Fourth Quarter Classes

I’ll be teaching two fun classes between now and Christmas (yes! It is coming!) at Studio Stitch in Greensboro, NC.

The first, scheduled for Saturday, November 3, is a pattern called “Frosty Flakes” from Sew Special Designs.

Frosty Flakes, Sew Special Designs

This is the quilt including border

I actually made this half size just by reducing the patterns for the snowmen by 50% on my copier. It makes a good child’s quilt or wall hanging at this size. The full size pattern is lap size.

Here’s a photo of just the center so you can see the cute blocks better

The other class is the place mats you’ve already seen.  I made them from the shop’s current collection of Christmas fabric, but they are quick and easy so I often make them from other fabrics to have on hand for hostess gifts.

If you’re near Greensboro, come join us at Studio Stitch!

Triangles: What Do You Think?

It all started with this beautiful batik that was ON SALE…And I have quite a collection of batik scraps from other projects, so I decided to make a scrap quilt with colors that would go with the sale fabric. Initially, I made the blocks really scrappy:

Then I made a few that were more controlled and liked them better:


This is just up on the design wall, not sewn, and I’m thinking of taking out the really scrappy ones. They kind of jar my nerves.But, what do you think? It’s good to have opinions from quilty friends!

Great Aunt Bess’s “Fizzle Drawer” and A Busy Week

I have a number of pieces of antique furniture, as much out of obligation as desire. These belonged to my grandparents, great-grandparents, and in one case to my great-great-grandmother. One of them contains Great Aunt Bess’s “Fizzle Drawer”.

Granny once commented on it, saying that whenever her sister, Bess, had a sewing project that “fizzled”, the project went into that drawer. I’m not sure what happened after that. This would have been in the early part of the 20th Century, but I don’t even know whether the “fizzle” items were clothing or something else.  By the time I inherited the furniture they were long gone!

I think some of my UFOs probably should go in the “fizzle drawer”, but I don’t know when to quit, so I keep working on them.  This next one was a class I did not especially enjoy, but I’ve converted it to 4 large blocks to be combined into a donation quilt.

This next one is not a fizzle, it’s a set of place mats I made for a quick holiday class to teach this fall.  I developed this pattern YEARS ago for McCall’s Quick Quilts and have made many versions of it since.  Place mats are a nice hostess gift to have on hand.

We went to the “apple barn” this weekend and got some apples–must be fall!  Here is the view from the apple barn, looking across some trees heavy with red apples to the mountains beyond.  It doesn’t get any better than that!

How was your week?

More from Quiltfest

One of the good things about Quiltfest (held in Jonesborough, TN every July) is the quilt show.  This year there was a contest in addition to the show of quilts made by the teachers.  Here are some of the quilts made by people who taught at Quiltfest this year:

Debbie Maddy

Zen by Debbie Maddy

bunny quilt

Usagi by Debbie Maddy

modern quilt indigo dye

Pathways by Debbie Maddy

Lucille Amose

Twinkle Star made by Lucille Amos (likely from a Judy Niemeyer pattern)

Linda Crouch-McCreadie

Diamonds in Bloom, made by Linda Crouch-McCreadie from a Judy Niemeyer pattern

Karen K. Stone quilt

O. G. by Karen K. Stone

Karen K. Stone

Neutrality by Karen K. Stone.

This was a beautiful quilt and included lots of texture and metallic embellishment.  Here is a detail view:

metallic embellishment in quilt

Detail of Neutrality by Karen K. Stone

Sue Nickels quilt

New York State of Mind by Pat Holly and Sue Nickels

And here are some of the quilts entered in the contest rather than made by the teachers:

Quiltfest

Red Bud Winter by Melinda Tweed

Quiltfest

Leaves by Kristi Ottinger, quilted by Linda Crouch-McCreadie

It’s Complicated, by Kristi Ottinger, quilted by Linda Crouch-McCreadie

Update on the Shirt Quilt

Remember this?shirt quilt

This pile of blocks barely made a dent in the pile of shirts!

And here is some of the quilt up on the design wall:

The holes are because I unaccountably made too few double 4-patch blocks.  Luckily, that was one of the easier blocks in this quilt, so it the error won’t be difficult to fix!

As you can see, both the red and the orange made good accents.  The interesting thing to me about this quilt is that those little accent blocks save the day.  There is WAY too much variety in the quilt for it to be a good design without those diagonal orange and red lines created by the tiny blocks.  They pull the whole thing together by giving it structure.

I’ll update you when I get the holes plugged 😀

A Cute Little Bag

One of the classes I took at Quiltfest last month was a little bag from a pattern by Penny Sturges.  It was taught by Carrie Licatovich of Tennessee Quilts, who did an excellent job.  Bag 3

Carrie had made numerous modifications to the instructions for the bag, and it was one time I was really glad to be making something in class rather than on my own.  Her changes were improvements in the construction process, and I would not have wanted to make the bag without them.  Carrie was a warm and encouraging teacher and the class seemed to go well for everyone, even relatively new sewists.

Here’s my bag:

I enjoyed the class and I like the bag.  Next time I want a cute little bag, I think I’ll buy one!

