Sunday, July 25, 2021

New Patriotic Quilt

 I successfully completed my BIG "secret sewing project" a few days ago. So, being in-between BIG projects, I decided to sew up a patriotic quilt I cut out 6 months ago.

Standing Strong is a pattern designed by Shabby Fabrics for use as a Quilt of Valor pattern. Find it on the Shabby Fabrics website here: Standing Strong Pattern

Here is my completed top. The instructions are clear for all the cutting--each fabric is cut in a variety of sizes. It only took two days to construct the top, since all the cutting had been done months ago. But, you have to be very careful to follow the layout diagram as you assemble each long column. Keeping the fabrics labeled correctly is essential: Blue #1, # 2, Red #1, #2 , Cream #1, #2, etc.: I used up lots of fat quarters and parts of fat quarters so mine is pretty scrappy: 


The two borders are great pieces from the line Olde Glory by Sandy Gervais for MODA fabrics. They have been in storage for quite a while. I love the outer border--it is the Pledge of Allegiance:


I have selected the back and batting, made the binding and will add it to the "Quilt Labels Needed" list. Eventually, I'll quilt and finish it.

Another fun thing I get to do is meet by ZOOM with 9-12 friends in the UK and Spain. We had been meeting weekly for an hour beginning early this year, but we are all getting busier now so we are on an every-other-week schedule at the moment. And we are taking August off. 

Say hi to the ladies, hosted by my wonderfully talented friend, Barbara Chainey:


When we talk about the weather, as we are likely to do each time, I have my phone handy so I can convert Celsius to Fahrenheit. Somehow, when they complain about it being 32 I don't get it until I realize that's 90 to me. I love their accents and the fun words we don't use, like "car park" and "fortnight". We share what we're doing quilt-wise and life-wise. Today I saw a Western Sun quilt in the quilting phase, that was the class I taught for them in February. It is lovely and fun to see them getting made.

It can be a small world.

Let's quilt.

Barbara



Wednesday, July 21, 2021

A Little Trip to Houston

 I recently wrote about the challenge of getting 20 of my best quilts, and a few early, more humble ones, to Houston, TX for the big Special Exhibit of my work, called My Joyful Journey this Fall. They had to be in Houston by July 2.  See that post here: Things You Don't Think About

Shipping would have been expensive and there is always a bit of worry about things getting lost in transit. My husband was adamant he could, should, and would drive them to Houston himself. Long rides in a vehicle are not my cup of tea and this involved 15 hours total driving time, each way. So all I had to do was plan his hotel stays when he knew how far he would go each night and worry about him.

Packed and loaded and ready to go--as soon as the cover was closed on the truck:


The next day he arrived at the Quilts Inc. office where Becky Navarro, head of Special Exhibits met him:

They transported the 3 large boxes, containing a total of 20 quilts, up to the 5th floor: 


Success! The boxes are now safely at their destination. Will met a few of the employees working that day--much work is still being done at home:


He quickly said his good-byes and turned the truck toward home. The day before he had driven through the hardest rain he had ever seen, along I-10, before he got to Beaumont, TX to rest for the night. With lots of construction and traffic. So he decided to take a more northerly route home, going toward Shreveport. He got as far as Monroe, LA the second night where I had another decent hotel room waiting for him. 

All in all, it was a long, hard trip for him but he proved he could do it and was pleased with himself, I think. But the quilts will be shipped BACK to me, much later this year.

You would think having 20 quilts out of my house would be noticeable but not really. Four of the best ones are stored in a big closet so they were out of sight. The two that came down off walls, in the living room and master bedroom, were quickly replaced with others. And the bookcase still looks full. I really need to get rid of some of these.

If you haven't been to International Quilt Festival in Houston, this is the year to go. Besides my exciting exhibit, there will be more than 25 others as well as an awesome judged show with some of the finest quilts you will ever see. And this year, there might not be 60,000 people there. But, then again, quilters are eager to be back in Houston. I really hope to see you there--most of my best friends are coming! For information go here: Quilts Inc.

Let's quilt.

