The year so far…

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:

scrap quilt

Quilt Alliance Challenge 2014

Dotty-Stripes-Detail

Detail of a quilt I submitted to an IQF contest

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 🙂

pieced quilt top

Donation quilt top is the finish for June!

improvisationally pieced quilt

In Fairyland, entered in the Vermont Quilt Festival

improv pieced quilt

Improv 9 Patch for Ronald McDonald House

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?

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Three Reasons to Love Pinterest

modern quilt

Delightful quilt from CutToPieces.blogspot.com

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.

pieced modern quilt

T-Perspective by Linda Rotz Miller

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!

modern quilt

Terrific design from Melody Johnson Quilts

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!”

What to do with Beautiful Fabric?

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.Drunk-detail

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.  Drunk-in-the-Garden

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?

 

10 Donation Quilts!

stack of quilts

Ronald McDonald Quilts

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

    pieced quilt

    Donation Quilt, 40″ x 40″

  • 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.
  • pieced quilt

    Quilt with teddy bears

    quilt back

    Pieced back

    Ronald-6

    Charm Squares

    ronald-3

    Leftovers

    Girlie Colors

    Girlie Colors

    More Charm Squares

    More Charm Squares–this one more of an I Spy design

    More leftovers--can you tell some group members have grandsons?

    More leftovers–can you tell some group members have grandsons?

    Boy Scout theme--there were 2 of these!

    Boy Scout theme–there were 2 of these–and look at the quilting, 1/2″ apart!

    My improv 9 patch

    My improv 9 patch

    Orphan blocks with improv sashing

    Orphan blocks with improv sashing

     

Your Inner Designer 3: New Blocks From Old

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:

pieced star quilt

Quilt made with Block 3

pieced star quilt

Quilt made with Block 4

2.  Tilt it, or stretch and tilt it:

pieced quilt

This quilt is made from Block 1, tilted, with half the blocks tilted the other way

3.  Cut it and shuffle the pieces; rotate them if you like:

pieced quilt

This quilt is made from block 7, with the blocks rotated various ways to make the pattern

4.  Cut it and insert something.  This will distort the block and you’ll have to trim to make it even:

pieced star quilt

Quilt made from Block 10 and a plain block with strips inserted the same way

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!