Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I'm totally ready for quilt camp

1st Day

My quilt blocks for Framework have been on the design wall since last quilt camp in November. Every time I go into the sewing room (I still can't quite bring myself to call it a quilt studio, since I don't feel like I'm at a creative level to warrant a studio), I see, for example, two bright yellows in a wrong relationship and do a little block swapping. I photograph the current perfect arrangement and print the photo to take to camp to put me on course when I fumble joining the 30 blocks together. I place another design wall on the face of the quilt top and fold it up between the two flannel walls.

Ready to fold for travel

I put it in a big project box on top of of several smaller projects (to do when I finish). I gather together sewing machines, a basket of threads, one of two big bags with bedding, quilting rulers and rotary cutters and cutting mats, pins and needles and irons, electrical cords, paper and pins. Suitcase with regular suitcase kinds of things. Soap and towels, paper towels and nose tissues. Design wall. Snacks. Don't forget snacks to share. Oh, and extra fabric. All into the car. Office chair: upside down on the front passenger seat. I'll pack the last bag of bedding from my bed, just before I leave in the morning.

We are not allowed to arrive before nine a.m. on the first day, but I think I have a good shot at getting there not long afterward. It has never happened before. I set my alarm for 6 a.m. Or at least I thought I did. I'd edited a previous 6:58 setting by changing the :58 to .00. I did not notice that that edit had advanced the 6 to 7. I did not discover this until my TV turned on at 6:58 for my regular awakening to the Today Show. Instead of the Today Show, there is a notice that the cable channels have been realigned. I must rescan the channels. It goes downhill from here, in terms of time-eaters. I arrive at quilt camp at noonish, just in time to catch the camp interns to carry my heavy stuff upstairs before they depart.

Packed. Smallest load for quilt camp, ever. 

The snack table. And a fresh bouquet of irises.
I'll put my stuff out a little later.

The instructions for my quilt top have been translated from German and its measurements provided in metric. A certain amount of "slippage" has occurred, so I have to trim all the blocks to the size of the smallest. Thirty blocks, four sides each. I pull each out separately and replace it after trimming, so that my arrangement won't be disturbed. My photo of the arrangement gets a good workout over the length of camp.

There's a story connected with this quilt. Every quilt camp, Gloria arrives with a glorious collection of fabrics. She cuts them into strips and stitches relentlessly into the night, piecing them into gorgeous blocks. She doesn't go home until she has all her blocks done for a large quilt. At last November's quilt camp, she pieced these blocks. She had a terrible cold and rested often and even talked of having someone come up to take her home because she didn't feel well. But she stuck it out until she finished her blocks, then had her husband come pick her up.

Gloria's quilt blocks

Gloria died two or three days after quilt camp. At this Spring camp, several of her quilting friends are working together to arrange the blocks, and add sashing and borders.  One of our most creative quilters has volunteered to do the machine quilting. The finished quilt will be presented to Gloria's family in her memory.

I regret that I didn't give her a goodbye hug because I was afraid of catching her horrible cold.

After dinner, in the course of the evening, people drift away to bed.

Hanging from a thread guide

I finish trimming all my blocks and head out as well.

2nd Day

Obligatory selfie in the mirror in my sleeping room

That's my bed and my basin

Outside, it's cold and drippy but beautifully atmospheric. Those who got up earlier than I say it rained hard.

Clouds hang in the eastern (or northern, or southern) sky, perhaps foreshadowing more rain. But no more rain comes.

I spend the day sewing my blocks together. That central part of the quilt looks substantially like the pic at the beginning of this blog, without the white strips of the design wall showing between the blocks.

3rd Day

Time to cut out, then sew together, a bazillion 4 x 1¾-inch pieces, then join them side by side for borders. I could have made it easy by sewing a series of longer strips together, then slicing them off in 4-inch increments, but that would create a series of repeat sequences. I don't want that look, even if I'm the only one to notice.

Various quilts in various stages by various quilters:

4th Day

These brightly colored pieced strips spread the length of a long table. They catch my eye, seeming to stretch from here to forever

Another collage of a variety of quilts: The top one has a special history. The quilter (in blue shirt) hand paper-pieced this Grandmother's Flower Garden of a period of 13 years. A debate ensued. She does not want to spend the next 13 years hand quilting it. The onlookers assert that this magnificent hand-pieced beauty deserves no less. Amish quilters are suggested. Do I hear a volunteer in the room?

Barb is finishing up a number of small projects. The star blocks on the right are a group effort on a project that I didn't get the details of.

At 1:22 AM, technically it is the 5th Day, and my borders are on. I give the quilt top a quick pressing. There is one other person left sewing with me to do my TA-DA for. I'll be packing up my room in the morning, so spread it out on my table for the other campers to see when they come in.

I do only a little tidying tonight; I'm sooo ready to fall into bed.

Most have tidied up for a quick pack up in the morning. We'll depart after breakfast.

Several completed community quilts are ready to take home.

Buds on the irises on the snack table have continued to unfurl. They're looking for a home. I'd love to take them, but I'll be going to the theatre on my way home and they would not comfortably survive the heat of the car.

Barb insisted I pose for a photo TA-DA like everyone else does just before I pack Framework up. I notice here that I'm holding it sideways. (Oh, the horror.) I have also noticed I did a hasty application of the outer black border that will require adjusting. But I love it.


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