Monthly Archives: April 2017

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Summer break from school is approaching. Among other things, this means a little more time for my kids to sew. I was discussing summer sewing plans with Sarah of Berry Barn Designs and she suggested that we co-host a kids round robin. This idea sounded great to me. We’ve gathered a group of nine young quilters from around the United States to participate in our Kids Quilt Round Robin. (We have one team of sisters sewing together, so eight quilts will be made. The round robin will have two groups of four.)

A round robin is a group of people participating to contribute to each other’s quilts, where the entire project is passed around the circle, with each person contributing. In each group of four, the kids will sew one section for their own quilt and one section for each of the other three quilts. When the project returns to them, they will have four completed units to put together a 40” x 40” quilt top.

Officially starting May 1, the kids will each sew their first 20” x 20” block or 10” x 40” row in May. (Of course parent help is allowed!) Then the first of the month in June, July and August their project will be passed to the next person in their group. September 1st the package will return to them so the quilt top can be put together and quilted.

My kids have each decided on the theme for their quilt. My daughter, R, will be making a cat quilt, and she’s chosen a geometric block featuring Tula Pink’s Disco Kitty fabric. She’ll be sending some extra Tula fabric along in case the other kids would like to include it in their blocks. My son, G, has decided on a sports theme for his quilt and is featuring baseball in his first block. He’ll be piecing his first inset circle and using applique in his design.

I’ll be sharing our KQRR sewing each month, and in November we’ve planned a blog hop to show off the finished projects.

If you have a young quilter, we’d love for you to sew along with us at home. Tag Me @sarahmgoer and Sarah @berrybarndesigns on Instagram with your progress shots.

My biggest tip for sewing and quilting with kids is to work in small chunks of time (and to take a break if either of you get frustrated). One block or row a month is a good, slow pace in my opinion. When sewing with my son on his first quilt, sometimes it would just be one or two seams that we’d put together in a sewing session. All those little bits add up!

I look forward to sharing what we create in the round robin and seeing what your young quilters create. Happy sewing!

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I think sometimes its important to put things in perspective. I'm railing hard against my perfectionist tendencies in general and trying to remember to embrace an "it's better done than perfect" attitude with regard to my quilts.

Now, sometimes a person is making a show quilt or maybe a bed quilt whose purpose is to lay flat on a neatly made bed. However, I think my favorite size quilt is a lap quilt. I find it a size that isn't too daunting or overwhelming, and also a reasonable size to easily quilt on my domestic machine. But also, where does a lap quilt end up? Well, in my house, it's most likely cuddled around someone, or used to build a fort, and in the end it's probably thrown into a pile on the couch (or the floor!). (It's worth noting that I do have a quilt rack in the living room... but some of us are not always inspired to use it.)

I love our pile of lap quilts. But it does drive home the idea that they don't have to be perfect to be enjoyed. So when those points don't match up perfectly or the quilting is somehow not up to my standard, I like to remind myself that "it'll look great wadded up on the couch."

What are your strategies for letting go of perfection while quilting?

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I recently joined the Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild and I'm excited about how much they have going on. The group is very friendly and there are challenges, swaps, and charity projects (and more) to get involved with.

Helen and Claire are running this year's challenges with a scrap theme. Our first challenge ran from February to April and required that squares and rectangles be a dominant feature in our projects. You can see all the details of the inspiration and challenge on the guild blog.

We also had a scrap swap to kick off the challenge so at the February meeting I brought in almost all my warm colored scraps (reds, oranges, yellows) since my favorite colors are in the cools. To start this challenge I looked at my greens, blues and purples. I decided to go with the spring greens so that I could use this project for my guild challenge as well as the 2017 Pantone Quilt Challenge, featuring Greenery.

A lot of my design inspiration comes from geometry. I knew I wanted to focus on squares and made a tiny sketch of what was in my mind. I started by cutting up all my greenery fabric scraps into squares as large as I could cut from them. I did pull a few greens from my stash as well, but nothing was purchased for this project.

I decided for my background I'd use scrap fabrics as well, in light whites, greys and creams. This section ended up requiring I pull more from stash, but I did use everything I could from my small scraps.

I used a planned improv method. When I had created my first chunk, I added to my set of self-imposed rules to create six similar chunks.

My quilt top finished at 61.5" x 66.5".