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🙂



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?


Where Did You Wear It?

A couple of years ago I made a quilt based on the little triangle codes found on plants at my local nursery.  It sank without a trace when I entered it in a show.

But the idea stayed with me, and earlier this year, when I wanted to make a quilt with social significance, I decided on a QR code.

Since my “day job” involves a lot of treating conditions that condoms might have prevented, I wanted to make a quilt to promote condom use. It’s what we like to call “safer sex”. Now don’t get all huffy on me; sex is a fact of life.

When I went looking for a condom-related QR code, I found this one developed by Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands.

Where Did You Wear It campaign

The folks at Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands were gracious enough to allow me to use their QR code

Back in 2012 they put this QR code on all their condoms in a campaign called “Where Did You Wear It?”. Those who scan the code are taken to a website where they can put a pin in a map to show their geographic location–where they wore the condom!

The site also gives some important facts about condom use. The point of their campaign, and my point in making this quilt for show, is to normalize, encourage, and promote the use of condoms when needed.

It turns out QR codes are robust little devils, so I was able to re-color it and develop a lively quilt design with the use of my trusty Electric Quilt program:

Where Did You Wear It campaign

Quilt Design from the “Where Did You Wear It?” QR code

Making this was quite a challenge!  At each step I kept scanning it to be sure it took me to the “Where Did You Wear It?” site.  (You can download any of several QR code scanners to your smart phone or iPad. I used QMark.)

Asheville Quilt Show

The QR Code quilt, ready for its first show. It will the in the Asheville Quilt Show soon!

When I discussed the project with my wonderful son-in-law, he helped me turn my blog address into a QR code, too!  That’s this blog address you see in the TINY QR code making up one block toward the bottom right of the quilt. Scanning it brings you to this post.

Please help me to encourage condom use when appropriate by sharing this post.

Six Finishes!

Last year I pledged (and made) 12 quilts for Ronald McDonald House.  That was a little overwhelming, so I decided on 6 quilts this year.  I’ve now finished the last one, and here they are!  All are about 40 inches square.

The first was made from a pattern called Ribbon Box, available free from Cloud 9 Fabrics.donation-6

The next was from the last of the many wonky 9-patch blocks.  I made these for a quilt, but didn’t like the way they looked all together.  Luckily they look just fine with alternate solid blocks.donation-4

The next two were to use fabric with vehicles, since sometimes we run short on “boy” quilts.

This one was made to use some of my stash of charm squares:donation-2And finally, I just had to make one using a lot of the cute modern prints I’ve been collecting:donation-1These were fun, as always.  I used them to try a few new things, and now they’re ready to go🙂




Pincushion follow-up

Here are the pincushions made by the talented members of the Franklin Modern Quilt Guild. And just so you know, any quilts you see in the background are samples hanging at A Stitch in Time, where we meet.  How great is that, to meet in a quilt shop?

Be warned:  these are really just snapshots, not my best pictures.  I tried to be as unobtrusive as possible when I took pictures, so there may be odd things in the background.

fmqg19This last one is a “needle cushion”.  Each square is to be labelled with a needle size,so partly-used machine needles can be stuck in and easily found when you need that size again:

Needle Cushion

Needle Cushion

While I’m showing some of the creativity in this group, here are the “share and inspire” offerings for this month:

quilted purse

Jane Threlkeld fused some of her orphan blocks onto backing and made this purse

Linda Harrison made these two quilts from Bonnie Christine fabrics for Art Gallery, and one of them won a prize:

And here is a bright, cheerful quilt by Lynda Doll:modern quilt

Several of our members also belong to an art quilt group, and brought an example of one of their projects.  As you can see, they each made a vase of flowers and the cut them all up and swapped quarters!  The next step will be beads and quilt

There’s always plenty of inspiration at these meetings!



Tutorial: Spray Baste a Small Quilt

I’m putting this up because I will be teaching a class soon in which students will be doing some spray basting before class, and I’m hoping to make it easier for those who have never tried it.

The quilt shown here is about 40″ x 40″, an easy size to spray baste.  I have a variation for spray basting larger quilts, but I won’t cover that here.

Start by taping the quilt back to the floor, right side down.  Pull enough to get rid of wrinkles, but do not stretch the fabric.

spray basting


Next, sweep the porch😉  If all you have is a deck, that will do, but sometimes the spaces between the boards are a bother.Baste3Lay a large clean piece of discarded fabric on the porch floor.  This is a sheet from a long-ago pre-teen room.  Baste4

Lay the batting on the clean cloth and spray baste it evenly according to the directions on your can. It’s best to do this outdoors to avoid inhaling the spray.

