild meetings

Throughout the summer, the Choo Choo Quilters examined more quilting techniques done by hand. The July program was about embellishing quilts and wearables.
Delores discussed many options for embellishing quilts. 
Delores Dady showed myriad examples of surface embellishments she has done on her quilts including hand embroidery, couching with yarns and ribbons, attaching buttons, fabric tubes and found objects, and beading. 
Fabric beads and silk ties were re-purposed
to embellish this small wall hanging.
Guild member, Veronica Hofman-Ortega (left), had a beaded project published in this book, Creative Quilting with Beads
Delores Dady (right) showed examples of beaded embellishments on quilts.
She referenced "Creative Quilting with Beads," a book in which
fellow guild member, Veronica Hofman-Ortega (left), had a project.
This art quilt is embellished with re-purposed silk ties, tie labels, beaded buttons and eyelash yarn.
Embellished quilt with recycled materials.
Betty Galbreth talked about hand embroidery during the crazy quilting era.
Betty embroidered the Dresden motif on a pillow
to coordinated with the Dresden Plate quilt.
Hand embroidered crazy quilt blocks.
Other options for creative embellishment came during Show and Tell. Cristy Clark (left) used a fused foil technique to embellish a summer dress. Joanna Lienti (right) recycled and overdyed a shirt to extend its life.
Cristy Clark (left) with embellished dress.
Joanna Lienti up-cycled a man's shirt by overdoing it.
Appliqué was the focus at the August guild meeting. The program featured several techniques and tips for hand, raw edge, and fusible appliqué.
Ginny explained various appliqué techniques.
The August program provided examples and tips for appliqué.
Hand applique. 
Applique created from a drawing in a children's coloring book.
The buttonhole stitch is one option for covering raw edges.
Guild members used a fusible technique to appliqué fabric to the cover of a small notebook.
Fusible applique.
The Choo Choo Quilters always have an interesting and diverse Show and Tell at guild meetings:
Janet shows pieces from a workshop with Gwen Marston.
Melody's art quilts on painted box frames.
Betty's 4-patch kaleidoscope quilt.
Hand quilting on a Gee's Bend style quilt.
Hand quilted nine patch bed quilt.
Close-up of hand quilting. 
Modern style sailboat quilt.
Strippy Cuddle Quilt in a rainbow of colors.
Appliquéd holiday door hanging.
Improvisational piecing with gentle curves.
Four-patch kaleidoscope quilt.
Beautiful hand appliqué bed quilt featuring fruits.
As you can see, we're always having a good time at our meetings!