Some Favorites from VQF 2018

The Vermont Quilt Festival, which I attended in June, was wonderful, as usual. Here are a few of my favorites of the more traditional type.

VQF

Maine Coast, by Lynne Rainen

traditional quilt VQF

Port Kent Beauty, by Alyce Fradenburg (who is from Port Kent, NY)  I like how she put black triangles at the top to give the design a point there.

VQF

We Are Stardust, by Gladi Porsche

tumbler quilt

Twinkle Twinkle Little Tumblers, by Sharon Shea Perry. There are 3328 tumblers in this quilt, and they are tiny!  I love how she made the border darker.

vermont quilt festival

Night Sky, by Joan Duffy. This was eye-catching and beautifully pieced.

Barnum & Bailey quilt

Barnum & Bailey, by Daisy Dodge. This had many TINY pieces!

Detail of Barnum & Bailey. Those HSTs finish 1/2″ square!

quilt by Bonnie Morin

Buzz Saw, by Bonnie Morin. Look at the detail below!

As always, there were several special exhibits, including quilts by the teachers and some modern favorites from the last QuiltCon.  More on those later!

Dress Shirt Quilt

I have been saving my husband’s worn out dress shirts for years to use the fabric for quilting. They are too worn at the collar and elbows for him to wear to work, but there is plenty of good fabric left for quilts.shirt quilt I made one quilt from them a year or so ago and used the pockets and plackets for interest.quilt made from shirts
A friend gave me a nice stack of shirt fabric that she had acquired from a custom shirt maker as discarded samples.shirting for quilt

The “Trail Mix” quilt from All People Quilt has been on my to-do list for years, and I decided it would be perfect for these shirt fabrics.  (The pattern is free; you can click on the name and link to the page.)trail mix quilt

I’ve made the first two types of blockquilt blocks and have arrived at time to make the blocks that provide the accent rows of tiny blocks.  I don’t think I have a shirt bright enough to make these accents stand out, so I’m considering solids from my stash.  Any opinions about which would work best?

Rust tone-on-tone

Mottled soft red

Solid red

Solid yellow

Solid Orange

Thanks for your advice!

New Year/New Look

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.

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.

Scrappy Fun

First, let me say that the 505 spray that stained my quilt came out entirely with dry cleaning, just as the manufacturer suggested.

505 stained quilt

Remove 505 with dry cleaning

Last weekend I taught my “Scrappy New Year” quilt at Studio Stitch in Greensboro, NC.  Everybody brought stacks of scraps cut into strips of various widths.

We joined the strips into strip sets.

Then we cut the strip sets into  1-1/2 inch strips and assembled the pieced strips into blocks.

The blocks varied in size and shape, depending on the choice of the designer.

And there was at least one alternate layout for rectangular, rather than square, blocks. When the pieced strips alternated with solid strips the blocks went faster.

Eventually, everyone will have a quilt something like this:

scrap quilt

Scrap quilt made with strips that finish 1″ wide

And as a last fun part of the weekend, I got to see a beach bag I made for our daughter several years go.

How was your week?

Some Useful “Finds”

Today I’m sharing a few non-quilting items that I have found useful for quilting.

Clear Plastic Trash Bags. I keep a package of these handy and wrap any quilts or fabric I’m going to mail in one of them.  I seal it with clear packing tape.  That way, if the box gets wet in transit, the fabric has some protection.  I won’t tell you how I learned that the trash bags you can’t see through are a BAD idea…  Glad makes the clear ones in several sizes.

Binder Clips.  I have these in two sizes as a legacy of Judy Niemeyer’s classes, which require extreme organization.  I now use them to hold binding in a reasonable roll while I’m storing it, to hold quilt pieces together when I’ve cut a bunch of the same size for a project, etc, etc.  They’re pretty handy as chip clips in the kitchen, too–they don’t break like the usual plastic chip clips.  You can find them at any office supply store.

Ponytail Holders.  These are handy for putting around a spool to keep the thread from wandering, tangling, etc, while the spool of thread is in storage.  If found this small size,

which is handy for the smaller diameter spools, for $1 at a store that will remain nameless.  These also come in a larger size that works well for larger spools.

What non-quilting items do you find useful in your studio?

 

 

Practice, Practice

A friend started this quilt about 15 years ago and did a beautiful job, but quilting didn’t “take” with her, so she had this unfinished quilt but not the expected huge piles of fabric, tools, threads, patterns…well, you know.

The wonky shape is my camera angle, not the quilt!

She had already hand quilted a fair amount of it, including quilting around the central motifs and quilting a design in some of the bars.  She just had no enthusiasm for finishing it, so I volunteered.  (Full disclosure: I just took Susan K Cleveland’s Craftsy course on machine quilting without free motion, so I used this as a practice piece!)

