Sunday, May 28, 2017

International Quilt Market Spring 2017 St. Louis, MO

I love Market and Spring Market especially. Because there is no Festival right behind it like at Fall Market in Houston, we don't have extremely late nights and we get to see the Market quite a bit.

A very added bonus for me is that my grand-girl, Stella, lives in St. Louis, and I would get to see her and show her off a bit. We spent 2 hours together Saturday morning and had a great lunch at Sugarfire BBQ, just up the street from the Convention Center. She was unhappy when I sent Mommy and Daddy in to Market to look around, but really "on" when they came back out:

Things I noticed:  LOTS of Blue and White quilts and fabrics. 2019 is the Sapphire Celebration of International Quilt Festival in Houston and a Blue and White Exhibit has been announced: see here.
I fell in love with this quilt and have already got plans to teach it locally this Fall:

Spellbound from Calico Carriage Designs
Detail of quilting designs
It uses two jelly rolls for Shibori II from MODA and 3 yards of white. What a great quilt to practice free motion machine quilting!

More Blue and White:

Laundry Basket Quilts Edyta Sitar

Carolyn Forester in Schoolhouse talking about handwork
Calico Carriage booth
Other things I noticed:  lots of bright fabrics, children's clothing samples, handwork, and still some "primitive" and "country" feeling lines. Wool is popular for handwork. Embroidery is strong. Whatever brings new and younger quilters/sewers into the industry is fine with me. My daughter-in-law was surprised at what she saw, not the quilts she knows that I make. She was smart enough to take photos and send them to me--now I can get busy on special request projects.

Here is my loot, er, stash, er, inventory additions:

Most important of all for me, is seeing some of my favorite people, faculty, show staff, vendors. This is by no means a comprehensive list, just good folks you should know:

Julia Kelly-Hodenius of Pique

Catherine Redford

Cindy Rennels of Cindy's Antique Quilts

A few of the Quilts Inc.Show staff: Deann, Debra, Terri, Becky

Charlotte Angotti

Jen Kingwell and me
Kay Roberts of Franklin Quilt Company

Alex Anderson and Friend
Last, but absolutely not least, the Education Team that I am honored to be a part of, at our farewell dinner. Did I mention we ate really well at this venue:

Marcia Barker, me, Vicki Thomas, Meg Zimmerman, Barb Cline and Jill Benge, at the Bridge.

There you have it, a taste of Spring Market 2017. I could add many more photos. Instead, I recommend you go to Instagram and search for #missingmarket and #quiltmarket. You can spend hours seeing so many booths, projects and people. Enjoy!

Let's Quilt!


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Playing with Rulers

It is so much fun to free motion quilt (FMQ) using rulers. Some people call the plastic devices used for this purpose "templates", which is probably more accurate. They are used to quilt around as a guide for the quilting designs, they are not used to "measure" anything like a ruler typically does.

Hand Quilting on the right, FMQ on the left

This quilt has been languishing since 2013. I did Stitch in the Ditch on all the black sashings, then hand quilted simple shapes along the top row so I could bind the quilt and attach a hanging sleeve. I have taught this X Block quilt several times since then, always intending to get back to the rest of the hand quilting each time I brought the quilt hone from the shop after class. Realizing that was probably not going to happen, I decided to FMQ all the remaining blocks so it can be done now, not years from now.  I have a Tutorial on this block here.

There are eight blocks in each row. I am quilting one row a day, only seven more days to go and this quilt will be done. And, sometimes, "Finished is Better than Perfect". Here is how it's going:

I LOVE this Line Tamer ruler for Stitch in the Ditch (SID).It's by Four Paws Quilting.  The channel is 1/2" wide, the right size for my Bernina Q20 Ruler Foot #96. If your ditch is straight, it works great.

 After stitching the X with the Line Tamer, I use this Sew Steady 12" arc template to do the curves on the triangles. There is Handi-Grip on the bottom of the template to help prevent slipping. It works great.

The outside triangle edge is longer than the two inside edges so I made the outside line deeper than the other two. I suppose I could have made them the all the same but I like this look. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.
A finished block

The back:

A busy back is the machine quilter's best friend, until you get REALLY good.

Like most things, there are a few rulers I find myself using a lot, the others I have to think about how to use. Here are most of mine:

Here are a few more photos of Ruler Work from the Random Ohio Stars quilt I wrote about here. These were taken after the quilt was washed and dried:

And the finished quilt:

Let's Quilt!


Monday, May 1, 2017

Halo Star Medallion--Month 5

This month we continue making Curved Flying Geese blocks, another 18 of them:

Once you have all 36 curved flying geese blocks made, you are ready to piece them into left and right and top and bottom borders. I pressed the seams of the blocks open, that seemed to work best for me. Refer to the diagrams on page 4 to be sure you are joining the blocks in the proper order.

Then, using the chart in the Month 5 instructions, you will calculate the size your "floater" borders need to be to make the center of the quilt fit those borders. Measure carefully, don't fudge, just figure out what size "floaters" are needed to make it all fit together. There are no extra points for having the same numbers Sue had--I don't, I'm off about 1/2" now. Just don't tell anyone. As long as your quilt is nice and square, all will be well.

The tips for making the Curved Flying Geese blocks are the same as last month, find that post here.

You don't want to rush this but I think you will find how much easier these are to make than you thought they would be.  One of the newer quilters in the Sunday Halo Sew and Sews, Donna D, was so tickled with how well her blocks are coming along, she sent me a photo:

None of the 14 members of this little group consider themselves "expert" quilters, and a few are really pretty new but all are doing great things with this project and are pleased with all they are learning. As I say often, this is one of those quilts that deserves your best work so take it slow, and put your best into this one.

As I made the first 3 borders, I just selected the "geese" fabrics at random and didn't worry too  much about which fabrics appear on either end of the curve of 8 geese. As I sewed one block to the next I just watched that the fabrics were different where they joined each other.

When I got to the final border, however, I wanted to be sure I didn't have the same fabric in position 1 and 8, where the blocks come together. So I selected the geese for the final 10 blocks carefully before I sewed those blocks together. To be sure I kept them in order, I created 10 numbered Flower Head pins, using a Sharpie to draw the number 1-10 on each pin head:

Of course, you can buy numbered pins, and those that have up/down/left/right arrows, etc. But, if you have Flower Head pins, and a Sharpie, you can create your own. So that is my tip for the month!

We had a short Sunday Halo Sew and Sews gathering recently. Here are the 3 quilts we got to see:

JoAnne has her curved flying geese borders underway
Brenda has 36 geese done, ready to sew those borders now

Janet is using her stash of blue and white fabrics--she plans to submit it for the Sapphire Celebration 2019

Next month we will be making Half-Square Triangle borders, 1.5" finished. I already know mine will be totally scrappy. And I will make the first one with regular piecing, and the second one with paper piecing--the pattern includes all the papers you need for paper piecing. That way, I'll be able to decide which method I prefer and have the most success with--I'll use that method for the remaining two borders.

Let's Quilt!