Sunday, June 30, 2013

Support Your Local Artist

Those of us who create stuff know the feeling when someone else likes what we have made.  And if someone buys one of our works, that's a great feeling--knowing the art we made touched another person enough that they wanted to own and enjoy it.

I have an old friend, from kindergarten as best we can remember, who is a quilt artist with several awards to her credits, several large commissions in public spaces, and terrific small quilts for sale at Tidewater Gallery in Swansboro, NC.  Her name is Eileen Williams and you can see her work here.

As someone who loves the beach and ocean and rarely gets there, I wanted a piece of Eileen's art to admire and remind me of the sea so I bought this piece:

Reach for the Stars
9" x 12"
Eileen is featured in the current issue of Quilting Arts magazine, June/July 2013--a terrific article about her and her work. 

We have a few interesting things in common:  we grew up just a couple blocks from each other and went to the same elementary, junior and high schools in Philadelphia.  After college, she went in the Navy and I joined the Marine Corps.  We both married Marine Lieutenants from Alabama, and raised sons--she has 3, I have 2.  And we both found our artistic outlet in quiltmaking--though our styles are very different, our passion is the same. 

Now I have to find the perfect spot in my home for this beauty--somewhere I can see it every day, smell the salt air and hear the waves. 

If you get the opportunity to support a local artist, do it!  It's good for the soul--of both of you.

Let's Quilt!


Saturday, June 29, 2013

92 Circles and Counting

Finally got these 4 blocks done--each gets 2 more circles once the blocks are attached to the 4 borders--not for a few weeks yet.   This is not how the quilt will be assembled--I just wanted to see these parts all together. 


Now I  have 8 more baskets and 9 more sections of borders to complete--THEN I can assemble the quilt.  The pattern is Ruffled Roses, designed by Sue Garman for the 2011 Block of the Month for  The pattern is available for purchase at Quakertown Quilts. 

Let me make a pitch for joining  I've been a member since before it existed--that's my only connection.  It features Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson as the hosts of great hour-long shows--a new one premieres every 2 weeks.  The shows are loaded with lots of great information with both very well-known as well as up-and-coming quilt artists.  Even if I'm not particularly interested in the topic, I still watch each show, and always learn something.  There are tours of museums, art galleries, artists' homes/studios.  There are  also short segments on how to do something fun or interesting--I've learned how to do simple bindings for small quilts and how to make 3 D flying geese with only one seam, and so many other things over the years.

The Block of the Month instructions are included for the membership fee and are available all year.  Once the new year comes, the previous year's patterns are gone--and you can buy them.  If you checked above, you saw that the Ruffled Roses pattern set is $78 plus shipping.  The yearly subscription is about $40, including everything--a tremendous deal.

Consider it a worldwide quilt guild.  I  have made friends with people all over the world through the forum and members blogs--those are great resources for so much quilt information.  There are many classrooms with tremendous information.  Over the last 2 days I watched 3 Sharon Schamber classes on how to design her elaborate style quilting designs, how to stitch them on a domestic machine, and great stippling motifs--almost 3 hours of instruction for free.  Those 3 classes are free until tomorrow, June 30, 2013. 

When I say I "watch" them, I mean, they are airing on my desktop computer in the studio as I work on projects.  If I see something I really need to watch closely, I "rewind" and review.  I can watch on my Ipad too and have done that while traveling.  Technical support is terrific, if you should need it. 

Once you join you have access forever to all shows that have aired since you joined.  As well as all the free stuff, like projects, BOM, forums, etc.  Occasionally, there are previous shows made available for a limited time for free for everyone--a good way to see a show you might have missed or one that aired before you joined. 

Here's my pitch:  if I had to be exceptionally careful about how much money I spend on my quilt life--this would be the last thing I would give up.  That, and my local guild membership.  Of course, I cannot possibly outlive my fabric stash, so I don't "need" any more fabric.   But TQS--that I NEED!

Check them out--a lot of stuff is free even if you're not a member--you just have to create an account with a screen name.  If you decide to join, you can easily do that too. 

