Where Did You Wear It?

A couple of years ago I made a quilt based on the little triangle codes found on plants at my local nursery.  It sank without a trace when I entered it in a show.

But the idea stayed with me, and earlier this year, when I wanted to make a quilt with social significance, I decided on a QR code.

Since my “day job” involves a lot of treating conditions that condoms might have prevented, I wanted to make a quilt to promote condom use. It’s what we like to call “safer sex”. Now don’t get all huffy on me; sex is a fact of life.

When I went looking for a condom-related QR code, I found this one developed by Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands.

Where Did You Wear It campaign

The folks at Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands were gracious enough to allow me to use their QR code

Back in 2012 they put this QR code on all their condoms in a campaign called “Where Did You Wear It?”. Those who scan the code are taken to a website where they can put a pin in a map to show their geographic location–where they wore the condom!

The site also gives some important facts about condom use. The point of their campaign, and my point in making this quilt for show, is to normalize, encourage, and promote the use of condoms when needed.

It turns out QR codes are robust little devils, so I was able to re-color it and develop a lively quilt design with the use of my trusty Electric Quilt program:

Where Did You Wear It campaign

Quilt Design from the “Where Did You Wear It?” QR code

Making this was quite a challenge!  At each step I kept scanning it to be sure it took me to the “Where Did You Wear It?” site.  (You can download any of several QR code scanners to your smart phone or iPad. I used QMark.)

Asheville Quilt Show

The QR Code quilt, ready for its first show. It will the in the Asheville Quilt Show soon!

When I discussed the project with my wonderful son-in-law, he helped me turn my blog address into a QR code, too!  That’s this blog address you see in the TINY QR code making up one block toward the bottom right of the quilt. Scanning it brings you to this post.

Please help me to encourage condom use when appropriate by sharing this post.

Tuesday Quilters’ Show

One of my quilt groups (which I seldom attend because it meets during the day and I work full time) is having a little show at the church where they meet, so I stopped by to take some pictures.  Most of these ladies are traditional quilters, and many are quite accomplished.

quilt show

The purple diamonds near the center feature geckos fussy-cut from a batik

One of the women has really gotten going on miniature quilts, so this next bunch are all by Maryann Budahl. They are under 12″ x 12″, and they are NOT as wonky as they seem in the pictures–some were hung too high for me to photograph them well.

miniature quilt

Look at that quilting!

You can click on any of these little quilts to see it up close.

Here are a few of the other quilts on display:

miniature quilt

This is a miniature by Susan Roper.

There were several Christmas quilts:

Christmas quiltChristmas table runnerSeveral full size quilts were draped rather than hung, so I couldn’t get a complete picture of them.

traditional quilt

traditional pieced quiltAnd here are some medium-sized quilts:

star quilt

Christmas sampler quilt

A Bird, Several Houses, and More by Maryann Budahl

And finally, a quilt that looked pretty modern to me:modern wall quilt

There is a fair amount of overlap between this group and the Smoky Mountain Quilters (of Franklin, NC) who will be having a show in September, so I look forward to seeing more quilts soon.

 

Vermont Quilt Festival–Favorite Quilts, Part 2

Here are the rest of the quilts that really caught my eye at VQF.

First, a couple of my favorites among the many fine landscape quilts:VQF5VQF3These next ones probably would be classified as art quilts.  As you can see, my camera was askew on the first one, but it also had very irregular edges.  The transparency effects were impressive.VQF6This next one had a nice sense of humor and, as you can see from the ribbons, was well executed also.VQF20The rest of these are what I would call modern, and I especially appreciated their graphic impact.VQF15VQF17VQF14VQF7There were SO MANY more great quilts, so consider attending next year to see the show in person!

