Monday, October 21, 2013

Round Robin in a Day Does the Funky Chicken, and Start of "Who Buried My Studio?" Cleanup Extravaganza

Many of you were present for my FB postathon of photos last Saturday as I taught my favorite workshop of all time, Round Robin in a Day, to Hands Across the Valley Quilt Guild in Amherst MA. It was the enthusiasm of your commentary and the sheer numbers of people who apparently had nothing better to do on a Saturday than try to keep up with us throughout the day that made me figure I had better expound upon the class and reveal the big finishes on the blog today  because to leave you all hanging would just be rude.

As always, the class started out by being ordered around by me to get themselves into pods of sewing areas, so there was some table moving, and some grumbling by one member whom I am certain thought I was crazy to believe it important to work in groups. But the #1 rule of this class being "To Make a Group Quilt, You Must Sit in a Group," I didn't let her get away with wanting to go rogue on me. All of ten minutes later we were BFFs forever and ever. I'm good that way.

I adore the first reveal of this class - seeing what everyone has brought as their center block.

Eileen's Funky Chicken
Anne's origami crane

Barb's fun flower

Judi's tapestry geese

Sherry's Pointfest Star
 There was also Linda's Curvy Chickadee, but of course I didn't take a good enough photo. Be patient, the quilt shows up later.

This being New England, I announced early Saturday morning on FB  that I would eat my shoe if at least one participant didn't do something in an autumnal theme, and I am here to inform you that Clark's loafers are disgusting.

Throughout the day we just made these puppies bigger, better, and more fantastic by the second.

Barb gets to play with the chicken. I loved Barb because she shares my "I'm just going to start sewing and see what happens" design philosophy. Here I caught her in a rare moment of actual measuring.

Linda, who is the inventor of The Learning Curve, used it in most of her rounds. While the theme for this first round was officially "half-square triangles", she was allowed (read: was going to do it anyway no matter what I thought) to put her own spin on it.

Judi made Sherry's star block explode a little more on this round.

I still swear my friend Alicia had a dress made of this rainbow fabric in 1978, but she isn't so sure.

The second round was to include a four patch or several. Eileen found this red and went for it.

At long last, the chickadee. It is important to note that this class is not about making the most elaborate borders. Sometimes the simple ones are what really sets the quilt off properly, as Sherry is doing here.

But sometimes, the elaborate is the way to go. I LOVE how this quilt looked after the second border, added by Learning Curve Lady Linda. Note that again she bent the four patch rules and it works so well!

The blue fabric was my favorite. Adding it back in was a brilliant move by Anne.
I just loved that these ladies Got It. Throughout the day I heard such soundbites as "It is so much fun to play with other peoples' fabrics!" and "I love that there will be so many different ideas in my quilt." and even "So if you think about it, if we're all leaving with a finished quilt at the end of the day, that means that any of us should be able to make a quilt this size on our own in six hours." We all agreed that yes, that was true in theory, but one of the beauties of this class was that it actually gets done, due to the combination of an absence of distractions and the presence of me cracking the whip. The only way to have such results at home is to rent me out to stand over you and remind you every 10 minutes that you only have 30, 20, or 10 minutes to go before time is up. Sounds delightful, huh?
The best part of the class is the Big Reveal at the end of the day. Because participants are set up in pods, each pod working on another pods' quilts, in theory no one should see their own quilt all day, although admittedly most of the time there is cheating. Quilters as a whole are known to be lovely people, but I am here to tell you that they also as a whole are a bunch of sneaky cheaters when put in this class. But huge props to Hands Across the Valley, the most honest group I've ever worked with, because every member stayed securely in their pod and that made the reveal at the end so much more exciting. Either they are really good actresses, or every one of my participants really was thrilled with the results.

As with any group project, the fun of seeing where your quilt went compared to what you envisioned might happen is a big part of the reveal in this class.

Sherry's quilt went from very traditional to very modern.

Barb wanted, and got, a perfect baby quilt. The butterfly was a last minute add-on and was one of her favorite parts.

Eileen just likes brights. She was not disappointed in the least.
I'm really just so proud of all of them.
Thank you so much to Hands Across the Valley for letting me run away from home and spend the weekend with you!

Now onto other news....perhaps you have heard that I can't find my sewing machine because it is buried under a massive pile of scraps. Sadly, this is only a slight exaggeration, and a couple of weeks ago I let my FB community know that I might well be forced to clean up soon and in doing so, would love to have others join me in an International Studio Cleanup if they liked.

This morning I tried to find a needle, and I came as close as I ever want to to acting out the whole needle in a haystack thing, and decided it was time to clean. And so was born the "Who Buried My Studio?" cleanup extravaganza.

Each day until my studio is liveable (I estimate a week), I'm going to choose one area of it to clean up. To make myself accountable to someone other than my dust bunnies (which are approaching life-sized bunny size) I'll post my progress on the "Who Buried My Studio" flickr page, and sometimes here, and if anyone wants to join in, just go right ahead and add yourself and your photos to the flickr.

It is important to admit to you that I am thoroughly and completely horrified by the state it is currently in, and I promise you will be as well. I also promise this is not even close to how bad it was two years ago, wherein a pre-Market fabric tornado almost completely decimated the entire room to the point where I seriously considered just throwing in a match and starting over. But in any case, I will be revealing to you a disaster of immense proportions. I am taking a chance that any respect for me that you may currently have will be shattered. I am thoroughly aware that you will be judging me, but I do hope that comments will fall short of "OMG you are a PIG!" even if you are thinking it, and you wouldn't be wrong to think it at the moment.

Without further ado, today I began in what we'll call the "Cozy Corner," which is the first thing one sees when walking down the stairs and into the creative wonderland that is EPQD. In this corner we have UFOs in a basket, a couch because we didn't know where else to put it and sometimes it's good to have a place to sit, and the shelf where all my unpackaged pattern stock is kept.


As with most homes, we have areas of the house that just tend to gather crap. This is corner is the trap for all things that need to go down to the studio and be dealt with in a timely manner. Unfortunately in this case, "timely" is often defined as "never."

What happens when a shelf throws up? This.
 After 30 minutes (That's all! Woo hoo!) and a severe dust-induced allergy attack which I thoroughly expect to recreate every day of this self-induced challenge:

Much more inviting and cozy. I even found 7 UFOs, all baby quilt sized and all sort of practice pieces as I was designing patterns, to donate to our guild Quilt Cupboard. It makes that basket so much better.

Just added proof that I removed and put away everything in that horrid pile in this corner.
Thirty Minutes! Do you have thirty minutes or so a day to clean up one portion of YOUR studio? If so, I really do invite you to join me. I almost want to go back down right now and do another 30, but I don't know if my nose can take it today.


Anne Wiens said...

Love the round robin results...and how have I lived this long without hearing about Linda's "Learning Curve" tool? I will be checking that out, and soon.

BCT said...

My very first thought when I saw the finished projects was, "Well, QH didn't get a single fall theme." and I was about to suggest you eat your shoe when I saw that you admitted it yourself! LOL. In any case, the round robin quilts are great!

Glen QuiltSwissy said...

OMG!! I should be REQUIRED to join you in the who buried my studio. You can barely even walk into the door!

Love that class, so mind expanding.

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