Friday, November 30, 2012

Friendship Strips & Scraps Quilting Bee

From this....
to this....

and eventually to this....
 This is the quilt that sparked it all.  Penny Buetler made this beautiful star quilt using traded strips from members of her quilt guild.  When Leisha was quilting this quilt, ladies were oooooing and ahhhhing as they saw it.  And so our little Friendship Strip Quilt Group began.  I feel like we need an official name for our little group.  Many thanks to LaReen for scheduling the city building, and to Leisha and Sandra for getting the word out.  20 ladies joined in the strip swap.   For those of us who stayed to quilt, we each paid a dollar or two to cover the cost of the building rental.  Look around for civic centers or city rooms - they are usually very inexpensive for a meeting like this.
 The book and artist that started it all!   "Fabric designer and quilter Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts invites quilters everywhere to enjoy the fun, creativity and camaraderie of her new friendship fabric exchange idea--trading fabric strips. Share from your own stash or use precut fabric strips such as Jelly Rolls and Honey Buns. Edyta tells you how to plan a successful fabric strip exchange, so go ahead and start your exchange with friends, through shops, a guild or on a retreat, just keep in mind that the more people, the more variety of fabrics and the more the merrier! Edyta has created a simple strip panel technique and designed 18 gorgeous quilted projects......Hundreds of step by step technique photos, diagrams and illustrations for creating strip panels and fusible applique. You'll want to make every quilt in this book."
 We held our first Strip Swap Nov 13th.  What fun.  20 of us..........Leisha, Lauri, Renee, Sandra, Susan, Barbara, Debbie, Jeanenne, Caroline, Penny, Julia, LaReen, Kim, Joleene, Shelli, Nola, Pam, Valerie, Kristin, and Jen.  We all traded 1  1/4" x WOF strips.  We went with that width so that we could use Jelly Rolls. As you can see in top photo, each member brought 10 different strips for each member.  YES that is 190 strips we cut to trade and another 10 for ourselves.  But wait untill you see the collection of strips!  It was like Christmas or a birthday.  We were so excited.
We had some wonderful soups and dips!  This first meeting was a day to evening event to accommodate everyone's busy schedules.  Ladies dropped in when they could and about a dozen of us stayed to sew.
And of course we need some snacks!
 Machines are set up and we are ready to sew.
 Penny was the first to begin sewing her strips together!  Definitely singing blocks!  Penny had several ideas.  One was to add an extra strip wider than your template.  This way you can move the template and get a different look of each triangle or diamond block.  Also, she keeps track of where she has sewn by picking up each strip by the selvage - can you see her strips - that way you will know to begin sewing the next strip  on the opposite end. Remember to sew your strips together from opposite ends to avoid the wave.

My first attempt.  This was a little difficult at first.........I was trying to match prints and colors.  HA.  Forget that.  Just select random prints and let those colors "sing" as Edyta says.  Penny also suggested to cut each strip in half at the 2022" mark and sew shorter blocks.  That way you can create more variety in your blocks.  Another plus is that you will have less wave.

My first cut triangles for the star spider quilt.  Make sure to select the right template.  Pay attention to the name of the quilt you are creating.  Several templates have "A" on them but you will need to select the template with the right name and letter.  Sorry for the blurriness - these pictures were taken with my phone.
 Yes I think they are beginning to sing.   I am so excited about this quilt.  I was a little scared at first...not now.  I am so excited.  I
 So this is what I did with the other side of my cut strips.  I want to make the neighborhood house quilt.  I lined them up to prepare my selection for the house blocks.
 Here is a small pic from the book.  I have been eyeing this quilt for a year now!

 This is not even half of the strips we received.  I still have bags of strips to open.  Isn't this fabulous!
 What did we do besides trade strips and chat and snack and laugh and share!  We sewed.  Kim is making a stack and slash versions with layer cake squares.  Cut though the blocks at the 3.5" and 6.5" mark.  Take the first fabric to the back on one pile.  Sew blocks back together and then slash crosswise and sew again.
 LaReen was making the half square triangle pin wheel quilt.  Notice her nice tray of matched up blocks?  I love this.  I am never this organized.  Sew around the outside edge of the matched squares and then cut an X through the center and TADAAA you have 4 blocks.
 Leisha was working on her Mama's Garden quilt.  I forgot to take pictures until the end so I missed most of the ladies.  Next time we will post a group shot.
 See down in the left hand corner.  That is Penny's Stip Quilt.  So beautiful.  Also, notice her cute little iron table she keeps that to the right of her sewing machine and just had to reach over and press as she sewed.  Great idea.
 Sandra was working on the binding of her 1 charm pack baby quilts.  All these are for gifts for new moms.

Joleene made this gorgeous quilt.  Here with Barbara's help, they held up the quilt so I could get a full picture.  We loved the rich fall colors.

I am sorry I didn't get pictures of everyone that was there.  Jeanenne was there earlier in the day sewing her Hearts Hearts Hearts Quilt. Heather was there working on her half square pinwheel quilt as well.  Next time I will remember to get some better pictures and permission from everyone to print them here on our blog!  I didn't use pictures of the ladies today because I didn't get permission first.  Also, I have some great pictures of us busy teaching and sharing with each other, but someone is always bending over.  Haha. We will print no unflattering pictures.

SO, when are you starting your sewing group?  We are going to meet once a month!  That is doable!  Get the ladies in your area together.  It is so fun.  And we can keep those Quilting Bee traditions alive.

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