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.
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!
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 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.
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 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).
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.