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.

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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!

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!

 

Snowmen All Around

Here’s the sample for my next class at Studio Stitch in Greensboro. I taught Trees All Around last year and there was a request to repeat it this year. I thought it made more sense to teach something the-same-but-different, so I chose this cute pattern from the same designer, Quilted Garden.

Quilted Christmas tree skirt

Snowmen All Around, my class sample from a pattern by Quilted Garden

And here’s a picture of Trees All Around (my class sample), also by Quilted Garden.

Garden Gate Quilts

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

Here’s a closeup of one of the snowmen.  I had just a little bit left of the “jeweled” trim I put on a friend’s wedding veil earlier this year, so this little snowman has a fancy hat!

Quilted tree skirt

Detail of my class sample for Snowmen All Around

The class will be Saturday, October 28, at Studio Stitch in Greensboro (NC, USA).  If you’re in the area, come join us!

 

Sending Quilts to Texas?

Catbird Quilt Studio

The hurricane disaster in Texas may displace people from more than 100,000 homes for at least several weeks. They need housing, food, water, and some way to replace all the goods lost to water damage, or simply washed or blown away. Should you send replacement items? Should you send quilts?

It’s tempting, isn’t it? A quilt is a tangible item to show your concern, to offer both comfort and warmth. I’ve already seen a number of requests for quilts for Texans. I’ve also seen one of those requests in a Facebook group called a fraud, and deleted after the group moderator couldn’t affirm its legitimacy.

In the past I’ve made quilts to give post-disaster. But unless a disaster is local, I won’t do it again. Why not? Very simply, if a community is facing the scale of tragedy that Houston and other Texas cities are facing, figuring out how…

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A Little Quilt Show

Quiltfest, in Jonesborough, Tennessee, is accompanied by a little quilt show of things done by the teachers and the shop owners.  Naturally, I took a few pictures 🙂  Here are some of my favorites:

Quiltfest

Clam Shell, a Judy Niemeyer pattern made by Louise Amos

Scrap quilt

 Detail shot.  This quit was at least queen size, and the little HST squares finish less than an inch!

Cinco de Mayo, made by Renny Jaeger; pattern by Karen K Stone

Quiltfest

Quilt by Shannon Shirley. The blocks are TINY and the baskets have tiny chain-stitched handles. See detail view below

Detail of quilt by Shannon Shirley

Lobster Stew, by Nancy Mahoney

Quiltfest is 3 days of classes and other programs held in Jonesborough, TN every July.  So, who’s coming to Quiltfest with me next year?

Another Good Quiltfest

Quiltfest, in Jonesborough, TN, is put on each July by Jonesborough’s destination quilt shop, Tennessee Quilts. I usually go (work schedule permitting) and enjoy the nationally-known teachers, meeting other quilters, and SALE at the shop! I usually take a class that will allow me to try something new.  So this year…

I took a class to learn Esterita Austin‘s monoprinting technique.  Here’s the photo I used as my source:

Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that I have taken classes in photography and ceramics but not painting! Esterita generously came over and did some of the shading for me, but basically I was hopeless at doing the shading to make this look three dimensional.  As Esterita commented, “You can’t learn it in 2 days”.

I did learn the process, and since the point was to learn something new, the class was a success.  Here’s the print I made in class. And yes, it really is that shiny, because of the media Esterita uses.

Esterita has many tips and tricks to solve potential problems with the technique, so if you want to do monoprints for quilts, those would be very useful.

And the rest of Quiltfest was as fun, too.  Nancy Mahoney did a very nice lecture on her two-block quilts during lunch one day, and of course I made a few trips to the shop during the sale.  My goody bag contained a yard of pretty red Christmas fabric that I have already made into a pillowcase for one of my grandsons.  So the entire trip was a nice break 🙂

Christmas pillowcase

The print I made will be sandwiched with batting and backing, and quilted.  There are just a few projects ahead of that, but I’ll post a picture when it’s finally done.

Gypsy Wife Sneaked In!

When I visited Tennessee Quilts recently, I had just run across the 2017 sew-along for Jen Kingwell’s Gypsy Wife quilt. So when I saw the pattern at Tennessee Quilts it just sneaked into my shopping basket! Here’s a picture of my copy of the pattern, in case you’re the only quilter in the world who hasn’t seen 2 dozen versions of it on Pinterest:

I like the combination of color and complexity that makes up this quilt. Here’s the link to the Sew-Along on Angie’s blog, Gnome Angel. She’s in Australia, which is fitting, since Jen Kingwell is, too.

Angie had some useful tips on getting ready to make the quilt, which is fairly complex. Just for comparison, it is nowhere near as complex as preparing to make a Judy Niemeyer quilt.  On the other hand, Jen Kingwell’s instructions aren’t nearly as precise as Judy Niemeyer’s, so it is helpful that Angie has links to several resources that help with preparing to make the quilt.  Check it out if you’re interested.

Angie has helpful suggestions about fabric selection, but I recently bought a layer cake of Jen Kingwell’s “Just A Speck” fabric that was just too cute to leave in the shop.  I’m combining that with some fat quarters from Moda’s “grunge” line to make up my palate for the quilt:

Gypsy Wife fabric selection

Fabrics for Gypsy Wife Quilt

Here are the blocks I’ve made so far. Most of these are “filler” blocks placed in various positions around the quilt.  The “card trick” variation block near the middle is the first of the focus blocks for the quilt.  This is NOT the way the blocks are arranged in the quilt, just the way I have them grouped on my design wall for picture-taking.  

Those cute little people in the center of a couple of the blocks are left over from another project.  I thought a few of them scattered around would add interest 🙂

And by the way, the little 4-patch blocks are not part of the pattern.  I just said “no” to making pinwheel blocks that finish 3″ square, so I’ve substituted 4-patches!  It’s not the first time I’ve deviated from a pattern!

I’ll let you know how this goes.  And if you’ve been inspired to sew along, check out Angie’s blog.

 

Catching Up!

I’ve had several things going on at once, so this is a mash-up of several of them.
First, I was forced (OK, not) to buy this Lotta Jansdotter FQ bundle:

Just too cute to leave behind!  It started with seeing those funky cat faces, and after that it was a “must do” 😉  I’ll let you know when it’s a quilt!

The other thing I’ve been working on is getting ready for a class I’ll be taking with Esterita Austin at Quiltfest in Tennessee later this month.  It’s all about learning a technique for painting on quilts, so it will be quite new to me.  I love to learn new stuff, so I’m really looking forward to it!

I considered a lot of different photos as my starting point, but Esterita really, really, seems to like closeups of machinery, so this is what I settled on:

Steve’s Cement Mixer

And here are some of the rejects:

Personally, I’m much more into the nature stuff, but I make it a point to try the teacher’s way the first time around.  And I DO recall from basic design class that closeups of object sometimes make for great designs.  I’ll let you see what comes of this!

 

A Little Quilt

Finished the smallest size (41″ x 35″) Lombard Street pattern and I’m about to send it to Studio Stitch, where I’ll be teaching the class. The triangles are all dots, though not polka dots!Lombard Street quilt pattern
I quilted this on my home machine, just following the zigzags in the background, and it worked just fine.Lombard Street quilt pattern
And the backing is a fun fabric I found on the sale rack at Studio Stitch last time I taught there! Win!triangle quilt

I’m teaching this as an introduction to modern paper piecing, of which it’s a great example.  Paper piecing makes it easy to get all those nice sharp points, and the arrangement of blocks makes people wonder, “How did she DO that???”  It’s always fun to keep people guessing 🙂