Monday, September 12, 2016

Playing with Wool!

Saturday greeted us with clear skies and stunning views!
I spent the day sharing my love of wool with eight enthusiastic quilters eager to learn wool applique'!

They were fearless ... and before long their stems had been embroidered and they had mastered the blanket stitch!

There is such beauty in watching hands at work with needle and thread ... just makes my heart so happy.  
It didn't take long ... and in a blink they were stitching down their leaves and Forget-Me-Nots!
By the end of our day, each women had made great progress!  They had practiced each of the skills they needed to complete their first wool applique' project on their own!  Gosh ... it was such an honor to spend the day bathed in their energy!  I hope that their journey with wool is long and rewarding!  I am grateful to have spent the day sharing my love of wool with them!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Aprons & a Mystery!

In my dillydally life, yesterday was all about aprons ... aprons that fit!  And the day ended in mystery!
Valdez is a beautiful place ... and a true dillydallier must pause to enjoy the view!  Always!  I took this photo right outside the door of the Valdez Convention Center ... a lovely way to begin the day!
Yesterday was all about aprons.  Participants had the opportunity to make either a 3-Piece or 4-Piece custom-fit apron.
Custom-fit means that taking body measurements is a necessary evil ... sew ... we giggled over that and quickly and began drafting our patterns!
In no time at all ...
... our personal patterns had been cut out ...
... and we were busy at our sewing machines!
Our apron construction involved playing with a tube turner!  Sew much fun!
Before the day ended they had completed their aprons!  We enjoyed a Strawberry Shortcake vintage 4-Piece apron!
We celebrated Alaska with a beautiful fireweed 4-Piece apron!
Honoring our Alaskan lifestyle continued with a 3-Piece blueberry themed apron.  And it was  customized with a kuspuk pocket!
I loved that even Van Gogh worked his way into our day!  Such a cute 4-Piece apron!
It was such a fun day!  We giggled the entire day ... talking body shapes and parts can only be hysterical ... sewing is always enjoyable ... add to that supportive and caring women ... one wonders ... is it legal to have this much fun?  My hope is that as these women use their aprons in the future, they are reminded of the fun we had!  I am so grateful to have spent the day with them!
The day ended with a ballroom full of quilters working on a mystery quilt ... just when you think it cannot get any more fun!  It was another wonderful day at the Valdez Quilt Festival!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Friday, September 9, 2016

Patchwork Primer Party!

Many months ago ... when the Valdez Quilt Festival asked me to develop a one day beginning quilting class, I wasn't sure it was possible.  But in true dillydally fashion, I said yes!
As with most things ... planning and implementing can result in two very different results!  my public school teaching career has taught me to expect that!  ;-)  Sew ... the goal behind all my plans for this class was to have the participants leave feeling empowered by the experience.  If they feel empowered, my thought is they will continue on their quilting journey!

The class was small ... which was a relief for me knowing I would be able to give them all the individualized instruction they might need.

These four lovely women trusted me with their quilting experience ... I am always humbled by teaching others.  There may be only four ... but their range of quilting experiences covered almost everything!  That alone, was wonderful as it allowed them to learn from one another's past.

This woman had years of quilting experience that included years of frustration with certain piecing skills.  She set those frustrations aside, and gained a few tips and tricks.  It was fun to see her feel pleased with the results of her efforts!

A young mother of three has to work hard to fit quilting into a very busy family lifestyle!  Her desire to create is very strong ... she shared her frustration with starting projects and then getting stuck by pieces being inaccurate and not fitting together correctly.  She focused on accuracy and the results are lovely!  My hope is that the skills she practiced will enable her to enjoy the limited time she has to piece ... quilting should be fun not frustrating!

"I can't even hem a pair of pants!" was the first thing this woman said when I introduced myself!  I loved it ... an absolute beginner!  She was using an old Singer sewing machine that had belonged to her mother ... made my heart sew happy!  It was such fun to literally watch her skills develop, and by the end of day she was confidently working independently on her pieced units!  

Life happens and our passions and desires often are set aside.  The fabrics had been received 20 years ago from a friend that has since passed from this life.  This participant's intent was to make time to learn to quilt, use the fabric (filled with memories of her friend) she had received, and gift the results to her friend's adult child.  I was sew touched.  She made great progress and will fulfill her goal!
Teaching this class was such a wonderful experience ... each of the participants inspired me ... my hope is that I empowered them!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Traveling within Alaska!

Yesterday was a travel day!  I was asked to teach a few classes at the Valdez Quilt Festival this year ... the event begins today!
There is only one way to get to Valdez from my remote corner of the planet ... and that is by sea!
Check-in time yesterday morning was 4:00 am ... I was there, packed and ready ... but very blurry eyed!  That is a brutal time of day!  But we had a gorgeous day to be on Prince William Sound!
It was a 13.5 hour trip ... lots of time to dillydally!  I worked on a couple of hand applique' blocks!
And it was sunny!  QBees Terry and Barb are also attending ... I love traveling with these two!  Yep ... we had to wear our sunglasses while dillydallying!
Every hour or so we'd get up ... walk around the ship ... take pictures ... it is so fun to travel by ferry!  at 6:45 we arrived in Valdez ... and went out for dinner!
Additional fun begins today!  I begin by teaching a beginning piecing class ... Patchwork Primer!  I heard last night that the class is small ... perfect for new quilters!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Friday, September 2, 2016

Patchwork Primer 2

The arrival of September took me by surprise ... how is this possible!
Fall arrives early here in my remote corner of the planet.  What was green a few weeks ago has become brown and gold.
I have been busy preparing for the classes I will be teaching next weekend at the Valdez Quilt Festival.  This is the original sample I designed to be used to teach basic patchwork piecing skills.
I felt that making a second sample would provide me the opportunity to clarify the notes instructions I wrote while making the prototype!  ;-)  Plus ... I had a couple of Americana themed fat quarter packs that were just asking to be used!  My concern was that one pack was very traditional (on the right) and the other quite contemporary.  Could they be combined successfully as neither of them had enough fabric for this project?  There was only one way to find out ... so I took the challenge and hoped for the best!
Strips became checks ...
... flying geese, right triangles and a simple border were added.  At that point ... the Snoopervisor demanded that it was time for a catnap!
Finally ... the quarter square triangles were added.  Can you spot what I did with the color placement?  I used red next to the inner border, and blue for the outer triangles ... leaving the two light colored (neutral & light blue) triangles to form square shapes.  Combining the two different styles of fabric resulted in a very scrappy look ... I love that ... so am happy with the results! ;-)
We moved on to layering and quilting ... Flicka always shows up when I machine quilt!
And ... as always ... she is in charge!  Why she insists on sitting on a quilt filled with sharp pins is beyond understanding!
Eventually we got to the point where all that was left to do is hand sew the binding in place.
The sun decided to shine this week and out the road we went!  We took long walks ... long by my standards ... we are up to 1.5 miles!  We still have a way to go, but at least my new knee and I are making progress!  I am grateful!
Love those silly dillydally moments when you realize that your nail color matches your project!  Always makes me giggle out loud!  Sometimes the simple things are the most entertaining!
The traditional bundle came with a panel ... so I used it for backing!
Fall truly is here ... the leaves are brittle ... there is a chill in the wind ... and yes, I have the urge to bake with pumpkin!
I love this picture ... it captures a perfect dillydally moment.  After a walk in the sun ... we sit in the shade ... puppy at my feet ... handwork on my lap ... outdoors in the arms of our Creator.  Yep ... a glimpse of heaven here on earth.  Enjoy September!

Do what you love.  Happy Fall!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally