Last night, several of us at Pine Needles got together and did our own test drive of Kaye England's technique for sewing together a quilt top. This process has always fascinated me because it is a chance to sew the quilt top together in one sitting...that is, one doesn't have to keep running to the design wall to pick up separate units. You pick up all the pieces at one time and then through a system of stacking the blocks and positioning yourself in your sewing space, you then pick up and sew the sets together into units of two. Then you sew into units of four and next into groups of eight. The goal is to cross-lock seams so that all of the seams are not all dragging in the same line. Sewing units in cross-locks will help our quilts hang more squarely as well as give a balance to the design of the quilt.
Each staff member selected a group of fabrics and cut them into 64 squares so that the layout would work as 8 squares across and 8 squares down. The quilts will be available for Kaye England's class on Saturday. We will also be using the kits for future classes on teaching this technique. It was great fun to see the fabrics that "spoke" to each staff member. We also challenged everyone to finish quilt their quilts using different techniques. We anticipate people will be using embroidery machines, BSR, applique embellishment and even fancy threadwork. This is going to be a lot of fun to see what blooms up in VIP, Very Inspired People. Free for anyone to attend with five different time options, you will want to look into joining us for this great time to learn. I ALWAYS learn lots in VIP from my Sew Inspired Pals.
We each used the floor as a design wall. Certainly if one had a design wall that is how we would normally put it together picking up each row. We watched Kaye's DVD, Qubed, for our coaching. It was fun to watch Vicki Tracy having a race with Kaye England on piecing on a serger vs. a sewing machine. What rollicking fun this was to watch. The whole DVD is an inspiration for one of my favorite quilt block techniques....squares and quadrangles. Simple? Indeed. But Stunning!
We eached finished our quilt tops and then went out for dinner and a good chance to laugh and talk through what we learned. This is not a technique that most will master the first time around. However, we all could see the great value in refining our sewing skills by working through Qubed Techniques. I posted a slide show of our progress on our web site. Check it out.
Last night when I came home and went to bed, I couldn't get to sleep thinking about the technique we had just experimented with, I drew out the blocks and played with the configurations. It came to me that this technique will work fabulously for blocks as well as whole quilts. I am also planning to work this through with charm packs for fun and simple quilts.
Most people don't really understand how we sewers can be so interested in putting a quilt together and not always so anxious to finish our quilts. It is about the process and not always the product. However, in this project (Qubed), I can really see that this is like creating a puzzle and getting good results regardless of how exactly the puzzle goes together. I don't do Soduko, but I do like to work my brain on puzzles like this!
If you can't make the Saturday event with Kaye England, look for the coming classes with our staff. Make sure you check into attending our Friday party with Kaye England. She is hosting our kick-off party for Be There, Get Your Square. Along with getting 28 fat quarters in Kaye's fabric collection, Back Home Again, those participating in the party and the Be There event will get the patterns for making Kaye's 12-blocks for Back Home Again and specials and fun.
Another great and fun event I have been participating in is a web site with a group of other shop owners, My Quilt Village. Presently, we have been working on a blog about our first quilts. I just finished reading all the posts to date. Treat yourself to a walk through the blog and be eligible to win a prize. Go to www.myquiltvillage.com
All the Best to You, jill
P.S. Do you wanna join my sewing puzzle?!