Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Going to Guild - The Stitch Girls

Last Monday was our August guild meeting, and Pam and Lynn from The Stitch TV Show were our guest speakers. The topic was Sew Fast and Take Chances.

It was a great program about how our brains work and what motivates us (spoiler: Pam and Lynn's processes are totally different!). 

Guess what Lynn's favorite color is.

They had tips for breaking down what mental blocks keep us from getting things done or letting go of learning experiences that are not destined to be finished objects.

They also had lots of gorgeous quilts to show, although my iPhone-tography doesn't do them justice.

We even got a sneak peek of a pattern that hasn't been released yet called Main Squeeze!

It was so fun to see my favorite quilting talk show hosts in person again. Have you watched the latest episode? Subscribe so you'll never miss it!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Machine Quilting Monday - What I Learned from Entering My Quilt in a Show

No, I haven't been machine quilting much lately, but I realized I had never wrapped up my experience of entering my quilt into the East Cobb Quilters Guild show back in June.

For the backstory, visit these posts first:

  1. Bonnie Hunter - the class that started it all
    1. too many posts to list over the years detailing the incremental progress being made (or not)
  2. Bobbin Chicken - entering my quilt 
  3. I'm In! - my quilt was accepted into the show
  4. Bordering on Insanity - quilting String Spider Web
  5. Hip to Be Square - blocking a quilt for the first time
  6. Georgia Celebrates Quilts - seeing my quilt hanging in the show

We were in Boston when it was time to pick up the quilts, so Ben generously collected mine for me. I didn't see him until our July guild meeting, and then completely forgot about it.

The Stitch did an episode where they shared their judges comments, so I thought you might like to see mine.

The comments were very kind, and none of the critique was a surprise. For instance, I got a "Good" on Complexity of Design (it was a pattern, and not particularly challenging) and Piecing Techniques (I cut off most of my star points by making my original template wrong).

I also got a "Good" for Finishing Techniques, with a note that says "pieced binding frames quilt well but could be smoother and straighter." That's fair.

The only other "Good" I received was for Quilting Techniques, which has the words "even stitches/tension" underlined. Tell me something I didn't know! I was happy to be rated "Good" in this category since even stitches are still my biggest challenge, especially when quilting teeny, tiny pebbles and other motifs.

But I was thrilled to also have "Very Good" in every other category, as well as these positive comments:

  • "Clever idea, great assortment of fabrics" (that's what you get when you take this many years to finish a quilt!)
  • "Quilting motif well chosen specific to quilt" (shoutout to Christa Watson, Angela Walters, and my #machinequiltingbloghop partners in crime, Kristin, HollyAnne, and Vicki!)
  • "Held up well under stiff competition" (squeeee! Lynn says this means it was held for consideration for a ribbon!)
I am so pleased with this experience and only regret that it took me so long to try entering a show outside my own guild. It was a great learning experience, and pushed me to do my best work. I know that this quilt truly has been practice for the ones that come next, and I look forward to stepping up my game in the future.

Have you ever entered a judged show? How was your experience?

Saturday, August 5, 2017

What's On? Americana

The Pit Boss and I just finished Season 1 of Ozark, a filmed-in-Georgia thriller featuring the dark side of Jason Bateman as a financial advisor/money launderer. There are no good guys in this series, but you find yourself alternating who you cheer for and who you hope pulls up to the dock. 

I love that TPB recognized a place, which led us to discover that the show was filmed in our neck of the woods. But the funniest part is that he didn't recognize any of the iconic or beautiful spots nearby, mentioned in the linked article...no, my man spied a familiar gas station with a check cashing place and a restaurant. Back off, girls. I saw him first.

On my Kindle app this week is David McCullough's The American Spirit, which I'm reading for our book club at work. This is a collection of speeches, including many delivered at graduations and commemorative events over the last twenty-five years.

I'm only a few chapters in, but it's fascinating to read the pre-9/11 (or other critical moments in recent history) with an eye towards what lies ahead. It's like watching a flashback scene in a movie, knowing who's about to die and being completely unable to stop it. Unfortunately, these events are real.

And last, on my podcast app, I've finally caught up on my quilty episodes and gone searching for something new. I've filled in with some History Chicks and Stuff You Missed in History Class, but I've grown slightly addicted to The 45th Podcast, dedicated to keeping up with the latest from the Trump White House. I love that the hosts have differing political leanings, yet manage to keep the conversation civil. It's also super helpful for them to explain a lot of the political issues from both sides when so much of what we hear in the news is so biased.

What's on your devices? 

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