Sunday, April 25, 2010

Back from Paducah

I'm baaaack! And I had a great time! This was my first visit to the quilt show in Paducah, and I hope it won't be my last. Paducah is a wonderful little town. I was quite impressed with the area around the convention center near the river...many quaint little shops and restaurants to visit, and everything was so pretty, with flowers blooming and all the landscaping looking quite well-attended! It felt 'safe'. Everyone we met was so helpful and friendly...nice.

My birthday fell during the days I was in Paducah, so my friends all helped to make it special. In addition to Vanessa and Marilyn (above), at the show, we met up with Etta (the one I went to Houston with last fall) and Charla and several of their friends and we all (10 of us) had dinner on my birthday at a wonderful little place called Patti's...

Patti's serves bread baked in Terra cotta flower pots, along with strawberry butter! Yum! Plus, 2" thick pork chops are their specialty...although I got the salmon instead. There are white Christmas lights nestled with silk flowers and greenery along the ceilings and walls...I would hate to have to clean it, but it provided nice atmosphere!...hardwood floors and lace curtains, old oak furniture and antiques.

The waiters brought me a cherry cheesecake tart with a candle and everyone sang Happy Birthday to me! Ordinarily, I wouldn't have wanted that public singing, but what the one there knew me! was fun. The food was wonderful as was the company and the environment. It was a nice birthday!

The girls surprised me with this engagement calendar that everyone had cool!

This is what the inside looks like...a quilt picture on the left and seven days on the right...nice!

I'll take some pictures of my 'loot', too, to play show~n~tell!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

No puzzle swap just yet...

Well, the puzzle swap had to be postponed. A family emergency has kept me out of town for the better parts of the last two weeks, so everyone agreed to wait until May to swap our puzzles. I'll be sure to post pictures when we do swap, though!

For now, I am planning a visit to the quilt show in Paducah, KY. I have never been before and am really looking forward to it! I don't know exactly what to expect...but I am open to being amazed! :)

More later...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Puzzle swap

After visiting this blog, I suggested to my Fiber Arts group that some of us might wish to do a similar swap. Well, surprise, surprise...Fourteen ladies wanted to participate!

We set the first Monday of April as the day of the swap...this was decided back in January.
However, the community center where we meet decided to close that Monday (MLK day) so we will swap these tomorrow...on the 12th of April.

I finished my pieces in March, but needed to keep them secret until now!

Remember when the Carol Duvall Show was on HGTV? She had a variety of guests demonstrating a variety of crafts and usually there was SOMETHING on each show that I enjoyed and wanted to try.

One of these demonstrations was origami using fabric.

The guest, Rebecca Wat, had published a book called Fantastic Fabric Folding and she demonstrated this one little flower. I followed along and folded a flower using a piece of paper.

I have kept it all these years. I decided THAT would be the theme of my puzzle pieces!

The first few flowers I made used the light pink fabric, and I used the iron to set the creases...but I decided the fabric would perform much better if it was starched...and my fingers would appreciate not getting burned! So I mixed up some boiled starch and drenched the remaining fabrics then ironed them flat and stiff.

Then I cut the fabric into squares. I wasn't particular about the size of the squares, making a variety to fit my scraps. After all, there weren't going to be sewn together, so the squares could be different sizes.

I folded the purples, pinks and magenta squares back and forth, just as I had done with the paper 'sample flower' I had saved all these years. It worked in fabric, too!

Next I rounded up some of the blue/green scraps of hand-dyed fabric left over from "Shoulda Putta Frog on it" (a.k.a. the Blue River Quilt) as well as some additional fabrics to use for the background.

Once the flowers were made, I attached the blue and green scraps 'log-cabin style' to the flower center. The object of the game was to get a background large enough to fit the puzzle piece template onto.

I layered these pieces onto some off-white felt and stitched the background...mostly stippling, although I experimented with other stitch patterns at first (the stippling looked best!). Then I used my puzzle template to mark these pieces. I had downloaded the puzzle piece used by this blog and shared it with the other participants in my group. One of the ladies in my group had laminated this and cut the pieces apart to provide each of us with a laminated puzzle piece to use as a template for drawing around...a nice help! Then I cut out the pieces using scissors. More than once I thought how nice a die-cut machine would be!

To give them a nice backing, I used Wonder Under to attach TWO layers of sew-in interfacing, then cut them into squares and painted them with acrylic paint. Once dry, I used the template to mark and cut these into puzzle shapes also. These were them paired with the pieced puzzles...I glue-basted them together, then stitched around the edges with variegated thread.

This is my final product!

I made 17 pieces, although I only needed 14. I wanted to have a few extra in case I messed up!

The hardest part was cutting these out. That is why I cut the top and backing separately...I had tried basting the top to the backing BEFORE cutting on 3 of them and was SO glad that I stopped to test the cutting before sewing them ALL together! It was easier to cut twice as many thinner ones than half as many thicker ones!

I have a variety of colors and flower sizes. The hand-dyed fabrics make nice things! I think I will have to start dying is so much fun to use this stuff!

The tabs don't all interlock, but that is to be expected. Even if they did, once swapped, will mine interlock with those of others? Who knows! I will show you the result of the swap later...check back!

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