Next Scrap Project

I mentioned I’m doing a Lego Quilt, based on instructions from Tonya Ricucci.  I am lucky to have changed to a 4-day-a-week job, so I spent my first Friday off getting all the strips done.  I put them up on the design wall as I pieced them to be sure I was getting a good balance of colors and values.

lego quilt

Strips on my design wall

Tonya’s instructions say to cut 1-1/2″ strips and join them to make the rows in each block.  I have a lot of strips, sorted by width, so I tried the 1-1/2″ strips first, joining them end-to-end and cutting into the lengths I needed.scrap quilt, strip quilt

That was tedious, to say the least. I switched to using wider strips, joining them lengthwise, and cutting 1-1/2″ strips from the sets.lego-3

lego-4Now I have 420 strips, enough to make my 42 blocks (finishing 10″ each) for a 60″ x 70″ quilt.  This will be my next leaders-and-enders project.  Here are all the strips laid out ready to go!  scrap quiltStay tuned!  I think it will be fun to see it come together!

One UFO Makes 3 Quilts!

I made these “prepared fabric” squares some months ago with John Cage’s “prepared piano” in mind.  Then they sat in a box while I wondered what to do with them.

At a quilt retreat, I got some of them out and put them together into a 40″ x 44″ quilt top for Ronald McDonald House.nov-ufo

So the November UFO (UnFinished Object) project was to do something with the rest of those squares.  I modified them further and made 2 more Ronald McDonald quilt tops, each 40 inches square.

That UFO box is empty!  There were a few scraps for the scrap bin, and 3 blocks for the orphan block bin, but that project is DONE!

Sort of like that turkey…how was your Thanksgiving?

Quilting Thanksgiving

Gratitude is always a good practice, so it’s especially nice to have a holiday specifically dedicated to thanksgiving.  Here are 10 reasons I’m thankful for quilting:

  1. Every project is a new learning experience.  Even if it is, sometimes, “another *%@!! learning experience”🙂

    rotary cutter accident

    A learning experience!

  2. There is no failure. Projects that don’t turn out as planned can be recycled into something.  (It may take a while to figure out what.)

    This one had to be cut up and made into placemats!

    This one had to be cut up and made into placemats!

  3. Friends.  Quilting is a great way to meet interesting people and make new friends.  I love making friends online, too, even though I may never meet them in person.  It’s such fun that people from 3000 miles away follow my blog and I follow theirs.

    A new friend holding up one of my quilts at a recent guild talk

    A new friend holding up one of my quilts at a recent guild talk

  4. Quilting is a great creative outlet, whether or not I choose to be an “artist”.

    Gwen Marston iQuilt class

    Quilt made for a class with Gwen Marston

  5. Gifts.  I’ve made quilts, placemats, table runners, potholders, and bags to give to friends.

    Divided basket made from pattern by Noodlehead

    Divided basket made from pattern by Noodlehead

  6. Opportunity to give to the community.  I make quilts for Ronald McDonald house.

    One of my quilts for Ronald McDonald House

    One of my quilts for Ronald McDonald House

  7. Color!  Who doesn’t love playing with all the beautiful fabrics?

    Yummy fabrics at Studio Stitch, where I sometimes teach

    Yummy fabrics at Studio Stitch, where I sometimes teach

  8. Socializing: it’s great to get together and work on a project with friends.

    An especially quilty friend!

    An especially quilty friend at a sewing group

  9. Being alone: it’s equally great to spend a quiet day alone in my studio

    View from my home

    View from my home

  10. Problem solving: Many projects present problems that need to be solved, and I love the challenge.

    modern quilt

    I enjoyed the challenge of designing and making this quilt

What are you thankful for?

Review: Karen Combs Teaching Tumbling Blocks

Karen Combs‘ Tumbling Blocks class, which I took at AQS-Chattanooga in September, was one of the best quilt classes I’ve ever taken. Of course, “tumbling blocks” is a traditional design, but I always like a challenge.

Tumbling Blocks

Tumbling Blocks, made in class with Karen Combs

Karen is so well organized and clear that I had 4 blocks made by the end of class and had started on the background! Her method for the Y-seams was so well explained that there is no need to even consider the “cheater” tumbling blocks made with half square triangles.

One of the “secrets” to making this block easy is to buy ombre fabric that varies from dark to light in the same color, so you don’t have to hunt down 3 values of the same color individually!  Of particular note, Karen showed us how to use a standard quilting ruler to cut the blocks–NO SPECIAL RULER REQUIRED!  I think this is notable in a field where so many teachers are selling their own rulers, which are then needed for the way they teach a class.Karen Combs class review

Karen’s class sample is a table runner, which probably does show off the blocks a little better than placemats. But I have more table runners than I can use, so placemats it is.

