Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Using Your Quilting Calculator.

We had an abbreviated class in using the Quilt Calculator at RWYS. This tool is truly a gem and if you will just work through the syllabus and make up some problems, you will soon be proficient in its use. It will help you make scrappy quilts, calculate yardage needed, keep track of fabric expense for a project, convert metric to standard measurements....particularly if you like those English and Australian quilt books. Truly, you can have some fun. So here is a little problem for you to work through on your calculator:

You are at 35th Avenue and it is Black Bag Day. They surprised everyone and just put the 30's fabric on sale for 30% off. You've been doodling in your head and want to make a simple quilt with plain 3-1/2" blocks made with 1" sashing between each one. You know you will need 300 blocks. You will have 2 borders, one will be 2" and one will be 5". You want at least 6 fabrics for the blocks, a lovely creamy yellow for the sashing, and two different fabrics for the borders. How much of each fabric should you buy? Answer will follow in later post.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Looming Graduations

Are you looking for a perfect graduation gift for your child or grandchild? Don't you sometimes wish you could give your young adult some sage words of advice....words they would remember as they spread wings and are exposed to "worldly ways?"
In 2007, Nancy Halvorsen published a book (available from Amazon or through Art To Heart). It is titled: Be Attitudes. Along with it, she designed fabric to be used in the construction. However, you most definitely can use other fabrics. Also, there is a "button kit" for embellishing your quilt. It can be purchased from Art to Heart 801-544-5511. Again, you can substitute as needed. The point of this quilt is that each of twelve blocks give your graduate a "word of advice" from you. They will see it each day when they awake and when they go to bed. Your prayers will cover them and, hopefully, they will make it through college in good stead. An example of a Be Attitude would be "Be Honest" or "Be Grateful". While the blocks are pieced and appliqued, it is all done by machine with buttonhole stitch and the quilt can be made in less than 2 weeks (conservatively). Bottom line, when you make this graduation quilt, you are sharing wisdom, hope and prayers with your graduate.
If you have any questions, just post a comment....and I'm going to see if Erika can take me to the next level of inserting a scan of the book cover. Stayed tuned to Imperfect Quilter and watch me step out of my comfort zone in learning how to blog. Thanks for your patience.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

With a Little Help From My Family....

At long last, I am being instructed, guided, helped, into the current world of blogging. It has not come easily and I'm still trying to grasp the big picture, but I am told it is a great way to connect to others who share common interests.
I chose the name Imperfect Quilter because after 25 years of quilting and 20 years of teaching, I know there is no such thing as a Perfect Quilter. In fact, it is in our imperfections we grow, we learn, and are kept humble in our efforts. Observing students over the years, it is discouraging to see people's focus on perfection override their joy of quilting. Skill levels rise with practice and getting hung up on the particulars slows that progress. Quilting is a wonderful skill that brings warmth and peace to those who receive our quilts. We can make a lot more if we're not stuck on perfection. Having said this, we should always strive to do the best we can do, but not obsess over the little things. So, quilters of the world your best and let the points take care of themselves. Become an Imperfect Quilter and find great pleasure in your work, share your quilts with others in need, and delight in your ever developing skill.