Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Make a Blanket Day - We Thangled all the Way

Last Friday a bunch of us Blanketeers got together and Thangled together some Friendship Star blocks. Rhonda had worked with Thangles before, so she gave us a quick tutorial on how to use them and we were off! They certainly help speed up the process of making half square triangles, though for accuracy, I think I prefer pure paper piecing myself. Here are Virginia's Thangles being sewn on her vintage Singer. You can just see the dark green fabric that she's using for her stars peaking out from the Thangle at the lower left corner of the picture. I think the dark stars are going to look terrific with the jumble of brights she's chosen for the rest of her quilt that are laying at the right of her machine. My pile of batiks is in the center of the table - the turquoise and blue fabric is going to be my main background.
Karen brought her Featherweight and it was a treat to see her sewing up a storm on that tiny little machine! We all liked her table top combination pincushion/scrap bag. I know I could use one just like it; I spent most of the morning looking for a trash bin. Look at how cute Karen's polka-dot Friendship Stars are coming out. I can't wait to see that one all made up. Karen is our resident professional long-arm quilter who has generously been quilting our Project Linus and U.S.O. charity quilts for free. I guess she has machines in all sizes!
And speaking of generous, here's Bea (at right) with this incredible Jacob's Ladder quilt that she's made and is planning to donate as a raffle item to Holy Redeemer Catholic Parish for their building fund. Isn't it amazing! By the way, Bea quilted it by hand. She said it only took her two to three months. I asked if her that was just a few hours per day, and she said, "No, sometimes I worked on it for 10 hours a day." I don't remember how I responded to that; I think I just stood there with my mouth hanging open. Fortunately no flies flew in. Sheila, Bea's daughter, had raffle tickets with her to sell; she found many willing takers among this crowd.
Here's a close up of Bea's hand quilting. She quilts like the Amish. I've said it before that she could put on a bonnet and quilt among them; now I have proof. So beautiful and such nice, even stitches. I love her color choices too. If I win it, it would make an outstanding wedding present for my Mom, who recently got engaged to be married. It even matches her bedroom... though of course, she'll be moving when she marries. I forgot about that little detail!
And here's the fabric feeding frenzy! Christine, one of our knitting/non-quilting Blanketeers, had dropped off two big bags of fabric squares that a friend had given her a long time ago. Christine's friend used to make ties out of cotton and these were the leftovers. There were many cool vintage fabrics present in the jumble.
We dumped the fabric out on the cart and I told everyone to take what they wanted and I would take home the rest. Despite the fact that Christine's friend must have been a heavy smoker, there were plenty of takers for the fabric (though a ton of it was leftover, including a bunch of denim that I really tried to find a good home for. lol) It was a real feeding frenzy. Only Virginia, who can smell a camera a mile away, noticed that I was snapping pictures merrily away the whole time.
Lots of fun was had trying to sort out the heaps of little fabric squares, most around 4"x4" or 6"x6". Here are Sheila, Mary and Rachel in front, with Rhonda and Brandy nearly obscured, all trying to make hay out of this vintage treasure trove.
All in all, another terrific Make a Blanket Day. We learned something, we sewed something, we ate something (lots of somethings), we got some cool, free fabric and we had lots of laughs. Here you can see how many nice, bright kid-friendly fabrics there are in the jumble. (I guess Brandy noticed me here; the others are too intent on their scavenge hunt.)
The only thing that would have made it better would have been if more people could have attended - maybe I could have off-loaded the denim on one of them!

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