Saturday, March 17, 2018

St Patrick's Day, National Quilting Day, Thomas Fire Quilts

Happy St. Patrick's Day, a little late. I barely set out my decorations two days ago, but will let the greens and golds linger for a while.  I parked these two sweet vintage "lucky" postcards on the sideboard. (Ruffle edged plate is from World Market)

I found these at my favorite vintage mall downtown.  It's fascinating to me that these have survived intact, both are over 100 years old.
The top one was postmarked in 1912, and the lower one 1910.  The addresses are a marvel, not even a street name or number.  The top one I think is a rural delivery route in Havelock, Nebraska (near Lincoln), but the bottom one just gives the town, which with a little snooping on Google is Dresser Junction, Wisconsin, a tiny town NE of Minneapolis, now called Dresser.  I love these embossed postcards and always pick up a couple when I find them.  

As today is National Quilting Day, I spent it working on quilts--Thomas Fire quilts.  Our guild has received masses of blocks, over 600 came in one week alone, so we are no longer collecting blocks or making blocks.  The focus is on getting the blocks into quilt tops and those tops made into quilts.  Guild members at QuiltCon were gifted all of Hobbs Batting booth's leftovers that they didn't want to ship--incredible generosity!   It will be quickly used up, though, by the hundreds of quilts still in process. Sew-ins are going on every weekend and we are working as fast as we can to get finished quilts to victims of the fire and mudslide.

Today I laid out our Perkiomen Valley blocks and sewed two tops.  It is fun to  play with this block, so many different layouts are possible. 
Those black and white squares pop out at you, don't they?  I liked making them asymmetrical in this 30 block quilt. 

The next kit had 8 blocks the same so I decided to feature them together.  Another asymmetric setting of 30 blocks.  I have one more set to sew up and think I will do them how I originally laid out the above set, in pinwheels.  
This would be really effective if all the blocks were the same, but we deal with what we're given.  

I also want to share a special quilt which was made by Preeti, of Sew Preeti Quilts blog.  She called her gorgeous green and blue Perkiomen blocks quilt Savanna, the charming story is in this post.  I luckily was able to find her quilt in our packed storage office and had another guild member take a photo of me with it.
This is for you, Preeti, with many thanks!  Her straight set layout really emphasizes the diagonal and the fabrics and patterns just shine.  We have a gallery of Thomas Fire Quilts on our guild website and Preeti's is there.  It was claimed last week, no doubt, when half the shelves in our storage office were cleared for a pop-up giveaway at a local church. 

I hope to get the remaining block kit into a top tomorrow, get a kids quilt package quilted, and finish the binding on a huge quilt I took home from our regular guild meeting.  Then it will be more of the same until there are no more applicants to receive a quilt.  Many of the burned homes' lots are now cleared and graded and rebuilding will soon begin.  Lots are for sale all over the hills, a lot of the older homeowners will not be rebuilding.  I've seen a couple of view lots that are priced in the $500K range, can you imagine?  We will remain flatlanders forever!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Design Wall Monday--Narragansett Browns

Happy Monday!  We are happy in SoCalif because it has been raining, a nice long slow soak on our burnt hillsides, and no wind to follow the storm. Lovely.  

On my design floor is a quilt I've had in progress as a Leader-Ender for awhile, Bonnie Hunter's Narragansett Blues, from her book More Adventures with Leaders and Enders.  My version is smaller, a throw size quilt for my uncle, whose favorite color is brown.  I've been cutting and sewing four patches from the scrap drawers and any cutting table leftovers for months.  Finally yesterday I finished the 187 four patches I needed and could start the layout.  
All the bricks, squares, and four patches ready to go.  I cleared what floor space I have in the sewing room and commenced the arranging.
The rows are laid out vertically and I had to label the center square after awhile to keep track of where I was, and constantly refer to the book.  A few of the four patches wanted to turn, but I kept an eye on them.  I mixed the older batches of four patches with the newer batches to evenly distribute the colors and prints, but didn't spend too much time moving them around.  
Alas, I was short one four patch in the bottom corner, and couldn't get to my machine to sew until I moved all the rows off the floor, lol! There was some additional switcheroo before they were stacked and pinned in their rows.  I'm altering Bonnie's pieced outer border, too, to speed up assembly, and will need to cut a lot of  2x4.5" strips from the precut bins when I get that far.  I'm happy with the mix of browns and scrappy four patches and hope everything comes together well.  Some of the bricks that I cut with my GO cutter were a little long, being cut from scraps and not always on the lengthwise grain, so I will keep a mat and rotary cutter nearby to trim as necessary. 