Indigo Dying with Debbie Maddy

I recently took a one-day class in Shibori dying with natural indigo, taught by Debbie Maddy. This was part of QuiltFest, put on in Jonesborough, TN, by Tennessee Quilts. It was a good time as usual, and I’ll post more about QuiltFest later.

Indigo Dye

Debbie Maddy–her Shibori dying class was excellent!

Debbie brought many beautiful examples of Shibori dying with her.

In addition to the class, she gave a lecture about her adventures with Shibori.  To hear her tell it, she became interested in Shibori and immediately signed herself and her husband up for a 10 day Shibori class in Japan!  I can’t even imagine!

She gave us an introduction to how indigo is used for dying in various places around the world, then showed us how to mix the dye vats and prepare the cloth.Indigo dye vat

As always, the most fun was seeing everyone’s fabrics drying on the line!Shibori dyed fabric

Here are a few more examples made by students.  I’m sorry to say I didn’t get their names.

When we got home, we had to neutralize the dye in a vinegar bath and then remove excess dye with pH neutral detergent in hot water.finishing indigo dyed pieces

And here are my finished pieces:indigo dye

More about Quiltfest in future!  Stay tuned 🙂

Some Tiny Blocks

My modern guild is making a charity quilt for QuiltCon 2019, and the requirements include a predetermined palate and blocks with pieces no larger than 1″ in at least one dimension.  The theme is “small piecing”.  Here is the palate:

At the last meeting, our guild had chunks of fabric about 8″ x 10″ cut for us to take home and make little blocks.  The blocks are going to be used to construct something else, so the only requirement is that they finish either 2″ or 3″ square.  I took these 3 colors:

And here are some little blocks I made.

The quilt has to be twin size, so it’s going to take a LOT of these babies!  It will be fun to see what other guilds do when QuiltCon comes around in February.

Thanks to everyone who offered an opinion about my choice of accent color for the shirting quilt.  There are two different blocks in the quilt that use the tiny accent squares, and I’ve decided to use orange for this one and rust for the other.  Here are a couple of the blocks with orange.  Those tiny orange squares finish 3/4″.  Eek!

I’ll keep you posted.

 

Potluck Plan to Save the Planet

When we lived in Darkest Northern Maine I belonged to a women’s group that had potluck dinners from time to time. A frequent dish at these dinners was a meatloaf made with moose meat, no lie! Anyway, when we had a potluck, everyone brought her own place setting, including flatware, wrapped in a specially made carrier. In addition to being an opportunity to show off the fine china, it was a wonderful idea to save on waste! (My “fine china” is Corelle, but never mind that.)  You can even carry a cloth napkin with you for further savings to the planet 🙂

Aroostook County, Maine, land of place setting carriers. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

I got to thinking about this when a colleague brought his lunch to the office with a cloth napkin the other day, and then later that same day one of my guilds had a potluck.  Despite the fact that ALL of us CAN sew, nobody brought a place setting with her!  It was all paper and plastic, filling the trash cans afterward.  (The food was great, though!)

The truth is that, although I have made numerous place mats and table runners, I have never even made a place setting carrier for myself.  So I searched the internet for patterns, and here are a few sources:

Quilted Place Setting Carrier, photo courtesy of Craftsy

This is a $5 pattern available on Craftsy.  Click the label under the picture to go to the page where you can buy it.

Here is a link to a free pattern from the St. Croix Quilters.  I couldn’t get a picture, but the pattern is just one page and permission is granted to share it.  It even includes a pattern for a matching napkin 🙂

Here is a listing from Etsy for a place setting carrier that you can buy already made.

Place setting carrier available on Etsy, already made! Photo courtesy of Etsy.

Of course you could make one yourself, but sometimes there are too many projects in line already, and I thought this one was cute.

If you go searching for a pattern for a place setting carrier, most of what you’ll find are patterns for casserole carriers.  Those are good, too, but not what I wanted!  I’m pretty sure I can just develop my own place setting carrier by taking one of my dinner plates as a starting point for size and going from there.  If I end up developing a pattern, I’ll let you know.

On another note, look at the wonderful pattern on this moth I found on a recent hike:

Unknown moth, Western N.C., 2018

Have a good week!

Some Favorites from VQF 2018

The Vermont Quilt Festival, which I attended in June, was wonderful, as usual. Here are a few of my favorites of the more traditional type.

VQF

Maine Coast, by Lynne Rainen

traditional quilt VQF

Port Kent Beauty, by Alyce Fradenburg (who is from Port Kent, NY)  I like how she put black triangles at the top to give the design a point there.

VQF

We Are Stardust, by Gladi Porsche

tumbler quilt

Twinkle Twinkle Little Tumblers, by Sharon Shea Perry. There are 3328 tumblers in this quilt, and they are tiny!  I love how she made the border darker.

vermont quilt festival

Night Sky, by Joan Duffy. This was eye-catching and beautifully pieced.

Barnum & Bailey quilt

Barnum & Bailey, by Daisy Dodge. This had many TINY pieces!

Detail of Barnum & Bailey. Those HSTs finish 1/2″ square!

quilt by Bonnie Morin

Buzz Saw, by Bonnie Morin. Look at the detail below!

As always, there were several special exhibits, including quilts by the teachers and some modern favorites from the last QuiltCon.  More on those later!