The quilting is done to emphasize the 3-dimensional aspect of the blocks, so I imitated what Karen had done.  The background is quilted with random loops.Quilting Tumbling Blocks

I’m pleased with this project, and I certainly recommend you take Karen’s class if you have the chance!

A Nice Surprise and a New Scrap Project

ribbonFirst, the surprise: One of my quilts, Cherrywood Toss, won first place in the Modern category at my local show! Needless to say, I was thrilled!

improvisational quilt

Cherrywood Toss. Read about it here.

And then it was on to a new scrap project!  I’ve been wanting to make a scrap quilt with a zillion pieces ever since my friend Jerri made her postage stamp quilt.

I came across the “lego quilt” on Pinterest and followed the links to this post by Tonya Ricucci of Lazy Gal Quilting, which gives specific directions.  Go visit her post–there’s a cool picture of an antique quilt that gave her the idea.

lego quilt

Strips on my design wall

Tonya made her 10″ (finished size) blocks using 1-1/2″ strips composed of scraps of various sizes.  She mentioned that there was some difficulty getting them to come out the right size.  Because of that, I am making my strips 11″ long unfinished so I can trim the blocks to 10-1/2″ wide after they are assembled.  Also, I’m making the first strip in each block 2″ wide unfinished so I can trim in that direction as well.  lego-2

So far I’m just making strips and putting them on the design wall to be sure I have a balance of values throughout the quilt.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  This takes a LOT of time!  And like most scrap quilts, it doesn’t seem to use up even 10% of the available scraps!  So far I’ve used only one drawer of the scrap cabinet!!!!

This might be a good leaders-and-enders project, since it seems like it could take forever.  I’ll let you know how it turns out🙂

Smoky Mountain Quilt Guild Show, Part 2

There has been so much going on (that’s good!) I haven’t had a chance to post the rest of my favorites from my local guild show.  Here are a few more of them.

Please note that this is a local show, so most of the quilts were made from patterns or workshops. I’ll list the source where I have it.

Jen Kingwell qult

Jen Kingwell design beautifully done by Susan Roper

traditional qult

Traditional design made “to use up scraps”

Our guild has a very active group making Quilts of Valor for men and women who have served in the military. The next two were made for that program.

Quilts of Valor

Inspired by a design on the Alycia Quilts blog

Illusions quilt

Design by Jenny Doan for Missouri Star Quilt Company

modern paper piecing

Design from the book Modern Paper Piecing was both pieced and quilted by Linda

Amish modern quilt

Debby designed and made this quilt after a study of Amish quilts

rainbow quilt

Quilt is based on a Mind the Gap design by Moda. Karen cleverly named it after her “mistake” in placing the green strips!

Gray quilt

Christeen designed this quilt herself, and I think the name should get a humor award!

Modern log cabin quilt

Betty designed and made this quilt for a log cabin challenge

Detail view. Pattern is by Kathy Wells.

From a pattern by Kathy Wells

I’m lucky to live near so many talented quilters!

Trees All Around at Studio Stitch

In November I’m scheduled to teach a cute Christmas pattern at Studio Stitch in Greensboro (North Carolina).

Quilted Garden Designs

“Trees All Around”, class sample made from the pattern by Quilted Garden Designs

The design makes either a tree skirt or a round table topper.  The pattern is by Jenice Belling of Quilted Garden Designs.

I made two of these several years ago because, as soon as my daughter saw mine, she had to have one!

The class is Saturdaay, November 5, 1-4 p.m.  It’s a great way to make a quick project while learning about BOTH fused applique and quilt-as-you-go. There’s an opportunity for fancy embellishment, too!  This class will be lots of fun!

Finally, here is another view, this one from the pattern cover.  I hope you can join us!

Trees All Around, photo courtesy of Quilted Garden

Trees All Around table topper, photo from  Quilted Garden Designs

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Smoky Mountain Quilt Guild Show 2016

One of my local guilds had their biennial show recently, so of course I have many pictures of the quilts.  This is an opportunity to display the best needlework of many of our local quilters.

I’m starting with ten of the most elaborate ones.  The quality of the pictures is limited by both the lighting in the hall and the arrangement of quilts in 3-sided cul-de-sacs, the way it is done at AQS as well.  However, it is obvious that a lot of work went into these!Smoky Mountain Quilt Guild, Pamela McBride

Smoky Mountain Quilt Guild, Sandra Sneed

I’ve always meant to make one of these!

Smoky Mountain quilt Guild, Linda Hallatt

Smoky Mountain Quilt Guild show, Karen Burney

Though it is traditional, this is one of my favorites!

