A Quilt Show–In Person At Last!!!

I’ve thought for years that quilt shows should be held simultaneously with woodworking shows, and many of you know exactly why!

Happily, I found that the Catawba Valley Quilters’ Guild in Hickory, NC, holds their show concurrently with Klingspor’s woodworking show! My husband and I attended this past Friday and were so happy to be able to do so.

Here are just a few of the quilts that were on display.

This beautiful quilt was at the door. It had no label, and the nearby greeter knew only that it was “last year’s first place winner”. I loved it!

Here are pics of a few of the blocks (are they still blocks if they’re round?)

Some of the quilt labels had no information on the design source for the quilts, though I recognized some of the patterns. Where information was given about the design source, I’m listing it.

Made by Ann Becker in a class with Margaret Solomon Gunn

“Escher’s Christmas”, made by Teena McRary, based on designs by M. C. Escher

“Garden Jewels” made by Pat Carson and Pam Bowman. The label indicated the pattern is from the book Kaffe Quilts Again

Connected Places” by Dianne Johnston and Julie Wilson

“Fun With Pinwheels” by Libby Sigmon and Rebecca Mullins

Arizona Friends” by Cindy Konarski. Pattern is “Happy Together” by Sew Kind of Wonderful.

“Happy Trails” by Maryann McCormick and Rebecca Mullins. The smallest squares finish 1/2 inch!

“My Mountains” by Gigi Miller

Of course there were many more beautiful quilts, but this gives you some idea. I hope we can all go back to “in person” quilt shows soon!

A Village

I made a lot of little improvised houses and related blocks during COVID and decided to combine them into a quilt for our builder, since we love our house!

Here are a few of my favorite blocks from the quilt.

First, this is a watermelon canning factory. I told the builder it really needs to be re-purposed to make garage doors, since those are in short supply and nobody eats canned watermelon.

Really it’s just my idea of whimsy.

Then there are several little houses that came pre-made from some fabric I’ve had on hand for a long time. I enjoyed placing them in various locations.

My husband especially likes the stars in the sky on this block, not to mention the car pulled up to the house 😀

I made a number of wonky houses of my own.

And even one modern house.

 

Quilt Stats

Name: It Takes a Village to Build a House (because it really did)

Finished size: 45″ x 53″

Designed and made by me

Quilted by Linda

I still have a number of quilts to be bound and blogged, but there is progress!

 

Improv Quilt-Along Continued

I’ve already posted about the first week of the quilt-along, which was focused on strips. Here are my blocks again.

The second week’s suggestion was polygons but not triangles. I found it difficult to like most of my attempts for this, though I did finally use EQ to design a block that I paper pieced. I thought that many of the others lack focus, so there was a lot of cutting up and re-designing. Still not my faves, but here they are:

The third week focused on triangles. I still did much of my cutting without a ruler, but I stuck to simpler designs and I’m much happier with this collection of blocks.

The quilt-along is called “30 Days of Improv” so we’re only about half way through. Here’s a link to the first post for the QAL if you want to join in. I’m looking forward to next week’s prompts.

Atomic Sunflower

This started as an experiment with some leftover fabric, then sort of wandered off into an art quilt for the International Quilt Museum’s “Modern Meets Modern” challenge.

The fabrics are scraps of Michael Miller Cotton Couture left from another project. I saved them as a group because I particularly like the color combination. I started cutting the wedges freehand while working on a Cindy Grisdela-inspired project. When I decided to make them into a circle, I found a large platter in my kitchen and traced it because the rim was irregular. I then used reverse applique to set the circle in its background.

My friend Chela helped with input regarding the center design.

When I saw the Modern Meets Modern Challenge, I thought this piece would be a good fit, so I finished it up after Christmas, just in time to submit it. You can see the contest and the entries here.

Mine was not judged a winner, but here’s the good news: I agree the winners are better.

In looking at the entries, it’s clear that the better designs go all the way to the edge of the quilt, while mine is isolated in the middle. I’ve noticed this element of design several times over many years. In good modern designs, the design extends to the edge, often with the implication that it goes past the edge. But this time I got so wrapped up in what I was doing that I didn’t think “outside the circle”. 😀

As Nelson Mandela said, “I never lose. I either win or learn.” So, on to the next quilt!

2021 In My Studio

Good morning! I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday, whether religious or secular in nature. Here are most of the projects I’ve done this year:

Magic Kaleidoscope, 30″ x 30″

Practice for Charm Weave, 40″ x 40″

Mill Wheels, 51″ x 51″

Super Simple Squares, 52″ x 52″

Oriana, 47″ x 48″

Rumble In The Jungle, 54″ x 54″

Splendid Stars, 51″ x 53″

Sunrise, 75″ x 50″

HST Stars, 78″ x 53″

Fossil Fern Stars, 59″ x 44″

COVID swap block quilt, 55″ x 72″

Hayden and the bag he made

Fabric bowl, from the Modern Fabric Bowls book

Christmas napkins

And the Japanese Maple in the fall!

Magic Kaleidoscope

I decided to do another stack-n-whack type quilt and call it Magic Kaleidoscope. I made it up as I went along…er, used artistic improvisation in the design, I mean 😀

Here’s the fabric:

And here are the blocks set on point:

The little strips of color on the edges are being auditioned for an inner border.  The yellow won.

