COVID rolled over my plans to attend the Vermont Quilt Festival (VQF) this past summer and take classes there with Maria Shell. So imagine my excitement when I got an email from VQF offering one of Maria’s classes online! (Here’s the link if you want to learn more.)
I signed up immediately and started gathering the materials–there really isn’t much needed in that department since I’ll be in my own studio for the class! The class will be interactive, and the student information included lots of funny reminders like “Remember, we can see you. Wear pants if you plan to stand up!” I have no idea how to mute my microphone or much of anything else, so there’s no telling what they’ll see/hear from me, but I’ll be sure to be fully clothed 😀
As you may know, I love Maria’s book (here’s the link if you want to know more about the book.).
as well as a little art quilt for which I used her method for making free-cut flying geese.
One thing that is different about Maria’s technique for improvising is that she does NOT just combine fabrics randomly. She looks to see if they go together visually before she sews. Her quilts are graphic and striking, and I look forward to learning more from her. I’ll let you know how it goes! And here’s the link to Maria’s site if you want to explore her work more.
Just a reminder: The links in this post are for your convenience; they are not affiliate links that generate money for me!
The “clamshells” were made by cutting out circles from fusible fabric and arranging them ever-so-carefully in rows. I then fused the whole thing, and there it sat for a couple of years. I considered adding a layer of netting, but ultimately just quilted it in waves.
I drew the clam early on but couldn’t decide how to put it on the quilt. I considered thread sketching, drawing and coloring with pigma pens, etc. I wanted a method that wouldn’t risk ruining the quilt if I didn’t get the clam right the first time!
Finally I read Karen Fricke’s article about thread sketching on stabilizer in my copy of The Best of Quilting Arts. (This book is an excellent resource, but it’s “old” so you probably can get it used.) That method worked perfectly for me. I was able to create the clam and then attach him to the quilt. I printed the question mark on fabric and then cut it out and attached it. For the dots going to his dialogue bubble I did, finally, have to draw directly on the quilt.
The edge is finished with satin rat-tail, a technique I learned in another class.
Name: Really? Clamshells?
Techniques: Fusible applique, machine quilting, thread sketching, drawing and coloring with permanent markers
Finished size:16″ x 16″
Quilted by me
My blogging friend Elizabeth (OP Quilt) has designed a number of nice patterns and I recently found myself “forced” to make one because it is so cute. Here is one of her samples.
She has given instructions for multiple variations in the pattern. (I love all of them.)
Name: Elizabeth’s Village
Pattern: Merrion Square, by Elizabeth Eastmond
Finished size: 39″ x 39″
Quilted by: Julia Madison
And yes, I used the same fabric for binding as for the border. You may want to check out Elizabeth’s beautiful projects on her blog and website: OPQuilt.com.
If you’re interested in her patterns, they are available through Payhip.
As of this month, I’ve been blogging here every Sunday for 7 years! I’ve debated what to do for my blogiversary, having largely skipped it last year. My decision is to show my favorite quilt from each year I’ve blogged. So here we go…
First year blogging:
Thanks for reading, and please stay tuned for Year 8 🙂
I’m happy to report that at least one person used the pattern I designed for Studio Stitch and then sent me a picture of her quilt! Thanks, Judi! And here it is:
I’m always happy when readers send me pictures of what they’ve made from my patterns or classes, and Judi even found a typo for me as an extra help! Thanks again!
Meanwhile, one of my nieces sent me a picture of a “quarantine quilt” made from this pattern:
Now seriously, people, this is the quilt to make in memory of 2020! The pattern is available here, and they are donating part of the proceeds.
If you don’t want to make an entire quilt, this Japanese lady has a free paper-pieced pattern for a single block:
Of course COVID is a serious situation, but a little laughter helps offset all the worries!
And by the way, I’m out of elastic for masks.
Thanks for reading, and I’d love to see what you make!