Smoky Mountain Quilt Guild, Frances Owl-SmithSmoky Mountain Quilt Guild Show 2016

Smoky Mountain Quilt Guild Show

Love the houses and trees!

Smoky Mountain Quilt GuildSmoky Mountain Quilt Guild ShowI’ll have more pictures from this show at a later date🙂

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Orphan Block Cards

A while back I ordered some blank cards with the idea that I would use some fabric scraps to create my own note cards. card2

In addition to the cards, I had this spray intended to turn any fabric into fusible fabric. Never mind why.  card1

So I sprayed the back of one of my little orphan blocks, then ironed it onto the card. I pinked the edges of the blocks before using because I figured there’d be endless loose threads otherwise.

card3The heat of the iron warped the card a little, so I wasn’t entirely satisfied with that.  A glue stick probably would have worked as well, without creating the warp.

Despite the warp, this was actually going pretty well, and I have an (almost) endless supply of little orphan blocks, so next I tried sewing the blocks on the cards:card4

It was difficult to keep them from distorting while being sewn.  So…warped cards from ironing, or blocks slightly askew from sewing?  Anyway, they are unique🙂card5

Be warned: If I correspond with you regularly, one of these will be coming your way, ready or not!

12 Favorites: Chattanooga Quilt Week

I was lucky enough to attend the AQS show in Chattanooga last week, so I’m sharing some of my favorites with you.  These are not meant to be representative of the show and they certainly do not represent the award-winners much.  They are my personal choices.

But first, I must tell you that before I even went to the show I stopped at Spool, a great quilt shop in Chattanooga, to get my “Where’s the Penis?” button to wear to the show.  This is to protest recent AQS censorship.  I won’t repeat the ridiculous tale; if you don’t know about it you can read about it here, and read an even better analysis of the situation here.

The show was in the Chattanooga Trade Center, a nice facility with a carpet that would have been a good quilt design.  Click on the photos to see bigger images.

In the show itself, I was struck by the dearth of truly traditional quilts. This traditional design was one of my favorites, but it is a small art quilt done as part of a challenge to make something in the spirit of the artist Grandma Moses.

Quilt by Yuko Miyashita of Japan, in response to a challenge to represent Grandma Moses

Quilt by Yuko Miyashita of Japan, in response to a challenge to represent the work of Grandma Moses

The great majority of the quilts were what I would classify as “art quilts” in that they had almost no possible function beyond the decorative. Sure, you COULD use that 18 inch square quilt as a table topper, but it seems unlikely.

The SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Association) had an exhibit, as usual, and I admired many of their quilts, including this one:

Towers of Babble, by Pam RuBert

Towers of Babble, by Pam RuBert

Another exhibit of art quilts included this one by Laura Wasilowski, whose work I admire:

Lacking Gravity, by Laura Wasilowski

Lacking Gravity, by Laura Wasilowski

This quilt, from the same display of art quilts, also caught my eye:

Hot Flash 2, by Nancy Woods

Hot Flash 2 by Nancy Woods

There were a number of fun quilts displayed as the result of a challenge to use nontraditional materials, but this was my favorite.

Noth your Grandmother's Drunkard's Path, by Barbara Barber

Not your Grandmother’s Drunkard’s Path, by Barbara Barber

Note how she has used tufts of batting to represent foam:

Detail of Not Your Grandmother's Drunkard's Path by Barbara Barber

Detail of Not Your Grandmother’s Drunkard’s Path by Barbara Barber

Here are some of my favorites from various categories in the main contest.

Between the Lines by Wilma Moss

Between the Lines by Wilma Moss

Detail of Between the Lines by Wilma Moss

Detail of Between the Lines by Wilma Moss

Modern Wedding Rings by Gabrielle Paquin (of France)

Modern Wedding Rings by Gabrielle Paquin (of France)

Mid-Century Modern by Jerriann Massey

Mid-Century Modern by Jerriann Massey

Rockslide by Karen Duling

Rockslide by Karen Duling

Autumn Gold by Lori Schloesser

Autumn Gold by Lori Schloesser

Carpathian Mountain Sunset by Cathy Geier

Carpathian Mountain Sunset by Cathy Geier

And finally, a quilt that was so popular at the Vermont Quilt Festival that I had trouble getting a picture of it.  It is still spectacular, but didn’t even get an Honorable Mention in Chattanooga.

Judgment of Osiris by Georgia Spalding Pierce

Judgment of Osiris by Georgia Spalding Pierce

This last quilt is bed size, though not especially traditional.  So where were the traditional quilts?

There were a few beautifully done whole cloth quilts, but otherwise I though even the bed-sized quilts often showed the influence of the modern aesthetic.  I know very well that there are many fine traditional quilters still working, but I suspect they have given up on AQS shows.  What do you think?  Do you ever enter AQS shows?

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