Sometimes, life just happens . . . in spite of all my plans, in spite of all my good intentions . . . life happens.
That’s the case for me today. My sister Angie and I are doing the All A Twitter block of the month together. We are each making a pretty bed-size quilt from the All A Twitter fabric by Kari Carr for Hoffman California-International Fabrics.
Angie lives in Texas and is not a very experienced quilter. I live in Colorado and have made nearly 300 quilts, so I can answer her questions and help her if she is stuck on any part of the process. You can read more about our fun sewing together, even though we are in separate states, in Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of the All A Twitter Block of the Month blogs.
Our packages arrived about two weeks ago. But we were both really busy. Here’s what my time looked like.
The package arrived on Thursday. On Friday morning, I flew to Houston for Fall International Quilt Market. I had a great time at Market. But I was busy with back-to-back appointments the whole time I was there. I had my package of fabric and instructions with me, but there was not a moment of time to spare.
I saw lots of beautiful things at Market. Here is one of my favorite quilts from the vendor booths. The Dream Big panel by Hoffman California-International Fabrics is still popular as a canvas for show-off quilting, but look what they did here. They cut it up and reassembled it in blocks.
When Market was over, I went to Angie’s house and stayed for four days. And what fun we had!
The first day was chilly and rainy, so we stayed in the house and I gave her a lesson on binding a quilt. She bound two of her quilts.
The following day was a beautiful day and my niece, Andi, took the day off, so the three of us took advantage of their pretty yard to take photos of some of the quilts that I have quilted on my longarm for her.
On Thursday, Ang, Andi and I went to the International Quilt Festival and met Tricia Patterson (Group Editorial Director for The Quilting Company) and filmed a video about the All A Twitter Block of the Month.
Then the four of us spent several hours looking at the exhibits and checking out the vendors.
Friday was my final day in Houston, and we went to the Nutcracker Market. It’s a beautiful holiday market that benefits the Houston Ballet. When it was time to go home, I had not even taken my All A Twitter block fabric out of the package.
I spent Saturday and Sunday doing all the things that need to be done after a week’s absence from home. Suddenly it was Monday and time to go back to work.
Monday evening and Tuesday evening I had to finish a quilt for another blog post, so here we are at deadline time and I have done nothing for part four of my All A Twitter block quilt. But I promise I’ll get it done in time for next month’s blog about it.
And there is good news; the construction methods that you need for this part are methods you’ve used in the first three parts, so they’ll be familiar.
So today is the deadline for our All A Twitter blog and, no, I don’t have my block completed.
After having spent time working at Quilt Market in Houston, Lori spent the rest of the week at my house and we just had too much fun to even open our All A Twitter packages.
We attended Baytown Area Quilt Guild (my guild). It was great fun introducing Lori to my friends. She even spoke to the group about her job at The Quilting Company. Maybe we’ll see some new designers in coming months.
For the next two days we sewed and talked quilting and much, much more. Though Lori and I email daily, when we’re together, we talk nonstop. When a visit is approaching, I have a pile of questions and problems for Lori, much the same as I did when I visited my mother as a young mom sewing for my children.
One of the things that I truly love about the creative process is that it is enhanced by our relationships. When I spend time with my friends or my sister or at quilt guild meetings, I always learn something new. I get so excited about the things I learn, that I must admit I sometimes get resentful about my household chores. Who wants to dust or do laundry when the sewing room is calling?
And, speaking of sewing rooms, one other thing has distracted me a bit–OK, a lot! I am converting my late husband’s workshop into a sewing studio. Right now I am preparing many of his tools for sale so we can decorate the building. I am just so excited to move into the large bright shop turned sewing studio!!
One new thing on this visit is my Electric Quilt software that Lori helped me install and gave me some basic pointers on. What a fun tool. Now I can design quilts on my own. A neat thing that I find with the software is that it gives me the opportunity to experiment with colors and patterns without committing to sewing a quilt, only to find that I made a poor decision.
The highlight of the week was Houston International Quilt Festival. Though I have lived in Houston for three years, this is the second year that I have attended, and this time it was with Lori and her boss. What fun! The quilts at this level are just amazing. I found myself looking at some quilts and thinking I could incorporate something like they did. I want to try applique on a pieced quilt or one of the interesting bindings that was used. With some practice, I think I could do that. Others were just simply beautiful. Here are the winners. If you ever have a chance to attend the Houston Quilt Festival or other large quilt show, take the opportunity to do so. It is just an amazing feast for the eye.
I did get a little bit of work done on my All A Twitter block. Today I got as far as completing my triangle squares and a flock of flying geese. As Lori mentioned in our Facebook Live video, I am feeling more confident in my sewing. And with the all the practice making flying geese, I feel pretty good about them.
As I was sewing my triangle squares and then flying geese, I sewed leaders and enders–a method that Lori introduced me to. Instead of sewing onto a scrap piece of fabric, now I sew onto a piece of a nine-patch quilt that I’m working on. It’s fun to sew the finished block pile grow.
Tomorrow is another day and after my yoga class, I’ll get back to work on my block. Next month we’ll have two blocks to show you. Happy quilting! —Ang
If you want to join us in making the All A Twitter quilt, it’s not too late. It’s available in The Quilting Company Store.
And I taught Ang Bonnie Hunter’s Leaders and Enders method. Bonnie is the queen of scrap quilts. Check out her course.
And now until next time,