I really enjoyed the Vermont Quilt Festival in Burlington the end of June. I expected a traditional quilt show, and there were some traditional quilts, but there were many modern quilts as well. Here are 10 of my favorites for various reasons:
Woo! It’s been an exciting week!
My entry in the Quilt Alliance “Inspired By” Challenge won 3rd place! Here’s a picture of it, and below that is a link that will take you to a short video showing all the winners! I am SO excited!
And HERE is a link that will show you all the winners in a very short youtube video.
The quilt will now tour with the other entries and will be auctioned on Ebay next fall to benefit the Quilt Alliance.
And here’s a picture of the second excitement: [photo] I finally finished my quilt for the Michael Miller challenge. It’s a packet of flower seeds with the new scanning code I now see on items at the nursery, composed of multiple colored triangles. I don’t think you can scan mine; I designed it based on the code but didn’t copy exactly.
Finally, I had a “very significant birthday” and my husband gave me a new Bernina
for the occasion! I’ll be reviewing it after I’ve used it for a while. For now I’m just enjoying trying out all the features!
So, as they used to say on the radio, listen in next week…I’ll have pictures from the Vermont Quilt Festival, which was really good.
Of all the things people think they need help with, color is mentioned most often. Indeed, color can be complicated if you want to make it that way, but my preference is to make it simple. So here goes…
A good starting place is your favorite color. You don’t have to think too much about what that is. So start with your favorite color and then add colors that you like to see with it. Never mind that stuff about analogous color schemes being restful and complementary color schemes being lively. Yes, they are true, but if you do it that way you’re likely over-thinking it. If YOU like the color scheme, then go for it! I love purple, so that’s what I chose for this first example. I like gold with it, and the thought process was “I like gold with it so I’ll use it” rather than, “Gold is complementary to purple so I’ll use it.” However, if knowing it’s complementary helps you, by all means use that framework. I chose a grey background fabric because grey is “good this year”, as my Mother would have put it.
But let’s assume you want a color scheme kind of worked out in advance. A common piece of advice is to pick a print as your feature fabric and then choose your coordinates from the colors in the feature print. That works fine, but it assumes you want a multi-color print as the focal point of your quilt.
There are lots of other ways that work at least as well. Color schemes are everywhere you look, and they’ve already been worked out by many design experts, from Mother Nature to New York City advertising specialists. Flip through a favorite magazine and choose an ad with colors that appeal to you. Take a snapshot of something pretty and use the colors you see there. Go to design-seeds.com to view thousands of color combinations. You can subscribe to a free daily e-mail featuring some of them. Start a Pinterest board where you save color combinations that appeal to you. Above all, have confidence in your own judgment: If YOU like it, that’s good enough!
Now, go practice by finding some color schemes you like and designing quilts with them. As always, designing on paper counts! And if this wasn’t enough information about color to suit you, don’t worry–I’ll be saying lots more later!
Oops! It’s the end of June already, so half way through 2014! Therefore, here are pictures of a few of the things I’ve done so far:
Next is the June “finish”. I’ve been sending a finish every month to Aunt Marti at 52quilts because I need the motivation of her challenge to get some of my UFOs (Unfinished Objects) cleaned up! As you can see, this is pieced but not quilted; Aunt Marti let’s YOU decide what qualifies as “finished”! And after 2 years staring at these HSTs (half square triangles), I think putting them together into a top for a donation quilt qualifies as “finished”! So if you need motivation to finish some of your UFOs, click the link above and head over to her blog :-)
As always, 20% of the projects took 80% of the time! So it’s good to have the little pouches and swap blocks to be done relatively quickly! What have you been up to?
I started using Pinterest a while back at the urging of my daughter, and have found it invaluable. It replaces at least 3 scrapbooks/notebooks that have been floating around my house for years.
First, of course, Pinterest is great for quilting ideas! When I find something I love, I don’t have to bookmark it or add it to favorites to be able to find it again. I just pin it to one of my Pinterest boards–maybe Quilt Ideas, or Good Quilt Photos, or Design. Then when I wonder, “Now where did I see that great quilt?” I can flip through my Pinterest boards and find the picture, which in turn has the link to where it was found. This saves a LOT of fooling around looking for things on the internet and replaces the lists I had to keep previously. It’s even partially replaced the notebooks full of clippings I’ve kept for years.
Second, Pinterest is great for finding other quilters, their blogs, etc. For example, I found the Cut To Pieces blog shown above because I admired one of the quilts from the blog I found on Pinterest. But there’s more! When you find someone whose taste is similar to yours (based on the pins you find from him/her), you can “follow” that person or just some of that person’s boards on Pinterest and get lots of great new pictures that he/she found. For example, I found the picture here on the Pinterest page of Tricia Royal, a quilt artist from Chicago, so now I follow several of her boards. You can also follow your friends’ boards to see what they’re pinning. In fact, if you see something they’re pinning it may give you an idea of what they’d like to have for the next birthday!
