8 Projects for April and May!

In keeping with the plan to finish a UFO a month during 2015, here is the April finish.  Since this fabric has been waiting for about 5 years, I’m calling this a significant finish!

donation quilt

Flower Fairies, A Donation Quilt

The second April finish is not only finished but delivered to the Quilt Alliance for their 2015 challenge. This one is called Cat Circus. The Laurel Burch fabrics reminded me of how just one cat can be a complete circus (polite word for disaster) in just a matter of minutes in any room in the house. I love cats, so that’s OK by me.

Quilt Alliance

Cat Circus, my 2015 Quilt Alliance challenge quilt

And here is the May finish, along with two other donation quilts I made in April and May. This means 6 so far this year–I’m caught up through June!  I’ll have more information on some of these in a later post.  They are an improvisational quilt, an orphan block quilt, and a quilt using Cuddle charms and cat fabric.

I made two more blocks for My Modern Sampler this month.  You can read about the improvisational one here, and I will blog about the Humbug Star at a later date.  For now, here’s a preview:

Finally, I bound the Charley Harper quilt that came back from the quilter a while ago.  These organic cottons from Birch are stiffer and less silky than my usual quilting cottons, so I washed the quilt when it was finished.  That helped some with the stiffness and also made the quilting stand out more.

Charley Harper

Turning Twenty Again pattern in Charley Harper fabrics

On to the June projects–I’ll have much more news coming up!

9 Quilts from AQS Paducah

Many quilters consider the AQS (American Quilters Society) annual show in Paducah, Kentucky the top of the heap among quilt shows.  So, I just had to go see for myself this year.

AQS Paducah

For Tanya, by Emily and Miriam Coffey, won first place in the Modern Wall Quilt category

Here are some of my favorite quilts from the show.  If some of them look a little wonky, it’s because they hang the quilts in 3-sided booths and then don’t let you into the booth!  The result is that, unless the quilt you want to photograph is directly at the back of the booth, you can’t get a straight shot of it.  Enjoy the pictures anyway!

modern quilts AQS Paducah

Flowers and Gears, by Robbi Joy Eklow, won a ribbon in the Longarm Quilted Small Wall Quilt category

I had a great time in Paducah, because I had a friend with me and we found COOKIES!  Luckily my friend knew where to find good food and a good place to stay 🙂

AQS Paducah modern quilts

It Takes the Case, by Karlyn Bue Lohrenz, won a ribbon in the category of Large Wall Quilts–Pictorial

I have pictures of a few of my favorite quilts here, but on the whole this show had fewer quilts that I really loved than any show I’ve attended in the past year.  Probably because of the emphasis on “show quilts”.

AQS Paducah

In the Marsh #2, by Carol Bryer Fallert-Gentry

However, there were some outstanding quilts like the ones above and below.  I suppose they are “show quilts” too, but they are not so heavily quilted that they appear 3-dimensional, and they don’t have rhinestones!

AQS Paducah

Canola Fields, by Leah Gravells, was made of 199 strips 3/4 inch wide–and she got them all straight!

One of the reasons I go to shows is to be inspired, and these quilts certainly were inspiring!

AQS Paducah improvisational quilt

Boardwalks of Asilomar, byt Jody H. Rusconi, was one of the few improvisational quilts in the show

improv quilt AQS Paducah

Playing It, by Pam Beal, was another nice improvisational quilt

quilt photo AQS Paducah

Windows #1-Antigua, by Brenda S. Wall

AQS Paducah

Rainbow Play by Brenda S. Roach

AQS Paducah

Rhythmic, by Karen Neary

Year End Review

For better or worse, I published goals at the beginning of the year, so here’s the review of my progress:
I met all the goals! (Does that mean I didn’t set them high enough?) I retreated with my buddies THREE times instead of just two! I attended 3 big national shows as well as 2 local ones (all were excellent). I took a couple of fun and useful classes, one of which I still need to write up here so you’ll know about it. I submitted several quilts to shows/contests and 3 were accepted. The one I donated to the Quilt Alliance even won something, and sold for $300 to benefit the Quilt Alliance!  And I had lots of fun, which was really the point of it all.

Here are pictures of a few of my projects from the second half of the year. The pix of projects from the first half of the year are in this post.

Spring Sun, a design by me, using blocks paper pieced from a totally different Judy Niemeyer pattern!

Spring Sun, a design by me, using blocks paper pieced from a totally different Judy Niemeyer pattern!  It took about 2 years, but it’s now DONE.

quilt photo

Zippy Star Quilt and Pillow as shown in Modern Quilts Unlimited, Summer 2014

Michael Miller challenge quilt

Packet of Posy Seeds, done for the Michael Miller spring challenge

modern quilt

Zippy Star I, which sold at the Asheville Quilt Show in September.  This was my “practice piece” for the MQU quilt shown above.

Improvisational quilt

Donation quilt for Ronald McDonald House.  I’m going to work more on using up orphan blocks next year.

