I spent the first week of this month in PA where I taught at two quilt guilds in the Pittsburgh area. In between, I went to stay with a friend in her cabin in the beautiful Allegheny Mountains. We stopped in the attractive town of Franklin for lunch and to meet the quilters collecting me. Right in the center of town outside the Court House was a green strip with cherry trees adorned in colorful crotchet and knitting. These yarn bombs were sponsored by the Wooly Wonders Knitting Guild and Diane’s Yarn Shoppe both based in Franklin.
What fun! I loved these vibrant tree wraps. Clearly there were many contributors and their work was all pieced together in an inspiring way to make a bright and cheerful display. Here are some closer shots including some Granny-squares, and don’t you just love the bee!
At our recent Kitsap Quilters’ Guild meeting, we celebrated our 30th anniversary by honoring our founding members. Five of the original ten were at the meeting. Here they are, from left to right, Norma Tipton, Donna Endresen, Margaret Mathisson, Helen Heins and Evelyn Bright. Each reminisced and shared some of their quilts. We heard about the first retreat where they slept in bunk beds and had to clear away their hand-sewing projects from the table in order to eat their meals, and the first quilt show held in a church hall. All except Helen were joint owners of the quilt shop in Poulsbo, Heirloom Quilts, which was incredibly supportive to the guild in numerous ways. These ladies were pillars of the guild for many years and still remain active. Their contributions have been amazing and they constantly inspire us.
On the left below are a couple of Donna’s quilts. She loves to make scrappy quilts and says “Why use only four fabrics when you can use 40?”. Margaret’s are on the right, and as well as being beautifully pieced, they are hand quilted. She has been a member of a small hand-quilting group since the guild began and they still get together once a week and hand quilt around a frame, taking turns to quilt each other’s quilts.
Evelyn loves to applique and makes magnificent quilts. The quilt with the Christmas blocks was made from our guild Christmas block exchanges where people make 15 identical blocks. They keep one and the other 14 are exchanged so that everyone gets 15 different blocks. They usually gather up two or three year’s worth of blocks to make a decent sized quilt.
Norma began a voluntary program at the Women’s Correctional Facility in Purdy and for years went to the prison every week to teach the ladies there. Other guild members have also participated and this program continues. Our guild has donated yards and yards of fabric, batting and quilting supplies. The prison ladies make quilts for a battered women’s shelter. After they have made a certain number they are allowed to make one for a family member. The guild donated funds to purchase a long-arm quilting machine too, so quilt production is healthy at the prison and the women love it.
I encourage those of you who are in guilds to express appreciation to your founding members who did so much to help your guilds become established and to thrive. We celebrated with two cakes and made it into a lovely social event.
An aspect I enjoy about teaching, is learning from my students and being introduced to new gadgets. A lady at my recent class at the Quilt Guild of Greater Houston had these awesome LED lights on her sewing machine. They come in a strip with an adhesive back and can be cut to the appropriate size for your machine. Nice patchwork pincushion tied onto the machine too!
The amount of light generated from the strip of little bulbs is significant. More light is always good for ease of vision and accurate sewing. Here’s a shot of the machine with lights switched off and you can see the difference. The view of the backside of the machine shows how the lights are connected to the power source with cables. On my machine, I used the clip provided to pass the cable around the back and I stuck the switch part around the corner on the end of the machine.
You can order these lights as a kit from Amazon and if you get the expansion kit with an extra transformer and connectors, you can do two sewing machines for $45 (instead of one for $30). Mine have just arrived and I’m very pleased with them. I will share the second set with a friend. A reviewer on Amazon recommends temporarily taping the lights up to try them out and move them with ease to adjust to the most advantageous position. Once you are satisfied that they are in the best place, then you can peel the paper away from the back to expose the adhesive strip and stick them exactly where you want them.
Here’s the kit including the extension with enough LED strip lights for two machines, connectors, and two transformers etc. Here’s a link to a YouTube video to help you with the installation if you decide to purchase them.