Finally, you can simply search Pinterest when you need inspiration. By putting “modern quilts”, “colors”, “art quilts”, or whatever into Pinterest’s search box, I’ve found many, many fun ideas. It’s a great amusement in waiting rooms, while enjoying a second cup of coffee, or when in need of new ideas. As a commercial for a product I’ve long forgotten used to say: “Try it–you’ll like it!”
I’ve been a fan of Moda’s Wildflowers collections of fabric for quite a while, not only because they are beautiful florals, but because they look just like spring in central Texas, where I used to live.
Although this picture was taken to show the quilting done by my long-arm friend, you can see several of the beautiful flowers and get the idea.
But as always when I buy a piece of fabric I really love, the question is what to do with it that does it justice. I finally had a brainstorm when working on a border designed by Karla Alexander for one of her stack-and-shuffle quilts. It involved cutting gentle curves through several layers of fabric and then shuffling the layers before assembling the pieces.
I chose some gold to go with my floral and cut large squares. Then I cut curves in them freehand, shuffled, and sewed them together.
This quilt is called “Drunk in the Garden” and is intended to give the impression of a moonlit walk through the Texas hill country in spring. Nature walks don’t go in a straight line, so the golden paths through the quilt don’t go in a straight line. I threw in “drunk” because that comes to mind before “nature walk” when you see this wiggly path!
Best of all, I was able to use large sections of the floral fabric to show it off.
What have you done with favorite fabrics?
I have a little group of quilty friends that I retreat with at least twice a year. We all make quilts for Ronald McDonald House of Cincinnati. This last time, just 3 of us finished a total of 10 quilts! Here are some of them.
R McD House of Cincinnati wants all quilts 40″ x 40″ so, as I’ve mentioned before, these are a good opportunity for a lot of experimentation:
- Try new designs to see if you like them
- Make orphan blocks into quilts
- Try new color schemes
- Use up fabric left from other projects
- Use your scraps to make an improvised quilt top
- Use up charm packs (yes, we’ve all bought a few extra!)
- Make a simple quilt as a rest from challenging projects
- Quilt the tops yourself for practice
- Try out binding entirely by machine–makes the quilt more durable
- Anyway, enjoy this little quilt show! And check with your local Ronald McDonald House if you’re interested in donating quilts to them.
There is almost never anything new in design; indeed, the best designs probably are made with a sense of history. So far we’ve modified overall quilt designs to make new ones; this time we’re going to modify blocks. So here we go: 1. Stretch it:
2. Tilt it, or stretch and tilt it:
3. Cut it and shuffle the pieces; rotate them if you like:
4. Cut it and insert something. This will distort the block and you’ll have to trim to make it even:
All of this fooling around might be a good use for some of those orphan blocks–what have you got to lose? And If you find some modifications you really like, try them out in a quilt: Please make some designs and send them to me–I’d love to see what you come up with!
Here’s the UFO finish for May, which barely got done among all the other projects in May! It is a donation quilt made out of orphan blocks; I’ve made a couple of similar ones in the past year because there were a LOT of these blocks! I actually made the quilt top in September of last year to demonstrate use of improvised sashing, and then the top kind of languished. When it came up as the finish for May I had already chosen the binding, so it was actually pretty quick to finish.
And WordPress tells me I have now done 52 posts, which would be about right for the 1 year since I started this blog! Thanks to everyone who is following. I also appreciate your comments–it’s nice to know somebody is looking!
I love designing quilts and making my own designs, but I also enjoy making quilts from outstanding designs by other people. I thought I’d list a couple of my favorites, and I hope you’ll let me know (in the comments) what some of your favorites are, too.
A favorite quilt pattern for me should be striking in appearance, should have foolproof instructions [because I certainly could be a fool on any given day ;-)], and should be something that makes me say, “I wish I’d thought of that!”
Lucky Stars by Atkinson Designs. This is the first quilt pattern I ever bought, though far from the first quilt I made. When I started quilting, I just decided what I wanted, drafted the pattern,and then made it. Buying this pattern was a revelation! Such great instructions! Such great results! And so little effort compared to what I’d been doing! I’ve made this pattern several times, and the recipients have loved every one of these quilts. I’ve also used this to teach “Make Your Second Quilt” for advanced beginners, and the students loved it, too.
I LOVE any quilt with concentric boxes, and having them in multiple sizes and bright colors is just the BEST! This quilt pattern is Outside the Box, by Rose Mason. I put 4 of these together to make a queen quilt for a friend’s daughter when she got married, and it worked out really well.
And even that didn’t wear me out on concentric boxes! I’ve made many more, both from patterns and my own designs.
Please leave a comment telling me what your favorite patterns are, and I’ll pass along the love in a later post.