I recently took a class at the annual North Carolina Quilt Symposium, which this year was held in Asheville, relatively close to where I live. The class was taught by Rosalie Dace, an art quilter who lives in South Africa. The focus was on techniques for putting lines into quilts. Since she is an art quilter, there were many techniques that wouldn’t be used in utility quilts, but it was fun to try them out anyway.
Here are a couple of Rosalie’s quilts that were on display at NCQS.
I thought about how to use it for several weeks and finally decided on Turning Twenty Again. It’s an old pattern, but I’ve seen it made up in many different fabrics and it’s almost always spectacular and modern-looking. The fabric I bought was 8 fat quarters, and Turning Twenty Again is a pattern developed for efficient use of fat quarters, so it seemed a good match.
I needed a little more fabric and found this dot in my stash–it had the same appearance of linen texture as the original fabric and I thought it went perfectly with the others.
The next question was what else to add. After auditioning several options, I decided on this cat fabric. The eyes are sort of of dots, too, and the color coordinated well. I made the blocks and put them on the design wall, and…Eek! Is it too busy? And when I see it overall, I do not like the tan fabric I added, even though it is similar to the beige-green that came with the fat quarter set!
I’ve had it on the design wall for a week trying to decide what to do. One option is to put the squares together with sashing and a border to kind of calm things down. I auditioned a dark blue fabric and a turquoise fabric for that–both are Moda grunge, so they have the same linen-look texture.
Another option is to take the blocks apart in order to add these birds from the same collection, giving a greater variety of prints. I think if I take it apart, I will remove the tan fabric I don’t like, so the birds could add variety AND get rid of the tan!
From there we go into the wild options. They are legion, and include the possibility of cutting the blocks randomly and inserting solid strips. Or I could replace some pieces with the birds and some with the turquoise grunge.
And of course there is the perennial option of putting it away for a month and then looking at it again to see what comes to mind.
The museum is currently hosting a Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) exhibit entitled Guns: Loaded Conversations. The exhibit is intended to spark thoughtful conversation about the history and culture of guns in our society. I would hope the conversation could calm some of the hysteria on both sides of this difficult issue.
Photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org
The pictures featured here are not of the current exhibition. The museum did not respond to my request for photos that could be shared here, so these are from Wikimedia Commons.
The exhibit is to be followed by museum participation in a gun buy-back program sponsored by the museum and the San Jose police department. For this unique buy-back, persons surrendering guns will receive not only money, but a quilt!
The museum needs donations of both quilts and money for this project. The quilts can be any design or color, but should be lap size or larger. They do not need to be either for or against gun control, just a regular quilt. If you are interested in donating a quilt, contact the museum. I’m not sure about donating a quilt, but the museum looks worth a visit if I’m ever in California!
This week I received notice from Meander Publishing that both Modern Quilts Unlimited and Machine Quilting Unlimited are to cease publication immediately. I am a little surprised, given the ever-increasing popularity of both machine quilting and modern quilting. The notice cites the “soft market” for magazines as well as the costs of producing a print magazine.
For me personally this is a disappointment, both because I have enjoyed reading Modern Quilts Unlimited and because the magazine has published several articles by me. My most recent submission was to have been published in the upcoming July issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited, but they will be returning the quilt to me instead. The July issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited will not be published at all, and the July issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited will be digital only.
The front page of the Meander Publishing website hasn’t caught up with the news as I write this, so I’m not sure how widely it is known. I predict that this will leave a vacuum in the modern quilt magazine market that will be filled shortly by something from the Modern Quilt Guild. Their agenda seems to be to own the definition of modern quilting, and a magazine would further that aim.
I expect this is disappointing to Vicki Anderson, the CEO and editor of the Meander Publishing magazines. She has put a lot of effort (and probably money) into these publications. I am sorry to see these magazines go.
I’m a big fan of Mary Ellen’s Best Press because it does a great job of getting out wrinkles and smoothing fabric without leaving flakes like starch can do. I recently tried Flatter and found that it works just as well.
