Quilts and Social Action: Another Opportunity

Have you heard of the San Jose (California) Museum of Quilts and Textiles? No? Well here you go:

Image courtesy of wikimedia commons. Here’s the attribution: By Daderot – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18332195

The museum is currently hosting a Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) exhibit entitled Guns: Loaded Conversations.  The exhibit is intended to spark thoughtful conversation about the history and culture of guns in our society.  I would hope the conversation could calm some of the hysteria on both sides of this difficult issue.

An Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles

Photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

The pictures featured here are not of the current exhibition.  The museum did not respond to my request for photos that could be shared here, so these are from Wikimedia Commons.

The exhibit is to be followed by museum participation in a gun buy-back program sponsored by the museum and the San Jose police department.  For this unique buy-back, persons surrendering guns will receive not only money, but a quilt!

The museum needs donations of both quilts and money for this project.  The quilts can be any design or color, but should be lap size or larger.  They do not need to be either for or against gun control, just a regular quilt.  If you are interested in donating a quilt,  contact the museum.  I’m not sure about donating a quilt, but the museum looks worth a visit if I’m ever in California!

Hard Times in Publishing-World

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  The July issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited will not be published at all, and the July issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited will be digital only.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.

What do you make of it?

Ironing Spray

I’m a big fan of Mary Ellen’s Best Press because it does a great job of getting out wrinkles and smoothing fabric without leaving flakes like starch can do. I recently tried Flatter and found that it works just as well.

I’m also a fan of Pinterest and recently found a recipe for “Quilter’s Moonshine” ironing spray. The original post, by Joanne Hubbard, gives the recipe here.  So off I went to the liquor store to buy the cheapest vodka I could find.  I guess if your quilt isn’t turning out you can drink your ironing spray 😀

Another ingredient in the Quilter’s Moonshine is liquid starch, so I went looking for that, as well.  Not, of course, at the liquor store.  The only starch I’ve seen in years was in a pressurized spray can, but sure enough, there was actual liquid starch in a spray bottle at the grocery store.  They also had powdered starch that had to be mixed with water, but I passed on that.

To my surprise, I found another ironing spray right there on the shelf in the grocery store!  I’ve tried it now and it works really well.  My only objection is that it has a strong scent.  Not unpleasant, but not something I really want to smell all day, either.

Finally the ingredients were assembled!  The recipe makes over a gallon, so I cut it in half.  I used a funnel to get it into the best empty spray bottles I found around the house, and voila!  Ironing spray!  It worked just fine and the faint scent was not a problem.

So check out the link to Joanne Hubbard’s blog and give it a try!

 

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.

Classes Coming

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

Scrap quilt made with strips that finish 1″ wide

August…

“Red Pepper” is made from a quilt pattern entitled “Yellow Pepper”

And September…

modern quilt

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).

Have a great week!

 

Quilt for Jill

This little quilt was made for a woman who has volunteered at our clinic for years, providing physical therapy services to many of our patients who have hard physical jobs. She has accepted a position at another university and will be leaving us next month.orphan block quilt

It started out years ago as a single block.  I’m sorry to say I have no idea where the pattern came from.  After making one block I decided it was entirely too tedious to make a series of them for a quilt, so it went in the orphan block pile.  When I was asked for a quilt block to give to Jill, this one immediately came to mind.mini quilt

I added a border and was lucky enough to have EXACTLY enough fabric left from one of the prints to make the binding.  I used a grid-print backing so it will be easy for people to sign on the back.  The quilting in a spiral did slightly distort the overall quilt into a shallow bowl shape, but that steamed right out before I put on the binding.

Quilt Stats

Name:  for Jill

Size: 15” x 15”

Materials:  Quilting cottons

 Quilter’s Dream Request Loft cotton batting

 Superior So Fine thread used for piecing and quilting

Quilted by: me

Block designer unknown–please contact me if you know so I can give credit

A Few Pictures…

…from a recent very productive quilt retreat!

This string quilt by Rena was a very successful design, I thought:string quilt

Here’s the back of the string quilt, and she also made this cute Halloween quilt top:

Mary made a string quilt, too, this one all in purple:string quilt

And Jerri finished a large Bonnie Hunter quilt with a zillion pieces:Bonnie Hunter quilt

I worked on half rectangle triangles, which turned out to be a lot more work than half square triangles:Half rectangle triangles

And a good time was had by all!

What have you been up to?

Blue Ridge

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:

art quilt

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.art quilt

Name: Blue Ridge

March 2018

Finished size: 30″ x 17″

Fabrics: Riley Blake solids

Quilted by: me

Fun with Rickrack

Or ricrac, or rick rack, whatever. I found a lot of spellings when I was trying to decide!

This fun way to piece curves was part of a class I taught this past weekend, and it was so cute in the blocks the students made that I just had to do a tutorial.

We were piecing quarter circles as part of my quilt YOW, which you’ve already seen:

So here is a partially assembled block with one curved seam left to go:curved piecing tutorial

Select rickrack and lay it along the edge of the convex piece.  Probably would work with the concave piece, too, but I haven’t tried that:rickrack curved piecingSew the rickrack down with the usual 1/4 inch seam

Now turn the raw edge and attached rickrack to the back along the 1/4 inch seam and press.  Here’s the front:tutorial use rickrack in quilts

And here’s the back:curved piecing tutorial

Lay the convex piece on top of the concave piece and line up the edges.

Flip over and try to line up the raw edges all along the seam on the back.applique curved blocks

Applique the convex piece to the concave piece by stitching in the ditch.  I used silver metallic thread just for fun, but matching thread works well, of course.  And here’s the finished block.applicurve

Sort of modern-retro.  Go try it!

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?