Tuesday, February 24, 2015

QuiltCon - Austin, Texas

We just visited our daughter, Emily, in Austin, Texas (more on that later), and while there, we went to...QuiltCon!  Here are just a few pictures:

Modern Mojo by Linda Thielfoldt
Love all the negative space quilting on this one, beautifully done.

Ad Libbing by Linda Hungerford
The artist was describing her quilt, and pointed out that she used pale aqua thread rather than white for all of her amazing quilting.  Great idea.

Detail of Bauble by Emily Cier.  Great quilting on this also.

Lost in Translation by Victoria Findlay Wolfe.  

After the quilt show, Emily and I went shopping and happened upon all of these quilt-inspired garments in the upscale department at Nordstrom.  This one in particular looks like it could have been displayed at QuiltCon.

Notice the zigzag pattern on this dress.

This dress was not just inspired by pieced quilt designs - it was actually pieced! All of the details are pieced!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Round Robin Quilt - Christmas Angel

This quilt dates back to 1996 - almost 20 years ago!  My quilting bee group decided to do a round robin challenge.  Each of us started with a different center, of own choosing, and then passed the center block to the next person (5 of us, total), to add a border.  My center block was the appliqued angel - from a commercial pattern, sorry I do not remember the name of it - plus the narrow gold border and piano key border.
Sue added the first border - the wonky star blocks, with that fabulous swirly blue fabric.  The stars turned out to be a recurring theme, in each border.

Linda added the folk art applique border - also from a commercial pattern, which I have forgotten, sorry! Note the buttonhole stitch edging.

Barb added the 9-patch border - always love the basic 9-patch - and more stars fabric helps my angel to float!



Lori added log cabin blocks - and see, more star fabrics!

Finished quilt - I just echoed the narrow gold and piano key borders.  I love this quilt, and I am always happy when Christmas time rolls around, and I can display this quilt once again.

Round Robin Quilt - The Swing

It's Round Robin Quilts today!

My friend, Sujata, mentioned something about Round Robin quilts the other day, so I thought I would tell the story of a couple of my quilts.  This was a guild challenge, done in 1993 with my partner, Linda Brzykcy.  We were given a set of coordinated fabrics (the floral print, and the stripe - maybe one more, I honestly don't remember! It was 22 years ago, forgive me!
We had a size limit, but that was about the only rule. 

I created the center block, inspired by one of my children's books (see below).  The book features silhouettes, so I started with that - in black, and a black piping. I added lots of different fabrics to frame the center image, and a narrow black border.  

Then I passed the quilt to Linda, who added a 9-patch border, made of two different beige prints - which provided me the perfect backdrop for the floral applique.  One more black piping before the binding, and I was done.

Finished quilt.

My inspiration piece - my mom used to read to me out of this sweet book.

This poem is also a song - which my mom used to sing to me, and I used to sing to my girls, as I pushed them on our backyard swing.
Lots of nostalgia in this quilt project.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Day! Baby Lena's Quilt, Unconventional Book, Jazz Concert

This picture makes me so happy!  Kristin, the baby's mother, sent me this photo, which was NOT staged!  This is why we make quilts, isn't it? Is there anything sweeter than this? Here is baby Lena, who pulled my quilt down from the edge of the crib, and cuddled with it, and fell asleep in its warm embrace.  I just want to kiss her sweet sweaty little head. 

I am totally in love with this book - I was so happy when I received it in the mail!  I had heard about it from friends - I knew I would like it, so I ordered it with a Christmas gift card (thank you, Austin!) - and it FAR EXCEEDED my expectations!  The author, Rod Kiracofe, presents these quilt selections with such artistic excellence, it is hard to describe.  He speaks with the voice of an expert curator, fully understanding and respecting the quilts and their makers.  But it is more than that.  He also obviously loves these quilts, and his kind heart comes through the prose of his book.  It is a treasure.

Doesn't this beauty look straight out of today's "fresh modern" movement? Love the purple and green combo, and those circles - how inspired!

And who doesn't love a spiderweb? Look at these two beauties!  The one on the right has hand-dyed green as the background - before hand-dyed was "cool".  I wonder what the back story is on that!

And how about these  pieced columns?

Another happy thing happened today! Scott and I attended a very special concert at Symphony Center in Chicago:  Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, with Wynton Marsalis!  They played a program of masterful compositions by:  Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, and John Coltrane.  Wow - what a night!  Wynton Marsalis gave a narration throughout the evening, telling the stories of how these masters influenced each other, and also shaped the history of jazz.  It was, in a word, thrilling!
Of course it was an excuse to get dressed up, and I got to sport my new sparkly bracelet - a Christmas gift from my daughter, Genevieve.  Lovely!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Windmill Block Play

Ever since I got Sujata Shah's great book, I have been wanted to try her windmills pattern. I love everything about it - the free-cut shapes, the colors, and the windmill inspiration.  My grandparents lived on a farm, and I grew up in a small town, so windmills are a part of my past.  Very nostalgic.

Sujata's book.

Look at all of these yummy colors! As a birthday gift (thank you honey!), I got a "grab bag" of Cherrywood Fabrics' hand-dyed scraps.  Their fabrics have a unique, sueded texture, in addition to the gorgeous, rich, yummy colors. Perfect for my windmill blocks!

Sujata has us choose 4 fabrics, of contrasting values.  So I chose a bunch of "quartets" of fabrics - sort of like auditioning voices for a choir, isn't it?

First windmill vane block, cut.  This is four layers of fabric - a quartet - all 4 cut at once, with a ruler, but in gentle curves.  It is quite easy actually!

Then - you take the top-most center piece - the vane - and shuffle it to the bottom of the stack.  Now the pieces are ready to sew.  I kept these pieces right next to my sewing machine, which made piecing easy as pie, following Sujata's directions.  The curved piecing is easy.  No pressing until the piecing is done - her tip - which also makes the piecing quicker!

First block, done! Not sewn together, just arranged - I was anxious to see them together! The hand-dyeds fabrics work really well in this block! And the blocks pop out to easily, like popcorn - I can't wait to make more of them.

Two blocks completed.  Thank you Sujata for this great design!

Balance, New Quilter, 4th of July

No, this is not trick photography - it is real! Our daughter, Genevieve and her bf Dave are pregnant! We are so excited to welcome our fir...