Two Links You May Like

The Quilt Alliance auction of donated art quilts has started.  I’m sorry I didn’t get this announcement out last week, but there is still time to bid in Week 1 of the auction if you hurry!  My quilt is in Week 2, which starts November 27.  Check out the auction here: http://www.QuiltAllianceAuction.org

This is the “promotional image” for my quilt, which is 16 inches square per the contest requirements:

But really, I encourage you to check out all the quilts.  There is one I really like (other than my own!) and will be bidding on.  If you don’t know about the Quilt Alliance, I encourage you to check out their activities here.

Second link:  My friend Melanie at Catbird Quilts recently pointed out a little research project she found.  Another blogger, Vicki Welsh, posted about testing a variety of methods to save a quilt that has been washed with bleeding of one (or more) fabrics.  The results are very interesting, and are also useful for those of us who pre-wash (at least some of) our fabrics. Check out Vicki’s post here.  Vicki encourages you to share her test results, and I encourage you to be sure to link to her original post when you do.

Have a good week!

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Finally, A Finish

This quilt was started as a practice piece for a quilt I want to make using this “one block wonder” technique. Finally it is finished and bound!

one block wonder

Floral Fantasy, a “one block wonder” quilt

Here is the fabric from which these one block wonders were cut.  As you can see, it was pretty lively to begin with.

Sassaman fabric

Flower Fiesta by Jane Sassaman

The border for the above quilt is from a different Jane Sassaman fabric.

Here’s the quilt for which this was practice.  It is back in a box waiting its turn.Sassaman fabricsNext week I’ll show some more of what pushed its way in front of that quilt.

Meanwhile, if you want to try a one block wonder, here’s a link to the book.  And the fabric or both quilts is designed by Jane Sassaman, whose website is here.

Practice, Practice

A friend started this quilt about 15 years ago and did a beautiful job, but quilting didn’t “take” with her, so she had this unfinished quilt but not the expected huge piles of fabric, tools, threads, patterns…well, you know.

The wonky shape is my camera angle, not the quilt!

She had already hand quilted a fair amount of it, including quilting around the central motifs and quilting a design in some of the bars.  She just had no enthusiasm for finishing it, so I volunteered.  (Full disclosure: I just took Susan K Cleveland’s Craftsy course on machine quilting without free motion, so I used this as a practice piece!)

I left most of the hand quilting that was already done.

As always, I learned a lot doing this.  First, it was basted using those plastic tacks that were the latest in quilt basting at the time.  They didn’t hold the layers together as securely as the basting spray I now use, so there were some “challenges” in avoiding  puckers as I quilted.  Second, the batting was the fluffy polyester most of us were using at the time, and it isn’t nearly as stable as the Quilters Dream and Warm Company battings available today.  It worked out just fine, but the whole thing moved under the machine needle more than I’m used to.

It was fun to see the changes in the technology of quilting since this quilt was made.  And it gave me permission to finally get rid of my plastic tack device.  More room for the other tools!

Road Trip

We recently went to the Southwest to visit family, and of course that required visits to a few quilt shops! I like to visit quilt shops when I travel because I always find something new. All these shops have websites, so I’m embedding links to allow you to visit them, too.

First stop was Thread Bear in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Las Vegas is a nice little town northeast of Albuquerque.  It has interesting architecture for those of us who like to see fun buildings of different eras. We stayed in the oldest hotel in town, on the town square. It was built in the late 1800s.

fabric, thread bear, las vegas NM

Fabric from Thread Bear in Las Vegas, NM

But about the quilt shop: Thread Bear had lots of fun fabric from which to choose!  I limited myself (with some effort) to the two pieces above.

Next was Loveland, Colorado, where Stitches has opened since my last visit to the town. They had lots of lovely modern fabrics, so I had to have a few fat quarters. One of the pinks and the yellow are the same pattern as the purple fabric I got at Thread Bear–that’s always fun 🙂

Fabric from Stitches in Loveland, Colorado

After Loveland, we went on to Albuquerque, NM, which has several quilt shops.  I limited myself to purchases at two of them.  Especially notable, however, was Hip Stitch.  They had so much beautiful fabric (including what looked like the full line of Grunge) that I was in there a looong time (just ask my husband!) trying to limit my selection.  Then when I got to checkout, the clerk helpfully pointed out that they stock postal service flat rate boxes, so I could buy more than I could carry and have it mailed to me!  Oh my, what marketing!  So if you own a quilt shop, take note!  Anyway, here are my fabrics from Hip Stitch (I resisted the urge to buy more and have it shipped):

Hip Stitch albuquerque, nm

Fabric from Hip Stitch in Albuquerque. The red has a silver metallic print that I couldn’t resist.

Next is Albuquerque was Stitchology, where I selected several fat quarters from their nice variety.  They also had lots of lovely fabric for clothing construction, but I stuck to my priorities and did not get drawn back into that!

fabric, stitchology, albuquerque

Fat quarters from Stitchology in Albuquerque

I was able (with a little effort) to fit all my finds into my suitcase.  I do have a project planned for each of these fabrics!  I’m off to the studio now…hope you have a good week!

Nothing Is Wasted

We recently spent far too many hours in the Greenville-Spartanburg (South Carolina) airport, but that situation lead to the discovery of this artwork in one of the terminals.

metal "art quilt" sculpture by Evelyn Rosenberg

South Carolina Quilt, by Evelyn Rosenberg 

Evelyn RosenbergThis is a metal “quilt” by artist Evelyn Rosenberg.  She has done other metal works that look like fiber art, and you can see pictures of a number of them by clicking on her name or here to link to her website.  (The website has better pictures than mine.)

