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!

 

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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?

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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.

 

Vermont Quilt Festival–Favorite Quilts Part 1

Here are a few of my favorite quilts from the Vermont Quilt Festival. Please note that a few of these really are not square. Others do have straight sides with 90 degree corners, but the picture is off because I had the camera in one hand and a glass of champagne in the other 😀

First, this is one of the youth quilts, made by a 3-1/2 year old!  Entrants in this category made the quilt top themselves, but may have had help with quilting. Janome is a big sponsor of the VQF, and each youth entrant was given a sewing machine!  This tot had to get help to carry hers from the stage 🙂

youth entry VQF

As always at VQF, there was a wonderful exhibit of antique quilts.  This next one was my favorite:Antique quilt, VQFThe Instructors’ Showcase made me wish I’d taken some classes.  This first one is by Augusta Cole, whose scrappy designs I admire and have used from time to time.Vermont Quilt Festival 2016And this one by instructor Katie Pasquini Masopust was very unusual.  I would like to know more about her techniques.VQF instructors 2016There were a number of other special exhibits and I didn’t take pictures of all of them, though they would have been worth it!  This bargello quilt caught my husband’s eye:Bargello quilt at VQF 2016Here are a few more of the fairly traditional ones that I especially liked.  Note that one got a purple ribbon for a very high score on the judging criteria I showed last week.VQF11VQF18VQF16VQF12Finally, here is an absolutely spectacular applique quilt.  Everyone stood in front of it admiringly, so I had to wait my turn to take a picture:VQF4Next week I’ll show you the more modern quilts that caught my eye.

 

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Meet J. Michelle Watts

I make frequent trips to the Southwest, and you KNOW they include visits to quilt shops along the way. For years I’ve been seeing Southwestern-themed patterns by J. Michelle Watts, who seems to have that niche all to herself. So this last time I thought I’d ask her for an interview. Here she is:

southwestern quilt designs

J. Michelle Watts

Tell us about your quilts and your other projects, too.

When I started quilting in 1982, I hand pieced and hand quilted mostly traditional quilt blocks.

I designed my first original southwestern wall hanging, Adobe Sunrise, in 1987. In 1989, I started a small mail order pattern company with my own collection of southwestern quilt patterns. I have also designed a line of patterns that use the 9 degree wedge ruler and a couple of jelly roll friendly scrap quilt patterns, written 3 books,  and designed 3 collections of fabric for Moda.

Ojo de Dios quilt

One of Michelle’s designs for wedge ruler.

“Stenciling Quilt Blocks” is my favorite class to teach right now. The technique is simple, fast and fun and the finished projects can fool you into thinking they are pieced or appliqued.

Stenciled quilt, J. Michelle Watts

Pueblo Rhapsody

The black designs in “Pueblo Rhapsody” have been stenciled onto 40 odd shaped turquoise blocks and then the blocks are sewn together.  My newest pattern collection, “It’s Simple With Stencils”, is a collection of quilt patterns that use laser cut stencils and Paintstiks to stencil quilt blocks and quilts. The collection features a variety of small traditional quilt blocks and some with a southwestern style.

Inquiring minds always want to know: do you have a “day job”, or do you teach and develop patterns full time?

I print and package all my own patterns. This is my day job, night job and weekend job. I now travel about 120 days a year teaching and vending at quilt shows. I manage a website that features all my patterns. I host a small quilt retreat each year near Ruidoso, NM.  This year I want to try to make some short tutorials on several techniques I teach.  When people ask me “So what do you do for a living?”, I love being able to tell them ” I am a quilter.”  There is a quilted wall hanging in my studio that says “Love what you do and do what you love.” That pretty much says it all.

J. Michelle Watts quilt pattern

Casa Blanca, Michelle’s newest applique pattern. Thank goodness it will be available as a stencil, also!

What’s next?

My newest applique pattern, Casa Blanca, which is inspired by an old ironwork door. This design will also be available as a stencil pattern. The dark wine pieces are machine appliqued to a cream background.  I have many other patterns in the works as well.

If you want to see all Michelle’s patterns, visit her website.  Here are a few of my favorites:

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9 Quilts from AQS Paducah

Many quilters consider the AQS (American Quilters Society) annual show in Paducah, Kentucky the top of the heap among quilt shows.  So, I just had to go see for myself this year.