See more design walls on Small Quilts and Doll Quilts. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

QuiltCon 2018--Part 3

More quilts to share! In another gallery across the courtyard were many more quilts, including a special display of Carolyn Friedlander quilts.  While I have bought her fabrics before, I haven't made any of her patterns.  She uses lots of curves and many prints--I'm always a fan of prints!

Her favorite technique is needle turn applique--which is probably the reason I haven't attempted her patterns yet as my curves are not likely to turn out the best.

Look at hers!  I liked the variety of machine quilting and the addition of hand stitching.

 Next Carolyn Friedlander quilt is called Everglade.

 Same pattern in different colors and scale, so interesting.

 More exquisite needle turn technique. 


The last pic I took of the CF collection, remember I was in a hurry as the exhibit closed in minutes! This one is called Wainwright. 

I'm sorry I didn't get any closeups.  this was hand appliqued and quilted with big stitch quilting and I just loved the shapes and colors.  The blocks were probably 6"

 Another well-known modern quilter, Victoria Findlay-Wolfe, won a ribbon for this quilt.

Her latest twist on traditional quilts, all solids in this braid, done in partial seams. 

 I found the choice of bright yellow thread fun!

Blogger is being a butt and not letting me load photos in the way I want, so this closeup insisted on going first.

 These are Alison Glass Sun Prints.  I love the intense dye and simple shapes in her Sun Prints.
 As the maker noted, a repeated simple shape has many possibilities.

Sorry for the light bleeding in from an upper window in this pic.  The quilting was varied and imaginative. 

Here's another set in the unintended order....Closeup first.  Loved the colors and mini stripe detail. 
 Hand quilting again.  This is my favorite category, one I feel I belong to!

And the whole quilt: 
The placement of the darks and lights made it look improv, but each HST was the same size.

This final quilt I could have studied much longer.  I loved the offset setting and creative quilting.  Closeup first...

 The quilting must have taken an extraordinary amount of time as this is a large quilt.
 It must have been hard to arrange all the quilted Ohio Star blocks just so. 
I have a GO cutter for the Snowball block and hope to made one someday.  After the huge Winding Ways quilt I made, a break from curves was necessary, but this is a great block I'd like to play with.  

So ends QuiltCon 2018.  The next two are out of state, I think Austin, TX next year and Nashville, TN the year after.  I don't thiink I'll make those but we'll see what my sister talks me into.  She took a bias tape class from Latifa Saafir one night, and a block printing class from another instructor the next day, an all day class, so barely got to see any of the quilts displayed.  I hope QuiltCon returns to CA again!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

QuiltCon 2018--Part 2

More quilts to share--and I wish I had taken even more photos!  First up, mini quilts.

I liked all the diagonal lines, appliqued so straight!--and all the quilting.  Another faced quilt.  It was probably 20x24".

The descriptions of all the quilts helpfully included details to answer the most common questions :)  I do wish they had included each quilt's dimensions. 

Improv piecing in my favorite color, green.

This was a pretty big mini, maybe 36-40" square.

Very dynamic design with so much color and personality. I don't work with black and white much but really liked it in this smaller quilt.

Paper piecing is a technique I have not explored much, mostly because it drives me nuts to think upside down and backwards.
 A very colorful quilt with that very interesting tiny black line.  A closer look was necessary.
Wow, look how skinny it really is  pieced there.  And how about the exceeding close quilting?

The maker's description was just as interesting.--the lines are binary code. 

 I was completely charmed by this quilt, the colors and lines, the quilting.  