Barbara

Monday, July 19, 2021

Email Subscription Changes


 A few months back I wrote about changes coming with email subscriptions. Changes Ahead

Now, if you subscribe by email, your notification will come from follow.it rather Feedburner. With follow.it, you can subscribe to a variety of news sources too--or none. I simply chose "unfollow" for all the ones I don't want. 

This is supposed to be seamless for subscribers.

You can follow with Bloglovin or your Google account too.

Links to all 3 options are there on the right sidebar.

However you choose to follow me, please do. I have lots of good info to share.

Let's quilt.

Barbara

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Quilts of Valor Award Ceremony

 Last year I made two quilts of valor for special Marines I know. One is my husband, Major Charles "Will" Wilkins, USMC Retired, and one is a long-time friend of his, Major David Aday, USMC Retired.

I had hoped to have the quilts awarded to these men at the 2020 Veterans Day celebration but that event was canceled due to COVID. 

Quilts of Valor are awarded to the recipients, not just given to them, as they are not charity quilts but are a gift meant to wrap the veteran in a warm hug. As the Quilt of Valor website says: 

"A Quilt of Valor unequivocally says thank you for your service,  sacrifice., and valor in serving our nation."

Last month I learned the program for July for my guild was to be about Quilts of Valor. I asked the person doing the program if we could award the two Veterans their quilts as part of the program--without making this known in advance. She was happy to have this addition to her program and I was thrilled to finally have an official way to award the quilts. Time was passing quickly and if this hadn't happened I was just going to have to give the men their quilts privately. 


April Goss giving her presentation to the Heritage Quilters of Huntsville


I contacted David's wife and arranged for her to get him to the meeting as well as giving me dates and information I needed about his 25 years of service. When he started asking questions, she told him it was a secret, he was going to a quilt guild meeting at my request and it was a secret so NO more questions. 

My husband knew something was up when he was also told his appearance at the meeting was required.

April read the story of two ordinary men who have lived extraordinary lives. Both came from  humble beginnings and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps right out of high school in the mid-1960's. They quickly found themselves in Vietnam after boot camp. Each served several tours of combat duty there. After returning to the States, they re-enlisted. They were both selected for a program that would send them to college for four years while remaining on active duty. It was at Auburn University in the early 1970's they first met each other. Upon earning their undergraduate degrees, they were commissioned 2nd Lieutenants and served many more years as commissioned officers. Eventually they both retired and had successful civilian careers. 

Perhaps their most important accomplishment is they are both still married to their first wives. David and Sharon recently celebrated 52 years of marriage and Will and I celebrated 45 years in April. Both have raised good and decent sons and now enjoy life with wonderful grandchildren.

Will's Quilt, first on display for all to see:


Will being wrapped in his quilt as the award commendation was read to him:



David's Quilt:

David being awarded his quilt:

Lest we forget, families of military veterans also serve, whether through multiple moves or time away from their spouse or parent.  Here are April Goss along with David and Sharon Aday:

And my husband and I with April:


April has established an organization called the Liberty Piecemakers of Huntsville. The purpose is to make and award Quilts of Valor to local veterans. Several sew-ins are planned in the coming months to get quilts made so this can become a reality. April is a veteran herself, the daughter, wife and mother of veterans. She will do a great job with this wonderful effort. You can tell from her smile, she was excited to have these first two awards accomplished. 

I have written about these quilts before. For pattern information see this blog post: First Quilt of Valor

For more information on the Quilts of Valor Foundation, see their official website: Quilts of Valor. If you are local to Huntsville, AL consider joining April in her project to award as many local veterans as possible. Her organization would love to have your help. 

Let's quilt.

Barbara


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

COLOR MY WORLD--LITTLE HOUSES IN THE CITY

There are four Little Houses in the City in the quilt Color My World. They are at the North, East, South and West sides of the quilt. They are the Month 10 pattern for this Block of the Month quilt, exclusive to The Quilt Show all through 2021.