AQS Paducah

For Tanya, by Emily and Miriam Coffey, won first place in the Modern Wall Quilt category

Here are some of my favorite quilts from the show.  If some of them look a little wonky, it’s because they hang the quilts in 3-sided booths and then don’t let you into the booth!  The result is that, unless the quilt you want to photograph is directly at the back of the booth, you can’t get a straight shot of it.  Enjoy the pictures anyway!

modern quilts AQS Paducah

Flowers and Gears, by Robbi Joy Eklow, won a ribbon in the Longarm Quilted Small Wall Quilt category

I had a great time in Paducah, because I had a friend with me and we found COOKIES!  Luckily my friend knew where to find good food and a good place to stay 🙂

AQS Paducah modern quilts

It Takes the Case, by Karlyn Bue Lohrenz, won a ribbon in the category of Large Wall Quilts–Pictorial

I have pictures of a few of my favorite quilts here, but on the whole this show had fewer quilts that I really loved than any show I’ve attended in the past year.  Probably because of the emphasis on “show quilts”.

AQS Paducah

In the Marsh #2, by Carol Bryer Fallert-Gentry

However, there were some outstanding quilts like the ones above and below.  I suppose they are “show quilts” too, but they are not so heavily quilted that they appear 3-dimensional, and they don’t have rhinestones!

AQS Paducah

Canola Fields, by Leah Gravells, was made of 199 strips 3/4 inch wide–and she got them all straight!

One of the reasons I go to shows is to be inspired, and these quilts certainly were inspiring!

AQS Paducah improvisational quilt

Boardwalks of Asilomar, byt Jody H. Rusconi, was one of the few improvisational quilts in the show

improv quilt AQS Paducah

Playing It, by Pam Beal, was another nice improvisational quilt

quilt photo AQS Paducah

Windows #1-Antigua, by Brenda S. Wall

AQS Paducah

Rainbow Play by Brenda S. Roach

AQS Paducah

Rhythmic, by Karen Neary

2 Quilts, 1 Set of Instructions

It’s here! The latest issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited, containing a quilt designed and made by me!Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine
The editors did a great job of providing clear diagrams for my instructions, and of photographing the quilt.  It is made from Michael Miller batiks, supplied by the company for this project.  I love MM fabrics, and was happy to use batiks for a little change from the “oh-so-solid” solids that are currently popularModern Quilts Unlimited.And here’s a second quilt made with the same feature blocks, arranged differently. (The solids are Michael Miller Cotton Couture left over from another project.)  You can get the templates from the magazine and make your own blocks, arranging them to suit yourself.

Quilt Pattern

Alternate colorway and block arrangement from the same pattern

modern quilt

Look at this fun quilting done by Joyce Miller!

So go make it your own way!

 

10 Favorites from Vermont Quilt Festival

I really enjoyed the Vermont Quilt Festival in Burlington the end of June.  I expected a traditional quilt show, and there were some traditional quilts, but there were many modern quilts as well.  Here are 10 of my favorites for various reasons.  That fantastic quilting on the first one was done by Carrie Zizza of Zizza Machine Quilting (http://www.itsazizza.com/).

quilting detail

Look at the quilting on Love Those Liberties by Laura Clements!

pieced quilt

Rainbow Bricks by Melissa Rolfe–this was her second quilt ever!

pieced circle quilt

Full Circle by Rebecca Rohrkaste

pieced quilt

Patch of Swiss Chard by Ann Feitelson

quilt detail

Detail of Patch of Swiss Chard

pieced quilt

This quilt by Ruth Eissfeldt was all shiny metallic fabrics

applique quilt

These fish by Velda Newman were SO realistic!

pieced quilt

Tied Together by Timna Tarr–a modernized bowtie quilt

pieced quilt

Circles of Hope by Sylvia Einstein

pieced quilt

Kaleidoscopic XX by Paula Nadelstern

pieced quilt

Fill the Void by Cinzia Allocca–my FAVORITE!

detail of quilt

Look at her beautiful quilting!  I love this quilt!

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?

Gallery Show!

applique art quilt

Leaf, made in class with Laura Wasilowski

The Asheville Modern Quilt Guild is lucky enough to meet in a nice conference room in the building occupied by both the Quilt Alliance and the Handmade in America organization.  Because of those connections (and the quality of our work) we will be having a show of our members’ work at the gallery maintained by Handmade in America.  This is an organization representing craft artists from Western North Carolina (that would be us!) The work they represent is very high quality, so we are thrilled to be invited to display our work in their gallery, located at 125 S. Lexington Avenue in Asheville.  (The entrance is on Hilliard Avenue between Church and S. Lexington.)

I’m including pictures in this post of the works I’m submitting, but I hope any of you whoshow announcement are in the area will come see the show.  It will run April 29 – August 19, with an opening reception 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, May 4.  We have several fine quilters in our group, and they really do make “all kinds of quilts”, as the title of the exhibit suggests.  Please come!

Handmade-3

Improv I, my original design

pieced quilt original design

Bubble Up, my oritinal design