The batting here is Quilter’s Dream Green. It’s made out of recycled plastic bottles.  It works great, and as you will see it doesn’t look green even through this cream colored backing.Baste5

I generally use either 505 or Sullivan’s basting spray.  The only one I avoid is the one that breaks down with heat. I follow Michele Scott’s method of ironing each section of the quilt just before I quilt it, and that obviously won’t work if ironing destroys my spray basting!

Baste6Lift the batting carefully and transfer it to the backing, sticky side down.  Usually I center the backing on the batting, but this quilt is an exception because the design on the front is meant to kind of “wrap around” to the backing.  Keep reading and you’ll see it.

Next, put the quilt top on the clean cloth right side down.  Spray it with basting spray.Baste7

Transfer the quilt top to the batting, sticky side down.  I do this by grasping the top on opposite sides, about at the midpoint, and letting it fold in half (non-sticky sides together) as I lift it.  Then I place the first half on the batting and gently fold out the second half to cover the batting.

Smooth it all out and you’re done!  Remove the tape, quilt and bind.  Here are the front and back:

Questions?  Better ideas?  I’m all ears😀


Pincushion Project

Who can resist alliteration–just sayin’

traditional pincushion

Does everybody in American have one of these?

One of my quilt groups has a pincushion exchange scheduled for next month, and the last program was a display of many creative pincushions. I wish I had taken pictures! Since this is quite a creative group, I’ll be sure to take some at the exchange.

Meanwhile, I needed to make a pincushion. Note that I don’t say I need a pincushion. That certainly is not the case. I have a number of pincushions, and yes, I use all of them. However, to say I need another would be pushing it!

There are lots of great pincushion ideas on Pinterest, so I just made my own Pincushion board to collect a few. Then I chose one I thought I could make, and here it is:


Dresden Pincushion, made from a free pattern at

I also noted that one of the bloggers I follow had gone crazy making pincushions, many of which were just little quilt blocks sewn together and filled. So I made a mini from some 2″ finished blocks I found in the orphan bin.

Then I went a little crazy myself, and took pictures of all my pincushions.  Most of them were gifts from friends or family, which gives them special meaning.

And finally, a fun factoid: I learned in my research that it is best to stuff pincushions with crushed walnut shells to give them a little heft!  And those crushed shells are sold as lizard litter in the pet store!  Who knew?

One last pincushion, a miniature: miniature pincushion


Tuesday Quilters’ Show

One of my quilt groups (which I seldom attend because it meets during the day and I work full time) is having a little show at the church where they meet, so I stopped by to take some pictures.  Most of these ladies are traditional quilters, and many are quite accomplished.

quilt show

The purple diamonds near the center feature geckos fussy-cut from a batik

One of the women has really gotten going on miniature quilts, so this next bunch are all by Maryann Budahl. They are under 12″ x 12″, and they are NOT as wonky as they seem in the pictures–some were hung too high for me to photograph them well.

miniature quilt

Look at that quilting!

You can click on any of these little quilts to see it up close.

Here are a few of the other quilts on display:

miniature quilt

This is a miniature by Susan Roper.

There were several Christmas quilts:

Christmas quiltChristmas table runnerSeveral full size quilts were draped rather than hung, so I couldn’t get a complete picture of them.

traditional quilt

traditional pieced quiltAnd here are some medium-sized quilts:

star quilt

Christmas sampler quilt

A Bird, Several Houses, and More by Maryann Budahl

And finally, a quilt that looked pretty modern to me:modern wall quilt

There is a fair amount of overlap between this group and the Smoky Mountain Quilters (of Franklin, NC) who will be having a show in September, so I look forward to seeing more quilts soon.


Amazon Star

This quilt was finished, even to the binding, late last year. It took several years to do, so I was well over it by that point. It is a Judy Niemeyer pattern ( and finished king size. I love her patterns because they are beautiful and the instructions are very well organized. Maybe some day I’ll even make another one.Amazon-star

For now, I have dragged this quilt out and I’m putting a hanging sleeve on it so I can enter it in the show for one of my local guilds, the Smoky Mountain Quilters of Franklin, NC. The quilting was by a friend who’s done my quilting for years–WAY too much to try to quilt a king size on my home machine!

So this is a second “finish” for this quilt, getting it ready to display.  I’m glad I got it out of the closet and ready to show :)  Quilt shows are a motivator sometimes.  And, since I’m counting this as my August Finish, I’m sending it to Aunt Marti as well!