Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Why I Love JOYN

 I've known Mel since she was a little girl. She is beautiful, athletic, smart, a talented singer and musician, and she is very kind. On her wedding day, held in the backyard of her parents' home, a Monarch butterfly circled her and her new husband, Dave, as they sang to one another during the ceremony. Precisely as the song ended, the butterfly fluttered out of the tent.  It was like God had given them His blessing. 
Fifteen years later, I'd like to share with you a glimpse of the work that Melody and her husband do in India through a cooperative that Mel began called JOYN.
 I'm privileged to own a few products made by this wonderful company. My favorite just might be these shoes gifted to me a year ago by my husband.
Guess who the manufacturer is! The fabric, though, is handmade by artisans who would not have a way to earn a living if not for JOYN. TOMS is all about supporting businesses who help others.
JOYN products, like my pillows here, start out as raw cotton which is first made into yarn and then is handwoven, on looms, to create fabric. I believe they are the only company in India to do the work by hand.
 Once the fabric is woven, other artisans use hand chiseled wooden blocks to hand stamp the designs onto the fabric. JOYN chooses not to use machines to weave the fabric or create their designs because they want to provide as many jobs as possible for the under-privileged in India. 

 Of course, each color of ink requires another step in the process.
 I can't get enough of the texture of this cotton fabric!
 I like to imagine the hands and hearts that have poured themselves into these works of art.
 As a quilter and a maker, the appreciation for beautiful detail like this puts a lump in my throat.
JOYN cooperative is being featured on this season's broadcast of The FIND. This week's show is my favorite so far. Click on the link below to see firsthand how the fabrics are being made. You'll meet Mel, some of the artisans and be blessed. I promise!
(You might like to watch the first two episodes, as well.)

In case you wonder, I wasn't asked or paid to write about JOYN. I just wanted to.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Happy National Quilting Day!

 What are you doing to celebrate National Quilting Day here in the USA?
I've been working on this....54 quilt entries from my guild into the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival this summer. After hours of pouring over the quilts, begging for more and using our superior math skills, Vicki and I have finally drawn up the schematics for hanging all of the quilts. We have made lots of lists, measured twice and are ready to turn everything in. Whew! It's going to be an awesome display...hope you can make it!
 My sewing machine has been collecting dust for the last month it seems like, but I have been making plans....
 Spring is finally why not start a new project!
 It's also time to begin a new leader/ender quilt so I've spent some time cutting squares and rectangles from my boxes of scraps and strips.
 I sewed up a few to get an idea of how it will look....glad I did because I've ended up deciding to tweak it a bit. I'll be gifting this scrappy quilt to one of my grand daughters when it's finished. It will be awhile!
 Another project on the horizon is turning these delightful confections into a quilt. The members of the Mid-Century Modern Bee baked up some yummy cakes for me in February. The last one arrived a week ago and I still need to add one made by me... I'm thinking maybe grape cake with lemon icing. We'll see. Ideas for some other fun additions to it are simmering in my brain too!
Happy National Quilting Day, America!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Around the World in Five Years

 Today I'm celebrating five years of blogging as I feature my Around the World quilt. I can always remember when I began Lollyquiltz because it was on my birthday.
Never did I dream that I would have friends from around the world because I'd decided to chronicle my quilt making and sewing. It's definitely been a lovely perk!
 I began this quilt in a workshop taught by Shannon Brinkley, author of Scrappy Bits Applique. She was the speaker at the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild in January. I chose to add a layer of tulle over the glued down applique and then quilted the whole thing with straight (ish) lines. This was a new-to-me technique. The other option was to applique with clear thread which my Bernina and I seem to be allergic to! This method worked out pretty well.
 There ended up being a small amount of rippling in the water surrounding the continents. Oh well.....adds interest and realism, I say! The quilt still lays flat and I like the overall effect. I'm deciding, though, that maybe art quilts are really not my thing. But, I'm usually up to try any technique at least once!
This quilt will be hanging in the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival June 19-21. Are you planning to attend? If so, let me know as I'd love to meet you "in real life"! Thanks so much for stopping by Lollyquiltz. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Pop Stars

The sun came out and the temps are warming. It is so exciting that I grabbed my latest finished quilt and went to the park for some photos.
 Because I did not add batting and backing to the muslin foundation pieced top, I love it from the back as well as the front!
The bright scrappy spider-web quilt will be used as a table cloth so I decided not to add batting to the already heavy top. It is long and narrow: 63"x105".
 The seams were top-stitched down from the back to keep everything nice and flat. I'm looking forward to picnicking on this cheerful table top!
 A black and white striped binding is one of my favorite finishes to a bright color scheme. This time I attached the binding to the back first and then machine stitched it down on the front.
 My friend, Vick,i and I worked on the web blocks together over the course of about a year. I showed you her quilt top here and will show case it again when she gets it all finished.
 The pattern for Pop Stars can be found in Material Obsession 2, by Kathy Doughty and Sarah Felke. I love so many quilts in that book!
 This type of finish would work great for a summer weight bed quilt also. I really want to use Pop Stars as a tablecloth?!
Either way, it won't be boring, that's for sure!