Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Heartland Region Fall Meeting

As you have probably guessed by my lack of posts lately, life has been pretty busy! I am in week three of Grandma Day Care for my two and a half year old granddaughter and her three month old baby brother, my grandson. The days are long but I do enjoy being able to spend this time with them. I give them all of my attention so my stitching has fallen a little behind.

This last weekend our chapter hosted the EGA Heartland Region Meeting in the Minneapolis area. It was the culmination of almost two years of work and preparation.  Our day began on Friday morning as the committee arrived to get things set up and ready for the over 80 guests we were expecting. They arrived throughout the afternoon, some stopping on the way at the Mall of America which was right across the street from the hotel.

Our weekend officially began with a Meet ‘n Greet featuring Minnesota Hot Dish. The hotel chef graciously agreed to prepare tator tot casserole, red jello and bars for us and he even made wild rice soup to finish the meal out. We decorated with the embroidered towels our chapter members made just for the occasion. To encourage everyone to meet other people, Becky created a small stitch sample for each attendee which was worn on their name tag. You had to find each person and try to guess the name of the stitch. The person who had the most correct won a neat stitching project from a local shop.

The Stitching Room
We scheduled classes on both Saturday and Sunday mornings. I took a class on Or Nue and one on specialty stitches for Hardanger. Other classes included crewel, bobbin lace, Aztec stitch and beading done on crazy quilt patches. I’ll update you in another post on my personal progress on the classes I took. I was in and out of them as I had other things to check on during the workshop time.

Bobbin Lace
Crazy Beading
On Saturday evening we had a nice banquet. Four of us had done a skit to promote this weekend when we were at the last region meeting in Kansas City earlier this year. We were well received so we created another skit to do at the beginning of the banquet. We set the scene as a meeting of the Loon Lodge Stitchers. You can see me with my magnifying clip-ons and my light hanging on my shirt.

Members of the Loon Lodge Stitchers
The evening ended with the drawings for Opportunity Baskets. Each basket had a theme and was filled with stitching goodies. I won the basket donated by Cindy Valentine. It included two of her patterns along with the stitching fabric needed to finish them. The fabric was cut into fat half yards so there is more than enough.  There were also three bags that included a large cut of linen or evenweave, backing fabric and coordinating silks, fibers and beads. Our chapter had placed several pieces of linen/evenweave into each basket, so I have plenty of fabric to get me started on a number of projects!
A few of the 36 Opportunity Baskets
At the end of the drawings each registrant was given a project keeper of their choice. Our chapter members had spent many hours sewing these together and the ladies all seemed very delighted with them. We received many compliments about the weekend which makes all of our work well worth the effort. The next region meeting is in April in Cedar Rapids.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A few updates!

I have a few updates for this week. First, I picked up my batik quilt from the machine quilter. I think she did a very nice job of highlighting all of the pieces and curves of the quilt. This is the first time I've had someone machine quilt for me. I tried to take a couple of photos so you could see the details of her machine stitching. My next step is to find just the right binding fabric and get it completely finished.

I have finally finished my Dresden Garden piece! It was my first real attempt at pulled thread so I'm pretty happy with the results. The next step is for our group "leader" to send our completed pieces to the course instructor. She'll look each piece over and then return our pieces along with her evaluation of our stitching. I put the piece on a very dark background for the photo so you could more easily see the open work from all of the pulled stitches.

I am working on another correspondence course that deals with finishing techniques. I want to have those four samples ready to be sent to the instructor within the next two weeks. So far I have started two of those pieces. Look for photos next week when I hope to have at least one, if not both, of them finished.