This area allows for space to personalize these Houses to be something meaningful to you. There is room for a  three-story house, for example:


To calculate the DESIGN AREA for this block, I taped the pattern pieces together to figure out the measurements:



You will need paper at least 11" x 10". I taped two pieces of copy paper together to have this area:


WARNING--STOP--WAIT--DO NOT use this area to start sewing your personal Little Houses. THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED FOR DESIGN AREA ONLY. Use this information to figure out how to DRAW the structure you want. When you get the official pattern you can double check your design  before you sew your personalized building together. 

NOTE: there is a slight curve a the top, and a significant curve at the bottom. You will be able to double check those curves when you get the official pattern in Month 10.  

Follow these steps to DRAW your Little House in the City, using a pencil, eraser and accurate ruler:

1. Across the top draw a 9" line. Put DOT #1 at the center, DOT #2 on the Left, Dot #3 on the Right.

2. From the Center, DOT #1, draw a STRAIGHT LINE down the Center, 8 3/4"--this is the Center Line. Put DOT #4 at this position.

3. Across the bottom draw a 7" line, perpendicular to the Center Line. DOT #5 is on the Left, DOT #6 is on the Right. 

4. Draw a line connecting DOT #2 and DOT #5--extend this line so it is 9" long--this will extend BELOW the BOTTOM LINE drawn in Step 3, about 1/4". This will help you see the CURVE at the BOTTOM edge.

5. Do the same thing on the Right side, connecting DOT #3 to DOT #6, drawing the line 9" long.

Now you have the DESIGN AREA for the four LITTLE HOUSES IN THE CITY.  Add a 1/4" line around all the drawn lines to provide the Seam Allowance.

If you are happy with the Little Houses in the City provided in the pattern, they work just fine. You can easily personalize them simply with house numbers and/or colors of homes meaningful to you.

Let's quilt.

Barbara

Sunday, July 11, 2021

COLOR MY WORLD--SKYSCRAPER DESIGNS

 As soon as Color My World was revealed as the 2021 Block of the Month quilt for The Quilt Show, I started getting requests for the design area of those four Corner  Skyscrapers.

A lot of people are personalizing this quilt and want to make the Skyscrapers into buildings that mean something to them. The kind of structure that will work well in this space include a Lighthouse, Windmill, Church, Washington Monument, Statue of Liberty, Seattle Space Needle, and the Saturn 5 Rocket on prominent display here in Huntsville, AL. 

Month 11 features Big Ben in London, and One World Trade in New York City:


Month 12 features Centrepoint Tower in Sydney and the Eiffel Tower in Paris:

Just so you know, the plan is to release BOTH Month 11 and 12 on November 1, 2021, so those who joined The Quilt Show in November 2020 will have access to all 12 months of patterns without having to renew their membership.

BUT WAIT--you WILL want to renew your membership because the 2022 Block of the Month quilt is amazing, fantastic and beautiful. Enough of a teaser on that for now.

The Design Area for the Skyscrapers is not provided in the pattern. I taped all the pattern pieces together for each Skyscraper to determine the size of each line. There are slight differences in these sizes. I checked with designer Wendy Williams and she said they are slightly different from each other.



WARNING--STOP--WAIT--DO NOT use this area to start sewing your personal Skyscrapers. THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED FOR DESIGN AREA ONLY. Use this information to figure out how to DRAW the structure you want. When you get the official pattern you can double check each Skyscraper separately before you sew your personalized building together. 

The differences are slight, no more than 1/8" on any side. I used the patterns for the provided Skyscrapers with no thought to checking sizes, and they turned out fine.

Here is the information for DRAWING the DESIGN AREA of the SKYSCRAPERS. Begin by taping two pieces of copy paper together to about 21.5":



Follow these steps, using a pencil, eraser and accurate rulers:

1. At the top draw a RIGHT angle, using a ruler. Extend the "arms" 4 7/8" in both directions. The DOT at the peak is #1, the left "arm" is DOT #2 and the right "arm" is DOT #3.




2. From the top of the right angle, DOT #1, draw a STRAIGHT LINE down the center--20 3/4". This is DOT  #4. 

3. At the bottom, draw a line perpendicular to the Center Line, 2 3/8" across. DOT #4 is the center, the left DOT is #5 and the right DOT is #6. 