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Vermont Quilt Festival–Favorite Quilts Part 1

Here are a few of my favorite quilts from the Vermont Quilt Festival. Please note that a few of these really are not square. Others do have straight sides with 90 degree corners, but the picture is off because I had the camera in one hand and a glass of champagne in the other 😀

First, this is one of the youth quilts, made by a 3-1/2 year old!  Entrants in this category made the quilt top themselves, but may have had help with quilting. Janome is a big sponsor of the VQF, and each youth entrant was given a sewing machine!  This tot had to get help to carry hers from the stage 🙂

youth entry VQF

As always at VQF, there was a wonderful exhibit of antique quilts.  This next one was my favorite:Antique quilt, VQFThe Instructors’ Showcase made me wish I’d taken some classes.  This first one is by Augusta Cole, whose scrappy designs I admire and have used from time to time.Vermont Quilt Festival 2016And this one by instructor Katie Pasquini Masopust was very unusual.  I would like to know more about her techniques.VQF instructors 2016There were a number of other special exhibits and I didn’t take pictures of all of them, though they would have been worth it!  This bargello quilt caught my husband’s eye:Bargello quilt at VQF 2016Here are a few more of the fairly traditional ones that I especially liked.  Note that one got a purple ribbon for a very high score on the judging criteria I showed last week.VQF11VQF18VQF16VQF12Finally, here is an absolutely spectacular applique quilt.  Everyone stood in front of it admiringly, so I had to wait my turn to take a picture:VQF4Next week I’ll show you the more modern quilts that caught my eye.

 

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Vermont Quilt Festival, Part I

I love the Vermont Quilt Festival (VQF) for several reasons: Vermont in June, great exhibits, and the opening reception with champagne and chocolate!!!  (I’m showing a few of the beautiful quilts today, and I’ll have more later.)

However, my very favorite part is that each quilt is judged on its own merits. Every quilt is rated with published criteria and may (or may not) be awarded a ribbon, based on its score.  I love this idea because, as I’ve said elsewhere, the idea of “competitive quilting” doesn’t compute for me. With the VQF system, your primary competition is yourself. Then, if you just have to try to beat other people in a given category, they do have the usual “best machine quilting”, etc.

VQF

This quilt involved extensive work and I think it is very “artistic”. It got a 3rd place for workmanship, but it also got the Best Modern Quilt award.

Here is the way quilts are judged, taken from the VQF website:

Each judge evaluates all entries, scores the quilts using the point system below, and provides a brief written critique. The final score for each entry is the average of the three judges’ scores. Score sheets and critiques are returned to contestants with their quilts.

POINT SYSTEM (100 points total)

  • Visual Impact: 15 points maximum
  • Design: 40 points maximum
  •      20 points: use of pattern and design
  •      10 points: effectiveness of color in overall design
  •       5 points: suitability of materials
  •       5 points: border treatment
  • Workmanship: 45 points maximum
  •      20 points: precision of work, top and back
  •      20 points: quality of quilting and/or needlework
  •      5 points: binding and edges

RIBBON CATEGORIES

  • Exceptional Merit (purple): 98 -100 points
  • First (blue): 95-97 points
  • Second (red): 92-94points
  • Third (yellow): 88-91point
Modern quilt from Vermont Quilt Festival

Here is a modern sampler that I enjoyed. It got a 3rd place ribbon.

Although I didn’t win any of the “big” categories, I did get a (3rd place) ribbon at VQF this year.  As you can see, that amounts to a “B” grade, so I’m pretty happy.  The comments were useful, as well, so I know what to do the same and what to do differently next time.

Round quilt from VQF

This quilt, made from a pattern, got a 3rd place ribbon as well. The circle is on a black background, so the quilt is square.

I certainly wish other shows would adopt a similar system!  I’m sure it is expensive, since VQF has 3 judges for each quilt and they have to make comments and take time to score each one, not just look at it once and move on.  But for me, as a quilter, it makes the VQF show much more worth the effort of entering.  Here’s my quilt:

modern quilt

Happy Squares, designed and made by me.

Does anyone know of other shows with a similar system?  I’d like to consider them when planning next year’s entries!

2014 Projects, Part 2

To continue a review of projects from 2014, the point of this exercise is to get together a gallery page for each year I’ve done this blog.

I made “Drunk in the Garden” both to use this beautiful floral fabric that reminded me of Texas and to practice cutting and piecing gentle curves.

Drunk in the Garden, the original quilt

Drunk in the Garden, the original quilt

Despite the beautiful fabric, the overall design never looked right to me, primarily because the gold fabrics varied too much in value.  I eventually cut this quilt up and made some place mats, which were much more successful.  You can see them here, if you like.

