More From VQF

I am away at a retreat this week, so here, at last, are more of the wonderful quilts from the Vermont Quilt Festival.  I know, it’s been 3 months, but they’re still great quilts!  Most are art quilts, meaning they have no likely use to keep anyone warm, but I enjoyed the innovative techniques used in them.

VQF, Vermont Quilt Festival

Party Lanterns (detail) by Jean Potvin. The strips are about 1/2″ finished!

modern quiltHaley’s Concept by Bruce Harmon

abstract art quilt

Zoo Bound by G Wong. This was made for a niece going to college!

modern quilt

Take A Left at the Wall and Keep Going by Lois Nial. This was one of my favorites.

butterfly quilt

Kimimila by Beverly Cook. This quilt is round, and looked like stained glass.

orange and blue quiltSunny Day Evolution by Sharon Tier

Art QuiltBranches 5: Big Branches by Lee Sproull

diamond quiltPiece of Cake by Ann Feitelson

arrow quilt

This Way Up by Jen Sorenson

art quiltClinging to the Edge by Irene Roderick

And I did get a little bit done on the triangle quilt this week.  Here it is so far:Triangles-11

I can’t decide whether the light blue is too light or not.  It may be clearer either way when there are more blocks.

Fourth Quarter Classes

I’ll be teaching two fun classes between now and Christmas (yes! It is coming!) at Studio Stitch in Greensboro, NC.

The first, scheduled for Saturday, November 3, is a pattern called “Frosty Flakes” from Sew Special Designs.

Frosty Flakes, Sew Special Designs

This is the quilt including border

I actually made this half size just by reducing the patterns for the snowmen by 50% on my copier. It makes a good child’s quilt or wall hanging at this size. The full size pattern is lap size.

Here’s a photo of just the center so you can see the cute blocks better

The other class is the place mats you’ve already seen.  I made them from the shop’s current collection of Christmas fabric, but they are quick and easy so I often make them from other fabrics to have on hand for hostess gifts.

If you’re near Greensboro, come join us at Studio Stitch!

Potluck Plan to Save the Planet

When we lived in Darkest Northern Maine I belonged to a women’s group that had potluck dinners from time to time. A frequent dish at these dinners was a meatloaf made with moose meat, no lie! Anyway, when we had a potluck, everyone brought her own place setting, including flatware, wrapped in a specially made carrier. In addition to being an opportunity to show off the fine china, it was a wonderful idea to save on waste! (My “fine china” is Corelle, but never mind that.)  You can even carry a cloth napkin with you for further savings to the planet 🙂

Aroostook County, Maine, land of place setting carriers. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

I got to thinking about this when a colleague brought his lunch to the office with a cloth napkin the other day, and then later that same day one of my guilds had a potluck.  Despite the fact that ALL of us CAN sew, nobody brought a place setting with her!  It was all paper and plastic, filling the trash cans afterward.  (The food was great, though!)

The truth is that, although I have made numerous place mats and table runners, I have never even made a place setting carrier for myself.  So I searched the internet for patterns, and here are a few sources:

Quilted Place Setting Carrier, photo courtesy of Craftsy

This is a $5 pattern available on Craftsy.  Click the label under the picture to go to the page where you can buy it.

Here is a link to a free pattern from the St. Croix Quilters.  I couldn’t get a picture, but the pattern is just one page and permission is granted to share it.  It even includes a pattern for a matching napkin 🙂

Here is a listing from Etsy for a place setting carrier that you can buy already made.

Place setting carrier available on Etsy, already made! Photo courtesy of Etsy.

Of course you could make one yourself, but sometimes there are too many projects in line already, and I thought this one was cute.

If you go searching for a pattern for a place setting carrier, most of what you’ll find are patterns for casserole carriers.  Those are good, too, but not what I wanted!  I’m pretty sure I can just develop my own place setting carrier by taking one of my dinner plates as a starting point for size and going from there.  If I end up developing a pattern, I’ll let you know.

On another note, look at the wonderful pattern on this moth I found on a recent hike:

Unknown moth, Western N.C., 2018

Have a good week!

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.