I left most of the hand quilting that was already done.

As always, I learned a lot doing this.  First, it was basted using those plastic tacks that were the latest in quilt basting at the time.  They didn’t hold the layers together as securely as the basting spray I now use, so there were some “challenges” in avoiding  puckers as I quilted.  Second, the batting was the fluffy polyester most of us were using at the time, and it isn’t nearly as stable as the Quilters Dream and Warm Company battings available today.  It worked out just fine, but the whole thing moved under the machine needle more than I’m used to.

It was fun to see the changes in the technology of quilting since this quilt was made.  And it gave me permission to finally get rid of my plastic tack device.  More room for the other tools!

Shaking Up the Gypsy Wife

I almost never follow directions when using a pattern, and this Gypsy Wife quilt has been no exception. Many of the pictures of the finished quilt are beautiful, and I really like the idea of a variety of blocks put together in an unusual way, so I decided to make this quilt. However…

The directions are just as inadequate as I have read they are. Some of the bigger problems have been solved by various bloggers, and Gnome Angel links to them in her introduction to the Gypsy Wife sew-along 2017.

You’ll see in my picture of sections 1 through 4, shown here on the design wall, that I’ve made a few changes. OK, more than a few changes.

Gypsy Wife quilt

Sections 1 through 4 of the Gypsy Wife quilt on the design wall

I started out making the blocks in their order in the booklet.  However, when I put them up on the design wall, it was apparent that I needed to switch to making a section at a time (in the order in which the sections will be assembled).  I did use the coloring sheet (see the Gnome Angel site for the link) to plan my quilt, but the blocks are not labelled by name in any of the layouts, so it was very difficult to determine where the block I was making would fit into the quilt!

I had made an effort to distribute the colors evenly among the blocks I’d made, but the problem was with this little guy…

card trick variation block

Colour Wheel block from the Gypsy Wife quilt

I have only scraps of this fabric and I want the little guys distributed evenly around the quilt.  However, I had put them in blocks where they FIT without realizing they would be so close together in the final layout.  Therefore…

Gypsy Wife quilt

Nurses Cross and Half Square Triangle blocks from the Gypsy Wife quilt

In section 4, shown above, I substituted the Nurse’s Cross block where the plan called for a courthouse steps block of the same size.  And, as you can see, I turned the  pieces in the half square triangle block to give it a different layout.

I’m enjoying the beautiful fabrics and variety of blocks in this quilt, and consider it well worth making.  I just need a few tweaks as I go along to make it work for me.

Reblog: Quilts for Texas?

This week I am reblogging a post from my friend Melanie. Sometimes, in some ways, it is wonderful to donate quilts. I do a fair amount of that myself. But before you donate, be sure there is both a need for the quilts and a mechanism for getting them to those in need.  Please read Melanie’s post about how best to help folks in Texas.

And while I’m on my soapbox, could we PLEASE call people affected by the hurricane “flood survivors” instead of “flood victims”?

Another Experiment

In one of my modern guilds, several of our members have volunteered to teach techniques we want to try out.  Some of these may be more “art quilt” than strictly “modern quilt”, but what matters is that the members want to learn the technique, not how it could be classified.

pencils fabric use

One member who does some fantastic art quilts is going to teach us how to use colored pencils intended for fabric.  At the last meeting, she suggested that we get a head start by making a palette of the pencils we have so we won’t be wondering how the color will turn out when we do her project.  I had this grid-print fabric from another project, so I used it for my sampler

fabric pencils color

After reading an article in Quilting Arts about how to use pencils on fabric, I got some textile medium to try  textile mediumTo make the sampler above, I brushed a thin layer of fabric medium on the square, then applied pencil. The color went on smoothly while the textile medium was damp.

I haven’t yet tested how colorfast it may be.  The woman who will be doing the program applied her pencils directly to the fabric (without textile medium), then brushed with water.  The colors had a lovely watercolor-like appearance as they bled a little into each other.  I presume the textile medium will hold the color and prevent that bleeding.  That would be good for things where precise placement is needed, but of course sometimes fuzzy edges might look better.  More to come!

Not Arkansas Crossroads

Arkansas crossroads is a block I’ve wanted to make for some time, but I can’t put my hands on a picture of it right now.  Anyway, I ran across this very similar block last week and just had to make a few of them.

donatin quilt

This block is not Arkansas crossroads, but it’s the same idea 🙂

This quilt will be a Ronald McDonald House donation when finished.

Also this week, I gave away a quilt I made several years ago to a friend who is retiring (again) after volunteering for many years at the free clinic where I work.  I don’t recall the source of this block, but I do recall the quilt was a lot of fun to make using scraps.

scrap quilt

This quilt was made from real scraps left over from other projects.

How was your week?