4. Extend the "arms" of the RIGHT angle, DOTS #2 and 3, to the outside edges of the BOTTOM line. This means connect DOT #2 to DOT #5 and DOT #3 to DOT #6.

This is the design area you can fill with the structure of your choice.

NOTE: this DOES NOT include the SEAM ALLOWANCE--add 1/4" all around the outside of the drawn lines to provide the SEAM ALLOWANCE. 

ALSO NOTE: the bottom edge WILL INCLUDE a SLIGHT CURVE. You will add that curve from the patterns provided in Months 11 and 12.

There are many paper piecing patterns for structures, easily found online. Lighthouses, for example. Some are free, some are available for purchase. This will give you an idea how to draw paper piecing patterns. If you have Electric Quilt 8 (EQ8), there are many paper piecing patterns included that you can size to whatever size you like. 

If you can draw sections with ONLY straight lines, you can paper piece the design. 

If this is too confusing, don't worry. The four Skyscrapers provided in the pattern take you around the world and work just fine.

Look for the Design Area for Little Houses in the City July 14, 2021.

Let's quilt. 

Barbara


Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Annual Friends Retreat

Each summer, three quilting friends get together for a few days to quilt, working on our own projects. Since so much time has gone by since the last visit, there is lots of show and tell. Last year, we missed getting together due to COVID. 

Here is just a glimpse at all the quilts we shared with each other:

A very old project of mine, more than 20 years at least, I wanted to replace the light background with a brighter white. I removed the red border, took the background out, used those shapes as templates for the replacement fabric and am much happier with it now. It will grow a bit with additional borders. This is before I changed out the background, sitting on top of more of my show and tell quilts:


Ellen made this as a gift--now to quilt it. Here is the link to the FREE pattern for Hot Dog Day:


Ellen often has leftovers from one quilt that become the seeds for another. I love this little log cabin, made from the leftovers of the one it is sitting on:



Ellen is fairly prolific.These next photos are some of what she brought to show. Kathleen Tracy's Schoolhouse Sampler--a nice palette of fabrics:

When you have tons of half square triangles, in several sizes, you put them all in one quilt, using an applique panel for the center:


This has a Christmas feel to it, but wasn't designed specifically for that holiday:


Another Kathleen Tracy pattern, the original blocks are 6" and the small version has 3" blocks: 


The MOST IMPORTANT task I got done was to baste the SECRET SEWING project so I can start the quilting this week. Here is the back:

I showed this one, a small version of Antique Rose Star. My original is now in Houston and if I get to teach it before the Special Exhibit quilts come home, I need a second sample: 


The quilting is coming along on this one, Western Sun Small, soon to be done:



Sharon's husband makes dinner for us each year and this year all three husbands are able to join in:



Since we go to Sharon's house, she doesn't drag her quilts to our meeting place. Here are a few of hers:





Sharon spent most of her time on this big project--it is looking great. Called Cadence Court, the book provides excellent instructions and many design possibilities. It is paper pieced:




We look forward to our annual visit. The three Amigas:


Let's quilt.

Barbara

Sunday, July 4, 2021

RED, WHITE AND BLUE QUILTS

 Happy 4th of July! This date is meaningful to me because 46 years ago I met my future husband. Six weeks later we had our first date and he asked me to marry him. Three weeks later, we were engaged. Best decision ever, for both of us.

But today is mostly known as Independence Day here in the US. Many of us fly US Flags outside our homes, there are parades, and cookouts, baseball and fireworks. A really big celebration day here.

I thought I would show you some of the Red, White and Blue quilts I have made over the years:

Patriotic Pineapples

A variation of Sail On I call Broad Stripes and Bright Stars

A small variation of Sail On

Cobblestones


Circle Stars


Flip and Sew Throw


Kwik Star 

While this isn't the color palette I am most known for, I have made more red, white and blue quilts than I thought. And here's the first, made in 1989, when I was a baby quilter. I think the pattern came out of a magazine, with the script as a page pull-out so you could trace and color it. If that is correct, there are probably lots of these around:


Happy Independence Day! 

Let's quilt.

Barbara