Monday, April 29, 2013

Red and White Excitement

During 2012 I worked on the Just Takes 2 Block of the Month designed by Gay Bomers of Sentimental Stitches and Brenda Papadakis of Dear Jane.  They released patterns twice a month for all 12 months of the year.  The patterns were free for a month then could be purchased.  They are still available here. 

They decided to do this after attending the 2011 exhibit "Infinite Variety" in New York.  Knowing they could never make all the red and white quilts they saw there, they figured it would be fun to make a single block of many of those featured.  More info about that exhibit can be found here.

The Top, 104" x 110"

It was a long process but I kept up most of the time and then finished with a complex pieced border I designed.  I kept track of all the fabrics I used and the number of pieces:  59 different fabrics and 2770 pieces. 

This was one of those quilts that deserves a great quilter so I sent it to a wonderful longarm quilter in California:  Pamela Dransfeldt, the Joyful Quilter.  I found Pam when a Facebook friend posted a link to her work in 2009.  We collaborated on a quilt that year: 

Joyful Journey

She did a spectacular job on this quilt so I knew my Just Takes 2 was in good hands with her.  She's been working on it for almost 2 weeks now and has posted amazing photos.  I have been blown away with the interest that has been shown on Facebook by so many people.  Here are a few of her photos:

You can follow Pam's incredible work on Facebook--her page is Joyful Quilter.  She has quite a few more photos of this quilt as well as most of her customer's quilts  She's a terrific person with a terrific, supportive husband too.  I feel so fortunate to have found her--the internet has certainly made this a smaller world--or maybe it's a bigger world.  Either way, I'm glad I can introduce her to you.
Let's quilt!

Friday, April 19, 2013

How to Make an Award-Winning Quilt

This is a recap of a lecture I gave April 18, 2013,  for the Heritage Quilters of Huntsville.  They have a show in October 2013, the 13th biannual judged quilt show, and so this is a timely topic for discussion.

Whether it's international or local competition, there are some elements of award-winning quilts that are the same. 

1.  Design:  Is the quilt interesting to look at?  Does it capture your attention and make you want to look closer? 

Harmony Within
Sue McCarty

2.  Color:  Are the colors appealing, appropriate, eye-catching, exciting?  Do they create a mood?  Sometimes,  the choice of color that is unexpected is what adds that "wow" factor:

Lynn Jones Droege pieced and appliqued
Quilted by Lisa Sipes
Sue Garman pattern Ruffled Roses
3.  Workmanship:  Is it well-done, with precise piecing, beautiful quilting, excellent finishing?

Scarlett Serenade
Sharon Schamber

4.  Quilting:  Does it grab you?  Does it make you look closer, does it enhance the overall effect of the quilt?

Sarah's Revival
Sue Garman
Hand Quilting

Georgann Wrinkle's Quilt
Sue Garman Longarm Quilting

5.  That Extra Special "Something":  Maybe it's a piped or curved binding.  Or embellishments that add the perfect sparkle.  Perhaps it's the statement the quilt makes, the emotion it evokes.  Maybe it's just such a spectacular quilt you have to give it all the glory it is due.  I feel that way about this quilt:
America, Let It Shine
Sherry Reynolds

The next time you go to a quilt show, think about these five things as you admire the quilts.  Whether you agree with the judges or not, perhaps you will understand their decisions more as you compare the quilts based on these elements.
Not every quilt has to be an award-winning quilt but that's a topic for another day.
Let's Quilt!