I designed a quilt for the Michael Miller challenge and, though it sank without a trace in the challenge, I liked it.  The design was improvised based on the little scan codes made up of triangles at my local garden center:

Michael Miller challenge quilt

Packet of Posy Seeds

Also in 2014, I designed a quilt and pillow for Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine.  Here is the picture from the magazine:

quilt photo

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

And here is the “practice” quilt I made first to work out the details:

modern quilt

Zippy Star I, which sold at the Asheville Quilt Show in September

As if one Michael Miller challenge weren’t enough, I made this quilt for another later in the year:MM-finish1

And finally, I finished this quilt, which I had been working on for years.  Literally.

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

And that was it for 2014!  One thing that is obvious from reviewing some of these pictures is that I have improved my photography since 2014.  For which I’m thankful.

Coming up next: a report from the 2016 Vermont Quilt Festival!

 

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Only as Good as Your Last Quilt?

There’s a cynical phrase, common in professional sports, that is used often in other arenas as well: You’re only as good as your last game. It’s a commentary on public opinion. Unfortunately, there’s a corollary in our everyday judgments of ourselves.

Michael Miller Challenge 2013

This little quilt, “Packet of Posy Seeds”, did NOT win anything.

One of the modern guilds I belong to had an interesting discussion last meeting about which quilts are selected for QuiltCon, and why.  We pretty much all agreed that the show is used to further the MQG’s own definition of modern quilting rather than to reveal the depth and breadth of the modern quilt movement.

modern quilt

This little quilt was published, along with an article I wrote

So, am I a good quilter because my quilt was juried into an AQS show? Or a poor quilter because SEVERAL quilts were rejected for a QuiltCon show? A good quilter because I’ve designed quilts that were published?  Or a bad quilter because every magazine doesn’t love every one of my proposals?  There’s a temptation to feel great when a quilt wins a prize and to feel a bit down when one is rejected.  But does that make sense?

modern quilt

Happy Squares, designed and made by me. I love it, but nobody wants to publish the pattern.

Of course there are some “competitive quilters”, but most of us quilt because we enjoy it. My quilts are made to please myself, not to please other people.  Even when I make a quilt for a challenge or show, I make it the way I want it, and I expect that is true for most people.  I doubt that quilting is a road to fame and fortune for most of us, and that’s fine.

Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine

Zippy Star quilt for Modern Quilts Unlimited. I won a contest with this design.

So, if QuiltCon didn’t accept my quilt, it is NOT a personal judgment about me, it is a programmatic judgment about where the MQG folks want the definition of modern quilting to go. And if some of my quilts are published or win prizes, that’s dandy, but I still made them to suit myself.

improvisationally pieced quilt

“In Fairyland” has been in 2 shows but won no prizes.

So much of life involves following other people’s rules, sometimes for good reason and sometimes not.  Although I’m a serious quilter, I want to do it by my own rules.  I’ll still submit to shows because I like to see my quilts displayed.  But really, the quilt is an end in itself.

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

I designed Spring Sun using blocks paper pieced from a totally different Judy Niemeyer pattern. It was juried into an AQS show.

My friend Melanie has written a couple of posts on why we quilt.  You might enjoy them:

Make Good Art

Saturation Point

Final Finishes!

I got these two quilts back from the quilter last week, so I put the binding on and have my final 2 finishes for the year!

modern quilt

This binding was made from the remaining black and white chevron fabric

I finally finished the eternal paper piecing for this quilt and I’m having fun arranging the blocks.

modern quilt

The pattern is Lombard Street, by Sassafras Lane Designs

Here are a few of the other projects I’ve done this year.  You can click on any of them for more detail.

And finally, here are a couple of things I had published in Modern Quilts Unlimited:

Can’t wait to start next year’s projects!  Woo!