As you can see, this work consists of a number of blocks making up 3 panels.  I’ve made pictures of each individual panel, shown below.

Left panel

Center panel

Right panel

Here are a couple of the individual blocks, showing a little more of how the blocks are made and the quilt is sewn together with metal cables.  I really enjoyed seeing this, so if you find yourself in the Greenville-Spartanburg airport, check it out 😉

A New Web Resources and A Few Quilts

At our last modern guild meeting, one of our members told us about PrintablePaper.net, where you can get all kinds of grids to use for drawing quilt designs.  It’s a free resource and has many other options in addition to the grids.  There’s even a printable car bingo.  I know I’ll be using some of these.

As promised, here are a few of the quilts our retreat group made for Ronald McDonald house.  Sorry they aren’t very square.  Next time I’ll do better standing straight-on to the quilt when I take the pictures!  Each is approximately 40″ square.

Have a good week!

Retreat! Need I say more?

Here are some pictures of projects from our last retreat. A good time was had by all!

Nothing says “retreat” like somebody working all day at the design wall 🙂

Don’t know what the pattern was, but I love the way the flowers blend with the background!

Rena was given a circle cutter at the last retreat, and she went wild!

A T-shirt Quilt for a family member

This wedding ring quilt was made to incorporate the fabric napkins used at the wedding!

I think this is one of the Turning Twenty patterns

This Christmas quilt for a grandchild is the Turning Twenty Again pattern

Here is the finished top that started out on the design wall. It was a Moda pattern.

This quilt was huge! Made from a Deb’s Cats and Quilts pattern

This was another really big one made using Deb Tucker‘s rulers.  I enjoy Deb’s tagline: “Tools for the realist, not the idealist”!

A memorial Quilt made using a man’s shirts

Isn’t this beautiful? And it was large–I cropped out a lot of it.

Detail. These pieces were LITTLE!

Next week I’ll have pictures of some of our quilts for Ronald McDonald House.

Done, and Done!

Recently I taught Seminole Patchwork at Studio Stitch in Greensboro. The strips were successfully made…seminole patchwork

and one place mat per student assembled, basted, quilted, and ready for binding!seminole patchwork placemat

I particularly liked this one made with Mode Grunge fabric.

AND the Gypsy Wife top is finished.  I am truly done with that project. Off to the quilter it goes.Gypsy wife quilt top

Hope you had a successful September, too!

Shaking Up the Gypsy Wife

I almost never follow directions when using a pattern, and this Gypsy Wife quilt has been no exception. Many of the pictures of the finished quilt are beautiful, and I really like the idea of a variety of blocks put together in an unusual way, so I decided to make this quilt. However…

The directions are just as inadequate as I have read they are. Some of the bigger problems have been solved by various bloggers, and Gnome Angel links to them in her introduction to the Gypsy Wife sew-along 2017.

You’ll see in my picture of sections 1 through 4, shown here on the design wall, that I’ve made a few changes. OK, more than a few changes.

Gypsy Wife quilt

Sections 1 through 4 of the Gypsy Wife quilt on the design wall

I started out making the blocks in their order in the booklet.  However, when I put them up on the design wall, it was apparent that I needed to switch to making a section at a time (in the order in which the sections will be assembled).  I did use the coloring sheet (see the Gnome Angel site for the link) to plan my quilt, but the blocks are not labelled by name in any of the layouts, so it was very difficult to determine where the block I was making would fit into the quilt!

I had made an effort to distribute the colors evenly among the blocks I’d made, but the problem was with this little guy…

card trick variation block

Colour Wheel block from the Gypsy Wife quilt

I have only scraps of this fabric and I want the little guys distributed evenly around the quilt.  However, I had put them in blocks where they FIT without realizing they would be so close together in the final layout.  Therefore…

Gypsy Wife quilt

Nurses Cross and Half Square Triangle blocks from the Gypsy Wife quilt

In section 4, shown above, I substituted the Nurse’s Cross block where the plan called for a courthouse steps block of the same size.  And, as you can see, I turned the  pieces in the half square triangle block to give it a different layout.

I’m enjoying the beautiful fabrics and variety of blocks in this quilt, and consider it well worth making.  I just need a few tweaks as I go along to make it work for me.

Guild Program, Guild Challenge

Since somebody has to be in charge of guild programs, and this year I’m “it” for my modern guild, I’ve been publishing some ideas for guild programs and challenges. Hopefully, if you are in charge of programs and challenges for your guild, you can use some of these.

quilt, tessellation

The familiar “cat” tessellation

Nobody volunteered to do the program this month, so I read up on tessellations, starting with this post my friend Jean did for my blog a couple of years ago.  I found a couple of great books on tessellations, one by Jinny Byer (yes, that Jinny Byer!).  They are:

Designing Tessellations: The Secrets of Interlocking Patterns, by Jinny Byer

Introduction to Tessellations, by Dale Seymour and Jill Britton

And if you decide to develop a program on tessellations for your guild, feel free to e-mail me.  You can have my “class outline” and list of exercises if you want.

wonky house block

Wonky house drawn with Electric Quilt 7

The challenge for next month is to make a 12-1/2 inch (so it will finish 12 inches) wonky house block. I made up a couple of blocks to illustrate the idea and drew a couple of additional ones for people to take home for inspiration.

Another wonky house drawing for inspiration

I cut the pieces for this house freehand, with scissors, to make it really wonky

This one was made with fused fabric, using techniques I learned several years ago from Laura Wasilowski

We’ll vote on whether to have a “dirty Santa” swap or a drawing where one person gets all the blocks to make a quilt.  Seems like most of our members are really into the swap thing, so I’m betting that’s what happens!