Thursday, August 29, 2013

Stitching, Fiddling & Picking

What a great past few days! I got to spend lots of time stitching and wrapped up the weekend with some great bluegrass fiddling & picking in the park! But more on that later...Oh, and I'm also linking up with Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday!

My friend Sharon came and spent nearly a week at my place while we worked together to get all of our various projects done to enter in the Kansas State Fair next week. I focused on my block for the Kansas State Fair Quilt Block challenge kit. Each year a limited number of kits are available for purchase that include instructions and two pieces of fabric, both of which have to be used somewhere in the finished block. The completed blocks are turned in and judged at the fair, then turned into a quilt, which will be auctioned off at the next state fair. I feel very lucky to have been offered a kit by one of the ladies in my guild.

This year's theme is Happy 100th Birthday Kansas State Fair! On the website and posters are images of a ferris wheel and a wheel of fortune. I thought about it for several months and then it came to me... in my usual fashion, near the fast approaching deadline! I decided to make a multi-spoked wheel to applique onto my block. So, off to buy fabric for the background and a compliment to the orange fabric from the block kit. I chose a rich burgandy for the background and a light green that coordinated with the orange as the alternate wedges in my wheel. The white fabric included in the kit would be used later as the yo-yo center.

Off to my computer and EQ7 where I found and printed a template for the Dresden plate block I wanted to use. I printed it in four quarters so I could assemble it in stages before putting it all together. Then I dug out my package of C. Jenkins Freezer Paper Sheets so I could print the quarters directly onto pre-cut 8-1/2 x 11 freezer paper sheets with my inkjet printer.
 I carefully cut out all of the wedges, placed them on the fabric spaced apart enough to allow for the 1/4" seam allowance to be added when I cut them out, and attached them by ironing the freezer paper wedges to the wrong side of the fabric. Then I pressed all of the points down over the ends of the paper wedges before sewing anything together so it would be easier to applique once assembled. 
 Here are all of the wedges (with freezer paper still attached to the back) laid out on the ironing board before I started sewing them together.
And then, like magic, here it is all assembled and already appliqued onto the background! Geez, I need to learn to stop and take more pix as I go. I guess I was just too focused and ready to have it done. LOL! I finished it off by twilling the words "Kansas State Fair 100 Years!" in the corners and then appliqued my yo-yo over the center of my wheel. This was my first experience doing twilling and I like it! More projects with it will be in the works soon...
I like this picture of the block by itself too--shows more detail and better color.
So, now that my block was done, I had time to go play, right? You bet! And what a perfect weekend to play! Sunday, August 25, 2013, was the 33rd Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championship to be held at South Park, Lawrence, Kansas. I've attended many times over the years and always enjoy listening to the competitions as well as the performers who come to do mini-concerts between competitions. In fact, last year I was asked to call a "flash contra dance" during the final performance, which was great fun! At least this year I had enough presence of mind to take my camera and get some fun photos during the couple of hours I was there.

A regular sight at Fiddling & Picking is instrument cases all over the park. Whether the owners are competing or sitting in on one of the jam sessions going on all around the park, there are plenty of easily identifiable cases with their stickers from festivals they've been to before. 
And then there's the people sitting in their chairs or on blankets, enjoying the music. And, although I didn't catch any this time, always children dancing in the grass!

 These two gentleman competed in the "miscellaneous instrument" competition playing harmonica and autoharp.

 Here's one of the five "Ensemble Folk" groups who sang.
Just in the last week, a former participant and supporter of Fiddling and Picking passed away and a group of his friends came together to sing in the Ensemble Folk competition in his memory.  The songs they chose, for those who knew Jim, brought tears to our eyes along with laughter, especially when they broke into an audience participation version of Send Me To Glory in a Glad Bag. Happily this group won the competition.

The day was perfect... hot, but not too hot, a gentle breeze, shade under the large trees in the park, great music, and... yes, even quilts! Each of the stages had a structure with quilts clipped across the front so the judges could listen from behind the quilts without seeing the competitors they were judging.
Off away from the two stages there were circles of musicians jamming around the park. Bluegrass is such happy music! Everywhere I turned I found myself smiling from ear to ear as I listened in.

The highlight for me was getting to hear Amber & Erin Rogers, better known as Scenic Roots, play an afternoon concert. I've known these girls since they were pre-teens playing with their dad. Now in their mid-20s and both college graduates, they are touring the country playing venues from coast to coast! Having them home in Kansas playing here was such a huge treat!
 Later in the afternoon the girls led a children's bluegrass jam session. To fully participate in the kids' event, Erin visited the children's area earlier in the day and made a hat to wear and modeled it during one of their songs.
And then it was time to go home. But first, a quick stop at DQ for a banana split. What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Now it's back to my projects, my grandson, and yes, lots of school work with two classes this semester. I'm trying to plan well and stay focused, but may be here only sporadically depending on how my school work goes. Wish me luck!

More snippets from the sewing room soon,

No comments:

Post a Comment