Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I love the Metro (or, Dana's DC Metro quilt pattern)

Hi all, I'm Dana from the DC Modern Quilt Guild. Heather asked me to guest post over here about my Metro Map quilt pattern. I've been talking about making a pattern since I made this quilt in August 2011, so when Heather emailed me a few weeks ago asking about a pattern, that was the kick in the butt that I've been needing.

This quilt is completely inspired by my love for the DC Metro system. Even as I type that sentence, I can't believe I mean it. There are certainly days that being car-less makes me want to cry, but I have to admit, I am so grateful for the great public transportation options I have.

I grew up in suburban Maryland and after my parents got divorced, my brother and I spent every other weekend with my dad. As a way to fill time (and spend quality time bonding?) my dad would frequently take up to the closest Metro station, get day passes, and take us downtown. We would go to the mall, the monuments, and the museums. I remember feeling so special and glamourous on the Metro, hoping that one day I'd get to ride the Metro ALL. THE. TIME.

Fast forward 20-some years and I moved to Philadelphia for grad school. I took the bus all the time there and avoided their subway like the plague (sorry Philly people!). When I'd take Amtrak home to see my mom, I always felt like I was really home as soon as I got on the red line at Union Station.

When I moved back to DC, my main requirement for living was to be close to Metro. I guess my wish to ride the Metro all the time mostly came true and now I take two buses to get to work most days, and take the metro at least twice a week. The glamour has definitely ceded to necessity and there are many times where I wish I drove to and from work, but when I really think about it, I have a passive commute. My husband talks about other drivers and the stress of traffic and I realize how lucky I am to just sit and read or close my eyes if I want. I get 35 minutes of uninterrupted time each way all to myself. Can't really beat that, can you?

Don't get me wrong, I know this love affair with the Metro is WEIRD. It's slow, sometimes it smells weird, the wait times are long, it makes people (me) a bit motion sick, blah, blah blah. There are many things to hate. But, I have such great memories tied to it. It allows me uninterrupted time every day to reflect. And with the buses, it provides almost door to door service.

So there you have it, the story/blathering behind this quilt. It's also the first quilt that I've ever hung on a wall. After I hung it, my husband said "I don't really like handmade stuff, but I like your quilts". I think he meant "NO QUILTS ON THE WALLS!", but he knows which arguments he can and can't win. Smart man.

If you are interested in making your own Metro quilt, the pattern is for sale in my etsy shop and if you use coupon code BALTMOD you will get a special discount.

Come visit me at my blog and let me know if you have any questions about the pattern.

Many thanks to Heather for letting me post!!

A Quick & Easy Block Keeper

While working on my Bee exchange blocks for the BMQG, I decided that I needed a little block keeper to hold/transport my collection of blocks.  Nothing elaborate, my only requirements were that it had to be quick, easy and cheap.  I had blogged about it over on my Spring Water Designs blog, and Heather asked me to share my humble little tutorial here and I'm happy to, so here you go...

I cut a 20" square from this felt backed tablecloth that I had found at Target.  (I started with 20" to give me plenty of room to house 12" finished blocks, if you'd like to make one, you can adjust your measurements up or down for larger or smaller blocks).  You can get several block keepers out of a felt backed tablecloth too, so make them in whatever different sizes you need!

Fold under the edge about a half inch and top stitch to elevate the raw edges.  The felt backed table cloth finger presses pretty well (definitely do not use a hot iron, it would melt pretty quick I think).

(Do that all the way around all four sides.)

Fold one side in wrong sides together about 2 1/2" and use a pin or two to hold it in place.

Then fold in the opposite side wrong sides together 2 1/2" as well.

Now fold up the bottom about 1".  Sew down the stitching line that you already made when you first turned the raw edge over, and then top stitch about 1/4" from the folded edge.

Repeat this step on the remaining side with one exception...

In the top stitching, stitch down a piece of ribbon (approximately 20" long and folded in half).  This will become the ties for the roll.

The blocks tuck nicely into the flaps created by the 2 1/2" folded sides (These are the blocks I received from round one of our block exchange ~ I can't reveal the ones I'm making for round two just yet). 

Then starting from the side without the ribbon, roll up the block keeper, wrap the ties around it, and tie it shut. Easy, quick, and surprisingly durable!

...And ready to go to my next guild meeting :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Monday, January 23, 2012

One Little Word Challenge

Our first challenge of 2012 was the "one little word" challenge. These came out so well and are so inspiring!

Grow: Laura
Journey: Lainey
Enjoy: Dawn
Seed: Heather
Balance: Daniella

Maria went BIG with Improve!

A few more members are working on theirs. Can't wait to see what they come up with!


You wanted it ~ you got it! A Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild blog! This is for all members (not just me!) to post on. Send me an email (or, post in the comments) with your email address, and I'll add you to the list of contributors.  And this is very much a work in process. If there's a feature you'd like to add, either let me know, or feel free to go for it! Happy blogging!