Thursday, February 26, 2009

Guild Organization

Three years ago a tiny little group of us met at our LQS and decided to form a quilt guild. There was another guild in town, but it met during the day and since most of us work we were pretty much shut out of their activities. I think we had about 5 or 6 people that night. During the first few months we were feeling our way--only a couple of us had ever even belonged to a guild before, so we weren't quite sure exactly what things we wanted or were capable of doing as a group.

We talked about by-laws, but since there were so few of us it seemed a little silly to make up a bunch of rules. We did elect officers--a president (the "lucky" one who happened to miss that particular meeting), a secretary, and a treasurer. After the first few meetings I started to get a little worried that people wouldn't want to come back if we didn't have some sort of plan or activity for each meeting, so I did a little research on the web and came up with some ideas for programs. They appointed me the program chair on the spot!

We've grown little by little over the years. But there came a point when those of us who had been in it since the beginning began to see that the same people were doing the same things each month, and new members didn't speak up at meetings or would just kind of disappear after attending a couple of times.

So, at the suggestion of our secretary, who really was doing the lion's share of the month to month work, we decided to open up the group and try to get more members involved. We split the big jobs into lots and lots of smaller jobs. We now have a membership chair, a historian, a Quilter's Day Out committee, a person in charge of retreats, a greeting committee, a monthly activity committee, a program chair, a person in charge of making sure we're aware of sales and shows in the area, a refreshment committee, a group in charge of the charity quilts, and many, many others.

And me? I got to retire as program chair and I now do the mystery quilts and the challenge quilts.

Guild meetings are something I look forward to every month. I love seeing what everyone is working on and learning new techniques and meeting other quilt enthusiasts. What I especially treasure is that I feel a part of a group of people I like and respect.

Do you belong to a guild? How did you organize it?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What I'm Working on Wednesday

More socks. It's a little like eating potato chips. Once you get started on socks you just have to keep going. I'm afraid I've long since lost the ball band on this yarn. I wish I could remember the yarn brand because it yielded a very generous amount--I often seem to find myself running low as I begin the decreases for the toe. I started the first one just after Christmas and I turned the heel during a loooooong flight delay in Detroit on our way back from Boston just before New Year's. The second one got finished up to the toe last night during the president's speech.

This second one is made from yarn dyed by my LYS owner. It may hold the all-time record for frogging. It was a case of the yarn looking much more attractive on the skein than it did as it was knitted up. After trying many different knitting patterns I finally just decided to go with the old plain Jane. Oh well. It's actually beginning to grow on me.

The sock is on top of a cheat sheet I made for myself so I wouldn't have to keep hunting down the book with the heel pattern, then the other book with the heel turning sequence, then the blasted directions for the dreaded Kitchener stitch. I can't think why it took so long to come up with that little time saver.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ocean Scarf

I made this scarf last month. Entrelac is something I'd wanted to try for a long time. Many, many years ago I saw a news report from Russia about something or other, and one of the people they interviewed was wearing an entrelac sweater. I was totally facinated by that sweater.

When I first went into the LYS the owner was featuring a scarf like this and offering a class. Unfortunately I couldn't ever find the time to attend. Then, this past November the owner Annie saw me admiring her scarf for the thousandth time and suggested I just give it a try. I went ahead and bought the yarn--another color actually, and I got started. It took a couple of tries before I "got" the pattern. I found a couple of websites with pretty good basic directions. It's not that hard, once you catch on.

I was happily knitting away with a beautiful colorway of oranges, coppers, rusts, and jades for contrast when I realized why I had chosen it. It had reminded me of a blouse my sister had back in high school. How I loved that blouse! The thing was, those colors look absolutely right on her and probably just okay on me. Well, here it was November and here I was knitting a scarf that I knew would look fabulous on her, so I went ahead and finished it up and gave it to her.

After Christmas I went back to the LYS and found this colorway called Ocean. (Hers was called Autumn.) This second one knit up just as quickly.

The yarn (I used Plymouth Boku) has long, long color runs and the colors blend one into the next very smoothly. It's almost the perfect yarn to use with this pattern.

The pattern is available here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


That was the weather forecast for today, and they were right.

It's been the perfect day to stay cozy and warm in the sewing room and work on some projects. I've been finishing up a couple of blocks for a charity quilt the guild is working on.

I've finished a round robin border--another guild project. Now I'm just puttering around, straightening up while I wait for some fabric for the lattices and borders of another project to make it through the dryer.

We've got a pot of chicken soup simmering on the stove and no reason in the world to have to go out.

Hope you are warm and dry wherever you are.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What I'm Working on Wednesday

I love blue and white quilts. Maybe it's about the crispness of the blue next to the white, or maybe it's because blue is my favorite color. I began collecting indigo fat quarters a couple of years ago with the thought that someday I would make one myself, not really thinking about the pattern that I would use. Then one afternoon while I was looking through some old magazines I found this beautiful old pattern. (Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, July/August 2001). They call it Chinese Box, but I've also seen it called Lost Ships. Either way, it is a joy to piece by hand.

As you can see I've accumulated quite a stack of them. I'm up to about 20 now, and I figure I'll need 27 whole blocks and 6 half blocks to make a decent sized bed quilt. One of the really nice things about this pattern is that it gives cutting directions for the half blocks, instead of having to slice a whole block in half diagonally.

I just keep cutting squares and triangles and putting them aside for when I want to do some hand work. No rush, no guilt. I'll finish it when I finish it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Storm Damage

You are looking at the wreckage left over from the terrible ice storm we had a couple of weeks ago. The two beautiful maple trees in our front yard were pretty much destroyed by a heavy coating of ice which broke off most of their limbs, one by one, over the course of that long, scary night.

The man from the tree service who came out to survey the damage took one look and just shook his head.

Luckily nothing hit the house. Also nothing hit the neighbor's houses. I am thankful for that.

I know that with everything else that has been going on in the world, it's silly to be sentimental about two old maple trees. Still, they were two grand old ladies who had been guarding the front of the house for over sixty years.

I'm going to miss them.