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.

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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 🙂

Happy Blog Year to Me

My blog just entered its 5th year, and I’m celebrating by linking to some blogs written by my blog-world friends.

First, two of my blog friends have nominated my blog for another Liebster Award.  This award was started by a blog called The Global Aussie as a way for people to find new blogs.  I have no idea how many times it’s gone around the world, but the Global Aussie keeps issuing new “rules” each year to keep it going.

I was nominated by both my friend Graciela, at Chela’s Colchas y Mas, and by another friend, Tierney, at Tierney Creates.  Both of them post on a variety of subjects, quilting and otherwise.  I enjoy them and would nominate them back if I could, but of course that would not be passing along the award.  So, I recommend checking out their blogs at the links above.  As an incentive, here’s a favorite picture recently posted by Tierney on her blog.  Isn’t it fantastic?

Photo by Tierney at TierneyCreates.com

I’ll answer a few of this year’s suggested questions in a minute, for those of you who may be curious about me.  But first, here are some blogs I enjoy and can recommend to you.  They are, therefore, my nominations for the Liebster Award.  I’m trying to get this out of one circle of friends who all read each others’ blogs so you can see something new.

  1. I enjoy Stephanie’s posts at My Imperfect Life.  She has a pointy sense of humor, and we have Texas in common, even though hers is an Aggie household (eek!). Oh yes, and she blogs about quilts, too.

    Here is one of Stephanie’s quilts. Photo courtesy of Stephanie at My Imperfect Life

  2. I also enjoy Crafting in the 21st Century, written by a couple who, like my husband and me, are a sewist and a woodworker.  I knew I had to follow them when they encased a bunch of fire ants in resin to make a blank for turning a pen. They’re obviously as crazy as we are.  In a good way 🙂

OK, here are my responses to a few of this year’s Liebster Award questions:

  1. Out of all the countries you have visited, which one did you like the most?  Canada.  The Canadians are mostly very sane, and they have some beautiful scenery.
  2. What is the most extreme thing you have ever done?  Woo!  People who know me would say this is quite a contest.  But I think probably the winner would be working as a health care provider in a male maximum security prison.
  3. What/Who inspires you to travel this world?  The opportunity to learn something new every day!

And that’s it!  Check out the blogs who nominated me, and the blogs I’ve nominated. Spread the love!

 

 

A Little Triangle Quilt

After making the Lombard Street quilt and sending it off to the shop where I’ll be teaching that pattern, I decided to make a little one. (The pattern includes three sizes.)

I cut the triangles from my 3-1/2 inch scraps, and had almost enough scraps to cut all 200 triangles–very little yardage was used up for this part of the process.Lombard Street quilt

I decided on purple for the background and made a few test blocks. Looking at the test blocks, I particularly liked the triangle with the one big dot in the middle.  I also decided these triangles would look better with a light grey background, so naturally I had to make another quilt to use that purple background fabric 😉

I love dotted fabric, so I looked through my stash,finding about 30 different fabrics with dots of some kind.  I cut another 200 triangles and here are the sample blocks.  Aren’t they cute?  More later…

Another Kind of Sewing

A friend and her dog visited recently, and luckily the friend enjoys cooking and sewing as much as I do, so we had a great time.

Australian Cattle Dog

Michele and Cowboy

Unfortunately, I did NOT get pix of all the yummy food.  However, we did make a cover for Cowboy’s portable crate.

Cowboy is a very talented dog but also a very “reactive” one who is curious about anything he can see.  So his portable crate needed a cover to let him get some rest between trials at the doggie events in which he competes.

Cowboy’s portable crate

Michele had been throwing a 20-year-old fitted sheet over the crate with reasonable result.  However, we made a dee-luxe cover with many fine features 😉

There is a little door at the top for giving treats.

There is a screen in one side where a fan can blow in cool air.  The screen has a flap to cover it when Cowboy needs rest more than he needs a breeze.

And of course there is a big flap over one end of the crate that can be thrown up to let Cowboy in and out.

We enjoyed the many challenges involved in making the crate cover.  Naturally, we had to make a few little bags for ourselves, as well.  A good time was had by all.

Cowboy is an Australian Cattle Dog

Teaching Paper Piecing and Seminole Patchwork

This next quarter I will be teaching two classes at Studio Stitch in Greensboro (NC). The last class there was a lot of fun, so I’m really looking forward to these.

The first class, on Friday, August 11, will be a modern paper piecing project using the Lombard Street Pattern from Sassafras designs.  Here is my version, which you’ve seen before.  The pattern comes in 3 sizes, so I’m going to make a smaller one as well, just for fun.

Quilt pattern review

“Amish on Lombard Street”, my quilt made from a Sassafras Lane pattern

The second class will be Friday, September 15.  We’ll be making place mats using linen (if desired) and decorative strips of Seminole patchwork.  Here’s the class sample, though I’m making another set using a variety of patchwork patterns.

Seminole Patchwork

Seminole Patchwork Place Mat using a linen blend for the main fabric

If you’re in the Greensboro area, please come join us. You can find Studio Stitch online (click the name) or come by the shop at 3215 B Battleground Ave, Greensboro, NC.

Another Experiment

In one of my modern guilds, several of our members have volunteered to teach techniques we want to try out.  Some of these may be more “art quilt” than strictly “modern quilt”, but what matters is that the members want to learn the technique, not how it could be classified.

pencils fabric use

One member who does some fantastic art quilts is going to teach us how to use colored pencils intended for fabric.  At the last meeting, she suggested that we get a head start by making a palette of the pencils we have so we won’t be wondering how the color will turn out when we do her project.  I had this grid-print fabric from another project, so I used it for my sampler

fabric pencils color

After reading an article in Quilting Arts about how to use pencils on fabric, I got some textile medium to try  textile mediumTo make the sampler above, I brushed a thin layer of fabric medium on the square, then applied pencil. The color went on smoothly while the textile medium was damp.

I haven’t yet tested how colorfast it may be.  The woman who will be doing the program applied her pencils directly to the fabric (without textile medium), then brushed with water.  The colors had a lovely watercolor-like appearance as they bled a little into each other.  I presume the textile medium will hold the color and prevent that bleeding.  That would be good for things where precise placement is needed, but of course sometimes fuzzy edges might look better.  More to come!

Fabric Postcards Again

I’ve been blogging about the monthly challenges and programs at my modern guild, hoping it will be helpful to some of you who need challenge or program ideas. Here’s a recent one: we made fabric postcards.

I gave out pieces of Peltex 71F cut 4″ x 6″ to use as the stabilizer and backing for the cards.  I gave no further guidance, though I did bring an example to pass around.

fabric postcard

Here is the example

I probably should have provided a handout with some basic instructions, since we have members with quite variable skills, as do most guilds.  Anyway, here are some of the postcards people made.  As you can see, they varied in technique quite a bit, and all were fun.

fabric postcard

Kim’s clever Bee Kind postcard–she paper pieced the bee!

Somebody had some cute quilt lady fabric and put a nice frame around it

Coffee is always popular, and the fusible broderie perse worked well

Somebody else stitched elaborate designs like Zentangles on hers

Bev made a bird with a nest of torn strips and beads sewn on for eggs

Mine was titled “A Different UFO”. I’ve had that UFO button a long time!