Let's Quilt!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Turned Edge Machine Applique'

I was asked about the baskets shown in an earlier post.  They are part of Ruffled Roses, the 2011 BOM for     Here is a photo of the pattern, available at Sue Garman's Website

Ruffled Roses, designed by Sue Garman

Begun in January 2011, I'm finally getting back to it and hope to have the top finished this fall.  The applique' is being done with C&T Wash-Away Applique' sheets, a technique I'm doing a demo of at our guild meeting.  In are earlier post, HERE, I showed the steps for preparing the applique' shapes--turning the edges over the wash-away applique' sheets, using glue stick, then using a very narrow zig-zag stitch to sew the pieces to the background.  Here are more pieces ready for the demo:

EDIT:  At the demo I was asked to describe the glue tips I use to attach the pieces to the background holding them in place for sewing.  Here they are:

They are FolkArt brand Enamels Tip-Pen Craft Tip Set.  I got mine from Purple Daisies LLC at a quilt show.  You can probably find them at a craft or hobby shop.  There are 3 different size tips that allow for the tiniest drop of glue.  I place tiny drops of glue on the background, place the piece on the glue and then heat set with a dry iron.  The washable school glue dries very quickly and the piece is right where I want it for sewing--no pins to get in the way. 

These pieces are for the corner blocks on the basket borders:

I like this method for the speed in printing the pattern pieces and the speed in sewing.  The preparation time is more than I would have for hand needle-turn applique' but sewing by hand would take me a LOT more time.  The wash-away sheet will dissolve when the completed quilt is washed.  It acts as a stabilizer and there is no need to put a stabilizer under the background while sewing.  I'm also using a neutral putty-colored thread for all the pieces, no changing threads--of course, you could if you wanted the stitches to be close to invisible.  Here is my center: 

Our guild program is a round robin of 6 different applique' techniques, being demo-ed by 6 guild members.  I'm in charge of getting it organized--the only downside to that is, I don't get to see the other 5 demos!  Oh, well, it's still fun and will be an educational experience for our guild members.

I was also asked about the two quilts  I have in the Traditional Treasures Special Exhibit, opening tonight at International Quilt Festival in Chicago.  Those were shown in a previous post here:  Traditional Treasures 2013.  The quilts will then travel to Houston for the 2013 International Quilt Festival Fall show there so I will get to see them hanging in the special exhibits.  Very happy.

Grandmother's Choice is only 7 blocks away from being done--here is the sixth row: 
This block of the week, designed by Barbara Brackman, has very interesting historical information about the work of the suffragists who struggled to earn the right to vote for women, both here and in the UK.  

That's it for today--time to quilt!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Claiming my Blog for Bloglovin'

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With the end of Google Reader July 1, those of us switching to Bloglovin', who also write blogs, have to "claim our blog".  That's what this is. 

I'll be back soon with some fun photos.

Let's Quilt!


Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer Projects--Charge!

It's that time of year when I get going on all the projects I want/need to finish.  With our guild bi-annual show in October 2013 I have several things to work on.

None of these will make it in this year's show but I'm trying to get them further along.  Here's the design wall:

A small part of Ruffled Roses, BOM 2011 The Quilt Show

Antique Rose Star--mostly hand pieced--quite a few more to go.
Grandmother's Choice, row 6, I'm keeping up--only 9 more blocks to go

I'm teaching a few classes this summer and working on Fall class schedules and samples.  There's garden work to do--red raspberries are coming in now and a good crop of blackberries will start ripening in the next few weeks.  I've got 4 tomato plants--perhaps we'll plant more vegetables next year--there's room for it.  Mostly, it's keeping the yard mowed and weeding, weeding, weeding.  And moving things that have gotten too crowded.
I still have to put the binding on the red and white quilt and figure out the rest of my show entries.  I'm also hand quilting an old-timey looking nine-patch, using Big Stitch with perle cotton--fun and fast! 
The great news I received recently is the Special Exhibit, Traditional Treasures 2013, that will debut at International Quilt Festival in Chicago this month, will move to Houston--SO, I will get to see my two quilts hanging at Fall Festival there in October.  I'm very happy about that. 
That's it for now--let's quilt!