 I thought the quilting motif was a very good choice.

Reading the description, the maker included my favorite Prussian Blue, yummy Caramel and the coral shades I love--no wonder I was drawn to it. If there is a printed pattern, I'd buy it.

 Another fairly large quilt with lots of movement and color, whimsy and charm.

Blogger will not let me type below the first photo, but this very interesting HUGE quilt was in a collection of Art Quilts.  Many types of Art Quilts are not considered modern, but apparently there are a select few. The fabrics were different shades of the same tiny print, which was pretty unattractive up close, but added so much texture.

The designer and maker of this quilt was a speaker at our guild last year and also worked at Sewtopia so we got to know her a little bit.  Such a vibrant and fun lady--just like her quilts. These blocks were 12", I think. I liked the wave quilting, too.

I used herDrunkard's Path templates to make my big project at Sewtopia, the Lucky word quilt.  Unfortunately she won't be working at the Boston Sewtopia event which my sister and I will be attending this year.

Are you getting bored?  I hope not, because I have more quilts to share--another post will follow, as I am running out of time this morning.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

QuiltCon 2018--Part I

I am late with my post on our QuiltCon visit two weeks ago, but have to share some favorites.  My sister Kathy and I went down Friday afternoon, traffic was pretty heavy so it took awhile, but we found the convention center in Pasadena and parked no problem.  We got our badges and checked out the MQG Charity Quilt Challenge display in the main lobby. I was particularly taken by a few of them.
The fabric colors were set by the MQG as well as the size, but from there it was each guild's decision as to design and quilting.   I really liked the quilting on this simple layout.
Lots of movement with this computerized design.

Imagination and precision were the hallmarks of many of the quilts.  Here is another favorite of mine.
The quilted ripple was so effective with the large scale stars. I loved the pieced blocks in the the stars and the background.
Our guild's quilt was not in the lobby but one of the lecture halls and I thought I took a photo of it, but apparently not at the show.  I don't see a shot of it on our website either! That will need to be remedied (we made improv log cabin blocks).  We then went into the exhibition  hall and met up with fellow guild members manning our Thomas Fire booth space, donated by QuiltCon.  Sooo many generous folks donated blocks, batting, completed quilts, thread, fabric, and money to our efforts, just amazing, and we are so grateful.  We wandered around looking at quilts, I took a turn through an aisle or two of the vendor area, and then we learned that the exhibition halls closed at 6 pm!  Yikes.  I hurried across to take pics of the Carolyn Friedlander exhibit and the rest of the quilts in the last half hour.  So disappointed I didn't get to study them all more closely.  My sister was in a class from 6-9 and I spent the time with another guild member.  Here are a few favorites: 
Cats, of course!  So bright and fun, loved the colors and prints, Warhol style.

Aura.  Gorgeous soft colors in solids.  

My favorites tended to be in the piecing and Modern Traditionalism categories, but there were other surprises.
This improv-pieced quilt is called Alabama Cityscape.  I liked the subtle bright color pops.
 Surprisingly, it was hand quilted in an imaginative way with ellipses.  Loved that.

The maker was an individual member.  If you don't have a local modern guild near you, the MQG encourages you to sign up as an individual member to get all the benefits of belonging. There were lots of modern quilts with hand quilting.  I particularly loved this one that was TIED, surprisingly.

Off center improv log cabin blocks in a cornstalk setting.  Loved it.  The ties were on both sides of the quilt, yellow in the orange sections. The quilt was big, blocks were probably 10-12". 

Great to see a Bee quilt in the mix of guild entries.   Very hard to pick a favorite but the next two I really enjoyed.

 This is Sewology, so creative and fun with all the tools of the quilters' trade.

The next quilt is faced, not bound, as were many of the quilts on display. 

 I really liked all the "negative space" quilting contrasting with the colorful spools.

 The maker constructed the "thread" jelly roll race style, per her description.  Oh, now I want to try that with the abundance of 1.5" scraps I have!

Well, this post is getting very long so I will break it up into a second part so I can share more from QuiltCon.