Gawd, I hate having my picture taken

…aka, Family Quilting Day July 2009

Last weekend was our monthly quilting session and there is so much to show! A few months ago, I suggested a fabric challenge, like the Hoffman Challenge. I pulled several fabrics from my stash and we chose one as the challenge fabric. We could make anything we wanted as long as it included that fabric. It was a surprise, so no one could see anyone else’s project until the reveal. Here are photos of everyone’s challenge projects:

First, the reason for the post’s title – me, modeling my project:

Sandi's Challenge Sandi's Challenge Reverse

And yes, these photos are smaller because it’s my blog and if I want to post my ugly pictures smaller, I will.

Next we have Karen’s challenge project. Karen isn’t finished with hers yet, but she’s turning this into a bed quilt so we have to cut her some slack. Also, these are SO not Karen’s colors, so it was REALLY a challenge for her. Her Family Star BOM blocks are laid out on the floor further down this post, and you’ll see what I mean about the colors.

Karen's Challenge

Then there’s Pat’s project. Also not quite finished, she created a beautiful flower garden. Notice that each potted flower includes a piece of the challenge fabric.

Pat's Challenge

Becky is family by extension. She is Pat’s daughter’s husband’s mom. (I just like saying that.) They were talking about people being surprised that they got along with each other, considering the stereotype of mothers-in-law. I’m glad they get along, because I like having Becky in our group (even though she’s a bit camera shy – she’s looking down or away in most photos that include her). Here’s her challenge project:

Becky's Challenge

Finally, here’s my mom’s project, a two sided garden flag. Isn’t it adorable?

Mom's Challenge

She made it to put at the corner of the house next to the neighbors during their daughter’s graduation party. You remember… the one we made the Good & Plenty quilt for? Taking a slight break from the quilting day photos, here’s the bag I made for the quilt.

Good & Plenty gift bag

I used the reversible patchwork bag tutorial by Pink Penguin for inspiration. Next time I do one, I think I’ll make the drawstring holder thingies a little wider. They were difficult to pull on such a large bag. It’s probably the perfect size for a smaller bag like in her tutorial.

We were trying to figure out how to wrap it and finally I said I’d just make a bag for it. I assembled strips from the quilt’s leftovers, used the backing for the lining, and put this bag together the morning of the party. Best of all, it’s big enough to put a regular pillow in so she could use it as a sham if she wanted.

Here’s the graduate with Mom and I when we gave her the quilt.

Good & Plenty gifted

Laura was very pleased, in no small part because now she knew why her mom was stalling about redecorating the bedroom. They made a deal – if Laura decided to go to college locally, they would give her a bedroom makeover. Laura’s mom helped choose the fabrics for the quilt, so it all went together perfectly. Now she can finally have her room.

Okay, back to the family quilting day…

We did show and tell, and of course, everyone but me had something to show. I really need to sew more and plan less…

Karen found some partially finished embroidered pillowcases, and she picked up some fabric to go with them.

Karen's show and tell 1

Karen's show and tell 2

She also brought along a quilt top that we put on the frame – Mom quilted it and finished by the end of the day so Karen could take it home with her.

Karen's show and tell 3

Apparently, Karen’s had this top finished for quite a while. It’s a gift for a good friend of hers, Lala, who joined us for the day. Sorry, no photos of Lala – she was hiding behind all of the quilts that Pat held up.

Karen also showed us her completed blocks from our last quilt along, the Family Star BOM. You can see why I said the bright challenge fabric is not her comfort zone!

Karen's Family BOM

Finally, she showed us the fabrics she picked out for our current basket block quilt along.

Karen's basket fabrics

If you’ll notice in previous pictures, she dressed to match her new fabrics!

The next quilter is Mickey, mom’s youngest sister. Mickey just moved back to the area from Washington state, and has been living in a motor home for the past couple of years. She stopped quilting during that time, but now that she’s back in a larger house she’s going full force again. Here’s her first project:

Mickey's show and tell 1

She also picked up a cute fabric piece with the Quilter’s Alphabet on it, and a coordinating print.

Mickey's show and tell 2

Pat is Mom’s middle sister (Mom’s the oldest), and she’s our most prolific quilter. Every time we get together she has at least two projects to show! This time around was no exception. First, she found a needlework book from the late 70’s, early 80’s. She remembered Mom saying she wished she had a book with needlepoint stitches, so when Pat found this at a rummage sale (I think), she snapped it up.

Pat's show and tell 1
(See? Becky’s hiding…)

Pat’s blue and yellow quilt is made from a charm pack called Sunshine, by April Cornell for Moda. We all oohed over this one – both Mom and Karen have the same charm pack.

Pat's show and tell 3

She also showed this quilt – I’m not sure the pattern name, but it’s adorable!

Pat's show and tell 2

Finally, our newest quilter is Jean, Mom’s sister-in-law. Jean’s always been a wonderful seamstress, but she dipped her toes in the quilting waters when we got together to make a wedding quilt several years ago. She helped make the blocks for her daughter’s wedding quilt, then took a little break (if helping plan a wedding, managing a house and working full time can be considered taking a break), but she joined us a couple of months ago to work on a baby quilt. I think Jean’s our dark horse quilter – she’s building confidence, and once she’s sure of her skills nothing will get in her way. She could challenge Pat for the title of “Most Prolific.” Here’s Jean’s basket block:

Jean's Basket Block 1

She’s the only one of us who actually did the homework from last month! Karen chose her colors, and Pat decided on Batiks, but wasn’t sure how she wanted to use them. After bouncing ideas around, she decided to use ONE batik fabric in each basket block, using a white background. Because batiks are so varied within the same piece of fabric, she’ll still get a lot of movement without too much busy-ness. Once that was decided, she knuckled down and made her basket block. Here are her’s and Jean’s side by side – amazing what a different the fabric choices can make!

Basket Blocks 1

In the last week, Mom’s been working away at her basket blocks. She wants to go scrappy again (this is real progress for her, since she tends toward 3-4 fabrics per quilt). This time she’s going a little softer, and the two baskets she has finished are gorgeous! But that photo is for another post…

I’ve been struggling with my fabric choices. I thought I was going to use a 40’s repro as my inspiration, but, well, I just wasn’t inspired. I’ve avoided cutting the fabrics, and I finally realized this morning that I needed to make this quilt with the intention of giving it away. That way I can choose fabrics without the pressure of “loving” them. I decided to use the brown and blue color scheme that we’re doing for the other neighbor’s graduation quilt. He doesn’t graduate until next year, so we have some time, but we’ve already chosen the fabrics and pattern. As I cut the basket quilt blocks, I’ll also cut the strips for his quilt. This will give us a head start on the project.

Okay, having said that… I’m off to cut fabric!

(Sorry, everyone. My blog – only photos of ME get to be posted itty bitty.)



  1. My friend Susan bought the April Cornell charm pack last year, to take up quiltmaking again for the first time in 30 years or so. Then she needed more to finish, and WOW was it hard to find! Finally found some after searching everywhere, locally, by phone, and online. It really is a pretty print, wonder why they don’t re-release it?

  2. Wow! What a great post! How I would LOVE to have your family to sew with! You guys look like you are having a great time-without the pressure of a sewing/quilting guild to “perform” for!
    Thanks for all the great pics and I LOVE your teeny-tiny picture idea as well…maybe I would even stand still for a picture if I got to choose that option…maybe!
    Have a great day!

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