Apr 26, 2006

7th Annual Spring Sew In

The Bama Belles Quilting Club (of Calhoun County) and I just concluded two days of sewing. When we first started these years ago, Joy opened up her home to us--perfect set up! We often imported talent from out of state from the quilt lists we belonged to or other family and friends. We sewed to all hours of the night and had her neighbors wondering what was going on that late in the evening on her front porch. You could go lay down for awhile if you needed to etc. Even I stayed overnight and I live here! Her daughter-in-law and grandkids came to take care of the kitchen details though we brought food in to pass too. Joy's granddaughter who is now 18 or close to it has been sewing/quilting since age 7 or 8 would sew right along with us. But then Joy moved a good hour away back to her hometown. :-(

Now we just tack an extra day onto our regular meeting date and extend the time. Come when you want, stay as long as you want, one day or both days philosophy. I'm the one with the key to the meeting place so I'm always the first there and last to go. Monday, we had 11 of us working and yesterday, 10--about how many are normally at a meeting as someone is always out of town, has family obligations, illness, whatever.

Some of us were working on "whatever" blocks as shown in the picture below. Others were finishing up other WTIL projects that we had started already that needed moved along---putting on borders, assembling blocks etc. Theramae was "manning" the cutting table---I am thinking there were 12 quilts in all pinned, by my tally. Jane and Ginny could only come help out for a while so they assisted her.

Those "whatever" blocks:

Finn, you may pick out some of your fabric from this blocks in progress picture. Carolyn is pairing up the pre-cut squares you sent us to make four patches. Ada was on pressing and pairing detail. Beverly was sitting opposite Carolyn and working on her own pile of checkerboard. I knew Carolyn was on the right track when I said something about a little cat face showing up in one of the squares--she started looking for pieces that had a novelty, "I Spy" flavor that Forest Jane suggested.
Pam had sent on some Marcus Bros. sample squares that I had trimmed down so those are added to the mix.
Theramae tried to sew yesterday but her "new" featherweight belt was shredding! She thought it best to set it aside till the problem could be looked at more closely--the previous belt was doing the same thing so it probably was the machine, not the belt causing the problems. Judy was working on her own stack of 30's repros to make "Whatever" blocks--I know she had enough (and some extras) for a 3 x 4 set. Lovely!

I also had brought a box of 2 1/2 inch strips to share from my stash. Lois and Beverly were following the strip pieced way more like a checkerboard idea (like Brandy's "Chiclets') to arrive at the center sections. I was following the Billie Lauder "2 for 1" way since I had demo'd that for the un-initiated. I only got a couple of centers done but I had other fish to fry, LOL.

Here are some of the completed blocks after the first day.

We do have enough for the one quilt and the starts of another. Lots of four patch units to be completed. Lois was adding the border bits around the checkerboards that you see on the table yesterday. I'll be doing the assembly--that's my "job". Judy and I were talking about possibly floating the blocks a bit and using a half step drop so they staggered rather than stayed in linear rows. Or in my case, to add a small frame of the muslin around in order to square them up a bit with the variances of quarter inches.

This is a top that Aline assembled from blocks we had donated for another project. (Some of you may remember from my "old lost " blog a quilt she had made for a friend of her daughter's who had lost everything in a fire. ) Aline had more blocks than she needed for that quilt but none of us wanted our blocks back if they could be used for the donation quilts. Rather than start another project with the "whatever" block, she sashed these and assembled them in this pretty top. She also made a pieced back for it and the girls pinned it. Stashbusting!!

Later she was working on putting triangles around some string pieced blocks she had been working on at home for another top.

Linda S was working on borders on a top she had made at home. Finn, a piece of blue that you had sent for binding or whatever came in very handy as the color was perfect for the outside edges. She also started making another pile of crazy patched blocks and had another top done. I came home with 4 of her tops to quilt.

Antoinette had three lovely projects in progress when she came--a pinned Pineapple Blossom, a rail fence section set on point with setting triangles in complementary colors that she then bordered and helped pin and a streak of lightning top that we worked out a design for in progress.

Betsy was having to work on a deadline personal project--a Victorian era blouse for a 100th Anniversary for DAR. That's fine though--personal projects are allowed. We were happy to have her company. Marilyn's guest Kim was quite interested in the clothing construction aspect and was able to answer a lot of Kim's questions. Marilyn got borders on a top she had started at home but we'll pin it at the next meeting. She also needed some design help on another project.