My Mother used to have a group of friends called her “sewing circle” who met in each other’s homes to do hand work on a regular basis. That was in the days when she didn’t work outside the home and neither did the other ladies–times have changed! However, I still have a group of friends with whom I quilt regularly. This little art quilt is in honor of that tradition.
I’d been seeing cute little quilts made with a narrow wedge ruler and wanted to do something similar. I don’t have a narrow wedge ruler and wasn’t sure I wanted to make anything with pieces that small anyway, so I used my narrowest triangle ruler, a 45 degree wedge.
I cut the wedges with the ruler and just estimated the angle for the trapezoidal doors. I cut the windows and roofs freehand. The houses are made from some Jen Kingwell fabric left over from another project. The background fabric says “cut, sew, repeat”. I decorated the doors with tiny buttons for knobs and put a bird bead on one of the houses.
Quilt stats: Sewing Circle
Finished size: 25-3/4″ x 25-3/4″
Designed, made, and quilted by me
I’ll be teaching a one-day class on techniques for making landscape quilts at Studio Stitch in Greensboro (NC) on Friday, March 20, so I thought I’d show some more of my samples. We’ll be making “tiny landscapes” so everybody can try several techniques.
Somebody asked me what I do with these little quilts, which are postcard size. First, I use them to practice art quilt techniques. Then I send them to friends who need a get well card or other pick-me-up. I do put them in an envelope rather than sending them as postcards so that they arrive in good shape!
Please join us for this fun class if you live near enough!
One of the things I love about quilting is that there is an endless supply of things to learn. That often means that I get sidetracked onto something different, but that’s OK.
Several years go I took a class in leaf pounding but I never did anything with the results (sound familiar to anyone out there?) I recently found the prints, still looking pretty good, in my DO SOMETHING box and decided to get busy.
After the fabric dried, I outlined the leaf with a brown Pigma pen. When I took it out recently I used cotton batting and muslin backing, spray basted it, and quilted it freehand. I used my Bernina Stitch Regulator (BSR) and found it worked quite well for this purpose. (I haven’t been so happy with the BSR on larger projects–as a friend once told me, “It’s like training wheels”, meaning it’s just too slow on something big.) However, I was pleased with the way the BSR worked it on this little piece.
If you want to try leaf pounding, there’s a tutorial here.
And now the question: How should I finish this? I don’t think binding would look right. I have seen leaf pounding pieces framed, so I guess I could mount and frame it. Edge finish with brown satin rat-tail? Face the piece? Other ideas? Thanks, as always, for your suggestions!
Many of my scrap quilts are inspired by other quilters. I still find it useful to start with a collection of fabrics I think “go together”. In that regard, I do NOT worry about color per se, though I recognize that color is a big “bugaboo” for many quilters. I do find it useful to decide at the outset whether the quilt is to be bright or muted colors, but beyond that I don’t worry much. And of course I break that rule sometimes, too.
One of my first inspired-by-others adventures was a series of quilts I made after reading Gwen Marston’s books. I just love her aesthetic, and wish I had been able to take a class with her while she was alive. Here is a quilt I made for the Quilt Alliance annual contest a few years ago, based on Gwen’s published quilts:
I also used a collection of Cherrywood scraps to make this quilt based on Gwen’s “liberated log cabin” idea:
Also, taking a cue from my friend who makes a small art quilt each week, I made these 3 quilts based on lessons in one of Gwen’s books:
I continue to learn from the quilters I consider “the best” by making quilts inspired by their ideas. A recent one was inspired by Maria Shell’s tutorial on improvised flying geese:
Of course, not all such experiments are particularly successful. I love Freddy Moran’s aesthetic, but this table runner based on her ideas didn’t turn out very well, in my opinion. I expect to make more things using her ideas, and they’ll improve 🙂
Since, at this point in my quilting career, most of my fabric collection is scraps, there will be many more scrap quilts to come! Next week I’ll discuss how I use scraps in quilts made from patterns.