Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stitchin' Sisters have a Mystery Quilt

The Stitchin' Sisters meet at the Methodist Church in Yulee FL.
They have been learning how to sew and making quilts for several years now, under the leadership of Julie Mainor. Each Tuesday they are at the church making a variety of patterns for gifts, charities, and even occaisionally themselves!
I was honored to be their first "outside" teacher, and provider of their first Mystery Quilt!
We had a wonderful time making The Stadium Quilt, a small quilt designed to be taken to a sporting event.
Of course at the end of the class everyone gets a picture of the quilt to add to their Clues (the instructions broken up by steps).
I like to design these Mystery Quilts with some techniques to learn. The Stitchin' Sisters have a lot of beginners, so they learned about making triangles: Quarter-square triangles, and two different ways to make Half-square triangles!
Usually these days quilters make HSTs with squares cut 7/8" or 1" larger than the finished size, or they use the printed paper for triangles.
This is the first way I learned about making lots of HSTs....on a grid....because you always seem to need a batch!
On the wrong side of the lighter fabric, draw a grid of squares the desired size (choice of formula above) with one diagonal line through each square. Layer it right sides together with a dark fabric. Sew 1/4" away from each side of the diagonal line. Cut on the drawn lines, press open, and, as in the photo above, you get 24 HST units (from a 3 x 4 grid)!

The best part of class is seeing all the different fabric choices. There were lots of the expected sports teams, especially the local college teams...but not one Jaguars! There were even some out-of-state teams. You can get a printed fabric for just about anyone's favorite team, which makes this sort of quilt a great gift.
There were also some lovely quilts made with fish fabrics, flowers and just pretty colors. One lady had fabric she'd saved for over 15 years!
See...it pays to buy it when you see it, even if you don't use it right away!

The Stitchin' Sisters had a covered dish lunch that was unbelieveable! Those ladies sure can cook, and there was so much food they called their husbands to come over an eat with us. I think a few of those guys were waiting for the call!
I should have taken a picture for you, but I was too busy filling my plate with the best fried chicken ever.
Fabric...food...fun...the Stitchin' Sisters have it all! What a great day it was, and I heard since then that most of the quilts are finished!

I showed my two samples, which were quilted onto fleece that was printed in a team motif. If you do that, you can have a double sided statement of your team spirit! (or any of the other zillions of motifs available...really, have you looked at what all is printed on that fleece stuff?)
When you use the fleece, it can be both back & batting, which makes a light weight quilt that can be moved easily through the machine while quilting. I did all-by-machine bindings on those....trust me, you don't want to hand stitch on that fleece!
Sounds like a good idea for a future tutorial!