Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Colorful Underground Camp

Guest Blog for Erica's Craft & Sewing Center:

In late February, I had the privilege of spending 3 1/2 days with wonderful friends, old and new, at the Camp Tecumseh Quilt Camp. It was great. Lots of fellowship, laughing, eating and of course, sewing! The group of 19 that I went to camp with included fellow Erica’s employees, past and present, PLUS some of Erica’s BEST customers and friends. There were 3 (S)Cheryls and 2 Karens, which can be very confusing! We are known as “Erica’s Ladies”, even though THE Erica has not been to camp....yet.
The guest speakers at quilt camp were the owners of Blue Underground Studios, Inc., Amy Walsh and Janine Burke. They were absolutely wonderful…and their quilts were gorgeous.  We were treated to an amazing presentation of their quilts.
Eclipse                               Jelly Beans
Jester's Court                    Curved Log Cabin

My daughter, Marcia, snapped this picture just as someone told Amy that I had put myself on a fabric restriction…NO NEW FABRIC for NEW projects for ONE YEAR! Yea, I can’t believe it myself, but don’t feel bad for me, as it has not kept me from buying fabric for OLD PROJECTS! This beautiful green quilt is Blue Underground Studios Toe the Lime Quilt.

Amy and Janine offered up great tips on color and technique. They challenged us to look past the quilt pictured on the cover of patterns and to make the quilt our own. Just because a quilt pictured on a pattern cover is made in bright colors doesn’t mean it won’t be great in reproductions and vice versa. You may also notice that most of their quilts do not include borders, as they feel that borders can "date" a quilt.  That tip sure frees me up, as I always have a hard time trying to decide what to quilt in a border!
Above are 3 versions of the In and Out (A12295) quilt.  All different, but equally stunning. (Be sure to click on the pattern images on our website to see additional colorways of the Blue Underground Studio quilt patterns that we carry.)

Amy also encouraged us to use a color wheel. I picked up at Color Tool (48077) at camp and I have to say that I have been captivated with this gadget ever since. I also picked up some color theory books...but that’s for a later blog!

Our group was fortunate to be in the same sewing room as Amy and Janine. They were great fun and very helpful. Liz asked Janine to help her with a project using her husband's old police uniforms. It was great watching them work together. A little later on, Amy encouraged me to leave my mis-sewn blocks of Mod Quads (A12291) as they were....till I accidentally sewed one that resembled a swastika. She rushed right over with her trusty seam ripper and had that seam out in a flash!

It was a fun filled weekend. The following are just a FEW of the pictures:
Diane finished her beautiful Magic Squares Quilt top (A11581). 
Cheryl B. checked out the beautiful and bright fabrics that Cookie used for her 4-Patch Stacked Posie Quilt (20145). It’s hard to believe that this quilt is made with just one fabric!
I finished my Valentine Table Topper…too late for this year’s Valentine’s Day, but I’m ready for the next. I made all those 1 1/2” half square triangles with the Star Singles (A11689). These little papers are great. Just sandwich your fabric squares and the paper template, sew on the lines, cut on the other lines and WA LA! EIGHT perfect half square triangles.
Karen G. (Front Counter) was very pleased, as she should have been, with her machine embroidered Wild!flowers quilt (19768)! Later she treated us with another of her beautiful quilts…quilted and bound!

Marcia finished her Rancher’s Daughter quilt. This quilt was the mystery quilt from the October 2010 Camp. Mine is yet to be completed. My daughter is much better at completing quilts than I. However, I am really good at starting them.  ;)
Joy (left) and her mother Sheryl S. were very productive. The two quilts hanging to the right of Joy are her FIRST two quilts! Sheryl got a head start on her Prairie Women’s Sewing Circle log cabin quilt.
There’s never a lack of opinions at camp (which is a good thing). Daisy and Cheryl B. are glad to share their opinions with Karen L. Later in the weekend she shared the finished top of her Pineapple Quilt from the book Sew Simple Pineapple (43454).
Linda (Front Counter) has been working on the Birthday quilt for years. The little 9-patch blocks are 2” UNFINISHED. She's much farther ahead that the rest of us with this mind boggling quilt!
Judy completed this cuddly quilt at camp. It is simply a four patch block alternating with plain chenille blocks. Everyone just wanted to wrap themselves up in it! You can see Judy on Amy’s blog making the “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not” quilt (44690/69790).
Meg completed her Roll Roll Cotton Boll Mystery Quilt top. This quilt is stunning with over 3000 pieces!
Cookie and Marcia show off their Rancher’s Daughter quilt tops that they finished at camp. Again, same quilt but with totally different “feels” because of the fabrics used.
This is my version of Blue Underground's Mod Quads quilt. Actually, I called my quilt Mod Podge Quads…because of the aforementioned mis-sewn blocks! But at least there are no swastikas!

I can’t wait for October Camp!

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