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