5 Favorites of 2014

1. Favorite quilt show I attended: Vermont Quilt Festival.  You can see some quilts from it here and here.  And here again is a detail of one of my favorites:

big stitch quilting

Detail of Fill the Void by Cinzia Allocca, at Vermont Quilt Festival 2014

2. Favorite thing about blogging: Meeting new friends, both in person and online.  Read about a couple of them here and here, if you like.
3. Favorite modern quilt trend: some textures and low-volume prints (those that show more background, having the prints smaller and farther apart)  to get us away from all solids, all the time.  Some of my favorites include these from Carolyn Friedlander:

and these from Alison Glass:Alison

4. Favorite new (to me) quilt tool: Frixion pen.  It comes in lots of colors and erases when you iron over the markings.  Only drawback I’ve found is that you can’t see the mark on dark fabric.  For that I still love my chaco liner with yellow chalk.  Show below:  chaco liners on left, frixion pens on right.

5.  Favorite lesson learned:  I’d rather see my designs in print than at quilt shows.  Yes, I entered several shows and contests, and I won something.  But my favorite quilt of the year (from those I made) was the one that was published in Modern Quilts Unlimited.  So here is a picture of it again.Zippy Star 2

And what were your favorites of the year?

Holiday Hints–Just a few!

If you’re thinking of gifts for quilters, or for yourself, here are a few hints based on either things I’ve found useful or would like to try. (Please note: these are my personal opinions for which I received no compensation of any kind.)

1. Very large square ruler. A friend recommended this, especially for Large squaresquaring up quilts. It’s great! You can buy it here or here, and you can see a tutorial on how to square up a quilt here.  The big square ruler is a great help.  The largest I’ve found is 20-1/2″ square.

2. Curved ruler. I don’t have one of these yet, but I’m intrigued by Allison’s post showing a ring quilt made using this ruler. Looks like lots more fun than the usual way of making ring quilts! And of course there are many other possibilities for new designs with these curves.

Quick Curves ruler

The Quick Curve ruler is available at Connecting Threads, among other places.

And here’s a picture of Allison’s quilt.

Metro Hoops Quilt

This quilt was made by Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew

The pattern is Metro Hoops, by Sew Kind of Wonderful, the company that also makes the Quick Curve Ruler.  Allison’s review of the quilt pattern and ruler is here.

3. Batting tape. I use this stuff a lot to join scraps of batting. Sometimes I have the piece I need for a quilt, IF ONLY it were a few inches longer. Just use this to add a few inches and you’re good to go. I’ve also joined two fair-sized scraps near the center to make a piece big enough for a quilt. I’ve had absolutely no trouble quilting through this stuff, and it doesn’t feel or look different once the quilt is finished. You can find it here or in many local stores.

4. Finally, no quilt can be made without CHOCOLATE!  So be sure to ask for chocolate for the holidays to keep your quilting efforts fueled 😉

P.S.:  Here are a couple of things I’ve tried that didn’t work for me.  Maybe you’ll have better luck, but I say borrow from somebody else and try before you buy:

This looked like a good idea but it was no better than just holding the rulers together while I cut.

This looked like a good idea but it was no better than just holding the rulers together while I cut.

Kwik Klip

This does help with pin basting, but probably is no better than the spoon I used for years