I’m also a fan of Pinterest and recently found a recipe for “Quilter’s Moonshine” ironing spray. The original post, by Joanne Hubbard, gives the recipe here. So off I went to the liquor store to buy the cheapest vodka I could find. I guess if your quilt isn’t turning out you can drink your ironing spray 😀
Another ingredient in the Quilter’s Moonshine is liquid starch, so I went looking for that, as well. Not, of course, at the liquor store. The only starch I’ve seen in years was in a pressurized spray can, but sure enough, there was actual liquid starch in a spray bottle at the grocery store. They also had powdered starch that had to be mixed with water, but I passed on that.
To my surprise, I found another ironing spray right there on the shelf in the grocery store! I’ve tried it now and it works really well. My only objection is that it has a strong scent. Not unpleasant, but not something I really want to smell all day, either.
Finally the ingredients were assembled! The recipe makes over a gallon, so I cut it in half. I used a funnel to get it into the best empty spray bottles I found around the house, and voila! Ironing spray! It worked just fine and the faint scent was not a problem.
This marks the beginning of my sixth year of blogging about quilts. To celebrate, I’ve upgraded to a paid plan so you shouldn’t see ads when you view my blog. I don’t ever take advertising or affiliate links, but I was on the WordPress free plan, so they were allowed to put ads on my pages. Those ads should be eliminated now.
Scrap quilt made with strips that finish 1″ wide
Floral Fantasy, a “one block wonder” quilt
I’ve also updated my picture to a more recent one! The even better news is that you were spared the 5 years of changes in hairstyle that came between the old one and this one 😉
As I start the next year, I’d like your opinion. What would you like to see/read about on the blog? Please leave me some comments! And thanks for reading–I appreciate my readers, and many of them have become friends.
I recently started teaching at A Stitch in Time in Franklin, NC. It’s as “local” as quilt shops get for me in this rural area, so I’m very happy to be able to teach there. It’s an excellent shop and I sort of have to work to avoid drooling on the fabric…well, you know what I mean 😉
So here is the quilt I will be teaching in July…
Scrap quilt made with strips that finish 1″ wide
“Red Pepper” is made from a quilt pattern entitled “Yellow Pepper”
Happy Squares, one of my original designs
Of course, while I was in the shop I got a little fabric! This is a specially-printed piece from Hoffman California that has 8 coordinating fat quarters in a 2 yard cut!
There were other nice prints in the series, but I’m a fool for dots. If you need some, too, you can order from A Stitch in Time (and no, I do not make any money from it; this site is non-commercial).
This little quilt was made for a woman who has volunteered at our clinic for years, providing physical therapy services to many of our patients who have hard physical jobs. She has accepted a position at another university and will be leaving us next month.
It started out years ago as a single block. I’m sorry to say I have no idea where the pattern came from. After making one block I decided it was entirely too tedious to make a series of them for a quilt, so it went in the orphan block pile. When I was asked for a quilt block to give to Jill, this one immediately came to mind.
I added a border and was lucky enough to have EXACTLY enough fabric left from one of the prints to make the binding. I used a grid-print backing so it will be easy for people to sign on the back. The quilting in a spiral did slightly distort the overall quilt into a shallow bowl shape, but that steamed right out before I put on the binding.
Name: for Jill
Size: 15” x 15”
Materials: Quilting cottons
Quilter’s Dream Request Loft cotton batting
Superior So Fine thread used for piecing and quilting
Quilted by: me
Block designer unknown–please contact me if you know so I can give credit
My modern guild is having a challenge to produce quilts for display when the traditional guild has its next show in the fall. The guidelines are: no more than 36″ on any side, and using some Riley Blake solids whose colors were extracted from a landscape photo chosen by the guild. The quilts aren’t due for several months yet, but I had a brainstorm and produced mine already. Here we go:
The quilt is faced rather than bound
And here is a detail. In case you haven’t caught on, this is the one that was stained by basting spray. However, that came out just fine with dry cleaning.