And, despite the risk, here’s what I plan for the coming year:

1.  I’ll retreat with my buddies at least twice, probably 3 times again!

2.  I’ll attend one big national quilt show, maybe two.  I’ll attend at least one local show.

3.  I will limit much more strictly the shows and challenges I enter.  It takes too much time and effort that could be spent on making what I want to make 🙂

4.  I’ll continue to make donation quilts, including one for the Quilt Alliance.  Please consider making one for the Quilt Alliance yourself.  You can read about their mission here.  Click on “2015 Quilt Contest” to learn about this year’s challenge.

5.  I’ll continue my blog, and I think I’ll put up instructions for a few easy donation quilts just in case somebody is looking for ideas.

What’s coming up for you?

Michael Miller CHALLENGE

I like a good challenge as much as the next woman. In fact, I’m happiest if I learn something new from each project.  So I was happy to accept the current Michael Miller/Modern Quilt Guild challenge using Michael Miller’s (MM’s) spring pastel solids.

Michael Miller challenge

Michael Miller sent this package of Cotton Couture solids to all contestants.

Like a lot of modern quilters, I don’t use pastels much.  That’s the first reason this was a challenge.  I decided that, since black is a great background color for brights, something dark but not black would be a good background for pastels.  So I ordered cotton couture in indigo, eggplant, grey, and charcoal to give me a choice.  After trying out each one with the fabrics provided by the MM people, I chose charcoal–always a favorite color for me!

The next challenge was trying to find somewhere I could buy additional yardage of these particular fabrics.  Most places that carry Cotton Couture were out of them!  So I decided I needed to design something using just what came in the package, plus my charcoal background 🙂

I designed the quilt with Electric Quilt 7 (EQ7) as usual, so I had an easy way to try out lots of different ideas.

I’m a big fan of star blocks, so I experimented with the 16-patch star often called Ohio Star, and finally settled on this version, in which the block is divided into four quarters that are rotated and combined in various ways.  Here’s the EQ drawing:MM4

And here’s a picture of the almost-finished quilt.  Binding it is an additional challenge, since I don’t want the binding to show but I want the corners to be square (which is difficult if I do a pillowcase binding).  I’m counting this as my November finish 😉

My quilt for the Michael Miller/Modern Quilt Guild challenge

My quilt for the Michael Miller/Modern Quilt Guild challenge

And please check out my Quilt Alliance donation quilt on Ebay.  Here‘s the link.  I’m so happy that it’s doing well!  If you don’t know about the Quilt Alliance, check them out through this link.

 

11 Favorites from AQS Charlotte

The quilts at AQS in Charlotte were inspiring, and there were more modern ones than at most AQS shows. Here are 11of my favorites. They aren’t necessarily the judges’ favorites; those are available on the AQS website here.  I judge mainly on innovative or attractive overall design; the judges have another set of rules.  I hope you enjoy my choices!

quilt AQS Charlotte

Joy, by Peg Collins of Colorado

The Modern Design Challenge had loads of great quilts, but I only took pictures of my very, very favorites:

modern quilt AQS

This quilt by Jean Larson won the Original Design award

modern quilt, AQS Charlotte

The Market is Up, another quilt by Jean Larson

quilt AQS Charlotte

Mid-Century Modern II, by Serena Brooks, won the Improvisation award

modern quilt AQS Charlotte

Canopy by Helen Garland

There was a display of art quilts, including this one by an art quilter whose work I really like:

art quilt AQS Charlotte

Artfabrik, by Laura Wasilowski

And I liked this quilt by Miriam C. Coffey, who is in one of my guilds:

quilt at AQS Charlotte

This, That, and the Other, by Miriam C. Coffey

And there was a big display of quilts from the Tentmakers of Cairo.  I’d heard about them (from you, Bert!) so I was glad to see some of their work:

Tentmaker of Cairo quilt

quilt by Haissan Kamal

And finally, some quilts I just liked for various reasons:

Dear Jane variation at AQS Charlotte

Jane As A Teenager, by Anya Tyson

art quilt at AQS Charlotte

Out of my Box, by Kathy McNeil

quilt at AQS Charlotte

Fiesta Fireworks by Julia Graber

10 Favorites from Vermont Quilt Festival

I really enjoyed the Vermont Quilt Festival in Burlington the end of June.  I expected a traditional quilt show, and there were some traditional quilts, but there were many modern quilts as well.  Here are 10 of my favorites for various reasons.  That fantastic quilting on the first one was done by Carrie Zizza of Zizza Machine Quilting (http://www.itsazizza.com/).

quilting detail

Look at the quilting on Love Those Liberties by Laura Clements!

pieced quilt

Rainbow Bricks by Melissa Rolfe–this was her second quilt ever!

pieced circle quilt

Full Circle by Rebecca Rohrkaste

pieced quilt

Patch of Swiss Chard by Ann Feitelson

quilt detail

Detail of Patch of Swiss Chard

pieced quilt

This quilt by Ruth Eissfeldt was all shiny metallic fabrics

applique quilt

These fish by Velda Newman were SO realistic!

pieced quilt

Tied Together by Timna Tarr–a modernized bowtie quilt

pieced quilt

Circles of Hope by Sylvia Einstein

pieced quilt

Kaleidoscopic XX by Paula Nadelstern

pieced quilt

Fill the Void by Cinzia Allocca–my FAVORITE!

detail of quilt

Look at her beautiful quilting!  I love this quilt!

