Monday, March 23, 2015

New York State of Mind

In February I got a small case of the winter blues.  I wanted something fun.  Something new.  Something to look forward to.   You know how it is.

I decided to register for a New York Beauty piecing class and have really really really been looking forward to it since.  I have been all over Pinterest searching for inspiration.  I have been pulling fabrics from my stash and have been daydreaming of the mini 4-block quilt I want to make.  It was a wonderful boost to my imagination (and winter spirit) just to have registered.

This past Friday (20 March....my Dad's birthday) my day had finally come!  I popped into the car with my sewing machine, a small suitcase of fabric (but what if the absolute perfect fabric was left at home? you had to bring it all....) and a pillow case filled with my mini ironing board and rulers and set off for Dublin.  Happy happy happy.

This class was hosted by the Quilter's Guild of Ireland, taught by Ana Buzzalino using this quilt, New York Sate of Mind, as our guide.


There were 12-15 people in the class, with each and every one (no exception) using a full array of batiks.  Some were full of lively colors (gorgeous oranges and purples) but others had more shades of brown and green than I have ever seen in my life.  I was the weirdo.  With lots and lots of Sesame Street in my child hood, it bubbles up in my head at times like these:

One of these things is not like the others,

One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?


We were given templates to make four blocks or one full circle.  The instruction was quite brief and basic - quick intro to paper piecing and how to fit a curved seam (with many pins).  Really the huge bonus of having a teacher with you for the day was to ask questions and get practical hands on help.  In that way it was brilliant.

I started piecing (using techniques from my Craftsy class) the arcs immediately, loving every bit of it.  I used a Cotton and Steel basic print (yellow) in combination with a rainbow of charms from our last charm swap.  They give you so little space in these classes I was always digging to find what I wanted.


Before I knew it, though, I had four arcs pieced!


And struggled a bit with the inner piece but just learned more pins is always better than fewer pins.  The outer L-shaped piece was a treat after I got that inner curve squished in there.


By the end of the day I had four blocks pieced, making one circle.  Woo hoo!  It's not perfect. I cut off a few triangle points, but I at least know now why that happened and how to avoid it in my next block.  I'm delighted with the layout, the color, the yellow pulling it all together.


I absolutely love it.  There will be three more to make a four block "mini".  It's not too mini, though, as this piece is 16.5 inches square UF.  

At the end of class we all gathered as a group holding our block for a photo.  Everyone had their batik block in hand except me.  The really nice woman next to me in the photo (who was on the other side of the room and hadn't seen me piece all day) looks at mine, looks at me and says "well, that's different".  Um, yeah.  Hilarious.  

I'll sign off with a photo from Friday morning.  While I was driving to Dublin, I had the perfect view of our eclipse.  It was a really stunning even to witness.  This photo was taken by my friend Dion back in Galway.  Thanks, Dion!  x

  








24 comments:

Quilter in the Gap said...

Well look at you..... A little black sheep!!!! 😂😂😂 you are cracking me up.

Sandra @SewofCourse said...

What a lovely block! I suppose the others were inspired by Ana's quilt for their fabric choices. I think it is nicer when people use their own favourite fabrics for whatever they are making, it makes it so much more personal/original!

pennydog said...

Well I want to see the group photo, you utter weirdo you ;)

memmens said...

It looks brilliant, Cindy, I bet you didn't tell any of the ladies that you run a fabric store which stocks precisely zero batiks!

Leanne said...

I love your block and it will be a great quilt too. I'm glad it was a lovely day, and seeing the eclipse on the way in would have been a perfect start.

Missy Shay said...

I love your block! I love the bright colors.

Coser Tejer Crear said...

Oh well, we are different! You cracked me up with the song! Your block is perfecto! I love it! xxx

Indianna said...

Lovely and sunny ... What wierdos would want to use batiks?

Indianna said...

Ps it took 4 attempts to prove I'm not a robot .... So maybe I am?

Cynthiacc said...

I really like the prints you used! the batiks are beautiful, but expected. Yours is going to be unique and I mean that in a very good way. :) looking forward to seeing the finished quilt.

Lynz said...

Ha haaaa!! One of these things is certainly not like the others! You realise that's even a Sesame Street coloured NYB? It's gorgeous and will always remind me of Big Bird now. Although I'm a Mr Snuffleupagus girl. *g*

Tomomi McElwee said...

pfff. Some people have no imagination come to pick up fabric. Yours are nice! I hope you met nice people there. I didn't renew the membership last year but keep sending me things. Need better motivation to be there. So jealous about you saw eclipse though!

Carolyn DiPerri said...

I'm so glad you did something nice for yourself with the long winter. Hooray for you for being different and loving it. That's what makes you stand out. Celebrate you! Your quilt is wonderful. Happy quilting!

Carolyn

Dianne Neale said...

This is the look when I get to my little sewing group in Valtice. And if I ever told them how much the fabric costs in comparison to the czech stuff they use.... It's good to stand out in the crowd!

Patchwork and Play said...

To be honest, I have never seen the attraction of batiks! They look so washed out and mushy! Yours certainly shows how great bright and modern fabrics can look!

helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

it is amazing how many batiks are still around in the quilt shops, aren't there? I suppose they mostly copied the sample quilt. (I am not NOT admitting to the little pile of batiks I still have from quilting years ago)

Nicky said...

I sympathise - one lady on a course said to me that my fabrics 'almost' went together ! Killer remark I still haven't forgotten but laugh at! We are happy in our bright different batik free world though...Oh and I love your block and hope to see a whole lot more!

magistra said...

I just do not like batiks. They almost always look muddy to me. I most definitely would not have had any to take to the workshop. Not surprisingly then, I love your block! So full of bright crisp clear color! And done beautifully, too. That is a great block that looks amazingly intimidating. And you got to experience the eclipse! Very cool!!

Nancy said...

I am the same way as you! I will go to a workshop and I have brought way too many fabrics (just in case) and they are all brights. Everyone else has brought subdued fabrics, many of them batiks. I like their choices but I just can't do it. I love my fabrics to sing and the brights just do it for me! You are not alone.

Ruth said...

I love how bright and happy it looks! At the workshop i was at recently there were some batiks but only maybe 1/4 of the peeps using them!

Sophie Belle Designs said...

This has given me a good laugh. You're such a rebel!

Rainbow rebels v Batty batiks

You win every time 😄

Archie the wonder dog said...

Sounds like a fun day...with some 'interesting' comments!!

P.S. I love your block!

Kay said...

Great block, I love the yellow. I can't stand batiks and they are the one fabric I never buy. x

Erin @ Billy Button Design said...

Cindy. That is priceless. It's always important to have a black sheep in the flock.. You chould have told her that you were the creative one.

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