Here is Ginny's Pioneer Braid that she started at the last meeting. That Ginny gets any sewing done at home is amazing as she has two young daughters--8 and 5, I think is right. The picture is not doing the colors justice.

I actually got some sewing done this time--since I wasn't having to cut fabric or trim down blocks. The checkerboards, I mentioned. My main objective was to get the 4 1/2 bands of Pioneer Braid done from the last meeting. I had two bands with their corresponding plain strip joined by lunch time yesterday but three more bands to complete! Pedal to the metal time. I took the last stitch at 5:30 last night and trimmed the 3 bands down since the space to do it was NOT what I would enjoy at home. Wahoo--top is still not done but it will be before the next meeting.

Antoinette and her husband came back over to take down the 5 extra tables I had drug out Monday morning. They got things back to the configuration there were in. Antoinette finished up the vacuuming in my area so I could pack up, finish putting stuff away and get the foodstuffs etc gathered up. Of course, none of it is put away here at home yet--other than the food that required refrigeration. The machine, the tote bags, etc--all in the pull cart yet or piled on the cutting table. I've got quilts piled up everywhere--some need labels, some need numbers, some need quilting and I sure wasn't ready to sort that all out last night.

Okay, I guess that's it for any of the curious--Pam, Cher, my quilt group, my mom. I am not sure where the text and the pictures are going to land when I publish this so some editing may be in order. Blogger is good to do that, as we know.


  1. Hi Linda, I have to say the blocks look GREAT!!! I'm so happy that the 2.5" squares helped the process. If you are willing, I have more to send you from my Y2K swaps..yes??? Not kids prints but still some pretty nice squares.

    It's so neat to read how the day went..I just can't imagine a nicer way to spend those 2 days. Lots of work for you, but for such a good cause!

    Loved seeing the other quilts being finished up...always fun to see more quilts. And simple and scrappy works for me!
    Regarding that blue, the uses of any fabric I send are totally up to you. I just thinking borders, backings and binding. LOL, and yes I know you can't back with those half yard pieces..LOL

    Please add me mentally to the list of Pam, Cher and your Mom as being amount the curious and very, very interested in all that your group accomplishes. Hugs, Finn ...who hopes you get to rest abit today!

  2. I loved reading about everything your group accomplished, Linda, and seeing the pictures. What a great lot you did, and it sounds like everyone had a great time. Sewing nonstop with friends for a few days is just the best, isn't it? Especially when it's for such a good cause.

  3. You and your group have been busy! Well done. I enjoyed reading about all your achievements.

  4. you make me tired!!! look at all the love the Belles poured out!!! hip hip hooray!

  5. 2 days of nothing but sewing/chatting/eating with friends? Sounds like Heaven to me! And I love your "whatever you call it" block.. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I love your "whatever" blocks. It makes me want to try my hand at a few. And it sounds like you all had a blast too.

  7. What a wonderful write-up of your meeting. Too much fun.

    And look at all that was accomplished.

    Thank you for sharing.


  8. What a fabulous sew-in you ladies had! Truly inspirational! Thanks for sharing the fun with us!

  9. Great blocks! Really love them and will have to print out your pic and put it in my scrap quilts section of my Quilting Notebook.

    Now I have a really off the wall question: You know on your side bar you have your GOALS listed. How on earth do you get the writing to show the line through the text? Is it a different font? I'd love to include this for my blog but haven't a clue where to get this or how to do it.


  10. It seems that you had a wonderful two days of stitching and chatting together!! How fun and look at everything you got accomplished! Thanks for sharing your adventurous two days!! It was fun to see what you and the other gals did!!

  11. too much fun as usual! your whatever blocks came out smashing gf.

  12. Oh how fun! Thanks for sharing - of course, I think we all are interested in what your group is up to - you guys get sooo much done and it is so fun to see everything!!!



  13. I've also been interested in seeing what your Belles are doing! The Whatever blocks have turned out nicely.

    You've gotten me hooked on the block too, I've drawn up one on EQ and put it on my blog - it's on my list of quilts I want to try! My version has sashing the same color as the block background, and scrappy cornerstones.


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