Have you ever noticed that, whenever you try to finish a big project, other little projects just creep in?
Since I always have at least one “big project” going, I guess it’s inevitable that the other things that need doing have to be fit in sideways. Lately there’s been a lot of that.
First, I appliqued an orphan block to a bag for a speaker I invited to our modern guild.
This is a great use for orphan blocks. Just attach to a bag, and you have a handmade gift!
Then I found a tutorial for a pyramid bag and had to make a few…plus one more this week!Finally, our travel wine glasses (they are Lexan, and disassemble for safe travel) needed a travel case:In the midst of all this, I started having trouble with my walking foot while trying to quilt another project! Does a walking foot wear out???
In any case, I think I have procrastinated with little projects as long as I can, so I’d better go bind a few quilts. Have a good week!
So I went to the Asheville Quilt Guild’s annual show, which usually has lots of inspiration. There were many nice quilts, but two quilt makers stood out, in my opinion.
The first is Diana Ramsay, whom I know from the Modern Quilt Guild, which used to exist in Asheville. Here are her quilts:
Dutch Holiday by Diana Ramsay
Detail of Dutch Holiday
Fascinating Rhythm by Diana Ramsay
Bulls Eye II, by Diana Ramsay
Although I don’t know Linda Fiedler, I was very impressed by her quilts, as well:
Moonglow, by Linda Fiedler
Detail of Fusion by Linda
Fusion, by Linda Fiedler
The guild’s gift shop always has something I wish I had made, and this year it was a little pyramid bag. Of course I bought it.
I’ve always liked pyramid bags, which I first saw years ago in a craft store in Berea, Kentucky. I had a pattern to make one, but it seemed pretty complex. The internet to the rescue! I found several sets of instructions and even videos. Here are the instructions I used:
One of the best things about quilting is being able to give quilts to people who will appreciate them. Our friends Jim and Michele recently moved and, when we went to see them and the new house, I took two big piles of quilts so that each of them could choose a quilt to use in their new home.
We loved the modern house they chose in a wooded setting. I think Abby the dog loves it, too
Michele chose a quilt to cuddle under while watching TV or reading, and to my surprise it was a traditional sampler quilt made from a block swap with friends. The choice certainly reinforced my idea of letting friends choose their own quilts rather than choosing for them.
Who knew that a photo in bright sun would show up the quilting so well?
Jim chose one to hang in his music studio. Michele recently sent a picture of the quilt hanging there. As you can see, it goes well with his other bright decor. This is a variation on a design I did for Modern Quilts Unlimited several years ago.
I am away at a retreat this week, so here, at last, are more of the wonderful quilts from the Vermont Quilt Festival. I know, it’s been 3 months, but they’re still great quilts! Most are art quilts, meaning they have no likely use to keep anyone warm, but I enjoyed the innovative techniques used in them.
Party Lanterns (detail) by Jean Potvin. The strips are about 1/2″ finished!
Haley’s Concept by Bruce Harmon
Zoo Bound by G Wong. This was made for a niece going to college!
Take A Left at the Wall and Keep Going by Lois Nial. This was one of my favorites.
Kimimila by Beverly Cook. This quilt is round, and looked like stained glass.
Sunny Day Evolution by Sharon Tier
Branches 5: Big Branches by Lee Sproull
Piece of Cake by Ann Feitelson
This Way Up by Jen Sorenson
Clinging to the Edge by Irene Roderick
And I did get a little bit done on the triangle quilt this week. Here it is so far:
I can’t decide whether the light blue is too light or not. It may be clearer either way when there are more blocks.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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:
Zen by Debbie Maddy
Usagi by Debbie Maddy
Pathways by Debbie Maddy
Twinkle Star made by Lucille Amos (likely from a Judy Niemeyer pattern)
Diamonds in Bloom, made by Linda Crouch-McCreadie from a Judy Niemeyer pattern
O. G. by 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:
Detail of Neutrality by Karen K. Stone
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:
Red Bud Winter by Melinda Tweed
Leaves by Kristi Ottinger, quilted by Linda Crouch-McCreadie
It’s Complicated, by Kristi Ottinger, quilted by Linda Crouch-McCreadie
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.
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.
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!