Sandi Suggs: Finding Her Way to Modern

Sandi’s work was featured in a special display at AQS-Chattanooga, and I was lucky enough to get to interview her. I took some pictures, and if you want to see more of her work, check the links at the bottom of this post.

modern quilt, Sandi Suggs

Sandi designed this nontraditional arrangement of split 9-patch blocks

While I was waiting to interview Sandi, I heard her tell someone, “Any time I make a quilt, I do it to learn something.” My sentiments exactly!

modern quilt, Sandi Suggs

Sandi made this quilt from a pattern, adding modern colors to the design

Sandi started quilting over 25 years ago, using cereal box templates because rotary cutters weren’t yet used for quilting. She still uses templates when appropriate, but a lot of things have changed!  For one thing, she now uses freezer paper when she needs templates so she can cut several layers of fabric at once.

Quilt as You Go quilt

Sandi designed and made this quilt using her own quilt-as-you-go technique

Sandi teaches several classes, including her own version of Quilt As You Go. (I’m going to keep an eye on her website because I’d like to take that class if she teaches it anywhere near me 🙂 )

The AQS exhibit included both quilts Sandi designed herself and quilts she has made from designs by others.  This was a round robin quilt; Sandi made the final arrangement of sections and did the quilting:

modern quilt

Round Robin quilt by Sandi Suggs and friends.  Look at Sandi’s quilting!

A couple of hints from Sandi: she likes to use the multi-stitch zigzag (stitch #4 on Bernina machines) in her quilting.  She starches all her fabrics before cutting to make them smoother and less likely to fray.  She says starching also equalizes the weight of the various fabrics.  She likes to wash her quilts after they are finished to achieve a crinkly look that emphasizes the quilting.

Sandi Suggs modern quilt

Sandi does her own quilting on her home machine. This quilt is called “Roy G. Biv”

Sandi also has her own way to successfully select fabrics for a mystery quilt!  I’ve only done one mystery quilt and was unhappy with the result, so I asked her about it.  She showed the quilt below, designed by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr as a mystery quilt, and told me how she selected her fabrics.

Sandy Suggs

Mystery quilt designed by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr demonstrates Sandi’s successful fabric selection

Sandi looked at the fabric requirements for the quilt and figured the largest fabric requirement was for the background.  Once she had chosen gray for the background, she decided she would need bright fabrics to contrast with it.  I think her decisions were very successful!

You can find Sandi’s blog at: www.FrogPondStudio.blogspot.com

She has many more pictures of her quilts there, including these five posts that show all her quilts from the AQS exhibit:

Finding My Voice

Finding My Voice, Two

Finding My Voice, Three

Finding My Voice, Four

Finding My Voice, Final

 

10 From Chattanooga Quilt Week

Despite a change in plans, a friend and I got in a quick trip to Quilt Week in Chattanooga to see the quilt show. No time for classes this year, but we had a great time. I was especially happy that there was a large section of modern quilts. Here are 10 of my favorites.

modern quilt

Celebrate, by Jean Larson of the Chattanooga Modern Quilt Guild

Modern quilt

A Slice of Pi, by Connie Griner. This quilt has the numerical value of pi quilted into the border to umpteen decimal places!

Modern quilt show

Love in the Digital Age, by Kristin Shields

modern quilt

Motik, by Mary Ramsey Keasler of the Chattanooga Modern Quilt Guild

modern quilt show

Tiki Dilemma, by Jodi Robinson.  She says her “quilting designs were chosen to add interest without overwhelming the overall design of the quilt”.  I like that!

modern quilt show

Door Into Summer, by Joni Morgan

I see that gray backgrounds are still very popular!  (You KNOW who I’m talking to!)

modern quilt

Forgotten Chicago, by M. A. Cramer. She asks whether the object shown here is rising or falling!

modern quilt

Pink Flamingos with Lemonade, by Connie Brown of the Modern Quilt Guild of Asheville

modern quilt show

Through the Open Window, by Amy Anderson of the Modern Quilt Guild of Asheville

modern quilt

Initial Inspiration, by Vista Scruggs Mahan of Rising Fawn, Georgia (just outside Chattanooga)

Of course, we had a little time for chocolate as well, but what’s done at Quilt Week stays at Quilt week 😉

Later on, I’ll have an interview with Sandi Suggs, whose quilts were a special exhibit at Chattanooga Quilt Week.