When I added a border of the original fabric, I did NOT like the result:

Before ripping off the borders, I took a picture and edited the outer border down smaller.

Still no-go. And BTW, I haven’t even told you all the different things I tried and then ripped out.

So finally I added a second black border and bound it in the same fabric used for the inset. Whew!

The original fabric served as a back.

Quilt Stats

Name: Magic Kaleidoscope

Made by: Me

Pattern: none

Size: 30″ x 30″

Quilted by: me

With A Little Help From My Friends

My blogging friend Mariss recently made a baby quilt and called it “Baby’s First Yoga Mat”, which I thought was a wonderful idea. Not long thereafter I learned that a young friend who is very athletic is expecting a baby, so it seemed I should call her baby’s quilt the same thing.

Her nursery theme is dinosaurs, so off I went to find dinosaur fabric. There wasn’t much to choose from. That surprised me since my grandsons love dinosaurs, but the lady at the quilt store explained that the interest seems to be shifting from dinosaurs to super heros at the moment, so that’s what’s available in children’s fabric. I did find some fabric I liked.

Then another blogging friend, Laura, came to visit and helped me select the solid to go with it.

And finally, my husband helped select the binding.

Here’s the quilt:

I free-motion quilted it in loops and hearts. I used a different stitch from my usual to attach the binding, and I think I like it:

Quilt Stats:

Name: Baby’s First Yoga Mat

Finished size: about 43″ x 43″

Designed and quilted by me, with a little help from my friends 🙂

 

Can This Quilt Be Saved?

Ha! Many, many years ago there was a column in a women’s magazine called, “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” I have no memory of reading the content, but somehow the overly-dramatic title has stuck with me. (I just asked Ms. Google, and I’m not the only one who remembers this: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/can-this-marriage-be-saved_b_58404189e4b0b93e10f8dfdf)

Anyway, in moving I have come across some experimental pieces that I’ve kept. I learned something from each of them, but sometimes what I learned was that a particular piece was not especially attractive!

Well, this didn’t work

The above piece was an experiment after reading a book by Freddy Moran. It’s well made but not especially attractive. For me, the colors don’t “gel” and the prairie points are entirely too regular in their arrangement.

This unquilted piece, approximately 42″ square, is the THIRD attempt to make something with these dotted fabrics! The other versions were no better, but I’ve saved some of the fabric by cutting out circles and using them as applique.

Rescued Dots

I think the “rescue” was pretty successful, and I’ll probably do something similar with the rest of this fabric. So I guess that’s 4 iterations of a design with those dots before finding something successful! 

And then there’s the Stuffed Olive Block. Never mind why I designed it in the first place. I made it into a pillow, but really, we have more than enough pillows. I think it just has to go!

I’m a firm believer that no experience is wasted, so we’ll call it good even if some of these just go out with the trash.

Of course that’s nowhere near all the experimental pieces I came across, but that’s all for now 😀

P.S.: I enjoy seeing “barn quilt” blocks as we travel, but this one struck me as unlikely:

 

 

Woo! The Book I’ve Been Waiting For!

I’m a fan of Cindy Grisdela’s work and have gone through the exercises in her previous book, so I was thrilled when C&T sent me Cindy’s new book for review. Adventures in Improv Quilts covers the basics of design and color, but includes some more complex quilts than her previous book. Some of them remind me of Maria Shell, whose book I also love.

Photo courtesy of C&T

Cindy’s colors are bright and interesting. She often combines colors I wouldn’t have thought to use together, which causes me to look twice at the design. That’s a plus!

Photo courtesy of C&T

The book includes plenty of detail on technique. I was especially amused (and gratified) to learn that part of Cindy’s design process is to outline the size for the quilt with blue tape on her design wall. I’ve done that for years and find it a very effective way to think about filling the space as I design. Validation is always nice!

Photo courtesy of C&T

The book includes a chapter on color choices, which will be welcomed by numerous quilters who worry endlessly about the “right” colors. I choose my palettes intuitively, with better results some times than others, so maybe I should pay more attention? I love the color examples in the book, starting with basic palettes and progressing to the addition of other colors or values to give the project variety.

Photo courtesy of C&T

Cindy then goes on to cover the basic principles of design. These won’t be news to most quilters, but her examples shine. I think I will go back to the “bits” left from working through her previous book and see if I can enhance them by using some of her examples from this book.

Photo courtesy of C&T

My favorite advice in the book: “Don’t fear wasting fabric”! That’s a liberating thought!

My second favorite is one of her tips for free-motion quilting, but I think it could apply to most any part of the process: “If you feel like you’ve made a mistake, keep going. Either ignore it or do it again so it becomes a design element.” I love that! I love this book!

The book is available here, but this is not an affiliate link. C&T sends me books for review, and I tell you about my very favorites among them.

 

Sunrise

Here’s the last finish of August, made of HST (half square triangle) blocks left over from another project.

And here it is held out the window for me to photograph! I thought it would be fun to have my husband stand on the landing half way up the stairs and hold the quilt out the window. And it was fun!

Quilt Stats

Name: Sunrise

Design by: me

Finished size: 50″ x 75″

Quilted by: Julia Madison

And just in case you asked, the quilt isn’t upside down in either picture. It’s ambidirectional–is that even a word?