Excitement x 3!!!

Woo! It’s been an exciting week!
My entry in the Quilt Alliance “Inspired By” Challenge won 3rd place! Here’s a picture of it, and below that is a link that will take you to a short video showing all the winners! I am SO excited!

modern art quilt

Whirlwind, my 2015 Quilt Alliance challenge quilt

And HERE is a link that will show you all the winners in a very short youtube video.

The quilt will now tour with the other entries and will be auctioned on Ebay next fall to benefit the Quilt Alliance.

And here’s a picture of the second excitement: [photo] I finally finished my quilt for the Michael Miller challenge.  It’s a packet of flower seeds with the new scanning code I now see on items at the nursery, composed of multiple colored triangles.  I don’t think you can scan mine; I designed it based on the code but didn’t copy exactly.

Michael Miller challenge quilt

Packet of Posy Seeds

Finally, I had a “very significant birthday” and my husband gave me a new Bernina

Bernina 550QE

Bernina 550 QE

for the occasion! I’ll be reviewing it after I’ve used it for a while. For now I’m just enjoying trying out all the features!
So, as they used to say on the radio, listen in next week…I’ll have pictures from the Vermont Quilt Festival, which was really good.

The year so far…

Oops!  It’s the end of June already, so half way through 2014!  Therefore, here are pictures of a few of the things I’ve done so far:

scrap quilt

Quilt Alliance Challenge 2014

Dotty-Stripes-Detail

Detail of a quilt I submitted to an IQF contest

Next is the June “finish”.  I’ve been sending a finish every month to Aunt Marti at 52quilts because I need the motivation of her challenge to get some of my UFOs (Unfinished Objects) cleaned up!  As you can see, this is pieced but not quilted; Aunt Marti let’s YOU decide what qualifies as “finished”!  And after 2 years staring at these HSTs (half square triangles), I think putting them together into a top for a donation quilt qualifies as “finished”!  So if you need motivation to finish some of your UFOs, click the link above and head over to her blog 🙂

pieced quilt top

Donation quilt top is the finish for June!

improvisationally pieced quilt

In Fairyland, entered in the Vermont Quilt Festival

improv pieced quilt

Improv 9 Patch for Ronald McDonald House

As always, 20% of the projects took 80% of the time!  So it’s good to have the little pouches and swap blocks to be done relatively quickly!  What have you been up to?

Quilt Alliance Challenge

After thinking I would use Sunbonnet Sue as my inspiration,

Fabric scraps

Scraps!

I did a total about-face and chose a scrap quilt instead.  I LOVE scrap quilts, and since I certainly HAVE a lot of scraps, it all works out 🙂

Here’s the process for this year’s Quilt Alliance donation quilt.  I wanted to use tiny scraps and have one tiny star.  I used Electric Quilt (EQ7) to print a foundation pattern for a star that finishes about 3″ square.  The first one I made, using the brand of fabric we’ve all

depended on for solids, was just a little off.  Turns out the “beefy” thick texture of that fabric doesn’t lend itself well to tiny, tiny points (the center square here is 1/2″ x 1/2″).  So I re-generated the foundation pattern and, as often happens, decided on a little design change at the same time.  Then I made the star using Moda Bella black, which is a lighter weight cloth that folded more crisply in such a small space.

For the rest of the quilt I pulled out my zippy-colored Michael Miller cotton couture scraps and just sewed them together as I took them out of the box.  Eventually I had to cut a few more “scraps” to finish the top.  There were so very MANY seams that I was glad of the lighter weight of this cloth, almost like voile.  It took many days to do this, quite a bit longer than I had expected for a 16″ x 16″ quilt!  The smallest pieces finish about 1/4″ squares or triangles!

scrap quilt

Quilt Alliance Challenge 2014

So here it is!  I would love to count the pieces, but I don’t think I have the energy left to do it!  Besides, who wants to know a thing like that? 😉

Pantone Challenge–Go Vote!!!

The online Pantone Challenge is accepting Reader’s Choice votes now.

Go HERE to vote for your favorite quilt in each of the 3 categories:

  • Quilts (full size)
  • Mini quilts
  • Just the Top (entries that aren’t quilted yet)

You have to scroll down quite a ways to get to the entries.  Pick one favorite in each category.  Vote by clicking the heart in the upper right hand corner.

Mine is #36 in the second category, Mini Quilts.  So many fun quilts to look at!

Applique quilt

Radiating Orchid mini-quilt for the Radiant Orchid Challenge, 15″ x 15″